The Biblical Examiner 
An Examination of Biblical Precepts Involved in Issues at Hand 
 February 1999 (Abbreviated, condensed.)

In this issue:

1) Current Events

2) Elections '98.

3) The Burning, Hosea Chapter Seven

4) Be Sure Brain is Engaged

5) Y2K, Glitch or Judgment?

6) Y2K, is it real?

7) To Prepare or Not to Prepare

8) Review of AGES Software

9) Corrections/Comments

10) The Blood

11) Israel Restored

12) Greater Ministries International, "Dimes are being lost, big time."

13) Love the Sinner, Hate the Sin

14) Online Bible, v. 8


I am sorry about this abbreviated Examiner. I lost about four weeks this winter for weather and other reasons, and one week for back problems. In addition, since the last mailing, I have had to spend a good amount of time editing "The Death of Victory." Moreover, the time required to lay out, print and hand collate a 24-32 page mailing has become beyond the reach of this one-man operation. So for now, we will decrease the size of the mailings, though certainly not for a lack of material. However, we plan to place the excess material on the Web as I get it together.

At a latter date, Lord willing, we will publish larger issues.

Though I like to leave a lot of supporting research documentation (quotes) in the articles, it has been removed for space's sake. The supporting research and documentation will be left in the Web edition. If you do not have the hard copies of the reference material (e.g., Josephus), check our web site.


If you have access to dependable e-mail, let me know. WE WILL E-MAIL THE BIBLICAL EXAMINER to you. It is, obviously, much simpler. Be sure to notify of your change of e-mail address.


I wish to thank those who support the Lord's work here --- the gifts have kept up with the postage (counting foreign postage, it runs over $400 per mailing, even with bar codes; we do not use "non-profit"). Nevertheless, finances are not sufficient to have the Examiner done commercially. (Admittedly, it would be nice to just send the layout to a printer, and not worry about it again.)

Pray for us.

1) Current Events

But by the time you get this, they will be "Past Events."

Politics and Religious should be off limits for discussion, for no matter which side one takes, it will offend others. And folks think that good Christians do not mix Politics with Religion. I guess I am not a "good Christian." However, we can discuss the weather, though we can do nothing about it.

Politics and Religion

As is every problem, the political problems we have from the top (president) to the bottom (local town board) is a spiritual problem. Men (and women) have been placed in authority who hate the truth and love covetousness. They do not fear God, for they do not hate pride, arrogancy and every evil way, including covetousness. (Exo. 18:21, Deut. 1, Pr. 8:13.)

Driving into Lafayette or into Indianapolis, one sees many new houses being built. These are not "cheap" houses --- they are $100,000 up, which is quite expensive for our area. (I realize that in CA, $100,000 does not get much; it does here.) Every time I see those houses, I ask myself or whoever might be with me, "Where is all the money coming from?" I graduated in 1959, so my first jobs after the military were in the '60s. They have been called "the go go 60s." The wages were high, and a new car, loaded out, was $5,000 (1998=$25,888). A top of the line Corvett was under $10,000 (1998=$51,777), and a new VW was $1,500 ($1988=$8265, equal striped down small car). The average wage has dropped dramatically since, while the price of cars (and housing) has risen just as dramatically. (I used cars, because that was my primary interest in the '60s. Values are according to the calculator at

We know that the "value" has not increased; rather, the federal government has inflated the monetary supply with fiat money, i.e., worthless money created by an act of men, stroke of a pen. With fiat money, wicked leaders have purchased people's votes. Inflation is theft by the civil government. Thus people seek after the most wicked of leaders, leaders who promise the most, and those promises can only be fulfilled with fiat money. If taxes went up at the rate "social programs" go up, there would be a revolt. Wickedness in leadership will grow according to the growth of covetousness in those under leadership. That fact cannot be changed. (1 Sam. 8.)

In our local past election for County Commissioner, the incumbent was a good man who was accomplishing proper things. However, a challenger (a Democrat who switched to Republican so he could run on the Republican ticket, and the party backed him --- Republicans will gladly run a Democrat if the Republican candidate will not go along with the "program") promised everything to everyone, in typical liberal style. His wife inherited a great sum of money, so he had the money to buy far more exposure than did the incumbent Republican. The good things (non social programs) he promised were already being done by the incumbent, but the people ignored that, voting for the one with the most recognized name and with the most promises. They gladly accepted promises over reality.

Closer to home is the religious authority. Those watching have observed some surprising things. Religious leaders base decisions on money rather than on God's word. Moreover, Christians follow religious leaders because of their personalities, not because they are Scriptural according to 1 Timothy 3:1-7 (Titus 1:6-9). The same people who will follow unscriptural religious leaders will complain against civil leaders who fail to have good public reputations.

Should those in religious and civil authority who reject the truth and love covetousness be confronted by name with their sins and removed from office by proper means? Yes! (See 1 Kgs. 21, Mt. 14:3, 1 Tim. 5:20.)

Will the lying, covetous civil authorities be removed, even when they are grossly immoral? No! They will not be removed any more than will unscriptural religious be removed.

Why will they not be removed? This question is answered in "The Overheated Oven."

Nevertheless, as we must live under evil civil authorities and be identified with unscriptural religious leaders, we are confident that God is keeping score, and all who reject truth and love covetousness will be held accountable. (1 Kgs. 21:21.)


Storm winds

A short word, which will be developed into a mailing later.

Our area of the country has seen some unusually strong winds, particularly from the East, as well as some wild temperature fluctuation (e.g., 250 and snow one day and 57o the next.) "Everyone talks about the weather, but no one does anything about it." Though this saying has been around for some time, the word of God says a lot about the weather, and the Lord does something about it.

The weather can easily be traced in the word of God.The Lord tells the snow and rain where to fall; he tells the lightings of the thunder where to appear; and he tells the whirlwind where to whirl. (Job 38, Isa. 25:23, Nahum 1:3.) But even more to the point is the fact that the result of vain religion is literal storm-winds. (Hosea 8:7, whirlwind, or storm wind, TWOT, 1478b. Online Bible.) God's people are controlled by many things other than God's word. (Deut. 28:15ff.) Thus "spiritual" sowing (empty religion) reaps literal storm-winds.

We cannot overlook the fact that God spoke to Job out of a whirlwind. (38:1, 40:6.) The message to Job was that the Lord is in control... Don't forget Nahum 1:3 --- The LORD is slow to anger, and great in power, and will not at all acquit the wicked: the LORD hath his way in the whirlwind [05492] and in the storm, and the clouds are the dust of his feet. There are some interesting passages identified with word search, 05492. (Strongs' # in the OT start with "0" in Online Bible.)


Driving home the other day, I heard some people complaining about their insurance companies not covering the problem they were having conceiving children. The answer to the problem of not having children is clearly defined by the Lord as a religious/moral problem, as are all problems:

It is clear that birth and conception are controlled by God who opens (Gen 29:31) or closes (Gen 20:18) the womb at will (cf. Num 8:16 where "firstborn'' is the one who opens the womb). Consequently, birth is not merely a product of natural law, but a blessing from God (Gen 49:25). The rebellious sinner, however, bears no children ("the womb shall forget him," Job 24:20) or is to be cursed with a miscarrying womb (Hos 9:14). Israel is to confess that having and keeping children is God's doing. They do this by setting apart all the firstborn (human or beast) to God. God is a covenant God who requires a "covering" or "atonement" (see kipper), a blood sacrifice. Because of the blood, God passed over the firstborn of believers" in Egypt. Hence all firstborn of those under the covenant belong to God and are to be sacrificed to him. He does direct, however, that children (and unclean animals) are to be redeemed (Num 18:15). He claims the Levites in their place (Num 3:12). Israel's idolaters recognized God's claim on their firstborn children but wrongly sacrificed them to him (Ezk 20:26). (TWOT, 842.)

The loss of Christianity results in a low national birth rate. The wrong use of science and medicine is to try to counter the results of sin with no intention of repenting over and turning from sin.

2) Elections '98.

Though this is late, I should address the past elections.

There has been some discussion about the results of the last election. The general consensus seems to be that the Moral Conservatives lost, and lost in a big way. (Note new political terms emerging, e.g., Moral and Fiscal Conservatives.) The Speaker of the House resigned over the results, not only from his post as Speaker, but from the House itself. One commentator hinted that the reason he resigned was that he would be unable to play "second fiddle" to a new Speaker.

A Biblical Worldview

The Republicans sought to make morality an issue in the '98 elections. As Christians, we know that morality is a major issue: First, if a man does not have a good report among the people, he is disqualified to rule. And second, private matters do have public consequences, for the Lord rewards after the imagination of the heart. However, the average person (including Christians) seems to think that the Lord does not see private actions. That is, he does not reward according to "private" thoughts and actions --- people refuse to make "private" morality an issue, and the results are disastrous. (Cf. Ex. 18: 21, Ps. 10, Rom. 2:5, &c.) Note that David said that his "private" sin was against the Lord only. The Lord rewarded him openly for his "private" evil. (Ps. 51:4.)

In a Dateline (11/5/98) article about "Cyper-Stripping," the first woman to start the "business" and some of her strippers were interviewed. The woman pointed out that the number of her Internet "customers" has grown by 30% per month, as has her income. Comments were also made about the general explosive growth of Internet "adult only" photography sites, and the huge income generated from these sites. Reportedly, "X" rated videos now make up about 40% of the total movie income, and porn stars are so popular that they are appearing in non "X" rated films.

The clear lesson from the growth of the photography industry and from the election is that people do not care about what goes on in "private," for they do not want anyone holding them accountable for what they do in "private." (As my wife and I visit in our small community, we have often commented about how prevalent "shacking up" is. And the people involved seem to have no shame. We have also found it surprising how many of the fornicators claim to be "Christians." See Ez. 33:30ff.) The general public consensus is becoming more and more immoral, and an immoral population will not hold civil nor religious leaders to a higher standard. After all, a moral leader might enforce some moral laws that will hinder the pursuits of one's own lust, personal happiness, personal peace and prosperity. (Ja. 1:12ff.)

God promises that when his people lose their private and public Christianity, the wicked will be exalted. (Mt. 5:13ff.) In fact, when his people give themselves over to the same deceitful lusts that control the unsaved, they give place to the devil. (Eph. 4:17-32.) And we wonder why society is being run by the devil's crowd.

"Christian" leaders proclaim unoffensive messages of peace and prosperity in order to keep and increase their numbers, so they can make their huge building payments, we might add. (Jer. 23:16-40. Can any hide himself in a secret place that I shall not see him?) The messages can be designed ("Designer Churches") to attract the numbers, but the Lord tells us that he will recompense their ways upon their own heads. (Ez. 11:21.)

The result is that Christianity has lost its savour, and it is being trodden under foot of men. There are very little if any Biblically defined good works in society now causing others to glorify the Father which is in heaven.

The heart of the sons of men is full of evil, (Ecc. 9:3) and the "Adult" web sites and video markets prove it. What goes on in the "privacy" of the mind and homes is not private before the Lord, and he is simply fulfilling his promises by exalting leaders who are full of evil. Notice it was the

evil thing conceived in the heart that cost Ananias his life. (Acts 5:4.)

Leaders full of evil will not only remain in office, but will continue to be exalted by God until there is a genuine return (conversion) to Biblical Christianity. (Cf. Ps. 51:13, Mt. 13:15, Lk. 22:32, Acts. 28:27.) The next election will not see any improvement unless there is an improvement in the way people view the world; there must be a return to a distinctly Biblical Worldview among Christians if we expect to see moral men and women in places of public authority.

3) The Burning

Hosea Chapter Seven

(The following was put together before Clinton's trial, and before the 98 elections.)

Looking at the first half of this chapter, I must conclude that the wicked, immoral men (and women) in authority will remain in authority. In my opinion (and I pray that I am wrong), we will see a lot of smoke and dust from those responsible to hold the wicked accountable to the truth; however, the wicked will not be removed as required by simple honesty and integrity. And those who fail in that responsibility will be held accountable to "the people" very little, if at all.

Let us follow Hosea's argument.

In this chapter, as with the whole book, the Lord has a controversy with his people. He is not here rebuking nor preaching to the heathen, for they can be expected to act as heathen. He is speaking explicitly to his own people.

V. 1, he lays out his charge against them. The thief and troops of robbers. He tells us that his people are controlled by all kinds of wickedness, both secret (thief) and open (troop of robbers) sins. However, though their sins call for God's righteous judgment upon the people, his desire was to heal his people. He would have healed them, but the iniquity, wickedness, falsehood, theft, all prevented the healing.

V. 2, he says, "Why don't they understand that I know what goes on in secret." The context of the passage tells us that they kept up the outward show of the Christian religion, so they could give the proper religious impression. They know all the proper words and actions to give a Christian appearance. They attend all the proper church services, carrying their Bibles for all to see, maybe even the KJV. They have a problem, however, with connecting knowing with doing.

And they consider not in their hearts that God sees the truth of the matter, and will reward them openly for what is done in secret. They may even think that God does not care what goes on in private, refusing to acknowledge that God brings to pass the fruit of their thoughts. (Ecc. 10:20, Jer. 6:19, Ezek. 8:3-12, Hos. 4:6, 6:6, Mt. 6:4ff., 10:26, Lk. 12:2, 3.) The Lord knows the secrets of the heart. He knows what goes on in the bedroom, in private when no one else is watching. The public worship is not what impresses him. It is the private worship that gains his mercy and grace. He desires to show mercy, but he remembers their private motives, actions and gods which prevent his mercy; they reap as they sow. (Gal. 6.)

Evil Encouraged

V. 3, the king is glad when he hears of evil in his people, for he is evil. Civil authority finds pleasure in wickedness: right is no longer good; good is called bad, and bad is called good; good is punished, and evil is protected, even rewarded; God is no longer glorified and exalted as God; rather than civil authority being a terror to evil as required by God, it is a terror to good works.

Evil is exalted because the people enjoy evil. The law breaker is protected and the good man ignored. Professing love for the people, those in authority rejoice in iniquity rather than being grieved over it. (Isa. 10:1, 5:20, Rom. 1:21, 31, 32, 13:3. Maybe they "flatter the wicked king, Jeroboam, above God." Geneva.)

V. 4, He continues: They are all... "All" does not refer to the king and princes, but to the whole nation. (Keil.) Immoral, adulterous relationships are common place as the people burn out of control with lust. The general population is captive to the fallen lusts of the flesh. Rather than attempting to control the wickedness, those in authority are glad because it permits them to be wicked. In fact, wickedness is promoted in the population because it leaves the wicked in power.

An oven heated... The fiery passions of the nation burn like a baker's oven. Lust and lewdness burn out of control everywhere -- "entertainment," advertisement, recreation, &c., are all based in lust and lewdness. Why? Because they are all adulterers, as an oven heated by the baker... His own people no longer see anything wrong with lewdness, taking off their clothes in public, exposing their bodies and arousing sensual desires in others. Covetousness reigns.

The lust is burning as a fire and the civil authorities, rather than doing what it can to put out the fire, join with those who have the fire. While ungodliness and wickedness of all kinds burn in the hearts of the people, they keep up their outward show of piety. They proudly carry their Bibles to church so everyone can see them, yet their hearts burn.

Vv. 5-7. "Both king and princes are addicted to debauchery (ver. 5)." (Keil.) These "rulers" are to be the supreme guardians of the law; the offices of civil authority which they represent were established by God to control wickedness. But rather than controlling wickedness, they were consumed by it. (Pr. 6:27, 8:14ff., Ecc. 10:17, Rom. 13.) Unable to remain under control, the burning bursts forth, and consumes everyone, even the judges. The ones ordained by God --- kings, princes, judges, religious leaders --- to keep the burning corruption under control are, instead, devoured by the fire. Rather than trying to put out the fire, the "leaders" try to keep it hidden and behind closed doors. But God knows what lies behind their actions of "public piety."

They are all hot as an oven, and rather than society working to put out the devastating fire, it throws more fuel upon it. There is none among them that calleth unto me. Everyone is caught in the fire. The prophet warns them, but no one listens nor believes him.

They all say, "I keep up my formal worship, so God doesn't care how I act or dress on my own time." (6:6.) It is comparable to the work place --- at work, you belong body and soul to the company, and you are expected to be totally loyal to the cause. After work, the company does not care what you do. However, we as Christians are to be 'at work' at all times.

V. 7, a final comment on this section:

By their doing God has deprived them of all good rulers. (Geneva)
Ver. 7. They are all hot as an oven, &c.] Eager upon their idolatry, or burning in their unclean desires after other men's wives; or rather raging and furious, hot with anger and wrath against their rulers and governors, breathing out slaughter and death unto them:
and have devoured their judges; that stood in the way of their lusts, reproved them for them, and restrained them from them; or were on the side of the king they conspired against, and were determined to depose and slay:
all their kings have fallen; either into sin, the sin of idolatry particularly, as all from Jeroboam the first did, down to Hoshea the last; or they fell into calamities, or by the sword of one another, as did most of them; so Zachariah by Shallum, Shallum by Menahem, Pekahiah by Pekah, and Pekah by Hoshea; see 2Ki 15:1-38. So the Targum,
"all their kings are slain:"
[there is] none among them that calleth unto me; either among the kings, when their lives were in danger from conspirators; or none among the people, when their land was in distress, either by civil wars among themselves, or by a foreign enemy; such was their stupidity, and to such a height was irreligion come to among them! (Gill, Online Bible.)

1) God cares about our private lives as much as he does our public lives. The call of Hosea is for those called by his name to live in private what they profess in public. God is concerned about our Christian 'piety' at all times, in public worship and in private worship. He is concerned about consistency.

We cannot come this close without hitting the Internet. The most profitable sites on the web are the pornographic sites. To these sites, men and women burning with lust can browse in privacy. Yet at the proper times, they will be at the right place at the right time, Bible in hand, going to hear a "preacher" who will not disturb their comfort in sin.

2) Eager for the "freedom" to pursue their unclean desires after other men's wives or other women's husbands, they devoured their judges who stood in their way--that is, they acquired leaders who would not restrain their evil desires. One of the key doctrines of Scripture is that God gives leaders after the hearts of the people. (Jer. 5:31, 6:13, 19, &c.) One of the more interesting passages along this line is,

1 Behold, the LORD maketh the earth empty, and maketh it waste, and turneth it upside down, and scattereth abroad the inhabitants thereof. 2 And it shall be, as with the people, so with the priest; as with the servant, so with his master; as with the maid, so with her mistress; as with the buyer, so with the seller; as with the lender, so with the borrower; as with the taker of usury, so with the giver of usury to him. (Isa. 24:1, 2.)
The Lord tells us that the problem is at the bottom, not the top. Leaders are corrupt because the people are corrupt; masters are corrupt because servants are corrupt; sellers are corrupt because buyers are corrupt; bankers are corrupt because borrowers are corrupt. Furthermore,
And there shall be, like people, like priest: and I will punish them for their ways, and reward them their doings. (Hosea 4:9.)
The Lord raises up corrupt "leaders" in judgment for corruption in the people. (See also, Ecc. 12:14, Isa. 3:10, 9:14ff, Jer. 5:31, 8:10ff., Pr. 5:22, &c.) There are two terrible things that can happen to individuals or to a social order:

A) the Lord simply lets sin take its natural course -- that is, turn the people over to leaders who are controlled by the same fallen lusts as are the people.

B) the Lord fails to raise up godly people to pray. (Dan. 9:13. See Lev. 26.)

3) We see in this chapter that God's delight is not in judgment and vengeance against sin. His desire is to heal and to show mercy. (Micah 7:18.)

The people were sick to the death in sin. But the illness was not so bad that God could not heal them. (Jer. 46:11, 8:22.)

People can look everywhere for healing, but until they look to the Lord, there is no healing. People who perish in their sins can blame no one but themselves, for the Lord offers healing: I would have healed them. The people bared the door against the Lord.

Through the power of the gospel, we can have "like priest, like people." (Heb. 2:14-18.)

4) Our delight should be in "healing," not in judgment and vengeance. We should not delight or be glad when we see the results of one's sins come to pass.

What do we delight in? Mercy or judgment and vengeance? God delighteth in mercy not in judgment and vengeance. His delight is when people turn from sin and to him, so he can "shower" his mercy upon them. Sad to say, many times we delight in being antagonistic, anything but merciful. We rejoice when we see judgment or vengeance come upon others, saying, "They are getting what they deserve."


First, according to the word of God, the wicked in authority will urge the people to immorality, for it increases their own hold on power.

Second, spiritual adultery, turning from God, and physical adultery go together. A society's attitude toward God will be revealed in its attitude toward morality. A society's attitude toward God will be revealed in its leaders. In other words, folks can claim to be a Christian with a genuine love for God with their every breath, but if their attitude toward sin in general, morality in particular, is not God's attitude, then they are clearly enemies of God. The farther society turns from God, the more common will be immorality of all kinds, regardless of the Christian words.

Third, debauchery of all kinds in authority will not be changed until there is a genuine Christian conversion in attitude among the people. How many destroyed families am I personally familiar with because co-workers (even in close "religious" relationships) have burned with lust one for another?

Thus, I would be extremely, and pleasantly, surprised if the wicked have to leave office over their wickedness. At this point in history and from my experience in working with people, wicked civil authorities simply reflect the lust that burns in the heart of the average person. It is the Lord who leaves them where they are as a reproach upon a nation burning with lust.

4) Be Sure Brain is Engaged

[I well remember as a kid getting an all day sucker. It was a huge thing, and it had a card placed under the cellophane wrapper: "Be sure brain is engaged before putting mouth in gear." This simple phrase best describes the following.]

Having been actively involved in local church ministries since the mid 60s, this pastor has seen many people make vows to do something for the Lord or give something to him through the local church. The vast portion of those vows were never fulfilled; in fact, many of the "worshipers" spoke with their lips, and never made any apparent attempt to fulfill what they vowed with their money or with their time. Maybe the "worshipers" found out there was more involved than they originally considered; maybe the "worshipers" simply passed over the vow as unimportant. Regardless of the reason, the Lord considers very seriously "free-will" vows, including vows made when the emotions are high.

Though Leviticus 27:9-34 deals with animals, a timeless principle concerning free-will vows made when the emotions are high is established. I remember a man gave his used car (a late model Lincoln) to an associate pastor of the church where I was a staff member in Maryland. That would be quite similar to an Israelite giving an animal or a field to the Lord.

The theme of Leviticus 27:9-34 could be summed up in Psalms 15. The person "swore" to his own hurt. He freely made a vow, and latter realized he probably should not have done so. He could change his vow, but it would not be without cost. We are told very clearly that one must consider well what he promises, especially to the Lord, before he makes any commitment, for he cannot change his mind without it costing him.

Vv. 9-13

Beasts are given values. The animals were devoted to the Lord by their owners out of gratitude to the Lord--this was the only time an unclean, bad animal could be given to the Lord. At all other times, the animal had to be perfect. Thus a free-will offering does not necessarily have to be the very best. However, one would think that if the person is "in love with the Lord" enough to make this free-will offering, the person would desire that the offering be the best that he could do in whatever circumstances he found himself.

The vow could set apart for the Lord both clean and unclean animals. However, if the animal was a clean animal, it could not be sold by the priest: it had to be sacrificed to the Lord. If the owner, upon second thoughts, tried to substitute another clean animal for the one he vowed, then both became holy, and both had to be sacrificed. In other words, if the owner had a change of heart concerning the clean animal he vowed and sought to trade it out with another, then the Lord required both be given to Him (v. 10).

If the animal was not fit for sacrifice, it was sold, and the funds used for the Lord's house. Once the animal was given, it could not be exchanged good for bad, nor bad for good. And only the unclean animal could be bought back by the giver, and then he had to add a fifth part to its value as established by the priest (v. 13).

The priest could sell the unclean beast at market value to anyone interested, but not to the giver without the fifth part added--maybe the former owner realized the value of what he gave, and he gave to impress people. (See Ac. 5.) The 20% would keep him from giving it wrongly in the first place. Animals are specifically mentioned, so birds, wood, frankincense, vessels, etc., had no redemption as was permitted for animals.

The offerings were free-will offerings, and made under great emotional "pressure" of love and gratefulness to the Lord. The offerer gave the best he had when his emotions were high, and when the emotion wore off, the giver could not change his mind. Maybe he awoke out of his emotional height, realizing he gave something he did not intend to give.

The Lord would have us increase in gratitude, never decline; He would teach us to regret nothing that we give to God, but count it all joy. Nay, He teaches us that the more than ordinary excited feelings of our hearts at particular seasons are, after all, the most just and fit for the benefits rendered. Our highest feelings are never wrong in their intensity, when God is the object; it is our cooler and lower moods, our more calculating and grudging frames.1
Thus the Lord teaches us not to make rash promises to Him, and never to regret what we have given to him. However, if the man sleeps on it and his excited feelings turn to grief, i.e., a grudging feelings that seeks to keep the item, he can retain what he "gave." But there must be a fifth part added to its value, and the value is set by the priest.

Fifth Part

Fifth part is an interesting value. It was the value added to something when restitution had to be made. In Leviticus 6:1-7, the person swore falsely concerning an item, seeking to steal that value from his neighbor. When the truth was found out, the person had to make restitution of the value of the "stolen" item that he sought to keep with his false oath, plus a fifth part. A fifth part was always added to the value of anything stolen when the thief had to make restitution. (See also, Lev. 22:14; Num. 5:7.)

Thus the fifth part mentioned in Leviticus 27 implies that once the vow is made, the item belongs to God. Any attempt to keep that item is theft, and the only way that item can be kept is by making restitution with the added fifth part.

Vv. 14-21

This section covers personal property, house, land, etc. We see from our Lord's words in Mark 7:11, that this law was used to avoid one's responsibilities.

It was/is not uncommon for real property to be given to the Lord while one is living, or this law would not have been given. This law was given before the people came into the land. Thus the laws pertaining to real property apply to every possession as given to the Lord, except men and animals which were covered previously.

The Lord accomplished something very special for the individual, and his heart overflows with gratitude. Under this impulse of gratitude, he devotes his house or land to the Lord, to be used for the Lord's service. The real property could then be sold, and the funds used for the Lord's house and for the cause of the Lord.

V. 16, a piece of real property, a field, given to the Lord was valued according to the amount of seed required to sow it: If the field required an homer of barley seed to sow it, the field was valued at fifty shekels of silver. (An homer was about 225 lbs, so 50 shekels was probably the value of the field over the 50 year jubilee period. See Keil.) Thus the worshiper could easily see what his vow would cost. (We should keep in mind that there was no property tax on the land; therefore, there was no set expense against the land that had to be met. It is not uncommon even today with the terrible property taxes for people to dedicate a piece of land for use to raise money: A small, local town, Wingate, has a "sweet corn festival" every year. The corn is raised by a local farmer who dedicated a parcel of ground for that purpose. So it would not have been at all uncommon for a person to dedicate a field for use to help meet the expenses of the Lord's work in Canaan.)

In the case of people, vv. 2-9, and in the cases of land, vv. 16-25, the Lord God himself established the value, and that value was simply enforced by the priest. However, for beasts, the market established the value.

V. 17, in order to keep the reality of the field's value, so one could not make it seem greater than it really was, the priest confirmed the value in terms of the jubilee. If the emotions of the former owner cooled, he could repurchase the field if he added the fifth part to the value of the field, according to the jubilee, v. 19. Bonar observes:n

But, as in a former case, gratitude might cool, after the moment (ver. 19); and
hence permission is given to redeem the field under the penalty of paying
one-fifth, as in the trespass-offering, to shew that the person has sinned in thus retracting. His highest feelings were right; this abatement is sinful. Just as running the race at full speed is the proper state of one seeking the prize; anything that sinks below full speed is a fault (1 Cor. ix. 24).2
It is proper for the runner to run the race at full speed (high feelings of gratitude for the Lord's goodness, causing one to vow); anything less than full speed (less than the high feelings of gratitude that serves the Lord with everything one has) is a fault--sin.

V. 18, the fifty shekels was the value from one jubilee to the next. If the field was given between the jubilees, then the value was half of the 50 shekels. The field was valued at one shekel per year. The gift could not be undervalued, v. 18. The gift could be large, given just after the jubilee, or small, given just before the jubilee. To the Lord, the widow's mite is just as important as Solomon's gifts. He always values on the individual level, according to the talents hehas given each person.

V. 19, the price as established by the priest remained firm. The man who "sanctified" the field for holy use--repair and/or maintenance of the tabernacle, support of the Lord's work--could purchase, redeem, the field back for the assessed value plus a fifth part. Upon redemption, the field was again his as though he had never sanctified it.

Vv. 20, 21:

In case he did not redeem it, however, namely, before the commencement of the next year of jubilee, or sold it to another man, i.e. to a man not belonging to his family, he could no longer redeem it; but on its going out, i.e. becoming free in the year of jubilee (see chap. xxv. 28), it was to be holy to the Lord, like a field under the ban (see ver. 28), and to fall to the priests as their property.3

The field could be bought by another person or redeemed by the giver for the fifth part increase. But if it was not redeemed by the next jubilee, it went to the priest and not back to the original owner. (Lev. 27:28, Num. 18:14.)

Don't turn back

If left unredeemed, according to his vow, it shall be the Lord's for ever. If the unredeemed field was sold by the priest to another, the original possessor cannot at a future time claim any right to redeem it. He must not have liberty to reverse the acts and feelings of former years. What we do for the Lord must be done in the foresight of all the consequences; and it well befits us to give up anything of ours to the Lord for ever. Our dealings with God are dealings for eternity. There should be no temporising on our part in His matters. He gives "eternal redemption," "everlasting consolation."4
First, we cannot look back. (Phil. 3:13, 14.) One of the worse enemies we have in our Christian life is our memory. Until that enemy is conquered, it will try to get us to look back and second guess past decisions; it will try to get us to concentrate on our past failures, or even on our past successes. It must be conquered if we will move ahead for the Lord.

Future Oriented

Second, every decision must be made with the future in mind. Every aspect of the future effects of a decision must be seriously considered. Though the Lord God does not forbid "emotional" decisions, decisions made in the "heat of the moment," he deals with them with such strictness that the worshiper must seriously consider what he is doing. The Lord God requires that the free-will vows be fulfilled--they stand forever. Yes, those decisions could be confessed as sin and corrected, but they could not be corrected without penalty, the fifth part had to be added to the value, v. 19.

There was no law requiring a vow. (See Dt. 23:21-23 & Ec. 5:4-6.)

I personally could not count the number of folks who have committed something, even committed themselves, to the Lord, and when the emotions wore off, they completely ignored their vows as though they never took place.

Third, there was a time limit for correcting the mistake. If it went past the jubilee, there was no turning back--the results of the decision had to be lived with. (Watch the speakers who "rake" in the money: they clearly build on the emotions, getting folks to commit themselves in the heat of the moment. IF the speaker is of the Lord, the worshiper's decision will stand before God. Those who love God should avoid those who use the emotions to get a vow from those who love the Lord, 2 Pet. 2:23.)

The law of Leviticus 27 sounds a lot like the woman's vow before God--her father or husband could break her vow, could only do so within a certain length of time. (Num. 30:3-16.) After that time, it stood.

Final points from Leviticus 27:

First, we can only give to the Lord what is our own, not what is borrowed, vv. 22-24. Nor can we give to Him what is gained through theft, fraud or any unlawful activity. We can only give to the Lord something we feel the value of, and its loss otherwise would grieve us. (See Bonar.) Accordingly, the "worshiper" could not offer just any clean animal for a sacrifice, but the clean animal had to be one into which the owner invested time and labour, e.g., though it is a clean animal, a deer could not be sacrificed. The "worshiper" must feel the cost of the his gift to the Lord. (2 Sam. 24:24.) The gift must represent self-denial.

Second, the value of money is a religious function, v. 25. The religious leaders of our day must keep the pressure against the covetous love of money. The civil government is the biggest debaser of money, but it does so at the demand of a covetous people who want "something for nothing," e.g., "entitlement programs."

Third, individual feelings: The only point at which the feelings of the individual inter into his giving to the Lord is in the free-will offering. All the rest of the "offerings" are required regardless of how he feels about it, vv. 26-29.

Fourth, one cannot make double use of one thing. What already belongs to the Lord cannot be "vowed" to Him. In other words, the tithe belongs to the Lord, so one cannot vow to tithe. The tithe is not a function of a vow; rather, it is a function of obedience--it is theft not to tithe. (Mal. 3.)

Conclusion of Leviticus 27:

And thus this book--this Pictorial Gospel of the Old Testament--ends with stating God's claims on us, and His expectation of our service and willing devotedness. As the first believers at Pentecost, rejoicing in pardon and the love of God, counted nothing dear to them, nor said that ought they possessed was their own, so ought we to live. We must sit loose from earth; and true love to our Redeemer will set us loose. This giving up of our possessions, at God's call, teaches us to live a pilgrim life, and that is an Abrahamic life--nay, it is the life of faith, in opposition to sight.
The whole of this concluding chapter has been leading us to the idea of giving to the Lord all we have. It has been making us familiar with the idea, and by example inculcating the practice of unreserved devotedness. God should be all in all to us; He is [Hebrew word], "God all-sufficient." Let us part even with common, lawful comforts, and try if He alone be not better than all. Like the child with the stalk of grapes, who picked one grape after another from the cluster, and held it out to her father, till, as affection waxed warm and self faded, she gaily flung the whole into her father's bosom, and smiled in his face with triumphant delight; so let us do, until, loosened from every comfort, and independent of the help of broken cisterns, we can say, "I am not my own! Whom have I in heaven but Thee ? and there is none upon earth whom I desire besides. Thou art to me, as Thou wert to David at the gates of death-- 'all my salvation and all my desire.'" After so much love on God's part to us, displayed in rich variety of type and shadow, shall we count any sacrifice hard ? ...
Ver. 34. These are the commandments, which the lord commanded Moses, for the children of Israel n mount Sina .
At or near Sinai. The sultry heat of that day when the fiery law was given prepared the people to welcome these showers of grace that soon after fell. Lord, make us enjoy these showers, even if there be need of such a day of heat and fear ere it come. Let every drop from these blessed clouds wet the soil of our hearts. Thou who art known in Israel as the giver of plenteous showers to refresh Thy weary heritage, cause these that fell around Sinai, as we have seen in all this book--these that shewed so much of the variety of Thy love--these that brought such tidings of Thy Son--oh, cause these to water our weary, parched souls, until we see Him who is "Rivers of Water."5
The "sultry heat... prepared the people to welcome the showers of grace." That is, the dryness of the church over the past years should make us welcome any showers of blessings upon the church now.

Might he see fit to give us whatever grace is needed to keep our word and to meet the daily challenges of life.

End Notes

1 Bonar, Leviticus, 499. 2 Ibid, 502. 3 Keil. 4 Emp. added. Bonar, Leviticus, 503. 5 Ibid, 508, 509.

5) Y2K, Glitch or Judgment?

Those of us concerned about the "millennial bug," that it might be the judgment of God against current paganism, should consider this question: Is it a computer "glitch," or is it the judgment of God against lawlessness? Certainly, those who believe God's word are looking for and dreading God's movement in a dramatic way against sin. We cannot, however, judge Y2K in terms of our own ideas. As must be done with all things, we must consider it in the light of God's word.

We must also consider the probable results of the "bug." Though I do not believe that a conspiracy planted the "bug," I am equally convinced that those in authority know how to turn it to their advantage. No doubt, the ruling elite sees the "bug" as an excellent opportunity to increase power. Crises, e.g., wars, have historically been used to increase civil authorities' power, for in times of crises, people are willing to endure more than they would otherwise. The "bug" may well be God-sent in the sense that he will increase the pressure upon unbiblical Christianity.

There is only one purpose for God's judgment against sin -- that is, that men will know that he is the Lord. (Ezk. 6:1-14, 7:1-9, 11:10, 12, 12:20, 13:9, 14, 21, 23, 14:8, 23, 15:7, 22:22, 23:49, 24:24, 26:6, 28:20-26, 29:9, 30:8, 19, 25, 26, chap. 35, 39:6, &c.)

A very good example took place in 70 AD when, according to our Lord's promise in Matthew 24, Jerusalem and the "Jewish" nation were utterly destroyed. Note this statement by King Agrippa, before whom Paul stood, to the Jews of his day:

What remains, therefore, is this, that you have recourse to divine assistance; but this is already on the side of the Romans; for it is impossible that so vast an empire should be settled without God's providence. Reflect upon it, how impossible it is your zealous observation of your religious customs to be here preserved, which are hard to be observed, even when you fight with those whom you are able to conquer; and how can you then most of all hope for God's assistance, when, by being forced to transgress his law, you will make him turn his face from you? and if you do observe the custom of the Sabbath-days, and will not be prevailed on to do anything thereon, you will easily be taken, as were your forefathers by Pompey, who was the busiest in his siege on those days on which the besieged rested; but if in time of war you transgress the law of your country, I cannot tell on whose account you will afterward go to war; for your concern is but one, that you do nothing against any of your forefathers; and how will you call upon God to assist you, when you are voluntarily transgressing against his religion?1
King Agrippa told the Jews at the start of their revolt that the reason for their difficulties under Rome's oppression was clearly because they had forsaken the laws of their God. Thus even this pagan king realized what the problem was, and why the distress was coming upon the nation.

Moreover, note this statement by the translator at the end of Wars, Book VI:

N. B. This is the proper place for such as have closely attended to these latter books of the War to peruse, and that with equal attention, those distinct and plain predictions of Jesus of Nazareth, in the Gospels thereto relating, as compared with their exact completions in Josephus's history; upon which completions, as Dr: Whitby well observes, Annot. on Matthew 24:2, no small part of the evidence for the truth of the Christian religion does depend; and as I have step by step compared them together in my Literal Accomplishment of Scripture Prophecies. The reader is to observe further, that the true reason why I have so seldom taken notice of those completions in the course of these notes, notwithstanding their being so very remarkable, and frequently so very obvious, is this, that I had entirely prevented myself in that treatise beforehand; to which therefore I must here, once for all, seriously refer every inquisitive reader. Besides these five here enumerated, who had taken Jerusalem of old, Josephus, upon further recollection, reckons a sixth, Antiq. B. XII. ch. 1. sect. 1, who should have been here inserted in the second place; I mean Ptolemy, the son of Lagus.
Josephus made no profession of Christianity, and only made passing references to Jesus Christ and his followers. Yet he clearly saw the destruction as "...the anger of that God who is the author of thy destruction." (See Antiq. B. IV. ch. 8. sect. 46.)..."

Both the historian, Josephus, and the translator clearly saw God's hand in the annihilation of Jerusalem and of the "Jewish" nation. They saw it as God's judgment against a lawless nation, though that nation professed to be God's people. Even pagan Rome was confident that she was being used by God to judge a people who had turned from him, e.g., "For God had blinded their minds for the transgressions they had been guilty of..."2 ; "... God had, for certain, long ago doomed it (temple, e.d.) to the fire... ; 3 Titus, the Roman general who took the city, said, "We have certainly had God for our assistant in this war, and it was no other than God who ejected the Jews out of these fortifications..." 4 ; Josephus further states, "...yet did God avenge himself upon them both, in a manner agreeable to justice..."5 Titus told his men, "It will not therefore be proper for you, either to show yourselves inferior to those to whom you are really superior, or to betray that Divine assistance which is afforded you..."6 ; "And here one may chiefly reflect on the power of God exercised upon these wicked wretches, and on the good fortune of the Romans..."7 And, "5. So they now left these towers of themselves, or rather they were ejected out of them by God himself...8

The historian, Josephus, the pagan King Agrippa and pagan Romans all knew beyond any doubt that what took place against "God's people" was, beyond any doubt, the vengeance of God against a lawless people who had forsaken their God.

Thus we see from both Scripture and history that when God's judgment comes upon a social order, it is so clearly him moving that all men, both professed Christians and pagans, know beyond any doubt that it is the LORD moving against the lawlessness of the nations being judged.

We must ask concerning the "Millennial Bug" -- Is it a computer "glitch," or is it the judgment of God? Do God's people and the pagans alike see its possibility as God's righteous judgment -- vengeance -- against sin, or do they simply see it as a technological error to be corrected by technology? Is the "Bug" clearly calling men to repentance and obedience to God's law-word, or is it simply seen as a technological inconvenience in their fallen pursuit of the "good life?"

At the present, it is only a "glitch," a minor inconvenience in man's (even Christians) mad, lawless pursuit of self and worldly prosperity.

(If you have web access, you must check

1 Wars, Book II, Chap. XVI, Sec. 4, 5. All Christians should read his entire speech. 2 Ibid, Book V, Chap. VIII, Sec 2. 3 Ibid, Book VI, Chap. IV, Sec. 5. 4 Ibid, Chap. IX, Sec. 1. 5 Ibid, Book VI, Chap. IX, Sec. 4. 6 Ibid, Chap. I, Sec. 5. 7 Ibid, Chap. VIII, Sec. 4. 8 Ibid, Book VI, Chap. VIII, Sec. 5.

6) Y2K, is it real?

Short Word

There are those who deny that the Y2K computer bug will cause major problems. They may will be right, for none of us can see the future. Certainly, our prayers and hopes are that the bug will cause only minor problems and disruptions. No one denies that the bug will cause problems--the disagreement is over the extent of the problems.

I have a friend in Lafayette who has been in the financial services field for many years. He is in the process of extracting himself from his holdings, so he can be out of the city before the bug strikes. When I mentioned the bug to him, he replied that the bug is not his cause of alarm--his alarm is over the word of God. He said that if the word of God is true, then there are some very serious times ahead, and the city will not be a good place to live.

Christians must decide if they believe the word of God or not, and act accordingly:

25 Your iniquities have turned away these things, and your sins have withholden good things from you. 26 For among my people are found wicked men: they lay wait, as he that setteth snares; they set a trap, they catch men. 27 As a cage is full of birds, so are their houses full of deceit: therefore they are become great, and waxen rich. 28 They are waxen fat, they shine: yea, they overpass the deeds of the wicked: they judge not the cause, the cause of the fatherless, yet they prosper; and the right of the needy do they not judge. 29 Shall I not visit for these things? saith the LORD: shall not my soul be avenged on such a nation as this? 30 A wonderful and horrible thing is committed in the land; 31 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? (Jer. 5:25-31.)
Those who refuse to hear the word of the Lord will say of the above warning: "The Lord is speaking of the old Jerusalem, and Babylon moving against her. Therefore, he is not even referring to those of us who are under grace, not under law." They say in their hearts, "The LORD will not do good, neither will he do evil, so why should we fear?" (Zep. 1:12.)

Though the Lord warns against covetousness, especially among those who represent him among the inhabitants of the earth, his warning goes unheaded. (Jer. 6:10 ["They delight to hear vain things, and to shut up their ears to true doctrine," Geneva], 13, 17.) Jeremiah 6:19, makes an interesting statement:

Hear, O earth: behold, I will bring evil upon this people, even the fruit of their thoughts, because they have not hearkened unto my words, nor to my law, but rejected it.
The computer, where the bug dwells, has placed hard core pornography within easy reach of anyone--in the "privacy" of his own home. We should say, in the privacy of his own thoughts. I have found that a "web page" attracts "spam" e-mails urging me to check out pornographic web sites. Some e-mail will even say, "To be removed from this mailing, type 'Remove' in subject line." Doing that will only result in more offers of pornography. (There is talk of legislation to require a credit card number to even log onto a pornographic site, Indianapolis Star, 5/10/98.) The point is that the computer and the web have brought pornography to everyone with web access, available to anyone at the click of a mouse button. The comparison made by the Star was a video store--the store will at the very least place pornographic videos in a separate department, but the Internet has it along with the children's videos. A point well made.

Quickly, let us point out that the computer has not only brought the most wicked and vile pornography within easy reach of everyone, it has also brought excellent Bible study material within even easier reach of everyone. The Bible study software now on the market places thousands of dollars worth of sound study material within reach of all who have any desire to study Scripture. (Ages Software has a great amount of material on CD, e.g., The Ante-Nicene Fathers (10 vols.); the works of Josephus; and works by Alfred Edersheim, William Law, Martin Luther, John Owen, C.H. Spurgeon, Hodge, Pink, John Knox, and far too many more to mention. Let me urge you to check out what Ages has to offer--AGES Software, P.O. Box 1926, Albany, OR 97321. 1-800-297-4484 or 1-541-917-0839. or web site, And, of course, the Online Bible, available through The Biblical Examiner--$30 + shipping. The Ages Software and the Online Bible are well within reach of anyone desiring to study Scripture. Use your web connection, and check out Ages.)


First, the "spiritual leaders" (Jeremiah is clearly speaking to them, chap. 7) refuse to take a firm stand on the word of God, yet they prosper. (6:28.) Their prosperity causes all to say, "My, aren't they godly? Their gain proves it."

Second, the reason they prosper is because they will not say anything offensive to the people. (6:30.) All one must do is follow the books and the speakers that are popular among God's people, and he will see that God's total word is seriously compromised, if used at all. God's people are spending untold millions of dollars on "fluff and stuff." The compromising spiritual leaders prosper greatly in the terms of worldly wealth. The love of worldly wealth, covetousness, controls the average religious leader. (6:13.)

It is worthy of note that the War Between the States was motivated very much by money. The situation in Kansas that was being used by the abolitionists to raise money in the East had cooled, and the

Radicals were appalled. Violence had become their livelihood as well as their method. Funds contributed to the Kansas Aid committees in the East (whose goal was to overthrow the US Government, ed.) had provided an easy living for the clutch of adventurers, including a coterie of young newspapermen--Redpath, Kagi, Realf, Phillips, John E. Cook, Richard Hinton, and others. Their dispatches had inflamed the nation and sowed deep seeds of North-South discord that not even the passage of generations would sooth. An end to the troubles in Kansas would mean an end to their meteoric careers. And they were not alone. (Otto Scott, The Secret Six, John Brown and the Abolitionists Movement, 246. Uncommon Books, Murphys, CA.)
The peace in Kansas motivated the abolitionists even more to finance John Brown's rebellion against the Union (1857), for in him they saw "the best disunion champion" who could "do more to split the Union than a list of 50,000 names..." (Ibid, 247. Scott's quotation from James C. Malin's John Brown and the Legend, p. 705.)

In other words, where money is involved, more often than not, principles, even Biblical principles, are long forgotten. This was exactly what the Lord was saying through Jeremiah. (Mic. 3:11--the prophets prophecy pace for money: see also 1 Tim. 6:10.) "Fluff and stuff" makes money while serious material remains on the shelf.

Third, professed Christians have no delight in God's word. (Jer. 6:10.) This pastor has found that people can find far more time for and enjoyment in "fluff and stuff" than they can for and in the word of God. Biblical material that requires serious attention is generally ignored.

Fourth, the reason people cannot see what is going on is because they have rejected the totality and authority of the word of the Lord. (Jer. 8:7, 9.) Despite the obvious signs all around them, they remain confident in their false safety. (Ja. 1:22.)

Fifth, the hottest spots on the web are the pornographic sites. And with over 60% of Americans claiming Christianity, who is using the sites?


18 Therefore hear, ye nations, and know, O congregation, what is among them. 19 Hear, O earth: behold, I will bring evil upon this people, even the fruit of their thoughts, because they have not hearkened unto my words, nor to my law, but rejected it. (Jer. 6:19.)
What if the Lord would indeed repay this people, even the nations, according to the fruit of their thoughts? What if Romans 8:13 is true, as well as Galatians 6:7, 8? If so, what does the Lord have ahead for the nations?

The Y2K bug--is it worth our concern?

However, the serious question must be, the fruit of their thoughts--is it worth our concern?

7) To Prepare or Not to Prepare?

That is the Question

Some to whom I have expressed concerns about taking precautions against possible difficulties ahead -- e.g., lack of things considered necessities of life, food, electricity, fuel, utilities -- have referred to two passages given by our Lord: Matthew 6:33 and Luke 12:12. Using these two passages, I have been told that it is a lack of faith to prepare for disasters of any kind, whether it be prospective destruction caused by the millennial bug, tornados, hurricanes, floods, &c.

Argument: "It is a lack of faith according to Matthew 6 and Luke 12 for a Christian to prepare for a prospective disaster." The Lord says that all Christians need do is to Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man, and they shall not be ashamed in the evil time: and in the days of famine they shall be satisfied? (Ecc. 12:13, Ps. 37:19.) In other words, Christians do not need to do anything, and the Lord will take care of them in the time of turmoil.

Answer: In both cases, the context shows us that the Lord is dealing with the spirit of covetousness. In neither case is he speaking against preparing as such. Dare anyone say that the Lord's words -- Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they? (Mt. 6:26, Lk. 12:24, both in the same contexts as Mt. 6:33 & Lk. 12:12) -- can possibly be construed to mean that the Lord will provide for the Christian farmer who neither sows nor reaps?

In both Matthew 6 and Luke 24, the message is against laying up treasures on earth at the expense of one's responsibility to the kingdom of God on earth -- that is, serving the god of mammon.

And he said, This will I do: I will pull down my barns, and build greater; and there will I bestow all my fruits and my goods. (Lk. 24:18.)
The problem was covetousness, for he said, I will pull down my barns, and build greater. In other words, the Lord did not condemn his building the first barns -- that was prudent. The problem was that he already had enough, yet he sought more rather than using it properly in the Lord's service: So is he that layeth up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God (v. 21).

Gill makes a good comment, "my fruits and my goods." He claimed them as his own to be used exclusively for his own enjoyment, totally contrary to the Christian law requiring us to give to those in need and to finance the kingdom work. (Eph. 4:28.) The problem was not his "storing" up; the problem was that he left the Lord and the kingdom completely out of his plans.

Argument: "But neither the Lord nor the Apostles prepared for the future here on earth." (See Pr. 13:22.)

Answer: They had all been promised an early death. (Mt. 24:9, Jn. 16:2. They had been warned of the cost, Lk. 14:28.) The Lord himself warned his people to watch for the future evil and take proper precaution: Matthew 24:26, Cestius Gallus advanced with his army to Jerusalem, and besieged it. Then with no cause, lifted the siege, and withdrew his army though the city might have easily been taken. This was the signal for the Christians to make their escape, which they did. Thus when Titus came a few months later, there was not a Christian in the city. (John Gill, Online Bible.)

Matthew Henry makes an interesting comment concerning Matthew 24:16:

Note, In times of imminent peril and danger, it is not only lawful, but our duty, to seek our own preservation by all good and honest means; and if God opens a door of escape, we ought to make our escape, otherwise we do not trust God but tempt him. There may be a time when even those that are in Judea, where God is known, and his name is great, must flee to the mountains; and while we only go out of the way of danger, not out of the way of duty, we may trust God to provide a dwelling for his outcasts, #Isa 16:4,5. In times of public calamity, when it is manifest that we cannot be serviceable at home and may be safe abroad, Providence calls us to make our escape. He that flees, may fight again. (MH, Online Bible.)
It is the strong man armed that keepeth his palace, and keeps his goods in peace. (The man who prepares for the foreseen evil keeps his house. See Lk. 11:21, Mk. 3:27, Mt. 12:29. The context speaks of the spiritually strong man protecting his house against the Devil's intrusion, or the Devil as the strong man, and the Lord binding him so he could spoil his house.)

Accordingly, those who do not take precautionary action concerning foreseen approaching evil against sin "do not trust God but tempt him."

Argument: "What about Ecclesiastes 12:13 and Psalms 37:19?"

Answer: These verses also are easily answered from their Old Testament contexts. See, "The Doctrine of Causality."

Franklin Sanders writes:


Lately a subscriber called whose brother is an engineer who designee and installs power plants all over the world. Now I can't verify this story, so I just pass it on for what its worth.

Back in September the brother was called to a city in New York state, the headquarters of a large power company. They wanted to begin their risk assessment for Y2K.

The team was supposed to be there one week, went home, and then was called back for 2 more weeks to generate more information. A lot of this work can be done off schematics. Once you know the function of piece of equipment, you contact supplier to see if the embedded chips are complaint.]

Virtually every company he contacted said, "We don't know." Nobody want's to stick their neck out, so all say, "I don't know. Chips were generic." Until he got to one critical piece of equipment made by one of America's largest electrical manufacturers, who said, "Yes, that piece of equipment is compliant, we'll guarantee it."

So they went to this manufacturer and took 10 of these monitoring devices off the shelf, and ran the dates ahead to 2000. Seven failed. The engineers reported back to the power company that they thought they were so vulnerable that prior to Y2K they should get off the grid. The power company replied simply, "Well, we're just doing due diligence so we can say when the grid goes down, We did everything we could do."*

(The Moneychanger, 1/1999. The Moneychanger, PO Box 341753, Memphis, Tennessee 38184-1753. A monthly newsletter "to help Christian people prosper with their principles intact in an age of moral and monetary chaos." $95 a year, but $69 to readers of this report if you mention this report when you order.)

It should be noted that the Red Cross has issued a brochure on the "Y2K" computer disruptions that may occur. It lists possible areas of disruption based on White house and Senate studies: utilities and the national power grid; banking and finances; health care; transportation; telecommunications; pensions and mutual funds; emergency planning; and general business. However, they report that the good news is that all these areas affected have been and are working hard to resolve it and a great deal of progress has been made.

Talk about a firm assurance!! No one will say the problem is fixed. Don't be a fool and enter into the coming days unprepared.

I suggest picking up several Red Cross publication, and pass some on to others, especially to those who are refusing to acknowledge the seriousness of the problem. I'm afraid that the vast majority of folks are depending on their god, the state, to provide for them in the hour of need. This "Bug" could devour their god, along with his worshipers. The following web site is a must for everyone who has even heard of Y2K, especially for those "Doubting Thomases." The "Bug" is already starting to bite:

Year 2000 press clippings

8) Review of AGES Software:

AGES has some excellent software for those of us who like to do research, especially if we like to use extensive quotes from classic, hard to find sources. AGES software has two CDs available: "Reformation History Library" and "The Master Christian Library."

Included in the "Reformation" library are: Ecclesiastical history of the Ancient Churches of Piedmont and the Albigenses, Peter Allix; Modern Bible Translations (an excellent 1997 work exposing the serious fallacies of modern translations), Russell R. Standish; Church History (2 Vols.), William Jones; The Reformation/Scotland, John Knox; History of the Baptist (2 Vols.), David Benedict; the Protector, J.H. Merle d'Aubingne; Acts and Monuments (8 Vols.), John Foxe; Romanism and the Reformation, H. Grattan Guinness; 95 Theses, Martin Luther; The Life of John Knox, Thomas M'Crie, Huguenotes in England and Ireland, Samuel Smiles; History of Protestantism (3 Vols.), J.A. Wylie; Reformation Era Illustration Gallery (5 Vols.). Also included on this CD are the KJV, American Standard Bible, The Ante-Nicine Fathers (10 Vols.); The Works of Josephus; Chronology of Biblical Christianity.

Included in "The Master" are the texts of the KJV, American Standard, Young's, Darby; Commentaries by Calvin (and various works), Hodge (1 & 2 Cor., Eph., Romans); Shedd (various works); Ramsay, Adam Clarke, Spurgeon (and various works), Watson; William Law (many various works); The Early Church Fathers, 38 Vols; Easton's Bible Dictionary; Baxter (The Reformed Pastor); John Westly (complete works, 14 Vols); Jonathan Edwards (many various works); Charles G. Finney; Martin Luther; D.L. Moody; John Owen (many various works); Shedd; Pink; Vincent; Various Creeds of the early Church; Josephus; Gibbon's Decline and Fall...; Works by Alfred Edersheim (Bible History, 7 vols, Sketches in Jewish Social Life, The Temple).

Both CD contain an overwhelming amount of material, making a choice between the two most difficult. The amount of material contained on each CD can almost intimidate one when first considering the CDs. After overcoming the initial intimidation, the user will find easy navigation through the vast amount of material they contain.

Of the two libraries, I find "The Masters Christian Library" the best --- primally because I like the older works reproduced on this CD: Hodge, Pink, Shedd, Flavel, Calvin, Law, Owens, Adam Clarke, Edersheim, Josephus, &c.

The CDs are well indexed (that is, "table of contents") for each work reproduced, and the works can be searched via the Adobe Acrobat Search engine. Either or both CDs are excellent, inexpensive (considering the cost of hard copies) additions to the Christian's library, placing good material within reach of the average Christian. There are many works contained on each CD that I would like to add to my library (e.g., Hodge, Owens, Law, &c.), but the expense and/or unavailability of these classic works make that impossible. Yet these CDs bring the works as close as my computer screen.

For those with the HD space, I would snuggest loading the complete CDs on the HD, though that is not at all necessary -- they run fine from the CDROM drive, which I must use.

I have found a few shortfalls with the CDs:

First, a common shortfall I have observed not just on the AGES software, but with all CDs containing vast amounts of theological material -- there are no indexes for the material. I like as complete of an index as possible. I have hard copies of the Fathers and of Josephus, so I use those indexes to locate what I want to find on the CDs.

Second, I found no means to print AGES documents viewed on the screen to a text file where they can be edited and printed in a different fount. The software requires that the page formatting be retained to print, which can consume three or four times the amount of space as a smaller fount would use.

Third, I am one who likes a manual with a good index, so I can identify a problem, look in the index and find the solution. (I taught myself computers in '84 in front of a screen with a DOS 3.0 manual in my hands.) I found the AGES documentation not as complete as I would have liked.

All in all, the material contained on these CDs is a valuable, yet inexpensive, addition to my library of Biblically sound material.

They are well worth your examination at your local Christian Book Store or at

Lynda Farmer, Advertising Director, AGES Software, P.O. Box 1926, Albany, OR 97321 1-800-297-4484, 1-541-917-0839.

9) Corrections/Comments

I readily admit I do not have all the answers. There are times when I will say things I cannot support or I might quickly say something that, on more consideration, will not "hold up." The disadvantage of putting things in print is that I cannot cover my errors, as some do, by saying, "You did not hear me right." And thus I cannot place the blame on others when I "miss the boat."

There are three corrections listed below: First, a wrong word in the "Tongues" mailing; second, additional comments on the millennial bug; and third, an overstatement in "Prophecy," Examiner, 7/1998.

First, the following is a correction in the "Tongues" mailing, 12/97. It is unusual for me not to document sources of my information, but I did not for the opening paragraph of the mailing nor on chapter four of the book. (The corrected version is posted on our web site.) Though the word heterai is a legitimate word, I grossly misused it. The error and correction is below:

Biblical Tongues

What we are now hearing on the streets of America are lawful, Biblical tongues.

1 Cor 13:1-3: tongues of men refer to understandable human languages; the tongues of angels may refer to the medium by which angels communicate in heaven. Paul does not say that it is possible or desirable to speak with the tongues of angels; rather, he says that if such a thing were possible, it (nor any other "gift") is not the mark of the Spirit of Christ--genuine love is that mark (ch 13 describes Christian love).


1 Corinthians 14:1-3, there are three New Testament words translated tongues in the KJV Bible: heterai, glossai and glossa: First, Heterai refers to specific dialects, or languages, other than what was known by the speaker, Acts 2:4, 6, 8; 10:46 & 19:6; second, Glossai, when used in the plural with a singular pronoun, refers to ethnic languages, Mark 16:17; 1 Corinthians 12:10, 28, 30; 13:1, 8; 14:5, 6, 18, 22; third, Glossa, when used for "tongue" in the singular, refers to the Corinthian ecstatic utterance which had invaded the church from the pagan worship so prevalent in the city. (1 Cor. 14:2, 4, 13, 14, 19, 26, 27, including all the verses having unknown added by the translators.) Moreover, 1 Corinthians 14:9 refers to the physical tongue of man; v. 23, plural with a plural pronoun, refers to the Corinthian ecstatic utterances.1 Observe that chapter 14 contains a mixture of the word tongues: vv. 2, 4, 13, 19, 26 & 27--pagan ecstatic utterances, and vv. 5, 6, 18 & 22--actual ethnic languages.
The above paragraph is to be replaced with the following:
other tongues (Acts 2:4), heterais glossai--that is,
Other than their native tongues. Each one began to speak in a language that he had not acquired and yet it was a real language and understood by those from various lands familiar with them. It was not jargon, but intelligible language. Jesus had said that the gospel was to go to all the nations and here the various tongues of earth were spoken. One might conclude that this was the way in which the message was to be carried to the nations, but future developments disprove it. This is a third miracle (the sound, the tongues like fire, the untaught languages). There is no blinking the fact that Luke so pictures them. One need not be surprised if this occasion marks the fulfilment of the Promise of the Father. But one is not to confound these miraculous signs with the Holy Spirit. They are merely proof that he has come to carry on the work of his dispensation. The gift of tongues came also on the house of Cornelius at Caesarea (Acts 10:44-47; 11:15-17), the disciples of John at Ephesus (Acts 19:6), the disciples at Corinth (I Cor. 14:1-33). It is possible that the gift appeared also at Samaria (Acts 8:18). But it was not a general or a permanent gift. Paul explains in 1Cor. 14:22 that "tongues" were a sign to unbelievers and were not to be exercised unless one was present who understood them and could translate them. This restriction disposes at once of the modern so-called tongues which are nothing but jargon and hysteria. It so happened that here on this occasion at Pentecost there were Jews from all parts of the world, so that some one would understand one tongue and some another without an interpreter such as was needed at Corinth. The experience is identical in all four instances and they are not for edification or instruction, but for adoration and wonder and worship. As the Spirit gave them utterance (kathos to pneuma edidou apophtheggesthai autois). This is precisely what Paul claims in I Cor. 12:10,28, but all the same without an interpreter the gift was not to be exercised (I Cor. 14:6-19). Paul had the gift of tongues, but refused to exercise it except as it would be understood. Note the imperfect tense here (edidou). Perhaps they did not all speak at once, but one after another. Apophtheggesthai is a late verb (LXX of prophesying, papyri). Lucian uses it of the ring of a vessel when it strikes a reef. It is used of eager, elevated, impassioned utterance. In the N.T. only here, verse 14 and 26:25. Apophthegm is from this verb. (A.T. Robertson, Word Pictures in the New Testament, III.21, 22. Broadman. This is found on the Online Bible CD also.)
own language (Acts 2:6, &c.), tei idiai dialektoi--that is,
Locative case. Each one could understand his own language when he heard that. Every one that came heard somebody speaking in his native tongue. (Ibid, 23.)
tongues (various locations), glossa--that is,
the language used by a particular people in distinction from that of other nations: Acts ii.11...; new tongues which the speaker has not learned previously, Mk. xvi. 17... 1 Co. xii. 10...; to speak with tongues; this, as appears from 1 Co. xiv. 7 sqq., is the gift of men who, rapt in an ecstasy and no longer quite masters of their own reason and consciousness, pour forth their glowing spiritual emotions in strange utterances, rugged, dark, disconnected, quite unfitted to instruct or to influence the minds of others: Acts x. 46; xix. 6; 1 Cor xii. 30; xiii.1; xiv. 2, 4-6, 13, 18, 23, 27, 39... (J.H. Thayer, The New Thayer's Greek-English Lexicon, 118.)
divers kinds of tongues (1 Cor. 12:10), gene glosson--that is,
No word for "divers" in the Greek. There has arisen a great deal of confusion concerning the gift of tongues as found in Corinth. They prided themselves chiefly on this gift which had become a source of confusion and disorder. There were varieties (kinds, gene) in this gift, but the gift was essentially an ecstatic utterance of highly wrought emotion that edified the speaker(#14:4) and was intelligible to God (14:2,28). It was not always true that the speaker in tongues could make clear what he had said to those who did not know the tongue (14:13): It was not mere gibberish or jargon like the modern "tongues," but in a real language that could be understood by one familiar with that tongue as was seen on the great Day of Pentecost when people who spoke different languages were present. In Corinth, where no such variety of people existed, it required an interpreter to explain the tongue to those who knew it not. Hence Paul placed this gift lowest of all. It created wonder, but did little real good. This is the error of the Irvingites and others who have tried to reproduce this early gift of the Holy Spirit which was clearly for a special emergency and which was not designed to help spread the gospel among men. See on Acts 2:13-21; 10:44-46; 19:6. (Robertson, IV.170.)
interpretation of tongues (1 Cor. 12:10), hermeneia glosson--that is,
Old word, here only and 14:26 in N.T., from hermeneuo from Hermes (the god of speech). Cf. on diermeneuo in Luke 24:27; Acts 9:36. In case there was no one present who understood the particular tongue it required a special gift of the Spirit to some one to interpret it if any one was to receive benefit from it. (Ibid.)
speak with the tongues (1 Cor. 13:1), tais glossais,--that is,
Instrumental case. Mentioned first because really least and because the Corinthians put undue emphasis on this gift. (Robertson, IV.177.)
all spake with tongues (1 Cor. 14:5)--that is,
Translate, "Now I wish you all to speak with tongues (so far am I from thus speaking through having any objection to tongues), but rather IN ORDER THAT (as my ulterior and higher wish for you) ye should prophesy." Tongues must therefore mean languages, not ecstatic, unintelligible rhapsodie (as NEANDER fancied): for Paul could never "wish" for the latter in their behalf. (Jameson*Fausset*Brown, III.Part 3.323. Eerdmans. Online Bible, also)
Hastings points out that "It is significant that the Pauline notices of 'tongue-speech' are concerned only with the Corinthian Church." Mystical, ecstatic, even demonic, utterances in supposed communication with the gods were not uncommon in Corinth. Ecstatic utterances had invaded the church from the pagan worship so prevalent in the city (1 Cor. 14:2, 4, 13, 14, 19, 26, 27, including all the verses having unknown added by the translators). 1 Cor. 14:9 refers to the physical tongue of man; 1 Cor 14:23, plural with a plural pronoun, refers to the Corinthian ecstatic utterances. Observe that chapter 14 contains a mixture of the word tongues: vv. 2, 4, 13, 19, 26 & 27, pagan ecstatic utterances; vv. 5, 6, 18 & 22, actual ethnic languages. (Encyclopaedia, III.371a; The Pulpit Commentary, XIX.397; The Hebrew-Greek Key Study Bible, by Spiros Zodhiates, 1436, 1438.)

Therefore, Paul says that he desires that they would indeed be able to supernaturally speak with other ethnic languages as he can, but on the other hand, he is soundly renouncing and rebuking the ecstatic utterances which were actually taking place in this church.

Second, additional comment on the millennial bug:

Sadly, there are pastors telling folks there is no cause of concern over the millennial bug, e.g., "Remain spiritually minded, be concerned about souls, and there will be no problem. Let the world worry about those things." I must admit that Christians have no need to fear, for God hath not given us a spirit of fear, but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind. Nor should Christians fear what men can do to the body, but fear him who has the power to destroy both the body and soul in hell. (2 Tim. 1:7, Mt.10:28.) We are also assured of God's divine providence caring for his own. However, all the promises of God's watchful care of his own will not void the results of sin and indifference. We occasionally have tornados in our area. Only fools say, God will take care of us, and remain in the path of an oncoming tornado. (I personally have found that when the lights go out in the homes of the wicked, my home is not exempt from the failure because I am a Christian. We have some good Christian farmers in our community, and they have found that they must endure the same inclement weather as do the antichristian farmers. Mt. 5:45.) Yet there are some preachers are telling folks: Just remain unconcerned, and the approaching storm will pass over. When your neighbour's lights go out, yours will not because you love God and the love the souls around you.

The truth is that the Spirit says that in the last times there would be mockers who would say "peace and safety" -- God's threats are not for the "church age of grace." I am afraid they will find out the truth that the "age of grace" does not exempt them from the results of mistakes, sins and in differences. In addition, those who have looked to them for leadership will have to learn the same lesson.

Third, the next to the last paragraph in "Prophecy," Examiner, 7/1998.

We have already mentioned an example: Israel of the Old Testament was clearly replaced by the Gospel Church in the New according to all the New Testament preachers. Therefore, every Old Testament prophecy referring to Israel after the central point of all history, the cross of Christ, must be understood as a spiritual reference to the Gospel Church.
Every Old Testament prophecy is an obvious overstatement. The prophets did speak of old "Israel" after Christ, e.g., Zechariah 12:10 and Acts 2:39:
The Christian Church is from its very commencement the legitimate continuation of Israel, the wicked having been rooted out from the nation, and those who were Gentiles by birth having been incorporated into Israel on the ground of their faith. The Saviour himself clearly indicated this at the very outset, by calling his Church "Israel" (Matt. xix. 28); and it was from this point of view alone, that the number of apostles appointed for the whole Church (Matt. xxviii. 19), corresponded to that of the tribes of Israel. According to Paul there is but one olive tree, one people of God, one Israel from the beginning to the end. In Rom. xi. 18, Israel is represented as the root of the Christian Church. In Rom. xi. 7,--" the election hath obtained it, the rest are hardened,"--the emphasis must not be laid upon the latter in a one-sided manner. According to Eph. ii. 12 and 19, when the Gentiles come to Christ, they are incorporated into tho "commonwealth of Israel," as " fellow-citizens with the saints" ("Israelis;" Bengel). That Israel is the root of the Christian Church is also apparent from the intercessory prayer of Christ (John xvii. 6--8), where he refers to the Church on earth as founded already, before a single Gentile had been admitted into it. 1 [1. See the remarks on Hosea ii. 1 (vol. I. P. 209 sqq.), or Rev. vii. 4 and xi.] --There is just as little ground for restricting the second part of the prophecy to the final history of the Church, as for limiting the first in this way.
The first day of Pentecost, which is evidently included in chap. xii. 10, enters a decided protest against such a limitation.... (Hengstenberg, Christology of the Old Testament, II.1111. MacDonald Publishing.)
Which "Israel" referred to will be obvious in most cases according to the context and according to the New Testament usage.

10) Shedding of Blood

Acts 8:26-40.

Probably the best description of the gospel of Christ is found in the Old Testament, Isaiah 53. The gospel according to Isaiah was preached to the Ethiopian eunuch by Philip:

He was led as a sheep to the slaughter; and like a lamb dumb before his shearer, so opened he not his mouth: 33 In his humiliation his judgment was taken away: and who shall declare his generation? for his life is taken from the earth. (Acts 8:32, 33. Isa. 53:7, 8.)
Not being a livestock community, we do not readily grasp the message as both Philip and the eunuch did. The gospel according to Isaiah is according to the law of Moses:
And he shall put his hand upon the head of the burnt offering; and it shall be accepted for him to make atonement for him. (Lev. 1:4.)
The same process was required for: 1) the sinner to have peace with God, Leviticus 3:1, 2; sins of ignorance, 4:1-5; the sins of the whole congregation (one live animal was sufficient for the whole), 4:13 - 15; the sins of a ruler, 4:22 - 24; the sins of everyone, from the lowest person "behind the mill" (Ex. 11:5) to the highest officeholder in the land -- no one was exempt, Leviticus 4:27-29.

The law of the Lord was/is clear: sin (disobedience to God's word) requires the death of the sinner --The soul that sinneth, it shall die. (Ez. 18:20, Gen. 2:17.) But God's plan provided a substitute to be accepted for the sinner, so the sinner did not have to die. Under the Mosaic economy of rites, rituals and ordinances, the Lord God said that those desiring peace and fellowship with him could offer an animal in the sinner's place.

If a sinner wanted atonement, his sins forgiven and reconciled with God, he brought the required live animal to the appointed place. The animal had to be without blemish because the live animal was going to die for the "blemishes" of the sinner. In every case, the individual sinner, or representatives of the whole in the case of the congregation, had to lay his hand upon the live animal. In God's sight, the sins were thus transferred to the innocent victim, the live animal, and the animal was then slain, his blood shed, in the place of the sinner.


1) Absolutely no one was exempt. Everyone desiring peace with God, atonement, had to shed the blood of -- sacrifice -- a spotless, live animal. (Lev. 17:11, Heb. 9:22. See also, Lev. 16 & Mat. 26:28.)

Knowing that not everyone could afford the required animal, the Lord made provisions. If the sinner was a poor person, he could bring a dove or a young pigeon. (Poor as determined by the priest, Lev. 27:8.) So no one could say he could not afford the sacrifice for his or her sins. (Lev. 1:14, 4:35.) The Lord thus placed forgiveness of sin within everyone's reach, so they are without excuse. Note that one animal could satisfy God's requirements for the sins of the whole congregation of his people. (Jn. 11:49-52.)

2) The atoning sacrifice or offering had to be perfect, without blemish.

3) The sacrifice or offering had to be offered in the location and in the manner required by God.

4) The sinner had to lay his hand upon the sacrifice, and then the live animal had to be slain for that person's sins. Its blood was shed.

When the individual laid his hand upon the animal, the individual believed that God counted his sins transferred from himself to the animal, as established in the Garden. (Gen. 3:21, 4:4.) When the animal was killed, as far as God was concerned, the live animal was killed in the place of the sinner. The penalty for the individual's sins was fulfilled when the animal's life was taken and the blood offered.

If any of the above requirements were missed, the sinner remained in his sins. There was no other way to approach the Heavenly Father other than through the sins being transferred to the proper blood sacrifice. (I wonder how infants were able to understand this transfer and understanding, then bring a live animal to lay their hands upon.)

All of these requirements pointed to one thing -- the living sacrifice of Christ for the sins of his people. The laws of the sacrifice were only temporary, temporally "covering" sins until Christ would come. (Col. 2:14.) When Christ came, John the Baptist looked at Christ, saying, "Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world." (John 1:29-36. See 1 Pet. 2:18-25.)

Isaiah said it like this:

Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed. 6 All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all. 7 He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth: he is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he openeth not his mouth. 8 He was taken from prison and from judgment: and who shall declare his generation? for he was cut off out of the land of the living: for the transgression of my people was he stricken. (Vv. 4-8.)
First, Christ bore (to carry, support, take away, forgive) our (i.e., my people's) griefs and sorrows. Second, Christ was wounded (wound here means to pierce, or to kill) for our transgressions (sin and rebellion), having no sin nor rebellion to be wounded for. Our transgressions were transferred to Christ. Third, Christ was bruised (crushed) for our iniquities (sin and the guilt over sin), having no sin and guilt of his own to be crushed for. Our sins and guilt were transferred to Christ. Fourth, Christ was chastised (a term used for correcting our children) for our peace (the opposite of war), having nothing to be chastised for. Our natural warfare was transferred to Christ. Fifth, Christ was oppressed (as a tax collector oppresse s those from whom he is trying to collet taxes) for our debt, having no debt himself. Our debt was transferred to Christ. Sixth, Christ was afflicted (he humbled himself to the will of the Heavenly Father to the death) for our rebellion, having no rebellion in himself. Our rebellion that started in the Garden against the Heavenly Father was transferred to Christ. (Rom. 5:12.)

As a lamb to the slaughter. National Geographic featured an article about Australian sheep ranches, showing the complete helplessness of sheep. They showed how that when taken hold of, the sheep became as limp as a dish cloth in the hands of the shearer; this is the picture Isaiah shows us of Christ before those who were going to kill him. But he was not killed for his own sins; he was killed for ours, just as sure as the innocent victim was killed in the Old Testament in place of the sinner.

The death of the lamb of God satisfied God's penalty against sin today much better in every way than it did for the offerers under the old Mosaic economy. (Rom. 5:6-11, Heb. 9:8-14.) Placing by faith one's hand upon the Father's sacrifice, the spotless lamb of God, figuratively transfers his or her sins to Christ in both Testaments.

800 years before Christ, Isaiah 53 tells us what Christ would do for sinners. 2000 years after Christ, we read Isaiah 53, and see what Christ did for sinners. There is only one "plan of salvation," whether under the old Hebrew Economy or under the new Christian Economy -- that is, by grace through faith in the shed blood of the lamb of God. No one will see God without his sins being transferred to the Lamb of God and the shed blood of that Sacrifice.

11) Israel Restored

Leviticus 26:14-39 describes the "destruction" of national Israel. Then vv. 40-46, describes the restoration of Israel. The question we would like to address is this--is the promised restoration the restoration of Old Testament national Israel, is it the New Testament Israel of God, or does it refer to both?

Let us start by comparing v. 40 with Zechariah 12:10 :

If they shall confess their iniquity, and the iniquity of their fathers, with their trespass which they trespassed against me, and that also they have walked contrary unto me...
And I will pour upon the house of David, and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the spirit of grace and of supplications: and they shall look upon me whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn for him, as one mourneth for his only son, and shall be in bitterness for him, as one that is in bitterness for his firstborn. (See also Isaiah 53.)

Zechariah tells of the day to come when the inhabitants of Jerusalem will receive the pouring out the spirit of grace and supplication. (See Eph. 6:18.) The result will be that they will repent of their sins, and come to the Saviour. Zechariah tells us, furthermore, that this repentance will start in the tents of Judah first, and expand. The purpose of the repentance starting in the tents of Judah is so the rest who come to the Messiah will not be lifted up with pride against Judah. Did not Paul warn the Gentiles against being lifted up with pride against the natural branches who were broken off so the Gentiles could be grafted in? (Romans 11.) In other words, the Gospel message found its first receptive audience among the Jews. The first few chapters of Acts shows the tremendous working of the spirit of grace and supplication in the tents of Judah first.

[S]hall look upon me whom they have pierced was first fulfilled in Acts 2:37, Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do? It is also clearly referred to in many other passages that pertain to the Gospel Church. 2 Corinthians 7, Paul compares Godly sorrow with worldly sorrow. The author of Hebrews tells us that the Church must be Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith... (12:2.)

According to Ezekiel 39:23-29, after Israel has borne their shame, the Lord God will gather them into their own land where he will not hide his face any more from them: for I have poured out my spirit upon the house of Israel, saith the Lord God. The promise is the regathering of God's people, the Israel of God, into Christ, and is clearly seen in his Church, made up of both Jews and Gentiles. The basic promise of the pouring out of my spirit (Joel 2:29) was fulfilled in Acts 2:17, and consisted of pouring out of the Holy Ghost upon the redeemed. (Ac. 2:33.) The fact that the promise of the Holy Ghost went to both Jews and Gentiles alike was astonishing to the first preachers of the Gospel, and caused the first church to call them into question. (Ac. 10:45; 11:15.)

Though Leviticus 26:40ff., had an immediate fulfillment in national Israel, it also looks forward to final fulfillment in the Gospel Church of the Lord Jesus Christ. (Bonar holds to dispensationalism, saying that Abraham's promise will yet be fulfilled in natural Israel, a position that is untenable from the New Testament.)

Immediate & Future

First, Leviticus 26:14-39 describes what took place under the Syrians and under the Chaldeans; therefore, vv. 40-46 describe what took place in Daniel chapter nine. (Because of space, we will not quote it, but read Dan. chap. 9. See also Jer. 25:9-12.1)

Jeremiah 40:9, Fear not to serve the Chaldeans... Babylon was sent by God to judge Israel's sin of disobedience to her God. God's people would remain in servitude until the judgment was complete, so they were to submit to the judgment. The rebellious men of Jeremiah's day did not like the message, so they rebelled again, v. 14. Daniel saw the end of the seventy years--Cyrus gave the command to rebuild Jerusalem, which started the seventy weeks. (Ezra 1.) The seventy weeks were completed when the Messiah was cut off.

(Lev. 26) V. 41, and they then accept of the punishment of their iniquity: In other words, Israel of old was told to accept the punishment of their iniquity. After they accept the punishment, the Lord remembers the covenant, and restores old Israel to its land under Ezra and Nehemiah.

I fully realize v. 41 referred to Israel of old, and its bondage to Babylon for its sin. However, there seems to be some clear applications for our day: Note Gill's comments and my notes:

Ver. 41. And [that] I also have walked contrary unto them, &c.] Showed no regard unto them, as if he took no care of them, or in a providential way concerned himself for them, but let what would befall them; yea, came out in the way of his judgments against them, as if he was an enemy to them, see Gill on "Le 26:24";2
1) The new Israel of God appears to have forgotten who its God is, the Lord Jesus Christ. Showing no regard for the Lord, the Lord seems to be, for a time, showing no regard for the Gospel Church, treating it more as an enemy than a friend.
and have brought them into the land of their enemies; should acknowledge the hand of God in it, that he himself brought them out of their own country into an enemy's land, as Assyria, Babylon, and other nations: and that this was not the chance of war, or owing to the superior power or skill of their enemies, but to the just judgment of God upon them for their sins, who on that account delivered them up into the hands of their enemies:
2) The Lord Himself exalts the enemies of the Gospel Church to the place where they can oppress his church. It is the Lord who delivered his church into the hands of the enemies of the Cross. He delivered them not because the enemies are stronger or more skillful that God's people; he delivered/delivers them because it exalted/exalts itself in self-importance, pursuing the god of this world, mammon. Many belivers absolutely deny that the Lord God would exalt the enemies of the Gospel Church, and that he would make his people serve the wicked. Though many believers dogmatically place almost all of the Revelation in the future, they refuse to acknowledge what passages such as Revelation 9:15; 13:7; 17:17, etc, teach, viz., the ungodly DO NOT exalt themselves nor does Satan exalt them. The Lord God alone exalts the ungodly to places where they can oppress the people of God, as he does whatsoever he pleases in the kingdom of men. (Dan. 4:17, etc.)
if then their uncircumcised heart be humbled; their foolish proud heart, as the Targums of Onkelos and Jonathan; it signifies a sinful, wicked, hard, and impenitent heart, brought to a sense of sin, to repentance and humiliation for it. Jarchi interprets it, "or if their uncircumcised heart", &c. as in #Ex 2:23; and observes another sense of the word, "perhaps their uncircumcised heart", &c. not only would in words confess their sins, but be truly humbled at heart for them:
3) [H]umbled... is an important theme throughout both the Old and New Testaments. (Jam. 4:1-10. See also, Dan. 9 above and 1 Pet. 5.) [F]riendship of the world is enmity with God, and when God's people walk contrary (at enmity) to God, he walks contrary to them. The call to God's people throughout the word of God is for God's people to cleanse their hands of sin, purify their hearts, mourn and weep in genuine repentance over their sins, humble themselves in the sight of the Lord by returning in obedience, and he shall lift you up.
and they then accept of the punishment of their iniquity; take it well at the hand of God, bear it patiently without murmuring, or thinking themselves hardly dealt by, but freely owning it is less than their iniquities deserve; or complete and finish the punishment of their sins, as Aben Ezra, which upon their humiliation should be put an end to, and cease. Jarchi takes the word in the sense of atonement and pacification, as if by their chastisement their sins were expiated {d}, and God was pacified toward them: but rather it denotes the free and full pardon of their sins, manifested to them upon their repentance and humiliation for sin.
4) [A]nd they then accept of the punishment of their iniquity... Given twice (vv. 41 & 43), is not a statement to be taken lightly. "[B]ear it patiently without murmuring...," is described by Peter:
For what glory is it, if, when ye be buffeted for your faults, ye shall take it patiently? but if, when ye do well, and suffer for it, ye take it patiently, this is acceptable with God. (1 Pet. 2:20.)
For your faults {ham-ar-tan'-o}, that is, sin (missing the mark), not iniquity {an-om-ee'-ah}, lawlessness. Buffet (strike, or violence of some kind) is used five times in the New Testament, four times in unjustly suffering for righteousness' sake, and this fifth, justly receiving violence for sin. 1 Peter chapter two is a strong passage, requiring God's people to bear maltreatment with patience. If they do not deserve the violence against them, they will be rewarded by the Lord. If they do deserve the violence, or buffeting, they have no cause to complain. Note 1 Peter 2:12:
Having your conversation honest among the Gentiles: that, whereas they speak against you as evildoers, they may by your good works, which they shall behold, glorify God in the day of visitation.
(Thus, Peter says Christians are the Jews who dwell among the Gentiles.) Though I personally am not in the "secular" work place, I am close enough in touch with what is going on to make this informed statement: Most of the charges of evildoers against professed Christians are true, viz., the average "Christian" can be identified with G. Gorden Liddy. Listening to him, he is a man with a very dirty mind, readily and openly making all kinds of sexual comments, some by innuendoes and some as openly as can be done on a public broadcast. Yet he readily claims to be a "Christian." He continually says that each person is to establish his own standard. The average "Christian" temper is "every man doing what is right in his own eyes. (Deut. 12:8; Jud. 17:6; 21:25.) One of our men who worked at Caterpillar readily tells of co-workers who professed to be Christians, yet their public actions were worse than those who make no such profession, viz., the "Christians" will quickly stab someone in the back who might stand in their way toward making themselves look good or might stand in their way of more money. God's people are clearly serving the gods of the surrounding pagans, in violation of the Law of God:
Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth: Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me; And shewing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments. (Exo. 20:4-6; Deut. 5:9. See Exo. 34:7; Lev. 5:17; 18:25 [the land itself vomited out the Canaanites and the Israelites for their iniquity]; 20:17ff. [everyone involved in immorality]; Num. 5:15ff. [immorality within marriage]; Josh. 22:20 [Achan did not perish alone in his iniquity of taking what belonged to the Lord]; 1 Sam. 28:10 [King Saul promised no punishment for the witch to do her thing]; Ps. 51, &c. There are 213 uses of #5771 [iniquity, punishment] in the Old Testament.)
Numbers 14:34, presents an interesting thought concerning iniquity:
After the number of the days in which ye searched the land, even forty days, each day for a year, shall ye bear your iniquities, even forty years, and ye shall know my breach of promise.
The people did not believe God could deliver the promised land, Canaan, to them, so they refused to go claim it. The result was that they and their children had to spend forty years in the wilderness to bear their iniquities. The average "Christian" thought today (since the early 1800s) is that it is impossible that God can fulfill Matthew 28:19, 20--that is, convert the nations of the world to Christ. The result is that God has exalted the wicked into places of authority where the wicked can trod "Christianity" under foot. (Mt. 5:13.) "Christianity" is today bearing the iniquity of several generations of faithless fathers. The Second Commandment promises that God will visit the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me... That hatred is shown by disregarding the Ten Commandments. (Jn. 14:15.)

In other words, it appears obvious to me that what is taking place today through oppressive civil government is no more than God exalting the wicked into places of authority because of the wickedness in those who profess to be His people. (In fact, it is hard to describe the anger this pastor has experienced from "Christians" over just the proper plan of salvation. We have lost several families from our church over the "plan of salvation" Their confidence was in "ask jesus into your heart," and simmilar things. When confronted with the truth, they left rather than admit error. We have also received "nasty" letters from pastors who read the booklet, "The Other jesus." One could tell by the tone of their letters that they were defending their own false profession of faith.)

Therefore, not until those who profess to be his people are willing to confess their iniquity will the Lord remember my covenant with... Abraham.

Ver. 42 is very remarkable in the Hebrew. It is literally, "I will remember my covenant, Jacob," &c. There is no "with." May God not be speaking here to these patriarchs whose god He is at this moment, and saying, "I will remember my covenant, O Jacob, made with thee! and my covenant, O Isaac, with thee; and I wil remember my covenant, O Abraham, with thee, and the land wherein thou wast a stranger...3
Though Bonar restricts the promised land wherein Abraham, Isaac and Jacob were strangers to Palistine, Hebrews 11:13, distinctly tells us that the land wherein they were strangers and pilgrams was the earth. (These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of them, and embraced them, and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth.) Accordingly, the whole earth was promised to Abraham's seed, Christ. Thoes who are in Christ are commanded to go forth and conquor all nations through the preaching his Gospel. (Mt. 28:19, 20. 1 Pet. 2:11 -- note the significant NT use by the Spirit of the same words, Dearly beloved, I beseech you as strangers and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts, which war against the soul... See also, 1 Cor. 1:17-2:8. Note that the power of God to subdue hardened sinners is the sword of the Spirit, the gospel, not the literal sword.)

The promised result of accepting the punishment of their iniquity is also given twice, v. 42 and vv. 44, 45--the Lord will remember the covenant he made with Jacob, Isaac and with Abraham. The Abrahamic covenant, upon which all the rest are built, is found in Genesis 12:1-3. V. 3b:

And in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed; that is, in his seed, as in #Ge 22:18 and which is interpreted of Christ, #Ac 3:25 Ga 3:8,16 meaning not every individual of all the families or nations of the earth; but that as many as believe in Christ, of all nations, are blessed in him; and that whoever of them are blessed, they are blessed and only blessed in him, and that they are blessed for his sake with all spiritual blessings; see #Eph 1:3 such as redemption, justification, remission of sins, sanctification, adoption, and eternal life.4
The covenant is "the salvation which God made with Abram, (it, ed.) is neither stable nor firm except in Christ." (Calvin) The promised blessings to his people through Christ. (I deal with it throughly in "Israel's Identity/Israel's Conversion.") [A]ccept of the punishment of their iniquity... Hebrews 12 is clearly parallel to this passage in Leviticus (26:40-46). From Hebrews 12, observe:

First, the Spirit calls for patient endurance in the Christian race. We are to look to Jesus as our example, for if we do not, we will grow weary and faint in your minds. (Vv. 1-3.) Weariness and faintness of the mind will result in failed and forsaken Christian actions.

Second, the people of God are called upon to patiently endure chastening. Obviously, the Heavenly Father does not chasten his children after his own pleasure, as human fathers do. Rather, he does it for his children's profit, that we might be partakers of his holiness. Chastening, though it is not joyous at the time, yieldeth the peceable fruit of righteousness unto them that are exercised thereby. (Vv. 4-11.)

Third, the New Testament people of God, Christians, are compared to the Old Testament people of God who gathered at the foot of the mount in Sinai. (Vv. 18-24.) It was at this location at the foot of the mount that the law was given, including the law we are looking at in Leviticus 26.

Fourth, Moses was the mediator of the old covenant given at the mount, through the blood of bulls and goats; Jesus, through his blood, is the mediator of the new covenant.

Fifth, the sight at the giving of the first covenant, of which Leviticus 26 is part (see v. 46), was so terrible that Moses himself said, I exceedingly fear and quake.

Sixth, after rehearsing to those under the new covenant the terribleness of the first covenant, even instantaneous death, the Spirit warns God's people concerning the second covenant, of which Jesus is the mediator, sealed with his own blood. The serious warning, even more serious than the warning issued at the foot of the mount, is, See that ye refuse not him that speaketh... (Vv. 25, 26.)

Seventh, the Lord is shaking the things that can be shaken, so that the things which cannot be shaken may remain. The result will be that those who serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear will receive a kingdom which cannot be moved. (Vv. 27, 28.)

Eighth, Moses feared and quaked at the appearance of God at the mount, but God's people today seem to be totally oblivious of the same God. So the Spirit ends his warning concerning God's chastening with, For our god is a consuming fire. (V. 28.)

All that to say this: The chastening by God of his people under the old covenant given at the mount and sealed with the blood of bulls and goats (promised in passages such as Leviticus 26) is not nearly as bad nor serious as the chastening of his people under the new covenant given at the new mount Sion and sealed with the blood of the Lord Jesus Christ. Quoting Gill again on Leviticus 26:41:

and they then accept of the punishment of their iniquity; take it well at the hand of God, bear it patiently without murmuring, or thinking themselves hardly dealt by, but freely owning it is less than their iniquities deserve; or complete and finish the punishment of their sins, as Aben Ezra, which upon their humiliation should be put an end to, and cease. Jarchi takes the word in the sense of atonement and pacification, as if by their chastisement their sins were expiated {d}, and God was pacified toward them: but rather it denotes the free and full pardon of their sins, manifested to them upon their repentance and humiliation for sin.
In light of Hebrews chapter twelve, the above statement concerning Leviticus 26:41 (40-45), should take on a very relevant meaning, viz., God has today exalted the wicked over his people because they have forsaken the Lord of the New Covenant; they have clearly ignored his word, secure in their false confidence that surely he will not reward his "beloved" people according to their attitude toward his Law-Word.

Just as sure as his people of old could not successfully "rebel" against the oppressors the Lord exalted, they cannot today. Not until his people admit they justly deserve (and accept) the situation they are in today will the Lord fulfill the covenant made with Abraham, and bless the whole earth through Christ and his people, the Gospel Church. By accepting the situation we must mean, as it did of old, realizing that the Lord God of heaven is using the wicked to chasten his people for their sins; they must confess the sin of rejecting the Law of the Lord as the rule of every thought and action, and renew the commitment to follow his Law-Word in every area. This includes being involved in every area of life by taking Biblical laws into areas as civil government, charity, occupation, etc. (See 1 John 1:9 and Pro. 28:13, 14.) After his people humble themselves under the mighty hand of the Lord, the Lord will lift them up, even delivering the pagans into their hands, i.e., conversion of the nations to Christ.

Note how easily and clearly the ancestors of Leviticus 26:45 (But I will for their sakes remember the covenant of their ancestors, whom I brought forth out of the land of Egypt in the sight of the heathen, that I might be their God: I am the LORD.) are traced into the New Testament, where it is applied to the Church:

Moreover, brethren, I would not that ye should be ignorant, how that all our fathers were under the cloud, and all passed through the sea; And were all baptized unto Moses in the cloud and in the sea; And did all eat the same spiritual meat; And did all drink the same spiritual drink: for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them: and that Rock was Christ. But with many of them God was not well pleased: for they were overthrown in the wilderness. Now these things were our examples, to the intent we should not lust after evil things, as they also lusted... (1 Cor. 10:1-6.)
At the risk of "spiritualizing" too much, the ancestors, whom the Lord brought forth out of the land of Egypt, are the fathers of the Gospel Church. (1 Cor. 10:1.0 Therefore, the promise of the covenant blessings upon God's people found in Leviticus 26:40-46, looks forward to its final fulfillment in the Gospel Church of the Lord Jesus Christ:
Now he which stablisheth us with you in Christ, and hath anointed us, is God... (2 Cor. 1:21.)
Ver. 20. For all the promises of God in him [are] yea, &c.] This is a reason or argument proving what is before said, that "in" Christ "was yea", since "all the promises of God in him are yea"; and shows, that God has made many promises to his people: mention is here made of "promises", and of "all" the promises; or, as the words may be rendered, "as many promises of God". There are some which concern the temporal good of the saints; as that they shall not want any good thing; and though they shall be attended with afflictions, these shall work for their good, and they shall be supported under them. Others concern their spiritual good; some of which relate to God himself, that he will be their God, which includes his everlasting love, his gracious presence, and divine protection. Others relate to Christ as their surety and Saviour, by whom they are, and shall be justified and pardoned, in whom they are adopted, and by whom they shall be saved with an everlasting salvation: and others relate to the Spirit of God, as a spirit of illumination, faith, comfort, strength, and assistance, and to supplies of grace by him from Christ: and others concern everlasting life and happiness, and are all of them very ancient, which God, that cannot lie, promised before the world began; are exceeding great and precious, suited to the various cases of God's people; are free and unconditional, immutable and irrevocable, and will all of them have their certain accomplishment. These promises are all "in" Christ; with and in whom could they be but in him, since he only existed when they were made, which was from everlasting? with and in whom should they be of right, but in him with whom the covenant, which contains these promises, were made, and who undertook the accomplishment of them? where could they be safe and secure but in him, in whose hands are the persons, grace, and glory of his people? not in Adam, nor in angels, nor in themselves, only in him. Moreover, these promises are "in him yea"...5
Then cometh the end, when he shall have delivered up the kingdom to God, even the Father; when he shall have put down all rule and all authority and power. For he must reign, till he hath put all enemies under his feet. The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death. For he hath put all things under his feet. But when he saith all things are put under him, it is manifest that he is excepted, which did put all things under him. And when all things shall be subdued unto him, then shall the Son also himself be subject unto him that put all things under him, that God may be all in all. (1 Cor. 15:24-28.)
And so, after he had patiently endured, he obtained the promise. (Heb. 6:15.)
Thus Leviticus 26:40-46, in the final analysis, looks forward to the Israel of God, the Gospel Church. The covenant, v. 42, clearly speaks of the Gospel Church. Today, the church is under oppression. Not until it does vv. 40 and 41, will it be restored to its power in Gospel Christ. The promised covenant was the new, everlasting covenant which God made with his new people, the new Israel of God, the Gospel Church. (Jer. 24:6, 7; 32:37-41, Gal. 6:16.)

The Scriptural evidence is overwhelming: the promised restoration of vv. 40-46 is made to the new Israel of God. The promised regathering is "Israel" gathered to the Ensign, which is Christ. I will not go into the argument here, for it is throughly presented in Israel's Identity/Israel's Conversion. However, I will mention a few things that readily come to mind.

V. 43 (vv. 34, 35), then shall the land enjoy her sabbath... The context refers to national Israel: While it was in Babylon for the seventy years, the land rested. However, we must not overlook the promised rest of the land that is part of Christ's redemptive work:

For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now. (Rom. 8:22.)
Paul tells us that the sabbath rest the land (the whole world) is waiting to enjoy is accomplished in Christ.

Leviticus 26:40, 41, the purpose of the previous negative I wills is to call the people to repentance of their sins against the Lord God. Vv. 40, 41, If they shall confess that they have walked contrary unto God's law, if they will humble themselves before the Lord and they then accept of the punishment of their iniquity: Then will he remember the covenant.

Confess the iniquities of your fathers... Genuine, godly confession means admitting one is wrong and then setting about to change that wrong. (Pro. 28:13, 14.) Thus confession of the iniquities of the fathers means that we confess where they were wrong and we set about changing the wrong things they put into practice, e.g., the state education system. It DOES NOT simply involve admitting the fathers were wrong, but that what they did was wrong and we need to change it.

Though many good men try to use the promise of the restored covenant in places such as Leviticus 26 to teach a final restoration of national Israel to a physical land at the expense of the Gospel Church, the covenant is clearly the new Israel of God.

The covenant-promise was that Abaraham's seed should be the heir of the world. The promise was not made to Abraham's physical seed, but to his spiritual seed through faith in Christ, the Gospel Church. (Rom. 4:13, 14.)


1 Perpetual desolations... God himself laid the land waste. During the "gulf war," American bombers made it a special point to bomb the ruins of Neb's. great city. No doubt they did it out of spite for the Scriptures and God, but here God promised that the land would be a perpetual desolation for what it did to his people. Moreover, if God did this against the wicked (Neb., &c.) for what they did to OT Israel, think what is in store for the wicked who move so dramatically agaisnt the Gospel Church. They are moveing much more clearly against Christ than what Neb. ever thought of doing. The wicked today are not only touching the apple of his eye, but they are trying to gouge it out. God will move according to his good pleasure in his good time. We must do our best, and leave the rest to him. 2 John Gill, Online Bible, ver. 8. 3 Andrew Bonar, 491. 4 Gill. 5 Gill.

12) Greater Ministries International

"Dimes are being Lost."

The only supporting evidence this pastor has received for being involved in GMI has been "Not a dime has been lost." This pastor has been accused of trying to destroy "good Christian Brothers," e.g., Gerald Payne, &c. Below are two Affidavits of facts concerning Greater Ministries International, which, according to Gerald Payne, until October 28, 1998 "had an alliance with a corporation, Greater Ministries International, Inc., a Florida Corporation." (Gerald Payne's Affidavit filed in the Court of Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania, January 14, 1999.)

Consider this:

1) the date above, October 28, 1998. Those presenting the GM gifting program in 1997, said that GMI had nothing to do with any U.S. corporation. Either those supporters or Gerald Payne's Affidavit is not telling the truth. 2) the date mentioned below by Mr. Miller, 9/23/98. This pastor was at another GM support meeting in October 98, where it was loudly proclaimed that no one had lost a dime in Greater (the Greater representative had to know of the Cease and Desist Order). 3) the pastor, and others, who urged Mr. Miller to get involved received "kick backs." 4) of the $261,500.00 paid into GMI's gifting program by June Smith's family, they only received back $129,265.00, before Greater "placed a curse" upon her family. 5) I understand that GMI is now paying in "gold certificates" rather than in cash or check. It seems to this pastor that only those who got in on the ground floor have gotten their money out of GMI, which, in my feeble understanding, is typical of a Ponzy scheme.

(The following is the best I can make out from Mr. Miller's hand written Affidavit. It is written in such a way as to run all together so no one can insert anything. Hard copies of the three Affidavits [Payne's, Miller's & Smith's] upon request.)

County of Summerset

State of Pennsylvania


I Michael E. Miller, being first duly sworn upon my oath, hereby state as follows:

I reside at Long Suffering Street, Box 64B Confluence PA 15424. My telephone number is 814 395 5986.

I (am) employed by Karen Miller Personal Care Home. I own this business with my wife Karen Miller located at RD #1 Box 88 Confluence PA 15424.

(1) I first learned about Greater Ministries from my Pastor at Confluence Church. I have attended Confluence Church for the past 5 1/2 years. The Pastor Merle Calkins and his wife Lisa (also a pastor) are personal friends of mine and have been so for 5 1/2 years. Merele [sic] and Lisa have been the pastors of Confluence Church for 12 years and Mount Zion for 2 1/2 years. I have enjoyed a very good personal relationship with the Calkins during this time of 5 1/2 years. In fact, I permitted the Calkins to live for free at my river front cabin for 2 years.

(2) In late A96, Calkins (Merle) began to tell me about the blessings he was receiving from Greater Ministries. Merle would tell me about Greater Miniseries (Greater) gifting program and how he was blessed financially. Merle told me that whatsoever amount a person gave to Greater through the gifting program, this amount would double in 10 months. Merle told me that he had maxed out his credit cards and put all of that borrowed money into the Greater gifting program. Merle told me that it was worth borrowing from my credit cards at 18% since the gifting program's returns were 100%. I remember one time, before I ever invested in the gifting program I saw Merle at the post office in Confluence. Merle had a bunch of 100 dollar bills that he began waving in my presence. Merle told me that he had received the money through the gifting program. During this time Merle and Lisa along with their one son were living at my river front cabin for free. I felt that letting the Calkin's live for free at my home on the river was part of my titghting [sic] (donation to my church). Merle, during this time, never mentioned Greater from the pulpit or in church.

(3) After hearing Merle talking about the blessings (money) he was receiving from Greater and after seeing the money Merle had received from Greater I called Jim List to share the program with me. At this time I knew Jim List to be a person who had addressed our congregation once or twice about church affairs. Merle told me to talk with Jim List to get involved in Greater. I called Jim List and we set up a meeting at my house. This first meeting, in late 1996, took place at my home. There were at least 10 people at the first meeting, including my mother, and Merle. I member Jim List (List) told me to invite christians to this meeting at my home. I invited friends as well as family.

(4) List explained the gifting program at the meeting. He said that a person could double their money, in 10 months. List explained that a persons could re-gift their money and make more money. It was not long after that first meeting that I invested for the first time. List and Merle both had compared the Greater gifting program to the stock market and Bank investments. List and Merle both had told me that there was nothing that could compare to the gifting program in the way of a return. List had told me that he had maxed out his credit cards and had put everything he had into the gifting program. List said that he had taken the money he had borrowed on his credit cards and put it into the investment with Greater's gifting program. List told me that I would double my money in 10 months. (5) The first time I had met list was before I got involved in Greater. List was in Confluence with Merle and Merle brought him to my home. I had a piece of property that was partially developed, and had shown it to list. When I was ready to make my first investment in Greater I asked List if he thought it would be a good idea to sell the property and put (invest) the proceeds into Greater's gifting program. I remember List told me that this was alright [sic] and that I couldn't make a better investment.

(6) I do not know much about investing and I have never invested in the stock market, bonds, mutual Funds or any other kind of security. As a self employed person I have always put my money into my businesses and properties.

(7) I sold the property I was developing to make my first investment in Greater. I remember that I obtained (purchased) a money order for $10,000.00 and completed the Greater form and sent it to Tampa FL.

(8) After my first investment I held 4 or 5 more meetings at my home, and meetings at other people's homes in Sumerset, PA. One meeting in Sumerset, PA was at a home occupied by Nadine Killeleffi (Nadine). Nadine had invited me to her home for this meeting. There were 6 to 8 people at Nadines.

(9) During this time I was growing closer to List. I believed List to be a person who had a better understanding of financial matters than I had. List compared the Greater investment to the stock market and bank investment. List had represented himself to be familiar with precious metals. All of this impressed me and I began to take his advice. List continued to talk highly about the gift program.

(10) I began to received [sic] statements showing that I was making $1,000 per month. I remember as I began to make more money by re-gifting I could not understand the statements I had received from Greater. I asked List once to explain the statements to me but he could not. List told me that he really did not understand the statements either but he told me that the program was really working. List would always tell me that the Lord ensured that the gift program would work, and continue to work. List told me that the program would continue to work until the Lord returned. During the home meetings List would discuss that the Greater gift program was to also ensure that the Christians would have money when the government (U.S. Government) failed.

(11) List had looked at my statements and told me I was making money. Because of the Greater statement showing I had made money and because I was told by list that the program was also a way for Christians to become debt free, I invested more money. I refinanced my home and other properties and received approximately $40,000 from the equity that I had on those properties in cash from the bank. I invested that $40,000 in the Greater gift program. I remember that when I invested the $40,000 I drove to Florida with List. I drove my own car and he rode with me to Florida (Tampa). List had money from other people but it is uncertain how much money List took to Florida.

(12) When we got to Tampa List took me into the Greater office to meet with Gerald Payne, Don Hall and others. I bought gold coins while I was there in the amount of 350.00. I stayed in Florida for one day and drove home alone since List stayed for meetings. The reason that I made the investment in cash was to take advantage of Greater's closing date which is the 15th of each month. In order to receive the gift for the first month the money needed to be in by the 15th.

(13) After my $40,000 I continued to invest new money (in the amount of approx $10,000 in cash) as well as reinvesting $73,000 (per the statement). I received money back from Greater and made improvements to my property with the understanding that I still had $73,000 in my Greater account.

(14) I remember when I would receive money from Greater it would always come by priority U.S. mail. It would always be in cash. Early in the Summer of 1998 my Greater account statement showed I had $98,000 in my account. At this time I was due to receive a gift in the amount of $13,000. The regular due date for the gift came and went. More time went by. I still had not received my $13,000 gift which I was due. I called Greater on 15 separate occasions to find out about my gift. During one conversation with a Greater representative I was told that my money was already sent. Thee or four days latter I called again because I had not received my gift yet. I called and was told a box of mail had been misplaced and resent that day. Days latter I had still not received my gift. I told List about my experience and he gave me Payne's direct telephone number. When I called Payne I told him that I wanted to get all my money out (all $98,000) and start gifting all once again. Payne told me that he would have to check my file and he put me on hold. When he came back on the line he told me that he could send me $18,000 and then Greater would be done with me. Payne told me that if I wanted out all I could get was $18,000. At this time my account disclosed that I had $98,000 invested with Greater. Because I did not want to loose $80,000, I told Payne to leave things as they were. I realized at this time that I could not get my money out when ever I wanted. I was told before I ever invested that I could take my money out anytime I wanted. List told me this many times. I would never have invested if I had known that I could not get my money out when I wanted. At the same time I had begun to have doubts about the program. I had found out that both Merle and List had gotten kick backs from Greater. In fact, List had given me $500.00 in cash for directing people to this program. Because of this $500.00 I never told another person about the gift program because I believed that it was wrong to "kick back."

(15) List went to Florida during the summer of 1998 and brought back $13,000 which I picked up in WV. (Marg. Note: This $13,000 was the gift due to me.) Currently my statements with Greater disclose that I have $74,000 in my account.

(16) I have recently found myself with drawing [sic] from the church, List and Merle.

(17) I was never told about the Cease and Disist [sic] Order issued by the PA Securities Commission against Greater. I just found out about this Order on 9/23/98. If I had known about this order I would never have invested in Greater.

(18) I know of a number of people who have invested in Greater.

(19) I invested in the Greater gift program because of the double the gift in 10 months part of the program and because I wanted to get debt free as was represented by List. I did not get debt free but rather I got further in debt.

Michael Miller

Subscribed and Sworn To Before me at

39L, Rd #3, Confluence, PA

This 25th day of September, 1998

James Klutinoty

Securities Investigator

Pennsylvania Securities Commission.


I, JUNE SMITH, state on personal knowledge the following facts:

1. I reside at 406 Valleybrook Drive, Lancaster, Pennsylvania 17601.

2. My family and I have paid money to participate in the Greater Ministries (Greater) "gift plan" and, as of March 1998, have paid money to Greater for seven separate accounts (seven accounts). In total, my family and I have paid approximately $261,500.00 into these seven accounts.

3. With respect to these seven accounts, Ruben Stoltzfus monitored them and charged a monthly fee of $60.00 for doing so.

4. On or about April 22. 1998.1 traveled to and visited the Greater office at 715 Bird Street, Tampa, Florida. During my visit, Ruben Stoltzfus threatened my life by saying, "I'll tell you right now to give the check back to the [Greater] Ministry. I wouldn't want to be you. Don't go out that door with that check or something bad is going to happen to you." At that same meeting, Gerald Payne also threatened me with a "curse, three times," if I did not give our funds to Greater.

5. As I calculate, my family and I have paid approximately $261,500.00 to Greater. Greater had represented that our money would double within 16 months. That promised amount should now equal $523,000.00.

6. As of January 1998, Greater failed to make a monthly payment to my family and 1 of $1,000.00 and failed to send us a statement reflecting a $550.00 purchase of gold in exchange for our opening a debit account through Greater.

7. Therefore, the total my family and I believe we have invested in Greater is $524,550.00, of which Greater paid out to us $129,265.00. We are still owed $395,285.00 by Greater with respect to our seven accounts.

8. After paying out $129,265.00 Greater placed a curse on my family.

9. I have communicated this information to Ruben Stoltzfus and Gerald Payne in writing.

10. I state the foregoing subject to the penalties of 18 Pa. C.S. §4904 relating to unsworn falsification to authorities.

June Smith

406 Valleybrook Drive

Lancaster, PA 17601

Dated: October 23,1998

See also two letters by William C. Smith (1.800.533.2878), who personally lost over $79,000 and his friend, Roy Cotton, who personally lost $90,000. We have them posted on our web site.

13) Love the Sinner, Hate Sin

Standing against the heresy being propagated by Darby and his followers that one can "love the sinner while hating the sin," Baptist Theologian A. H. Strong (1836-1921), said:

Gen. 18:25; Deut. 32:4; Ps. 5:5, 7:9-12, 18:24-26; Matt. 5:48; Rom. 2:6; 1 Pet. 1:16. These passages show that God loves the same persons whom he hates. It is not true that he hates the sin, but loves the sinner; he both hates and loves the sinner himself, hates him as he is a living and wilful antagonist of truth and holiness, loves him as he is a creature capable of good and ruined by his transgression.

There is no abstract sin that can be hated apart from the persons in whom that sin is represented and embodied. Thomas Fuller found it difficult to starve the profaneness but to feed the person of the impudent beggar who applied to him for food. Mr. Finney declared that he would kill the slave-catcher, but would love him with all his heart. In our civil war Dr. Kirk said: "God knows that we love the rebels, but God also knows that we will kill them if they do not lay down their arms." The complex nature of God not only permits but necessitates this same double treatment of the sinner, and the earthly father experiences the same conflict of emotions when his heart yearns over the corrupt son whom he is compelled to banish from the household. Moberly, Atonement and Personality, 7 -- "It is the sinner who is punished, not the sin." (Systematic Theology, 290, 291.)

In other words, sin cannot be separated from the sinner, for one cannot starve the lazy bum as required by God without starving the man, nor can one kill the sin of murder as required by God without killing the murderer. "Love the sinner, but hate his sin" is impossible for both God and man.

14) Online Bible, version 8

We now have v. 8 CD, containing an amazing amount of material:

500+ megs of material * Over a $1000 worth of books * Easy to use, menu driven program * Fast word, phrase or Strong's number search * 644,000 cross references * Over 5000 topics including Thompson Chain topics * Bible Dictionary * Bible keyed to Strong's numbers * Verb parsings * Greek and Hebrew lexicon * Greek text keyed to Strong's and fully parsed * Translation & Textural Notes * A.T. Rbertson Word Pictures in the Greek New Testament * Add your own topics, notes and word studies * Ten English versions including KJV, RSV, ASV * Two dozen foreign translations in French, Spanish, German, Dutch, &c. * Latest Archaeological material * Creation Science material-"The Lie", and the "Quote book", &c. * Pilgrim's Progress * McGuffey's Readers (Home School Material) * full color maps * Lots more * COMMENTARIES- Family NT Bible Notes, Peoples NT Notes, The Four Fold Gospel, notes on gospels, Eclectric Notes (Ex, Mt, Ro complete), Complete & Concise Matthew Henry, 1599 Geneva Bible notes, John Gill's 10,000,000 word exposition (i.e., comments on every Bible verse , & his 1,000,000 word "Body of Divinity"), JFB, Spurgeon's "Treasury of David" (& his "Morning & Evening) * Scofield's Notes * Commentaries can also be searched for words or phrases * Import passages/commentaries, &c., easily into most word processors.

The study and research that used to take hours, and even days, now can be accomplished in a small fraction of the time. (The search features are outstanding, by word, words, phrase or by Strong's numbers -- the only time I use my Strong's now is when the computer is not available.)

Admittedly, I receive a few dollars from this CD to help meed personal expenses, for our church is quite small. If purchased in printed form, the value of the material on this one CD is greater than the cost of an entry level computer (and monitor) with a CDROM: they are readily available now under $700. It will run on W 3.1, W 95 - 486, 8 megs. ram or better. It contains much more than what is listed above. We have the CD for $52, post paid. (3 or more, $40.00 ea.) (MAC version, $2 more each.) Please allow a couple weeks for shipping. This CD makes an excellent gift for about any occasion.

Order from: The Biblical Examiner, PO Box 6, Linden, Indiana 47955 (765 339-4609)

By His Sovereign Grace Alone,

Pastor Need