DEATH WISH I
Something of extreme importance has taken place on the West Coast. It concerns everyone who loves Christ and is the called according to His purpose. We received word of this from two different sources about a week apart. Because of what is at stake, we will have a larger paper this time than what we normally have. This event is the ABA's declaration of war against Christianity in America, May 4, 5 in San Francisco. This could possibly be the most significant attack against Christianity since the foundation of Western Law, the Justinian Code.
We need to make an opening observation here. Prov. 8:36-- But he that sinneth against me wrongeth his own soul: all that hate me love death. There are two main points here in the second part of this verse. Hate God--love death.
First, what does it mean to hate God? a.) Does it mean to speak against God.? b.) Does it mean to shake ones fist at God and say, "I hate you?" c.) Does it mean to try to sit on the throne of heaven? Ps. 2:3 tells us what it means to hate God as the God haters said either in their heart or in counsel together, let us break their bands asunder and cast away their cords from us.
Notice that there is no record of them saying, "God we hate you". All in the world they did was try to get away from God's laws, precepts and principles. All they did in their counsel was say, "We really don't need God's word for our instruction. We can have our own instruction. We can get that instruction from science, philosophy, medicine, nature, or from any number of sources." (Courts, state, legislature, etc., any source except the total of God's word.)
Our Lord said it best in Matt. 12:30: He that is not with me is against me; and he that gathereth not with me scattereth abroad. This could not be any clearer. Many seem to think that if a person is not speaking against God and His Christ, that they are sort of neutral and they are alright. I have had more than a few say this to me, "He really isn't against God, they don't say anything one way or another." Our Lord makes it clear that any indifferent attitude toward the Lord and His Christ (and the word of God), is to stand against Him.
No piece of music is neutral, no person (this includes all our friends), book, T.V show, activity, use of clothing (either it glorifies God or it is against Him), bite of food or drink, action, word, thought, discipline of education (math, science, art, language, etc.), is neutral. (I will have to say that as a whole, most objects are neutral. It is how they are used or regarded which removes their neutrality.) Thus, nothing is neutral. It either upholds Biblical principles or it doesn't. If it doesn't, it is against God.
Therefore any person (or above mentioned things), which doesn't conform with the bands and cords of God's word as mentioned in Ps. 2, is involved in rebellion against God and hatred of God. Anything which is not conformed to God's word (scriptural principles, it doesn't have to mention God one way or another), is against God. It is in rebellion and hatred of the Lord and His anointed. (Humanism is the effort to remove God and His word from everything.) Notice that even in Satan's rebellion, it really wasn't him shaking his fist at God and saying, "God, I hate you". Rather it was trying to ignore God and to do his thing apart from God.
Back to Prov. 8:36. All that hate me... Hatred of God is defined as ignoring His principles of life as revealed to us in His total word.
Now the second part, all that hate me love death. It goes without saying that the opposite of God's principles of life would be death. This is why we are seeing "death education" courses being taught in the state schools. This is why there is such a fascination with death and violence on T.V., in the movies and by society in general. This is why the murder of the unborn is socially accepted. This is why one of the most demanded videos at the rental store is, "The Many Faces of Death".
Thus, the argument, "But they are not against God. They don't say anything against God and His word," is unscriptural. Our Lord said, if that person is not for God, Christ and the word of God, then they are His enemies.
If that book we read doesn't uphold scriptural principles, it is an attack on God. If that show we watch doesn't uphold scriptural principles, it is an attack upon God. If that class where our children sit and the books they study don't uphold scriptural principles, they are sitting in an attack on the God whom we say we love. If that activity which we or our children are involved in doesn't uphold scriptural principles, it is an attack upon the God of the scriptures.
There is nothing neutral. It is either for God or against God. It doesn't matter how good it looks, or how appealing and nice sounding it may be, if it is not for God and His principles, it is against Him.
We will be held accountable for being involved in those antichrist, anti-God activities and areas, and the results of those activities is death.
DEATH WISH II
(Of the American Bar Association)
We see in Zech., chps. 10 and 11, God in His anger and wrath, promised judgment against the false shepherds. His judgment was just and total. Now He moves on to a chapter of tremendous promises. There are seven (the number of perfection) I wills in this chapter, showing us what God is going to do as well as His perfection in doing it.
The time frame for this would be after the destruction of the false shepherds of Christ's day. No doubt the prophesied destruction was a warning (as well as a promise), to those who had returned from Babylon to help rebuild Jerusalem and had returned not with a righteous motive. Rather their motive was for the benefits which was in "Christianity" for themselves. This was the motive of the false shepherds and Zechariah points out the horrible judgment against these false professors to get these "hypocrites" to change.
To introduce this chapter and to identify who it is written to, we need to quote Hengstenberg. "The Christian Church is from its very commencement the legitimate continuation of Israel, the wicked having been rooted out from the nation, and those who were Gentiles by birth having been incorporated into Israel on the ground of their faith..."
In short, here is what is said. The covenant is made with Abraham. The true covenant people are those who exhibit the faith of Abraham. All of those who refused to have the faith of Abraham (this unbelief climaxed in the death of the Promised Seed of Abraham, the Messiah), were cut off and destroyed. The covenant never changed, the root remained. The only way one can be part of that root (covenant), is faith in that Seed of Abraham, the same faith which Abraham had, Jn. 5:39-47; 8:56; Lk. 24:44-48; Gal. 3. The unbelieving portion of the people were cut off. Anyone can be grafted in through faith.
Some would see this chapter is a reference to the Jews, the inhabitants of Judah and Jerusalem. To say such about this chapter must disregard the many NT passages which tells us of the new nation of Israel and the New Jerusalem. Galatians would be one of those books which would have to be overlooked. Thus, Zech. 12 is a message of promise of what the Lord will do for, in and through Christ, the Covenant of God, Isa. 42:6. See I Tim. 3:15; Rom. 2:20.
Israel must be the Christian Church, formed of the true Israel which believed, and the Gentiles who were grafted into them. (Pusey, Barnes' notes) "The people of God exists, since the rejection of Christ, only in Christendom, which has been formed out of believing Jews and believing Gentiles, or the church of the New Testament... ...and Jerusalem and Judah, as the inheritance of Israel, are types of the seats and territories of Christendom. (Keil)"
Zech. 12:1. Burden. The utterance of a revelation. Zechariah is under a heaviness from God to deliver this message. This message is to be pressed upon the people and is a message to all of the church's enemies. But this message is for Israel, for Israel's benefit. (M.H.) "..Israel can only refer to the covenant nation. This was its highest and holiest name, which could not be transferred to any other." This passage would correspond to Christ's words in Matt. 24:9, ye shall be hated of all men for my name's sake. (Hengs.) This prophecy of Christ warns His church that all of the world will be against them and will use every means at their disposal to "stamp out" any kind of threat to them which might come from Christianity. This has taken place in the past. This is also taking place today as Christians lose their salt.
As we consider this and move into this chapter which shows both the pagan's move against the church (Judah and Jerusalem), and the uselessness of their move because of the final triumph of Christ, there are some things which come to mind.
In the past, the pagans method of exhibiting their hatred toward Christ, His people and the law of God for which they stood, has been open warfare. We can think of the Ottoman (Turks) empire's warfare against Christianity. This would include the current day feeling by the followers of Mohammed that, "A good Christian is a dead Christian".
But if we restrict our thinking to the attack against the church by the antichrist crowd as being a physical attack, we will be consumed in their attack. The past has seen tremendous physical attacks (such as recorded in the Book of Acts, or when the Turks attacked Malta [1565 A.D.] or the present Communism's physical violence against Christians), but the attack today which is so destructive has none of that torture and physical death. The attack today is under the disguise of, "separation of Church and state." This lie has been very nicely presented by the antichrist Humanists and accepted by the Christians. And then we let the Humanists define a church as being anyone who believes the Bible to any degree.
Christians today seem to be unable to comprehend that the battle between the antichrist crowd and the covenant people is just as real and even more destructive than when the Turks killed the male Christians and took their women into their harems. Sad to say, that as men of God try to warn them of this warfare, they are dismissed as not really understanding the issue. The primary battle field in which the Humanists are winning the war against the church is in the area of education. Many Christians absolutely refuse to believe the battle is being waged there, so they willingly turn over their children to the "Turkish harems", if you please.
The battle for the future of mankind (Humanism vs. Christianity), is going full-force. The Humanists are in siege both against Judah and against Jerusalem, and God's people as a whole don't even know there is a war going on. Or if they do, they are unwilling to get involved.
Here in Zechariah 12, we get a little of an overview of this battle which the antichrist crowd is waging against the church. If it wasn't for the opening statement in v. 1, I would be ready to throw up my hands and capitulate. I would tell the Christians to go ahead, surrender their children to the enemy. I would tell the enemy, "Okay, go ahead, take it all. I'll just wait for the end of all things." But this opening volley by the Lord (v.1), gives renewed hope in the face of the dedication of the antichrist crowd (the Humanist), and in the face of the blindness and indifferent of God's people. Seemingly because there is not someone standing over the Christian saying, "Give me your children or else," they think there is no battle going on. The devil's devices are long-range, effective and ignored.
[B]urden of the word of the Lord for Israel... This word is for Israel and against her enemies. The fire which keeps the church warm and protected, burns her enemies. "As even the fiery law (Deut. 33:2),... (M.H.)" The same law which keeps, protects and provides for the law-keeper is a consuming fire to the law-breaker.
[T]he Lord. Pharaoh said, who is the Lord, that I should obey his voice...? Thus, He doesn't stop here but Zechariah goes on to tell us who the Lord is. First, He stretched forth the heavens, and layeth the foundation of the earth. What a wonderful description of the Lord. This could not be a clearer reference to Isaiah chps. 40-51. It is full of passages such as, 40:26. Lift up your eyes on high, and behold who hath created these things, that bringeth out their host by number: he calleth them all by names by the greatness of his might, for that he is strong in power; not one faileth. This portion of Isaiah abounds with the majesty of God and His ability to supply the needs of His people. (See especially, 42:5.)
"God's creative power is ever-present working... ." Notice Heb. 1:3. Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power,... The manifestation of the power of the Creator (Jesus), did not stop with the creation.
Who is the Lord that I should obey him,? said the pagan king of this world, Pharaoh. First, He stretcheth forth the heavens, and layeth the foundation of the earth. He not only created all things, but only by His word is it all held together. He has not forsaken the earth as some modern "Theologians" would have us believe. But their theology isn't new as they seek to find a doctrine which will permit their strange, unbiblical doctrine of surrender, Ezek. 8:12; 9:9.
Second, who is the Lord? He is the One who formeth the spirit of man within him. He is the Father of spirits, Heb. 12:9. But as with the creation, this is not a one time act. As Keil says, "This denotes the continuous creative formation and guidance of the human spirit by the Spirit of God." (See Ps. 104:2-4; Isa. 42:5.)
Thus, we see that not only is the king's heart in the hand of the Lord, as the rivers of water: To be turned whethersoever he will, (Prov. 21:1), but so is the spirit of every man. Surely Jeremiah did not say in vain, it's of the Lord's mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness (Lam. 3:22, 23). "He Who formed the heart of men can overrule them as he wills." He "casts them into what mold he pleases, so as to serve his own purposes with them...(M.H.)"
What an assurance for His people who believe: 1.) That He created all things and that He upholdeth all things by the word of His power. 2.) That He formeth the spirit of man within Him, holds it in His hand and directs it as He wills. I know that this surely goes against one of sinful man's pet doctrines, the Free Will of Man. Human nature finds it impossible to believe that the individual doesn't control his own destiny. This is a subject which has been discussed by Theologians ever since there has been Biblical Theology. Any attempt to speculate, add to, or subtract from God's revealed word has and will only lead to more confusion on this subject. (See C. Hodges, Systematic Theology, Vol. I, pgs. 587-590.)
Probably one of the most conclusive passages along this line would be Rev. 17:17, where the Lord put in their hearts to fulfill his will, and to agree, and give their kingdom unto the beast, until the words of God shall be fulfilled. We see a reflection of this in Paul's prayer as recorded in II Thess. 3:5, and the Lord direct your hearts into the love of God, and into the patient waiting for Christ. What about God's direction in salvation? See Jn. chp. 6.
I cannot understand nor explain this. We must conclude this in agreement with C. Hodges. Scriptures clearly teach that God governs all actions of His creation, whether it is the hairs of our head or a sparrow falling. The foundation of all religion is based on this. God didn't see fit to tell us how He does this and any attempt to explain this not only leads to difficulty and confusion, but worse yet, assumes that human reason is superior to God's revelation.
Thus, returning to Zechariah 12:1, God made the spirit of man, therefore He controls it. He can move the enemies of the covenant people (church), against them, away from them or against one another. But better yet, He can (and does), move in response to prayer. As he moves on down through chp. 12, the many I wills only confirms that God is totally in control. No matter how much out of control a situation may appear, we can be assured that His will and purpose is being accomplished.
Zech. 12 shows us that Jerusalem (Mt. Zion) is in safety because the Lord of hosts is her protector. Ps. 76, etc.
Verse 2, cup of trembling, (marg., slumber, poison). We have already established that Jerusalem is a reference to the church. Therefore, now we have a prophecy of her enemies coming against her and the result of their efforts.
All of the nations which lay siege against Jerusalem are in for a surprise. "They promise themselves that it shall be to them a cup of wine, which they shall easily and with pleasure drink of, and they thirst for its spoils, nay, they thirst for its blood, as for such a cup; but it shall prove a cup of slumber, nay, a cup of poison, to them, which when they take it into their hands, and think it is all their own, they shall not be able to drink of: the fumes of it shall give them enough. (M.H.)" Thus we see that as the nations of the world move against God's church with great expectation to destroy her, they are in for a surprise. Here in v. 2, the Lord is preparing for v. 3.
Notice v. 2, I will make... He is the One which will make His church a cup of trembling to those who seek to overthrow her. The enemies of God are expecting great pleasure as they seek to stamp out Christianity, instead they are going to find great drunkenness as they lose control of their senses. All past efforts to destroy her by corruption or by war have been met with devastation to the ones making the effort. The nations which drink of this "wine" will be drunken. They will act as a drunk does, without reason to his own destruction, and he doesn't even know it, Pro. 23:20-25. Now look what this drunk does:
Verse 3, ...a burdensome stone. The enemies of the covenant people unite all of their best effort against them. In doing so, they drink of the "wine", making them drunk. They loose their ability to reason, causing them to do unreasonable things, (as a drunk would). In their drunken state, thinking they can do more than they can, they attempt to remove this stone. This is not just any stone. We can read about this stone in Dan. 2:34, 35, 44, 45. Not only is this a large stone but it fills the whole earth. It is set in its place and the drunks from Zech. 12:2, think they can move it out of their way. But we see that rather than these drunks being able to move it, it crushes them. Our Lord made reference to this over in Matt. 21:44. And whosoever shall fall on this stone shall be broken: but on whomsoever it shall fall, it will grind him to powder.
This has been a common desire of all nations since the Good Shepherd came, with few exceptions. This goal of the nations is described in Ps. 2, as The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together against the Lord, and against his anointed, saying, let us break their bands asunder, and cast away their cords from us. We see this also in Ps. 83:3, 4. They have taken crafty counsel against thy people, and consulted against thy hidden ones. They have said, come, and let us cut them off from being a nation; that the name of Israel may be no more in remembrance. (The Church, Gal. 6:16, etc.)
But, no matter how hard they may try in their united effort to remove this burdensome stone (from around their necks, so they believe), Mt. Zion will not be moved, Ps. 125:1; Heb. 12:22. To this drunk, "Freedom comes through destroying the law, not in its fulfillment. (R.J.R. World History Notes, pg. 19)" Therefore, to the Humanist, the only hope for mankind is to cast off the burdensome stone. This justifies (in his mind), any and every action which can enter into the heart of wicked men. He sees his only hope of survival in the removal of this burdensome stone. Thus, when evil men speak of "Freedom" they speak of freedom from the command-law of God. To a Christian, freedom means power and liberty to obey the law of God, Rom. 13:4, 8-14.
Schmieder observes here with perfect accuracy, "Thus did the heathen of the Roman empire attempt to lift the 'burdensome stone' of the Christian Church, by slaying the witnesses for Christ: but, the heathenism of Rome bled to death of the wounds, which this 'burdensome stone' inflicted in return. (Hengs.)" Again referring to Hengs., "But we have, lastly, a decisive proof that the prophecy does not relate to the literal Jerusalem, in the repetition of the same announcement in the book of Revelation, where we find, not Jerusalem, but simply the Christian Church, which overcomes first of all heathen Rome, then the ten heathen kings, and last of all that form of heathenism which is revived in Gog and Magog..."
This stone which is cut out without hands, which the builders rejected, is become head of the corner. "The church, built on the stone, seems a thing easily annihilated; ten persecutions in succession strove to efface it, Diocletian erected a monument, commemorating that the Christian name was blotted out. It [the church] survived; he perished. (Pusey)"
The evil men don't learn. They are drunk. They have lost all ability to reason as they continue on in their madness. We read this on pg. IV of The Washington Report, 9/89. "The American Bar Association has declared war on Christianity and is training and encouraging its members to use lawsuits to bring Christians to their knees."
Also in the latest issue of The Chalcedon Report (Oct. '89), in the article, The Coming Nuclear Attack on Christianity in America says is this: "War has been declared, and Christianity is in a fight to the death." They are reporting on a seminar conducted May 4 & 5, '89 in San Francisco. The advertisement for this seminar led off with this statement, "Attorneys who want to be on the leading edge of an explosive new area of law." The ABA declared war on Christianity with their opening subject, "Expanding use of tort law against religions." As we see here, this "new area of law" which is to be used to destroy Christianity is Tort Law. The ABA is training its members for effective use of this "new area of law" against Christians in America. Let me strongly urge those who don't receive the Chalcedon Report to at least get this one. It is sent free of charge but it would be good to send some funds to help cover the cost. Chalcedon Report, Box 158, Vallecito, CA 95251.
With this goal of the ABA in mind, I like what M.H. quotes, "The church's motto may be... He that assails me does it at his peril. If you are weary of your life, persecute the Christians, was once a proverb."
Every Christian should rejoice in this passage of Zechariah 12. Getting a little ahead of ourselves, this is too good to pass up at this time. As we consider this passage and its I wills here is something to consider. Let's look at the ABA for a moment. As we know, every person who is in the legal "profession" in this country, must belong to the ABA. It wasn't this way in the past, but it is now. This includes lawyers and the judges before whom they appear.
The ABA seems to be one big fraternity where everyone knows everyone and all on the same government payroll. It doesn't take many dealings with a member of the ABA to find out that it is almost totally corrupt. Justice has been laid aside replaced with whatever is expedient. It doesn't take a very hard look to see that there is no justice in the courtroom. Consistent justice is gone with the wind, the same as Bible based curriculum is gone from the state schools.
In fact, we are being advised by Christian attorneys (Al Cunningham), to avoid the courts because there will be no justice there for Christians. Our Lord spoke of the situation such as we find ourselves in today as He told His followers to agree with thine adversary quickly, whilst thou art in the way with him; lest at any time the adversary deliver thee to the judge, and the judge deliver thee to the officer, and thou be cast into prison, Matt. 5:25, 26. The judge has no intention of seeing that Biblical justice is done, therefore, if at all possible (within Biblical guidelines), settle any differences we might have with anyone so we won't have to go before the ungodly judges.
Now, to proceed on here in Zech. 12, with the ABA, as an example. To me this determination by the ABA to stamp out Christianity makes me want to shout. There appears to be a two-fold purpose in the ABA's declaration of war. First, "These believers (in Romania) had come to recognize the lethargy and corruption of the American church and had begun to pray that God would trouble and arouse it, so that a spiritually restored body would one day emerge to truly give substance to a hope (which the Romanian Christians have) of deliverance in Christ's name. (C.R. pg. 1)" The OT covenant people have given us plenty of examples of what happens to a people's faith in ease and prosperity, Rev. 3:14-22. No doubt this declared warfare by the ABA will awaken some sleeping Christians who believe that everything is all right, I Cor. 15:34. It appears that our God is also fed up with the ungodly lawyers and judges, the legal system in general, here in America. Therefore, God hath put in their hearts to fulfill His will and persecute the church (check also Ezek. chps. 38, 39). As they move in obedience to that desire and persecute the church, the church will be purified and strengthened and the ABA will be cut in pieces, Zech. 12:3. Looking ahead a little to 12:6. Fire will proceed out from Judah and (the new) Jerusalem and consume this antichrist crowd.
A very important point here in Zech. 12, is that the siege will drive the covenant people to purity and prayer. Then the Lord moves to deliver them according to His purpose and for His praise, honour and glory, Ex. 23:20-22; Zech. 12:9.
Thus, this open warfare could serve dual purpose. 1. Purge sin out of the church (I Pet. 1:7), and cause them to return to the law-word of God. 2. Bring destruction upon the ABA.
In other words, as the ABA announces their intention to declare war on Christianity, they openly declared war on God. The church's motto has been and needs to be, "He that assails me does it at his perils. If you are weary of your life, persecute the Christians." Julian the Apostate found this out. The monument in Italy erected by Diocletian is visible proof. The ABA publicly declared its Death Wish and we may even live to see it. Although it could take several generations of "fire" for their destruction to come to pass.
(The ABA is only one example. As we see from Prov. 8:36, this would include ANY PERSON or INSTITUTION which tries to do away with the total of God's word for their every instruction in righteousness. This includes every political body, every educational [state schools as we know them today] body, every institution and organization [companies, churches, "Christian colleges", etc., included] which we can think of or name. The ABA has publicly declared its intention. Others have not been so public in their declaration, although, from what I understand, the NEA has been very vocal in their antichrist stand. They are totally dedicated to removing ALL reference to God from the state education system. But even here we are assured that God will be praised, Ps. 76:10.)
Why should the church be fearful at all of these ungodly efforts? She has Zech. 12 as her assurance that as the wicked make their ungodly attacks against the Lord and his anointed, they are ramming their head into Mt. Zion, Ps. 83; Heb. 12:22. I would suppose that there could not be any clearer of a fulfillment of Ps. 2 in our day than all of the legal profession (ABA), uniting together to overthrow all reminders of God's laws to be replaced by man's laws.
My, what glorious days we are living in, as we see one part of the antichrist crowd (ABA) making their effort to lift the burdensome stone from off their neck to their own destruction. They will be ground into dust. In the meantime, no doubt those who stand firm on the word of God and His commands, will face some tremendously difficult days. Their hatred for God will be taken out on His ambassadors here in their kingdom, unless, God preforms some of these I wills very soon. Is the church prepared to move in and provide Biblical justice in this area which is about to be ground into powder and blown away? Is the church prepared to move into all of these other areas which are in rebellion against the Lord and his anointed? According to the never changing eternal word of God, those who are currently using these areas for their antichrist activity are exercising their Death Wish.
In the final analysis there is only one answer. Those (of us, I'm afraid), who will face the wrath of the ABA have a choice. Obey God's every law-word in every area and let the heathen rage as they did against the early church, or obey man-made laws and have "peace", Acts 5:29. It sure would appear that the church (made up of individuals), will have to determine who is the authority over them, Christ or Caesar, (in the name of "public policy"). The days of "wine and roses" are over for Christianity, replaced with commitment to Christ for survival.
The two-soul man.
Death Wish III
As we see from the ABA's Declaration of War on Christianity, Bible-believing, consistent Christians who take a stand in society could be in for a very difficult time.
This Declaration of War didn't happen overnight. Sad to say, Christianity in America brought this upon themselves. The church needs to get some things in order and this may be what is needed. Christians have been influenced to withdraw from society and the natural result when light is removed is for darkness to take over.
Now, I realize that the antichrist crowd didn't come along all at once and say, "You don't belong in these areas". It has been a gradual process over the past 100 years or so.
Something which caught my attention which, in my opinion, shows us where (and why) we are at, is an "old" college textbook. I would like to give three quotes from it, and, from what I understand, this is the prevalent teaching in the vast majority of "Christians colleges" today.
It really isn't that old (published in '56), but it is one of the more open in its attack against Biblical Christianity. It is a textbook for training sunday school teachers and these quotes speak for themselves. (Teaching For Results, by Findley B. Edge, Broadman Press, 1956.)
"The Bible is the central textbook for teaching religion. (pg. 116)" Now, this statement in itself sounds good, but, it is wicked to the core. Previously Mr. Edge had defined religion and this is where we get an insight into his heresy. "We might give the following as an example of a quarterly aim: "My aim this quarter is to help my members to practice three Christian virtues in their daily living: (1) to use the Bible as a guide in making moral decision (2) to practice daily communion with God, (3) to engage in personal Christian witnessing.' Here, the teacher has three specific objectives in mind that he wants to accomplish. He will thus be able to make each lesson contribute to the achieving of one of these purposes. If the teacher has such a plan in mind at the beginning of the quarter, he has a much better chance of having success at the end of the quarter. (pg. 95)"
To reaffirm this commitment to remove God's word from Christian life, he goes on, "1. Knowledge Aim: To lead my class members to learn the significant facts in the life of Jesus in chronological order. 2. Inspiration Aim: To lead my class members to have an increasing appreciation of the life and teachings of Jesus. 3. Conduct response: To lead my class members to practice three Christian virtues in their daily experience, to use the Bible as a guide in making moral choices, to practice daily communion with God, and to engage in personal Christian witnessing. (pg. 101)"
Now, for a very quick overview. According to Mr. Edge, there are only three aims to teaching scripture: 1. Knowledge, 2. Inspiration, and, 3. Conduct. Then he identifies conduct as "moral choices". Thus, Mr. Edge restricts religion to the moral areas of our lives.
Whether we went to college or not, this is the basic philosophy of life which we have been taught as Christians. We have two areas of decisions. We have, first, Moral Decisions. This area would include where to go to church, how to talk, whether to smoke, what to wear, drinking or not, salvation, dealing with inner attitudes, soul-winning, tithing, and other such "spiritual" decisions. We have been taught that the Bible addresses these things. We pray about these things and if the Holy Spirit convicts us, then that is what we do, (or don't do, as the case may be). We go to church to learn about these things from God's word.
Now, we come to the second area of decisions. This would be the Practical Decisions. This area would include, where to work, how to succeed in our work, our relationship with others ("so what if I must stretch the truth a little"), unions, social conditions, education, political involvement, use of our talents, in fact, this area would include everything which is outside of the "moral" area.
We have been trained to think in two parts, Moral and Practical. We have been taught that the word of God is a book of morals and that it doesn't relate to anything except moral decisions. Pray about whatever it might be if you have time, then reason it out according to your "secular" education.
We have been trained for at least twelve years in this two-soul thinking. One soul which is moral and the other which is practical, (secular). We have been taught this in our schools, (state and Christian also to a very large degree). We have been taught this in our churches, even in those which would die for the authority of God's word.
But see the problem? Those who would die are willing to die for the authority of God's word over the moral area of life (whether or not to commit adultery), not for its authority over the practical areas, (the civil government, the work place, education, the sciences, law, arts, etc.).
The result, according to James 1:8 is a double minded man who is unstable in all his ways. But James doesn't leave the problem there. He continues on into chp. 4, calling such people who are double minded, adulterers and adulteresses. Not only that, he calls those who restrict, in any way, the word of God to Moral Decisions, the enemy of God, 4:4.
We have been taught that if there is a problem, pray about it. If we pray enough and grit our teeth, and have enough information (knowledge), about that situation, we will make the right decision in these practical areas. This sounds strangely familiar, Gen. 3:5. We have not been taught the absolute necessity of searching God's word that we might be able to apply it to every area of society, the state, the local community, the arts, etc. Our responsibility as Christians is to apply the mind of Christ to absolutely everything, both the "moral" areas and the "practical" areas, I Cor. 2:16.
Of course, it is easier to flee to the worlds training than it is to search and apply God's law to these areas. It is easier to seek someone else's advice and instruction than to search out the word of God. We also have the problem here that my will in those particular situations might not be God's will, so, why take a chance of searching out God's will? It might not be what I want.
We have been trained in the way of the heathens (Eph. 4:17-24), according to their philosophy and vain deceit, after the traditions of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ, Col. 2:8. This heathen philosophy has divided the Christian into two minds, two souls. 1. The moral part of man. This the word of God directs and speaks to. 2. The practical part of man. This one we gather together all of the wisdom and education of men that we can get and make our decisions.
Thus, Christians have withdrawn from society. They have believed the lie that life is made up of two areas, the moral (godly) and the practical, (secular). This two-soul person believes that if he is really going to serve God, he'll have to be a preacher, Christian school teacher, missionary, etc. Whereas, the total Christian sees only one Lord and one word for the total of the one (individual) man. This man's responsibility is to study God's word and to develop its implications into every area of life, including into the area of law.
Is it any wonder that Christianity as a whole today is so unstable? The Christians themselves have trained up double minded, two-soul people with the heresy as promoted by Mr. Edge.
The answer? Again referring to James. Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded. Be afflicted, and mourn, and weep: let your laughter be turned to mourning, and your joy to heaviness, (4:8, 9). Apply the word of God to EVERYTHING.
There is no doubt in my mind that God has raised up the ABA to drive His people back to the authority of His word for every rule of action, II Tim. 3:16. We had better cast off that division between moral and practical, (sacred and secular), which we have been taught or the chastening rod of God will be heavy upon those He loves, Heb. 12.
Current events are developing so fast around us that they will catch us unawares if we are not careful.
The latest international event is the opening of the Berlin Wall. This action is typical of the many things which appeared to be taking place between the East and West.
As we follow the news reports of this opening of the borders it is quite easy to get caught up in the excitement of them. We as Christians had better proceed in these areas with great caution and in the light of God's word.
Our heart rejoices as does everyone's who loves freedom as we see those in slavery rising up against their slave masters. But we must also ask, what lies ahead when the desire for freedom is a desire to be able to pursue "the good life," or to pursue the desires of one's heart? Would to God that we would be seeing the demise of Marxism.
We hope and pray that the following is purely speculation but there are too many facts which would say that it is not.
There are many points which could be made in regards to what is taking place. We will only observe a few of them.
First, in the turmoil taking place, we know of no Eastern bloc nation which has renounced Marxism. They make Stalin the 'bad guy' but they have done that for years. Walesa has not renounced Marxism and Gorbachev has only reaffirmed his commitment to Marxism.
Second, we need to keep in mind that these Eastern bloc nations HAVE NOT renounced their official stand against God and against a Christianity which refuses to recognize the sovereignty of the STATE.
Yes, Gorbachev goes around spouting religious phrases such as, "God willing," and, "with God's help", (he would make a perfect American politician). Yes, he even hints at having a shadow of a "Christian background", and, yes, he has opened a very small crack in his nation for Bibles to be brought in. But anyone who sees this as a shift toward God, isn't really following what is going on. (Sad to say, if he would run for a Senate seat in the U.S., he would get it. He would end up as the leader of Kennedy's block of votes.)
These nations have not released the multitudes imprisoned who refuse to recognize any sovereignty except the Lord Jesus Christ's. They have not released the many American prisoners which, according to John Noble, they have held in and added to their slave labor camps since WW II.
Third, we ARE NOT seeing any of these nations breaking with the Eastern bloc of nations, nor have we heard any such desire voiced.
Fourth, if we will stop and look for a moment, the Eastern bloc nations have not allowed one thing which cannot be stopped or reversed as quickly as was done in China.
Notice the Berlin Wall is not coming down. The leaders in the East have made it clear that it won't. The guard from the East, when asked about its removal said, "It won't come down . Our systems are too different." Instead they are making more openings in the Berlin Wall.
The conclusion here is obvious. The extra openings are for a purpose and that purpose is not for more freedom in the East. Those openings are to give an illusion of freedom. This illusion would be typical of all that we see going on in the East.
Which brings us to this point, the illusion. This also is something which is obvious. The East is collapsing economically. They need vast infusions of Western money or the people themselves will throw out the tyrants.
The West is committed to keeping Communism alive. This is obvious from the many things which have taken place since its formation by Carl Marx.
Obviously, the U.S. intervention into WW II saved Communism from extinction by Hilter. The division of Europe after the war further established Communism. Since the war, we have seen massive infusions of Western technology, which the Marxist have used to their military advantage.
(Isn't it strange how they can make such wonderful military equipment, subs, rockets, trucks, tanks, yet, can't make a car or a tractor which will work? We all remember the big truck plant built by Mack Truck. The Soviets promised that the trucks wouldn't be used for the military. The trucks were used to invade Afghanistan.)
The East needs vast amounts of money. The West is committed to provide that money so the Socialist slave masters can both retain and expand their massive slave labor system.
Now we have a problem. The tax-payers in the U.S. are the ones expected to set the pace in this scam to keep Marxism afloat. (In Walesa's words, "The word is awaiting your signal." A.P. 11/15/89.)
(We contacted our Senator, R. Lugar, about the massive amounts of money the U.S. finances the International Monetary Fund with. The answer we got back was typical of the madness going on. He said the reason we had to put the money in it was because we need to use it at times. In other words, we borrow billions to finances the IMF, so we can borrow some of that money back from the IMF. This is characteristic of all the answers we get back from him on these international matters.)
Americans love their freedom to travel and to have a 'voice' in government (even though they don't use it much and our elected officials know it. They knew that the public opinion had died down, never to be aroused again, and they were right. They pased a 40% raise this time). But, as we look around us, we can see that these freedoms which we think we have are only an illusion. Try to exert any freedom and go against 'public policy'.
THE ILLUSION. The American tax-payers are going to be required to further support the Marxists brand of Socialism and its expansion. They would probably balk at financing it if their system of slavery was so obvious.
How do they get the American tax-payer to support these massive transfers of money (money which must be borrowed in the tax-payers name)? By giving him an illusion that 'freedom' is growing in the East if he will finance that move.
But the tax-payer isn't totally irrational all the time, and this presents another problem. How will those in authority explain away the massive exodus of people from the Eastern slave states to the West? Something must be done to stop it. What do they do? Open the borders.
This serves a two-fold purpose. First, it eases the internal pressure. The people feel that everything is alright, freedom is in sight. They will now stay with their homes and loved ones because they feel that Western style freedom is on its way. (Observe that of the three million who visited W. Germany, only 1% stayed. Their plan worked, the illusion is effective. The people returned to their homes in the East.)
The second purpose, to convince the American tax-payer that Western style freedom and democracy is on its way and with Western money it will overcome Marxist Socialism. Otherwise the tax-payer will not support the massive transfer of the funds. If America won't, the rest of the Western nations would be reluctant.
(A quick note here on the word democracy. Notice how we are being overwhelmed with the use of the word democracy to describe Western freedom and the word republic to describe the slave states under Marxism. Again, the illusion works. We now identify democracy with freedom and republic with slavery. This is just the opposite of the foundation of the U.S. We are a Democratic Republic, a rule by established laws. And Eastern Germany is being called a democratic republic.)
THE ILLUSION WORKS! Congress rushed through the aid packages for the East with the tax-payer's support. (Isn't it amazing how fast this was rushed through? It was done almost as fast was their pay.)
Again, as we contacted our Senators not to send the money, they wrote back saying that as long as the moves toward democracy were being allowed, they would support the transfer of funds. We have no doubt that they know where their constituency stands on this aid to strengthen international Communism. The illusion works.
To further complicate matters, we have the Polish labor leader, Lech Walesa (who came into prominence in 1980), making his rounds in the West with his appeals for money (which he will get).
Let's keep a few things in mind. First, the Communists are not above planting a man such as he, in positions such as he was in. The Socialist can think long range. It is the Christian who has a problem thinking past his next debt payment.
He has been through a lot of 'warfare' with the government, and a result of that conflict is that the average Polish worker looks up to him, (even though he has been accused of betraying them). He is also seen as a modern hero by the tax-payer in the U.S. The President even presented this man with a freedom medal.
Second, from what we understand, his motto is still 'workers of the world unite'. Third, he will further influence the West to send them the massive amounts of money without their having to break their tie with the Soviets. ("Our country needs your experience, your knowledge, your technologies." In the same AP article Walesa made it clear that Poland isn't leaving the Soviet [Marxist] bloc, 11/15/89.)
Again, referring to John Noble. After many years as an American prisoner in the Soviet slave camps, he tells us that there is not one thing happening on the world stage that is not pre-planned in secret. Whether these are secret meetings of Western leaders or of the Marxist leaders.
The American tax-payer is willing to place himself even further in debt to finance the support of the Marxist Socialists, who have never renounced their goal to place him and his posterity into slavery.
The typical pastor stands up in his pulpit as though nothing is happening, while his people and many generations to come are being sold into slavery by their leaders.
Let's look at some documentation for this illusion. "Nations like Hungary, Poland, and perhaps even East Germany could become associate members of an expanded European community, if not full ones.
The challenge would be to allow them to flourish economically in association with Western Europe without upsetting the security interests of either the United States, or the Soviet Union in the process. (New York Times, Indpls. Star, 11/11/89.)"
The Associated Press reports Walesa as saying, "That if the West doesn't enthusiastically back Poland's economic recovery, it risks a brutal crackdown on the reforms now sweeping Eastern Europe"... as took place in China (Indpls. Star 11/14/89).
Note that he places the responsibility for the success of Poland on the West. Why don't they look to the East? They are still an Eastern bloc nation. We have heard of no desire in Poland (or from Walesa) to depart from the Eastern bloc, only the desire for Western money in order to remain a nation in the East.
Gorbachev wants to revitalize the Communist's Socialism. The economy is about to collapse which, of course, will take Socialism with it. The West does not want the Communist system to fail. Therefore, to prevent this collapse they must infuse vast sums of money into it.
INSIGHT, 10/20/89, A Red Herring in the Soviet Army? .."In sum, a smaller Soviet army with fewer tanks but with better protected and more versatile infantry might be more suited to war with NATO than the persent cumbersome megalith. "There's been speculation that the military has agreed to cuts now in exchange for [high-tech] improvements down the road," says Bowman, adding that the new advanced weapons can come only via a revitalized economy---And the infusion of Western technology that relaxation of tension might make possible." (Emphasis added.)
In an AP article, 11/15/89, Gorby warns West..., Gorbachev made it clear that to even consider any of these Eastern bloc nations as leaving the Soviet camp would be a "dangerous manifestation of old thinking". The Soviet's made it clear that to even think of the present difficulties "as demonstrating the failure of socialism and soviet policy... is an obsolete, archaic way of thinking. In this article Gorbachev warned against any "exporting capitalism" to the region."
Gorbachev tells us exactly what they are doing in the same AP article. "It is useless to clamor about victory in the cold war, about the disintegration of some or another social system." Here he tells us that their system has not failed. All they want is the money and technology to make it work. (AP 10/28/89. Gorbachev Wants High-tech Facilities.)
In the AP article, 11/15/89, W. Germany offers... "East German authorities have rejected the idea of a free-market system..." Here again we see that they and the news media are telling us exactly what is taking place. They are asking for our money and technology to support their Marxist system which they have absolutely no intention of abandoning.
The U.S. News (11/29/89, pg. 100), concludes their Editorial with this statement. "The West does not want another Brezhnev. What we can prudently do is encourage agreement on conventional arms and nuclear-arms reduction and offer economic and technical assistance thereafter. Such agreements would not "prop up an ailing system" and delay reform, which is Andrei Sakharov's fear. They would give Gorbachev more time, and they would enhance our own security. Things are moving at breakneck speed everywhere except in Washington."
It is apparent that if the West doesn't pour money into this anti-American, anti-God system, we could expect some things to take place.
1. There would be no arms race. Where do these nations get the money to build weapons? From the U.S. tax-payers, of course.
2. Not only would Gorbachev be overthrown, but the whole system of failure (Marxism, Communism) would also be overthrown. Why would the West want the leader of the system that has vowed world conquest to succeed?
3. Where are these "bleeding hearts" when it comes to assisting our small independent business men which have made America strong?
The AP reports (Walesca will blame West if Poland falters. Indpls. Star 11/17/89), that the Senate authorized aid to Poland in the amount of $657 million and $81 million to Hungary over the next three years, while "the House approved a one year installment of $533 million for the two Soviet-bloc nations."
As the Soviet bloc nations (the USSR, especially), make their imigration laws freer they are being granted most-favored nation trading status. (AP Soviets may get favored trade status, Indpls. Star, 11/17/89. Compare this with what is being done to anti-Communist nations such as South Africa.)
THE TRUTH! Now for the reality of the whole thing. The U.S.S.R. is sending nearly $4 Billion in annual military and economic assistance to Afghanistan and over $5.5 Billion to Cuba. Cuba is also receiving the new advanced Mig 29s. Nicaragua has received $410 million in military equipment from the Soviets, just from Jan. to Oct. 1, '89. (Human Events, 11/25/89)
Two short observations.
First, as these Soviet nations open their borders, the U.S. will send them money. Comment: So what if these nations lose a few million people, that money will keep the Marxists-Liennenist in power. They have killed a lot more people to stay in power than what they may lose over the border.
Second, the U.S. sends these Soviet bloc nations millions while the Soviets continue to send their billions in military equipment world-wide. Comment: These are Soviet bloc nations. Why don't the Soviets send the millions as aid to her allies? Why is the U.S. sending the aid permitting the Soviets to continue in their military build up and expansion? (I'm sure the many accidents in the military just before the meeting between Gorbachev and Bush have only been a coincidence.)
A SAD CONCLUSION! A conclusion to the whole matter appears to be that the U.S. is now a vassal state to the Soviets. We provide the money to keep the Socialist economy afloat while the Soviets continue to invest all of their resources into their goal of world conquest.
Only those who don't want to see what is happening (because they don't want any responsibility to do anything about it?), could miss this. These leaders want the benefits of Western style free enterprise, the money, without the freedom to work that enterprise. Neither the U.S. or the Soviet Union want any of those nations to switch sides. All they appear to want is Western money to keep the Marxist in power. They must get the average man world-wide to support that transfer of money.
A BIBLICAL VIEW! Now, let's draw a conclusion. The law of God establishes a principle here. Deut. 23:4-6. Here the Lord strictly forbids any aid whatsoever to any nation (or individual as far as that goes), that is against the Lord and His Christ. If a nation (or individual), is indifferent toward the Kingdom of God that is a different story which we aren't dealing with here.
These Eastern bloc nations are officially atheistic. They have made no official change at all, nor is there any indication of any change in this area. No doubt, they are using the church to further their goals. Remember, there is now an Eastern bloc pope from Poland. (To them, words are a weapon of warfare to be used as a bullet is used from the end of a gun.)
This places the so called Christian nations in direct violation of this principle here in Deut. 23:6, as they seek to send aid to those who are openly against the advancing of the Kingdom of God.
Ps. 50:18 also fits here. When we aid the thief or murderer in any way, we are partakers with them and will be judged accordingly, v. 22. Folks, we had better make preparation for the judgment of God.
Unless the professed Christians get their head out of the sand, stand up on the word of God, get involved and hold their elected representatives to some measure of accountability (and reason), we, and many following generations, will be slaves to the very system which we are financing.
It would be self-deception as well as self-destruction to think that a holy, sovereign God will not chastise His people for not raising their voices against such rebellious actions against His law. Indifference always leads to the judgment of God, Zeph. 1:12.
What to do? Contact our elected representatives. At least let them know that there are still a few people in America who have the power of thinking and looking past the illusions.
We are hearing a lot about flag desecration and patriotism and we need to address all of this from God's word. But first, let's preface what we are going to say with this.
I love America. If we should need to go to war to protect what freedoms to serve God which we still have, I would be in the volunteer line immediately.
When I think of Jane Fonda I want to vomit and then strangle her . To many of us, she represents all that is anti- American. When we hear of traitors who have sold or given away our technology to the enemies (Soviets, Eastern Bloc nations), I wish that the death penalty were enforced. a.) That includes Tosheba who sold the milling machine. That includes Didigital who sold super computers. The Soviets aren't smart enough to build them but they are smart enough to get them from the West.) That includes congressmen and presidents who give away our grain to feed the Marxists so they can stay in power and dedicate all of their resources to world conquest.
I would love to see the one-worlders like Sen. Lugar (R.IN), tried in an open public courtroom for their efforts to tear down national sovereignty and build a one-world community, (with them at the top, of course). I would love to see Americans wake up to what is happening in the government school system as the classroom is used to destroy the basic foundation of this nation, faith in a prayer hearing and answering God and family authority. Here is the hot bed of anarchy and subversion and all in the name of Academic Freedom. My anger rises as I see our nation being turned from a Constitutional Republic. The rule by laws a found in the Constitution to rule by the biggest crowd, Democracy. Of course, most basic is the forsaking of our laws which reflect God's word.
I enjoy seeing the American flag. In Louisiana, one of our men was the building maintenance superintendent for Shreveport's tallest building. One top of this building was a flag pole with a huge flag. The flag itself was close to 1,000 square feet. In fact, it would cover more floor space than what did the house we were living in. At night there were huge flood lights which illuminated that flag. As soon as Shreveport was within view, that flag could been seen. At night, with those lights, the flag could easily be seen for several miles. In fact, college professors who were buggy about bugs would come to study the bugs which would fly into the flood light. Some bugs were known to fly 15 or 20 miles into the lights. Day or night, if the weather was descent, that flag could be seen. My heart would bet with joy as we could see this flag.
In the service, when Colors would sound, everything would come to a stop while the flag was raised or lowered. When I was stationed in D.C., If you were driving anything on base when colors sounded, you had better stop or you would get a ticket. This was typical of all the bases where I went. (It would be a race to get off base before Colors. Even on the job, we would pause when Colors were sounded.) The military taught us respect for the flag although we already had that respect before we went into the military. To quote the article in USN & WR, 7/3/89, "For most Americans, the flag is the most important symbol of our nationalism."
We were taught this respect in our schools, homes and churches. It was natural for a good citizen to love and honor our flag as the symbol of our freedom to serve God. We wouldn't think of doing other-wise.
Those of us who came up in the decade of protest, the 60's, knew what to do with the flag burners. Send them to the communist which they loved so well. We would still have the same advice, send the American haters to the nations which hate America. Maybe Iran, India, China, Viet Nam, the Soviet Union or Cuba. There are many places which would even provide the American flags for them to burn.
I'm sure that your heart, like mine, skips a beat when you see an American flag or hear the national anthem. I still get "goose bumps" when I hear the anthem. I love this nation as as I'm sure you do. My blood boils as we read and hear of the many plans to destroy our national sovereignty and merge us into the one-world community, (to use their terms). I see red and desire to do the same thing which you desire to do as I see the desecration of this symbol of our nation.
We are hearing a lot about burning the flag or desecrating it in some way or another. When challenged, the Supreme Court has upheld the right to desecrate the flag in any way imaginable.
With this preface out of the way, let us call our attention to some things.
We are not saying that there is not a cause to get angry over desecration of the flag, but as Christians, we need to keep something in mind. Our allegiance belongs to the kingdom of God, Matt. 6:33; Heb. 11:13-16. Why do we get more upset at the desecration of a symbol of these United States, (the flag), than we do over the desecration of the word of God or of the symbols of the Kingdom of God? Where is the furor over the desecration of God, His Word, His law, His house, and the representatives of His Kingdom? Where is the furor over the lose of freedom to serve God in the schools? Why aren't we upset when we see all the effort which is going forth to turn American against God and His people? Why do we continue to support those who sponsor this rebellion against God in the media by purchasing their products? Let's make sure our priorities are right.
Next, no doubt we are seeing something take place which we should be interested in. A very basic premise of Humanism is the building of a one-world community. In order to do this, national sovereignty must be transcended. We saw one step of this take place with the International Genocide Treaty which was signed not long ago.
Our children are being taught in the government schools this one-worldism. (Three times in the Indiana curriculum guide [which is typical of all the other states], we are told that the major purpose of education is to prepare the child to be a good global citizen. Nothing at all is said about preparing them as good American citizens.) This breaks down national sovereignty and patriotism. What can we expect when it comes to honor the symbol of national sovereignty when we are taught that the world community is more important? Are we seeing a result of Humanistic indoctrination?
Another thought. Not only is it striking at national sovereignty, but it is striking at the Christian foundation of America? That flag represents freedom to serve and worship God and preach the gospel.
Constitutional amendment? No, this is a can of worms to say the least. Answer? Return the power back to the local communities to deal with such foolishness, as the Constitution meant for it to be and as Texas tried to do. Laws never did and never will reform anyone. We need to get back to teaching good Christian values which would include proper respect for government. When anarchy is promoted in a society, (each do what is right in his own eyes), through Humanist education, we will have anarchy.
Notice another point. There can be all kinds of action taken and really nothing will change. It will do no good at all to ban the burning of the flag. We're against desecration, as is every American, but we are drowning in debt. We owe our soul to the Japs. We are being disarming and given to the Soviets. We are surrendering our nation's sovereignty. Drugs are taking us over. The criminals are taking over the streets and no action from the authorities except to disarm the honest citizen. Abortion is killing the unborn. Christians are thrown in jail for training their kids according to the Scriptures. Door-to-door soul-winning is being outlawed. God's word is being trampled on by the pagans. Godless Humanism is indoctrinating our children. All of these things and no one is upset.
It's almost like enforcing the speed limit when no one is being injured in any way. It makes the police look like they are for law and order, but where is their action on important things, (prostitution, drunkenness, drugs, embezzling, gambling, etc.)? It is a false morality. Our Lord called it straining at a gnat and swallowing a camel.
Everyone can get on the band-wagon with the "Ban Flag Desecration" movements and really no one is out on a limb in any way. This makes the politicians look like they are patriotic and love America, yet many of their voting records prove just the opposite. It is a good, safe issue which requires no political hard choices. No one gets hurt, no pain, no strain and NO CHANGE in the direction toward the destruction of American and the lose of freedom to serve God.
We see the moral depths to which we have sunk when there is more of a concern over the desecration of the flag, than there is over the total desecration of God as He is totally removed from all of society. When God and His law-word is removed, the nation will fall. We are only seeing the results.
GOD HELP US WHEN HIS PEOPLE HAVE MORE CONCERN OVER THE DESECRATION OF THE SYMBOLS OF THE KINGDOMS OF MEN THAN OVER THE DESECRATION OF THE SYMBOLS OF THE KINGDOM OF GOD.
Let's conclude with two points.
First, we do not love our nation any more than the Jews loved their nation, Israel. Yet when they turned from their God, He destroyed their nation and burned their capital and used the pagan Babylonian Empire to do it, Zech. 12:1-6. How would we feel if, tomorrow morning, we would see exactly what was pictured on "Amerika" a couple of years ago? How do we feel when we see every symbol of the kingdom of our God being desecrated? The media does this daily. How upset do we get?
(Illustration: The two flags, Christian and American. Go to them, offer to burn both. Which will you feel the most anger at? Which should you feel the most anger at?)
What is wrong with us when we have more of a heated emotion over the desecration of a symbol of the kingdom of men than we do the desecration of the symbols of the kingdom of God? Is it any wonder that God is allowing the kingdom of man to be desecrated and even overturned, when even we, His people have a stronger emotional attachment to a earthly country than we do to our heavenly country.
I will have to admit, I have more of a sinking feeling when we talk of the U.S. being merged into the one-world community under Socialism, than I do when we talk about Christianity being merged with the world. This is precisely why we are seeing a nation crumble, because the Christians have merged with the world.
This was a Christian country, founded on Biblical principles. As these principles are being under-minded, Christians, as a whole, don't seem to care as long as they have their steady pay-check, TV and a VCR or two.
Then second, This American flag has represented freedom to the world. It started out as freedom to serve God, win the lost, and advance His cause. I'm afraid that now it represents freedom to do our own thing and make lots of money. How long do we think God will overlook a nation wholly given to idolatry?
Then on the other hand, we have the Christian flag. This flag represents true freedom. True freedom is freedom under law, not freedom from law. True freedom for the Christian is the freedom and power to obey God. Doing your own thing is slavery, bondage to sin, Jn. 8:32-36.
When this freedom is ignored, then national freedom will be gone.
WHO IS KING?
(I SAM. EIGHT)
We are living in an exceedingly corrupt age. We see this corruption reflected in every area, not the least of which is civil government. Here we see confiscatory taxes which confiscate the wealth of the average man. We see leaders which seem to have one major overriding goal, to enrich themselves and their friends. We see farm policies which result in the confiscation of the harvests and then giving those harvests to these who are openly committed to overthrow God, liberty and the free enterprise system. We see unbelievable misuse of taxes to buy $600.00 toilet seats and hammers as well as to line the nest of those with the right connections.
We could carry the list of misuse and abuse on for book length, in fact, some have done just that. There are books out which expose this unbelievable misuse in every conceivable way of public funds. Among all of this abuse of authority and misuse of funds we have many answers presented. Among those answers which are given is protest in one form or another against the abusive authority and misused funds.
We would like to examine our current situation in the light of God's word. He deals with all of the above misuses. In doing so He gives the root cause and the answer as to how to counter these situations. Let us add, HIS method alone will work. All thers are, a: Wasted effort; b: Apostasy and rebellion against God, no matter how sincere those promoting the methods are.
The principles of God's word are established in the OT and expanded as well as explained in the New. It is impossible to have a never changing God as revealed in Christ apart from both Old and New Testament, Jn. 5:45-47. All of society moves in terms of the revealed truth of God's word, Rom. 2. Either judgment against sin or blessing for obedience. Neither can be avoided. If the word of God teaches anything, it teaches that God gives leaders which reflect the heart of the people, either godly or ungodly; Isa. 50:1; Jer. 3:12-15; 6:19; 8:7- 12; 9:13-15, etc.. What we are seeing today is this principle in action.
Undoubtedly the central passage which reveals the truth concerning corruption in the civil government, its root causes and the answer is I Sam. chp. 8. Here we see that Samuel had appointed his sons to help him judge this nation. These boys were judges in Beersheba. This was on the southern most border of Israel next to the land of the Philistines. This shows that the nation had the protection, provision, power and prosperity of God under these judges. But these boys were corrupt. The leaders of the people confronted Samuel over his boys' evil ways. The elders came to Samuel with their complaint and with their desire for a king to replace the present system of rule and judgment. The elders' concern wasn't over the corruption of the boys but over their lack of a king like other nations had.
The problem here with these leaders and Samuel, was not that his boys were corrupt nor that the rule of the judges had been bad. We find on over in Samuel's instructions to them these facts. God had delivered them from all of their adversities, chp. 10: 18, 19. We find that God delivered them from their enemies through the judges AS THEY CRIED UNTO THE LORD AND TURNED FROM THEIR SIN, 12:7-13. The judges had led them into victorious battles as they repented and returned to their Lord.
Therefore, in this desire for a king or a civil ruler we have their rejection of the Lord as their King and Ruler, I Sam. 8:7; 10:19; 12:12. This desire was a rejection of God, in fact, it was service of other gods, 8:8.
We might mention as we view this principle in light of our present situation. We have heard the Constitution referred to as the king; we hear it referred to as the law of the land as well as several other similar terms. If we refer to the Constitution as the law of the land, is this a rejection of the law of God? Is this setting it up as the king? Even though the Constitution contains Scriptural principles, if it is viewed as the final authority then it is a rejection of God's rule, for God rules through HIS law. We hear folks quote from the Constitution, "We the people...", therefore the people are the final civil authority. This is no better because even this sets up another authority than God. Strangely enough, the Constitution makes no mention of the Lord God of Scriptures as the final Authority. Is this a rejection of God's rule over this nation? Even though it was intended to protect the freedom to obey the law of God, if it is regarded in the place of the law of God, we have another god. If the Constitution is looked to as the final authority of the land how else can this be viewed other than rejecting God? Where is the final authority in this land since the Constitution was ratified? Where does God require that we look for our final authority? ("But the Bible says, Let every soul be subject..." See our book, Christ-Caesar.)
Let's pursue this a little further. When a church writes a Constitution as their final authority is not this a rejection of God's rule over them? If it isn't, then why not throw it away and just use God's word as the Constitution? Doesn't it contain every rule for every action?
Back to I Sam. 8. Look at the statement the elders make to Samuel, v. 5. Behold, thou art old (quite obvious), and thy sons walk not in thy ways (quite obvious): now make us a king... There was nothing wrong with this request. This would have been fine if they had continued on with Deut. 17 and said, That he might judge us and lead us according to the law of God. Going back to the Constitution. It is a "work of God" if it is viewed with, "That it might lead, protect and encourage us to follow after the commandments of God." If God and His authority are absent from this document then do we have the same thing as was the elders' request to Samuel?
But now the problem with the elders' request, to judge us (see Hosea 13:10). Judge here is, "To act as law-giver, judge, governor (giving law, deciding controversies and executing law, civil, religious, political, social, both early and late)." To make matters worse they add another statement, like all the nations.
This upset Samuel so much that he took the complaint to the Lord and really he didn't try to defend his corrupt boys as many of God's men might try to do. The Lord looks past their excuse (your sons are wicked) and sees what they are really doing. The Lord had been deciding their controversies and directing all of their social, religious, and political affairs as well as giving them their law to live by through His judges. Now they ask for a king to do these things and replace what the Lord had been doing. Their desire wasn't for a king to lead them in their following of God's commandments. They wanted one to go out before them, and fight their battles, v. 20. They wanted a human authority to make their decisions for them and give them their laws. They wanted the security which a human king could give. With human security always comes slavery.
Three times the Lord says that the motive behind this desire for a civil ruler was to replace Him and His law-word. It was a rejection of His authority over them. This raises a question. Did they want this civil authority over them in order to release them of the responsibility of following God's law? Up to this point, they had to repent of their sins which led to their bondage to the heathen. Only upon repentance would God raise up a judge to lead them to victory. Would this king with his standing army release them (in their minds) of the necessity of living a holy, pure life? (Why didn't the Constitution reflect more of God's law and authority over America? Because the spiritual temper would not permit that. Why don't churches use the law of God as their Constitution?)
Samuel was upset with the people and takes his complaint to the Lord. The Lord explains what the people are doing. In v. 8, this demand for a human instrument to lead them rather than the word of God, is identified as idolatry. It is all summed up as a refusal to allow the Lord God to tell them how to act politically, socially, religiously, civil and even in their judicial matters. They wanted a human instrument to do these things rather than a Divine God.
God instructs Samuel to tell them what will happen to them if they proceed with this rebellion against His law-word as their guide for every action, v. 9, (I Tim. 3:16, 17). "They want a king. They want another ruler of life rather than My commandments. Okay, let them have their human instrument, but tell them what will happen." We should note here that these things cannot be avoided. They are the NATURAL RESULT of rejecting God's reign over a society or over the individual. They are as natural as night following day. We will not really look at these in order, but they will be easily recognized.
Let us insert a quote here. "In the person of Samuel they rejected the Lord and His rule. They wanted a king, because they imagined that Jehovah their God-King was not able to secure their constant prosperity (Keil, Vol. ii, on I Sam. pg. 84)." In other words, "The problems we face in society aren't a result of what we are. The problems aren't in us. The problems we are having are because we don't have the right kind of leadership in civil government. If we can get the right kind of leadership in civil government, if we can get the right President or Congressman, Governor or State Representative into office then we will have our problems solved. If we can get the right set of man- centered (Humanistic) laws, we will have paradise on earth." God exposes this to the light as foolish as well as ungodly thinking. The problems which any society faces are because the people have rejected the Lord as King over them by rejecting His law. ("The source of law is the god of that society")
V. 9, in rejecting the Lord's rule over them and demanding a king, Samuel now tells them what will be the manner of the king, the right or prerogatives which the king would claim (Keil).
One of the more interesting observations of this passage is the many times the phrase he will take is used from v. 11 through v. 17. From the many usages of this phrase it sure doesn't sound like what he takes will be given voluntarily by the people to their rulers. He will make the claim as his right, then use force to carry out his claim. Also notice that what the king will demand is what God has already demanded. He will take, and if the people do not agree then they will be law-breakers, incurring the wrath of the king. The king will have the physical force to take, whereas God requires voluntary giving.
The first demand here is on the sons. They will be taken to support the king in the grandeur which he desires. V. 11 speaks of personal grandeur, his personal whims and desires. This is probably the worst of all of these phrases, he will take. Here his demand (and in v. 13) is for the children for his own personal use. If the parents object then they will be law-breakers. Really, we could easily combine v. 11 through 13. The civil authority will claim the children to use for their own purpose. The children will be trained up in the ways of the state for the benefit of the state. Everything will have a single purpose, to strengthen and secure the state in whatever desire it might have.
The children belong to God, Ezek. 18:4 (not to the state nor to the parents). When the people turn from the Lord as their King the natural result is the state claims the children as their own. Where does that leave us? When the state makes an ungodly claim upon our children, (and they will), we must take our stand. Yet in taking that stand we must remember that that ungodly claim is only a result of the society's rejection of the Lord as King. The final answer is not the standing against the ungodly claim, (which must be done), but it is found in the exalting of the Lord as King.
V. 12 gives us another aspect of this departure from the Lord as King. This seems to be a reference to forced labour both in the domestic area (ground, harvests), and in the military (instruments of war). All of this would be done for the benefit of the state. Of course, when a people turn from the Lord as their Protector to themselves as their own protector, it will take an unbelievable amount of military spending. (All that spending in vain, Prov. 21:31; Ps. 127:1. The true S.D.I. would be the glorifying of God as God over all areas of thought, word and deed and then He protects from heaven, Rom. 1:21.)
Not only will the state take the children for its purposes to be used for its glory, but vv. 14-17 leaves no area unaffected. Here we have the state laying claim to the fields, vineyards, olive yards, menservants, maidservants, goodliest young men, asses, sheep, etc.. Not only will the king (state) lay claim to these things but he will take them. That sure does not speak of the people willingly saying, "Here, you need this, take it." This speaks of oppression and confiscation through laws which are enacted for the state's benefit. Again, to resist these laws makes the owner a law-breaker and sinner against the state. Also these are things which belong to God. The Lord laid claim to these things long before the state ever came into being, Ps. 50. When people reject His authority over all the earth and all that is in it (reject it by not allowing His law-word to govern all things) then the state will raise up to make this claim. The state's claim is, "The earth is mine and the fullness thereof," and they have the temporal power to enforce it. (When we render unto the king what he forced from us, this is not condoning his use of what he confiscated.)
When the state lays claim to the land (through property tax), the harvest (though socialistic programs which force the producer into the situation where he must do what the state says he can do with his harvest), the individuals, these claims are the result of a problem. That problem is that the people refused to glorify God as God over everything. The natural result which can not be avoided is that the state now makes the claim.
We see in vv. 14-17 the confiscation of property without due process of law. We see here the state's claim of prior ownership of all property and the property can only be used at the state's convenience. The individual does not own his property. The state owns it all and only allows the individual the use of it. Not only is this seen in the property tax but also in the right of eminent domain (in law, the power of a government over all the property within its limit, by which it is entitled to appropriate, or to authorize the appropriation of, private property for public use.. Webster's).
Also we see here an unbelievable amount of taxes; taxes which will confiscate the individuals property; taxes which will require the selling of property to pay. He will take these taxes. He will take the tenth of the seed, claiming the right and authority over even the planting. He will take the tenth of the sheep, claiming the authority over the herds of cattle. He will use these confiscated funds (which he took) for his own pleasure, vv. 14, 15. He will use these confiscated funds to enrich himself and his friends. Not just any piece of land will be good enough for his friends but he will take the best. He will have his "Belt-way Bandits" which will make themselves extremely rich with their $600.00 toilet seats, wrenches and hammers and their million dollar study contracts. The state will confiscate these funds from its citizens. The state will be far more interested in the well- being of its own servants than it will be of its citizens. Those who are faithful to the state will receive what is confiscated from the citizens and the king (state) will see no problem with this kind of policy. After all, all sin is now in terms of what the state says. Everything is for the benefit and security of the state. Any threat to the well-being of the state is met with the most vicious of hostility.
Let us keep in mind, the high confiscatory taxes which are then misused almost totally, are only a result. When the people refused to glorify God as God over their finances, a state (king) is raised up who will confiscate the funds by force. The state will consider everything as belonging to it and will treat it as such.
We also see from v. 12 that the state will appoint its officers. Those officers will answer to the king and not to the people. Those officers will be there to see that the people support the state not that the state supports the people. "But, We the people are the king." To say this is to say that God has been replaced with "We the people" as the authority over the individuals. This must bring judgment against a society. Only as God is seen as the final Authority and the king (state) is seen as protection to serve God can there be blessings from God, Rom. 13:4.
The king will take the sons and daughters, (because the people didn't give their sons and daughters to God). He will take the fields and crops. He will take the employee, (v. 16), as well as the herds. Maybe we could substitute the word control in the place of take. Read vv. 11-17 with the word control. The farm policies will control the crops as well as the land and all that is taken will be used according to his will, not according to God's will.
Probably the saddest thing is the conclusion which the Lord gives to the matter, the people themselves, v. 17, and ye shall be his servants. Not servants of the Lord but servants of the civil authority. Either Jesus is King or man is king, v. 7. If men don't make the Lord King, then the Lord will make man (evil men) king. Either we have freedom under God as the Law-Giver and King or we have slavery and socialism under man as law-giver and king. It is impossible to serve two masters.
This king which WILL BE raised up when men reject the Lord's rule over them will confiscate whatever he pleases, whether people, property or money. He will do this through armed might (He will take..) and high taxes. He will use what he confiscates at his pleasure, to finance whatever he desires. We can rest assure that those finances will not be used to glorify God nor to establish His Kingdom. Everything will be used to establish the kingdom of men and to strengthen his hold over people (oppression).
The principle of God's word clearly establishes here (I Sam. 8), either freedom to obey God under God as King, (although civil authority is clearly established by God [Deut. 16:18-20; 17:14-20], and that authority is required to be under the bands and cords of God's law [Ps. 2]. It is the people's responsibility to see that this kind of authority is in place, Hosea 8), or there will be oppression and confiscation of property under socialism. It is impossible to separate the two, the cause and effect.
The sum total of vv. 10-17 is forced (he will take..) servitude (and ye shall be his servants) to the state. This result is from only one cause, v. 7. A refusal to allow the Lord to reign as King through His law-word.
God continues on with the result in v. 18. The people will get fed up with the forced servitude and the wicked practices of the state. They will cry out to God because of the oppressive, unjust and wicked practices of the state, and the Lord will not hear them. The protest against the claims of the state over their children, property, money and even their herds, will go unheeded by the Lord.
Why? Because these unjust practices are only a result of the problem. The problem which started in v. 7, ( Rom. 1:21), their rejection of the Lord as their King over their individual lives as well as over their social, religious, political, civil and judicial lives. Not until v. 7 is made right can the rest be made right, Prov. 21:1. The unjust demands of wicked rulers, whether through taxes, laws which confiscate property and remove children from their parents, as well as every other area of oppression we can think of, are only the natural result of rejecting Christ's authority over these areas. The results cannot be avoided anymore than darkness can be avoided when light is removed.
Samuel said, "This will happen because you are refusing to let the Lord rule over you." The people said, "We don't care, we want a king over us like all of the heathen nations around us have." Samuel took the sad news to the Lord and the Lord said, "Go ahead and do it." So Samuel sent the people home, no doubt with a promise that he would find them a king.
Under the judges they had depended upon God to deliver them and to provide for them, I Sam. 12. In this demand they were desiring a human instrument, a king (the state, if you please) to do what they had depended upon God to do. If they would continue to look to the Lord even with the king, all would be okay.
Let's reflect a few moments. We hear of the Constitution referred to as the king in America. If it is viewed as such, it, as a man-made document, displaces the Lord as King. Are we living in and experiencing the results of that decision as we see the civil authority growing more and more oppressive? We are hearing of some mighty strange things, all in the name of the Constitution and folks say, "That's the law."
Secondly, what we are experiencing today in high taxes and nothing being safe from the state, (land, cattle, even children), is only a result of a much deeper problem, the rejection of the Lord as King. We are facing a religious problem not a social problem. Third, protests of any and every kind are useless without a return by the individual (and society) to the Lord as King and His word as law. Protest against the unjust practices of the state will do no good. Protest to the Lord God will do no good. The unjust practices, whether in high taxes, misused funds or confiscated children are only the result of the problem.
HE WILL TAKE... This is the word of God which said this. It is impossible for society to reject King Jesus as Lord over everything and avoid the HE WILL TAKE. How much clearer could it possibly be? The inconsistent application of God's word to life and to the church has a result. That result is HE WILL TAKE, and the HE isn't the Lord. IT is the civil authority, the state. When the Lord and His word is reduced to just directions as to how to go to heaven and how to be more spiritual, socialism follows closely.
SOCIALISM AND OPPRESSION! We are experiencing a tremendous shift in the attitude of the American people. This is a shift from self-sufficiency and freedom to dependence upon the central government for all things. It is a religious shift also. The word of God calls for a self-controlled individual who will do all things for the glory of God.
Undoubtedly people desire security. The word of God provides security, only this security is promised upon a condition. As the individual obeys and serves God, He will provide all of their needs, Ps. 1; Matt. 6. Only as the self-controlled (through Christ) individual serves God will he have freedom.
On the other end we have socialism. Socialism promises security, but that security requires slavery. We seem to have lost the ability to see that with all the increased promises of security from the central government, we have a tremendous requirement of servitude. People must trade their freedom under God for men's security.
When God is rejected by a people, oppressive government will take over. Socialism is the result of the people looking someplace other than to God and His law for their needs, Josh. 1:7,8.
We are experiencing this today as we see a nation violently turn from God and His law, to what man can do. The result is oppressive civil government, high taxes, and servitude.