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

August, 2009

All Things - All means All? Philippians 3:13
Best Joke Ever
Child Protective Service Investigates Patriot
Let the Good Times Roll with the Prosperity Gospel
God’s Poverty 1 Corinthians 2:2
Soy Alert
Unpleasant Information
A Short Study 1 Corinthians 3:5
Don’t Want to Think...
Christ’s Second Coming
Vaccines and Autism


All Things

Does All mean all, and that's all it means?

Philippians 3:13 I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.

This is probably one of the more misused verses in the Bible. This verse basically says that there is no excuse for not doing all the things required of us by God's word.

As we consider it, we must keep in mind the context. Paul had given them a lengthy list of things to do to please God. They knew only the Old Testament, so the list of things may have seemed impossible. V. 13 is Paul's assurance that they can do the requirements he has laid out for them through Christ.

Remember, these are not only new believers, but they are the first believers. There has been no previous teaching of the indwelling power of Christ. Paul is teaching them of the indwelling power that will enable them to do all those things expected of them as believers. Paul is assuring them that they can do what he has required of them through the new doctrine of Christ, who is their strength.

Such an idea of the power of Christ in them would have been a new idea to the new church. Paul is teaching them of the power of the indwelling Christ, to which we have become accustomed.

Paul uses himself as an example to these people of how the new doctrine of the indwelling strength of Christ works. He may have taught this while he was among them, so now he reemphasizes the doctrine in writing.

(Hank Snow had a song out some years ago, named I'VE BEEN EVERYWHERE. Johnny Cash also recorded it, but Hank Snow's was better.)

There were very few things that Paul did not experience. He had been through everything one can imagine and kept his Christian testimony. The list is in 2 Corinthians 11:21-33.

He wrote Romans 8:35-39 from personal experience.

35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? 36 As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter. 37 Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us. 38 For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, 39 Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Paul could say from experience what he does in Philippians 3:13, because he had done all things and had been through all things for the cause of Christ. He had been in every financial and physical situation one can imagine. He had suffered and abounded. He had feasted and fasted. All for the cause of Christ.

He makes it clear that he did not survive all of the situations in his service of the Lord that he went through by any abilities or strength of his own. It was all by the grace of God through Christ, the very same grace that is available to all of God's people.


1. We can not expect to have the preserving grace that will see us through all things, until we get there. The temptation is extremely strong to try to live through the prospective trials before they get here. Many times they never arrive.

2. There is no reason to try to flee from trials. Those trials contain something that God has decided that we need to learn, and if we do not learn that lesson where we are, He will have it somewhere else for us to learn.

3. There is no need to fear trials. That the trial of your faith being much more precious than that of gold... 1 Peter 1:7.

The grace of God is available to see us through anything He allows to come our way. He promised not to allow more to come against us than what He has equipped us to handle. 1 Corinthians 10:13.

Others go through situation just as difficult as we encounter: Whatever our difficulty, others have already faced it. We need to pray that God will provide a way of escape for them also. We should see our temptation as a call to pray for those in authority over us.

4. There is no need to yield to the temptations and trials. His grace is sufficient.

5. There is no excuse for an out-of-control thought life. The grace of God is available to handle even that, as Paul said, think on these things.

6. We must not withdraw from society and say that it is someone else's responsibility.

7. This verse must be used in the context of this book, although it applies in other things. Thus, the strength of Christ is promised to these people so they COULD DO what Paul had presented to them:

First, he had called them to sincerity, unity and love one for another for the cause of the gospel.

Second, he had called them to faithfulness to the gospel of Christ whether he was allowed to come back to them or not, 2:12.

Third, he had warned them of suffering for the sake of the gospel.

Fourth, he had called them to humility and caring toward one another, 2:3,4.

Fifth, he had told them to let the mind of Christ be in them, 2:5.

Sixth, he had told them to do all things without murmurings and disputings, 2:14.

Seventh, he had warned them of false teachers and of suffering. He had told them to identify with the death and resurrection of Christ. He had told them to leave the past behind, including the old works of the flesh, and press on towards the prize which the Lord had set before them.

Eighth, he had told them to unite together with him in the mind of Christ for the furtherance of the gospel and that if they were not united in any area, the Lord would show this to them.

Ninth, I think that even more clear is the context of this chapter, ch. 4. Notice vs. 6-9 contains a very difficult command of God. This is probably the most difficult of all the requirements of the law of God, the requirement to bring EVERY THOUGHT UNDER CONTROL to the word of God.

And with this is the overall requirement of 2:13, the desire and power from God to do His good pleasure.

And these points are only the more obvious commands given by the Apostle to these people.

Paul had given them a lengthy list of things that needed to be done to be pleasing to God. To folks who knew only the Old Testament, the list may have seemed impossible. So he assures them that they can do the requirements he has laid out for them. They can do all those things expected of them as new believers through Christ, who is their strength.

It was not an encouragement to claim the strength of Christ to do whatever they wanted to do. Rather, it was the promise of the strength of Christ to fulfill the requirements Paul had laid out for them in this letter.

V. 13 was the promise of the power of God to please God, and to do what is required of us by God. It was not a promise to provide the power of God to do what we desire to do.

The Bible has only two messages;

1. Man's sinful condition and how to solve that problem.

2. What is expected of us once the sin problem is settled.

3:13 removes every excuse for not doing all things required of us by God's word for his glory alone.

Best Joke Ever

Let it sink in, as we quietly go like sheep to slaughter.

Does anybody out there have any memory of the reason given for the establishment of the DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY ..... During the Carter Administration?

* Anybody? * Anything? * No? * Didn't think so!

Bottom line ... We've spent several hundred billion dollars in support of an agency ...the reason for which not one person who reads this can remember.


It was very simple, and at the time everybody thought it very appropriate...

The ‘Department of Energy' was instituted on 8-04-1977 TO LESSEN OUR DEPENDENCE ON FOREIGN OIL.

Hey, pretty efficient, huh?????




Ah, yes, good old bureaucracy... And NOW we are going to turn the Banking System, Health Care & the Auto Industry over to government?

May God Help Us !!!

The following was sent to me, and is offered to help inform parents of what to do when they come for your children.

CPS Investigates Patriot Blogger

William N. Grigg, Pro Libertate, August 13, 2009

Editor's note: An award-winning investigative journalist, William Norman Grigg was the senior editor and a prolific contributor to The New American, the official magazine of the John Birch Society. His writing reflects views heavily influenced by constitutionalism, libertarianism, and anti-communism. His columns are occasionally posted on Infowars.

"Grab some clothes and get into the van, now."

For an instant, that directive, and the tone in which it was issued, had the opposite of its intended effect: Korrin and our five older children, momentarily paralyzed by shock, looked at me in alarm. There was something in both the tone of my voice, and the expression on my face, that was new and a little frightening. None of them had seen my "game face" before. They were seeing it now.

Just seconds earlier, Korrin and I had been confronted on our doorstep by two very nice, well-dressed women who informed us that an anonymous "child endangerment" complaint had been filed with the Child Protective Services.

One of the visitors was a social worker we've known for several years, and consider a friend. The other was a stranger who introduced herself as a CPS investigator. She intended to inspect our home and speak with our children.

After being summoned to the doorstep, I had ushered our children into our house and closed the door behind me. Short of being removed by force, there was no way I was going to permit a CPS investigator to have access to our home as long as our children were vulnerable to government abduction.

"You seem like a conscientious and well-intentioned person," I quietly told the investigator, "but this is an adversarial situation, and I can't allow you to have access to my home in the absence of a warrant, and until I've consulted with legal counsel."

Although this clearly wasn't the response she had expected or desired, the investigator retained her professional composure.

"Well, that is your right," she replied. "I must advise you that I will consult with law enforcement and return later today."

"I understand," I said, shooting a quick glance at the slender silver digital recorder the investigator wasn't successfully concealing in her left hand. "I also want the record to reflect the fact that I didn't consent for our conversation to be recorded."

The investigator nodded in assent, her brows pulling together ever-so-slightly as if in puzzlement. She and her associate returned to their car and drove away. As they turned the corner I turned to Korrin and our children and ordered — yes, it was an order, not a request — them to get in the van.

"Don't bother packing," I told them in syllables drawn taut with urgency. "Just grab a couple of things and get in the van." The kids, suddenly understanding that we were at Def-Con One, quietly and quickly did as they were told.

Minutes later we were headed out of Payette County, beyond the jurisdiction of the local police and Sheriff, en route to a pre-designated safe house.

Yes, we had — as Foghorn Leghorn might put it — made plans to deal with just such an emergency.

Earlier this year, I met with a handful of close and trusted friends to discuss various crisis scenarios — from the systemic breakdown of the commercial food distribution network to the possibility that one of us might find his family targeted by the CPS. Those meetings were the idea of a good friend who is a very well-informed and astute survivalist. Relatively little was accomplished at those meetings, but as recent events testify, what little was done proved to be indispensable.

One of the participants at those gatherings (we chose a local club whose owner is defying an asinine local smoking ban; we refractory individualists need to support each other) very generously offered his home as a temporary refuge for my children in the event that the CPS came after my family. From there, working through communications cut-outs, we could make arrangements for Korrin and our children to stay in the homes of other reliable people who share our convictions.

When the balloon went up, we knew what to do. I spirited our family to my friend's house, casting frequent glances in the rear-view mirror.

"This reminds me of that movie ‘Not Without My Daughter,'" commented my genius son William Wallace, our family's resident cineaste. There was no undertone of eagerness or excitement in his voice; William was scared. So was Isaiah, who quietly explained that in cases of this kind children are often taken from their parents.

That was a hard thing to say, but it needed to be said. Not surprisingly, this terrified our girls, six-year-old Katrina and four-year-old Sophia. Although he has the reflexive aversion to girls of any kind that typifies an eight-year-old boy, Jefferson wrapped his arms around Katrina and comforted her as she cried.

Once we crossed the county border, I relaxed a little bit and gave some instructions to Korrin and the kids. I told Korrin that it was important not to call our home, since caller ID would reveal the location of the safe house. I would contact them through an intermediary, and if she needed anything she was to call that person. I told the kids that they would be safe with our friends until I came to get them, but that if people from the government arrived they were to be courteously uncooperative.

The plan was for me to return to our house, tidy it up, and deal with the CPS and the police. This might mean I could face obstruction charges if they insisted on seeing Korrin and the children, I explained, so there was a possibility I would be in jail by day's end. They had to be prepared for that possibility, because I would not give the CPS an opportunity to seize our children.

Once at the safe house I called a friend who agreed to be my cut-out. Then we gathered for prayer and I went back home by a different route.

Please, Dear Lord, I prayed silently as I neared our house, don't let it be a crime scene already. To my relief, nobody was there.

About forty minutes later, following a minimal investment of effort, the house was tidied up. We're messy, but not unclean; no parent would be surprised to see the clutter we deal with, given that we have six small children, and no honest person would consider our unremarkable untidiness to be a threat to our children's health or well-being. But I'm well aware of CPS enforcement actions that have resulted in charges being filed against parents whose homes aren't as antiseptic as a NASA white room.

Roughly a half-hour later, while speaking on the phone to my mother, I saw a city police car drive slowly by our house, turn around, and park in front of our walkway. From it emerged a young man, clean-cut and squared away, who strode up to our front door.

Well, here we go, I thought. I was wrong — and the day took an even stranger turn.

"Who owns the vacant lot?" the young police officer politely inquired.

"Do you mean the lot next to our house?" I asked.

"No, the one behind it," he persisted.

"That's not a ‘lot,' it's our back yard," I pointed out, gesturing for him to come with me to look through a nearby gate.

"Who owns this property?" asked the officer. I explained that we were renters, not owners.

"Well, there are some weeds in the backyard that apparently need to be taken care of," the officer began, his tone suggesting that he had expected to see a much bigger problem than the one confronting him. Sure, there is a row of weeds along the rear fence line of our yard (which occupies a significant fraction of an acre), but it wasn't the Amazonian jungle he had anticipated.

"I suppose the weeds along the fence line need to be cut down," the officer observed, "but that's really the responsibility of the property owner." I assured him that I intended to attend to the weeds, whether or not that was my legal "responsibility," simply in the interest of living in a presentable home. The officer took down my publicly available contact information, gave me a polite nod, and departed, leaving me to contemplate an unsettling question:

Why would a police officer visit me with a complaint about overgrown weeds that are not visible from any of the streets that run by our house? He couldn't have seen them from the street. Clearly, he was responding to a complaint from someone who had recently been in our backyard.

That fact may prove to be the critical clue in identifying the person who also hot-lined our family to CPS to report that our children were "endangered" by the untidiness of our living space.

Less than a half hour after the first police visit ended, an unmarked police car arrived and decanted the CPS investigator and the largest officer on the roster of the Payette City Police force — a genial man-mountain with a tonsured head, Van Dyke beard, and a ready smile. Seeing him, I simply had to chuckle: Yes, of course they'd send him.

The plainclothes officer identified himself. I replied that I had met him a couple of years earlier when he, along with practically the entire population of Payette, helped us find then-five-year-old Jefferson when he went missing. (Jefferson was found sleeping peacefully in his fortress of solitude, a secret space he created behind the headboard of a hide-a-bed.)

"I told her" — the officer began, gesturing to the CPS investigator — "that I've been in your home, and it seemed perfectly OK to me. But we have to clear up this complaint."

Since Korrin and the kids were safe, I had no objection. I invited them in and busied myself paying bills.

"Are Korrin and the children not here?" asked the CPS investigator. I told her, quite truthfully, that they had been invited to spend the afternoon at a friend's house.

About two minutes later the CPS worker and policeman were done. They explained as they left that the matter was closed but that I should contact Health and Welfare in the event that we "need any services."

"When we spoke this morning, you were very respectful," the CPS worker commented. "You did hold out for your rights, which is appropriate, but you treated me well, and I appreciated that." I smiled and said something to the effect that I try to treat people well.

This episode turned out much better than it could have.

What if I hadn't been working at home, and Korrin — who suffers from a chronic condition that leaves her exhausted and bed-ridden most of the time — hadn't been able to stave off the CPS before the house had been tidied up?

What if the CPS investigator had seen something — anything — "aberrant" in the behavior or appearance of our children, and decided that prudence required a more detailed examination?

What if we had been dealing with the kind of CPS investigator hard-wired to find evidence of abuse or neglect? Granted, we were blessed on this occasion to deal with someone who was sincere, polite, reasonable, and professional. That generally isn't the case in situations of this kind.

What if some combination of circumstances had resulted in a judicial order to appear at a "show cause" hearing, a procedure that almost always leads to some kind of catastrophic government intervention?

Once again, none of those things — or dozens of others, many of them worse — happened. This time. To us. But all of those terrible things have happened to families just like ours, because someone, for reasons only that person will know, filed an anonymous complaint with the child "protection" bureaucracy.

It's been said that one can't be a credible sportswriter unless he's actually played the games he covers, or a music critic without knowing how to play an instrument or carry a tune.

After more than two decades of writing about the disruption, or outright destruction, of families by the child welfare bureaucracy, I can finally consider myself qualified, albeit in a limited sense, to pronounce upon that subject. That's a credential I could have done without

Editor's Note: "Child Endangerment" charges can be file by anyone against anyone; a disagreeable neighbor can file against you! Note also that you probably will not have the luxury of knowing the "investigators." Learn from the above:

1. Teach instant obedience.

2. Be prepared with what to say, and say it in the nicest tone you can find.

3. Watch for the slightest thing, such as a recorder, and respond appropriately.

4. Have an out of county, or even out of state, safe house.

5. Meet with trusted friends and work out "various crisis scenarios": more than one safe house, contact points, break down of commercial food distribution networks, &c.

6. Do not use the home phone, for it may be tapped.

7. Have a contact person for your family that is "on the run," but not you.

8. Be prepared for jail or to give up your family.

9. Be on as good of terms as possible with local law enforcement.

10. Try to work everything together, so you can be as truthful as possible.

11. Always be polite and respectful, though you may be boiling inside.

Mr. Grigg had the luxury of working at home, so he was able to greet the investigators. Are your wives prepared to handle a similar situation if you are not home? Practice, practice, practice.

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

Though safety is of the Lord, the horse must be prepared for the battle. We cannot sit back and say that the Lord will provide without our making what provisions we can make.


As those in the NE will tell you, this has been an unusual summer, but we are not complaining. The tomatoes are not ripening properly, but the berries sure are. I think we may have had 5 days in the 90s, but mostly from 75-85, with nights as low as 49. August 22, 2009, high today, 72.5. If it were not for "global warming," we would no doubt have lost our summer garden to frost.

This is riding season. One of the members of our local CMA (Christian Motorcyclists Association) chapter is a painter. He travels to motorcycle rallies over a large portion of the US painting murals on motorcycles, or as he said, on anything not moving. He is known as Mountainman. He is actually Mike Lamborne. His wife is Shirley. They are well known in the biker community. (

They own a good size farm on the next mountain top over from the highest point in WV, Spruce Knob, at Circleville, a very small community in WV. It is about one hour West of Harrisonburg VA over the mountain on US 33. His goal over the years has been to have a "ranch" (Eagle Mountain Ranch, located on the next mountain south of the Spruce Knob, the highest point in WV) where special needs children can come with their families for a weekend, a few days, a week, or however long they wish to stay. (There is only one other ranch that encourages families to come with their special needs child, and it is in CO. There is a several month waiting list to get into that ranch) They have even built deer stands from where children in wheelchairs can hunt deer.

Three years ago, the community asked him to do something that would increase tourist traffic into their out-of the-way corner of the world. The decided on a "Mountainman Rally," with the proceeds to go to the Ranch. The last weekend in July is the date of his rally, which is held about 90 minutes south of us.

One of our church ladies is very good friends with a neighbor who lives in Florida during the winter and up here during the summer. They work their farm while here, particularly putting up hay, which is the major crop here. Dus to a very sad situation in their daughter's life, they now have custody of their 15 year old grandson, so he lives with them. He is up here for the summer and down there for the school year.

Mountainman kindly lowned me his Harley "Road King" for the two days of the rally. (It certainly takes an unusual man to loan his Harley, but he said that it belongs to the Lord, and is to be used for the Lord.) So I took the boy, Chad, to the rally.

He had never been on a motorcycle, and enjoyed it immensely. He said he would never stop talking about it to his grandparents. The first day we went out it rained about 3/4 inch in probably less than an hour. I like to ride even in the rain, but would rather not in that kind of rain. The next day, however was perfect, so we went over a local mountain (speed limit on one road over was 30, and that was too fast in some places.) and back, maybe 150 miles. He loved every minute of it.

Of course, the most difficult part of any ride, particularly in the rain, is cleanup.

All of that to say this: Be what you can be for Christ in your community. Folks, many at the end of their rope, are watching. Your life will say a lot more than will your words.

August 8 was my 50th High School class reunion in Terre Haute Indiana. Our school was about 20 miles south of Terre Haute. Our graduating class only had 46 in it, and only 7 are gone now. Before the school I attended was "consolidated," there were only 9 in my class. I must admit that consolidation did not improve the "education" experience.

The trip back to Indiana allowed us to visit some places I lived as a child. My dad was an ordained Baptist lay preacher, and normally only spent about 3 years per church.

While back there, we got to speak for Larry Lilly. He said he had several widows in his assembly, and encouraged us to give our testimony as an encouragement during the Sunday School hour. It was a very enjoyable time. You can find the message at


I have had a cough for some time. The doctor could find no reason for it, though I may have them try to find a cause again. Even cough medicine with codeine would not stop the problem. However, Bettie's youngest daughter gave us a recipe that will stop a cough:

1tsp ground cayenne pepper

1tsp. ground ginger

1/4 cup honey

1/4 apple cider vinegar (Braggs, though we did not use Braggs)

½ cup of water

Mix all thoroughly – take as often as you like... for as long as needed.

Let the good times roll

Prosperity Gospel

The New York Times, August 16, 2009

Believers Invest in the Gospel of Getting Rich, By LAURIE GOODSTEIN

FORT WORTH — Onstage before thousands of believers weighed down by debt and economic insecurity, Kenneth and Gloria Copeland and their all-star lineup of "prosperity gospel" preachers delighted the crowd with anecdotes about the luxurious lives they had attained by following the Word of God.

Private airplanes and boats. A motorcycle sent by an anonymous supporter. Vacations in Hawaii and cruises in Alaska. Designer handbags. A ring of emeralds and diamonds.

"God knows where the money is, and he knows how to get the money to you," preached Mrs. Copeland, dressed in a crisp pants ensemble like those worn by C.E.O.'s.

Even in an economic downturn, preachers in the "prosperity gospel" movement are drawing sizable, adoring audiences. Their message — that if you have sufficient faith in God and the Bible and donate generously, God will multiply your offerings a hundredfold — is reassuring to many in hard times.

The preachers barely acknowledged the recession, though they did say it was no excuse to curtail giving. "Fear will make you stingy," Mr. Copeland said.

But the offering buckets came up emptier than in some previous years, said those who have attended before.

Many in this flock do not trust banks, the news media or Washington, where the Senate Finance Committee is investigating whether the Copelands and other prosperity evangelists used donations to enrich themselves and abused their tax-exempt status. But they trust the Copelands, the movement's current patriarch and matriarch, who seem to embody prosperity with their robust health and abundance of children and grandchildren who have followed them into the ministry.

"If God did it for them, he will do it for us," said Edwige Ndoudi, who traveled with her husband and three children from Canada for the Southwest Believers' Convention this month, where the Copelands and three of their friends took turns preaching for five days, 10 hours a day at the Fort Worth Convention Center.

The crowd of more than 9,000 was multiracial, from 48 states and 27 countries. There was no fee to attend. There were bikers in leather vests, pastors, blue-collar workers, professionals and plenty of families with children.

A large contingent came in wheelchairs, hoping for miraculous healings. The audience sat with Bibles open, flipping to passages cited by the preachers, taking notes on pads and laptop computers.

"The folks who are coming aren't poor," said Jonathan L. Walton, a professor of religion at the University of California, Riverside, who has written about the movement and was there doing research. "They reside in that nebulous category between the working and the middle class."

Sitting in Section 316, eight rows up, making peanut butter and jelly sandwiches on a Bible at lunch time, was a family who could explain the enduring loyalty the prosperity preachers inspire.

Stephen Biellier, a long-distance trucker from Mount Vernon, Mo., said he and his wife, Millie, came to the convention praying that this would be "the overcoming year." They are $102,000 in debt, and the bank has cut off their credit line, Mrs. Biellier said.

They say the Copelands rescued them from financial failure 23 years ago, when they bought their first truck at 22 percent interest and had to rebuild the engine twice in a year.

Around that time, Mrs. Biellier first saw Mr. Copeland on television and began sending him 50 cents a week.

Others who bought trucks from the same dealer in Joplin that year went under, the Bielliers said, but they did not.

"We would have failed if Copeland hadn't been praying for us every day," Mrs. Biellier said.

The Bielliers are now among 386,000 people worldwide whom the Copelands call their "partners," most of whom send regular contributions and merit special prayers from the Copelands.

A call center at the ministry's 481-employee headquarters in Newark, Tex., takes in 60,000 prayer requests a month, a publicist said.

The Copelands' broadcast reaches 134 countries, and the ministry's income is about $100 million annually.

The Bielliers were at the convention a few years ago when a supporter made a pitch for people to join an "Elite CX Team" to raise money to buy the ministry a Citation X airplane. (Mr. Copeland is an airplane aficionado who got his start in ministry as a pilot for Oral Roberts.) At that moment, Mrs. Biellier said she heard the voice of the Holy Spirit telling her, "You were born to support this man."

She gave $2,000 for the plane, and recently sent $1,800 for the team's latest project: buying high-definition television equipment to upgrade the ministry's international broadcasts.

Mrs. Biellier said some friends and relatives would say the preacher just wanted their money. She explained that the Copelands did not need the money for themselves; it is for their ministry. And besides, even "trashy people like Hugh Hefner" have private airplanes.

"I remember Copeland had to once fly halfway around the world to talk to one person," she said. "Because we're partners with Kenneth Copeland, for every soul that gets saved, we get credit for that in heaven."

But while a band primed the crowd, Professor Walton called the prosperity preachers "spiritual pickpockets."

"To dismiss and ignore the harsh realities of this economic crisis," he said. "is beyond irresponsible, to the point of reprehensible."

The Copelands refused an interview request, but one of their daughters, Kellie Copeland Swisher, and her husband, Steve Swisher, who both work in the ministry, spoke for them.

Mrs. Swisher said the ministry gave away "a minimum of 10 percent of what comes in" to other charities. Her father's current favorite, she said, is a Roman Catholic orphanage in Mexico.

The ministry has resisted providing the Senate investigation with all the documents requested, she said, because the Copelands did not want to publicly reveal the names of the "partners." The investigation, which could result in new laws, is continuing, a committee spokeswoman said. Among those being investigated is Creflo Dollar, one of the ministers at the Copelands' convention.

Mr. Swisher said that even in the economic downturn, the ministry's income going into the convention was up 3 percent over last year. Asked if they had adjusted the message for the economy, Mrs. Swisher patted the worn Bible in her lap and said: "The message they preach is the Word of God. The Word doesn't change."

At the convention, the preachers — who also included Jesse Duplantis and Jerry Savelle — sprinkled their sermons with put-downs of the government, an overhaul of health care, public schools, the news media and other churches, many of which condemn prosperity preaching.

But mostly the preachers were working mightily to remind the crowd that they are God's elect. "While everybody else is having a famine," said Mr. Savelle, a Texas televangelist, "his covenant people will be having the best of times."

"Any time a worried thought about money pops up in your mind," Mr. Savelle continued, "the next thing you do is sow": drop money, like seeds, in "good ground" like the preachers' ministries. "Stop worrying, start sowing," he added, his voice rising. "That's God's stimulus package for you."

At that, hundreds streamed down the aisles to the stage, laying envelopes, cash and coins on the carpeted steps.

God's Poverty

I Corinthians 2:2. For I determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ and him crucified.

We hear this taught as only preaching Christ and Him crucified. This is used as a reason to either ignore or avoid any other Scripture or doctrine which might create conflict. As we have pointed out in "The Doctrine of the Gourd," Caesar will allow and even encourage this Christ and him crucified because it creates no conflict.

But, is this what Paul is saying here in 2:2? Is our message to be restricted to Jesus Christ and Him crucified? Especially if any thing else might create a conflict. No, the context will not bear this doctrine up. Just the fact that the Gospel of the Kingdom created great conflict should blow this false teaching out of the water, Acts 17:7, 20:25, 28:23- 31. But this is not our context which we are referring to here.

First, Paul had tremendous human attainment. If anyone was qualified to preach and teach he was. He sat at the feet of the best and most respected teachers of his day. Second, he had the heritage which was the most important of his day. He was a Hebrew of the Hebrews, a Pharisee. He lived perfectly according to the law, Philippians 3:4. Third, we see that he had the power of persuasion. In Acts 22:1-5 he tells how he persuaded the counsel of elders to give him letters of authorization to bring the Christians in for punishment and even death. Fourth, we see that Paul was also well learned in several tongues, at least Greek, the common language of his day, and Hebrew, Acts 22:1; 26:24. Fifth, we see that he had commitment, dedication and much boldness in his cause, even though it was anti-christ, Acts 22:3,4. As we know, this kind of commitment, even on the part of a fool can turn the world upside down. We have seen this many times over in history. Marx is a good example as is Joseph Smith, Charles Taz Russell and many others. Sixth, Paul had tremendous name recognition, Acts 9:13, 14 21. I can just see the advertising of our day. "Come see, meet and hear the great Evangelist Paul, formally Saul of Tarsus. Come hear his amazing testimony of how God appeared to him in a blinding flash. Hear how he was struck down with a bolt from heaven on the road to Damascus. Come see and hear this great man of God tell you how he turned from killing Christians to building Christians through the power of God." We all know what kind of promotion that we would use to attract people to hear him speak.

It is not hard to see: 1.) If anyone had the qualifications to preach and teach, Paul did. 2.) If anyone had the qualifications to be a missionary and a church planter, Paul did. 3.) If anyone had the qualifications to be a great evangelist, Paul did.

Paul had all of the excellency and wisdom which the religious system of his day could offer. It was only by the grace of God that he was able to put it all behind him and say, But what things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ. Yea, doubtless and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: For whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung. That I might win Christ, Philippians 3:7,8, 1 Corinthians 15:10. What did Paul count loss? At least the six things above.

Now, let us put 1 Corinthians 2:2 back into the context of who is speaking and in the context of what he has said elsewhere. Paul is telling them that he determined to lay all worldly attainment and wisdom aside. He determined to lay aside all of his natural abilities of speaking and boldness. He determined not to depend upon (the word he uses is KNOW) any of those things. As he came to them and preached the total law-word of God, he was determined not to use any of his worldly qualifications. Rather he was determined to depend totally upon the power of the crucified and risen Christ. He is not saying that all he is going to preach is the death, burial and resurrection of Christ. In fact, he is very upset and disappointed with the Hebrew Christians for not maturing beyond this milk of the gospel. He told them that once this is settled, move on, Hebrews 5:11-6:3 (This laying aside can only be done by the power, grace of God).

Isn't this what he said in Philippians 3:8. He had to suffer the loss of all of these things (these worldly attainments) that the power of Christ might work through him. Notice what he says in v. 9, And be found in him... Then in v. 10, That I may know him and the power of his resurrection...

He is talking of two results of laying aside human attainment and wisdom. One is for salvation, the other the power for service. The one we are covering is for service and is included in v. 3. ..and have no confidence in the flesh. If anyone could have this confidence in the flesh, he could, v.4.

With this in mind, 1 Corinthians 2:2 we see that he determined to lay all of this confidence behind him and only know One power in his preaching. That power being the power of the crucified and risen Lord alone working in him. There are an astounding number of passages which will confirm this, not only Philippians 3 but Romams 6 is very clear on this.

As we started out saying, for Paul to reach this point of being able to say, I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me required a tremendous work of grace. Grace to be able to lay aside all of his worldly attainment and wisdom. Grace to be able to depend upon the power of the crucified Christ in him.

Let me say here. It takes more grace for a person with a nice outgoing personality to be able to lay that aside and depend upon the power of Christ through them than it does for a person with a hard personality which pushes people away from them. Those natural abilities are so tempting to use. Yet, it is just as wrong to use the good and attractive things of the flesh "for God" as it is to use the ugly things "for God". It is much harder to lay aside the attractive things than it is the ugly things.

To use 1 Corinthians 2:2 as an excuse not to preach anything other than the crucified Christ is to misuse the verse. That is not at all what Paul is saying here. What he is saying is that he laid aside all the worldly attainment and things of the flesh (no matter how good they might be) and depended totally upon the crucified Christ to work through him.

The result, 1 Corinthians 2:3-5. This looks like much of the increase we see today is due to the wisdom of men and not the power of God.

Each of us have these things which need to be laid aside so we also can do all things through Christ. Only as we can lay aside all human abilities and attainments (confidence in the flesh) will we see men stand in the power of God. There is no doubt but that the wisdom of men will produce results. We can see this all around us, but are these the results which we want? Which God wants?

Paul goes even further in 1 Corinthians 1:17. Here he points out that if we preach Christ with the wisdom of words, that preaching will be of none effect. We can safely take this further. Any work we might attempt to do for God, if it is done with men's wisdom or even in dependence upon the natural ability, it is of none effect for God. Anything done apart from complete, total death to the flesh will have God's curse against it and there will be no power of God for men to stand in, Jeremiah 17:5.

Only the work of the second Adam can counter the inherent sin from the first Adam as the first Adam fell into the first lie, You can be as god... You can serve God and please Him in your own human attainment, personality and wisdom, Genesis 3:5. Paul points out that through the work and power of the Second Adam he was able to be free from the hold of Genesis 3:5. Then the results of his efforts would be men standing in the power of God, 1 Corinthians 2:1-5.

Satan will convince God's people that they can succeed with their excellency of spirit or of speech, or really any of the six things above. In fact, he will encourage and even empower God's people to use these "good things" of the flesh because he knows the results will be in the wisdom of men and not in the power of God.

He will encourage us to memorize Philippians 4:13, yet, completely avoid Philippians 3:1-14 and 4:1-13. Paul did not leave us stranded as he put in Philippians 3:15. He points out that if any person wants to know the truth of what they are operating in (wisdom of men and the fleshly abilities or the Spirit of Christ) they can know. If a person wants to face facts, God will show him. If we want to know if we are deceived in any area, we can.

How much of our work is done in the wisdom of men, and confidence in the flesh? The result will be people trying to stand in the wisdom of men.

Paul wrote Philippians 4:13 from a view which we cannot really even identify with. He was totally qualified in the flesh to do all of these great things, yet by the grace of God he was able to lay it all aside and his message was in the power of God.

We desperately need a generation which knows its utter inability and total dependence upon the work of Christ. Where is the meekness, gentleness, humility? The attitude of the servant?

Philippians 3:15. Do we need God to reveal anything? Are we even willing to face up to the fact that we might be trying to carry on without Philippians 3:7, 8? If we are willing to admit this then we can claim Philippians 3:15.

Both will see results. One in the wisdom of man. The other in the power of God. Which do we want to see?


Myths and Truths About Soy

Myth: Use of soy as a food dates back many thousands of years.

Truth: Soy was first used as a food during the late Chou dynasty (1134-246 BC), only after the Chinese learned to ferment soybeans to make foods like tempeh, natto and tamari.

Myth: Asians consume large amounts of soy foods.

Truth: Average consumption of soy foods in China is 10 grams (about 2 teaspoons) per day and 30 to 60 grams in Japan. Asians consume soy foods in small amounts as a condiment, and not as a replacement for animal foods.

Myth: Modern soy foods confer the same health benefits as traditionally fermented soy foods.

Truth: Most modern soy foods are not fermented to neutralize toxins in soybeans, and are processed in a way that denatures proteins and increases levels of carcinogens.

Myth: Soy foods provide complete protein.

Truth: Like all legumes, soybeans are deficient in sulfur-containing amino acids methionine and cystine. In addition, modern processing denatures fragile lysine.

Myth: Fermented soy foods can provide vitamin B12 in vegetarian diets.

Truth: The compound that resembles vitamin B12 in soy cannot be used by the human body; in fact, soy foods cause the body to require more B12

Myth: Soy formula is safe for infants.

Truth: Soy foods contain trypsin inhibitors that inhibit protein digestion and adversely affect pancreatic function. In test animals, diets high in trypsin inhibitors led to stunted growth and pancreatic disorders. Soy foods increase the body's requirement for vitamin D, needed for strong bones and normal growth. Phytic acid in soy foods results in reduced bioavailabilty of iron and zinc which are required for the health and development of the brain and nervous system. Soy also lacks cholesterol, likewise essential for the development of the brain and nervous system. Megadoses of phytoestrogens in soy formula have been implicated in the current trend toward increasingly premature sexual development in girls and delayed or retarded sexual development in boys. [Those males who claim they have a natural tendency toward sodomy may be right, thanks to the overload of soy in the American diet.]

Myth: Soy foods can prevent osteoporosis.

Truth: Soy foods can cause deficiencies in calcium and vitamin D, both needed for healthy bones. Calcium from bone broths and vitamin D from seafood, lard and organ meats prevent osteoporosis in Asian countries—not soy foods.

Myth: Modern soy foods protect against many types of cancer.

Truth: A British government report concluded that there is little evidence that soy foods protect against breast cancer or any other form of cancer. In fact, soy foods may result in an increased risk of cancer.

Myth: Soy foods are safe and beneficial for women to use in their postmenopausal years.

Truth: Soy foods can stimulate the growth of estrogen-dependent tumors and cause thyroid problems. Low thyroid function is associated with difficulties in menopause. [I know from personal experience that estrogen certainly increase the risks of cancer.]

Myth: Soy foods protect against heart disease.

Truth: In some people, consumption of soy foods will lower cholesterol, but there is no evidence that lowering cholesterol lowers one's risk of having heart disease.

Myth: Phytoestrogens in soy foods can enhance mental ability.

Truth: A recent study found that women with the highest levels of estrogen in their blood had the lowest levels of cognitive function; in Japanese Americans tofu consumption in mid-life is associated with the occurrence of Alzheimer's disease in later life.

Myth: Soy estrogens (isoflavones) are good for you.

Truth: Soy isoflavones are phyto-endocrine disrupters. At dietary levels, they can prevent ovulation and stimulate the growth of cancer cells. As little as four tablespoons of soy per day can result in hypothyroidism with symptoms of lethargy, constipation, weight gain and fatigue.

Myth: Soy isoflavones and soy protein isolate have GRAS (Generally Recognized as Safe) status.

Truth: Archer Daniels Midland recently withdrew its application to the FDA for GRAS status for soy isoflavones following an outpouring of protest from the scientific community. The FDA never approved GRAS status for soy protein isolate because of concern regarding the presence of toxins and carcinogens in processed soy.

Myth: Soy foods are good for your sex life.

Truth: Numerous animal studies show that soy foods cause infertility in animals. Soy consumption lowers testosterone levels in men. Tofu was consumed by Buddhist monks to reduce libido.

Myth: Soybeans are good for the environment.

Truth: Most soybeans grown in the US are genetically engineered to allow farmers to use large amounts of herbicides, creating toxic runoff.

Myth: Soybeans are good for developing nations.

Truth: In third world countries, soybeans replace traditional crops and transfer the value-added of processing from the local population to multinational corporations.


Babies fed soy-based formula have 13,000 to 22,000 times more estrogen compounds in their blood than babies fed milk-based formula. Infants exclusively fed soy formula receive the estrogenic equivalent of at least five birth control pills per day.

Male infants undergo a "testosterone surge" during the first few months of life, when testosterone levels may be as high as those of an adult male. During this period, baby boys are programmed to express male characteristics after puberty, not only in the development of their sexual organs and other masculine physical traits, but also in setting patterns in the brain characteristic of male behavior.

In animals, studies indicate that phytoestrogens in soy are powerful endocrine disrupters. Soy infant feeding — which floods the bloodstream with female hormones that inhibit testosterone — cannot be ignored as a possible cause of disrupted development patterns in boys, including learning disabilities and attention deficit disorder. Male children exposed to DES, a synthetic estrogen, had testes smaller than normal on maturation and infant marmoset monkeys fed soy isoflavones had a reduction in testosterone levels up to 70 percent compared to milk-fed controls.

Almost 15 percent of white girls and 50 percent of African-American girls show signs of puberty, such as breast development and pubic hair, before the age of eight. Some girls are showing sexual development before the age of three. Premature development of girls has been linked to the use of soy formula and exposure to environmental estrogen-mimickers such as PCBs and DDE.

Intake of phytoestrogens even at moderate levels during pregnancy can have adverse affects on the developing fetus and the timing of puberty later in life.


High levels of phytic acid in soy reduce assimilation of calcium, magnesium, copper, iron and zinc. Phytic acid in soy is not neutralized by ordinary preparation methods such as soaking, sprouting and long, slow cooking. High phytate diets have caused growth problems in children.

Trypsin inhibitors in soy interfere with protein digestion and may cause pancreatic disorders. In test animals soy containing trypsin inhibitors caused stunted growth.

Soy phytoestrogens disrupt endocrine function and have the potential to cause infertility and to promote breast cancer in adult women.

Soy phytoestrogens are potent antithyroid agents that cause hypothyroidism and may cause thyroid cancer. In infants, consumption of soy formula has been linked to autoimmune thyroid disease.

Vitamin B12 analogs in soy are not absorbed and actually increase the body's requirement for B12.

Soy foods increase the body's requirement for vitamin D. Toxic synthetic vitamin D2 is added to soy milk.

Fragile proteins are over-denatured during high temperature processing to make soy protein isolate and textured vegetable protein.

Processing of soy protein results in the formation of toxic lysinoalanine and highly carcinogenic nitrosamines.

Free glutamic acid or MSG, a potent neurotoxin, is formed during soy food processing and additional amounts are added to many soy foods to mask soy's unpleasant taste.

Soy foods contain high levels of aluminum, which is toxic to the nervous system and the kidneys.

Soy Alert! is a project of The Weston A. Price Foundation

PMB Box 106-380 4200 Wisconsin Avenue, NWWashington, DC 20016 (202) 363-4394

Unpleasant Unformation

For starters, all anyone need do to begin a serious investigation of the subject of internment camps is Google the phrase "FEMA Camps." There is more than enough evidence in that search engine alone to keep one busy with some in-depth private investigation of the subject for quite a while.

Another URL to check out is this one from the June 2009 Idaho Observer. (

As people read my columns all across America, I have had numerous readers contact me, saying that they have personally witnessed the transportation of construction materials used for internment camps, have actually worked in and around them, or have personally seen such camps. These eyewitness testimonies have come from very credible people, including law enforcement and military personnel, as well as airline pilots and construction workers.

Just a few weeks ago, I was aboard a cross-country flight when the passenger I was sitting next to (a total stranger) asked me to take a look out the window. He asked, "Do those look like internment camps to you?" I was astonished that the man (1) would even know to notice such a potentiality, and (2) would be so bold as to ask such a question of a total stranger. I must say, I was extremely happy to make his acquaintance. And we had a very warm and invigorating discussion the rest of the trip.

We were flying over Colorado, over extreme wilderness terrain, and, yes, right in the middle of nowhere, the buildings and surrounding features that I saw sure looked like internment camps to me. Of course, flying at over 30,000 feet in the sky makes it difficult for any kind of detailed analysis to take place; that is for sure.

Then, a friend recently brought this URL to my attention. ( NOTE: This url has been removed.)

This is an advertisement by the National Guard promoting the Military Occupational Specialty (MOS) of "Internment/Resettlement Specialist." Question: why does the National Guard need to recruit Internment/Resettlement Specialists? What do they know that we should know?

Furthermore, I have had military personnel tell me that many of the US military bases that have been recently "closed" are also being prepared as large-scale "holding areas."

** This URL is a MUST SEE. Go to the library if necessary to see this:

It will certainly explain the need for internment camps in the US.


Check a 10 year old posting, which now seems quite possible:

USA ready for takeover by Foreign Troops:

** End of the Posse Comitatus Act

The Pentagon Wants Authority to Post Almost 400,000 Military Personnel in U.S.

By Matthew Rothschild, August 12, 2009

The Pentagon has approached Congress to grant the Secretary of Defense the authority to post almost 400,000 military personnel throughout the United States in times of emergency or a major disaster.

This request has already occasioned a dispute with the nation's governors. And it raises the prospect of U.S. military personnel patrolling the streets of the United States, in conflict with the Posse Comitatus Act of 1878....

** Bailouts could total nearly $24 Trillion

That's $80,000 for every American!

The figures are part of a tough new quarterly report from special inspector general Neil Barofsky. He accused the Treasury Department of repeatedly failing to adopt recommendations aimed at making the government financial rescue effort more accountable and transparent.

** To see a Short Course in Brain Surgery, Canadian Style, follow this this link:

** "Swine Flu" shots

Will Americans follow orders to take flu shots?

Alarmist language sparking fears of mandatory vaccinations, quarantines

Posted: August 11, 2009, By Bob Unruh. WorldNetDaily

Avian flu viruses like this one have raised worries in the past similar to those being raised by this year's swine flu.

Alarmist language over possible outbreaks of swine flu as well as a series of moves by the federal government are fueling fears federal agents will soon be forcing citizens to be vaccinated – prompting one political party to launch a pre-emptive defense against any such effort. ...

US: Swine Flu vaccine will contain mercury-based thimerosal, a preservative that many scientists and doctors believe is linked to autism and other neurological disorders. Washington Post, 2009 July 30

** Cap and Trade

I am sure you have seen by now that if the "Cap and Trade" goes through, our electric bills will increase $2,000 to $3,000 per year. It is all driven by speculators, not by science. Wind energy makes no economic sense at all, nor does ethanol.

According to the Wall Street Journal:

When the Heritage Foundation did its analysis of Waxman-Markey, it broadly compared the economy with and without the carbon tax. Under this more comprehensive scenario, it found Waxman-Markey would cost the economy $161 billion in 2020, which is $1,870 for a family of four. As the bill's restrictions kick in, that number rises to $6,800 for a family of four by 2035. ...

According to the Heritage Foundation:

The increase in family-of-four debt, solely because of Waxman-Markey, hits an almost unbelievable $114,915 by 2035.

A Short Study

1 Corinthians 3:5 Who then is Paul, and who is Apollos, but ministers by whom ye believed, even as the Lord gave to every man?

ministers... (1249-one who executes the commands of another, esp. of a master; a servant, attendant, minister; According to Thayer's breakdown (pg. 138.), this word in our text here is used thusly:

1. univ.: of the servant of a king, Mt.xxii.13; with gen. of the pers. served, Mt. xx.16; xxiii. 11; Mk. ix.35; x.43, (in which pass. it is used fig. of those who advance others' interests even at the sacrifice of their own); .., of one who does what promotes the welfare and prosperity of the church, Col. i.25; .., those through whom God carries on his administration on earth, as magistrates, Ro. xiii.4; teachers of the Christian religion, 1 Co.iii.5; 2 Co. vi.4; 1 Th.iii.2; the same are called ..., 2 Co. xi.23; Col.i.7; 1 Tim.iv.6; .., in the cause of the Lord, Col.iv.7; .. (and etc.). [Emp. added.]

The word minister when used in connection with the church, even though at times it appears to refer to a servant of man or to a group of people (church) and involves serving man and churches, obviously means a servant of Christ who is head of His Church. The minister is first and foremost, a servant of The Lord Christ. He is a servant of Christ. One of the major complaints by the Lord is that human nature is so prone to serve men or mammon, rather than serving the Lord.

This leads us to conclude some things.

Paul here in this passage and in the next chapter (4:1, minister.., 5257- a. an underrower, subordinate rower. b. any one who serves with his hands; a servant;.. c. any one who aids another in any work; an assistant.. ), points out that he is a minister of God, not of the church, nor of any man in any way, shape or form.

Therefore, when a group of people, a local church, views the pastor as their minister, they are violating the word of God.

Many churches look upon the minister as their minister, rather than the minister of Christ. They treat him as an employee rather than an ‘employee' of the Lord. Look at the implications:

First, it leads to despising of this office by the people, "After all, he is our minister, steward, isn't he?" This can lead to the people exalting themselves against the office of minister, which was the problem that Moses faced with Miriam (Numbers 12), and latter, Koran (Numbers 16). Both stood against Moses as though he were their servant or steward. In both instances, Moses told the rebels that they were standing against God, because he was God's servant, not theirs.

There has not been a man since that could hold a candle to Moses in his faithfulness over the house (congregation) of the Lord (Hebrews 3), except Paul. But it is clear that these men were faithful ministers of God. Both made it extremely clear that the Lord did not make them accountable to man, but to Himself. Those who sought to make them accountable to man were judged as being in rebellion against God.

Second, the same word is used for civil magistrates: those through whom God carries on his administration on earth, as magistrates, Romans 13:4. The magistrate is a servant of God, not of man. God gives evil, covetous magistrates to an evil, covetous people; godly magistrates were given to a godly people, Isaiah ch. 24 (v. 2), 30:8-17, 50:1; Jeremiah 5:31; 7:10, and many more passages. Read some of the Old Testament prophets, and note the reason that is given over and over for the destruction of the people of God, Jeremiah 13:10, 15:3-7.

The thought today with the democracy movement in the air, is that the civil magistrate is the servant of the electorate; he is the servant of the people. Such thoughts permit a rebellious attitude toward him, even in the hearts of God's people.

However, he is God's servant just as is a minister of God's word, the pastor. (Cf. Daniel 4:17.) In other words, when someone says that the civil magistrate is our servant, it is the same as saying that the minister of the Gospel of Christ is a servant of the people, not a servant of Christ. (Then we get upset that the people treat the office of minister with such disrespect.)

Thus, the same regard toward the office of minister (civil magistrate) is required by God, as is to be given to the office of minister (pastor) in the local church, for he is a minister of God, not a minister of the people, even though he may carry the title of "Civil Servant." Public opinion might regard him as their servant, but God's word does not. The minister, civil or holy, will be judged by God according to his ministry under God; the people will be judged according to their regard and submission toward this office which God has established.

Let us be quick to add that any unbiblical law is not a law, and God does not require the people to obey it, Acts 5:29. God says quite a bit about following unjust (according to God's standard of justice) laws over His laws, Isaiah 51:12, 13. (Matthew 10:28, is spoken with the context of the civil magistrate persecuting the Christian who fails to follow ungodly laws, v. 18.)

Both the civil magistrate and the "minister" derive their power and authority from God and His law-word. They do not derive their power from the people. If we say that he derives his power and authority from the people, the implications are that all power and authority rests with the people, and that he must answer to the people and do their will. As long as he appeases the majority of the people, he is doing his job, though the people demand wicked laws. We are caught in this trap today. As the people become more corrupt, so do their representatives become more corrupt, and with a clear conscience. After all, are they not doing what their authorities (the people) want?

If we say that the civil magistrate gets his power and authority from God, then we are saying that all power and authority lies with the Lord. Accordingly, the magistrate has no excuse to justify his corruption, for he must answer to the Lord, and will be judged according to righteous judgment.

The civil magistrate must be confronted with the fact that he is the Lord's servant, not the people's. If he is confronted with the humanistic argument that he is the people's servant, then majority rules and Christianity is finished. When he is confronted with God's word that he is a servant of God, the Lord can work in the situation, 1 Corinthians 4:2.

Third, the Lord requires those under the minister or magistrate to regard that man as a minister of God, not as a servant to the wishes of the people. If we try to convince the minister or magistrate that he is our servant, then, again, majority rules. The men must be reminded they are God's servants.

An illustration here would be Satan. He is a servant of God, and he derives any and all power and/or authority which he might have from God (cf. Job chs. 1-3). Perhaps a better illustration is the pagan king of Assyria, Isaiah 10:5-5, and the pagan king of Babylon, Nebuchadnezzar, Isaiah 46:11, Jeremiah 25:9, 27:5-8, Lamentations 2:17, Ezekiel 7:24. In addition, the Lord called the armies of Rome, his armies, Matthew 22:7.

Josephus gives us the record of the terrible destruction. It was beyond description and comprehension. Rome thought it was sending its armies against Jerusalem (because of its rebellion against Rome), yet Jesus clearly said that Rome was only a tool in the hand in the hand of an almighty God. God's patience was over. He had sent messenger after messenger to this stiff-necked people. He warned and warned them and then his cup of wrath was full (Romans 2:1-6, the day of wrath had arrived). The Great King then sent his army. Rome was only a tool in the hands of a almighty God as he avenges the blood of all his servants from Abel to Zacharias. Peter warned them, and they beat him (and finally slew him). Philip warned them, and was stoned. (Observe that these servants were not mistreated by Rome but by the Jewish nation. The real persecution even today comes from the religious leaders who think they are someone.)

God's use of a heathen Roman army against his people is not new. He sent Assyria against his rebellious people. He sent his servant Nebuchadnezzar against his rebellious people. These were not godly men, and they executed the wrath of a Righteous, Holy God against a wicked, rebellious people who bore the name as the people of God.

But, just because the wicked have been given power and authority by God, it is not cut in stone they must be obeyed. Any order or requirement which violates the law-word of God, must be regarded as from Satan, and treated as such.

Therefore, even though the civil magistrate must be viewed as a servant of God, his power established by God and his authority derived from God's word, he is not to be obeyed in all that is required by him. His legitimate power and authority is clearly defined by God's law-word. Anything outside of that is illegitimate authority. As someone has said, "Roe v Wade is an illegitimate law, therefore, we are not bound by it." Rather we are bound to violate it.

"Civil Servant" is a term that may sound good to the human understanding, and may present an appealing argument, but the Biblical term is, "God's servant." God's people must face the fact, and the civil magistrate must be confronted with the fact that they must answer to the Righteous Judge who alone establishes all authority in this world.

Psalms 75:6 ¶ For promotion cometh neither from the east, nor from the west, nor from the south. 7 But God is the judge: he putteth down one, and setteth up another. 8 For in the hand of the LORD there is a cup, and the wine is red; it is full of mixture; and he poureth out of the same: but the dregs thereof, all the wicked of the earth shall wring them out, and drink them. 9 But I will declare for ever; I will sing praises to the God of Jacob. 10 All the horns of the wicked also will I cut off; but the horns of the righteous shall be exalted. (1 Samuel 2:7, Daniel 4.)

I Don't Want to Think About it

For some reason folks think I don't hear enough bad news, so they send me a steady stream of it, a veritable e-mail Niagara. Lately I received what must rank among the top one or two most depressing pieces I have ever read in my life.

Written by one Karl Denniger, it's entitled "What's Dead? (Short Answer: All of It)."

Mr. Denninger examines what might happen unless Washington changes directions: It's not a pretty sight.

* All pension funds, private and public, are done. Most of them are deeply in-vested in the stock market. The government's Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation won't be able to stem the flood, and will fail, too.

* Annuities will fail, and state insurance funds will be bankrupted. Insurance companies will go down.

* FDIC won't be able to cover bank failure obligations.

* Government debt costs will explode.

* Tax receipts will crater.

* Tax deferred accounts will be seized to fund Treasury debt rollover, locking up IRAs and 401ks in Treasuries. He's got this one right.

* 20% of S&P 500 companies will fail within 12 months for failure to borrow.

* Unemployment will reach 30% by the road measure.

* Civil unrest will break out before year end, and the military and National Guard although called out, won't be able to stop it. Get out of big cities now, or risk death.

Whew. Hard to swallow, but in the worst case, possible. Oddly enough, most people's head remain in the sand, refusing the admit the grim possibilities. - F. Sanders.

From The Moenychanger, March 09.

Can We Hasten the Date of

Christ's Second Coming?

By Thomas Williamson

"Looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of the Lord, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat." 2 Peter 3:12.

Can we as Christians move up the date of the Rapture, by helping to fulfill Bible prophecies? That is the thesis of the book "Hastening the Coming of the Messiah" by Johannes Facius. He quotes from the New King James Version which reads, "looking for and hastening the coming of the day of God." (The first quote above is from the King James Version).

Facius says, "The Messiah cannot come back at any time. Certain prophecies must be fulfilled first." Facius concerns himself in this book almost entirely with the fulfillment of one "prophecy" about the return of all the Jews to Israel which he sees as necessary in order for Christ to be able to return. He is the director of a ministry called Ebenezer Emergency Fund which collects money from Christians, to be used to help and encourage Jews to move to Israel. This ministry, in common with many other "Christian" relief ministries that aid Jews, does not evangelize or give the gospel to the Jews, and Facius is quite open and honest about that policy in this book.

I do not feel that Facius has made a scriptural case for saying that all the Jews must move to Israel in order to fulfill Bible prophecy. Even if I did agree with that notion, I would not agree with Facius that it is necessary for this to happen before Christ can return, nor would I agree that it is our duty to make it happen or try to persuade all the Jews of the world to move to Israel, even against their will.

How about it - is it our duty to make all the prophecies happen, of events allegedly associated with Christ's Second Coming, in order that He be allowed to return and so that the date of the Rapture can be moved up?

Many fundamentalists believe in such concepts as a revived Roman Empire, invasions of Israel by the Russians and Chinese, and a one-world religion and government to take place in the end times. I am not convinced that the Bible really prophesies these things. Even if we were convinced that the Bible predicts these things, is it our duty to lobby for military assistance to Italy, Russia and China, and to support the United Nations and World Council of Churches, in order to make these things happen? Is it our duty, with regard to "prophecies" of the Battle of Armageddon and a massive end-times slaughter of Jews in Israel, to try to make it all happen?

Does the Greek word speudo, or "hasten," refer to a fervent longing for that which is wished for, or does it mean that we are to take action on behalf of that which is longed for?

Strong's Concordance says concerning speudo, "prob. Strengthened from 4228, ‘to speed' (‘study'), i.e., urge on (diligently or earnestly); by impl. to await eagerly: - (make, with) haste unto."

Vine's Expository Dictionary says that speudo "denotes (a) intransitively, ‘to hasten,' Luke 2:16, ‘with haste,' lit., ‘(they came) hastening;' Luke 19:5, 6; Acts 20:16, 22:18; (b) transitively, ‘to desire earnestly,' 2 Peter 3:12, RV, ‘earnestly desiring' (marg., ‘hastening),' KJV, ‘hasting' (the day of God), i.e., in our practical fellowship with God as those who are appointed by Him as instruments through prayer and service for the accomplishment of His purposes, purposes which will be unthwartably fulfilled both in time and manner of accomplishment. In this way the earnest desire will find its fulfillment." Vine appears to see Christ's purpose of coming again, in 2 Peter 3:12, as predetermined as to "time and manner of accomplishment" and yet at the same time we as believers help to bring it about by "prayer and service."

John Wesley's commentary has the same idea: "Hastening on - As it were by your earnest desires and fervent prayers."

"Robertson's Word Pictures" says, "Earnestly desiring (speudontav). Present active participle, accusative also, of speudw, old verb, to hasten (like our speed) as in Luke 2:16, but it is sometimes transitive as here either (preferably so) to ‘hasten on the parousia' by holy living (cf. 1 Peter 2:12), with which idea compare Matthew 6:10, Acts 3:19 f., or to desire earnestly (Isaiah 16:5)."

Barnes' Notes says, "And hasting unto the coming - Margin, as in Greek: ‘hasting the coming.' The Greek word rendered ‘hasting,' (speudo), means to urge on, to hasten; and then to hasten after anything, to await with eager desire. This is evidently the sense here - Wetstein and Robinson. The state of mind which is indicated by the word is that when we are anxiously desirous that anything should occur, and when we would hasten or accelerate it if we could."

Jamieson, Fausset and Brown say, "Hasting unto - with the utmost eagerness desiring, praying for, and contemplating, the coming Saviour as at hand. The Greek may mean ‘hastening (that is, urging onward [Alford]) the day of God;' not that God's eternal appointment of the time is changeable, but God appoints us as instruments of accomplishing those events which must be first before the day of God can come. By praying for His coming, furthering the preaching of the Gospel for a witness to all nations, and bringing in those whom ‘the long-suffering of God' waits to save, we hasten the coming of the day of God. . . Our part is to speed forward this consummation by praying, ‘Even so, come, Lord Jesus' (Revelation 22:20)."

John Piper adds this thought: "We don't hasten the Day in an absolute sense because Acts 1:7 teaches that the Father has fixed the times and seasons by His own authority and Jesus said in Mark 13:32 that the Father knows the hour of the Son's return. But from our vantage point we can hasten the Day by fulfilling the pre-conditions of Christ's return, namely the preaching of the gospel to all the nations (Mark 13:10) and the repentance of the full number of the Gentiles who must come in before the end (see note Romans 11:25). Evidently Peter believes that lives of holiness and godliness will indeed fulfill these conditions and hasten the Day of God."

John MacArthur says, "Looking for and hastening the coming of the day of God, it's as if Peter is saying you certainly shouldn't be afraid of it, you certainly shouldn't be worried about it, you ought to be like those of whom Paul speaks and with whom he identifies himself in 2 Timothy 4:8 when he talks about those who love Christ's appearing. . . . You ought to have a longing in your heart for the coming of the day of God.

"That verb ‘looking for' has the idea of expectancy, has the idea of waiting with a watchfulness, alert to the Lord's arrival. That word ‘hastening' adds the idea of eager desire. Not only are you watching and waiting, but you're eagerly desiring that it happen. You're not just waiting for it, you're waiting for it and you want it very badly and you want it soon. That's the idea. . . .

"What does that mean? That means that I'm going to be dealing with some issues in my life. That means I'm going to be dealing with some things in my life so that I can say I want Him to come because I know when He comes I won't be ashamed at His coming."

None of these commentators are of the opinion that 2 Peter 3:12 teaches that we are to make certain things happen over there in the Middle East, in order for Christ to be able to return, or to move up the day of the Rapture. The timing of the Rapture is totally in God's hands - there is nothing we can or should do to try to change that date.


Hebrews 12:25 See that ye refuse not him that speaketh. For if they escaped not who refused him that spake on earth, much more shall not we escape, if we turn away from him that speaketh from heaven: 26 Whose voice then shook the earth: but now he hath promised, saying, Yet once more I shake not the earth only, but also heaven. 27 And this word, Yet once more, signifieth the removing of those things that are shaken, as of things that are made, that those things which cannot be shaken may remain. 28 Wherefore we receiving a kingdom which cannot be moved, let us have grace, whereby we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear: 29 For our God is a consuming fire.

We are living in some tremendous and exciting days as we see God's hand at work against evil. Man continues to try to develop and build in areas without even considering the laws of God, let alone abiding by them. We now have a president who is not only openly opposing all that Christianity has stood for the past several hundred years, but is working hard to remove all things that even imply Christian.

In every area: the economy, education, political, national, family, vocation, religious, judicial, whatever we can name, rebellious man has sought to build apart from God. All we need to do is look around us to see all of these areas coming apart. The godless answers that might have worked in the past because of the once strong Christian foundation are now failing.

As Christians, this crumbling should cause us to rejoice (by faith) because we know from Scripture that the falling of these man-made areas is a sure sign of God's sovereignty and justice. He is shaking all areas built on the sand to their very foundation. (Isaiah 26:9, pray for the anti god areas to fall)

Matthew 7:26 And every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand: 27 And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it.

The law of God's shaking against sin is found in many places in His word, but the one we want to look at is Isaiah 13:

10 For the stars of heaven and the constellations thereof shall not give their light: the sun shall be darkened in his going forth, and the moon shall not cause her light to shine. 11 And I will punish the world for their evil, and the wicked for their iniquity; and I will cause the arrogancy of the proud to cease, and will lay low the haughtiness of the terrible. 12 I will make a man more precious than fine gold; even a man than the golden wedge of Ophir. 13 Therefore I will shake the heavens, and the earth shall remove out of her place, in the wrath of the LORD of hosts, and in the day of his fierce anger.

Shaking is a common figure of speech in Scripture, and refers to the Lord's movement against sin. Isaiah shows us that God's shaking is unavoidable, and represents His judgment against the sins of the inhabitants of the world.

Isaiah 13:13, shake...

Its primary meaning is to quake or shake, from which we get the idea of shaking in anger, fear or anticipation. From its range of usages, it is clear that the term quake or shake refers to the agitation itself, and the underlying emotion which causes the quaking or shaking can only be recognized from the context of the word.

Shake or quake can describe the literal quaking of the earth as in 1 Samuel 14:15, but more often "quaking" is a poetic expression such as the quaking of the mountains before the thunderstorm which marks the Lord's coming – the heavens and earth are shaken to their foundations because of His wrath, Psa;, 18:7, Then the earth shook and trembled; the foundations also of the hills moved and were shaken, because he was wroth.

Shake or quake is a term used to express the trembling of the world's inhabitants before God's appearance in judgment, Isaiah 64:2, As [when] the melting fire burneth, the fire causeth the waters to boil, to make thy name known to thine adversaries, [that] the nations may tremble at thy presence!

Joel 2:1, Blow ye the trumpet in Zion, and sound an alarm in my holy mountain: let all the inhabitants of the land tremble: for the day of the LORD cometh, for [it is] nigh at hand; ("To cause to shake.")

Shaking may express the idea of disturbing or giving unrest, Jeremiah 50:34, Their Redeemer [is] strong; the LORD of hosts [is] his name: he shall throughly plead their cause, that he may give rest to the land, and disquiet the inhabitants of Babylon.

Often the term shake or quake is used as a symbol of God's movement against sin in His wrath. Shake and tremble speak of some kind of violent activity, but not necessarily a literal shaking.

In Isaiah 5:25 and 13:13, tremble and shake speak of the overthrow of all systems which are against King Jesus and His law-word. This overthrow does not have to be a physical shaking. In fact, the overwhelming evidence is that this overthrow is not the result of a physical shaking; rather, the trembling and shaking describes God's action which causes the crumbling of all systems that are in rebellion against Him and His law.

Isaiah 5:25, the hills did tremble identifies the movement of the Lord in judgment against HIS sinful people, as they reap what they have sown contrary to the word of God (1 John 3:4, Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law. Isaiah 5:25b, But his hand is stretched out still, describes His hope of their repentance, Romans 2:4-11.

Isaiah 13:13, shaking of the heavens and earth describes the action of God against the wicked of the whole world, v. 11. When we compare Isaiah 5:25 and Isaiah 13:13, we see that God's movement against the ungodly world is more violent than His movement against His people. (In 5:25, the hills did tremble; whereas, in 13:13, I will shake the heavens, and the earth shall remove out of her place...) In Joel 2:10, we see that the more violent God's movement against sin, the more affect on nature is pictured.

Isaiah 14:16, the king of Babylon, called by the Lord Lucifer, son of the morning, overthrew the nations of the world. He did not cause earthquakes as such; rather, he overthrew all people, kingdoms and societies in his attempt to overthrow God Himself (we can read an outline of his efforts in Psalm 2). This pagan king's action against God is identified as causing the earth to tremble and kingdoms to shake. When the wicked king of Babylon was laid to rest in death, the whole earth was considered at rest, 7, 8. The president is causing the earth to tremble as he tries to overthrow all godly order which is left in America.

Thus we see that God describes the overthrow of one order by another as a shaking or trembling, whether it is the ungodly overthrowing the godly or the godly overthrowing the ungodly. And the overthrow can be either violent or non-violent.

But even though the kings and rulers of this world are causing the world to shake and tremble, the Lord of Host is in control; King Jesus is the great SHAKER of the world, as He works all things according to the predetermined counsel of His own will, Acts 4:28, For to do whatsoever thy hand and thy counsel determined before to be done.

Isaiah 13:13, remove. Though it is remove here in v. 13, the primary usage elsewhere is shake or tremble _ quaking, rattling. The word remove of Isaiah 13:13 is used overwhelmingly in contexts describing God's sovereignty over the physical world. The passages using Isaiah's word for remove (13:13) speak primarily of God's movement, in His wrath and sovereignty, in judgment against sin, 2 Samuel 22:8, Then the earth shook and trembled; the foundations of heaven moved and shook, because he was wroth.

There are many varieties of subjects used with the word remove: Haggai 2:6, 7, heaven, earth and the Gentile nations are to be shaken by God; in other passages, such as Joel 2:10, the earth shall quake.. the heavens shall tremble...

Jeremiah 8:16 (The snorting of his horses was heard from Dan: the whole land trembled at the sound of the neighing of his strong ones; for they are come, and have devoured the land, and all that is in it; the city, and those that dwell therein.) & Ezekiel 26:10, identifies the movement of God's rod of chastisement against His sinful people as a trembling. Furthermore, the Lord's rod of chastisement which He uses against His people is the pagan, God-hating nations (army).

Jeremiah 4:24, (I beheld the mountains, and, lo, they trembled, and all the hills moved lightly.), tells us that a result of God's judgment was the trembling of the hills.

Jeremiah 49:21 (The earth is moved at the noise of their fall, at the cry the noise thereof was heard in the Red sea.) uses the term the earth is moved & Ezekiel 26:15, (Thus saith the Lord GOD to Tyrus; Shall not the isles shake at the sound of thy fall, when the wounded cry, when the slaughter is made in the midst of thee?) uses the isles shake to describe the fall of the nations.

Therefore, the greater the nation in military, political and economic strength, the greater the fall, and the greater the shaking that is required to bring it down.

All things are shaken in terms of hearing and doing the words of our Lord as given on both mounts, Sinai and the Mount of Olives, Matthew 5. Therefore, those who have heard and are doing the word of the Lord are kept safe in this great shaking of all the powers of heaven and earth, 1 Chronicles 17:9. (moved no more... is referring to the safety which is in Christ.)

We have seen that an army on the move is compared to a shaking, and the fall of nations is also compared with a shaking, so we are brought to a thought in Ezekiel 37:7, where the word shaking is a derivative of the word remove of Isaiah 13:13. The implication is that it is the judgment (or shaking, moving, trembling) of God against sin both inside and outside of the church which will unite His people as a mighty army for the cause of Christ.

Joel 1 (vs. 6, 15), clearly speaks of the heathen nations doing the will of their Commander and Chief, the Lord Jesus Christ.

Joel 3:15-17 (shake is the same word as remove in Isaiah 13:13, quaking, rattling.) When Joel 3:16, 17, is compared with Hebrews 12:22, the implication is of the wicked falling before the power of the Gospel which goes out from the New Mount Zion, the Gospel Church. Furthermore, it implies that as the law_word of God is proclaimed from the New Testament Church under the mighty power of the Spirit of God, the ungodly nations are overthrown (cf. 1 Corinthians 1:18; 2:5); the overthrowing of the nations by the word of God is compared to a great shaking.

Note the order of the context: before Joel 3:16, 17, takes place, Joel 2:28 takes place. In Acts 2:16, 17, Peter plainly tells the Israelites that what they were seeing and experiencing at the first preaching of the gospel was the fulfillment of Joel 2:28. Thus, if we stay with the context, Joel chapter 3 is speaking of the time after the time Peter spoke. We are living in the last days as described by Joel, Paul and Christ! It is a time for warfare against wickedness and ungodliness, and that warfare must be carried on by preaching the Gospel of Christ (Acts 2:17; 2 Tim 3:1; He 1:2).

Our last Old Testament reference is Haggai 2:6, 7, 21. I will shake... speaks of God shaking everything which opposes His Kingdom. The result of God's shaking will be that all will be subdued to the King of kings and to the Kingdom of God.

Now to make an important connection. Heaven, earth and the Gentile nations are to be shaken by God, Haggai 2:6, 7 (which is the same word as Isaiah uses in 13:13 _ remove). The author of Hebrews quotes this passage in Haggai 2, in Hebrews 12:25, 26. Therefore, we need to look at it as it is tied to Isaiah 13:13. The shaking of Heb 12 describes Jehovah God's movement in history against sin as He overthrows all opposition to the Lord and his Christ.

The word shake in the New Testament means: of the motion produced by winds, storms, waves, etc. to agitate or shake...; to cause to totter... The present order of things subject to vicissitude and decay... to shake thoroughly,.. b. to shake down, overthrow...

This an overview of the uses of the word shake in the NT:

1. Shake speaks of the firmness of the individual in their call by God and in His word, Matthew 11:7. Firmness (not shaken) includes not being swayed by circumstances, 2 Thes. 2:2. This is interesting because a large portion of modern theology is formulated according to world events. Paul here forbids God's people to be influenced by their circumstances of the day when they interpret Scriptures. Interpretation must be formulated only by comparing Scripture with Scripture, then Scripture is to be applied to circumstances.

2. Shake speaks of God's tremendous judgment against sin and unbelief, Mark 13:25 (Cf.Matthew 24:29). These passages clearly speak of God's wrath being poured out without measure or dilution against the ones who put His Son to death. This was by Rome in 70 A.D.

3. Shake speaks of the falling of all things which are not built on the solid foundation of hearing and doing the words of Christ, the Great I AM of the wilderness Who met Moses, Luke 6:48; this falling of all man_made institutions and authorities creates fear in the hearts of men, Luke 21:26.

4. Shake speaks of a literal shaking in response to a moving by God, Acts 4:31.

5. This last usage of the word shake is the one that makes the connection with the OT principle of shaking: Hebrews 12:26, 27. As the author of Hebrews quotes Haggai 2:6, he brings the meaning of the word as used in the OT forward to the NT.

The shaking of He 12:26, 27, speaks of God's removal of all things that are contrary to His word; it refers to the overthrow of all powers and authorities which are in opposition to the Kingdom of God, and the exaltation of His Kingdom and its King.

Paul clearly tells us in Romans 1:18, that God's wrath from heaven is against all men who are against His revealed truth (cf. Rom 2 & Ps 2). Shaking refers to the falling of all things which are built upon anything other than God's truth, Luke 6:47, 48.

God's wrath in action as judgment against the transgression of the law (1 John 3:4) which causes these works of men to crumble, is identified as shaking. It includes a physical shaking, such as earthquakes and volcannos, but it speaks primarily of the falling of governments, nations, societies, powers and authorities which are against the Lord and His Christ, Ephesians 1:21. History shows a correlation between literal earthquakes and the collapse of worldly powers which are in rebellion against God, 1 Samuel 14:15.

A conclusion for us:

Hebrews 12:24, 27, 28, speaks of the sprinkling of the blood of Christ upon the heart which provides the grace of God to stand for Him: Wherefore we receiving a kingdom which cannot be moved, let us have grace, whereby we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear: (v. 28) For our God is a consuming fire. It is important to note where this verse 28 is placed in Hebrews chapter 12. It is attached on the end of God's warning of the great shaking coming upon the earth which shakes the whole earth. This shaking is so terrible that everything which is not built upon hearing and doing the word of God will be thrown down and consumed by our God, v. 29. Thus, the grace of God is supplied to the hearts of the believers so that they may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear in the days of terrible shaking.

Godly fear... the location of this statement is important. It is in the days of the terrible shaking of v. 27. Thus, the "terrors" taking place around them as all of man made society collapses is not to cause the elect fear. They have the grace to remain true to and fearful of God and not man.

The blood of Christ is certainly for redemption and eternal life (a secondary benefit), but primarily the blood is for empowered service to the KING. Note the context of Heb 12:27, 28. Hebrews 12 presents the fact that if one ignores or does not live up to what is expected of him as a servant of God, he can expect the chastening hand of God, v. 7. Why is God so harsh against His people who fail to endure the suffering and shame which the ungodly can place upon them? Because they have been provided with sufficient grace through the blood of Christ to stand, v. 28.

(Personal note and illustration: While in the Post Office one day, I overheard a woman complaining about her ill health. When someone asked her what was wrong, she said that she was suffering from burnout. She said that she was terribly depressed, and the doctors told her that she was still exhausted from Christmas. The application is obvious: Christianity is absent from society and the result is the lack of grace, or God's power to live from day to day.)


The world today is being shaken to its very foundation everywhere we turn. But by the sprinkled blood of Christ upon the heart, we have the grace to see us through anything and everything that comes our way. It is ours to claim.

The New York Times, March 8, 2008

Deal in an Autism Case Fuels Debate on Vaccine


WASHINGTON — Study after study has failed to show any link between vaccines and autism, but many parents of autistic children remain unconvinced. For the skeptics, the case of 9-year-old Hannah Poling shows that they have been right along.

The government has conceded that vaccines may have hurt Hannah, and it has agreed to pay her family for her care. Advocates say the settlement — reached last fall in a federal compensation court for people injured by vaccines, but disclosed only in recent days — is a long-overdue government recognition that vaccinations can cause autism.

"This decision gives people significant reason to be cautious about vaccinating their children," John Gilmore, executive director of the group Autism United, said Friday.

Mr. Gilmore has filed his own claim that his son became autistic as a result of vaccinations.

Government officials say they have made no such concession.

"Let me be very clear that the government has made absolutely no statement indicating that vaccines are a cause of autism," Dr. Julie L. Gerberding, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said Thursday. "That is a complete mischaracterization of the findings of the case and a complete mischaracterization of any of the science that we have at our disposal today."

Hannah, of Athens, Ga., was 19 months old and developing normally in 2000 when she received five shots against nine infectious diseases. Two days later, she developed a fever, cried inconsolably and refused to walk. Over the next seven months she spiraled downward, and in 2001 she was given a diagnosis of autism.

Hannah's father, Dr. Jon Poling, was a neurology resident at Johns Hopkins Hospital at the time, and she underwent an intensive series of tests that found a disorder in her mitochondria, the energy factories of the cells.

Such disorders are uncommon, their effects can be significant but varied, and the problems associated with them can show up immediately or lie dormant for years.

There are two theories about what happened to Hannah, said her mother, Terry Poling. The first is that she had an underlying mitochondrial disorder that vaccinations aggravated. The second is that vaccinations caused this disorder.

"The government chose to believe the first theory," Ms. Poling said, but added, "We don't know that she had an underlying disorder."

In a news conference on Thursday, Dr. Edwin Trevathan, director of the National Center for Birth Defects and Development Disabilities at the disease control agency, said, "I don't think we have any science that would lead us to believe that mitochondrial disorders are caused by vaccines."

Dr. Trevathan explained that children with mitochondrial disorders often develop normally until they come down with an infection. Then their mitochondria are unable to manufacture the energy needed to nourish the brain. As a result, they regress.

The Poling case has become a flashpoint in the long_running controversy over thimerosal, a vaccine preservative containing mercury. Some people believe that thimerosal is behind the rising number of autism diagnoses. Among them is Lyn Redwood, director of the Coalition for SafeMinds.

Many of the vaccines Hannah received contained thimerosal, and to Ms. Redwood, she is more proof of thimerosal's dangers.

The disease control centers, the Food and Drug Administration, the Institute of Medicine, the World Health Organization and the American Academy of Pediatrics have all largely dismissed the notion that thimerosal causes or contributes to autism.

Five major studies have found no link, and since thimerosal's removal from all routinely administered childhood vaccines in 2001, there has been no apparent effect on autism rates.

Many of those who believe in an autism_vaccine link dismiss all this evidence, and Hannah's case fuels their cause.

"Her story is very important because it echoes so many others, and it's clear that thimerosal played a role," said Rita Shreffler, executive director of the National Autism Association.

Dr. and Mrs. Poling said Hannah did not prove the case against thimerosal, but Dr. Poling noted that there was no debate that vaccines had risks.

"They're not safe for everybody," he said, "and one person for whom they proved unsafe happened to be my daughter."