eternal values ministries

                                 THE AUGUSTINIAN CALVINIST FILTER   

                                      IMPOSED UPON ALL SCRIPTURE   

                                                                             INTRODUCTION   

To my brothers and sisters in Christ Jesus. Greetings in his precious name.  
I would like to give you a short version of my journey concerning Determinism & Man's free will. For the first 15 years of my salvation, I had no understanding of what is called Calvinism. My first encounter was watching James Kennedy on TV.When he mentioned the teaching of Limited Atonement, I literally cringed. How could the atonement be Limited when the Bible as a whole seems to teach that man makes choices, to believe or reject the Gospel Invitation?   
 I now know this is not new but historic Reformation Doctrine.At first I really did not look into this in my younger years. It is in the last few years the struggle started, watching videos, debates, reading books on the subject. I read books, seen videos on both sides of the issue.One week I would be a Calvinist.Then I'd study more and be an Armenian? This went on for some time. I kept praying and studying. 
There is one thing that prevailed. I could not get away from the Logical conclusion that for one to believe the Gospel, there must be Moral Responsibility. The argument that man is unable to believe cannot be true. Also the doctrine of the Lord " passing over " of some to damnation is a great error. I thank the Lord for Luther, Calvin, Knox with other men of the time who gave their lives for Christ. Great preachers as Edwards, Spurgeon and many Puritans were of this persuasion. As for me, I have no peace in this teaching. I really believe a Filter of Augustian Calvinism was and is imposed on the scriptures.  
In 1973, a man in a park witnessed to me. He gave a clear presentation of the gospel of the Grace of God. That night I was under strong conviction. The next day I met him again. He opened the Bible to Eph.2 and told me to read verses 8 & 9. 
[Eph 2:8-9 KJV] 8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: [it is] the gift of God: 9 Not of works, lest any man should boast. 
As I pondered the gracious words, I had a revelation: The Lord saves people not based on their works, but for simply believing. From that time on to today, 47 years later, I still know my sins are forgiven and a place reserved for me in heaven. The man took me to my first church (outside of the Russian Orthodox church I was born into). There I learned and grew in the faith. At the time I did not realize that I was being taught a unique doctrine of the Apostle Paul's revelation.
[Eph 3:1-7 KJV] 1 For this cause I Paul, the prisoner of Jesus Christ for you Gentiles, 2 If ye have heard of the dispensation of the grace of God which is given me to you-ward: 3 How that by revelation he made known unto me the mystery; (as I wrote afore in few words, 4 Whereby, when ye read, ye may understand my knowledge in the mystery of Christ) 5 Which in other ages was not made known unto the sons of men, as it is now revealed unto his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit; 6 That the Gentiles should be fellowheirs, and of the same body, and partakers of his promise in Christ by the gospel: 7 Whereof I was made a minister, according to the gift of the grace of God given unto me by the effectual working of his power.
I took for granted that the church at large knew this Mystery of a heavenly position in which Jew and Gentile are in one Body. It is this peculiar revelation (Gal.1:11,12) that has given me insight many years later into the Controversy we are about to enter. 
[Eph 1:17-23 KJV] 17 That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him: 18 The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints, 19 And what [is] the exceeding greatness of his power to us-ward who believe, according to the working of his mighty power, 20 Which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and set [him] at his own right hand in the heavenly [places], 21 Far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come: 22 And hath put all [things] under his feet, and gave him [to be] the head over all [things] to the church, 23 Which is his body, the fulness of him that filleth all in all.

                                                                           

TABLE OF CONTENTS  

  Chapter 1: Rightly dividing the word of truth           

                                                             CHAPTER  I


                                               RIGHTLY DIVIDING THE WORD OF TRUTH 

                                                                                                                              2 Tim.2:15


Most of us know the story of Saul of Tarsus. A jew born a Roman citizen became one of the great apostles. He was educated by a man of reputation, a Pharisee named Gamaliel, a doctor of the Law.Acts 6:34. Saul himself a Pharisee, zealous of the Law persecuted the Jewish Christians, hauling them into prison, consenting unto their death. 
[Gal 1:13-14 KJV] 13 For ye have heard of my conversation in time past in the Jews' religion, how that beyond measure I persecuted the church of God, and wasted it: 14 And profited in the Jews' religion above many my equals in mine own nation, being more exceedingly zealous of the traditions of my fathers.
Paul's conversion was miraculous. [Act 9:1-6 KJV] 1 And Saul, yet breathing out threatenings and slaughter against the disciples of the Lord, went unto the high priest, 2 And desired of him letters to Damascus to the synagogues, that if he found any of this way, whether they were men or women, he might bring them bound unto Jerusalem. 3 And as he journeyed, he came near Damascus: and suddenly there shined round about him a light from heaven: 4 And he fell to the earth, and heard a voice saying unto him, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me? 5 And he said, Who art thou, Lord? And the Lord said, I am Jesus whom thou persecutest: [it is] hard for thee to kick against the pricks. 6 And he trembling and astonished said, Lord, what wilt thou have me to do? And the Lord [said] unto him, Arise, and go into the city, and it shall be told thee what thou must do.  
From that time forward, Paul preached the faith he once destroyed.Acts 9:20-22: Gal.1:22-24.                                           

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Pg. 1   


                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 [Gal 1:15-17 KJV] 15 But when it pleased God, who separated me from my mother's womb, and called [me] by his grace, 16 To reveal his Son in me, that I might preach him among the heathen; immediately I conferred not with flesh and blood: 17 Neither went I up to Jerusalem to them which were apostles before me; but I went into Arabia, and returned again unto Damascus.  
The apostle by divine inspiration says according to God's pleasure (when it pleased him), the LORD had Paul born into the world and called him by his grace to reveal Jesus among the Gentiles.1 Tim.2:6,7. It would seem that Paul was chosen/selected by God to his position as apostle to the Gentiles. Was Paul called in Christ before the foundation of the world to personal salvation? I believe the answer is Yes. The Calvinist will not like how I come to this position. Nevertheless, is it scriptural?  Paul is the perfect example as the apostle of the Gentiles. He says follow me as I follow Christ. 1Cor.4:16,17; 11:1
Therefore, we do not follow the earthly ministry of the Lord Jesus Christ, (Rom.15:8-16) but his heavenly calling which was given us in Christ before the foundation of the world.Eph.1:3,4; Heb.3:1. (this does not mean what our Lord taught in the gospels is not for us today, but rather those peculiar to Israel must be understood in light of Paul's revelation of the Mystery dispensation. Rom.16:25,26). When Ephesians 1 is read properly combined with chapters 2 and 3 we see how it all harmonizes with chapter 1.and all the rest of scripture concerning our being chosen to salvation. (2 Thess.2:13,4)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Pg.2  

                                                         

                                                         WHAT IS THE MYSTERY OF HIS WILL

The LORD'S eternal purpose is given us in [Eph 1:9-14 KJV] 9 Having made known unto us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure which he hath purposed in himself: 10 That in the dispensation of the fulness of times he might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; [even] in him: 11 In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will:..  
This Mystery is not about the identity of the elect, or if the Lord gave us free will or not. Rather it is a secret purpose the LORD GOD kept in Himself before the foundation of the world, a God ordained mystery to be revealed at the right time. We must go back in the Old Testament so as to trace it to the Revelation of the Mystery and how it effect's us today. It is important that we see two main callings: One is an earthly calling to the Nation of Israel. This starts with Abraham in Gen.12. The other is the heavenly calling we are in today all throughout Paul's letters. Rom.16:25,26; Eph. Chpts.1- 3; 6:12; Phil.3:20; Col.1:5, 20; 3:1-3; Heb.3:1
[Gen 12:2-3 KJV] 2 And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing: 3 And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed. 
 Gen 28:14

And thy seed shall be as the dust of the earth, and thou shalt spread abroad to the west, and to the east, and to the north, and to the south: and in thee and in thy seed shall all the families of the earth be blessed.

Please note that the LORD has a plan; His eternal future purpose is to gather together in one both which are in heaven and earth in Christ. This plan goes back to eternity past before the foundation of the world. That plan started in real time at The Lord's coming to set aside Israel and to bring in both Jew and Gentile reconciled in one Body in Christ.  Rom.11:25

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   Pg.3  


Chapter 2

                                                                  HOW ARE THE LOST SAVED

This reconciliation is seen in [Eph 2:15-18 KJV]  Having abolished in his flesh the enmity, [even] the law of commandments [contained] in ordinances; for to make in himself of twain one new man, [so] making peace; 16 And that he might reconcile both unto God in one body by the cross, having slain the enmity thereby: 17 And came and preached peace to you which were afar off, and to them that were nigh. 18 For through him we both have access by one Spirit unto the Father.   
 [Eph 3:9-12 KJV] 9 And to make all [men] see what [is] the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the world hath been hid in God, who created all things by Jesus Christ: 10 To the intent that now unto the principalities and powers in heavenly [places] might be known by the church the manifold wisdom of God, 11 According to the eternal purpose which he purposed in Christ Jesus our Lord: 12 In whom we have boldness and access with confidence by the faith of him. 
Once we understand that the LORD is saving people according to their ability to believe or reject the gospel, things are much more simplified. [2Co 11:3 KJV] 3 But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ.  
Simplicity is defined in the blueletterbible.org as follows:1) singleness, simplicity, sincerity, mental honesty.2) the virtue of one who is free from pretence and hypocrisy.3) not self seeking, openness of heart manifesting itself by generosity. 
I must emphasize that the average person opening and reading the Bible does not come to the Augustinian  Calvinist view of Predetermined salvation or predetermined damnation of every individual. It is simply the Default Position for human beings. Everyone has a God given conscience. The scriptures are clear.   

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       Pg.4  


[Rom 1:16-25 KJV] 16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek. 17 For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith. 18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness; 19 Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed [it] unto them. 20 For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, [even] his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse: 21 Because that, when they knew God, they glorified [him] not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. 22 Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools, 23 And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things. 24 Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves: 25 Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen. 
Anybody reading the first chapter of Romans sees a clear picture of man's moral responsibility before a holy God. There is NO EXCUSE.
This is why we see no mention of a god who determines a man's destiny outside of his Moral Responsibility. So how did this doctrine infiltrate the church? It's first recorded appearance is with Augustine in the 4th century. Augustine spent many years in a Deterministic Cult before his salvation. From their it spread to others through the Reformation to our present day Bible schools.A must watch video that shows the Doctrinal Roots of present day Calvinism.  https://youtu.be/BnOMORGM2Qw    

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           Pg.5 


To get a good understanding of salvation by man's free will, we will go back to the beginning where Adam and Eve made their choice to eat from the Tree of the Knowledge Good and Evil. Adam was created without sin. What does this mean? He must have been created without sin i.e. innocent, but with the ability to make choices that included good and evil. Adam did not know what evil was, nevertheless his disobedience transgressed the Law of the Garden. R.C. Sproul taught that Adam was created with a propensity to sin, an inclination leaning toward sin. To create Adam leaning toward sin is a determinist philosophy of Gnostic, Stoic cults (in my opinion).  
The LORD GOD must be a totally " free will " eternal being. If he does not possess complete Libertine free will, then he is not Sovereign.There cannot be determining circumstances directing the will of our LORD, for he worketh all things after the counsel of his own will. The scriptures teach us that mankind is created in God's image. Gen. 1:27 So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.The question then must be asked.Does this include libertine free will? This can be narrowed down even further. Does it include enough free will to make a moral choice so as to be held responsible for one's actions? I believe the answer is yes. It is not only scriptural for the LORD to punish or  reward mankind, but our very conscience bears witness to these things. 

Therefore the Augustinian / Calvinist view imposed upon all scripture that the LORD GOD determines everything man does ( including evil ) cannot be warranted. To give man the ability to make moral choices in no way limits the Sovereignty of God, rather it enhances it. 

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Pg.6 

 

 The LORD knowing all things knew Adam would sin and plunge the human race into sin. This is why the Plan of Redemption is " before the foundation of the world." This particular plan was hidden is to reconcile saints to a Heavenly position i.e. the Body of Christ. 

 [Eph 1:3-6 KJV] 3 Blessed [be] the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly [places] in Christ: 4 According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love: 5 Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will, 6 To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved. 

Here the Augustinian Calvinist view is inferred to mean that individuals are chosen (elected) unto salvation without their free will. We were not "in Christ" till we trusted him and believed the Gospel. Eph.1:13,14.  The plan to save both Jew & Gentile in one Body was there ready to be implemented in due time. 

[2Ti 1:9-10 KJV] 9 Who hath saved us, and called [us] with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began, 10 But is now made manifest by the appearing of our Saviour Jesus Christ, who hath abolished death, and hath brought life and immortality to light through the gospel:...  

[Tit 1:1-16 KJV] 1 Paul, a servant of God, and an apostle of Jesus Christ, according to the faith of God's elect, and the acknowledging of the truth which is after godliness; 2 In hope of eternal life, which God, that cannot lie, promised before the world began; 3 But hath in due times manifested his word through preaching, which is committed unto me according to the commandment of God our Saviour;... 

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Pg.7  


How was this grace given us? Not according to our works i.e. merit. It is solely according to His purpose. Again , it is the Father's plan in eternity past to call out a heavenly people who by their own volition believed the gospel and were placed into Christ. If this be the case then the ones Predestinated are not people who are already saved or irresistibly called to be saved. Rather the scripture reads that the Body of Christ is what is predestined and the people who by grace through faith, not of their own merit are placed into Christ when they believe as free moral agents. This seems to be in agreement with the totality of scripture in Whole, as well as the immediate context. I do not believe Paul ever taught, or anybody else that man cannot believe the gospel. That he is unable by God's Sovereign Decree to exercise saving faith. Even further predeterminists will venture to say that the LORD purposely made them sin and fall.  

[Rom 10:17 KJV] 17  So then faith [cometh] by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.