“Examine yourselves…”

Friday, October 12, 2018

Today, I am compelled by the Holy Spirit to issue a loving but sincere warning for those who hold to the theological traditions of John Calvin, otherwise known as Calvinism. Many hold to his theology knowing little to nothing of his life other than the assumption that he was a great theologian. Yet, his persecutions of those he judged heretical agree with the loveless works of Saul of Tarsus before he was born again and converted, and became the Apostle Paul.

Did Saul of Tarsus have great theological and academic credentials? Yes. Did he persecute those he judged heretical? Yes. Did John Calvin have great theological and academic credentials? Yes. And did John Calvin persecute, imprison and cause to be murdered the one he judged a heretic? Yes. But truth says, “though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing” (1 Cor. 13:2). Did Saul of Tarsus or John Calvin demonstrate love for their fellowman whom they judged a heretic? No. But true Christians love their fellowman, friend or foe.

Therefore, why would anyone, knowing these historical truths follow after the theological works of either Saul of Tarsus before his conversion, or John Calvin after his professed conversion? For God said, “Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves. You will know them by their fruits…A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit…Therefore by their fruits you will know them” (Matt. 7:15–20).

Like Saul of Tarsus before his conversion, and John Calvin after his professed conversion, the popes of Rome also pursued, persecuted and murdered those they judged as heretical. Calvin’s theology, therefore, of no ability and thus no responsibility, suits the natural heart of man. But God said, “Come now, and let us reason together” (Isa. 1:18), for we in fact have ability and responsibility. Man’s fall did not render him so depraved as to be without will or choice.

Anyone holding Calvin’s theology has the obligation to declare it openly. But most will not because Calvin’s first theological point of “Total Depravity” is dreadful. It claims that mankind does not have the ability to choose between good and evil, right or wrong, God or the devil; that humanity is so depraved as to have zero ability to choose. That doctrine itself is depraved, for the Holy Bible is rich with many examples that fallen mankind has the ability to choose.

I will not highlight all of Calvin’s falsehoods here, but I encourage you to examine them in light of all biblical truths, not ignoring Scriptures that fully oppose Calvin’s claims of predestination’s total depravity, unconditional election, limited atonement, irresistible grace, and perseverance of the saints, meaning once-saved-always-saved. And beyond that, sincerely “Examine yourselves as to whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Do you not know yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you? – unless indeed you are disqualified” (2 Cor. 13:5).

Consider any Protestant evangelist today. How would you view them if they influenced the government to burn alive at the stake or behead those they judged heretical? Would you follow their doctrine? Certainly not. Yet, John Calvin did it unapologetically and his theology attempts to absolve him of his responsibility. Today, if the masses understood and knew the truth, they would run from Calvin’s teachings. Why, because “by their fruits you will know them”.

Radicalized Muslims of Islam behead and burn alive at the stake those they count heretics. During the great tribulation Antichrist will behead millions of Christians because he will judge them to be heretics. That’s also the historical works of both Catholicism and Calvinism. You should see a pattern here, because “he who is spiritual judges all things” (1 Cor. 2:15).

Documented historical truth reveals that for centuries the creators of Roman Catholicism, its papal throne and Jesuit priests, pursued, persecuted and murdered those judged as heretics. With the onset, however, of the “increase of knowledge” (Dan. 12:4) and the information age of the 20th century, Catholicism by necessity changed its image to a kinder and gentler one, otherwise, Catholicism would not have endured to our day, but the same spirit(s) that created her, remained.

Documented historical truth also reveals that the creator of Calvinism, John Calvin, pursued, persecuted, and in at least one instance caused to be murdered those he judged a heretic. During his reign there was a chilling similarity of Calvin’s hatred and persecution of those he judged a heretic to that of Catholicism. But Calvinism, by necessity of survival, also had to change its public image to a gentler and kinder one, but the same spirit(s) that created it, remained.

The foundational works of violence and death by the sword of both Catholicism and Calvinism altogether miss the mark of biblical humility, dying to self, and love for God and neighbor that’s the hallmark of true new-birth conversion faith in Christ. In fact, Jesus said “love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven” (Matt. 5:44–45).

Calvinism’s dreadful form of predestination says that fallen mankind has zero ability to hear or respond to God, to choose to believe His Word by faith and so be saved. Calvinist’s believe that God, by His will, saves those He wants, even against their will, but damns others to death, also by His will. Thus, John Calvin having no ability or responsibility for his so-called salvation felt conveniently justified in pursuing, persecuting and even killing whom he judged heretical.

That is not from the God of the Bible. “For the death that He died, He died to sin once for all” (Rom. 6:10), with emphasis on “for all” which includes “all” people made in the image of God, “who desires all men to be saved” (2 Tim. 2:4); “who gave Himself a ransom for all” (2 Tim. 2:6). “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved” (John 3:16–17). That’s the God of the Bible, and in the love of Christ don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.

Marlin J. Yoder

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About the author

I'm a non-denominational ordained minister, and have written TheFridayLetter.com for many years and teach the truths of Jesus Christ with an emphasis on the end-times. This on-line and in-person ministry to which God called me helps many people to know the truths of Christ rather than traditions of men which make "the word of God of no effect" (Mark 7:13).


  1. The following is from an individual that has been following Marlin Yoder’s writing for some time and with much gratitude that he decided to continue his work for the Lord that I believe is not yet completed. The attached has been taken from an article entitled A Biblical View Of Once Saved Always Saved. I hope it will prove helpful and biblically enlightening as well as a confirmation to Marlin Yoder’s October 12, 2018 article entitled Examine Yourselves.

    Another Biblical View Of Once Saved Always Saved

    Something To Consider:
    In answering the disciple’s questions concerning end time events in Matthew 24, Jesus’ first and immediate response to His disciples and to us in this 21st century, was and still is, “Take heed [beware] that no one deceives you. For many will come in My name [as if Christian], and they [false prophets] will deceive many [not few and not some but many].” It is apparently clear according to Lessons Of A Lifetime and various articles posted on this website, that we do not adhere to, approve of, nor advocate the promotion of the so-called doctrine of Once Saved Always Saved.
    But rather, we believe the denial of biblical truth has been sanctioned by men within organized and established religious institutions in order to more successfully fill church pews with those who have itching ears to hear what they desire to hear rather than what the Word of God declares and what we all are in need of hearing. And if this is indeed the end result determination by Almighty God, deserved punishment will be administered. Until then, there is hope through prayer for the true enlightenment of more than just a few.
    Many believe John Calvin, 1509-1564, to be the original prescriber of this very much debated issue. Therefore, we have attached the following quote recorded and preserved for all future generations to read and to consider while seeking the truth regarding Once Saved Always Saved and the more biblical alternative of enduring to the end, according to Jesus, Peter, Paul, and others. The attached quote is by John Wesley, 1703-1791. This According To Jesus website has inserted the words [and others who have come in Christ’s name], and has also included Scripture references for further personal study.

    Something Else To Consider:
    John Wesley declared, “Calvinists [and others who have come in Christ’s name], who deny that salvation can ever be lost, reason on the subject in a marvelous way. They tell us that no virgin’s lamp can go out [contrary to Matthew 25.6-9]; no promising harvest can be choked with thorns [in opposition to Matthew 13.22]; that no pardon can ever be forfeited, and no name can be blotted out of God’s book of life [wrongfully disputing Exodus 32.33, Revelation 3.5, and Revelation 22.19]!
    They insist that no salt can ever lose its flavor [in total opposition to Jesus’s words in Matthew 5.13]; that no one can receive the grace of God in vain [contrary to Paul’s teaching of 2 Corinthians 6.1]; that no one can ever bury their talents [the reverse of what Jesus taught in Matthew 25.24-30]; or neglect such great salvation, or trifle away a day of grace [opposing the teaching of Hebrews 2.3]; and that no one can ever look back after putting his hand to the gospel plow [again in opposition to Jesus’ claim in Luke 9.62].”
    John Wesley also declared, “Calvinists [and others who have come in Christ’s name], also claim no one can grieve the Holy Spirit till He is quenched and strives no more with men [though Ephesians 4.30 explicitly commands men to not grieve the Holy Spirit]; nor that men can deny the Lord that bought them, nor that the same men could bring upon themselves swift destruction [just as Peter warns against false prophets and false teachers who will speak these contradictive words in 2 Peter 2.1-2 and declares that many will follow their destructive ways].”
    John Wesley continued, “They claim no one or body of believers can ever get so lukewarm that Jesus will spew them out of His mouth [in absolute defiance to Jesus’ teaching in Revelation 3.16]. They use reams of paper to argue that if one ever became lost he was never found [John 17.12]; and that if one falls, he never stood [Romans 11.16-20, Hebrews 6.4-6]; and if one was ever cast forth, he was never in, and if ever withered, he was never green [contrary to John 15.1-6].”
    John Wesley added, “Calvinists [and others who have come in Christ’s name], also claim that if man draws back, it proves he never had anything to draw back from [opposing Hebrews 10.38-39]; and that if one ever falls away into spiritual darkness, he was never enlightened [Hebrews 6.4-6]; and if you again get entangled in the pollutions of the world, it shows that you never escaped [which contradicts 2 Peter 2.20]; and if you put salvation away, you never had it to put away, and if you made shipwreck of faith, there was no ship of faith there [foolishly in complete defiance of 1 Timothy 1.19-20]!”

    Something More To Consider:
    John Wesley summed up his most insightful defense of Scripture, by his stating, “In short they say: ‘If you get it [salvation], you can’t lose it; and if you lose it you never had it.’ May God save us from accepting a doctrine that must be defended by such fallacious [or biblically unsound, deceptive, and destructively misleading] reasoning!”
    The only true means of our never being deceived, and worse, our never being guilty of deceiving others, is to hold fast to the Word of God with much godly conviction, more so than the fleeting deceptive words of religious appearing men. According to Jesus there is all eternity at stake for ourselves and for others. Therefore, let us never be found scattering the sheep astray through deception, but rather safely gathering, correctly teaching, biblically preparing, and comforting the sheep by means of the truth of Christ’s instructions, warnings, and conditional commands as preserved in the written Word of God. End time events according to Jesus must be clearly understood and spiritually prepared for in advance. “Take heed that no one deceives you.”
    The consequences of our disregard for God’s Word and warnings are serious and final. May all those who have ears to hear, indeed hear rightly what the Holy Spirit of God is speaking to this very possible end time generation. May we both truly hear and rightfully believe with an up to date present tense and enduring to the end faith and personal belief in Jesus! “He who testifies to these things says, ‘Surely I [Jesus] am coming quickly!’ Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus! The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen.”

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