Prof Johan Malan – A Gospel of Works – Losing your Salvation (Part 1)
Recently I (Deborah) reconciled with Prof. Johan Malan and asked forgiveness over publishing an article on his relationship with Calvinists. See apology here: Prof Malan states that his theological views have not been altered, that he is still against Calvinism even though he befriends Calvinists. Right. We will let Prof Malan befriend who ever he wants.
Prof. Johan Malan has over the years publish articles pointing out the doctrinal errors of others, so we here at DTW believe he should not be upset if we take a look at his beliefs.
1) Prof Malan believes you can lose your salvation.
He says “One could even go further than Dave Hunt in refuting hyper-Calvinism. On the fifth principle of Calvinism, i.e. eternal security (once-saved-always-saved) Dave actually agrees with the Calvinists, although he gives other reasons for doing so. He also believes that a Christian cannot backslide to the extent of losing his salvation. But the whole Bible expresses itself against this wrong view. Eternal security is only in Christ, and as long as we abide in Him we can be sure of it. But if we don’t abide in Him we forfeit our salvation (cf. John 15:4-6).” [Emphasis added] http://www.bibleguidance.co.za/Engarticles/Calvinism-crit.htm
Prof Malan in a couple of his articles takes jabs at Dave Hunt calling him a 1 point Calvinist because Dave Hunt believes in Eternal Security. The big issue here is there is no such thing as a 1 point Calvinist when it comes to Eternal Security. The petals of the Calvinist doctrines of Grace (Tulip) (or points) can’t be separated from one another, they are intertwined and totally dependent on one another, if one of the points is removed the whole thing collapses. Prof Johan Malan does not understand the doctrine of Calvinism if he thinks you can have a 1 point, 2 point or 3 point Calvinist, etc.
Prof Malan also does not understand the verse John 15:4-6, let explain why it does NOT say that you forfeit your salvation:
The most common interpretation among Christians is that this passage refers to saints who have lost their salvation. The question we should ask ourselves is: Can God contradict Himself? Can He say one thing in one place and something else in another that gainsays whatever He has already said and promised?
A Christian who truly knows and loves the Lord, will never even think of impugning God with lies “God is not a man, that he should lie; neither the son of man, that he should repent: hath he said, and shall he not do it? or hath he spoken, and shall he not make it good?” (Numbers 23:19). Nevertheless, many Christians are doing just that and unfortunately to their own spiritual ruin. Despite their denial in succumbing to spiritual ruin, they have no peace and rest and must always strive to persevere to the very end lest they lose their salvation “Are ye so foolish? having begun in the Spirit, are ye now made perfect by the flesh?” (Galatians 3:3).
I personally have spoken to Christians who lapsed into a long spiritual struggle because they thought they had lost their salvation. The more “spiritual Christians” have told them that loss of salvation is inevitable when this or that happens in a saint’s life.
The irony is that while the Anti-Once-Saved-Always-Saved camp connects the Once-Saved-Always-Saved camp’s ‘unconditional salvation‘ to Calvinists by virtue of their doctrine of ‘unconditional regeneration‘, they themselves happily hit it off with the Calvinists’ doctrine of “perseverance of the saints” by claiming that only those who persevere to the end shall be saved. They get this from (Matthew 24:13) “But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.” This does not refer to salvation of one’s soul nor even to the saints who are now living in this dispensation. They won’t be here to persevere to the end because they are all going to be raptured when Jesus Christ returns to claim his Bride (John 14:1-3). Jesus referred to Jews and Gentiles who are going to be saved during the seven year tribulation period on earth and endure to the very end of the tribulation by their refusal to take the mark of the beast. They are going to enter the millennial age of peace on earth in their natural bodies.
The best and safest way to exegete any passage of Scripture relating to the secure maintenance and final consummation of a saint’s salvation and sanctification is to evaluate your interpretation in terms of the character of God. If your interpretation does not harmonize with the character of God, you should look for another interpretation. It is called simple hermeneutics which simply means that you compare scripture with scripture. Ask yourself again: Can God lie? Is lying part and parcel of his character? Any Christian would immediately say “Of course not; God is not in league with the father of all lies” (John 8:44). Well, then a saint cannot lose his or her salvation. If John 15:4-6 describes the loss of salvation, then it contradicts many passages such as (John 3:16, 36; 5:24; 10:28-30; Romans 8:1 and 2 Corinthians 7:10)
The meaning of being in Jesus Christ seems to be misunderstood by many saints. For a better understanding of the word “in” (“en”) we need to turn to Acts 17 where Paul preached to a group of idolatrous unbelievers on Mars Hill in Athens. Listen very carefully to what he said:
[He] hath made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth, and hath determined the times before appointed, and the bounds of their habitation; That they should seek the Lord, if haply they might feel after him, and find him, though he be not far from every one of us: For in him we live, and move, and have our being; as certain also of your own poets have said, For we are also his offspring. (Acts 17:26-28).
Paul quoted the Greek poet Epimenides but did not deny what he had said. (Acts 17:25; Titus 1:12). Paul also quoted the poet Aratus from his opus Phainomena. All Athenians along with all others are God’s offspring and in this sense all without exception are “in” God. He being the source of all life and who gives life to all is the only Being in whom all men live, move and have their being. In this sense, even Judas was in God (Jesus Christ) but he never remained in Christ by putting his trust in Him (in other words, having faith in Him) for his eternal salvation and eternal security. Judas followed Jesus, listened to his teaching, obeyed Him and even performed miracles like all the other disciples but he was never really saved. To be in Jesus Christ in this particular way a person must have faith in Him which means that these two realities must go together – “abide in me, and I in you.” It is Christ “in you” that secures your salvation and not “you in Him” alone. Judas was in Jesus, meaning that he derived his life, his moving and his entire being from Him, but Jesus Christ was not in him (1 John 5:12).
We may therefore summarize as follows. All people are in Jesus Christ in the sense that they receive their living, moving and being in and through Him but only those who abide (has faith) in Him and has the Holy Spirit’s witness that He is in them are truly saved. The others who profess like Judas that they follow, obey, and love Him are the dead branches who are worthless and are eventually going to be thrown in the fires of hell.
The DIFFERENCE Between Assurance of Salvation (Once Saved, Always Saved) and CALVINISM’S Perseverance of the Saints (Once CHOSEN, Always CHOSEN)
You see, Calvinists believe you are CHOSEN by God before you are born, therefore you are actually ‘ONCE CHOSEN, ALWAYS CHOSEN’. If you are Elect, you can’t become un-elect! The Biblical version is WE HAVE FREE WILL, when you come to accept Jesus as your Lord and Saviour, you are REGENERATED; the Holy Spirit comes to abide in you and HE SEALS YOU, and your name is written in to the Lambs book of Life.
Philippians 4:3 “Yes, I ask you also, true companion, help these women, who have labored side by side with me in the gospel together with Clement and the rest of my fellow workers, whose names are in the book of life.”
Revelation 3:5 also makes is clear that once a name is written in the book of life, Jesus PROMISES that He will never blot it out.
Revelation 3:5 “The one who conquers will be clothed thus in white garments, and I will never blot his name out of the book of life. I will confess his name before my Father and before his angels.”
Who are those who have conquered? Well these are those who have overcome the trials of earthly life and are genuinely saved. In Revelation, Jesus was speaking to all the Churches, and He promises to acknowledge us before His Own Father and the angels, those whose names are written in the book of life. Unfortunately (Revelations 20:15) reveals the fate of those whose names that are NOT written in the book of life and they go to the lake of fire…
Revelation 20:15 “And if anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.”
In Revelation 13:8 and Revelation 21:27, we find the references to the “Lamb’s book of life”, in which are also names of all those who have been washed by the blood of the Lamb, Jesus Christ. The Lamb who has been “slain from the creation of the world” has a book in which are written all those who have been redeemed by His sacrifice. They are the ones who will enter the Holy City, the New Jerusalem (Revelation 21:10) and who will live forever in heaven with God. Since the book of life is that which records all who have eternal life through the Lamb, it’s clear that the book of life and the Lamb’s book of life are one and the same.
When the Holy Spirit comes to abide in us, he stays there forever! He does not come and go and come and go each time you fall into some kind of sin.
John 14:16 “And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper, to be with you forever. “
The fact that the Holy Spirit will never leave a believer is also seen in (Ephesians 1:13-14) where believers are said to be “sealed” with the Holy Spirit,
Ephesians 1:13-14 “13 In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise, 14 Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory.”
The envision of being sealed with the Spirit is one of ownership and possession. God has promised eternal life to all who are genuinely born again, and as a guarantee that He will keep His promise, He has sent the Holy Spirit to abide in the believer until the day of redemption. Kind of like making a down payment/deposit on a house or a car, God has provided all believers with a DEPOSIT on their future relationship with Him by sending the Holy Spirit to abide in them. The fact that all believers are sealed with the Spirit is also seen in (2 Corinthians 1:22 and Ephesians 4:30).
2 Corinthians 1:22 “Who hath also sealed us, and given the earnest of the Spirit in our hearts.”
Ephesians 4:30 “And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption.”
NOW LOOK HERE – THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN OLD AND NEW TESTAMENT!!
Now, BEFORE Jesus’ death, resurrection, and ascension into heaven, before the NEW COVENANT, the Holy Spirit had a “come and go” relationship with people. The Holy Spirit indwelt King Saul, but then He departed from him:
1 Samuel 16:14 “But the Spirit of the LORD departed from Saul, and an evil spirit from the LORD troubled him.”
Here (1 Samuel 16:13) we read that the Holy Spirit came upon David. But after his adultery with Bathsheba, David feared that the Holy Spirit would be taken from him.
Psalm 51:11 “Cast me not away from thy presence; and take not thy holy spirit from me.”
In (Exodus 31:2-5) we read that the the Holy Spirit filled Bezaleel to enable him to produce the items needed for the tabernacle, but this is not described as a permanent relationship.
The Holy Spirit filled Elizabeth when she heard about Mary’s conception and her baby leaped in her womb.
Luke 1:41 “And it came to pass, that, when Elisabeth heard the salutation of Mary, the babe leaped in her womb; and Elisabeth was filled with the Holy Ghost“
But all of this changed beginning on the day of Pentecost, (Acts 2) the Holy Spirit began permanently indwelling believers. Pentecost was the commissioning of the Christian church and the fulfillment of God’s promise to always be with us and never forsake us.
Now, understand this, while the Holy Spirit will never leave a GENUINE believer, it is possible for our sin to “quench the Holy Spirit” or “grieve the Holy Spirit”
Quenching the Holy Spirit: 1 Thessalonians 5:19 “Quench not the Spirit.”
Grieving the Holy Spirit: Ephesians 4:30 “And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption.”
Sin ALWAYS has consequences in our relationship with Jesus. While our relationship with God is SECURE in Jesus Christ, UNCONFESSED SIN in our lives WILL hinder our relationship with God and it will quench the Holy Spirit’s working in our lives. That is why it is so important to ask Jesus for forgiveness of our sins because God is “faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” (1 John 1:9). So, while the Holy Spirit will never leave us, the reward and joy of His presence in our lives will feel far away, because sin drives a wedge between us and God and we are effectively distancing ourselves from Jesus.
As Christians SEALED by the Holy Spirit you will still sin, but if you are genuinely born again, the Holy Spirit will CHASTISE you every time you sin and you will sooner than later repent of your sins. But there are people who PROFESS to be Christian and they do not have the Holy Spirit in then. These are people who can speak Jesus’ name, they go to church, even have big ministries teaching people the bible and they sound so intelligent, but they have not been REGENERATED, because they refuse to give up their sinful ways, they refuse to pick up their cross and follow Jesus.
Luke 14:27 “Whoever does not bear his own cross and come after me cannot be my disciple.”
They think they can have it both ways.
2 Timothy 3:5 “They will maintain the outward appearance of religion but will have repudiated its power. So avoid people like these.“
They have bad fruit, they follow doctrines of demons, and they mingle with evil people and very easily compromise the Word of God for the sake of ‘unity’.
Satan always does twist scripture for his own advantage and tell people that at an alter call if they just pray the sinners pray they will be saved and never lose it, but God knows who is GENUINELY saved and who isn’t. We CAN’T fool Him. People CAN FOOL EACH OTHER into believing they are real Christians, when in fact they are not. And how do we tell if they are not, well by the things they do and say (the fruit of the spirit) – the words the speak/preach. But even then, sometimes we meet some ‘great pretenders’ some brilliant con-artists and it takes a long time to figure them out.