|The Biblical Examiner
An Examination of Biblical Precepts Involved in Issues at Hand
1) A New Religion
2) Torturing Christ
3) Death in the Pot: A Land Polluted
|A New Religion|
A personal note: The following is probably one of the more important thoughts we have presented. I would, therefore, ask the reader to consider the following treatise very seriously before dismissing it and its author, Pastor Need. Those who have followed these mailings for any length of time know that I do not advocate Christian withdrawal from society and social issues. I have been, am currently and will continue to be, Lord willing, very active in local political issues. There are some in the group of Concerned Citizens who have been digging into local issues for quite some time, and it looks like they are coming upon things that could bring down some well build, well financed yet very corrupt houses of cards in our county. I am firmly convinced that Christians have no choice but try to confront evil at every opportunity, and then go through every legitimate channel to change evil for good. I know of no other pastors in this county who are willing to take a public stand against evil and corruption even though their people are some of the victims. Again, the following is quite strong as it attempts to shoot a sacred cow; but, Christian, if you will consider seriously what is presented, you may want to help shoot that cow.
In order to get the reader's attention, we will ask a question up front, "Are we Patriots or Christians?" Can we be both?
For several years, I have been working on a manuscript tracing the roots and influence of a great amount of modern "Christian thought;" those roots are found in "Brethrenism." Encountered in the research has been several references of French Revolution preparing the way, both "sacred and secular," for the "Christian thought" introduced in the early to mid 1800s. Moreover, the Revolution is referred to by other teachers as the turning point for Western Civilization: It turned Western Culture from God-centered to man-centered.
Like many others, upon obtaining a book, I may not at the time read that book. Such was the case with a book I acquired a few years ago - Robespierre, The Voice of Virtue. [Otto J. Scott, © 1974, Mason & Lipscomb Publishers, New York. All following page numbers are from Mr. Scott's book.] Hearing so many references to the French Revolution, I concluded it should be examined. I realize that one book does not an expert make, except, of course, the Bible, but one book can certainly give a general overview of a subject. It was time to check into the Revolution a little, so I turned to Mr. Scott's book. Mr. Scott follows the life of a key figure in the Revolution, Robespierre, from his very small, humble beginning as a young man in 1774, through his becoming a lawyer in a small town in France, through his rise to power in the Revolution, to finally his death, at age 36, at the hands of the machine of destruction he helped create, the Revolution and the guillotine, July 28, 1794.
The French Revolution was more than simply a revolution against a constitutional monarchy: It was open warfare against Christian culture, holding that religious leaders must be defrocked in order to "create a new world society." [P. 167.] The Revolution could thus be defined as the modern revolution and triumph of humanism and humanist law over Christianity and Christian law. After Robespierre's death, "The war went on with its revolutionary rhetoric; its talk about Liberty and Equality; its fight against the Christian religion; its worship of efficiency no matter what the human cost." [P. 233.]
It was the French who introduced and developed the Communism so warmly embraced by Lenin and company. The French Revolution developed the idea that the individual is of no importance in the name of the "People." "`What we learn from the study of the Great Revolution is that it was the source of all the present communists, anarchists, and socialists conceptions,' said Prince Petr Kropotkin in The Great French Revolution (New York: Putnam's Sons, 1909), [P. 258.]
Though the French Church was Roman, the Revolution was obviously against EVERY vestige of Christianity. The Revolution was French, but its ideas spread "Across the face of European culture".
Taking place only a few short years before the early "Brethren" appeared on the scene, it prepared Europe's "secular and sacred" societies to readily and gladly imbibe the "Brethren's," in Dr. Ironside's words, "distinctive school of Christian thought." Since the introduction and development of that "thought," "Brethren" propaganda has been world-wide, and thousands have accepted their views on many lines who are not openly identified with them." [A Historical Sketch of the Brethren Movement, H.A. Ironside, pp 7, 9, 1985 reprint. Loizeaux Brothers, Neptune, New Jersey.]
In the Revolution, Louis the Sixteenth was guillotined in January, 1793, and buried without a funeral, his Queen, Mari Antoinette, was guillotined in October, 1793, and uncounted tens of thousands of innocent people perished in the name of "the Right's of Man." Many extremely important and unique concepts developed in the Revolution, and those concepts influenced every corner of European society. The Revolution provided a ready audience for the new "distinctive" ideas formulated by the early "Brethren." The Revolution was encouraged by a liberal church which itself fell victim to the Revolution.
The Revolution broke up the ground to be further cultivated by the liberal church of the early 1800s; the fertile ground was ready for the seeds of "Brethrenism's" propaganda [that] has been world-wide, and thousands have accepted their views on many lines who are not openly identified with them." The Revolution, followed by the liberal church of the early 1800s, permitted the "distinctive school of Christian thought" to deeply root and bear much fruit. The new and unique ideas introduced by the Revolution are still very much with us today. Included among the many ideas newly introduced by the Revolution were:
The religion of Patriotism replaced the church and Christianity, i.e. Patriots were seen as the social changing force rather than preachers proclaiming the Biblical, Christian Gospel of Christ; the "Republic," France, became the new god, so, therefore, sin and blasphemy was defined as any move against the State; the mark of the true Patriot was swearing allegiance to the new god, the "Republic's" Constitution; Left, Right and Center became political terms; "purge" changed from a medical to a political term; poverty was considered proof of one's sincerity and virtue, and thus lack of success was not due to inability but to injustice; charges of secret conspiracies were used to unite people to follow the desires of those making the charges, e.g. conspirators were the source of all the nation's ills; the "Rights of Man" were exalted above everything, and multitudes of innocent people died in the name of "the People;" equality was equated with liberty; "spontaneous," nation-wide demonstrations sprung forth at key times in key places to further the Revolution's goals, e.g. to destroy people, ideas and Christianity; propaganda was used to change social ideas, i.e. words were seen as weapons of warfare, so truth was ignored; innumerable pamphlets and journalists mysteriously appeared, speaking in a united voice to mold public opinion, and truth was unknown from fiction; the mandatory tithe was outlawed; the duty of the State was to support the poor at the expense of the rich; every vestige of Christianity was abolished, churches destroyed, priests killed, metric system imposed and the calendar changed; the Revolution was seen as the means to bring the people to Paradise, so the Revolution had to be spread world-wide for world-wide Paradise to arrive ["the rest of the world would soon topple its monarchs and nobility, defrock its religious leaders, and create a new world society."]; the Government was only interested in controlling "Political crime," and finally, for our mention here, children over five were considered State property. [pp 76, 92, 107-110, 114, 117, 124, 125, 131, 135, 140, 147, 148, 161, 163, 167, 168, 186, 188, 194, 200, 213, 215, 216, 224, 227, 233, 258.]
Obviously, a great many fled the horrible situation in France, taking with them the news and influence of the Revolution. Accordingly, European society and the early Brethren were greatly influenced by what had happened just a few short years previously to their arrival upon the scene. The early 1800s were pregnant with the concepts of the Revolution, and the Revolution brought forth ideal conditions for militant, world-changing Biblical Christianity to be replaced by powerless, mystical Christianity. Christian men of great character and abilities, latter known as "Brethren," came upon the scene, ripe from the Revolution, who made the change. How they felt, what they believed, the way they reacted to surrounding events and the public's general attitude at the time of their arrivals must all be considered in the light of the times: They, as are men of all ages, were children of their time.
But the "Brethren" and the world-wide spread of their "propaganda" is not our present concern. The manuscript will be completed soon, Lord willing. What we want to point out is that the Revolution introduced a new religion, i.e. PATRIOTISM. In Mr. Scott's words, "Catholic rituals had vanished in the wake of clergy and the new religion was Patriotism. [P. 114, emp added.] Though not condoning Romanism, note what took place in this revolution against what was known in France as Christianity: The religion of Christianity was replaced with the religion of "Patriotism," i.e. PATRIOTISM. Accompanying the Patriot religion's replacement of Christianity was the rise of all that Christianity stands against: sexual perversion of all sorts, open occultic practices, gambling, orgies, seances, Black Masses, prostitution, pornography, and claims of advancing "liberty while extending sensual slavery." [P. 92.]
With exceptional evangelistic fervor, Robespierre charged that conspiracies were being formulated against him, against the Revolution's cause and leaders, and against the "Republic" of "the People." His charges stirred the general population to both support and join the new religion, viz. "Patriotism." Knowing the power of the fear of secret conspiracies, the leaders of the Revolution blamed all the nation's ills upon conspiracies: conspiracies against the "Republic," conspiracies against the "Constitution" and conspiracies against the leaders of the Revolution. The fear they nurtured enabled them to retain and strengthen their power in the "People's" revolution. "Patriots appeared strangely prosperous," [p. 135] and seemingly had more than sufficient funds to print their messages as long as the messages corresponded to what seemed to be a predetermined agenda. Their funds could, and did, just as mysteriously and quickly disappear.
Robespierre had become a power. His methods were both subtle and exciting. His charges of conspiracy evoked the uneasiness of his audience because they knew that hundreds of thousands of dispossessed emigres had very real grievances - Robespierre brought these fears into the open and rode the emotions they aroused. [P. 125.]
A call went out from Paris for patriotic volunteers to help the armed forces resist enemies without and within, to eliminate aristocratic leaders inside the armed forces, and to promote patriots in the Army and Navy. These exhortations combined lures of opportunity with the appeals of patriotism. [p. 148.]
Robespierre expounded on the perils of patriots and proposed the creation of a sans-culotte army to be paid for by the rich and armed by new munitions factories. Such a revolutionary army of patriots, said the speaker, would purge the [nation's, ed] ministries and the military of traitors, and arrest all aristocrats and "blasphemers against the Republic."" That opened a very large door, whose yawning recesses were partly obscured, for the moment. [p. 186.]
A new Constitution was formed, promising Liberty and Equality for all. The mark, accordingly, of a true patriot was swearing allegiance to the Constitution of the new "Republic." Church leaders were not exempt from having to pledge their primary loyalties to the new Constitution; a very few leaders took the pledge, but far more fled the country. The ones who did not flee and did not pledge their loyalties to the Constitution were arrested:
When the priests arrived Maillard and his men, sabers ready, went out and met the carriages. They began to chop and stab, slash and cut as soon as the priests descended from their vehicles. [P. 163. Date: September 2, 1792.]
There were, therefore, some very basic premisses established by the French Revolution for its new religion. A few of the more obvious doctrines it developed were:
Note the militancy Patriotism had against God. The immoral sinner could be justified in the Revolution through patriotic action protecting the Republic's Constitution. Many patriot leaders in the Revolution were immoral beyond description, yet they were exalted in the eyes of the people because they "loved" the Republic and the Constitution. The patriot's standing in society was no longer determined by his attitude and actions as compared to God and His Word, but by his attitude and actions toward the Republic and Constitution. The replacement of Christianity in society by the Revolution's new religion could not be clearer than at this point.
Clearly, the "Patriots" offer of freedom had to be a lie, for true freedom is found only in the Biblical Religion, i.e. genuine, life-changing, world-changing, Christianity, John 8:32 And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free. The patriots' goal was not to develop the truth and to direct their followers to the truth; rather, their goal was to make everyone know and conform to the Constitution.
Though there are many doctrines we could developed from the Revelation's religion, we will only mention one more as we urge the reader to study the effects of the Revolution for himself. We saved the Revolution's most telling new doctrine for last.
We should note here that the Revolution's "Patriotic" hope was indisputably a direct result of the powerless "Christianity" offered by the French Romanist. The Roman religion offered, no doubt, little more than a ritualistic religion: It offered no hope for Godly social change through the proper application of the Word of God. Ezekiel 34, though speaking primarily of the religious leaders of Christ's day, would apply extremely well to the Roman Church of the Revolution - as well as to most "Evangelical" churches of our day. The Church, offering only a hopeless, powerless, ritualistic "Christian faith," not only prepared the way for the new religion, but it drove the "flock," hungering for freedom and social change, to "Patriotism" and the Republic's Constitution to satisfy its hunger. Thus the Church, offering no hope of Godly social change through the proper preaching and application of the Word of God, brought about the bloody French Revolution. [Even the ungodly clearly understand the change in "Christian faith," U.S. News & World Report, Dec 19, 1994. The excellent article, The Christmas Covenant, pp 62-71, places the destructive change at Darby's door, p 66, rather than at the Revolution's.] The "Religious" climate of the American Revolution was significantly different. Was it not motivated by a Godly religious zeal: Biblical faith to conquer the world for Christ?. Therefore, would not what we see coming to pass today be more in line with the French Revolution than with the American Revolution?
Second, it saw the Christian religion, though Roman, as a threat of its goal to create "a new world society." Therefore, it silenced the Christian religion with death or with "Patriotism" as preachers proclaimed Patriotism rather than the Christian gospel to solve the nation's ills.
The vast portion of modern "Christian thought" was formulated in the atmosphere of this newly developed religion of man. The seeds of the "distinctive school of Christian thought" planted in the field prepared by the Revelation's new religion resulted in a hopeless Christianity: The average, modern Christian sees no hope that evangelization and application of God's Word can change society. If he desires to see society change, he is, therefore, left with no choice but to abandon the Biblical Christianity that turned the world upside down (Acts 17:6) and take up the religion formulated in the French Revolution, "Patriotism" as preachers preached "Patriotism" rather than the world-changing Christian gospel.
Thus one of the only two weapons against the "new world society" was effectively silenced by the Revolution, viz, faith:
1 Tim 1:18 This charge I commit unto thee, son Timothy, according to the prophecies which went before on thee, that thou by them mightest war a good warfare; Holding faith, and a good conscience; which some having put away concerning faith have made shipwreck:
Faith: The confidence that the gospel message of the Lord Jesus Christ and His applied law-word will change the world was replaced by the message of "Patriotism." Can we deny that "Patriotism" offers another means of salvation for our nation? Can we deny that the Lord has allowed this trial of our faith? (1 Pe 1:7) Do we really believe that the Word of God and Holy Spirit conviction and conversion are the only hope for our families, communities, nation and for the world? How are we doing in this session of the trial of our faith?
Are we Patriots or men of Godly faith, Christians? The question must be answered according to the Word of God: Do we see the means of social change for good through preaching, teaching and applying the Word of God or through conservative, political, patriotic action, and maybe even force of arms?
Unquestionably, Godly, conservative, political action is commendable and required, but where does our hope lie?
2 Peter 3:16
The air waves, both radio and TV, are filled with speakers presenting some strange things under the banner of Christianity. Not only the air waves, but the shelves of Christian book stores are covered with books under the banner of Christianity promoting ideas and theories clearly obviously contrary to the Word of God.
The question we need to consider, therefore, is, "What should be the Christian's response to those who clearly change the Word of God to make it say what they want it to say, or who change the Word of God to make points that are obviously contrary to His Word?"
We could go as far as to include people who are considered experts in areas other than in the field of theology. When they deal with theological issues, they are obviously and totally corrupt. A common justification used by those who want to hear the "expert's" advice in non-theological areas is, "His theology is not Biblical, but we are not seeking Biblical instruction from this `expert' in this field, so it is OK to receive his instruction."
I mentioned to a friend some time ago that I did not feel a Christian should receive instruction in any area from those who profess to be Christians yet openly corrupt the Word of God. His reply to me was that we can either learn to eat fish and spit bones or not eat fish at all. Now, spiting bones makes for a good fish dinner, but it is not Scriptural. God presents false doctrines and false teachers as poison, and it is impossible to separate poison and its carrier.
Notice we are not referring to "experts" who make no claim of believing Scripture, for they are very obvious wolves around whom people, even unsaved, know to exercise extreme caution. Rather, we refer to wolves in sheep's clothing: "experts" claiming to believe God's Word. Let us start with 2 Pet 3:16:
As also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things; in which are some things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest, as they do also the other scriptures, unto their own destruction.
Though the context refers to the doctrine of last things, Peter's warning includes all Bible doctrine with the words, also the other scriptures. The key word is wrest, and it is only used this one time in the Word of God:
("twisted, Lat. tortuosus; hence - fem., an instrument of torture); to twist, turn awry, (hdt.); to torture, put to the rack, (Arstph., Plat., Dem., Polyb., 3 Macc. iv. 14); metaph. to pervert, of one who wrests or tortures language to a false sense, 2 Pet. iii. 16.* [#4761.]
Thus "torturing" the written Word of God actually "tortures" the incarnate Word of God to make HIM say something He did not say. Will God hold the perpetrators guiltless? Would the Christian allow those "experts" who tortured the Savour just before His death instruct the Christian in other areas while the "experts" rested between periods of torturing the Savour? Then why does he allow modern "experts" who "torture" God's Word, including the gospel, instruct him during periods the "experts" are not torturing the Word of God?
Obviously, those who torture the Word of God to make Him say what they want Him to say will face some very serious results. Peter tells us that THEY TORTURE THE WORD OF GOD TO THEIR OWN DESTRUCTION. He thus warns the Child of God to avoid those who torture the Word of God, or they will also be partakers in the torturers' destruction. The Spirit speaks loud and clear concerning the Christians' response to men of corrupt minds who wrest language, Mat 7:15-20,
Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit. A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire. Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.
The Lord told us that false teachers are known by their false doctrines concerning His Word. Though they may appear as good teachers, they are at heart ravening wolves. Their false doctrines concerning the Word of God reveal the truth: Though they may appear as "good trees" in "non-Biblical" areas of one's concern, their false doctrines in "Biblical" areas show that they are thorns, thistles and corrupt trees. The Lord Himself said that those who corrupt His Word have no good fruit for His people IN ANY AREA.
One might say, "But those things they offer in other areas than theology are excellent!" The Divine Word of God said it is impossible to gather grapes, figs and good fruit from false teachers. Paul warns, I Tim 1:4,
Neither give heed to fables and endless genealogies, which minister questions, rather than godly edifying which is in faith: so do.
The Geneva Bible defines the words used by those who torture God's Word so He will say what they want Him to say as "vain and curious speculations" and "declaration and utterances of which can help our faith in no way."
God not only forbids listening to foolish, wicked fables and endless genealogies, but also commands Christians to withdraw from those who develop and defend fables, 1 Ti 6:3-5,
If any man teach otherwise, and consent not to wholesome words, even the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to the doctrine which is according to godliness; He is proud, knowing nothing, but doting about questions and strifes of words, whereof cometh envy, strife, railings, evil surmisings, Perverse disputings of men of corrupt minds, and destitute of the truth, supposing that gain is godliness: from such withdraw thyself.
The context obviously refers primarily to proper servant-master relationships, yet the application is equally obvious: Those who seek to add their corrupt words, ideas and views of history to the sacred Word of God are proud men, setting themselves above God. They weary both themselves and others with vain questions because they do not content themselves Christ's clearly revealed doctrine from His Word.
Those who "torture" God's Word to fit within their theories, including theories of the gospel, are lying deceivers; they are mad men because they trouble themselves in matters of nothing; they corrupt men's minds; they abuse the Word of God, the Lord Jesus Christ; they are vain babblers and foolish talkers; they are men of corrupt minds, and destitute of the truth; they are perverse and corrupt frauds, and the TRUTH is not in them, Isa 8:20,
To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them.
They are blind leaders of the blind. What will happen if God's people allow the blind leaders to lead them? Obviously, they will both fall in the ditch. What do they, therefore, have to teach God's people? God warns His people many times over, 2 Tim 3:1-9,
This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come.For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away. Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away. For of this sort are they which creep into houses, and lead captive silly women laden with sins, led away with divers lusts, Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.Now as Jannes and Jambres withstood Moses, so do these also resist the truth: men of corrupt minds, reprobate concerning the faith. But they shall proceed no further: for their folly shall be manifest unto all men, as theirs also was.?blockquote>
The Lord warns His people about men of corrupt minds, reprobate concerning the faith. There will be a "great abundance of the most wicked men even in the very bosom of the Church;" they will "make a show and countenance of great holiness, and charity," but they "resist the truth not from simple ignorance, but from a perverse mind." God's people "must not tarry with" such men, but "turn away from them." [Geneva] They "torture" God's Word to make HIM say something He did not say. The Spirit commands, from such turn away. The warning is thorough and throughout Scripture, e.g., 2 Pe 2:1-5, 12, 13,
But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction. And many shall follow their pernicious ways; by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of. And through covetousness shall they with feigned words make merchandise of you: whose judgment now of a long time lingereth not, and their damnation slumbereth not. For if God spared not the angels that sinned, but cast them down to hell, and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved unto judgment; And spared not the old world, but saved Noah the eighth person, a preacher of righteousness, bringing in the flood upon the world of the ungodly. But these, as natural brute beasts, made to be taken and destroyed, speak evil of the things that they understand not; and shall utterly perish in their own corruption; And shall receive the reward of unrighteousness, as they that count it pleasure to riot in the day time. Spots they are and blemishes, sporting themselves with their own deceivings while they feast with you.
Obviously, Christ's earthly church has as many false prophets as did Israel of old. Not only are there many heresies and promoters of heresy, but there are many in the church who gladly welcome the teachers. God promises to deliver His Elect from the errors of the false teachers if they will properly respond as commanded by the Word when confronted with the TRUTH, Rom 16:17, 18,
Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them. For they that are such serve not our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly; and by good words and fair speeches deceive the hearts of the simple.
Paul did not name the ones to be marked and thus avoided. On the contrary, their wicked, false doctrines obtained by "torture" clearly identified them. The "torturers" did not die out, so they today must be diligently sought as one would watch for his enemies from a tower. When identified by their corrupt teachings contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned, they are to be marked for a specific reason: not so one can sift out the "expert's" truth from his fiction, but so the "expert can be AVOIDED. The Law of God is dogmatic, requiring death to the subverter, Deu 13:1-5,
If there arise among you a prophet, or a dreamer of dreams, and giveth thee a sign or a wonder, And the sign or the wonder come to pass, whereof he spake unto thee, saying, Let us go after other gods, which thou hast not known, and let us serve them; Thou shalt not hearken unto the words of that prophet, or that dreamer of dreams: for the LORD your God proveth you, to know whether ye love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul. Ye shall walk after the LORD your God, and fear him, and keep his commandments, and obey his voice, and ye shall serve him, and cleave unto him. And that prophet, or that dreamer of dreams, shall be put to death; because he hath spoken to turn you away from the LORD your God, which brought you out of the land of Egypt, and redeemed you out of the house of bondage, to thrust thee out of the way which the LORD thy God commanded thee to walk in. So shalt thou put the evil away from the midst of thee.
The subverter was from among the congregation of the Lord, and the Law required his death. Note that Deu 18:20 (But the prophet, which shall presume to speak a word in my name, which I have not commanded him to speak, or that shall speak in the name of other gods, even that prophet shall die.) is quite stronger than 13:1-5, pronouncing capital punishment against all who offer unBiblical answers for life. Though we hear of desires to enforce the "Law of God," where are the desires to enforce these laws against those "torturing" God's Word?
We must conclude, therefore, that those who, knowingly or unknowingly, "torture" God's Word to uphold their supposed Biblical theories are embodiments of the spirit of anti-Christ; they are God's enemies, and they are sent by God to deceive the very Elect if possible, Deut 13. Though their numbers are legion, their purpose is one: draw the Elect away from the real issues of life that provide genuine solutions, viz. the advancement of the Kingdom of God on earth through the preaching of the gospel, teaching all nations the Word of God and teaching the proper application of His Word to all areas of life and thought.
We use Ps 1:1 (Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful.) all too freely, not really believing what it says. The Lord did not say, "Blessed is the man that walketh not in the ungodly counsel of men." Rather, He said, counsel of the ungodly. In other words, the Lord's blessings are upon those who do not seek any counsel from the ungodly, and who could be more ungodly than those "torturing" the Word of God? Why would a child of God willfully and intentionally spurn the blessings of the God he claims to love and serve? Those who seek the counsel of the ungodly walk away from God's blessings.
God's people are clearly instructed by the Spirit to avoid those who wrest, "torture," God's Word, and refuse correction by the Word. They are corrupters of God's Word; consequently, they are corrupters of men's minds even if they speak in other areas than theology. Their "sheep's clothing" cannot change the fact that they are at heart ravening wolves with only devouring poison for God's people no matter how good they may sound.
|Death in the Pot|
thou man of God, there is death in the pot, 2 Ki 4:40.
Jeremiah 2:7 tells us that the Lord's people defiled my land. The land referred to is the land of Palestine, Canaan, and is identified as the Lord's land because the whole earth and its fullness is His, Ps 24:1; 50:12; 89:11; 1 Co 10:26, 28 (note that Paul tells us the same thing not once, but twice in the same passage). The people's sins defiled HIS LAND, making it an abomination. The land, therefore, spued them out as it did the inhabitants before them, the Canaanites. The Lord used Israel to spue out the Canaanites; the Lord used Assyria to spue out Israel, and He used Babylon to spue out Judah. My land, the earth is the Lord's is found in both Testaments, making the law established concerning the land as valid today as it was then.
Palestine was a good land, Num 13:27. Famine set in when the conducive weather pattern was disrupted by the Lord &/or when the enemy besieged the people: Jerusalem's inhabitance ate their own children when they could not get outside the walls for food. Deut chapters 6, 8 and 11 describe the good land to which the people were brought by the Lord's grace and power. Those chapters also warn of the danger of prosperity in the land and of the results of forgetting the Lord Who delivered the land into their possession. Nehemiah describes the situation thusly, 9:24-28,
So the children went in and possessed the land, and thou subduedst before them the inhabitants of the land, the Canaanites, and gavest them into their hands, with their kings, and the people of the land, that they might do with them as they would. And they took strong cities, and a fat land, and possessed houses full of all goods, wells digged, vineyards, and oliveyards, and fruit trees in abundance: so they did eat, and were filled, and became fat, and delighted themselves in thy great goodness. Nevertheless they were disobedient, and rebelled against thee, and cast thy law behind their backs, and slew thy prophets which testified against them to turn them to thee, and they wrought great provocations.Therefore thou deliveredst them into the hand of their enemies, who vexed them: and in the time of their trouble, when they cried unto thee, thou heardest them from heaven; and according to thy manifold mercies thou gavest them saviours, who saved them out of the hand of their enemies. But after they had rest, they did evil again before thee: therefore leftest thou them in the hand of their enemies, so that they had the dominion over them: yet when they returned, and cried unto thee, thou heardest them from heaven; and many times didst thou deliver them according to thy mercies;
There are many things that defile land. Jeremiah three gives the basic cause of polluting the land: thou hast played the harlot, i.e. served the gods of the surrounding pagans inhabitants. The result of the spiritual defilement was the land lost her productivity and the people lost their land. Jer 16:17, 18, tells us that the good land was defiled with the "secret sins" of His people. V. 19 offers the Lord's strength and protection in the day of affliction.
Lev 18 lists several things that defile land: sodomy, nakedness, incest, unlawful sex (v. 19 included), sacrificing Christian children to the state (e.g. statist education), &c. EN1 See also Nu 35:33, 34 & Ps 78:58, 59.
Ps 106:34., says that God's people did not follow the commands of their God; rather, they mingled among the world's crowd around them, and learned its works and ways. The surrounding gods became a snare unto the people of God as they even gave their children to the gods of the pagans around them. They defiled themselves and the land by following their own inventions, doing what was right in their own eyes. The result was that the wrath of the Lord was kindled against His people, insomuch that He abhorred His own inheritance. He exalted to rule over them the heathen who hated them, and they oppressed God's people in the worse possible ways. But the Lord does not leave the situation hopeless, vv. 44-48:
Nevertheless he regarded their affliction, when he heard their cry: And he remembered for them his covenant, and repented according to the multitude of his mercies. He made them also to be pitied of all those that carried them captives. Save us, O LORD our God, and gather us from among the heathen, to give thanks unto thy holy name, and to triumph in thy praise. Blessed be the LORD God of Israel from everlasting to everlasting: and let all the people say, Amen. Praise ye the LORD. [See also Ez 36:16. Notice that Micah 2 is not addressed to the Chaldeans nor to the pagans in general.]
The August, 1994, issue of National Geographic had a feature article, Soviet Pollution (pp 70-115). Its topic was the terrible pollution the Soviets did over the past 75 years, a period seeing an all-out war against God in that northern nation. The war does not permit man to ascend into heaven to pull God down; therefore, man's war against God is reflected in his attitude toward God's creation. The Soviet's desire to dominate the world militarily left no concern for their own people nor land: Both were expendable. (Let us not be deceived into thinking the desire has changed: They still have 2 million men under arms. Not a bad size army for a nation losing the "Cold War." Notice the absence of young men in pictures of civilian Russian life.) One cannot read the article without feeling sorry for those caught in the mire of the Soviet pollution. We also hear "noise" about funds confiscated from "Western" taxpayers being used to clean up the "pollution" left in the wake of the socialist dream.
As bad as the Soviets have been and are, we must admit that their pollution is probably not as bad as the US pollution has been in the last 40 years. The major fear of other world powers is not of US exported goods, military equipment nor technology; their fear is of the US exported "Western Culture" of total immorality.
Jer 2:7 speaks of God's anger against His people for polluting HIS earth, part of which was located in Palestine. WHICH POLLUTION will bring about God's wrath and anger: spilling oil and radiation over the face of the earth to an extent that plants, animals and people cannot live, or spreading moral pollution and false gods over the face of the earth? In our human opinion, we feel the worse pollution is the literal filth as spued forth by 75 years of Soviet rule. But is it? The Soviets have not exported their way of life: Who wants to emulate their third world living standard? They have, though, successfully exported their socialism as they have gone forth and taken dominion of the world, e.g. South Africa, in the name of their god. But why have they conquered the world? Obviously, because Christians did not conquer the world for Christ, or they let it slip out of their hands as they did what was right in their own eyes, flocking after the surrounding gods of this world, Ps 78:58,
For they provoked him to anger with their high places, and moved him to jealousy with their graven images. 58 For they provoked him to anger with their high places, and moved him to jealousy with their graven images. (Geneva, "By serving God other than he had appointed." IT IS IMPORTANT that we see that a reason for their judgment was because they served the Lord God in ways and places not authorized by the Word of God, i.e. Jereboam. See also Ps 106:38.)
The Lord says that the ones who knew the law of the Lord and were charged with teaching it to the people did not fulfill their responsibilities; the ones who were responsible did not teach God's people to fear and seek their God, Jer 2:8, 19. Considering v. 8 with v. 7, we see that the priests were the ones who polluted the land so badly that the Lord had to cast out the people. The ones responsible for directing the people to the Lord did not; rather, they encouraged the people to pursue the surrounding false gods of the pagans.
We read articles like National Geographic's, and are moved with anger and amazement that leaders such as Marx and Lenin could use people as they did to further their social "experiments" and goals. They destroyed a vast, prosperous, beautiful land and many generations of people to come. The nation today has no funds to even attempt a recovery of the land or people. On the other hand, we read or hear of pastors and teachers who should know better directing God's people toward the pagan gods around them, e.g. psychology, education, mammon, things that do not profit, &c., and we make no connection with that moral and spiritual defilement and the pollution that gets God's attention. The religious leaders who failed to cry out against God's people's departure from God's Word were the real polluters of the land, Jer 2:7. (See Ez 34.) They ignited the Lord's fury against the people.
Is it any wonder that some who should be warning God's people attempt to "despensationalize" Hebrews out of the "Church Age?" The warning is quite clear: Those of the "New Testament Church Age" who ignore God's requirements upon them are more deserving of God's harsh justice than were those who died under the law, Heb 10:28, 29.
As bad as the pollution of the Soviet Union has been and is, its 75 years of pollution has not done as much to defile God's earth as has the "Western Christian Culture" that separates the Word of God from Society.
My wife and I, as we visit in our very small, rural community, are "shocked" at the number of unmarried couples living together. One day while visiting "new moveins," we did not meet one married couple. The surprising thing to us was not necessarily that so many lived together unmarried, but that there was very little, if any, evidence of shame for the wickedness evidenced in the 5 or 6 couples talked to in that one day. In one situation with 3 children under 10 present, the woman was wearing a wedding ring. Enquiring a little, we found the woman a few years older than the man, and they worked across a bench from each other on the same shift in the same factory. The implications were obvious, so we did not pursue the matter further. The point that stood out was that there was no shame evidenced by the man nor woman.
Thus according to Lev 18, our land is being defiled before God beyond anything we can imagine.
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