An Examination of Biblical Precepts Involved in Issues at Hand
1) Study... or Perish
2) Beguilers, Cheaters & Deceivers
3) School Prayer
4) A Call to Sacrifice
5) Does God Need Forgiveness?
6) NAFTA cost 10,000 U.S. jobs
Though the following may appear childish (Heb 5:13, 1 Pe 2:2) , it is sorely needed in our day of instant everything (e.g. the One Minute Bible Study computer program).
Hosea 4:6, 7, one of the more familiar passages of Scripture, is used and abused to promote a great many, even unBiblical, causes. We have seriously considered it in past mailings, so we will only consider a simple, obvious point: God's people are destroyed because they do not know God's Word.
To make the situation even more serious, their "spiritual leaders" are not warning of their perilous condition in their lack of knowledge of God's Word. Thus, though the individual is responsible and will pay the price, the fault often lies in the pulpit: Christians fail to understand the importance of individual study because pastors have failed to stress its importance.
Obviously, pastors' motives are unknown, but equally obvious is that when people know not God's Word for themselves, it leaves a great amount of power in the hands of pastors. A major problem igniting the reformation fires was "spiritual leaders" retention of power over the people by cutting them off from God's Word. The Church of Rome lost much of her power when the people found the final authority was God's Word and not the Roman Church, Pope nor priest, and the individual believer could find what God required of him without Rome's the Pope's nor the priest's intervention. Many modern Non-Roman pastors condemn Rome for its hold over people retained by cutting them off from God's Word, yet they fail to motivate their people to study God's Word. Hence, are they any better than the ones they condemn in Rome?
People who have been saved for decades have never heard from their pulpits their obligation to seriously read and study God's Word for themselves. They claim to make discussion based upon God's will for their lives, but though saved for many years, they have never one time read the Word of God through for themselves. Because God's people are removed from the firm foundation of a good working knowledge of God's revealed will, His Word, His people are being swept along by every breeze of false doctrine, Eph 4:1-14. False doctrines prosper, built upon sincere Christians who know not God's instructions for man. Many sincere people are urged to study history, theories and church confessions, but they are not urged to seriously study for themselves all the counsel of God, Ac 20:27.
God's people make decisions the best way known to them, but they were never instructed on the importance of God's Word for their decisions. Then many years latter, the disastrous results come to pass, their lives overturned and destroyed, and they wonder why.
Before coming to Linden Baptist Church 13 years ago, we had been in Louisiana for seven years. The church there supported and urged its young people to attend one of the best known Christian colleges in America. Soon after arriving at Linden and being only a couple hours from the college, we were visited by a young man from the Louisiana church who had gone to the college several years previously. The young man was soon to graduate from college, and we asked him about his plans. He said that a. church had opened up for him to pastor not too far from the college, and he was going to accept it. Asked how he knew that was God's will, he said that because the circumstances were right, the door was open and pastoral counsel agreed, he was confident that was the Lord's direction in the matter.
Though a little time had passed, the Lord's movement to bring us to Linden was still fresh in our minds, so we pursued the question: "What Scriptural bases do you have to make the decision." His response was that he had none, but because the door was open, he was confident that was the Lord's will for him. We asked him if be had ever been taught the importance of God's direction through His Word in matters, and he assured us that be had not.
My wife and I were shocked! Here was a young man about to graduate from a well-known "Christian" college determined to pastor a church, and he professed to never being taught at the college the absolute necessity of clear direction from the Word of God in making decisions. Rather, be had been taught the importance of conducive circumstances and his pastor feeling good about the matter.
The young man was firmly committed to the modern Christian, antichrist heresy that if doors are open, circumstances are right and one feels good about the discussion then it is God's will. The instructions from God to man are ignored; God's people do not know God's Word, and then they wonder why things fall apart. God's instructions for His people are not studied; therefore, unBiblical doctrines are gladly imbibed by God's people, families fall apart that were started because circumstances and emotions were "right," pastors stay a year in churches "God called them to" [one would wonder if the women's lib movement might have a point: god is obviously a woman because she changes her mind so often as her ministers and her people flit from here to there, directed by her ever-changing, short-lived "will"], &c.
The patriot crowd has taken this verse to mean that America is being destroyed because American's do not know the roots of their nation nor the Constitution upon which America is founded. This teaching permits them to raise great amounts of money as well as justify teaching many things that have nothing to do with the Word of God. Besides, if my people is directed to America, it says that America is God's elect people, and H.W. Armstrong was right after all.
But that is not at all what this passage says. The passage clearly says that Christians are destroyed because they do not know (and do) the roots of Christianity, the Word of God. Hosea chapter 4 presents a picture of God's people today, and v. 6 makes the problem abundantly clear: God's people fall into false doctrines because they do not know the Word of God; God's people make very bad decisions without God because they do not know the Word of God, and then they blame God for allowing them to get into the terrible, destructive situations.
Every Christian should go through God's Word at least once a year. Do we not claim it is God's Word for man, especially for His people? It contains God's instructions to man. God speaks to individuals through His Word. There is no way a Child of God can know God's direction without studying God's Word of instructions.
By the way, devotional guides might be good to show how God has worked in the lives of others, but God works with each individual as an individual; each of us has a name, and God knows that name, and deals with us by name. Most of the time, devotional guides are a substitute for serious study of God's Word, and as such, are sin. God never instructs His people to study the writings of man to find His direction for their lives. No doubt a reason "Christian Fluff" sells so well to Christians is because it does not require Bible study. Christian's appear far more interested in what Dobson, Gothard, &c. have to say than what God has to say. Is any wonder that Dobson has nothing to fear from t e "Christian" community when he suggests that some people "need to forgive God..." "Christian Fluff" readers do no know Scripture sufficient to recognize false doctrine when it stares them in the face. (Try reading some theological material over 100 years old that hasn't been edited!)
Though harsh on the young man for not seeking direction from God's Word above all else, we were no doubt unable to overcome four years of heretical teaching that failed to place God's instructions to man above all else. He should have known better, for our pastor in Louisiana had instructed us all in the matter. Much to the shock of the young man from college, we pointed out three simple and obvious things needed to know God's will which he should have known.
First and foremost, THE WORD OF GOD MUST APPROVE THE ACTION OR DECISION
What was the Biblical passage the Spirit used to speak directly or indirectly to your situation? If one cannot give Scriptural basis for the decisions, he or she is presumptuously moving against God into the realm of the enemy of our souls. This was the point the young man had not been taught in four years of "Christian" college instruction; it was the point he refused to consider. My wife and I listened in amazement as the young man totally dismissed the need of clear instruction from God's Word before he took the church. In his mind, because the school had given its approval and the door was open, God was in it. Obviously, he may have been taught the importance of God's Word, but he was determined to go his own way from which we could not dissuade him. We have since lost track, and often wonder what became of him and the church. We do find quite disconcerting the high percentage of graduates from that college who fall by the wayside. But that college is not unique among "Christian" colleges.
Second, THE DOOR MUST BE
Obviously, if the door is open for an ungodly situation, then it is not of God, e.g. marriage between saved and unsaved, &/or working in an ungodly situation are obviously sinful regardless of conducive circumstances.
Third, THERE MUST BE GENUINE PEACE IN THE HEART CONCERNING THE MATTER.
This could be called the still, small voice, Do not confuse peace with emotion, for emotions may overwhelm toward a particular action. Therefore, sleep on it for at least a day or two. In fact, the more important the decision, the more important to "sleep" on it for several days or even weeks. Allow time for the emotions to calm down.
If all of these three things do not line up, then it is not God's will for the action to take place.
Pro 3:1-12, the Lord will certainly direct our paths, but His direction is through His Word. Decisions without the firm foundation of God's Word are considered by God as human wisdom, i.e. wise in our own eyes, v. 7. V. 8 gives the long-term, physical results from our decision. If decision. are made apart from the three, there will be physical results over an extended period. Most Christians make their decisions based upon open doors and emotions. The Word of God for them and their situations is totally ignored. How can one say God directed him in the way he is going if he has not read God's instructions to man through even one time? Christ soundly rebuked all who ignore the instructions of God's Word so they can do what they feel they should: They transgressed the Word of God by tradition, Mat 15:3.
Pro 1:20-33, Wisdom cried, wisdom uttered her voice for God's people to seek her from His Word. God's people refused to search and mine her out from the 66 chapter "gold mine,- v. 24, 25. If they did seek her out, they ignored what she said, so destruction comes upon them. Destruction comes, and the people cry out to the Lord, v. 28. The Lord says He will ignore their cry of distress because they ignored the wisdom He gave to avoid the distress, vv. 29-33. Wisdom makes it clear that she must be sought as one would seek hid treasure. One will not find wisdom without very diligent searching.
The sin of presumption feels God will give wisdom to face the choices of life even though one is not seeking God's wisdom and instruction consistently from the source of wisdom, God's Word. We fail to seek God's wisdom; then we make decisions based upon feelings; then we fail; then we blame the Lord for not directing us in the right path.
Some might have a "legitimate" excuse if such a thing was possible: Their pastors and teachers have never stressed the importance of reading, studying and searching the total of God's word.
Those who read these mailings may chose to walk according to the way they feel and the circumstances of the hour, but they will never be able to say to any person or to the Lord in that clay, "No one ever told us that every action had to be firmly grounded in the Word of God."
There are many deceivers
today who want us to believe that the Lord is not really
concerned about details: grace permits one to avoid the results
of his actions. The Lord gives plenty of instructions:
Eph 5:6 Let no man deceive you with vain words. for because of these things cometh the wrath of God upon the children of disobedience.
Deceive, #438, to cheat, belie: 1 Ti 2:14 And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived was in the transgression. Jas 1:26 If any man among you seem to be religious, and bridleth not his tongue, but deceiveth his own heart. this man's religion is vain.
Thus the beguiler told Eve that she did not really need to worry about the command Word of God given to her husband: "Don't worry; do as you please, and you will not surely die." The beguiler's message was so successful that he has not had to change it throughout history. The warning, though, continues:
Ga 6:7 Be not deceived ;God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.
Deceived, #4105, THAYER, p 514: to cause to stray, to lead astray, lead aside from the right way;... b. metaph. to lead away from the truth, to lead into error, to deceive: ... to be led into error, [R.V. be led astray]: ... 1 Co. vi. 9; xv. 33; Gal vi 7; Jas. i. 16; esp. through ignorance to be led aside from & path of virtue, to go astray, sin: Tit. iii. 3; Heb. v. 2...
I Co 6:9 Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceive neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, 10 Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God l Co l5:33 Be not deceived evil communications corrupt good manners. 34 Awake to righteousness, and sin not; for some have not the knowledge of Go& I speak [this] to your shame. Jas 1:13 Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God for God cannot be tempted with evil neither tempteth he any man: 14 But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed 15 Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death . 16 Do not err, my beloved brethren. Tit 3:1 Put them in mind to be subject to principalities and powers, to obey magistrates, to be ready to every good work, 2 To speak evil of no man, to be no brawlers, [bud entle, shewing all meekness unto all men. 3 For we ourselves also were sometimes foolish, disobedient, deceive serving divers lusts and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful, [and] hating one another. Heb 5:1 For every high priest taken from among men is ordained for men in things [ pertaining] to God, that he may offer both gifts and sacrifices For sins: 2 Who can have compassion on the ignorant, and on them that are out of the way; for that he himself also is compassed with infirmity.
Continually, the Lord warns mankind not to be deceived and led astray by those who seek to separate man's actions, whether they be good or bad, from their effects according to God's Word.
Mt 26:52 Then said Jesus unto him, Put up again thy sword into his Place: for all they that take the sword shall perish with the sword.
Not only is man warned from God's word of the results firmly attached to his actions, but every ounce of creation proclaims the same message. History speaks for itself.
Jeffery Dalmer's death made the front pages of the paper. Obviously, the Lord saw to it that the evil man received what the judicial system refused to give for his wickedness. Hidden further back in the same paper (11/30/94) was another article, Anti-war activist Jerry Rubin dies.
We read of strange diseases afflicting veterans of the "Gulf War," or police action:
Fayetteville, N.C. - Ten babies have died here already. The children of Persian Gulf War veterans, they died of heart defects and liver cancer. One was born with no spleen. Three were born dead... The Fort Bragg experience is being repeated all over the United States. With some groups believing that as many as 65 percent of the children born to gulf war soldiers are affected in some form or another veterans and their spouses are confused and angry - and are increasingly refusing to have more children ... ... 13 of the 15 children born [Waynesboro, Miss., sight of a National Guard quartermaster corps.] to returning Gulf War veterans suffer from serious birth defects. Infant-mortality rates have suddenly increased among Gulf War veterans in four counties in Kentucky and Tennessee, home base of the Army's 101st Airborne Division; in three counties in Georgia that support the Army's 197th Infantry Division; and at Fort Hood in Texas... [Indpls Star, 11/14/94.1
The Persian Gulf War... There have been reports concerning unexplained illnesses in Viet Nahm veterans, but nothing of the magnitude as mentioned concerning the Gulf veterans. Is there more involved than meets the eye? What kind of people did America, "In God We Trust," defend in the Gulf?
Saudi Arabia raided a
Filipino house church last August, arresting 8 Christians and
warning all 50 worshipers never to attend a Christian service
again in the country . After recording the names and addresses of
everyone present, the officers confiscated all Bibles, hymn
books, musical instruments, and offering money. Some 350
Christian foreigners have been arrested and mistreated by police
over the past four years (NNI, 10/4/94). (What in the World! Bob
Jones University, Greenville, South Carolina 29614. Free church
subscriptions: (803) 245-5 100, ext. 30741
Is it any wonder that new strange diseases are coming to pass upon those who defended and supported such antiChrist religions?
Man can deny the validly of God's Word all he wants to, but he cannot separate himself from its effects: Moreover he will bring upon thee all the diseases of Egypt, which thou wast afraid of, and they shall cleave unto thee, Deut 28:60.
Though the issue appears to be an upcoming, big issue, is it a "smoke screen" to hid the real issue? The real issue is that the children belong to the Lord, and the Lord clearly commands them to be trained up in His ways. From what this pastor knows of the state school situation, there is no way one can say that the state system is fulfilling the Lord's command concerning Christian children.
Great debates are developing over "School Prayer." But let us ask: Why is not the same concern expressed over "sex education," indoctrination in immorality and abortion? Why is not the same concern expressed over "evolution education," indoctrination against the Creator and the Bible? Why is not the same concern expressed over "alternate life-style education," indoctrination into sodomy? Why is not the same concern expressed over the antiChrist, antiAmerican, Socialist, New World Order material being used in the "teaching process," indoctrination into socialism under the NWO?
It is no more than a "Smoke Screen," viz. an attempt to pacify blind Christian parents who have sacrificed their children to Molech, the god of the state. After all, if just those professing Christ would withdraw their children from service to Molech,. Molech's temples would soon fall. But "Prayer in School" eases their consciences as Christian parents support Molech worship, financing their own demise.
The name "Public Schools" is a serious misnomer: They are not public. The only thing public about them is that the public is forced to support the very system that many times is being used to destroy their faith and their children:
First, they are state schools, carrying out the goals of the state, not the public. Indiana's Curriculum Goals clearly state that the goal of statist education is to prepare Indiana's children, not the parent's, to be productive citizens of a global society. No where do they say that the aim is to teach Johnny how to read (Major Goals for the State Board of Education. Adopted Feb. 6, 1986). This goal of merging our school system into a one-world system is verified by the agreement signed between the USA and the USSR found in the INTERNATIONAL LEGAL MATERIALS, AILS, Volume XXV, #1, January 1986, published by American Society of International Law, Washington, D,C. It is obvious that the state's intention is not to educate children to read and write; their goal is to prepare children for the NWO.
Second, James B. Conant, permanently assigned in 1957 by the Carnegie Foundation to investigate American education, made it clear that a purpose of state education is to separate the child from his parents. [The Messianic Character of American Education, RJR, The Craig Press, PO Box 13, Nutley, New Jersey, 1979, p 311.1
Third, "public" education is seen by the state as the "the cure- all for sin and for the weaknesses of nature."
Here we have two basic claims of professional educators, now long familiar. First, we are the agency which can change society and create a true Utopia, paradise on earth, and, second, "let it be worked with efficiency," that is, give us the money and we can do it; our failure thus far is your fault in that we have received insufficient funds.
The common schools ("Public Schools") were thus the cure-all for sin and crime. [Ibid, p 28, 29.1
Therefore, the goal of "Public Education" is not education as might have been known in the past; rather, its basic goal is totally antiChrist, social goals: merge everyone into the NWO, and deal with problems apart from ANY BIBLICAL faith that says all men are born sinners.
"Prayer in schools" is a safe political issue, and gets the focus away from the Christian issues, e.g. abortion and the destruction of Christianity with Christians' tax money. Furthermore, something is amiss when those who see no need to pray over their meals or daily activity promote "Prayer in Schools." How long will the Lord permit such hypocrisy?
"Kids need to pray, too" proclaimed a popular bumper sticker some time ago. We should say that Christian parents need to pray for God's judgment upon all anti-Christ systems that corrupt children away from the Biblical faith; they need to pray for the grace to come out from among any and all pagan religious institutions, particularly those institutions that openly admit functioning for the purpose of destroying the Christian faith and family.
From CHALCEDON REPORT, NOVEMBER 1994
NOTE: Because of its importance to
understanding a major problem of the year, we urge your attention to this article.
By Metropolitan Amfilohije of Montenegro and the Coast to the Delegates of Montenegro
In this difficult moment in history we are being Summoned to Christian dignity by our past, providing us with both our road signs and our national mirror: the Orthodox faith, the holy relies, the churches with their ancient books, the crosses with their tombs of martyrs with which to draw the borders of our lands from time immemorial, and all the sacred symbols of our ancestry linked to the throne of St. Sava and St. Peter of Cetinjc. We are being warned that without sacrifice, without true self-sacrifice, there can be no betterment. Nations and people who are not ready for sacrifice in the name of justice and truth will lose all dignity, and they will perish.
The sufferings of Christian martyrs for their faith had begun with the martyrdom of St. John the Baptist and is continuing to date. There are the old pits in Bosnia and Hercegovina, many of them still scaled with concrete, hard stone covering the tortured bodies piled up underneath that had never been retrieved, never given the last rites. And now we have new pits, new slaughters, new misfortunes sweeping over the same territories. What has happened to our people and our lands in the centuries past- conquest, repression, slaughter- is happening again. "Europe," as Dostoyevsky would say, "has fallen in love with Turkey and dreams of having us annihilated."
The same tyrannical hand with which Napoleon grabbed the wretched Bay of Kotor and Montenegro and which St. Petar of Cetinjc called "the hand of greedy Europe which steals holy objects," was the same as the hand of an "ally" in the Second World War that was bombing our cities and towns on our most sacred church-holidays and somehow managed to spare the Germans in them. It is the same hand, too, that once again destroys our holy places and oppresses us shamelessly. Today the great powers are applying the same force as in the past, as to tear us asunder with the help of foreign marionettes, and of recent-to compound our great misfortune-with the servile support of the ruling class in Serbia and Montenegro.
It is over our backs and at the expense of our lives that the destiny of the entire world is being decided today. The New World Order is in many ways more pernicious than the other orders of darkness which precede it. It is being imposed on those who are the survivors of genocide, thus testing the New World Order for its strength and power; it is imposed upon, indeed it manipulates those who have sacrificed their lives defending civilized Europe. But that civilized Europe is rising up again to conspire against the forces of peace and justice in our lands, forcing the treacherous hand of our kinsfolk to tighten the noose. In this way our adversaries hope to finally smother the Serbian Orthodox body in Bosnia and Hercegovina.
Damned is the hand which erects walls between itself and the brothers and sisters in need, three times damned and denounced! With the servile obstinacy of their rulers, Serbia and Montenegro have shamelessly shut off their borders and cut off the life-lines to the Serbs in Bosnia and Hercegovina on the other side of the borders. Serbs who now stand alone, abandoned by all except our Living God. The world has turned against them: their fellow nationals, Serb brothers and sisters, have turned their backs on them to leave them to the mercies of their mortal enemies.
The onslaught by the highest authorities in Serbia against the leaders in Palo. the harangues against them through the mass media will forever mark the darkest pages in the annals of treachery. But in truth, can we expect of those who have betrayed God to remain faithful to the people? He who betrays the Almighty, the Father in Heaven, will also betray humankind. The atheists who rule over us, who have created carnage in Croatia and Bosnia and Hercegovina are now washing their hands of their deeds. Like Pontius Pilate they are saying: "We are not responsible for shedding the blood of righteous men!" Let us therefore no longer pin our faith on them. They who betray God and their fellow human beings will sooner or later betray us too; they will betray their souls on there deathbed for there is no salvation for the infamous unless they repent before God and mankind.
The parliament of Montenegro is about to vote on the sentence their leaders passed against the Serbian people on the other side of their border. If this parliament confirms such a treasonous verdict and should selfishly and subserviently support what the political leadership of Montenegro has advocated, it will have pronounced itself and every man and woman who concurs in it guilty. Think, Montenegrins, how St. Petar of Cetinje would have reacted to such treason ous behaviour! He would have thundered from his throne with the words: "Those who in the crucial moment of a nation's life betray their kindred out of fear, personal interests, or lust for power will disgrace themselves and condemn themselves before God: they will be forever remembered for their evil deed. as Vuk Brankovich and all those who deserted their own. people and sold their souls and their honor for thirty pieces of silver."
Our people in Bosnia and
Hercegovina will suffer greatly in the years to come. A still.
greater torment will befall us on this side of the wall with
which we have separated ourselves from those wretches. We have
already adopted Fin attitude of "devil may core," we brag
about tourism again, our seashore and spas are filling up again,
frivolity and senseless amusements have returned. Washing our
hands in the blood of our suffering kindred pressured from all
sides by the powerful of this world, we shall not rave ourselves.
Rather, we shall disgrace ourselves. Our brothers and sisters in
the Republic of Bosnia may lose their
liver but not their honor But we shall lose both if we continue to follow the path set by our political lenders, It is the people and the parliament of the Republic of Sropska who protect the honor and the soul of the Serbian Orthodox nation today, not with empty words and dishonest compromiser, but with their own lives. which. before the entire world., they are pledging to the defense of all that is decent and sacred in this nation and to the defense of the whole Eastern Orthodoxy. The battle fought today in Bosnia and Hercegovina is also a battle for the precious freedom and sacred honor of Eastern Orthodoxy as a whole. It, is a battle for truth and justice in the world. for human dignity, for the grace of God.
Let, us turn back to our sacred traditions so that they can inspire up, again.
Let us turn back to our hallowed traditions so that we can come back to each other.
Let us turn back to all that is sacred and hallowed in our past so that we can be faithful once more to God and to humankind.
May God give our fighting brothers and sisters in Bosnia and Hercegovina all support and strength they need to withstand the pressures of the world, that has been confuted by our Lord Jesus Christ already. May our Lord give such support and strength also to our fellow sufferers in the Republic of Serbian Krajina as well as to us, may He inspire us with fortitude and wisdom to prevent the losing of our souls forever.
(Translated and printed by the Serbian Unity Congress Bulletin No. 59.)
(c) CHALCEDON REPORT, NOVEMBER 1994. Reprinted by permission.
The book review that demands a word
In this last section of
Jeremiah chapter 2, the Lord defines the major sin of His
people: They have turned their backs upon Him; they have
forgotten Him as a prostituting bride forgets her husband. Though
the people obviously followed evil, they continued to proclaim
their innocence. The Lord put His Word to them in writing, see
ye the word of the Lord- He clearly wrote down the grounds
for His divorcement of His people, and told them to read it, 2:3
Demanding an answer, the Lord restates the question He asked in 2:5, v. 31: "Did you or your fathers find Me a barren wilderness and darkness?" They forsook the living God for the vain, empty, powerless, useless gods around them, and He asks them why they would do such an obviously foolish thing.
The general attitude of God's people, Judah, should be noted: "We are capable of deciding for ourselves; we are mature enough and do not need anyone to tell us what to do nor how to do it; we can control our own destiny; we no longer need the Lord, so we will not go to Him," v. 31. Obviously, not everyone in Judah held the attitude spoken so strongly against by the Lord throughout Jeremiah: there was a faithful remnant according to the electing grace of God, Rom 11. Equally obvious is the fact that v. 31 discribes the general attitude retained by Judah despite what happened to her sister, Israel, 3:8. Jeremiah's messages are not only to the religious and civil leaders, but to the entire nation.
The people claiming to be God's people told the Lord, We are lords we will come no more unto thee. The margin has a good reading: We have dominion. The general thought, therefore, was that they needed not the written word of the Lord to tell them what to do; they had it all figured out.
This pastor's concern continues to be the general lack of desire to return to the Word of God. There appears to be a general desire to return to "Conservative, Family-based Principles," but there also appears to be no general concern to return to the word of the Lord In fact, from what we see and hear, there is even a fear among professed Christians of returning to the Word of God as the civil rule for society today. [Eg. picketing in D.C. by "preachers" against any kind of return to "religion" in the state education system, "prayer in schools."] The attitude among the general population, including professed Christians, seems to be, "We are now lords of our own destiny; we need no more to go to the Word of God for instruction in every thought and deed."
In our day, 2:31 is worded thus: "Under the new covenant of grace the principle of obedience to the divine will is inwrought." (C.I. Scofield on Gal 3:24.) i. e. WE HAVE THE INDWELLING SPIRIT OF GOD; THEREFORE, WE NEED NOT ANY WRITTEN INSTRUCTIONS, LAWS, TO TELL US HOW TO LIVE PLEASING TO THE LORD. There are sincere men who, under the name of Christ, fight hard to prevent civil law from being Bible based because, they say, we are not to be under the law of God. They say, "We are lords; we will come no more unto thee as revealed in the word of the Lord for our instructions. We have the law now written in our hearts; therefore, we need not the revealed, written law. We can now judge for ourselves what is right and wrong."
Note that the leaders of wickedness are those who profess to be God's people, v. 33. After departing from the word of the Lord to follow the ways of the surrounding pagans, they complain that the pagans depart from God's ways. We do have strange standards. The "under grace, not law" crowd gets upset when civil government "infinges" upon their "tax-exempt" status, or "Not-For- Profit" mailing permits, yet they see no need to be subject to the standards placed upon them by the word of the Lord They have thus no respect for the God of the word, yet they expect the pagans to respect the God of the word.
The Lord points out that the evil of His people was open for all the world to see: He did not have to dig to find it. The people had no inward shame over their departure from the word of the Lord; consequently, they made no effort to hide their unlawful deeds: They had a whore's forehead, Jer 3:3. We live in a time of no shame over sin in the church: extremely few are ashamed of not witnessing, not caring for the property, not giving generously, not caring for those around them, not making it to the public assembly, and on and on. If there is no shame today among God's people, they should not wonder why there is no shame in the general population over immorality.
Amazingly, despite all the pleading by the Lord and evidence against the people as presented by the written word of the Lord, they refused to admit they had departed from His Word: I am innocent, I am under grace not law; thus, I have not sinned; I do not deserve what is coming to pass. Surely the Lord is angry for no reason, and it soon will pass. In other words, "We do not deserve the evil that is coming about against us as individuals and as a society; therefore, God is at fault. He will see the error of His way, and everything will be fine." At first glance, one might say, "Such a thing is preposterous! How could anyone accuse God of doing wrong?" A logical implication of "Under grace..." is that the heartaches coming into one's life is God's fault, viz. after all, what has the individual done to deserve heartaches if God has no written standard of comparison?
Probably one of the most depressing things this pastor has recently read was a book review by Bruce C. Davis concerning Dobson's new book, WHEN GOD DOESN'T MAKE SENSE (CHALCEDON REPORT, DECEMBER 1994, P.O. Box 158, Vallecito, CA 95251-9990.) At the end of the review is this statement:
Dr. Dobson ends this book in a most pathetic and blasphemous way. In dealing with people who are angry and bitter against. God for their hardships that have come to them in God's providence, he counsels that some of these people "need to forgive God for those heartaches that are charged to His account." Dr. Dobson pleads not to be misunderstood at this point, but it is very easy to understand what he is saying. Even though Dr. Dobson asserts that God has done no wrong, he believes that forgiving God for what He is putting one through will enable the person to become cleansed of bitterness and anger. Dr. Dobson calls this "reconciliation" and claims that it is the only way one will ever be entirely free.
He then cites an event from the life of Corrie ten Boom who was held prisoner in concentration camps in WWII. He claims that she would have understood the advice he is giving (f ing God at times). In the event described Corrie ten Boo God's grace and in obedience to His Word forgave a man who, as a cruel prison guard, had inflicted much pain on her and her family. In response to his repentance and seeking her forgiveness, she forgave him in the name of Jesus Christ. Dr. Dobson concludes, "Corrie forgave a guard who shared responsibility for the deaths of her family members; surely, we can forgive the King of the universe who sent his only Son to die as an atonement for our sins." But where in the Bible are we commanded to forgive God? Forgive the King of the universe? Forgive the One who does all things well? Forgive the One whose ways are perfect? Forgive the One who is light and in Whom no darkness dwells at all? Forgive God whose glory fills heaven and earth? What an abominable and odious suggestion. "Blessed be the name of the Lord from this time forth and for evermore. From the rising of the sun unto the going down of the same the Lord's name is to be praised" (Psalm 113:2-3).
God help us when Christians support anyone wicked enough to suggest that God's Divine Providence operates 'in a sinful way against the best interests of man, and that God needs forgiveness by man. How perverse can one get and still be identified as a Christian and supported by those claiming to be Christians?
His people to whom Jeremiah was sent looked to Egypt for their support instead of to the Lord. They will, therefore, be as ashamed of Egypt as they were of Assyria. Assyria, in whom they trusted, fell with a resounding crash. And thus the Lord will cause to fall every institution and power in which His people place their trust other than what is firmly based upon hearing and doing the word of the Lord, Mat 7:24., including psychology with its unGodly professors. Consequently, the Lord will cause to fall modern education that has replaced faith in Him, modern prosperity upon which people depend instead of Him, and modem medicine that has replaced faith in Him. The list is endless of the things that the Lord WILL bring down because His people have turned to them instead of to Him as revealed in the word of the Lord
This section ends with a promise: thou shall not prosper in them. In what? In those confidences which are contrary to the word of the Lord, v. 31.
But as the many false gods are toppled by the Lord, His people must not even allow their evil nature to suppose that the Lord is doing something for which He needs forgiveness; rather, they should rejoice in His handy work bringing the false gods down, for all things work for the good of those who are called by His name according to His sovereign purpose, Rom 8:28, 29.
Furthermore, the Lord will cause all objects of unBiblical confidences to fall in such a way as His people will be ashamed that they ever had confidences other than confidence in the word of the Lord.
God's Ways are Not Our Ways
Quoting from Mt Zion Bible Church's fall 94 letter, "As you may know, we are a faith ministry carried on in much the same way as George Mueller's orphanage in England in the last century. Listen to the quote he made over a hundred years ago: 'God's plan is there shall be none of self and all of Christ. The very people who are doing the most for God in saving souls, in mission work, in the care of orphans, are those who are working on short supplies of strength, of money, of talents, of advantages, and are kept in a position of living by faith and taking from God, day by day, both physical and spiritual supplies. This is the way God succeeds and gains conquests over His own people, and over the unbelief of those who look on His providence."'
[And I must say AMEN to "short supplies."]
[Associated Press report (Indianapolis Star, 12/3/94) New congressional report says]
Washington - The North American Free Trade Agreement has failed so far to deliver on its promise of more U.S. jobs and instead has resulted in a net loss of 10,000 jobs, according to a congressional analysis.
A Joint Economic Committee study requested by Sen. Byron Dorgan, D.N.D., estimates that while NAFTA created roughly 127,000 jobs in its first nine months, increased imports from Mexico have cost 137,000 U.S. jobs. "While we have only nine months' experience with NAFTA, it's important to note that what little experience we have confirms the worst fears that some of us had that this was, if not a giant sucking sound, still a steady drain of American jobs to Mexico," Dorgan said Thursday.
Commerce Department Officials questioned the findings, saying their own analyses show job gains as a result of increased trade with Mexico.
"We are quite confident that NAFTA has been a net plus for jobs in 1994, " said Commerce's chief economist, Lewis Alexander.
Dorgan issued the study as the Senate ratified the 124-nation accord negotiated under the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade. [The bleeding has just started as high paid jobs are replaced with low paid jobs. Would Rush Limbaugh lie to us?]
our species: Go play in traffic
The following missive, by Lawrence A. Bullis of Phoenix to The Arizona Republic, was reprinted in Harper's:
"Every day some new do-gooder is trying to save us from ourselves. We have so many laws and safety commissions to ensure our safety that it seems nearly impossible to have an accident. The problem is that we need accidents, and lots of them.
"Danger is nature's way of eliminating stupid people. Without safety, stupid people die in accidents....
"With safety, however well-intentioned it may be, we are devolving into half-witted mutants, because idiots, who by all rights should be dead, are spared from their rightful early graves and are free to breed even more imbeciles.
"Let's do away with safety and Improve our species. Take up smoking. Jaywalk. Play with blasting caps. Swim right after a big meal. Stick something small in your ear. Take your choice of dangerous activity and do it with gusto. Future generations will thank yOU."
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