His Doctrine Summarized: “You really leave me no choice but to predestinate you to eternal torment.”
Calvin, the Murderer
The Lord Jesus Christ laid out a simple guideline for identifying the true and false among us. He said:
“You can tell what they are by what they do. No one picks grapes or figs from thorn bushes. A good tree produces good fruit, and a bad tree produces bad fruit. A good tree cannot produce bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot produce good fruit. Every tree that produces bad fruit will be chopped down and burned. You can tell who the false prophets are by their deeds” (Matthew 7:16-20 CEV).
Aside from any discussion of doctrines, by this criterion alone John Calvin was a false prophet of the first order. How do we know? Because he condoned and excused, when not initiating it himself, the persecution and murder of those who opposed his doctrines and position. These are not the good fruits of a man of God.
We need not even prove the falsehood of Calvin’s doctrines to identify him as preeminent among the many false teachers professing Christ, though we can do that too. What the Lord gave us in this one simple directive is more than sufficient for judging this man by his fruits. One such as Calvin who kills others because they differ with his beliefs is a murderer.
That is precisely what Saul of Tarsus was before he was turned by God:
“Then Saul, still breathing murderous threats against the disciples of the Lord, went to the high priest and requested from him letters of authority to the synagogues of Damascus, that if he should find any who were of the Way, both men or women, he might bring them, having been bound, to Jerusalem” (Acts 9:1-2 EMTV).
And Jesus said to him: “Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me?” (Acts 9:4 EMTV)
After the Lord turned him, did Saul then persecute and slay real heretics, unlike the true brethren of Christ and children of God whom he had previously persecuted in his ignorance and religious zeal? Never! He was now found to be the persecuted one, by those that were his former comrades in unbelief; they stoned him, whipped him, beat him with rods, and then killed him. Why did they do this? Because of the gospel Paul preached. They could not bear to hear the Truth. They said: “Get rid of this man! He doesn’t deserve to live” (Acts 22:22 CEV).
John Calvin said the same thing of Michael Servetus, a man that dared to disagree with his cherished doctrinal formulations. Seven years before Calvin actually saw to it that Servetus was put to death, he said: “If he [Servetus] comes [to Geneva], I shall never let him go out alive if my authority has weight.”
Calvin made good on his threat. Why? Because he had no answers to Michael Servetus’ correction of his false doctrines, and he could not bear to be proven wrong and to lose face. The temporal power he had taken to himself was predicated on being right. He was a very proud man; God resists the proud.
What Shall True Believers Do with Heretics?
While the apostle Paul did not kill or threaten anyone, he was not afraid or moved by what men could do to him. He protected the sheep of Christ by naming the false teachers and their influences, shining the light on them and their errors, but never by seeking their physical harm or deaths:
“That sort of talk is like a sore that won’t heal. And Hymenaeus and Philetus have been talking this way by teaching that the dead have already been raised to life. This is far from the truth, and it is destroying the faith of some people” (2 Timothy 2:17-18 CEV).
“Alexander the coppersmith did me much harm. May the Lord repay him according to his works; whom you also should guard against, for he has greatly resisted our words” (2 Timothy 4:14-15 EMTV).
We guard against heresies and evil attitudes by identifying and avoiding them, not by killing those who manifest such. The necessary putting away is to not honor, associate with, or follow the wicked in their ways.
Did Paul call on men to repay the evildoers? No, he identified them and their evil for the sake of those who would listen, recognizing and proceeding according to the Lord’s injunction:
“Behold, I send you out as sheep in the midst of wolves. Therefore, be wise as serpents and harmless as doves” (Matthew 10:16 LITV).
Paul left it to God to judge those opposed to the gospel, and was willing to pay the price for his stance with his own blood, which he did. The saints shed their blood for, and not the blood of, sinners.
How Shall True Believers React to Unbelievers?
What else are we to learn from Paul and his conversion from a violent persecutor of Christ’s brethren to a man who took much abuse for the privilege of being identified with Jesus Christ? Paul himself gives us the answer that he received of the Lord:
“However, because of this I was shown mercy, so that in me first Jesus Christ might show forth all longsuffering, as a pattern for those who are going to believe on Him for everlasting life” (1 Timothy 1:16 EMTV).
John Calvin does not fit this pattern – quite the opposite. He did not suffer those that disagreed with him even to live. He played the part of persecutor. He set an evil example, against the admonition of the apostle John:
“We are not to resemble Cain, who was a child of the Evil One and killed his own brother. And why did he kill him? Because his own actions were wicked and his brother’s actions righteous” (1 John 3:12 WNT).
Can anyone truly defend Calvin? Amazingly enough, many try to do so in the Name of Christ. They do not realize they have put their hand in the hand of a murderer, and now their hands are also stained with the blood of the saints, whom Calvin persecuted and yet persecutes by his spirit that lives in those who follow him. For they were not heretics that Calvin persecuted, but the very brethren of Christ. As Jesus said to His brothers:
“Certainly, the time is coming when people who murder you will think that they are serving God” (John 16:2 GW).
The Scriptures are not ambiguous about Calvin’s works and their origin:
“Everyone hating his brother is a murderer. And you know that no murderer has everlasting life abiding in him” (1 John 3:15 MKJV).
Is Doctrine the Issue?
Those defending Calvin do so based on several lines of reasoning. Let us look more closely at this matter to see how these defenses hold up to the facts. We will not be dependent on third parties for information, but will hear what those involved said for themselves, which is very instructive. There is no need for speculation or guessing, and that would not do anyway. Nothing but the untainted Truth is of value for teaching and instruction in the ways of God. Let all hearts be implanted with the wholesome and liberating Truth!
I have mentioned that Calvin killed Servetus over doctrine. Was this the real reason that he solicited and supported this man’s murder? Have we not just heard that Cain killed his brother because his brother was righteous, accepted of God, whereas his own works were evil, and not accepted? There is the outward reason or excuse that men give, and then there is the true internal motivation; the two are not the same, as you shall see as we proceed and the hearts are laid bare according to their own words:
“A good man from the good stored up in his heart brings out what is good; and an evil man from the evil stored up brings out what is evil; for from the overflow of his heart his mouth speaks” (Luke 6:45 WNT).
There were two main charges of official religiousdom, represented by Calvin, against Servetus. Those were that he spoke against (1) the doctrine of the trinity and (2) infant baptism.
This is similar to another situation with which many of us are already familiar. I am speaking of the apostle Paul, who was repeatedly charged by the religious of teaching against the Law and Temple of God. On one occasion the following transpired:
“Now while Gallio was proconsul of Achaia, the Jews with one purpose rose up against Paul and brought him before the judgment seat, saying, ‘This man persuades men to worship God contrary to the Law.’ And when Paul was about to open his mouth, Gallio said to the Jews, ‘If then it was some misdeed or wicked crime, O Jews, according to reason I would bear with you. But if it is a question about a word and names and your own law, see to it yourselves; for I do not wish to be a judge of these things.’ And he drove them away from the judgment seat” (Acts 18:12-16 EMTV).
The heathen know that a dispute about doctrine and beliefs is not a state matter; how much more should those professing Christ know this? Servetus knew it, but Calvin did not. That is because he was part of the state, mixing the spiritual with the worldly. He brought Servetus before the magistrates, to be dealt with as a common criminal guilty of capital crimes.
The apostle Paul did not do this to other professing believers, but expressly forbid it:
“Do any of you dare, when you have a matter against another, to go to law before the unjust, and not before the saints?” (1 Corinthians 6:1 MKJV)
But the religious did this to Paul, just as they did with Peter, James, John, and the Lord Jesus Christ. Servetus, as a true Christian, approached Calvin directly regarding his error. Because Calvin could not successfully answer him, he used worldly means to get rid of him, just as his fathers did with the saints of God in their days.
Those seeking to inflict corporal punishments and banishments on others for their beliefs are found to be in league and of one mind and spirit with the persecutors and murderers of the Lord and His saints. Never are the saints of God found to be doing these things to others. Read The Persecutors and the Persecuted.
Do Calvin’s Doctrines Justify Him?
So what of the charges against Servetus, that he spoke against the trinity and infant baptism? Do the charges have any merit, even though it goes against the Spirit of God to persecute him to death for what he believed? There is no question that Servetus forcefully spoke against both of these teachings; but is that a crime, especially when he gave well-reasoned, Scriptural arguments that none could rebut? While our main concern is the actions of Calvin, and those following him then and now (they are all one, and bear corporate responsibility), I will show that Servetus was correct in his arguments, which in part explains the violent persecution against him. Nothing enrages self-righteous beasts like proving them wrong and destroying their power base.
Infant Baptism: Water baptism was clearly given only to those who repented of their sins as a result of hearing the preaching of the gospel. Never were infants baptized in Scriptural accounts, nor did the apostles ever teach such. Even for adults, this practice began to diminish after the ascension of the Lord. Paul at one point says:
“I thank God that I baptized none of you except Crispus and Gaius, lest anyone should say that I had baptized in my own name. Yes, I also baptized the household of Stephanas. Besides, I do not know whether I baptized any other. For Christ did not send me to baptize, but to preach the gospel, not in eloquent wisdom, lest the cross of Christ should be deprived of its power. For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God” (1 Corinthians 1:14-18 EMTV).
Obviously water baptism was no longer so important; if it were, Paul would have been holding it in the highest regard and doing it regularly. But he was sent to preach Christ and the taking up of the cross instead. Why? Because water baptism was a symbol of the death and resurrection now accomplished by the taking up of the cross, as the apostle Peter wrote, “through the resurrection of Jesus Christ” (1 Peter 3:21). The reality of the death that water baptism represented had come and replaced the symbol. It is not the symbol that saves, but the Substance. Therefore Paul was given to testify by the Spirit of God that he was not there to water baptize.
The Lord had already set the record straight Himself, when He baptized Cornelius and the Gentiles with His Spirit without water baptism. Now that the Spirit was available for those who believed and had received the gospel, water was no longer mandatory. The worship in spirit and truth had come.
What did Servetus say about infant baptism that so offended Calvin and his posse of persecutors that they wanted to kill him? He proclaimed it to be “a doctrine of the Devil, an invention of popery, and a total subversion of Christianity.” He wrote such comments in the margins of Calvin’s Institutes of the Christian Religion. It was after seeing these things that Calvin pledged Servetus would not leave Geneva alive should he appear there.
Several years later, when Servetus did show up, Calvin, good to his evil word, supplied these notes to the court to obtain his goal of destroying this man. During the trial Servetus openly admitted that he had referred to infant baptism as a “diabolical invention and infernal falsehood destructive of Christianity.”
Good for him, for so this doctrine is! Praise God that he was not ashamed or afraid to speak the truth revealed to him. Infant baptism is one of many diabolical inventions of men, “christened” by the devil, who comes as an angel of light and uses tools like this to control people. Just who do you think is served by running a monopoly on “sacraments” that allegedly insure your eternal fate, though they require nothing more of you than to submit to them? Corrupt men use such artifices to serve their temporal and selfish interests. Furthermore, as demonstrated in the case of Servetus, when contradicted, they wield the sword of men to torture and kill those who expose their error.
So they did to our Lord and Master, Who said to them:
“You are good at rejecting God’s commands so that you can follow your own teachings!” (Mark 7:9 CEV)
If men must resort to murder to protect their doctrines and practices from being questioned, they are not of God. They never were.
The Trinity: What about the trinity? Surely this is a sacred doctrine for many. But is it true? As a young man, Servetus red the Bible, which the invention of the printing press had, for the first time, made widely available to the public despite efforts by the harlot church to keep it from them. Servetus was surprised to find the trinity nowhere explicitly mentioned in the New Testament, much less defined. He also found the concept totally inconsistent with the teaching in the Old Testament, which categorically states that there is only one God and Savior. The apostles, he said, being taught from this Record, “did not hold the trinity or three persons…but men in later times added this.”
At the age of 21 or so, Servetus wrote a book, On the Errors of the Trinity. He stated that the trinity was not Biblical at all, but was an ungodly idea that came from Greek philosophers. For publishing this he was condemned to be burned by the Catholic Church, along with his books. He had to flee from the persecution of this beastly entity and ended up becoming a physician in another country, working under an assumed name, where he discovered or intuited the correct flow of blood and oxygenation through the lungs, 85 years before William Harvey of England introduced this fact to the larger world.
Servetus continued to write more books throughout his life, and here are some of the things he said about Christ and God; I defy anyone to prove from Scripture that these are not true statements:
“I do not separate Christ from God more than a voice from the speaker or a beam from the sun. Christ is the voice of the speaker. He and the Father are the same thing, as the beam and the light, are the same light.”
“And because his Spirit was wholly God, he is called God, and he is called man on account of his flesh.”
“It is a surprising wonder that God has taken for Himself the body of Christ in order to make His special dwelling.”
“There is therefore a tremendous mystery in the fact that God may be united with man and the man with God.”
“God has revealed Himself to us, making Himself outwardly visible through the Word, yet internally perceptible through the spirit. Though He remains a great mystery in either case, He is yet such that humanity may see God Himself and posess Him. God was previously not visible, but now we shall see Him with His face unveiled, and, so long as we open the gate and step upon the road, we shall gaze upon Him as He shines in ourselves. It is time that we open that gate and this path of light….” (Preamble to Restoration of Christianity).
“There is nothing greater, reader, than to recognize that God has been manifested as substance, and that His divine nature has been truly communicated to mankind. It is in Christ alone that we shall fully apprehend the manifestation of God Himself through the Word” (Preamble to Restoration of Christianity).
“In Christ there is not some portion of God, but the whole totality of God, the whole fulfillment of the Word and the spirit” (Restoration of Christianity, 105).
From the Scriptures:
“And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory” (1 Timothy 3:16 KJV).
For believing and voicing these words, Michael Servetus was condemned to death by the Catholic Church and John Calvin, which goes to show that “reformation” of what is corrupt is also corrupt. It is all one and the same thing. One tyrant was simply replaced by another and worse one, as a wise man later said:
“If Christ Himself came to Geneva, He would be crucified. For Geneva is not a place of Christian liberty. It is ruled by a new pope, but one who burns men alive, while the pope at Rome at least strangles them first.”
Servetus’ words, written in Calvin’s book as opportunity before his tribunal to respond to the text and charges Calvin made against him at his trial, proved prophetic:
“Do you [Calvin] deny that you are a man slayer? I will prove it by your deeds. For me, I am firm in so good a cause, and do not fear to die. You howl like a blind man in desert places, because the spirit of vengeance burns in your heart…. Madness is in you when you persecute to the death…. You have all roared enough, you are a great crowd of subscribers, but what passages have you quoted to prove the Son invisible and really distinct? None. Thus my doctrine is not met but by your clamors. You have opposed to it neither arguments nor authorities.
“M. Servetus has signed alone, it is true, but having Jesus Christ for his most assured Protector.”
Calvin was given opportunity to reply, but did not in word (only in deed), until after Servetus was dead and could no longer respond by his own mouth or pen.
Servetus’ Wisdom, Boldness, Honesty, and Faithfulness in Christ
Servetus could have acquitted himself at any time to save his life, even at the very end being offered clemency if he would but change his mind on the trinity. Farel, representing the council that condemned Servetus, visited with him during the morning of his execution and remained with him throughout the day until his death, trying to convince him of his “error.” Or was it the other way around? Servetus asked Farel to quote a single Scripture passage where Christ was called “Son of God” before His incarnation. Farel could not.
In other words, throughout the Old Testament, there are not different voices of God, one identified as “the Father” and another as “the Son.” There is only one Voice, because, as God said to Israel, “The LORD our God is one LORD” (Deuteronomy 6:4). This is consistent with the New Testament writings, which say:
“In many ways and in various ways of old, God spoke to the fathers in the prophets; in these last days He spoke to us in the Son, Whom He appointed Heir of all; through Whom He indeed made the ages” (Hebrews 1:1-2 LITV).
In other words again, God spoke to us in His unique appearing in human form as the Son, which Servetus rightly calls “His Incarnation.”
How simple! How wonderful! Against this precious truth Calvin gnashed his teeth and turned Servetus over for execution. And some call him Christian and make him the founding father of their beliefs no less! If they are true sons of their father, then they are also murderers! Yes, we are talking to you, proud Calvinists. Your hands are full of blood, and the time has come to give account for your sins! You are all Christ-killers because Jesus said:
“Truly I say to you, Inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brothers, you have done it to Me” (Matthew 25:40 MKJV).
But precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of His saints. He is over all, and our beloved brother did not die in vain. Servetus, we are here to give you rest from your labors; we have that grace and privilege. We bless you in the Name of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, Whom you have faithfully served. We are brothers. If you are a heretic, we are heretics. If they kill you, they kill us.
Not being able to answer Servetus, Farel still did not think to try to halt the execution. It is our understanding today that one ought not to convict a man of a parking violation while there exists reasonable doubt, but here you have a man about to be tortured and executed, who, to the very end, could not be proven wrong in that which he believed. He had not touched the hair on a person’s head or materially defrauded anyone. On the contrary, what Servetus taught about God was true, and for that reason brought freedom to those who received it.
We should not think it strange, however, that, as Jesus said, His followers would be killed by those who thought they were doing God service, as Servetus was by Calvin.
Since he was given no sound reason to confess he was wrong, the only reason for Servetus to do so would have been to save his life by denying what he knew to be true and, by extension, Him Who spoke and taught him the Truth. This he did not do, glory to God! Farel continued to press him: “Confess your crime, and God will have mercy on your soul.” Servetus replied: “I am not guilty; I have not merited death.” And there, before witnesses, he publicly confessed Christ as Savior, invoked God for pardon, and asked Him to pardon his accusers.
Farel brought Calvin to Servetus that morning. According to Calvin, Servetus humbly asked his pardon. Calvin declined with these words, “Think rather of crying for mercy to God Whom you have blasphemed.” This had no more effect of changing Servetus’ convictions than the exhortation of Farel. He went like a lamb to the slaughter. In this Servetus followed his Lord and Savior, Who also gave a good confession of faith before Pontius Pilate.
While being tormented in the flames (they placed a wreath strewn with sulphur on his head and used green wood to prolong the agony of his death), Servetus cried out with a loud voice, “Jesus Christ, You Son of the eternal God, have mercy upon me!”
Farel later noted that Servetus could have been saved if he had shifted the words to say, “Jesus Christ, You eternal Son of God, have mercy upon me!”
Can you imagine! Reader, will you quibble with one who calls on the Name of the Lord Jesus Christ in sincerity, who is willing to die rather than deny Him? Will you condemn such a man to death? Will you burn him because he does not confess the unScriptural, heathen trinity doctrine? And what do the Scriptures say about Servetus’ cry?
“And it shall be that everyone who calls on the Name of the Lord shall be saved” (Acts 2:21 EMTV).
Servetus did not believe in two or three gods, and that one must call on each, but he believed in only One God, as God consistently testifies of Himself in the Holy Scriptures:
“Speak and present your case. Yes, let them consult one another. Who revealed this in the distant past and predicted it long ago? Wasn’t it I, the LORD? There is no other God except Me. There is no other righteous God and Savior besides Me. Turn to Me and be saved, all who live at the ends of the earth, because I am God, and there is no other” (Isaiah 45:21-22 GW).
Servetus called on the Name of the One True God, the only Name given to men whereby all must be saved – Jesus Christ. For doing this, evil religious fanatics led by Calvin murdered him, roasting him over a deliberately slow-burning fire to feed their vicious lusts.
Only Murderers Justify Murderers
Some people say that Calvin tried to get the execution changed from burning to beheading. That may be so, but murder is murder, and Calvin not only initiated and followed through on the deed, but afterwards collected money from Servetus’ property for the expenses incurred in his prosecution of the matter and then went on to write a book, Defence of the Orthodox Faith in the Sacred Trinity, justifying his disgusting and dastardly deed.
In the book, Calvin called Servetus: “detestable infidel,” “rabid magician,” “great pest,” “vomit,” “obscene dog,” “stupid,” and “ferocious beast.” Nowhere did Calvin express the least regret at what he had done. Nor did he ever disassociate himself from this murder. In a later letter written to a marquis, he said:
“Honor, glory, and riches shall be the reward of your pains; but above all, do not fail to rid the country of those scoundrels, who stir up the people to revolt against us. Such monsters should be exterminated, as I have exterminated Michael Servetus the Spaniard.”
Revolt against whom? Against God, perhaps? No, “against us”!
However, Servetus did not seek revolt against man or God. And though his offenses were truly non-existent, he had asked pardon, and had prayed for God’s forgiveness of Calvin as he was led to the stake. Of what Spirit comes such an act?
When Peter asked Jesus how forgiving we should be, perhaps up to seven times, Jesus answered:
“I say not to you, Till seven times; but, Till seventy times seven” (Matthew 18:22 BBE).
The Real Reason for Calvin’s Actions
You tell me, reader, which man followed and exemplified the Spirit of the Lord Jesus Christ, and which one followed His murderers?
“For he could see that it was out of sheer spite that the High Priests had handed Him over” (Mark 15:10 WNT).
Which are you following?
Calvin, unrepentant of his murder of Servetus, threatened anyone thinking to criticize his brand of “justice” against “heretics and blasphemers” with the same “guiltiness” and punishment, calling this the edict of God. He credited God, rather than his hardened conscience, for making him into an unfeeling monster:
“Whoever shall now contend that it is unjust to put heretics and blasphemers to death will knowingly and willingly incur their very guilt. This is not laid down on human authority; it is God who speaks and prescribes a perpetual rule for his Church. It is not in vain that he banishes all those human affections which soften our hearts; that he commands paternal love and all the benevolent feelings between brothers, relations, and friends to cease; in a word, that he almost deprives men of their nature in order that nothing may hinder their holy zeal. Why is so implacable a severity exacted but that we may know that God is defrauded of his honor, unless the piety that is due to him be preferred to all human duties, and that when his glory is to be asserted, humanity must be almost obliterated from our memories?”
Another famous “reformer” that publicly and formally supported the persecution and murder of Servetus, Heinrich Bullinger, wrote to Calvin because even he was having reservations about his book:
“I only fear that your book will not be so acceptable to many of the more simple-minded persons, who, nevertheless, are attached both to yourself and to the truth, by reason of its brevity and consequent obscurity, and the weightiness of the subject. And, indeed, your style appears somewhat perplexed, especially in this work.”
In other words, “Calvin, you come across as confounded and your arguments are unconvincing.”
Calvin wrote in reply:
“I am aware that I have been more concise than usual in this treatise. However, if I should appear to have faithfully and honestly defended the true doctrine, it will more than recompense me for my trouble. But though the candor and justice which are natural to you, as well as your love towards me, lead you to judge of me favorably, there are others who assail me harshly as a master in cruelty and atrocity, for attacking with my pen not only a dead man, but one who perished by my hands. Some, even not self-disposed towards me, wish that I had never entered on the subject of the punishment of heretics, and say that others in the like situation have held their tongues as the best way of avoiding hatred. It is well, however, that I have you to share my fault, if fault it be; for you it was who advised and persuaded me to it. Prepare yourself, therefore, for the combat.”
Having seen the moral perversity and spiritual bankruptcy of the murder of Servetus, we now also see that Calvin possibly had his doubts, yet, instead of repenting, he dug himself in further, committing himself to the defense of his heinous murderous spirit, and, like a cornered badger, threatened to do whatever he saw necessary to protect and justify himself before men as the hero of God he imagined himself to be. The seeds of his despotism were planted and watered to yield more atrocities against God and man.
Calvin’s Perverse Scriptural Pretexts
At this point it is necessary to address the argument that Calvin and the religious of his day used to justify killing those he deemed blasphemers – that the Law of God prescribed it. Here is the appropriate Word of God:
“If there arise in the midst of you a prophet, or a dreamer of dreams, and he give you a sign or a wonder, and the sign or the wonder come to pass, of which he spoke to you, saying, Let us go after other gods, which you have not known, and let us serve them; you shall not listen to the words of that prophet, or to that dreamer of dreams: for the LORD your God proves you, to know whether you love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul…. That prophet, or that dreamer of dreams, shall be put to death, because he has spoken rebellion against the LORD your God, Who brought you out of the land of Egypt, and redeemed you out of the house of bondage, to draw you aside out of the way which the LORD your God commanded you to walk in. So shall you put away the evil from the midst of you.
“If your brother, the son of your mother, or your son, or your daughter, or the wife of your bosom, or your friend, who is as your own soul, entice you secretly, saying, Let us go and serve other gods, which you have not known, you, nor your fathers; of the gods of the peoples who are round about you, near to you, or far off from you, from the one end of the earth even to the other end of the earth; you shall not consent to him, nor listen to him; neither shall your eye pity him, neither shall you spare, neither shall you conceal him: but you shall surely kill him; your hand shall be first on him to put him to death, and afterwards the hand of all the people. You shall stone him to death with stones, because he has sought to draw you away from the LORD your God, Who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage” (Deuteronomy 13:1-10 HNV).
I will not go into all the ways these words do not apply to Servetus, as much of that should already be obvious. The point I wish to make is that Calvin and his cronies were in no position to judge others as though they were the Israel of God. They were not walking in the faith of God as spiritual Israel in order to apply the Law lawfully to others. They were phonies, tares, the wicked seed of Satan and as Cain, who killed his brother. That is why they labeled Servetus a heretic and slew a righteous man. The spirit of Calvin has ruled to this day through his unrighteous application of the Law.
It was Calvin and other religious who were preaching other gods that our fathers never knew, because our fathers spoke of one LORD, the only God and Savior, not a triune God of three members.
Does that mean we true Christians should be killing Calvinists today, since they are idolaters? No, because it is not the nature or business of those in Christ to kill either wayward brethren or false brethren, but to be separated:
“Little children, it is the last hour; and just as you have heard that the antiChrist is coming, even now many antichrists have appeared; from this we know that it is the last hour. They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would have remained with us; but they went out in order that they might be made manifest, that none of them were of us” (1 John 2:18-19 EMTV).
They are the equivalent of the heathen nations that God warned His people Israel not to mix with and learn their ways. As Paul wrote:
“But now I write to you not to associate with anyone named a brother, who is a fornicator, or covetous person, or an idolater, or abusive person, or a drunkard, or a swindler–not even to eat with such a person. For what have I to do with judging those also who are outside? Do you not judge those who are inside? But those who are outside God will judge. Therefore put away from yourselves the evil person” (1 Corinthians 5:11-13 EMTV).
This putting away was not a physical death sentence, but a separation of unbelievers from believers, as with the man who slept with his father’s wife:
“You’re being arrogant when you should have been more upset about this. If you had been upset, the man who did this would have been removed from among you” (1 Corinthians 5:2 GW).
Those who believe are not called to destroy men’s lives, but to save them, even and particularly by their separation. Paul said of the man to be removed from their midst that his spirit would thus eventually be saved (1 Corinthians 5:5).
Whoever thinks we are here to condemn and kill is corrected by the Lord Himself:
“But they did not receive Him, because He was determined to go to Jerusalem. And when they saw this, James and John His disciples said, ‘Lord, do You wish that we should call down fire from heaven and consume them, as Elijah did?’ But turning, He rebuked them, and said, ‘You do not know of what sort of spirit you are. For the Son of Man did not come to destroy men’s lives but to save them’” (Luke 9:53-56 EMTV).
Witnesses Are Manifold Against Calvin
Did Calvin finally rest, having established an iron-fisted policy of death to all those who dared to question his spiritual authority and doctrines? Not at all. God now raised up another witness, as though Servetus had been raised from the dead to testify of God:
“But hearing Herod said, It is John, whom I beheaded. He has risen from the dead!” (Mark 6:16 MKJV)
Thus a professor of Greek Literature from nearby Basle, a translator of the Bible into French and Latin, Sebastian Castellion, wrote a pamphlet, “Whether Heretics Should be Persecuted,” completed three months after Calvin published his book justifying his persecution and execution of Servetus.
Castellion could not refrain from expressing horror and disgust at what Calvin had done in murdering another human being that disagreed with him:
“If those thus butchered had been, I will not say horses, but only swine, every prince would have considered he had sustained a grave loss.”
“However horribly these things may be,” Castellion wrote Calvin, “the sinners sin yet more horribly when they endeavor to wrap up their misdeeds in the raiment of Christ, and declare that they act in accordance with His will.”
Calvin was incensed: “A new heresy has been discovered,” he said. “We must stamp out this burst of hell-fire before it spreads over the surface of the earth…. Freedom of conscience is a doctrine of the devil…. Better to have a tyrant, however cruel, than permit everyone to do what he pleases.”
Did Castellion preach lawlessness? Not at all. He only said that one who murdered a man in the name of a doctrinal dispute cannot claim that Christ approved of this or taught him to do so. Hearing this did not please Calvin or allow him to rest in his compromised conscience.
Indeed, good to his word, Calvin did not permit anyone to do what did not please him. Castellion’s pamphlet made many truthful and excellent points, but no one was to hear them at that time because Calvin suppressed its publication. Nevertheless, Castellion’s message of truth hit home. He wrote to Calvin:
“Why do you do to others that which you would not endure if done to yourself? We are concerned with a dispute about religious matters; why, then, do you gag your adversaries?
“Your words and your weapons are only those common to every despotism; and they can but give you a temporal, not a spiritual dominance, a dominance based upon coercion, and not upon the love of God. Nor do I envy you your power and your weapons. I have other powers and other weapons–an imperturbable conviction of innocence, and trust in Him who will help me and give me grace. Even if, for a season, truth is suppressed by the blind ‘justice’ of this world, no one can permanently coerce truth. Let us cease to heed the judgment of a world which slew Christ; let us ignore an assize before which only the cause of violence proves victorious. The kingdom of God is not of this world.”
“It is absurd to use earthly weapons in spiritual warfare. The enemies of Christians are vices, and are to be overcome by virtues…. The cultivation of Christian character is neglected while Christians spend their time disputing speculative questions such as the nature of Christ, the Trinity, predestination, free will, the Eucharist and baptism. These are not necessary to salvation, and do not make a man better.”
Calvin, condemned by his own conscience, despised the liberty of conscience offered to others, which he had called a “diabolical doctrine.” Castellion responded:
“What do we really mean by the term ‘heretic’? Whom are we entitled to call a heretic, without being unjust? I do not believe that all those termed heretics are really such. When I reflect on what a heretic really is, I can find no other criterion than that we are all heretics in the eyes of those who do not share our views.”
Castellion spoke of the foolishness of compelling men to abide in a certain doctrinal belief in God without having their own sure conviction:
“Those who wish to win over the largest possible number of supporters willy-nilly resemble a fool who has a barrel containing only a little wine, and fills it up with water in order to have more wine. The result is not to increase the wine, but to spoil the good wine which the fool already had. It is preposterous to assert that those who are forced to profess a belief really believe what they profess. Were they free to follow their own inclinations, they would say: ‘What I sincerely believe is that you are unjust and tyrannical, and that what you have compelled me to profess is false.’ Bad wine is not made good by forcing people to drink it.”
In another place, Castellion wrote:
“Men are so strongly convinced of the soundness of their opinions that they despise the opinions of others. Cruelties and persecutions are the outcome of arrogance, so that a man will not tolerate others’ differing in any way from his own views, although there are today almost as many views as there are persons. Yet there is not one sect which does not condemn all the others and wish to reign supreme. That accounts for banishments, exiles, incarcerations, burnings, hangings, and the blind fury of the tormentors who are continually at work, in the endeavor to suppress certain outlooks which displease our lords and masters.”
Calvin, justifying the murder of Servetus, said it was his mission to save Christianity – the gangrenous limb had to be amputated. To which Castellion replied, “There is nowhere in the gospels, nor yet in any moral treatise ever given to the world, the demand for such intolerance. Will you dare, in the last resort, to say that Jesus himself taught you to burn your fellow men?
“Who burns a man does not defend a doctrine, but only burns a man.”
Railing, Lies and False Accusations the Marks of a Murderer
Set on destroying him, Calvin wrote a tract, “Calumnies of a Rapscallion,” reviling Castellion as a thief, rascal, and blasphemer. The diatribe ends with, “May God destroy you, Satan!” We already know what Calvin means by that, the intent of his words being – “I will get you, you bastard, one way or another, by hook or by crook, so help me God!”
Whereas of those who taught error, Jesus said, “Let them alone. They are blind leaders of the blind. And if the blind lead the blind, both shall fall into the ditch” (Matthew 15:14 MKJV). But Calvin could not stand to be differed with, though Castellion was not even teaching or speaking error.
Seeking any possible means of bringing Castellion down, Calvin accused him, without any evidence, of being the author of a lampoon found in a traveling merchant’s luggage and also of having stolen firewood in broad daylight.
It must have become clear to Calvin that the first charge was demonstrably false, because he dropped it from a second edition of his libelous tract. Yet he made no formal retraction. The commandment of God forbids falsely accusing your neighbor, and James wrote:
“For He Who said, ‘Do not commit adultery,’ also said, ‘Do not murder.’ But if you do not commit adultery, yet if you murder, you have become a transgressor of the Law”(James 2:11).
When found making false accusations, it is incumbent upon the accuser to make restitution of his offense. But without repentance the many sins of John Calvin could not be hid or suppressed:
“For whoever shall keep the whole Law and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all” (James 2:10).
Castellion used these false accusations to expose Calvin’s devious ways. He wrote:
“Yes or no. Were you aware that you had no warrant for naming me as author of that pamphlet? How can I tell? But either you brought your accusation at a time when you already knew that it was unjustified, in which case you were cheating; or else you were still uncertain, and then your charge was heedlessly brought. In either event your behavior was unworthy, for every point of your contention is false. I did not write that pamphlet, nor did I send it to be printed in Paris. If its diffusion was a criminal offence, the crime was yours, for it was through you that the writing first became widely known.”
He further described Calvin’s manner and antiChrist spirit:
“You have an ample store of abusive terms at your command, and, speaking out of the fullness of your heart, you have let your tongue run away with you. In your Latin tract you call me, without drawing breath, blasphemer, calumniator, malefactor, yapping cur, an impudent wretch full of ignorance and bestiality, an impious misreader of Holy Writ, a fool who mocks at God, a despiser of the faith, a man without shame, a dirty dog, a being full of disrespect and obnoxiousness, a distorted and perverted spirit, a vagabond, and a wicked subject. Eight times you call me a rapscallion…. From the title to the conclusion [‘May God destroy you, Satan!’], the whole work is penned in the same style, although the author is reputed to be a man inspired by apostolic earnestness, by Christian gentleness. Woe unto those whom you lead if they are infected by such moods, and if it should prove that your disciples resemble their master. But these invectives do not touch me in the least…. Some day truth will prevail, and you, Calvin, will have to account to God for the abuse you have showered on one to save whom, as to save yourself, Christ died. Is it possible that you are not ashamed, that you cannot remember Jesus’s own words: ‘Whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment: and whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca, shall be in danger of the council’?”
Let it be interjected and pointed out that, as with the names Calvin called Servetus, his epithets for Castellion all perfectly applied to himself. The testimony of Christ in his victims only held up the mirror for Calvin to reveal his own monstrous demeanor, which he described in his condemnation of those exposing it.
Regarding Calvin’s accusation that he had stolen firewood in Basle, Castellion wrote, “It would be a grave offence if I had committed it,” and pointedly added, “But calumny is an equally serious matter.”
Calvin’s Manifest Contradiction of His Doctrine of Predestined Hell
He goes on to show the ridiculous nature of Calvin’s doctrine of predestination, which allows that some are predestined by God to eternal hell, and leads Calvin into contradicting his own teaching:
“Let us assume that the charge is true, and that I really stole wood because I, in the terms of your doctrine, was predestined to do so. Why should you revile me on that account? Should you not rather have compassion on me because God foreordained me to such a fate, and therefore made it impossible that I should not steal? If that be so, why should you fill the heavens with outcries and denunciations? To prevent my stealing any more? But if I am a thief because of divine predestination, you must in your writings acquit me of blame, since I act under coercion. On your own showing I could as little refrain from theft as, by taking thought, add a cubit to my stature.”
More False Accusation from the False Witness
Castellion also disproved the charge of stealing firewood. Like hundreds of others during spring run off or sudden rains, he had hauled driftwood out of the Rhine river. This was permissible, for not only was driftwood treasure-trove to anyone, but the citizens of Basle were, by the town authorities, specially invited to retrieve it, since, when the river was in flood, floating logs were a peril to the bridges. Furthermore, they even paid for its removal. Castellion showed how the Basle municipal authorities had paid him, and certain other “thieves,” a respectable sum of money for having committed the “theft.” After hearing this rebuttal Calvin made no further mention of it, yet did not repent of his vicious campaign of persecution of the one who dared question or disagree with him.
Having miserably failed to gain his quarry by the traps he had set, Calvin then employed one of his surrogates to attack Castellion in the preface of a new version of the Geneva Bible, with many charges warning all Christians against this “chosen of Satan.”
“You are inciting the authorities to compass my death. Were it not that your books make this plain to all who read them, I should never venture such an allegation, however convinced I may be of its truth. You know that as soon as I am dead, it will be impossible for me to answer you. You find my continued existence a nightmare. Since you perceive that the authorities will not yield, or at any rate have not yet yielded to your pressure, you try to make me generally hated, and to discredit me in the eyes of the world.”
“Tell me, please,” he said to the professed servants of Christ, “in what respect can you justify your attitude towards me by an appeal to Jesus? Even when Judas was handing Him over to the myrmidons of authority, Jesus spoke in kindly tones to His false disciple, and, on the cross, He prayed for those who were putting Him to death. But what are you doing? Because I differ from you in respect of certain doctrines and shades of opinion, you persecute me wherever I may be, and urge others to treat me no less despitefully than you do yourselves. How bitter it must be to you, in the depths of your hearts, to know that such conduct as yours received His unqualified condemnation. For instance: ‘Whosoever hateth his brother is a murderer.’ These are simple truths, accessible in the Scriptures to those who consult the sacred writings with minds freed from theological distortion. You yourselves pay lip-service with spoken words and in your books. Why do you not apply the same doctrine in your daily lives?”
Castellion, bypassing the author of the remarks in the Bible preface, addressed himself directly to Calvin, whom he knew to be behind them:
“You style yourself a Christian, you appeal to the gospels, you take your stand upon God’s word, and boast that your mind is wholly devoted to fulfilling God’s intentions. You believe yourself well acquainted with evangelical truth. But if you would teach others, why do you not begin with teaching yourself? How do you dare fulminate from the pulpit against those who bear false witness [it should read, “whom you accuse of bearing false witness”], when your own writings are continually bearing false witness? Why, apparently in the hope of breaking my pride, do you condemn me with as much arrogance and self-assurance as if you were sitting at God’s right hand and He had revealed to you all the secrets of His heart?
“Look within, before it is too late. Try, if it be still possible, to doubt your own all-sufficingness for a moment, and then you may be able to see what many others see. Rid yourself of the self-love which consumes you, and of the hatred you feel for so many persons, especially myself. Let us vie with one another in kindly consideration, and then you will discover that my alleged impiety is no less unreal than was the disgraceful offence which you tried to fix upon me. Put up with my diverging from you a little in matters of doctrine. Is it impossible that two pious persons may have differences of opinion, and yet be at one in their hearts?”
A Common Error Amongst Believers, Contrary to Christ’s Admonitions
In this last remark, Castellion was sadly mistaken, if by piety he meant true godliness. The Scriptures say:
“Can two walk together, except they be agreed?” (Amos 3:3 KJV)
It seems that both Servetus and Castellion had a very hard time giving up the false notion that Calvin was a Christian. How deceptive are the appearances assiduously set out by men of religiosity, formality, learnedness and piety! It requires the complete simplicity of a child to see and exclaim, “The emperor has no clothes!” If it does not walk and talk like Christ, then it is not Christ. If it walks and talks like a serpent, it is a serpent.
You may as well ask a cornered viper not to bite you when you confront serpents such as Calvin and his followers on their hypocrisies, errors and lies and expect them to act as Christians. Castellion had yet to learn as fully as he would that, without Christ, he, and all men, have no righteousness whatsoever. Pretensions, imitations, intellectual theorizing, play-acting and even sincere substitutions are not the Real Thing. Though Calvin was intelligent, as men count intelligence, the power of God does not lie in man’s intelligence. Nor can we approve of false faiths such as Calvin’s.
“A righteous man falling down before the wicked is as a troubled fountain, and a corrupt spring” (Proverbs 25:26 KJV).
Castellion abased the Truth by appealing to Calvin as though he was Christ’s:
“For the love of Christ I implore you to respect my liberty, and cease to overwhelm me with false accusations. Let me preserve my own faith uncoerced, as you preserve yours with my full approval.”
Castellion, you had been running so well, what hindered you that you now compromise the Truth? Have you not yet learned that no man is good, yourself included? But for the grace of God, we all seek a truce to escape from the hangman’s noose. We all seek to preserve the notion that we are right, and that all who profess Christ will understand us, until we know and confess our complete depravity, as with righteous Job. Yes, we are to be at peace with all men as much as possible, but we cannot treat Satan as a saint, and it is not right to bid Godspeed to one that does not have the doctrine of Christ. God alone is good.
Castellion: “Unquestionably one of us two must be mistaken, but that need not prevent our loving one another.”
Yes, Castellion, that is true, but how can one whose heart is filled with hate, which leads him to embrace his mistakes, manifest the love of God? Can a bad tree produce good fruit? Can you not tell which is which? Indeed, the sheepskins Calvin used appeared real, so as to deceive, if possible, the very elect.
Castellion: “The Master will some day guide the strayed sheep back into the right path.”
Yes, friend and brother Sebastian, but are you talking to a lamb? Do lambs kill their brothers? Why are you trying to gather grapes from thorns? Someday God will reconcile all things, wolves too, but today Calvin must be exposed for what he is, a murderous viper and tyrant of the first order who went to his grave with hands stained with the blood of Christ’s brethren.
Castellion: “The only thing either of us certainly knows (or ought to know) is the duty of Christian charity. Let us practice this, and by practicing it close our adversaries’ mouths. You believe your opinions to be right. Others believe the same of their opinions.”
Yes, men’s opinions all have equal weight, which is to say none. When speaking the Word of God, one is not entitled to present his opinions as truth. If you know what you have is opinion and present it as such, well and good, but it is evil to be as Calvin, who demands his opinion be treated as the Truth and very Word of God, punishable by death should anyone transgress against it or him.
And when you know the Truth, Castellion, as you have, It is not an opinion, and you ought not to allow that opinions have equal weight to It. That is evil; it is giving false honor to men and denying the Lord, because He is the Truth. Jesus Christ did not deny, but always gave witness to, the Truth:
“And so it was, when Jesus finished these words, the crowds were astonished at His teaching, for He taught them as one having authority, and not like the scribes” (Matthew 7:28-29 EMTV).
His authority was in being Himself, speaking the Truth. He did not have to threaten or cow men into believing He had this authority. He only had to speak. He was not threatened if they did not believe Him, and He did not threaten if they did not believe Him (though He warned, which is something altogether different). So will the servant be like his Master.
Do you hear this, you Calvinist devils? You think to have Jesus Christ’s favor? Think again. Repent, if you can. Repent of evil doctrines, of pride and of arrogance, and especially of following proud and murderous men, no matter how impressive or famous they may be.
Despite Castellion’s advances and the appeal he made to a better nature in Calvin that did not exist (nor does it exist in any man, except he be born again, and then it is not his nature, but Christ’s), he continued to speak against Calvin’s acts and intolerance. In this he was right and in no way do we condemn our brothers for their shortfalls; indeed we stand with them and in the work we inherited from them:
“Because God had kept some better thing for us, so that it was not possible for them to become complete without us” (Hebrews 11:40 BBE).
Cowardice Another Mark of Murderers
For his part, Calvin pressed on in his persecution. As was his style, he had a front man do his dirty work in pressing charges of heresy. A citizen indicted Castellion with the charges found in the Bible preface, calling him a Papist, an Anabaptist, a free-thinker, a blasphemer, and, in addition, a protector of adulterers and criminals.
No matter that the charges were contradictory, like being a Papist (who, among other things, believed in infant baptism) and Anabaptist (who denounced infant baptism), with the lodging of this written accusation (which is still extant) the legal requirements had been fulfilled for the prosecution of Castellion. Now the Basle authorities had no other choice than to initiate it. Calvin was on the way to securing his goal of ridding himself of Castellion.
However, Castellion was well known in these parts, unlike Servetus, so he was not immediately arrested and mistreated, as Servetus had been. Like Paul, he was a “citizen of Rome,” and received different treatment because of his status.
Summoned to appear before the senate to answer the charges, Castellion said:
“If Calvin and de Beze are acting in good faith, let them come into court and prove that I have committed the offences with which they charge me. If they believe themselves to have acted rightly, they have no reason to dread the tribunal of Basle, since they made no ado about attacking me before the whole world…. I know my accusers to be influential, but God, likewise, is mighty, and He judges without distinction of persons. I am aware that I am an obscure individual, lowly placed and comparatively unknown; but God keeps watch over the lowly, and will demand atonement if their blood should be unjustly shed. I acknowledge the jurisdiction of the court, and declare that if I am guilty of any of the things with which I am charged, my head ought to answer for it.”
Calvin was not acting in good faith, and never had been. Neither he nor de Beze appeared before the court. Calvin gained his objective, however, because Castellion, being of a weak constitution, took ill and died in his forty-eighth year, another victim of Calvin’s persecution. Castellion, however, had the last word, as Truth always does:
“This infamy of religious persecutions was already raging in the days of Daniel. Since the prophet’s enemies could find nothing assailable in his behavior, they put their heads together in order to attack him through his convictions. The same thing is happening today. When people cannot discover anything to complain of in their enemy’s conduct, they take up the cudgels against his ‘doctrine’; and this is extremely adroit, seeing that the authorities, who have no opinion of their own, are all the easier to persuade. Thus the weak are oppressed by those who loudly appeal to the ‘sanctity of doctrine.’ Alas, their ‘sacred doctrine’ is one which Jesus will repudiate with loathing on the Day of Judgment, when He will hold assize upon conduct, not upon doctrine. When they say unto Him, ‘Lord, we were on Thy side, and acted in accordance with Thy teaching’ He will answer: ‘Away with you, ye malefactors!’”
Reformation – Correcting Sheep or Washing Swine?
It is said that history is written by the victors. The preceding account, though documented, is largely unknown and overshadowed by the reputation of Calvin as a hero of the “Reformation.” This false version of history has been recorded by the harlot church, that which is known in the Scriptures of God as Mystery, Babylon the Great, mother of harlots. She has wielded the power and authority of men in this world, being the apparent victor for a time.
But just how successful was Calvin’s reformation, when it manifested all the evil fruits – murder, persecution, deception, false accusation, tyranny and false doctrine – of that which he sought to reform – religion, or more specifically, the Catholic Church? Is not the very word, “reformation,” one of gross error and presumption? Can good water come out of a corrupt spring? That question was always rhetorical; the answer has never changed. The Catholic Church is a perverse organization, not founded by or on the Lord Jesus Christ. Reformation is impossible and out of the question. What passes for it is only window dressing. The Lord addressed this in His parables:
“No one patches an old coat with a new piece of cloth that will shrink. When the patch shrinks, it will rip away from the coat, and the tear will become worse. Nor do people pour new wine into old wineskins. If they do, the skins burst, the wine runs out, and the skins are ruined. Rather, people pour new wine into fresh skins, and both are saved” (Mat 9:16-17).
“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like whitened graves which outwardly indeed appear beautiful, but within are full of bones of the dead, and of all uncleanness…Serpents! Offspring of vipers! How shall you escape the judgment of Hell?” (Matthew 23:27, 33 LITV)
Any success Calvin had with diluting the rule and influence of the Catholic Church was replaced with his own self-indulgent, self-righteous spirit, manifest in his despotic reign of terror against these two Truth speakers. The true procurers of liberty and freedom of conscience for mankind were those that Calvin and his mother, the Catholic Church, persecuted, such as Michael Servetus and Sebastian Castellion. The reason the latter were successful in bringing liberty to men, though reviled and forgotten, was because they were truly Christ’s, and like their Master, Who is, despite all false appearances to the contrary, also reviled and forgotten:
“There was a little city, and few men within it; and there came a great king against it, and besieged it, and built great bulwarks against it; now there was found in it a man poor and wise, and he by his wisdom delivered the city; yet no man remembered that same poor man” (Ecclesiastes 9:14-15 JPS).
On three major counts we have found John Calvin to be a false teacher. He was a murderer. He sought, gained, and used temporal power, like his mother the whore, riding on the back of the beast, and his doctrine was false.
It is on this third point that many rally to Calvin’s defense, saying, whatever weaknesses or faults he had (thus whitewashing his vile acts and sins), he taught true doctrine. Nothing, as we have shown with infant baptism and the trinity, could be further from the truth.
Calvin’s Reliance on His Own Understanding
The two doctrines for which Calvin is most well known and followed would be eternal security (“once saved, always saved”) and predestination. It is difficult to reduce these doctrines down into a few words, because, as Castellion noted of Calvin’s contradiction, “He writes huge tomes to explain what he says is absolutely clear.”
Is this the way of the Lord? Must one be a scholar and have an adept intellect capable of grasping arcane reasonings to enter into the knowledge, understanding, and fellowship of the Lord Jesus Christ? Did He not say that the Father had revealed the truth to babes, and not the wise and prudent? Is it not also written that men do not attain to the things of God in their own wisdom? Calvin’s complex doctrines are man’s wisdom, and, as Castellion correctly noted, these are not the way to salvation.
The truth is, one knows and learns true doctrines because he is being saved by Christ, and not the other way around. Without the faith of Christ, it is impossible to know God through doctrinal teaching. Those who try to establish others in such, as Calvin did (and does today), whether those doctrines be true or not, are fools, demonstrating they are not in saving grace or faith themselves.
That is what makes the discussion of what Calvin called the “perseverance of the saints,” now known as “once saved, always saved,” a nonstarter. The man propagating the doctrine had not entered into salvation himself (“no murderer has eternal life”), so he was only speaking in theory of what he did not know. What is the point of being taught something by someone who has not experienced the matter at hand?
Or, had he actually ever received saving faith, Calvin disproved his own doctrine by manifesting the works of the flesh (murder, wrath, strife, divisiveness, false teachings, etc.), and, “they which do such things shall not inherit the Kingdom of God” (Galatians 5:21 KJV). He was, in such a case, as the dog returning to his vomit, or the sow to wallowing in the mire. There is reserved for such as Calvin a certain place of purification:
“But the fearful, and the unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, will have their part in the Lake burning with fire and brimstone, which is the second death” (Revelation 21:8 MKJV).
This matter of correction and purification by fire, to which the apostle Paul alluded (“If any man’s work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire” – 1 Corinthians 3:15 KJV) is a cause of great confounding of Calvin’s doctrines.
His doctrine of predestination, which says that God has created a great number of mankind, made in His image, for the eternal torment of hellfire is as great and blasphemous a lie as can be told to assassinate God’s character. It is in direct contradiction to the clearly stated corrective judgment that God Who is Love, says He will accomplish with all peoples, for whom He paid with the blood of His Son, Jesus Christ. This is very clearly stated throughout the Scriptures. (See The Restitution of All Things.) The record declares that Calvin has never known love, only hate.
What ungodly and confused doctrines have been concocted to accommodate this demonic notion of Hell attributed to God! Calvin preaches men have no free will, therefore God must be blamed because He intentionally made them so He could burn them forever. Next to this monstrous notion of God, Calvin does not look so bad merely burning them till they die on earth. The monster is not God, though, but Calvin, and all men who conceive such a senseless, vicious punishment on others to justify their utter, insatiable hatred of anyone who disagrees with them and the evils they perpetrate on earth.
The truth is that Calvin is correct at least in part; men do not have free will. How can slaves of sin choose otherwise? It is for this very reason that Christ died for us, because we have not been free at all. Slaves do not exercise a free will, and the freemen of God are His slaves, even as Christ in the days of His flesh said, “I always do those things that please Him, and, “Not My will, but Yours be done.”
Regarding God’s will, the Scriptures declare that He has concluded all in unbelief, so that He might have mercy on all. This Calvin did not comprehend or practice. If it is only by the grace of God that any are turned, as was Saul of Tarsus, then how can any person freely choose and serve God? How can we, who have been given this grace, condemn anyone? We are all dependent on Him to do it for us.
Does this absolve men of their sins or Calvin of the blood on his hands? Not so fast. Calvin is held accountable for his misdeeds, especially while insisting to sit on the throne of God. Calvin must be dethroned, as must those with him and all other usurpers – the whore of Rome, her many daughters, and other imitators and frauds. In the Kingdom of God they cannot be allowed one scintilla of power or prestige, within themselves or in the hearts of men. Nothing of their works shall remain when the fires have done their work.
“For the man who has had no mercy will be judged without mercy…” (James 2:13 BBE).
Amen, thank You Lord Jesus for Your faithfulness, and for bringing us to Your Day to see Your victory and appearing! We are so thankful for the privilege of exonerating Your sons, and not only so, but bringing forth the glorious credit that is theirs by Your grace, for which You receive all glory, thanksgiving, honor and praise!
The will of the Lord is done.