Copied from the sermon notes of Pastor Don Elmore
July 2, 2017
Scripture Reading: Ephesians 1:11: “In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of Him who worketh all things after the counsel of His own will:”
I have quoted our President many times in this series, when he said that, Israel, meaning the Jews, are our great friend. That statement alone turns my stomach. It convinced me how I feel about our leader. It is the same as Pastor Ken Kemble felt of our last President, “He isn’t my President.”
But for the average Christian, Mr. Trump’s comments about this one subject don’t bother them. Why is this? It seems that very few Judeo-Christians will change their opinion about the Jews, even when they are told what Jews have said about the situation. Elizabeth Dilling is one of the rare ones. When she read in the Talmud about what the Jews believe about Jesus the Messiah, she was horrified and shocked. She changed her theology completely and spent her life trying to get the message out to her fellow Christians.
But there are many Christians who put down the importance of doctrine. Some say, “I have the Holy Spirit, why should I worry about correct doctrine?” The word “doctrine” is simply another word for “teaching.” The doctrines of Christianity are the teachings that define Christianity. If you claim to believe in Jesus and to be filled with the Holy Spirit, you are speaking in doctrinal terms. “Who is Jesus?” and “What does it mean to be filled with the Holy Spirit?” are doctrinal issues. And who chooses whom for salvation is another very important, fundamental Christian doctrine, isn’t it?
There are four basic positions in Christianity regarding who chooses whom for salvation:
The Calvinistic position; Predestination by God.
The Universal position; everyone who has ever lived are saved.
The Arminian position; man chooses.
The Christian-Identity position.
And they all can’t be correct! The doctrine of predestination, or election, has confused and separated Christians for generations. When the United States began as colonies, most of these original colonies had Calvinistic and Lutheran type churches and the doctrine that their reformation leaders believed was reflected in their preaching. They believed that God was sovereign, not man. It was God who chose a person to salvation, not the other way around.
So, in early America, it was mostly predestination that was taught in the land. When they said that they believe that we were “saved,” or “born-again,” or brought to faith in Jesus Christ, it was because God had chosen us for salvation. Both Martin Luther and John Calvin believed in predestination.
But if this doctrine of predestination is logically “pushed,” many difficult questions arise:
Does God choose individuals for damnation into hell?
Can the grace of God be resisted?
Did Jesus die for all sinners or only for the elect?
Can a Christian fall away from the faith?
Are missionaries needed?
These questions have caused major debates, even arguments, within Protestant Christianity. Denominations were formed because they held one position, and they left their previous denomination because of a conflict between the two or more positions.
This happened to me, too. I left one church and went to another after I discovered the Calvinistic view. The positions are so different that a person cannot hold two of the views at the same time. Did God choose or did man choose? That is the basic question.
Let us consider the participants and the particulars of the doctrines.
The French theologian John Calvin (1509-1564) was, after Martin Luther, the key figure in the Protestant Reformation. “Reformed” churches follow Calvin’s interpretation of Scripture. His massive Institutes of the Christian Religion set forth his systematic theology. Other Protestant predestination positions, except for the Lutheran position, were formulated out of reaction to Calvinism. Calvin’s understanding of predestination is summarized by five points. Each of the five letters in the word “TULIP” provides the first letter of the main doctrine of Calvinist theology. It is an easy way to remember what Calvinism teaches:
“T” is for Total Depravity: Because of the fall, man is unable of himself to believe the gospel for salvation. The sinner is “deaf, blind, and dead” to the things of God; his heart is deceitful and desperately corrupt. His will is not free, it is in bondage to his evil nature, therefore, he will not—indeed he cannot—choose good over evil in the spiritual realm.
“U” is for Unconditional Election: God’s choice of certain individuals unto salvation before the foundation of the world rested solely in His own sovereign will. His choice of sinners was not based on any foreseen response or obedience on their part, such as faith, repentance, etc. On the contrary, God gives faith and repentance to everyone whom he selects.
“L” is for Limited Atonement: Christ’s redeeming work was intended to save the elect only and secured salvation for them. His death was a substitutionary endurance of the penalty of sin in the place of certain specified sinners. The gift of faith is infallibly applied by the Spirit to all for whom Christ died, therefore guaranteeing their salvation.
“I” if for Irresistible Grace: In addition to the outward general call to salvation which is made to everyone who hears the Gospel, the Holy Spirit extends to the elect a special inward call that inevitably brings them to salvation. The external call (which is made to all without distinction) can be, and often is, rejected; whereas the internal call (which is made only to the elect) cannot be rejected; it always results in conversion. By means of this special call the Spirit irresistibly draws sinners to Christ.
“P” is for the Perseverance of the Saints: All who are chosen by God, redeemed by Christ, and given faith by the Spirit are eternally saved. They are kept in faith by the power of Almighty God and thus persevere to the end.
John Calvin’s system of theology, built upon the doctrine of election or predestination, has resulted in two primary reactions against it: Universalism and Arminianism
The major criticism of Calvin’s understanding of predestination was: It is not fair! Would God simply choose to send people to hell without offering them any opportunity for salvation? Some reacted against Calvin by the extreme teaching of “universal salvation”.
John Murray (1741-1815) believed that every individual shall in due time be separated from sin. Of Calvinist background, he was influenced by the Methodism of John Wesley but was converted to Universalism, the doctrine of universal redemption. He organized the first American Universalist Church in 1779 at Gloucester, Massachusetts.
Hosea Ballou (1771-1852), a New England theologian and clergyman, formulated the basic tenets of Universalism. Upon reacting against the Calvinist position on salvation of the elect only, he began teaching that all people are saved (universal salvation) and that there is no eternal punishment.
The Universalist Church of America and the American Unitarian Association merged in 1961 to form a single denomination—the Unitarian Universalist Association—which currently has about 173,000 members. Unitarian Universalists, because of their rejection of the doctrine of the Trinity and distortion of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, are not regarded as a Christian denomination by most main-stream Christians, although that is drastically changing.
Arminianism, which takes its name from Jacobus Arminius (Jakob Harmensen), is the theological opposite of Calvinism that limits the significance of the doctrine of predestination. Arminius (1560-1609) was a Dutch Reformed theologian who taught that God’s sovereign will and human free-will are compatible. The name Remonstrates was given to his followers who in 1610 drew up a document known as the Remonstrance.
This document set forth a major opposing view of Calvinism:
Man is not totally depraved;
Man chooses God; God does not choose man for salvation;
Christ died for all, not only for the elect;
Divine grace is resistible;
Christians can fall from grace, through free will, and be lost.
These affirmations constituted a rejection of the Calvinist interpretation of predestination. The Remonstrates were condemned by the Dutch Reformed Church at the Synod of Dort (1618-1619). Modern Protestant Arminianism, greatly influenced by 19th century Revivalism, counters the five points of Calvinism by declaring:
Although human nature was seriously affected by the fall, man has not been left in a state of total spiritual helplessness. Each sinner possesses a free will, and his eternal destiny depends on how he uses it.
- Satan casts his vote against you,
- God casts His vote for you,
- It is your decision of how you will vote that will break the tie.
But that makes salvation like the democratic process. But the big question is if a person has never heard about the God of the Bible how can he vote for Him to be in his life!
- God’s choice of certain individuals unto salvation before the foundation of the world was based upon His foreseeing that they would respond to His call. He selected only those whom He knew would of themselves freely believe the Gospel.
- Christ’s redeeming work made it possible for everyone to be saved but did not actually secure the salvation of anyone.
- The Spirit calls inwardly all those who are called outwardly by the Gospel invitation. He does all that He can to bring every sinner to salvation, but since man is free, he can successfully resist the Spirit’s call. The Spirit cannot regenerate the sinner until he believes. Faith (which is man’s contribution) precedes and makes possible the new birth.
- Those who believe and are truly saved can lose their salvation by failing to keep up their faith, etc. All Arminians have not been in agreement on this point; some have held that believers are eternally secure in Christ, that once a sinner is regenerated, he can never be lost.
This is the conflict. What does the Bible say about these issues? What is Christian-Identity’s position?
When I first came to the belief that Christian-Identity Churches held, I was surprised by what they taught on these issues. Some that go by the name of Christian-Identity hold to views that cover all three of the above positions:
But I have found that most of the Christian-Identity churches do not preach on this subject very much. It is just sort of an unspoken teaching. But this presents a major problem:
- The modern Christian church does not have the true knowledge of the covenant people, so they have no chance of the true solution.
- The Christian-Identity churches have the knowledge of who the correct covenant people are, so they are the only ones that have the possibility of an accurate solution.
I was reared in an American Baptist Church, which is historically wrong, to begin with. How can you have any “Baptist” church that accepts individuals into their membership of people of other denominations without baptizing them with a “Baptist” baptism? Our church accepted Lutherans, Presbyterians, Amish, Episcopalians, Methodists, Pentecostals and even Roman Catholics. No one was rejected. No one had to be baptized again, as it was in the old days. They were accepted by a letter from their former non-Baptist church if they had been baptized by their former church. They could have been sprinkled, dipped, or immersed.
The Community American Baptist Church I was raised in was also an Arminian church. When I was 21 years old, I joined another Arminian Baptist church. But this church had a historic fundamental church position, for they taught that they were neither Catholic nor Protestant. They believed they were descended from the original churches that Jesus Christ’s disciples had started. Just like we are descended from someone in that time, so was their church.
Then I read in a church newsletter about the Calvinistic doctrine. I had never heard of it before. I was confused. I ordered the newsletter from the respective church that published the Calvinistic teaching and read and read and read. Then one day I asked a visiting preacher about some of the questions that arose from the Calvinistic position. He graciously answered my questions. He wasn’t correct, but he answered the questions the way any Arminian would. But my pastor heard me asking the visiting preacher the questions, and immediately he considered me an enemy. He was wrong, but that is what he did. I was soon gone from that church.
So, I went to the church that printed the newsletter. It was about a four-hour drive one way. I went every Sunday. They had a Sunday morning service and a Sunday night service. I stayed for both and drove back home. At the end of the year I quit my teaching job and then looked for a job where that church was located.
Seven years later, I repeated the process—although I found a teaching job first and then quit my job. I went to Eastern Tennessee and became a member of a very small church in Southwestern Virginia. It had a pot-belly stove and an outhouse. It was an Independent Baptist Church that taught Calvinism too. It knew that Christmas and Easter were wrong, but it taught what most Churches teach—that the covenant people were the Jews. I left after six years.
I had read in the Spotlight newsletter about a tape from Arnold Murray. It was a sermon that dealt with the two seedlines in the Bible. I knew nothing about this. If fact, I had never even heard of this before. So, I ordered the two-set tapes and played them on my tape recorder while going to bed. I stayed awake, playing the tapes repeatedly. This was my introduction to Christian Identity.
I visited Arnold’s church on several feast day occasions, and asked him if he knew of any church that was close to where I lived. He knew of none.
For one time in my life, I didn’t go anywhere to church on Sunday. But my mother got cancer in her eye, and I came home to Cincinnati where she lived. She had to have here eye quickly removed before the cancer had spread to her liver, and she was given an artificial eye. She lived for about 13 more years.
While I was living in Cincinnati, I met my future wife. She was reared as a Lutheran and was of Swedish heritage as her grandparents both immigrated from Sweden. She, later in life, was going to the Presbyterian Church in our area, that had the reputation as being very conservative. I went a couple of times to her church while we were dating.
Later, I also found a very small Episcopal church that we went to. It taught that Jesus Christ had gone to England when He was a young man. Could you imagine that! They even had books on that subject. They had broken off from the main Episcopal Church over several issues…I don’t recall now what they were exactly, but only that they were very liberal ideas. But I remember where we met. It was in the basement of the Masonic Lodge in Norwood. How crazy is that!
And the rest of the story is that I eventually met John Norton. He had a Bible study at his home every weekend. He invited me and I came. He was the teacher, and he taught Christian Identity material, and that was okay with me. But within six months, he was dead and he had passed the mantle to me.
On his death bed, he made me promise to continue the Bible study. He had said that he always wanted to have a church. I told him that I would teach as “long as at least one person showed up.” Well, there has always been at least one person show up.
There were four main families that were left after he died. We decided to meet, in a rotating basis, in each other’s place of residence, once each week. One person of these four is still left, and he is sitting in the back pew on the right hand of me. And that is how we met for about a year and a half. Soon, we began to grow. And we decided to rent a room in a motel. We met on Saturdays, as we knew we weren’t a church.
Harrison and his wife, who was one of the four families, said to me one day, “Have you heard of Dan Gayman who pastors “The Church of Israel?” I hadn’t and he explained to me that he had a large feast day celebration at his church. So, off we went. We went there for the feast day celebrations for several years.
Eventually Pastor Gayman asked me: “Why don’t you get ordained?” So I asked the Bible study group about the situation and they agreed. It took me two years to become ordained. Immediately after I receive my ordination, we began meeting on Sundays and we became a church.
From meeting in each other’s homes and apartments, to renting a room in the motel room, to renting a room over a pet shop, to buying the building on Camp Ernst, and once the state bought that from us, we are now meeting in a very small room once again. What a journey! Many people have come and gone.
We learned of a church in Indiana that we fellowshipped with. It was Pastor Jerry Wickey’s church. After he left the Amish faith, which is the belief that he grew up with, he went to Herbert Armstrong’s church, and then when that church fell apart, started the church in Indiana. He taught me many wonderful Biblical facts about the world of pre-flood days that I had never even thought of, let alone ever taught. After all these yearswe still consider his church to be friends with us.
But our church had one terrible split. It split us almost right down the middle. Some people left over some minor doctrines; others left over some major doctrines. But they left a church that teaches the one doctrine that no other church teaches.
Some of the former members have gone to the Presbyterian church that teaches the Calvinistic position. But that church doesn’t teach this doctrine.
Some have returned to the Roman Catholic Church and its Arminian position. But that church doesn’t teach this doctrine.
Some of gone to mega-churches, which teach the Arminian position. But that church doesn’t teach this doctrine.
What is so special about what Christian-Identity teaches that no other church teaches? Why does the prison system fight so hard against this teaching? They allow just about any other strange, deranged, anti-Christian religion, but fight against the one that has some truth in it.
Here are a couple of doctrines that the modern church world does not address but Christian-Identity does:
What about Israel in the Bible?
God made everlasting covenants with only Israel; He gave His laws, statutes and ordinances to only Israel; He loves only Israel; He commissioned the Messiah to help Him redeem only both houses of Israel; His had His temple built by only Israel; His Son was married only to Israel; His Son was King over only Israel; His Son was divorced only from Israel; His Son died only for Israel; His Son was resurrected only for Israel; His risen Son will marry only Israel again; His Son will once again only be King over the Kingdom of Israel.
So, who is Israel? Does Israel mean anything different in the New Testament than it did in the Old Testament? Is it special in the New Testament, too?
Luke 1:16, 33:
16) “And many of the children of Israel shall He [the Messiah] turn to the LORD their God.
33) And He [the Messiah] shall reign over the House of Jacob forever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end.”
The Scriptures show that the total law--namely the Commandments, Statutes and Judgments--were given exclusively to Israel as part of a covenant. There were promises made and responsibilities given to Israel that were not made to other races. Can you provide any Scripture which shows that the other races were given the laws of God?
19) “He showeth His word unto Jacob, His statutes and His judgments unto Israel.
20) He hath not dealt so with any nation: and for His judgments, they [that is, the other nations] have not known them. Praise ye the LORD.”
These many, from the House of Jacob, that the Messiah reigns over in His “forever” Kingdom are totally restrictive and are impossible to generalize. However, could “the House of Jacob” refer to all races of the world? It is only a small remnant of the world’s population. The “House of Jacob” does not refer to the other nations of the world, but is exclusively the Israel nations.
In our introductory verse, it said who “obtained an inheritance.” I received an inheritance when my father passed away. You probably did too when your father died. It is racial. Why wouldn’t it be racial in this verse. It was predestined by God that His children would receive the inheritance when the Son of their Father died.
Now let us look at a second question that the Judeo-Christian churches have wrongly interpreted and misused.
The popular churches in Christendom teach that after any individual becomes “saved” he then becomes one of God’s people.
But is this what it says in the Scripture? Does a person become saved first, and then become one of God’s people; or is it the other way around--a person is one of God’s people and then he becomes saved.
It is “His people” [i.e. Israel] whom the Messiah came to save who were originally His Father’s people, but who were in a state of total depravity.
Matthew 1:21: “And you shall call his name JESUS, for he shall save His people from their sins.”
Luke 1:68: “Blessed be the LORD God of Israel for He hath visited and redeemed His people.”
Most of apostate Christianity uses quotes from the book of Ephesians to disprove this concept in their own eyes. The Scriptures clearly teach that fallen man is not capable of cooperating with God in spiritual matters. He is spiritually dead and an enemy of God. For example:
Ephesians 2:1: "And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins.”
Ephesians 4:18: “Having the understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God through the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart.”
I once heard a preacher say that pronouns are very important in the study of the Scriptures. He was so very correct. For example, what do the pronouns; “you”, “who”, “them” and “their” mean in these two verses? Do these pronouns refer to everyone who has ever lived? Or do these pronouns refer to everyone who has ever lived since the death and resurrection of Jesus the Messiah?
For example: Does Ephesians 2:1 mean, “And everyone who has ever lived in the days of the New Testament hath He quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins.” This is what the modern Christianity believes it says.
But who was the author of this book, Paul through the Holy Spirit, writing to?
Ephesians 1:1, 4-5:
1) “Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God to the saints which are at Ephesus, and to the faithful in Christ Jesus.”
4) “According as He hath chosen us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love:
5) Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will
Could we say that the pronoun “you” in the 2nd chapter of Ephesians was not talking about any New Guinea native? And if that is true, it isn’t saying that the New Guinea natives were chosen and predestinated. It was addressed to the church at Ephesus, Turkey, not to everyone in the world with no exceptions.
And then we eventually come to chapter 2, verse 11:
Ephesians 2:11: “Wherefore remember, that ye being in time past Gentiles in the flesh, who are called Uncircumcision by that which is called the Circumcision in the flesh made by hands;”
Who is the “ye” in this verse? Remember, the church world claims that the “ye” means everyone who has lived in the New Testament days. To be more specific, they mean everyone who was alive three years after the death of their Savior.
And this verse says that the Gentiles (who the church world believes is non-Jews) were called uncircumcision by the Jews (the church world believe this is the Jews). That means that they were called “uncircumcision” by the “Circumcision.” Did the Jews even know where New Guinea was located, let alone did they any of its natives? When did this happen?
Who are the “Circumcision”? Most of the clergy of the Church world would say that the “Circumcision” would refer to the Jews. They would be incorrect, but that is what they would reply. But that wouldn’t fit either. When did a Jew call a New Guinea native, “uncircumcision”? They never saw even saw these strange natives.
Ephesians 2:12: “That at that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world:”
This is who the Apostle Paul was writing to. He wasn’t writing to everyone in the world, he was writing to the saints who were living in Ephesus, who at one time were called “Gentiles” who were aliens from the Commonwealth of Israel. Now, were the New Guinea natives “aliens from the Commonwealth of Israel?” They weren’t then and never shall be, for the Commonwealth of Israel is racial.
Were the natives of New Guinea “strangers from the covenants of promise”? Yes, they were and they still are. They are not a part of the covenant of promise that our Father made with our fathers; Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. They had a different group of fathers. In other words, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob are not in their family line.
The covenant made with Abraham was a one-sided covenant. Abraham was in a deep sleep when God walked between the two rows of the slaughtered three-year old heifer, the three-year old goat, the three-year old ram, and the turtledove and the young pigeon. God made the covenant with only Abram. And it was passed on to his seed. It is racial.
So, who are the Gentiles that the Apostle Paul is writing to? There is only one group of people that it could be. And that is what Christian-Identity has that the world hates and most preachers don’t know. The “gentiles” or “nations” that the Apostle Paul was writing to in Ephesus was the Israelites who were part of the covenant of promise, but lost it when they were divorced by the Son of God.
The “lost tribes of the house of Israel” were at one time married to their King. Once divorced they lost all the promise of the inheritance. Except, God was faithful to His covenant. God had kept the covenant, Israel had not and had been scattered. The Apostle Paul is informing the divorced Israelites, that after seven hundred years they can be adopted back into the Commonwealth of Israel once more and receive the covenant of promises. Those that were once “far off” are made “near” by the blood of Jesus the Messiah.
And what could a divorced Israelite do at this time? Was there anything that he could do that could change the mind of His sovereign God? He was truly, “dead in trespasses and sins.” He was the only one in that terrible condition. He was totally depraved.
If Jesus the Messiah had not come, if He was not born of a pure Israelite woman, if He did not live a sinless life, if He was not sacrificed at the right time, if He was not resurrected, then all the Israelites would have been doomed forever. Not one of them ever would be saved. There was nothing they could do to earn the righteousness of God.
Who was saved in the Old Testament?
The main-stream churches all teach that it was mainly Israel who was saved in the Old Testament writings. Some will add that there were a few, very few, people from other races who experienced salvation. They give as examples:
Ruth, the Moabitess
The wife of Joseph
The city of Nineveh
But even these names do not hold up under some study in the Scriptures, but even if it did, it would be a very, very small number of people who were saved in the Old Testament compared to the whole population of the world.
And what about the natives of New Guinea? Were any of them ever saved in the Old Testament? And what about the giants? Were any of them saved? Were any of the Canaanites saved? Were any of the Edomites saved? The main-stream Christian Churches totally ignore this question, because they have no answer that will satisfy their position on the salvation of the New Testament.
Besides the natives of New Guinea, what about the Indians of South America, the Orientals of Japan, China and Korea, the Polynesians in the Pacific Islands, the Negroes of Africa, etc. None of these millions of inhabitants were saved because most of them never heard of Israel, Jesus the Christ, God’s law, etc.
So, let us repeat the same question: Were any of these people ever saved in the Old Testament? The answer is No. And the reason we know this is because they never even heard of Jesus Christ at all. Almost all of them in the Old Testament days, and most of them in the New Testament until the last 200 years never had the opportunity to be saved. The only exception were the people who were living in the vicinity of the middle east.
But they have a new doctrine in the last 100 or so years. Like the Southern Baptists, they have changed completely their doctrine. They have repented of their racist doctrine and now teach racial reconciliation.
There are just so many things that are taught in the modern-day churches that simply are not true. Much of what most people believe is based on half-truths and sentimentality that has been passed down over the years. Yet, the origin of many doctrinal problems can be traced back to Rome.
Rome, or Babylon is described in Scripture as “the mother of harlots” who seeks to deceive the whole earth. Belief must be the right belief. Satan tempted the Messiah to bow down and worship him through misapplying or misquoting the Word of God. Rome believes she has the right to rule not only “The Church” in like manner, but also to rule over all the world.
But the truth is that it is the pure seed of Israel, as the seed of Abraham through Isaac and Jacob, that is to rule with God--NOT the Church of Rome. The battle between the pure, holy seed of Israel verses the mongrel, seed of the universal church will fight until one of them is no longer here. Who will win? Hasn’t the God of Israel already decided. And if He has already decided, doesn’t that prove that He chooses?
Blessed be the LORD God of Israel.
To be continued.