The Biblical Examiner
An Examination of Biblical Precepts Involved in Issues at Hand 
December 1995
  • Contents 

  • 1) America Abandoned
    2) Designer Churches
    3) And Be Ye Holy

  • America Abandoned 

  • The Rise of Paganism

    The following is highly unusual for a mailing, but we are confident the reader will understand why we put this together. Below are excerpts from a letter written by a man in Chicago, Thomas Williamson, who has been circulating our Spanish salvation booklet.


    And now here is a genuine excerpt from a letter in Spanish that I received from Letycia Vega, of Puebla, Mexico, dated September 9, 1995: "I have been giving out the tracts on the "Gospel Perverted" little by little. A young lady told me that she read it and that what it says is the truth, and she gave me thanks for it." I am sure you will want to reprint that in your church bulletin. Puebla has 2 million people, and I have sent a large quantity of your tract there. We continue to circulate it here in Chicago. I recently donated a few hundred copies to a Spanish Southern Baptist church in Cicero...
    We certainly rejoice over the above report, but might we all find the following "disquieting" as he comments on a 7/95 artical in The Biblical Examiner, Diversity Celebration, Multiculturalism:
    Your recommendation about how we should devote ourselves to the evangelization of Hindus, Buddhists, Muslims and Spanish Catholics in our own country is excellent. Unfortunately, most of these ethnic groups are located in the big cities, and the independent Baptist movement is abandoning the inner cities, based on the teachings of the church growth movement whose experts say "To successfully plant a new church, you must go where the money is, and since the money is in the suburbs, not in the cities, you should go to the suburbs and not the cities." We have some independent Baptist church planting missions active in the Chicago suburbs, but almost none in the city itself where most of these needy minorities are... We are in a poor position to reach these multitudes of immigrants when it is our policy to stay away from the cities where thy are concentrated, and also some of us are guilty of ill-concealed racism which offends those we are trying to reach. My church, including myself personally, has broken the language barrier in Spanish and we are doing all we can to reach the Spanish population here, but we certainly could use someone to come here and do independent Baptist church work in Arabic, Chinese, Korean, Polish, Vietnamese, and dozens of other languages. Someday, I hope, we will get our priorities straight and conduct the multicultural ministries in the cities that we need to do, and your comments are useful to remind us of that need.
    In Mr. Williamson's letter permitting us to reprint the above, he points out that "There are still about 20 independent Baptist Churches inside Chicago. In theory, we should be able to do what needs to be done, but there is much more that needs to be done, while most of the effort is directed to the suburbs." Though undoubtedly there are several good works within that city of over seven million, what are they compared to the total population?> [We find it interesting that there were (and probably still are) 90 self-proclaimed "independent" Baptist Churches within Indianapolis, a city of less than 1 million.]
     Mr. Williamson's correctly assessed the situation - the church has turned the inner cities over to the pagans, fleeing to the suburbs in its never-ending search for money. This pastor must confess, however, that he has absolutely no desire to even drive through America's inner cities, let alone minister in one. But he will also readily say that if God would call, he would, though reluctantly forced kicking and screaming, answer.
     We praise the Lord when men and women dedicated themselves to go to foreign, poverty stricken nations with the gospel, but where are the missionaries to the poverty stricken inner cities? Why is the church abandoning these areas? When we think of missions, why do we only think of far-off nations? Why has God closed the eyes of American Christians to the needs of their own inner cities, e.g. Chicago, New York, L.A., &c.? What will happen, what is happening as Christians ignore God's command to go into all the world with the gospel, starting at "Jerusalem," i.e. America's inner cities? Are we reaping what has been sown in abandonment as we fearfully watch for inner city pagans to riot, burn, rape and pillage part of America where even the police are afraid to go, e.g. inner city L.A? Who is to blame that the inner cities are now more pagan than are the "pagan" nations where missionaries feel called to go? Must missionaries working among "pagan" tribes remain fearfully locked in their homes at night?
     Admittedly, not everyone is called to go to the inner cities nor into overseas mission work; however, has the Lord abandoned America's inner cities, no longer calling courageous men of character into these areas?
     One wonders if maybe part of God's judgment against the horrible, endless evils and wickedness among His people (abortions, humanistic education, immorality, idolatry - people pursue personal peace, pleasure and prosperity over any desire to serve the God they profess to love) of this beloved nation is not His abandonment of the inner cities to paganism and open idolatry, i.e. "Hindus, Buddhists, Muslims and Spanish Catholics" who have brought with them their idol worship of "saints"? Has the Lord prepared a worm, has the Lord commissioned that worm to destroy this nation who has not only turned from her God, but is now in open warfare against the God she once served with gladness of heart? Did not the Lord God judge Israel for turning away from the law of the Lord by commissioning Babylon's pagan king Nebuchadnezzar to burn and pillage the cities of Israel, Jer 25:9; 27:6, 43:10? Would not the same Lord God do the same thing today, viz. commission the pagans to burn and pillage the cities of a nation that has turned from the law of the Lord?
     Isaiah 51:7, 8 Hearken unto me, ye that know righteousness, the people in whose heart [is] my law; fear ye not the reproach of men, neither be ye afraid of their revilings. For the moth shall eat them up like a garment, and the worm shall eat them like wool: but my righteousness shall be for ever, and my salvation from generation to generation.
    This nation is being eaten at the heart, its inner cities, and, evidently, the Lord God has not moved many to work at that heart. Certainly, there are a few, e.g. mentioned above, but this pastor has yet to meet a man and/or woman raising support to go to America's inner cities with the gospel of Christ. Many contact our church seeking support to go to some far off land, but none have contacted us seeking support to go to America's centers of paganism, the inner cities.
     The book of Jonah closes with the account of Jonah feeling sorry for himself because the wicked city repented and trusted the Lord. Jonah sat sulking in the hot sun, hoping to see God rain fire and brimstone upon Ninevah. The Lord, to teach a tremendous truth to His sorry servant, raised up a gourd overnight to cast its shadow over Jonah's head. Jonah was glad for the beautiful, green gourd, but God meant it for a serious lesson for his sorry servant. The Lord prepared a worm, and when the next day came, the worm ate the heart out of the gourd. Jonah's beautiful gourd withered, and the sun again smote the man feeling sorry for himself. The Lord spoke to His sorry servant: "Jonah," said He, "Why are you feeling sorry for that green gourd, yet you have no concern for that great city containing multiplied thousands of people?" The book closes with no record of Jonah's answer to the Lord's searching and revealing question.
     This nation (as Israel of old) at one time was a vibrant, green plant before the Lord, serving Him with gladness of heart, and offering shade to the world through its many Godly missionary efforts abroad and at home among its immigrants. But Christian unconcern and other-worldliness crept in 100-150 years ago, and the worm ate the heart out of this nation. We see the destructive worm of Christian unconcern and other-worldliness (along with the pursuit of happiness, personal peace and mammon) destroying this nation.


    The Lord will have no other gods before Him, but America's Christians have joyfully and willingly turned from the Lord God and sought shelter under America's green plant, embracing other gods. The Lord has prepared a worm, and we see that worm at work, eating away at the inner cities. That worm is, evidently, working at God' command (sent for America's destruction) because we see extremely few Godly men desiring to take the gospel to the inner cities. Only the gospel will stop the destruction.
     Mat 9:36-38 But when he saw the multitudes, he was moved with compassion on them, because they fainted, and were scattered abroad, as sheep having no shepherd. Then saith he unto his disciples, The harvest truly [is] plenteous, but the labourers [are] few; Pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he will send forth labourers into his harvest.
    This writer realizes the context of the above passage, as well as the vain attempt by some to dispensationalize it from God's Command-Word for His people. But the evil desires of men who attempt to mold the Word of God more to their liking cannot change the fact that the Lord told His followers to pray that the Lord of the harvest would send forth labourers into his harvest. We must pray that He would once again see fit to raise up Godly man and women (send them out as married couples) to attack the inner cities filled with many pagans. Using the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God, the battle will rage, but the enemy can be subdued and conquered for Christ - Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us, Rom 8:37.


    If we do not pray and if the Lord does not send men and women to this "home mission field," the worm will continue to grow, American will be devoured and the unconcerned, other-worldly church will be to blame.
     O Israel, thou hast destroyed thyself; but in me [is] thine help. Hos 13:9.44
  • Designer Churches 

  • The Lord says that those who teach God's Word in such a manner as to allow people to follow after their lustful desires will have many people following them.
     Micah 2:11 If a man {m} walking in the spirit and falsehood do lie, [saying], {n} I will prophesy unto thee of wine and of strong drink; he shall even be the prophet of this people.

     [Geneva] (m) That is, show himself to be a prophet. (n) He shows what prophets they delight in, that is, in flatterers, who tell them pleasant tales, and speak of their benefits.

    There are several opening points presented by the Spirit through Micah:

     First, wine and strong drink here typify appealing to man's base human, carnal nature.

    The meaning is not "that there will be an abundant supply of wine," or "that the wine will turn out well"...; but wine and strong drink... are figures used to denote earthly blessings and sensual enjoyments, and the words refer to such promises as Lev. xxvi. 4, 5, 10, Deut. xxvii. 4, 11, Joel ii. 24, iv. 18 sqq., with false prophets held out to the people without any regard to their attitude towards God. [Keil, Commentary on the Old Testament, 10:446
    Paul explained this appeal to the flesh thusly:


    For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away [their] ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables. [2 Tim 4:3, 4. See ch 3 also.]
    Second, there are many "prophets" who realize that they can gather crowds of followers and goodly amounts of wealth by giving people wine and strong drink, i.e. giving people what they want to hear, appealing to the flesh. These preachers (and we hesitate using the term `preacher,' for they greatly pollute the office) design "religious services" around what appeals to the carnal man, 1 Cor ch. 3.
     Third, these men will prophesy unto thee of wine and of strong drink (gathering many followers) under the name of walking in the spirit of God. But they do lie.
     Moreover, we should realize that because these prophets intentionally attract those controlled by carnal, fleshly appetites [i.e. governed by mere human nature not by the Spirit of God], the leaders and followers, unless strongly moved by the Spirit, will dismiss any "criticism." How many of those controlled by literal wine and strong drink will admit to the control?


  • Wine and strong drink and the service of God

    Noah's problem with strong drink is well known; not so well known is the command concerning wine and strong drink in Lev 10:8-11. Nadab and Abihu were killed by the Lord for offering strange fire before the Lord, which he commanded not. Note here that the sin was not failure to do what the Lord commanded; rather, the sin unto death was going beyond what the Lord commanded, which the Lord commanded not. Moreover, the Lord condemned the sin of excess, Mat 23:25. Does not this imply that when one goes beyond the requirements of God's Word, they have become partakers in sin?
    How awful to observe that it [the fire, ed] crosses the mercy-seat to reach them!... He consumes all that have defied Him; and many among these shall be found in the act of holding up the incense of vain worship to the Lord.

     Will-worship in any form, Popery, Puseyism, formality, idolatry, is hateful to the Lord's holy nature. His will is holiness. [Andrew Bonar, Leviticus,1846. 1966 reprint by The Banner of Truth Trust, 195, 196.]

    The Lord forbids their father, Aaron, from mourning as a natural man would mourn for his sons, for he was the anointed high priest at this time, fulfilling the duties of the office before the Lord. Vv. 9-11 give a hint of why Nadab and Abihy did what they did after the glory of the Lord had appeared in 9:24. V. 9, forbids wine and strong drink in God' service in the tabernacle of the congregation.
     Let us mention a literal understanding of the passage before we pursue an implied understanding. Tertullian [A.D. 200-250] makes this comment concerning v. 9:
     ...For abstinence from wine withal has honourable badges of its own: (an abstinence) which had dedicated Samuel, and consecrated Aaron, to God. For of Samuel his mother said: "And wine and that which is intoxicating shall he not drink:"(4) for such was her condition withal when praying to God.(5) And the Lord said to Aaron "Wine and spirituous liquor shall ye not drink, thou and thy son after thee, whenever ye shall enter the tabernacle, or ascend unto the sacrificial altar; and ye shall not die."(6) So true is it, that such as shall have ministered in the Church, being not sober, shall "die." Thus, too, in recent times He upbraids lsrael [sic]: "And ye used to give my sanctified ones wine to drink." And, moreover, this limitation upon drink is the portion of xerophagy. Anyhow, wherever abstinence from wine is either exacted by God or vowed by man, there let there be understood likewise a restriction of food fore-furnishing a formal type to drink. For the quality of the drink is correspondent to that of the eating. It is not probable that a man should sacrifice to God half his appetite; temperate in waters, and intemperate in meats. Whether, moreover, the apostle had any acquaintance with xerophagies--(the apostle) who had repeatedly practised greater rigours, "hunger, and thirst, and fists many," who had forbidden "drunkennesses and revellings"(7)--we have a sufficient evidence even from the case of his disciple Timotheus; whom when he admonishes, "for the sake of his stomach and constant weaknesses," to use "a little wine,"(8) from which he was abstaining not from rule, but from devotion--else the custom would rather have been beneficial to his stomach--by this very fact he has advised abstinence from wine as "worthy of God," which, on a ground of necessity, he has dissuaded. [Ante-Niecene Fathers, 4:108. CDROM, The Electronic Bible Society, V. I, P.O. Box 70135, Dallas, TX 75370. Tertullian's references are obvious enough they are not included.]
    Wine and strong drink, Lev 10:9-11. Follow the points:


  • First, this is the first time the Lord spoke directly to Aaron. The Lord's command to Aaron implies strongly that his sons were under the influence of strong drink when they rushed in to make the sacrifice, for strong drink was not yet forbidden in the Lord's service. John Gill makes a good point at v. 9:
    [I]n imitation of this, Heathen priests were forbid wine, and abstained from it, particularly the Egyptian priests; at whom it is said {r}, some of them never drink any wine, and others taste but a little of it, because it is said to harm the nerves, to fill the head, or make it heavy, to hinder invention and excite to lust...


    Thus the pagans avoided strong drink because they understood its harmful effects upon the nerves, mind and passions. This pastor knows a local man who is probably one of the more "well-to-do" men in this part of the state: Though unsaved and making no profession of any desire for the Lord, he openly states that he avoids all strong drink because he knows it will hinder his ability to control situations, and he is not going to take such a chance.


  • Second, the Lord spoke directly to Aaron, establishing his authority to speak for the Lord.

  • Third, the subject of the Lord's first command to Aaron is significant: It had to do with strong drink and the trouble it caused Aaron's sons. Clearly, the sons brought the death upon themselves, though they may well have been under the influence of strong drink.

  • Fourth, Aaron must now make a choice: side with the Lord in their deaths or follow his emotions and side with the sons who acted rashly and foolishly, probably under the influence of strong drink. Will he excuse his sons' foolishness, or will he lay the blame where it belong -upon the sons?
    Aaron felt what Moses said; he bowed in silent submission - one look on his lost sons, another on his exalted and glorified God.


    It may be thus at the last day. The Father will point ot the ungodly as objects of His just displeasure; and the Intercessor, who used ot yearn over theses sons of men, shall then say, "Let them go down quick to hell;" and the redeemed respond, over the smoke of their burning, "Hallelujah!" We can understand Aaron's silent submission, as he saw God's holy act of judgment on these presumptuous sinners; but could we have gone further, and sympathized with him, had he even lifted up his hands to his God, and, with a holy gladness in his countenance, cried, in presence of the camp, "Hallelujah, hallelujah"? Such shall yet be the feeling of the redeemed over their own kindred who offer strange fire. Standing in Aaron's position, with all Aaron's submission, but with a profoundly holy triumph, to which Aaron was a stranger, "the righteous shall rejoice when he seeth the vengeance! He shall wash his feet (i.e., be refreshed) in the blood of the wicked" (Ps lviii. 10)... [Andrew Bonar, Leviticus, 196, 197.]
    This passage implies that the strong drink had several effects. We will mention the first now, and the rest at the close:


    1) strong drink caused them to rush in with no regard for the commands of the Lord, nor common sense, we will add. The drinking sons were controlled by their emotions rather than by the command-word of God. There are several passages that fit well here:


    Pr 31:4, 5 [It is] not for kings, O Lemuel, [it is] not for kings to drink wine; nor for princes strong drink: Lest they drink, and forget the law, and pervert the judgment of any of the afflicted.


    Though not forbidding strong drink, the mother told her son that as king he had no business even drinking strong drink: She preached to him total abstinence. Clearly, we are warned that those who desire to retain control of their emotions at all times must stay away from strong drink. Compare Rev. 1:6 & Lev 10:9.
    Prov 31:6 Give strong drink unto him that is ready to perish, and wine unto those that be of heavy hearts. In other words, strong drink causes one to forget the reality of his situation, and the priests of the most high God are never to be in such a condition, Lev 10:7. [Is it any wonder that strong drink plays such a large role in decision making today? Strong drink places one party at the mercy of the other.] Andrew Bonar comments on v. 9:


    A priest must have his soul calm, clear, steady. He is to be "filled with the Spirit," not with "wine, wherein is excess" (Eph. v. 18). In a holy frame, discerning between clean and unclean, ready to teach others also, he is to enter the tabernacle. In two things he is to be the opposite of Nadab and abihu : he is not to be excited with any false, vain desire ; and then he is to be exactly observant to the Lord's statutes (ver. 11), so that he may be ready to teach others also to keep them. Hence, he must keep away from every indulgence and every appearance of evil ; from every tempting object, and every form of excitement not drawn from Him whom he is approaching. [p 200.]
    We opened with Micah 2:11: The Lord says that those who teach God's Word in such a manner as to allow people to follow after their lustful desires will have many people following them.
     Drunk with covetousness, i.e. the desire for more and bigger, the king of Babylon preyed upon the carnal desires of others to satisfy his covetous desires, Hab 2:9. He reaped a woe from the Lord:
    Hab 2:15 Woe unto him that giveth his neighbour drink, that puttest thy bottle to [him], and makest [him] drunken also, that thou mayest look on their nakedness! [See also Gen 9:22, Ex 32:25.]
    Drunk with covetousness, the "prophets of God" prey upon the carnal desires of others to satisfy their own desires. They DESIGN "religious" services to appeal to the base, carnal desires of men.
     Micha 2:11 If a man walking in the spirit and falsehood do lie, [saying], I will prophesy unto thee of wine and of strong drink; he shall even be the prophet of this people.

    The word church in the New Testament means basically an assembly: That assembly can be either a pagan assembly, Acts 19:39 (gathered in the name of the goddess, Diana, or a Christian assembly) gathered in the name of Christ, Acts 5:11; Heb 10:25, &c. From the following artical, this writer finds that DESIGNER CHURCHES fit more within the framework of Acts 19:37 because they are designed to attract pagans, not committed Christians.


    The Nov/Dec 1995, issue of IDEASOURCE, [Communications Resources, 4150 Belden Village Street, Canton, Oh 44718] gives an inside view of a large, modern DESIGNER CHURCH, the Willow Creek Community Church in suburban Chicago, which runs 15,000 in attendance. Though the 12 page artical presents some very good ideas usable by any church, our focus is on the church's underlying foundation. Under the heading, "LISTENING TO YOUR NEIGHBOURS - Ask and ye shall learn," we find:
    Before Willow Creek Church was launched, the core group conducted a neighbourhood door-to-door survey - NOT to invite people to come, [nor to evangelize for the Lord we will add, ed] but to learn what the new church should be like. They asked people if they went to church. If the householder said "yes," the callers replied, "Great. Keep going." But if the person said "no," the callers asked, "Why not?" and then listened carefully. When several people said, "The sermons are irrelevant," [to which we must agree, but the answer is to make God's Word relevant] the church planters committed themselves to making the sermons interesting. And hearing frequently that "The church always asks for money," the team decided they would save the money appeals for core groups of Christians who were already committed to give as part of tier response to God. Even if you are not planning a new church, this listening approach can help you design services and miniseries that meet the needs of the people in your area. [Emp added. Should services be designed to please God or the average person in the community? Can a "worship service" please both God and fallen men? Can fallen men "worship" the Lord in spirit and in truth?]


    Included in IDEASOURCE'S artical is this side bar explaining Willow Creek's "seekers service":
    Seeker-sensitive ministry includes services designed especially for outsiders, people who are willing to consider the faith but who aren't yet ready to make a commitment.


    Based on the insight that most unchurched people can't relate to much of what goes on in the average church service, seeker services avoid the usual worship elements. Instead, they move through contemporary presentations of Christian music, drama, video and multimedia, all built around a central theme to be explained in the message - a basic explanation of biblical teachings, tied to concerns of people's lives and presented in language free of traditional faith jargon... [Emp added. Is the purpose of the Christian assembly to appeal to pagans or to train Christians for the work of the ministry, Eph 4:11?]
    IDEASOURCE explains Willow Creek's youth ministry "seeker service" thusly:
    Even if you're not ready to try seeker services for adults (and the Willow Creek staff is the first to admit not every church should) you may still want to consider letting your high-schoolers try it. Willow Creek Church was actually launched when a high-school ministry decided to spin off a Bible study from its successful music and drama program. (Someone dubbed the original seeker service as "youth ministry for adults.") Design a program that your teens will be comfortable attending - these days that usually means sports competitions and loud contemporary music - but include some Christian teaching as well. Willow Creek offers an additional separate program for teens who are already committed Christians, but we suspect most churches will need to do all there youth ministry in a single weekly event. Make it one any kid will want to attend. [Emp added. What would be wrong with designing a program pleasing to the Lord, and opening the door for all who would like to attend?]

    Someone has called churches that pattern their ministries after what people want, DESIGNER CHURCHES: They are designed to satisfy the carnal, lustful desires of fallen men: They giveth his neighbour drink as they satisfy the carnal desires of the neighbour; they puttest thy bottle to him as they get their neighbours' mind off the Lord because they do not want to offend the pagan and prevent his coming to the "religious" service. The DESIGNER CHURCHES' desire to increase in numbers and finances causes them to find out what the carnal desires of their neighbours are, and prophesy unto thee of wine and of strong drink as they give pagans what they want out of "religion."
     Let us ask, Who is to design the Christian assembly on earth, men's ides and desires or God's Word? What is the purpose of the church, to attract the unconverted or to instruct the saints in the faith?


  • The Purpose

    Paul clearly tells us in Eph 4:1-16 that the purpose of the preaching of God's Word in the Christian assembly is to instruct and strengthen believers. Hence, we ask a couple questions of those drawn to DESIGNER CHURCHES: First, where is the Scriptural authority to design the Biblical message of Christ to attract the unconverted?

    Second, where will DESIGNER CHURCHES draw the line as they "design services and ministries" to appeal to the fleshly, carnal nature: topless dancers, male strippers, mud wrestlers, "happy hour," gambling? They already use loud rock "music." What is the next step - drugs that go with the rock "music?"

     DESIGNER CHURCHES present wine and strong drink to all who will drink: They offer the Holy Word of God in such a way as to allow the people to follow their carnal, lustful desires, and thus they have many people following them. Interestingly, Willow Creek Community Church provides a choice: Those who want to be more committed are given the option: "As seekers grow in faith, they can progress into other appropriate study groups." [Emp added.]
    = Of course, once people commit to the Christian life, they need more than "Christianity for beginners." That's what Willow Creek's midweek worship services are for. There, people gather for more usual church services that include the standard elements of Christian worship. [The question arises: Why even depart from evil if one can retain his/her evil ways AND be a "Christian?" What has happened to being a new creature in Christ, 2 Cor 5:15, Gal 5:16?]
    DESIGNER CHURCHES design a "worship service" for both the unconverted and for the Christians - if such a thing were possible. Was and is not the purpose of "Church Letters" to attest to the faithful observance of the Biblical Christian faith by the candidate for fellowship with another Christian assembly? When DESIGNER CHURCHES design for both pagans and Christians, then a "Church Letter" from such a pagan assembly would simply say that the person was a consistent pagan Christian or consistent Christian pagan, depending upon how much he progressed up the ladder from paganism.
     DESIGNER CHURCHES offer the wine and strong drink that appeal to and attract the carnal nature of man. Thus great multitudes are drawn by their appeals to the natural appetites under the name of God. What better describes DESIGNER CHURCHES than the following:
    One of Wichita's biggest churches has received approval from the city council to hold one-hour church services in a nightclub on Saturday nights. "Our desire is to provide a place where strangers can become faithful friends," the Rev. Joe Cobb of the First United Methodist Church told the council. The council voted 7-0 to amend a city ordinance that bans minors from nightclubs.


    The Rev. Kelly Bender said that the services would be tailored to young adults, complete with synthesizers and drums, lyrics on video screens, and interactive sermons styled after "the Oprah Winfrey model." "I've discovered I'm a dinosaur," said Bender, 49. "I was trained for the ministry in a world that no longer exists. The old model of standing in the pulpit and preaching just isn't going to get it done." (Plains Baptist Challenger, 10/95, as reported in BJU's, What in the World.)
    In closing, let us conclude the effects of the strong drink of Lev 10:9-11:
    Strong drink can render spiritual leaders, e.g. Aaron's sons, unable to distinguish properly between right and wrong, between holy and unholy, and between clean and unclean. DESIGNER CHURCHES realize what happens when a sinner is confronted with his sin - holy and unholy according to God's Word, so they avoid that confrontation.
    3) Strong drink can destroy the ability to teach the Word of God. DESIGNER CHURCHES realize what happens when pagans, and even Christians, are confronted with the harsh realities of God's Word, so they avoid that confrontation.


    Finally, though the sons were influenced by strong drink, the Lord held them accountable for their actions. Accordingly, "Christian" leaders who use strong drink to appeal to the fleshly, carnal appetites of people in order to fulfill the leader's dreams of big and bigger will certainly meet their demise at the hand of the Lord.
     Moreover, the drunk who damages live and/or property is totally responsible for what he does. He must be held accountable as though he had not touched a drop of strong drink.


    How wicked can one get under the name of Christ, viz. seeking council from the ungodly and then designing "worship" services for the Holy Heavenly Father pleasing to the unconverted rather than to the Father?
     The abounding worldly wealth, splendor and prosperity of the DESIGNER CHURCHES is there for all to see. My! how tempting for those of us with small, struggling churches to seek after and walk in the counsel of the unGodly and offer to our neighbours wine and strong drink, give the unconverted something appealing to their flesh. But the Word of God brings us back to reality:
     Ps 37:1-7 Fret not thyself because of evildoers, neither be thou envious against the workers of iniquity. For they shall soon be cut down like the grass, and wither as the green herb. Trust in the LORD, and do good; [so] shalt thou dwell in the land, and verily thou shalt be fed. Delight thyself also in the LORD; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart. Commit thy way unto the LORD; trust also in him; and he shall bring [it] to pass. And he shall bring forth thy righteousness as the light, and thy judgment as the noonday. Rest in the LORD, and wait patiently for him: fret not thyself because of him who prospereth in his way, because of the man who bringeth wicked devices to pass.

    Ps 73:1 Truly God [is] good to Israel, [even] to such as are of a clean heart. 2 But as for me, my feet were almost gone; my steps had well nigh slipped. 3 For I was envious at the foolish, [when] I saw the prosperity of the wicked... 7 Their eyes stand out with fatness: they have more than heart could wish. 8 They are corrupt, and speak wickedly [concerning] oppression: they speak loftily... Behold, these [are] the ungodly, who prosper in the world; they increase [in] riches. 13 Verily I have cleansed my heart [in] vain, and washed my hands in innocency. 14 For all the day long have I been plagued, and chastened every morning... 16 When I thought to know this, it [was] too painful for me; 17 Until I went into the sanctuary of God; [then] understood I their end. 18 Surely thou didst set them in slippery places: thou castedst them down into destruction... 24 Thou shalt guide me with thy counsel, [not in the counsel of the ungodly on how to design a church; see also Ps 1, ed] and afterward receive me [to] glory... 26 My flesh and my heart faileth: [but] God [is] the strength of my heart, and my portion for ever. 27 For, lo, they that are far from thee shall perish: thou hast destroyed all them that go a whoring from thee. 28 But [it is] good for me to draw near to God: I have put my trust in the Lord GOD, that I may declare all thy works.

    Wine and strong drink were clearly and forcefully forbidden in the service of the Lord, having His death penalty against those who use them to influence people to their way of thinking:
     Hab 2:15 Woe unto him that giveth his neighbour drink, that puttest thy bottle to [him], and makest [him] drunken also, that thou mayest look on their nakedness! [See also 1 Tim 3:3 & 8 - why the different wording, i.e. wine vs. much wine?]

    Lev 10:3, the Lord promises that He will punish all (even the chiefest of persons) who serve Him in ways other than He has commanded. Accordingly, we are confronted with a very powerful statement:


    Not only does the Lord command man to serve Him, He also commands man to serve Him in the way revealed in His Word. The end never justifies the means. The Antinomians may well one day be able to ask Ananias and Sapphira if the law of the Lord applies to the New Testament church.


    And be ye Holy

    This pastor realizes that the following may draw accusations from some of "legalism" though legalism is adding the works of the law to the grace of God for salvation. We will, therefore, fight "legalism" to our dying breath. But we do offer the following for your consideration, for it is an area neglected by the modern church.

    Leviticus 20 develops some laws of holiness, v. 7, and be ye holy: a significant phrase considering that it is only used two more times in Scripture - 1 Pet 1:15 & 16; the Lord's command in v. 15 to be holy in all manner of life and conduct is Because it is written in Lev 20:7, Be ye holy, v. 16. Therefore, as the Lord through Peter referred to Lev 20:7, He referred also to its context. This chapter presents God's ordained order of creation: Everything, especially man, is made by Him and for His specific purpose, and has its Divine order. Man is to respect God's order, starting in the home; viz. the primary emphasis here is God's protection of the family.
    There are at least three points in this chapter built upon the command, be ye holy: first, idolatry and witchcraft; second, proper family relationships, and third, clean and unclean beasts. It is not without significance that the Lord opens AND closes His discourse with Moses (20:1 & 21:1) with firm commands against witchcraft. We should not, therefore, ignore what the LORD spake unto Moses between 20:1 & 21:1.

  • Be ye holy - idolatry and witchcraft

    The chapter opens (and closes!) with the Lord speaking harshly against idolatry and witchcraft as He protects the family, for rebellion starts and is conquered in the home. Several times in this chapter, the Lord calls for holiness, and gives His reason for requiring holiness in His people, for I am holy, e.g. vv. 7, 26, 1 Pet 1:16, &c. Holiness severs His people from other people, i.e. the pagans, and it is basically defined as keeping and doing the Lord's statutes, particularly in the home - In all manner of conversation, vv. 7-10 & 22-26, 1 Pet 1:16.
  • Be ye holy - in proper family relationships

    Holiness before God starts in the family: For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry; rejection of the word of the LORD (refusing to both keep and do His Word) is clearly witchcraft and idolatry, 1 Sam 15:23. Moreover, witchcraft and idolatry are given in Lev 20 in the context of the family. This chapter clearly says that if man will not enforce God's laws against idolatry and witchcraft (rebellion and stubbornness)in the home, HE WILL! (Vv. 2-6.) The breakdown of the family is subsequently seen in the death of society: As men refuse to control their families as required in God's Word, e.g. Lev 20, Eph 5:25, &c., they bring God's hand against both their families and society. We get a glimpse of the importance the Lord places upon the home when we compare v. 2 and v. 9. (1 Sam 1:15, 16. See also Deut 21:18ff. (the parents were willing to obey the Lord in this most basic of relationships, i.e. parent-child, so at times all possible Godly actions in the home do not result in Godly children.)

    Thus we see that if society will not deal with evil children, the Lord will, v. 5. We are obviously facing the death of a social order because neither the family nor society will deal with the problem of incorrigible children. Ungodly pity has destroyed Western civilization.

    Blood shall be upon them, vv. 9, 11, 12, &c. Those listed here are responsible for their own deaths. No matter what evil befalls the wicked - especially those in open rebellion against their parents and/or those controlled by immorality as listed by God, they brought it upon themselves. They can, therefore, blame no one but themselves for their difficulties, e.g. the sodomite who gets AIDS brought it upon himself. Was David cold, hard and indifferent in 1 Sam 1:15, 16? God's people were commanded to have no pity in two situations, Deu 19:13, 21 & 25:12. The Lord did not pity His people in Jer 13:14. Moreover, the woman is listed first in Lev 20:27, for people would be more likely to pity her than the man.

     Vv. 10-21, protects the family order He has established. V. 21, childless..., i.e. they have no legal heirs: Children born outside of wedlock have no legal rights of inheritance. Children adopted into a proper husband and wife family, however, are a different story: Were not we adopted into the family of God and made joint heirs with Christ?

  • Be ye holy - in clean and unclean beasts.

    Vv. 22-25: This section gives the reason for God's people protecting God's Divine order. This section, along with previous sections, gives several things that separate God's people from the pagans:
  • First, keep all my statutes, judgments, and do them.

  • Second, avoid the manners of the pagan nations that inhabited the land. Manners - statute, ordinance, limit, enactment, something prescribed. Though normally manners refer to things required by Israel's God of His people, in v. 23, it refers to the requirements upon the pagans by the gods they serve. It is shameful that God's people are apparently unable to have the same dedication to God's manners as pagans do to pagan manners. The Lord, however, seems to recognize this problem, and promises to move against His people who follow after pagan practices, and who seek to learn them, Heb 10 & 12.

  • Third, part of the pagan's manners to be avoided by the child of God is the diet of the pagans: Diet thus helps to distinguish God's people from the pagans, v. 25. If we were writing this passage, we would not place v. 25 in this strong passage concerning God's created order and His words against: mixing kinfolks- incest, mixing sexes-sodomy, mixing man and beast-bestiality, and mixing God and the devil-idolatry and witchcraft. By placing clean and unclean, v. 25, where the Lord did in this chapter, its implication must not be dismissed as unimportant for us today. Is insest, &c, still wrong?

  •  The next verse, v. 26, is equally important: Thus God's required holiness results from honoring His order, including His order in clean and unclean meat. Can we ignore that v. 25 follows, v. 24, which have separated you from other people, and precedes, and have severed you from other people? Hence, the Lord clearly tells His people that their diets reveal their separation to the Lord from surrounding paganism. Then the Lord again says that those who use the familiar spirit are to be put to death. Though vv. 26, 27, might be wrested to refer to a pagan ritualistic use of unclean beasts, that would be quite contrary the obvious meaning. (Comp. v. 6 with v. 27, and vv. 22-26 are between them.)
  • Be ye holy

    The command in v. 26, is And ye shall be holy unto me: for I the Lord am holy..., and is clearly referred to in the New Testament many times, e.g. 1 Pet. 1:16. In other words, the diet of the believer is not something to be taken lightly, seen by the verse's location. Furthermore, unclean beasts and fouls make souls abominable, v. 25. (Lev 11:42ff., also equate diet with holiness.)

    We find it strange that the same Christians who park on Deut. 22:5, pointing out that it is an abomination for women and men to wear each other's garments (abominable apparel for a Christian is immodest apparel, e.g. tight fitting and/or revealing clothing, as well as men and women working in areas not befitting their sex-see Adam Clarke [1762-1832] on Deut 22:5), are, many times, the same ones who deny any validity for the Old Testament dietary laws, Lev. 20:25. Obviously, the Lev 20:25 abominable (#8262) is different from the Deut 22:5 abomination (#8441), but the Deut 14:3 abominable (Thou shalt not eat any abominable thing.) is the same as the 22:5 abomination (#8441). God has separated His people unto Himself from all other people and their pagan practices, v. 24, 26.

     Ye shall be holy is given four times in the Old Testament:

     1) Ex 22:31, concerning diet.

     2) Lev 11:44, concerning diet. Holiness is identified with refusing to defile one's self with unclean animals.

     3) Lev 20:26, concerning diet; in fact, the context of v. 26, pretty well sums up the total, Ye shall be holy by not walking in the manners of the pagan nations.

     Following to Paul the command to be holy, he apparently did not enforce the dietary laws upon the new Church. He did, however, rebuked Peter for eating with the Gentiles and then eating with the Jews, but we are not clearly told that the rebuke was over the type of food placed before them. But the dietary laws are laws of good health and long life, separating God's people from the pagans in their health if in nothing else. Holiness includes not walking in the manners of the surrounding pagans, and it includes avoiding witchcraft, viz. seeking other means of prosperity than is given by the Word of God.

     4) the fourth ye shall be holy is found in Lev 19:3, and is given in terms of proper family relationship. It is listed first after Ye shall be holy. Thus apparently, the first law of holiness is, Ye shall fear every man his mother, and his father, and keep my sabbaths: I [am] the LORD your God. Holiness starts in the home where one learns proper respect for authority.

    But notice that three of the four commands for holiness are given in the context of diet - in fact, probably every time diet is given in the Old Testament, it has a context of holiness.

  • Three concluding questions:

  • First, will not God judge rebels? Clearly, it is man's responsibility to base his civil laws upon God's laws, judgments and statutes, but if man rebels, God's laws are still valid. If man will not enforce them, God will, and the wicked deserve what they get.

  • Second, do we underestimate the importance of diet? God does clearly address the importance of proper diet. Before we dismiss the dietary laws as not applicable for today, let us consider: Was not America founded on these laws of the Lord? Biblical dietary laws require proper bleeding as is done today. In fact, basically, the only dietary laws violated in America concern shell fish and swine. The reason we do not eat dogs, monkeys, &c., is, no doubt, because of the Christian foundation of this nation.

    But least we place too much emphasis upon diet and holiness, notice Lev 20:22, Ye shall therefore keep all my statutes, and all my judgments, and do them. Though ye shall be holy is given in the imitate context of diet, it is clearly given in the overall context of keeping all my statutes, and all my judgments, and do them.
  • Third, did not God call His people to be holy?
  •  1 Pet 1:2, Elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through sanctification of the Spirit, unto obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ: Grace unto you, and peace, be multiplied. Eph 1:4, 5, According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love: Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will...
    Let the reader, however, be reminded that grace establishes one before God, not his/her diet, Heb 13:9. God's diet "protects" the temple wherein we dwell.
  • Christ our example
  • Let us live and walk as He lived and walked upon this earth: According to the Spirit's work in Him, He walked in perfect obedience to the complete Word of God as it was revealed in His day.

     One area that can be conquered for the Kingdom by every person is his/her diet, resulting in a healther "temple" from which to serve the Master.

     Pastor Need


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