The Biblical Examiner
An Examination of Biblical Precepts Involved in Issues at Hand
Isaiah is living among a very perverse and corrupt generation of God's people. The king is wicked, and he is mixing the service of the Lord with paganism. The people are not much better, which we see as Isaiah tries to warn them of their evil ways. They chose to follow after the wicked leaders. Judgment is soon coming, and will be brought about by the very ones with whom the king is making his alliances. (Christians are making alliances with the state by sacrificing their children to the state. Judgment is coming through those schools.) The circumstances around Isaiah are anything but encouraging. There is no "righteousness" around him for encouragement.
In the face of the surrounding evil, Isaiah tells of the coming One who will establish His everlasting kingdom.
In Isaiah 12, it seems that the prophet cannot hold his tongue. He has told about the coming Prince of Peace who will establish His glorious kingdom. All the kingdoms of men will be subdued to this King and His kingdom. Now Isaiah must 'stop' in the midst of describing the King's glorious earthly kingdom and praise the Lord.
This short chapter of praise is NOT based on the surrounding circumstances, nor is it based upon how well the people are receiving his message. Chapter 9 tells of the hardness of the hearts of those spoken to, and of how they ignored his message. So this chapter of praise is based on the very promises that he has been giving to the hardened people. In other words, he is not praising the Lord because of the receptiveness of the people, but because of the promises he has been giving to the people.
Isaiah 12 is easily divided into two parts:
v. 1-3, believers are to stir themselves up to praise God.
Vv. 4-6, believers are to invite and encourage others to praise
God. As believers praise the Lord, they are to draw others to
In this chapter, we see:
1) that our hope and joy is in the promises of our God. If we find our hope in the fact that the hearts of others are turned, then if God does not see fit to turn hearts to Himself, we have lost our hope and joy.
Anyone who works with people can become very discouraged because folks are not growing folks into whom we have invested time, work and prayer. Or we see them going back from where they came. Or we see the word of God having very little, if any, effect on those in whom we invest. No doubt Isaiah saw nothing but hardness and rejection as he did all he could to instruct the people, yet he praises the Lord here in Chapter 12.
Isaiah shows us that our hope and reason to praise the Lord and our reason to be encouraged IS IN HIM. When we get our eyes off of the future promises of God of the victory that is in Christ, we will become very discouraged.
2) that the child of God not only can, but must praise God no matter what is taking place around him or in his life. No matter if others listen or not to the warnings of God, no matter if the kingdoms of this world are going down the tubes or not, no matter what the circumstances, we must still praise the Lord.
3) that our hope and reason to praise God are the promises of God. Our reason for praise is His promises to His faithful people through the Lord our righteousness.
V. 1, in that day, thou shalt say... It is the Lord who places in our hearts the desire to praise him. It is the Lord who gives cause to praise him.
This song of praise is addressed to God's covenant people in the future. That day refers to the day of Christ, THE GOSPEL CHURCH AGE. It is referring to the approaching Messiah, and to those who will be the redeemed in Him. ("When there shall come a rod out of the stem of Jesse." Isa. 11:1. John Trap. See also Keil-Delitzsch [KD], Ps. 96, Zech. 14:20, 21 and Isa. 2:11.) The prophet looks past the then present wickedness and soon coming judgment upon God's people. The prophet looks forward to the coming glories of the Messiah here upon this earth. He looks forward to the comfort and salvation that is coming in Christ.
The prophet is speaking to the descendants of the people of his present age. This promise continues on with what he has already given. He is calling on the nation that is about to experience the wrath and judgment of God against her sin not to lose heart, because there is a glorious day of praise coming in the Redeemer.
V. 1, I will praise thee: This praise is expressed even though the Lord was angry with His people. His anger will be turned away, and will be replaced with comfort.
V. 2, though it is difficult for our human nature to understand, we must trust in God's sovereignty to work His good pleasure in our lives. Thus fear of the present or the future is a denial of God's faithfulness to His promises to His people through our LORD JEHOVAH, the Lord Jesus Christ.
V. 2 also shows us that God's judgments result in His salvation that is, His salvation comes out of His judgments. It is the wrath and anger of God against His people for their sins that teach them to trust in Him, e.g., Ezekiel 33:29 &c. It is a result of difficult times that trust, fearlessness and dependence in His strength instead of dependence upon ourselves develops.
It is too bad that difficulties and judgments always seem to be requirements on God's people. Salvation, deliverance, trust and songs of praise always seem to be preceded by God's movement against sin. That movement against sin must be present on the inside in the form of conviction by the Holy Spirit before there can be salvation.
That movement must be on the outside to 'shake off' all false gods and false hope that we might have. It would appear that if we desire to see godliness developed in our lives and in the lives of others, we should pray for Him to move against sin in our lives, which is a very unpleasant prospect. And of course, this speaks to society in general.
V. 3, confidence in divine providence should permit us to sing with joy over our salvation. This is Psalms 30:5 but joy cometh in the morning. The sadness and discouragement in our lives will be replaced with joy in the morning. The distresses that are in store for our sinful nation will be replaced with joy and gladness. This gladness is found as they draw water out of the wells of salvation.
A) The joy promised is not a joy of our ruling over the pagan individuals or nations around us, who are about to overwhelm us. (A common misconception today is that Christians have joy over the prospect that they will rule with a rod of iron over the pagans one day with Christ, Rev. 19:15.) Rather, the promised joy is found in the water out of the wells of salvation, which is obviously what the Lord was referring to in His exchange with the woman at the well. (Jn. 4:10-14. See also Jer. 2:13.)
B) Isaiah keeps his eyes on the future promise of the Messiah and the redemption that is going to be found in Him; he also keeps his readers' eyes on the coming Redeemer. Isaiah tells the people that the Messiah will be THE WELL OF LIVING WATER in a dry and thirsty land. He will be the source of joy and gladness.
C) Note who is invited to praise the Lord, v. 6, the inhabitant of Zion and Jerusalem. God showed himself strong as He protected his people from Sennacherib's evil intentions. 2 Kings 19. Today, the Gospel Church is the new Zion, and we should be doing all we can to bring others under the knowledge of Zion's King, Jesus Christ, so they too will praise the Lord. (Heb. 12:22, Rev. 14:1.)
Those of us who have received exceptional favors from God should be the most zealous in praising Him.
V. 4, In that day is given again. Isaiah continually draws his readers' attention to the future blessings that will be found in Christ. And we are living in that day. My, how blessed of God we are to be living in that day spoken of here by Isaiah.
The Lord's promises given through Isaiah must last the people he is talking to for many hundreds of years, and these promises did. The faithful did not lose hope, though the promises were hundreds of years in coming to pass, e.g., Luke 2:25ff.
Isaiah gives them 4 things here that the covenant-people of God will do, in that day.
COVENANT-PEOPLE = those who are in the salvation covenant that was made between God the Father and God the Son. (Isaiah 42:6, 49:8.)
1) The covenant-people will Praise the Lord.
2) The covenant-people will call upon his name, although the margin gives this as proclaim His name, as does Keil. They will proclaim the name of the Lord everywhere.
Romans 10:13, seems to be the reference here (though the margin does not give this as a reference). For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. Or it could refer to calling upon the name of the Lord in prayer to the Heavenly Father through the name of the Messiah the Lord Jesus Christ. We have a boldness in prayer that the Old Testament saints knew nothing about. (Heb. 4:16.)
3) The covenant-people will declare his doings among the people. Declare speaks of at least 4 things. (Wigram lists this declare [3045, pg. 506] as being translated: show, tell, make known, teach, answer thou, make me to know, cause me to know, cause them to know.)
A. Declare by teaching as in classroom instruction; preaching as we are doing today; or writing as we do with the Examiner.
B. Declare by trial and error, as the Lord would declare His ways to us through our mistakes and sins.
C. Declare by our actions the ways of the Lord to those who are watching.
D. Declare by personal confrontations, or speaking to others about the ways of the Lord.
Isaiah 12:4, declare his doings includes personal confrontation, or witnessing, or "soul-winning" as found in the great commission. (Mat. 28:19, 20.)
Declare includes teaching, preaching and writing all kinds of instruction in the total law-word of God, as is also found in the great commission.
Declare includes conversion that is, our changed holy life before the unbelievers that leads to the conversion of those watching us. (1 Cor. 15:34.)
Declare includes the Lord declaring his ways through our mistakes and sins.
Declare includes instruction to the world of the total activity of our Lord. That instruction includes His control of history (PROVIDENCE), His creation of all things by the word of His mouth, as well as any other work of our God as told to us in His word.
Declare requires a balanced message from preachers of the total God. Paul said, For I have not shunned to declare unto you all the counsel of God. Acts 20:27. This declare is an extremely difficult task that very few men are able to do. There are subjects we are fearful to preach on because of the anger of the people which might be raisedthey will find another church and preacher who does not declare those things. On the other hand, there are pet subjects that preachers like, and ones we do not like. Here we see that Paul, and the rest of the Apostles (and we are to do the same), declared all of his doings among the people, just as Isaiah said they would.
4) The fourth thing that the covenant-people will do is one that is not done much any more that is, make mention that his name is exalted. The last chapter of Acts gives us the account of Paul's final days. There in Acts 28, we see that from the start to the end of Paul's ministry, he declared the exalted name of the Lord. Paul proclaimed the kingdom of God, v. 31. In Ephesians 1:20-23, he presented the exalted name of Christ.
A good example of exalting his name is Alabama Judge Roy Moore. He wanted everyone to know that all kings and kingdoms are subject to the Lord God, including the United States. The wicked could not tolerate such a statement, and many Christians sided with the wicked.
Much, if not most, of the doctrine presented today is about the defeated name of Christ: "Woe is us Christians, for we must suffer under the hands of the wicked one until Christ starts ruling with His rod of Iron sometime off in the future. Until then, we just quietly bear the evil, and submit to all ordinances of men", regardless of how much they go against the principles found in God's word.
The exalted name of Christ is Christian the name whereby His people are known in that day, as spoken of here by Isaiah.
In Isaiah 12, Isaiah gives the prophecy that it is the EXALTED NAME OF CHRIST in the here and now that is to be proclaimed. He is King now as He sits on the right hand of the Father, ruling (controlling by His Divine Providence) every event on this earth for His own praise, honour and glory. (Eph. 1:5, 9, 11.)
Are we proclaiming the exalted name of Christ, which is far more than just His name in redemption? Our job as the chosen people of God is to proclaim the exalted name of the Lord Jesus Christ in every area, with our actions as well as with our words.
V. 5, Isaiah urges God's people to sing unto the Lord: and the reason is for he hath done excellent things. His people are not the only ones who know of His excellent things, but this is known in all the earth.
For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse: Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. (Rom. 1:20, 21.)
The excellent things do not necessarily have to be things which we would consider good from the human point of view. It was an excellent thing when He overturned Egypt in the Red Sea, but the Egyptians did not consider it so. It was an excellent thing when He overthrew Israel and then Judah for their sins, but they did not consider it so. It was an excellent thing when Christ was killed, but His followers did not consider it so. It is an excellent thing anytime law-breakers are cast down and the law-keepers are exalted, but the law-breaker does not consider it so.
God's excellent things are known in all the earth. Again we are reminded that the mighty works of God are not done in secret, but He works in the open for all the world to see.
V. 6 continues on with this stanza of praise with the call to cry out and shout. This exhortation is directed to the inhabitant of Zion that is, the Gospel Church.
Isaiah directs v. 6 to the people of God who are alive in that day in the day of the Messiah. There are three cross-references given in the margin of my Bible, and all three are unmistakable references to the Gospel Church: Luke 19:37, Isaiah 54:1 & Zephaniah 3:14.
Then the reason for Isaiah's exhortation to cry out and shout with joy and gladness - for great is the Holy One of Israel in the midst of thee. This obviously looks forward to the principle contained in 1 Corinthians 3:16, 17 which is repeated many times in the New Testament:
16 Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you? 17 If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are. (1 Cor. 3.)
The Lord was angry with sin and the sinner and judged the sin.
The result was a well of living water springing up.
The result was access to the Heavenly Father, witnessing for the Lord and the excellent things He hath done.
The call is to sing unto the Lord.
The call is to cry out and shout praise for the Lord.
However, the praise in this chapter is not over the goodness' that God might show to those being challenged to praise God that is, "I praise the Lord that he is so good to me." (Though that is certainly reason to praise God.)
The praise is over the salvation provided by the God of my salvation.
The praise is over the salvation provided by Him to the whole world, a salvation that the whole world can see.
The praise is over the mighty works which He has accomplished in plain sight of the whole world.
The praise is over the excellent things He has done.
The praise is over the fact that the Holy One now dwells in the midst of His people, the Gospel Church (Rev. 21:3).
Accordingly, the call to praise God and sing is not over the good things that might be brought to pass in our lives. Anyone can praise God when things are going well (as defined by human nature). The Prophet here is praising God for the victory that is going to be accomplished in the future, in that day, through Christ. A day that was still several hundreds of years in the future from his time.
In other words, we have no reason not to praise God, and His people are exhorted to praise him because of the marvelous works that He has done, the marvelous works He is doing and for the marvelous works He will do in the world. Nothing is said about His work in the individual other than salvation, which in itself is a call to praise Him.
Even if God sees fit to overturn the kingdoms of this world, including the US, we are to praise Him. It is His excellent thing that is being accomplished, and our allegiance is to the Kingdom of God, not to the kingdoms of men. (Mat. 6:33.)
If we can find praise only when things are going our way, we will not have much to praise God about, and we will be depressed most of the time. But here God's people always have something to praise Him about.
Hengstenberg, commenting in Isaiah 13, said, "Farther-There,
as well as here (he is in ch. 13), the conditions of the future
are not expressly announced as such, but supposed: the Prophet
takes his stand in the future, There, as well as here, the Prophet
draws consolation in the sufferings of the present from a salvation
to be bestowed in a far distant future only." (Pg.485.)
Oh, might we find the same hope and gladness regardless of what we see around us. In fact, we are living in the very day which Isaiah found cause for rejoicing when he was facing the terrible darkness of his time.
I was thoroughly blessed when I read your article entitled
"The Biblical Priorities of a Godly Young Man". For
some time now the Lord has been impressing upon me the gravity
and centrality of purpose that He has given us as fathers to build
strong godly families and teach them (sons and daughters) to focus
their efforts on doing the same.
The timing of the article was a great confirmation that this is indeed a message the Lord is sending to His church in this day and hour. As a homeschooling father, I had the rare privilege of delivering the high school graduation address for my son's graduating class. I delivered this this year well before I received this edition of your newsletter. Please note the similarity in thought and direction of my address to this article! What a great God we serve.
You are welcome to share this address in your newsletter if you so choose.
In His Service,
23940 Pike 265
Clarksville, MO. 63336
In most charge addresses that I've witnessed there is an understandable focus on challenging students who are preparing to enter the career world with what they might DO in their lifetime. And indeed it is a noble thing that a young Christian might aspire to some worthy profession or career of their choosing to break into a world which is ever so needful of many things. But today I would like to challenge you to take a slightly different look at your future life. Rather than focusing on what we might DO, let's look at what we are going to LEAVE BEHIND.
Let's take a look ahead say 50, 60, even 80 years from today and ask some questions? What are you going to leave behind when your life is finished? What will your legacy be to your children? What is it that you will pass along to the generations coming behind you?
There is something of a future perspective that is often missing in so many young people today. In fact, a perspective that is much neglected even in the older generations among us. It is the perspective of where we fit into the larger scheme of God's plan in time and history. It doesn't take a long look at scripture to see that most of the participants in the pages of written biblical history each played a vital but comparatively small role in the continuing story of God's plan of redemption and glory. Regardless of their impact and significance they still represented but a stepping stone to the next generation's entrée into the plan. I would offer to you that once we have a grasp of the fact that we are an intricate part of a grand plan of God's redemptive history, it will dramatically shape WHAT we do with the life that God has granted us today.
In a wonderful book by David Gamble, entitled "Dr. DAD", Dr. Gamble illustrates well my point.
"We are not the first, we are not the last, and we are not the main thing; but we are a part of a great story. Today, we who have been redeemed by the great grace of God are spiritual descendants of Abraham, of Isaac, of Jacob, of Moses, of David, of Paul, of Peter, of John. They rest from their labors while we engage in ours. But we stand with them as partakers of His covenant grace. We stand with them in the COVENANT LINE. From them we have inherited much, and to future generations we must bequeath, and even enhance, this inheritance. A good man leaves an inheritance to his children: an inheritance of property and material goods, perhaps; but an inheritance of character, of a good name, remembrance of a life which has been true and holy and upright, a life which has been spent doing good, doing things that mattered, definitely." [emphasis added]
So what will your LEGACY be? As Christians of course, God has left us with sound guidance as to how we should proceed. In Matthew 6:33, we are told that we should " seek FIRST His kingdom and His righteousness; and all these things [worldly goods] shall be added to you." There are two aspects of this scripture that I would like to highlight for us. First the KINGDOM. Kingdom speaks of your PLACE in that "covenant line". Where is it that you uniquely fit to labor and contribute to the success of the next generation? For the scripture tells us that God is building his kingdom of living stones' placed just as He would have them fitted together for his purposes. [Eph. 2:21; 4:16]
And secondly, RIGHTEOUSNESS. Righteousness speaks of your character. Your legacy to the next generation will come more from HOW you live than from WHAT you will Do! Doug Phillips puts it this way: "The Heroism of the Father is a Legacy to his children". I would tweak that a bit to make it more expansive for us today: "The CHARACTER of the parents will be the Legacy of their children tomorrow." I think we all know that you could leave your child one million dollars and he could squander it in a year or two. But if you can teach him to work hard and save, he will never be in want for the rest of his life.
History illustrates beautifully the legacy of faithful parents. William Bradford was one of the most influential founders of this great nation. Venturing out from Holland in 1620 on the Mayflower to found the Plymouth Colony, he became the governor of the colony for 31 years and was responsible for establishing the Mayflower Compact (the prototype of our nation's liberty). What was his family background? Although William came from a broken home, at the age of 13 years, he began attending a church led by William and Mary Brewster. The Brewsters "adopted" Bradford and raised him like a son teaching him the way of Lord and the joy of serving him.
Jonathan Edwards, the only son of 11 children, was born the son of a minister. He married Sarah Pierremont in 1727 and they went on to be blessed with 11 children of their own. Jonathan was noted for rising before sunrise every morning for prayer by candlelight and then reading a chapter of the Bible to his children before their day began.
Although he was one of the greatest preachers and intellects of his day, he always took time out from his writing and studying to give one hour each day of undivided attention to his children. What was the legacy of this godly couple? History shows that from just this one faithful couple came 13 college presidents, 65 professors, 100 lawyers, 30 judges, 1 Dean of a Law School, 56 physicians, 80 holders of public office, 3 US Senators, 1 Comptroller of the Treasury and one Vice President of the U.S. over a period of just 173 years!
So if it's not just about me then who is it about? First, as should be obvious to all Christians, it's about the Lord, Jesus our Christ. We must understand that everything we do, as His representatives on earth, reflects on His character and glory. We must also know that God has set in motion a glorious covenantal story a story which connects Adam and Eve to Noah, Noah to Abraham, Abraham to David, David to Paul and Peter. And ultimately Paul and Peter to Andy Mahler, Melody Robison, Jesse Hindricks, Lisa Ramey, John Wells and on and on
In Hebrews 12:1 we are told that there is a "great cloud of witnesses surrounding us" and that we are to therefore "run the race set before us " But that cloud of witnesses doesn't just surround us. Some day it will include us! So, indeed, it's about Jesus and His glory. But it doesn't end there.
It's also about our Posterity. Marshall Foster said this:
Each one of us, whether we know it or not, is standing at the apex of an unfolding generational drama. We are heir to the past, and ancestor to the future. Counting our grandparents or early mentors down through our grandchildren, we will mentor (teach and influence), or be mentored by, people whose life cycles will extend well over 200 years and include overlapping parts of four centuries!
One of our nation's founders said it this way:
What is taught in one generation, becomes the philosophy of the next. What is philosophy in the second generation, becomes the practical reality in the following. In other words, in three generations entire cultural transformations can take place!
The bottom line is this. As you begin shaping your decisions about what you will do with the rest of your life don't fall into the trap of thinking on the more "obvious" questions:
What will make me the most money? What will earn me the most prestige and honor? What will make me the happiest...my parents, the happiest?
Instead ask these questions:
Where do I fit into God's glorious Covenant Line?
What can I do to make the greatest impact on the next 2 generations?
What can I do to maximize my ability to hand my children the "covenantal baton"?
Before I leave you with this charge, I want to make a special plea to this graduating class of 2003. To both the men and the women Seek to have as many children as the Lord will bless you with!! It is not a common message to today's youth, but I believe it is central to God's purpose. At the beginning of creation, He declared to us that it was "not good for man to be alone". So He joined Adam with Eve and told them to "be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth". Marriage is GOOD and babies are WONDERFUL.
Now to the women. Titus 2:3-5 says that "older women are to teach the younger women to be sensible, pure and keepers at home so that the work of God be not dishonored." It is obvious that God sees women placing as their first priority the building and keeping of a loving and godly home, which is critically important. Ladies, there is no greater "career" than being a loving wife and mother. If you do begin a profession before the Lord sends you that "lifemate" hold it loosely and be prepared to yield it completely to him and to his God-given mission.
Finally, to the men. Choose your career profession wisely. Make sure that your livelihood does not prevent you from being there for your children, to train them in the law and love of the Lord and in the joy of His worship. It's been said that the best way to raise juvenile delinquents is to try to raise them by remote control.
These exhortations may for a moment seem tangent to the point I have been making about seeing yourself as a part of God's covenant line, but on close examination, you will see that they are central to his plan of covenantal redemption. He has chosen a simple plan of working from family to family to family passing on His covenantal faithfulness from one generation to the next. The only way we will accomplish this is to make building His kingdom through strong families our first priority not careers, not money, nor anything else.
Ultimately, you will come to the end of your life. You will not fret about the money you never earned or the fame you never achieved. As you pass on into the glorious heavens and you BECOME part of that "great cloud of witnesses", arm-in-arm with your brothers Moses, David, Obadiah and Ezekiel, you'll be looking down and proudly cheering on your children and their children and as they carry that torch of Christ's kingdom. As they build upon the firm foundation that YOU laid for them, they will glorify God with all their heart, soul, mind and strength. And they will rise up and call you blessed!
Brother Wells again reminds us that women in the work force cannot compare with the stay-at-home mom. Sure, she may gain "equal rights" with men and even advance past the "glass ceiling", but can she compare to a stay at home wife and mother such as Sarah Edwards? The career woman may make her mark on the corporate world, and even make a good living, but how long will her legacy last?
by Susan Graham Mathis, Focus on the Family, Oct/Nov, 03, p. 4.
[A short excerpt from an interview with Kay Coles James, director of the U.S. Office of Personnel Management (which is, basically, human resources for the U.S. government)...]
When I began to get involved in government and public policy, I would go to work every day and try to make a difference. Yet I was also watching a friend who was a full-time, stay-at-home mom. She was molding her children, as she was home schooling and shaping character for the future. While I was dining with presidents and kings and testifying before Congress, I realized that the work she was doing was so much more important and significant than mine. Yes, my work was important, but for long-term, eternal purposes, the ability to shape the character and values of children is the most important. They are the hope of our country, our future. And there's nothing more important than that. [She was a full-time, stay-at-home mom for many years. Evidently, her children are all out of the home.]
It is indeed a shame that many husbands and fathers cannot see the importance of their wives being stay-at-home moms. The family can control the future through the children. Thus, the battle with the state is for the children. Look for an all out effort for the federal government to gain control of all children, particularly the home school children.
Even Christian women have bought the devil's lie that their most important mark is outside of the home and family, and society is paying a very heavy price.
May God see fit to change the hearts of covetous Christians who are willing to sacrifice their families on the altar of mammon, and may He see fit to send a revival of Titus chapter two wives and mothers.
Praise the Lord for home school families like Brother and Sister Wells. Families like the Wells' family are the hope of the advancement of the Kingdom of God on earth.
Proverbs 24:27 Prepare thy work without, and make it fit for thyself in the field; and afterwards build thine house.
There are those who say that a young man must be well established, even with a fine house, before he takes a wife "when he is able to maintain her." (Gill.) Certainly, one should consider the cost of any endeavor (Luke 14:28, 29), but what is the purpose of a "helpmeet" if a man is well established before he seeks a wife?
We have also noticed in families with marriage age boys and girls, that the parents are concerned about, work at getting and are looking for good husbands for their daughters, but that concern seems to be missing for the sons in the family getting a good wife. In other words, there is not the same emphasis upon the boys seeking a mate as there is upon the girls finding a mate. And then we wonder why there are no godly men for the women who have been properly trained.
The letter and message of Bro Robert Wells motivated the following. It is a message I presented Sunday, 11/23, and contains a small portion of what was in the last mailing. As I said previously, you may get tired of hearing the following, but here is the theme again.
Genesis 1:26-28 tells us that marriage has several purposes:
1) To provide a helpmeet for the man as he goes about his God ordained calling. (2:18.)
2) To provide godly offspring: multiply, and fill the earth.
3) Those offspring are to subdue the earth, and take godly dominion, rule, over the earth and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.
Though the command was given to Adam, it is obvious that Adam could not take dominion over more than what was in his immediate area. Thus, the command included a command for Adam to train his children how to go out and take that godly dominion over the earththat is, how to do all things for the glory of God. (1 Corinthians 10:31.)
Sin did not void the command and the inbred desire for man to take dominion over all creation. Rather, sin corrupted the motive behind taking dominion, so that now man does it for his own glory. Genesis 4:16, we start to see that man's efforts are now to glorify man, as Cain built a city, and named it for his son, Enoch. We also see, Genesis 4:18ff., that man's sin-corrupted desire to dominate involves domination over other men for his own power and glory; this is especially evident in Nimrod, Genesis 10:8ff. (The dominion mandate is given again in Genesis 9:1.)
The third time the dominion mandate is given is in Matthew 28:19, 20. Only this time, the Lord gave it to His people whom He had empowered by His spirit to take dominion for the glory of God. Like the first command to Adam, it is obvious that those hearing Christ could not be everywhere. So part of this command by God is for God's people to train up godly offspring who will be sent out as arrows into the heart of the enemies of God, world-wide. There is far more to Matthew 28:19, 20, than just a missionary command. It includes everything the first dominion mandate to Adam included, plus a missionary mandate that was absent under the old covenant. (One of the most difficult obstacles the apostles had to overcome was that the gospel was to go to the Gentiles.)
We as Christians must force ourselves to think, plan and live
for the future. The place to start is where the enemy resists
the most, making it the most difficult of all areas to bring under
control that is, our families and training our children
in the ways of the Lord. The more determined we are to claim that
area for the Lord, the more determined the enemy is to hinder
us in the family.
The question arises: What are some things we can do to retrain our thinking from short to long range? Sadly, it seems that "long range" thinking today is not much past the thirty year house payment, or the 5 year car payment.
We have been conditioned by the world to think of long range, covenant thinking and planning in the terms of political planning, and we think of the Fabian Socialists who were willing to institute socialist ideas years ago, and slowly wait for the results. We seek to counter that thinking with conservative political thinking, rather than with Biblical thinking.
Biblical, long range, covenant thinking and planning must be
in terms of the family. God's command was for the family to take
dominion over the earth in His name and for His glory.
When we start thinking "generationally", we will work today for our influence many generations down the line. Does not the Lord work in terms of many generations? (Exodus 20:6, Deuteronomy 5:10.)
I suppose the thing that has driven this home for me is my second marriage. I realize the situation is repeated many times over, but it is my first "first hand involvement".
How can we think and plan "Long Range Covenant Thinking" that will counter the "rapture, get it now" mentality?
It must start with parents teaching their sons of their Scriptural responsibility to marry a godly young lady, and establish a godly home:
Let thy fountain be blessed: and rejoice with the wife of thy youth. (Proverbs 5:18.)
The general thinking today is that a young man should be established and have a good job before considering marriage.
Though my dad was an ordained Baptist minister, he was not raised in a Christian home. When he was ordained in Spencer, Indiana, back in the 1940s, one of his relatives (on his dad's side) saw the announcement in the Spencer paper. When she got home and told her husband, he could not believe it. So he sent her back into town to check the facts, for he was sure she had made a mistake. It was unbelievable that a Need could be a Christian, let alone a minister. Of course, it was true.
My dad was a "lay pastor", he and his brother having their own welding and fabricating company. (He could build complicated machinery from just the pictureshis last job before he retired was to build a corrugated pipe machine. The owner of the company took several pictures from different angles of a working machine at another location, and my dad built the machine from the pictures. His welding skill kept him in good jobs during the depression. He began electric arc welding before WWII, and at a time when it was unknown how to test welds. When his welds were tested, they would not break, and the "testers" complained because the welds would not break, so they could look at them. Many times he said that one of the hardest things he had to get used to after WW II, where everyone learned to arc weld, was someone on a job who said he, the other man, had some leaks to fix. During the depression, if your weld leaked [welding high pressure hot water, gas and steam lines, among other things], you were fired, and someone else was hired to fix your leaks.)
The result was that my dad often worked at least 100 miles from home, and, many times when he had contracts further away, he only made it home for church services on weekends. Our mother basically raised us. Thus, my two brothers and my sister were raised in a Christian home, which was pretty much controlled by our mother, though dad backed her up in all things. The two oldest boys (I am the oldest) are the only two who remained true to the way we were raised. My brother's four children have retained the Christian faith, as have my two children.
My dad started working to train me for a good paying job in the building trades when I was about 12 years old, with the hope that I would be able to take over his construction business. As soon as I was old enough (15), I started working as a heavy equipment operator at a business he owned, and at 16, I started driving the 100 miles each way to the job, many times every day. I wanted to follow my dad into the building trades, but Divine Providence intervened. I stayed in the building trades until I was 30.
If my dad would have spent as much energy in training me toward marriage as he did preparing me for a good paying occupation in the building trades, how much different would my life have been?
The vast majority of fathers seem to assume that marriage is a natural part of life, and requires no training of their sons along that line. (I can preach this, for I have no sons.)
A father should emphasize to his sons that the purpose of their education is to support the family that God requires him to train up in the ways of the Lord. If my dad could start training me to follow him into the building trades at 10, how much more important is it to start training our sons for godly family life at 10 years old. It is the family that is to go conquer the world for Christ.
Speaking from my own experience, more often than not, a young man sees his job as a means of financing his own lusts, which, far more often than not, leads to self-centered and ungodly attitudes and life styles even among Christians, against which the Scripture presents abundant warnings.(Ephesians 4;22, 1 Timothy 6:9, &c.)
When a young man is 16 or 18, it is getting late to redirect his interests from money to family, unless God intervenes. He gets set in his ways, and when he is willing to give up his independence, he can make life very miserable for his wife.
Genesis 1:26-28, God commands the family to be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth.
Psalms 127 tells us that God's plan is for the Christian family to send forth godly children to take dominion over the earth in His name. From where should the godly arrows come that are to be shot into the heart of the enemy?
Who is to be taught the subdue the earth command, or I should say, who will teach that command if Christian families will not? The state and the entertainment industry will teach the children to subdue the earth in the name of the state, but we want to subdue it in the name of the Lord.
How can you stress the importance of pursuing a godly wife and family to the young men, particularly the young men being raised in the home education environment, when the world allures them and blinds them to what is godly manhood? It allures them with all of its lusts that can be fulfilled without a family. How can you prepare our young men and women for a marriage "made in heaven" and thus held together by heaven?
One purpose of marriage is for godly parents to raise up godly seed to take dominion of the earth. Long range, covenant thinking is not political action. Rather, it is teaching our young men that their responsibility before God is to raise up many godly generations that will repair the desolations sin has wrought in society. (Malachi 2:15.)
Home-educated young people, especially, should be sent out with the long-range goal of having children who will influence the pagan society for God and righteousness, particularly if one's faith is "post-millennial." Godly generations will have a farther-reaching influence than a good education or a good job, though both are commendable. (Deuteronomy 7:9. See Isaiah 58:15, 61:6, 61:4.)
Bettie also was raised in a Christian home, as were her 5 siblings, her parents being Presbyterian missionaries in Brazil. Bettie married a Christian man who went on to become an ordained Baptist minister. They had three children, and they are all serving the Lord. She now has 11 (and one on the way) grandchildren, all 6 years old and under, all being home schooled, including schooled in the Christian faith. Thus, from one Godly set of parents, three arrows were sent into the heart of the enemy, and least 11 more arrows are being prepared to strike the heart of the enemy. These parents are preparing to control the future for God through godly offspring.
Thus, the answer for long range thinking is to "Christianize" our children to where they see and do everything, the arts, science, &c., in a Christian perspective. (Francis Schaeffer has had a good video series out for years, "How Shall We Then Live". It is worth seeing and showing to teenagers, though younger ones may also grasp what is being presented. The series traces Christian history from the start, and how Christianity is to affect all areas of society. Check it out.)
It appears that we have generally lost the ability to think much past our next house and car payments, with many hoping for a "rapture" before the bills come due for their current covetous and extravagant lifestyle. (I have sat in more than one church service where the speaker persuaded the people to go into debt for bigger and better with the words, "We will be gone before the bill is due".) Shortsightedness has led to parents turning over the training of their children to the state while mothers earn that extra income to live beyond the means of one income. Or the parents just get burned out, and give up trying to protect their children from the influences of the world.
However, the ungodly well understands that whoever controls the training of the children controls the future. The state will spare no expense in training the children to be obedient servants of the state. Nor will the ungodly spare any expense (our tax money) nor effort to train obedient servants to the state, to the world, flesh and to the devil.
Moreover, it appears that the state works at dumbing down the population, as high tech jobs are increasingly being either sent overseas or are given to foreign students here at home, particularly those from India. (Manufacturing jobs have already been shipped overseas; check out where the products you purchase are made.)
Some time ago, I read that much of the high tech food service equipment is made overseas, and the schools in the US are unable to train the very high paid service technicians to work on that equipment (starting salary over $60,000). Thus, they have to import even the service technicians.
The Washington Post, 10/18, I believe, reported that the majority of the high tech students in US colleges are from overseas, particularly India. [See Reader's Digest, Nov. 2003, "Is Your Job Next?", p. 153ff.] When foreign students graduate, many return to their home countries, taking the jobs with them. Broad band internet has made the whole world a work cubical, so high tech development work can now be done anywhere in the world. The result is that many well-known, high tech companies are fleeing like rats from a sinking ship to overseas locations where the wages are a fraction of what they are here.
As Christianity has been removed from Western society by the ungodly, with the support of "Christian" parents who send their children to the state schools, so has the honest, hard working and dependable Christian work ethic been removed, and the jobs that go with that ethic. Ask any employer the average highschool or even college graduate is looking for lots of pay with very little work.
Moreover, the state is not educating for occupational skills. Rather, it is educating for changing a social order. (See FedEd review in this issue.) The state is able to turn out young people who know about sex, abortions, condom use, drugs, how to fill out a 1040, how to be part of the new global community at the expense of commitment to their own country, and how to trust their teachers and political leaders over their parents. In other words, the ungodly fully expect to be here for millions of years (believing evolution as they do, saying that we have already been here for millions of years), so they work at training the young people for a distant future to be obedient servants of the state. The state also needs servants to the flesh, for our economy is built upon covetousness, lust and greed.
On the other hand, Christians have little inclination to train
their children to be obedient servants to the Lord Jesus, though
we are seeing a shift in that short-sighted thinking.
How can Christians control the future? By investing in the present, training young people, particularly young men, in the ways of the Lord. Obviously, if we Christians expect to reclaim the future for Christ, such training cannot include the hope that we will be gone, "raptured", before the bills come due for our present indulgences. Of course, the "escape" hope has been around since the early 1800s, fueled by the French Revolutionthat is, man can't get any worse than was exhibited by that event, and he is so bad that only the Lord's physical return can make him do right. That thinking totally rejects the power of the spirit of God's grace, as well as rejects His sovereign control of history.
However, a godly man must work at leaving a godly inheritance:
Proverbs 13:22 ¶ A good [man] leaveth an inheritance to his children's children: and the wealth of the sinner [is] laid up for the just.
V. 22 appears to be speaking more of leaving a good physical inheritance that will stretch even to many generations. Actually, each generation should work to increase what was left to it, and pass it on to the children. (Bumper sticker, "I'm spending my children's inheritance"!!) However, one must be confident that the next generation receiving the inheritance will use it in a godly manner. If that assurance is not there, then the inheritance should go where it will be used in a godly manner. Why should God's people support the ungodly with whatever worldly wealth the Lord has provided in their lustful pursuits after "wine, women and song"?
Certainly, the prodical son received his inheritance so he could go party, but the message of that story is not giving one's goods to finance lusts. The message is one of repentance and forgiveness. The context is an illustration of Christ's message on "one sinner that repenteth", Luke 15:10ff.
On the other hand, Proverbs could just as easily be speaking of a spiritual inheritance. God may not see fit to provide material wealth, so what kind of moral and spiritual heritage are we leaving to our grandchildren? Is it an heritage that lives for today, for tomorrow we probably will not be here, or is it a heritage that plans and lives as though thousands of generations will continue on? (Exodus 20:6, Deuteronomy 5:10.) Are we living with the assurance that we, our children and grandchildren will reap tomorrow what we sow today?
We are to look ahead at the least to our grandchildren:
1 Blessed is every one that feareth the LORD; that walketh in his ways. 2 For thou shalt eat the labour of thine hands: happy shalt thou be, and it shall be well with thee. 3 Thy wife shall be as a fruitful vine by the sides of thine house: thy children like olive plants round about thy table. 4 Behold, that thus shall the man be blessed that feareth the LORD. 5 The LORD shall bless thee out of Zion: and thou shalt see the good of Jerusalem all the days of thy life. 6 Yea, thou shalt see thy children's children, and peace upon Israel (that is, the welfare of God's church [Matthew Henry], in the spiritual reign of Christ, Ps. 72:8 [John Gill]). (Psalms 128.)
Speaking on Psalms 128:1, John Trapp (one of the best Puritan theologians, 1601-1669) says:
Ver. 1. Blessed is every one that feareth the Lord] This psalm is fitly subjoined to the former, and it is logov epiyalamiov, a kind of wedding sermon, written for the instruction and comfort of married couples, and showing that Coniugium humanae est divina Academia vitae. And it is to be observed that here all men are spoken to as wedded; because this is the ordinary estate of most people. See 1Co 7:1,2. At this day every Jew is bound to marry about eighteen years of age, or before twenty ; else he is accounted as one that liveth in sin; and how the Popish clergy, professing continence, have turned all places into so many Sodoms, who knoweth not? (Trapp, Online Bible Millennium Edition, v. 1.31.)
That walketh in his ways] The true reverential fear of God will easily form the heart to a right obedience. They that fear the Lord will keep his covenant, #Ps 103:13,18, and therefore was the law delivered at first in that terrible manner. (Trapp.)
Proverbs 8:13 The fear of the LORD [is] to hate evil: pride, and arrogancy, and the evil way, and the froward mouth, do I hate.
So that he who does not hate evil, does not fear God. (Geneva.)
Evil must be defined by the Ten Commandments, not according to one's inward feelings, Romans 13:7-10. See all of Psalms 119.
Proverbs 16:6 By mercy and truth iniquity is purged: and by the fear of the LORD [men] depart from evil.
Those who are part of the New Covenant fear the Lord, and they will, motivated by the Spirit within, depart from evil. Genuine "covenant" children will hate evil, pride, arrogancy, and every evil way. If they do not hate evil, they are not part of the New Covenant, for they do not have the laws of God written in their hearts, as promised by the Old Covenant. (Jeremiah 31:31-34.)
Psalms 103:13 Like as a father pitieth his children, so the LORD pitieth them that fear him. V. 18 To such as keep his covenant, and to those that remember his commandments to do them.
Ver. 18. Children of the righteous are not, however, promised the Lord's mercy without stipulation, and this verse completes the statement of the last by adding: To such as keep his covenant, and to those that remember his commandments to do them. The parents must be obedient and the children too. We are here bidden to abide by the covenant, and those who run off to any other confidence than the finished work of Jesus are not among those who obey this precept; those with whom the covenant is really made stand firm to it, and having begun in the Spirit, they do not seek to be made perfect in the flesh. The truly godly keep the Lord's commands carefully-they "remember"; they observe them practically-"to do them": moreover they do not pick and choose, but remember "his commandments" as such, without exalting one above another as their own pleasure or convenience may dictate. May our offspring be a thoughtful, careful, observant race, eager to know the will of the Lord, and prompt to follow it fully, then will his mercy enrich and honour them from generation to generation.
This verse also suggests praise, for who would wish the Lord to smile on those who will not regard his ways? That were to encourage vice. From the manner in which some men unguardedly preach the covenant, one might infer that God would bless a certain set of men however they might live, and however they might neglect his laws. But the word teaches not so. The covenant is not legal, but it is holy. It is all of grace from first to last, yet it is no panderer to sin; on the contrary, one of its greatest promises is, "I will put my laws in their hearts and in their minds will I write them"; its general aim is the sanctifying of a people unto God, zealous for good works, and all its gifts and operations work in that direction. Faith keeps the covenant by looking alone to Jesus, while at the same time by earnest obedience it remembers the Lord's commandments to do them. (CHS, Online Bible.)
First, those who are part of the covenant will be obedient to the covenant-law, "his commandments", whether parent or child. Thus a parent or child, no matter the age, birth to death, who does not love the law of the Lord and do it, is not part of the covenant. Those with whom the covenant is made will be true to its lawsthey will carefully remember and do them, not exalting one commandment above another according to one's own pleasure or convenience.(Jeremiah 31:31-34, Hebrews 8:8-12, 10:16, 17, Jeremiah 32:37-41. Show me a 2 or 3 year old who loves the covenant law with all of his being, and tries to follow it! Where is he according to the covenant, Jeremiah 31:31-34?)
Second, confidence in obedience to his commandments for salvation is a false confidence, for faith in the finished work of Jesus alone will save.
Third, God's plan is for Christians to control the future, and this can be done by training their children according to the word of God.
And they that shall be of thee shall build the old waste places: thou shalt raise up the foundations of many generations; and thou shalt be called, The repairer of the breach, The restorer of paths to dwell in. (Isaiah 58:12.)
Isaiah is speaking of rebuilding Jerusalem which was laid waste by sin. This Jerusalem is identified as the New Jerusalem, the city of the Living God, or the Gospel Church, which is from above. (Galatians 4:25, 26, Hebrews 12:22, Revelation 3:12.)
And they shall build the old wastes, they shall raise up the former desolations, and they shall repair the waste cities, the desolations of many generations. And strangers shall stand and feed your flocks, and the sons of the alien shall be your plowmen and your vinedressers. But ye shall be named the Priests of the LORD: men shall call you the Ministers of our God: ye shall eat the riches of the Gentiles, and in their glory shall ye boast yourselves. (Isaiah 61:4-6.)
1 Peter 2:5, 9, identifies who is spoken of by Isaiah the people of God under the New Covenant. Furthermore, James told those who were opposed to the gospel going to the Gentiles that it was through the preaching of the gospel of Christ that the tabernacle of David, which is fallen down, would be built again. (Acts 15:13ff.)
For we are labourers together with God: ye are God's husbandry, ye are God's building. According to the grace of God which is given unto me, as a wise masterbuilder, I have laid the foundation, and another buildeth thereon. But let every man take heed how he buildeth thereupon. (1 Corinthians 3:9, 10.)
Obviously, Paul is speaking of the Gospel Church which is built by the preaching of the Gospel of Christ. That Church is built upon the foundation laid by the Apostles. Furthermore, Isaiah, quoted above, may well be speaking of generations in the sense of Paul's usagethat is, a general statement.
However, a safe understanding of generations is the generations of one's family, for one of the promises of the New Covenant was that the Spirit of God would turn the hearts of the fathers to their children, training them in the ways of the Lord. (Malachi 4:6.) Putting two and two together, we see that the Christian family's first responsibility is to train the next generation to work on repairing what has been destroyed by sinthat is, advance the kingdom of God on earth. It is the family's responsibility to think long-term: What can I do today that will equip my posterity in rebuilding the destruction that has been done by sin?
God promises to shew His mercy unto thousands of generations of them that love Him. (Exodus 20:6.) John Trapp: "Of succeeding generations. Personal goodness is profitable to posterity. And this promise, though made to all, yet is more specially annexed to this second commandment; to teach, saith one, that parents should chiefly labour to plant piety in their families, as they would have God's blessing entailed upon their issue." (Trapp, Online Bible, 1.13.)
Imagine the influence in the world that can be had by thousands of generations from the families who will train their children according to the instructions laid down in God's word, e.g., Isaiah 58.
First, teach our own children to think and live in terms of the future. They will pay tomorrow for every decision made today. There is always a cause and effect. In my 30 years experience in the ministry, I know of extremely few exceptions where premarital sex did not result in serious problems after marriage, either in the husband-wife relationship, or in the lives of the children.
Second, encourage Christian children to marry young: "At
this day every Jew is bound to marry about eighteen years of age,
or before twenty ; else he is accounted as one that liveth in
Third, have as many children as the Lord permits. (Psalms 127:5.)
Fourth, teach the children the fear of the Lord, so they can boldly confront wickedness wherever it is found. (Proverbs 28:1.)
Fifth, send the children out as arrows to the heart of the enemies of God. (Psalms 127:4.)
A young man feels the Lord has called him into medicine or law, which requires many years of study. He marries young, and now his wife must put him through school by going into the work force. Here is a violation of Titus 2. They are convicted against birth control, so they have children right after marriage. Now what??
On the other hand, the young man waits until his schooling is out of the way, and now he is 25-30 before he is established and ready for marriage, and she may be close to the same age, having to establish herself in a career in order to support herself while she waits for him. He is not only established in his occupation, but they are established in their "careers", and upon marriage, they are not much more than two singles living in the same house. Rather than as young people, easy to mold into one unit, as required by Scripture, they are now older individuals, unable or even unwilling to yield to one another. Or, the young man may finish his schooling and get established, and then marry someone much younger.
A century ago, a young man's education could be complete by the age of 20, including college and maybe even medical school. However, today the social pressure has established age restrictions, even holding back those who are able to quickly move through their education high school until 18, college until 22 or 23, and advanced schooling until almost 30, as they slow down the education process. Whether intentional or not, the system seems designed to destroy the early family unity called for in Scripture. Every area of life, especially education, must be rethought and reclaimed for Christ.
Home educating allows early education to be accomplished. Locations and ages are no longer factors in many state accredited colleges, thanks to the internet. Moreover, many colleges recognize "clep" out classesthat is, testing out of particular courses. Thus, a motivated young man can be finished with even advanced education (except maybe graduate school) by the time he is twenty.
A Positive View of the Future
Though the following is quite contrary to the modern dispensational (Darby/Scofield) teaching of Ezekiel chapters 38 & 39, let me offer another view.
Ezekiel 39:9, tells us that it takes seven years to burn the enemy's weapons of war. The seven years probably refer to "The desolation by Antiochus began in the one hundred and forty-first year of the Seleucidae. From this date to 148, a period of six years and four months ("2300 days," Da 8:14), when the temple-worship was restored (I Maccabees 4:52), God vouchsafed many triumphs to His people; from this time to the death of Antiochus, early in 149, a period of seven months, the Jews had rest from Antiochus, and purified their land, and on the twenty-fifth day of the ninth month celebrated the Encaenia, or feast of dedication (John 10:22) and purification of the temple. The whole period, in round numbers, was seven years." (Jamieson, Fausset, Brown [JFB]).
In other words, JFB said that the seven years was probably completed under the Maccabees.
However, consider the following as a positive view of Ezekiel 39: 8-16.
God's people burn the armor of the enemy. Fairbairn points
out that this represents a complete and total commitment by God's
people to remove any and all 'implements of heathenism.' The people
will not rest until it is all removed. (The number seven [days,
months, years] is a picture of completeness and holiness.)
God's people, in their zeal for God, dismantle every instrument which had been used to attack them and undermine their faith and obedience, as many are doing today through the home education of their children.
Example: the major TV networks. Their obvious policy is to change from any remaining godly values to pagan values. During the time spoken of by Ezekiel, rather than God's people trying to remake the networks, they are completely dismantled and replaced. The zeal for the Lord does not let God's people rest until total replacement of the pagan instruments of warfare (against Christianity) is accomplished. Antichrist schools (current pagan education) is another example.
This is vastly different from Old Testament, literal Israel who not only refused to do remove heathen influences, but married the heathens (as Christians commonly do today). I believe Ezekiel shows us God's peoples' zeal for purity, placed there by the Lord Himself. See the "I wills" of chapters 34-39.
The burning of the remains of the pagan weapons of warfare again show us the determination to remove everything which might even imply heathenism. Moreover, there are special, elite men chosen to find these "bodies of heathenism." We see from the huge number of 'heathens' involved, that the heathen forces (Gog) have infiltrated into everything. Therefore, it takes work and dedication to "ferret out" the heathen influencethat is, their instruments of warfare against Christout of every area of life.
Could it be society became so dependent upon these heathen instruments of war, e.g., statist education, that dismantling them would disrupt society so badly that these special men (39:15) search for the instruments, find them, mark them, then another groupthose who bury the deadfollow to dismantle the old bones and do away with these dead, useless men of war (war against God)?
This work of purification will go on with a godly zeal, until it is completely finished and the land is cleansed from all the remains of the forces of the evil one (Gog the antichrist spirit that despises God and good) as well as all the instruments of his warfare against God's people (which is actually against God, Psalms 2).
This controversy with Gog and his heathen forces of evil against
Israel, God's covenant People, has been going on since the Son
of David came on the scene, making His claim to the vineyard (earth).
The vineyard has been purchased back from the evil one, and someday
the claim will be made again by the Son, only this time He ("I
will") will be in control.
The word reconstruction sets off alarms some, for they seem to want to leave the various areas of life in the hands of the enemy. However, we are involved in a present battle against the enemy of God, having the assurance that the gates of hell shall not prevail. We have confidence that we are on the victorious side. (1 Corinthians 15:57.) Moving in the victory assured to us, we must seek out the enemy's devices, and remake them for the glory of God. Anything less is a violation of His word. (2 Corinthians 2:11, 1 Corinthians 10:31.)
Ezekiel chapters 38, 39 seem to be the climatic point in the struggle which started 2000 years ago (1 John 2), with a firm dividing line drawn between the forces of Gog and God. The whole world is lined up against God's Covenant People (covenant of peace through Christ). They dwell in peace, and Gog sees a good opportunity to overrun them. However, in His good time and according to His good pleasure, the Lord steps in, and protects and delivers His people. (Ephesians 1:9, &c.)
The above is not near as exciting to preach as is the Darby/Scofield literal version (Plymouth Brethren), but I believe it is more consistent with the totality of Scripture. We will not know how all of these things work out until we see Him. Nor can we build doctrine on prophetic passages, unless we are clearly told by the Word of God what those passages meant. However, we can build doctrine on the assurances we have that we are more than conquerors over all the enemy has to offer through Christ who loves us.
The war is against Christianity and the Word of God. The promise in chapter 39 is that God will give the victory over the enemy, and then His people will reclaim the areas that had been captured by the enemy.
Not long ago, we had the privilege of having the Einwechters (family of 10 children) in our home for a couple of nights. We are already looking forward to them being able to return. Though they have their typical family problems, they are a good testimony of the blessings of a large family.
The reason I mention this is that as Bro. Einwechter and I visited, obviously the subject of Judge Moore and the Ten Commandments came up. Bro. Einwechter made a point that embarrassed me that I had missed it. He pointed out that "Roy's Rock" is more than likely gone, and so may be Judge Roy Moore:
LAW OF THE LAND - Alabama moves to oust Judge Moore - In pretrial brief AG Pryor renounces 'sensational flouting' of court.
Posted: November 11, 2003, © 2003 WorldNetDaily.com
In a pretrial brief, Alabama Attorney General Bill Pryor requested Chief Justice Roy Moore be removed from office for defying a federal judge's order to move a granite Ten Commandments monument from the rotunda of the Alabama Judicial Building. ...
The reason he gave is quite obvious. That is, the vast majority of pastors and churches have removed the Ten Commandments far from them, believing that they no longer apply to Christians. Those churchmen who militate against the Mosaic Moral Code can not say with David, I delight in thy law (Psalms 119:70, 174), O How Love I thy law! it is my meditation all the day (v. 97), thy law do I love (vv. 113, 159, 163), rather, we must say of them, they have made void thy law (v. 126).
When those who profess love for God make void the law of God, what can we expect of the ungodly? Those Christians who have made void thy law cannot weep over those who keep not thy law (v. 136), nor do they have any standard of truth, for thy law is truth (v. 142). Spurgeon (Treasury of David), points out that disregard for the law, scorns the authority of the lawgiver.
Ver. 126. -They have made void thy law. As if they would not only sin against the Law, but sin away the Law, not only withdraw themselves from the obedience of it, but drive it out of the world; they would make void and repeal the holy acts of God, that their own wicked acts might not be questioned; and lest the Law should have a power to punish them, they will deny it a power to rule them; that's the force of the simple word here used, as applied to highest transgressing against the Law of God. -Joseph Caryl. (Quoted by CHS.)
Do not Christians who say that Moses' Moral Law, the Ten Commandments, is no longer valid "withdraw themselves from ... it" as well as help to "drive it out of the world" as "they would make void and repeal" the law. It is the anti-Ten Commandments spirit among professed Christians that drove "Roy's Rock" from the Alabama Supreme Court building, drove Judge Moore from his office, and has driven any mention of the Ten Commandments from courthouse lawns all over America. We can go further and say that the anti-Ten Commandment (antinomian) spirit has also driven the Christian God out of society. (I have heard Christians say that it is a good thing to remove the monuments from all of public property. Evidently, they want to live in a secular, humanist state, ruled by men's fiat law.)
All of that to say this: Because it stands for the law of the sovereign God of the universe, "Roy's Rock" is gone from the Supreme Court building. However, the reason it is gone from there is because churchmen have worked hard over the last 50 years or so to remove what that monument stood for from society.
A final question. When the Ten Commandments are denied as being God's rule of living for Christians today, is not the logical implication that the unsaved are not under the Commandments either? What is God's standard of judgment of the world if the Commandments are void?
For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad. (2 Corinthians 5:10.)
The above verse begs the questionwhat defines good or bad? Is the definition according to "the principle of obedience to the divine will [which] is inwrought" (Scofield, Galatians 3:24.), i.e., the inwrought divine will", or is the definition of good or bad according to the Ten Commandments? In other words, will God's people be judged as to how they obeyed the feelings they had about a matter, or will they be judged by what the Lord says about a matter in the Commandments?
How many churchmen will in that day appear before the judgment seat of Christ and plead that they were under grace, not under law; therefore, the Ten Commandments did not apply to them?
Though what was left of Hurricane Isabel went over us at about midnight, (September 18, 2003), the wind and rain were not as heavy as expected. We are located in the Shenandoah valley, between the Blue Ridge and the Massanutten mountains. The valley here is only 10 or so miles wide. It seems the worst of the hurricane over us was on the opposite sides of the Blue Ridge and Massanutten mountains. (Hurricanes gather strength on their east side from the Gulf. The east side of this one was on the east side of the Blue Ridge from us, so it poured out its fury towards the belly of the beast, DC. The west side of the hurricane, which does not have the same kind of strength as the east side, went on the other side of the Massanutten Mountain from us.) The Massanutten Mountain is a 60 mile long mountain range that sticks up in the middle of the Shenandoah valley, and the North Fork of the Shenandoah river runs on the west side of the mountain. The North and South forks meet just north of FR, and the one river flows into the Potomac at Harpers Ferry, WV, about 50 miles north of us.
Jennie, Bettie's oldest daughter, lives below Harrisonburg
(which is about 40 miles south of us) on the other side of Massanutten
from us, and she said the wind and rain were "terrible"
The two ranges end north of FR, so the Winchester area (about 20 miles north of Front Royalwe are 4 miles south of FR, at the entrance of the valley) received more of the force than we did.
The town of Front Royal is located just northeast of the Massanutten mountain, and at the entrance to the Shenandoah valley where we live. Not having the protection of the mountain ranges, Front Royal had quite a bit of damage and lost power, particularly at their water pumps (about 4 miles north of us). Bentonville, where we have our PO Box is about 6 miles south of us, and they lost power also. But we did not lose power, though we were prepared with a small diesel generator.
Normally, the Shenandoah River, South Fork, is clear and shallow
enough to almost wade across. Pictured above is the flooded muddy
River, with the Massanutten mountain in the background. It is
about a mile west of us, but it is maybe 200 feet below us, so
there was no danger of any flood reaching us. The river was expected
to crest about 28 ft above flood stage.
The only damage here for us was some trees down (more cleanup), some broken branches, and an unexpected leak in a roof. The heavy rain came from the north in front of the storm, and the leak was in an area that does not get wet otherwise.
It seems we were actually on the west side of the storm as it passed over, so we did not get the heavy rains that the east side received (the east side pulled up moisture from the Gulf, and dumped it, so we got the left-over rain). I suppose we got 6 or so inches over the 12 hour period. The ground was saturated, and even the hill sides "squished" like a sponge when you walked on them.
The Lord was good to us, and he still is.
The LORD is slow to anger, and great in power, and will not at all acquit the wicked: the LORD hath his way in the whirlwind and in the storm, and the clouds are the dust of his feet. (Nahum 1:3.)
My daughter, Jessica, and her husband, Corey, moved here from Dayton, OH. They both wanted to get out of retail, so they are here starting over. They want to start a family, so they wanted to be close to a set of grandparents.
The primary concern is the sale of their house in Franklin, OH. Please pray for them.
I have had to take quite a bit of time to generate some income. Jeff Ethell (ethell.com), Bettie's first husband, had a color slide collection of WWII photos. Some years ago, he encountered some WWII veterans who had color slides of planes and events from all over the world, including color pictures of the eruption of Mt. Vesuvius, and other one of a kind pictures (there is even an "air to air" picture of the two planes carrying the Japanese delegation flying to meet with the Allies to discuss surrender termsit is the only shot, color or b/w, known to exist of that event; there are many other one of a kind pictures).
Color was very unusual in the 40s and early 50s, restricted to hobbyists, for the film had to be returned to the States for special developing. After Jeff's first encounter, he made it a point to ask anyone who might have them if they had any color slides of aircraft or other shots having to do with the war. He would borrow the slides, and make copies. The collection probably has 30,000-35,000 color slides, mostly of WWII, and some Korea, aircraft.
We acquired a slide scanner which will scan up to 4,000 dpi, and we now make the pictures available to publishers. (Motor Books published many of Jeff's books with slides from "The Jeff Ethell Collection.") Other publishers then request specific types of pictures. One publisher asked for 400 specific WWII aircraft pictures for a "Daily War Bird" calendar, with identifications.
The Motor Books 2005 calendar should be available in the middle of 2004 through major book stores. Obviously, the search has taken quite a bit of time to go through the slides, scan them in and then identify them. I knew next to nothing about aircraft, other than prop or jet powered, so I am having to learn a whole different field to be able to ID the aircraft.
Lord willing, by the time you receive this issue, we will have samples of the collection up at <http://www.ww2color.com> Check them out if you like.
The time involved in helping the kids move (Jessica and Corey was the third set of married children we have helped move in the last year) and going through the slide collection for four different publications has been more than I care to think about. My goal in resigning the church was to be able to study and write, which I just have not had time to do. But this is where the Lord has placed us at this time in our lives.
Our God has a way of supplying all of our needs according to His riches in glory. But His ways are seldom our ways, though His ways are always right. Our best advice is to gladly yield to whatever state we find ourselves in. (Isaiah 55:8, 9.)
"If God did not mean for me to live this life, and do my best, His providence would not have brought me this way. God is doing with me what pleases Him. I must do the best I can where I am." (Romans 8:28, &c.)
By Thomas Williamson
I like to try to keep up with all current topics of interest, and at this time, Iraq seems to be the hot topic. Since ancient Babylon was located in what is now modern-day Iraq, this raises the question as to whether the current military actions in Iraq are a fulfillment of Bible prophecy.
The key Old Testament prophecy of the destruction of Babylon is found in Isaiah 13. At this time (713 BC) Babylon was beginning its rise to imperial domination, but Isaiah predicted that Babylon would be overthrown by the Medes. This prophecy was fulfilled in 538 BC (Daniel 5).
It should be clear that this overthrow of Babylon took place in ancient times, since the conquerors are described as using swords, v. 15, and bows, v. 18. The Medes (v. 17) are a nation that no longer exists in any identifiable fashion today.
Some have objected that Isaiah 13 must refer to the destruction of a future Babylon to be rebuilt by Saddam Hussein or by the Antichrist. They point to Isaiah 13:20 which says that Babylon will never be inhabited after its overthrow. It is a known fact that Babylon continued to be inhabited for many centuries after the conquest by Darius the Mede in 538 BC. However, eventually the site was abandoned and became ruins, thus fulfilling Isaiah's prophecy. There is no need to have Babylon rebuilt so that the prophecy can be fulfilled yet again.
Some have assumed that Isaiah's reference to the "Day of the Lord" has to do with end-times judgment associated with Christ's Second Coming. This is not correct. There are many "Days of the Lord" in the Bible. In Isaiah 34:8 and Obadiah 15 it refers to a judgment on ancient Edom. In Joel 1:15 and Amos 5:18 it refers to judgment on the northern kingdom of Israel, which was overthrown by the Assyrians in 722 BC. In Zephaniah 1:7 it refers to the destruction of Judah in 586 BC.
The "Day of the Lord" is whatever day in which God brings judgment on a nation that has rebelled against Him. For Babylon, that judgment fell in the year 538 BC.
Others insist that this destruction of Babylon must be future, because the constellations, sun and moon were not literally darkened when Babylon fell in 538 BC (Isaiah 13:10). However, no one would seriously believe that George W. Bush, Tony Blair and the "Coalition of the Willing" are capable of fulfilling this prophecy by literally extinguishing the sun, moon and stars as part of the campaign against Iraq.
We must realize that this apocalyptic language signifies the fall of earthly powers such as the rulers of Babylon, and is not meant to be taken literally. Such "lights out" descriptions are common in the Old Testament, referring to the overthrow of Egypt (Ezekiel 32:7-8), Edom (Isaiah 34:4-5), the northern kingdom of Israel (Amos 8:9) and the Jewish rulers of Judah in the 2nd Century BC (Daniel 8:10).
Since no one seriously expects to see the total dissolution of the sun, moon and stars as a result of the current military action against Saddam Hussein's Iraq, or at any time before the end of the Millennium, it makes no sense to maintain that Isaiah's "lights out" prophecy against Babylon was not fulfilled in ancient times.
How about Jeremiah's prophecy against Babylon in Jeremiah chapters 50-51 - could that refer to modern Iraq? The answer is no - these chapters are full of details that point to the fall of ancient Babylon. Jeremiah 50:2, 38, 51:17 mention Babylonian idols, which are no longer objects of worship in modern Iraq. Verses 50:14, 16, 29, 3537, 42, 51:3, 11, 20, 56 mention ancient obsolete weapons that are no longer used in battle today. 50:42 says all the invaders will ride upon horses. The Medes and other ancient peoples, that no longer exist today, are mentioned in 51:27-28. The Israelite captives are released as a result of the fall of ancient Babylon, 50: 19, 33-34. This was fulfilled in 538 BC (see Ezra 1:3) and would not apply to modern Iraq, which is not holding any Jews captive.
Some will say, "What about the Babylon denounced in Revelation 17-18 - could that be modern Iraq?"
There are a multitude of interpretations concerning the identity of the Babylon of Revelation. Some say it is ancient Rome, others that it is modern Rome. Some say it is ancient Jerusalem, or modern Jerusalem. Some say it is a future One World government, or a One World Church, and many over the centuries have said it is the Roman Catholic Church. Some say it is the United States, and some say it is New York City (the "proof' is the existence of a suburb on Long Island called Babylon).
C.I. Scofield, with his usual talent for hairsplitting and "wrongly dividing the word of truth," manages to come up with 2 entirely distinct Babylons in Revelation, one of them political and the other ecclesiastical.
Yes, there are those who believe that Revelation 17-18 refers to a literal Babylon to be rebuilt in Iraq so it can be destroyed again. As we have already seen, Babylon was already destroyed in the 6th Century BC, so there really is no need for "deja vu all over again" and to have Babylon literally rebuilt and destroyed again. Isaiah prophesied the overthrow of Babylon as a massive political world-system and superpower - he was not talking about Saddam's rebuilt tourist attraction which is probably less substantial than your local Six Flags amusement park.
All too many of our prophetical speculations are based on the mistaken notion that past prophecies of mayhem and destruction were not fulfilled literally enough, so we have to go through those devastations again and again, until enough blood and guts have been made to flow through the deserts of the Middle East to satisfy the most enthusiastic prophecy buffs.
Some will ask, "Could this current invasion of Iraq be the Battle of Armageddon?" Aside from the fact that the literal valley of Megiddo is hundreds of miles from Iraq, we need to consider the fact that nowhere does the Bible say specifically that there is going to be a battle at Armageddon in the end times.
Here is the sum total of what the Bible says about Armageddon, in Revelation 16:16: "And he gathered them together into a place called in the Hebrew tongue Armageddon. " That's it. Based on this slender reference, an elaborate mythology has been constructed about the battle of Armageddon, spawning a multi-million dollar industry of gruesome, terrifying doomsday videos. The Revelation reference may indicate that Armageddon will be a staging ground for the armies of the kings of the earth, but it does not state that any literal battle will be fought there.
When the previous Gulf War with Iraq was fought in 1991, a lot of folks got all excited and thought that this was a sign of the end. Since we are all still here and the Rapture has not taken place yet, this shows that the 1991 war was not a sign of the end, and therefore there is no reason to assume that the second war with Iraq will be a sign of the end either.
Another very good reason for caution in predicting the Rapture based on ongoing commotions in Iraq, is the fact that the Bible does not state nor hint that such activity in Iraq, or in the land of ancient Babylon, is a sign of the Rapture.
The Old Testament predictions of doom against Babylon were fulfilled in ancient times. As for the predictions against Babylon in the Book of Revelation, we need to admit that there is wide diversity and uncertainty of interpretations of some of the symbols of that book. To apply these predictions against modern Iraq is pure speculation, nothing more.
Also, the book of Revelation was never intended to give us a detailed rundown of future events in whatever decade we happen to be living in, after the style of Nostradamus, Jeane Dixon and Mother Shipton. Let's leave that stuff for the supermarket tabloids, and recognize that the Bible does not give us any inside information on, or countdown to, the date of Christ's Second Coming. "But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only. " Matthew 24:36.
3131 S. Archer Avenue
Chicago, Illinois 60608
P.S. Thanks for starting your matchmaking service. I believe it will be welcomed by homeschoolers. ... <www.christiancourtship.us>
Sep 10, By JENNIFER LOVEN, Associated Press Writer
WASHINGTON - President Bush (news - web sites) told Congress on Wednesday to "untie the hands" of law enforcement officials and arm them with wider legal powers to combat terrorists, saying the groups that struck America two years ago are wounded but still dangerous.
He specifically called for expanding use of the federal death penalty, tougher bail restrictions and greater subpoena powers that he said are available for other crimes, such as drug trafficking and embezzling, but can't be used against terrorism. "This disparity in the law makes no sense," Bush said in a speech at the FBI (news - web sites) Academy in nearby Quantico, Va.
Bush's appeal threw the White House into a growing debate over the anti-terrorism USA Patriot Act enacted after the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. Critics say the law is too intrusive and a threat to civil liberties and fear that the administration is trying to pass a second version of the measure in piecemeal fashion. Even some House and Senate Republicans have talked about rolling back portions of the Patriot Act. ...
Sept. 14, by DAVID B. CARUSO, Associated Press Writer
In the two years since law enforcement agencies gained fresh powers to help them track down and punish terrorists, police and prosecutors have increasingly turned the force of the new laws not on al-Qaida cells but on people charged with common crimes.
The Justice Department said it has used authority given to it by the USA Patriot Act to crack down on currency smugglers and seize money hidden overseas by alleged bookies, con artists and drug dealers. ...
Civil liberties and legal defense groups are bothered by the string of cases, and say the government soon will be routinely using harsh anti-terrorism laws against run-of-the-mill lawbreakers.
"Within six months of passing the Patriot Act, the Justice Department was conducting seminars on how to stretch the new wiretapping provisions to extend them beyond terror cases," said Dan Dodson, a spokesman for the National Association of Criminal Defense Attorneys. "They say they want the Patriot Act to fight terrorism, then, within six months, they are teaching their people how to use it on ordinary citizens." ...
Attorney General John Ashcroft completed a 16-city tour this week defending the Patriot Act as key to preventing a second catastrophic terrorist attack. Federal prosecutors have brought more than 250 criminal charges under the law, with more than 130 convictions or guilty pleas.
The law, passed two months after the Sept. 11 attacks, erased many restrictions that had barred the government from spying on its citizens, granting agents new powers to use wiretaps, conduct electronic and computer eavesdropping and access private financial data.
Stefan Cassella, deputy chief for legal policy for the Justice Department's asset forfeiture and money laundering section, said that while the Patriot Act's primary focus was on terrorism, lawmakers were aware it contained provisions that had been on prosecutors' wish lists for years and would be used in a wide variety of cases. ...
The complaint that anti-terrorism legislation is being used to go after people who aren't terrorists is just the latest in a string of criticisms.
More than 150 local governments have passed resolutions opposing the law as an overly broad threat to constitutional rights.
Critics also say the government has gone too far in charging three U.S. citizens as enemy combatants, a power presidents wield during wartime that is not part of the Patriot Act. The government can detain such individuals indefinitely without allowing them access to a lawyer.
"The record is clear," said Ralph Neas, president of the liberal People for the American Way Foundation. "Ashcroft and the Justice Department have gone too far."
Some of the restrictions on government surveillance that were erased by the Patriot Act had been enacted after past abuses -- including efforts by the FBI to spy on civil rights leaders and anti-war demonstrators during the Cold War. Tim Lynch, director of the Project on Criminal Justice at the Cato Institute, a libertarian think tank, said it isn't far fetched to believe that the government might overstep its bounds again.
"I don't think that those are frivolous fears," Lynch said. "We've already heard stories of local police chiefs creating files on people who have protested the (Iraq) war ... The government is constantly trying to expand its jurisdictions, and it needs to be watched very, very closely."
Sep 27, by ERIC LICHTBLAU The New York Times
WASHINGTON, Sept. 27 The Bush administration, which calls the USA Patriot Act perhaps its most essential tool in fighting terrorists, has begun using the law with increasing frequency in many criminal investigations that have little or no connection to terrorism.
The government is using its expanded authority under the far-reaching law to investigate suspected drug traffickers, white-collar criminals, blackmailers, child pornographers, money launderers, spies and even corrupt foreign leaders, federal officials said.
Justice Department (news - web sites) officials say they are simply using all the tools now available to them to pursue criminals terrorists or otherwise. But critics of the administration's antiterrorism tactics assert that such use of the law is evidence the administration has sold the American public a false bill of goods, using terrorism as a guise to pursue a broader law enforcement agenda. ...
But a new Justice Department report, given to members of Congress this month, also cites more than a dozen cases that are not directly related to terrorism in which federal authorities have used their expanded power to investigate individuals, initiate wiretaps and other surveillance, or seize millions in tainted assets. ...
The terrorism law allows the authorities to investigate cash smuggling cases more aggressively and to seek stiffer penalties by elevating them from what had been mere reporting failures. ...
Publicly, Attorney General John Ashcroft (news - web sites) and senior Justice Department officials have portrayed their expanded power almost exclusively as a means of fighting terrorists, with little or no mention of other criminal uses.
Internally, however, Justice Department officials have emphasized a much broader mandate.
A guide to a Justice Department employee seminar last year on financial crimes, for instance, said: "We all know that the USA Patriot Act provided weapons for the war on terrorism. But do you know how it affects the war on crime as well?"
Elliot Mincberg, legal director for People for the American Way, a liberal group that has been critical of Mr. Ashcroft, said the Justice Department's public assertions had struck him as misleading and perhaps dishonest.
"What the Justice Department has really done," he said, "is to get things put into the law that have been on prosecutors' wish lists for years. They've used terrorism as a guise to expand law enforcement powers in areas that are totally unrelated to terrorism."
A study in January by the General Accounting Office (news - web sites), the investigative arm of Congress, concluded that while the number of terrorism investigations at the Justice Department soared after the Sept. 11 attacks, 75 percent of the convictions that the department classified as "international terrorism" were wrongly labeled. Many dealt with more common crimes like document forgery. ...
Senator Patrick J. Leahy of Vermont, the ranking Democrat on the Judiciary Committee (news - web sites), said members of Congress expected some of the new powers granted to law enforcement to be used for nonterrorism investigations.
But he said the Justice Department's secrecy and lack of cooperation in implementing the legislation have made him question whether "the government is taking shortcuts around the criminal laws" by invoking intelligence powers with differing standards of evidence to conduct surveillance operations and demand access to records.
"We did not intend for the government to shed the traditional tools of criminal investigation, such as grand jury subpoenas governed by well-established precedent and wiretaps strictly monitored" by federal judges, he said.
Justice Department officials say such criticism has not deterred them. "There are many provisions in the Patriot Act that can be used in the general criminal law," Mark Corallo, a department spokesman, said. "And I think any reasonable person would agree that we have an obligation to do everything we can to protect the lives and liberties of Americans from attack, whether it's from terrorists or garden-variety criminals."
Published: November 19, 2003
The Bush administration insists that it can hold American citizens in secret as long as it wants, without access to lawyers, simply by calling them "enemy combatants." A New York federal appeals court heard a challenge to that policy this week by the so-called dirty bomber, Jose Padilla. The administration's position makes a mockery of the Constitution and puts every American's liberty at risk. It is important that the court strike it down, and give Mr. Padilla the rights he has been denied. ... (http://www.nytimes.com/2003/11/19/opinion/19WED3.html?th)
By ERIC LICHTBLAU
Published: November 20, 2003
WASHINGTON, Nov. 19 Congressional negotiators approved a measure on Wednesday to expand the F.B.I.'s counterterrorism powers, despite concerns from some lawmakers who said that the measure gave the government too much authority and that the public had been shut out of the debate.
The measure gives the Federal Bureau of Investigation greater authority to demand records from businesses in terrorism cases without the approval of a judge or a grand jury. While banks, credit unions and other financial institutions are currently subject to such demands, the measure expands the list to include car dealers, pawnbrokers, travel agents, casinos and other businesses. ... <http://www.nytimes.com/2003/11/20/national/20TERR.html?ex=1069909200&en=d268d339bf18a69a&ei=5062&partner=GOOGLE>
Editor's note: The nose continues to tighten. We cannot blame Bush for the destruction of American freedom and the astounding expansion of State power. He is simply a tool God is using to bring judgment against American Christianity, for it is controlled by covetousness, sacrificing children to Moleck (the state schools) and antinomianism (desiring to be free from the Law of God). However, we know that God brings about His Kingdom on earth through judgment of His people, e.g., Ezekiel 33:29.
Imad Hage, a prominent businessman and an emerging political
leader in Lebanon, said the U.S. missed a chance to avert war
Claim: U.S. Government Spurned Peace Talks Before the War With Iraq
By Brian Ross and Chris Vlasto [ABCNEWS.com]
Nov. 5  A possible negotiated peace deal was laid out in a heavily guarded compound in Baghdad in the days before the war, ABCNEWS has been told, but a top former Pentagon adviser says he was ordered not to pursue the deal.
[Imad Hage, the president of the American Underwriters Group], A prominent Lebanese-American businessman said he secretly met with Iraqi intelligence officials just days after Secretary of State Colin Powell laid out the U.S. case for war at the United Nations in February.
"He [Gen. Tahir Habbush, Saddams chief of intelligence] was conveying a message," said Hage. "He was conveying an offer." Hage said Habbush laid out terms of a negotiated peace during a four-hour session beginning at midnight at a compound in Baghdad.
Hage said Habbush also offered U.N.-supervised free elections, oil concessions to U.S. companies and was prepared to turn over a top al Qaeda terrorist, Abdul Rahman Yasin, who Haboush said had been in Iraqi custody since 1994.
But Richard Perle, the then chairman of the Defense Policy Advisory Board, said in the weeks leading up to war with Iraq, he told the CIA but they refused the plan to meet with Iraqi officials to discuss a possible peace deal along the lines of the plan outlined by Hage to ABCNEWS.
"Although I was not enthusiastic about the offer, I was willing to meet with the Iraqis," Perle told ABCNEWS. "The United States government told me not to." Perle would not disclose which official or arm of the government rejected the talks.
"They were prepared to go anywhere to talk, to cut a deal," Hage told ABCNEWS.
A few days later, Hage said Perle informed him that Washington had refused to allow him to meet with Habbush to discuss the Iraqi peace offer. "He indicated that the consensus was it was a no-go," said Hage, who has dual American citizenship and is known by many in Lebanon for his ability to work with all groups.
Hage, an emerging political leader in Lebanon who is considered pro-United States, said the United States missed a chance to avert war. "It seemed to me there was a genuine offer that was on the table and somebody should have talked, at least talked," Hage said.
In March, the American invasion began and Rumsfeld said the United States had done everything possible to avoid war. "The American people can take comfort in knowing that their country has done everything humanly possible to avoid war and to secure Iraq's peaceful disarmament."
....President Bush has called on God to bless Muslims and has described Islam as a religion which enriches American life. The president's warm embrace of Muslims came last night at a White House "iftar" dinner to honor their Ramadan celebrations. He was joined by Secretary of State Colin Powell, other Administration officials, American Muslims, and officials from Islamic nations. Bush told his guests that his Administration has great respect for Islam. "We honor the contributions of Muslims and the tradition of Islam by hosting this iftar dinner at the White House," the president said. "I wish you all a very blessed Ramadan, and may God bless." He then went on to praise Islam's contributions to American life. "The discipline and sacrifice practiced during Ramadan makes America a better, more compassionate country -- and the heartfelt prayers offered at this time of year are a blessing in many lives." The president, while praising Islam, took time once again yesterday to distance himself from Army General William Boykin, an evangelical Christian who is under fire for describing the war on terrorism as one between a Christian country and Satan. Meanwhile, respected Christian author Tim LaHaye admits that last night's Ramadan dinner at the White House made him uncomfortable. LaHaye tells Associated Press that "Allah is not the God of the Bible. It's not the God that we Christians worship."
Here is a sample of what Bush asks God's blessings upon:
June 4, 2003 (WorldNetDaily.com)
Military forces led by Sudan's militant Islamist regime burned to death a Christian pastor and his family in a massacre of 59 unarmed villagers, a relief group working in the area reported. ...
Sudan's cleric-backed National Islamic Front regime in the Arab and Muslim north declared a jihad on the mostly Christian and animist south in 1989. Since 1983, an estimated 2 million people have died from war and related famine. About 5 million have become refugees. ...
Jacob Gadet Manyiel, pastor of the Presbyterian Church of Sudan, and his wife and four children were burned to death as government soldiers stood outside their house and threatened to shoot anyone trying to escape. ...
[T]he attack last week violates the current cease-fire between Khartoum and the SPLA. It also breaches the agreement facilitated by former Sen. John Danforth, which forbids attacks against civilians and non-combatants. ...
Dennis Bennett, the group's [Servant's Heart] executive director, charged that the State Department's unwillingness to thoroughly investigate an attack last year on villages in North East Upper Nile province led Khartoum forces to believe they could kill and enslave unarmed civilians with impunity.
As WorldNetDaily reported, the bones of scores of villagers littered a "killing field" left in the wake of an unprovoked assault in which as many as 3,000 civilians died.
"It is time for all Americans to contact President Bush directly, demanding that he punish those members of the Sudanese government who are responsible for these atrocities," Bennett said.
He called on Bush and the State Department to insist on the immediate, safe return of the 10 children and six women kidnapped and brutalized during last week's attack.
A noted research institute has compiled the names of 10,000 Sudanese abducted into slavery, evidence that challenges denials by Khartoum.
Bennett insisted there should be no further talks with the U.S. until all abductees from the recent attack are returned and those responsible are arrested and tried for crimes against humanity, including Idris and Brig. Gen. Ibrahim Saleh.
November 10, 2003, WorldNetDaily.com
A leading Saudi government cleric and author of the country's religious curriculum believes Islam advocates slavery.
"Slavery is a part of Islam," says Sheik Saleh Al-Fawzan, according to the independent Saudi Information Agency, or SIA.
In a lecture recorded on tape by SIA, the sheik said, "Slavery is part of jihad, and jihad will remain as long as there is Islam."
His religious books are used to teach 5 million Saudi students, both within the country and abroad, including the United States.
Al Fawzan a member of the Senior Council of Clerics, Saudi Arabia's highest religious body says Muslims who contend Islam is against slavery "are ignorant, not scholars."
"They are merely writers," he said, according to SIA. "Whoever says such things is an infidel." ...
IRAQ It may be Muslims' high holy month of fasting-and U.S.
troops are ordered to show respect for local customs-but terrorists
in Iraq gorge themselves on violent attacks
by Mindy Bell
FOR U.S. SOLDIERS IN BAGHDAD, Ramadan began with cultural-sensitivity training. Central Command ordered all fighting forces to take a crash course on respecting Islamic customs during the month-long holiday. But Middle East militants, not Yankees, crashed the holiday, ending before it had barely begun the early quiet of the first day's fast with a series of coordinated and deadly attacks on the capital city.
To remedy insensitivity-both real and imagined-Central Command ordered U.S. soldiers to receive Ramadan training. Workshops, led in individual units by military chaplains, took place in the weeks leading up to the holiday, which this year runs roughly from Oct. 27 to Nov. 25. A coalition spokesman in Baghdad told WORLD each unit could carry out the training on its own timetable but the order came with standardized guidelines and a pamphlet "with basic information on the religious observance."
Both soldiers and chaplains WORLD contacted confirmed that they had been part of sensitivity training. Chaplains reported that they were given the freedom to prepare and teach the class without compromising their own beliefs. In some cases the mandatory class was the rare opportunity to present the contrast between Islam and Christianity to an entire unit. At the 21st Combat Support Hospital north of Baghdad, medical workers are feeding Iraqi prisonerof-war patients a larger-than-usual meal around 5 a.m. so they can fast through the day. Other than that, one worker reported, the biggest challenge is not to eat in front of fasting Muslims.
World, Nov. 8, 2003
Where is the "sensitivity training" toward Christianity?
For the life of me, I cannot understand how so many Christians
can be suckered into supporting such an openly pagan presidentone
who takes off his shoes to worship Japan's false gods and who
praises the religion that is out to remove Christianity from the
earth with the sword. (Maybe because he is faithful to his wife,
he is not expected to be faithful to the Christian God.) The Muslims
have been the major slave traders over the centuries, and still
are, yet we hear no word of condemnation for their wicked, murderous
actions in the Sudan from our "Christian" president.
Christians, wake up and face reality.
By Mary McKee
Oct. 31, Star-Telegram Dallas Bureau
DALLAS School officials are investigating reports that a 12-year-old girl and a 14-year-old boy engaged in oral sex during a science class at Robert T. Hill Middle School. ...
"Normally you wouldn't expect a fish to mate with a tomato,"
said Jeffrey M. Smith (seedsofdeception), a researcher who was
sounding the alarm about genetically modified (GM) foods, when
he appeared on Tuesday's program. "We let the genie out of
the bag way too soon, " with a large percentage of such crops
as soy, corn and cotton now being GM, Smith noted.
While companies such as Monsanto claim the benefits of biotech farming are "real and compelling," and lead to increased productivity, Smith warned that GM foods could create any number of harmful unintended side effects. "Super diseases" that are resistant to antibiotics could arise and "even worse," he said genetically engineered "promoters" could lead to uncontrolled, possibly cancerous cell growth.
Smith said that biotech industry tests showing GM safety were rigged and advocated for people to become politically involved in such agendas as thecampaign.org which seeks to have all genetically engineered food labeled, and the Biosafety Protocol, a program being ratified by the United Nations.
As a veteran home educator, I have tried to keep up with educational issues and how they affect homeschoolers. It was with great interest that I picked up a copy of Allen Quist's new book, FedEd The New Federal Curriculum and How It's Enforced, published by Maple River Education Coalition, St Paul, Minnesota, 2002.
Our family was one of the homeschooling families that shut down the Congress in February, 1994, by calling our congressman about the bill known as HR6. The thousands of calls from homeschooling families all over the nation resulted in an overloaded switchboard, causing Congress to ask Homeschool Legal Defense Association to "call off the dogs!" We were able to stop this bill from affecting homeschoolers directly at that time, but we are still infected by it indirectly through our changed culture controlled by federal mandates.
Allen Quist explains the effects of Goals 2000, School-to-Work: Opportunities Act, and the funding bill known as HR6 on our educational system in the United States since the bills were passed, and it is very scary! It gives me little comfort to know that my own children have avoided the results of this law themselves, however, their children will have to marry and bring up their own children in the society changed by the Federal Curriculum mandates.
How did the Federal government bypass the U.S. Constitution's Tenth Amendment which reads:
The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.
Allen Quist states on page 92 of his book, "The amendment clarifies that the people and the states retain all rights not specifically given to the federal government by the Constitution. This is why the Tenth Amendment has often been regarded as the most important amendment in the Bill of Rights... Historically, the setting of education policy has been regarded as one of the reserved rights."
The new federal education system managed to evade the Tenth Amendment by passing laws which "repeatedly said the new system was voluntary.' Who could complain if the new program was voluntary? Most Senators and Representatives were totally fooled."
When my children and I spent time lobbying our Senators and Congressmen in Washington, DC, we were surprised to discover that they don't read all of a bill, but are dependent on their aides to inform them of a bill's content! Many Senators and Congressmen have aides who don't even belong to their party or espouse their beliefs. Because our elected Representatives don't have time to read each bill that comes up for a vote, they are at the mercy of the aides who tell their bosses how to vote. If they knew what some of the bills required, the Representatives would not vote for them.
HR6 stipulates that the U.S. Department of Education could withhold all federal education money from any state that did not comply with the ("voluntary") Goals 2000 and School to Work (STW) bills. Quist says that "since federal funding amounts to about 9% of all funding for K-12 education, the states held their noses and said yes to the federal agenda."
Who designed this compulsory curriculum? Parents? No. Elected school boards? No. Teachers and administrators? Not any more. State legislators? Not to any significant degree. The school curriculum is now being dictated by the federal government. The government has also designed the tests to measure achievement. The National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), called the nation's report card," "stipulates that all fifty states must now administer the NAEP test by force of federal law."
Remember, "that the test always drives the curriculum. The content of the NAEP test determines the content of the curriculum each state must now teach its students. In addition, the other common national achievement tests, as well as the state tests, are following the lead of the NAEP. For example, on May 23, 2002, the New York Times reported that the College Board is totally redesigning the SAT test. The Times said:
...his [the Board Chairman's] description of the goals of the process reflect a profound change, turning what was once specifically deemed an aptitude, or intelligence test until 1990, the SAT stood for Scholastic Aptitude Test into an achievement test designed to measure what is learned in the classroom.
Now the SAT will measure what the student has been taught in school as defined by the new Federal Curriculum." (FedEd, page 124)
OK, so our homeschooled children may have to take a politically correct test what difference will that make? Some states require passing the achievement tests within certain percentages in order to continue home education. Will our children be able to pass a politically correct test which contains unknown material opposed to the subject matters they are being taught at home?
Mr. Quist states on page 39, "It used to be that private
and homeschooled students did much better than their public school
counterparts on both achievement tests and aptitude tests... That
superior performance by non-public school students will soon come
to an end because all tests will be redesigned to measure only
what students have learned as specified by state standards."
What is the stated purpose and goals of this "voluntary" curriculum, and what is it doing to the level of education in our country?
(1)(A) The Secretary [of Education] is authorized to carry out a program to enhance the third and sixth National Education Goals [of Goals 2000] by educating students about the history and principles of the United States, including the Bill of Rights, and to foster civic competence and responsibility. [Emphasis added, Title X, Section 10601 a.] (p.16)
(B) Such programs shall be known as "We the People: The Citizen and the Constitution." (2) The programs shall (A) continue and expand the educational activities of the "We the People: The Citizen and the Constitution" program administered by the Center for Civic Education; and (B) enhance student attainment of challenging content standards in civics and government. [Emphasis added, Title X, Section 10601 a.] (p.17)
Mr. Quist clearly shows that the Federal Curriculum is stated not merely as subjects to be studied, but also as themes (attitudes, or worldview) to be required of the students. "The principle themes required by the new Federal Curriculum are:
1. Undermining national sovereignty.
2. Redefining natural rights.
3. Minimizing natural law.
4. Promoting environmentalism.
5. Requiring multiculturalism.
6. Restructuring government.
7. Redefining education as job skills." (p. 42)
Table 3 (p.48)
Number of References to Selected Subjects in the New Standards:
References to the environment........................................17
References to multiculturalism.......................................42
References to the 1st Amendment....................................81
References to national sovereignty...................................8
Table 5 (p.66)
Number of Questions on Various Subjects in the Iowa Basics Test:
The United States Constitution........................................... 0
Any United States President................................................ 0
Any explorer such as Christopher Columbus..................... 0
Any United States leader.................................................... 0
Any of the wars involving the United States...................... 0
The basic rights of life, liberty or property......................... 0
The importance of free enterprise....................................... 0
The meaning of being a democracy or republic................. 0
The location of any state, any river, any city,
any territory, any ocean or any nation.................... 0
The environment................................................................. 12
Table 6 (p.67, eighth grade level test)
NAEP Questions on Environmentalism Compared to Questions on other Values:
NAEP questions dealing with protection of the environment.. 10
NAEP questions dealing with multiculturalism...................... 4
NAEP questions dealing with any basic principle of freedom.. 0
(Page 75) "The following list is contained in CIVITAS: a Framework for Civic Education, published by the Center for Civic Education (CCE):
Fundamental Values of Freedom
1. The public good
Compare it to a list of fundamental values of freedom as based on the Declaration of Independence:
Fundamental Values of Freedom (p. 76)
1. National sovereignty
"The American Bill of Rights was based upon the framework of the Declaration of Independence which states that the primary purpose of government is to protect the natural rights. The Declaration says, that to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men.' Stated simply,... natural human rights have a higher priority than other governmental values. In direct contrast to the American view of Human Rights, The Universal Declaration of Human Rights states (Article 29, paragraph 3): These rights and freedoms may in no case be exercised contrary to the purposes and principles of the United nations.'" (p.105)
Allen Quist says the new Federal Curriculum is more concerned about ideological agendas than about quality education. "Multiculturalism is a political agenda masquerading as an educational agenda. It consists not of knowledge and appreciation of other cultures but rather of the ideology that all cultures are equal, except for American culture, which is inferior. Multiculturalism also embraces postmodernism (knowledge is a mere social construct) and one-world government since American culture and government is no better, and probably worse than other cultures and government, we should all get together into one happy world family. (The most recent Humanist Manifesto also views muticulturalism as a building block of one-world government.)" (FedEd pp. 81, 82)
"The worldview of the new Federal Curriculum is no small matter. This is the worldview which is in direct competition to the worldview that created the free country we know as the United States of America. The big battle of our time is the battle of ideas." (p.83)
"The ultimate goal of the new Federal Curriculum is to indoctrinate all our children [birth to college, ed.] to the point that all seven themes of the new federal Curriculum are embraced by all our childrenlong before they are able to evaluate or in any way resist this massive propaganda program." (p.113)
"Why, then, don't parents and lawmakers object to the content of the NAEP? How can they object when they don't know what is on the test? The federal law which requires all states to administer the NAEP (HR1) also makes it a felony to disclose any of the NAEP questions. (Title VI, Sec. 411, c. 4.)" [That is why the author only summarizes what the questions cover but avoids mentioning any question word for word, even though the author has a copy of the NAEP!] (p.126)
This book is very upsetting to my complacency. As a homeschooling mother and a grandmother of eleven children who are/will be homeschooled, I am ready to fight! Thankfully, Mr. Quist does not leave us in a hopeless state. Part IV of his book is called "The Road Back," and in that section, he encourages us to help open the eyes of our families, friends, and elected leaders. A mere handful of committed people are enough to sway the thinking of many. See what a few dedicated New Age, Humanist, postmodernists have done!
What distresses me is knowing that well-meaning pastors and leaders are encouraging families to send their children to the public schools as "missionaries." At what age can our children successfully indoctrinate those who are indoctrinating them? Children are loyal to the ones who feed them information. May we be wise enough to make sure they get the Truth from those who live by the Truth alone.
The old education system that taught about the Christian God and Constitutional Patriotism had to be deconstructed before it could be reconstructed after the image of the One Worlders. (There are those who dislike the word reconstruction as used in a Christian context, yet have no problem with the One Worlders reconstructing a once Christian society into a pagan society.)
Deconstruction has wonderfully succeeded, and now America is being reconstructed, ReEducated. The new Federal ReEducation Curriculum (since 1994), which must control all tests in all government education establishments, is completely contrary to everything America and Christianity has stood for over the years. Yet many Christians support it by sending their children as "missionaries" into Molech's lair. (Only the most naive could think they can transform from within a system designed to reeducate and eradicate Christianity.)
When I first became pastor of the Linden Baptist Church, the church had a school. The policy allowed non-church children to attend the school, hoping to evangelize them. However, when we faced reality, the unchurched children were evangelizing the church children, so we had to restrict our enrollment to only church kids. I sure do not understand how Christian parents can think their children will evangelize the pagans, when the peer pressure and instructors are pagans. Certainly, there is a missionary calling, but no place in God's word are children called to be missionaries.
Admittedly, there may be many good teachers, even Christians, but they must teach toward the Federal ReEducation Curriculum tests, if their schools will retain federal money.
Jeremiah 2:19 Thine own wickedness shall correct thee, and thy backslidings shall reprove thee: know therefore and see that [it is] an evil [thing] and bitter, that thou hast forsaken the LORD thy God, and that my fear [is] not in thee, saith the Lord GOD of hosts. 11:17 For the LORD of hosts, that planted thee, hath pronounced evil against thee, for the evil of the house of Israel and of the house of Judah, which they have done against themselves to provoke me to anger in offering incense unto Baal.
Hosea 13:9 O Israel, thou hast destroyed thyself; but in me is thine help.
2 Kings 17:8 And walked in the statutes of the heathen, whom the LORD cast out from before the children of Israel, and of the kings of Israel, which they had made. 14 Notwithstanding they would not hear, but hardened their necks, like to the neck of their fathers, that did not believe in the LORD their God. 17 And they caused their sons and their daughters to pass through the fire (of the Federal Curriculum) and used divination and enchantments, and sold themselves to do evil in the sight of the LORD, to provoke him to anger.
God's people have sacrificed their children to Baal, the gods of this world: mammon, covetousness, convenience, &c. And then they wonder why Christianity is on the wane, and losing its influence in this once Christian nation. Thanks to Christians sacrificing their children to the state, Molech, we now live in the Post-Christian era. It is obvious except to the most obstinate and rebellions, that the Lord Himself has pronounced evil against His own people for their sacrificing His children to the state. (Psalms 127:3.)
We must get the message out, particularly to Christians who have their children in the Federal ReEducation program. We will send one copy of the book FedEd (see review above) to any person who contacts us for a copy. If you would like more than one copy, however, they will be $3.00 (our cost, including postage) each after the first copy, post paid. Please pass out these books especially to pastors who encourage people to put their children into the Federal ReEducation program as "missionaries", and to those who have their children in the Federal ReEducation Curriculum program as found in any government school.
Death of the Church Victorious,
$25, post paid.
Online Bible, latest version, $35, post paid.
I am posting many of my commentaries on various books of the Bible on our web site. Check them out.
Don't forget, www.christiancourtship.us
I certainly do not like the commercialism of Christmas, and have serious doubts about the Biblical legitimacy of the holiday itself. However, with the tremendous Muslim influence now in the West and in face of the all out effort by the Bush government to expunge Christianity from all public mention (he has done nothing publically to stop the Federal war against Christianity), I must say that the emphasis on Christmas, even though it is for money, is welcome.