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

July 1995



1) Multiculturalism
Law and Mercy (Matthew 12:3-7)
A.W. Pink - On The Sermon on the Mount
The Poor - The 'Contract With the American Family'
A Short Thought - "And none shall appear before Me empty"



Diversity Celebration

     A book promotional letter this pastor, and undoubtedly thousands of others, received was one promoting Multiculturalism. We today hear much about Multiculturalism. In this modern movement, we see America being changed from a "melting pot" where all cultures are blended together to a centrifuge where the centrifugal force separates cultures.

     The current situations in the former Soviet Union, e.g. Bosnia, show us the results of "Multiculturalism." Apparently, though what we read and hear of the situation makes it extremely dificult to sort our the details, the Bosnian Muslims rebelled with international support, and attempted to take the rule from anti-Muslim forces, i.e. "Christians." The "Christians" have let their voice be heard against Moslem rule.

     Some time ago, we read, NATO under fire (Indianapolis Star, 12/4/94):

     ..The disintegration of Yugoslavia, the last nominally communist nation in Eastern Europe, in 1991 created a major test of the Western Europeans' ability to act on their own, outside the context of NATO.

     The Bush administration, which initially opposed the breakup of Yugoslavia, expected that the Europeans would succeed.

     As fighting broke out between the Serbian regime in Belgrade and the newly proclaimed Croatian republic, then Secretary of State James Baker announced that the crisis was Europe's baby and the United States would not intervene...

     The Europeans on their own lacked the required military credibility to force the well-armed and tough Bosnian Serbs to accept anything short of all-out victory over the internationally recognized Bosnian Muslim government...

     In addition, Serbs renege on promise to release U.N. troops - Associated Press, Indianapolis Star, 12/4/94.

     ...More than 200,000 people are dead or missing in the 32-month-old war, which began when Serbs rebelled after Bosnia's Muslim-led government declared independence from Yugoslavia...

     Like the original [rejected peace] plan, the Serbs would receive 49 percent of Bosnia, compared with the 70 percent they now hold. Unlike the original plan, Bosnia Serbs would be allowed to form a confederation with Serbia proper.

     Note the wording used above: The legitimate government is called a "regime" while the rebels are called a "republic." Evidently, the legitimate government has strong anti-Muslim, even nominal Christian (?), leanings, and the Muslims, though in minority, sought to reverse the situation. The UN and NATO attempted, apparently, to force the majority anti-Muslim Serbs to accept rule by the minority Muslims who rebelled: The U.N. wants the anti-Muslim Serbs to surrender the 70% of the nation they presently possess for 49%, leaving the Muslims with 51%. After all, the "Bosnian Muslim government" is "internationally recognized;" therefore, it has the blessings of the nations to overthrow "the Serbian regime in Belgrade."

     Do you not find it strange that the big issue in South Africa was against "white minority rule," but the fight in Bosnia seems to be so the "Muslim minority" can rule. We ask fatuously, "Do you suppose Christianity has anything to do with which side the nations of the world support?"

  •      AMERICA-a Muslim nation
  •      There was a TV news report, 3/12/95, concerning U.S. immigration policies that freely allow immigration of primarily Muslim Asians into the U.S. The report emphasized the changing face of the American religious culture, and because of the mass immigration of Asians, it is changing rapidly and dramatically: America is changing into a Muslim nation. The report mentioned that there are now five million Muslims in America, a number larger than the number of Jews in America. The report closed with the comment that if prayer is reinstated in schools, whose prayer will be used and what god will be prayed to.

         Another interesting fact is an Associated Press article that appeared in the Lafayette Journal and Courier, 4/15/95, "Replica of temple unearthed." The artical ended with this paragraph:

         The sight of the Temple in Jerusalem - the archetype for the Samaritan one - cannot be excavated because it is beneath the Dome of the Rock, revered by Muslims as the site where the Prophet Mohammed ascended to heaven.

         Thus the Muslim lie that Mohammed literally ascended to heaven was presented to "Christian" America by the AP as a fact. On the other hand, how does AP present the ascension of Christ to heaven? America is obviously taking on a pagan - Muslim in this case - character with the help of the media.

         [Not long ago, Mike Tyson was released from his Plainfield, Indiana, prison. It was assumed that upon his release he would visit a local mosque in Plainfield. A local Muslim had faithfully visited him in prison, and he had converted to the Muslim faith.]

         In other words, the 3/12/95, immigration report implied that American's religious culture has become so diversified that the Christian consensus has been lost. Anyone who will look closely can see that U.S. immigration policies over the past several decades have encouraged non-Christians to immigrate to this country. The report clearly revealed the intent of current immigration policies: to neutralize the Christian character of this nation. And highly promoted public-policy has been to urge Americans to freely accept these new non-Christian, e.g. Muslim, cultures among them without attempting to change them. Even radio adds promoting "Multiculturalism" are now common, e.g. "Our strength lies in our diversity." The adds reveal how radically different America is from its foundation when America's strength was in its "Christian" unity.

         The United States has the greatest diversity of religious groups in recorded history, according to J. Gordon Melton, editor of the encyclopedia of American Religion. Half of the denominations began since 1960 and 44% are non-Christian (NIRR, 2/6/95). [What in the World, Vol 17, Number 5, Bob Jones University, Greenville, South Carolina 29614. Free church subscriptions: (803) 242-5100, ext. 3074.]

         There is no doubt that, unless the Lord intervenes, our modern American movement into "Multiculturalism" will result in the same type of factions in America as has been evident in the Soviet Union. The centrifugal force separating the once united American culture will cause this nation to "fly apart" into many cultural factions. Guess which factions will be supported with finances, arms and public sympathy by the nations of the world?

         The book mentioned in our introduction promoting Multiculturalism in the education system is called, of all things, "Celebrating Diversity, Building Self-Esteem in Today's Multicultural Classrooms," by Frank Siccone. ("Building Self-Esteem", sounds like Dobson! Note the new "Buzz Words" now being used to promote the division of America into separate parts: "Celebrate Diversity.") The promotion reads:

         Here is a resource specifically designed to help teachers meet two of the most demanding challenges they face- building self-esteem in students and encouraging students to appreciate cultural diversity. At the heart of the book are 75 carefully chosen activities, presented in a logical developmental sequence progressing from valuing the self to appreciating (and participating in) the world at large. Each activity offers clear objectives and instructions so it can be put to use immediately, and many include reproducible worksheets. The activities are organized into chapters, each of which ends with a list of suggested student readings linked ta the activities in the chapter. The extensive bibliography is organized by cultural groups to help teachers select books of particular relevance to their students. All told the book lists hundreds of children's books that can be used to enchant, entertain, and educate students about valuing themselves and others.

         [Frank Siccone is President of Siccone Institute, a training and consulting services company in California. 1995 Available 272 pgs cloth ISBN: 0-205-16390-4 Order #H63902 $39.95 paper ISBN: 0-205-16175-8 Order #H61757 $32.95 ]

  •      Multiculturalism! What is happening?
  • The glue that once held American's culture together has lost its "holding power." The glue that holds any culture together is religion, and the Christian religion that formed the one culture, a Christian Culture, in America is gone. We should mention that it is a common religion that holds a nation together, not a common race, viz. molding all races together as seems to be the desires of some groups. Even a single race of people wars with itself unless it has a common faith, e.g. South Africa. Moreover, Biblical Christianity is the only religion that is called the gospel of peace: peace with God and peace with man. Moreover, today's "cafeteria" brand of "Christianity," i.e. every man believing what is right in his own eyes, has further led to the destruction of Christian American culture.

         We should also point out that we are seeing a major effort by the media to turn one segment of our nation against the other: conservatives against liberals.

         We see before our very eyes that centralized coercion from an all powerful state is the only way various cultures can be held together in a nation: Only with great force of armes did the Soviets hold the many smaller nations together. With the Soviet withdrawal, the nations are dividing along religious, cultural lines. The result of "Multiculturalism" will be the increased need for an extremely strong, centralized state to hold the "Multicultural" nation together. The armed resistance against the strengthened state will, at the least, lead to anarchy; anarchy will lead to a dictator. People would rather have anarchy than a strong, overbearing, centralized government, and then they would rather have a dictator than anarchy.

         If one will follow the history of Israel starting with the Exodus, he will find that it was always the common faith in the same God that held the nation together. Many Egyptians believed Israel's God and were thus spared on that Passover night, Exo 12:38. But the last account we hear of the Egyptians who came out with Israel is in Numbers 11:4; they were fully absorbed, but they were absorbed because of the faith in Israel's God: That faith delivered them through the Passover. There are many similar examples throughout Scripture, e.g. Rahab, the Canaanite harlot, Heb 11:31. In fact, the purpose of having the united worship at Jerusalem and enforced pilgrimage of all the males to the center of worship was to keep the nation united through its common religious faith.

         Neh 13 tells us that people were wrongly permitted in the congregation who had been forever bared: the Ammonites and the Moabites. The reading of the law caused Israel to separate all the mixed multitude from the congregation, v. 3. Was the Moabite forbidden because of his nationality or because of his religion? Ruth shows us that the Moabite was forbidden because of his religion, for she, upon accepting Israel's God, was accepted fully into the congregation. Of course, her conversion was completed by marriage into the nation. The conditions for a man's entrance into the nation were somewhat different, but provision was made for his conversion also.

  •      The result of removing the common Biblical faith from the American culture is "Multiculturalism." The results of Multiculturalism are evidenced around the world as different cultures take up physical arms to defend their cultures.

         Unless God intervenes and restores Biblical faith, America's Multiculturalism will lead to many warring factions held together only by a strong central government. America has lost her common faith in the God of the Bible that once caused the many cultures to dwell together in peace.

         Though the situation appears dismal for the remaining American Christian Culture, it can be reversed by concentrated missionary effort among all the new non-Christian immigrants now in America, e.g. Muslims, Buddhists, Hindus and even Spanish Romanists. Certainly, foreign, overseas missionaries are needed and commendable, but far more needful are "foreign" missionaries to non-Christian American immigrants. Besides, if one goes to Muslim, Hindu, Buddhists and other pagan nations, his life is at stake for "converting" a pagan to Christ. Sadly, even Mexico severely persecutes Christian missionaries who go among the Romanists, but this point is not yet reached in America, for the missionary's "head is not yet on the line" for "converting" someone to Christ. But be assured, the time will soon arrive when mission endeavors are forbidden even here in "the land of the free" if the gospel is not taken to the pagans emigrants in America quickly.

         Though the context of the Lord's words recorded in Luke referred to taking His message throughout Israel before A.D. 70, the application is evident:

         Lu 9:5 And whosoever will not receive you, when ye go out of that city, shake off the very dust from your feet for a testimony against them. 10:11 Even the very dust of your city, which cleaveth on us, we do wipe off against you: notwithstanding be ye sure of this, that the kingdom of God is come nigh unto you. Ac 13:51 But they shook off the dust of their feet against them, and came unto Iconium.

         Maybe the dust should be shaken off as a testimony against some nations that kill and/or imprison Christian missionaries, and the mission effort put into claiming the pagans in America for Christ.

  •      We must pray for the Lord to raise up, send fourth and empower labourers in His American harvest; we must pray for those labourers while there is still opportunity and freedom for the labourers to go and reap the harvest; we must pray for men, armed with the Word of God and the power of His might, to move like a mighty, invading army into the pagan cultures that are now present in America, 2 Timothy.

         If we do not, we have no one to blame for pagainized America except the church who refused to take the Word of God to the home mission field.

         Hosea 13:9 O Israel, thou hast destroyed thyself; but in me is thine help.

         Your destruction is certain, and my benefits toward you declare that it comes not from me: therefore your own malice, idolatry, and vain confidence in men must necessarily be the cause of it. [Geneva] Hosea 13:10 I will be thy king: where is any other that may save thee in all thy cities? and thy judges of whom thou saidst, Give me a king and princes?

         I am all one; Jas 1:17. [Geneva]



         Law and Mercy
  •      Matthew 12:3-7
  •      Matthew 12 opens with a record of the Pharisees confident they had found the opportunity they had sought: They thought they saw the disciples violat the Sabbath in the worse sort of way, and they leveled their charge against them. In vv. 3-8, Christ answers the charge.

         There are some obvious and some not so obvious points that apply for us from this section. One of the more obvious points is that Christ answered His opposition by referring to events and/or passages already recorded in Scripture. When the Lord Jesus said Have you not read..., He openly rebuked those who prided themselves in their assumed knowledge of God's Law, Mat 22:23-29. Thus the Lord Jesus continually rebuked the religious leaders for their lack of understanding of the written Word of God. Their traditions had over-powered their knowledge of God's Word, so they understood all of God's Word in the light of their traditions. They had eyes, but could see not what was taking place right before them because they had rejected the Word of God, John 12:37-43; Romans 11:7-10, &c.

         Answering the charge against the disciples in v. 2, Christ calls the attention of these hypocrites to two events as recorded in the Old Testament: David and the priests of God.

         First, David:

         Despite the fact these were evil men, they still counted David a great man. With God's blessings upon him, Israel had reached the peak of worldly power under David. Their continued hope was that the Lord would restore David's glorious kingdom. So Christ answers their charge by pointing them to David, 2 Sam 21:3-6.

         What David did concerning the shewbread had nothing to do with the Sabbath; rather, Christ develops a point from one area of God's Law to apply to another. And the point established by Christ with the Sabbath applies to all of God's Law. Christ tells His antagonists that He is the One Who gives the proper understanding to that Law, Mark 2:27, 28. Christ came emphasizing the mercy which had been given with the Law, mercy that had long since been forgotten.

         Remember Christ's words concerning John the Baptist, Mat 11:18, 19? Christ pointed out that John came preaching the Law, judgment and repentance, and that He, Christ, came preaching love, mercy, justice, judgement and repentance. But sinful men reject both messages: the one based in the Law AND the one based in mercy and love. They reject both messages because both required genuine repentance and faith. Christ points out from David's eating the shewbread that the Law WAS AND IS for man's general benefit: David, whom they greatly revered, violated the "letter of the Law" when he ate the shewbread. THOUGH DAVID ATE THE SHEWBREAD, HE STILL HAD THE BLESSINGS OF GOD, for he did not violate the "spirit of the Law."

         Second, the Priests:

         The Lord Jesus points out that the priests of God do God's service on the Sabbath, yet they do not violate the Law of the Sabbath. Thus if the priests do God's service upon the Sabbath day without breaking the Law, how much less does the Lord of the Sabbath break the Sabbath when He does the Father's service on the Sabbath? [Christ will give an illustration of doing the Father's will on the Sabbath in vv. 9-13. The hardness of His hearers is given in v. 14.]

         Concerning the Sabbath, the Lord tells us that if and when law, even God's Law, is used to harm, injure or destroy the guiltless, the Law has been made unholy, for His Law was not given to destroy the guiltless. The proper use of His Law finds its general teaching, which is for the welfare of the guiltless, and then applies its general teaching. Paul tells us that the "letter of the Law" only kills, and the Law was not given to kill the innocent.

         Who also hath made us able ministers of the new testament; not of the letter, but of the spirit: for the letter killeth, but the spirit giveth life. [2 Co 3:6.]

         V. 6 contains an important statement: greater than the Temple... Obviously, Christ refereed to the Temple at Jerusalem. It was the place where the nation offered its sacrifices to the Lord as required by the Lord through Moses. [Lk 1 records Zacharias, the Priest, fulfilling the office of the Priest in the Temple under the Law.] Note a couple Old Testament prophecies concerning the Temple:

         Hag 2:6-9 For thus saith the LORD of hosts; Yet once, it [is] a little while, and I will shake the heavens, and the earth, and the sea, and the dry [land]; And I will shake all nations, and the desire of all nations shall come: and I will fill this house with glory, saith the LORD of hosts. The silver [is] mine, and the gold [is] mine, saith the LORD of hosts. The glory of this latter house shall be greater than of the former, [i.e. Mt 12:6] saith the LORD of hosts: and in this place will I give peace, saith the LORD of hosts.

         Mal 3:1-6 Behold, I will send my messenger, and he shall prepare the way before me: and the Lord, whom ye seek, shall suddenly come to his temple, even the messenger of the covenant, whom ye delight in: behold, he shall come, saith the LORD of hosts. But who may abide the day of his coming? and who shall stand when he appeareth? for he [is] like a refiner's fire, and like fullers' soap: And he shall sit [as] a refiner and purifier of silver: and he shall purify the sons of Levi, and purge them as gold and silver, that they may offer unto the LORD an offering in righteousness. Then shall the offering of Judah and Jerusalem be pleasant unto the LORD, as in the days of old, and as in former years. And I will come near to you to judgment; and I will be a swift witness against the sorcerers, and against the adulterers, and against false swearers, and against those that oppress the hireling in [his] wages, the widow, and the fatherless, and that turn aside the stranger [from his right], and fear not me, saith the LORD of hosts. For I [am] the LORD, I change not; therefore ye sons of Jacob are not consumed.

         The Old Testament described Christ's appearance at the Temple where the nation met to worship the Lord God. According to the Old Testament prophecies: Christ's appearance would be sudden; He would represent the Covenant-Law; He would come representing the true spirit of the Covenant-Law, the Law that the men of Israel falsely professed to delight in; He would appear as a refiner and purifier, revealing the true motives of the false professors; He would purify a people, enabling them to offer the true offering in righteousness unto the Lord God, pleasing to Him; He would come in judgment against the false swearers who falsely professed their love for the Covenant-Law when actually they devoured widows houses, Mat 23:14, &c.

  •      THE TEMPLE

         Joh 2:19-21 Jesus answered and said unto them, Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up. Then said the Jews, Forty and six years was this temple in building, and wilt thou rear it up in three days? But he spake of the temple of his body. [Also see, Eph 2:19-22; Col 2:8, 9; 1 Pe 2:4-10.]

         Mat 12:6, But I say unto you, that here is one greater than the Temple.

  • Over and over, we are confronted with the fact that Christ and His Church not only replaced the Old Testament Temple and its sacrifices, but He and everything He represented is far greater than the Old Testament Temple. Therefore, any teaching that a physical temple in the land of Palestine can, will or must be rebuilt is pure nonsense. The nonsense goes even further as it many times says that God the Father is the One Who will cause a new physical temple to be built with His blessings upon it. Any teaching that another literal temple will be built in Jerusalem with God's blessings is totally antiChrist: Such teaching not only denies the clear, plain words of Christ, but it denies His finished work, and denies the place of the Church in God's plan. Therefore, Ezekiel's glorious, end-time Temple - chs 40. - is simply a description of the work of the Great High Priest, Christ, for and in His Church. Ezekiel's temple can be nothing more nor less than Christ and His Church.

  •      The origin of the modern teaching of a rebuilt temple is interesting. For some reason, J.N. Darby, the primary formulator of C.I. Scofield's notes, had a special hatred for the Baptist as the Baptist stood against what he presented. Evidently, the Baptist of Darby's day stood against, among other things, Darby's notion of a "reestablished" Jewish nation with its temple and sacrifices:

         The truth Baptists have to learn is that there is a place, a system established by God, where the blessings are found--the olive-tree of fatness--without the questions of conversion being settled, in which heathen, Mohammedans, and now for a time Jews are not, but in which these last will hereafter again be, though not on our footing. I know it is said you are bringing us back to Judaism... [Letters, v. II, pp 51, 52, 1869. This volume contains a whole letter against the Baptist, pp 47-52,e.g. "Another important principle destroyed by the Baptist system..."]

         More often than not, Darby talks in circles, leaving a reader bewildered over what he is trying to say. But here Darby apparently calls for the reinstitution of Judaism under God's blessings with all its details that previously pointed to to Christ. He also calls for two plans of salvation: "though not on our footing," the Jews are brought into God's blessings. Darby considered the Baptist principle a mistake from beginning to end, the Baptists too occupied with ordinances, the Baptists "dreadfully under the law," and said "the whole system of Baptist I find to be unscriptural. He rejoiced when he was able to convert any Baptist to his version of "truth." In the early years, those who imbibed Darbyism had to depart from Baptist doctrine to follow Darby. Many did.


  •      The point to which we are headed is found in Mat 12:7, which repeats Mat 9:13, But go ye and learn what that meaneth, I will have mercy, and not sacrifice: for I am not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance. Both Mat 12:7 & 9:13 rebuke the teachers of the Law for not knowing nor understanding the Law. The Lord Jesus tells the religious leaders that if they had known the Law, ye would not have condemned the guiltless. Both Mat 12:7 & Mat 9:13 refer to Hos 6:6. When Hosea 6:6 is taken in its context of v. 7, we understand the Lord's rebuke of these men:

         Hosea 6:6, 7 For I desired mercy, and not sacrifice; and the knowledge of God more than burnt offerings. But they like men {Marg, Adam} have transgressed the covenant: there have they dealt treacherously against me.

              Though these men professed to both God and man that they loved the Law and that they desired to keep every letter of God's Law as given through Moses, they were as much is violation of God's Word as was Adam when sin entered into the world through him, Rom 5:12. The men of Mat 12 may have kept the letter of the Law, but they were in violation of the Law because they had no love and mercy, Mat 23:14. Yes! they may have kept the Law right down to the smallest point, but much of their purpose in keeping the Law was to destroy others.

         Today, we may hear of those who profess that they want to see the Law of God reinstated as it was given through Moses, yet they obviously lack mercy and love toward their fellow man: They have no mercy toward those who disagree with their understanding of the "letter of the Law." Hence, clearly established in the Old Testament and reinforced by Christ is that minute, specific obedience to the Law without its spirit of love and mercy is as much a violation of God's Law as is murder.

         How many times did Christ accuse these men of not knowing the Law? The context of Mat 12:5 is clear: They were ignorant of the Law that they professed to know and love because they had no understanding of the love and mercy that was written in the Law. God's Law was given for the benefit of mankind, not to condemn and destroy mankind, particularly the guiltless. The Book of Romans points out that the Law was given for man's benefit, viz. to convict of sin, that all the world might be guilty before God and thus brought to faith in Christ. The Law, therefore, is to draw men to the mercy of God as revealed in Christ Jesus.

         We live in a world of fallen men. There are those today who attempt to use the Law as an excuse to seek revenge, as an excuse to hate others, as an excuse to "take the law into their own hands," and even as an excuse to destroy the guiltless. The Lord says that those who use the Law of God to peruse their own motives and goals have transgressed the covenant, and they have dealt treacherously against God.

         Hosea 6:6, 7 For I desired mercy, and not sacrifice; and the knowledge of God more than burnt offerings. But they like men {Marg, Adam} have transgressed the covenant: there have they dealt treacherously against me.

         We will also add that if God will not hold guiltless those who seek to use His righteous Law unrighteously, then how will He regard those who use fiat civil law to accomplish their own personal goals, even to destroy the guiltless? My, what vengeance awaits the abusers of the Law!

         Certainly, the precepts of God's Law must be instituted into civil law if there is to be any justice in the land; but without its "spirit of mercy," though men keep every point, they are still transgresses of the covenant, and are treacherous workers against the Lord God of the Law.


         Sabbath Illustrated
  •           Matthew 12:8-13
  •      Typical of Christ's ministry here among men, He moves right from teaching to illustrating the lesson He just gave: In vv. 9-13, He illustrates what He just taught about the Sabbath. Christ had compared Himself to the Temple at Jerusalem; Christ had confronted the religious leaders over their wrong notions and teachings concerning the Sabbath. Now Christ enters into a Synagogue where He meets a man with a crippled hand.

         The ones Christ had just confronted over their sins of refusing to show mercy ask Him a question: Is it lawful to heal upon a Sabbath day? They did not want an answer; they wanted to accuse Him of violating the Law.

         Rather than argue the point with those already convinced against the Word of God, Christ answers their question with a question, then points out that those who are against Him and accusing Him would help a distressed sheep on a Sabbath day. The Lord points out that a man is far more important than a sheep.

         The Lord clearly condemns the extreme environmental movement that arrested the $100,000 tractor for killing a rat, and that desires to shut down the timber industry for a supposed "endangered" owl.

         Then the Lord makes a clear statement: Wherefore, it is lawful to do well on the sabbath days. Thus works of mercy are clearly lawful on the sabbath as Christ heals the man. But, typical of wicked men of all ages, rather than rejoice in the fact of a man's healing, the Pharisees unite and plot to kill Christ.

  •      Observe:

         1. Christ said that He is Lord even of the sabbath day: Christ says there is not an area of life nor thought that He is not Lord over, and He is to be recognized as such. The Word of God speaks to absolutely every area of life; the Word of God is to be studied and searched for His instructions of how to live, think and act every day in every area.

              2. Sabbath means rest: Following the life and teachings of Christ, it is amazing at how easily Christ "flows" from teaching a point to illustrating that point. But, of course, the Father controlled all events of His life and ministry for a specific purpose: to teach and illustrate the total of God's Word.

  •      Mat 11:28, 29, promised rest to all who would come to Christ. After promising rest, Christ proceeded to confront the false teachers concerning the Sabbath. Christ gave the Sabbath its proper meaning, saying that He is Lord even of the sabbath day. Christ then proves that He is Lord of the sabbath by healing a man on the Sabbath. Thus as the Lord of "Rest," He promises rest, and then He delivers rest for the weary and healing for the broken.

         3. Notice that what was rest to the weary was turmoil for the wicked: These wicked men were far more interested in protecting their own personal opinions and understandings of the Word of God than they were in showing mercy and helping people. They might help people, but only if it helped establish themselves in the places they desired to be.

         4. There are people interested in developing the Word of God, sabbath law in this case, but only those portions suit their personal needs and further their personal goals: These wicked men asked Christ if it was lawful to heal on the sabbath, but they only asked Him so they could strengthen their own position and destroy Him.

         5. Christless men have not developed more mercy since Christ: Mercilessness is more common today than it was in Christ's day because there are more people. There are many people today who would rather see others go through life cripple than have their own power and teaching threatened. People are seen as "human collateral" by the wicked to be used to obtain or defend their goals.The wicked are not above blowing up multitudes of people simply to further their goals. No doubt, many of the past wars have been fought simply for self-glory and power of a few individuals.

         I recently heard a radio interview with the author of a newly released book concerning the Atom bomb that was dropped in WWII. Being on the inside of its development, he said the primary reason for dropping the bomb was to prove that the multiplied millions spent developing the bomb were not wasted. The war was over, he said, but they dropped it anyway to justify the money that had been spent during "war time."

         MATT 12:14, THE UNGODLY - both inside and outside the church - HAVE NO MERCY WHEN IT COMES TO RETAINING THEIR POWER AND AUTHORITY. These ungodly religious men plot to kill the Lord of Glory in order to retain their power and authority.

              6. The obvious teaching here is that the Law of God requires that we love our neighbours as ourselves: The Word of God speaks of those who shut their bowels of compassion against the needy when it is within their power to help the needy,

         1 John 3:16 Hereby perceive we the love [of God], because he laid down his life for us: and we ought to lay down [our] lives for the brethren. 17 But whoso hath this world's good, and seeth his brother have need, and shutteth up his bowels [of compassion] from him, how dwelleth the love of God in him? 18 My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth. 19 And hereby we know that we are of the truth, and shall assure our hearts before him.

         These men confronting Christ wanted everyone to know how much they "loved God." They loudly and publicly proclaimed their spirituality and love, but the World of God clearly revealed the truth about their hearts. The only ones they loved were themselves and the "status quo:" They only loved their position in the eyes of men, and they were going to do whatever was necessary to retain that position.

  •      CONCLUSION:
  •      Mat 12:14, these wicked men desired to destroy Him. In Mat 27:18, we see that these wicked men were moved with envy, and finally succeeded in delivering Christ to His death. These wicked men were moved with envy when they saw this man healed on the Sabbath. We should point out that the time of the healing - Sabbath - had very little to do with their ENVY: They got just as hostile over Christ's mighty works no matter on what day He did the works.

         As we move among "Christian" circles, we are finding that the most dangerous people in the world for Christians are other Christians who are envious as they use the Law, both man's and God's, to destroy those they envy. [A great portion of man's laws are laws of envy, laws meant to confiscate - plunder - from some for the "benefit" of others.]

         Thus mercy is far more important than the "letter of the law."


         The Poor

              "A different kind of Christian coalition" - "Christianity in eyes of beholder" Two headlines from two recent articles in the Indianapolis Star. The "Christianity..." editorial, by James Patterson, gave a short review of Pat Robertson's "10-point Contract With the American Family, which calls for drastic changes in government social policy."

         The "different kind..." artical, by Laurie Goodstein of The Washington Post, told of the "ecumenical group of more than 80 Christian leaders [who] issued a challenge to the `religious right'" concerning the 10-point Contract.

         The astounding point about both the supporters - "religious right"(?) - and opponents of the Contract is that NEITHER CALLS FOR THE "RELIGIOUS" COMMUNITY TO QUIT TAKING GOVERNMENT FUNDS. A recent - 6/6/95 - editorial over a local radio station told of the astounding amount of federal tax funds [we use the term "tax funds" very loosely, for they are not tax funds: they are "debt funds"] being channeled through "religious" organizations for "welfare" purposes: several billions ["with a B"] of tax dollars going through a Catholic relief organization alone - something like 73% of its total operating budget.

         In other words, the opposing sides over the Contract are simply disagreeing over the receipt and use of federal funds. Thus neither side is a private, Christian, charitable organization in the Biblical since of the word, for both sides are trying to influence how federal "tax" funds will be used. Nor is either calling for the return to Biblical based social programs: "privatizing" social spending - using PRIVATE donations to support social programs. By "privatizing," these "religious" groups obviously mean placing the federal funds in the hands of their "private religious organizations" for disbursement rather than the funds going through a government bureaucracy.

         Clearly, concern for and care of the poor is a Christian responsibility, e.g. Matthew 19:21; Luke 14:13; 1 Corinthians 13:3; James 2:16, &c.

         The contribution for the poor at Jerusalem was received from individuals, not from the Roman government, Romans 15:26. "Christians" were not fighting over who would influence how Rome spent its welfare dollars.

         The Galatians 2:10 [1 Timothy 6:17, 18] command to remember the poor was given to individual Christians.


         One of the marks of Christianity is the individual giving to the poor, 2 Corinthians 9:9 [8:8] (note that it says noting about Christian responsibility to see that the poor gets his fair share of federal welfare aid).

              A Christian responsibility is to work hard so he will have to give to the poor, Ephesians 4:28. Working with his hands does not even imply working with the civil authority to see that the poor get "their fair share" of the money confiscated from other taxpayers.

         Biblical, Christian charity, both on the individual and group, e.g. church, level, has noting whatever to do with the civil government.

         DD> And thus with the disagreement over the federal funds, the question is raised for both sides of the Contract: Where does the genuine concern for the poor fit in? The argument over how, were and for what purpose federal funds are channelled through "religious" organizations for social spending purposes makes one wonder whose welfare is concerned about. Both sides have denied Biblical Christianity.

         Judas was not really concerned about the poor; rather, his concern was over what he could rake off from the spending on the poor: This he said, not that he cared for the poor; but because he was a thief, and had the bag, and bare what was put therein. John 12:6.

         Mr Patterson concluded his column: "...the political route they've chosen may not agree with true Christian ideals."

              No, Mr Paterson, the Christian Coalition does not "agree with true Christian ideals." Biblical Christian care for the poor does not look to civil government for financing.


         A.W. Pink
  •      Sermon on the Mount
  • Those professing to be the towers of orthodoxy and the most enlightened among Bible teachers have blatantly and dogmatically affirmed that "the Sermon on the Mount is not for us," that it is "Jewish," that it pertains to a future dispensation, that it sets forth the righteousness which will obtain in "the millennial kingdom." And this satanic sop was eagerly devoured by multitudes of those who attended the"Second Coming of Christ" conferences, and was carried by them into many of the "churches," their pastors being freely supplied with "dispensational" literature dealing with this fatal error. Slowly but surely this evil leaven has worked until a very considerable and influential section of what passes as orthodox Christianity has been poisoned by it.

         The fundamental error of those men claiming to "rightly divide the word of truth" is their opposition to and repudiation of the Law of God: their insistence that it is solely Jewish, that the Gentiles were never under it, and that it is not now the believers' rule of life. Never had the Devil succeeded in palming off the Truth a more soul-destroying lie than this. Where there is no exposition of the Moral Law and no pressing of its righteous demands, where there is no faithful turning of its holy and searching light upon the deceitful heart, there will be, there can be, no genuine conversions, for "by the law is the knowledge of sin" (Rom 3:20). It is by the law alone we can learn the real nature of sin, the fearful extent of its ramifications, and the penalty passed upon it. The Law of God is hated by man - religious and irreligious alike - because it condemns him and demonstrates him to be in high revolt against its Giver.

              Knowing full well the detestation of their hearers for the Divine Law, a large percentage of those who have occupied the pulpits during the past few decades have studiously banished it therefrom, displacing it with "studies in prophecy" and what they designate as "the Gospel of the Grace of God." But the "gospel" preached by these blind leaders of the blind was "another gospel" (Gal 1:6): where there is no enforcing the requirements of the Law, there can be no preaching of God's Gospel, for so far from the latter being opposed to the former, it "establishes" the same (Rom 3: 31). Consequently, the "churches" became filled with spurious converts, who trampled the Law of God beneath their feet. And this, more than anything else, accounts for the lawlessness which now obtains everywhere in Church and State alike.

         AW Pink, Sermon on the Mount, p. 137.


         A Short Thought
  • A Short Thought
  •      Exo 34:20, the understanding of the statement, And none shall appear before me empty is found in Deut 16:16, Three times in a year shall all thy males appear before the LORD thy God in the place which he shall choose; in the feast of unleavened bread, and in the feast of weeks, and in the feast of tabernacles: and they shall not appear before the LORD empty: and is explained in v. 17, Every man [shall give] as he is able, according to the blessing of the LORD thy God which he hath given thee. In other words, every male was to appear before the Lord with something for the Lord, e.g. 1 Sam 9:7, 8.

         Many people come before the Lord, either in prayer or in "worship service" at church, asking &/or expecting the Lord to do something physical for them. But the Spirit clearly tells us that we should come before the Lord with the desire of "What can I give to or do for the Lord?" "What does God expect of me?"

         No man was permitted to appear before the Lord empty!

         Pastor Need

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