1. I attended a meeting on the Southside of Indianapolis some time ago. At this meeting, there was a man who had been on the staff of a large well-known church. The issue of paying the mandatory SS tax on each employee to the government came up at this man's church.
This man asked the pastor, "Do we continue to pay the tax as a church now that it is mandatory, the same as we did before it was mandatory?"
The reply was "Yes, our employees have so much money paid into it that to get out now they would lose too much."
2. Many churches in the S.B.C. remain in even they do not agree with its direction and use of their money to support heathen, Christ denying anti-Bible professors in its schools. In fact, one college has a mormon professor. The reason these pastors stay in is because they have such a large amount of money paid into the retirement program.
3. I was in a meeting when one of the preachers stood up and said, "Preachers, if you haven't filed 8247 requesting the Gov. to exempt you from the SS tax you had better do so, (of course to file it involved admitting the gov. had the authority to tax the church) because you may lose all if you don't.
4. I was in another meeting about the same time on the South side of Indianapolis (Sept.) and the pastor of the church got up and said "We've decided to pay the SS tax even though we know it is wrong. We don't want to take a chance on losing our building."
5. I heard a pastor stand and say "I talked to Bro. --- (a very well known preacher) and he admitted I was right on the INC. being a state church, but he didn't want to take a chance on losing their buildings, so he refused to do anything about it".
6. I went to the legal Seminar in Chicago last year. Bro. Gibbs stood up and said, "If you are incorporated you are a state-church. The pastor and trustees are officers of the state and the property belongs to the state. Our advice to you is if you are incorporated don't get out of it because you run the risk of losing to much". ) Nothing was said of the principle involved.)
7. I know good pastors personally, who know the issues and what is involved, yet, they refuse to make the break from the state because of fear of offending the state, offending people in their church, or losing the property.
8. Max Paddock said he went to a preachers fellowship in Terre Haute some time ago. The pastors at this fellowship actually took a vote to disallow even bringing up this issue at their meetings. (Maybe if we ignore it, it will go away.)
Notice the ONE thing in common as pastors are brought face to face with the corporation. A fear of losing property, people, prestige, or money if they decide to break with the state and cease to be a state church (these are NOT liberal pastors or churches. These are fundamental Bible-believing, hell fire and brimstone preachers and churches).
The division is not a split but a splinter. 99% of the Bible-believing churches have remained a state-church out of concern of the financial repercussions. I am one of the 1%. We are considered the lunatic fringe by the VERY BEST names in fundamental circles, and the 99% must avoid us like the plague because they feel that to be seen with us is to admit we are right and they are wrong. They may (and many times will) admit this in private but they will not in public. To do so requires action on their part.
The issue is no longer Baptist vs Nazarene, long hair vs short hair, pants vs dresses and sometimes not even KJV vs NIV. Although I dislike strongly anything other than the KJV. According to a recent Moody Monthly, it takes an average of two and a half years of college to understand the KJV today. These new perversions only take a third or fourth grade education. They only prove we are going down FAST.
The division is Col. 1:18 "And he is the head of the body, the church; who is the beginning, the first born from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence." I personally will side with anyone over this issue of Christ's authority over His church above any other issue other than salvation through the blood atonement. If he will agree on authority, there is hope for him in other areas. Is Christ head over all things to the church. One percent of fundamental Christians says yes. 99% says "as long as it doesn't require a financial loss he is."
Therefore the one common denominator that makes the decision is not doctrine, whether the state-owned, licensed, controlled (through Inc.) is Bible or not, but "what will it cost if we break the tie." My Bible says, the love of money is the root of all evil (I Tim. 6:10), and all of these men made their decision based on what will it cost. They tried to influence others based on the results, not on what Scripture principles are involved. Our Lord said "Take heed, and beware of covetousness for a man's life consisteth not in the abundance of things which he possessth (Lk. 12;15)."
II Pet. 2:3 "And through covetousness shall they with feigned words make merchandise of you."
Use nice smoothing words to cover up what it really is, covetousness. We see in Vine's Dictionary the word covetousness is a gift which betrays the givers unwillingness to bestow what is due. The reward for refusing to give Christ what is due. The Lordship of Christ demands a gift of ALL to him. That financial gain which prevents our submission to him is covetousness. Anytime the results dictate the decision we have covetousness, Jer. 8:13.
Just as sure as the Son of Righteousness shall appear when the time is right, so will the Lord "consume" those who ignore His Word concerning idolatry and covetousness when the time is right.
Sad to say, I'm afraid the time is getting closer and closer. I had gone to a meeting in Northern Indiana for a pastor who had been put in jail for refusing to turn over church records to the state. There were only six or eight pastors there out of 550 letter and over 100 long distance phone calls, and needless to say, by the time I got back home I had had plenty of time to think it over.
This message was a result of that trip as I thought on these things.
Why were there so few men to respond to such a call? One of the pastors got up and explained it well, so I thought. He pointed out that for a pastor to support this issue was involved would be to say that our stand against the state's authority over the local church was right. That the state owned the incorporated church.
Now, the pastor may agree in his heart but to be identified in a public gathering would admit he needed to take some kind of action.
After coming back from that meeting I feel very strongly, that unless God in His grace and for his great names sake, intervenes and turns some hearts toward Himself, we are living in the last generation of religious freedom in the United States. Persecution is not only coming but is already here only right now, very well hidden, covered and ignored. Jer. 8:8-13 Really seems to describe the issue at hand. Why won't pastors admit publicly that the issue is just?
V. 10 "Given to covetousness --" We see the results of this covetousness in Ezek. 33:31 "and they came unto thee as the people cometh, and they sit before thee as my people, and they hear thy words, but they will not do them: for with their mouth they show much love, but their heart goeth after their covetousness."
The result of their covetousness is their refusal to do what God's Word says. They preached great sermons but their heart was elsewhere when it came time to be consistent. They are afraid of losing their big buildings, big cars, big salaries, big attendance. This love of money and prestige results in: 1. Jer. 8:8 "We are wise in the law of the Lord and the law is on our side. These laws against covetousness do not apply to us." "These principles against compromising His authority over His church aren't for our day and time. They are written in vain for us." Besides, we are under grace, not law. His laws were not meant for us today (vv. 8-9). 2. Results in: V. 9 -- They claim to be wise men yet they reject the law-word of the Lord.
a. They refuse to recognize the Lordship of Christ over His church (Col. 1:18).
b. The Lord says here (v. 9) "What wisdom is in them?" "It sure isn't my wisdom. Therefore if it isn't my wisdom where is it from?" It isn't his wisdom to refuse to acknowledge his authority. It isn't his wisdom to refuse to stand for right because of the result.
* Who is our God talking to here? V. 10 -- Prophets and priests. The spiritual leaders.
* Where does he lay the blame? V. 10 -- The prophets and priests -- The teachers and preachers of the Word of God. They get up and preach: Morality, Doctrine, Evangelism. Yet, they have ignored the fact that the one who rose from the dead is BOTH Lord and Christ (Acts 2:36). They have ignored that He is Lord over all of life and especially over the church.
Therefore, they have given the state the authority over the church through incorporation. Hosea 8:4 says "They have set up kings, but not by me: they have made princes and I knew it not: of their silver and gold they have made them idols, that they may be cut off. The lie they have believed here and taught is, "it is not spiritual to be involved in civil government, to be involved in politics." A Christian shouldn't be involved in politics. Also here they have compromise God's law-word because of the monetary benefit or cost involved (idols of silver and gold).
These same men get up in their pulpits and preach against covetousness (which is idolatry Col. 3:5) in their people, yet, it is covetousness that keeps them tied to the state (protection, provision, and respectability). They call for their people to cast down their false gods, yet, they will not turn their back on the state whom they have sought protection under. They condemn adultery, yet the Lord calls any compromise on His authority over His people or church whoredom, adultery and idolatry.
These aren't the Philistine, liberal churches, like the one we have in Linden which puts on fish fries and carnivals to raise money. Jeremiah here isn't speaking to the unsaved. This is a prophecy against God's people. The ones who are called by His name and have replaced obedience to His every law-word with covetousness. These are God's people who are refusing to glorify God as God even though they know Him as God. God said here the reason he allows it is so he can bring judgment against them.
* Now, where is Jeremiah preaching from? Jer. 12:10, 11, 12. I believe if you will follow Jeremiah through you will find that the message is being delivered in the front steps of the church. To the pastors and those who are entering in regularly to worship. Notice V. 10 again, because of this covetousness, this desire to protect "their" reputation, buildings, finances, numbers, they "deal falsely."
Verse 11: a. They say "peace, peace when there is no peace." God won't judge us for ignoring His authority over His church. He won't do good or bad. He won't judge for refusing to glorify Him as God (Zeph. 1:12; Jer. 14:13).
b. Let's do whatever we need to do (to have peace), sign any form, accept any license, condone any inspection, avoid any confrontation, bow to any demand, pay any tax. As long as we can preach the gospel. So what if we have to say "Caesar is Lord". We don't really mean it in our heart. So what if we have to burn a little incense to Caesar, the Lord looks on the heart. So what if we have to compromise a little. God understands. Just as long as we have peace so we can preach the gospel of the death, burial and resurrection of Christ and trusting Him for heaven. We'll ignore the claim he made that He is Lord: That He is the head of all things Col. 1:16-18. That all power belongs to Him Matt. 28:19. We're sure He understands, because to do otherwise would cost us too much (prosperity has brought compromise). Just as long as we can have peace. That is all the Lord cares about.
V.11 -- Notice there is only a little healing in this. It will not hold back God's judgment upon the people of the Lord (chp. 7). V. 12 -- Are these covetous preachers, pastors ashamed that they have compromised and committed abomination? "Nay, NOT AT ALL," they can't even blush at it. Their hearts are so given to covetousness. This is called a whores forehead, Jer. 3:3, 8, 9. (Back to v.7), the dumb animals are smarter than these covetous pastors are. At least the animals can discern the times and seasons, yet, these "WISE MEN" can't even discern the times and seasons of judgment. This passage here reminds me of Job's friends (Job 12:1) "No doubt but ye are the people and wisdom shall die with you." Job had the perfect answer here for this crowd that Jeremiah is writing to and which claimed to be the wise men of his day. Claiming to have the law of the Lord with them. What they really have with them is a heart given to covetousness, "from the least unto the greatest".
A man's morality will always dictate his theology. A desire for more and more will find a theology to allow this. Whatever a man wants to do he will find scriptural grounds to allow him to do it. "Let's remove the law of the Lord from us, let's divide up our Bibles into OT and NT. The God of wrath and judgment in the OT and the God of love and mercy, grace in the NT. This way we don't have to accept the prophecy of such men as Jeremiah as applying to us today." Marcion started the doctrine of separating law from grace. OT from NT in the middle of the second century A.D. until then the Word of God was seen as one word, not two.
The Puritans saw the law just as binding on them as it was on the children of Israel. Without the OT we have no instruction in righteousness nor do we have any definition of sin.
V. 12 -- They shall fall among them that fall. These pastors will fall with the rest of those who ignore the Word of God. V. 13 -- The things I have given them shall pass away from them. The very things which influenced them and prevented their break from the state is going to be lost anyway. A nation is going to fall here in Jeremiah. A nation that at one time served the Lord God. A nation that was the light for the Lord to the world but now this nation is worshiping the works of their own hands (1:16). The spiritual leaders and the people have fallen to covetousness. Jeremiah warns them but the pastors ignore the warning (2:8). They refuse to acknowledge that they have transgressed against the Word of the Lord (3:13). The people have turned into a covetous people. Putting material things and the works of their own hands before the Lord and God has provided pastors after their own hearts (5:31) who put material things before obedience to God's every Word.
As always, the 1% who has tried to repair these areas will still pay the price with the 99% who fail to recognize that Jesus Christ is Lord over all things to the church. a. When someone says "I know I need to do that but I'm afraid of the cost=covetousness, and God will judge it. He always has and will as long as there is covetousness.
b. Lk. 18:8 -- Nevertheless, when the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth. Not some spooky emotional feeling but will anyone be left who is willing to stand in the face of loss of everything even though they may be trembling in their shoes. I don't care if no one else stands on the WORD of God, I must, because I must answer to HIM as to how I took care of what he intrusted me with. I must give it back to HIM to do with as HE sees fit. Will more join the separation from the state churches and state missionary organizations? I don't know, I must answer for me and my house and we are going to serve the LORD and SAVIOUR, Jesus Christ.
Haven't used this one.
I am greatly concerned about the modern day influence of humanism into the church even under the guise of soul-winning. I can remember as if it were yesterday, hearing preachers say "If we can get enough people saved then maybe god will spare our land as he offered to do with Abraham over Sodom."
But is this our answer? Is this the principle laid down in scripture? I believe the OT illustrates as clear as possible that the prosperity of a country as well as the safety of His people was tied with His people's faithful obedience to His law (II Chron. 7:14).
The principle is clear cut with Mal. 3:12 really summing it up. Deut. 28 lays the basic principle. There in Deut. 28 we have both sides of the coin. If his people will harken diligently to His voice, and do all of His commandments, then he promised to exalt them. The other side of this coin is v. 15. If they will not, then all of these curses shall overcome them.
The NT confirms this with Matt. 6:33 as well as countless like verses. Matt. 28:19, 20 which is our command for soul-winning, is only a small part of Matt. 6:33. To put Matt. 28: 19 and 20, soul-winning, above Matt. 6:33 not only pulls a verse out of context but also will bring judgment upon His people. The whole world can be "saved" but if they refuse to glorify God as God over every area of life, then only destruction lies ahead (Rom. 1:22; Rom. 6:16; Gal. 6:7, 8; etc.).
The problem with the OT people of God was NOT that there wasn't enough of them. Their problem was they turned from God. In fact with Gideon, he had too many. God specializes in using the few to overthrow the many (I Cor. 1:27, 28). Yes, we are commanded to go win all we can to Christ but our strength doesn't lie in numbers but in our relationship to HIM as revealed in His total law-word.
I would guess that in the last thirty years that we have seen the greatest SW efforts in history, the bus ministry, the door to door SW, electronic media, and the like. These methods reaping in people by the hundreds of thousands to where probably a larger percentage claim to know Christ as Saviour than anytime in our history (the voting age claim a salvation experience). But, has this been the answer?
Abortion on demand, aids, uncontrolled VD, public schools are government in doctra-nation centers against God, His Word and for Humanism. Really, the fastest move away from God as a society has taken place since the middle 50's. Something doesn't add up. What is wrong here? If numbers had been the answer, the last 30-40 years should have seen the greatest movement ever toward a godly society rather than what we see with even pastors being thrown in jail and churches locked up.
To me this is "Christian Humanism". Which teaches that our hope and strength lies in having big churches and large numbers. I think we can see the contrast in Jer. 17:5-7. First we have God's people who depend on their own strength. The strength of numbers, the strength of education, the strength of finances, and so on. The result of all this is bareness. The thought here seems to be, "If we have enough people we can be victorious. If we have enough numbers God can work."
Here are a few thoughts on this from Jer. 43:10-13.
Here we see that God uses the heathen to chastise His people. Again as we have seen over and over, God uses the heathen to chastise His people for their sins of refusing to glorify Him as God.
Something of interest here as we pass through Jer. 43:10-13. Among the fundamental circles today, is the teaching that God is going to judge America because there are not enough saved people. So the emphasis is on salvation, which is no problem because we must do all we can to reach all we can for the Lord. We will be held accountable for how faithful we are in reaching the lost but notice the inconsistency with God's Word here.
Back in Jer. 42:2, For we are left but a few of many---, we see these people were a remnant. They are what is left of the ones which Ishmael carried away, who were the ones left after Nebuchadnezzar and the Chaldeans killed as they took the city, of the ones left after Israel (ten tribes) removed. 1. Israel removed, Judah left. 2. Chaldeans take the city, kill many. 3. Chaldeans carry off many, leave a few. 4. Ishmael kills many, carries off fewer yet. 5. Johanan rescues the few left.
So this is a very small group. Ishmael and ten men were able to take them captive (41:1). I don't have the faintest idea how many are involved here but sure isn't many. Probably only a few hundred if that many.
43:10-13 -- But the reason this few of God's people are going to perish by death, captivity, sword and fire, is not because there are enough of them but because they refused to trust God, honor God as God, instead they looked to their own means to provide and protect. Whether it was their idols, false gods in the land (including breaking the sabbath) or refusing to submit to authority or seeking security in the world or taking up the habits of the world, the destruction was because God's people would not honor Him as God.
"Large NUMBERS prevent destruction" or "if we win enough people we will escape judgment". Notice this was the sin of David as he numbered the people. He was depending on large numbers for his protection (I Chron. 21:3; II Sam. 24).
This is nothing but a brand of humanism, depending on physical strength for protection.
God has never worked through the large numbers. He has always sought, not large numbers, but the ONE, the FEW who would be obedient to Him, honor Him as Lord over every area of life. Now, if we do honor Him as Lord over every area of life, we will try to influence, witness and win other to Christ, but this will only be one area of life out of many areas of life.
We have seen great evangelistic explosions with more people claiming Christ than David had in his kingdom when he numbered them. If the large numbers were the answer then why are we seeing the very fabric of this society being destroyed, the divorce rate among God's people, the ignoring of the Lord's day (Christian Sabbath), the disregard of His principle and laws in the day by day life, and the ties with the state (Egypt) and dependence on the state by God's people.
This is what is going to bring judgment, not because we don't have enough people. God always works through the minority ot show himself strong.
There will never be enough of God's people to overwhelm the Egyptian crowd. God is the one who must control the hearts of the heathens.
Safety comes from the Lord not from having a big crowd.
Again, I'm for "soul-winning," I'm for reaching everyone for Christ we can, but in our zeal to reach all we can any way we can: 1. Have we left out the necessity of the work of the Holy Spirit in the heart of the individual before they can come to Christ (Jn. 6:44; 15:16; 16:7-14; etc.)? 2. Are we depending on something we can do for security against the Chaldeans? 3. Is this a dependence or an increase of numbers rather than a dependence on the power of God.
a. I realize Lot and Sodom, but was it because Sodom was so wicked or because Lot was so worldly influenced he was useless.
b. God destroyed Canaan because Lot didn't win enough of them. God destroyed Egypt because Johanan and his group, (Jacob and his son, etc.) didn't win enough of them.
No, God destroyed Egypt because His people were looking to Egypt for what only God could provide. Security, protection and provision.
God is going to judge His people today, not because there are not enough of us but because HIS people will not glorify Him as God, Lord over their lives and over the church and even over the civil government.
God delights in protecting a remnant of a remnant of a remnant that will honor him as Lord, obey His word and submit to His authority in every area of life, not just over the "spiritual area."
The answer isn't SW, although we must do all we can to reach the area for which we are responsible for Christ.
The answer is pastors and churches and God's people to quit looking to Egypt for their protection, security, and provision, breaking the ties with Egypt and turning aback to the law of God, applying His word and principles to every area of life.
Quit numbering the people (depending on numbers) and start obeying God. David numbered the people and inherited judgment from God and if we don't turn back to honoring the Lord God as the Lord God then no matter how great the number is, only destruction and judgment lies ahead.
Looking to Egypt for the security that obedience to God brings. Looking to Egypt for the protection that only God can provide. Looking to Egypt for the supply of our needs that God desires we seek Him for.
He will destroy the "clay", the power of Egypt just to show His people the utter vanity of trusting in the power (arm) of Egypt to provide what he is to provide.
The reed will thrust through the hand of the ones who lean on it for support. It may take awhile but it will come to pass just as sure as Jeremiah put these stones in the clay. Hidden for awhile but the clay (power) will break and reveal the truth.
Soul-winning, my, my, my, yes. A thousand times yes. But be sure we don't give an empty, powerless gospel to the seeking soul (Jn. 6:44) in order to get a number (which is a problem here as I have seen).
But numbers as the result of soul-winning to prevent judgment. NO! NO! That's nothing but humanism in a very fine dress. David found out the hard way.
Prevent judgment? God's people doing God's work God's way and His way is to AVOID EGYPT, depending on Him and Him alone, (through obedience to His word), t protect, provide and secure us.
Egypt gods are going to be destroyed. Egypt is going to be judged for her false gods. God's people foolishly are seeking safety in a house that is about to be set on fire to rid the community of its evil influence.
Reminds me of the OT judgment against the house which had leprosy. If the spreading leprosy could not be stopped then the house was destroyed to protect others.
Here God's people are seeking safety in the house which has leprosy and has the condemned sign on it. Oh, how foolish we are to seek security in a burning house.
42:10; 43:13 -- The people ask Jeremiah for a new message, promise to obey. He gives the same old message "serve the king of the Chaldeans." The people thought God would change the message because circumstances had changed (message of convince, not conviction).
Willing to do what God required as long as it corresponds with what they want to do.
43:2 -- Pride prevented doing it God's way.
Men today (esp. Christians) want the message changed because times have changed. 1. Times are hard so I need to devote more time to making money.
a. Matt. 6:33 still the same. 2. People are hard so no need to go too try to reach them. a. Matt. 28:19, 20 still the same. We see many involved in "Christian groups" which are not committed to the God of scriptures.
These speakers many times are not Bible-believing Christians. Members are mot committed to furthering the kingdom of God and trying to work for a godly society (Matt. 6:33). Far to often the message seems to be "look how wicked they (civil gov. or I.R.S.) are" rather than "look how great our God is. Let's apply God's laws here in this area and call civil government back to God," as well as other areas. Science, arts, education, etc.. Godly civil government must start with a godly self-government. Anything less than this will leave the ungodly in control. Here alone is the true grass roots movement which will bring results.
To me, God's word speaks plainly to this. First, Paul clearly instructs us to avoid close working relationships with the unbeliever in II Cor. 6:14. He is referring to the prohibition against any such covenants with the heathens found in Ex. 34:15 and Deut. 7:22. Those who refuse our God of the scriptures are at war against what we believe. Their goal is not to advance a godly society the kingdom of God as we are commanded to do. It cannot be, because the bases of a godly society is salvation and God's word. We cannot compromise with the unsaved without consenting to our own destruction. According to Jn. 3:36 these unsaved have God's wrath against them no matter how good they may sound as we unite with them we will be partakers of this wrath.
Secondly, it is the broken contrite heart of God's people which brings God's hand of protection upon them as well as His power and might, Joel 2:12-13; Ps. 34:18; 51:17; Isa. 57:15; 66:2. There is no way the unsaved can have this claim of protection and when the saved join with them we will inherit their curse. Again the NT confirms this in Ja. 4:6-10; I Pet. 5:5-7.
In passing, notice I Pet. 2. Here our power (God's power on us to stop foolish men) is found in HIS peoples "well doing (v. 15)." Again this is confirmed elsewhere. Passages such as II Tim. 2:19-26 and, I believe, the principle of I Pet. 3:2 also applies here. The pure manner of life of the believer wins the unbelieving heathen.
Also, my battle with the heathen who seeks to oppose me is not a physical battle although physical means will be used. It is a spiritual battle and my victory lies in the heavens, in my relationship with my Lord, Col. 2:8-15; II Cor. 10:4, and many others.
Yes, we must take physical action but the success of those actions cannot be found anywhere except in our personal relationship with the Lord. Anything else is dependence upon the flesh. Again, the unsaved man has nothing except the wrath of God against him (Jer. 17).
I have a book full of promises, that, if I will be faithful to Him and His law-word, by His grace, then He will move against the enemy. Anything less is not faith. As we know, faith is knowing what God says about a matter then putting His law into practice in it and leaving the results up to him. Anything less has the wrath of God built in (Rom. 1:17-18). Judgment comes because God's people forsake His laws (Jer. 16).
Again, going back to the OT, Hosea 10:14-15. One of the things which brought God's judgment against His people was their attempts to link up with the heathens in order to avoid God's chastening hand. They sought the multitude of mighty men (in the world's eye) for protection rather than to turn back to God in total obedience to Him. Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, the minor prophets, all of these warned God's people against joining with the unbelieving heathens. God's people ignored the warnings and the heathen prevailed.
Lastly, Amos 3:3, we preach it regardless but have we joined with the heathen in hope this will give us greater leverage against the ungodly over us? Do we join with the unsaved in hopes of a larger number?
For us: I think any group of God's people who join with the unsaved in order to gain strength or power are headed toward the same end as the heathen are. There can be no claim of God's protection nor can there be any turning of society back to godly principles without Christ and obedience to God's law-word.
The common "mortar" which must hold together a group of people seeking to establish God's authority must be total dedication to His Word, His Sovereignty, His authority, all based, of course, in our Lord Jesus Christ. Again, the only common ground for joining together must be to seek first God's kingdom. An unsaved man cannot do this. He is joined for his benefit, not God's.
God help us to step out by faith in Him and His Word. I think that here alone lies our victory. We sang the son "Victory in Jesus" yet we practice "Victory in the arm of the flesh and large numbers."
History screen date, 6/21/89
We are currently in a tremendous media blitz concerning democracy. Every where we turn or read, we are seeing the glories of democracy being promoted. Because of this blitz, undoubtedly, many good sincere people are being caught up in it, believing that this is God's way.
With the July 4th celebration coming on, we will be exposed to even more of this indoctrination. God help us to keep our attention focused upon the truth of God's word.
These United States of America are not a democracy. We are a Constitutional Republic. We were established as a rule by law, (the Constitution).
Democracy is rule by the largest group (commonly called, "Mob rule"), whoever can get the biggest group together is the leader. An issue must be decided based upon what is right and wrong and not mob action.
Now, I realize this presents a problem. Who determines what is right and wrong? The state, the elite few, the largest group of people, or society in general? Maybe the educators or even the social scientists? If any of these people or groups of people determine what is right and what is wrong, we end up with law of "flux", ever-changing laws. The Humanist Manifesto #2, point "Eighth; We are committed to an open and democratic society. We must extend participatory democracy in its true since to the economy, the school, the family, the work place, and voluntary associations". (In other words, religious associations, churches, etc..)
Thus we see that those who are against God are pushing democracy because they absolutely refuse to admit that God has the established standard of right and wrong. That standard is found in His law-word, the Holy Bible. The Constitution, as a whole, reflects these principles.
Their problem started in the garden of Eden as the devil said, "Ye shall be as God, able to decide for yourself what is right and wrong. You don't need God's word to tell you," Gen. 3:5.
Going further, even the Communists will push democracy, but they go a step beyond. "We are the elite who know what the people want, therefore we decide for them."
"It's what the majority wants." When this becomes our standard for what is right and wrong, we are going down hill fast.
Democracy--. It was democracy which put Christ to death as those for His death out-shouted those against it. The only standard for right and wrong which will work is the word of God.
date on orig is 10/89
I would like to make a point here and maybe build a message around it one day. Prov. 8:36-- But he that sinneth against me wrongeth his own soul: all that hate me love death. There are two main points here in the second part of this verse. Hate God--love death.
First, what does it mean to hate God. a.) Does it mean to speak against God.? b.) Does it mean to shake ones fist at God and say, "I hate you?" c.) Does it mean to try to set on the throne of heaven? Ps. 2:3 tells us what it means to hate God as the God haters said either in their heart or in counsel together, let us break their bands asunder and cast away their cords from us.
Notice that there is no record of them saying, "God we hate you". All in the world they did was try to get away from God's laws, precepts and principles. All they did in their counsel was say, "We really don't need God's word for our instruction. We can have our own instruction. We can get that instruction from science, philosophy, medicine, nature, or from any number of sources." (Courts, state, legislature, etc., any source except the total of God's word.)
Our Lord said it best in Matt. 12:30: He that is not with me is against me; and he that gathereth not with me scattereth abroad. This could not be any clearer. Many seem to think that if a person is not speaking against God and His Christ, that they are sort of neutral and they are alright. I have had more than a few say this to me, "He really isn't against God, they don't say anything one way or another." Our Lord makes it clear that any indifferent attitude toward the Lord and His Christ (and the word of God), is to stand against Him.
No piece of music is neutral, no person (this includes all our friends), book, T.V show, activity, use of clothing (either it glorifies God or it is against Him), bite of food or drink, action, word, thought, discipline of education (math, science, art, language, etc.), is neutral. (I will have to say that as a whole, most objects are neutral. It is how they are used or regarded which removes their neutrality.) Thus, nothing is neutral. It either upholds Biblical principles or it doesn't. If it doesn't, it is against God.
Therefore any person (or above mentioned things), which doesn't conform with the bands and cords of God's word as mentioned in Ps. 2, is involved in rebellion against God and hatred of God. Anything which is not conformed to God's word (scriptural principles, it doesn't have to mention God one way or another), is against God. It is in rebellion and hatred of the Lord and His anointed. (Humanism is the effort to remove God and His word from everything.) Notice that even in Satan's rebellion, it really wasn't him shaking his fist at God and saying, "God, I hate you". Rather it was trying to ignore God and to do his thing apart from God.
Back to Prov. 8:36. All that hate me... Hatred of God is defined as ignoring His principles of life as revealed to us in His total word.
Now the second part, all that hate me love death. It goes without saying that the opposite of God's principles of life would be death. This is why we are seeing "death education" courses being taught in the state schools. This is why there is such a fascination with death and violence on T.V. and in the movies and by society in general. This is why the murder of the unborn is socially accepted. This is why one of the most demanded videos at the rental store is, "The Many Faces of Death".
I have heard the argument when a person tries to defend one who is indifferent toward God, they say, "But they are not against God. They don't say anything against God and His word." But our Lord said, if that person is not for God, Christ and the word of God, then they are His enemies.
If that book you read doesn't uphold scriptural principles, it is an attack on God. If that show we watch doesn't uphold scriptural principles, it is an attack upon God. If that class where our children sit and the books they study don't uphold scriptural principles, they are sitting in an attack on the God whom we say we love. If that activity which we or our children are involved in doesn't uphold scriptural principles, it is an attack upon the God of the scriptures.
There is nothing neutral. It is either for God or against God. It doesn't matter how much it may be dressed up in order to deceive, how good it looks or how appealing and nice sounding, if it is not for God and His principles, it is against Him.
1.) We will be held accountable for being involved in those antichrist, anti-God activities and areas. 2.) The results of those activities is death.
Was in a previous MO
Everywhere we look we read of the collapse of Communism. We are being told that the Kremlin is in turmoil, even on the verge of collapse. The theme seems to be, "Communism is dead, long live Capitalism." With this prospect, the West is rushing into the East with billions of borrowed taxpayer's dollars to prop up Gorbachev's programs (of world domination).
Human Events (3/17), has a book review on Anatoliy Golitsyn's New Lies For Old, published in 1984. (Golitsyn was with the KGB from 1946 to 1961.) To quote one line from their review.
"Western acceptance of the liberalization as genuine, said Golitsyn, "would create favorable conditions for the fulfillment of Communist strategy for the United Stated, Western Europe and even, perhaps, Japan." A broadscale liberalization in the Soviet Union and elsewhere, Golitsyn argued, would have a "profound effect. Eurocommunism could be revived. The pressure for united fronts between Communist and Socialist parties and trade unions at national and international levels would be intensified."
Golitsyn identifies Solidarity as a Communist Party creation to revitalize the Party and draw Western money. He identifies, almost right down the line, what we currently see taking place in the East, even the showing to the West a picture of stagnation in the Soviet economy.
Thus, it is all a front to attract Western money and technology to further advance Communism.
The situation in Lithuania is very revealing. This shows that any "break-away" of any Eastern Bloc nation is with the approval of the USSR, and for the purpose of advancing Gorbachev's goal of world conquest for Communism. All along, he has made it clear that he is a committed Marxist-Leninists, true to their ideology.
The Soviets are NOT a militarily weakened nation as we are being led to believe. They moved rapidly and smoothly into little Lithuania, without a sound from the other Eastern Bloc nations who have "broken away," and who are receiving Western money as a "reward."
We are being told that the Soviets are only protecting the Union according to their constitution. Yet we read in their constitution, "Article 72. Each Union Republic shall retain the right freely to secede from the USSR. (H.E. 3/31)" It is obvious that they are only permitting an illusion of freedom as it fits into their plans. Anything that doesn't fit, is put down with the typical efficient Communist military force as needed.
U.S. tones down criticism of Soviets in Lithuania (Indianapolis Star 3/28). In the past every U.S. President, including Bush, has refused to recognize the unlawful annexation of the nation of Lithuania by the USSR (H.E. 3/31/90). But now we won't recognize that it isn't part of the USSR. It is a revealing day for the truth behind the rhetoric, when the nations which are to represent freedom refuses to even say a word of encouragement to a nation which is risking everything for freedom. ("Asked if Soviet President Gorbachev had violated his pledge against using force on Lithuania, Fitzwater replied, "We simply are not going to try to give definition to words like force and intimidation."" Talk about efficient political double speak!)
When the U.S. Senate tried to pass a resolution of support for Lithuania, the Kremlin angrily condemned them (Star, Republic's leaders rap Soviet actions). H.E. gives the names of the senators who voted against Lithuania's stand for freedom. Both Dole and Lugar voted against it.
The Soviets now "advise" us on our arms reduction (H.E. 6/3/89), and the Joint Chiefs no longer see the Soviets as an enemy (H.E. 6/17/90). The role of the U.S. military is being changed from one of defence from those who would seek to enslave to enforcing civil law (under the name of the war on drugs), and no alarm. This is typical of what we see in the USSR (Lithuania).
To further confirm this nation's support and desire to see world-wide socialism (Communism) advanced, is the situation in South Africa. Mandela is clearly a communist, committed to bringing South Africa under communism (U.S.News, 2/5/90), and the U.S. is doing all we can to force S.A. to accept this.
It is all too obvious that the U.S. is now the lap dog for the Soviet Union. We not only refuse to even criticize their unlawful action against an independent nation, but provide them with food, technology, material, money and moral support to carry out their desires for world-wide dominion. How much longer will the American people put up with this? Apparently long enough to be led so far into the world-wide socialist (Communist), structure that there will be no turning back, with Bush leading the pack.
We can rest assured that the Lord is not going to overlook the indifference to His law-word by those who are called by His name. It sure appears that He is raising up an ungodly nation to judge His people who refuse to glorify God as God and His law as law.
This is just another area that we are seeing Deut. 28 being fulfilled through.
My, how we need God to preform Zec. 12:10, and give us some men of God who will stand up to the king as Nathan did to David; some men of God who will teach their people to love God and keep His commandments.
We are observing a consistency in the tax- protest stand concerning a very basic point. That being, civil government is so rotten and corrupt today that those who love God and who love this country should not pay anything toward its support.
There seems to be two lines of thought in this movement. First, it is hopeless. The civil government is out of control and running rough- sod over everyone, doing its own thing, and making slaves out of everyone. Therefore we must stop its evil activity be refusing to support it. We cannot be partaker of its evil deeds and taxes make up partakers. Our only hope as we wait for the return of Christ is to stand against the intrusion of civil government where it has no business being. We are waiting for Jesus to come and take us out of this mess (never mind that we created this mess by failing in our responsibility to be salt and light in an corrupt world). While we wait we stand against their evil practices by tax-protest or any other protest which we feel is needed, Judges 21:25. The second line of thought in the midst of the wickedness around us would be this. The civil government is a mess, but let's get busy and bring about a change within our legal structure, not protesting at the point of advocating the fall of civil government. Let's still lift our voices against evil, no matter where that evil is found. This change must be from the bottom up.
Let me start with an illustration. We live in a very small community of about 600 or so. It is a conservative farm community. We know of a small independent contractor in our area and the town approached him to give them a bid on building a pole barn. The building of that pole barn was conditioned upon their receiving of a government grant.
Now, look at this. We will fuss and complain about high taxes and grossly misused tax funds (to buy $600.00 toilet seats and hammers. Even to give a 51% pay increase to the slave masters), yet every incorporated community is lined up at the central government's door trying to get their share of "grants". Why? Because everyone wants something for nothing. Why don't they pass a local tax increase to finance the pole barn?
Let's get closer to home. The church (Linden Baptist Church in this case) has failed to influence her community enough for Christ to cause the community to see the danger of these grants. The idea that there is no "free lunch" has been lost. The idea of self-sufficiency and individual responsibility is gone. The community is responsible for the pole barn if one is needed. If the local communities were made responsible for their local needs, no doubt a lot of "needs" would disappear.
The local residents will fuss and complain over high, misused taxes. They may even form a tax-protest and refuse to file a 1040 but the high taxes are not the problem. The problem is the attitude which causes the community to send its representatives to the central government (who has the power to raise or lower taxes) seeking the grant. The central government will be all too happy to supply that grant even for things that are not needed (this is not to say the pole barn is not needed). The power to grant funds, then the "granted funds", will be turned into increased power to tax and an increased tax load. (This would include the central government's desire to control every aspect of life, even the speed limit. Either you obey what we feel is best for you [55 m.p.h. or 35 m.p.h.] or we will not give you back 10% of the money which we took from you.) The problem IS NOT the central government's power to tax. It is not their power to misuse those tax funds. It is not their power to do wickedness of all kinds.
The problem IS the local attitude of the individuals and the community which goes to the central government to get their fair share of grants. The problem IS a religious problem. The problem IS that the local Bible-believing churches have failed to reach their local communities with the gospel of Christ which makes the individuals responsible self-governing individuals. The problem will not be solved (only compounded) by protesting the misuse of tax funds because the problem is the misuse of God's funds on the part of the local church. The funds have not been used to meet the local needs and reach the local communities.
It is impossible to have a responsible civil government apart from responsible self-governing citizens. It is impossible to have responsible citizens apart from the gospel of the kingdom of God which produces self-governing individuals, responsible to God.
To attack the misuse of tax-funds is to imitate Don Quioxite and his attacking of the windmills. We can fight these shadows from now until eternity, yet until we have self-governing responsible citizens through the gospel, they will be there. We will not have responsible central government apart from responsible local churches. We will not have responsible churches apart from responsible individuals within those churches. Those individuals responsible in taking the gospel of the kingdom (Acts 28:23-31) to their local community. Responsible in their consistency toward God's law-word.
The irresponsible activity of the central government is ONLY A RESULT of the irresponsible activity of God's people. It is a result of the problem of God's people rejecting their rightful King and Commander, I Sam. 8. When individual, personal self-government under God goes by the wayside, so does the civil government.
To stand against the irresponsible actions of the civil government apart from standing against the irresponsible actions of personal self- government under God's law-word is useless. It can only lead to anarchy. It can only result in rebellion as every man seeks to go his own way and do his own thing.
Our only hope as a nation is in the churches becoming responsible once again and producing personally responsible self-governing individuals who will go out and influence every area of life for the Lord Jesus Christ and once again glorify Him as God over everything, Rom. 1:21; I Cor. 10:31, etc..
To take the attitude of, "There is nothing we can do except stand against the evils of the central government until Jesus comes" is apostasy. This attitude has the wrath of God against it. In fact, this attitude will result in even more oppressive central control. God deal's with this attitude very bluntly through the OT PROPHETS.
There are several passages which will shed some light upon this situation which we face today. Really, a situation of total blindness as to the results of actions, the inability to connect cause and effect, an inability to associate the present difficulties with the action which brings about the difficulties.
It is bad enough when the worlds crowd cannot connect cause and effect but it is extremely bad when God's covenant people cannot make this connection of cause and effect. At this point we are facing a very serious problem as well as some trying times.
The first Scripture we need to examine to shed some light upon this would be Isa. 6:9-10. Here we have the command to go given by God to his prophet. He is told to go to this people of unclean lips, v. 5. Isaiah had complained about dwelling with this hardened people and now he is told to go preach to them. The divine commission sounds very hopeless. He was told to go and preach to this people. They would hear but they would not comprehend what they were being told. They will look at what is happening, yet they will not see really what is taking place. Therefore, their hearts will be greasy so the truth will by- pass them. Their ears will be heavy so they cannot hear. Their eyes sticky (unable to open) so they cannot see. "--their spiritual sight, spiritual hearing, and spiritual feeling were to be taken away, their eyes becoming blind, and their ears deaf, and their hearts being covered over with the grease of insensibility (Keil)."
Isaiah is told the reason for this. Because if they understood the message they would be converted and healed. Keil points out that, consistent with God's character, this was the judicial will of God. What God had originally meant for the salvation of man would now result in judgment because man resisted what was meant for his good. "Nevertheless He directed the prophet to preach repentance, because the judgment of hardness suspended over the people as a whole did not preclude the possibility of the salvation of individuals (Keil, pgs. 200-201)."
Israel's rebellion was going to be judged. Their sin had reached the point of no return (only God knows what that point is). God is still sending the warning to them, yet they cannot see, hear or understand the warning. Some individuals will heed, yet society will be judged. Paul refers to this principle of the judicial action of God in Rom., chp. 1. In v. 24 we see that at some point in their hardening against God's law-word they reach the place where he gives them up to the just results of their rebellion against him as God, v. 21.
What do we have here in Isaiah? The society had turned from God. Isaiah takes a warning to them to turn back, yet rather than the warning bringing repentance, it only brought hardness. THE PEOPLE WERE NO LONGER ABLE TO CONNECT CAUSE AND EFFECT. Therefore they continued ahead in the cause that the effect might come upon them. The natural effect of their hardness and sin was the judgment against their sin.
Prov. 8:36 would also confirm this. There we see the result of hating God is death. Therefore any person who resists God's authority over them is headed for death. All the Lord would need to do is allow them to not see the result of their sins against him and his law and death surely follows.
This prophecy by Isaiah is one of the more quoted prophecies in The NT. Our Lord uses it in Matt. 13:14 (Mk. 4:12; Jn. 12:40). We see it also referred to in Acts 28:26, 27 and Rom. 11:8. Each one of these quotes in their context would be a good message, yet the one which would present this the clearest would probably be Matt. 13:14. As we follow Matthew on through (along with the context of the usages by Paul) we see that this blindness was for the purpose that the judgment of God would come upon them, Matt. 23:34-36. This was a judicial blindness. A blindness meant to bring judgment upon them.
Let's reach a conclusion here. When God doesn't allow people to connect cause and effect it is a sign of his judgment. It is the beginning of a total collapse (death, if you please), either for an individual or for society.
Back to our original problem. When people are unable to connect grants with socialism (more and more central control) and higher taxes, this is a sign of judgment. When folks cannot connect high taxes with the root cause, it is a sign of God's judgment. Carrying this farther, when God's people cannot connect the tighter and tighter "noose" of civil government around them, with their rebellion against God's authority over them (through his law), this is a sign of judgment.
Really the basic principle here would be that WHEN PEOPLE CANNOT SEE OR UNDERSTAND CAUSE AND EFFECT we have the judicial judgment of God.
One last point from this passage, Isa. 6:12. This is done to shake out those who are in rebellion against God. Undoubtedly we are facing this great shaking out today. Hebrew 12:27, 28 tells us that the things which can be shaken will be shaken so that those things which cannot be shaken will remain and prosper.
Each of us know of people who seem to be absolutely blind to this principle of cause and effect. They are in the midst of a terrible shaking in their lives, yet when approached about the cause which brought it on, they get absolutely hostile. They refuse to even consider that what they are going through is the result of a past/present violation of a principle of God's word. They are convinced that what they are going through is just a "trail of their faith", when actually it is judgment against their sin. They will even sit under the preaching of the truth and pass it off as for someone else or as just some man's opinion.
When we look around, it is amazing how blind those around us are to cause and effect. They will get hostile over high taxes and misused funds, yet they will line up for the give-away programs which cause the high taxes. Everyone wants their "fair share". But with that fair share comes the ever tightening controls of the central government, socialism.
People will complain over the financial policies of the civil government which are leading to ruin, yet in their own lives, very few of them will follow sound financial policies. Those policies must start with giving back to God what is his as well as avoiding debt.
One of the best examples of this blindness is the government's educational system. From the time of consolidation (which is not the cause but a result of a planned program of centralization, socialism) education has gone down hill. More and more funds have been useless in the effort to stop the "dumming down" of our population. The elite appear to be totally blind to what is going on, unable to connect any kind of cause and effect. They are using every means possible to turn America away from God and His law-word, and the education system has been very successful in this effort. It would make one wonder if the "dumming down" is intentional. Apart from God only death can result. No doubt we are seeing this death of a system. "Educators" are unable to connect the disasterous results with the root, turning from God. Note here, we hear praise heaped upon the Soviet educational system about how good their kids can do on tests, yet they get their technology from the West.
The list is endless of societies (both inside and outside of the church) inability to grasp the results of what they are doing. The preacher can cry out against sin and their hearts are like grease. Their ears cannot hear (for themselves) what is being said. Their eyes are stuck closed, unable to see what is going on in their own lives.
The world is even worse. Blindly running down the path to centralization, socialism and even being grateful to the ones leading them down this path. Let us not think for a moment that the politicians don't know the people's desire for security, but with security comes slavery. The word of God tells us that this is the path of death, Prov. 8:35, 36.
Many of us as pastors stand back in utter amazement as to why and how people can be so blind, unable to connect the results with the cause. What can we do? Isaiah was given the message. "Lord, how long do I need to preach to these who are blinded to the results of their sins?" The Lord's answer, "Until the cities be wasted without inhabitant---." Keep on, there are individuals who will hear and heed.
Why is it happening? It would seem that society (even inside of the church) has reached the point. Their sins have taken them past he point of no return and they are headed toward the righteous judgment of God who will render to every man according to his deeds, Rom. 2:1-11.
As God's covenant people we need to be praying that God in his mercy will allow us to see past the results of sin to the root, both in our lives and in the ills of society around us, Rom. 9:15-18. There are plenty of windmills to attack but we have better things to attack. We need to be dealing with the roots and God will take care of the fruit which we see growing around us..
The faithful ones who can see the root causes of the evils around them (even in our their own lives) and deal with those causes, will be spared to rebuild what sin has destroyed. Yes, they also will have to face the social upheavals which will come about in this judicial will of God but the faithful will be left to rebuild, Heb. 12:28-29.
Let's be very sensitive that we not get caught up in even good causes which would get us side-tracked from the root cause. We need the grace of God to deal with every area according to His word.
This leaves us with two choices. 1. Sit back and wait on Jesus. Protest the rotten fruit and hope that we will be gone before that rotten fruit multiplies. 2. Get busy and attack the rotten root which produces the rotten fruit. We have no idea when Christ will say; that's enough, I Cor. 15:24-28. Which do we suppose is the most pleasing to our Master, Lk. 17:7-9?
High taxes, misused funds? Murder of the unborn upon demand? Stronger and stronger centralized government, socialism? Government education to support the intended one-world government? People out of control, no personal self-government? The problem is a religious problem and the only hope is to deal with it as such.
Pastor Ovid E. Need, Jr.