Month 1:20, Week 3:5 (Chamashee/Teruah), Year:Day 5936:020 AM|
Chag haMatzah (Firstfruits): Annual Moed #2, Day #6
Gregorian Calendar: Wednesday 11 April 2012
Chag haMatzah 2012 VI
How the Festivals Disprove Calvinism
Continued from Part 6
Chag sameach haMatzah kol beit Yisra'el and welcome to the sixth day of this festival of Chag haMatzah, the Feast of Unleavened Bread. Yesterday we looked at divine alchemy and were reminded that "everyone who has this hope in Him purifies himself, just as He is pure" (1 John 3:3, NKJV). And in today's passage we are reminded that refined silver requires a sevenfold purification, just as this 'detoxification' festival spans seven days, and just as there are seven annual festivals. In the discussion we had after the sermon I pointed out that Chag haMatzah, like its 'opposite' at Sukkot, was not seven days long accidentally because this seven day span actually represents the entire span of our life - spiritual detoxification is a lifelong pursuit. Our spirits need constant maintenance.
"The words of Yahweh are pure words, like silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times" (Ps.12:6, NKJV).
Quite by 'chance' yesterday I came across an interesting talk by the evangelical preacher Dave Hunt who recently published a book  exposing the lie of Calvinism's five points of salvation, demonstrating that this false Reformed theology is Augustinian on origin and therefore actually lies at the heart of Catholic total depravity, absolute predestination, fatalism and sacramentalism. He exposes the irresistable nature of salvation which in Calvinism basically is something we have no choice about since according to them Yahweh to all intends and purpose forces the elect to be saved without any choice on their part, similarly forcing the unsaved to remain unsaved. How quickly and eloquently would this Protestant controversy have been resolved back in the 16th century if Luther and his followers had been obedient to the Festivals of Yahweh whose symbolism unambiguously settles the matter against the Calvinists and squarely in favour of the Arminians. I have long had Methodist sympathies because of their understanding of this important matter of free agency.
The scriptures clearly state that we are to zealously seek purification, and we are to do so in the manner in which silver is refined in the furnace. This is a terrifying concept for Calvinists (who have a major blind spot when it comes to agency) and indeed others like them (e.g. Muslims) because it not only makes man responsible for every choice he makes (and this is terrifying when you think it through) but means that he can, indeed, walk away from his salvation if he goes far enough, long enough (here Hunt does not agree, confessing in this matter that he is a 'one point Calvinist').
Those of you who may perhaps be faminilar with the silly though entertaining (and sometimes thought-provoking) evolutionistic science fiction series, Fringe, will know that the story line revolves around the concept of multiple parallel universes where things are similar but different because of the different decisions that its characters make. Though each parallel character is recognisable, they are portrayed as having some significant differences not just in circumstances but, inevitable, in character too.
Neither you nor I can remotely predict what would have happened had we made different choices in our lives. If, for example, I had not come to Scandinavia, my life would have inevitably taken a completely different course. Most of my family would not have existed and this ministry might never have come to pass - everything would have changed. We are the sum total of our choices, millions of which we make every year. And even though these choices are, for the most part, tiny ones, their cumulative effect can be huge. Many a time I have toyed with the idea of returning to England or going to another country and had I done so, everything would have changed. Even when we are watching something as apparently innocuous as a movie, we are making dozens of choices as we identify with different characters, choices we would have made in real life had the scenario been real and we had been there as those characters - we are deeply affected by what we watch on TV because every little emotional and mental choice changes us, even while sitting passively in a chair .
On the one hand we are the sum total of our choices but on the other our freedoms are actually quite substantially limited by the circumstances Yahweh puts us in. I couldn't pack up and leave now without causing huge disruptions, though I would do so - in an instant - if Yahweh told me to (as He has before) because I would then know that He would clear a path, as He did for Abram when he was told to pack his bags and move country. However, I am not so much today interested in choices that affect our physical location and therefore the paths we cross with other people (important though these are) as I am about the many choices we are challenged by circmstances (and therefore by Yahweh, the engineer in the background) to make which would change our character - our spirits. It is all too easy to fail challenges again and again and get stuck in a rut. King Saul certainly did and ended up becoming a worse and worse personality, until he by his actions - like King Solomon - finally removed himself tortally from the pale of salvation, something the fallacy of the Calvinistic 'once saved, always saved' doctrine cannot accept.
There is no such thing as 'once depraved, always depraved' either, nor can Elohim (God) step in and says 'once saved, always saved'. That is not free choice at all - it is slavery and demonic, and Yahweh-Elohim is not the author of it. If He was (at least in the New Testament) that would totally contradict the plain teaching to the contrary in the Old. Calvinism is very definitely the dark side of Protestantism and has done much evil historically. Calvinists have persecuted, imprisoned, tortured and murdered those who do not agree with them just like their Catholic mother that birthed them. Even Baptist preachers like John Piper, whom I have the greatest respect for, officially subscribe to Calvinism even though listening to his sermons you would think he was Arminian! Many who think they are Calvinists are only so in their heads but not in their levim (hearts). Once they see the beauty and emet (truth) of Torah the Calvinistic lie will soon fall away.
Silver is not refined in a day nor is it 'predestined' to refinement if it chooses not to be. It is our choice - on a minute-to-minute basis If Calvinism were true, there would be no Chag haMatzah - indeed, there might possibly be only be two festivals - Pesach (Passover) and Shemini Atseret (the Last Great Day) with nothing inbetween. Praise Yahweh that He gave us the festivals so that we need never fall into the trap of the devil's deceptions if we will but submit to their divine tavnith (pattern)!
We will assembly for the last sermon tomorrow on the final day of Chag haMatzah which is a High Sabbath. May Yahweh speak to your levim (hearts) and show you many more precious truths! Amen.
 Dave Hunt, What Love is This? Calvinism's Misrepresentation of God - this book is well worth reading and resolves some important controversies of the Reformation
 See Are You a Game Addict? It's Time to Fix Up Your Time
Continued in Part 8 (Chag haMatzah)
Continued in Part 2 (Calvinism/Arminianism)