True Love

True love comes from a heart saturated with humility and meekness.

Humility is not something you can evoke or engender by yourself through asceticism, monasticism, retreats, piety, contemplation, silence, solitude, or any other form of mysticism such as the Ignatian Loyola practices.

Not even postures of humility, meekness, and piety reflected in bodily stances, expressions on the face, or in prayerful handclasps of a namaste kind of greeting, are even close to true humility and meekness.

It is merely a front masquerading as humility.

Andrew Murray insisted “especially on the truth that the organ by which God is to be known, is not the understanding but the heart; that only love can know God in truth.”[1]

With these words Murray transposed conscious knowledge from the mind (John 8:32; 16:13) to the heart, from objective observation by hearing to the realm of subjective experiential, mystical feelings which he called love, forgetting that the heart of man is deceitful above all things and desperately wicked, who can know it? (Jeremiah 17:9).

Of course, there is only One who knows man’s heart, and out of pure love for mankind, He inspired his chosen vessels (prophets and disciples) to pen down his divine requirements (his doctrines and dogmas) in his book, the Bible, to teach mankind how to escape his righteous judgments, how to be saved, and how they need to love Him with all their heart, soul, and mind. (Matthew 22:37-40).

Paul made this very clear in his discourse on the true purpose of God’s Law. “What shall we say then? Is the law sin? God forbid. Nay, I had not known sin, but by the law: for I had not known lust, except the law had said, Thou shalt not covet. But sin, taking occasion by the commandment, wrought in me all manner of concupiscence. For without the law sin was dead.

The word “ginōskō” in this passage means to understand cognitively. You cannot separate cognitive knowledge from the heart.

As soon as you do this, you venture into a sphere of vague and boundless (doctrineless) realities that exclude the teaching of the Holy Spirit.

The Holy Spirit will never go beyond the boundaries of holy writ. In fact, the Holy Spirit, who is God and equal to God the Father and God the Son is obligated not to speak anything of Himself but to reveal only what He hears (John 16:13).

It proves how extremely carefully, circumspectly, and respectfully one should handle God’s word.

The deliberate and inadvertent manhandling, chopping, and changing, of God’s Word to suit man’s cultural and religious whims and appetites leads to destruction. (2 Peter 2:1; 3:16; 2 Timothy 4:3).

The phrase “He who has ears to hear, let him hear” appears 18 times in the Old and New Testaments.

It simply means that those who are willing to hear, will hear and know the truth in order to be set free from their sins and lostness.

There are many, in fact, the most, who hear but are not willing to respond to what they hear. (Matthew 7:13-14).

It is not because they are unable to understand what they hear, as Calvinists proclaim, but a rebellious disposition that relentlessly kicks against the goads.

Murray’s “only love can know God in truth” displaces that which God provided to know and understand the truth — his doctrines, precepts, and propositions.

Love of itself cannot hear and understand the truth; only ears and the mind have this capability.

God never said, “He who loves, let him love.” It is self-evident that love must follow the hearing, the understanding, and the accompanying response by faith, but love, of which the unbeliever can only harbor the “eros” and “philia” concepts of love and not the godly “agape,” cannot understand truth apart from divine doctrine. It is impossible.

A dash of mysticism is clearly recognizable in Murray’s “only love can know God in truth.” It wouldn’t be supercilious to define it as CM (Calvinistic Mysticism). Indeed, Calvinists readily throw CM at you when they try to defend Andrew Murray’s Calvinism.

In defense of Andrew Murray’s Calvinism, a blogger[2] quotes extensively from his book “The Salvation of All. (Chapter 23 of his book “God’s Will”).

In it, Murray admits that it is God’s will that all men should be saved and quotes 1 Timothy 2:14 and 2 Peter 3:9 to substantiate its unassailed truth.

Nonetheless, the dichotomy between God’s willingness to save all and the unassailed truth that only a few will be saved (Matthew 7:13-14), makes it rather difficult for Calvinists to explain and verify this ostensible contradiction, and inevitably tries to explain it in terms of an incomprehensible mystery. Murray wrote,

Perhaps the question arises — If God wills the salvation of all, why is it not happening? What about the doctrine of election, as Scripture teaches us?

And, what about the Omnipotence of God, which is surely equal to His love that wills the salvation of all?

As to election, remember that there are mysteries in God and in Scripture that are beyond our reach. 

If there are apparently conflicting truths that we cannot reconcile, we know that Scripture was not written, like a book of science, to satisfy the intellect. 

It is the revelation of the hidden wisdom of God, which tests and strengthens faith and submission, and awakens love and childlike traceableness.

If we cannot understand why His power does not work what His will has purposed, we will find that all that God does or does not do is decided by conditions far beyond our human comprehension.

It requires Divine wisdom to grasp and order God’s ways. 

We will learn that God’s will is as much beyond our comprehension as God’s being.

And it is our wisdom, safety, and happiness to accept every revealed truth with the simplicity and faith of little children.

We must yield ourselves to it to prove its living power within our hearts. Let us not fear to yield ourselves to the utmost to this blessed word: God will have all men to be saved.

God is love. His will is love. As He makes His sun to shine on the good and the evil, so His love rests on all.

However, little we can understand why His love is so long-suffering and patient, we can believe in and be assured of the love that God gives to us — a love whose measure in heaven is the gift of His Son, and on earth every child of man.

These words can only be described as gold-plated thoughts of love that are wholly devoid of true love.

Some readers may ask, “How can you say such a thing?” I can indeed make such a statement in the light of Murray’s quick and nifty mention of love in the loveless shadows of election.

Do not forget that the doctrine of election and reprobation are wholly dependent on God’s sovereign choice and election of his chosen people (another word for the elect), and his “loving” eternal rejection of the non-elect.

Dave Hunt’s book “What Love is This?” exposes the Calvinist’s dualistic love duped in hypocrisy and shameless double standards.

One of the Calvinist’s most common questions is “If God wills the salvation of all, why is it not happening? What about the doctrine of election, as Scripture teaches us?”

Not until Reformed Theologians (Calvinists) realize, acknowledge, and repent of their misrepresentation of God’s sovereignty and his love, and admit that mankind was created with a free will that he may govern to choose for or against God (Deuteronomy 30:19-20), will they understand why it is not happening that all mankind is saved.

The misinterpretation of God’s sovereignty is also the reason why Andrew Murray asks the question, “what about the Omnipotence of God, which is surely equal to His love that wills the salvation of all?”

What does he mean? Is he saying that God’s omnipotence (authority, power, supremacy) which, in his estimation equals his love for all mankind and their redemption, is difficult to reconcile with his love-hate relationship with the reprobate whom He has predestined to eternal perdition in hell, even before the foundation of the world?

You cannot compartmentalize God’s love in only one attribute of Himself, that is, his omnipotence. He reveals Himself in Scripture as the essence of love. (1 John 4:8, 16). His whole being — omnipotence, omniscience, omnipresence, righteousness, justice, compassion, kindness, tenderness, righteous judgments — are all packaged in the essence of his being, LOVE. Therefore, you cannot separate his omnipotence from his righteousness.

The aphorism pleading “MYSTERY” whenever you cannot explain God’s alleged hidden things because they are supposedly far beyond human comprehension, is not only a mockery of God’s simplicities in Christ’s magnanimous salvific work on the cross but a travesty far beyond man’s imagination. (Deuteronomy 29:29).

The New Paradigmthinkers, a blog “Exploring the Mystery of the Inclusion of Humanity in the Love and Life of the Trinity” is a very clever caption to highlight God’s love for all mankind.

However, a closer examination of what they aim to put across becomes clear when they quote Andrew Murray’s statement “God is love. His will is love. As He makes His sun to shine on the good and the evil, so His love rests on all.”

Note carefully that Murray refers to Matthew 5:45 instead of John 3:16 to express God’s universal love for all mankind.

Why? Because as a Calvinist he believed that God only loves the elect salvifically. John MacArthur quips the very same verse when he tries to prove that God also loves the non-elect.

The only proper thing that can be said about his misrepresentation of God’s love is that it portrays Antichrist in top gear, and the most distressing thing about it is that Andrew Murray believed in God’s Providential love for the non-elect (or the reprobate) and his special selective love for the elect.

Fancy that, God’s special love is reserved only for those who love Christ. I sincerely hope you heard MacArthur throwing in the word “providence” in his horrendous misrepresentation of the God of the Bible.

The term “providence” is not only a typical Freemasonic noun but also a Calvinistic one.

Aha, so this is the real secret (mystery) of the cross, aka Andrew Murray.

Christ loved and died only for those who loved Him first with a kind of preordained, pre-redemptive kind of love.

It sounds more like a scenario of tit for tat where God says, “Ok guys, listen up. You and you, and yes, you in the shadows over there, I can see that you love me and therefore I am prepared to love you too and die for you on a cursed tree.

What in God’s name has happened to “For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. For scarcely for a righteous man will one die: yet peradventure for a good man some would even dare to die. But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners [his enemies], Christ died for us.”? (Romans 5:6-8).

Ironically, the issue in Matthew 5 is not a mysterious, incomprehensible fact that “requires a Divine wisdom to grasp and to order God’s ways.”

Quite the opposite is true. God is not speaking to an audience with supreme Divine wisdom but to ordinary saints, and his purpose is to teach them how to be perfect, even as their Father in heaven is perfect, a perfection Murray longed to attain, even in his quest for divine health.[3]

Note that Jesus equated divine and perfect love with treating your neighbours and enemies on equal footing and loving each with a godly, unbiased, perfect love.

It completely debunks the so-called providential love God has for the non-elect, with the exclusion of his salvific love for the elect.

If it were true, that God hates his enemies (those who violate his law,[4] false teachers, and those who present false doctrine), God would certainly be a lousy example to imitate.

How can you imitate someone when he does the exact opposite of what he wants you to imitate?

Surely this is hypocrisy at its very worst.

Nonetheless, to soften his harsh words, Mac Arthur, in imitation of Andrew Murray, refers to Matthew 5:45 and magically changes “hatred” into “a general love.” He says,

What is God’s love then?

God’s love is general in the sense that He has provided a world full of things that we enjoy.

That’s what we call general Providence, God’s sort of providential love that allows for certain circumstances that make life joyful, and fulfilling like a good meal, a good marriage, children, a sunset, and beautiful scenery.

All those things are good things.

That’s his unconditional, general kind of love.

But, there is another love that is very selective.

It is reserved only for those who love Christ, only for those who embrace the Gospel and put their trust in Jesus as Lord and Saviour, and that love is an electing love.

That is God’s love set on certain men and women throughout human history before time began.

MacArthur’s general “sunset” kind of love echoes Murray’s statement “God is love. His will is love. As He makes His sun to shine on the good and the evil, so His love rests on all.”

No wonder, Murray loved to use the word “Providence” for God’s name instead of the names God Himself provides in his eternal Word.

“God is love” and “I AM” are two inseparable characteristics of God.

The slightest attempt to split his love into two separate kinds of love, a general providential one and a special selective one, is a fallacy that forces you to split his “I AM” in two separate kinds of “I AMs” as well — a general providential I AM and a special selective I AM.

The only way to describe this Calvinistic god, is that he epitomizes schizophrenia. He is NOT the God of the Bible. (2 Corinthians 11:4; Galatians 1:6).

[1] De Villiers 2015:4, 11, 14–15

[2] Source

[3] “[Andrew Murray contented] that when Jesus Christ spoke of sickness it was always as of an evil caused by sin and that believers should be delivered from sickness because it attacks the body that is the temple of the Holy Spirit. He wrote that Christ took upon Himself the soul and body and redeems both in equal measure from the consequences of sin. Murray contrasts low-level Christians who enjoy no close fellowship with God, no victory over sin, and no power to convince the world with those who are “fully saved”, who enjoy unceasing fellowship with God and are holy and full of joy. Justification and sanctification are thus divided as two separate gifts of God where sanctification is obtained through a new and separate act of faith. He taught that sickness is a visible sign of God’s judgment, and that healing is granted according to the measure of the faith of the believer.”  H M van de Vyver, “Andrew Murray’s Theology of Divine Healing.”

[4] MacArthur’s pompous braggadocio that he never breaks or has broken God’s law is itself a travesty of God’s law which forbids all forms of lying (Exodus 20:16).

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Tom Lessing (Discerning the World)

Tom Lessing 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.

2 Responses

  1. I agree that you do not know Wommack from Adam.

    The belief that “God wants you well” and “God provides divine health and healing” (two typical Wommack maxims) could be harmful to your friend who is seriously ill and even cost her her life. Let me explain through an example. Pentecostalism has a long history of failed so-called divine healings. A. B. Simpson was the founder of the Christian and Missionary Alliance. He was a keynote speaker at many of their conferences. The Bethshan Conference on Holiness and Healing in London (1885) is regarded by many as a turning point in the origins of the modern Pentecostal movement. A. B. Simpson taught that saints who use doctors’ prescribed medicine were apostatizing their faith in God. Three young missionaries to Sudan who were influenced by his abominable teaching died in 1890 when they refused to take medicine. If God sent them to Sudan to preach the Gospel of salvation to the lost, it was Satan through A. B. Simpson who prevented perhaps hundreds of souls from getting saved, because Satan is a murderer (John 8:44), not God.

    Why did they and so many others to this day refuse to take medicine? Well, they are told “God wants you healed” and then, after they had lain their hands on the sick, the sick are told that they are healed. Then the long wait for their healing to visibly show positive results begins, whilst they refuse to take any medicine because they are told that it dishonors God, they suffer manifold psychological pains and sorrows. “Just confess your healing” they are told because “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” (Hebrews 11:1. In this way they twist Scripture to the detriment of sick people.

    Go ahead, don’t warn your friend against Wommack, and encourage her to follow his advice. It will only make you an accessory to her subsequent Wommack-woes.

    And speaking of Adam, this is the kind of heresies Wommack presents. The Berean Call wrote:

    Andrew Wommack, a word-faith teacher that majors on the promise of healing, teaches that Satan was originally on this earth in the Garden of Eden as Lucifer. He was God’s number one angel sent to earth to be a blessing to Adam and Eve. He was an angelic being sent to be their protector, to minister to them and serve them. He was there on a divine mission, still in his perfect state.

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