“For if one comes and preaches another Jesus whom we have not preached, or you receive another spirit which you have not received, or another gospel which you have not accepted, you bear this beautifully.” 2nd Cor. 11:4
Last week we covered the first two of the above bolded themes (another Jesus and another spirit). In today’s teaching we will only concentrate on the last theme: another gospel.
But in order to elaborate on the theme of another gospel; we have to deal with the men who are teaching another gospel. Because there wouldn’t be another gospel if there weren’t men out there teaching it. Do you understand? The theory of relativity wouldn’t be being taught in our schools and universities if Albert Einstein wouldn’t have first taught it.
And this leads us to our beginning truth to lay the foundation for this teaching. To understand “another gospel” and its teachers, we first have to look at a few verses in Revelation chapter 2.
“But this thou hast, that thou hatest the deeds of the Nicolaitanes, which I also hate.” Rev. 2:6
“So hast thou also them that hold the doctrine of the Nicolaitanes, which thing I hate”. Rev. 2:15
Look at these two verses carefully again, and see if you see something interesting. Notice that in verse 6, Jesus hates the deeds of the Nicolaitanes; but in verse 15, He hates the doctrine of the Nicolaitanes. Why is this important? For two reasons: 1) because deeds that are accepted, and that go unchecked will turn into a doctrine (teaching). It is not our intent to delve into the doctrine and what it teaches and represents – for that, just email me and I’ll explain it to you. And 2) because some of our doctrines have come about because of the deeds that were practiced and accepted in earlier years. I will explain here very presently what I mean.
So then, what is “another gospel”? Paul tells us what it is in Galatians: “I marvel that you are turning away so soon from Him who called you in the grace of Christ, to another gospel, which is (really) not another; but there are some who trouble you and want to pervert the gospel of Christ. But even if we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel to you than what we have preached to you, let him be accursed [eternally cut off from everlasting life].” Gal. 1:6-8
So then, we can gather from this verse that “another Gospel” is anything else other than what we have received in the New Testament revelation that Jesus, James, John, Jude, Peter, and Paul gave us.
We could talk here about all the cults, but we don’t need to. Because those are easy to detect and avoid. But there are some other subtle things that are not so easy to detect. And why is this? It’s because everyone writes books on it, it’s taught from pulpits all over the nation each week, and it’s an easy gospel to swallow; which makes it very palatable to many. It tastes good, it goes down easy, and leaves a nice finishing aftertaste.
For the sake of not writing an entire book here on these different teachings that are damning (and will damn) many to everlasting darkness, and will get their name blotted out of the Lamb’s Book of Life; we will deal with just one of these doctrines that Jesus hates…and that has turned into “another gospel.” Or as Peter called it…a “damnable heresy.” What is a “damnable heresy?” It’s exactly what it says it is: it’s a teaching or a false doctrine that damns its hearers and followers to eternal punishment.
And one of these “damnable heresies” is the teaching of OSAS (Once Saved – Always Saved), also known as The Perseverance of the Saints, and also known as Eternal Security. It is a teaching that has damned millions to an everlasting punishment, and is continuing to do the same thing today. The Reformed teacher Steve Brown said on the radio on 4/28/93, “The doctrine is called by Baptists, eternal security or once saved always saved. But we mean the same thing. And the doctrine states that once you’re saved, you’re always saved, that God holds you, that you will persevere to the end.”
The teaching received its prominence with John Calvin from the Synod of Dort, but in all actuality, the spirit of it (the “deeds) of it predates Calvin a thousand years. Augustine taught it, and “another gospel” called Predestination.
But the Elders, and Church Fathers who lived before Augustine condemned it as heresy. For those of you reading this today who enjoy Church history, you might be surprised to hear who condemned this teaching. Clement in his first epistle to the Corinthians, Polycarp in his epistle to the Philippians, Ignatius in four of his letters to the Ephesians, the Trallians, the Romans, and the Philadelphians. Barnabus, Justin Martyr, Irenaus, Hermas, Tertullian, Cyprian, and many more.
Do you realize that some of these men were disciples of John the beloved, and of Paul the apostle? Think of it!! Can all these early disciples, elders, and church fathers be wrong? I don’t think so.
But let’s go a step further…let’s show what type of man Augustine was. And then I think you’ll lose all appreciation for anything he taught. While attending studies at an Oratory school in Carthage, he had an affair with a woman, and she bore him a son. He never married her. He was a devout Catholic (which Philip Shaff brings out in volume 3, page 144, of his Church History…which is considered by most to be the leading authority on Church History). Augustine was known as “the father of Catholicism of the middle age.” He worked very hard as a preacher, a writer, and an administrator to defend and spread the Catholic religion.
He taught that only Catholics would inherit eternal life. In his sermon given to the Catholic church in Caesarea in 418, he said, “There is no salvation outside the Catholic church.” His many teachings and writings included: babies who are not baptized in water by the church will go to hell if they died an infant, he taught penance, he taught that baptism itself IS salvation, he helped to develop the doctrine of purgatory, he introduced Mary-worship, he introduced praying to the saints, it is he who first taught that Mary was sinless. And on top of all of that, he murdered other Christian believers for their faith, and for telling others the truth about Augustine’s heretical teachings. So then, he was a murderer. It doesn’t matter that he didn’t do the actual deed himself…he ordered it done. It’s the same thing in God’s eyes,
Now, if Aurelius Augustine was wrong about all of that; why would we think that he had the slightest insight into the plan of salvation? But yet the Reformers put his writings second only to the bible. John Calvin called him “the best and most faithful witness of all antiquity.”
As one brother so aptly put it: “One must wonder about John Calvin’s spirituality from all of this. Certainly Calvin knew of these Catholic teachings that Augustine embraced. How then could he so highly esteem him and his writings? Could it be that Calvin shut his eyes to Augustine’s false gospel because he liked the predestination teaching to which he held? No one will ever know for sure this side of the Judgment what the specific doctrinal attraction was for Calvin. But this we do know: the originator of OSAS taught a plan of salvation that would not bring salvation at all and John Calvin systemized and made popular this man’s teachings that appealed to him.”
We had to lay the groundwork here of the teaching by showing where it really had its origins at…and who made it popular. All false doctrine’s start somewhere. They start with a man’s personal interpretation of what a scripture means; and then they pull other scriptures out of context to buttress their position. Peter spoke of this when he said, “As also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things; in which are some things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest, as they do also the other scriptures, unto their own destruction.”
So then, this now brings us to John Calvin. And this is where the story begins to get really interesting. Tune in to this channel next week for the conclusion of “Another Jesus – Another Spirit – Another Gospel”.