Contact

If you have a story and would like to share it to help other women to grow in the Lord please feel free to contact me and send me your story, as well as your name and town and country you are from. Please email it to lovingrtb@gmail.com.

Note: Some of the pictures are links ... feel free to click on the pictures and find a doorway to information to help you grow in your faith in God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit.

Wednesday, 4 April 2018

Biblical Believers Baptism

A man made plans to meet his friend at a corner about 10 blocks from his home to go about the town visiting bars. When he arrived at the arranged place, his friend had not yet arrived. It started to rain very heavily so he went into the closest building to keep dry while he waited. In this building there were evangelical camp meetings being held. When the pastor stood up to speak, the message of salvation was so powerfully presented that the man was drawn to it and listened intently to the message (John 12:32). With tears streaming down his cheeks he made his way to the alter where he asked the pastor, "Sir, what must I do to be saved?" (Acts 16:30).

The pastor responded, "Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved (Acts 16:31). Jesus Christ Himself said that he who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned (Mark 16:16). The Apostle Paul said, the word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart, that is, the word of faith which Paul preached, that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. (Romans 10:8-10). And when the Apostle Philip was asked by the Ethiopian Eunuch to be baptized, Philip responded by saying, If you believe with all your heart, you may (Acts 8:37a). Do you believe this?"

The man answered and said, "yes, I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God (Acts 8:37b)."

The pastor turned to him and opening up the baptismal, he led the man into the water and said, "Upon the profession of your faith I now baptize you in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit (Matthew 28:19b)." He then immersed the man into the water and immediately, coming up from the water (Mark 1:10), the pastor said, "therefore you are now buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life (Romans 6:4). Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit (Romans 15:13).

No where in the whole bible will you ever find infant baptism this plainly shown as believers baptism is shown. Even R.C. Sproul, who very strongly advocates for infant baptism, agrees in his debate with John MacArthur that no where is it explicitly said that any infant was ever or ought to be baptized. You can hear him say it on YouTube where he debates John MacArthur on infant baptism. This is an argument from silence. Arguments from silence ARE NOT biblical nor can they ever be won. Please think about this and also this passage in 1 Corinthians 11:25 where in Christ's own words He tells us what the sign is of the new covenant ... In the same manner He also took the cup after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in My blood. This do, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of Me.”

I have 8 children and my youngest is almost 5. If we all heard about Jesus today for the first time and all believed and were baptized all at once, then our whole household believed and were baptized. No babies in the group. To say that households means that there were babies is adding to the gospel because just like my home, households does not mean that there are infants. In Acts 10 where it talks about Cornelius, it says that he and his household already believed in the God of Israel and gave alms before he had the vision in which he was directed to call for the Apostle Peter. Babies cannot believe. So it's safe to say no babies were in the group.

For the love of Christ compels us, because we judge thus: that if One died for all, then all died; and He died for all, that those who live should live no longer for themselves, but for Him who died for them and rose again. 2 Corinthians 5:14-15

Tuesday, 27 March 2018

6. In Defense of Faith ... Why I Believe What I Believe. Gift of Grace.

John 1:16-18 ... 16 And of His fullness we have all received, and GRACE FOR GRACE. 17 For the law was given through Moses, but GRACE AND TRUTH CAME THROUGH JESUS CHRIST. 18 No one has seen God at any time. The only begotten Son, who is in the bosom of the Father, He has declared Him.
Romans 1:4-6 ... 4 and declared to be the Son of God with power according to the Spirit of holiness, BY THE RESURRECTION FROM THE DEAD. 5 THROUGH HIM we have RECEIVED GRACE and apostleship FOR OBEDIENCE TO THE FAITH among all nations for His name, 6 among whom you also are the called of Jesus Christ;
1 Corinthians 1:3-5 ... 3 Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. 4 I thank my God always concerning you FOR THE GRACE OF GOD WHICH WAS GIVEN TO YOU BY CHRIST JESUS, 5 that you were enriched in everything by Him in all utterance and all knowledge,
2 Corinthians 9:13-15 ... 13 while, through the proof of this ministry, they glorify God for the obedience of your confession to the gospel of Christ, and for your liberal sharing with them and ALL MEN, 14 and by their prayer for you, who long for you because OF THE EXCEEDING GRACE OF GOD in you. 15 THANKS BE TO GOD FOR HIS INDESCRIBABLE GIFT!
Ephesians 2:7-9 ... 7 that in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of HIS GRACE IN HIS KINDNESS TOWARD US IN CHRIST JESUS. 8 For BY GRACE YOU HAVE BEEN SAVED THROUGH FAITH, and that not of yourselves; IT IS THE GIFT OF GOD, 9 not of works, lest anyone should boast.
Grace is the Gift of God we receive when we do what it says in Romans 10:9 ... that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.
Notice how plain passages come together very nicely to show us God's truth from His Word alone? Without outside help. Even children can understand this.
Titus 2:10-12 ... 10 not pilfering, but showing all good fidelity, that they may adorn the doctrine of God our Savior in all things. 11 FOR THE GRACE OF GOD THAT BRINGS SALVATION has appeared to ALL MEN, 12 teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly in the present age,
Hebrews 13:8-9 ... 8 Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever. 9 DO NOT BE CARRIED ABOUT WITH VARIOUS AND STRANGE DOCTRINES. For IT IS GOOD that the heart be established BY GRACE, not with foods which have not profited those who have been occupied with them.

5. In Defense of Faith ... Why I Believe What I Believe. Satanic Preachers of Righteousness.

If you, as a Calvinist, keep stubbornly holding onto Calvinism that is contrary to the Word of God, this can easily be shown via God's Word, you will end up losing out on the relationship God desires to have with you. Please take off Calvinism and listen to the Word of God. Calvinism IS NOT the Gospel. The bible IS the Gospel. The Gospel is Good News. It's not good news if you are not one of the elect that you will never have even a chance to have a loving relationship with God and will suffer for all eternity in the flames of hell and not by your choice.

Deuteronomy 30:15-20 ... 15 “See, I HAVE SET BEFORE YOU TODAY LIFE AND GOOD, DEATH AND EVIL, 16 in that I command you today to love the Lord your God, to walk in His ways, and to keep His commandments, His statutes, and His judgments, that you may live and multiply; and the Lord your God will bless you in the land which you go to possess. 17 But IF YOUR HEART TURNS AWAY SO THAT YOU DO NOT HEAR, and are drawn away, and worship other gods and serve them, 18 I announce to you today that you shall surely perish; you shall not prolong your days in the land which you cross over the Jordan to go in and possess. 19 I call heaven and earth as witnesses today against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing; therefore CHOOSE LIFE, THAT BOTH YOU and YOUR DESCENDANTS MAY LIVE; 20 that you may love the Lord your God, that you may obey His voice, and that you may cling to Him, for He is your life and the length of your days; and that you may dwell in the land which the Lord swore to your fathers, to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, to give them.”

Clear as a bell. I have the responsibility to choose. God set before you LIFE AND GOOD, DEATH AND EVIL therefore CHOOSE LIFE, THAT YOU MAY LIVE. How clearer do you need God to make it that if you are not the one completing the other part of the relationship that there won't be one. You need two willing parties to have a relationship otherwise it's not a relationship but a dictatorship. God doesn't want a dictatorship with humanity, He wants a relationship. It doesn't say that God will choose for mankind. It is clear that if you turn your heart away and don't listen and obey God that you'll perish.

R.C. Sproul openly implies that this passage, and many others just like it, is a pagan passage ... listen to him for yourself ... https://youtu.be/8bsq8DhTykQ starting at 34 minutes. Either God means it that we can choose between good and evil or reformers, like R.C. Sproul, are right when they say that it's a pagan thing that we can choose between good and evil. If God is right then the reformers are liars and deceivers. They CANNOT both be right.

Here is a rabbit trail ... another place where R.C. Sproul misrepresents God, which is a grievous sin, is at this link https://youtu.be/uR4y6_teHS0. Does God desire all men to be saved? is the question he's been asked. Well what does God say PLAINLY?

2 Peter 3:8-9 ... 8 But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. 9 The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, NOT WILLING that ANY should perish, but that ALL should come to repentance.

And in 1 Timothy 2:1-8 ... 1 I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for ALL MEN; 2 For kings, and for ALL that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty. 3 For THIS IS GOOD AND ACCEPTABLE IN THE SIGHT OF GOD OUR SAVIOUR; 4 WHO WILL HAVE ALL MEN TO BE SAVED, AND TO COME UNTO THE KNOWLEDGE OF THE TRUTH. 5 For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus; 6 Who gave himself a ransom for ALL, to be testified in due time. 7 Whereunto I am ordained a preacher, and an apostle, I speak the truth in Christ, and lie not; a teacher of the Gentiles in faith and verity. 8 I will therefore that men pray every where, lifting up holy hands, without wrath and doubting.

The bible says in 1 John 4:1, 6 ... 1 Beloved, BELIEVE NOT EVERY SPIRIT, BUT TRY THE SPIRITS WHETHER THEY ARE OF GOD: because MANY FALSE PROPHETS are gone out into the world. 6 We are of God: he that knoweth God heareth us; he that is not of God heareth not us. HEREBY KNOW WE THE SPIRIT OF TRUTH, and THE SPIRIT OF ERROR.

In Acts 17:10-15 ... 10 Then the brethren immediately sent Paul and Silas away by night to Berea. When they arrived, they went into the synagogue of the Jews. 11 These were more fair-minded than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness, and searched the Scriptures daily to find out whether these things were so. 12 Therefore many of them believed, and also not a few of the Greeks, prominent women as well as men. 13 But when the Jews from Thessalonica learned that the word of God was preached by Paul at Berea, they came there also and stirred up the crowds. 14 Then immediately the brethren sent Paul away, to go to the sea; but both Silas and Timothy remained there. 15 So those who conducted Paul brought him to Athens; and receiving a command for Silas and Timothy to come to him with all speed, they departed.

1 Thessalonians 5:16-22 ... 16 Rejoice always, 17 pray without ceasing, 18 in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. 19 Do not quench the Spirit. 20 Do not despise prophecies. 21 Test all things; hold fast what is good. 22 Abstain from every form of evil.

And 2 Corinthians 11:9-15 ... 9 And when I was present with you, and in need, I was a burden to no one, for what I lacked the brethren who came from Macedonia supplied. And in everything I kept myself from being burdensome to you, and so I will keep myself. 10 As the truth of Christ is in me, no one shall stop me from this boasting in the regions of Achaia. 11 Why? Because I do not love you? God knows! 12 But what I do, I will also continue to do, THAT I MAY CUT OFF THE OPPORTUNITY FROM THOSE WHO DESIRE AN OPPORTUNITY TO BE REGARDED JUST AS WE ARE IN THE THINGS OF WHICH THEY BOAST. 13 FOR SUCH ARE FALSE APOSTLES, DECEITFUL WORKERS, TRANSFORMING THEMSELVES INTO APOSTLES o2f CHRIST. 14 And no wonder! FOR SATAN HIMSELF TRANSFORMS HIMSELF INTO AN ANGEL OF LIGHT. 15 Therefore IT IS NO GREAT THING if his MINISTERS also TRANSFORM THEMSELVES INTO MINISTERS OF RIGHTEOUSNESS, whose end will be according to their works.

So if R.C. Sproul says things contrary of the Word of God, as I've shown in a few passages, it makes him a satanic preacher of righteousness. This is not my words but God's Word.

Another example: Revelation 3:20 ... Behold, I stand at the door and knock. IF anyone hears My voice and OPENS the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me.

Again clear as a bell. It does not say that He'll smash through the door if you don't open it. Although, as this one Calvinist once said, "if you are one of the elect God will get you even if He has to drag you kicking and screaming into the pearly gates".

In Jeremiah 19:4-6 ... 4 “BECAUSE THEY HAVE FORSAKEN ME and made this an alien place, because they have burned incense in it to other gods whom neither they, their fathers, nor the kings of Judah have known, and have filled this place with the blood of the innocents 5 they have also built the high places of Baal, to burn their sons with fire for burnt offerings to Baal, WHICH I DID NOT COMMAND OR SPEAK, NOR DID IT COME INTO MY MIND, 6 therefore behold, the days are coming,” says the Lord, “that this place shall no more be called Tophet or the Valley of the Son of Hinnom, but the Valley of Slaughter.

Notice it starts off saying that the people had forsaken Him first. Then after saying what they did after they had forsaken God ... God says it never even entered His mind!!! How is that possible if the Calvinists are right when they say that everything is preordained by God for His Glory and by His own free will and that nothing ever happens that God didn't preordain???? If He preordained it then it obviously already entered His mind because He thought about it, then decided what will happen and declared it. So is God lying at this point or is Calvinism wrong? You can't have it both ways. Or is God perhaps getting forgetful? Or is it like many true bible believers believe that perhaps God never preordained everything that ever happened but rather only certain things and He FOREKNEW everything that was going to happen? If someone wants me to believe that God preordained everything that ever happened, including what satan and Adam did, then show me the verse that litterally says it in exactly those words so that it cannot possibly be interpreted in any other way, like the verses that I'm quoting here.

Jeremiah 31:19 ... Surely, after my turning, I repented; and after I was instructed, I struck myself on the thigh; I was ashamed, yes, even humiliated, Because I bore the reproach of my youth.’

Repentance is something we do out of our own free will. It doesn't say that this person was preordained or forced to repent.

Look at these passages ...

Exodus 32:14 ... 14 And THE LORD REPENTED of the evil which he thought to do unto his people.

Genesis 6:6 ... And IT REPENTED THE LORD that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him at his heart.

Exodus 20:5 ... Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the Lord thy God AM A JEALOUS GOD, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me;

Judges 2:18 ... And when the Lord raised them up judges, then the Lord was with the judge, and delivered them out of the hand of their enemies all the days of the judge: for IT REPENTED THE LORD because of their groanings by reason of them that oppressed them and vexed them.

2 Samuel 24:16 ... And when the angel stretched out his hand upon Jerusalem to destroy it, THE LORD REPENTED him of the evil, and said to the angel that destroyed the people, It is enough: stay now thine hand. And the angel of the Lord was by the threshing place of Araunah the Jebusite.

1 Chronicles 21:15 ... And God sent an angel unto Jerusalem to destroy it: and as he was destroying, THE LORD BEHELD, AND HE REPENTED him of the evil, and said to the angel that destroyed, It is enough, stay now thine hand. And the angel of the Lord stood by the threshing floor of Ornan the Jebusite.

Is God evil? The God of the Bible is not evil. But He will punish people for their disobedience.

Jonah 3:10 says ... And God saw their works, that they turned from their evil way; and God repented of the evil, that he had said that he would do unto them; and he did it not.

I thought He predestined it??!! So He changed His mind? I thought Calvinists say that God's decrees cannot be changed ... ever!!!

James 5:16 ... Confess your trespasses to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.

We can ask God for things and He'll do it??? How can our prayers avail anything if everything is preordained outside of anything we do or don't do? The logical conclusion of Calvinism is that God NEVER really answers prayers. It's just an act in a play. Something we do because we are actors in the play God wrote.

I believe that we should just take God's Word at face value. I could go on for hours but I'll end here.

Note: King James Version and New King James Version's are used.
Recommend watching:
1. Watch "Calvinism Cult Exposed 1: Who So Ever - Marc Monte (Faith Baptist Church of Avon)" on YouTube
https://youtu.be/CkasxLdAwuA
2. Watch "Calvinism Cult Exposed 2: Calvin & "St." Augustine (Catholic) - Marc Monte" on YouTube
https://youtu.be/dJhxm8vKffg
3. Watch "Calvinism Cult Exposed pt.3" on YouTube
https://youtu.be/Ol6_Vbhujq8
4. Watch "Calvinism Cult Exposed pt.4" on YouTube
https://youtu.be/GgNhiaX4LGg
5. Watch "Calvinism Cult Exposed pt.5" on YouTube
https://youtu.be/F1F-B_p9n_4
6. Watch "Calvinism Cult Exposed pt.6" on YouTube
https://youtu.be/3x4bCOAJc0M
7. Watch "Calvinism Cult Exposed pt.7" on YouTube
https://youtu.be/corjzNPr0S0
8. Watch "Calvinism Cult Exposed pt.8" on YouTube
https://youtu.be/BbGyCFZ7mIM
9. Watch "Jerry Walls: What's Wrong With Calvinism, Part 1" on YouTube
https://youtu.be/Daomzm3nyIg
10. Watch "Jerry Walls: What's Wrong With Calvinism, Part 2" on YouTube
https://youtu.be/1IBUtF8EtAo
11. Watch "Clive Lewis and John Piper's Calvinist Confusions, by Dr. Jerry Walls" on YouTube
https://youtu.be/_eQKu3_9pgk
12. Watch "John Piper Exposed (Again):  Progressive Sanctification Lie"" on YouTube
https://youtu.be/zujaSj4AyNE




Monday, 19 March 2018

4. In Defense of Faith ... Why I Believe What I Believe. All Means All and World Means All and Whoever Means All.

Calvinists have a tendency to say that 'yes all means all' and 'world means all' and 'whoever means all' when it suits their theology. However, when it contradicts their theology they say 'all, world and whoever means the elect only'. You see, Calvinists don't believe that Jesus only came for all, they believe He only came for the elect. Here are just a few of the verses that refute Calvinists theology.

Romans 5:12 NKJV ... Therefore, just as through one man sin entered the world, and death through sin, and thus death spread to ALL men, because all sinned—

Romans 5:18 NKJV ... Therefore, as through one man’s offense judgment came to ALL men, resulting in condemnation, even so through one Man’s righteous act the free gift came to ALL men, resulting in justification of life.

1 Timothy 2:4 NKJV ... who desires ALL men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.

Isaiah 53:6 ... All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned, every one, to his own way; and the Lord has laid on Him the iniquity of us ALL.

Job 37:7 NKJV ... He seals the hand of every man, that ALL men may know His work.

Act 17:30 NKJV ... “Truly, these times of ignorance God overlooked, but now commands ALL men everywhere to repent,

1Timothy 2:1 NKJV ... Therefore I exhort first of all that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks be made for ALL men,

1 Timothy 4:10 NKJV ... For to this endwe both labor and suffer reproach, because we trust in the living God, who is the Savior of ALL men, especially of those who believe.

2 Corinthians 5:14 NKJV ... For the love of Christ compels us, because we judge thus: that if One died for ALL, then ALL died;

2 Corinthians 5:19 NKJV ... that is, that God was in Christ reconciling the WORLD to Himself, not imputing their trespasses to them, and has committed to us the word of reconciliation.

1 John 2:2 NKJV ... And He Himself is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the whole WORLD.

Titus 2:11 NKJV ... For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to ALL men,

Mark 16:15-16 NKJV ... 15 And He said to them, “Go into ALL the WORLD and preach the gospel to EVERY creature. 16 HE who believes and is baptized will be saved; but HE who does not believe will be condemned.

John 1:12 NKJV ... But AS MANY AS received Him, TO THEM He gave the right to become children of God, TO THOSE who believe in His name:

John 3:15-18 NKJV ... 15 that WHOEVER believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life. 16 For God so loved the WORLD that He gave His only begotten Son, that WHOEVER believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. 17 For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the WORLD, but that the WORLD through Him might be saved. 18 “HE who believes in Him is not condemned; but HE who does not believe is condemned already, because HE has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.

Saturday, 10 March 2018

3. In Defense of Faith ... Why I Believe What I Believe. Things you might find fascinating

I looked up a number of Words just to see how often they showed up in the bible. I physically counted them. Not every time it is used directly in salvation itself but about half of the time it is directly related to salvation. But some words are almost 100% used directly or indirectly in salvation. Here are the words and how often I found them.
“Persuaded” shows up 21 times in the New King James Version of the Bible.
“If” shows up 1643 times in the New King James Version of the Bible.
“Choose” shows up 39 times in the New King James Version of the Bible.
“Confess” shows up 25 times in the New King James Version of the Bible.
“Choice” shows up 31 times in the New King James Version of the Bible.
“Come” shows up 1720 times in the New King James Version of the Bible.
"turn" shows up 287 times in the New King James Version of the Bible.
“Whoever" shows up 254 times in the New King James Version Bible. Most of the whoever's were directly related to salvation.
Wow I'll give you a sample of a few. Not every passage of these are about salvation but at least half are directly related to salvation in one way or another.
Mark 10:21 - Then Jesus, looking at him, loved him, and said to him, “One thing you lack: Go your way, sell whatever you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, take up the cross, and follow Me.”
Luke 9:23 - Then He said to them all, “if anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me.
Matthew 16:24-28 ... 24 Then Jesus said to His disciples, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me. 25 For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it. 26 For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul? 27 For the Son of Man will come in the glory of His Father with His angels, and then He will reward each according to his works. 28 “Assuredly, I say to you, there are some standing here who shall not taste death till they see the Son of Man coming in His kingdom.”
Luke 14:20 ... “Still another said, ‘I have married a wife, and therefore I cannot come.'
Luke 14:27 ... “And whoever does not bear his cross and come after Me cannot be My disciple.
Luke 18:16 ... But Jesus called them to Him and said, “Let the little children come to Me, and do not forbid them; for of such is the kingdom of God.
Luke 18:22 ... So when Jesus heard these things, He said to him, “You still lack one thing. Sell all that you have and distribute to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me.”
Commit to the lord statements are a few times too ... Psalms 37:5 ... Commit your way to the Lord, Trust also in Him, and He shall bring it to pass … and in Proverbs 16:3 ... Commit your works to the Lord, and your thoughts will be established … these are clear that we are able to respond to the call of God.
Acts 10:43 ... “To Him all the prophets witness that, through His name, whoever believes in Him will receive remission of sins.”
Romans 9:33 ... As it is written: “Behold, I lay in Zion a stumbling stone and rock of offense, and whoever believes on Him will not be put to shame.”
Romans 10:13 ... For “whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.
We need to strive to be more like Jesus everyday. So my answer is yes absolutely. Bible passages to support this answer are ...
1. John 9:4 ... I must work the works of Him who sent Me while it is day; the night is coming when no one can work.
2. Daniel 12:3 ... Those who are wise shall shine like the brightness of the firmament, and those who turn many to righteousness like the stars forever and ever.
Mark 4:12 ... “so that ‘Seeing they may see and not perceive, and hearing they may hear and not understand; lest they should turn, and their sins be forgiven them.' ”
Luke 1:17 ... “He will also go before Him in the spirit and power of Elijah, ‘to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children,' and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just, to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.”
Gal 4:9 ... But now after you have known God, or rather are known by God, how is it that you turn again to the weak and beggarly elements, to which you desire again to be in bondage?
Tons of more verses with these words are about saving souls. I saw a quote once, it said, "I want to win just one more for Jesus". But in true Reformed teachings, especially in hyper Calvinist teachings, missions work is pointless and a waste of time because you being God's mouthpiece is not going to alter whatever these people have been predestined outside of anything that they, or even you the missionary/pastor, did, do, will do, said, say or will say someday. Why would Jesus bother sending people out to make disciples when this will be fruitless and won't accomplish anything because the person spoken to cannot choose Christ? Jesus doesn't support this teaching. He said in Isaiah 55:11 ... So shall My word be that goes forth from My mouth; it shall not return to Me void, but it shall accomplish what I please, and it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it.
Christ's truth that He shares through us is able to save people because those words won't come back empty. Even if people reject it, it'll be evidence brought against them on judgement day when they try and say, "I didn't know!"
Acts 17:10-15 ... 10 Then the brethren immediately sent Paul and Silas away by night to Berea. When they arrived, they went into the synagogue of the Jews. 11 These were more fair-minded than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness, and searched the Scriptures daily to find out whether these things were so. 12 Therefore many of them believed, and also not a few of the Greeks, prominent women as well as men. 13 But when the Jews from Thessalonica learned that the word of God was preached by Paul at Berea, they came there also and stirred up the crowds. 14 Then immediately the brethren sent Paul away, to go to the sea; but both Silas and Timothy remained there. 15 So those who conducted Paul brought him to Athens; and receiving a command for Silas and Timothy to come to him with all speed, they departed.
This shows that even if a pastor is blessed by God you should question what he says and teaches. Don't take anyone's word for it. And a frightening truth is that this is happening in this day in the church. The devil will stop at nothing to destroy it. The Baptists in Calvin's day were theologically 100% separate but the Calvinists are infiltrating and perverting even Baptist churches. Like it says in this passage, "they came there also and stirred up the crowds". May God preserve His blessed church.
Matthew 24:15-31 ... 15 “Therefore when you see the ‘abomination of desolation,’ spoken of by Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place” (whoever reads, let him understand), 16 “then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains. 17 Let him who is on the housetop not go down to take anything out of his house. 18 And let him who is in the field not go back to get his clothes. 19 But woe to those who are pregnant and to those who are nursing babies in those days! 20 And pray that your flight may not be in winter or on the Sabbath. 21 For then there will be great tribulation, such as has not been since the beginning of the world until this time, no, nor ever shall be. 22 And unless those days were shortened, no flesh would be saved; but for the elect’s sake those days will be shortened. 23 “Then if anyone says to you, ‘Look, here is the Christ!’ or ‘There!’ do not believe it. 24 For false Christ's and false prophets will rise and show great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect. 25 See, I have told you beforehand. 26 “Therefore if they say to you, ‘Look, He is in the desert!’ do not go out; or ‘Look, He is in the inner rooms!’ do not believe it. 27 For as the lightning comes from the east and flashes to the west, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be. 28 For wherever the carcass is, there the eagles will be gathered together. 29 “Immediately after the tribulation of those days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light; the stars will fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken. 30 Then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in heaven, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. 31 And He will send His angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they will gather together His elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.
Something I found very interesting and amazed me very much, and moved by was when it is about the character of God that Pastor Greg Bylsma preached on. These are his words (paraphrased) on March 4, 2018, at Living Water Reformed Church in Brantford, Ontario, Canada ... The sovereign God of the universe did not come to demand the descendants of Adam to worship and serve Him, but rather to serve this humanity and lay down His life for lost and wicked humanity.

“True Love Cannot be Forced nor Demanded”
Ravi Zechariah

Therefore, since true love cannot be forced nor demanded, and God wants us to love Him, the only way He can have genuine love from mankind, He had to come to us the way He did. Not demanding but serving. What amazing love is this!
I wanted to ask him if he's sure he's a Calvinist. After all his sermon was not in line with Calvinism but it was in line with God's Word. Praise the Lord! May God richly bless pastor Greg Bylsma for this message. This is not what Calvinism teaches. They believe that if people believe in free will, that this means that this person doesn't believe in the sovereignty of God, because they believe that God is totally in power and demands and decrees everything because He alone makes any decisions. This is why a true Calvinist does not believe that man has free will nor that man is able to respond to God's call at all. This is not what that quote is saying if God in His sovereignty came to serve and not be served.
In my opinion God is a God of love and our truest friend because as John 15:13 says ... Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends.
What an awesome, wonderful and loving God we have that He would go this far to prove His divine love for mankind, that even though they are undeserving, God still came and died for mankind.
To respond to God in Christ we need to answer the question Jesus asked Peter. Read Mark 8:28-30 ... 28 So they answered, “John the Baptist; but some say, Elijah; and others, one of the prophets.” 29 He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” Peter answered and said to Him, “You are the Christ.” 30 Then He strictly warned them that they should tell no one about Him.
Here again is the question, look at Matthew 21:10-11 ... 10 And when He had come into Jerusalem, all the city was moved, saying, “Who is this?” 11 So the multitudes said, “This is Jesus, the prophet from Nazareth of Galilee.”
Who do you say Jesus is?

2. In Defense of Faith ... Why I Believe What I Believe. Brief History

I've been, for many months, doing an in-depth study on the 5 points of Calvinism and just recently started studying the 5 points of Arminianism because Calvinism made no sense to me and is also a hugely contradicted by the bible over and over again. I'm not an expert on Arminianism nor have I in-depth studied it but the 5 points of Arminianisms basic teachings are in line with God's Word as you'll see by the many bible passages I'll be showing.
Arminianism was coined by Jacobus Arminius 1559-1609 ... his followers wrote out Mr. Arminius's work in 5 main points and handed in the 5 points of Arminianism to the Synod of Dort, to my understanding, in about 1610, within a year of his death, not enough time for his followers to have completely mess up his writings and teachings. John Calvin was dead for more than fifty years before the 5 points of Calvinism were actually drawn up at the Synod of Dort by hard core/hyper Calvinists who were willing to murder anyone opposing Calvinism just like the Catholics had done. There is a good reason that John Calvin is known as a pope. The only reason they drew up the 5 points of Arminianism was because Arminius's teaching went in the face of Calvin's teachings.
Nowadays Calvinists try real hard to down play John Calvin's role in Servetus's death. But here it is clear as a bell that John Calvin was out for Servetus's blood. I looked up John Calvin on Wikipedia. (https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Calvin) .... Following the execution of Servetus, a close associate of Calvin, Sebastian Castellio, broke with him on the issue of the treatment of heretics.
Calvin wrote a letter to Farel on 13 February 1546 noting that if Servetus were to come, he would not assure him safe conduct: "for if he came, as far as my authority goes, I would not let him leave alive." If I were a juror in the court deciding John Calvin's guilt, I'd definitely vote "guilty" 100%. (Cottret 2000, pp. 216–217; Parker 2006, pp. 147–148; Levy, Leonard W. (1995), Blasphemy: Verbal offense Against the Sacred from Moses to Salman Rushdie, p. 65, ISBN 978-0-8078-4515-8.)
With the approval of Calvin, the other plotters who remained in the city were found and executed. The opposition to Calvin's church polity came to an end.
(Cottret 2000, pp. 198–200; Parker 2006, pp. 156–157; Manetsch 2013, p. 187)
State and church are separate, though they have to cooperate to the benefit of the people. Christian magistrates have to make sure that the church can fulfill its duties in freedom. In extreme cases the magistrates have to expel or execute dangerous heretics. But nobody can be forced to become a Protestant.
(Jan Weerda, Calvin, in Evangelisches Soziallexikon, col. 212 ... Otto Weber, Calvin, Johannes, in Die Religion in Geschichte und Gegenwart, 3. Auflage, Band I (1957), col. 1598)
Scholars agree that it is important to distinguish between Calvin's views toward the biblical Jews and his attitude toward contemporary Jews. In his theology, Calvin does not differentiate between God's covenant with Israel and the New Covenant. He stated, "all the children of the promise, reborn of God, who have obeyed the commands by faith working through love, have belonged to the New Covenant since the world began." [112] Nevertheless, he was a covenant theologian and argued that the Jews are a rejected people who must embrace Jesus to re-enter the covenant. [113] ([112] Lange van Ravenswaay 2009, p. 144 quoting from Calvin, Institutes II.11.10 … [113] Pak, G. Sojin. John Calvin and the Jews: His Exegetical Legacy. Reformed Institute of Metropolitan Washington, 2009, p. 25.)
Most of Calvin's statements on the Jewry of his era were polemical. For example, Calvin once wrote, "I have had much conversation with many Jews: I have never seen either a drop of piety or a grain of truth or ingenuousness – nay, I have never found common sense in any Jew." (Calvin's commentary of Daniel 2:44–45 translated by Myers, Thomas. Calvin's Commentaries. Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 1948, quoted in Lange van Ravenswaay 2009, p. 146)

1. In Defense of Faith ... Why I Believe What I Believe. Introduction

To begin with, let me say that I am not a bible scholar, I  don't even have a high school diploma, nor am I at the point in studying God's Word that I understand everything, and even what I do know, I may not necessarily understand it all perfectly. In fact, I'm sure that I'm not even close. But this does not mean that I'm incapable of studying God's Word and understanding it for myself, without a guru to guide me. God made His Word and the way of salvation easily understood because He wanted even a child to be able to understand it. He wants us to all come to Him like a child, in a childlike faith and trust. Getting to know God is a lifelong process and I won't know Him fully until I die and meet Jesus face to face. Watch Kent Hovind’s video's on YouTube. I will be mentioning some of his work in a second. I recommend watching it with family and friends. If you want to see it … Here is the link: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCxiEtqPja47nnqsJNrdOIQQ
I use the New King James Version Bible (NKJV), unless otherwise stated. Sometimes we will come upon bible passages that are quite confusing and seem contradictory to each other and difficult to understand. When this happens don't give up. An example is Genesis 1 and Genesis 2.  Let us look at them for a moment:

Genesis 1 (God spoke points one to six into existence, except people)
1: light
2: firmament
3: plants and trees
4: sun, moon and stars
5: fish and birds
6: animals, man then lastly woman.

Genesis 2 (God made everything, from points two to six, from the ground)
1: earth and heavens
2: man
3: plants, trees and rivers
4: put man in garden (God commanded man to take care of it)
5: animal and birds (God commanded man to name everything)
6: woman

Another supposed contradiction is in Matthew 20:20-28 ... 20 Then the mother of Zebedee’s sons came to Him with her sons, kneeling down and asking something from Him. 21 And He said to her, “What do you wish?” She said to Him, “Grant that these two sons of mine may sit, one on Your right hand and the other on the left, in Your kingdom.” 22 But Jesus answered and said, “You do not know what you ask. Are you able to drink the cup that I am about to drink, and be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with?” They said to Him, “We are able.” 23 So He said to them, “You will indeed drink My cup, and be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with; but to sit on My right hand and on My left is not Mine to give, but it is for thosefor whom it is prepared by My Father.” 24 And when the ten heard it, they were greatly displeased with the two brothers. 25 But Jesus called them to Himself and said, “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and those who are great exercise authority over them. 26 Yet it shall not be so among you; but whoever desires to become great among you, let him be your servant. 27 And whoever desires to be first among you, let him be your slave— 28 just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.”
First I want to draw your attention to Jesus's own words, "You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and those who are great exercise authority over them. Yet it shall not be so among you; but whoever desires to become great among you, let him be your servant." Jesus didn't want His followers to be like the unbelievers who lord their position over others, and Jesus was the perfect role model. In fact, He only acted in the way that God the Father would act, because He came to testify to the truth, and God is this truth. Therefore, I believe it's safe to say that God won't Lord His omnipotence and sovereignty over mans head. He lived His live as an example of how we should live our lives.
Secondly, in this passage the mother of James and John asked Jesus to allow her sons to sit beside Him in glory. But in the next passage we'll look at it says it's James and John who asked. Look at Mark 10:35-45 ... 35 Then James and John, the sons of Zebedee, came to Him, saying, “Teacher, we want You to do for us whatever we ask.” 36 And He said to them, “What do you want Me to do for you?” 37 They said to Him, “Grant us that we may sit, one on Your right hand and the other on Your left, in Your glory.” 38 But Jesus said to them, “You do not know what you ask. Are you able to drink the cup that I drink, and be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with?” 39 They said to Him, “We are able.” So Jesus said to them, “You will indeed drink the cup that I drink, and with the baptism I am baptized with you will be baptized; 40 but to sit on My right hand and on My left is not Mine to give, but it is for those for whom it is prepared.” 41 And when the ten heard it, they began to be greatly displeased with James and John. 42 But Jesus called them to Himself and said to them, “You know that those who are considered rulers over the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great ones exercise authority over them. 43 Yet it shall not be so among you; but whoever desires to become great among you shall be your servant. 44 And whoever of you desires to be first shall be slave of all.45 For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.”
So who asked? Was it the mother? Or the sons? It is both. You ask how can it be both? Well, let me explain, if I asked my friend to ask her husband to help us out with renovations and she asks him, who is really asking him? I'm the one asking, but I'm using her mouth. The same is happening here, James and John are really the ones asking but they use their mother to do it.
Does this mean there is a contradiction in the Bible? Not at all. It's like Del Tackett says on the "Truth Project", “If it seems there's a contradiction in the bible, it just means that you need to study God's Word harder and deeper.”  The Truth Project is an amazing DVD series brought to us by a Presbyterian, a Calvinist!!! I don't hate Calvinists. I'm in trouble if I do because I'm surrounded by them everywhere, on all sides. You can learn from them but you must know what God has to say. Take from their teaching things that which is biblically accurate and throw out what does not line up with God's Word. To explain this supposed contradiction in Genesis Kent Hovind states that, “Genesis 1 is a point form for the whole week and Genesis 2 is a close up view of only day six.”
Sometimes extra-biblical sources can help in our understanding of God's Word too.  However, I don't recommend that this become an authority. Using outside sources should be very limited and more like the exception than the rule. So I want to encourage you to keep studying God's Word as I am committed to do. I'm speaking here from what I've found to be true using God's Word as my guide. I feel the need to add here that the only time you should use outside sources is if it's biblically supported. If it isn't then you must show how it isn't biblical supported and then throw it out.
Proverbs 3:5-8 ... 5 Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; 6 In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths. 7 Do not be wise in your own eyes; Fear the Lord and depart from evil. 8 It will be health to your flesh, and strength to your bones.
Don't let your own understanding guide you in God's truth but rather trust and rely on God to reveal His truth to you.
Questions I've actually asked a couple of Calvinists already and no one can answer are these. "Did God foreordain everything for His Glory? If yes … since God is love and goodness according to the Word of God, then why is anything wrong or evil? Can God be wrong? Can God be evil? Can God deceive? If He foreordained everything, including free will, for His Glory then can free will diminish the Glory of God? Is God's Glory good? If yes … can evil be detrimental to the Glory of God? If yes … does this make evil Good? If no … how can evil exist if everything is preordained for the Glory of God? Or are there certain things not done for the Glory of God? Is God ultimately sovereign and omnipotent? If God has ultimate sovereignty and omnipotence … does He not have the sovereign right to give man free will? Does God not have the sovereign right to allow a man to respond out of his or her own free will , like it says in Deuteronomy 30:19 among many many passages, and allow that choice by the human, of their own free will, to stand? Can God deceive and lie? If not why would He over and over again demand people choose when really they have no choice but to do what He has preordained? Does this human free will diminish God's sovereignty in any way? Can a sovereign God choose to work in cooperation with mankind? Or must He Lord His sovereignty and omnipotence over mankind in order for Him to be sovereign and omnipotent? Does a sovereign and omnipotent God have the right to choose how much sovereignty and omnipotence over man He wants and will exercise? Should we demand that just because HE can control anything and everything that He wants to that this means that He isn’t allowed to allow man to choose to have an open and free relationship with him where man responds to God out of human free will?
A hard core Calvinist once said to me that they believe that the Apostle Paul could not have refused Christ on the road to Damascus. I don't believe that that's true. I don't believe that because if Paul was living before Christ then he would have been doing right by killing the “blasphemers". He seems to me a man desperate to serve the God of Israel with all his heart. He got deeply educated in the Israel faith. He was ready to accept Christ, in other words he was fertile ground for the seed to grow as the bible says. And I also don't believe that Paul couldn't have refused because Paul says in 2 Timothy 1:11-13 ... 11 to which I was appointed a preacher, an apostle, and a teacher of the Gentiles. 12 For this reason I also suffer these things; nevertheless I am not ashamed, for I know whom I have believed and am persuaded that He is able to keep what I have committed to Him until that Day. 13 Hold fast the pattern of sound words which you have heard from me, in faith and love which are in Christ Jesus.
He says basically to Be Loyal to the Faith. He makes it very clear that he, Paul, was persuaded by and believed what Christ Himself told and taught him. In the next verse his words are supported when he says he was not disobedient to the heavenly vision. Look at it for yourself. I feel like an outcast because I hold to the literal teachings of God's Word.
Also I don’t believe that Paul couldn't have disobeyed because if you look at Acts 26:19-23 it says ... 19 “Therefore, King Agrippa, I was not disobedient to the heavenly vision, 20 but declared first to those in Damascus and in Jerusalem, and throughout all the region of Judea, and then to the Gentiles, that they should repent, turn to God, and do works befitting repentance. 21 For these reasons the Jews seized me in the temple and tried to kill me.22 Therefore, having obtained help from God, to this day I stand, witnessing both to small and great, saying no other things than those which the prophets and Moses said would come— 23 that the Christ would suffer, that He would be the first to rise from the dead, and would proclaim light to the Jewish people and to the Gentiles.”
Clear as a bell that we have to do something for our salvation when he said “that they should repent, turn to God, and do works befitting repentance”.
But even if what Calvinists believe were true, it begs the question must an omnipotent God control every persons choices just because he chose to control one person's choice? Does an omnipotent God not have the right to only choose one person and give the rest of humanity a free will to choose Him? Or will His sovereign plans be out the window if someone makes a choice contrary to His will? How sovereign and omnipotent is the God of the Bible? How sovereign and omnipotent is your God? Could God have kept the devil from sinning against His authority? Could God have kept Adam from sinning. Could He have kept Cain from killing Able? If He is a God that absolutely has to be in control then why didn't He keep these three from sinning? Since God made Satan and if God preordained everything, did He also predestine the devil to rebel? Could God just have know about the actions of sinners without forcing them to obey? Could God just simply have chosen to give each one the opportunity to obey rather than sin?
I agree with this person who once said something similar to this, "if I never heard the Gospel before and found a bible, upon reading it from cover to cover I'd never come to a Calvinistic understanding from reading God's Word. Someone would have to indoctrinate me with Calvinism in order for me to see Calvinism being taught in the bible". I must add I'm amazed at how many Calvinists don't really know what they believe. I'm even more amazed at how strongly they hold onto it. Not one Calvinist that I know will just let the bible say it simply and take it at face value.
Romans 3:3-4 ... 3 For what if some did not believe? Will their unbelief make the faithfulness of God without effect? 4 Certainly not! Indeed, let God be true but every man a liar. As it is written: “That You may be justified in Your words, and may overcome when You are judged.”
This would include to make even John Piper, MacArthur, Calvin, R.C. Sproul, Augustine, Luther and everyone else outside the bible a liar, and only God True.
Ephesians 1:9-10 ... 9 having made known to us the mystery of His will, according to His good pleasure which He purposed in Himself, 10 that in the dispensation of the fullness of the times He might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven and which are on earth—in Him.
Numbers 23:19 ... “God is not a man, that He should lie, nor a son of man, that He should repent. Has He said, and will He not do? Or has He spoken, and will He not make it good?
Has God not said to “do it of your own free will"? Has God not said that “whomever wills to come to Him to come"? Was God speaking in code? When you change, alter, add or subtract from God's Word to fit your teachings, traditions and presuppositions you sin greatly. Evolutionists do this all the time when they find fossils. If there is more than one way of looking at something it's time to back off, clear your mind of all you've been taught or have taught yourself and let God's Word say it plainly whatever it wants to say, even if it goes against everything you thought true, even if what God's Word says angers you. If it does you should ask yourself, “why does it" bother you? After all God does say that He made it plain to understand in Romans 1, and God doesn't need human help to say what He means and meant. Let's look at it.
Romans 1:18-23, 32 ... 18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, 19 because what may be known of God is manifest in them, for God has shown it to them. 20 For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes 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, although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened. 22 Professing to be wise, they became fools, 23 and changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like corruptible man—and birds and four-footed animals and creeping things. 32 who, knowing the righteous judgment of God, that those who practice such things are deserving of death, not only do the same but also approve of those who practice them.
Do you approve of people who profess to know the truth of God but really are altering it to suit what they want it to say? If you bring your Calvinistic presuppositions with you instead of just letting God say what He wants to say in His Word then you are allowing fallible men to tell you what to think God says too. Test yourself as you read this. Don't take my word for anything I write, say or suggest but rather take God at His Word.
During my study I found historical records about John Calvin and his guilt in the death of at least one man and perhaps up 59 others, perhaps even more, directly or indirectly, through his teachings. Why people would follow the teachings of a murderer, whom I believe alters God's Word to try and support Augustinistic teachings instead of Gods, is beyond me. I found NOT one historical record of the Apostles, Jacobus Arminius or Menno Simon who were ever involved in anyone’s death, whether deliberately or by accident, whether directly or indirectly. It breaks my heart that Calvinists are willing to fight to support a murderer but not to defend the writers of the Bible, i.e. the Apostles. They were taught by Jesus Christ Himself, even on baptism, and they, not I, gave the conditions who were allowed to be baptized. Only those who believe and profess Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour were allowed to be baptized. Just think, search the scriptures and reflect on it.
God says to test the spirit and not just believe any spirit. Look up 1 John 4:1-6 ... 1 Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits, whether they are of God; because many false prophets have gone out into the world. 2 By this you know the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is of God, 3 and every spirit that does not confess that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is not of God. And this is the spirit of the Antichrist, which you have heard was coming, and is now already in the world. 4 You are of God, little children, and have overcome them, because He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world. 5 They are of the world. Therefore they speak as of the world, and the world hears them. 6 We are of God. He who knows God hears us; he who is not of God does not hear us. By this we know the spirit of truth and the spirit of error.
When it says, "They are of the world. Therefore they speak as of the world", is why I believe that Calvinists stick to only certain choice verses that they have decided support their understanding. For example constantly focusing only on passages that say we are dead in sins. I only found three verses on this. Here they are.
Ephesians 2:1 ... And you He made alive, who were dead in trespasses and sins.
Ephesians 2:5 ... even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved).
Colossians 2:13 ... And you, being dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He has made alive together with Him, having forgiven you all trespasses.
So how does He make us alive? We are alive in Christ when we are saved. How are you saved? By grace you have been saved. How does grace save you? You have been saved through faith. This is talking your personal faith not someone else's. Which is another passage that disqualifies infants from the ordinance of baptism. They do not have nor do they profess a personal faith in Christ and His completed atonement work on the Cross of Calvary.
Look at the verse for yourself in Ephesians 2:8 ... For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God.
So let's go back and answer the question how do you test the spirit? By searching the scriptures like Jesus says in John 5:31-47 ... 31 “If I bear witness of Myself, My witness is not true. 32 There is another who bears witness of Me, and I know that the witness which He witnesses of Me is true. 33 You have sent to John, and he has borne witness to the truth. 34 Yet I do not receive testimony from man, but I say these things that you may be saved. 35 He was the burning and shining lamp, and you were willing for a time to rejoice in his light. 36 But I have a greater witness than John’s; for the works which the Father has given Me to finish—the very works that I do—bear witness of Me, that the Father has sent Me. 37 And the Father Himself, who sent Me, has testified of Me. You have neither heard His voice at any time, nor seen His form. 38 But you do not have His word abiding in you, because whom He sent, Him you do not believe. 39 You search the Scriptures, for in them you think you have eternal life; and these are they which testify of Me. 40 But you are not willing to come to Me that you may have life. 41 “I do not receive honor from men.42 But I know you, that you do not have the love of God in you. 43 I have come in My Father’s name, and you do not receive Me; if another comes in his own name, him you will receive. 44 How can you believe, who receive honor from one another, and do not seek the honor that comes from the only God? 45 Do not think that I shall accuse you to the Father; there is one who accuses you—Moses, in whom you trust. 46 For if you believed Moses, you would believe Me; for he wrote about Me. 47 But if you do not believe his writings, how will you believe My words?”
Look at a few key passages here where they say ... if another comes in his own name, him you will receive ...  I have come in My Father’s name, and you do not receive Me; if another comes in his own name, him you will receive ... How can you believe, who receive honor from one another, and do not seek the honor that comes from the only God?
It seems that Calvinists accept John Calvin and other Calvinists no matter what. I know many Calvinists that will listen and even change their position on just about anything so long as the person they are listening to or reading from are professing Calvinists. If it's a non-Calvinist they will investigate them back to the stone age and make sure there is absolutely no accusation against them, but even if there isn’t then they still will scrutinize every syllable that the person speaks or writes and still refuse to believe this person, no matter how much factual information and evidence they provide. They do this because a true Calvinist absolutely will refuse to take off his Calvinist coloured sunglasses, no matter what, they will not remove them. It's as if they are terrified that they may understand things differently and their whole man made faith will not be able to stand and crumble in the light of God's truth.
This is part of the reason why over the years I've had such strong disagreements with Calvinists. I would say we have free will and they'd attack back that we don't because the will was completely corrupted and that the bible does not teach free will. In other words, I believe we have free will and they believe we're predestined to believe, outside of ourselves, that we don't have free will. In other words, we don't actually believe in God but rather God believes in Himself through us. Yet even when I'd show them passage after passage on free will, where it's literally mentioned by those words, they'd dismiss them all because they don't support what a Calvinist has decided in their hearts, of their own free will, to hold onto. Yet even though they claimed that their understanding was biblical they would not produce a single passage where it literally says that the will is absolutely corrupted. I'm not talking about the human nature. I'm talking about the will, human free will. But even in regards to the human nature it does not say that, I say this because the words total depravity don't show up even once. Even the word depravity does not show up even once in the New King James Version, but free will is literally in there from beginning to end and often. In all translations, implicitly and explicitly.
I DO NOT want you to change your opinion because of what I'm saying here. Rather I wish God's Word would convict, convince and persuade you and my many Calvinist friends. I know I cannot convince nor persuade anyone, not even you. I know that there is so much that we can learn, so much wonderful Godly truth from many Godly men of God, but the bible should and must be our final authority. Even the Bereans from the Apostle Paul's day didn't just take Paul's word for anything but searched the scriptures for themselves and were blessed for it by God. I never will nor have thought of myself so highly that I believe that I know more than others including these men that Calvinists revere ... Charles Haddon Spurgeon, R.C. Sproul, John Calvin, John Piper, John MacArthur, Charles Wesley, and many others. Nor have I finished learning everything God is teaching me in His Word. You need to ask and be honest with yourself for a moment, I'm very cautious as I put this question to you, do you believe that these men that Calvinists revere know more than the disciples who walked and talked with Jesus Christ Himself everyday, day and night, for 3 whole years?!!!
I get so frustrated when you watch a documentary with a Calvinist and it says anything contrary to what they are willing to accept, that they turn around and act like a victim saying that the non-Calvinist who they are watching, or is in discussion or debate with them, think that all their studying is nothing. Yet they are doing that very thing about the person on the documentary, etc., that they are watching. They won't research what the person said but just dismiss the person as a heretic.
All I ask is that you listen to my biblical understanding of God's Holy truth, and give me a fair hearing without any presuppositions, then go and search the Scriptures for yourself to see if you see it too. But don't just take my word for it, search the scriptures. I praise God though that He makes His Gospel easy to understand. I hurt deeply when I feel dismissed by Calvinists because most of them don't want their boat rocked. They don't want to know the truth. They are content living in the traditions that they are raised in. But they don't seem to think of nor care what God says about traditions.
Look at Matthew 15:1-9 ... 1 Then the scribes and Pharisees who were from Jerusalem came to Jesus, saying, 2 “Why do Your disciples transgress the tradition of the elders? For they do not wash their hands when they eat bread.” 3 He answered and said to them, “Why do you also transgress the commandment of God because of your tradition? 4 For God commanded, saying, ‘Honor your father and your mother’; and, ‘He who curses father or mother, let him be put to death.’ 5 But you say, ‘Whoever says to his father or mother, “Whatever profit you might have received from me is a gift to God”— 6 then he need not honor his father or mother.’ Thus you have made the commandment of God of no effect by your tradition. 7 Hypocrites! Well did Isaiah prophesy about you, saying: 8 ‘These people draw near to Me with their mouth, and honor Me with their lips, but their heart is far from Me. 9 And in vain they worship Me, Teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.’ ”
Mark 7:3-13 ... 3 For the Pharisees and all the Jews do not eat unless they wash their hands in a special way, holding the tradition of the elders. 4 When they come from the marketplace, they do not eat unless they wash. And there are many other things which they have received and hold, like the washing of cups, pitchers, copper vessels, and couches. 5 Then the Pharisees and scribes asked Him, “Why do Your disciples not walk according to the tradition of the elders, but eat bread with unwashed hands?” 6 He answered and said to them, “Well did Isaiah prophesy of you hypocrites, as it is written: ‘This people honors Me with their lips, but their heart is far from Me. 7 And in vain they worship Me, teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.’ 8 For laying aside the commandment of God, you hold the tradition of men— the washing of pitchers and cups, and many other such things you do.” 9 He said to them, “all too well you reject the commandments of God, that you may keep your traditions or Moses said, ‘Honor your father and your mother’; and, ‘He who curses father or mother, let him be put to death.’ 11 But you say, ‘If a man says to his father or mother, “Whatever profit you might have received from me is Corban”’ (that is, a gift to God),12 then you no longer let him do anything for his father or his mother,13 making the word of God of no effect through your tradition which you have handed down. And many such things you do.”
I fear that one day many people will hear Jesus say to them, "You honor Me with your lips, but your heart is far from Me. In vain you worship Me, teaching as doctrines the commandments of men. You lay aside the commandment of God, and hold to the tradition of men". I hope this isn't going to be the case.
In two passages only one person is addressed ... literally. Some Calvinists take one as meaning all people and the other as only speaking to a person. This is hypocritical. This is why I get upset talking to a Calvinist and don't feel emotionally safe sharing with them my heart. I will always have to keep my heart protected from them for this reason. Let's look at these two passages that I was referring to.
1. High priest Joshua and God. Zechariah 3:1-3 ... 3 Then he showed me Joshua the high priest standing before the Angel of the Lord, and Satan standing at his right hand to oppose him. 2 And the Lord said to Satan, “The Lord rebuke you, Satan! The Lord who has chosen Jerusalem rebuke you! Is this not a brand plucked from the fire?” 3 Now Joshua was clothed with filthy garments, and was standing before the Angel.
2. Philip and the Eunuch. Acts 8:34-39 ... 34 So the eunuch answered Philip and said, “I ask you, of whom does the prophet say this, of himself or of some other man?” 35 Then Philip opened his mouth, and beginning at this Scripture, preached Jesus to him. 36 Now as they went down the road, they came to some water. And the eunuch said, “See, here is water. What hinders me from being baptized?” 37 Then Philip said, “If you believe with all your heart, you may.” And he answered and said, “I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.” 38 So he commanded the chariot to stand still. And both Philip and the eunuch went down into the water, and he baptized him. 39 Now when they came up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord caught Philip away, so that the eunuch saw him no more; and he went on his way rejoicing.
This really bothers me when people do this. They decide which verses are allowed to apply to them and which are not. If the Calvinist were to say that they are not fully understanding what Philip means is different then saying it does not apply to them because they don't like what it implies. They were baptized as infants and are not willing to take that step of obedience towards God's Word and get baptized biblically, on the profession of personal faith in Christ. It's not allowed that someone be convicted by God to be rebaptized but they would most likely be excommunicated from both church and family because their traditions won't allow this. Most likely they would also be an outcast for life. With animosity from even their own family who would accuse them of slapping them in the face especially the parents. Most likely this person would not be obedient to God on this issue because the cost would be too high.
Colossians 2:8-9 ... 8 Beware lest anyone cheat you through philosophy and empty deceit, according to the traditions of men, according to the basic principles of the world, and not according to Christ. 9 For in Him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily;
Please do not nullify God's Word just to uphold your Reformed/Calvinist religious traditions. I'm using basically only God's Word and explaining what I hear it clearly say. I'm writing this so Calvinists can understand where I'm coming from and what I believe. If someone truly want to know and understand my faith they cannot bring their presuppositions to the table. Since I'm using basically only God's Word, please listen to God's Word without bringing your traditions and presuppositions to the table or you won't be able to hear my understanding of God's Word because you'll be too busy thinking about how that jives with what you were taught in Calvinism. You'll be way to busy forming opinions and responses.
I tried so hard to become a Calvinist. You can even ask my own parents (non-Calvinists) how hard I tried to support infant baptism and other reformed teachings when speaking to them, even though I neither could back it up biblically nor could I believe it myself in light of God's Word. But the more I studied God's Word and listened to Calvinists preach on it the more I was convinced it was not biblical. I'll explain later when I bring up TULIP and baptism in more detail.
Keep in mind that every time God's Word says "IF" that that's when you can be sure that there is coming a condition that God Himself has placed on something in His omnipotence. He did this in His Absolute sovereign will. It's not up to you and I to tell God what He can or cannot do in His Sovereignty. I'm using God's word only because He's the one that said it. He knows what He meant when He says things. Feel free to look up the passages for yourself. Please don't dismiss passages just because you don't want to see what it really says. And also ask yourself ... is God sovereign because He's omnipotent? Or is He omnipotent because He's sovereign?
Did you know that Sovereignty is an attribution not only attributed to God biblically but also to man. This many Calvinists flat out deny and don't even bother to look up the passage for themselves. As God's Word shows in 1 Samuel 14:47 ... So Saul Established his sovereignty over Israel, and fought against all his enemies on every side, against Moab, against the people of Ammon, against Edom, against the kings of Zobah, and against the Philistines. Wherever he turned, he harassed them.
God and his sovereignty aren't threatened because humans have free will. He doesn't need us to defend Him and He can do anything and everything He wants to do, in spite of or in cooperation with the human having a free will.

Fact: Omnipotence is an attribution only ever attributed to God and to God alone!!!

Exodus 14:11-12 ... 11 Then they said to Moses, “Because there were no graves in Egypt, have you taken us away to die in the wilderness? Why have you so dealt with us, to bring us up out of Egypt? 12 Is this not the word that we told you in Egypt, saying, ‘Let us alone that we may serve the Egyptians’? For it would have been better for us to serve the Egyptians than that we should die in the wilderness.”
Exodus 17:1-4 ... 1 Then all the congregation of the children of Israel set out on their journey from the Wilderness of Sin, according to the commandment of the Lord, and camped in Rephidim; but there was no water for the people to drink. 2 Therefore the people contended with Moses, and said, “Give us water, that we may drink.” So Moses said to them, “Why do you contend with me? Why do you tempt the Lord?” 3 And the people thirsted there for water, and the people complained against Moses, and said, “Why is it you have brought us up out of Egypt, to kill us and our children and our livestock with thirst?” 4 So Moses cried out to the Lord, saying, “What shall I do with this people? They are almost ready to stone me!”
Numbers 12:1-12 ... 1 Then Miriam and Aaron spoke against Moses because of the Ethiopian woman whom he had married; for he had married an Ethiopian woman. 2 So they said, “Has the Lord indeed spoken only through Moses? Has He not spoken through us also?” And the Lord heard it. 3 (Now the man Moses was very humble, more than all men who were on the face of the earth.) 4 Suddenly the Lord said to Moses, Aaron, and Miriam, “Come out, you three, to the tabernacle of meeting!” So the three came out. 5 Then the Lord came down in the pillar of cloud and stood in the door of the tabernacle, and called Aaron and Miriam. And they both went forward. 6 Then He said, “Hear now My words: If there is a prophet among you, I, the Lord, make Myself known to him in a vision; I speak to him in a dream. 7 Not so with My servant Moses; He is faithful in all My house. 8 I speak with him face to face, Even plainly, and not in dark sayings; And he sees the form of the Lord. Why then were you not afraid to speak against My servant Moses?” 9 So the anger of the Lord was aroused against them, and He departed. 10 And when the cloud departed from above the tabernacle, suddenly Miriam became leprous, as white as snow. Then Aaron turned toward Miriam, and there she was, a leper. 11 So Aaron said to Moses, “Oh, my lord! Please do not lay this sin on us, in which we have done foolishly and in which we have sinned. 12 Please do not let her be as one dead, whose flesh is half consumed when he comes out of his mother’s womb!”
Numbers 14:1-10 ... 1 So all the congregation lifted up their voices and cried, and the people wept that night. 2 And all the children of Israel complained against Moses and Aaron, and the whole congregation said to them, “If only we had died in the land of Egypt! Or if only we had died in this wilderness! 3 Why has the Lord brought us to this land to fall by the sword, that our wives and children should become victims? Would it not be better for us to return to Egypt?” 4 So they said to one another, “Let us select a leader and return to Egypt.” 5 Then Moses and Aaron fell on their faces before all the assembly of the congregation of the children of Israel. 6 But Joshua the son of Nun and Caleb the son of Jephunneh, who were among those who had spied out the land, tore their clothes; 7 and they spoke to all the congregation of the children of Israel, saying: “The land we passed through to spy out is an exceedingly good land. 8 If the Lord delights in us, then He will bring us into this land and give it to us, ‘a land which flows with milk and honey.’ 9 Only do not rebel against the Lord, nor fear the people of the land, for they are our bread; their protection has departed from them, and the Lord is with us. Do not fear them.” 10 And all the congregation said to stone them with stones. Now the glory of the Lord appeared in the tabernacle of meeting before all the children of Israel.
Numbers 14:27 ... “How long shall I bear with this evil congregation who complain against Me? I have heard the complaints which the children of Israel make against Me.
Numbers 16:20-22 ... 20 And the Lord spoke to Moses and Aaron, saying, 21 “Separate yourselves from among this congregation, that I may consume them in a moment.” 22 Then they fell on their faces, and said, “O God, the God of the spirits of all flesh, shall one man sin, and You be angry with all the congregation?”
Numbers 16:45-49 ... 45 “Get away from among this congregation, that I may consume them in a moment.” And they fell on their faces. 46 So Moses said to Aaron, “Take a censer and put fire in it from the altar, put incense on it, and take it quickly to the congregation and make atonement for them; for wrath has gone out from the Lord. The plague has begun.” 47 Then Aaron took it as Moses commanded, and ran into the midst of the assembly; and already the plague had begun among the people. So he put in the incense and made atonement for the people. 48 And he stood between the dead and the living; so the plague was stopped. 49 Now those who died in the plague were fourteen thousand seven hundred, besides those who died in the Korah incident.
Numbers 20:1-5 ... 1 Then the children of Israel, the whole congregation, came into the Wilderness of Zin in the first month, and the people stayed in Kadesh; and Miriam died there and was buried there. 2 Now there was no water for the congregation; so they gathered together against Moses and Aaron. 3 And the people contended with Moses and spoke, saying: “If only we had died when our brethren died before the Lord! 4 Why have you brought up the assembly of the Lord into this wilderness, that we and our animals should die here? 5 And why have you made us come up out of Egypt, to bring us to this evil place? It is not a place of grain or figs or vines or pomegranates; nor is there any water to drink.”
Numbers 21:4-5 ... 4 Then they journeyed from Mount Hor by the Way of the Red Sea, to go around the land of Edom; and the soul of the people became very discouraged on the way. 5 And the people spoke against God and against Moses: “Why have you brought us up out of Egypt to die in the wilderness? For there is no food and no water, and our soul loathes this worthless bread.”
Don't get me started on the kings of Israel and Judah! Because I could go on for a long time. I'll only mentioned one of them here, but there are many I could point to and the horrendous sins that they did against God Almighty! Let's look at 2 Kings 21:1-15 ... 1 Manasseh was twelve years old when he became king, and he reigned fifty-five years in Jerusalem. His mother’s name was Hephzibah. 2 And he did evil in the sight of the Lord, according to the abominations of the nations whom the Lord had cast out before the children of Israel. 3 For he rebuilt the high places which Hezekiah his father had destroyed; he raised up altars for Baal, and made a wooden image, as Ahab king of Israel had done; and he worshiped all the host of heaven and served them. 4 He also built altars in the house of the Lord, of which the Lord had said, “In Jerusalem I will put My name.” 5 And he built altars for all the host of heaven in the two courts of the house of the Lord. 6 Also he made his son pass through the fire, practiced soothsaying, used witchcraft, and consulted spiritists and mediums. He did much evil in the sight of the Lord, to provoke Him to anger. 7 He even set a carved image of Asherah that he had made, in the house of which the Lord had said to David and to Solomon his son, “In this house and in Jerusalem, which I have chosen out of all the tribes of Israel, I will put My name forever; 8 and I will not make the feet of Israel wander anymore from the land which I gave their fathers—only if they are careful to do according to all that I have commanded them, and according to all the law that My servant Moses commanded them.” 9 But they paid no attention, and Manasseh seduced them to do more evil than the nations whom the Lord had destroyed before the children of Israel. 10 And the Lord spoke by His servants the prophets, saying, 11 “Because Manasseh king of Judah has done these abominations (he has acted more wickedly than all the Amorites who were before him, and has also made Judah sin with his idols), 12 therefore thus says the Lord God of Israel: ‘Behold, I am bringing such calamity upon Jerusalem and Judah, that whoever hears of it, both his ears will tingle. 13 And I will stretch over Jerusalem the measuring line of Samaria and the plummet of the house of Ahab; I will wipe Jerusalem as one wipes a dish, wiping it and turning it upside down. 14 So I will forsake the remnant of My inheritance and deliver them into the hand of their enemies; and they shall become victims of plunder to all their enemies, 15 because they have done evil in My sight, and have provoked Me to anger since the day their fathers came out of Egypt, even to this day.’”
What impression does these passages give of God's sovereignty and omnipotence? There are many many verses just like it throughout the bible. An atheist would probably say it sounds like Someone who isn't in control at all of His people. But this shows me how God in His sovereignty gave man free will and refuses to Lord His omnipotence over mans head. He wants us to love and obey Him out of our own free will. Just like a bride to her husband. I'll be showing this strongly throughout this document, especially in the first point between Arminianism and Calvinism.
Ask yourself, is God omniscient? Does He know what man is going to do ahead of time? If man has free will is He surprised by man's actions? Can He predestine only what He knows outside of man's free will or does our free will hinder His omniscience in any way?
I don't need a high school, college nor theological seminary training in order to understand what God made plain to understand. God made it plain to understand when He says in 2 Timothy 3:14-16 ... 14 But you must continue in the things which you have learned and been assured of, knowing from whom you have learned them, 15 and that from childhood you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. 16 all Scriptures is given by inspirational of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness.
Too bad the educated people I speak with consciously or unconsciously dismiss what I have to say because whether they know it or not they have the presumption that you have to years upon years on theological training and studying in order that you will be taken serious. I pray you judge yourself, and don't stop doing it, so that you keep your presuppositions out of this dialogue. Or you will have dismissed me and by dismissing me you will not be able to understand what I have come to understand biblically.
A Calvinist debater named Joseph Pipa says, "You'll never find no gospel message in the bible where the preacher will say Christ died for you. It says Christ died for sinners." (You'll find it at 1 hr 37 minutes you at this link https://youtu.be/pDbOZXZPxeQ.)
Are you not a sinner? Is there a single person ever born who IS NOT A SINNER? This sounds like someone desperately grasping for straws because he's not able to defend his belief system and not able to contend with the view of the opposition.