Calvinism is a true masterwork of deception, with twisting and turning of the truth, to create something other than the truth. This is never more true than in its accessment of God, man, and Satan.
God is truth
John 14:6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.
Rev 3:7 he that is true (Christ)
In Hebrew the word for “truth” means firmness, faithfulness, strong, firm. In Greek it has a concept of “reality”, what really is. The essence of truth is the “sameness” between what a thing presents itself as, and the reality of that being or situation. The opposite of truth is a lie, a deception, a projected perception that does not correspond with reality.
A good example here is simply “hypocrite” or actor. A Hollywood actor projects himself (his character, actions, emotions, being) as something that he is not. A magician projects a false reality. He presents to his audience a woman that he puts into a box and cuts her in half, but after apparently cutting her in half, he presents her without any harm afterwards. This is presenting a false reality, and it is deception pure and simple.
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It is not part of the character of God that He uses or has deception within Himself, or His character or actions.
The Moral Character of Truth.
Truth is real (has reality), but not every reality is truth. For example, a man can rape a woman, and this may be reality, but it is not moral truth. Moral truth would be to NOT RAPE the woman, but to marry one woman and be sexually pure and faithful to that woman. In that case, the man would be living moral truth.
The Scriptures make very little distinction many times in what is reality and what is moral truth. The two in many occasions just seem to be the same thing. But the big difference between moral truth and reality is that moral truth has an eternal factor in it, and every moral agent (God, Satan, angels, and men) have to take a disposition in favor of or against that moral truth.
Returning to our illustration of a man raping a woman, the truth of God is that every man should have only one woman, and he should marry that woman before sexual activity with her, and he should limit his actions and thoughts to that one woman, in what is morally correct for a man to do or how he should treat her before God. Every man has a disposition towards this truth. Even a single man will honor this concept or discard it for himself (thinking unpure thoughts towards women he sees, or just imagining women to fornicate with in his mind).
God’s character resides in truth
John 14:6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.
Jesus identifies himself as being “the truth” (I am the truth). This is a concept of the being of God. God is truth, moral truth, moral goodness. Truth is not “what exists”, reality, but it has certain moral elements or character that goes with it. Truth is highly related to justice.
1John 2:21 I have not written unto you because ye know not the truth, but because ye know it, and that no lie is of the truth. 22 Who is a liar but he that denieth that Jesus is the Christ? He is antichrist, that denieth the Father and the Son.
Recognition of “the truth”, as in “the truth of God”, is very closely connected with Jesus Christ, and John can even go so far as to exclude all lies from the truth of God (Jesus Christ), and to equate denying Jesus as the Christ is to oppose God, oppose Christ (you make yourself an anti, or against, Christ), and you are a “liar” (i.e. the truth is not in you).
Rev 3:7 of Jesus, John says, “he that is true“.
Rev 19:11 Jesus “was called Faithful and True”.
“In truth” occurs 12 times in the N.T. and refers to the way of doing something.
Mat 22:16 and Mark 12:14 declare that Jesus taught the way of God “in truth”, meaning that there must be two ways of teaching the doctrine of Scripture, a truthful way, and a deceptive way. Apparently this truthful way is one in which the light of the truth is allowed to break forth, and the deceptive way somehow teaches still even so, but does not teach way or how God wants (not according to the will of God). Jesus didn’t do this as in contrast to the Jewish teachers of his day.
Scripture presents us with “the way of God” as an expression of the being and esence of God as being aligned with truth.
Ps 33:4 For the word of the LORD [is] right; and all his works [are done] in truth.
1Sam 15:29 And also the Strength of Israel will not lie nor repent: for he [is] not a man, that he should repent.
Num 23:19 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?
Heb 6:18 That by two immutable things, in which [it was] impossible for God to lie, we might have a strong consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold upon the hope set before us:
Deut 32:4 [He is] the Rock, his work [is] perfect: for all his ways [are] judgment: a God of truth and without iniquity, just and right [is] he.
What these and many more verses like these establish is the character of God. Calvinism weaves a complicated, logical, and erroneous system (it is not true and faithful doctrine because it makes invalid conclusions that overturn clear teaching of Scripture in other places), which works to overturn what God wants His children to do and be. God does not work deceptively with us, offering us one thing fully well knowing that it is not up to us to accept His offer or not, being elected and preprogrammed. What he is and says is true. We have full confidence in Him and His promises that they are fully life and truth.
To sum up this point, God does things in a truthful, open and honest, way. His methods and ways of working are not deceptively hidden. He does not reveal everything, this is true, and not revealing everything is not necessarily evil, because it is more appropriate to not reveal all information. This is the concept of “prudence”, to only say or do what is appropriate for you and your situation. But the overwhelming teaching of Scripture is that God does not work in a deceptive way, but Satan does.
Salvation involves the integration oneself with moral truth
John 18:37 Pilate therefore said unto him, Art thou a king then? Jesus answered, Thou sayest that I am a king. To this end was I born, and for this cause came I into the world, that I should bear witness unto the truth. Every one that is of the truth heareth my voice.
There is a moral disposition of each individual towards the truth that identifies that person. Saved people will harken (take note of to be directed by what he hears) to the truth. In John 18:37, Jesus comes to bear witness to the truth, that is, to reveal it, and to esteem it highly for its true value. Those who “are of the truth” will therefore listen to Jesus. This idea of salvation being highly involved with true is an aspect of God, His character, His morality, that means the child of God will be like his Heavenly Father. There are no exceptions in this. When a person “responds” in the sense of accepting for himself, of installing this truth he sees in Jesus into his own personal character and life, this is the reception of Jesus which goes hand in hand with salvation.
2Thess 2:10 And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. 11 And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: 12 That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.
Unrighteousness has a deception in its essence. The character of immorality deceives the person walking in immorality. This person is identified as “not having received the love of the truth, that they might be saved.” So salvation hinges on this desire for truth as it is in the very essence of God.
John 3:21 But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God.
The concept of “doing truth” reflects exactly this moral character of truth. It is something that one “adheres to” or imposes in his own life, or simply put, “he does truth”. I am a missionary to Mexico, so I use the Spanish Bible, and I like its rendering of this verse, “But he that practices the truth comes to the light.” The idea is a constant repetition in doing the truth.
John 4:23 But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him.
True worship before God involves a spiritual means of worship (worshipping in our spirit), and it involves worshipping God in our spirit, but imposes or making our being to follow God’s moral truth in a spiritual extension (not just outwardly in the flesh, but also inwardly in the spirit).
John 8:32 And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.
Knowing a certain reality (truth) will not necessarily liberate a person. Even knowing the salvation of God which is in Jesus Christ, that greatest of all truths will not liberate you from the bondage and dominion of sin by just knowing (about) it with head knowledge. This kind of “knowing” that liberates us is a personal, intimate, devotional involvement. This is the same sense of “knowing” as when the Bible says that a certain man “knew” his wife. It is a deep personal involvement, that goes down to the most profound and intimate parts of a person’s beings. This kind of knowing of the truth will liberate.
Satan is the father of all deception
John 8:43 Why do ye not understand my speech? [even] because ye cannot hear my word. 44 Ye are of [your] father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it. And because I tell [you] the truth, ye believe me not.
The difference between how God works and how Satan works is as clear as day and night. Satan presents his “fatherhood”, desiring men to follow his deception. There apparently is a strong tie between lies (deception) and murder (harming others). The concept is that these two go together.
God presents us with the offer of salvation
In the will and way of God, He presents all mankind with the offer of salvation. Turn and live. Leave off sinning (repent), and you will have eternal life. Is this true? Is it within the hands of man to make a decision and procure for himself eternal life? The Calvinist answers no. God lied, God lies, God deceives, because man is totally incapable (total inability) to even make that kind of decision. His sinful human nature has made man incapable of accepting Jesus as his Saviour, incapable of exercising any kind of repentance nor faith that would lead him or provide him with eternal life. This trusting of Jesus (“faith” also means trust) is beyond his ability says the Calvinist.
So does God present us with the offer of eternal life? Obviously from Scripture this is true. Is God’s offer of salvation (eternal life) a lie, a deception, or a “trick”? The Calvinist would presume to inform us from his profound “better knowledge of God than what the Scriptures can tell us” that God seems to offer, but He really doesn’t. His offer is not based on what man decides, but on what the eternal lottery machine in heaven before the foundation of the world decided for that person. Calvinist have no qualms about declaring that everybody’s fate was decided by God in eternity past, and nobody is saved, nor are they lost because of a personal decision that they make to repent and trust Jesus as their Saviour. The “truth” for them is that they have to act as God has predetermined them that they have to act, and in the end they will all go to the eternal destiny that God alone has decided for them.
But then God works deception in offering the plan of salvation to all men? According to the Calvinist, this is the very basis of God (the underlying truth for them is election and perdition while outward it just appears to be an offer of salvation).
Who is deceptive then? Well, according to the Calvinist, actually God is deceptive because He seems to offer man salvation as his own decision, as a decision which he has to make to get it, or a refusal with cause him eternal damnation.
Who is the innocent (righteous)? According to the Calvinist, God has preprogrammed our actions, our nature, and nobody can overrule this overbearing (“sovereign”) will of God. Therefore, Adam and Eve sinned not because they chose an incorrect course of action, but because God had preprogrammed them to fail. Sin entered the world because God who absolutely controls everything to the absolute exclusion of all other moral agents willed that sin should enter the world. Poor man, he is a sinner because God willed it. Well, what about Satan and the demons, well, equally they are not morally responsible for their own actions according to the Calvinist, so therefore, they had to sin and rebel against God. They are just “caught in the middle” like the men who are destined to perdition. This logic of the Calvinist venerates Satan and man as being puppets under God’s control, not having any other option as far as their will, and therefore God is responsible for their eternal destiny, and for all that brought them to that destiny, and all that did not happen for them to have eternal life.
WHEN YOU DENY that man was created in the likeness of God, a moral agent, able to reason, think, decide, and act as a person, free of anybody forcing him to act in a particular way, yet influenced by many others in his decisions, then you also remove all responsibility from man’s shoulders and place the blame or glory on whomever preprogrammed that person.
The Bible does not teach this. Man is responsible for his actions and decisions as well as Satan and the angels. When man does something good, then he is responsible, and his influences also receive glory (God, and other godly influences). When man sins, he is first and foremost responsible for his own actions, but also Satan, his human nature which is a constant propensity towards sinning, and other people (both unsaved and saved) that act as moral examples and influences are responsible for that person’s sinning. Even a Christian can trip up another person and cause them to sin, and therefore the concept of “having a good testimony” becomes very important in Scripture. If all moral decisions are preprogrammed by God from eternity past, then it would make no difference how we act.
The end of the game was decided before it began, so our actions are of no consequence, no matter how you look at it.
This is the end purpose of Calvinism, to convince people to moral inactivity, because no matter what anybody does, it does not change the outcome God has predecided. Calvinism teaches that God is deceptive in making it seem our actions can change anything. Satan becomes the “good guy”, because he is just an “unwilling” pawn in the plans of God. Man is likewise just a pawn, to be used without any real consideration as a moral agent.
Many Calvinists would take issue with what I say here. Their attacks would point up the truth of Scripture, that God does hold man morally accountability for his individual life and actions. They would profusely proclaim their loyalty to Calvinism, and they would object that they don’t hold these views of Calvinism that I present here.
My answer would be this, that many Calvinists are saved, and simply cannot go down the road of Calvinism to its end, which is exactly where hyper-Calvinists are. But they are on the road, and to stop short is not to “give off the road altogether”. If God is truth, and your particular roll or brand of Calvinist (because no two Calvinists are alike, they all reject and accept, push and hide, different points), but if your brand is that election is the principle thing, and that your understanding of election is that man has no say in his eternal fate, then you have a conflict.
God either offers salvation as a choice to man, meaning that it is within the ability of man to respond or not, given evil and godly influences on both sides (truely a moral and spiritual battle raging for his soul), or it is predecided and “out of his hands.” Which is it? If it is out of his hands, then God is presenting the most important thing in all eternity in a fraudulent manner. An offer that is predecided, is a fraud. Circus and fairs have this all the time, a “game of chance” but the owner of the game predecides what the outcome will be, and the civil justice system sees this as fraud, evil, and wrong. Why would it be any different if God did?
God is good, Satan is bad. God does things in ways which we do not understand, but are not morally wrong. Satan deceives us offering us something perceived as good for us, but in reality isn’t.
Deception belongs to the father of lies, Satan. God doesn’t operate in this way.