|The Biblical Examiner
An Examination of Biblical Precepts Involved in Issues at Hand
1) Sinful Enquiry
God leaves man with a choice.
For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live. For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God. (Ro 8:13, 14. See also, Jos 24:15; Ro 6:12-14; 2 Pet 2:12ff.; Jude 10.)
The willing choice made by America's founding fathers to enter into a covenant with the Lord God of the Bible makes the choice all the more serious for the following generations, down to our present day. The choice then and is now - Peace and Safety, or Decadence, Degeneracy, Turmoil, Oppression
Wherefore ye shall do my statutes, and keep my judgments, and do them; and ye shall dwell in the land in safety. (Le 25:18 )
Throughout Scripture, God gives man a choice: obedience to God's statutes and judgments, leading to life and peace, and disobedience to God's statutes and judgments, leading to oppression, turmoil and death. (See Safety in the Land.) The choice is offered throughout Scripture: Lev 25:18 uses statutes and judgments together. Ezekiel chapter twenty uses the two words together more than any other passage, a total of SIX times, vv. 11, 13, 16, 19, 21 & 24.
Ezekiel twenty is an interesting chapter. In it, Israel's elders come to enquire of the Lord through Ezekiel. However, rather than enquiring as to why Israel is in trouble with its God, they desire to know what the future holds. (Enquire or inquire? Ezekiel and some older authors use enquire. Others use inquire. We will use enquire unless quoting.) The Lord told Ezekiel that He would not give them counsel because they were refusing to do what they already knew to do. V. 40 gives the qualifications for enquiring of the Lord. And in the last verse, v. 49, the elders say to Ezekiel that they cannot understand what he is saying to them. Why? Obviously because they had refused to do what they knew to do. Therefore, we see that the Holy Spirit must give the understanding of His counsel which is found in God s Word. Those who refuse to do what they know God would have them do will not be shown anythig else by the Holy Spirit.
Four times we are told that the result of not doing (because they could not see or understand) is death, vs. 11, 13, 21, 25. The problem is in the heart, v. 16. Look at what we are told by God through Ezekiel:
First, vv. 1-4, certain of the elders of Israel came to Ezekiel to enquire of the Lord, and sat before Ezekiel. Evidently, they wanted a revelation from God concerning their future state:
... Instead of giving a revelation concerning the future, especially with regard to the speedy termination of the penal sufferings, which the elders had, no doubt, come to solicit, the prophet is to judge them, i.e. as the following clause explains, not only in the passage before us, but also in ch. xxii. 3 and xxiii. 36, to hold up before them the sins and admonitions of Israel. It is in anticipation of the following picture of the apostasy of the nation from the time immemorial that the sins of the fathers are mentioned here. (Keil, Ezekiel, 265.)
The people want to know of the future, so they enquire of God s Word (through Ezekiel). Rather than the Lord telling them of the future, He soundly and clearly rebuked them for their past sins. The only thing the future held for them was trouble, sorrow and misery because of the sins of the fathers, from which the children stoutly refused to turn. Patric Fairbairn points out that though we are not told precisely what these men enquired about,
There can be little doubt, however, that it had respect in some shape to the then depressed and suffering condition of the covenant-people, and implied, at least, if it did not openly express, a desire to ascertain something more definite about God's purpose respecting them. But here, again, a preliminary objection arose from the moral state of the persons inquiring, which was such as precluded them from any right to expect a friendly response from God to their desire for any further information. Regarding, as they did, iniquity in their heart, the Lord could not hear them. (Ps 66:18, ed.) He therefore, at the outset, denounced the presumption of such persons in coming to inquire at his servant, and called upon the prophet to do toward them the part of a judge, by charging upon them the rebellious spirit of their fathers, and showing how little either they or their fathers had received in chastisement from God compared with what they deserved. (Patric Fairbairn, Ezekiel,209, 210.)
The problem clearly spelled out by the Lord to these "inquirers" was that their fathers had set in motion sinful practices which had passed on to the children; thus to enquire of the Lord and seek His aid without dealing with those sinful practices was presumption. The parents should have been passing on to the children the ways, words (Law-Word) and works of the Lord (2 Thes 1:5). Because they did not pass down the proper faith, the result was that instead of the children hoping in the Lord, they established their hope in themselves and in the surrounding pagan gods - They became a stubborn and rebellious generation, whose spirit was not steadfast with God, Ps 78:4ff. Moreover, the children had an over abundance of leaders, who, in the name of the Lord, supported them in their stubbornness and rebellion against God s Law-Word, Isa 8:19, &c.
Now the children wanted to hear from God without facing up to and correcting the sinful practices established by their fathers. Consequently, they SHOULD HAVE BEEN Enquiring from God's Word what they needed to do to correct the past sins, so they could again have God's blessings.
America's founding fathers entered into a covenant with the Everlasting Christian God of the Bible (not the Jewish, Mormon nor Hindu gods, for the Christian God is revealed in the Lord Jesus Christ). (See Safety in the Land.) However, those who enter into covenant with the Christian God must do so on His terms, which are clearly given in His Word. Many times, Moses reviews the never changing terms of the covenant that man must keep if he will have the Lord s promised (covenanted) blessings upon him. One of his reviews is recorded in Leviticus 26, which gives both the positive side, vv. 1-14, and the negative side, vv. 15ff. No one can deny that the blessings of the Christian God have been upon this great nation, including good weather, v. 4.
Nor can any deny that things have changed, as foreigners now rule over Americans. (I find it interesting that both judges in the O.J. Simpson trials were Asian-Americans. Moreover, many of the big corporations operating in American are now foreign owned.)
Glancing through Leviticus 26, we come to the following passage:
If they shall confess their iniquity, and the iniquity of their fathers, with their trespass which they trespassed against me, and that also they have walked contrary unto me; And that I also have walked contrary unto them, and have brought them into the land of their enemies; if then their uncircumcised hearts be humbled, and they then accept of the punishment of their iniquity: Then will I remember my covenant with Jacob, and also my covenant with Isaac, and also my covenant with Abraham will I remember; and I will remember the land. (Vv. 40-42. See also, Dan chp 9.)
How easy it is to say, "Great. All we have to do is confess iniquities of the past generations, and everything will be restored in God's blessings." However, to regain the blessings promised by God, we must define confession from God s Word:
He that covereth his sins shall not prosper: but whoso confesseth and forsaketh them shall have mercy. Happy is the man that feareth alway: but he that hardeneth his heart shall fall into mischief. (Pr 28:13, 14, which defines 1 Jn 1:9 - confession means admitting sin and taking steps to forsake that sin.)
If they will confess their iniquity, and the iniquity of their fathers means that the present generation desiring to regain the former blessings of the Christian God must examine the past and present in terms of God's total Word; they must ferret out past and present sinful activity; they must admit, i.e., confess, to the sin regardless of what the former generations thought of the activity; they must then take serious steps to correct the sinful activity set in motion by their fathers. It is impossible to expect any kind of Godly restoration of individuals or of a social order without such action. Confession of sin ALWAYS means taking action to correct that sin in terms of God s Law-Word. The Lord s oath could not be stronger: He will not be revealed to the hardened children unless they correct the evil things their fathers set in motion: As I live, saith the Lord God, I will not be enquired of by you. The only thing the Lord will reveal to the "inquirers" is their sin and what they must do to correct it. (Eze 20:4.)
A modern application is clearly that God will not be enquired of by this present generation until it sets about to correct the sins of its fathers, e.g., the government, pagan, Antichrist (Molech) schools. The stated purpose of the government schools was to destroy the Christian character of this nation, and they have done a wonderful job. (See R.J. Rushdoony, The Messianic Character of American Education, Ross House Books.) The state schools were motivated by the desire to overthrow God (Ps 2), and those who support them are partakers in the wickedness (Ps 50:18; Eph 5:11), even supporting their own destruction.
We should mention also that "entitlement" programs ( programs set into motion by past generations) have worked to destroy America's "self-sufficiency under God" spirit. And we cannot overlook the Masons, but we assume that the Christians who read this material are not involved in that organization.
Decadence is overwhelming American society, and a permissive court system is culpable, former federal judge Robert Bork claims in his new book, Slouching Toward Gomorrah. "The rot is spreading," states Bork, who sees decadence in America's popular entertainment, art, religion, education, scholarship...and morality. Bork lays much of the blame at the feet of liberal activist judges who have frustrated efforts to stem the tide of decadence. "It is the courts that threaten our liberty (the liberty to govern ourselves) more profoundly than does any legislature," he writes. Bork suggests that the U.S. Constitution be amended to permit Congress to overturn Supreme Court rulings by a majority vote. Bork, who is now a fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, said outright censorship is needed to curb "the obscene prose and pictures available on the Internet, motion pictures that are mere rhapsodies to violence and the more degenerate lyrics of rap music." He added, "Without censorship, it has proved impossible to maintain any standards of decency." (THE BAPTIST BULLETIN, Dec., 1996. Quoted in The Sword of the Lord, Jan 10, 1997.)
However, rather than God's people gathering to enquire of the Lord why America is overwhelmed by "the tide of decadence" and degeneracy, and what must be done about it according to God's Word, many gather to study the secret things of the Lord. In the same issue of The Sword of the Lord in which the above statement appears, we find this advertisement:
BIBLE CONFERENCE on Prophecy and the Jews, February 2-5, 1997.
This special conference hosted by Franklin Road Baptist Church and Inernational Board of Jewish Missions, will focus on prophecy, the Jews and the second coming of Christ. (1/2 back page ad in The Sword of the Lord, Jan 10, 1997. Note who the prophecy conferency is sponsored by. There is good money in prophecy conferences, e.g., "Give your money to us rather than leave it for the antichrist to spend.")
Ez 20:1-4, people should be holding "inquiring" meetings to enquire of the Lord about the sins of the past generations, that is, the wicked organizations and practices founded (set in motion) by the fathers; the "inquiring" meetings must enquire of the Word of God for ways to change the many areas of life and thought for God and godliness that have been yielded to secular humanism (human reason, psychology, &c.). Quoting from Death of the Church Victorious:
Concluding his study on Revelation 8, he (JN Darby, ed.) said,
It is absolutely necessary that we should renounce everything. We shall have to do so sooner or later, either with joy by the Spirit of Christ, or with shame when the judgments of God shall break every tie that is still keeping us back. We must then leave everything, or else be burnt up with Sodom. Prophecy has a special power to separate us from this present evil world, which the patience of God can bear, because He is taking His own out of it, but which is judged already nevertheless. (Writings, II.44. Emp added.)
Prophetic study separates one from reality! All the early major figures in the (modern dispensational, ed.) movement had Darby s philosophy. They were all men of great abilities, which they used to reform Christianity from victory- go and claim every area of life and thought for Christ "to pietism/mysticism" become more spiritual and wait. The movement produced a great many Bible conferences for the sole purpose of learning how to become more mystical/spiritual, dealing with the inner-self and the study of prophecy. The founding men purposely avoided any social application of the gospel. (Ovid Need, Jr., Death of Victory, 203, 204. Ross House Books.)
And we must say that those founding men of the middle 1800s set the climate for the next 150 years of "Christianity." Rather than face the social issues of our day to find where we have departed from God s Word and what to do about it, they gather to escape into "prophecy."
If people enquire of the Lord without genuine repentance over sin (cf. Pro 28:13, 14) and they are "spoken" to, who is doing the "speaking?" (See 2 Cor 2:11; 11:3, 13; Gal 1:8, & 2 Ti 2:26.) We should define the bad sense of "inquire" - enquiring concerning the future, e.g., prophecy conferences or even conferences enquiring into the secret counsels of wicked men, Eph 5:12. Significant, or serious, in-depth enquiry into the mysteries of God without the motive of correcting sin leads to the wrong person answering the enquiry with answers leading to death. (De 29:29.)
Moses by this proves their curiosity, who seek those things that are only known to God: and their negligence who do not regard that which God has revealed to them, as the law. (Online Bible, CDROM.)
but those things which are revealed belong to us and to our children for ever; The things of nature and Providence, which are plain and manifest, are for our use and instruction; and especially the word and ordinances of God, which are the revelation of his will, the doctrines and promises contained in the Scriptures, each of the duties of religion, and the commandments of God, such as are of eternal obligation, which may be chiefly designed, because it follows: (Ibid.)
that we may do all the words of this law: for the end of this revelation is practice; hearing and reading the word will be of no avail, unless what is heard and read is practiced. (Ibid.)
The simple law is that some "things" belong unto the Lord our God; we have nothing to do with them; we are not concerned in their investigation or adjustment; other things belong to us and to our children, and our definite duty and relation to these is to see that they are realised in all their meaning and purpose. ... There is a limit to "ask, seek, knock" of all investigation....
The practical point to be kept in view is that although God encourages man to ask, seek, and knock; though he has made man an inquisitive and progressive being; though he has endowed man with faculties, instincts, capacities that yearn to transcend the limits which humiliate him, yet human ambition is to be regulated by divine law, and man is to keep within prescribed boundaries and avoid the iniquity of trespass. This is so in nature, and it is so in what we have come to understand by the term Providence. No man can find out the work that God doeth from the beginning to the end. ... As out of so common a thing as the dust of the earth God fashioned man, so out of the ordinary trifles of life he builds the greatest realities of the future. That we cannot understand these things is no argument against the certainty of their existence and action. We have to understand God as much as God intended us to understand, and leave the rest....
Fool is he who in running from a town in flames will not cross the river until he speculates concerning the architect of the bridge and makes inquiry into the origin and date of its building....
Men like to penetrate into the hidden. They flatter it, they exalt it, they say it is given for good, and pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise; and having wrought themselves up into this delusive appreciation of its value, they put forth the thievish hand, and the fancied blessing turns to a scorpion's sting....
The sense in which things revealed belong unto us is distinctly specified in the text- "that we may do all the words of the law." ... We are not called upon to consider the words of a speculation, or a theory, or a new suggestion regarding the constitution and destiny of things. God puts himself before us distinctly as Lawgiver.... (Joseph Parker, Preaching Through the Bible, IV.325-332. Baker Book House, 1960. Emp added.)
Sadly, fallen man sure seems more interested in the things of God that are above and beyond his understanding ( things he is to have nothing to do with) than the things that are his. We are told clearly the purpose of wisdom: IT IS THAT WE MIGHT KNOW THE WORD OF GOD, SO WE CAN DO it! (See my message on James 1:5, 6.) The purpose of Godly wisdom is not so we can know the secret things of God; rather, the purpose is that we might know and do the things that are freely given to us, 1 Co 2:12.
A word is to become a deed: a thought is to be embodied in expressive action... We received the law that we might "do" it; if we have failed in the doing our admiration (of God s Word, ed.) is hypocrisy and our loudest applause is but our loudest lie.
We are not only called to obedience, we are called to hope. We shall make some conquest yet even in spheres which at present are absolutely mysterious. ... If we are waiting for the solutions of the mystery before we begin obedience to the law, the mystery will never be revealed to us other than in clouds and storms of judgment. We walk by faith, not by sight. Jesus said unto one of his disciples, "Thomas, because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed." This is the Christian s law of action. He acknowledges the mystery; he has no reply whatever to many an enigma; but he is sure that in doing justice, loving mercy, and walking humbly with God, he is preparing himself for those great revelations which are promised by faith, obedience, and love. (Ibid.)
First, words of love for God and His law are hypocrisy if they are not backed up with doing His law as revealed through Moses. The inseparable connection between action and professed love for God s Law-Word cannot be denied. (Jos 22:5; 1 Sam 18:22; Ps 119:97, 113, 163, 165; Ro 13:10; Ga 5:14; Ja 2:8.)
Second, the call to obedience is also a call to hope. Obedience leads to "some conquest" for King Jesus. Despite the conviction of many that the Old Testament promises are now strictly spiritual in the "age of grace," passages such as Deut 28:1ff. and 15ff., are very evidently still in effect: Just look around! (Rom 6:16; 8:13, 37; 2 Pe 2:12, &c.)
Third, how many times have we heard, "When I understand, then I will do...," or "When I understand, I will believe?" However, God s way is doing what we know to do, and then He gives us more understanding, Heb 3:18-4:3.
Parker rightly calls our attention to Christ s words to Thomas, which "is the Christian's law of action," John 20:29. We act because we are required by God s Word, and then the Spirit gives further understanding.
Though the Christian "acknowledges the mystery," said Parker, "he has no reply whatever to many an enigma." Pity the poor pastor/teacher and/or layman who will not admit he does not have all the answers. At times, folks try to question me concerning the details of Divine Sovereignty, Election, Predestination and the "Free Will" of man: My answer to them is that I just do understand. I only know that both God s sovereign control of history is clearly taught throughout Scripture, and at the same time, man's "Free Will" is taught and he is held accountable for every action. My problem is not that I do not understand the details of these, and similar, great mysteries of God; my problem is that I am unable to do all I know to do.
There is currently a very popular author and speaker raising vast sums of money to promote the "knowledge of God." Josh McDowell is convinced that if sinners are presented with enough facts, they will change their ways:
For example, a brilliant but confused psychiatrist who came to Arrowhead Springs for counsel frankly confessed to me that he had never been willing to honestly consider the claims of Christ in his own life for fear that he would be convinced and, as a result, would have to change his way of life. Other well-known professing atheists, including Aldous Huxley and Bertrand Russell, have refused to come to intellectual grips with the basic historical facts concerning the birth, life, teachings, miracles, death and resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth. Those who have, such as C.S. Lewis and C.E.M. Joad, have found the evidence so convincing that they have accepted the verdict that Jesus Christ is truly who He claimed to be-and who others have believed Him to be-the Son of God and their own Savior and Lord. (Josh McDowell, Evidence that demands a Verdict, I, ii. Campus Crusade for Christ, Inc. 1972.)
Notice that the above is totally contrary to Romans 8:23, 24, which tells us that if a person cannot receive the gospel by faith, that person cannot be saved. In addition, the above clearly violates God's definition of faith, Heb 11:1. Implied above is that the purpose of going into all the world is simply to spread the facts about Christianity, and, knowing and acknowledging the facts as true, fallen men will change their actions. The 1800s saw the foundation laid for McDowell s theory, as well as the foundation for modern "Christian" psychology; Matthew 28:19, 20, was reduced to simply spreading knowledge about God:
Another tremendous influence for Moody s brand of Irvingism/Darbyism was his Student Volunteer Movement, started within the YMCA in 1886. The SVM was the start of the greatest demonstration "of missionary interest ever known in the United States. The SVM was not dominated by the millenarians (Darbyites, ed.), but they played a crucial" role in the world-wide propagation of Irvingism/Darbyism. (E.R. Sandeen, Roots of Fundamentalism, 183.)It was, however, fully committed to Keswick opinions.
The SVM millenarian (Irvingite/Darbyite) "missionary challenge was conceived in terms of dispersing information rather that Christianizing the whole world, and it was in that sense that they understood the word evangelization. They did not expect that their preaching would produce mass conversions- " Their hopeless" outlook is not surprising, since the SVM originated in conferences completely dominated by millenarian speakers" There is no way of knowing how many missionary volunteers left America as millenarians or became millenarian converts in the field, but there seems little doubt that millenarians were better represented in mission fields than within the American churches." (Roots, 185, 186. Footnote: Remember, Muller's motive for starting his mission work was that other missions had as their goal the conversion of the world, a motive Muller could not justify from Scripture. We need some missions now with the goal of converting the world to Christ.) The SVM clearly reflected Lacunza's (the Brethren s) view of missionary endeavor that it is sinful to expect the conversion of the world. The missionary effort, accordingly, devolves to simply spreading knowledge of the truth. Thus they were faithless missionaries, spreading a message of hopelessness. (Ovid Need, Jr., The Death of Victory, 284. Ross House Books.)
With the loss of hope of converting the world to Christ, all that is left is to dispense knowledge about God and His Christ (and "parotic action," we will add); however, that dispensing of knowledge is done faithlessly, for it contains no faith that the Spirit will use the Word of God to Christianize the nations.
It appears that modern Christianity equates Christian conversion and maturity with knowledge about God, but apart from applying that knowledge into surrounding society. God s law clearly states that the Christian s law of action is simply to do what is obvious to him from the Word of God, and he is to do it in whatever situation God has him in. His responsibility is not to ignore surrounding social turmoil, nor is it to delve into the mysteries of God; his responsibility is to do what God tells him to do: Love the Lord God with all his heart, soul, mind and strength, and his neighbor as himself. In addition, he is to go forth with the intent of Christianizing the nations with the gospel.
The Word of God profits nothing if it is not mixed with doing what it says in every social situation, from the level of the personal to the level of the White House, if God would so ordain, Heb 4:2. Heb 4:11, unbelief is defined as disobedience in the margin. Moreover, Christian maturity comes from doing God s Law-Word, not from knowing more of God's Word (just for knowledge s sake) and enquiring more into the secret things that belong unto the LORD our God:
But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil. (He 5:14. Solomon illustrates this passage when he asked for God s wisdom so he could apply God s Law-Word in hard cases, 1 Ki 3. See also Heb 11:2.)
(Deut 29:29)  He concludes his prophecy of the Jews rejection just as St. Paul concludes his discourse on the same subject, when it began to be fulfilled (Rom. xi. 33). How unsearchable are God s judgments, and his ways past finding out!
So here (v. 29), Secret things belong to the Lord our God. ... First,We are forbidden curiously to enquire into the secret counsels of God and to determine concerning them. A full answer is given to that question, Wherefore has the Lord done thus to this land? sufficient to justify God and admonish us. But if any ask further why God would be at such a vast expense of miracles to form such a people, whose apostasy and ruin he plainly foresaw, why did not by his almighty grace prevent it, or what he intends yet to do with them, let such know that these are questions which cannot be answered, and therefore are not fit to be asked. It is presumption in us to pry into the Arcana imperii- the mysteries of government, and to enquire into the reasons of state which it is not for us to know. See Acts I. 7; John xxi. 22; Col. ii. 18. Secondly, We are directed and encouraged diligently to enquire into that which God has made known: things revealed belong to us and to our children. Note, 1. Though God has kept much of his counsel secret, yet there is enough revealed to satisfy and save us. He has kept back nothing that is profitable for us, but that only which is good for us to be ignorant of. 2. We ought to acquaint ourselves, and our children too, with the things of God that are revealed. We are not only allowed to search into them, but are concerned to do so. They are things which we and ours are nearly interested in. They are the rules we are to live by, the grants we are to live upon; and therefore we are to learn them diligently ourselves, and to teach them diligently to our children. 3. All our knowledge must be in order to practice, for this is the end of all divine revelation, not to furnish us with curious subjects of speculation and discourse, with which to entertain ourselves and our friends, but that we may do all the words of this law, and be blessed in our deed. (Matthew Henry s Commentary, I.850, 851. Macdonald Publishing Company. Bold added.)
I would almost concede to the "Identity" theory that "White America" is the heir to Old Testament Israel. However, we know from Scripture that any nation founded upon the Word of God becomes heir to both the blessings and curses of the people of God, whether before or after Christ.
We can ask the same questions pointed out by MH: "Why would God go to the vast expense of miracles to form the US " as are so obvious in the honest history of this country - when He so clearly saw the apostasy and ruin that would come in a few hundred years?" "Why did not His grace prevent the apostasy of our day?" "What does the sovereign God of Scripture intend to do with apostate America and American Christianity?" (America seems to be suffering greatly at the hands of "Mother Nature," that is, the sovereign God of the Bible, since about the time of hurricane Andrew.) With the above questions in mind, we must not yield to presumption, that is, prying into the mysteries of God's government on earth, for they are not for us to know. However, we are to diligently enquire into what God has made known, for those things belong to us and to our children. Though much of God s workings in the affairs of men are secret, there is more than enough clearly made known to satisfy and save us, for He has kept back nothing profitable for us, Acts 20:20. He has clearly spelled out the rules to live by, the grants we are to live upon; and therefore we are to learn them diligently ourselves, and to teach them diligently to our children." We are to learn the Word of God "in order to practice" it.
Enquiry into the fate of the "Jewish" nation, or any nation for that matter, is presumption; enquiry must be so that we may do all the words of this law.
Evidently, the elder's enquiry of Ezekiel was along this line: "Why did God do the great miracles bringing us out of Egypt just to turn us over to ruin?" Or, "Why did God establish us as a nation just to deliver us to pagan Babylon?" Or "What does God intend to do with us?" Or "How can we deliver ourselves from this pagan army?" However, the elders of Israel clearly should have been enquiring into the reasons why they were oppressed by the ungodly, one-world system, Babylon; they should have been enquiring into why they were now under the authority of a foreign, pagan power; they should have been enquiring into the reasons why foreign troops and workers were on Israel's soil; they should have been enquiring what, according to the Word of God, could be done to regain their freedom under God. Man's enquiry into God's workings must be so man can better do God s good pleasure, Philippians 2:13.
Matthew Henry well stated the matter: Searching God's Word "to furnish us with curious subjects of speculation and discourse, with which to entertain ourselves and our friends" is presumption. Would this not include God's secret counsels concerning things like Election, Divine Providence, Predestination and maybe even creation (Heb 11:3)? These are things that must be accepted simply because God said it. What happens when we try to apply human reasoning and understanding to God's secret things? Are not His ways far past man s ability to find out, Isa 55:8, 9?
This pastor has found that the Lord has given more than enough clearly understood things to keep him busy for many lifetimes. (Job 28:28; Ps 25:14.)
The secret of the Lord is with them who depart from evil! If we want God to reveal secret things to us, depart from the sins in our lives. (I saw a little statement on the bottom of a scratch pad, with which many of us can identify: "God put me on this earth to do many things. Right now, I m so far behind I ll never die.") When we come so far short of what we know God would have us do, why are we so determined to understand the mysteries of God? Did not the Lord Jesus rebuke the disciples for their attempted enquiry into the future, saying that their concern was to be the proclaiming the total of God's Word unto the uttermost part of the earth, Acts 1:6-8? The believer's responsibility is to make God's Word known to all nations for the purpose that those nations will be obedient to the faith, Rom 16:26.(See also John 20:31.)
Where are the "enquiry meetings" with God's Word? Where is the spirit of enquiry concerning sin and how to correct the sins that the past generations have set in place? We should dread to even think that God's words spoken through Ezekiel to the elders might apply to us and our generation: As I live, saith the Lord God, I will not be enquired of by you because you refuse to confront and deal with the sins of the past generations to which you have fallen heir. (The vast majority of professed Christians absolutely refuse to confront the government school situation, and the result is that a great many Christian young people cannot even read their diplomas, let alone read God's Word. I suppose some of the new versions - perversions - of God's Word is because people cannot read the KJV.)
An interesting thought is Ez 39:8-10: God s people should be prayerfully going throughout the land to discover the weapons of the enemy, for he has infiltrated every area of life and thought. God's people should then, based upon God's Word, set about to "burn" those weapons with the refiner s fire (1 Pe 1:7), reclaiming those areas according to the Word of God. (See Patric Fairbairn, Ezekiel.)
The news media has become a very effective "weapon" of warfare against God and His covenant people. The victory has been won in Christ, so God s people should set about claiming that area back for God; they should set about to "burn" that weapon that has been effectively used by the enemy. Christians should "unite" to purchase - reclaim - some of the sources of the mass media.
Back in the late 60s, a small Indianapolis TV station went on the market. There was a conservative Christian businessman who had a vision of purchasing the station. He personally spoke to all the conservative churches in the Indianapolis area (there were over 90 independent, Bible believing Baptist churches alone) who would listen, trying to raise money to purchase the station. He was unable to gain the finical support to purchase the station; however, a group was able to raise the funds. Now the station promotes tongues, women preachers, faith healing and great, emotional experiences. One of the most prominent messages over the station is, "Are you finically distressed? Send me your seed money, and God will multiply it many times over." And those televangelists have excellent incomes. But who back then realized what cable would do? Cable now gives the station state-wide influence.
The point is this: A Christian man had a vision of what could be done with a conservative media outlet, but those who should have had that vision refused to invest in something that would not yield immediate "spiritual" results. Now the same people who refused to invest in the future back then no doubt complain that there is no Christian conservative TV outlet in the Indiana market, other than a few spots on the Charismatic Channel. But it will offer very little that is not "Politically Correct." Did not Ted Turner turn a small TV station into a major media source, CNN?
Why is it that if Christians cannot start at the top, they are unwilling to start at all? It appears that if they cannot control ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN or FOX, they are not interested in doing anything toward controlling the media for the Lord.
The great Bible conferences going on today should be conferences on how to reach into areas such as the media for the Lord, e.g., the "God Save America Rallies" for which I continually receive advertisements: There were eight listed on the last advertisement "four in the month of October alone. I fellowshiped with that group for many years, so I can safely assume they are not getting together to examine where the Church and Christianity have departed from God s Law-Word and how to return to God.
Continuing our look at what we are told by God through Ezekiel:
Second, vv. 5-26, and say to them... Rather than a revelation of the future, they got a review of the past, and it was not nice. The Lord reminds them of the evil of their fathers, who never gave up their false gods and idols.
They built the calf right out of Egypt, and they complained against God and wanted to return to Egypt all the way to Canaan. The only thing that kept the Lord from destroying them was his name's sake, v. 9.
We should point out that the generation that went into Canaan under Joshua was not much better than their fathers who came out of Egypt: It was with that generation the situation with Korah - the murmuring over water at Kadesh where Moses and Aaron sinned - and the evil with Moab took place. It was the generation that went into Canaan who was threatened with dispersion among the heathens, Deut. 29:4, Ez 20:23.
God continues through Ezekiel to remind them of the past, telling them the nation that He had redeemed unto Himself behaved like pagans in the desert. Only God s mercy spared the old nation of Israel, v. 17. However, God s mercy finally expired in 70 AD.
The sabbaths, v. 12, is best described by Isa 58:13, 14. Thus it was/is not simply a day of rest, but it was/is doing the will of God from the heart, Ez 20:13, 14. Vv. 18-24, the Lord continually warned the nation of Israel, yet it ignored His warning. V. 18, though Moses does not tell us about it, evidently Israel became idol worshipers in Egypt, serving the same gods as did the Egyptians. See Josh 24:2, 3, 14, 15. Several times, the Lord determined to destroy the nation, but Moses interceded.
V. 22, judgment against sin in God's people is required to prevent His name from being polluted among the heathen.
Vv. 25, 26, their pollution,
[C]an only, indeed, be the polluted customs and observances of heathenism that the prophet here characterizes as statutes not good, and judgments in which life was not to be found. By a strong expression (and yet not so strong as that in Isa. lxiii. 17: "O Lord, why hast thou made us to err from thy ways and hardened our heart from thy fear?"), God is said to have given death-bringing ordinances to the Israelites, when he saw their wayward and perverse behaviour in regard to the commandments and duties of his service; since, to punish their unfaithfulness, he subjected them to influences which carried them still farther astray, and brought on, first spiritual, then also, in due time, outward desolation and ruin. We have precisely the same process described, and in still stronger language, in 2 Thess. ii., where, of those who "received not the love of the truth," it is said, "And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie, and that they might be damned," first, the corrupting influences that bring spiritual blighting and disaster let loose upon them, and then, when these have wrought their full effect, the doom executed upon them of final perdition. (Fairbairn, Ezekiel, 221, 222.)
God s people are warned several times of the deceit they are open to when they depart from God's Law-Word: Antinomianism, which says that man has no clear written rule or law from God to live by, naturally leads to "the polluted customs and observances of heathenism" being mixed with what little word from God Dispensationalism is left with. The result is that God closes His people s eyes and minds so they will submit to heathen influences and customs. Old Israel's worship of God became a very corrupt mixture of error and truth; Christ came calling Israel to the true worship of the Father, and the Jews hated Him, John chps 6, 10. (But then, true Dispensationalism holds that the book of John is not for the "Church Age.")
God clearly spells it out: When men rejects God s Word, God rejects them, because thou hast rejected knowledge, I will also reject thee, Hos 4:6. In His rejection, He sends a spirit of blindness. The result is that those who do not love the Divine Truth of God s Law-Word are prepared to receive a lie; the result of the lie is destruction; the destruction is the final end - just retribution - of rejecting the Truth. (Jas 1:21, 22. See also 1 Tim 3:13.) Notice God s word of warning as delivered by Ezekiel:
20:23 I lifted up mine hand unto them also in the wilderness, that I would scatter them among the heathen, and disperse them through the countries; 24 Because they had not executed my judgments, but had despised my statutes, and had polluted my sabbaths, and their eyes were after their fathers idols. 25 Wherefore I gave them also statutes that were not good, and judgments whereby they should not live; 26 And I polluted them in their own gifts, in that they caused to pass through the fire all that openeth the womb, that I might make them desolate, to the end that they might know that I am the LORD.
There are several interesting points from the above passage:
First, the Lord warned and warned His people to return to Him by obeying His statutes and by instilling His judgments into society. They ignored the warning. Notice that it was an act of mercy that the Lord God gave his statutes and judgments, for they give life as opposed to death without them, v. 21. Second, the Lord Jehovah withdrew His hand from them for rejecting His statutes and judgments, v. 24.
Third, God Himself sent things to them which were not good, and that would lead to death. They were blinded because they rejected His Law-Word, so now they accept the law-word of man through the false gods.
Fourth, note that the reason the Lord sent the deception was so they would follow after the statutes that were not good: That I might make them desolate. The purpose was for their chastisement: to drive out the corruption they were secretly harboring in their hearts. The purpose for their believing a lie was to make them desolate, or for their ruin, Deut 30:16. (Pro 8:36 But he that sinneth against me wrongeth his own soul: all they that hate me love death. See also, Pro 15:32; 19:16; 20:2; Mark 6:36.) The end result was that they might know that I am the Lord and God's name would not be polluted among the heathen.
Fifth, look at what
the people of God did, they caused to pass through the fire
all that openeth the womb, a clear reference to Molech worship,
According to Dr. Rushdoony:
Moloch is "the king" or "kingship." The name of Moloch is also given as Milcom (I Kings 6:5, 33) and Malcam (Jer. 49:1, 3, RV; Zeph. 1:5). Moloch was an aspect of Baal (Jer. 32:35), baal meaning lord. Under the name of Melcarth, king of Tyre, Baal was worshiped with human sacrifices at Tyre.
While relatively little is known of Moloch, much more is known of the concept of divine kingship, the king as god, and the god as king, as the divine-human link between heaven and earth. ... Moloch worship was thus a political religion.
... Moloch worship was thus state worship. the state was the true and ultimate order, and religion was a department of state. The state claimed total jurisdiction over man; it was therefore entitled to total sacrifice. ...
... For a state to claim total jurisdiction, as the modern state does, is to claim to be as God, to be the total governor of man and the world. ...
The Moloch state is a product of apostasy. When a people reject God as their King, and make a man or the state their king (I Sam. 8:7-9), God declares the consequences... (I Sam 8:11-18, ed.)
The Moloch state simply represents the supreme effort of man to command the future, to predestine the world, and to be as God. ... (Many "Christians" will fight tooth and nail against any idea that God predestinates the world, but they have no problem letting the state predestinate the world, ed.)
... The law is the specified way of holiness.
Moloch worship seeks a non-theistic, a non-Biblical way to holiness. ... (Institutes of Biblical Law, RJ Rushdoony, 32-36.)
Ez 20:21ff., God's people rebelled against their God: they walked not in my statutes, neither kept my judgments to do them. This passage clearly repeats several times that the standard for God s people is His judgments and His statutes - they are always responsible to God s Law-Word. Because God's people would not accept God's statutes that were for their good, He sent to them and caused them to accept the statutes that were to their death, e.g., COMPULSORY ATTENDANCE LAWS that "forced" the children to be sacrificed to Molech, the state. Many times God s people refuse to give their children to the Lord, yet they freely give them to the Molech state with no objection, Ez 20:26, 31.
Ez 20:27-32, God is not concerned with the past sins of the fathers; what He is concerned with is that the present children serve Him with purity of heart according to His word.
Example: Yes, the stated purpose of the Molech state s educational system was to destroy Christianity. We can sit around all day and discuss the sins of the fathers for allowing the system to be established, but that is not the problem. The problem is that Christians continue to sacrifice their children to Molech. We can discuss endlessly the faults of those who instituted the modern welfare state, but what are we doing about it? We can disagree over who started the idea or how it came about that God s Law-Word is not for the "age of grace," but what are we going to do about it?
God is dealing with the present children of the fathers who established the pollution, and what are the children going to do about it? Pollution...! Let us say something here about pollution:
Environmental activism constitutes the "fastest-growing form of Christian ministry " among evangelicals, claims Fred Krueger, director of Christian Society of the Green Cross. Green Cross, begun in 1993, is guided by the motto "Serving and Keeping Creation."
The evangelical ministry with the biggest budget is the Christian Environmental Association (CEA), with an annual budget approaching $2 million. The CEA coordinates short-term mission projects in 14 countries that focuses on such "ecofriendly" efforts as reforestation and cleaning up water. It also operates a state-of-the- art research center in the jungles of Belize, where students of Christian colleges go to study for credit.
At least two dozen schools in the Coalition for Christian Colleges and Universities now offer environmental science majors, and most of the programs are less than five years old (Christianity Today, 11/11/96). (What In The World! A news service prepared by Bob Jones University for the local church. V 21, #2.)
Let me ask: "I wonder if these same Christian Colleges have enquiry meetings to learn how the children can deal with the pollution, the corrupt mixture of error and truth in serving God, set into motion by the fathers?" It is the trespasses against God s Word set in motion by the fathers which the children refuse to deal with that moves God s mighty hand against His people
V. 33 is straight-forward, leading up to the promise of v. 34. V. 33:
That power which should have been exerted for their protection shall be exerted for their destruction. Note, There is no shaking off God s dominion; rule he will, either with the golden sceptre or with the iron rod; and those that will not yield to the power of his grace shall be made to sink under the power of his wrath. (Matthew Henry, IV.870.)
This sure sounds like either God s people will allow Him to reign over them as their King, or He will exalt pagan rulers over them. (Cf. 1 Sam 8.) One way or another, God will rule over all men.
But God's word to these "inquisitive" elders ends on a high note:
... By the new and better state of things introduced through the gospel, Mount Zion has risen to a nobler elevation than of old, and Canaan has burst its ancient bounds, and the elect people have spread themselves far and wide in the earth. Wherever there is a true believer in Christ, there also is a genuine member of the house of Israel, a pure worshiper coming to Mount Zion, a free-born citizen, who feeds on the heritage of Jacob his father; for thy who are Christ's are Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise. But other and more fitting opportunities will occur for considering how far the promised good to Israel is to be understood as merging in the good of the Christian Church... (Fairbairn, Ezekiel, 230. See also E.W. Hengstenberg (1802-1869) on Hos 2:16, Christology of the Old Testament, 183-189. MacDonald Publishing