“You snakes! You brood of vipers! How will you escape being condemned to hell?
A snake is a reference to craftiness or wisdom in how best to capture its prey.
A viper means a deadly serpent that if bitten by it, will cause your death.
In Matthew 23 Jesus was rebuking the religious leaders because they claimed to love God and were responsible for bringing people to the Lord for salvation. But instead, they were working with Satan to do the opposite, taking people away from God and into hell. Their man-made commands that were clearly unbiblical were killing them spiritually. That is what false doctrine does.
Is it loving for a Christian in any setting, whether online or in person to rebuke and call out someone for teaching false doctrine which are leading people to hell? Yes, why? Because Jesus who is love and the Truth rebuked false teachers of His time for leading people away from God.
My friends, if you see someone saying that they are a Christian but at the same time, teaching things that it is very clear to you false, in reference to Scripture by twisting it, do what Jesus did and rebuke them, for the sake of those being misled.
I don’t mean the doctrine that’s not fundamental to salvation but those that are. For some examples see below.
Teaching that Jesus is not God but was created, Jesus is not the Son of God, He didn’t die on the cross or rose from the grave, He wasn’t born from a virgin, you can become gods, universalism, work for your salvation, rejection of Biblical inerrancy, It’s okay to worship idols and etc…
Love will spur a Christian to protect an unsuspected person who is being misled.
Do you love the Truth? If you do, help those being deceived.
20 Nevertheless, I have this against you: You tolerate that woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophet. By her teaching, she misleads my servants into sexual immorality and the eating of food sacrificed to idols.
The verse above makes it very clear that the church in Pergamum had a charge against them from Jesus Christ. They allowed a false teacher to go unchallenged without rebuking and denouncing her for preaching and teaching false doctrine which was dooming people to hell.
If you do not want this charge against you when you meet Jesus face to face one day then make sure when you see that happening, rebuke the false teacher and warn the people. Love for the Truth will convict you to do this because Jesus lives in you. The more you read the Bible, the more you will start to love the Truth.
My thoughts about the Old Testament festivals are based on Colossians 2:16-17 which says, Therefore, don’t let anyone judge you in regard to food and drink or in the matter of a festival or a new moon or a Sabbath day. These are a shadow of what was to come; the substance is the Messiah.
The ceremonials and sacrifices were a foreshadow of Jesus Christ. We as Christians shouldn’t surround our walk with the Lord based on fulfilled Old Testament laws except for the one that’s always active, the moral law or as the New Testament calls it, the law of the Spirit (Galatians 5:16-18). Our walk in this life is solely based on Jesus Christ and the teachings of the New Testament and should reject anything contrary to that as seen in 2 John 1:9-11 which says, 9 Anyone who does not remain in Christ’s teaching but goes beyond it, does not have God. The one who remains in that teaching, this one has both the Father and the Son. 10 If anyone comes to you and does not bring this teaching, do not receive him into your home, and don’t say, “Welcome,” to him; 11 for the one who says, “Welcome,” to him shares in his evil works.
Saying that we can apply the Old Testament teachings in principle, and we should understand the O.T. based on the N.T., not the other way around. You can apply the principle behind the literal meaning but we must understand that those laws have been fulfilled in Christ and to go back to them is to reject Christs’ sacrifice and His imputation of His righteousness in keeping the law for you.
You have to be very careful with the “Hebrew Roots Movement” because they are trying to imprison Christians back into the law. The church in Galatia was headed in that same direction (keeping the law) and Paul wrote to them that they were following another gospel as seen in Galatians 1:6-8 which says, 6 I am amazed that you are so quickly turning away from Him who called you by the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel— 7 not that there is another gospel, but there are some who are troubling you and want to change the good news about the Messiah. 8 But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach to you a gospel other than what we have preached to you, a curse be on him!
Christ has liberated us to be free. Stand firm then and don’t submit again to a yoke of slavery. 2 Take note! I, Paul, tell you that if you get yourselves circumcised, Christ will not benefit you at all. 3 Again I testify to every man who gets himself circumcised that he is obligated to keep the entire law. 4 You who are trying to be justified by the law are alienated from Christ; you have fallen from grace.
If a person wanted to follow part of the law in this case circumcision he/she was obligated to keep the rest of the law and if a person would go back to the law they would be rejecting Jesus Christ and also would be rejecting His free gift of eternal life. If we go back to the law we are telling Him that we can do a better job in keeping it than He did even though Jesus never sinned and perfectly kept the whole law. To keep the law is to trample upon His sacrifice as if it means nothing (Hebrews 10:29).
Some may say, “one must keep His holy convocations (the law) perpetually throughout all generations as it declares in the Old Testament”
In Genesis 17:13-14 it says, 13 Whether born in your household or bought with your money, they must be circumcised. My covenant in your flesh is to be an everlasting covenant. 14 Any uncircumcised male, who has not been circumcised in the flesh, will be cut off from his people; he has broken my covenant.”
As you can see, circumcision was an everlasting covenant but its true meaning and function is seen in the New Testament, when the covenant was fulfilled by the promised Holy Spirit after Jesus death, resurrection and ascension into heaven that you get circumcise in your heart by the Spirit of God when you put your trust in Jesus. This is seen in Romans 2:29 which says, 29 On the contrary, a person is a Jew who is one inwardly, and circumcision is of the heart—by the Spirit, not the letter. That man’s praise is not from men but from God.
Even in the Old Testament, the Lord said that the law was impossible to follow in totality. The Lord said in the Book of Jeremiah 31:31-34, 31 “Look, the days are coming”—this is the Lord’s declaration—“when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah. 32 This one will not be like the covenant I made with their ancestors when I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt—a covenant they broke even though I had married them”—the Lord’s declaration. 33 “Instead, this is the covenant I will make with the house of Israel after those days”—the Lord’s declaration. “I will put My teaching within them and write it on their hearts. I will be their God, and they will be My people. 34 No longer will one teach his neighbor or his brother, saying, ‘Know the Lord,’ for they will all know Me, from the least to the greatest of them”—this is the Lord’s declaration. “For I will forgive their wrongdoing and never again remember their sin.”
The Lord’s teachings are written in one’s heart by the indwelling of the Holy Spirit who teaches you God’s Word. God was trying to show that we will always fall short of God’s standard and only His Son Jesus Christ can live according to the law without breaking a single command which He did. We are considered righteous not because we keep the whole law but because we have placed our faith in Him who kept it flawlessly for us so that we can receive the righteousness that our works could never achieve. No one can boast and say, “I saved myself by my righteousness and good works.”
Do not let yourself be enslaved by a yoke that Christ has set you free from. We are to walk by the law of the Spirit which is based in Christ alone.
16 I say then, walk by the Spirit and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh. 17 For the flesh desires what is against the Spirit, and the Spirit desires what is against the flesh; these are opposed to each other, so that you don’t do what you want. 18 But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law.
As a Christian, I don’t hate anyone especially with those I disagree with like Calvin, Arminian, Luther or any of the Reformers. We cannot blindly follow someone’s teachings without comparing it to scripture. What I hate is false doctrine. We have to remember though that some of the Reformers were heavily influenced by Catholicism and carried out the same punishment on heretics that which they themselves deemed unChristlike when the Catholic Church did it to them. Not all the Reformers were killing false teachers, only those who were devoid of the Holy Spirit. Jesus said that the way a Christian would be identified would be through love as seen in John 13:35 which says, By this all people will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.
Does that love include unbelievers as well meaning everybody?
43 “You have heard that it was said, Love your neighbor and hate your enemy. 44 But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, 45 so that you may be sons of your Father in heaven. For He causes His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. 46 For if you love those who love you, what reward will you have? Don’t even the tax collectors do the same? 47 And if you greet only your brothers, what are you doing out of the ordinary? Don’t even the Gentiles do the same? 48 Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.
Jesus summed up all of His teachings in two commandments. If we live by these two commands we will keep them all.
34 When the Pharisees heard that He had silenced the Sadducees, they came together. 35 And one of them, an expert in the law, asked a question to test Him: 36 “Teacher, which command in the law is the greatest?” 37 He said to him, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. 38 This is the greatest and most important command. 39 The second is like it: Love your neighbor as yourself. 40 All the Law and the Prophets depend on these two commands.”
If you love the Lord with all your heart, you will not replace Him with an idol in the form of materialism, people, animals or a statue.
If you love your neighbor as yourself, you won’t harm him/her in any way. You will tell them the good news, help them in any way possible so that they can see Jesus in you.
How about if your neighbor is a false teacher? God commands you to love the false teacher by telling them the truth in a loving way and to continue to pray for their salvation.
How did John Calvin treat his neighbors who were false teachers? He gave them a one-way ticket to hell by putting them to death. Folks, that is NOT love, especially when as Christians, we are appointed to direct them to Jesus for salvation not send them to hell by any means.
One Calvinist stated:
“In Calvin’s day there was a zeal like Phinehas had where God’s truth was concerned. They took it most seriously the stewardship to keeping it unsullied. They also feared for the eternal souls of those who could easily be led astray by those who spouted false doctrine.
I, too, love my brother in Christ, John Calvin. I’m also glad that he was used by God in spite of his imperfections and failings. It gives me hope and also makes me appreciate God’s patience toward us.”
Folks, do you see how they twist the scriptures? In the time of Phinehas, the Jewish people were under a theocratic state meaning that Yahweh the Lord was their King and He ruled His people through His Priests namely Moses, Aaron and his sons in the time that the Jews were in the wilderness for 40 years.
This Calvinist is referring to Numbers 25:6-9 which says, 6 An Israelite man came bringing a Midianite woman to his relatives in the sight of Moses and the whole Israelite community while they were weeping at the entrance to the tent of meeting. 7 When Phinehas son of Eleazar, son of Aaron the priest, saw this, he got up from the assembly, took a spear in his hand, 8 followed the Israelite man into the tent, and drove it through both the Israelite man and the woman—through her belly. Then the plague on the Israelites was stopped, 9 but those who died in the plague numbered 24,000.
So this Calvinist is justifying John Calvin killing heretics based on these Old Testament passages which would make killing false teachers justified. Even though we are under the New Covenant just like all the Reformers were. Does time dictate how we should view the Bible or should we view the Bible how it dictates to us how we should live regardless of the times we live in? for the Word of God does not change, Jesus does not change.
If the laws were to change today and would give us the right to kill and destroy all false religion or cults like The Mormons, Jehovah Witnesses and so on, would you, as a born again believer go out there and murder them? Would the times that you live in give you the right to override the Bible’s teachings? Of course not, for the Word of the Lord is eternal and doesn’t change. We as Christians must obey Jesus Christ regardless whatever time we are born in. How can you tell the difference between a true and false Christian? You can tell by their fruits which will affect their doctrine as well.
15 “Beware of false prophets who come to you in sheep’s clothing but inwardly are ravaging wolves.16 You’ll recognize them by their fruit. Are grapes gathered from thornbushes or figs from thistles? 17 In the same way, every good tree produces good fruit, but a bad tree produces bad fruit. 18 A good tree can’t produce bad fruit; neither can a bad tree produce good fruit. 19 Every tree that doesn’t produce good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. 20 So you’ll recognize them by their fruit.
What fruit did John Calvin produce?
16 “I have told you these things to keep you from stumbling. 2 They will ban you from the synagogues. In fact, a time is coming when anyone who kills you will think he is offering service to God.
Ladies and gentleman, John Calvin was in a ministry of killing heretics thinking he was doing a service to God. God calls this a false teacher and the scripture warned us to let us know that the Lord will never send a Christian that displays those qualities which are unChrist like. Who else does this today? The Muslims, not all but those who take the Qur’an seriously and literally. John Calvin is no different.
I came across two Calvinists that claimed something so horrific that it made me gasp. I have never thought that’s what that group believed. I would like to share this without naming them out of respect. Why do Calvinists hold to John Calvin and his teachings above the Holy Spirit’s? I’m going, to be honest, it seems like they worship the man even though they never have said that of course but their action to defend the man seems to me like if he was the one who died for their sins. All they talk about is him and less of Christ.
If you go to their site all they post are quotes from famous Calvinists as if it was inspired, it blows my mind. Why not talk about Jesus, his love for humanity? I think they don’t as much because they teach that Jesus only died for some and the others He didn’t. What’s the picture of God’s love? It is the cross, right? Well, if Jesus only died for the elect that means that He didn’t love the rest, that would be the logical conclusion.
That teaching does not come from God, I can be 100% sure in saying that Jesus loves everyone in the world as John 3:16 so beautifully says. Below are their quotes and it disturbed me so much that I wanted to share it so you can witness for yourselves what’s in their hearts which I truly believe is a rejection of the Holy Spirit. I will not paint all Calvinism with a broad brush but a lot of them I believe are deceived. Also, they will always tell you that if you don’t believe in their doctrine that you are an Arminian. I reject wholeheartedly that name because I haven’t studied or learned from him.
A Calvinist said–“But it’s necessary to test everything they teach by the Word of God – we’re commanded to test everything. The Holy Spirit also teaches us and leads us through His Word directly, though no prophecy is of private interpretation. We should never cling to teachers who are human and err, but only to Jesus Christ. However we can err by believing only in the Holy Spirit to guide us.”
Another Calvinist said–“A cult group called The Last Reformation is a fine example of following the “Holy Spirit” without other teachers to help in knowing if it is, in truth, the Holy Spirit doing the teaching. Discernment is an exercise which requires much study in the Word of God and by commentariesthrough His gift of godly learned men.”
This Calvinist claims that discernment (knowing the scriptures) can only be achieved by men’s commentaries, not by the Holy Spirit. Do you see anything wrong with that belief? This is not from Jesus but from Satan who will do anything to keep you away from knowing the truth which by the way is only revealed by the Holy Spirit (John 16:13)
As you can see in both quotes, how they speak from two sides of the same mouth which scripture says not to do this.
Praising and cursing come out of the same mouth. My brothers, these things should not be this way.
They are praising the Lord then turn around in the next sentence and curse the Holy Spirit by saying not to listen to Him alone because you can err as if the Holy Spirit can mislead you. This to me is very demonic without any doubt. They claim that if you believe and attend a church that does not follow John Calvin’s doctrine and only the Holy Spirit then you are characterized as a cult member.
What does the Bible say about the Holy Spirit?
When the Spirit of truth comes, He will guide you into all the truth. For He will not speak on His own, but He will speak whatever He hears. He will also declare to you what is to come. 1 John 2:27
27 The anointing you received from Him remains in you, and you don’t need anyone to teach you. Instead, His anointing teaches you about all things and is true and is not a lie; just as He has taught you, remain in Him.
The Holy Spirit warned us in 1 Timothy that some will depart from the truth by going after strange doctrines through false teachers instead of listening to Him who is our teacher, they heap on themselves doctrines of demons. See below.
1 Timothy 4:1
Now the Spirit explicitly says that in later times some will depart from the faith, paying attention to deceitful spirits and the teachings of demons
When you reject the Holy Spirit’s teachings you will accept the teachings of demons.
I’m not saying that we don’t need teachers, but the Bible does tell us to judge them through scripture to make sure they are from God (1 Thessalonians 5:21, 1 Corinthians 14:29).
A Pastor’s job is to remind us to continue in the faith and teach us scripture. They are not there to dictate the final meaning of any particular verse and interpretation without any question. Teachers are to help us seek the Lord more by encouraging us to do our own study.
Is that what Calvinism does? Do they not follow the man’s interpretation as it is the only true interpretation? As if John Calvin was the only man who knew the real truth, that folks, is ridiculous.
I believe that some of his teachings are pushing people away from Jesus Christ and those who are Calvinists might not even be saved because they believe that before you can have faith in Jesus He has to save you first. They claim that you are so spiritually dead that you cannot choose to have faith in Jesus even if the Holy Spirit convicts and reveals the truth to you. That my friends contradict Ephesians 2:8-9. The more I dig deep into their doctrine, the more I get horrified. May the Lord Jesus Christ have mercy on them and bring them out so that they can follow Jesus alone not John Calvin.
One last thought. They remind me a lot of Catholicism because just as Catholics they adhere to someone’s interpretation as being final. The Calvinists claim scripture alone but that’s a lie because they understand the Bible through the eyes of Calvin just like the Catholics through the eyes of the Popes and Priests. What’s the difference between John Calvin and Catholicism’s Papal infallibility (everything that comes out of the pope’s mouth is free of error and therefore authoritative)? There is no difference with Calvinism. They will claim that Calvin is not perfect yet at the same time they defend his teachings as if it was perfect.
Every Christian has a massive spiritual wall that shields them in. The demonic forces on a daily basis without fail are constantly bombarding that wall of protection. That wall is our faith in Christ.
Full blown apostasy occurs when a person is in the truth but hasn’t fully placed their trust in Jesus Christ yet and ends up falling away for some reason. Those are seen in the parable of Jesus in regards to the seeds that fell along the path which is found in Matthew 13. All the plants except for one didn’t produce any fruit and ended up dying. Fruits are the evidence of the Holy Spirit residing in a person and no fruit shows that the Holy Spirit never made His home in them.
Another category of apostasy which I call momentary apostasy occurs to a truly born again believer who gets deceived for lack of studying the scripture but eventually the Holy Spirit brings him or her back to the truth through repentance by convicting the individual of their erroneous beliefs. We see this in 2 Chronicles 33:1-17 and a warning to study God’s Word so a Christian won’t be deceived in Ephesians 4:11-14.
In today’s time, we are witnessing full blown apostasy as countless of churches are accepting homosexuality as being right in God’s eyes. These churches have abandoned the truth and taking with them their members.
If you have, I say this loosely, the “Bible” called “The Message” get rid of it and stop reading from it because an apostate wrote without the aid of the Holy Spirit. Folks, by reading “The Message” you are intaking poison.
No matter what Christians, cling to God’s righteousness and don’t flinch from God’s Word for even a second. Satan wants to take you away from holy scripture. Don’t listen to him but hold on to the Word of God. It’s not worth it.