An Examination of Biblical Precepts Involved in Issues at Hand
Most of us quickly read over the Old Testament sacrificial laws with no thought of their significance for Christians, reading them simply because it is our ?duty? as God?s people to read all of His Word. And, besides, we want to be able to tell everyone we read the Bible through once a year. But these passages contain great amounts of hid treasures of the Lord?s wisdom for those willing to slow down and seek, for out of these passages cometh knowledge, wisdom and understanding of the Lord, Pro 2:1-12. How can Christians expect to keep God?s paths of judgment, understanding righteousness, and equity; yea, every good path when they quickly skip over passages they find uninteresting?
If God?s Old Testament ordinances pertaining to the remission of sin are not understood, then how can we understand the work of Christ for His people in the New Testament? How can we understand the relationship of Christ and His followers to the Mosaic law? What do we think Paul was talking about in Ephesians 4:14 [That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive...]? Obviously, the teachers of v. 11, and some teachers, were teachers of the Old Testament Scripture, for there was no New Testament when Paul wrote to the church at Ephesus. Paul warns of the danger of people not being stablished in the faith of Christ as He was revealed in the Old Testament:
Colossians 2:6-8 And this I say, lest any man should beguile you with enticing words. For though I be absent in the flesh, yet am I with you in the spirit, joying and beholding your order, and the stedfastness of your faith in Christ. As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in him: Rooted and built up in him, and stablished in the faith, as ye have been taught, abounding therein with thanksgiving. Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.
The faith in Christ that firmly established these people was faith in Christ as He was proclaimed from the Old Testament. The above passage in Colossians clearly tells us that those not rooted and built up in Christ?as revealed in the Old Testament?are in grave danger of being spoiled through philosophy, vain deceit and slick words. In fact, Paul warns the Roman Christians to mark those who try to separate the Old Testament Christ from a New Testament Christ, for the Christ Whom Paul preaches is found in the Old Testament, Rom 16:17, 18. See also, 2 Cor 11:3, 4; Gal 1:6, 7; 3:1, &c.
Those who despise the Old Testament Word of God must deny that Paul referred primarily to the Old Testament Word of God in 2 Tim 2:15-19. Paul tells Timothy that if he is not thoroughly equipped from the Old Testament Scripture, he is in danger of being caught up in profane and vain babblings, which will increase unto more ungodliness. Paul?s warning to Timothy is quite extensive, dominating both letters to Timothy. Actually, he identifies those who come in the last days preaching a soothing gospel of Christ without the Old Testament with Jannes and Jambres who withstood Moses, 3:8. These false teachers have corrupted the gospel of Christ as revealed through Moses. See also, Heb 13:9; 2 Pet 2; 1 Jo 2.
The book of Romans is made up almost exclusively of quotes from the Old Testament
The Ephesian Christians were equipped by the Old Testament Scripture to stand firm against the worship of Diana, Acts 19:24ff. Is it any wonder that ?Christians? are following after the pagan gods around them when they have been removed from the primary source of strengthening doctrine, the Old Testament?
One final word of "introduction": The Apostle John warned God's people to try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world, 1 John 4:1. The standard for trying the spirits was then, as now, according to the Old Testament revelation of Christ.
False doctrines, including extremely corrupt understandings of the gospel of Christ and of the Mosaic law, abound. If one will examine the followers of corrupt doctrines, he will find that many sincere folks follow corrupt doctrines because they do not know nor understand the Word of God, i.e., the truth the New Testament authors built upon, the Old Testament law of Moses, prophets and the psalms, Luke 24:44-48. We will examine both laws, for they go hand in hand: the law of atonement and which of the Mosaic laws are fulfilled in Christ.
The Old Testament Doctrine of Christ
One of the clearest Old Testament presentations of the doctrine of Christ and the law preached by men such as Paul is found in Lev 16. The offerings presented therein had to be made regularly for both the high priest and for the people. The New Testament gospel of the substitutionary death of Christ cannot be understood apart from those Old Testament sacrifices. Undeniably, when people are cut off from the Old Testament laws of atonement, they are easily led astray by false gospels such as, "Ask Jesus into your heart," "Turn your life over to God," "Yes, you must have faith in Christ, but you must also do...," &c.
There have been many messages about the scapegoat, which we will not develop. What we do want to examine, however, is the offering for atonement. Evidently, the high priest made two trips into the holy place: one for his sins and one for the sins of the people. He was alone in the tabernacle of the congregation until the atoning offering was made. The New Testament has a great amount to say about the Lev 16 law placed upon Aaron and his sons after him,
Heb 2:17 Wherefore in all things it behoved him to be made like unto [his] brethren, that he might be a merciful and faithful high priest in things [pertaining] to God, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people. Heb 5:3 And by reason hereof he ought, as for the people, so also for himself, to offer for sins. Heb 6:19 Which [hope] we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and stedfast, and which entereth into that within the veil; Heb 9:3 And after the second veil, the tabernacle which is called the Holiest of all; Heb 9:7 But into the second [went] the high priest alone once every year, not without blood, which he offered for himself, and [for] the errors of the people: Heb 9:12 Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption [for us]. Heb 9:25 Nor yet that he should offer himself often, as the high priest entereth into the holy place every year with blood of others; Heb 9:26 For then must he often have suffered since the foundation of the world: but now once in the end of the world hath he appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself.
The Lev 16:15-19, requirement upon the high priest to present the blood of the sacrifice upon the altar and upon and before the mercy seat is one of the clearest pictures of the work of Christ in Scripture; therefore, it is given in great detail. Moreover, it is one of the laws clearly fulfilled by Christ, and is no longer to be followed because of Him. In fact, following the Lev 16 law emphatically denies the Lord.
Christ did away with the law
There are those who look forward to another ?dispensation? when this [Lev 16] and other sacrifices will be renewed in Israel. There are those who deny the validity of the moral law of God, i.e. the Ten Commandments, yet look forward with great anticipation to a supposed renewal of the ordinances that spoke of the coming work of Christ, which ordinances were done away with by Christ, Col 2:13, 14. We certainly find it amazingly strange that there are professed Bible Scholars, claiming to know Scripture, who say that Christ fulfilled?did away with?God?s moral and civil code, yet deny that Christ forever did away with the ordinances of the law?the sacrifices and offerings pointing to His finished work. The Great Deceiver worked his decit, leading some to hope for reimposed and renewed carnal ordinances.
Eph 2:15 Having abolished in his flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances; for to make in himself of twain one new man, so making peace;
Ordinances are defined as those things contained in the Old Testament law that brought the sinner into fellowship with the Father, so making peace between the sinner and God; those things being the sacrifices and offerings that provided Old Testament ?atonement? for the sinner, v. 14: For he, Jesus, is our peace. V. 16 clearly states that the law of the commandments done away with by the work of Christ was the Old Testament law which reconciled man to God, the law contained in ordinances. The moral law never reconciled man to God, nor was it meant to.
V. 15, enmity, refers to the ceremonial law which created enmity between:
1) Christ and the law... It spoke of and pointed to Christ, and was, therefore, a friend of Christ. But after Christ came and did the work assigned to Him by the Father, that same law became His enemy. The law of commandments contained in ordinances clearly showed God's hatred of Sin, and required a blood sacrifice. [Gill] But after Christ, man sees God's hatred of sin by what sin required of the Son in His blood sacrifice.
2) the natural man and God... It caused a great burden and weariness to the flesh by its many and troublesome rites. [Gill] Christ did away with those rites.
3) Jew and Gentile... It separated men into two distinct classes of people. All are now one in Christ.
4) liberty and bondage... It was weak, deficient, unprofitable and beggarly, Gal 4:9. Christ provides liberty, but, obviously, that liberty is within the bounds of what is pleasing to the Spirit in word, thought and deed.
5) God and man... It required a human priest to approach God, Lev 16. Christ became that High Priest, the only Mediator between God and man, 1 Ti 2:5.
Christ reconciled Jews and Gentiles; Christ reconciled God and man, and so making peace through His blood, Col 1:20, Heb 13:20, &c. Eph 2:16, Christ reconciled divided mankind into one body, His body, the Church, Eph 4:4, Col 3:15, Rom 12:4, &c.
However, the enemies of God and Christ contend that the enmity was between Christ and the law of the commandments, i.e., the Ten Commandments, so the Ten Words were subsequently abolished?antinomians insist?in Eph 2:15 by Christ?s work. But the antinomian heresy is not new.
Tertullian [A.D. 145-220] confronted it almost two thousand years ago. Writing on Eph. 2:15, he said:
... For the Creator"s righteousness no less than His peace was announced in Christ, as we have often shown already. Therefore he says: "He is our peace, who hath made both one" (2)--that is, the Jewish nation and the Gentile world. What is near, and what was far off now that "the middle wall has been broken down" of their "enmity,? (are made one) "in His flesh." (3) But Marcion erased the pronoun His, that he might make the enmity refer to flesh, as if (the apostle spoke) of a carnal enmity, instead of the enmity which was a rival to Christ. (4) And thus you have (as I have said elsewhere) exhibited the stupidity of Pontus, rather than the adroitness of a Marrucinian, (5) for you here deny him flesh to whom in the verse above you allowed blood! Since, however, He has made the law obsolete (6) by His own precepts, even by Himself fulfilling the law (for superfluous is, "Thou shalt not commit adultery," when He says, "Thou shalt not look on a woman to lust after her;" superfluous also is, "Thou shalt do no murder," when He says, "Thou shalt not speak evil of thy neighbour,") it is impossible to make an adversary of the law out of one who so completely promotes it. (7) "For to create (8) in Himself of twain," for He who had made is also the same who creates (just as we have found it stated above: "For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus"), (9) "one new man, making peace? (really new, and really man--no phantom--but new, and newly born of a virgin by the Spirit of God), "that He might reconcile both unto God" (10) (even the God whom both races had offended--both Jew and Gentile), "in one body," says he, "having in it slain the enmity by the cross." (11) Thus we find from this passage also, that there was in Christ a fleshly body, such as was able to endure the cross. "When, therefore, He came and preached peace to them that were near and to them which were afar off," we both obtained "access to the Father," being "now no more strangers and foreigners, but fellow-citizens with the saints, and of the household of God? (even of Him from whom, as we have shown above, we were aliens, and placed far off), "built upon the foundation of the apostles" (12)--(the apostle added), "and the prophets;" these words, however, the heretic erased, forgetting that the Lord had set in His Church not only apostles, but prophets also... [Fathers, III.467. CDROM.]
The whole of Eph 2 explains how the work of Christ fulfilled all the things of the law that provided for atonement, cf. Lev 16:15ff, He 9:7ff., &c.
Christ and the law
Observe Hebrews chapters 9 & 10:
1) 9:1, the major theme of these two chapters is the first covenant as revealed in ordinances?ceremonies, marg.?of divine service. That is to say, the rites, rituals, ceremonies, offerings and sacrifices as pertaining to the worldly sanctuary that was built according to God?s commands by Moses in the wilderness.
2) 9:2ff., all the things which took place in that worldly tabernacle, the meats and drinks, and divers washings, and carnal ordinances?rites, or, ceremonies, marg.?were no more than a figure for that which was to come, Christ, vv. 9-11
3) 9:10, God's plan was to only impose the ceremonies commanded through Moses upon man until the time of reformation, Christ. Reformation: 1) in a physical sense, a making straight, restoring to its natural and normal condition something which in some way protrudes or has got out of line, as broken or misshapen limbs; 2) of acts and institutions, reformation. [Used only this one time in the New Testament.]
They... the Mosaic rites, ceremonies, &c.?were a very imperfect way of restoring the fellowship with Jehovah God that Adam lost through his disobedience. Furthermore, Christ restored all creation, including mankind, to the way it was meant to be, i.e., willing, joyful, obedient servants of Jehovah God. The actual complete reformation has not yet been accomplished, but it will, 1 Cor 15:27, 27 [For he hath put all things under his feet...].
4) 9:14, the sacrifice of Christ did what the imperfect blood sacrifices required by the law could not do: purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God.
5) 9:25, 26, whereas the Old Testament high priest was commnded by God to enter many times into the worldly sanctuary?once a year actually, and make the sacrifice often, Christ only made one sacrifice, and entered one time into the heavenly holy place.
6) 9:26, in the end of the world: the end of the Hebrew world as represented by ordinances?the shedding of the blood of bulls and goats for the remission of sin. Christ came once at the end of the Hebrew world, and He will come again at the end of time, v. 28.
7) 10:1, The law refers to the ordinances, requiring the shedding of the blood of sacrifices as commanded through Moses in the worldly sanctuary. This law's only connection to the moral law commanded through Moses is that the moral law revealed the helpless, sinful nature of man and his need for a blood sacrifice to atone for his sins. 10:10, The moral law never did nor does it now sanctify the lost sinner before God: Only the blood sacrifice could/can do that, and Christ's blood sacrifice dealt with the problem once and for all.
8) 10:2ff., because the Old Testament sinner could only find atonement for -- not removal of -- his sins, he could not find a clear conscience. Only the work of Christ in our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, 10:22.
9) 10:12, 13, Christ?s enemies will be conquered from heaven. 10:16, tells us that the means of conquering those who are at war against the God of Heaven is by the sword?that is, the Spirit of God using the Word of God to write His laws into their hearts, and in their minds. The work of Christ, applied by faith by the Holy Spirit, causes their past sins and iniquities to be removed forever.
Thus Christ fulfilled what the prophets foretold: He fulfilled all the carnal ordinances that spoke of His work to come, doing away with them forever. Christ fulfilled?kept?all the moral law as given in the Commandments, thus enabling His people by His grace to keep the moral law, 1 John.
Yes, He did away with the law, i.e., the law concerning the meats and drinks, and divers washings, and carnal ordinances imposed upon God?s people through Moses. (Heb. 9:10.) But those things were only imposed until the time of Christ and His reformation. Any effort whatsoever to impose any kind of carnal ordinance upon mankind in the name of ?the God of the Bible? clearly and firmly denies Christ: It is the spirit of the antichrist, who was already at work in St. John's day.
One may rightly say: "OK, so the moral laws of God are still in effect. How do commands such as Thou shalt not kill apply to abortionists and to the parents who kill their unborn children? How does Thou shalt not steal apply to the IRS?" Developing the implications of these laws into current social situations is a responsibility not only of the pastor-teachers, but it is a responsibility of every Child of God. Each person will answer to his own master, and no one will answer in his or her place.
Through the ages, how did each as an individual Christian study and develop God's Word in each area of his or her life and thought? God does not speak and lead everyone along the same road though the general law applies to everyone. In other words, theft of individual property is always wrong, but the proper response to that theft by the one being stolen from could well be different in each individual?s life, and each individual still be pleasing to the Lord.
First, failure to understand the atoning sacrifices, such as commanded in Lev 16, permits many false gospels to creep in, ?gospels? which are no gospels. Undeniably, when people are cut off from the Old Testament laws of atonement, they are easily led astray by false gospels such as, "Ask Jesus into your heart," "Turn your life over to God," "Yes, you must have faith in Christ, but you must also do...," &c.
The gospel of Christ preached by the first evangelists, Paul, John, Matthew, Luke, &c., was very simple: Trust Christ and His substitutionary payment for your sins just as the Old Testament saints had to trust that the blood sacrifices atoned for their sins:
Try to fit the idea of "Ask Jesus into your heart" into the law of the atoning sacrifice of the Old Testament. Did the Lord tell the people to ask the bullock to come into their heart or to turn their lives over to the bullock? The only thing which will work according to the OT sacrificial law is trust in the sinless sacrifice to pay the sin debt in the place of the repentant sinner. All of the Lord?s statements (such as John 3) must be viewed in the light of the OT sacrificial law. [The OTHER jesus!THE GOSPEL PERVERTED, by this writer. We desire to get as many of this little booklet out to ?Christian? leaders as possible. The corrupt gospel offered in the ACE curriculum motivated this little booklet several years ago. Order a supply.]
Implicit in this justification is the substitutionary sacrifice for sin sincerely offered as noted in Ps 51:16-19. The righteousness of God?s heirs of salvation is the righteousness of the Messiah attributed to them by God through faith in the redemptive work of Messiah in which God declares them righteous only because of the grace provided through that redemptive work. [Theological Word Book of the Old Testament, 755, Moody Press.]
The removal of the Old Testament from man?s rule of life allowed many foolish and hurtful doctrines to invade the Church. The most devastating effect, obviously, was cutting off the meaning and implications of the atoning sacrifice of Christ from its roots in the Mosaic law, allowing all kinds of false "gospels" -- which falsely assure of salvation -- to proliferate.
Second, failure to understand the atoning sacrifices,
such as commanded in Lev 16, permits antinomian heresies to prevail,
saying that the law that was done away with by the work of Christ
was everything delivered to Moses at the mount, rather than only
the ordinances which spoke of the coming work of Christ. The division--destruction--of
God's Word permitted J.N. Darby to say,
[W]e are not under law but under grace. We do not sin because we have died with Christ... The absolutely clear and perfect light is found in the New Testament alone; but the Old, if we have learned to distinguish between the dispensation under which the saints lived in those times, furnishes very fine examples of faith... [Letters of J.N. Darby, II.108, 109. From London, 1870.]
The sad thing is that professed Christians gladly accepted what he promoted around the world.
This pastor finds it extremely inconsistent that there are those who deny the validity of the book of Hebrews for non-Hebrews --- Gentiles. Yet many of those same people contend that one day the Hebrew nation?if such a thing exists?will reconstruct a worldly sanctuary and impose again the carnal ordinances of the Old Testament law and sacrifices. How inconsistent can one get? On one hand, they deny the validity of Hebrews to non-Hebrews, and on the other, they deny the validity of Hebrews to Hebrews by insisting on--and, yes, even financing--a rebuilt worldly sanctuary.
How can we expect God to act toward a "Christianity" that blatantly denies the finished work of Christ for both "Jews and Gentiles," expecting, in many cases and among other things, the Lord Jesus Christ to place His blessings upon a renewed sacrifice?
Christians must study all of God's Word to show themselves approved unto God: If they do not study the seemingly insignificant laws and precepts in passages such as Lev 16, they will be led astray by the smooth words of those who despise the totality of God?s Word.
Critics say substituting "Father," "Son" references appeases Muslims
by Michael Carl
Michael Carl is a veteran journalist with overseas military experience and experience as a political consultant. He also has two Master?s Degrees, is a bi-vocational pastor and lives with his family in the Northeast United States.
Wycliffe Bible Translators is firing back at an allegation that it is softening the language of the Bible it prepares for Muslim countries in order not to offend the Muslim majorities there.
WND reported earlier on the developing controversy that involves Wycliffe Bible Translators, the Summer Institute of Linguistics and Frontiers, all of which were reported producing Bible translations that remove or modify terms which they have deemed offensive to Muslims.
Involved is the removal of any references to God as "Father," to Jesus as the "Son" or "the Son of God." One example of such a change can be seen in an Arabic version of the Gospel of Matthew produced and promoted by Frontiers and SIL. It changes Matthew 28:19 from this:
"baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit" to this:
"cleanse them by water in the name of Allah, his Messiah and his Holy Spirit."
While the Bible teaches throughout about God the Father, Jesus the Son and the Holy Spirit, Muslims are told in the Quran that God has no children. They perceive Jesus as another prophet....
Wycliffe has come out with a public statement (Wycliffe is the ?Mission? and sending agency, SIL is the field organization that does Bible translation).
"Wycliffe USA is grateful to all those who have expressed their questions and concerns regarding reports that we have been removing "Father" and "Son" from certain Bible translations, particularly in Muslim cultures. Wycliffe USA is absolutely committed to translating the divine familial terms (Father, Son, and Son of God) clearly and accurately. The eternal deity of Jesus Christ and the understanding of Jesus' relationship with God the Father must be preserved in every translation.
While we have never intentionally sponsored a translation that neglects to properly communicate the divine familial terms, some observers have raised concerns about whether our methodology has consistently met our goal. We are listening to those concerns and are seeking God's guidance as we re-evaluate our methodology and investigate to ensure that our commitment to accurate and clear translation is being reflected in every project. We are engaged in meaningful conversations with partner organizations, constituents, and church leaders to evaluate our standards, and expect to be prepared to issue a more complete statement soon. Thank you for your patience and prayer as we seek to fulfill our mission to make God?s Word accessible to all people."
Their link: http://www.wycliffe.org/SonofGod.aspx
There are many more links where Wycliffe tries to clarify their remarks. Note that Wyliffe did not make a firm statement?they are still evaluating!!! Christianity is in a battle to the death, and a major field of battle is over the word of God.
On Nov. 15, 2003, an 85-year-old retired Marine Corps Colonel died of congestive heart failure at his home in La Quinta, Calif., southeast of Palm Springs. He was a combat veteran of World War II. Reason enough to honor him, but this Marine was a little different. This Marine was Mitchell Paige.
On Guadalcanal, the Marines struggled to complete an airfield. Yamamoto knew what that meant. No effort would be spared to dislodge these upstart Yanks from a position that could endanger his ships. Before long, relentless Japanese counterattacks had driven supporting U.S. Navy from inshore waters. The Marines were on their own.
As Platoon Sgt. Mitchell Paige and his 33 riflemen set about carefully emplacing their four water-cooled 30-caliber Brownings, manning their section of the thin khaki line which was expected to defend Henderson Field against the assault of the night of Oct. 25, 1942, it's unlikely anyone thought they were about to provide the definitive answer to that most desperate of questions: How many able-bodied U.S. Marines does it take to hold a hill against 2,000 desperate and motivated attackers?
But by the time the night was over, "The 29th (Japanese) Infantry Regiment has lost 553 killed or missing and 479 wounded among its 2,554 men," historian Lippman reports. "The 16th (Japanese) Regiment?s losses are uncounted, but the 164th?s burial parties handled 975 Japanese bodies.... The American estimate of 2,200 Japanese dead is probably too low."
You've already figured out where the Japanese focused their attack, haven't you? Among the 90 American dead and seriously wounded that night were all the men in Mitchell Paige's platoon. Every one.
As the night of endless attacks wore on, Paige moved up and down his line, pulling his dead and wounded comrades back into their foxholes and firing a few bursts from each of the four Brownings in turn, convincing the Japanese forces down the hill that the positions were still manned.
The citation for Paige's Medal of Honor picks up the tale: "When the enemy broke through the line directly in front of his position, P/Sgt. Paige, commanding a machine gun section with fearless determination, continued to direct the fire of his gunners until all his men were either killed or wounded. Alone, against the deadly hail of Japanese shells, he fought with his gun and when it was destroyed, took over another, moving from gun to gun, never ceasing his withering fire."
In the end, Sgt. Paige picked up the last of the 40-pound, belt-fed Brownings -- the same design which John Moses Browning famously fired for a continuous 25 minutes until it ran out of ammunition, glowing cherry red, at its first U. S. Army trial -- and did something for which the weapon was never designed. Sgt. Paige walked down the hill toward the place where he could hear the last Japanese survivors rallying to move around his flank, the belt-fed gun cradled under his arm, firing as he went, and the weapon did not fail.
Coming up at dawn, battalion executive officer Major Odell M. Conoley was first to discover the answer to our question: How many able-bodied Marines does it take to hold a hill against two regiments of motivated, combat-hardened infantrymen who have never known defeat?
On a hill where the bodies were piled like cordwood, Mitchell Paige alone sat upright behind his 30-caliber Browning, waiting to see what the dawn would bring. One hill: one Marine.
But "In the early morning light, the enemy could be seen a few yards off, and vapor from the barrels of their machine guns was clearly visible," reports historian Lippman. "It was decided to try to rush the position."
For the task, Major Conoley gathered together "three enlisted communication personnel, several riflemen, a few company runners who were at the point, together with a cook and a few messmen who had brought food to the position the evening before."
Joined by Paige, this ad hoc force of 17 Marines counterattacked at 5:40 a.m, discovering that "the extremely short range allowed the optimum use of grenades." They cleared the ridge.
And that's where the unstoppable wave of Japanese conquest finally crested, broke, and began to recede. On an unnamed jungle ridge on an insignificant island no one had ever heard of, called Guadalcanal.
But who remembers, today, how close-run a thing it was -- the ridge held by a single Marine, in the autumn of 1942?
When the Hasbro Toy Co. called some years back, asking permission to put the retired colonel's face on some kid's doll, Mitchell Paige thought they must be joking. But they weren't. That's his mug, on the little Marine they call "G.I. Joe." And now you know the rest of the story!
Of course, had this happened today, this Marine hero would
be court-martialed by President Zero for failing to read Miranda
Rights to each of the 2000+ enemy who he killed.
From Sermon Audio.com
Speaker: Joel Saripalli
Comment Name: samuel. Comment Email: email@example.com. Comment Title: Great Sermon! Comment Location: hyderabad [Joel?s home town in India]
Comment Text: joel saripalli is not the same today. He preacheS about polygamy i think he?s been doing all these nasty things for the belly sake. Beware of him, i think he is a good actor he manupilates with his smooth words
Dear Bro Need,
Only that you mentioned Gold essentially as a safe haven during the coming economic crises have I sent the below web page address and made some comments.
As to Gerald Celent?s loss and claim his was stolen (not mentioned in TBE but on U Tube and such). When an individual gives his money to a broker and they purchase the gold, stock or whatever it is bought in the brokers name not the individuals. Should the broker go bankrupt you lose your money as he is unable to settle the account. Mr. Celent knows this. This is why many will lose all their funds, not because what they invested in went to zero, although some will, but because the broker goes bankrupt.
The Elliott Wave (Robert Prechter) says the reason gold will go down along with stocks (among other reasons) is as the markets fall there will be market calls and folks will have to sell gold (along with other assets) to pay.
The Elliott Wave site provides a lot of free info on its home page with dates so one can read by date as time permits.
Hope I?ve made some sense, Howard Soffel - a brother
By Thomas Williamson
"Blue Like Jazz - Nonreligious Thoughts on Christian Spirituality" by Donald Miller, published in 2003, is advertised on the cover as a "New York Times Bestseller - More Than One Million Copies Sold."
The Christian Broadcasting Network has said, "Donald Miller is a best-selling author and sought-after speaker on the Christian circuit. His 2003 memoir 'Blue Like Jazz' (Thomas Nelson) has become one of the most influential books on Christian spirituality in the last decade."
The book carries the endorsement of Brian McLaren, today?s leading Emergent Church theologian.
This is not a book of Emergent Church theology as such - for the latest thinking on that subject, the reader may want to consult the book "Velvet Elvis" by Rob Bell, which was reviewed unfavorably in the April, 2009 issue of this paper.
"Blue Like Jazz" is a book about Emergent Church spirituality, as represented in the rambling, stream-of consciousness autobiographical reminiscences of the author. He spends a good part of the 242 pages gloating about what a wonderful time he had drinking, smoking, doing drugs, using foul language ... For the most part, he does not make it clear whether these experiences took place before or after his conversion, or whether these activities are something to be proud of or to feel guilty about.
To his credit, he admits in theory that we have some things in our lives that need to be repented of: "I think every well-adjusted human being has dealt squarely with his or her own depravity. I realize this sounds very Christian, very fundamentalist and brownbeating, but I want to tell you this part of what the Christians are saying is true. I think Jesus feels strongly about communicating the idea of our brokenness." (p. 23)
Unfortunately, Miller does a poor job, in a book supposedly about Christian spirituality, of letting us know what sins he thinks we should be "broken" about. He gives the impression that almost anything is permissible in the life of the emergent Christian. ...
On page 32 Miller brings up the possibility that the Genesis creation story might not be taken literally: "Without the Christian explanation of original sin, the seemingly silly story about Adam and Eve, the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, there was no explanation of conflict. At all. Now some people process the account of original sin in the book of Genesis as metaphor, as symbolism for something else that happened: but whether you take it metaphorically or literally, this serves as an adequate explanation of the human struggle that every person experiences." Miller never tells us whether he takes Genesis "metaphorically" or "literally." Perhaps that is for the best.
On page 79 Miller tells us "I was a fundamentalist Christian once." He equates fundamentalism with no television, pipe smoking, or music, and with daily Bible reading, memorization and prayer.
For Miller, emergent spirituality includes living in the inner city (in his problem with the part about living in the inner city, but I have a big problem with feeding the poor or "homeless," since Miller admits that the people they are so sanctimoniously feeding are actually drunks, or winos. He does not deal with Paul?s teaching about not feeding those who refuse to work (2 Thessalonians 3:10) or the law of Moses stating that the wino lifestyle is under God?s curse and to be punished by the death penalty, Deuteronomy 21:20-21. I don't perceive any special merit or "brownie points"` to be gained with God, by subsidizing the wino lifestyle that God says is under His curse.
On page 131 he deals with the fascination of the Christian Right with the Republican Party: "Another thing about the churches I went to: They seemed to be parrots for the Republican Party. Do we have to tow [sic] the party line on every single issue? Are the Republicans that perfect? I just felt like, in order to be a part of the family, I. had to think George W. Bush was Jesus. And I didn't. I didn't think that Jesus really agreed with a lot of the politics of the Republican Party or for that matter the Democratic Party. I felt like Jesus was a religious figure, not a political figure.... I felt like, by going to this particular church, I was a pawn for the Republicans. Meanwhile, the Republicans did not give a .... about the causes of Christ."
Miller may have a bit of a legitimate gripe here. 2003 was the year that Bush invaded Iraq, and some fundamentalist churches at that time demanded total, unquestioning support for Bush and for his war against a country that had no weapons of mass destruction, no yellow-cake uranium, and no connection whatsoever with 9/11 or AI-Qaeda.
The disillusionment of Miller and his college friends with Bush and his Iraq war is understandable. But after reading ?Blue Like Jazz,? I am not convinced that the Emergent churches were any more tolerant of supporters of Bush and the war, than the fundamentalists were of those who opposed them. By Miller?s own admission, the Emergents were just as guilty of mixing religion with their own polarizing brand of politics.
On page 133 he endorses a church in Seattle with a pastor he identifies as "Mark the Cussing Pastor" (clearly a reference to Mark Driscoll). "I loved the community he had put together. I felt like I could breathe for the first time in years... It is true that Mark said a lot of cusswords. I don?t know why he did it. . . . Even though Mark said cusswords, he was telling a lot people about Jesus, and he was being socially active, and he seemed to love a lot of people the church was neglecting, like liberals and fruit nuts." This would have been a really good place for Miller to discuss the condemnation in James 3:1 -12 of people who bless and curse at the same time. But no, Miller doesn't bring it up.
On page 193 Miller makes it clear that emergent spirituality includes tithing, saying "10 percent would be a good place to start." I am with Miller on that one, but the example he gives is of a tither who uses foul language and hardly ever attends church. I don't believe that the practice of tithing in itself is sufficient to make up for an obvious lack of basic spirituality in one?s life, and I regret that Miller would give the impression that it does. ...
This book is not recommended. It has some good insights and ideas, mixed in with all the confusion. A discerning fundamentalist could read this book to get an idea of how we are perceived by emergents, hippies, dopers and other trendy counterculture types But we probably already knew that they had written us off as just a bunch of ?squares? and old fogies.
The ?Christian spirituality? presented in ?Blue Like Jazz? is not much different from the self-indulgent immorality of the hippie crowd and the party animals at any state or secular private college. It should be a cause of concern that more than 1,000,000 copies of this book are in circulation out there, teaching young Christians that it is acceptable for them to indulge in a worldly, ?beatnik? lifestyle that has always been rejected not only by fundamentalists but by decent Americans of all faiths.
That so many people are buying and reading a book like this, and taking it seriously, is cause for concern for the future of Christian spirituality. Be afraid - be very afraid.
What Other Reviewers Say About Blue Like Jazz
"What is disturbing about Miller is his lack of biblical understanding (he admits that he has never read the Bible through, reads the Bible most often out of duty and is usually bored, and goes long stretches of time without scriptural input, pp. 80, 175). His spiritual turning points inevitably come through movies, secular literature, lectures, encounters with people, or God 'speaking' to him and others (pp. 48, 85, 136, 230) - but virtually never from the Word.
". . . He lavishes praises on freeloading, pot-smoking, homosexual `hippies? who love unconditionally as they steal food from the rich and give to the poor (themselves and him) (chapter 18). Miller makes it abundantly clear that he loves to smoke and drink and finds it somehow amusing and authentic that his pastor is a prolific curser. It is the hippies, drug addicts and Unitarians who have taught him love, not the Bible or evangelical Christians.
?. . . Miller uses not a single biblical quote or reference and only in passing mentions scriptural situations as he purports to lead us toward an authentic encounter with God. It is for this reason that he can sing the praises of one of the most depraved college campuses in the world (by Miller's own admission) while telling us, ?I had more significant spiritual experiences at Reed College than I ever had at church."
"Miller would have us disregard the guidance of Psalm I, 'How blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked, nor stand in the path of sinners, nor sit in the seat of scoffers,' and replace it with his own counsel because this is his 'experience.' . . . It is not Scripture which guides Miller's thoughts but situations that seem to work for him and appear to be in agreement with his own experience." - Pastor Gary Gilley, Southern View Chapel, Springfield, Illinois.
"Since the author embraces a postmodern style, he does not provide his reader with an interpretive framework. Was it wrong for him to get drunk and smoke pot while he was leading his high school youth group? Is the story of his friend's conversion evidence of the failure of the 60s' drug culture or her parents being inconsistent hippies? The reader is left to discover such answers on his own.
'Don wants to invite the reader to authentic Christian spirituality, but he's not really sure what it looks like. He can only report back what he's experienced - and it's been a confusing trip. This means that some of his readers will walk away even more confused, but more resolved to get another tattoo, another piercing, grow those dreads, attend another anarchist protest, or say another profanity. They will learn that watching 'South Park' is not so bad, having crushes on lesbian pop stars is cool, and that smoking pot is an ambiguous moral question. Likely, right now someone in your church is reading 'Blue Like Jazz' or some similar book. It will resonate with them in style and content - it is cool and Christian. And it is extremely unhelpful" - Shane Walker, 9 Marks web site.
"Blue Like Jazz: Non-Religious Thoughts on Christian Spirituality (2003) is a harsh rant against biblical Christianity. The thesis is that the Christian faith is vague and non-resolving and lacking in boundaries like jazz and that the believer should be a free spirit, having the liberty to follow his own impulses and live pretty much as he pleases without 'rules' and 'dogmatism.' This dangerous book is very popular and influential. It has sold over 1,000,000 copies and can be found in places like Family Christian Stores and the Southern Baptist Convention's Lifeway Christian Bookstores.
"Blue Like Jazz is basically a manual for rebels." - David Cloud, in O Timothy. [Emp. added.]
"Donald Miller (one of the leaders in the Emerging Church) like John Lennon wants us to use our imaginations to fire up Utopian sentiments that just happen to line up with Marxist ideals. . . . Donald Miller's view makes certain assumptions. . . It assumes throwing money, food and/or medicine at the 'problems on earth' will fix most of those problems. It assumes all human problems result from poverty and need. It assumes Miller knows more than Jesus Who said, The poor you will always have with you." -Don and Joy Veinot, in Midwest Christian Outreach Journal, Winter, 2008
"When Miller says that 'Christian spirituality' cannot be explained, he means that solid, unchangeable biblical doctrine and theology do not exist. When Miller says 'Christian spirituality' can only be 'experienced,' this is referring to mysticism. That can be substantiated when Miller says, 'You cannot be a Christian without being a mystic' (p. 202). He has echoed mystic Karl Rahner's words who said 'the Christian of the future will be a mystic or he will be nothing.'" Lighthouse Trails Research Project.
"Miller dispenses with all philosophical argument about God on the basis of his personal feelings. It is an epistemological nightmare of the highest order, but, oh, so clever. The man should not be taken seriously. That he is, is a testament to our decline as a church and a nation." -Douglas Groothuis
When we get close enough, we like to go to the Creation Museum, which is only about an hour from my oldest daughter.
As we were out there over the holidays helping my daughter after her carpel tunnel surgery on both hands, we were able to go for the Christmas program at the museum New Years Eve. During the holiday season, they have a free display on the outside open to the public after dark, 5-9 PM, called "Christmas Town". It consisted of many beautifully lit trees, walkways and live dramas. They even gave away a CD with the historical setting around the birth of Christ. The dramas were very good, well presented, and each had the gospel clearly presented. It was all very impressive.
New Years Day we attended a church not far from my daughter's home. Though their music was more contemporary than I care for, the message was surprisingly sound, and was presented by a guest speaker, a young man who had only been saved a couple of years. I must admit, it was very encouraging to hear a young man (single) who is starting out on the right track, a ?track? that took me and many of my contemporaries many years to find.
From my daughter's home near Cincinnati, we had to go to Bettie's son's home. At 14 weeks into his wife's pregnancy, they found that the baby had been dead for 7 weeks. They ended up having go to the hospital, 1/3/12, and the baby was delivered the next morning. The mother is doing fine, but please continue to pray for the family. It was a Catholic hospital, and David and Heather were surprised at the emphasis on life at that hospital. One of the nurses asked, "Are you going to have as many children as the Lord will provide?"That was a very pleasant surprise, for their normal experience has been of nurses discouraging more children.
Bettie's children use midwives as much as possible. Their midwife told David and Heather that there has been an unsettling increase in miscarriages over the past year. The midwives in that area discussed the increase among themselves, and they have put the probable cause on one of two things, or maybe both. First, the radioactive fallout from Japan, and, second, our polluted water. Water is seriously polluted with estrogen from birth control pills. Also, soy contains estrogen, so we are being overloaded with estrogen in manufactured food. Also, speaking from experience, excessive estrogen can cause cancer.
About 3 months ago, I noticed a decrease in the use of my right arm. It acted very much like a stroke, from what I know of a stroke. The diagnosis was muscle problems in my shoulder, which were creating a lot of pain in my shoulder. The VA provided ?occupational therapy? which helped greatly with the pain, regain the use of my right arm and hand. Actually, what I need to do is get out and do some serious exercise in the woods: cut and split firewood, or something similar. I still cannot hold a pencils in my right hand well enough to write as well as I was able. However, it has not slowed down my computer use.
Prostate is getting to the place it demands some medical attention. The problem does not seem to be indicative of cancer; but rather of "BPH".
I do not relish the thought of growing old, but it certainly is better than the option.
Did you know?
I have never been much of a sports fan, and am convinced that Hermes (the Greek Sports God) is the number one god in America, from the Pee-Wee leagues through the pro leagues. He especially reigns in the high schools and colleges across America; a statue of and altar to Hermes would be appropriate to place on every campus, even many "Christian" campuses. That altar would be a place where the parents could openly sacrifice their children in their worship of Hermes. BTW, Nike is the Greek god of victory. (http://www.mythome.org/sportgods.html)
However, I must admit that I have acquired "Tim Tebow Fever", as has the rest of America. His faithful Christian testimony cannot be denied. Tebow is the youngest of 5 children. His mother?s pregnancy with Tim was so difficult that doctors advised her to abort him. He was born in the Philippines to missionary parents. Though he was homeschooled, he joined the Nease High School football team in Florida, leading them to a state championship as its quarterback. He publicly professes his Christian faith in the face of the mockery of the media. His gospel eyeblack evoked so much hatred that new rules were passed to stop him.
"Tebow used his platform as a quarterback to share his religion with millions of viewers. In fact, Tebow's religious messages in the EyeBlack became so popular that the NCAA, in part, banned the use of EyeBlack messages in its most recent iteration of the rules." (http://www.aolnews.com/2010/08/06/tim-tebows-eyeblack-the-bible-verses-scrubbed-clean/)
He is humble, and, win or lose, he gives the glory to God, and shares his praise with his teammates. He is the only sports figure in my memory whom I would consider a genuine hero to whom kids can look.
"Tebow: Living a private life..." is worth the few minutes it will take to read it. (Drudge, 1/13/12. http://www.usatoday.com/sports/football/nfl/story/2012-01-11/tebow-exclusive/52518122/1?loc=interstitialskip)
Online Bible has a new "2012 Universal Edition", version 4.20. This version will work on Macintosh, Linux and Windows. I found that if Spurgeon used a verse as a text, Spurgeon?s sermon(s) is attached to that text. I am sure it has other jewels that I have not found yet. All three versions are the same, the only difference being their operating system.
In the Unicode DVD, the Greek is accented, the Hebrew has vowel points and it gives full support of non Roman fonts such as is used in Chinese, Korean, Russian and Arabic. (Not supported on Win XP) Also included are 3500 of Charles Spurgeon?s sermons revised and updated for accuracy and readability.
The DVD contains more than 30 English Bible versions including the New King James Version, The Message, The Holman Christian Standard Version, God?s Word to the Nations and The English Standard Version that are ready to use.
In addition to all the material that is ready to use on the DVD, there are several versions that require royalty payment to unlock, noteably NIV, NAS, NRSV, NLT, and the Amplified Bible.The Alexander Scourby narration of the King James Version is included on the DVD but requires a royalty payment to unlock.
Also included are 10 ancient language texts (Greek, Hebrew, Latin and Syriac), 3 sets of Greek and Hebrew Lexicons, 20 Dictionaries, 45 commentaries and more than 300 Devotional, Theological, Historical and Creationist books and a set of Bible maps.
The DVD alsocontains material in 35 other languages.More than 400 Books, Bible versions, Commentaries, Maps and Lexicons are included. All the new releases of the Online Bible programming will give you the ability to copy the Online Bible for Pocket PC program as well as the Authorised Version (KJV) Bible, Easton?s Dictionary, TSK, Greek and Hebrew Lexicons. This includes all the basic material required to give you a very useable Bible study program on your Pocket PC at no cost.
The price remains the same, and is beyond doubt the best Bible program on the market for the money.
I have found that MS Word for Mac is a waste of money; Microsoft totally blew it on their Mac version. Amont other things, the documents will not completely interchange with the Window?s version. NeoOffice for Mac is a much better program, and is a free download.
Quite some time ago, I saw a VHS movie that had been copied so many times, one could hardly make it out. It was the 1981 movie, "Harry's War". In it, Harry declared war on the IRS. The facts given about the IRS are true. It just came out on DVD, and is available through Netflix, streaming or DVD. If you are not a member of Netflix, it is worth the 30 day free trial membership just to see this movie. It is good. I will not give the ending away.
The modern nation of Israel continues to be at the forefront of the news as well as influencing the Presidential debate. I have heard people say that they would never vote for Ron Paul because he does not support Israel as many think he should.
Israel is one of the many shibboleths that divide.
Christianity has been greatly influenced by a doctrine of modern Israel that can only be traced back less than 200 years, and that history has nothing to do with Scripture.
The following is from Chapter 38 of my book, ?Death of the Church Victorious.? (Sovereign Grace Publishers, Lafayette, In.) I know the following will invoke ire of several, yet history is history, regardless of whether it fits one?s theology or not.
This particular account of the history of modern Israel, i.e., Christian Zionism, starts with Joseph Wolf and Lewis Way.
Joseph Wolff (1795-1862) was a 31 year old scholar who exercised tremendous influence in the first Albury Prophecy Conference (1826), which laid the foundation for all dispensational prophetic understandings of our day. What was established at the 1826 conference was expanded on in the next several conferences. As we will see, Wolf alone was allowed to interpret the prophetic texts at the Conference. Wolf?s strange story starts with a man named Lewis Way (1772-1840), another of Henry Drummond?s friends. (Drummond was a well-to-do man, and a key figure in the Prophecy Conferences.) Way inherited a large sum of money in 1804, freeing him from the"drudgery of work." In 1811, while visiting in Devonshire, Way ?was told about a grove of trees which were not to be cut down until the restoration of the Jews to Palestine.? The owner?s will read in part:
"These oaks shall remain standing, and the hand of man shall not be raised against them till Israel returns and is restored to the Land of Promise."1
His interest aroused in Jewish prophecies, Way investigated prophecies relating to the restoration of the Jews, and looked for contemporary agencies whose attention was directed to Jewish restoration:
He discovered the existence of a faltering group named the London Society for Promoting Christianity among the Jews [Drummond was connected with this society, ed.], founded in 1809 and led by a converted Jew, Mr. Joseph S. C. F. Frey. When Way became concerned with it in 1815, the society was deeply in debt and troubled by rivalries between church and dissenting supporters. Way, who had by this time been ordained as an Anglican, settled the obligations of the society at a cost of over twelve thousand pounds, virtually buying out the deserters and converting the society at the same time into an Anglican agency and a vehicle for his own ministry. Way turned the LSPCJ, previously concerned only with proselyting London Jews, into a missionary society devoted to the training and support of Jewish converts to Christianity, who were then sent into eastern Europe, Russia, and the Middle East.... Way made a journey to Russia for the purpose of settling one of these men and, at the same time, obtaining a first-hand picture of the condition and beliefs of European Jews. The Climax of this venture occurred when Way was introduced to Czar Alexander I and influenced him to submit a memorandum on the condition of the Jews to the European powers assembled at the Congress of Aix-la-Chapelle in 1818.
The Jews Society, as it was referred to by its members, achieved its greatest success as an advocate of Protestant Zionism. The efforts to evangelize the Jews had little success... Only Joseph Wolff, a flamboyant Prussian Jew who became an Anglican after having previously become a convert to Catholicism, could play the role of the missionary hero; and he, it must be said, played it with such flair that one suspects he must have been half adventurer and imposter. But the restoration of the Jews to Palestine -- the return of the chosen people to the promised land -- became firmly established in the millenarian creed. Through the monthly issues of the Jewish Expositor, the LSPCJ journal, and in dozens of other books, this question was discussed in never-wearing detail. The Zionist cause won rather wide sympathy at this time; the Jews and the Greeks seem to have been classed together as heroic but downtrodden people. But millenarian interest in the restoration of the Jews stemmed explicitly from the interpretation of prophecy. The prophetic text which described the cataclysmic events afulfilled in the French Revolution also predicted the second advent of Christ and the restoration of the Jews. [Note that dispensatioalism continually continually looks for some cataclysmic event that will fit into that faith.] The prophetic timetable had joined these expectations inextricably. The millenarian accepted both events as the will of God, prayed for the coming of both, and, if he could not work for the accomplishment of the second advent, did what he could to aid the cause of Palestine resettlement.... [T]here is no question that the millenarian movement played a significant role in preparing the British for political Zionism.2
The preacher of the millenarian creed ("Protestant Zionism") at the first Albury conference was Joseph Wolff. Wolff, a son of a Jewish rabbi, converted to Christianity, i.e., Roman Catholicism, and was baptized, 13 Sept., 1812. Arriving in Rome in 1815, he was introduced to Pope Pius VII. He went on to Collegio Romano, 5 Sept., 1816, and transferred to Collegio di Propagands. He later entered the monastery of the Redemptorists at ValSainte. Disliking the system at the monastery, he visited Henry Drummond -- "whom he had met in Rome" -- in London. He soon thereafter declared himself a member of the Church of England.3
Joseph Wolff laid the foundation for modern Protestant Zionism. History tells us that this 31 year old man met with the pope, "publicly attacked the doctrine of infallibility," was "expelled from the city for erroneous opinions," had a "mission work among the Christians," searched for "the lost ten tribes," named his first-born "after his earliest English friend" (Henry Drummond), and knew Irving.4
Joseph Wolff, a converted son of a Jewish rabbi, is the one mentioned by Irving at the first prophetic conference where the new millennial system was introduced by Edward Irving.
One should note that Wolff and Drummond quite possibly met in Rome when Wolff met with Pope Pius VII. The dates are interesting -- Drummond and Wolff were both in Rome in 1815. Drummond called and financed the 1826 prophecy conference where the Roman Jesuit's system was introduced by Irving, who was a close friend of both Drummond and Wolff before the conference. (Wolff met his first wife through Irving.) Those attending that first 1826 conference intentionally dismissed all past Protestant understanding of the prophetic questions before them. Probably because Wolff claimed to be "a son of Abraham" and "a native Hebrew," and because those present considered him to be "the most learned Eastern scholar perhaps in the world," Wolff alone was allowed to give the proper understanding to the questionable prophetic passages which were before them.
Wolff had traveled widely propagating Zionism well before the first 1826 Albury conference.6 So when questionable passages of Scripture were encountered at the first conference on unfulfilled prophecy, rather than seek the historical orthodox Protestant church's understanding, they sought proper interpretation from Joseph Wolff, the"flamboyant Prussian Jew... half adventurer and impostor" trained by "The Jews Society" in "Protestant Zionism"!
And the new unorthodox prophetic understanding established in that first conference is now orthodox Protestant prophetic understanding.
And thus the Jewish hope that had been laid to rest by Christ and the early Church Fathers is resurrected by Jews.7 It was resurrected with new strength and vigor to became a solid plank in the millenarian platform; the "church/ Israel distinction," that is, "Protestant Zionism," which goes hand in hand with "political Zionism."
The doctrines of this "flamboyant Prussian Jew... half adventurer and imposter" could well have a strong influence in the upcoming election, maybe even stronger than in past elections, an influence he never dreamed he would have on the future of the church and of the world.
Not only has sound Scripture exegesis been sacrificed and elections influenced, but multiplied billions of dollars and thousands of lives have been spent in keeping Joseph Wolff's Zionists dream alive and growing. Where will it end?
1. Quoted by E. R. Sandeen, Roots of Fundamentalism, Baker Book House, p. 10.
2. Emp. added. Ibid., 10-12. Sandeen's footnote at "impostor," Joseph Wolff, Missionary Journal and Memoir, 2ed ed. (London, 1827); Joseph Wolff, Travels and Adventures of the Rev. Joseph Wolff (London, 1861); H. P. Palmer, Joseph Wolff (Heath Carnton, 1935).
3. DNB, s.v. "Wolf, Joseph." DNB?s account of Wolff, which the reader should review, is reproduced in App. C.
4. Ibid. Edward Irving (1792-1834) though not a theologian, was a very popular Scottish Presbyterian clergyman. After allowing the first modern exhibition of tongues in his church, the elders locked him out. He took a portion of his congregation down the street, and started the Catholic Apostolic Church. He was thus the founder of the modern tongues movement. Irving translated the Roman Jesuit?s, "Ben-Ezra" 1790 Spanish document into English, and presented it at the first 1826 Prophecy Conference. Though Rome initially approved "Ben-Ezra", it later withdrew that approval because of its exaltation of Israel over the church, among other novel ideas.
5. Ben-Ezra, I.clxxxviii-cxciv, q.v. Drummond?s and Irving?s close association with Wolff probably played a big part in allowing him alone to be their expert. Ben-Ezra, Juan. The Coming of Messiah in Glory and Majesty. 2 Vols. Translated by Edward Irving with a preliminary discourse by the Rev. Edward Irving. London: L.B. Seeley and So, MDCCCXXVII. [Ben-Ezra] Ben-Ezra claimed to be a converted Jew?that is, converted to Romanism.
6. We have an idea of what kind of man Wolff was: "On his way [to Tinnevelly, ed.], he [Groves, ed.] stayed from 27 October to 6 November, 1833, at Cannanore. The missionary community there had recently been visited by that rather eccentric preacher of the Second Advent, Joseph Wolff, whose views had caused dissension. Groves was able to restore harmony and build upon the foundation of adventist teaching that Wolff had laid." Origins, 196.
7. The Jews would be restored in power and glory, and one of their own would ?become governor of the habitable earth,? ruling from their gloriously restored city, Jerusalem.
Today's New International Perversion
By Joseph Farah
What happens when Christian publishing houses and Bible publishing companies are bought out by secular mega-media corporate conglomerates?
Today's New International Perversion -- excuse me, Version -- of the Bible.
If you didn't think political correctness could ever spread to the Bible itself, check out what HarperCollins (read Rupert Murdoch) and its "Christian" subsidiary, Zondervan, have wrought with this latest translation:
The most notable distortions are evident whenever gender is employed in the original Greek or Hebrew. So, "sons of God" becomes "children of God," "brothers" becomes "brothers and sisters."
Anywhere in the Bible where the expression "O" is used, the new translation omits it. Why? Because that expression has fallen out of use today. Oh.
Mary is no longer "with child," in the femi-nazi version of the Bible. She is "pregnant."
To say the beauty and majesty of the Bible is lost in this deliberate mistranslation is an understatement. This is the ultimate in dumbing-down for a purpose -- it is an attack on the paternalism of the Bible.
If you believe, like I do, that the Bible is the inspired word of God, it is nothing short of blasphemy. The very character of God is changed.
Let me give you an example:
In Hebrews 12:7, the original NIV translation says: "Endure hardship as discipline; God is treating you as sons. For what son is not disciplined by his father?"
TNIV changes "son" to "child" and "father" to "parent."
What difference does it make?
Well, if you are one of those people who believes there is no difference between boys and girls or men and women, I suppose it makes no difference to you. But for those of us who live in the real world and use all of our senses to understand reality -- rather than to believe in fantasy and wishful thinking -- it makes a big difference.
God reveals Himself in the original Hebrew and Greek texts of the Old Testament and New Testament as "Father," not as "parent." Is there a difference between the way mothers and fathers mete out discipline? You bet there is.
But, more importantly, the translation is simply inaccurate -- and the publishers of this Bible know it.
I'm no Greek or Hebrew scholar, but you don't have to be to understand the words used in this passage.
The Greek text uses the words "huios" for "son" and "pater" for "father" in this passage. These terms cannot mean "child" or "parent." They are different words -- and, for some of us, words still mean things.
Here?s another example that bugs me.
The beauty of the Bible for me is the way it demonstrates that God's relationship with us is on an individual basis -- not a collective one. The TNIV obscures that distinction in countless examples, but here's just one: In the original NIV translation, which I would hardly recommend either, Revelation 3:20 reads: "I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with me."
In the TNIV, that passage becomes: "I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with them, and they with me."
That's not even grammatically correct. But it sure isn't a good translation of the Greek.
There are hundreds of such examples, perhaps thousands. They have a purpose -- a political agenda. There's a reason Mary is no longer "with child." "With child" is a term that makes very clear the humanity of the unborn person inside Mary's womb.
What would have happened if Mary aborted that child -- or, as the publishers of the TNIV would probably say, "terminated her pregnancy?"
Would another Savior of the human race be born in another time and place?
That's a good question -- one the publishers of this politically loaded edition of the Bible should consider as they push the fashionable agenda of redefining God and man.
In many ways, this is not just a new translation. It?s a new Bible.
Take my advice: Stick with the old King James. It may not be a perfect translation of the original texts, but it is faithful. And, after all, God only calls us to be faithful, not perfect
Note: Obviously, I use the KJV, which is basically the Geneva, which was translated from the Received Text. The Authorised version is called Authorized because it was authorized by the state. The state?s purpose was to get rid of the anti-statism notes in the Geneva because they interfered with the ?divine right of the state?. Those notes are very much needed today, for many Christians believe in the "divine rights of the state".
The Purity of Doctrine
?Terms like a traditional church or a non-traditional church are tossed around today. Approaches to worship vary from place to place. The purity of the doctrine does not change regardless of the setting. Truth can only be one way. Truth is not a tradition. Truth cannot be adjusted for the times. It is the truth that sets us free. The commitment to keep ourselves pure in our doctrine should be renewed constantly. Do not let someone soft on convictions lead you down a path of compromise. The Word of God will stand and we must stand with it. Know what you believe. Let the Bible verify your convictions.? - I.V. Hight, in Baptist Trumpet.
War is the tool through which the remaining Constitutional restraints on government and rights of the people will be destroyed. War will be the gateway through which total statism in any of its forms (fascism, socialism, communism) will be imposed upon the United States. They will rally the people's patriotism, and give the laws Orwellian sounding names like the "Patriot Acts", and "Freedom Laws" and cries of "America First," but these acts will be anti-patriotic, anti-freedom, and anti-American. At the core of all these activities will be one purpose -- to impose ever increasing control over the citizens, marching toward total statism. They will suspend due process and Constitutional restrictions proclaiming ?extraordinary times? require extraordinary measures. At first they will only be used against a few select atrocious and most heinous individuals with unfamiliar appearance, customs and beliefs. Initially, it will simply be a matter of degree, but the precedent is now set. Extraordinary measures solely for extraordinary individuals, but slowly and then more rapidly the extraordinary will become the ordinary until such measures can apply to anyone. They will deride anyone who opposes these Orwellian acts as dangerously naïve, as pacifists, as isolationists, as unpatriotic, as sympathizing with "the enemy" whoever "the enemy" may be at the time, and as un-American. They will make war with vague, ever changing goals and objectives. They will make war on elusive, obscure enemies by proclaiming wars against "subversives" or "guerillas" or "militias" or "revolutionaries" or "aggressors" or "terrorists" or whatever ambiguous name they can imagine so that the"enemies" will always be elusive, never eliminated or fully defeated. There will always be more "enemies." War will be perpetual, lasting years or even decades. War will be the final mechanism that destroys America from within; and the people will proudly cheer and defend and support the dismantling of their rights and destruction of their Constitutional Republic, all out of supposed "necessity" to support "the war."-- Unknown - http://quotes.liberty-tree.ca/quote_blog/Unknown.Quote.E448
Citizens for the Constitution
Obama the Chicken is Being Plucked
By Neil B. Turner. 2/1/12
American patriot Mark S. McGrew has had his articles published on over 900 websites, in 28 countries, in 8 languages.
This is a result of being published in the most respected and trusted publication in Europe and the Middle East: PRAVDA!
His latest is an earthshaking expose of the treason and corruption taking place in the United States media, judiciary, legislature, and the very Executive Branch itself ? by none other than the putative President, Barack Hussein Obama. Here are a few of his more succinct comments:
* The federal government is a group of full time employees managing certain pertinent affairs concerning the states. These permanent employees are managed by part-time employees called politicians, which are periodically elected by the People. They are all expendable. It is these temporary employees who we accuse of committing treason and other High Crimes against the citizens of America as well as other Nations of the World.
* The crowd attending, We the People, erupted with shouts of ?Traitors!....Treason!!?.
* I cannot scream loud enough to express the absolute RAGE that the American People have against the criminal syndicates, known as the Federal Government and Republican and Democratic political parties.
* We the People, with the Internet news sites we own, are bigger than major news. We have more investigators, more reporters, more audience and much more news produced every month. [Which is why ??Homeland Security? monitoring Internet for anti-govt sentiment, social unrest...? Drudge, 2/10/12. The site referenced: http://www.infowars.com/group-forces-congressional-hearing-on-big-sis-twitter-drudge-spying/]
* Americans are finally understanding why, in many countries in the World, when new people take power, they have a purge of the old system by getting rid of the old regime through murder or imprisonment. In America, we would need to purge a minimum of 600,000 people from our elementary, junior and high schools, universities, city, county, state and federal government, newscasters, news station owners, newspaper writers, newspaper owners and the list can be huge to get rid of the anti-American traitorous degenerates.
[Editor's note: Read Ezekiel 39. When the Lord obtains his victory through his Sword of the Spirit, it will take ?seven months? (a perfect number) to cleanse the land of the those who battled against the Lord and his Christ. Far more than 600,000 anti-Christ personnel will be purged.]
Neil B. Turner, NBTurner@Earthlink.net
The Provda article, "Obama the Chicken is Being plucked," is at:
The Coming Evangelical Collapse!!
An Anti-Christian Chapter in Western History is about to begin. But out of the ruins, a new vitality and integrity will rise.
By Michael Spencer, Christian Science Monitor
Oneida, Ky. - We are on the verge -- within 10 years -- of a major collapse of evangelical Christianity. This breakdown will follow the deterioration of the mainline Protestant world and it will fundamentally alter the religious and cultural environment in the West.
Within two generations, evangelicalism will be a house deserted of half its occupants. (Between 25 and 35 percent of Americans today are Evangelicals.) In the "Protestant" 20th century, Evangelicals flourished. But they will soon be living in a very secular and religiously antagonistic 21st century.
This collapse will herald the arrival of an anti-Christian chapter of the post-Christian West. Intolerance of Christianity will rise to levels many of us have not believed possible in our lifetimes, and public policy will become hostile toward evangelical Christianity, seeing it as the opponent of the common good.
Millions of Evangelicals will quit. Thousands of ministries will end. Christian media will be reduced, if not eliminated. Many Christian schools will go into rapid decline. I?m convinced the grace and mission of God will reach to the ends of the earth. But the end of evangelicalism as we know it is close.
Why is this going to happen?
1. Evangelicals have identified their movement with the culture war and with political conservatism. This will prove to be a very costly mistake. Evangelicals will increasingly be seen as a threat to cultural progress.
Public leaders will consider us bad for America, bad for education, bad for children, and bad for society.
The evangelical investment in moral, social, and political issues has depleted our resources and exposed our weaknesses. Being against gay marriage and being rhetorically pro-life will not make up for the fact that massive majorities of Evangelicals can?t articulate the Gospel with any coherence. We fell for the trap of believing in a cause more than a faith.
2. We Evangelicals have failed to pass on to our young people an orthodox form of faith that can take root and survive the secular onslaught. Ironically, the billions of dollars we've spent on youth ministers, Christian music, publishing, and media has produced a culture of young Christians who know next to nothing about their own faith except how they feel about it. Our young people have deep beliefs about the culture war, but do not know why they should obey scripture, the essentials of theology, or the experience of spiritual discipline and community. Coming generations of Christians are going to be monumentally ignorant and unprepared for culture-wide pressures.
3. There are three kinds of evangelical churches today: consumer-driven mega-churches, dying churches, and new churches whose future is fragile. Denominations will shrink, even vanish, while fewer and fewer evangelical churches will survive and thrive.
4. Despite some very successful developments in the past 25 years, Christian education has not produced a product that can withstand the rising tide of secularism. Evangelicalism has used its educational system primarily to staff its own needs and talk to itself.
5. The confrontation between cultural secularism and the faith at the core of evangelical efforts to "do good" is rapidly approaching. We will soon see that the good Evangelicals want to do will be viewed as bad by so many, and much of that work will not be done. Look for ministries to take on a less and less distinctively Christian face in order to survive.
6. Even in areas where Evangelicals imagine themselves strong (like the Bible Belt), we will find a great inability to pass on to our children a vital evangelical confidence in the Bible and the importance of the faith. [Note that the "Bible Belt" voted for Newt Gingrich, a man who proclaims loudly that one's private life does not affect his public life. Has not the "Biblical faith" already been lost there? See "Biblical Standards for Choosing Civil Magistrates": http://www.biblicalexaminer.org/w200410.html#Biblical%20Standards]
7. The money will dry up.
What will be left?
!Expect evangelicalism to look more like the pragmatic, therapeutic, church-growth oriented mega-churches that have defined success. Emphasis will shift from doctrine to relevance, motivation, and personal success ? resulting in churches further compromised and weakened in their ability to pass on the faith.
!Two of the beneficiaries will be the Roman Catholic and Orthodox communions. Evangelicals have been entering these churches in recent decades and that trend will continue, with more efforts aimed at the "conversion" of Evangelicals to the Catholic and Orthodox traditions.
!A small band will work hard to rescue the movement from its demise through theological renewal. This is an attractive, innovative, and tireless community with outstanding media, publishing, and leadership development. Nonetheless, I believe the coming evangelical collapse will not result in a second reformation, though it may result in benefits for many churches and the beginnings of new churches.
!The emerging church will largely vanish from the evangelical landscape, becoming part of the small segment of progressive mainline Protestants that remain true to the liberal vision.
!Aggressively evangelistic fundamentalist churches will begin to disappear.
!Charismatic-Pentecostal Christianity will become the majority report in evangelicalism. Can this community withstand heresy, relativism, and confusion? To do so, it must make a priority of biblical authority, responsible leadership, and a re-emergence of orthodoxy.
!Evangelicalism needs a ?rescue mission? from the world Christian community. It is time for missionaries to come to America from Asia and Africa. Will they come? Will they be able to bring to our culture a more vital form of Christianity?
!Expect a fragmented response to the culture war. Some Evangelicals will work to create their own countercultures, rather than try to change the culture at large. Some will continue to see conservatism and Christianity through one lens and will engage the culture war much as before ? a status quo the media will be all too happy to perpetuate. A significant number, however, may give up political engagement for a discipleship of deeper impact.
Is all of this a bad thing?
Evangelicalism doesn?t need a bailout. Much of it needs a funeral. But what about what remains?
Is it a good thing that denominations are going to become largely irrelevant? Only if the networks that replace them are able to marshal resources, training, and vision to the mission field and into the planting and equipping of churches.
Is it a good thing that many marginal believers will depart? Possibly, if churches begin and continue the work of renewing serious church membership. We must change the conversation from the maintenance of traditional churches to developing new and culturally appropriate ones.
The ascendency of Charismatic-Pentecostal-influenced worship around the world can be a major positive for the evangelical movement if reformation can reach those churches and if it is joined with the calling, training, and mentoring of leaders. If American churches come under more of the influence of the movement of the Holy Spirit in Africa and Asia, this will be a good thing.
Will the evangelicalizing of Catholic and Orthodox communions be a good development? One can hope for greater unity and appreciation, but the history of these developments seems to be much more about a renewed vigor to ?evangelize? Protestantism in the name of unity.
Will the coming collapse get Evangelicals past the pragmatism and shallowness that has brought about the loss of substance and power? Probably not. The purveyors of the evangelical circus will be in fine form, selling their wares as the promised solution to every church's problems. I expect the landscape of megachurch vacuity to be around for a very long time.
Will it shake lose the prosperity Gospel from its parasitical place on the evangelical body of Christ? Evidence from similar periods is not encouraging. American Christians seldom seem to be able to separate their theology from an overall idea of personal affluence and success.
The loss of their political clout may impel many Evangelicals to reconsider the wisdom of trying to create a "godly society." That doesn?t mean they?ll focus solely on saving souls, but the increasing concern will be how to keep secularism out of church, not stop it altogether. The integrity of the church as a counter cultural movement with a message of "empire subversion" will increasingly replace a message of cultural and political entitlement.
Despite all of these challenges, it is impossible not to be hopeful. As one commentator has already said, "Christianity loves a crumbling empire." We can rejoice that in the ruins, new forms of Christian vitality and ministry will be born. I expect to see a vital and growing house church movement. This cannot help but be good for an evangelicalism that has made buildings, numbers, and paid staff its drugs for half a century.
We need new evangelicalism that learns from the past and listens more carefully to what God says about being His people in the midst of a powerful, idolatrous culture.
I'm not a prophet. My view of evangelicalism is not authoritative or infallible. I am certainly wrong in some of these predictions. But is there anyone who is observing evangelicalism in these times who does not sense that the future of our movement holds many dangers and much potential?
* Michael Spencer is a writer and communicator living and working in a Christian community in Kentucky. He describes himself as ?a post-evangelical reformation Christian in search of a Jesus-shaped spirituality.? This essay is adapted from a series on his blog, InternetMonk.com.
[Reference to this article was found on a S.B.C. Church blog ]
[I don't know what to think of this article but it seems to indicate a general trend towards the end of the age.
2nd Thess .2:3 Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition; 4 Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God. 5 Remember ye not, that, when I was yet with you, I told you these things?]
Editor?s Note: The call above is for those Christians who are not lost in an hopeless estate to be serious about teaching the word of God at every oportonity, especially to the upcoming generation, e.g., homeschool. Every generation since the first felt theirs was the worse, and wondered how much further it could go down. They have all felt that its current events proved the end is near. Sadly, the social chaos seems to have only encouraged the escapism crowd ?? the rapture is near, so no need to worry about all the chaos. Only a literal King ruling from David?s literal thrown can solve the problem, so it is not possible to advance his Kingdom now.
Increases 23 Percent Under Obama
By Brian Koenig, 2/9/12
American dependence on government has soared to an all-time high under the Obama administration, growing 23 percent in just two years, according to a new study by the Heritage Foundation. The conservative research group's 2012 "Index of Dependence on Government" revealed that 67 million Americans are now banking on some federal program, including programs related to healthcare, housing, welfare, education subsidies, and other government programs that were "traditionally provided to needy people by local organizations and families."
The one in five Americans who now rely on federal assistance cost the government $2.5 billion annually, and the average recipient collects $32,748 in benefits, about $300 more than the country's average disposable personal income. About 70 percent of the federal budget goes to individual assistance and nearly half of the population does not pay a dime in income taxes. ...
Editor?s note: $36,748 ($3,000 per month just from "Big Brother", and not counting local and state handouts) for doing nothing except filling out mountains of paperwork, and maybe deceiving doctors! Considering inflation, that is probably not as much as I made in the building trades in the '60s, but I certainly had to work for that money. Obama has purchased the votes for his re-election with printing press money. The inflation from that fiat money forces us to support those government handouts every time we make a retail purchase. It will remain to be seen if the voters will faithfully vote for more of the same, Obama. The state has now become the family, local community, religious community and the local government. $3,000 a month!!
Is it any wonder people now look to the state as their god to supply all their needs.
New American, http://thenewamerican.com/economy/commentary_mainmenu_43/10817_report_government_dependency_increases_23_percent_under_obama
Fed Chief Warns Congress of "Unsustainable" Debt, Fiscal Crisis
By Alex Newman. 2/9/12
Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke told lawmakers this week that the government's borrowing was at "clearly unsustainable" levels, warning that its wild budget deficits increase the possibility of a sudden fiscal crisis which is creeping "ever closer." http://thenewamerican.com/economy/economics_mainmenu_44/10814_fed_chief_warns_congress_of_unsustainable_debt_fiscal_crisis
GET OUT OF PAPER "MONEY"!!
From what we have seen in Greece, when the federal government can no longer support the $3,000 a month handout, there will be riots in the street. Are various agencies being prepared for just such an event?
Mortgage Settlement Is Just Another Stealth Bank Bailout
Washington?s Blog | Yet Another Bailout for the Giant Banks . Homeowners Get Hosed Again.
FBI Terrorist Alert: Beware of Those Who "Reference the Constitution or Bible"
The Witness of the False Prophet
By R. J. Rushdoony
(Reprinted from The Institutes of Biblical Law, Vol. 1 [Phillipsburg, NJ: P&R Publishing, 1973], 560-565. Faith for all of Life, Jan/Feb, '12. Books published by Chalcedon can be red on the web at chalcedon.edu. ?Institutes? should be studied by every teacher of God's word.)
In analyzing the work of the false prophet (Deut. 18:9-22), we saw that the purpose of the magic, sacrifice, divination, and related rites of false prophecy is prediction. The prediction involved in the rites described (Deut. 18:9-14) has as its basic premise the belief that real and ultimate power resides elsewhere than in God. The practice of false prophecy could involve child sacrifice, divination, astrology, enchantment, witchcraft, charms, spiritualism, wizardry, necromancy, and the like. It could also involve simply the belief that Satan is the ultimate power.
Satan tempted Jesus to become a false prophet. In the culminating temptation, we are told,
Again, the devil taketh him up into an exceeding high mountain, and sheweth him all the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them; And saith unto him, All these things will I give thee, if thou wilt fall down and worship me.
Then saith Jesus unto him, Get thee hence, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve. (Matt. 4:8-10)
The meaning of this temptation is of central importance. Satan, in approaching Jesus in this final attempt to make Him a false prophet, had, among other things, two basic ideas in mind.
First, Satan asked Jesus to admit the rightness of his rebellion, to affirm that the creature had a legitimate right to independence from the Creator. Had Jesus in the slightest degree offered any excuse for man?s sin, conceded to the environmental excuse, or felt that some independence from God on man?s part is justifiable, He would have conceded to Satan a moral justification. This Jesus refused to do: "Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve."
Second, Satan claimed a world power that was not his to claim or to give. A fundamental premise of the law-word is that "The earth is the LORD'S" (Ex. 9:29; Deut. 10:14; Ps. 24:1; 1 Cor. 10:26). Satan neither rules it nor holds title to it, nor can he give it to anyone.
At this point, many people are seriously in error. Genesis 3 gives us the Biblical answer: Adam and Eve were guilty before God of rebellion, of apostasy. They compounded their sin by each placing the blame on someone else: the serpent, and the woman. The guilt of Satan made no difference to the fact that Adam and Eve were primarily and essentially guilty for their own sin.
Others disagree with God?s Word. The Marxist answer was clearly stated in terms of Genesis 3 by Lincoln Steffens some years ago at a Jonathan Club dinner meeting in Los Angeles. At a second meeting, with about a hundred prominent citizens present, Steffens summed it up to his listeners, who included John R. Haynes, William Mulholland, the Episcopal bishop, and others:
You want to fix the fault at the very start of things. Maybe we can, Bishop. Most people, you know, say it was Adam. But Adam, you remember, he said that it was Eve, the woman; she did it. And Eve said no, no, it wasn't she; it was the serpent. And that's where you clergy have stuck ever since. You blame that serpent, Satan. Now I come and I am trying to show you that it was, it is, the apple.1
Steffens' answer is good Marxism; it affirms the economic determinism: "it was, it is, the apple." This doctrine is a denial of the personal responsibility affirmed by Scripture.
Equally deadly, however, is the very common doctrine of satanic determinism. At this point, Steffens was right, when he told the clergy present: "You blame that serpent, Satan." Too many churchmen have laid the foundation, over the centuries, for a doctrine of satanic determinism. We can call it also the conspiracy theory.
Now very clearly Scripture affirms the fact of conspiracies; Psalm 2 is a classic statement of their reality. This same psalm, however, strongly underscores their futility; God laughs at the conspiracies of the ungodly nations and summons His people to share in His laughter.
Conspiracies prosper only when moral order declines. In every society, there are criminals, thieves, and murderers. Only as a society goes into moral decline and collapse do these elements gain any ascendancy. The declining Roman Empire saw a proliferation of cults espousing revolution, communism, free love, homosexuality, and much more. When Christendom went into moral decline after the thirteenth century, again these criminal secret societies began to abound. Some affirmed communism, others staged nude protests and marches, and still others plotted revolution. As Schmidt observed out of the Reformation era, "The whole of Europe around Calvin was polluted by fraternities, some spreading 'enlightenment' and some skepticism."2 The Reformation and the Counter-Reformation led to the temporary decline of these groups, which rose again as Christian faith, law, and order declined.
But those who bear false witness, who ascribe to Satan powers which belong only to God, are not content to recognize that conspiracies exist. They go much further. First, they ascribe to conspiracies a moral order and discipline which is an impossibility. Satan cannot construct or create; he is merely a destroyer, a murderer, and he has power only to the extent that we forsake the true power of God. The Soviet Union, to cite an international conspiratorial government, is a corrupt, bumbling, and radically incompetent agency. It has required the repeated aid of other countries plus imperialistic looting in order to survive. The Hoover relief of the 1920s, the Roosevelt recognition of the 1930s, and continuing proppings have kept it alive. The communist problem is not their evil power and ability but rather the steady moral collapse of Christian churches and nations, and their radical apostasy.
Second, the power of evil is weak and limited; it is under God's control and is His scourge of the nations. The weakness of evil conspiracies means that they can normally only occupy a vacuum. The roots of Soviet power are in the moral decay of Russia and its Kenotic Christianity; the Soviet victories in the Baltic countries are due to the morally compromised position of the Western Allies, who sold these countries out.
Third, the key to overcoming evil conspiracies is not a concentration on evil but godly reconstruction. One of the sins Jesus Christ condemned in some members of the church at Thyatira was their concern with studying "the depths of Satan," which can be translated as "exploring the deep or hidden things of Satan" (Rev. 2:24). The non-Christian conservative movements are radically given to studying or exploring the deep things of Satan, as though this were the key to the future.
Fourth, implicit in all this is the belief, as noted, in satanic determination, which makes of these conservatives staunch Satanists. To deny the sovereign power of conspiracies is one of the surest ways of antagonizing many of the people, who will then argue with religious passion for the sovereign, predestinating power of Satan. They will insist that every national and international act is a carefully planned and manipulated conspiracy, all governed by a master plan or plot, and a secret master council. That the plotters and plans exist, and are many, can be granted, but the Christian must hold to their futility. They rage in vain; they "imagine a vain thing" when they plot together against the Lord and His anointed (Ps. 2:1, 2).
To blame the world's evils, and to ascribe the world's government, to hidden satanic conspiracies is to be guilty of false witness against God. It is comparable to resorting to magic, witchcraft, or human sacrifice. It denies that God only is the source of prediction and ascribes power and prediction to Satan instead.
Far better than most theologians, Berle has described the laws of power:
Five natural laws of power are discernible. They are applicable wherever, and at whatever level, power appears, whether it be that of the mother in her nursery or that of the executive head of a business, the mayor of a city, the dictator of an empire.
One: Power invariably fills any vacuum in human organization. As between chaos and power, the latter always prevails.
Two: Power is invariably personal. There is no such thing as "class power," "elite power," or "group power," though classes, elites, and groups may assist processes of organization by which power is lodged in individuals.
Three: Power is invariably based on a system of ideas or philosophy. Absent such a system or philosophy, the institutions essential to power cease to be reliable, power ceases to be effective, and the power holder is eventually displaced.
Four: Power is exercised through, and depends on, institutions. By their existence, they limit, come to control, and eventually confer or withdraw power.
Five Power is invariably confronted with, and acts in the presence of, a field of responsibility. The two constantly interact, in hostility or co-operation, in conflict or through some form of dialogue, organized or unorganized, made part of, or perhaps intruding into, the institutions on which power depends.3
Berle is right. Power is based on a faith, a philosophy. When the faith or philosophy behind a culture begins to die, there is a shift of power. Today, because Christian faith has waned and has become antinomian, it cannot maintain or create a law-order. As a result, ancient criminal impulses and movements grasp at power. The key to displacing these grasping evil powers is not a study of the deep things of Satan, nor a belief in their power, but godly reconstruction in terms of Biblical faith, morality, and law. For many non-Christian conservatives, the test of a true conservative is simply this: Does he believe in the existence, plan, and power of the conspirators, call them what you will? This test is a satanic one: it holds almost as much danger to society, if not more, as does the belief that the apple is to blame, i.e., as economic determinism. It is a form of Moloch worship. God confronted Adam and Eve in Eden with their responsibility; Nathan declares to David, "Thou art the man" (2 Sam. 12:7).
The Biblical position involves not only an affirmation of man's essential responsibility, but it also declares that God alone is the almighty one, and He alone predestines and governs all things. To ascribe to conspiracies a power, discipline, and government of the past, present, and future which is not theirs is another form of affirming witchcraft and like "abominations." It is to become a false prophet, and to make a false witness.
It means also incurring God's judgment. To affirm another power is to deny God and His law. Not surprisingly, an antinomian age has readily subscribed to such beliefs. But God will no more respect the antinomianism of the church members than He will the lawlessness of the ungodly. At this point, men face the only effective "conspiracy": God's "conspiracy" against all who deny or forsake Him.
The commandment, "Thou shalt not bear false witness," means that we must bear true witness concerning all things. We must not bear false witness concerning God or man, and we are not to bear false witness concerning Satan by ascribing to him power that belongs only to God. The true witness of the apostles was not a testimony about the powers of Satan but of the triumphant Christ. The world they faced, as a very small handful, was far more entrenched in its evil than our own, but the apostles did not spend their time documenting the depravity, perversity, and power of Nero. Instead, St. Paul, who was aware of the approach of persecution, still wrote confidently to the Christians in Rome: "And the God of peace shall bruise Satan under your feet shortly" (Rom. 16:20). The confidence of St. John is similar: "this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith" (1 John 5:4).
Today, however, many so-called Christian conservatives not only spend their time studying the work of Satan but become angry if you question the omnipotence of Satan. They insist that every step of our world history is now in the hands of satanic manipulators who use men as puppets. To deny this is to be classed as some kind of heretic; the practical meaning of this position is Satan worship. But St. John tells us that, at the supreme moment of Satan's conspiracy, when Christ?s death was decreed, the secret purpose of God was being most fulfilled (John 11:47-53). It is always God who reigns, never Satan. Any other faith is a false witness and an especially evil one.
1. The Autobiography of Lincoln Steffens (New York: Harcourt, Brace, and Company, 1931), 574.
2. Albert-Marie Schmidt, Calvin and the Calvinistic Tradition (New York: Harper, 1960), 58.
3. Adolf Augustus Berle, Power (New York: Harcourt, Brace & World, 1969), 37.
All articles by Bro. Need unless otherwise noted. Also, books by Bro Need, hard copies or PDF downloadabe. See complete list at http://www.biblicalexaminer.org/Book%20store.html
This Baptist couple felt it important to own an equally Baptist pet. So, they went shopping. At a kennel specializing in this particular breed, they found a dog they liked quite a lot. When they asked the dog to fetch the Bible, he did it in a flash. When they instructed him to look up Psalm 23, he complied equally fast, using his paws with dexterity. They were impressed, purchased the animal, and went home. That night they had friends over.
They were so proud of their new Baptist dog and his major skills, they called the dog and showed off a little. The friends were impressed, and asked whether the dog was able to do any of the usual dog tricks, as well. This stopped the couple cold, as they hadn?t thought about "normal" tricks.
Well, they said, "Let's try this out." Once more they called the dog, and they clearly pronounced the command, "Heel!" Quick as a wink, the dog jumped up, put his paw on the man's forehead, closed his eyes in concentration, and bowed his head.....
THEY HAD BEEN LIED TO...........HE WAS A PENTECOSTAL DOG!
GOES ON A WILD GOOSE CHASE. "Brian McLaren and his emergent heretic buddies met in June in North Carolina for the Wild Goose Festival. It is 'an attempt to reimagine Christianity for the 2141 Century under a bigger, wider, more inclusive tent.' Described as 'a festival of justice, spirituality, music, and the arts,' there was a heavy dose of `embracing of gays and lesbians.' One tent was dedicated to 'beer and praise.' There were labyrinth walks and lessons on chanting 'Om' and 'Hallelujah Hare Krishna.' Speakers included Brian McLaren, Tony Campolo, Shane Claiborne, Ed Dobson, Lynn Hybels, Phyllis Tickle, Jay Bakker (son of Jim and Tammy Faye of PTL fame), Frank Schaeffer (son of Francis), Joy Wallis (first woman ordained as a priest in the Church of England), and Jim Wallis of Sojourners. McLaren told the crowd that Jesus did not come 'to be a cleaver that divided people into a heaven bin or a hell bin.' McLaren criticized spiritual 'guard dogs.' Paul Fromberg, a pastor from San Francisco, described his 2005 wedding to another man. Frank Schaeffer called the Bible 'Bronze-age mythology' and said he has a 'conflicted ambivalence' about abortion. Garreth Higgins, executive director of the Wild Goose organization, said, 'Our goal is not to convince anyone of anything, but if we all have dignity the world will be a better place.' They don't preach, because they have traded the soul-saving gospel of Christ for a pathetic social gospel." - David Cloud, in O Timothy.
Is The Only Presidential Candidate Who Gets It
The recent passage of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) and the reaction--or better, lack of reaction--by the GOP?s Presidential candidates is a perfect example of how it will not matter to a Tinker?s Dam which Republican candidate wins the nomination, unless that candidate is Congressman Ron Paul. This is what so many people within the so-called Religious Right and establishment GOP just do not understand: they do not understand the fact that......
What we believe
Also known as the Reformed Faith
1 Sola scriptura (?by Scripture alone?)
2 Sola fide (?by faith alone?)
3 Sola gratia (?by grace alone?)
4 Solus Christus or Solo Christo (?Christ alone? or ?through Christ alone?)
5 Soli Deo gloria (?glory to God alone?)
Please do not add more to me as Reformed than the above.
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