The Elect Calvin Onwards

The Elect Calvin Onwards

This is a very controversial subject in Christendom.  The classical definition is accepted by some as that of John Calvin, the well-known theologian, and one of the important Protestant reformers of the 16th century.  In fact there is considerable doubt as to whether Calvin was in fact the father of the classical definition, as it seems to have emerged after his death in AD 1564 under the influence of Theodore Beza.

In fact Calvin himself refused to dogmatically conclude what many of his fellows and students readily accepted.  But, what Calvin formally refused to confirm was embodied eventually in the Articles of the Synod of Dort (AD 1618-19).  This definition holds that “Christ died only for the elect (chosen)”.  What this means in effect is that only some people are “elected” to be saved, which to the writers does not seem to conform to the whole of Scripture, and especially to the New Testament!  It is however ironic that Calvin is now chained to that definition, in what became known as the “Calvin Secondary Form", but was in fact under the force of Beza!  Calvin is however on record as stating before his death that “election is related to the Person and Work of Christ”; which all true Christians will agree with as Christ Jesus is the "elect" of God; and we as His Body are therefore also "elect" (see: Isa. 42:1 and Rom. 8:33).

The Calvinist teaching misses the Dispensational change at the end of Acts, and therefore the wonder of the "Mystery Body"!

A further error is propagated by many Protestant groups, re. the position in God's Plan of Salvation for Israel.  Many groups teach that Israel is displaced by God for ever, and the Church has taken its place.  That is not so, and shows a lack of knowledge of the Bible, see: Replacement Theology. 

We know from the Holy Spirit inspired writings in Scripture, that Christ’s death was for the whole world, (John 3:16), but only for those in the world that will accept the great Sacrifice of Christ’s, not for those that refuse it!  What that means in effect, is that the most base sinner, and even apparently necromancers, can be saved and have eternal life, but only while the offer is current, and it will be withdrawn at some stage in the future, some think soon! 

Returning to “election”, Calvin’s latter statement chimes true to Scripture, as it states in Luke 23:35, that Jesus was the “Chosen”, or "Anointed" of God.  A few of the many other refs. are; Matt. 16:16, Luke 4:41, Luke 24:26, Acts 4:27 and Acts 10:38, as Messiah or Christ carry the same meaning!  The Jews knew (know) the Old Testament well, (albeit the Pharisaic, "Orthodox" Jews of today, through the "filter" of their later "Writings", called by some "Wisdom").  However, in Biblical Judaism, the prophecies of Messiah are numerous.  The Messiah, for whom the "Orthodox" Jews are still looking, is the “chosen” one, “the elect of God”!  This makes clear that it is Christ who is elect, not people! 

This interpretation was also held by Dr. Robert Anderson, who spoke on the subject at the AD 1895 Keswick Convention.  

Those that accept Christ’s sacrifice in truth “by propitiation” are in the Beloved, and are therefore “elect”!  This great truth allows for untold numbers to be saved, and for the harvest for God Almighty to be very great!  This also shows the great wisdom of our Great God, in the “Fall” in Eden being the beginning of a retrieval of so many souls, and also the beginning of the downfall of the great enemy Satan, whose end is yet to be played out, as shown in Revelation!  (See: Satan's Demise!).

It is the great rebellion of Satan (using his free will), at some time in the distant past, that is the originator of the God given Provision of Salvation through the death of Jesus, The Christ, at Calvary!  His shed Blood Covers as many people as will receive it (by using their free will); as per the sacrifice of the Passover Lamb in Egypt, for the children of Israel; for those that would allow themselves to be Covered by the Paschal Lamb (those that didn't, died)! 

Satan's perversion of God's Word to Adam, and Eve's "Fall" followed by Adam, was as a result of accepting the changed Words of God! This process is still current, and people must be wary of the many "teachers", "preachers", and any person who would change or interpret Scripture in any way which makes the straightforward message of trust in Christ for Eternal Life; hard to understand, by small changes to words! 

A common teaching of some Calvinists, is that only God decides who will be "saved"!  That any form of "seeking" is useless, because all is determined many "Ages" ago!  Some go as far as to say, "that even turning to God, seeking Him, finding Him in Christ, and making the decision to accept Him as Lord and Saviour; is a form of work; and therefore invalid"!  

They are usually quite arrogant and aggressive in their statements, and extremely circular in their arguments, that even they become confused, and will contradict themselves on occasions! All of this is a usual sign of Satan's control in their minds as regards the Truth of Christ's Love for the world's peoples!  They go as far as to say that if a person "accepts" Jesus as Saviour, their Salvation is invalid, because they "accepted", which they say is work!  

They also confuse the "Sovereignty" of God, stating that because the individual "accepted", they "usurped" God's Sovereignty; instead of realising that God is Sovereign over all!  These are based on the Calvinist Concept of "Limited Election", which is also a mistaken concept, based on "only those favoured" being called!  In these Definitions, the extreme Calvinist is using the method of the "Usurper" of the Garden of Eden, whose miss-use of the Words of God, led to the Fall; and in these wrong teachings they must make the rest of Scripture fit it!

A favourite method of persuasion is to quote passages in the New Testament which seem to confirm their case. These are usually taken out of context, or are given a "new context" by the speaker, with their own interpretation of what God meant!  Here we must remember Eve in the Garden of Eden; and Satan tempting our Lord after His Baptism at the start of His Ministry! 

The following Links give some comments and clarity on this type of teaching:

The Call of God:   

Is Our Free will Of Value Or Is Everything Predestined?     

Calvinist "Works" Teaching 

Many Calvinists also believe that they "are the future Israel" of prophecy, which is in direct conflict with God's Word re. Israel!  The position of the Jews in Scripture, Old and New Testaments.  

A further element to the controversy of the “elect”, is that there is more than one group of elected peoples. This is where the exhortation by the great Apostle Paul is to be heeded and used (2Tim. 2:15).  In this statement, Paul shows that the Bible must be properly “divided”, (i.e. properly understood in context; see Miles Coverdale) and that it must be “worked” at! 

A simple example of that is to understand that which applies to Christians (the true Body of Christ), does not apply to the unfortunates of Rev. 22, who are excluded from the Tree of Life!  This extreme example is used only to illustrate the care that is needed in reading and understanding the context.

The two main groups called the “elect” in Scripture are the Jews, and Christians (the true Body of Christ).  It is essential for understanding to clearly differentiate all cases, to be able to understand what is being said, and to whom!  In the case of the Jewish election, these are documented in many O.T. Scriptures, some of which are as follows: Gen. 12:2-3, 7. Gen. 13:14-17. Gen. 15:5-6, 18-21. Gen. 17:4-10, 21 & Gen. 21:12-13.  In Gal. 3:16, the NT also refers to “the promised seed”, that of Eden!  The Jewish promised “election”, was at the beginning unconditional, and still is, that will be played out in future events!  Conditions were not applied until Mount Sinai, when God wanted His people to perform a task of witness for Him to the surrounding Nations, as to Him being the only True God!  Their failure and refusal eventually led to God’s Glory leaving the Temple in Jerusalem, and their exile in Babylon! 

Under Ezra and Nehemiah, God re-established His people, but His “Shekina” did not return to the new Temple. 

As per the prophecies of Daniel, and other O.T. prophets, Jesus was born, and as the “Christ” (Greek for Hebrew Messiah) and the “chosen” (elect) of God, was offered to the Jews for redemption.  

As Acts 28:26-27, sadly records, they finally refused Jesus as Christ, and shortly after they were rejected by God (temporarily), and made “Lo-Ammi” (not My people), and the offer of Salvation has been held out to the Nations (Gentiles) ever since, Acts 28:28! 

This fact of temporary rejection of the Jews, and the offer being made available to the Gentiles, created the potential for the “elect” of the Body of Christ, and as stated is the second grouping of “elect” peoples.  

For this reason great care must be taken to ascertain which grouping of “elect” peoples are referred to in Scripture passages.  An example of this is a much misunderstood passage in Matt. 24:24.  The reference there to the “elect” is clearly referring to “the elect of Israel”, as the Body of Christ has certainly been removed from the Earth, and Israel are re-adopted, (Ammi, My people again)!  (See; Israel - Prophecy - The Last Days; Jacob's Trouble  & Jehovah's dealings with Israel ).

 

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