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

September 2000

Full Page


  • The State as god
  • Pottermania
  • What the Bible does not say
  • The Patroit, movie review
  • Laugh a little
  • TheoPhostic Counseling, book review
  • Personal note
  • Homeschooler, September 2000
  • (All articles by Bro Need, unless otherwise noted.)

    The State as god

    or Rethinking The Death Penalty

    While taking my daughter to the Christian School in Crawfordsville, I like to listen to National Public Radio (NPR). Though it leans to the left, the programing will keep one up-to-date on current issues. The host of Morning Edition, August 29, 2000, was talking about DNA testing and the death penalty. So when I got back to the office, I logged on to and listened to the program again over the net. Then I searched for some more NPR programs dealing with the death penalty and DNA. Though there were several programs available for listening, I will only use two for the following.

    The reader should keep in mind that prosecutors in the court system represent the state, not the victims. In fact, it is not unusual to hear of trials where the victims are not even involved in the process. The state represents itself as the injured party, so many trials are simply protecting the state's power, with no attention paid to the Constitution, applicable laws nor to the victims. (I personally know of cases where the judge has said, "The Constitution does not apply here.") Many times, the state is there simply to retain its power, not to protect the innocent. The state may quote Scriptures, as the devils do, e.g., Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God (Rom. 13:1), to demand unqualified obedience to its every whim. However, it admits to no power higher than itself - separation of church and state means that the state answers to no higher power, yet the church, which is to represent God on earth, must conform to the state's wishes.

    Though I have previously heard the above facts, the claim of the state to be god on earth was never made clearer to me than in the following reports.

    Our first illustration was broadcast on NPR's Talk of the Nation, June 13, 2000, titled, Death Penalty Second-Guessed. The printed introduction on the web site reads:

    As more defendants in capital cases are exonerated by DNA evidence, it seems more people are questioning their support of the death penalty. Most Americans favor capital punishment (sic), but that support is at its lowest level over twenty years. Does the revolution in DNA testing alone explain the shift of opinion on the death penalty? (Chose Talk of the Nation, and then search for the date you want to hear.)

    The introduction on the program:

    This is Talk of the Nation, and I am Ron Williams. A study released this week finds that two of every three people given the death penalty in America later have their convictions overturned. (Emp. added.)

    G.W. Bush has overseen 131 executions in Texas, more than any other state since the death penalty was reinstated in 1976. In January, 2000, conservative Governor George Ryan (R, Illinois) declared a moratorium on the death penalty after 13 men on death row were proven innocent by new information. Congress is considering a "Innocence Protection Act" that would require states to keep all evidence that can be used in DNA testing, even after conviction.

    The program that sparked my interest was a segment in NPR's Morning Edition, August 29. The printed introduction on the web site reads:

    DNA Evidence and Prior Convictions -- NPR's Barbara Bradley reports on a controversy over whether or not DNA evidence should be used to overturn a prior conviction. More convicted prisoners are trying to prove their innocence by testing evidence as far back as 20 years. But, the use of DNA science is proving to be problematic in many of these cases because evidence has been thrown away or destroyed. (8:23) (Chose Morning Edition, and then search for the date you want.)

    Bradley reported:

    DNA has become one of the most powerful tools to prove the guilt of a criminal defendant, and in recent years, dozens of convicted prisoners have been released after the original biological evidence was tested again. But now prisoners wanting to take advantage of this new science are hitting a road block. Police and courts across the country are destroying biological evidence that could determine whether a person has been wrongly convicted.

    Bradley stated that in a large parentage of retrials using DNA evidence, the guilty verdict is overturned. She gave several accounts of men either on "death row" or serving very long sentences, who, upon DNA testing, were proven innocent after many years of claiming innocence and working for a retrial - she probably used the more "dramatic" situations. The point that stood out was that the judicial system, led by various states' prosecutors in the cases, have attempted and are attempting to destroy the biological that might set an innocent person free?)

    State prosecutors do not want evidence tested even when they think they have an airtight case. Bradley gave an account of one man who claimed to be innocent of a rape. Though the prosecutor used DNA several years after the conviction (DNA was not available at the trial) to prove the charged man's blood was on the murdered woman's clothing, he refused to allow DNA tests on evidence that might say he did not rape her. The rape conviction got him the death penalty vs life in prison for murder. (Of course, they both carry the Biblical admonition of life for life.) He and his family tried may times, without success, to get the case reopened and DNA testing done. The state adamantly refused to allow any test that might undermine what it had already decided. Even after the man was electrocuted, the judge would not release the evidence to the family for private evaluation, but ordered it destroyed. The prosecutor in the case, now a judge, defended the refusal of the DNA test and speedy destruction of any evidence that might prove the man innocent of the rape charge - he said the refusal was necessary to defend a judicial system that is presently based upon what may be mistaken eyewitness accounts. He was fearful that public confidence in the state's judicial system would be undermined to where the state could no longer get convictions.

    The 8:23 minute program made it very clear with interviews and personal histories that the goal of the modern state's judicial system, generally speaking, is to protect the state as god. (After all, can the state as a god make a mistake, and so what if it does? Who or what must it answer to if it is god? There is no written law - Constitution - that can bind god. See Moloch below.) When the state is seen and exalted as god, then unlimited sacrifice must be made to that god in order to protect his position. But the state is destroying itself as people lose confidence in the infallibility of this false god.

    The mistrust of the judicial system runs deep. NPR's All Things Considered, August 31, 2000, had this story. The printed introduction on the web site reads:

    Texas Standoff (14.4 | 28.8) - Janet Heimlich reports Texas authorities are taking a "softly, softly" approach to a stand-off with a family at the center of a custody dispute. The family has barricaded itself into a homestead on 47 acres in a remote area of eastern Texas. The family is drawing support from militia groups. (7:00) (Do a search under All Things Considered.)

    The Grey family is warning law enforcement (sheriff) officers against coming on their property. One reason the Greys refuse to yield is their mistrust of the judicial system.

    The family says they don't want a violent outcome (i.e., Waco, ed.), but don't trust the courts to handle their legal troubles fairly. They claim their father was framed...

    The Greys, as do all citizens, have a legitimate concern. The point is that the state has continued to prove that it is more interested in self-preservation than it is in justice, even to the point of literally sacrificing live, innocent individuals to retain and increase its power. And the problem runs much deeper than capital punishment.

    Now, let us look at the death penalty issue in modern society.

    Deuteronomy chapter 19:1-13 established the "cities of refuge." If one killed another, the next of kin was responsible to kill the killer. However, the killer could flee to one of these cities, and there be safe within its walls. He could not go out without fear of the avenger of blood until the death of the high priest. Then he could safely go out and return to his home. However, not just any killer could find safety in one of these cities, but only those who killed by accident. If the killing was intentional (murder), then the avenger was to kill the murderer. The elders of the city where the killer fled were to make diligent inquiry into the matter, and if it was an accident, the killer could stay withing the walls of safety. If the elders found that the killing was premeditated, then the murder was to be delivered to the avenger to be killed.

    Note: First, the law gave both justice to the family of the one killed, and it gave safety to the innocent. Second, it was the DUTY of the next of kin of the one killed to kill the murderer. Third, it was the duty of the elders of the city to check out the situation, and to protect the killer if it was an accident. Fourth, the killer had to remain in the place of safety if he expected the law to protect him. Fifth, there could be no pity toward the murderer - he had to be killed to free the land from blood guilt, v. 13.

    The next section of chapter 19 is vv. 15-21.This section tells us that a false witnesses are under the death penalty. Note that those who do not believe that God still requires restitution, life shall go for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot, cannot complain about the modern state's corrupt judicial system, for that statement in Deuteronomy concludes the requirement for an honest judicial system.

    DNA testing, is it true or false?

    Is DNA a legitimate means of gathering evidence from a crime scene to be used in the trial? I am not a scientist, nor have I sought out the facts about DNA. However, a just judgment can be made concerning the death penalty without DNA knowledge. That judgment is made concerning the motives of the judicial system, as evidenced by the words and actions of those involved.

    NPR's reports show that goal of the modern judicial system is, many times, not to protect the innocent, or the state's prosecutors and judges would demand DNA tests where possible. Rather, the goal of the judicial system is to protect the state, and if protecting the state also protects the innocent, then the innocent benefits also. (Log on, and listen to some of the interviews and reports, and then judge for yourself.) I believe it is safe to assume that the same attitude of self-preservation of the state permeates the entire judicial system from the death penalty down, with few exceptions, even to the tax and traffic courts. And there are exceptions - we cannot say that every state prosecutor and judge is more interested in protecting the state than in protecting the innocent. There have been some high profile cases where judges have stood publicly for righteousness, but notice how unusual it is by the wrath of the "system" against such people. Furthermore, those prosecutors and judges who are determined to defend the system over seeing justice done are themselves under the death penalty. (Deut. 19: 19.)

    The problem with today's judicial system, at all levels, is that far too often evidence is not permitted that might undermine the system. (Sell Out: The Inside Story of President Clinton's Impeachment, by David P. Schippers, tells of the corruption within congress to keep the most corrupt president in history, Bill Clinton, in office.) The primary goal of the judicial system, many times, is to protect the state, as the state is seen as god in our modern society. And the state's prosecutors make those human sacrifices with a clear conscience. However, the state as a god that demands even the lives of the innocent is not a new phenomenon:

    Moloch is "the king" or "kingship." The name of Moloch is also given as Milcom (I Kings 11:5,33) and Malcam (Jer. 49:1,3, RV; Zeph. 1 :5). Moloch was an aspect of Baal (Jer. 32: 35 ), Baal meaning lord. Under the name of Melcarth, king of Tyre, Baal was worshiped with human sacrifices at Tyre. (FN, John D. David, A Dictionary of the Bible [Philadelphia: Westminster Press, 1924, 1936], p. 510.)

    While relatively little is known of Moloch, much more is known of the concept of divine kingship, the king as god, and the god as king, as the divine-human link between heaven and earth. The god-king represented man on a higher scale, man ascended, and the worship of such a god, i.e., of such a Baal, was the assertion of the continuity of heaven and earth. It was the belief that all being was one being, and the god therefore was an ascended man on that scale of being. The power manifested in the political order was thus a manifestation or apprehension and seizure of divine power. It represented the triumph of a man and of his people. Moloch worship was thus a political religion.

    Since Moloch represented kingship and power, sacrifices to Moloch represented the purchase, at the very least, of immunity or insurance and protection, and, at its highest claim, of power. The "higher" sacrifices in paganism, and especially Baal worship, were sacrifices of humanity, i.e., self-mutilations, notably castration, the sacrifice of children or of posterity, and the like. The priest became identified with the god to the degree that he "departed" from humanity by his castration, his separation from normal human relationships, and his abnormalities. The king became identified with the god to the degree that he manifested absolute power. The sacrifice of children was the supreme sacrifice to Moloch. Moloch worship entered Israel when Solomon built an altar for Moloch for his foreign wives, the Ammonites in particular. Apparently, Solomon limited the sacrificial scope of that altar, because many generations passed before the first human sacrifice, but Solomon's act (I Kings 11:7, 8) had introduced the cult into Israel.

    Moloch worship was thus state worship. The state was the true and ultimate order, and religion was a department of state. The state claimed total jurisdiction over man; it was therefore entitled to total sacrifice...

    The Moloch state is the product of apostasy. When a people reject God as their King, and make a man or the state their king (I Sam. 8:7-9), God declares the consequences... (R.J. Rushdoony, Institutes of Biblical Law, pp. 32, 33, 34.)

    Moloch, (or Molech), i.e. state worship, is very prevalent today. Not only are parents sacrificing their children to this pagan god in the state's education system, but there are many people in prison for refusing to bow to Molech. (The prison system is unscriptural itself, but that is another study.) The proof that Molech worship is alive and well in America is seen in the many innocent victims literally sacrificed to Moloch - the state's strong resistance against DNA testing because it might undermine the state's authority.

    Therefore, based upon the bias of the present judicial system toward self-preservation of the state rather than toward seeing justice done, I feel conservative Christians should oppose the death penalty when it is used to support the state. Sadly, the judicial system is used far too often to protect the state rather than to protect the life, liberty and private property of the citizens. However, when we see justice honestly pursued - that is, when all known means of just judgment have been used to prove or disprove the charges, then we must place our full support behind the death penalty against what God considers capital offenses.

    Deuteronomy 21 tells of the care the Lord required to see that an innocent person was not wrongly accused - if the murderer could not be found, then measurements were to be taken to find the nearest city, and the elders of that city were to make a sacrifice of an heifer to cleanse the land of the guilt. How many state prosecutors have sacrificed an innocent person in order to make themselves and the state look good in difficult cases?


    Should we resist the death penalty in the hope of the redemption of the accused?

    Deuteronomy 21 speaks against a rebellious son who would not obey his father; Leviticus 24:12 speaks against an Israelite woman's son who blasphemed the name of the Lord, and his imprisonment until the mind of the Lord could be found (he was not imprisoned in hopes of his repentance); Exodus 22:20 speaks against those who serve any god other than the Lord God, and Exodus 22:18 speaks against those involved in witchcraft. Rev. Rushdoony lists 19 sins requiring the death penalty, including sodomy, human sacrifice, kidnaping, striking or cursing father or mother and propagating false doctrines. (Ibid., pp. 66, 67.)

    When the passages and their contexts are examined, one will find no hint of withholding the implementation of the death penalty in hope of the guilty repenting of their sins. Thus, I do not see how such withholding can be Scripturally justified. In fact, the land is not defiled by the blood of those justly put to death, but by withholding justice from the guilty in hope that the guilty will repent. Nor is there any mention that the death penalty is reversed if a person repents. (Num. 35:30-34.)

    The blood of the altar and the fact of the altar are thus a declaration of the necessity of capital punishment. To oppose capital punishment as prescribed by God's law is thus to oppose the cross of Christ and to deny the validity of the altar. (Emp. added. Institutes, p. 77.)

    Because of our corrupt judicial system, imprisonment of and the death penalty against many innocent people are being used to keep the Moloch state in power. On the other hand, when every avenue of proof has been honestly examined and the person is guilty, the word of God is clear - but life shall go for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot. For without God's enforced law of restitution, the doctrine of the atonement is undermined.


    (The following is presented not having read any Harry Potter books. Lord willing, I plan to read some of them in the near future for a more complete review. Family Friendly Libraries (FFL), keeps parents informed about the contents of popular books, including the Harry Potter series. Check their Web site [].)

    Pokemon and now Potter. What is going on? Obviously, since the Lord God, as revealed in Christ Jesus, is bared from education and public life in general, society is now open to whatever evil spell can be cast.

    The following is from a secular magazine, yet the author sums up the Potter phenomenon very well.

    Pottering Along With Harry

    The first time I realized how important this Harry Potter stuff had become was when my 10-year-old granddaughter told me that her fourth-grade teacher had urged her class to read a Potter book during their summer vacation. Now, when I was in the fourth grade, back in the Presidency of James K. Polk or thereabouts, the teacher never told us what to read during the summer. In fact, we might have looked especially askance had she suggested we read about a young lad who was into wizardry and witchcraft. Tom Swift (boys) and Nancy Drew (girls) was about as far as we got to stretch our literary horizons. But young readers today grow up in the far more imaginative era of Luke Skywalker and Darth Vader. So a junior necromancer like Harry Potter fits neatly into the picture.

    However, the real miracle wrought by Harry in the latest sage by J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (Scholastic, $25.95), is its amazing audience response. The 734-page bookwhich is funny, suspenseful and scaryis flying out of stores and off the Internet like a witch on a broom; there is a mesmerizing audio version, read by Jim Dale, from Random House on 12 cassettes ($39.95) or 17 CDs ($69.95).

    Undoubtedly it's only a matter of time until certain "experts" begin to harrumph that the Potter storiesfour so far and three to comearen't all that suitable for children and that their literary qualities are perhaps exaggerated. No spell lasts forever. Even Merlin ran out of gas eventually. But I hope Harry keeps pottering along. He has my granddaughter reading, and that's magic enough for me. (Herbert Kupferbert, What's Up This Week, Parade Magazine, 8/27/2000.)

    Wizardry, witchcraft, necromancer

    9 When thou art come into the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee, thou shalt not learn to do after the abominations of those nations. 10 There shall not be found among you any one that maketh his son or his daughter to pass through the fire, or that useth divination, or an observer of times, or an enchanter, or a witch, 11 Or a charmer, or a consulter with familiar spirits, or a wizard, or a necromancer. 12 For all that do these things are an abomination unto the LORD: and because of these abominations the LORD thy God doth drive them out from before thee. 13 Thou shalt be perfect with the LORD thy God. 14 For these nations, which thou shalt possess, hearkened unto observers of times, and unto diviners: but as for thee, the LORD thy God hath not suffered thee so to do. (Deut.18.)

    Witch, one who uses charms or spells.

    Necromancer, "one who interrogates the dead," as the word literally means, with the view of discovering the secrets of futurity (comp.)

    Wizard, a pretender to supernatural knowledge and power, "a knowing one," as the original Hebrew word signifies. Such an one was forbidden on pain of death to practice his deceptions #Le 19:31 20:6, 27 1Sa 28:3 #Isa 8:19 19:3.

    The Lord promised to set his face against those who follow after wizards (Lev. 20:6.), e.g., the Lord set his face against Saul. The wizard was to be put to death, Leviticus 20:27. Has or will the Lord set his face against those today who are finding great pleasure in following after Harry Potter, the young wizard? Is not Harry teaching young minds that wizardry and witchcraft are things to be desired, and the way to deal with life situations?


    1. note the antichrist attitude in the state's education system: A fourth-grade teacher is urging her students to read a story which will get the students caught up maybe not in practice but at least in the imagination in the world of magic and witchcraft, something that children of a generation ago (40 years) would not have even considered. (I graduated in `59.) If the teacher had suggested reading a Bible story book, she would have found herself without a job, more than likely. Thus, though the government education system demands separation of the Christian God and his word from the state, on the other hand, it encourages the uniting of the state and the devil, i.e., witchcraft. (Obviously, not all teachers are pagan enough to urge their students to read about magic and witchcraft there are those in the state's system who would be repulsed by even the thought of their students being involved with Harry.)

    Let me ask: Why is Harry Potter's witchcraft being invited into a system that has cast out the Lord God? The supernatural of the enemy of God is replacing the supernatural of the Lord, as darkness overtakes society.

    2. Mr. Kupferbert recognized that the Potter books are rife with wizard and witchcraft, both capital offences in Scripture.

    3. Mr. Kupferbert identified Harry as a necromancer, also strictly forbidden in Scripture.

    4. society has prepared and continues to prepare young people to accept the "supernatural" as a normal part of life, e.g., Star Wars (I must admit, I like the Star Wars movies; I have always had a weakness for SiFi, particularly Edger Rice Burrows while in the military); Sabrina, the Teenage Witch; Charmed, and Buffy, the Vampire Slayer.

    A December 1997 study published by George Gallup, taken from the Princeton Religion Research Center, revealed that 31 percent of Americans believe in ghosts, 20 percent believe in witches, 24 percent believe in astrology, 17 percent had consulted a fortuneteller and 24 percent believe in reincarnation.

    Gallup found that born-again Christiansdefined as Those who believe God's Word to be literally true and have tried to encourage someone to accept Jesus Christ as his or her Saviorheld almost the same beliefs percentage-wise as non-Christians. (John Andrew Murray, Headmaster at St. Timothy's-Hale in Raleigh, N.C. Teachers, Focus magazine.)

    Our society seems to be enamored, enchanted, by anything supernatural.

    5. Mr. Kupferbert is glad his granddaughter is reading, even though she is being drawn into the dangerous and forbidden area of witchcraft.

    The Harry Potter books highlight the adventures of a likable young wizard who is orphaned in infancy, raised by his non-magical relatives, and later informed of his magical abilities and invited to study at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Harry Potter is a standard tale of good vs. evil, and good always wins in the end. Harry, the hero, often triumphs because of his upright character and pure motives. Unconditional love and courage are held as ideals of great importance. By following Harry and his best friend Ron, the reader gets a glimpse of true loyalty and friendship, as well as self-sacrifice. On the other hand, witches, wizards, and other magical characters play the lead roles. Harry and his friends practice spells and create potions. And face-offs with the Dark side are predictably intense. (What Shall We Do With Harry? by Lindy Beam, Youth Culture Analyst, July 2000. Focus on the Family Magazine.)

    Though the Potter books contain "themes of love, courage and character," which may influence parents to approve Rowling's books, her characters operate from her amoral stand, i.e., there is no higher moral authority to which one must answer. Thus, her characters "may do `the-wrong-thing-for-the-right-reason,' often lying, cheating or breaking rules in order to save the day," values that are totally against those things for which Christian parents must stand. (In other words, the motives are right, so right motives counter wrong actions.) Harry revels in retribution rather than forgiveness, and uses witchcraft to obtain his vengeance.

    Rowling admits her portrayal of wizardry is not an honest portrayal, but a product of her imagination. In other words, she does not show the dark, deadly truth about witchcraft, but presents it in a pleasant, appealing light. She does not show that witchcraft is actually dealing with the powers of darkness, which is strictly forbidden by Scripture. Rowling's unrealistic portrayal of witchcraft has earned her the dubious approval of a practicing witch, Phyllis Curott, "Sure, you are seeing witches in Harry Potter do things they don't do in real life. But it is positive. They are friendly. They are good. The book might change the way people feel about us." And those who are having their feelings remolded are very young people.

    Rowling "effectively divorces power from authority. There is no sovereign person or principle governing the use of the supernatural." And thus Potter teaches that witchcraft neutral it is a harmless way to obtain the desires of one's heart. Though God's word holds witchcraft in such anathema that it is a capital offence against God, Harry presents witchcraft in a way that it is an acceptable practice to be desired to make one able to control the world around him.

    At the very least, the Potter books can awaken a dangerous inquisitiveness in young minds, motivating them to pry into areas strictly forbidden by God's word.

    Substitute is fired over note on witches

    Greenwood schools dismisses teacher for giving instructions on how to become a witch.

    By John Masson, Staff Writer.

    GREENWOOD, Ind. A substitute teacher who gave fourth graders a "how to become a witch" note this week has been fired from Greenwood Community Schools.

    "It's not a rampant, infectious thing going on in Greenwood schools," Superintendent Pat Garvey said. "There were six notes, and to our knowledge maybe one or two of them went home."

    Garvey said students at Southwest Elementary School asked the teacher on Mondayher first day working for the districtabout a story they were reading that mentioned witches. Then the popular movie The Blair Witch Project came up. Finally, during recess, the teacher typed up a quarter-page summary on how to become a witch.

    When the children came back to class, she gave the list to six of them, Garvey said.

    The superintendent refused to identify the fired substitute and wouldn't say what tips the teacher suggested.

    "What you really want is a copy of this to print on the front page, and I don't want thousands of people seeing this. It's inappropriate," he said. "it's kind of like saying, OK, a kid brought a bomb to school and here's the recipe." ...

    (The Indianapolis Star, Sept. 16, 2000, p B1.

    There is a continuing heated debate with the ALA (American Library Association) over what to allow in public libraries. Thus far, the ALA has stood hard and fast against any kind of censorship of material available to young people. (However, our small, local library is reasonablely strict.) Thus if the young minds influenced by Harry seek to know more about witchcraft, will they not have access to such deadly material through the library? I have found that one can get just about any book desired through an inner library loan. In fact, my 15-year-old daughter regularly orders books through those loans.

    We must not view books like Harry Potter from a neutral standpoint. In fact, entertainment in general must not be seen as neutral, for it is not. Nothing is neutral, and we must be versed in Scripture well enough to recognize the presupposition of that entertainment. My daughter loves to read. In fact, as "punishment" for not cleaning her room, I at times must make her put up her books. Several times, she has returned books to the library without reading them because they were antiChristian. We must have our children well enough trained in the Christian faith that they can recognize antiChristian material, and deal with it appropriately.

    A few final words:

    Darkness over the land is a call to holiness in Gods' people, and it could mean the Lord preparing to bring about his own glory through judgment. (Isa. 50:10, 60:2)

    Darkness settling over a nation is a mark of God's judgment against that nation. (Ez. 32:8.)

    Darkness and its works pursue the Lord's enemies. (Nahum 1:8.)

    Men love darkness rather than light, because their deeds are evil. (Jn. 3:19.) This means more than "lights out." It includes men's love for lies over truth, for lies allow them to pursue their own evil desires be their own gods. In other words, Harry's darkness seemingly allows them to obtain their hearts' desires through witchcraft while rejecting the truth of God's word, Jesus Christ. The state's rebellion against the light (Job 24:13) causes it to love the things of darkness.

    Rather than fellowshiping with the unfruitful works of dankness, we are to reprove, or shine God's light upon them, exposing them for what they are. (Eph. 5:11. "Have no fellowship," does not imply that we can avoid all intercourse (#1Co 5:10), but "avoid such fellowship as will defile yourselves"; just as light, though it touch filth, is not soiled by it; nay, as light detects it, so, "even reprove sin." Jamieson, Fausset, Brown Commentary. We must be able to point others to God's truth in such matters as Harry Potter.)

    Christians have been called to holiness as they are delivered out of darkness to his marvellous light. (Col. 1:13, 1 Pet. 2:9.)

    Christians must discipline themselves to cast down imaginations that are contrary to the knowledge of the Holy God of Scripture. (2 Cor. 10:5.) Maybe one reason Pottermaina has caught on is because of a lack of knowledge by God's people of the God they profess to worship and serve.

    Pottermania is sweeping the land, catching young, impressionable minds in its net. But the Lord is the one who gave Rowling the skill.

    Isaiah 45:7 I form the {h} light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the LORD do all these [things].

    (h) I send peace and war, prosperity and adversity, as in #Am 3:6. (Geneva)

    create evilnot moral evil (#Jas 1:13), but in contrast to "peace" in the parallel clause, war, disaster (compare #Ps 65:7 Am 3:6). (JFB)

    How are God's people going to respond?

    (See "The Harry Delemma," by John Andrew Murra, Teachers in Focus, & "What Shall We Do With Harry," by Lindy Beam, "Plugged in," Also, in-depth reviews of each Harry Potter book can be read at the latter site.)

    What the Bible Does Not Say

    The first job I had off the farm was in Indianapolis where my dad worked, at the age of 15, operating heavy equipment. It was 100 miles each way, and it was before Interstates. We made the drive almost every day, and left early each morning. (As soon as I got my "permit," I did all the driving.) On the way to work, we listened to a radio preacher on over WIBC in Indianapolis. The name of the program was, "What the Bible Says." I could call the following article...

    What The Bible Does Not Say

    We, many times, read God's word very superficially that is, passing over or ignoring the context of passages or even words within the very passage itself, because those words do not confirm what we have been taught or what we want to believe. However, on close inspection, we may find that many passages, or even verses, do not say what we make them say or might want them to say. Below are some well-known passages that should be looked at more closely.

    Scripture speaks of a period of overflowing righteousness before the end of all things, a period when Christ reigns (e.g., Ps. 22:26ff, 66:1-7, 72, 86, 102, , Isa. 2, 66, Zech. 14, &c.). But, is that reign spiritual or literal? Consider the following passages. Note that though the following passages SOUND like evil increases unbounded to where it controls the world, that is not what they say. (Sitting in a doctor's office Sept. 18, I heard a man tell another patient that it will do no good to stand against evil because the Bible sais that such a stand is useless the world will grow worse and worse.) The many passages that prophecy evil workers in this world are followed by promises of victory to the faithful.

    So my Baptist Brethren will not consider me a heretic, I will open with a quote by C.H. Spurgeon (1834-1892):

    Psalms 89:9 All nations whom thou hast made, and these include all mankind, since they all come of the first Adam--thy creature, and their lives are all distinct creations of thine omnipotence. All these shall come with penitent hearts, in thine own way, to thine own self, and worship before thee, O Lord. Because thou art thus above all gods, the people who have been so long deceived shall at last discover thy greatness, and shall render thee the worship which is thy due: thou hast created them all, and unto thee shall they all yield homage. This was David's reason for resorting to the Lord in trouble, for he felt that one day all men would acknowledge the Lord to be the only God. It makes us content to be in the minority today, when we are sure that the majority will be with us tomorrow, ay, and that the truth will one day be carried unanimously and heartily. David was not a believer in the theory that the world will grow worse and worse, and that the dispensation will wind up with general darkness, and idolatry. Earth's sun is to go down amid tenfold night if some of our prophetic brethren are to be believed. Not so do we expect, but we look for day when the dwellers in all lands shall learn righteousness, shall trust in the Saviour, shall worship thee alone, O God, and shall glorify thy name. The modern notion has greatly damped the zeal of the church for missions, and the sooner it is shown to be unscriptural the better for the cause of God. It neither consorts with prophecy, honours God, nor inspires the church with ardor. Far hence be it driven. (Treasury of David, Online Bible.)

    And again:

    Psalms 72:8 He shall have dominion also from sea to sea. Wide spread shall be the rule of Messiah; only the Land's End shall end his territory: to the Ultima Thule shall his sceptre be extended. From Pacific to Atlantic, and from Atlantic to Pacific, he shall be Lord, and the oceans which surround each pole shall be beneath his sway. All other power shall be subordinate to his; no rival nor antagonist shall he know. Men speak of the Emperor of all the Russias, but Jesus shall be Ruler of all mankind.

    And from the river unto the ends of the earth. Start where you will, by any river you choose, and Messiah's kingdom shall reach on to the utmost bounds of the round world. As Solomon's realm embraced all the land of promise, and left no unconquered margin; so shall the Son of David rule all lands given him in the better covenant, and leave no nation to pine beneath the tyranny of the prince of darkness. We are encouraged by such a passage as this to look for the Saviour's universal reign; whether before or after his personal advent we leave for the discussion of others. In this Psalm, at least, we see a personal monarch, and he is the central figure, the focus of all the glory; not his servant, but himself do we see possessing the dominion and dispensing the government. Personal pronouns referring to our great King are constantly occurring in this Psalm; he has dominion kings fall down before him, and serve him; for he delivers, he spares, he saves, he lives, and daily is he praised.

    Ver. 9. They that dwell in the wilderness shall bow before him. Unconquered by arms, they shall be subdued by love. Wild and lawless as they have been, they shall gladly wear his easy yoke; then shall their deserts be made glad, yea, they shall rejoice and blossom as the rose. (Ibid.)

    The standard teaching today from many passages is that the world must grow worse and worse until there is no more hope. Then the Lord must finally personally intervene because man is a hopeless mess, and so is the situation he has made out of things. But this theory is not new; it has been around for several years. In order to support the belief "in the theory that the world will grow worse and worse, and that the dispensation will wind up with general darkness, and idolatry," people make some verses say things they do not say. Following are some of those passages.

    I) 2 Timothy 3:1, This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. Thinking on 2 Timothy 3:1, it came to my attention that this verse, along with many other verses, does not say what is generally accepted. This verse led to several more verses that seem to imply that corruption and godlessness will peak just before the return of Christ. However, the corruptions described by these passages are not unique to any particular time in history, for they have been common from the close of Apostolic age. Speaking of the evils mentioned in 2 Timothy 3, Fairbairn quotes:

    "I think," says Theodoret (c. 390-c. 402, ed.), "that it was our time which is here predicted. For our life is full of these evils ; and while we bear about us an aspect of piety, it is the image of wickedness which we produce by our works." (Pastoral Epistles, Fairbairn, 363. T & T Clark, Edinburgh, 1874. Klock & Klock, Reprint.)

    Though he does not outright say it, Paul's mournful prophecy in 2 Timothy 3 implies several things:

    1) The Lord has turned the world completely over to the wicked one. ("Absentee Landlord.")

    2) The Lord has restricted his workings in the Gospel Church age to only his indwelling Spirit of Grace influencing men to conversion and to follow him into righteousness in face of the surrounding evil temptations. (I heard Bill Bright on the way in to the office, January 28, 2000. In a 60 second spot, he had his listeners who wanted to be "saved" pray something like this: "Lord Jesus come into my life and save me, forgive my sins and give me a new life that pleases you." Then he told them they are saved, and they need to get in a good Bible believing church. He never even hinted toward the gospel of Christ's payment for sin.)

    3) The choice is left up to man, and though influenced by the Spirit, man generally follows after evil.

    4) The result is that the world continues to worsen until the Lord himself must come straighten out the mess.

    The logical conclusion is that because it is prophesied that only wickedness and evil will prevail in the world, Christians are left with no hope of seeing their areas of influence "Christianized," nor the nations converted as commanded by the "Great Commission."

    Certainly, the Lord warns of evil men, but the misused passages do not say that evil men will be in total control and remain in such control until the end of time. Nor do they say that there is no hope of reaching the wicked people around us.


    Jane Fonda (January 7, 2000)

    Radical political activist Jane Fonda has become a Christian, a report says. The former movie star, long-time activist for liberal causes, and wife of media mogul Ted Turner, became a believer in Jesus Christ through conversations with her chauffeur, WorldNetDaily, an Internet-based news service, said. ...Fonda's chauffeur began approaching her about his personal faith in Christ two years ago, writer Joseph Farah said. At first Fonda was uncomfortable with the conversations, but grew more open, and eventually attended church with the chauffeur, Farah said. She regularly goes to Bible studies and church, and her faith is "very real, very deep," a friend of Fonda told him. ...Her outlook is changing, friends say.. (See end of this article for Cal Thomas' complete report.)

    God's method of conquering the hardened sinner is the only one that will work conversion by the Spirit of God. God did not use a literal sword and threat of "off with her head" to cause Jane Fonda to bow before King Jesus. He conquered her with the Sword of the Spirit, and made her a willing, loving subject. A right word at the right time can change those around us, even those who we think will not listen. Keep speaking up for the Lord at every chance. A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in pictures of silver. (Pro. 25:11.)

    II) 2 Timothy 3:1. Though perilous times shall come, he does not say that perilous times shall take control of the whole world. Perilous simply means difficult.

    Let us define the term, last days. The term is used in Hebrews 1:2, to described the time from the first Advent of Christ until there will be time no longer (Rev. 10:6). So far, the last days have lasted 2000 years. Really, difficulties for those who desire to please the Heavenly Father are not a recent invention of the last 2000 years. When you meet them, ask Adam, Enoch, Abraham, Moses, David or even Christ himself if it was difficult to follow the Heavenly Father by faith. Did not Christ have to keep his human nature under control as it wanted to avoid the perilous time of the cross? (Nevertheless not my will, but thine be done. Lk. 22:42.)

    Common sense tells us that Paul's warning in chapter 3 is a general warning he does not say that all men will be given over to all these lusts at the same time. If such a thing should happen, society would soon vanish. He simply says that the spirit of self-love and self-esteem, with their various resulting evils, rise and fall according to the progress of the gospel of Christ. Paul is primarily warning of self-love and self-esteem in "Christian leaders."

    Fairbairn, published in 1874, identifies the spirit of self-love as, if not avowed, at least virtual atheism. The atheist holds mankind in contempt as he seeks his own pleasure. And the pleasure desired by the Christian atheist may be his exaltation in Christian circles. Fairbairn lays the blame for the French Revolution upon the prevalence of the self-love (self-esteem) spirit among Christian leaders. Moreover, he says that the same "disregard of Christian verities" (truths) is again at work, and,

    [I]t can scarcely be said to be beyond the bounds of probability that "the last days" of the present dispensation are destined to witness, in certain quarters, a realization of the prophetic picture before us (2 Tim. 3, ed.) more appalling than has yet been exhibited in the history of the past. (The Pastoral Epistles, 365, 366.)

    So the prevalence of self-love in a social order may well lead to another "French Revolution" in that order. But Paul does not say that the self-loving and self-esteeming (Philip. 2:3) individuals will prevail, for he concludes, But they shall proceed no further..., v. 9. Then Paul reminds Timothy of his holy walk in this world, including his physical persecutions.

    III) 2 Timothy 3:13, But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived. Note that this does not say that the evil world shall wax worse and worse, though it certainly is made up of men; rather, it says men. Nor does it say that their followings will increase so that the majority of the world follows them.


    Ver. I3. But evil men and deceivers shall grow worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived. ... Living in an element of deceit, they come to be themselves deceived; their sin becomes their snare and their punishment: so that, in so far as they are capable of progress, the progress is from bad to worse; and if their manner of life is such as to save them from persecution at the hand of others, it brings recompenses of evil far more to be dreaded, and these prepared by their own hands... The unqualified use of such a term cannot justly be understood otherwise than as identifying them with the wily and unscrupulous professors of the magical art. (The Pastoral Epistles, 375.)

    Verse 13. Evil men and seducers shall wax worse They will yet get on for a season, deceiving themselves and deceiving others; but, by and by, their folly will become manifest to all, 2 Timothy 3:9. The word gohtev, which we render seducers, signifies jugglers, pretenders to magical arts; probably persons dealing in false miracles, with whom the Church in all ages has been not a little disgraced. (Clarke.)

    Dwight L. Moody, the great American evangelist, used to be accompanied on his tours by the singer, Henry Drummond. Originally Drummond was able to influence and hypnotize people at a distance of fifty miles. After his conversion, he had difficulty in overcoming these occult powers. While ministering at Moody's meetings, he occasionally noticed that the audience was being influenced by his psychic powers. He was very troubled about this and asked the Lord to free him from these occult powers. The Lord answered his prayer.(Occult ABC, Kurt Koch, 297-298. Kregel Publications.)

    Henry Drummond [1851-1897] accompanied Moody in his meetings. Thus one wonders how much modern church growth is the Spirit's work, and how much is men using the spirits renounced by Drummond? (See 2 Cor. 10:4, 5.) The question must be raised as to how many today would do what Drummond did? The "magical arts" will become more common as they are used to lead people astray. But Paul does not say that Christianity will fall before those "arts." Remember Moses! whose God was far more powerful than those who practiced the "arts." (With a few exceptions, the "public school" system seems to urges the children sent to them by their parents to develop and use "magical arts," as well as to honor other gods, gods of the Hindus, of the Mormons, of the Catholics, e.g., "Saint So-and-So" or sing praises and pray to Marry, &c.)

    Notice Paul's answer for the evil of vv. 1-12: Vv. 14-17, sound doctrine and godly living.

    IV) 1 Timothy 4:1, Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith... Paul did not say all ; rather, he said some "Consisting of an indefinitely small number that is more than two or three but less than many." Some is not as large as many. However, both many and some are more than few.

    Latter times that is, the "times immediately subsequent, the beginnings of the apostasy being already discernible..." (Jamieson, Fausset, Brown Commentary.)

    Giving heed to seducing spirits and teachings of demons. An interesting thought is presented here by Fairbairn:

    Ample proof, indeed, exists, and was produced by Mede (Works, p. 623), of the extensive prevalence of demonolatry in apostolic times outside the Christian church, under the forms of saint and martyr worship, exorcisms, incantations, and superstitious wrestlings with particular representatives of the demon world. But there is no evidence of that specific form of corruption being here in the eye of the apostle. The particular kinds of evil mentioned by him have no proper affinity with it; they belong to the sphere of ordinary life, and were such as spring from a false but aspiring asceticism, aiming at higher degrees of mortification and self-denial than consisted with the principles of the gospel." (The Pastoral Epistles, 169, 170. Emp. added.)

    Though demon worship was common in Paul's day, as it is in ours, that is not the warning. The warning is against desiring to be more "spiritual" than required by God's word, which is according to the context, vv. 3-5. There are a great many examples of this desire in the church today, e.g., the doctrine of total abstinence. I personally believe total abstinence is wise, but unprovable from God's word. Paul defines the desire to be more "holy" than is required by God's word as doctrines of devils, a doctrine followed by the Pharisees of Christ's day.

    Illustration: A few years ago, my wife went with our daughter to an "away ball game" with the Christian school she attends. All the parents were given a list of "dos and don'ts" they had to abide by before they could get into the other church's gym. There is certainly nothing wrong with a church establishing standards for use of its buildings, but my wife pointed out that most of the things listed were things not established in Scripture they went well beyond what God requires. She was quite distressed over the evident fact that the host church was trying to be more spiritual than God.

    The older commentators point out that Rome's forbidding to marry and her worship of idols (e.g., Marry worship) fits well within Paul's warning, e.g., Matthew Henry, John Gill, JFB.

    Paul's answer to the evils of vv. 1-3 again is sound doctrine, which must be meditated upon, and godly living, 1 Timothy 4:6-16.

    V) Jude 18, How that they told you there should be mockers in the last time (not times, though Peter uses days, 2 Pet. 3:3, ed.), who should walk after their own ungodly lusts. Though this verse is out of its Scriptural order, I will place it here due to Manton's comment:

    In the last time. The days when the gospel was first preached are so called in a double sense(1.) Either with respect to the approaching judgments on the Jews: 1 John ii. 18, `Little children, now is the last time.' The lease of their mercies was running out apace; so James telleth the carnal Jews, James v. 3, `Ye have heaped up treasure for the last days.' When God was pulling down and plucking up, they were scraping and hoarding up wealth, and so became a greater prey to the destroyer. Or (2.) Because then the last dispensation began, which God would continue without change unto the world's end: Heb. I. 2, `He hath in these last days spoken to us by his Son.' The Lord hath now fully revealed his mind, and the doctrine of salvation is put into a settled course, never more to be altered. (Emp. added. Thomas Manton, The Epistle of Jude, 323, 324. ND, but he spoke harshly against the "Papists," which dates him well before the 1900s. Banner of Truth. 1958 reprint.)

    First, last time is probably the time of "the conclusion of the Jewish polity," i.e. civil order, 70 AD. (Clarke.)

    Second, though mockers in the last time are promised, who walk after their own ungodly lusts, James did not say they would take over the world, nor that they would stop or hinder the spreading of the gospel.

    Third, instead of following the false teachers and corrupt doctrines, Jude calls on God's people to remember the warnings of Christ and the apostles, v. 17. He also uses those walking after their own lusts to motivate Christians to live godly lives. Again, the promises of God are true despite the ungodly's activity Jude calls on Christians to have even more determination to reach the ungodly, vv. 22, 23.

    VI) 2 Peter 2:1, But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction. There have always been an abundance of false prophets and teachers among those who are saved by grace through faith. And many people have always been willing and anxious to follow them in their destructive ways, but many does not mean all. Nor does Peter say that the false prophets and teachers will be the majority nor that they will take over the church. He identifies them simply as spots and blemishes among the righteous.

    Peter does say that the false teachers in the Gospel Church face sure judgment, just as sure as did the angels who sinned. The Lord does not promise victory to the ungodly, but he does promise them judgment, v. 13, &c. In fact, the Lord promises that the godly deliverance out of the hands of the ungodly, v. 9.

    VII) 2 Peter 3:3, Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts... but Peter does not say that the scoffers will prevail. Peter goes on to say that the last day scoffers, walking after their own lusts will not void the promises of God. Peter calls on God's people to grow in the knowledge of God's word, and to be holy and godly, particularly among those walking after their own lusts, v. 11.

    VIII) 2 Peter 3:9, The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is long-suffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance. Though not a "prophetic" verse, this verse deserves a look. The promise is found in v. 4 the Lord will come in his good time, and he will judge the wicked as sure as he judged the world of old. Those who love evil are willingly ignorant of the fact that the Lord created the world out of nothing; they are willingly ignorant of the fact that the Lord judged the old world, vv. 5, 6. Though the Lord's judgment against evil may be a long time in coming by man's timetable, man's timing is not God's timing, v. 8. ("We cannot understand eternity through the medium of time." Joseph Parker.) Though God's hand against evil has been promised, it does not move in the way nor in the time men think it should, so men think God's promises are slack delayed or that the Lord is negligent. (Ecc. 8:11.)

    Peter tells us that the Lord is long-suffering to us-ward (or you-ward, JFB)... The context requires that we understand us-ward not as the Lord being long-suffering to the lustful scoffers and willingly ignorant of vv. 3, 5, but long-suffering to God's people, the elect:

    The Lord will surely come, because he has promised: and neither sooner nor later than he has promised. A reason why the last day does not come too soon, because God patiently waits until all the elect are brought to repentance, that none of them may perish. (Geneva)

    The promise is that the Lord will move against his enemies, and will save his people, those whom he has chosen before the foundation of the world (Mat. 25:34, 1 Pet. 1:20, Rev. 17:8):

    [M]any of whom are not as yet converted; and those who are in a state of grace and favour with God are to advance in knowledge and holiness, and in the exercise of faith and patience, to abound in good works, doing and suffering what they are called to, that they may bring glory to God, and improve in a meetness for heaven; for God is not willing that any of these should perish, but that all of them should come to repentance. (Matthew Henry.)

    Ver. 9. Not willing that any one should perish] See the note on 1 Tim. ii. 4. Not willing that any of his should perish. (John Trapp [1601-1669], Commentary On The Old & New Testaments, V.V.722. Tanski Publications.)

    Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth. (1 Tim. 2:4.)

    4. "Imitate God." Since He wishes that all should be saved, do you also wish it; and if you wish it, pray for it. For prayer is the instrument of effecting such things [CHRYSOSTOM]. Paul does not say, "He wishes to save all"; for then he would have saved all in matter of fact; but "will have all men to be saved, " implies the possibility of man's accepting it (through God's prevenient grace) or rejecting it (through man's own perversity). Our prayers ought to include all, as God's grace included all.

    to come They are not forced.

    unto the knowledge Greek, " the full knowledge" or "recognition" (See JFB on "1Co 13:12"; #Php 1:9).

    the truth the saving truth as it is in, and by, Jesus (#Joh 17:3,17). (JFB. See also, Barnes' Notes. Note: Shame on those who try to lower the thoughts of God to the level of man, who try with their finite mind to understand the infinite mind and ways of God. It is like those trapped in time trying to understand eternity.)

    In other words, the promise found in 2 Peter 3:9 is not that the lustful scoffers and the willingly ignorant will inherit the earth during the Gospel Church age. Rather, the promise is to the righteous that God will judge the wicked, letting them follow their lusts to their own destruction, v. 16.

    The day of the Lord is fixed in his mind, and it will come accordingly, v. 10. Peter warns God's people not to be caught in the trap the wicked are caught in, v. 17 that is, thinking that the Lord has turned the world over to the wicked, and the righteous are helpless victims in the Gospel Age. The promise is that in his good time, the day of the Lord's judgment will come, so the righteous must not give up their confidence; rather, they must grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. They must learn from his word what to do, and grow in their Spirit given ability to do what is pleasing in his sight.

    Not willing that any of the elect should perish, but that all should come to repentance...

    Romans 2 speaks of the Lord's long-suffering towards the wicked, illustrated in the lives of both Noah and Lot. The purpose of his long-suffering goodness is to give sinners a chance to repent, so they are without excuse in the end. However, rather than repent, man's hardness stores up wrath for the day of God's righteous judgment, Jude 18, q.v. Though the passage applies for all time, Paul speaks to the Jews of his day, and he is making a point for them God is no respecter of person, i.e., Jew-Gentile. The law never saved anyone, and all must come to faith in Christ. Hence, God's long-suffering towards the wicked in Romans 2 does not conflict with 2 Peter 3:9, ... not willing that any should perish.

    Luke 17:26 also is an illustration of God's long long-suffering toward the wicked. In 1 Peter 3:20, God was long-suffering, waiting and warning the wicked before he sent the flood, 2 Peter 2:5. But they did not repent.

    IX) Luke 17:27, They did eat, they drank, they married wives, they were given in marriage, until the day that Noah entered into the ark, and the flood came, and destroyed them all. That is, the people in Noah's day, and Lot's, were unconcerned about anything except the daily matters and pleasures of life, despite the many warnings of impending judgment. Luke's statement in v. 27, and likewise Lot, v. 28, is many times used to say that people will "grow worse and worse" as time progresses. And thus society will develop at the end the same ratio of godly to the ungodly as was present with Noah and Lot.

    But that is not what Luke says. Note the context: Vv. 26, 27, gives Luke's version of the Lord's warning in Matthew 24:37-39, which spoke of the destruction of Jerusalem. The Lord waited for a generation, i.e., forty years (Mk. 14:61, 62), before he sent his army, Rome, against the wicked city that killed the Son, Matthew 21:33-46. He gave the wicked abundant opportunity to repent. (My study in Mat. 24 deals with all this, so I will not here. It is posted in its entirety on at our web site.) Many did repent, Acts 2:22-41.

    [Lk. 17:26] so shall it be also in the days of the son of man; some time before, and at his coming in power, and great glory, to destroy the Jews, their nation, city, and temple; and as then, so it will be when he shall come in person, at the last day, to destroy the world: the times of Noah's flood, of Jerusalem's destruction, and of the end of the world, bear a great resemblance to each other: and when the son of man comes in either of these senses, then will the kingdom of God come; or then will it appear that the Messiah is come, and has took to himself his great power, and reigns. (John Gill.)

    Though Luke's context describes the attitude of the Jews before their destruction, it also speaks of men's attitudes throughout history. From the inception of the Gospel Church, society's general attitude toward the Lord has risen and fallen between loving God and loving self self-esteem.

    However, when some bring the general attitude spoken of in Noah's and Lot's time into the present, they say that the world will grow worse and worse, and it will be as it was in Noah's and Lot's time. But that is not what Luke says. Luke was speaking specifically of the Jew's attitude when the Lord came back in his promised judgment. (Mk. 14:61, 62.)

    X) 1 John 2:18, Little children, it is the last time: and as ye have heard that antichrist shall come, even now are there many antichrists; whereby we know that it is the last time. An antichrist is anyone who is an adversary of the Messiah. Though more than one, many is a restricted number, so John does not say that these antichrists are going to take over the world. In fact, John goes on to tell Christians that they can be victorious despite the many antichrists. It is impossible to establish the date of John's writing, but his warnings fit in well with Christ's in Matthew 24.

    Matthew Henry comments on 1 John 2:18:

    2.They were foretold also as the sign of this last time. For there shall arise false Christs and false prophets, and shall show great signs and wonders, insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect, #Mt 24:24. And these were the forerunners of the dissolution of the Jewish state, nation, and religion: Whereby we know it is the last time, #1Jo 2:18. Let the prediction that we see there has been of seducers arising in the Christian world fortify us against their seduction. (Online Bible.)

    Adam Clarke comments:

    Verse 18. Little children, it is the last time This place is variously understood. This is the last dispensation of grace and mercy to mankind; the present age is the conclusion of the Jewish state, as the temple and holy city are shortly to be destroyed. But as there are many who suppose that this epistle was written after the destruction of Jerusalem, consequently the words cannot, on that supposition, refer to this. Others think that `escath wra' should be translated, a most difficult, perilous, and wretched time; a time in which all kinds of vices, heresies, and pollutions shall have their full reign; that time which our Lord predicted, Matthew 7:15, when he said, Beware of false prophets. And Matthew 24:11, 12: Many false prophets shall arise, and shall deceive many; and because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold. And Matthew 24:24: There shall arise false Christs and false prophets, and shall show great signs and wonders. And Matthew 24:25: Behold, I have told you before. Now the apostle may allude to these predictions of our Lord; but all these refer to a time antecedent to the destruction of Jerusalem. I am therefore inclined to think, whatever may be here the precise meaning of the last time, that the epistle before us was written while Jerusalem yet stood. See what is said in the preface on this head.

    Antichrist shall come Who is this anticristov antichrist? Is he the Emperor Domitian, the Gnostics, Nicolaitans, Nazareans, Corinthians, Romish pontiffs, etc., etc.! Ans. Any person, thing, doctrine, system of religion, polity, etc., which is opposed to Christ, and to the spirit and spread of his Gospel, is antichrist. We need not look for this imaginary being in any of the above exclusively. Even Protestantism may have its antichrist as well as Popery. Every man who opposes the spirit of the Gospel, and every teacher and writer who endeavors to lower the Gospel standard to the spirit and taste of the world, is a genuine antichrist, no matter where or among whom he is found. The heresies which sprang up in the days of St. John were the antichrist of that time. As there has been a succession of oppositions to Christianity in its spirit and spread through every age since its promulgation in the world, so there has been a succession of antichrists. We may bring this matter much lower; every enemy of Christ, every one who opposes his reign in the world, in others, or in himself, is an antichrist; and consequently every wicked man is an antichrist. But the name has been generally applied to whatever person or thing systematically opposes Christ and his religion.

    Many antichrists Many false prophets, false Messiahs, heretics, and corrupters of the truth.

    Whereby we know that it is the last time That time which our Lord has predicted, and of which he has warned us. (Clarke's Commentary, 1 John. Emph.. added.)

    Last days..., many antichrists. John's words seem to apply particularly to the then quickly approaching end of the Jewish, or Hebrew, social order, 70 AD. He was, accordingly, writing to people who were in the last days of that order. Christ himself, speaking before the end of the Hebrew social order, warned against those who would come in his name, giving people false assurance. Those false prophets promising peace, safety and deliverance were common in Jerusalem, even after Rome had the city surrounded. John's warning of many antichrists concerned the rise of the false prophets promising peace and safety.

    But the warning of the many antichrists goes much further than John's day. The Lord warned of the false prophets, i.e., antichrists, in sheep's clothes, as did Paul in Acts 20:29-31. The problem of many antichrists, i.e., any person or system that opposes the true Christian religion, has been a serious problem for the church from the very beginning, and will continue to be a problem until the end. Accordingly, not only is the Papal system antichrist, but so is the Protestant system of "pray this prayer" for salvation, e.g., Bill Bright's prayer, q.v. The last days started with Christ, the foundation of the Gospel Church, and will last until the end.

    XI) Matthew 24:14, and then shall the end come. No doubt one of the most common, well known and misused passage among Christians is Matthew 24. Many who are convinced that Christianity is defeated in this present "dispensation" flee to Matthew chapter 24 to prove their point. But the end spoken of by the Lord in v. 14 is the end of the Jewish dispensation. On the other hand, the last days Paul warned Timothy of are not those last days of Matthew 24, 2 Timothy 3:1.

    Matthew 24 spoke of the soon coming destruction of the Jewish economy, 70 AD. I will not go into the proof of that statement here, for I have a very lengthy study on this point. However, notice an oft overlooked point, vv. 11, 12, many false prophets..., deceive many, and the love of many. It does not say most nor all, nor does it promise victory to the many false prophets, nor to the ungodly. Continuing through the text, we find that God promises victory to the faithful, v. 31. He does not promise victory to the ungodly.

    XII) Matthew 22:14, For many are called, but few are chosen. Clearly here the Lord says that only a few of the total called to the Father's feast for his Son will answer the call. And even among those who answer, some are unprepared, and are cast into outer darkness vv. 11-13. The facts of the verse itself cannot be disputed.

    Nor can the context be disputed. Christ started his message of warning and judgment against national Israel in Matthew 21, where he offered himself as King, 21:1-11. He then went into the temple of God to exercise his Kingly authority, vv. 12-17, with actions that did not set well with the religious leaders. Vv. 18-22, Christ returns to the temple, and on his way into the city, he curses the fig tree. The fig tree represents national Israel and the soon coming destruction to come against Jerusalem, which rejected the King, v. 15 (e.g., national Israel is charged with Christ's death though his death was the work of its religious leaders, Mat. 27:20, Acts 4:10. See Irenaeus [c. 130-c.202] Against Heresies, The Ante-Nicene Fathers, V. 1.518. Eerdmans). Vv. 23-27, the religious leaders get serious about putting Christ to death. Vv. 28-32, Christ exposes the leaders' hearts by giving them a comparison between outward words of obedience (the Pharisees, religious leaders) and the inward spirit of obedience which leads to repentance and conversion (the publicans and harlots). Vv. 33-46, Christ gives a parable of the vineyard the world was given to the nation of Israel, but instead of Israel returning the praise, honor and glory to God the Father, it kept it for itself. The Father tried many times to call the nation to himself, but every effort was refused, and finally the Son was killed. When the question was put to the religious leaders, they clearly recognized that the tenants of the city deserved total destruction, and after speaking the truth about the just judgment, they realized they spoke their own judgment.

    In Matthew 22, Christ continues his sermon against national Israel's religious leaders. Vv. 1-14, the king invites them that were bidden:

    {To call them that were bidden} (kalesai touv keklhmenouv). "Perhaps an unconscious play on the words, lost in both A.V. and Rev., {to call the called}" (Vincent). It was a Jewish custom to invite a second time the already invited (#Es 5:8; 6:14). The prophets of old had given God's invitation to the Jewish people. Now the Baptist and Jesus had given the second invitation that the feast was ready. {And they would not come} (kai ouk hyelon elyein). This negative imperfect characterizes the stubborn refusal of the Jewish leaders to accept Jesus as God's Son (#Joh 1:11). This is "The Hebrew Tragedy" (Conder). (Robertson's NT Word Pictures. Online Bible.)

    3. and sent forth his servants--representing all preachers of the Gospel.

    to call them that were bidden--here meaning the Jews, who were "bidden, " from the first choice of them onwards through every summons addressed to them by the prophets to hold themselves in readiness for the appearing of their King.

    to the wedding--or the marriage festivities, when the preparations were all concluded.

    and they would not come--as the issue of the whole ministry of the Baptist, our Lord Himself, and His apostles thereafter, too sadly showed. (JFB)

    Them that were bidden were the Jews, or national Israel. Israel refused the invitation, and mistreated the king's servants. (Just shaving off one half of the beards of King David's servants, and cutting off their garments in the middle was a declaration of war, 2 Sam. 10, 1 Chron. 19.) So after burning the city of the ungrateful invited, the king enlarges the invitation to include all who will come. And even some of those came unprepared without the proper garment. (Many are in the visible church without the garment of righteousness provided by the King; see Mat. 7:21.)

    V. 14, many are called, but few are chosen is required by the context to mean many of national Israel were called, but few were chosen (by God) to answer the call. For the next verse says that understanding the Lord spoke against them, the national leaders tried to entangle him in his talk, so they could take him without creating an uproar among his followers.

    Textural proof that v. 14 refers to national Israel, and not to the nations in general:

    Matthew 21:46 and 22:15 tell us that the parable of 22:1-14 was given to Israel's religious leaders Christ responds to their efforts to kill him, 21:46. It tells us that the call was issued to the leaders of national Israel, who, generally, rejected the call. Though some responded, not all who responded were chosen, vv. 11-14. (Cf. Jn. 6:26.) Israel, however, generally rejected the call, killing the Son. Though after the resurrection many natural Hebrews, Israelites or Jews, came to Christ (the "door" being left open for the elect before the nation was destroyed), the nation still stood against the Son. The result was the destruction of the nation, 70 AD. Note that the Pharisees clearly understood Christ's words he spoke against them. (Mat. 22:15.) Thus the context requires that we understand that many of national Israel were called, but few of that nation were chosen to eternal life. For the nation had to reject Christ, so the gospel would go to the whole world.

    XIII) Matthew 7:14, strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.

    The key word is few. This passage, admittedly, presents a problem. Romans 3:10ff., quoting Psalms 14, says that none seeketh after God. The dilemma: Christ says few there be that find the way to eternal life. Yet Paul says that none find it, for all are gone out of the way. Every person is by nature on the broad way to destruction, so their only hope for finding life is that the Shepherd finds them, which only complicates the dilemma. (Lk. 15.) All the commentators I have checked imply that only a few will be saved, which is sure what the verse sounds like. Again, the dilemma few there be that find it, implies that it is up to the individual to find the way of life.

    The proper understanding of this passage is found in its parallel, Luke 13:24 Christ is calling Israel to repent or perish. Luke 13:

    1) vv. 1-5, the Galileans (Israelites) were sacrificing at the temple when Pilate killed them. (Cf., Luke 4:44, below.) Evidently, though making the proper sacrifice, they were wicked men who deserved Pilate's move against them, for Christ used them as an illustration of godly repentance. (See Clarke.) His implied point is that though people may go through all the proper religious motions, those motions will not save them. (The common complaint against national Israel was that it worshiped God in actions only, e.g., Ezek. 33:31.) People must be changed in every area, not just in their religious activity they must be converted:

    Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord... (Acts 3:19.)

    2) vv. 6-9, He spake also this parable... Christ illustrates his call to Israel to repent and be converted. The fig tree represented national Israel, Matthew 21:19-21. The Heavenly Father planted the fig tree, and though Israel went through all the proper religious motions, its heart was far from the Lord God. It was unfruitful, so the Father determined to cut it down. But before he destroyed it, he allowed the Son to minister to the fig tree one more time, Matthew 21:41 (speaking to and about national Israel's religious leaders, v. 45). The fig tree did not respond, so it was cut down.

    3) vv. 10-17, one woman, who had been the devil's captive for eighteen years, came to Christ for healing. The ruler of the synagogue railed against Christ for healing on the Sabbath, and Christ rebuked him.

    4) vv. 18-22, Christ was sent by the Father throughout Israel to preach repentance and the kingdom of God. (Lk. 4:43.) He planted the small seed that was to take over the world. We will discuss leaven under 5).

    The kingdom of God


    Now after that John was put in prison, Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God, And saying, The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent ye, and believe the gospel. (Mk. 1:14, 15.)

    Christ was sent by the Father throughout Israel with the Father's message, i.e., repent and believe the gospel of the kingdom of God. At the time, the message was not to those outside Israel. (Cf. Mat. 15:26, 27, Mk. 7:27, 28.) The vast majority of Israel rejected the message, killing the messenger, Christ.

    B) one of the first places he preached the Father's message was Galilee. (Lk. 4:42.) The Galileans Herod killed obviously had rejected Christ's message to repent and be genuinely converted they were unholy still (cf., Rev. 22:11ff.), or Herod would not have killed them. (See above.)

    C) generally, the kingdom of God was rejected by Israel. The seventy disciples traveled throughout the land with the invitation to the King's wedding feast, yet few Israelites accepted the message of repent and believe the gospel. (Lk. 10:1-16, 14:15-24.) The message then went to the whole world while Israel was judged for its rejection.

    John chapter 6 records the great multitudes that followed Christ. But they followed him because of his miracles of healing the sick and feeding the multitudes. Christ preached repent and believe the gospel, the gospel being that Christ alone was from the Father and any approach to the Father had to be through him. (Jn. 4.) However, though great multitudes followed him, listening to his every word, they rejected his message. So, From that time many of his disciples went back, and walked no more with him. Christ was left with basically the twelve, and one of them was a devil. (Jn. 6:66, 67.) In other words, out of the many who followed Christ, only a few remained when they understood Christ's message, and they remained only because they were chosen by the Father to remain faithful to Christ. (V. 65.)

    5) vv. 23-30, and v. 24 (the strait gate that few find) is the "problem" verse. Note v. 23 Christ is teaching the twelve concerning national Israel's response to his message of repent or perish. Christ says that few of national Israel will understand the warning, repent and receive the message of the kingdom of God.

    A) vv. 25-28 is addressed to national Israel those who saw Christ, heard him speak and followed him, e.g., the great multitudes. (Jn. 6.) Though they ate and drank in the presence of Christ, and Christ taught in their streets, they rejected his message. The result was that they were "locked" out of the kingdom when judgment came.

    B) v. 29, because the nation is bared from the kingdom for rejecting Christ's message of repent or perish, the kingdom of God is opened to everyone, and they shall come. The non-Israelites (those outside of national Israel) gladly hear the message of repent and believe the gospel of Christ, and they come from the East, West, North and from the South. They will fill the wedding feast.

    Note further a few kingdom parables in Matthew 13:

    Verse 31. The kingdom of heaven is like to a grain of mustard seed This parable is a representation of the progress of the Gospel in the world; and of the growth of grace in the soul. That grace which leads the soul to the fullness of glory may begin, and often does, in a single good desire a wish to escape hell, or a desire to enjoy God in heaven. (Clarke.)

    This grain of mustard-seed sowed, is the word preached: which though it seem small and contemptible, proves quick and powerful. Hitherto fly the birds of the air, God's elect, for shade in prosperity, for shelter in adversity... Reformation hath ever met with opposition, and never more than now, men fighting for their lusts, which they love as their lives, and are loth to part with. But Christ shall reign when all is done: and those golden times are now at hand, that the new Jerusalem, which signifies the state of the Church in the world, when it hath passed the furnace of affliction, presently upon it shall be all of fine gold... On sin destroyeth much good: be moving therefore in thine own orb, and bestir thee as Nehemiah did, trading every talent wherewith Divine Providence hath intrusted thee for Jerusalem's welfare; giving no rest either to thyself or to God, as his rememberancer, until he have established, and made her a praise in the whole earth, Isa. lxii. 6, 7. (Trapp, p. 179.)

    Verse 33. The kingdom of heaven is like unto leaven On the nature and effects of leaven, see the note on Exodus 12:8. As the property of leaven is to change, or assimilate to its own nature, the meal or dough with which it is mixed, so the property of the grace of Christ is to change the whole soul into its own likeness; and God intends that this principle should continue in the soul till all is leavened - till the whole bear the image of the heavenly, as it before bore the image of the earthly. Both these parables are prophetic, and were intended to show, principally, how, from very small beginnings, the Gospel of Christ should pervade all the nations of the world, and fill them with righteousness and true holiness. (Clarke; see also CHS on Matthew.)

    V. 33, The kingdom of heaven is like unto leaven] Which soon diffuseth itself into the whole lump. The word of God is not bound, though the preacher, haply, be in bonds, 2 Tim. ii. 9, but runs, and is glorified, 2 Thess. ii. 1... (Trap.)

    [Vv. 47-49] It is probable that this parable also refers, in its primary meaning, to the Jewish state, and that, when Christ should come to judge and destroy them by the Roman power, the genuine followers of Christ only should escape, and the rest be overwhelmed by the general destruction. See Matthew 24:30, etc. (Clarke.)

    Mustard seed and leaven both speak of something that starts very small and unnoticed, yet it takes over its "host," the world in this case.

    Strive to enter in at the strait gate: for many, I say unto you, will seek to enter in, and shall not be able. (Lk. 13:24, Matt. 7:14.)

    In both Luke and Matthew, Christ speaks in the context of Israel's rejection of the message, repent ye, and believe the gospel. Many Israelites sought to enter life through their traditional religious service and observances, but were unable. They were blinded to the message of Christ, so the gospel could go to the non-Israelites. (Jn. 12:40, Rom. 11:7, 8 & 2 Cor. 3:14.) We see from Luke that this statement, 13:24, is given in the context of Israel rejecting the message to repent and believe the gospel. The result of few Israelites finding the way into the kingdom of God was that the gospel went to the Gentiles. (Cf., Lk. 14:15-24.)

    The Dilemma and an Answer:

    First, the Lord tells us that not many find the straight gate, the narrow way unto life. (Matt. 7:14, Lk. 13:24.)

    Second, on the other hand, he later tells us that the kingdom of heaven is likened to something very small that works behind the scene and unnoticed. After a set period of time, that small, unnoticed "something" is in control, which is in accord with many Old Testament prophecies that speak of the conversion of the nations to the Lord.

    Third, the only way I see that First and Second will work together without serious contradiction and damage to their contexts is that Matthew 7;14, and its parallel passages, must refer to the period at the very start of the gospel within the Israelite nation.

    XV.) Luke 12:32, Fear not, little flock, for it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom. This was spoken to his disciples, v. 22. The disciples are the ones who had the promise of binding and loosing. (Matt. 16:19, 18:18.)

    Verse 32. Fear not, little flock Or, very little flock, to mikron poimnion. This is what some term a double diminutive, and, literally translated, is, little flock. Though this refers solely to the apostles and first believers, of whom it was literally true, yet we may say that the number of genuine believers has been, and is still, small, in comparison of heathens and false Christians. (Clarke)

    Though spoken to the twelve, the little flock also applies to the redeemed. And to this little flock is promised the kingdom. Implied here is that God will work through the small number of the elect to give to them the kingdom of God. In other words, the little flock could be represented in the mustard seed or the leaven which, though small and hidden from view, works to take over the "whole."

    (The little flock mentality came into the church in the 1800s, resulting in Christians having a defeated and hopeless attitude toward anything that had to do with influencing the world around them for Christ.)

    XVI) 2 Thessalonians 2:1-12, seems to speak of a great increase of evil at the close of the Gospel Age it speaks of a great apostasy, the Man of Sin and the Restrainer that holds back the Man of Sin. For a good understanding of this passage, see B. B. Warfield. Warfield thus sums up his understanding:

    Let us gather up for the close, in brief recapitulation, the events which Paul predicts in these two Epistles. First of all, and most persistently of all, he predicts the coming of the Lord from heaven unto judgment, with its glorious accompaniments of hosts of angels, the shout, the voice of the archangel and the blast of the trumpet of God that awake the dead. Thus, he predicts the resurrection of Christ's dead to partake in the glory of His coming. Then, he foretells the results of the judgment eternal destruction from the face of God for the wicked, and everlasting presence with the Lord for His own. Of the time of the Advent the Apostle professes ignorance; he only knows that it will come unexpectedly. But he does know that before it the apostasy of the Jews must be completed, and the persecuting power of the Roman state be revealed. This apostasy and its punishment he sees is immediately ready for completion (I Thess. ii. 16). Finally, he mentions having previously foretold the persecutions under which the Thessalonians were already suffering (I Thess. iii. 4). (Biblical and Theological Studies, 475. See pp. 468-475. The Presbyterian and Reformed Publishing Company, 1952.)

    The context of Paul's words requires the Restrainer to be Judaism. As long as Judaism existed, Rome thought Christianity was just another sect within Judaism, and so left Christianity alone. This "protection" remained in place until the new, young Church could stand on its own. The Man of Sin was the Roman Emperor(s). Certainly, the teaching of the passage does speak of a continued conflict between the forces of darkness and the Spirit of God, but the passage does not even hint that the Restrainer is the Holy Spirit, who will be removed at a time to come.

    XVII) Then we have all of the book of the Revelation. I will not go into it here (for I have the study elsewhere), but the internal evidence of the book requires the date of its writing before 70 AD; and thus it speaks primarily of the destruction of national Israel, which was the end of the Hebrew economy that had been in existence for 1500 years really since the call of Abram, the Hebrew. (Gen. 14:13.) Admittedly, there is a lot of disagreement on the dating of the Revelation. And its date determines whether or not it refers primarily to the destruction of Jerusalem. However, note these few illustrations of its dating just in the last chapter:

    1) 22:6:

    The things which must shortly be done. There are many sayings in this book which, if taken literally, would intimate that the prophecies delivered in the whole of the Apocalypse were to be fulfilled in a short time after their delivery to John; and this is a strong support for the scheme of Wetstein, and those who maintain that the prophecies of this book all referred to those times in which the apostle lived, and to the disturbances which then took place, not only among the Jews, but in the Roman empire. What they all mean, and when and how they are to be fulfilled, God in heaven alone knows. (Emp. added. Clarke.)

    2) vv. 7, 12, 20, Behold, I come quickly speedily, without delay.

    3) v. 14, they that do his commandments..., but in heaven, all people do his commandments, for there is no other will at work. So this statement implies that doing his commandments is a present requirement, giving individuals access to the tree of life, Christ. (Cf., Jn. 14:15-24.)

    4) v. 15, without are dogs..., tells us that sin continues outside the "abode" of the righteous that "abode" is the church of the Lord Jesus, and sin still reigns outside of it.

    However, v. 12, my reward is with me..., implies that this chapter is at the end of all things. Though the majority of the internal evidence requires the book be written before the fall of Jerusalem, it cannot be denied that the Revelation records the continuing conflict between the Lord and the forces of the antichrist that is, all people and things that are contrary to the true gospel of Christ.

    We must conclude with Clarke's statement: "What they all mean, and when and how they are to be fulfilled, God in heaven alone knows." So let us be very careful about dogmatism in areas that are known only to the Lord God in heaven.

    XVIII) Though we are dealing with "What the Bible Does Not Say," we cannot overlook the book of Daniel. Chapters 7, 8 and 11, also speak of a great increase of evil, which seems to overpower righteousness. But that is not what those chapters say. 2 Thessalonians 2, says that there will be a falling away, but it does not say how many will fall away. I will not here deal with the many passages in Daniel; suffice it to say that Daniel was primarily fulfilled with the fall of Jerusalem.

    XIX) Finally, many flee to Revelation 13 to support a literal, personal antichrist to come who will be a one world ruler. And thus they "prove" that there is no hope of overcoming evil this side of a literal reign of Christ. However, there is abundant evidence that the man was either the then Roman emperor (Nero) or emperors following him; this would especially be true if the Revelation was written before 70 AD.

    As previously stated, understanding the wicked man of Revelation 13 as the Roman emperor does not prohibit understanding it as a continuing account of fallen man's efforts to unite all government under one head, and thereby forcing all others to submit to that one head. That fallen desire has been common since Nimrod and the Tower of Babel. (Gen. 11.) And those fallen efforts will not stop until the fallen nature is done away with in the end. Also, as dealt with in other articles, Genesis 11, teaches that God will not allow man to accomplish his dream of a one world government.


    Rather than Holy Scripture promising defeat of God's kingdom on earth at the hands of the wicked, God promises victory:

    1 Whosoever believeth that Jesus is the Christ is born of God: and every one that loveth him that begat loveth him also that is begotten of him. 2 By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God, and keep his commandments. 3 For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous. 4 For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith. 5 Who is he that overcometh the world, but he that believeth that Jesus is the Son of God? (1 Jn. 5.)

    Though the world obviously lies in wickedness, the word of God has more promises of victory over the world than it does promises of defeat at the hands of the world. (Jn. 16:33, Rom. 8:35-37, 1 Cor. 15:57, 1 Jn. 5:5, 2:13, 14.) In fact, I know of no verses that promise defeat at the hands of the world.

    20 But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that slept. 21 For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead. 22 For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive. 23 But every man in his own order: Christ the firstfruits; afterward they that are Christ's at his coming. 24 Then cometh the end, when he shall have delivered up the kingdom to God, even the Father; when he shall have put down all rule and all authority and power. 25 For he must reign, till he hath put all enemies under his feet. 26 The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death. 27 For he hath put all things under his feet. But when he saith all things are put under him, it is manifest that he is excepted, which did put all things under him. 28 And when all things shall be subdued unto him, then shall the Son also himself be subject unto him that put all things under him, that God may be all in all. (1 Cor. 15.)

    There is not hint of a break between v. 23 and v. 24, which says, to me anyway and particularly in its context, that Christ has only one coming, and that coming is not until after all things are subdued unto him. The following is an example of subduing the wicked to the King without a bloody sword, and it should encourage every Believer in the power of the Gospel of Grace.

    `Hanoi Jane' no more

    WHEN I FIRST HEARD reports of Jane Fonda's conversion to Christ, I dismissed them as one more in a long line of erroneous rumors that begin in gossip and take on certain credence from repetition. Then I started hearing reports from people not usually given to hearsay and called people in a position to know. Yes, it appears to be true, they said. Oh me of little faith. Oh doubting Thomas.

    The news will come as a bigger shock to those who have turned their denunciation of Jane Fonda into an industry than it will to many of her longtime friends, who are also on a journey of self-examination. Many of her peers are finding their lifelong beliefs have not brought the peace and fulfillment for which they are searching.

    If press reports are true, Fonda's chauffeur and a woman married to a Turner Broadcasting System executive were instrumental in bringing her to faith. No prominent clergyman was involved. Just a chauffeur and a faithful friend. How like God.

    Fonda has declined to speak with reporters. That's good. She should also decline for a while to speak publicly and to the religious establishment. One recalls Eldridge Cleaver, the late former Black Panther, who shortly after testifying to his own conversion was possessed by many whites and turned into a black trophy for their churches. Cleaver went public before his faith was properly grounded. He soon abandoned it and pursued other religions and New Age philosophies.

    Before God could use Moses, He sent him to wander in the desert for 40 years to cleanse him of self-reliance. After the conversion of Saul of Tarsus (and his name change to Paul), the apostle was privately instructed by his new friends, those he once persecuted, before he spoke publicly.

    Religious hucksters would love to have Jane Fonda in their pulpits and on their television shows. How many would say with a straight face, `'I prayed for you all the time,'' and it would be true? Not many, I'll wager.

    There is a lesson here for those who would learn it. Right after the verse many Christians love to quote (John 3:16) is verse 17, which says: `'God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.'' Most conservative Christians cannot honestly say we are sinless when it comes to Jane Fonda. How many of our hands and hearts are clean of the stain of denunciation and criticism of her? As of now, we know two: her chauffeur and a faithful friend.

    Rev. Gerald Durley, pastor of Providence Missionary Baptist Church in Atlanta, where the chauffeur attends, said he has seen Fonda at his services and `'I am extremely impressed with the genuineness and sincerity of (her) search for spirituality and wholeness ... I think she has found a certain sense of peace among those who've found peace with Christianity.''

    Every conversion is a miracle, whether the converted is a homeless person or a well known figure like Jane Fonda. Some like to see a celebrity transformed because it allows them to walk by sight and not by faith. And it validates a need to see their faith paraded publicly on the back of a celebrity, rather than emulate the One whose chosen mode of transportation were his feet and a humble donkey.

    No power on Earth, and certainly no power of denunciation, could have changed the life of Jane Fonda. More than seeing how her life has changed, it will be interesting to see how she changes the lives of those who have hated her and have put `'Hanoi Jane'' bumper stickers on their cars, referring to an ill-considered visit to North Vietnam during that divisive war.

    The power of love to change a life is far greater than the power of criticism and harsh judgment. Without speaking a public word, Jane Fonda may have already exuded a force more powerful than any other political idea or philosophy she may have promoted in the past. (Cal Thomas, Jan. 19, 2000 )

    The Patroit

    Movie Review, by Pastor Bob Cosby


    Early last Spring, I began to read and hear about a new movie that was being produced about the life of Francis Marion, the "Swamp Fox" of Revolutionary War days. I became very interested in this film because of my interest in American history and the fact that the producers of the film claimed that they had worked closely with the Smithsonian Institute to be as historically accurate as they could possibly get. I was skeptical that Hollywood could put out anything that was really accurate, but was hopeful that they could.

    An accurate film about Francis Marion would be a God send. He is almost totally an unknown in the 21st century, but that has not always been the case as evidenced by the number of times his name was used in naming the new country. There are no less than 29 cities and towns and 17 counties named after Marion. If you happened to be in Marion, Iowa and September 7-10 of this year, you could have attended the Swamp Fox Festival. Disney did a series on the Swamp Fox back in the 1950's that starred Leslie Nielson and there is a Francis Marion University with about 4000 students in South Carolina.

    For those who do not know anything about Francis Marion, he was a descendant of French protestants (Huguenots) and so suffering at the hands of a state church was something he was probably taught well from a child. Marion gained his first military experience fighting against the Cherokee Indians in 1759. Then, as a member of the South Carolina Provincial Congress (1775), he was commissioned a captain. After the surrender of Gen. Benjamin Lincoln to the British at Charleston, S.C. (1780), he slipped away to the swamps, gathered together a band of guerrillas, and began leading bold raids against British supply trains and patrols. Marion and his militia often defeated larger bodies of British troops by the surprise and rapidity of their movement over swampy terrain. He received the thanks of Congress for a daring rescue of Americans surrounded by the British at Parkers Ferry, S.C. (August 1781). He was then appointed a brigadier general, and after the war he served in the senate of South Carolina (1782-90).

    And then, as the film was being released, it was a pleasure to hear the "politically correct" crowd begin to pitch the proverbial conniption fit over it. When the liberals began to howl, I figured it could not be all bad. I guess I could be called a reactionary, but if Bill Clinton is for it, I'm against it, if Dan Rather says it, I don't believe it and if Jane Fonda is in it, I don't watch it. When the modern day liberals and their fellow travelers begin to yelp, I take notice of what is causing the ruckus. Every once in a while, even Hollywood, with all of it's corruption and perversion, comes out with a film that is worth watching. Could this be one?

    When the movie was released, I began to be inundated with questions about it, and frankly, I could not answer them because I had not seen the movie. In time, I began to feel torn between my obligation to understand "the times" (1Chronicles 12:32) and my resolution not to attend commercial movie theaters. I finally called my 90 year old father who is still pastoring in Arizona and explained to him my dilemma and he counseled me that I needed to go see the movie, so I did.

    I had not been to a commercial movie theater since my Senior English Literature class at Mingus Union High School in Jerome, Arizona whet to Phoenix to see Camelot. Needless to say, a lot had changed in the past 32 years. For one thing there is a rating system for movies now that didn't exist then. In those days, there were two things that could be said, almost universally about movies. First, at least by today's standards, they were all clean and secondly, Christians didn't go to the movies. It is a curious thing to me that the more rotten and filthy movies become, the more Christians feel obligated to attend. But that is a different sermon.

    Then the rating system itself presented an interesting and curious insight into the days in which we live. The movie I was going to see was about a Christian patriot, fighting for liberty. It was rated "R" which I understand is one step up from "not fit for man or beast." At the same theater there was a movie about witchcraft, demons, the occult and eastern religions and it was rated "G," a children's movie. Go figure.

    The film turned out to be very inaccurate. For example, the movie hero, Benjamin Martin was the father of 7 children, while, to the best of my ability, I have only found Francis Marion getting married once and that after the war to a woman named Mary Videau.

    In fairness, according to the official Sony Pictures web site, "Martin is a composite of various Patriots: Colonel Daniel Morgan, who fought the brutal Colonel Banastre Tarleton and Lord General Charles Cornwallis at the Battle of Cowpens; Francis Marion, the "Swamp Fox," a guerrilla fighter from South Carolina's wetlands; Elijah Clark; Thomas Sumter; and Andrew Pickens, all renowned freedom fighters." In other words, any historical inaccuracies are about Marion are because it really is not Marion.Probably the biggest disappointment was to find out that the Grand Finale, the battle to the death between Benjamin Martin and Colonel Tavington only partially happened. Colonel William Tavington, was a character suggested by Colonel Banastre Tarleton, a British officer serving under Cornwallis. Tartleton was nicknamed "Bloody Ban the Butcher," for his policy of killing surrendering troops. This practice became known as "Tarleton's Quarter." It was William Washington who was a cousin to George Washington, who, as the battle of Cowpens was winding down, chased down Tarleton for hand to hand combat. Washington was unsuccessful in his combat with Tarleton, and was lucky to escape with his life.

    Tarleton not only was not killed at Cowpens, but fought at the battle of Guilford Courthouse, and later retreated into Virginia and was active in the Yorktown campaign. He returned to England and served in Parliament and wrote A History of the Campaigns of 1780 and 1781 in the Southern Provinces of North America.

    And then, for all of the squealing and hollering the politically correct bunch did, this film was full of political correct, historical inaccuracies. One of the most stirring speeches in the movie was delivered by a young woman in Church. Now the speech was a dandy, but the idea that any woman, especially a girl, would have the opportunity to speak in a colonial church is ludicrous. It made great theater but poor history.

    An area that one would not expect Hollywood to even know about, much less understand, is the religious backgrounds of the militias that fought at King's Mountain, Cowpens, Guilford Courthouse and the other southern battles. Most of these men were descendants of Huguenots, Scottish Covenanters, Moravians, and other groups who had suffered at the hands of the State Church in Europe. I thought it was quite ironic that the man who played the part of Marion, the descendant of the Huguenots, was a Roman Catholic.

    Slavery was an issue that had to be dealt with and overall, it treated the relationship of slave to master with some accuracy. Marion's militia actually was approximately 20% Black. It failed in one very important point and that being it failed to show that slavery was not a racial issue in that day. One of the minor story lines that weaves through the movie concerns a slave fighting, at first because he had been ordered to do so in the place of his elderly master and later because of an order promising any slave his freedom if he would fight for a period of time. Absolutely no mention is made of the fact that the primary purpose for such an order was to encourage white slaves, indentures and others, to fight for their freedom.

    And then there was a theme that ran through the movie that Martin's wife, who supposedly had died some time before, was alive and her children could see her in the North Star. This was a movie about a time when the Great Awakening had brought revival up and down the colonies. A little girl might have been taught to look forward to seeing her mother in heaven, but not in some star.

    In my opinion however, the most deadly of all of the politically correct misconceptions that this movie led to was the idea that the leaders of the war fought for revenge and not for principle. Martin begins the movie with a speech in which he flatly refuses to act on principle, and then does not get involved until they have killed one son and are preparing to kill another. This is an issue of major importance because to the politically correct crowd, there is no such thing as a principle important enough to die for. In a day run by dialog and consensus, there is just no room for principle, even in an historical movie.

    With all of that said, what about the movie itself?

    There were several things that made the movie well worth the time to watch. At the age of 50 and with eight children, I could really empathize with the characters of the movie as they dealt with the losses to the family. In terms of showing what freedom means to the family, it was one of the best movies I had ever seen.

    It did an excellent job of showing what our liberty cost our fathers. It would be difficult for anyone to see this film and not be challenged concerning the price of our liberty.

    It did a good job of showing the desperate nature of the War in the South. Having had over 200 years pass since the war, it is easy to think of it as an easy war. You do not think that after watching this movie.

    But the thing I liked the best was the fact that we whipped the British and we were no longer under the tyranny of the Crown or of Parliament. Any film that show that is a good film.

    Bob Cosby is pastor of the Honey Creek Baptist Church.

    Book Review

    TheoPhostic Counseling:

    Divine Revelation? Or PsychoHeresy?

    Martian and Deibre Bodgan

    Dr. Ed Smith has produced a psychotherapeutic system that he calls TheoPhostic counseling and claims that it is a divine revelation from God. Contrary to what Smith says, the Bobgans demonstrate that: "TheoPhostic counseling is the result of many existent therapies, including psychoanalytic, Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR), and cognitive-behavioral therapies. In addition, TheoPhostic includes elements from the inner healing movement, which includes guided imagery, visualization, and hypnosis. As a result of their analysis they conclude that TheoPhostic counseling came out of the evil cauldron of the perverted wisdom of men rather than from the mind of God. They present their reasons for this, their comparisons with what appear to be Smith's sources, and with concern about how he misuses Scripture to support TheoPhostic counseling."

    PsychoHeresy Awareness Ministries Special Price: $9.00 (retail $10.00)

    Softbound, 144 pages, ISBN 0-941717-15-1

    PsychoHeresy Awareness Ministries

    4137 Pr ravera Road, Santa Barbara, CA 93110


    1-800-216-4696 or 1-805-683-0864

    Laugh a Little

    The following are a few of REAL answers received on exams given by the California Department of Transportation's driving school. (Most probably from people who failed the first four times)

    Q. Do you yield when a blind pedestrian is crossing the road?

    A. What for? He can't see my license plate.

    Q. Who has the right of way when four cars approach a four-way stop at the same time?

    A. The pick up truck with the gun rack and bumper sticker saying," Guns don't kill people I do."

    Q. When driving through fog, what should you use?

    A. Your car

    Q. What problems would you face if you were arrested for drunk driving?

    A. I'd probably lose my buzz a lot faster.

    Q. What changes would occur in your lifestyle if you could no longer drive lawfully?

    A. I would be forced to drive unlawfully.

    Q. What is the difference between a flashing red traffic light and a yellow traffic light?

    A. The color.

    Q. What can you do to help ease a heavy traffic problem?

    A. Carry loaded weapons.

    Q. What are some points to remember when passing or being passed?

    A. Make eye contact and wave "hello" if he/she is cute.


    During his visit to the United States the Pope met with President Clinton. Instead of just an hour as scheduled, the meeting went on for two days. Finally, a weary President Clinton emerged to face the waiting news media. The President was smiling and announced the summit was a resounding success. He said he and the Pope agreed on 80% of the matters they discussed. Then Mr. Clinton declared he was going home to the White House to be with his family.

    A few minutes later the Pope came out to make his statement. He looked tired, discouraged and was practically in tears. Sadly he announced his meeting with the President was a failure.

    Incredulous, one reporter asked, "But your Holiness, President Clinton just announced the summit was a great success and the two of you agreed on 80% of the items discussed". Exasperated, the Pope answered, "Yes, but we were talking about the Ten Commandments."


    * Another

    A young woman teacher with obvious liberal tendencies explains to her class of small children that she is an atheist. She asks her class if they are atheists too.

    Not really knowing what atheism is but wanting to be like their teacher, their hands explode into the air like fleshy fireworks. There is, however, one exception. A girl named Lucy has not gone along with the crowd. The teacher asks her why she has decided to be different.

    "Because I'm not an atheist."

    "Then," asks the teacher, "what are you?"

    "I'm a Christian."

    The teacher is a little perturbed now, her face slightly red. She asks Lucy why she is a Christian.

    "Well, I was brought up knowing and loving Jesus. My Mom is a Christian, and my dad is a Christian, so I am a Christian."

    The teacher is now angry. "That's no reason," she says loudly. "What if your Mom was a moron, and your dad was a moron. What would you be then?"

    A pause, and a smile. "Then," says Lucy, "I'd be an atheist."

    Personal note

    This has been a busy year. I had my heart problem at the end of October, 99, followed closely by my wife's diagnoses of cancer. She then passed away June 20, and then my dad passed away, September 3. He lived only about an hour south of us. Things are just now starting to take on some kind of semblance of order. My wife "spoiled" me; we had a good marriage, and I believe I am not cut out for single life.

    I lost about 30 lbs, changed my eating habits, and started EDTA (among other things, EDTA has been found to open up clogged arteries, and can even reverse the effects of strokes) chelation just after my heart problem, and it has helped tremendously. I can now walk two miles in under 29 minutes without breathing hard. The only thing that hinders doing what I want to do is how long my strength will last.

    Thanks for your prayers and support. Don't stop now.

    Brother Need

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