As defined by scripture, to bewitch involves three actions. First, you must cast down the truth, with its authority. Second, you must substitute that truth with another authority. In this case man’s authority. Third, you must continue to convince your audience through heresy, psychology, and phony seminary academia that the truth of Jesus’ words is actually a lie and understanding the scriptures are impossible without knowing Greek or Hebrew.
To bewitch is accomplished in the easiest of ways. First, it involves four words. These words are the most effective in casting down the truth. Satan used these words with subtilty against Eve in Eden when he said, “Yea, hath God said?” Since scripture clearly makes the case that man is at war with God, it is a ‘no brainer’ to surmise that man loves to naturally replace that divine authority in his life with himself. After all, men are lovers of themselves.
Secondly, a works-based system of redemption predicated on levels of ecclesiastical authority, with a permanent underclass of spiritual babies is a sure-fire way to keep people, in perpetuity, to bondage, prison, and slavery. If you avoid preaching the whole counsel (Acts 20:27) of God by not revealing the Holy Spirit to be the believer’s teacher and transformer, and the K.J.V. to be the Christian’s authority, you have conditioned people to believe anything you want them to believe.
Thirdly, as it is in the drive-by media of today, so it is in the pulpits across America, heresy, psychology, and molding public opinion is the key to keeping and holding any audience.
Paul clearly told his Galatian disciples that if his motive was to please men, he could not be the servant of Christ. There is no middle ground in this battle for the souls of men. Jesus clearly said, that you are either for him or against him. No middle-of-the-road, ‘reaching across the aisle,’ compromise, or phony love-in known as ecumenism or counterfeit spiritual appeasement. Any one that teaches such compromise is a counterfeit believer.
With that said, what were James Arminius’ five tenets? How has this poison from the past, given us this phenomenon known as ‘Christianity’ today in America? The exact wording of these tenets can be found anywhere on the web. I will put them in perspective in such a way that all the ugliness of what Arminius’ intentions are laid bare—the destruction of Jesus Christ, his Holy Spirit, and the authority his word should have in the believer’s life.
TENET 1: (THE EXTENT OF MAN’S DEPRAVITY) Through ‘prevenient grace’ man can save himself. This is initiated by man’s ‘free-will.’ Redemption is not something alien to man, lying outside himself, supernatural, and completely transformative as the Bible teaches. Redemption is reduced to a choice man makes one day when an epiphany or crisis of reflection reveals to the individual that they are a ‘bad person’ and are in need of serious reformation. For the Arminian, tenet one establishes man’s ‘free-will’ and that man can choose even though the Bible clearly teaches man is so radically corrupt he cannot deliver himself by his own efforts, merit, or good deeds.
TENET 2: (CONDITIONAL ELECTION) The exercise of man’s ‘free-will’ or choosing, is a condition for man to be saved. Man’s salvation is conditioned and initiated by what he does, not by what God has determined before the foundations of the world. This is in stark contrast to what the Bible teaches regarding Jesus’ words and that man stands condemned before a mountain of self-incriminating evidence that would make any jury convict beyond a reasonable doubt. Man’s responsibility before his Creator, Jesus Christ, is to simply acknowledge the truth NOT determine what is already self-evident. Man’s ‘free-will’ is his ticket to hell.
TENET 3: (UNLIMITED ATONEMENT) Involving evangelism, missions and the very issue of redemption and whether it is inclusive or exclusive, tenet 3 states that all men have the capacity to be saved through unlimited atonement. While Jesus died for the sins of all men, this is not equivalent to saying all men are saved (I John 2:2). This tenet is clearly at odds with what scripture teaches. The “whosoever will” claimed by the Arminian is always conditioned by an action of the sinner before God . . . In this case repentance, contrition, and crucifixion of self, all actions and behavior produced by Christ’s Holy Spirit. It also means a love for the words of the Savior, as well as a teachable spirit before the authority and inerrancy of scripture. This narrows the audience to a mere trickle, not the unlimited masses as seen by those seeking to perpetuate a damning system of works that hold captive the souls of men.
TENET 4: (RESISTIBLE GRACE) This blasphemous teaching, along with the others, says to God, ‘when I get ready and want to be saved, if I want to be saved, I will do it when the time is right.’ The phony tenet of resistible grace is taken from a scripture in Acts 7:51 where Stephen is contending for the Christian faith before the Jewish religious leaders. The word “resist” in this verse carries with it the picture of rejecting the Holy Ghost, an action by the way of man’s ‘free-will.’ In the face of his audience’s hard-heartedness, Stephen tells the Jewish leaders, “Ye stiffnecked and uncircumcised in heart and ears, ye do always resist (reject) the Holy Ghost: as your fathers did, so doye.” This tenet summarily says that the individual is mightier than the biblical God. The god of Arminianism is a conflicted god sitting in heaven, wringing his hands in frustration wanting the save the individual but unable, because through ‘free-will,’ that person is not ready for god to save them. This is the feckless and anemic god of the Arminian.
TENET 5: (ASSURANCE AND SECURITY) Because the whole Arminian house of cards is built upon man and not Jesus Christ, there can NEVER be any eternal security to those who believe that salvation can be purchased by the works of the law rather than the precious blood of the Savior. Any redemptive paradigm built upon works, ecclesiastical manipulation, exaltation, and veneration, as well as a rejection of Christ’s sacred words with their authority, is a house built upon shifting sand. There can be no assurance of salvation when one teaches that redemption is man initiated, maintained, and perpetuated by human effort, religion, or proclamation (the Roman Catholic practice of beatification).
CONCLUSION: These five tenets could be restated even further. They are:
Tenet 1: Man’s ‘free-will’ (the alternative to acknowledging self-evident truth)
Tenet 2: Establishment of religion (this is how man circumvents God’s redemptive plan)
Tenet 3: The erection of a personal worth, values-based system in redemption (This is in contrast to God’s view that all men are equally depraved, condemned, and not better than anyone else when it comes to God’s elective counsel)
Tenet 4: The omnipotence and sovereignty of God in redemption is a myth (the individual becomes God)
Tenet 5: Being in Christ is not a requirement for redemption’s eternal security (The righteousness of Christ is non-existent to the Arminian. Imputation is a foreign term to Arminius’ disciples)
1 This eternal, spiritual conflict is not settled so much in the corner of Satan, as it is with the sons of man. Remember, in Genesis 3 the serpent’s words to Eve? Satan convinced Eve she should follow in his footsteps and exalt herself as god. Satan laid down the groundwork for Eve to follow; cast down the truth through the sinister, incremental, unobtrusive tactic of questioning God’s word. The beginning and end of all individuals who engage in such damnable conduct, i.e. questioning God, has but one fate. You reveal what you think of Jesus and his words when you do not reverence and observe them!
2 John 1:12, 13--But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: 13 Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.
3 John 15:16--Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you.
4 I John 2:2--And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.
5 An action by the way, if not repented, carries with it the spiritual punishment of eternal damnation.
Peter’s Offensive Impulsiveness Instead of a Christ Directed, Defensive Action
Matthew 26:51, 52
And, behold, one of them which were with Jesus stretched out his hand, and drew his sword, and struck a servant of the high priest’s, and smote off his ear. 52 Then said Jesus unto him, Put up again thy sword into his place: for all they that take the sword shall perish with the sword.
And one of them that stood by drew a sword, and smote a servant of the high priest, and cut off his ear.
Luke 22:49, 50, 51
When they which were about him saw what would follow, they said unto him, Lord, shall we smite with the sword? 50 And one of them smote the servant of the high priest, and cut off his right ear. 51 And Jesus answered and said, Suffer ye thus far. And he touched his ear, and healed him.
John 18:10, 11
Then Simon Peter having a sword drew it, and smote the high priest’s servant, and cut off his right ear. The servant’s name was Malchus. 11 Then said Jesus unto Peter, Put up thy sword into the sheath: the cup which my Father hath given me, shall I not drink it?
Peter’s Spiritual Ignorance Revealed His Lost Condition
From that time forth began Jesus to shew unto his disciples, how that he must go unto Jerusalem, and suffer many things of the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised again the third day. 22 Then Peter took him, and began to rebuke him, saying, Be it far from thee, Lord: this shall not be unto thee. 23 But he turned, and said unto Peter, Get thee behind me, Satan: thou art an offence unto me: for thou savourest not the things that be of God, but those that be of men.
And he began to teach them, that the Son of man must suffer many things, and be rejected of the elders, and of the chief priests, and scribes, and be killed, and after three days rise again. 32 And he spake that saying openly. And Peter took him, and began to rebuke him. 33 But when he had turned about and looked on his disciples, he rebuked Peter, saying, Get thee behind me, Satan: for thou savourest not the things that be of God, but the things that be of men.
Pacifism: Neither Jesus nor his Followers Practiced This
And he said unto them, When I sent you without purse, and scrip, and shoes, lacked ye any thing? And they said, Nothing. 36 Then said he unto them, But now, he that hath a purse, let him take it, and likewise his scrip: and he that hath no sword, let him sell his garment, and buy one. 37 For I say unto you, that this that is written must yet be accomplished in me, And he was reckoned among the transgressors: for the things concerning me have an end. 38 And they said, Lord, behold, here are two swords. And he said unto them, It is enough.
As a number of verses that are used to justify pacifism, let us examine carefully what these verses actually communicate given their appropriate context. Jesus actually teaches two profoundly important truths from these verses.
The first thing to notice is that Peter’s use of the sword is told in all four gospels. We can conclude therefore that what Jesus’ wants to teach is very important. A wrong conclusion based on truthful information discloses ignorance and a possible motive that has but one objective—to convince Jesus’ followers to have nothing to do with keeping and bearing arms as a means of protecting themselves against foreign powers, but more importantly armed resistance or offensive action against rogue governments that hate Christians and Christianity is actually approved in scripture.
The central characters in this Gethsemane confrontation were Jesus, Peter, and Malchus, a servant of the high priest, Caiaphas. After reading these verses what may not be as obvious is nonetheless evident.
The first truth Jesus wants to teach is what happens when spiritual ignorance and man’s wisdom are acted upon when the perfect will of God is involved, namely Jesus going to the cross to pay for man’s sin. Peter was convinced in his mind that Jesus needed armed protection. He was sincere in his motives, but sincerely misguided and wrong. The Lord reminded Peter in Matthew 26:53, and the other disciples, that he could summon twelve legions of angels if that were necessary . . . But of course, it was not.
In Peter’s unsolicited move to protect his master, Peter takes it upon himself to act first, offensively, and intimidate would-be adversaries by cutting off Malchus’ ear. Jesus seeing the impulsiveness of such a move, a move that appeared to be neither calculated nor premeditated, reminds Peter that such ill-conceived conduct must be rebuked. Jesus replied to Peter in the famous verse cited by pacifists that says, “for all they that take the sword shall perish with the sword.”
Similar wording telling Peter to do the same thing such as condemning the use of his sword also involved in Jesus telling Peter to put up his sword back into its sheath. The Messiah reminds Peter that the cup the Father had given him to drink, would Peter be so spiritually naïve as to think he could stop such an event as the crucifixion? . . . An event that had been scripted since the foundation of the world.
Back in Matthew 16:21-23 and Mark 8:31-33 Jesus tells Peter what will happen before it actually happens—that he must suffer many things of the religious leaders, be killed, and then rise the third day. In Peter’s unconverted condition, he responds to what Jesus had to say by actually rebuking Jesus Christ, the Creator of the universe. Jesus replied to Peter as he put such worldly thinking to silence, “Get thee behind me, Satan, for thou savourest not the things that be of God, but the things that be of men.”
While Jesus condemned Peter’s offensive use of the sword, the primary reason for Jesus’ rebuke of Peter was much bigger. Jesus taught Peter, and he teaches us—that his agonizing journey to Golgotha to pay for the sinner’s insurmountable debt would not be hindered by anyone or anything on earth. Not even the sincere and misguided intentions of one of his inner three, would prevent that eternal altering event from occurring.
The verses from Luke 22:35-38 further demonstrated that Jesus encouraged his followers to be proactive after his death, resurrection, and ascension because Christianity and Christians would be hated, despised, hunted, tortured, and killed—especially in the dissemination of Jesus’ words, the inerrant scriptures—the Bible.
1 Luke 22:31, 32—And the Lord said, Simon, Simon, behold, Satan hath desired to have you, that he may sift you as wheat: But I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not: and when thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren.
2 If we assume a legion consisted of between 3,000 to 6,000 soldiers, taking 5,000 for our average, twelve legions of angels would be equivalent to 60,000 angels. If we examine scripture carefully, one account had a single angel disposing of 185,000 Assyrians. That many angels could dispose of 925,000,000 people seen by Christ as obstacles in his journey to the cross. Just remember, that one believer and Christ is a majority in spite of what the Leftist media may report or how many hits you may receive on one of the social media sites.
Matthew 5:38, 39
Ye have heard that it hath been said, An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth: 39 But I say unto you, That ye resist not evil: but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also.
Not resorting to hyperbole or extreme exaggeration as some might think, Jesus contrasts the humanly sanctioned, God-given law of equity initiated to protect society and the individual, with the ultimate objective all killers seek to sow—fear through their wicked, overbearing, militant, and confrontational actions.
Moving from the intended fear the criminal seeks to create, by intimidation and manipulation, the ultimate objective of the wicked--plant and incite fear into their victim(s). The criminal does this by actions he hopes go unchallenged and intentions that go unquestioned.
Jesus tells his audience in the face of such a heinous and callous display of morbid conduct, to stand strong and not let the actions of the wicked produce behavior that plays into the hands of the criminal (“resist not evil”).
Jesus’ call to “resist not evil” is actually a call to his followers that his perfect love casts out all fear.
Finally, the story of the Bible’s transmission and preservation has been a story of blood spilled through armed, defensive resistance to Roman Catholic missionaries and soldiers. These Roman soldiers have made up the ranks of the Dominican Monks and Jesuits. Their founders are Domingo de Guzman or St. Dominic of the Dominican Order, and Lopez de Recalde or Ignatius of Loyola founder and Jesuit General of the Society of Jesus (Jesuits).
In Luke 22:35-38 Jesus simply echoed what the Old Testament declared about the justification for self-preservation, or self-defense against would-be adversaries who would seek to harm and intimidate their victims.
Neither Jesus nor his teachings ever advocated pacifism. Jesus never undermined Old Testament law and to teach something contrary like pacifism would have contradicted Old Testament teaching with its authority. I will leave you with this. Joshua’s military campaigns involved God as Commander-in-Chief. Israel dispossessed seven other kingdoms mightier than itself. It involved armed conflict or going to war. It meant resisting tyranny of oppressive, corrupt, and slavish ideologies, philosophies, religions, and kingdoms (governments) contrary to the freedom taught in the Bible.
In cases where there was no sin in the camp of the Israelites, the military incursions implemented, resulted in no deaths or injuries. Finally, do not forget the story of Jehu, son of Nimshi who was God’s instrument of vengeance against the house of Ahab, king of Samaria. God used Jehu king of Israel, Elisha the prophet and Hazael, king of Syria to implement his policy of judgment against the ungodly and hard-hearted.
1 I John 4:18--There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love.
2 When God told his people to settle the Promised Land, they ended up warring with seven nations. Israel’s dispossession of these people from their land was sanctioned and commissioned by God himself. These armed conflicts involved staves, the lance, the bow and arrow, the dagger, as well as the sword. The sword could be used as either an offensive or a defensive weapon. In Israel’s military campaigns these tools of warfare were the offensive extension of God’s judgment . . . And offensive only because those seven nations were aware of what God had done to Egypt, and also the Edomites, the Moabites, and the Ammonites. Israel’s enemies were also aware that at any time they could give up their godless and wicked lifestyles, however; in their rebellion they refused.
3 I Kings 19:17—And it shall come to pass, that him that escapeth the sword of Hazael shall Jehu slay: and him that escapeth from the sword of Jehu shall Elisha slay.