Prof Johan Malan – A Gospel of Works – Losing your Salvation (Part 1)

Prof Johan Malan-A Gospel of Works - losing your salvationRecently 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]

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)

 width=There is a BIG DIFFERENCE between Calvinism’s version of ‘once saved, always saved’ and the BIBLICAL version of Assurance of Salvation.

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, 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 2the 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 REGENERATEDbecause 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 powerSo 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.



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Deborah (Discerning the World)

Deborah Ellish is the author of the above article. Discerning the World is an internet Christian Ministry based in Johannesburg South Africa. Tom Lessing and Deborah Ellish both own Discerning the World. For more information see the About this Website page below the comments section.

6 Responses

  1. Redeemed says:

    If one looks at Prof Malan’s views on salvation, one can see that his very foundation is flawed.

    Also, has Prof Malan written any specific articles on the false teaching of Calvinism? One has to dig to find his views opposing Calvinism and then he does not directly expose it as a work of darkness.

    Obviously the Prof does not consider Calvinism to be the dangerous false teaching that it is. His benevolent attitude toward such a destructive doctrine is a huge mistake. Why are his admirers seemingly oblivious to this?

  2. Jesus Christ once promised “I shall never leave you nor forsake you.” The Amplified Bible renders it thus:

    Let your character or moral disposition be free from love of money [including greed, avarice, lust, and craving for earthly possessions] and be satisfied with your present [circumstances and with what you have]; for He [God] Himself has said, I will not in any way fail you nor give you up nor leave you without support. [I will] not, [I will] not, [I will] not in any degree leave you helpless nor forsake nor let [you] down relax My hold on you)! Assuredly not!] (Hebrews 13:5)

    If Jesus promised never to forsake us in our everyday mundane needs why would He do so in the maintenance and final consummation of our salvation – the most important need that we have?

  3. Aaron says:

    The doctrine of losing salvation, is basically works for salvation. It is a false gospel.

  4. There are several ways the Bible expresses the doctrine of salvation. One of the most profound is in Romans 6 where Paul says:

    Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death? (Romans 6:3)

    One may easily conclude that a saint can lose his salvation IF he himself had baptized him into the death of Christ. Had it been possible for a saint to have baptized himself into the death of Christ and then loose his salvation, Paul or anyone else could have said to the saint “Don’t you know that when you have UNBAPTIZED yourself OUT of the death of Christ, you have lost your salvation?” If the Holy Spirit is the One who baptizes new converts INTO the death of Christ, then it is also HE alone that must UNBAPTIZE them OUT of the death of Christ, if it were possible for them to lose their salvation. IMPOSSIBLE!!!

    I see something of the Word of Faith fruits in those who believe that a saint can lose his salvation. Listen carefully to what they usually say to vindicate their view:

    Timothy was warned against this mistake and encouraged to persevere in his faith and a holy life (1 Tim. 1:19; cf. Heb. 3:6,14)

    Note the emphasis on persevering in your faith and NOT faith IN Christ Jesus. They may as well say you must trust your faith (have faith in your faith) in order to remain saved. The sad thing is that IF the loss of salvation was a biblical doctrine, then those who believe in it are the ones who have ALREADY lost their salvation. Why? Because they do not persevere in the faith that Jesus is the ONE who will see them through to glory. They have actually lost their faith in HIM. They have fallen from grace and are now trusting their own works to maintain their salvation. In this way they are doing exactly what the Calvinists are doing with their “Perseverance of the SAINTS” – trusting their own performance.

    Of course they will immediately accuse me of promulgating a licentious lifestyle because the saint cannot lose his salvation. That’s a very wicked way of defending their own heresy. It is wicked. No saint in his right mind who believes in eternal security will ever tell others that they may live as they please because they cannot lose their salvation. That is precisely why Paul wrote Romans 6.

    What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound? God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein? Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death? Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.(Rom 6:1-4)

    The doctrine of conditional security is a wicked doctrine because it teaches Christians to trust their own resources and good works to remain saved. It places an immense burden on the saint, a burden they cannot carry and they need to give it to Jesus. (Matthew 11:28)

  5. edddycs says:

    My Understanding of pre-election is not that you are actually pre elected,yes we do have freedom of choice but rather that God who is all knowing knows who will give their lives to him in belief , He knows you from before the foundation of the earth.this is that because God knows the beginning from the end he already, then knew who will submit to him by responding to Jesus having died on the cross.
    In the Old testament God knew what he would have to accomplish with the punishment of the Philistines so then he also knew that when the day would come he was going to use Samson.
    God said of Pharaoh, I have created you for just such a day – I understand that Pharaoh did not have a chance – God hardened Pharaohs heart.

    This is the potter deciding what the clay will become.

    In the new testament Jesus knows and God knew that believers in him would come under attack by the likes of Saul, He the Lord must also know and knew from the beginning before creation that then at this time he would step in and convict Saul and change his life,thus renaming him Paul.

    I believe that although all people who have lived ,live , and will still live will have an opportunity to accept belief IN Jesus (no man will have an excuse one day when they stand before the Judgment throne) – there are a people who will not make the choice and therefore are destined to eternal death.

    i believe that the Triune God already knows who these are and has always known.
    God knew Adam and Eve would rebel in the Garden ,He knew Caine would kill Able.Adam did not know when he was given life that he would choose death one day Cane at birth did not know that he would kill his brother one day, it came as a result of their rebellious choices. But God knew and that is why he has a plan for redemption.

    So wants you come to the knowledge of saving grace it is easy to believe that this was your destiny that you were a chosen people like God has chosen Israel.Unless you repent and are born again you will never consider that this was your pre destined lot . Unsaved non believers do not have this as a point of reference because they follow the heart of satan,they are corrupted with unbelief and depraved (God says specifically of Sodomites-Homo queers they are given over to own depraved minds) – But when the Judgment throne is presented God will show them the day they had the option and turned it away.

    God chose Sampson ,David, Esau, Moses and Noha.

    Disclaimer: I reserve the right to adopt my belief as we share and learn scripture together.
    English typing and spelling are not my strong points -especially since my mind and thoughts move faster than mu fingers.


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