|The Biblical Examiner
An Examination of Biblical Precepts Involved in Issues at Hand
1) THE STATE AS
2) HOW NOT TO PRAY
3) PROFIT FROM EVIL, Deut 13:12
|The State as God|
One of the most neglected and abused of the Ten Commandments is the first: Thou shalt have no other gods before me. In the modern state, these other gods assume many shapes and forms, but the primary other god is the state itself. We live in a rural community, and as the farmers in our area serve the state as god, the prospects of famine increase many fold.
One of the more obvious NT references to the first commandment is found in Paul's words, when they knew God they honoured him not as God, Romans 1:21. [Before we go any further, let us define Salvation as material and temporal prosperity and triumph in every area contrasted to the pagan idea of some kind of supernatural deliverance or escape.]
Now, let's identify some other gods:
First: Seeking individual salvation from any source other than faithfulness to the command-word of God is service to other gods.
In other words, serving other gods is defined as placing one's confidence for the present and/or future in education, secular counseling under whatever name it goes (psychology, psychiatry), job or financial security (Isa 46:6), one's own abilities, retirement programs (Isa 46:4) or any of a vast number of other gods served by the world around us, Deuteronomy 12:30. Certainly, there is nothing wrong in these things in and of themselves; the sin is when one's confidence for present or future provision is placed in these things rather than in obedience to every word which proceedeth out of the mouth of God.. (The obvious exception is when their stated purpose is to overthrow God, ie. Psychiatry.)
Second: For one to look anywhere for a standard of righteousness other than to God's commandments and statutes is serving other gods, Deuteronomy 6:24, 25. The law reveals God's standard of righteousness for His people. The promise of God is that doing what God defines as right in any given situation results in life, Galatians 2:16. (Righteous - ethically right, Gen 30:33; Pro 11:4, 5, 18, 19, &c.)
There is clearly a righteousness which is of God by faith in the Lord Jesus Christ which the Jews unsuccessfully sought after by the works of the law (but this is not our topic at this time), Philippians 3:9. On the other hand, Paul, in Romans 6:19 (13:9), makes an obvious reference to the righteousness which comes by obedience to all the Lord's commandments (cf. Deut 6:25 & 1 Jn 3:4). Therefore, when someone says, "Do what you think or feel is best," or "Do whatever will work best for now," they have departed from the faith of the Scripture, Deuteronomy 6:18, (12:8. Gen. 3:1).
Other gods are served any time human reasoning, whether from an individual or a group of individuals (church board, state &c), is used to determine the correctness of any thought or action, Deuteronomy 13:1-11.
Third: Seeking any source for laws to provide salvation for society serves other gods. "The source of law is the god of a society." In other words, the idea that man can make a law, any combination of laws, or do anything that might originate in his mind, to solve his (society's) problems, denies the God of the Bible. God calls this a love of death, Proverbs 8:36. We cannot legislate morality; it has already been legislated for us by God. There is only one Lawmaker; therefore, any departure from His law makes man a law- breaker. All man is permitted to do is develop and apply what the Lawmaker has revealed. (Cf. Isa. 33:22; Ja. 4:12.)
In modern perspective, to think that the state (Washington, any nation or group of nations, ie. UN) can pass a law or series of laws which will solve societies's ills, is faith in another god; it is worship of the state as god on earth, statism, or Moloch worship. (See Institutes of Biblical Law, vol I, pgs. 30-40.) A person is involved in statism any time he looks to the state to do or provide what only God is to do or provide. Thus, to look for the state to provide peace, security, education, child-care, welfare and an endless list of 'services,' is to establish the state as god, statism.
Statism sees all power flow inward to the centralized government; statism is Nimrod's dream reborn; statism claims total power and authority over everything (thus, requiring unlimited funds); statism is totalitarianism; statism has the same curse of God against it as did Nimrod's dream, civilization's death; statism is in action at all levels of society. For example:
THE COMING FAMINE
I talked to an elderly (in his 60s) local farmer at the end of 91, who gave this account of the federal farm program: Anytime a farmer participates in this program in any way, he becomes a slave to the state. The state establishes the amount and the type of crop [corn, beans, wheat, etc.] he may plant. Furthermore, the state strictly forbids the farmer from deviating from his state-established quota. When I asked him what the state would do if he deviated from his quota, he couldn't answer me; he assumed that the rebellious farmer would be barred from the program or maybe even jailed.
He expressed three major complaints about the farm program.
First, the state has burdened farmers with so many regulations that it was becoming impossible to operate; therefore, he advised his own children to get out of farming because the state would soon make it prohibitive. He felt that soon only large, state-owned, co- operative farms would be left because the statist farm policy was forcing the individual family farm out of existence. This attitude is prevalent in our farming community.
Second, the state would not allow the farmer to rotate his crops "as their fathers had done." This prevents the rebuilding of the soil, making the farmer totally dependant upon chemicals. This elderly man farms 360 acres, and his 1991 chemical bill alone was almost $30,000.00, in addition to the terrible tax load for over-built public schools (among other things).
(A paid newspaper add by a local farmer said, "Try and plant, plow, or sow without permission from the A.S.C.S. and you will be fined or even imprisoned." (Crawfordsville Journal Review, 11/9/91.) The A.S.C.S. is a local government office that must approve what portion of, and purpose for which, farm land may be used before the farmer can plant on his land. In other words, if a farmer wants to plant 40 acres in beans this year, he must go to this office and state what he desires to plant. The state agent will open a computer file telling him what has been planted on that parcel in the past, and then he will either approve or disapprove what the farmer wants to do with his 40 acres. Failure to comply with the agent's requirements, according to this add, will result in fines and/or imprisonment.)
Third, no matter how bad the harvest, the state established the yield for this farmer. He said that as he went over his '91 harvest records, he saw close to a two-thirds decrease because of the drought (normal yield locally is about 125-150 bushels of corn per acre). When he compared his figures with the state's (federal government's) figures, the state had more than doubled his figures (his yield was around 35 bu. They increased him to around 90, if I remember right). I asked him if he was paid for this tremendous increase in his harvest; he assured me he wasn't. I also asked how they could get away with falsifying the harvest figures; he had no answer.
Observe: Apparently one reason the state controls this program is so they can control the price of the grain. One possible reason for the state to lie about the amount harvested is to keep the grain price low and the farmer dependant upon state subsidy, under absolute state control. This is statism, the state's attempt to be god in total control of everything. (Notice that by their FIAT WORD, they control the production and, thus, the price of food. They are indeed god over the whole earth, although it will be hard to eat their falsified figures.)
The statist farm program is going to do some things in the near future unless the farmer gets fed up with serving his statist god and breaks its bands. The problem is, though, that the program keeps the farmer so deep in debt through the manipulation of the prices that he is unable to break free. (There is going to be an unbelievable price to pay when this other god falls, and fall it must before the Lord God, 1 Sam. 5:3.)
1) The farms will pass from family owned to state, bank and large corporation owned collective farms. (Note though, that the banks and corporations are so tightly regulated by the state that, actually, the state will own the land. Whoever controls the land owns the land.) We should add, however, that the bank owned land is bought with fiat "money" through fractional banking.
I talked with another farmer several years ago who told me that during the land boom of 60's & 70's, the banks sent their loan agents door to door to persuade farmers to borrow money against their high land value (many times for things they didn't even need). The ones who borrowed against their highly valued land suddenly found themselves owing far more than the collateral would cover when the land value dropped. The banks then foreclosed on many farmers even though they were making their note payments.
2) There will be a famine brought on by the collectivisation and destruction of the land. The rich farm land will be turned into arid desert by state bureaucracies telling the farmer how to use his land, by the hardness of the farmer toward God as he looks to the state as his god, and by socialism where a man is not rewarded according to his labor... unless the Lord sees fit to send a spiritual awakening. Regardless, the Lord promises to judge all who have Nimrod's dream of a one-world order under centralized control.
Furthermore, experience has proven many times over that a man will normally work much harder for himself for less money than he will for another for more money. Therefore, on collective farms where the farmer who once owned the land will be no more than an employee, production will drop dramatically.
It never occurred to this farmer to seek the Lord's help, and such a suggestion would have brought a very negative response. His family is attached to, and will remain in, a less than worthless church which preaches socialism because they have always been there. These subversive churches have done their job well, making the word of God of none effect and totally irrelevant to the situations in which the individual finds himself. The truth of God's word must be presented before people will have a chance at freedom. The slave mentality of church members makes it evident that the truth is not being proclaimed in their churches. The large majority of these churches, even if they might see an issue, will not take any stand against the state because of the possible cost involved, Isaiah 56:10, 11.
We might also add that in this area of the country, Purdue University establishes itself as the expert on everything (we are 20 miles south of the center of the universe!). The sad thing is that many people actually live by every word which proceeds from the mouth of Purdue. But I have met many farmers who curse the day that they listened to Purdue's advice.
We must say this: When the word from Purdue or any other agency (state, church or otherwise) is accepted and followed over the law of God, that agency has become the god of that individual. We are living in the midst of pagans with the results of their idolatry all around us, yet very few see the results or care enough to turn if they do.
When people (or churches) do not resist the evil of statism, they have exalted the state as god. One of the major causes of God's judgment against His people Israel was their refusal to recognize His authority over the state, Hosea 8:4. Moreover, they sought to serve both the Lord and the state, Zephaniah 1:5.
In today's vernacular: they loudly proclaim their love for and commitment to God and His word while they stretch out their hand for state aid in any of its many forms. This hypocrisy violates the first commandment. (How can a professed Christian or pastor stand against his god which is supporting him? Of course, he cannot.) Statism offers cradle to the grave security, but with that offer is slavery. The Lord offers freedom to our farming community, but with that offer comes responsibility to do things God's way, responsibility for self-government and persecution for godly actions.
When the farmer looks to the state or to Purdue to tell him how to operate rather than to the Lord, he is serving another god. The total jurisdiction claimed by the state must lead to the state requiring all the wealth of the nation. Total confiscation of wealth is the result of rejecting the Lord as King and His word as law. God's result (therefore the Godly result) of turning from the law of the Lord is totalitarianism and death, 1 Samuel 8.
To look to any source to provide what only the Lord is to provide through faithfulness to His word, to give honour and allegiance to any other person or authority which belongs to the Lord alone, is to serve other gods and invokes God's destruction to the third and fourth generation, Exodus 20:5; 22:20.
In all the turmoil around us resulting from the rebellion of the state and church against God's law, we are encouraged to join in God's laughter at man's feeble efforts against Himself, Psalms 2. We can rejoice as we see the enforcement of God's "death penalty" against the other gods which men are serving today. The house of humanism is collapsing so that the house on the Rock can stand, Matthew 7:24-29; Hebrews 12:27; Haggai 2:6. The call to the people of God is to build everything upon the command- word of our God.
|How Not to Pray|
I believe strongly in the need for prayer; most people do not pray enough. The problem is that too many prayers ask for miracles from God when what is needed is faith, courage, and work on their part.
In the Bible itself, the miracles are few, except mainly in three eras: the time of Moses; the time of Elijah and Elisha; and in the time of our Lord and the apostles. Even then, God did not allow prayer to replace practical action.
Thus, we are told that King Herod had decided to kill the Christ child (Matthew 2:16-23). God did not tell Joseph and Mary that He would deliver them miraculously; rather, He told Joseph and Mary to make a run for it to Egypt, and to stay there until Herod died. In other words, God did not work a miracle to deliver the infant Jesus: He ordered common sense action.
Why should He work miracles to deliver us when work, common sense, and faith can supply the answer?
A woman whose son and daughter both became promiscuous, called up everyone on her "prayer chain" to ask prayers for her dear children. Nothing good happened, of course. What God required of her was that she ground them, take away their sports cars, cut off their allowances, and apply some Godly discipline. Long before that, she should have placed them in a Christian school.
I believe all the sweet ladies on that "prayer chain" were guilty of blasphemy, as was the mother. They were taking the name of the Lord in vain, and by prayer, to make matters worse.
If God did not work a miracle to save the infant Jesus when practical action was the right step, why should He give you preferential treatment? The second temptation of our Lord by Satan was to ask God for a miracle where none was needed (Matt. 4:5-7), and our Lord's answer was, "Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God." Most prayers tempt God: they demand miracles where faith, courage,a nd work are needed.
We are commanded to pray, and our Lord gives us the model prayer. It begins: "Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven" (Matt. 6:9-10). Only after this are the simple requests in order.
Who has the priority in your prayer? Christ's Kingdom and work, or your own desire for miracles instead of faith, courage, and work? What kind of prayer do you think God answers?
Used by permission: Chalcedon Report, P.O. Box 158, Vallecito, CA 95251
From Evil :
Let's develop a law given in Deuteronomy 13:12sq, which deals with a report of an entire city which has gone after other gods. The report is to be checked out and, if confirmed, the entire city destroyed; everything is to be heaped in a pile and totally burned. Even the cattle were to be killed. This shows us that we are not to profit from evil.
This law would forbid the use of confiscated drug money for "drug enforcement." It is only a matter of time before the ones desiring the money invent false charges permitting them to confiscate the desired estates. This law forbids the purchase of goods at greatly reduced prices which were bought originally with the profits of evil. This law forbids the "sin taxes" of our day. This law forbids profiting from evil in any way.
The illustration which comes to mind is King Ahaz, his wife Jezebel and Naboth, a righteous man who owned a vineyard next door to the king, 1 Kings 21. Ahaz coveted Naboth's vineyard and offered to buy it from Naboth, but Naboth did not want to sell. Ahaz was very depressed, but his wife had a plan; she would use the law of God to obtain what Ahaz wanted. She instructed the leaders of the city to find someone to falsely charge Naboth with blasphemy against God and the king. The leaders of the city found a dishonest judge who ruled Naboth guilty based on the false charges, put him to death according to the law, thus clearing the way for the king to confiscate the vineyard. This is exactly what develops when the confiscation of the evil doer's property by the state is permitted.
On the other hand, the property can be confiscated in order to make restitution to the victim, but the state is not the victim unless the crime was literally against the state, ie. Naboth damaged Ahaz's property.
Another point here is that the word of God, removed from its context, can be used to justify anything. If the law had been left in its context (forbidding the confiscation of the property by the state), there would have been very little motive to have Naboth killed. How many people today are being slaughtered by the word of God, TAKEN OUT OF ITS CONTEXT?
We are reminded that laws will not solve the problem because sinful, fallen, covetous man is the problem. Proper laws are required to keep sin under control, but no law, or combination of laws, will solve the sin problem.
It is a sad day for Biblical Christianity when professed Christians look to civil law (even a return to the Constitution) to solve society's ills; they are serving another god. Corrupt men will corrupt the best of laws, even God's law, eg. Jezebel. The land will not spew out its inhabitants because they have departed from the constitution (cf. Lev. 18:28; 20:22).
The need of the hour is to gather, study and develop God's laws to see why the land is going to the devil; it is His law that needs to be studied, developed and implemented into society, for it is His Spirit which must change the hearts of those around us, 1 Corinthians 15:34; 1 Peter 3:1.
Only a changed man will produce a changed society. Pastor Ovid Need jr.