The Biblical Examiner
An Examination of Biblical Precepts Involved in Issues at Hand

July 2011

The fruits of our thoughts?

Matthew 11:29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.

Getting Bettie's Brazilian nephew to and from family and school in Morehead KY, required a good amount of traveling, and then visiting her oldest daughter's family in South Alabama before they moved to Africa, required more driving than we care to think about–many thousands of miles over an 8 month period. We missed our garden production last summer because we were on the road so much. It is coming into full production for this summer, which we do not want to miss.

As anyone who travels much has noticed, "ADULT" stores are springing up along the highways. Obviously, "Adult" material has become extremely easy to access privately through cable and satellite TV, internet, videos, &c. The only ones that know what is being viewed are the credit card companies and the web browser companies.

Internet: Some time ago, the US turned the control of the net over to a foreign entity, getting ready for the next step of control., 12/17, had this headline, "UN to control the internet". Moreover, this Obama administration is also determined to get control of the internet. Whether or not they can make a "go" of it, remains to be seen. However, we can be assured that the desired control will not control the "Adult" sites. In fact, if there is such an attempt, there will be lawsuits claiming "freedom of speech", which will win.

The control will be over anything not approved by the Central Committee which will be established to determined what will be allowed. No doubt sound Christian sites, as well as conservative sites, will be monitored very closely to insure there is no "hate speech" against any of the protected ones, e.g., sodomites, followers of Muhammad, those who are against Biblical Christianity, &c. They will be protected under "freedom of speech".

In addition, almost all advertising is sexually oriented.

Conclusion: The thought process of this nation, as well as the world, is now almost exclusively controlled by ungodliness of every description.

Things done in secret.

God tells us that the secrets of the heart will be judged, even if they are not acted upon. However, what is in the heart will be revealed in actions. Our Lord required self-control; that is, control of the thoughts and intents of the heart:

Matthew 11:29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.

Take my yoke means that we willingly and gladly accept the yoke of his laws upon us. That is, submit to his commands and precepts. The natural desire of man is to remove the bands and cords of God's law from off himself. Psalms 2 (v. 3 Let us break their bands asunder, and cast away their cords from us.)

Joyfulness comes from submission to his ordinances, and walking according to his laws, commands and orders, always doing the will and work of the Lord.

Yoke... is a symbol of subjection and servitude. The Lord invites the believer to take his yoke upon him, and learn of him; that is, give up self-will for submission to HIS will as revealed in his word. It includes being content to be in the lowest place. Submission brings rest for the soul: For his yoke is easy, and his burden is light.

Christ uses yoke to mean taking on the genuine Christian religion, which means not only genuine conversion, but keeping his commandments as found in his total word. (John 14:15, with Proverbs 7:2, &c.) Psalms 2 tells us that the unsaved consider the yoke of the law binding cords and bands that must be broken by whatever means possible. The wicked work hard to lay plans for hundreds of years in the future to break that yoke of God's law. Yet Psalms 119 tells us that the yoke of the law is a joy to the believer, and he will do all he can to uphold it.

All fundamental errors and heresies in the Church may be traced to our Lord's words, Ye do err, not knowing the Scriptures. Partial truth leads to error. In 1846, Charles Bridges made this point, [New Testament] Truth separated from [Old Testament] truth becomes error. The modern church is overrun with error, for the Scriptures in their entirety are not believed nor taught.

In Matthew 11:29, we see that when the New Testament passage is separated from its Old Testament context, it leads to false teaching in the church. Likewise, when Old Testament passages are separated from their New Testament meaning, the same problem of false teaching arises.

The understanding of an Old Testament passage in its entire context must be brought forward in order to get the proper New Testament understanding of its quote: Christ quoted,

Jeremiah 6:16 Thus saith the LORD, Stand ye in the ways, and see, and ask for the old paths, where is the good way, and walk therein, and ye shall find rest for your souls. But they said, We will not walk therein.

Christ was continually surrounded by not only the common people who heard him gladly, but the religious leaders of the day. These leaders prided themselves in knowing the law and the prophets of old.

Thus, when Christ spoke v.16, rest for your souls, the people clearly understood its context from Jeremiah 6. V. 16 is in the middle of Jeremiah 6, in which the Lord pronounced judgment against his people for their wickedness. He was calling the pagan nations to prepare for war against Jerusalem, and warned Jerusalem that because of the wickedness of his people, the enemies would make the land desolate, a land not inhabited, v. 8.

Jeremiah 6:13 gives the reason for the approaching harsh judgment—from the least even unto the greatest of them, they are all given to covetousness, a secret sin of the heart. That secret sin reveals itself in dealing falsely with one another.

Vv. 14, 15, the Lord pleads with his people to repent of their secret sins, covetousness, and return to him in obedience, but the religious leaders assured them that all was fine. Though the people were all given to covetousness–that is, the desires of their fallen hearts–they were being assured by their religious leaders of peace, peace when there is no peace.

V. 16, the Lord pleads with them:

Thus saith the LORD, Stand ye in the ways, and see, and ask for the old paths, where is the good way, and walk therein, and ye shall find rest for your souls.

But the people say, We will not walk therein.

The Lord continues:

17 Also I set watchmen over you, saying, Hearken to the sound of the trumpet. But they said, We will not hearken. 18 Therefore hear, ye nations, and know, O congregation, what is among them. 19 Hear, O earth: behold, I will bring evil upon this people, even the fruit of their thoughts, because they have not hearkened unto my words, nor to my law, but rejected it. 20 To what purpose cometh there to me incense from Sheba, and the sweet cane from a far country? your burnt offerings are not acceptable, nor your sacrifices sweet unto me. 21 Therefore thus saith the LORD, Behold, I will lay stumblingblocks before this people, and the fathers and the sons together shall fall upon them; the neighbour and his friend shall perish.

The warning of judgment is heard, but the people feel that by increasing their conservative, religious activity, they can avoid the quickly approaching judgment. However, God's judgment cannot be avoided with merely changing actions. There must be a genuine conversion of the mind, will and emotions.

V. 17, Harken to the sound of the trumpet...

In Old Testament Israel, the sounding of the trumpet was a signal for alarm of impending doom. Here we see the prophet warning men to change the thoughts and intents of the heart, and they will be spared in the evil day. The call was to return to the old paths, the good way, and they would find the rest, peace and safety. Otherwise, they would be annihilated by a ferocious enemy who would not spare anyone. (See Ezekiel chapters 3 & 33.)

But the people say for the second time, we will not return.

V. 19, Hear O earth... God proclaims his judgment against his people to all the nations of the earth:

In v. 19 the evil is characterized as a punishment drawn down by them on themselves by means of the apposition: fruit of their thoughts. ‘Fruit of their thoughts,' not of their deeds, {#Isa 3:10} in order to mark the hostility of the evil heart towards God. God's law is put in a place of prominence by the turn of the expression: My law, and they spurned at it; cf. Ew. §344, b, with 309, b. (Keil-Delitzach)

God's judgment upon his people is the just reward of the fruit of their thoughts because they refuse to listen and return to his law.

Even the fruit of their thoughts.] Why, then, should any man think that "thought is free?" Free they are from men's courts and consistories, but not from God's eye, law, or hand. (Trapp)

Their thoughts... The context is thoughts of covetousness, but God's word includes much more: Bitterness, anger, lust (everything around us excites lust), hatred, envy (advertising is based on envy), wrath, &c. (See also, Jeremiah 17:10.)

The Lord through Jeremiah is saying to his people:

1. Look back to ancient history, and see how success and prosperity forsook our fathers (1 Corinthians 10:1) when they left the God directed way, and followed the way of the heathens. However, his people refused to consider and change.

2. God raised up prophets from among his people, sounding the trumpet of warning of impending doom if they did not return to the Lord's laws in their thoughts. However, they refused to hear and change.

3. He calls to his congregation to hear and know and understand what is about to come upon them for their sins, and for rejecting his plea to return to him for their rest.

4. God calls the entire earth to witness: He is going to bring evil against his people for their opposition and rejection of his law. Notice that God's action against them is not in response to their actions. Rather, it is in response to their thoughts—Fruit of their thoughts. Matthew 12:35, Hebrews 4:12, 13.

5. There was no shortage of sacrifices in the temple, but those sacrifices were mere outward service. The hearts of those offering the sacrifices were in rebellion against my words, ... my law. The judgment was not a result of not doing, but of not converting the heart. To obey is better than sacrifice, 1 Samuel 15:22. The fruit of their thoughts was about to ripen as the wicked, pagan nation was on the move against them.

6. V. 21, Stumblingblocks cause people to fall. The Lord himself puts things before them that will cause them to fall. They would not fall if their hearts were stayed upon him, (Isaiah 26:3) but their hearts were set and hardened in their own ways. The fault was theirs, and the fault is ours that judgment is now upon us. Though evil men have been exalted by God, the fault lies with God's people, i.e., their thoughts. Though the world, flesh and the devil feed covetousness, the Son has made us free from those things that have God's judgments against them. (John 8:36, 1 Corinthians 10:13.)

7. 7:19, note the length and depth of God's judgment:

Do they provoke me to anger? saith the LORD: do they not provoke themselves to the confusion of their own faces? 20 Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, mine anger and my fury shall be poured out upon this place, upon man, and upon beast, and upon the trees of the field, and upon the fruit of the ground; and it shall burn, and shall not be quenched.

The warnings of God to his people are throughout Scripture. How many times do we read God's warnings to His People of their self-destructive ways, e.g., Hosea 13:9? Why do we think we can walk in the ways of the surrounding heathens, and not reap the judgment of heathens, 2 Kings 17:8? Why do we think we can do secretly those things that are not right against the Lord our God, yet avoid judgment, 2 Kings 17:9? Why do we think that the Lord seeth us not, because the evil takes place in the chambers of the imagery, for he certainly has not forsaken the earth, Ezekiel 8:12?

The Old Testament warnings are summed up by Paul: Be not deceived, God is not mocked... Why do those who believe the gospel think they can mock God, and sow to the flesh, covetousness, without reaping corruption, Galatians 6:7?

Every area of creation suffers for man's sin. How much more obvious can God's hand of judgment be against mankind than it is today? Floods, heat, drought, earthquakes, volcanos, &c. All of nature is reacting to man's sin, particularly to the sins of those who profess His Name. See Deuteronomy 27, 28, as it is being fulfilled in a very real way in our generation.


* Jeremiah clearly shows us that the Lord offered his people of old rest for your souls, if they would return to him and walk in his ways.

* They refused.

* He sent prophets to sound the warning, yet they still refused, and even killed the prophets, Matthew 23:34-39.

His call to return was more than simply to bring their actions into conformity to his law-word. Rather, it was a call to convert the thoughts and intents of the heart, which they refused to do. It was the unlawful, secret things of the heart that caused God to move against his people by placing stumblingblocks before them. The fruit of their thoughts.

Ecclesiastes 12:14 For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil.

Christ brought the entire thought forward when he offered rest for your souls. The rest Christ offers can only come from genuine heart conversion from hating and rejecting the Lord's yoke; that is, his law-word.

Is it too late to turn God's judgment aside in this nation? Probably, for even those called by his name love the prophets who prophesy falsely as identified in Jeremiah 5:31, who are identified before he gave the words of Jeremiah 6. The stumbling blocks are all around us, and his people are falling victim to them like flies on flypaper.

V. 13, stumbling blocks that feed covetousness: advertisements, internet, TV, movies, public nakedness, &c.

Do the secret things matter?

Certainly they do, just as much as the things done openly. The difference is that people see unlawful deeds, and a righteous society will prosecute those deeds. But the Lord sees the unlawful thoughts of the heart. It is the Lord who brings to pass the fruit of our thoughts–that is, judgment upon nations and individuals.

Secret things that are out of public sight—that is, the thoughts and intents of the hearts that never see action.

Secret things that are out of public sight—that is, the actions "behind closed doors" have social consequences.

The unsavory fruit of the thoughts will come to pass.

Matthew 5:28 But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart.

15:19 For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies: 20 These are the things which defile a man: but to eat with unwashen hands defileth not a man.

Luke 12:3 3 Therefore whatsoever ye have spoken in darkness shall be heard in the light; and that which ye have spoken in the ear in closets shall be proclaimed upon the housetops.

Philippians 4:8 Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.

"I am harming no one but myself" is the enemy's lie. We not only harm ourselves, but all of society pays the price for the secret rebellions against God's word and law.

Proverbs 14:34 Righteousness (in the thoughts and in the actions) exalteth a nation: but sin is a reproach to any people.

A righteous life conforms to the standards established by God's word. However, a righteous life does not result in eternal life, for that comes only through the applied righteousness of Christ through faith in his work on the cross for his people.

Jeremiah 6:19 I will bring evil upon this people, even the fruit of their thoughts, because they have not hearkened unto my words, nor to my law, but rejected it.

Job had a righteous life, chapters 29-31. He showed us how righteousness is to be worked out into society through the individual. We also see that Job was not depending upon his outworking righteousness to result in his salvation. He was at all times looking toward his Redeemer. 19:25.

Righteous thoughts and conduct can only be secured by plucking up or plowing under the wicked and worldly affections of the heart:

Hosea 10:12 Sow to yourselves in righteousness, reap in mercy; break up your fallow ground: for it is time to seek the LORD, till he come and rain righteousness upon you}

Righteous thoughts and conduct issues must come from a new heart that only Christ can produce:

Ezekiel 36:25-27 Then will I sprinkle clean water upon you, and ye shall be clean: from all your filthiness, and from all your idols, will I cleanse you. 26 A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh. 27 And I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep my judgments, and do them.}

Habakkuk 2:4 the just shall live by his faith.

That is, faith in Christ makes one righteous before the Father. In his letter to the Romans, Paul makes it abundantly clear Christ's righteousness will result in righteous actions.

Isaiah 32:15-17, couples righteousness with the work of the Spirit, all resulting in peace and therefore eternal, assured quietness. Because there has been reconciliation between man and God through Christ, peace comes to bless man's way.

In other words, true morality in individuals or nations comes from the righteousness of Christ placed in individual hearts through faith, and then lived out in the lives of his people. The final quote here is from:

Isaiah 60:21 Thy people also shall be all righteous: they shall inherit the land for ever, the branch of my planting, the work of my hands, that I may be glorified.

Isaiah's prophecies concern the Gospel Church. He speaks of the indwelling Spirit of God through faith in Christ, and that Spirit working out in his people's lives, righteous actions that glorify God. If righteous actions are missing, then we are allowed to assume that the righteousness of Christ is also missing.

Proverbs 14:34 Righteousness exalteth a nation: but sin is a reproach to any people.

The second part of the verse says, any people. Thus, this verse applies to both a nation and to any individual.

The Word of God clearly links godliness with prosperity and ungodliness with misery. Because nations are made up of individuals, nations are also linked the same way.

Biblical history proves that godliness and prosperity as well as ungodliness and misery is the fate of any nation as well as any individual. Godly nations shall prosper, and sinful nations shall suffer misery. Deuteronomy 27 & 28 clearly spells out the blessings and curses of nations based upon their glorifying God or failure to glorify him. Jeremiah 6 shows us that Deuteronomy covers much more than just actions. The New Testament doctrine of sowing and reaping carries the details of Deuteronomy 27 & 28 forward to the Gospel Church age.

A nation is not great because of its political wisdom, military power, excellent trade policies that make other nations debtors to it, manufacturing abilities, natural resources, nor anything that men consider greatness. Both Greece and Rome were considered great nations, but they were overrun with degradation. Their greatness only existed in fanciful stories and dreams.

Contrast the influence of ungodliness which produces suffering and misery with the influence of Christianity which produces peace and prosperity. Sin is a reproach to any people; that is, there is no individual nor nation that can escape the misery of sin, nor is there any that can escape the peace and prosperity of godliness.

We exalt and compliment the Constitution and patriotism, and those who are willing to give all for their country. (Actually, they are "giving everything" for the big banks and the dream of a One World Government, which has been the case almost throughout history). However, patriotism without righteousness in thoughts and actions can only lead to judgment. God may use the patriot to advance his temporal interest, but that unrighteous patriot is an enemy of God who will bring God's judgment.

No individual nor nation is so low that it can go no lower. Ungodliness removes the protective covering that only God can provide. Men and nations can invest all their resources to protect themselves, but only God can protect.

Proverbs 21:31 The horse is prepared against the day of battle: but safety is of the LORD.

The ungodly man in thought or action is an enemy to his country, no matter how loudly he proclaims his patriotism, nor how much he might advance his nation's interests.

Those in authority who are wanting to remake America after their own evil image are against "Talk Radio." They are blaming "Talk Radio" for hindering their plans, so they want to stop it as much as possible.

Now, as much as I appreciate the truth presented by "Talk Radio," especially short-wave and computer radio, e.g., Alex Jones, these hosts are enemies of this country. They offer answers to this nation's ills that have nothing to do with righteousness as defined by God's word. Of course, the truth is offensive to the average man, Christians included, so God's truth will not bring in the finances needed to cry aloud and spare not.

The conservative patriots are violating the first commandment, as they made and are persuading others to trust in another god, a god after their own imagination. They think that by getting people to understand the Constitution and live by it, they can salvage America.

Consider: Are those nice sounding patriots and those who offer hope other than righteousness the stumbling blocks set before this nation, in order to bring God's judgment?

I have heard preachers say that if they can get enough people to profess Christ with their mouth, they can rescue America. The profession of Christ must be with the heart, for it is with the heart that man believes unto righteousness, which will then be worked out in a righteous life. Romans 10:10.

However, no "talk shows" are calling America to individual repentance toward God, faith in Christ and the return to a heart-seated love for knowing and doing God's law-word. In fact, very few preachers are doing that.

We are in the midst of a flood of infidelity, lawlessness and ungodliness, yet very few are calling for righteousness.

"Thou shalt have no other gods before me," means also "Thou shalt have no other powers before me." "Thou shalt have no other hope other than Biblical righteousness before me."

Our only hope is in the imparted righteousness of Christ as it is lived from the heart out.

Proverbs 14:34 Righteousness exalteth a nation: but sin is a reproach to any people.

Jeremiah 6:19 Hear, O earth: behold, I will bring evil upon this people, even the fruit of their thoughts, because they have not hearkened unto my words, nor to my law, but rejected it.

Matthew 11:29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.

I'm Fed Up With Constitution Worship!

by Gary D. Barnett, September 25, 2010

I must say that I didn't always feel this way, but I am now truly sick of hearing every day about how we should uphold, defend, and worship the U.S. Constitution. Yes, I am aware that if it were followed to the letter that we would all be somewhat better off, but was that ever the real intent? I think not.

As I perused an article recently in the Christian Science Monitor titled "Why Do Americans Get the Constitution So Wrong" by Lion Calandra, I thought it was time to expose some of the misconceptions about our so-called reverent "founding" document. The first few words of that article set the stage for my rant.

The opening statement: "On this day, 223 years ago, the U.S. Constitution was born, giving Americans the freedoms that they hold dear, the freedoms that men and women have died to defend."

Obviously, the author also got it wrong, because everything in the above sentence is patently false. Our freedoms did not come from any political class or due to any drafting of a political document. Our rights and freedoms are God-given and inherent. They are natural human rights, and cannot be bestowed by men! Our natural rights to life, liberty, and property encompass all others; this a fact barely acknowledged by most. Without the right to life and liberty, no other right can exist. With the right to life and liberty, all other rights are evident.

Also, the notion that men and women died to defend our freedoms can only be correct if one considers those very few who have died fighting against our own federal government's encroachment against liberty. If the intent here is to laud those who died in warfare, then again, the author is completely wrong. Those who fight in wars are defending and serving the government, and therefore are harming freedom, not protecting it. This may seem a harsh statement to some, but it is this truth that escapes almost all Americans. If more understood this, we would all be much better off. War is the health of the state, and therefore is antithetical to freedom. U.S. wars are directly responsible for a more powerful government and less freedom; the opposite of what is taught in the government-run schools, and what political pundits constantly spew.

Why was the current U.S. constitution drafted and ratified in the first place? Was it because our founders believed that they were doing more to protect liberty? Did they think that this particular document would serve to expand and protect our freedoms? Were the Articles of Confederation, our constitution at the time, anti-freedom or inadequate? Did that constitution allow the federal government more or less power than the new one?

If one answers these questions honestly, many other questions will arise, and the answers to those questions may cause resentment to replace respect. In fact, our current constitution greatly expanded government power over the people, not the other way around, as most believe. Just consider one example: In the Articles of Confederation the federal government had no power to lay and collect (by force) taxes. Any money needed had to come voluntarily from the individual states. In Article 1, Section 8 of our current constitution, the federal government has virtually an unlimited power to tax. This fact alone should have been reason enough to not ratify the constitution 223 years ago. Of course, most of the rest of those powers given to Congress in Article 1, Section 8 should have also caused great concern for anyone sympathetic to liberty.

The Anti-federalists had it right all along. The Articles of Confederation were certainly not perfect, but that constitution was a damn sight better than the one we have now. One single reading of Article 1, Section 8 of the current U.S. Constitution should literally scare the living daylights out of all who believe in freedom and liberty. In my opinion, Hamilton and his followers were able to fool and then co-opt enough of the political leaders of the time to bring about a massive change; a change that ushered in a much more powerful central governing system. This was entirely by design in my opinion, and was never intended to advance and protect the freedom of the individual. Had that been the case, slavery would never have been sanctioned by that same document. Why this system is so revered is beyond me. It can only be due to long-term indoctrination. I have been told since childhood of the greatness of the constitution by peers, by the school system, by politicians, by the media, and by virtually everyone else able to utter the spoken word. Considering this, it is no wonder that this mediocre document is worshiped by so many.

It should be obvious that I am not attempting to fully explain or outline the constitution, nor am I attempting to put forth any expert legal opinion concerning it. This has been done over and over again. I am simply pointing out that this supreme law of the United States is not what it seems. Things are always done for a reason, and in my opinion, the constitution was drafted so as to expand the powers of the national government, and weaken the powers held by the individual states and the people. This has certainly been the end result. I think it is important to remember that many of the founders of this country, while courageous in their fight to free themselves from English rule, were still politicians, and as such had their own agendas. These agendas did not always run parallel with individual freedom, especially considering the Hamiltonians. While this may be hard to swallow for some, it is nonetheless true.

What does all this mean? In my mind, it simply means that a piece of paper does not freedom make. None of us gained freedom due to other men bestowing it upon us. None of us gained our freedom due to men drafting constitutional documents. We gain our freedom naturally at birth, and from that point forward, it is up to each individual to protect it. Freedom can only exist and thrive when individuals understand its importance and defend it at all costs. Not against monsters from abroad as is the opinion of most, but against our own government. No constitution can accomplish this, and any constitution is worthless without the ideas of freedom and liberty living in the hearts and minds of individuals willing to force its compliance. There are some who have the freedom philosophy living in their hearts and minds, but there are very few who are willing to risk all to fight for it. This dynamic will have to change before we again become truly free of this now tyrannical government.

I think the time has come for all of us to reevaluate the meaning of freedom. Freedom comes from within and is natural to the human species. Men cannot give freedom but men can take it away. All government operates by force, and force is the absolute opposite of freedom. Government is never a friend to liberty, so government should be held back and controlled. If some set of rules such as a constitution is the desired vehicle to accomplish order, then those set of rules should not only be strict and limited, but enforced by the people themselves. Without this control, we end up in 2010 America.

The following excerpt from Human Action thoroughly illustrates the antagonism between freedom and government:

It is important to remember that government interference always means either violent action or the threat of such action. The funds that a government spends for whatever purposes are levied by taxation. And taxes are paid because the taxpayers are afraid of offering resistance to the tax gatherers. They know that any disobedience or resistance is hopeless. As long as this is the state of affairs, the government is able to collect the money that it wants to spend. Government is in the last resort the employment of armed men, of policemen, gendarmes, soldiers, prison guards, and hangmen. The essential feature of government is the enforcement of its decrees by beating, killing, and imprisoning. Those who are asking for more government interference are asking ultimately for more compulsion and less freedom.

I will put my faith in God, not men. I will have faith in freedom, not constitutions. Our salvation and return to liberty lies not in faith in men residing in the halls of congress, but in our belief in us as free and sovereign individuals.

Part 2

Constitution Worship Revisited: I'm Still Fed Up!

by Gary D. Barnett, June 4, 2011

Last year I wrote an article titled "I'm Fed Up With Constitution Worship!" Since that time it seems, I hear more and more every day about "getting back to the constitution," mainly from "conservatives" and those of the Tea Party persuasion. I always wonder not only have any of these people ever read and studied the constitution, but also do they even understand why it was secretly drafted in the first place? All indications show that they aren't at all familiar with the enabling power of that document to create a strong central governing system that reduced severely the sovereignty of the states.

I have this contrarian view not because I am cynical or pessimistic, but because I have thoroughly studied this set of rules or "law of the land," and found them to be antagonist to individual liberty and state's rights, and sympathetic to big government. When one compares the constitution that was replaced, The Articles of Confederation, there is little doubt of this truth. Lysander Spooner said this:

"But whether the Constitution really be one thing, or another, this much is certain - that it has either authorized such a government as we have had, or has been powerless to prevent it. In either case, it is unfit to exist."

In my opinion, there is no doubt that the constitution fully authorized the government that we had and still have today. It is also true that any set of rules is powerless to stop tyranny unless the people enforce and demand compliance on a constant basis. This has never been the case. Even if it had been followed to the letter, it is obvious that liberty would still have been compromised.

Before the current constitution was drafted, there was never any mention or acceptance of the notion that there was a (U)nited States, or that any single nation existed with power over the states. Quite the contrary was the case. It is very troubling that so many Americans have been fooled into believing that the constitution is the basis of our freedom. Nothing could be further from the truth, and nothing could be more misunderstood!

Recently, those like Tom Mullen and Bill Buppert have explained thoroughly why the constitution is not what it is made out to be, and many others have properly denounced this misleading document as well, but the general thinking is still very misguided. Most continue to laud and worship this very flawed piece of parchment, and continue to believe that it is the creator and savior of liberty. Liberty lies in the essence of man, not in documents secretly drafted in the dark of night by the few. The free spirit of the people must awaken before any real freedom becomes evident, and in that awakening they must realize the great importance of the individual and of individual responsibility.

My intent here is not to claim that our original constitution, The Articles of Confederation, were a perfect set of rules, or that any set of rules established by simple men could be perfect. My intent is to expose the lie that is our current constitution. If we as a people could see the truth of why our original constitution was completely scrapped in favor of our current one, maybe a more widespread anger would arise. Once it is accepted that the Hamiltonians in 1787 staged a coup to destroy states rights in favor of federal power, and to destroy individual liberty in favor of nationalism, then maybe more will begin to question their false idolization of the constitution. One could only hope for such an awakening.

Before this constitution, there was no power whatsoever for the federal government to tax. That was left entirely to the individual states. Now the Feds have an unlimited power to tax. In Article 1, Section 8, the taxing clause states, "Congress has the power to lay and collect taxes, duties, imposts, and excises for the common defense and general welfare of the United States." I see no limits mentioned here whatsoever, and given the term "General Welfare" of the (U)nited States, there is no reason to believe that any restriction was intended. Many so-called constitutional scholars will argue this, saying that all spending must be "constitutional", or within the confines of the taxing and spending clauses, but these arguments can easily be refuted given the broad and sweeping language in this section. This was in my opinion done explicitly by design. Article 1, Section 8 is nothing if it is not an all-encompassing, unrestricted, and explicit enabler of unlimited governmental power.

Anyone can check the definitions during that period by simply going to the dictionary of that time, Samuel Johnson's A Dictionary of the English Language. It is immediately obvious that there was little difference in the meaning of general welfare at the time of the founding as there is today. But this is just one example of the obvious misunderstanding by so many in modern times.

Under the Articles of Confederation, there was no president. There was no supreme court. There was no federal taxation, and certainly no immoral income tax. This meant that there was no IRS. There was no federal control of interstate commerce. Congress could not raise an army or draft troops. What this meant, was that the states were sovereign, and no national government existed in any real sense. Because of this, freedom flourished, and tyranny was not evident. So how is it then that this very pro-central government, federal controlling, and powerful national governing system could be created by the same constitution that supposedly set us free? Why were the Articles scrapped entirely if freedom of the people and state's rights were the objectives sought? I can tell you; at no time did those who supported the drafting and ratification of the U.S constitution in 1787 consider individual freedoms!

There are those who would offer that the Bill of Rights adopted several years later corrected the obvious problems that plagued the constitution, but that thinking is based on the false logic of gullible minds. While those amendments certainly were restrictions on government power, they did nothing to change the original intent, that being one of granting massive and in many cases unlimited power to a federal government.

The constitution allowed for the usurpation of power by the executive branch, it allowed federal courts to approve and sanction authoritarianism by the government over the people, it allowed for legalized forcible theft by the federal government in the form of taxation, and it allowed the federal government both the ability to collect taxes for war, and to also prosecute those wars. These egregious powers given by the constitution to the central government are completely antithetical to liberty, and should never have been considered by any men of character.

The people did not establish our constitution, nor was it inspired by divine intervention as so many suggest. It would be difficult for me to imagine that God would have a hand in the destruction of our inherent and natural rights. No, this flagrantly flawed document was designed and implemented by a few corrupt men led by Alexander Hamilton. Their agenda was guided not by any desire to achieve liberty for all, but by a grand lust for power and control. Had that not been the case, the Declaration of Independence would have been the guide for any new set of rules, and our original constitution would have been even more scrutinized instead of being replaced.

Instead, after 224 years, we now have exactly what the original ruling class desired, an all-powerful central government ruling over the lower classes. This is a rule by the few over the many. As Aristotle said: "rule by the few is aristocracy in its ideal form and oligarchy in its perverted form." The elite class holds all the cards, while the rest of us now struggle under the thumb of tyranny!

Lew Rockwell Report,


First, freedom and liberty must be defined by God's word. Freedom and liberty are freedom from the rule of sin, which provides the liberty and power to obey the Truth. True freedom is from knowing and following the Truth, not from knowing and following the Constitution. Christ alone is the Truth, and is the only way to freedom and liberty. Christ alone is defined as freedom from the power of sin; liberty is in Christ alone, John 8:32-36.

Second, men want liberty so they can follow the way that seems right to them, not liberty to follow the Law of the Lord. However, the way that seems right has death at the end.

Accordingly, both freedom and liberty are man centered, rather than God centered. Result... Men fight with everything available to them for the right to travel the broad road to destruction.

4th of July meditation

Franklin Sanders

I don't use the word "freedom" much any more, but "self-government." Most people think "freedom" means licentiousness, the liberty to do any thing you please. It doesn't. The man who is a slave to his passions is no freer than the man who is a slave to a salt mine — in fact less so, because his slavemaster doesn't need chains & whip.

We are only free to do what we have a moral right to do, no more. Substitute licentiousness & rebellion & anarchy for that, and you have, well, something that looks like the USA today.

Another thing: no man and certainly no constitution, "grants" or "protects" your rights. You have no rights unless you as a "belligerent claimant in person" ENFORCE those rights. That is part of the "self" in self-government. If you won't fight, you aren't free, and your children surely won't be.

Thus the men who signed the Declaration of Independence, after they had made their case against George III & declared the independence of their sovereign states, ended with this warrant:

"With a firm Reliance on the Protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes, and our sacred Honor."

If you aren't willing to pledge the same, NOT when the mob is clamouring for war & patriotism is cheap, but when most of the country opposes the law & the truth, and then stake everything on maintaining your rights, you aren't free, and never will be. When those men signed that Declaration, less than 25% of the country wanted secession and independence, & that number fell sharply when the British troops landed.

Finally, the signers knew there is only one guarantor of liberty. As the Swiss philosopher Henri-Frederic Amiel said 75 years later, "If liberty is to be saved, it will not be by the doubters, the men of science, or the materialists; it will be by religious conviction, by the faith of individuals who believe that God wills men to be free but also pure; it will be by the seekers after holiness, by those old- fashioned pious persons who speak of immortality & eternal life, and prefer the soul to the whole world; it will be by the enfranchised children of the ancient faith of the human race."


June, what a month!! The Friday before Memorial day I noticed a great decrease in my breathing ability, shortness of breath. I did not go to the ER, for I knew no one would be working over the weekend who could do the test. I was told to go to the ER the following Tuesday, which I did. I was assigned a nuclear stress test the following Thursday, and to see the cardiologist the next Monday. I was unable to see him until the following Wednesday, and he said all was fine. However, I still had the shortness of breath. He would not recommend an Angiogram until I had my lungs checked, saying that the symptoms are the same. I was able to see the Pulmonologist the next day, Thursday. He examined and found no problem, though he did take blood for a "D-Dimer" test, which would indicate a blood clot. There was enough indication of a clot for a C-Scan.

However, he also determined that the blood pressure medicine was holding my heart rate down, which would make it difficult to breath, even walking with me through the hospital to try to get my heart rate up. He is the first doctor I have ever met who seemed to be willing to take time to examine various things that might cause problems. As he reduced my medication (beta-blocker), I could breathe better. I asked him why he didn't take me completely off the beta-blocker. He insisted I remain on it because it is a "good medicine".

Losing over 30 lbs in the last 8 months, my blood pressure dramatically changed. (My weight is about what it was in the military, only my body mass has shifted. Heart disease is skyrocketing, as is obesity. The manufactured and junk food make us fat, which cause heart problems, and greatly enriches the medical profession. ) My wife has a problem with wheat, so we very seldom eat any white food–wheat bread, white potatoes–and for my prostate problem, which is not getting better, I am to eat a lot of fresh vegetables, and avoid sugar) I suppose because of the stents, the doctors want my blood pressure and heart rate abnormally low, but I can't breathe with it as low as they want. Despite what the doctors want, with no blood pressure med at all, I can walk my 2 miles in under 30 minutes with no shortness of breath, and normal blood pressure. (But what is normal with three stents?)


Interesting. The repair man finally found the problem, and it was manufacturing debris clogging a drain line that caused the defrosted water to run on and under the floor. The damage is almost $6,000. The wood floors in at least two rooms are ruined, as are some of the kitchen cabinets. The water even leaked into the crawlspace. The total damage will not be known until the kitchen floor is removed. Though the claim in now in to Whirlpool, they have not responded yet.

Weather, garden

Though we have had a few hot days, the weather up here has been very nice with night time lows in the 50s, up to a few days ago. As July moves along, the lows have only been in the low 70. When there is even a slight breeze, our day time temperature can be over 10o less than down the mountain.

We have had enough rain this spring to prevent the hay from being cut. Rain on cut hay is not good news. The rain has made the garden grow very well. We did find a garden irrigation system at one of the four Lowe's stores we have access to. We planted some thornless blackberries, and they are taking over one corner of the garden. The garden has about everything in it, including broccoli, and especially purple hull peas and tomatoes. Though the top soil is very rich, we must use raised beds. There are so many rocks that plowing it up produces more rocks than good soil. After we remove the rocks from holes to plant trees, we do not have enough soil to refill the hole, even when the new tree is in the hole. So we purchase top soil from the valley.

We had to put an electric fence around the garden to keep the deer out. In fact, we must fence everything we do not want the deer to eat.

The 08-09 winter was so bad, that many deer died, so last summer there were very few deer. But the herds are recovering this year, and they have again started coming up on our porches to eat any flowers that are not fenced.

S mail

Those who do a lot of mailing understand why we had to stop the hard copy. Many postmasters who received our mail on the other end failed to honor the endorsements on our mailings, e.g., "Address Service Requested". (Someone in the bowels of the PO changes the endorsement regularly, as though his, or her, job security depends on keeping mailers guessing as to what is required.) With such an endorsement, the PO, for 12 months, is to forward the piece and return a change of address to us. Then for 6 more months, the PO is to return the piece to us with the change of address. After 18 months, the address is lost, and the piece comes back with a charge based upon the weight of the piece with UTF, or "Unable to Forward". Because many postmasters failed to honor the endorsement, every mailing resulted in many UTFs, and great expense, which was using up all of our limited funds. The next to the last mailing cost us $150 just for the returns with UTF on them.

All of that to say this: My wife and I have been "mystery shoppers", and have been for several years. We shop restaurants, Realtors, turnpike rest areas, &c. The mystery shopping company we work for (it is located in the DC area), has acquired a new customer, the US Post Office. We did a PO shop for them some months ago about 30 minutes from us. There was another shop to do at the same PO, and the company was unable to find someone to fulfill that shop. So they contacted me to do the shop, which I did June 30th. (Paid $30 plus the postage required to mail something. They are always looking for shoppers nation wide. They shop airports, turnpikes, clothing stores, banks, and such. The pay is not much, but you can get a free meal, free postage for a package, or a few dollars for simply checking out a clerk.)

The man at the company called me personally to set up the shop, because it had to be done by July 1, which was only 1 day away. He told me the PO is serious about improvement, and I told him they are not, or they would take care of the indifferent postmasters. I got talking to him, and I was able to "unload" my gripes against the PO and their service from the individual post offices to where we send mail. I even sent him the letters I had written to the various postmasters inquiring as to why they would not honor the endorsement on the mail. (And the theft problem we have had.) He said he would take the problem to his supervisor, and hopefully his supervisor would then take it to the highest level of the PO for whom they are working.

I am sure you and I both would find it amazing if anything were to change on the "other ends" of our mailings, concerning indifferent postmasters. The problem we have is not with the public face of the postoffice, but with what takes place where no one can see, except those who do the mailing. The "mystery shops" of the PO only deals with the "public face", not with the inner workings.

Like man himself, we only see the public fact, while the inner heart has unlimited corruption.

Did you see?

Ron Paul Will Not Run for Congress Again

by Lew Rockwell. July 12, 2011

Ron Paul, the amazing and principled politician, is not running for Congress again. It's the end of an era, but the beginning of a new one. But why is Ron not running, after finally getting a little of what he is due with his monetary committee? He has been thinking about this for some time, and wants to concentrate on the presidential campaign and future and enhanced educational efforts that will blow your socks off. Also, he has had it—to name just a few items—with: twice weekly groping by the TSA (since he has metal knees and is selected for the full feel-up every time); dealing with the crooks and creeps in Congress, especially in the rotten Texas delegation; and the deadly new district the Republicans have placed him in. There are sad aspects to this, of course. He has been the greatest congressman in American history, by many leagues. But I predict that he will have even more and even more lasting influence as he uses his moral authority for teaching freedom, peace, and Austrian economics outside of politics. More later.

[A sad day for America!]

Case Studies in Misuse of Old Testament Proof-Texts

By Thomas Williamson

On the occasion of the recent death of noted Pentecostal preacher David Wilkerson, I pulled out my copy of his book "Set the Trumpet to Thy Mouth," published in 1985. While I do not endorse all of Wilkerson's teachings, I felt that this book had some material of value to the Lord's people.

The chapter, "The Music of Devils in God's House" warned of the spiritually deadly impact of extreme forms of worldly music being used in Christian ministry. The chapter on "Pillow Prophets" denounced the charismatic Prosperity Theology. Wilkerson thundered against the prevalence of adultery, fornication and divorce among professing Christians.

In a chapter on television, Wilkerson denounced what he called "Satan's Babylonian idiot box," and correctly identified not only secular television broadcasting but also Christian television as potentially dangerous influences. Wilkerson deserves credit for his boldness on this issue, but I felt that he went too far in attempting to forbid Christians from having televisions in their homes. The television set itself, like the computer keyboard which I use to produce this article, is a neutral object which can be used for good or for evil. We don't really have a Scriptural basis for banning television.

One unfortunate characteristic of Wilkerson's ministry over the years was his misuse of Old Testament texts, taking them out of context and making them teach things that could not have possibly been intended by the original authors or by the Holy Spirit.

An example of this, in his chapter on television, is his citation of Deuteronomy 7:26 as a "direct commandment not to bring [television] into our homes." The verse reads,

Neither shalt thou bring an abomination into thine house, lest thou be a cursed thing like it: but thou shalt utterly detest it, and thou shalt utterly abhor it; for it is a cursed thing."

Wilkerson makes no mention of the previous verse, Deuteronomy 7:25, which commands the Israelites to destroy the graven images of the gods of the Canaanite peoples. This is the abomination condemned in 7:26. I do not see any possible application of this verse to the television set. While my personal belief is that removing the "boob tube" can be helpful in the life of a Christian, we do not have a scriptural basis for calling people sinners if they have a TV set in their home.

It is easy to throw stones against other preachers who misuse the Old Testament, cherry-picking verses taken out of context that appear, on the surface, to bolster the points we are trying to make. We all need to be on our guard, that we not be guilty of the same thing ourselves.

Psalm 101:3, "I Will Set No Wicked Thing Before Mine Eyes"

Many of us have used this verse to preach against the evils of television and modern Hollywood movies. Wilkerson cites this verse to make his case for banning televisions in Christian homes. When David wrote this verse about 1000 BC, long before the invention of television and movies, was that what he was talking about?

While David could not have been talking about television and movies, perhaps he was warning against forms of visual entertainment that existed in his time. In that case, this verse could legitimately be applied against TV and movies. Let us assume, for the sake of argument, that in David's time there were some forms of dancing that were lewd and inappropriate for a true believer to watch. Is that what Psalm 101:3 is about?

As we examine the context of this psalm, it becomes evident that David was not talking about scantily dressed dancing girls. He was setting forth the qualifications for those who would be eligible to work in his royal administration. In 101:5 he denounces those who slander people in order to move up the ladder of government service. In 101:7 he states that he will not employ in his service anyone who tells lies or works deceit.

Based on the context of the psalm, it is evident that when David says in verse 3 that he will set no wicked thing before his eyes, he is affirming that he will not place for his consideration the plots of those who "turn aside" to practice lies, slander and deceit in order to get ahead in David's court. When David says he hates the work of those that turn aside, he is not talking about lewd visual entertainment of any kind. He is setting forth his personnel policies, saying that he will not hire lying, conniving people.

Matthew Poole's commentary on this verse states, "If any ungodly or unjust thing shall be suggested to me, whatsoever specious pretences it may be covered with, as reason of state or worldly advantages, I will cast it out of my mind and thoughts with abhorrency; so far will I be from putting it in execution. ‘That turn aside' from God, and from his laws. ‘It shall not cleave to me,' to wit, such work, or the contagion of such examples. I will neither imitate nor endure such works, nor such workers."

David is saying here that he will not set any wicked plan, plot or purpose before himself for consideration. He will not engage in such deceitful conduct himself, nor employ those who specialize in such conduct.

In setting forth this understanding of David's words, it is not my intention to defend the viewing of vile, pornographic or inappropriate material that may be found on television or in the movies. As a matter of personal conviction, I do not have a television in my home and I do not attend Hollywood movies at the theater. However, it would be dishonest for me to use Psalm 101:3 to beat the heads of those who do not share my convictions on this matter, since that is not what David was talking about at all.

Jeremiah 10:3-4 - Ban on Christmas Trees?

"For the customs of the people are vain: for one cutteth a tree out of the forest, the work of the hands of the workman, with the axe. They deck it with silver and with gold; they fasten it with nails and with hammers, that it move not."

Around December of every year, one is bound to see at least one article in the Christian press which denounces the setting up of Christmas trees, using this verse. On one occasion, I heard an entire sermon preached entirely on this subject, denouncing the custom of putting up Christmas trees. Some sincere Christians have left the church where they were members, in holy outrage over the display of a "pagan" Christmas tree in the church sanctuary.

In my opinion, this should not be an issue for Christians to fight over. Christmas trees did not exist in Jeremiah's time. It appears from the context here that Jeremiah is talking about wooden gods that were fashioned by skilled workmen and then used as objects of worship. This would hardly apply to the modern Christmas tree, nor do I know of anyone today who decorates their Christmas trees with literal silver and gold.

Matthew Henry's commentary says, "Consider what the idol is that is worshipped. It was a tree cut out of the forest originally. It was fitted up by the hands of the workmen, squared, and sawed, and worked into shape; see Isaiah 44:12, etc. But, after all, it was but the stock of a tree, fitter to make a gate-post of than anything else. But, to hide the wood, they deck it with silver and gold. They fasten it to its place with nails and hammers, that it fall not, nor is stolen, v.4. The image is made straight enough; the workman did his part . . ." Clearly Jeremiah is denouncing carved wooden idols intended as objects of worship (as in Isaiah 42 and Psalm 115), not Christmas trees.

I don't put up Christmas trees myself, but I am not going to grab an Old Testament verse out of context and use it to judge you for having a Christmas tree. Romans 14:5-6 states that Christians ought not to judge each other over the observance of holidays. There you go - one less thing for us to Fight each other over.

Deuteronomy 22:5 - Ban on Women's Slacks?

"The woman shall not wear that which pertaineth unto a man, neither shall a man put on a woman's garment: Pr all that do so are abomination unto the LORD thy God."

Based on this verse, there are various groups, including the United Pentecostal Church and some Independent Baptist churches, that have placed a strict ban on women wearing slacks. Some Christian colleges have gone so far as to ban pajama pants for their female students, and to condemn other colleges that do not uphold such a high standard.

This raises a number of questions. Is this command from Deuteronomy, from the Old Testament Law, applicable to Christian believers today? I suspect that many preachers who teach against women's slacks, would, if asked whether the Old Testament Law is for today, say No. Yet they cite this verse on behalf of their restriction on women's pants.

My own approach to the Law of Moses is that the precepts of the Law are still applicable today, unless they are annulled or abrogated in the New Testament. Based on this approach, I regard the Ten Commandments as binding today (the command regarding the Sabbath has general application to observing Sunday as the Lord's Day, but we are not bound by the Old Testament Sabbath regulations or the observance of Saturday as the Sabbath).

The commands regarding animal sacrifices, dietary rules, circumcision and other such matters are canceled in the New Testament and are not binding today.

I would regard Deuteronomy 22:5 as part of the Law that is applicable for today. However, some of the commands in the same chapter, such as the ban in 22:11 on wearing a garment made of 2 or more different types of fabric, are probably not for today - this type of command was meant to emphasize the separation of the ancient Hebrews from the heathen peoples around them. Of course, there are going to be honest disagreements on these issues.

Can we obey Deuteronomy 22:5 by maintaining a general differentiation of appearance between males and females, or is it necessary to ban certain entire classes of apparel (such as slacks for women)?

This verse does not specify slacks in particular, as being forbidden for women. Breeches were specified to be worn by male priests in Exodus 28:42, Ezekiel 44:18, etc. This may be taken to reserve the wearing of breeches for men only.

But wait - men also wore robes, 1 Samuel 18:4, 24:4, Isaiah 22:21, etc. They wore girdles, Isaiah 22:21 again, also 2 Samuel 18:11, Jeremiah 13:1, etc. Men wore bonnets, Ezekiel 44:18 again. Must we forbid women from wearing robes, girdles and bonnets, since men wore them?

In our day and age, baseball caps are very popular headgear for men. Should we forbid women to wear baseball caps, so we can tell men and women apart from a distance?

While maintaining a distinction between male and female is an important scriptural principle, it may be that Deuteronomy 22:5 is also meant as a prohibition on women in combat, specifically prohibiting women from wearing military gear.

Josephus, in his "Antiquities of the Jews," Book 4, Chapter 8, No. 43, states with regard to this verse, "Take care, especially in your battles, that no woman use the habit of a man, nor man the garment of a woman."

In my opinion, we are reading something into Deuteronomy 22:5 that is not there, when we use it to ban women's slacks. Pants on women are clearly accepted attire for females today throughout the Western world and many other places, such as India. There is no reason to suppose that a woman wearing slacks is cross-dressing, trying to impersonate a man, or necessarily attempting to usurp the God-given authority and position of men, when they wear slacks. Many of us can think of examples of church women who never wore slacks and yet were extremely domineering and trying to run their husbands and the church., and of girls who never wore slacks and yet fell into immorality. I do not see any particular correlation between female slack-wearing and attitudes of feminist rebellion against the Lord. There are more important battles for us to fight, than this one.

Joel 3:2 - A Prohibition on Ceding Land to the Palestinians?

"I will also gather all nations, and will bring them down into the valley of Jehoshaphat, and will plead with them there for my people and for my heritage Israel, whom they have scattered among the nations, and parted my land."

This verse appeals to those who are looking for simple, scriptural and authoritative solutions to the modern conflict between the Israelis and the Palestinians.

Joel 3:2 has been cited by prominent televangelists such as Pat Robertson and John Hagee, who interpret the reference to the parting or dividing of God's land as a prohibition on any peace treaty that would grant Palestinian sovereignty to any part of the Holy Land.

There are some who go so far as to suggest that if America allows a peace settlement in the Middle East which divides the Holy Land between Israel and Palestine, instead of giving all the land to Israel, then God will be so angry that He will retaliate by destroying America. Those who take this position cite Joel 3:2 as proof for their views.

Some Christian Right politicians, such as Dick Armey and Mike Huckabee, have called for the ethnic cleansing of Palestinians from the Holy Land. Does Joel 3:2 really mandate such a drastic resolution to the ethnic rivalries in the Middle East?

While Joel 3:2 is clear in condemning those who would part or divide God's land, we have no way of knowing what are the exact boundaries of the land promised to the Israelites in Numbers 34. Some of the landmarks mentioned there cannot be identified with certainty today.

The ESV Study Bible commentary on Numbers 34 states that "The boundary is not always clear. . . . The eastern border of the Promised Land is the hardest to define."

Jamieson, Fausset and Brown states, "The line which bounded it on the south is the most difficult to trace." The Wycliffe Bible Commentary on Numbers 34:7 says, "Except for such outstanding features as Hamath, the sea of Chinnereth (Galilee), and the Jordan, most of the points on the north and eastern borders cannot now be identified with certainty." The same commentary says concerning Numbers 20:22, "The location of Mount Hor is indefinite."

What a bummer - supposedly God holds America responsible to make sure that the Palestinians do not get any of the land referred to in Numbers 34 and Joel 3:2, and He will zap us if we get it wrong. But we have no way of knowing the boundaries of this land which is supposedly off limits to those pesky Palestinians.

But wait! An examination of the context of Joel 3:2 shows that the prophet was talking about events in his own time, in the 8th Century BC, not about geopolitical events in the early 21st Century AD.

In Joel 3:3-4 he condemns the Philistines and inhabitants of Tyre and Sidon for selling Jewish children into slavery. Nothing like that is going on in modern Israel.

Verse 6 complains that Jewish slaves were being sold to the Greeks. Have you heard anything about modern Israeli Jews being sold into slavery in Greece today? This is a reference to events in ancient times. Jamieson, Fausset and Brown, commenting on Joel 3:6-7, say, "Probably the germ of Greek civilization in part came through the Jewish slaves imported into Greece from Phoenicia by traffickers. . . Alexander, and his successors, restored to liberty many Jews in bondage in Greece."

As for the "parting" of the land that Joel complains of, this is a reference to the conquests of Hebrew territory by the surrounding heathens, in the period leading up to the final destruction by the Assyrians in 722 BC. In 2 Kings 10:22-23 we read, "In those days the LORD began to cut Israel short: and Hazael smote them in all the coasts of Israel; From Jordan eastward, all the land of Gilead, the Gadites, and the Reubenites, and the Manassites, from Aroer, which is by the river Arnon, even Gilead and Basilan." Notice that these conquests by pagan invaders are described as being ultimately the Lord's doing, as a judgment upon Israel.

The references to land grabs, slave raids and pillaging of gold and silver, throughout the historical account of 2 Kings, correspond quite well to the account of desperate conditions described in Joel 3:2-8. Nothing like this is going on in modern Israel - synagogues are not being stripped of their gold by roving pagans, nor are Jewish children being sold in the slave markets of modern Athens or Thessalonika.

The message of Joel 3 is that the invaders who were destroying the fabric of society in ancient Israel would ultimately be judged and punished by God.

The televangelists who use Joel 3:2 as a proof-text against any peace treaty or agreement to live-and-let-live among modern Israelis and Palestinians, have ripped that verse out of context and are misusing it. If they want some divine instructions on the division of the land that would be applicable today, they should turn instead to Ezekiel 47:22-23, where we read:

"And it shall come to pass, that ye shall divide it by lot for an inheritance unto you, and to the strangers that sojourn among you, which shall beget children among you: and they shall be unto you as born in the country among the children of Israel; they shall have inheritance with you among the tribes of Israel.

"And it shall come to pass, that in what tribe the stranger sojourneth, there shall ye give him his inheritance, saith the Lord GOD."

While there are differences of interpretation concerning Ezekiel 40-48, as to how literally these prophecies will be fulfilled in the future, there is one thing that all commentators can agree on, that Ezekiel in this passage is describing an ideal state of things for the people of Israel. That ideal does not involve the expulsion or ethnic cleansing of non-Jewish peoples. On the contrary, God has specifically commanded that the land is to be shared between Jews and non-Jews.

This is the message that the televangelists should be preaching, not a bigoted extremist message demanding ethnic purity in Israel, based on a verse from Joel that has been yanked completely out of its historical context.

Those who emphasize the need for total suppression and expulsion of non-Jews in Israel, and the confiscation of their property, may want to explain why this was not a priority in Old Testament times. There were many non-Jews living under the Old Testament theocracy, such as Obed-Edom the Gittite (from Gath, therefore a Philistine), Ruth the Moabitess, Uriah the Hittite, Ornan the Jebusite, etc. Their presence was provided for in the Law of Moses, which forbade oppression of the stranger (Exodus 22:21, 23:9, Deuteronomy 24:17, etc.)

Non-Jews in the Holy Land were not an issue in New Testament times, either. Judea and surrounding territories were heavily populated with Hellenized, pagan Gentiles, but it is not recorded that Christ or the Apostles asked their followers to lobby or agitate for their removal or suppression.

Misuse of Old Testament passages such as Joel 3:2 not only damages the credibility of our entire movement, but in this case it also threatens world peace by generating fanaticism, and by misrepresenting God as having spoken a certain way on one of the most vital political issues of our time, when in reality He has not spoken that way.

Official 1611 KJV Replica

Zondervan has printed this bible. Each Walmart was provided with at least 3 copies. If still in stock, they are priced $4.97.

They may be currently out of stock, but Scripture Truth plans to have them again in 2 Weeks . This is a tremendous help. KJV lovers will want it.

Also, Google for :Providential preservation of the text of the N.T. This is very helpful downloadable chart on the history of the manuscripts.

A very helpful website is King James only debate. Lots of good stuff here.

Ron Young Sr.

If you cannot find one, I have two extra. $5. ea, plus postage. BTW, the original 1611 "inspired" KJV says for Ruth III. 15, "Also he said, bring the vaile thou hast upon thee, and hold it. And when she held it, he measured six of barley, and laid it on her: and he went into the city." (Old English spelling corrected. Notice that those who claim that the original KJV is inspired are left in a fix, for it said, "he" rather than she. Did God make a mistake that needed to be corrected?)

Forwarded to me.

The War Between the States WAS NOT about Slavery

By Al McCray [A black man. No room for his picture here.]

I am responding to an article I recently read by Leonard Pitts Jr., a noted Black Columnist in South Florida. His article was entitled, "The Civil War was about slavery... Nothing more". I found this article to be very misleading and riddled grossly with distortions of the real causes of the War Between the States. I find it's so amusing that such an educated person, Mr. Pitts, would not know the facts.

I am a proud native of South Carolina. I have spent my entire life in what was once, The Confederate States of America. I am currently associated with Southern Heritage causes, including the Sons of Confederate Veterans in Tampa.

It's been one hundred and fifty years since brave patriotic Southerners drove the Imperialist Yankee army from Fort Sumter South Carolina. The Confederate cannon fire to evict the aggressor Army of The Potomac from the Fort was the first official military action to assert and defend States' Rights of all of the States in the Union.

It also marked the beginning of the Confederates fight to expel this foreign Army from all of the Southern homeland. After all these years, there still exists national historical ignorance and lies about this war of Yankee aggression and atrocities. The War Between the States was about State's Rights and not about slavery.

Remember that the original colonies voluntarily joined the Union and never gave up their individual States' sovereignty. These independent States always retained their right to manage their domestic affairs and to leave this voluntary association at any time. This voluntary union was for limited reasons such as: national defense from the foreign powers, one language, interstate commerce, disputes between the sovereign states, and matters of foreign affairs. When the Southern States tried to leave this Union, the Northerners had to put a stop to this. The Slavery issue was masterly inserted into the movement of Yankee aggression.

There is a reason why the name of our territory in North America is called, The United States of America. Did you notice the word "States? and NOT State? The word "States? forever proclaims and recognizes the legitimacy of States' Rights and sovereignty.

We are a union of independent and sovereign States free to determine our own destiny. This sovereignty is meant to be free of Yankee Federal domination and control. This should still be in principle and practice today as it was before the first cannon shots at Fort Sumter.

Slavery of any people is wicked and morally wrong. Domination of one people over another is just as evil and morally wrong. The facts are that throughout history, just about every race of people has been slaves to another people. Slavery has always been a failed institution and a dark mark in history.

One hundred years before the first slave made it to the auction blocks in the state of Virginia, African Kings were running a booming enterprise of selling their own people into slavery. It was also customary that defeated people became slaves. Without the complicity and entrepreneurship of African Kings, I have a serious reservation about how many slaves would have come to the New World. Slavery as an institution worldwide was coming to an end before the War Between the States. Slavery in America would probably have come to an end within 50 years.

The great eternal lie that the war was to "free the slaves" is still being propagandized today by modern slick Yankee spin makers, the schools and even by scholars. But the facts are plain and quite evident if you were to take off your Yankee sun glasses.

The Army of the Potomac invaded the South to capture, control and to plunder the prosperity of Southern economic resources and its industries. This Army also wanted to put a final nail in the coffin of States' Rights. If, and I say with a big IF, that the War Between the States was to free the slaves, please answer these simple questions;

1. Why did not President Lincoln issue a proclamation day 1 of his presidency to free the slaves?

2. Why did the President wait so many years later to issue his proclamation?

3. Why was slavery still legal in the Northern States?

4. Why did President Lincoln say something like, "I will not free a single slave if it kept the Union together?"

5. Before 1864, how many elected members of the Imperialist Yankee Congress introduce legislation to outlaw slavery anywhere in America?

Here are some useful facts that could cause you to learn the truth. The Slaves were freed because, and only in territories in Rebellion against the North, because The Army of the Potomac was not winning the war and Lincoln was fearful of Foreign Nations recognizing the Confederacy as Sovereign States. Other reasons were, the Northern States needed a war to fuel their economy and stop the pending recession, the North needed a rebellion in the South to cause havoc in the Confederate States, and the North wanted the hard foreign currency being generated by Southern trade.

Over six hundred thousand people died because of Yankee aggression and hidden agendas. From a perspective of trying to attain a moral legitimacy and high ground, the lie and cry of freeing the Slaves offered a "cheap rationale" for Northern Aggression and the economic raping of the Southern States.

Even in 2011, the Sovereign States of today are still under the yoke of ever encroaching Yankee and Northern domination, laws and control. Just look around. Try to go one single day without seeing or feeling the straggling influences of The Federal government.

I hope that this year marks not only the celebration of the brave actions of Southerners to evict the Northern Army at Fort Sumter but it should also lead to the truthful revision of history about the war. Future generations should at least know the truth.

I guess you are asking yourself, "how can a black man say that the Civil War was not about slavery?" Well one's skin color is not a handicap or prohibition from knowing and writing the truth.

Al Mccray,, 813-244-0664


Times are hard, and Biblical Christianity is being compromised at an amazing pace. The enemy's work includes sodomite "marriages", destroyed families, the spirit of rebellion and independence in all churches, compromised gospel, among many other evils of our day. My ability against the ever increasing darkness is writing.

One of the answers to our problems is that I can make available the books I have put together. Therefore, all of my "self-published" books are now freely available as pdf files. The larger books will have searchable capabilities.

Find any self-published book you might be interested in at At this point in time, you MUST let me know what book(s) you are interested in, and I will send you the pdf. The pdf for the smaller books are either in booklet format or regular page format. The larger books are regular page format, and have hyperlinked TOC, cross-references and index–you can click on any reference, and you will go to that reference. I realize not many people are familiar with "Christian Identity", but it is not uncommon in the west, and men are still being influenced by that system of thought. It was the last book I had to convert from my old DTP program (Ventura, which did not allow cross-references) to a good DTP program, Adobe Framemaker. Though it is converted, I still need to correct grammar, and many index entries. I will send it as is if you are interested. If you know someone who is leaning toward "Identity", you need this book.

Send an e mail, and I will send a pdf. The smaller books are in a booklet form: that is, fold in the middle, staple and you have a small booklet. The larger books are 8 ½ x 11, and are formatted with a wide inside margin for binding.

See the web site, or contact me.


Dear Ovid

Enclosed is a check towards the costs of the following booklets to distribute as God leads in my travels as an over the road truck driver. Title, "The Other jesus-The Gospel Perverted". Quantity 50.

Please backorder if out of stock, and do not substitute a new title.

Your friend in Christ, Dexter Ulman.

PS. Thank you for the hard copy mailings of "The Biblical Examiner" I've been receiving this year.

Hard copies are available to those interested and have no broadband.

Dear Pastor and Mrs. Need:

Thank you so much for sending us The Biblical Examiner. We always enjoy the thought provoking material.

Please send the 300 page "take home" study of Deuteronomy. ... Please find a check to cover postage...

Sincerely, The Twisdales.

My ‘Reprehensible' Take on Teen Literature

Raise questions about self-mutilation and incest as a young-adult theme and all hell breaks loose.


If the American Library Association were inclined to burn people in effigy, I might well have gone up in smoke these past few days. ALA members, mostly librarians and other book-industry folk, are concluding their annual conference today in New Orleans, and it's a fair bet that some of them are still fuming about an article of mine that appeared in these pages earlier this month.

The essay, titled "Darkness Too Visible," discussed the way in which young-adult literature invites teenagers to wallow in ugliness, barbarity, dysfunction and cruelty. [California is moving to require sodomite text books for all children in government schools.] By focusing on the dark currents in the genre, I was of course no more damning all young-adult literature than a person writing about reality TV is damning all television, but from the frenzied reaction you would have thought I had called for the torching of libraries.

Within hours of the essay's appearance it became a leading topic on Twitter. Indignant defenders of young-adult literature called me "idiotic," "narrow-minded," "brittle," "ignorant," "shrewish," "irresponsible" and "reprehensible." Authors Judy Blume and Libba Bray suggested that I was giving succor to book-banners. Author Lauren Myracle took the charge a stage further, accusing me of "formulating an argument not just against ‘dark' YA [young-adult] books, but against the very act of reading itself." The ALA, in a letter to The Journal, saw "danger" in my argument, saying that it "encourages a culture of fear around YA literature."

The odd thing is that I wasn't tracking some rare, outlier tendency. As book reviewer Janice Harayda observed, commenting on my essay: "Anyone who writes about children's books regularly knows that [Mrs. Gurdon] hasn't made up this trend. . . . Books, like movies, keep getting more lurid."

[gordon] Affordable Illustration Source/

They do indeed. I began my piece by relating the experience of a Maryland woman who went to a bookstore looking for a novel to give her 13-year-old daughter and who left empty-handed, discouraged by the apparently unremitting darkness of books in the young-adult section. To her and many other parents, the young-adult category seems guided by a kind of grotesque fun-house sensibility, in which teenage turbulence is distorted, magnified and reflected back at young readers.

For families, the calculus is less crude than some notion of fictional inputs determining factual outputs; of monkey read, monkey do. It has more to do with a child's happiness and tenderness of heart, with what furnishes the young mind. If there is no frigate like a book, as Emily Dickinson wrote, it's hardly surprising that parents might prefer their teenagers to sail somewhere other than to the lands of rape, substance abuse and mutilation.

But, to some, those are desirable destinations. Many of the angriest responses to my essay came from people who believe that a major purpose of young-adult fiction is therapeutic. "YA Saves!" was the rallying hashtag of thousands of Twitter posters who chose to express their ire in 140 characters or less.

It is true that so-called problem novels may be helpful to children in anguished circumstances. The larger question is whether books about rape, incest, eating disorders and "cutting" (self-mutilation) help to normalize such behaviors for the vast majority of children who are merely living through the routine ordeals of adolescence.

There are real-world reasons for caution. For years, federal researchers could not understand why drug- and tobacco-prevention programs seemed to be associated with greater drug and tobacco use. It turned out that children, while grasping the idea that drugs were bad, also absorbed the meta-message that adults expected teens to take drugs. Well-intentioned messages, in other words, can have the unintended consequence of opening the door to expectations and behaviors that might otherwise remain closed.

If you think, as many do, that novels can't possibly have such an effect, ask yourself: When you press a wonderful, classic children's book into a 13-year-old's hands, are you doing so in the belief that the book will make no difference to her outlook and imagination, that it is merely a passing entertainment? Or do you believe that, somehow, it will affect and influence her? And if that power is true for one book, why not for another?

It so happened that, as the Twitterverse was roiling over "Darkness Too Visible," I received an advanced reader's copy of an "edgy paranormal" teen novel coming out in August. Have a look at the excerpt on the back cover, where publishers try to hook potential buyers: "I used to squirm when I heard people talking about cutting—taking a razor to your own flesh never seemed logical to me. But in reality, it's wonderful. You can cut into yourself all the frustrations people take out on you." Now ask yourself: Is a book the only thing being sold here?

In the outpouring of response to my essay, I've been told that I fail to understand the brutal realities faced by modern teens. Adolescence, I've been instructed, is a prolonged period of racism, homophobia, bullying, eating disorders, abusive sexual episodes, and every other manner of unpleasantness.

Author Sherman Alexie asked, in a piece for titled "Why the Best Kids Books Are Written in Blood": "Does Mrs. Gurdon honestly believe that a sexually explicit YA novel might somehow traumatize a teen mother? Does she believe that a YA novel about murder and rape will somehow shock a teenager whose life has been damaged by murder and rape? Does she believe a dystopian novel will frighten a kid who already lives in hell?"

No, I don't. I also don't believe that the vast majority of American teenagers live in anything like hell. Adolescence can be a turbulent time, but it doesn't last forever and often—leaving aside the saddest cases—it feels more dramatic at the time than it will in retrospect. It is surely worth our taking into account whether we do young people a disservice by seeming to endorse the worst that life has to offer.

Sharon Slaney, who works at a high school in Idaho, touched on this nicely in an online rebuke of her irate librarian colleagues: "You are naive if you think young people can read a dark and violent book that sits on the library shelves and not believe that that behavior must be condoned by the adults in their school life." It is that question—the condoning of the language and content of a strong current in young-adult literature—that creates the parental dilemma at the core of my essay. It should hardly be an outrage to discuss the subject.

Mrs. Gurdon is the Journal's children's books reviewer.



Darkness Too Visible is at


Note: All of our grandchildren, who are all 14 and younger, love to read, but their parents read the books first.

Counterfeit Christian College.

The article contains this statistic based on a poll of 1,000 people in their twenties who used to attend Bible-believing churches but no longer attend. American's Research Group, published in Already Gone (Master Books, 2009)

"Do you believe all the accounts in the Bible are true?" Yes, 38%. No, 44%, Don't know, 18%/

"If you don't believe, when did you first have doubts?" Don't know, 2%. Elementary, 4%. Middle School, 40%. High School, 44%. College, 11%.

"Would you say questioning was the beginning of your doubt in the Bible?" Yes, 56%. No, 31%. Don't know, 13%. (Answers in Geneses, Vol. 6, No 3, p. 124.)

Editor's Observation 1: 88% lost their confidence in God's word in the government school system.

Observation 2: 56% began their departure from the faith by questioning. That is the obvious purpose of government education–that is, cause the young people to question their faith.

It is obvious that Christians are the ones who killed the Christian faith by allowing the state to "educate" their children. We have destroyed ourselves, and deserve the judgment that is now upon us.

Behind N.Y. Gay Marriage

An Unlikely Mix of Forces


Would the donors win over the deciding Senate Republicans? It sounded improbable: top Republican moneymen helping a Democratic rival with one of his biggest legislative goals.

But the donors in the room — the billionaire Paul Singer, whose son is gay, joined by the hedge fund managers Cliff Asness and Daniel Loeb — had the influence and the money to insulate nervous senators from conservative backlash if they supported the marriage measure. And they were inclined to see the issue as one of personal freedom, consistent with their more libertarian views.

Within days, the wealthy Republicans sent back word: They were on board. Each of them cut six-figure checks to the lobbying campaign that eventually totaled more than $1 million. ...

The story of how same-sex marriage became legal in New York is about shifting public sentiment and individual lawmakers moved by emotional appeals from gay couples who wish to be wed. ...

Lincoln vs Obama

Brag Bowling: President Lincoln suspended the Writ of Habeas Corpus along the military lines between Philadelphia and Annapolis in April; was it used primarily as a political tool to harass and intimidate residents?

By Linda Wheeler, 5/31/11

General Sherman was famously quoted that , "War is Hell". Suppression of internal dissent can prove hellish also. Maryland would prove to be the laboratory for many of President Abraham Lincoln's more draconian policies. Lincoln early on recognized Maryland's strategic and political importance and that Maryland could upset everything if she seceded. Washington D.C. would quickly fall upon secession and the loss of the nation's capitol could jeopardize the entire war. A huge defeat as the war was beginning. Maryland needed to be pacified at any cost.

Lincoln knew he had little public support in Maryland. The 1860 election in Maryland provided zero electoral votes. Lincoln had to surreptitiously travel through Maryland to even reach Washington for his Inauguration. While there were pockets of pro-Union sentiment, Maryland was a Southern state and Baltimore was the epicenter of Confederate passion there.

Actual violence occurred on April 19 when hordes of Confederate sympathizers clashed with Massachusetts troops at the Pratt Street Station. Lincoln acted quickly by instituting a system of arbitrary arrests and suspension of the writ of habeas corpus. Nearly any form of political dissent would be treated as treasonous. A system of military tribunals without normal constitutional protections was instituted. Warrantless arrests and indefinite prison terms were now the norm. This was done despite the fact that the Constitution is quite specific in that Article 1, Section 9 provides that only Congress can suspend the writ of habeas corpus.

Lincoln's unconstitutional actions resulted in the famed federal case of Ex Parte Merryman whereby Chief Justice Roger B. Taney rebuked Lincoln and called his actions illegal. Arrogantly, Lincoln ignored the decision and even had an arrest warrant issued for the Chief Justice. These actions served to quiet the judiciary who feared for their own liberty and that Lincoln would cause a total collapse of our constitutional system.

By suspending habeas corpus, Lincoln opened the floodgates of despotism, allowing soldiers and policemen to roam the streets and arrest anyone they didn't like. This later included members of the Maryland General Assembly. On September 12 - 13, 51 arrests occurred when the Assembly was preparing to debate potential secession and the legislators were sent to Ft. McHenry. Lincoln had successfully destroyed the democratic process in Maryland. Among those joining the lawmakers at Ft. McHenry was the mayor of Baltimore, the police chief and marshall of Baltimore, and, on the anniversary of the writing of the Star Spangled Banner, Frank Key Howard, grandson of Francis Scott Key.

As the war continued, Lincoln added to a growing despotic bag of tricks. Nationally, press freedom was abridged by closing nearly 300 newspapers and imprisoning dissident editors. It is estimated that nearly 20,000 people were imprisoned without habeas corpus protection. Elections were often rigged (including Maryland). Abuse of Southerners became commonplace. Destruction of private property and wholesale burnings of cities brought war to a whole new ghastly meaning, all with the goal of creating an atmosphere of fear and intimidation among the civilian population.

Lincoln also punished his political opposition. His chief opponent in the North, Clement Val Landigham was arbitrarily arrested and deported to the south. Van Landingham's offense was strictly as an anti-war critic and leader of the Democratic Party opposition. During Vietnam, one wonders how many sleepless nights President Lyndon Johnson lay pondering how he could control and punish his numerous anti-war critics in public, the media and in Congress. Harsh critics such as Sen. Robert Kennedy, journalist Walter Cronkite and Sen. J. William Fulbright did no more than Vallandigham. The difference was that Johnson refused to take the harsh measures Lincoln thrived on.

Sound familiar? Picture Obama, particularly as the election draws nearer.

Book Review

John Witherspoon And The Founding Of The American Republic

by Jeffry H. Morrison, University of Notre Dame Press, c. 2005, 220 pages in hardback. Reviewed by Byron Snapp.

He signed the Declaration of Independence and the Articles of Confederation. He ratified the Constitution. He was president of Princeton (at that time the College of New Jersey at Princeton) for twenty-six years. His Lectures on Moral Philosophy were influential on many students who later became famous patriots and politicians in our fledgling nation. He was an ardent Calvinist and clergyman who penned the introduction to the Presbyterian Constitution of l787. He was a mentor to James Madison, although they had some differences in political thought. It is somewhat surprising that John Witherspoon's name has been all but forgotten today.

Morrison's book provides a good antidote to our culture's amnesia on this subject. This volume about John Witherspoon is not a biography. Rather, it centers on his influence on political thought prior to the War for Independence and afterwards in the formation of the American republic.

Morrison approaches his subject topically. He examines Witherspoon's belief in the importance of applying Christianity in the public realm. This pastor strongly held to man's depravity, God's providence, and the right of clergymen to hold political office. Simultaneously, he believed that civil government had a duty to protect religious minorities because God alone is lord of one's conscience.

A chapter is devoted to the Princeton president's influence as an educator both on campus and in the colonies. Witherspoon was devoted to Scottish realism. He focused on "Common Sense" philosophy and experience as aids in making decisions.

This transplanted Scotsman's roots grew deep and were at home in American soil. He soon became involved in the colonial struggle for freedom from England. Influenced by John Calvin and, also, John Locke, he was quick to oppose the imposition of Anglican bishops on the colonies and other actions that he saw as political tyranny. He was an able orator. Perhaps, his most famous sermon of this era was, "The Dominion of Providence Over the Passions of Men." This message was a mixture of Christianity and Lockean political thought. It was circulated widely and motivated many to fight for colonial independence. Witherspoon adequately welded these two strands of thought and moved back and forth between them throughout the oration.

Following the War's conclusion, Witherspoon saw the need for a stronger central government, particularly for the purpose of national defense. He was forward-thinking in desiring a country that would be capable of governing a growing nation as it developed westward. Morrison details the influence of Presbyterian ecclesiastical structure on the Constitution's authors as they developed a system for civil government in the new nation.

Witherspoon was not involved in the writing of the United States Constitution. At that time, he was asked to help formulate the constitution for the American Presbyterian Church. No doubt he saw the importance of a correct ecclesiastical structure being built on a practical constitution. Although the Presbyterian denomination was one of several existent colonial denominations, it was very influential in public life. Witherspoon promoted the necessity of religious training and its resultant morality for the support of a strong republic.

Morrison provides today's readers with a valuable work on a colonial educator and political thinker. Witherspoon lived out his Calvinism. Whether or not one agreed with him, he sought to apply biblical principles to education, law, politics, and economics. This is a reminder for today–Christianity is applicable to all areas of life, even public life. It is a rebuke to moderns who are making ongoing efforts to remove Christian thought from every sphere.

We clearly see the openness toward Christian thought that existed in the colonies. We, also, see the impact of Scotch enlightenment thought that was intertwined with it. This volume gives opportunity for us to reflect on what is being lost today in a society that restricts Christianity to one's private thoughts. The author concludes, and I believe rightly so, with a chapter on Witherspoon's influential intellectual role in the development of the young country.


The Lord and Moses

Exodus 24:12-18

After speaking the commandments in the ears of all Israel who were gathered at the foot of the mount, Moses writes them down all the words of the Lord. Then Moses offers unto the Lord, sprinkles the blood of the covenant upon the people, and then he and the elders go up to meet the Lord on the mountain.

The Lord had already spoken the Ten Commandments to the people in chapter 20, and now Moses is called up into the mountain to receive the copy inscribed on stone by the hand of God Himself.

Now that God had set apart His reconciled people unto Himself, it was necessary to have some definite place where He wold meet with, and dwell among them, as also to appoint the means by which they should approach Him, and the manner in which He would manifest Himself to them. To reveal all this, as well as to give those "tables of stone," on which the commandments were graven, God now called Moses once more "up into the mount." Edersheim

After the meal, evidently all parties return to the camp. Then the Lord speaks further to Moses out of His visible glory upon the mountain and tells him to come up to Himself on the mountain top, and the Lord will give to him the commandments which He had written upon the tables of stone. When Moses departs, he leaves Aaron and Hur in charge to take care of problems that might arise while he is meeting wit the Lord. Moses takes his minister, Joshua, with him, and ascends back up the mount to meet with the Lord.

The glory of the Lord covered the mount with a cloud, and, evidently, Moses and Joshua had to wait another six days before ascending on into the presence of the Lord. Moses remained before the Lord in the mount for 40 days, counting the initial 6 days.


First, notice where the word of God was. The Lord already had the law written on the tables of stone. He calls Moses up to get the tables. Thus, the law of God was established in the heavens long before man was even created. Heaven and earth will pass away before the word of God passes away. Matthew 24:35. The only way that man can receive or understand it is if God gives it to him.

Second, notice the tables of stone, signify the hardness of men's hearts. 2 Corinthians 3:1-5. God giving these tables to Moses show us that the only way man can receive and understand God's word is if the Lord gives to him that understanding. The promise in 2 Corinthians is that understanding will be given through Christ.

V. 12, the tables of stone signify "the hardness of our hearts, unless God writes his laws in it by his Spirit, Jer 31:33, Eze 11:19, 2Co 3:3, He 8:10,10:16." Geneva

Third, notice Moses' mountain top experience. It was like no man ever had, but notice the purpose of that experience. It was not for his own edification. Rather, it was to equip him in God's service. There he received the law and further revelation from God for instructing the people of God.

It is a poor rapture that does not come down upon legislation with a new force, a firmer grip, and a deeper conception of its moral solemnity. Know whether you have been with God upon the mount by knowing how much law you have brought back with you; and when you would read the law, read it after you have been long days and nights with the Lawgiver. (Joseph Parker. He goes on to point out that the law has not been rightly read if it results in harsh, stern words. The law, rightly read, will create grief over its violation. "In the name of righteousness, holiness, tenderness, beauty, harmony, music, truth, do not on the one hand, and do on the other.")

Thus, "Mountain Top" experiences from God have purpose: they are to better equip us for His service. Experiences which do not give a firmer grip on and understanding of God's law-word, more love for His law-word, more of a desire to obey, serve and please Him according to His word, and make us more effective in God's service, are not from the Lord.

Fourth, notice the nature of the service for which the experience equipped Moses. He was to take the tables back and teach to the people what the Lord had written. Though God's law is written down, teachers are needed to instruct the people of God in the law. Romans 10:14-21.

Fifth, notice Moses' minister. Joshua, Moses' minister. This is our second encounter with this young man. Exodus 33:11. He is one of my "more favorite" Bible characters. We first meet in the battle against Amalek, leading God's army into battle. In Numbers 14, we find him as a faithful spy into the land of Canaan. Here Joshua is mentioned in passing as the minister of Moses. We hear of him a few more times until finally he is placed in charge of the whole nation, as he is the one who brings it into Canaan.

Observe: very few people can be a "Moses," but everyone can be a "Joshua." Joshua was a person who simply served the Lord the best he could. He was not afraid of humility, hard work and discipline under another's authority. Here he is a faithful servant of Moses. As we follow Joshua, we see that as he faithfully does his best with the responsibilities given him, the Lord gives him more responsibility until finally he is given the whole nation. "Joshua" is within reach of everyone who wants to serve the Lord.

(I am reminded of the little children's song, "Dare to be a Daniel." I think a more needed song is, "Dare to be a Joshua." Christianity desperately needs people who will humbly and faithfully do what needs to be done where they are, and not where they wish they were. How many people have I met who felt they could do great things for God, if only they were somewhere else.)

Sixth, note the marvelous sight of the glory of the Lord is described in v. 17. Apparently, this lasted the full 40 days. In chapter 32, the people decide that Moses' delay in returning means that he is not coming back, so they prevail upon Aaron to build the golden calf.

Man's natural hardness without the spirit of God is unbelievable: the mount is burning like a devouring fire in the eyes of the children of Israel, but they build a calf anyway. They build the calf in the light of the fire of God's glory. They use the glory of the Lord to pursue their own evil desires. Pastors are especially prone to this malady—they see God's blessings upon them and their ministry, so they set about to build great ministries for their own glory.

Sin knows no limits nor restrictions. Without the work of Christ in the heart, man is capable of anything any place. Many times, we stand amazed at the hardness and blindness of many around us. Here we see that fallen man is unbelievably hard and blind. Even though Israel had the name of the Lord upon them, they still used the glory of God to pursue their own evil desires.

The Lord is compared to a fire several times: 1) To the believer, he is compared to a fire that burns away the dross. 2) To those who are in sin, he is compared to a devouring fire against evil, Hebrews 10:26, 12:28. 3) He is also a fire against his enemies—the enemies of HIS church.

Seventh, notice that Moses did not depart without leaving someone in charge, v. 14. Some did have matters to do, and came to Aaron and Hur in chapter 32. They came to Aaron and Aaron helped them build a calf.


A) Aaron: Obviously, Moses was the stronger of the two, and Aaron was very easily influenced by others. Moses stood alone (Joshua was always by his side) against millions of rebellious people; Aaron was swayed by anyone who was stronger than himself. In fact, his sister swayed him against Moses.

B) The golden calf: We will see more when we get there, but here we should mention this strange situation. Even though Aaron took part, maybe as the leader, in building of the golden calf, he died, along with Moses, for striking the rock, Numbers 20:12.

Here we are shown that the Lord knows us better than we know ourselves. We are held accountable according to the talents which He has given us. He gave Moses a character that could not be swayed, so Moses is held more strictly accountable, and he is given more responsibility. Miriam also had a very strong personality, so only she came down with leprosy even though Aaron joined in her rebellion against Moses. Moses seems to have understood Aaron's weakness. Aaron had a character which was easily swayed. Therefore, the Lord and Moses seem to be more tolerant of him. Regardless, they both died for the same offence: striking the rock.

We also see here that part of our responsibility is being responsible to find others to fulfill those responsibilities God has assigned to us if we are unable to do it, or if we have to leave for some reason.

Eighth, notice that the devouring fire on the top of the mount was obviously for the people's sake. The first time Moses met the Lord up on this mount, it was in the burning bush and a still small voice. The still small voice was enough to cause Moses to follow the Lord faithfully for the next 40 years, but the devouring fire was not enough to get the people to follow the Lord for 40 days (they built the calf).

What was the difference between Moses and the people? Paul quotes Exodus 33:19 in Romans 9:15.

Observe Exodus 33:19

A) In Exodus 32, while Moses was on the mount, the people persuaded Aaron to build the golden calf. The Lord tells Moses to get down and straighten out the mess which the people made.

B) Exodus 33, the Lord promises again to take this rebellious people into Canaan, but Moses seems to have lost confidence that the Lord can indeed do it with these people, v. 12.

C) Moses asks the Lord for assurance that the Lord will indeed fulfill the promise of taking the people into the promised land.

D) In response, the Lord promises to reveal His glory to Moses, and He does, v. 22.

E) The key is in v. 19, And he said, I will make all my goodness pass before thee, and I will proclaim the name of the LORD before thee; and will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and will shew mercy on whom I will shew mercy. Romans 9:15, For he saith to Moses, I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion.

We find some other passages concerning this "problem" in Hebrews where we are told that the people could not enter in because of lack of faith, Hebrews 3:19. The reason they lacked faith is because the Lord did not give it to them, Hebrews 4. Furthermore, all of these things happened to them for our example, 1 Corinthians 10:11, Now all these things happened unto them for ensamples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come.

We will not pursue the thought of God's sovereignty at this time, so let it suffice to say this: According to God's eternal purpose and plan, it pleased Him to give Moses a receptive heart so all it took to call him to continual faithful service was a gentle voice at the bush. On the other hand, it pleased God not to give the people an heart to perceive, and eyes to see, and ears to hear at this time, Deuteronomy 29:4.

Even though it served God's purpose to not open their eyes at this time, the people were still responsible for their hardness in sin, and they died for it. As Paul says in Romans 9: if the Lord chooses to leave one in their hardness in sin and holds them responsible for their sin, who can question Him? Who can say to the Lord, "What doest Thou" because He does not chose to call someone out of their hardness and the results of their hardness?

Obviously, no one can question God. All we can do is praise the Lord that He saw fit to draw us out of our hardness in sin.

Ninth, notice v. 14, until we, that is, Moses and Joshua. Moses did not come down until chapter 32, and in 32:17, Joshua is mentioned as being with Moses again. Evidently, Joshua ascended up with Moses a certain distance, and then waited for Moses to come down.

V. 18 implies that without complain nor encouragement, Joshua waited alone for Moses those 40 days.

There is an extremely good point in this: Joshua stayed there with no encouragement from anyone. He was faithful to the command of another, Moses. Furthermore, even being alone he remained faithful to Moses' command for 40 days.

Could we? Can we wait upon the Lord 40 days without someone continually urging us on? Most of us cannot. It is said that it takes 40 times (once a day for 40 days) for something to become a habit. Can we stick it out the forty days?

Isaiah 40:31 But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.

Joshua's faithfulness to his responsibility is one of the best examples in Scripture of what a Christian should be.

Tenth, forty days and forty nights. We need to consider this number forty for a moment before we leave this chapter. Bullinger (1894) says here:

FORTY has long been universally recognized as an important number, both on account of the frequency of its occurrence, and the uniformity of its association with a period of probation, trial, and chastisement-(not judgment, like the number 9, which stands in connection with the punishment of enemies, but the chastisement of sons, and of a covenant people). It is the product of 5 and 8, and points to the action of grace (5), leading to and ending in revival and renewal (8). This is certainly the case where forty relates to a period of evident probation. But where it relates to enlarged dominion, or to renewed or extended rule, then it does so in virtue of its factors 4 and 10, and in harmony with their signification.

There are 15 such periods which appear on the surface of the Scriptures, and which may be classified:- (Numbers in Scripture, pg. 266, 7.)

Keil concludes his thoughts on Ex 24 with:

In all these cases [where 40 is used] the number refers to a period of temptation, of the trial of faith, as well as to a period of the strengthening of faith through the miraculous support bestowed by God.

Observe: We think of this 40 days as being for Moses' benefit, and it may well have been, but there is much more to it than Moses. Every place the number 40 is used, it refers to a period of temptation, a period of the trial of faith. It refers to a period of the strengthening of faith through the miraculous supporting grace of God, e.g., it rained forty days and forty nights, Genesis 7; 40 days after the ark rested upon the mountain, Noah sent forth the raven, Genesis 8; Israel wandered forty years in the wilderness; Christ spent 40 days in the wilderness to be tempted of the devil:

A) 40 days and nights: would Joshua be found faithful to his God and to his human master, or would he turn around and go back to the camp. Moses did not know how long he would be gone, so he could not tell Joshua.

Note that the Lord had to supernaturally sustain both Moses and Joshua during this 40 day period.

B) Would Aaron and Hur be faithful to their calling of v. 14? Their responsibility was to keep the people faithful to the command word of the Lord.

C) Would the people be faithful? They had promised undying faithfulness to the law of the covenant twice before the blood of the covenant was applied, and promised once after the blood was shed. Now comes 40 days and nights of testing to see if they will be faithful. We know the outcome; they were found unfaithful, and all that generation perished for their unfaithfulness. (With the exception of two: Caleb and Joshua. I believe we can safely assume that Caleb did not partake of the worship before Aaron's calf.)

The 40 days testing found Joshua faithful (and Moses who was before the Lord). Thus, the 40 days testing showed again the necessity of the new covenant.

The old covenant which wrote the law on the table of stone could not hold their evil hearts in check, although the people were held responsible for their sinful actions. The law-word of God caused a temporary fear and trembling, but it did not change the heart of people. As we mentioned in the study of the covenant, there were exceptions to this rule: there were a limited number of hearts changed (Joshua and Caleb for an example).

Because the Lord Jesus was found faithful during His forty day and night testing, we who are in Him by faith are now more than conquers through Him that loved us and gave Himself for us.

One last reminder: In Exodus 24:3 & 7, the people, in their high emotional state, promised to do all the words of the Lord. The words were no sooner spoken than the Lord put them through a forty day test.

When we say we have faith, we can depend on the Lord to prove us to see if we really do have faith:

James 2:14 What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? can faith save him? 17 Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone. 18 Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works. 20 But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead? 22 Seest thou how faith wrought with his works, and by works was faith made perfect? 24 Ye see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only. 26 For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.

More often than not, the testing shows us that we need a special work of the Spirit of God. It is the trial of our faith, which is much more precious than gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, that shows us our need of the work of Christ in our hearts.

I must say that the major area of trial is faithfulness to our God given responsibilities, no matter how small nor insignificant they may seem to man. The words of Exodus 24:3 and 7 were no sooner spoken than the Lord put them through the 40 day testing. We are assured here that as soon as the commitment is made by any one, the Lord will try their commitment and faith. This is the only way to show the individual the truth about himself, about the Lord and about the situation. Trials of our faith must come if Christ is to be formed in the people of God:

1 Peter 1:7 That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ:

Do the Math

Our 2002 Toyota Camry, 5 speed (177,000 miles on the clock), gets 35 mpg with real gas, which is available at Southern States about an hour from us in Harrisonburg VA. It only gets 30 mpg with ethanol gas. In both cases, I drive the speed limit or a little less. Thus, ethanol costs us about 5 mpg. Ethanol supposedly makes up 10% of the ethanol gas. What percentage more "oil" does ethanol gas require than does real gas?

Now figure. Since ethanol requires about 15% more gas than real gas, and makes up 10% of the fuel we use, does not ethanol require at least 5% more imported oil than does non-ethanol gas? Obviously, the issue is not "foreign oil dependance"; rather the issue is government subsidies for the ethanol industry. It seems to costs "us" 5% more crude with ethanol than without. The refiners get 45 cents per gallon for blending ethanol in their gas, and no doubt a good portion of that goes back to congress to buy the votes to keep the ethanol mandate in place. Congress voted to re-authorize the ethanol subsidies last year, using the foreign oil excuse. Stupidity reigns. How did our congresswoman vote on the subsidy? 2012 elections are coming up. We must get rid of those who sell their votes at our expense.


A rabbi and a priest get into a car accident and it's a bad one. Both cars are totally demolished but amazingly neither of the clergy is hurt. After they crawl out of their cars, the rabbi sees the priest's collar and says, "So you're a priest! I'm a rabbi. Just look at our cars! There's nothing left but we are unhurt. This must be a sign from God. God must have meant that we should meet and be friends and live together in peace the rest of our days."

The priest replies, "I agree with you completely. This must be a sign from God."

The rabbi continues, "And look at this! Here's another miracle! My car is completely demolished except this bottle of wine didn't break. Surely God wants us to drink this wine and celebrate our good fortune."

He hands the bottle to the priest. The priest agrees, takes a few big swigs, and hands the bottle back to the rabbi. The rabbi takes the bottle, immediately puts the cap on and hands the bottle back to the priest.

The priest asks, "Aren't you having any?"

The rabbi replies, "No...I think I'll just wait for the police."

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