|The Biblical Examiner
An Examination of Biblical Precepts Involved in Issues at Hand
1) The Sound of Freedom and Liberty
|The Sound of Freedom and Liberty|
Christians are a people of hope and victory, not of hopelessness and defeat, for the enemy was defeated at Calvary. The sounding of the trumpets throughout Scripture looked/look forward to the good things to come for His people as they follow their Lord.
A Little Background
Several times in the law, God commands His people
to sound the trumpet. God also commanded Joshua to sound the
trumpet at Jericho, Joshua 6. Following Jericho, there are many
more commands to sound trumpets in the Old Testament, but we will
not pursue them. We will, however, mention Ps 47:5, God is
gone up with a shout, the LORD with the sound of a trumpet.
Ps 150:3, calls on man to praise God with the sound of the
trumpet. The prophets contain many commands by God to blow
the trumpet, e.g., Isa 18:3; 27:13; 58:1; Jer 4:5; 6:17, Hos
5:8; Joel 2:1; Am 2:2; Zep 1:16; Zec 9:14, &c Moreover, the
New Testament contains some significant soundings of the trumpet,
The above mentions of the trumpet, however, cannot be properly understood without their historical background:
The Word of God originated in a historical way, and therefore, can be understood only in the light of history... It is impossible to understand an author and to interpret his words correctly unless he is seen against the proper historical background... The time, the place, the circumstances, and the prevailing view of the world and of life in general, will naturally color the writings that are produced under those conditions of time, place, and circumstances... ...not only the express statements of Scripture, but its implications as well, must be regarded as the Word of God. [Principles of Biblical Interpretation, Louis Berkhof, 113, 114, 159.]
Clearly, then, the understanding of God's commands concerning trumpets must be read as the people to whom the commands were given understood them. The historical significance of the sounding trumpet is found in the first sounding of the trumpet, and, obviously, the people would understand the following trumpet commands with the memory of the first time they heard the trumpet just before Jehovah God gave law, Ex 19:13-20:
1) the trumpet was God's call for all the people to gather at the mount for the giving of the Law of the Covenant. But they could not approach unless they were sanctified, fit to meet their God.
2) the trumpet was exceeding loud; so that all the people that was in the camp trembled. It was heard throughout the camp by everyone, and the volume caused everyone to tremble.
3) Moses may have brought every person from the camp to the mount, but at the very least, every civil ruler, elder, and every religious ruler, priest/Levite was there. At the foot of the mount, at the sounding of the trumpet, the whole mount quaked greatly, and the voice of the trumpet sounded long, and waxed louder and louder. 4) the exceeding loud voice of the trumpet was not the voice of the Lord; rather, the trumpet sounded, Moses spake, and God answered him by a voice, not by the trumpet. However, Heb 12:25 connects the voice of the Lord with the sound that caused the earth to shake, the trumpet. We have, therefore, a picture of the long and exceedingly loud sounding of the trumpet preparing the way for the giving the Law by the Lord God. The people are prepared by the voice of the trumpet, and then the Law is given, Ex 20:1-18.
5) at the conclusion of the giving of the law, the noise of the trumpet is heard again, and the mountain smokes, vv. 18-26: The people saw again the smoke and lightings that they saw before the giving of the law, but this time, they move back from the mountain, asking Moses to speak to them for their God. The response is different because they had heard the law, the holiness of God; they were now justly fearful of the Holy Lord God, Deut 18:17 [v. 18ff., the law and the altar spoke of the Prophet to come, Christ Jesus].
6) God's majesty had its intended impression upon them as they realize Who is speaking to them, v. 20. The intended purpose was to cause them to fear Him enough to sin not. As we know, the impression did not last long, for they soon fell into sin: Fear can not bring a change of heart, for that is the Spirit's job through the gospel of Christ.
7) another purpose of the Lord's appearance at the mount was to show the people that the Lord God Who delivered them from Egypt was unlike the gods of Egypt: He was alive, v. 22 - They saw Him talk with Moses from heaven.
8) the next command- and thus inseparably connected with the giving of the Law- concerns the proper worship of and approach to the Lord God, v. 23, i.e., their only approach was through proper sacrifice upon the proper altar, vv. 24ff.
9) the Lord tells Moses that if the people will abide by what has been given concerning the altar and the sacrifice, He will bless them, v. 24. Included in the conditions of the blessing would obviously be the requirement to follow the ten words the Lord had just been given, serving the Lord only, v. 23 [Ps 1, &c.].
We cannot ignore the major theme of the next chapter after the Lord gave the law and offering: restitution, even to the point of life for life. The law, the altar and the sacrifice have no meaning without the requirement of restitution, nor does the sacrifice of the Lamb of God for the sins of the world have any meaning without the requirement of restitution. The wages of sin is death finds its meaning in Exo 20 and 21.
Ten days short of 12 months after they came out of Egypt, the people moved from Sinai where they first heard the trumpet, Exo 19:1 & Num 10:11. All the commands in the law of Moses concerning the trumpets were, hence, given while the first sounding of the trumpet was very fresh in Israel's minds: It would not have been possible for the word "trumpet" to be used without the terrible sound from the mount ringing in their ears.
From the time of the first sounding of the trumpet at the mount, every trumpet sound was a very clear reminder of what took place at the mount: It reminded the people of the giving of the law -a time when they trembled in fear; it reminded the people of their request for a mediator, and the sacrifice required to approach the living God, cf., Heb 12. The commands concerning the trumpets following the first sounding at the mount were given to the same generation who HEARD what took place at the mount when God's Law was given to them. Moreover, the command from God to sound the trumpet (Jericho) was given to the children of the ones who heard the first trumpet: Many of those children would distinctly remember the first sounding of the trumpet at the mount forty years previously.
The New Testament and the trumpet
We mentioned that the New Testament contains some significant soundings of the trumpet:
1) at the gathering of the elect, Mat 24:13, at the last trump, 1 Co 15:52, 1 Thes 4:16. Note the emphasis on holy living and faith in the sacrifice of Christ (the law and the altar) in both 1 Cor 15 and 1 Thes 4, and then the trump of God.
2) 1 Cor 14:8, the trumpet calls God's people to prepare for battle, as it so commonly did in the Old Testament. Note that it is useless to go to battle against evil if one does not go according to the law as given at the mount, i.e., lawfully,> 2 Tim 2:5. Victory over the surrounding enemies of God is defined in 1 John 5 as keeping his commandments and faith in Christ -we did not say eternal life, for it was never dependent upon keeping his commandments, Rom 3:21:
1 Whosoever believeth that Jesus is the Christ is born of God: and every one that loveth him that begat loveth him also that is begotten of him. 2 By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God, and keep his commandments. 3 For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous. 4 For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith. 5 Who is he that overcometh the world, but he that believeth that Jesus is the Son of God? 6 This is he that came by water and blood, even Jesus Christ; not by water only, but by water and blood. And it is the Spirit that beareth witness, because the Spirit is truth...
3) the great voice, as of a trumpet that spoke to John was Christ, Rev. 1:10, as was probably the voice in 4:1.
4) the judgment of the wicked took/takes place as the trumpets sounded, Rev 8 & 9, as the wicked are judged according to the total law- word of God. [The Lord warned through Isaiah concerning them that have familiar spirits and wizards: They speak not according to the Word of God, 6:19, 20.]
Clearly, the New Testament soundings of the trumpets must also be understood in the light of their Old Testament context of the trumpet's sounding at the giving of the law and the proper approach to Jehovah God, the altar and sacrifice.
Numbers 10 commands that two trumpets of silver be made, and continues by giving several reasons for sounding the trumpets: to call assemblies of both the leaders and the people; to call (sound the alarm) for the camp to move forward; to call to battle against the enemy- and ye shall be remembered before the LORD your God, and ye shall be saved from your enemies, i.e., God's promise of victory as they follow their Captain of the Lord's hosts; and, v. 10, to announce days of gladness, the beginnings of each month and the offerings and sacrifices. However, one day a year was marked with the trumpets blown with unusual solemnity: The feast of Trumpets, Lev 23:24, 25.
Good Things to Come
The blowing of trumpets, Lev 23, was on the first day of the month at the beginning of Israel's new civil year; the sound of the trumpets called attention to the good things yet to come:
- It [the feast of trumpets, ed] was then, a feast whose object was to rouse all Israel to joyful expectations, and summon their attention. The silver trumpets ever sounded a glad note, they being in reality the voice of God uttered to Israel. Whensoever these silver trumpets sounded, whether to proclaim a solemn sacrifice, or to call out Israel to the battle-field (Num. x. 7-10), their utterance was the voice of Jehovah, saying, "Come, my people." Even as the trumpet on Sinai indicated God speaking; and as Christ's voice, in Rev. i. 10, was heard as if a trumpet sounded. It is thus "the last trump," or the trump at the close of all things, shall intimate what is written in Ps. 1. 3, "Our God shall come, and shall not be silent."
- This feast, therefore, is to be considered as God's solemn call to attention in prospect of the very special causes for joy in this month. In short, it is just the symbolic language for the word BEHOLD, which prefaces many a New Testament call in regard to the same truths. "Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world!" --the expiation-day is at hand. "Behold, the Bridegroom cometh!"--the day of joy is at hand--the feast of fat things. [Leviticus, Andrew Bonar, The Banner of Truth Trust fifth edition, 1966. First published, 1846, 414, 415.]
The blowing of the trumpets on the fist day of the seventh month looked forward to what was ahead for God's people. It looked forward to the next feast, which took place on the tenth day, the day of atonement, v. 27. It thus spoke of good things to come, the preaching of the Gospel: refuse not him that speaketh, Heb 12:25.
According to Lev 23:24, this date appears to be the first command for men to blow the trumpets after the recent sounding by Lord Himself of the long, loud, fearsome trumpet that had been heard by all the people, but Num 29:1-6 places it sometime latter in the law. Regardless of where it fits chronologically, the command to sound the trumpets loud and long in the first day of the seventh month clearly reminded the people of what recently took place at the mount [the children of every following generation would be reminded by their parents of the first sounding of the trump at the mount when the trumpets of Lev 23 sounded], and looked forward to the good things to come: The sounding of the trumpets, therefore, celebrated the giving of the law and giving the legitimate means of approach to Jehovah God, i.e., the altar and the sacrifice-NOT THROUGH THE LAW. Cf. Eph 3. The law cannot be separated from the altar, for no man will approach God apart from the sacrifice of the innocent victim in his place, the Lamb of God.
The seventh month is a kind of sabbatical month, full of feast and fast days. It was also the beginning of their civil year. The heathen kept their New Year with mirth and folly; Israel keeps his with joy and solemnity. His new year ever reminds him of the coming on of a period of jubilee and joy, when the Feast of Tabernacles shall be kept; so that their new year's mirth was, for the most part, caused by the prospect of things to come.
No month opened to Israel such a scene of rejoicing as did this; for no other had in it the Expiation-day and the Feast of tabernacles. Hence it is very possible that this month's Feast of Trumpets was "the joyful sound" refered to in Ps. lxxxix. 15, "Blessed are the people who know the joyful sound." Where else are there a people who know at once of full atonement and of the joy of the Tabernacle-feast present acceptance and future glory? At the same time, the "joyful sound" might equally refer to the silver trumpets which summoned the people to all the solemn services of this chapter... [Ibid.]
Though all months opened with the blowing with trumpets, the seventh month opened with an unusual solemn sounding of the trumpet-The Feast of Trumpets, for it announced the good things to come in that month: The first sounding trumpet announced the good thing to come in the law and in the altar and sacrifice, Exo 19, 20. The sounding of the trumpet in Lev 23 announced the coming atonement [Christ]; it announced the good thing to come in the feast of tabernacles, and it announced the good thing to come in the harvest [Ex 23:16, 34:22].
On the first day of the seventh month, the blowing of trumpets took place: It was a day of rest, and an offering was made by fire unto the Lord. Though several sacrifices were required on this day, its primary point was the sound of the continual blowing of trumpets from morning to evening.
The commands of Lev 23 were to those who recently heard the terrible trumpet of the Lord at the mount when He gave His law, and had asked the Lord not to speak directly to them, Heb 12:19. Thus the Feast of Trumpets said that the giving of the law was/is a time of rejoicing, for the Lord could have left man in ignorance of His righteousness.
Then ten days after the Feast of Trumpets came the second sound of the trumpet that month: on the tenth day of this seventh month there shall be a day of atonement, Lev 23:27, Nu 10:10, Ps 81:3. [As at the second sounding of the trumpet at the mount, the Holy God, as revealed in His law, required the altar and sacrifice of atonement for His people to commune with Him.] Violation of this day of atonement was a very serious offence, v. 29, for it clearly spoke of the rest for God's people that was to come in Christ through simple and complete faith in Him.
The seventh month also contained the feast of tabernacles, starting on the fifteenth day of the month: This feast not only remembered the deliverance from Egypt, i.e., freedom from bondage, and God's providential care in the wilderness, but it also joyfully looked forward to the One Who would tabernacle among men, bringing true freedom, liberty and care for His people, Heb 8:2, Rev 21:3. Hengstenberg [1802-1869], commenting on Zech 14:16, said:
... The actual reason [for the Feast of Tabernacles, ed] has been given by Dachs, C.B. Michaelis, and others, who trace it to the essential characteristics of the feast of tabernacles. According to Lev. xxiii. 33 it was a feast of thanksgiving for the gracious protection afforded by the Lord to His people during the pilgrimage through the desert, which had been the sole cause of their being purified, instead of destroyed, by the dangers to which they were exposed, and attaining to the possession of the land of Canaan. But these wanderings of the Israelites were a type (1 Cor. x. 11), not only of similar dealings on the part of God with the same people in later periods of the Old Testament economy,-- especially in the time of the Babylonian captivity, at the termination of which, when God had delivered them out of the "wilderness of the nations" (Ezek. xx. 34--38), the feast of tabernacles was celebrated with peculiar earnestness (Ezra iii. 1 sqq., and Psalms cvii.), Zechariah himself taking part in it,--but also of His dealings with the people of the New Covenant. By the latter the feast of tabernacles will be celebrated, "when at the close of their tedious wanderings through the horrible desert of this world, they shall see an approach to their inheritance, and an entrance into Canaan fully laid open before them." (Dachs). It will not be kept outwardly, but spiritually, like the Sabbath in Heb. iv. 9, and the Passover in 1 Cor. v. 7, 8. In the feast of tabernacles, just as in the other two great festivals, not only were the blessings of God in history commemorated, but also the blessings of God in nature. It was a feast of thanksgiving for the completion of the harvest. It is possible that the prophet may also have this view of the festival in his mind, and may regard the feast of tabernacles as a feast of thanksgiving for the rich gifts of mercy, bestowed upon the new citizens of the kingdom of God. A New Testament feast of tabernacles is also met with in the Book of Revelation (see my commentary on chap. vii. 9); but it is one which is to be celebrated in heaven by those who have ended their dangerous pilgrimage of suffering and temptation through the desert of life, and have safely reached the heavenly Canaan, the place of their repose.--The expression "all that is left," &c., calls to mind a point of agreement between the type and the antitype. Just as it was not all that came out of Egypt who entered Canaan and celebrated the feast of tabernacles, but on the contrary the greater portion had been destroyed by the judgments of God during the march through the wilderness; so the heathen, who formerly marched against Jerusalem, will not all go thither in gratitude and love, but only the remnant, which has been spared by the mercy of God, after the obstinate despisers of His name have been destroyed by the judgments depicted before. [Christology of the Old Testament, II.1176, 1177. MacDonald Publishing Company, McLean, Virginia 22101. ND.]
Also upon the tenth day, the day of atonement, was a special trumpet blast, but that blast of the trumpet was only every fiftieth year, Lev 25:9, 10. At that time, it proclaimed liberty throughout all the land unto all the inhabitants thereof. The jubliee: It returned every man to his possession; it returned all lands to their rightful owners; it reminded the people that the earth was the Lord's, and the fullness thereof, and He gives it to whomsoever He pleases; it proclaimed rest throughout the land/rest for the land and rest for the people; it was the day of atonement, proclaiming personal freedom and liberty from sin; the fiftieth year anniversary spoke of physical freedom and liberty from debt and bondage.
The sounding of the trumpets on the day of JUBLIEE announced freedom and liberty: It was the day of atonement and freedom-spiritual and physical freedom. The sounding of the trumpets loudly proclaimed that freedom and liberty cannot be separated from the law of God and the altar and sacrifice.
First, the trumpet sound throughout Scripture must be heard with the ears of its first sounding just before the giving of the law as it announced good things to come, and then just after the law as if to announce the good things to come, i.e., provision of atonement-the altar and sacrifice. The Lord Himself is the One Who sounded that first trumpet: His purpose was to show that He was not a dead god, figment of someone's (Moses') imagination; it was to cause His people to fear Him (the thrice holy Lord God) enough to keep the law He gave them at the mount; and it was to cause them to realize they were unclean, needing a means of atonement, Gal 3:24.
Hence, every sounding of the trumpet from the mount on is with the law of God in mind, and the Law followed with the altar and sacrifice, for the two cannot be separated: going to battle? it must be in terms of the law [Deut 28, 29] and redemptive sacrifice of Christ as they assure of victory; moving ahead? it must be in terms of the law and redemptive sacrifice of Christ; freedom and liberty, the jubilee? it must be in terms of the law and the redemptive sacrifice of Christ; the final trumpet when all the dead shall rise and stand before the Lord? it will be in terms of the law and the redemptive sacrifice of Christ; judgement? it will be in terms of the law and the redemptive sacrifice of Christ:
Rom 14:11, 12 For it is written, As I live, saith the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess to God. So then every one of us shall give account of himself to God.
Only the Lord knows how the "accounting" to Him will be carried out, and we will not know until that day. We are assured, however, that our righteousness permitting us to stand before Him as one of His children is by faith, not by the works of the law, Exo 20:24-26, Eph 3. See also, Rom 2:6, 7; 2 Cor 5:10; Gal 6:7; Eph 6:8; Col 3:25, Rev 22:12.
Second, sound of the trumpet sounded forth the good things to come to the nations, the Gospel of Grace:
Heb 12:25, 26 See that ye refuse not him that speaketh. For if they escaped not who refused him that spake on earth, much more shall not we escape, if we turn away from him that speaketh from heaven: Whose voice then shook the earth: but now he hath promised, saying, Yet once more I shake not the earth only, but also heaven.
The sounding of the trumpet declares both the sufferings and the glory of the Saviour both the day of atonement and the feast of tabernacles. [Bonar]
Third, the commands through Moses, and latter Joshua, to sound the trumpet looked forward to good things to come, even victory over the enemy as the people followed the Captain of the Lord's army into battle. One will find that the trumpet sounding in defeat, e.g., 2 Sam 20:22, was when the people were in apostasy.
Fourth, the opening of a New Year should not dwell on past defeats nor even on past victories; rather, it should look forward on the future blessings of God and victories over the enemies as God's people follow the Captain of the Lord's hosts as He commands them through His Word. Obviously, the enemies of God hold great terror for God's people who have denied the validity of His command-word.
God's command to sound the trumpet throughout Scripture is a sound of victory, of good things to come. Is not the trumpet sounds heralding the judgment of the wicked a good thing to come?
Christians are a people of hope, not of defeat, for the enemy was defeated at Calvary.
One of the most devastating of the modern false prophets first appeared outside the church in Vienna, viz., Freud with his psychoanalysis. Because Freud's message offered personal salvation apart from repentance over individual sin and faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, it was joyously and readily accepted and his theories further developed by fallen man.
Freud's plan of salvation was too appealing to fallen man for it to remain outside the "church." In Freud's message of salvation without repentance and faith in Christ, the modern Freudian "Christians" teachers discovered an endless fountain of funds, and multitudes of faithful followers who will blindly follow to their own destruction. The funds flow, enabling them to develop, expand and promote salvation apart from repentance, "faith and prayer." The sinner loves the message of no repentance; therefore, he will support it with his time, zeal, effort and finances.
It is interesting that the world can see through the smoke and mirrors, the false promises, i.e, wells and clouds without water, 2 Pet 2:17, Jude 1:12, of psychoquackery/psychiatry, psychology far better than the average "Christian." Though allowing few issues to pass without attacking Christianity in some way, US News & World Report presented a revealing article, pointing out that "The language of therapy saturates American culture..." The article, "Does Psychotherapy Work?", pointed out some serious evils of psychotherapy:
Long before Oprah Winfrey turned the disgorging of emotional trauma into public entertainment, before Bill Clinton hugged Al Gore, before John Bradshaw discovered his 'inner child' and Woody Allen stretched out his legs on the analytic couch, something profound began to shift in the way Americans viewed their lives. Sociologist Philip Rieff, in a blistering 1966 critique, termed it the "triumph of the therapeutic," the growing embrace of the notion that personal salvation was to be found not through faith and prayer but through the avid application of self- analysis and psychological insight... [USN&WR, May 24, 1993. Emp added.]
In 1993, few psychotherapy virgins remain. You may not have been in therapy, but you cannot escape its language, or at least the syrupy, watered-down version spoken by Winfrey, Bradshaw and other high priests of psychobabble. With November's election, the mantle of power now rests on a generation for whom getting in touch with feelings [e.g., Promise Keepers!, ed.] comes as naturally as an afternoon playing the back nine did for an earlier cohort. And to some extent, this diffusion of "therapy speak" has increased approval for the idea of therapy: In a recent U.S. News poll, for example, 81 percent of respondents agreed that going to a therapist for personal problems would be helpful "sometimes" or "all the time..."
Subtle Betrayals. ...therapists who leave phone calls unreturned in a crisis, spend more time talking about themselves than listening to clients, violate confidentiality, engage in outright bullying, foster an unhealthy dependency or simply have so many problems of their own that they end up making people worse, not better...
The practice of psychotherapy rests on the premise that looking inward has value, that the source of much unhappiness and "dysfunction" can be traced to the subjective world of emotions, thoughts, perceptions and judgments. The idea of the "interior self" is so deeply wedged into American consciousness that most people are scarcely aware of it. [It has saturated American Christian Culture - Ed.]
Yet there are those who, as Philip Rieff did 30 years ago, warn of the hazards of gazing perpetually within. The flip side of self-awareness, they caution, is self-absorption, narcissism and the tendency to interpret everything in individual terms. In their 1985 volume "Habits of the heart," Berkeley sociologist Robert Bellah and his colleagues correlate the spread of the psychotherapeutic ethic with the erosion of traditional values, arguing that it "posits an individual who is able to be the source of his own standards" and "denies all forms of obligation and commitment in relationships..."
... Where contemporary culture reads into the message of psychotherapy the injunction to "feel good and be happy," the founder of psychoanalysis [Freud, ed] used the word "happiness" in a more classical sense, closer to the Aristotelian concept of "living a moral life..."
Sandwiched under the heading, HOW DOES THERAPY WORK? is this revealing statement by Hans Strupp, Vanderbilt University Psychologist:
"Psychotherapy is the systematic use of a human relationship for therapeutic purposes."
Accordingly, that "human relationship" may even be 'Biblical,' but the problem is clearly stated: "human relationship[s]" are used "for therapeutic purposes" instead of using the Word of God to deal with problems! James Dobson is one of the more popular "Christian" speakers who has done a marvelous job replacing God's Word with "human relationships:" "I am not a theologian," he readily admits. Thus he is totally unqualified to help people with their inter, inner personal relationships. See Deut 13 for God's Word concerning those who use "human relationship[s]" over God's Word.
Thus modern paganism [Pagan Psychology/Psychotherapy]:
1) is easily recognized by its emphasis on
self-analysis (this is an experience you can learn from) rather
than repentance, faith and conversion as the answer for man's
2) is defined as the systematic use of human relationships and experiences to see one through the situations of life.
3) emphasizes searching the inner self and the emotions rather than searching the word of God.
4) establishes man, not God's inspired Word, as the standard for life and action: The "counsellor's" standards may be Biblical, but rather than pointing the individual directly to the Bible, pagan psychology points the individual to another individual, i.e., human experience. Certainly, Paul said to follow him as he followed Christ, but he was an inspired author and apostle. Did the Spirit speak in vain His words concerning comparing self with self or with others?
2 Co 10:12 For we dare not make ourselves of the number, or compare ourselves with some that commend themselves: but they measuring themselves by themselves, and comparing themselves among themselves, are not wise.
5) has a message of "feel good about yourself" and "be happy." Thus it gets one in touch with his "inner feelings." But the feel good and be happy message is strictly in a secular' "without God" context. The Christian is to be happy and feel good in the terms of forgiveness of sin, grace and faith in Christ Jesus, 1 Tim 1:14.
While on the subject of Freud, let me mention another point:
The battle over the nature of the memory has its origins in Freud, who was the first to propose that painful or dangerous memories are "repressed," buried beyond reach in the unconscious. The goal of psychoanalysis, as Freud conceived it, was to bring repressed material into consciousness where it could be disarmed..." [U.S. News & World Report, 12/29/93]
In other words, the idea that memories must be dug up' and dealt with was part of Freud's war against Christianity. The Word of God is clear: confess sin, make restitution where necessary and leave it at the cross, Ph 3:13, &c.-only then can we press on to be like Christ.
Judge for yourself the roots of modern "Christian Psychology and Counseling:" [Point 11 is from Humanist Manifesto I (1933, signed by, among many others, John Dewey, who has been called "The Father of Progressive Education," and 3, 4 & 5 are from the Humanist Manifesto II (1973, signed by, among many others, B.F. Skinner)].
Eleventh: Man will learn to face the
crises of life in terms of his knowledge of their naturalness and
probability. Reasonable and manly attitudes will be fostered by
education and supported by custom...
Third: We affirm that moral values derive their source from human experience...
Fourth: Reason and intelligence are the most effective instruments that humankind possesses. There is no substitute: neither faith nor passion suffices in itself. The controlled use of scientific methods ( which have transformed the natural and social sciences since the Renaissance) must be extended further in the solution of human problems. But reason must be tempered by humility- since no group has a monopoly of wisdom or virtue. Nor is there any guarantee that all problems can be solved or all questions answered. Yet critical intelligence (infused by a sense of human caring) is the best method that humanity has for resolving problems. Reason should be balanced with compassion and empathy and the whole person fulfilled. Thus, we are not advocating the use of scientific intelligence independent of or in opposition to emotion, for we believe in the cultivation of feeling and love...
Fifth: The preciousness and dignity of the individual person is a central humanist value. Individuals should be encouraged to realize their own creative talents and desires...
Observe these basic premises of secular humanism:
1) Man will learn to face the crises of life in terms of his knowledge of the naturalness and probability of those crises... In other words, others have faced similar experiences; therefore, if you will listen to those people, you will also learn how to face the experiences. [Psychotherapy is the systematic use of a human relationship for therapeutic purposes."]
"What's the problem with that?" one might ask. "Are we not to encourage one another in our difficulties?" Certainly there is a place for "sharing" experiences, but the Christian's instruction in right living in any given circumstance must come from God's inspired Word, not from other's experiences, 2 Tim 3:16. The Christian's warfare must be fought according to the prophecies which went on before him, i.e., the inspired Word of God, not according to the experiences of other people which went before him, 1 Tim 1:18, 19.
2) Reasonable and manly attitudes will be fostered by education and supported by custom... In other words, manliness is the ability to follow one's education and custom in dealing with situations at hand. It goes without saying that the education referred to is strictly secular.
3) Moral values come from human experiences... In other words, this is what has worked best in past "experiences." Thus when dealing with a particular "experience," false teachers, under the color of "Christianity," exalt human experience: They offer someone who has faced a similar situation as an authority on that type of situations. That someone may even bring God's Word into the situation, but the emphasis will be on personal experience in similar circumstances rather than on God's inspired Word. See Ps 119.
Thus moral values are established based upon what worked for the experiences of that "someone."
4) Human experience and reason will see us through, yet with reason must be cultivated feeling and love... In other words, along with the human experience must be "feeling and love." Because "feeling and love" is promoted by the false teachers, e.g., God is love-love everyone, their heretical, antichrist messages/counsel/will be accepted as "Christian."
5) Individuals should be encouraged to realize their own creative talents and desires... In other words, people are to be encouraged to pursue their own heart's desire, not God's desire for them as revealed in His inspired Word. They are to esteem self higher than others, so they can excel in pursuing their hearts' desire.
The most dangerous false prophets are found within the church; they are wolves in sheep's clothing. Their message destroys the very basic premise of Christianity, viz., all men are fallen sinners, and man's only hope is repentance, turning from sin and faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. The wolves exalt human experience to encourage a listener to "hold on" in his situation and to solve man's ills. The human experience emphasized may be in a "Christian" context, but the false prophet fails to emphasize the word of God. Thus he is secular humanist to the core.
This pastor finds it amazing that multitudes of professed Christians will flock to those exalting human experiences over God's inspired Word; they invest great amounts of God's money to promote humanism under the color of Christian counsel. They thus pay for the destruction of their own society: They pay the arsonists to burn down their houses, and the wolves to devour their own children given to them by the Lord.
Americans, especially Christians, must return to viewing their lives through the light of the inspired Word of God.
"More than 16 million Americans seek mental health treatment each year..." [U.S. News & World Report, May 24, 1993.]
What is the problem? Why are so many, even "Christians," willing to invest vast amounts of time and money in a false hope, psychotherapy: clouds and wells that appear to the natural man to give relief from the hunger and thirst, but leave the victims on their way to self-destruction? Why do folks flock after the foolish wisdom of this world when they have the wisdom of God at their fingertips, 1 Cor 3:19, Col 2:3?
The Lord God exposes the problem: SIN! The natural man does not like the Word of God and His definition of sin; he does not like to be confronted with personal responsibility for his actions- he wants an explanation other than that he is a sinner for why he acts as he does; he does not like to be bound by God's standard alone. The natural man will not only listen, but seek after and pay for advice from his fellow fallen creatures, yet he resists God.
God identifies sin, and requires personal responsibility for the heart, attitudes and emotions, hating even spot of sin [2 Cor 5:17, Jude 1:23]; God uses the preaching/teaching and study of His Word, prayer, obedience and fellowship with other believers to change the inner man, solving man's problems, Titus 1:3, 2 Tim 3:16, 17, James 1:5, John 7:17, Heb 10:25. Those who ignore sin, including psychologists, and cover it over will not prosper; rather, they will fall into great mischief, Pro 28:13, 14.
On the other hand, them that perish consider the preaching of the cross unimportant in solving man's problems, i.e., psychologists who use human relationships for therapeutic purposes [ibid] rather than God's Word, 1 Cor 1:18; perishing psychologists permit placing the blame for one's problems elsewhere; they encourage loving one's self, i.e., self-exaltation and self-esteem contrary to Ph 2:3, and they encourage mystical, inner feelings over God's Word, Rom 15:4-13, Col 2:1-9. The natural man loves to hear anything except that he is a personally responsible sinner before God and that all his righteousness is as filthy rags, Isa 64:6. Thus those who use human relationships for therapeutic purposes rather than God's Word that exposes man for what he is are greatly revered, loved, financed and defended by fallen man.
Sin is the transgression of the law as given to Moses by the great I AM, Exo 3:14/Jn 8:58, 1 Jn 3:4. As society, particularly "Christian society," denies the validity of the law as the only standard for all life, thought and action, the results of covering over sin must develop: mental illness, panic attacks, clinical/manic depression, terms loved by the ungodly, for they release men from his personal responsibility for sin.
However, the Lord clearly exposes the root of man's problems, seven abominations in his hearth, Pro 26:23-26. Though the abominations controlling the heart are hidden deep inside by the sinner, maybe even unintentionally, and covered over with smooth, enticing words and actions, they must reveal themselves, for what is in the heart will come out: They appear as mental illness, panic attacks and clinical/manic depression. As the one time Biblical Christianity that defined sin as the violation of God's law and required personal responsibility for one's actions emotions and attitudes according to that law, fades from society to be replaced by psychotherapy, these "illnesses" proliferate, for his wickedness shall be shewed before the whole congregation.
Many times this pastor has visited people only to hear bitterness and hatred pour from their mouths, bitterness against someone who abused them in one way or another; in their hearts, they feel that their bitterness is justified. Certainly, we must agree that the abuse was probably ungodly, but nothing that can happen in one's life justifies harboring anger, malice, bitterness and hatred, Eph 4:26, 27, 31, Col 3:8, James 3:14ff.; if these evils of the heart are not dealt with properly as sin before God, they will be meditated upon, and they will come out in the form of violent, abusive actions/words [e.g., take a gun on the job and kill the co-workers who caused the bitterness, &c.], in the form of depression and/or in the form of panic attacks/dry mouths, heart speeds up, &c., Ps 32 & 38.
The Lord will not permit sin to remain in the heart no matter how hard the counselor or sinner might try to ignore it and pass it off onto someone or something else, Ps 32:3, 51:3ff. God holds man personally responsible for his sins, whether open or hidden in the depths of the heart, and He will give every man according to his ways, and according to the fruit of his doings, Jer 17:9, 10, Gal 6:7ff.
James 1:8 & 22, tell us that those who cover over their heart's problems are unstable and deceived. Rom 1:21-27 tells us that ungodly activity, including sodomy and mental illness, is the result of refusing to glorify God as God, starting with the meditations of the heart, Ps 19:14, Php 4:8.
Gen 3:9-13, after the first sin, the Lord asked Adam, What hast thou done. Rather than answer the Lord God, Adam, as a good psychologist, sought to explain away his sin, but the Lord refused to permit such a thing: The Lord God held Adam personally responsible for his sin. On the other hand, Eli asked his wicked sons, Why do ye do such things? 1 Sam 2:23. But it was not Eli's responsibility, nor is it any person's responsibility, to find out why the boys did as they did. The Lord has already said why they did the evil: They were wicked sinners, 1 Sam 3:13. Therefore, sin must be confronted, and sinners must not have the slightest hope of explaining away and avoiding responsibility. God did not permit Adam to hid nor explain away his sin, nor can man be permitted to hide from the Word of God concerning his condition; he cannot hide from God behind mental illness, panic attacks nor behind clinic/manic depression: He must confront the state of his heart from a Biblical perspective.
Cain had a problem: He was experiencing terrible clinical/manic depression. Gen 4:3-7, tells us that when God rejected Cain's offering, Cain became a "clinical/manic depressed" individual. After questioning him, the Lord told Cain that if he would take responsibility for his wrong actions and do right according God's revelation in the sacrifice, the depression would be gone. Rather than take his responsibility, Cain meditated on how bad things were for him, how God was against him and how much more the Lord loved his brother, who made the proper sacrifice, than himself, and the depression got the best of him: He took action, and killed the one he blamed for his depression. Cain's problem, therefore, is clearly defined by the Word of the Lord not as an emotional problem, but as a sin problem; it was a behavioral problem. The Lord told him that if he would take care of the sin problem and change his behaviour, his emotional problem (his depression, anger and bitterness) would be solved. But Cain rejected God's standard; he was unwilling to face the facts of God's Word, and thereby change his actions that brought about his depression. Can you imagine what it was like to live in his depression for many hundreds of years? See also Ps 42.
Developing for the Church the implications of the curses and blessings of Deut 28 & 29, when he quoted Ps 34:12-14, Peter tells us that the good conscience, that is, peace with God and man, comes from proper actions according to God's Word, 1 Pet 3:10-12. Depression is a warning from God that something is wrong between man and Himself, Eph 2:10, when we do not think God's thoughts nor do God's works, problems, i.e., mental illness, depression & panic attacks, are at hand. Paul also carries forward to the church the Deut 28 warnings, i.e., vexation, madness, astonishment of heart, &c., v. 28, that the "mental illnesses" of the pagans will overtake the child of God who refuses to confront and deal with sin, starting with the meditations of the heart, Eph 4:17-19.
James assumes that illness is the result of unconfessed sin needing to be made right between the ill person and another, 5:14ff. Geneva points out that oil was a sign of supernatural healing, which is no longer with us. Some also hold that the oil here was the medical care of the day; thus using the word oil, James said to use godly medicine along with prayer. Still others say oil represents the Spirit, so simply prayer and the Spirit, symbolized by the oil, is sufficient to heal. The best understanding of oil seems to be godly medical care as the Good Samaritan used oil to help heal the man he found along the road, Luke 10:34.
Cain would love modern healing meetings and the modern practice of medicine because they would have released him from personal responsibility for his sin, from his mental illness and from his clinical/manic depression.
Gen 1:26-28, man was made to have dominion over his surroundings rather than his surroundings having dominion over him and making him depressed and mentally ill. Sin, however, permitted man's surroundings to have dominion over him, but the problem is corrected in Christ, Heb 2:1-8.
2 Tim 2:26 and 1 Pet 5:8, 9, tell us that one of the best means the devil has for taking captives is the pride of man. Thus those who refuse to honestly admit that they have problems are fair game for the enemy: He can do with them as he pleases, and it is not pleasant. Therefore, we must minimize sin, e.g., "I resent my mother because of what she did to me." If we permit the idea to dwell in our minds or if we agree with others in the slightest as they flee to such excuses, we have minimized sin, justified sin. Those who justify sin will be destroyed, Eph 4:29, Heb 12:15.
Nor can we minimize the results of sin, e.g, "It's the government's fault we are in the mess we are in today." No, it is the sinner's fault, and until folks are willing to take personal responsibility, matters will only deteriorate.
Those of us who are pastors have encountered some hardened "Christian" sinners: Those who have unresolved and unconfessed sins are easily recognized, for they are easily offended. They many times consider messages personal attacks, and seek other churches that will not "attack" them. Then if they cannot find a church that will leave them comfortable in their sins, they may start Home Churches. Obviously, we are not even implying that even a majority of Home Churches are for this reason, but I am sure pastors can readily identify some such Home Churches.
Those who listen to Short Wave radio can readily find speakers who lay America's ills on "conspiracies" to undermine the Constitution, and they present the glorious "magic bullets" to solve those ills by returning to the "Organic Document" - if you will only send the money. They, however, fail to tell us that the writers of the "Organic Document" made it clear that the document was written for a Christian Nation, and it will not work otherwise.
In other words, until Christians in particular, and society in general, quit fleeing to counseling- "the systematic use of human relationship for therapeutic purposes" - and antichrist medicine to "heal" mental illness, panic attacks and/or clinical/manic depression, and until they accept responsibility for sin, the Lord Himself will see to it that nothing works: He is their enemy, Isa 63:10, Jer 18:17.
Responsibility is the ability to respond as God says man should respond to every life situation, in spite of difficulties. It is the ability to do good to those who despitefully use you. It is the ability to feed one's enemy when he is hungry. It is the ability go give him a drink if he is thirsty. It is the ability to overcome evil with good (compare Romans 12:9-21 and also Matthew 5:43-48). Responsibility is respond- ability: the God-given ability to respond to any situation in life in accordance with his commandments. It is the ability to respond biblically to whatever God or man does or says. It is the ability, as Romans 15:1-3 says, to bear the weaknesses of those without strength and not just please ourselves. It is the ability to please one's neighbor for his good to his edification. It is the ability to emulated Christ who did not please himself. but, as it is written, the reproaches of those who reproached thee fell upon me." [Competent to Counsel, Baker Book House, Jay E Adams, 83, 1970. This writer would urge every pastor to obtain and read this book.]
Every person is responsible to God in terms of His revealed will, His Word. The Lord expects nothing of His people that He has not equipped them for:
1 Cor 10:13 There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.
Rom 8:35-39 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter. Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us. For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Sad to say, it seems that "Christian Psychologists" ["Pastoral Psychology!"] are determined to separate Christians from the love of God that is available to all who will confront their personal responsibility for sin, confess sin and get into the proper relationship with their fellow man and with God according to His total Word. The "fund raisers" offer an answer, "the systematic use of human relationship for therapeutic purposes," apart from personal responsibility, and God's people love it:
Jer 5:29-31 Shall I not visit for these things? saith the LORD: shall not my soul be avenged on such a nation as this? A wonderful and horrible thing is committed in the land; The prophets prophesy falsely, and the priests bear rule by their means; and my people love to have it so: and what will ye do in the end thereof?
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