Thursday, December 21, 2006
Supreme Court Justices Bryer and Scalia Discuss the Use of Foreign Law in Interpreting the US Constitution
Here's a few snippets:
Justice Bryer: Look, let me be a little bit more frank, that in some of these countries there are institutions, courts that are trying to make their way in societies that didn't used to be democratic, and they are trying to protect human rights, they are trying to protect democracy. They're having a document called a constitution, and they want to be independent judges. And for years people all over the world have cited the Supreme Court, why don't we cite them occasionally? They will then go to some of their legislators and others and say, "See, the Supreme Court of the United States cites us." That might give them a leg up, even if we just say it's an interesting example. So, you see, it shows we read their opinions. That's important.
JUSTICE SCALIA: I don't know what it means to express confidence that judges will do what they ought to do, after having read the foreign law. My problem is I don't know what they ought to do. What is it that they ought to do? You have to ask yourselves, Why is it that foreign law would be relevant to what an American judge does when he interprets -- interprets, not writes -- I mean, the Founders used a lot of foreign law. If you read the Federalist Papers, it's full of discussions of the Swiss system, German system. It's full of that. It is very useful in devising a constitution. But why is it useful in interpreting one?
Now, my theory of what I do when I interpret the American Constitution is I try to understand what it meant, what was understood by the society to mean when it was adopted. And I don't think it changes since then. Now, obviously if you have that philosophy -- which, by the way, used to be orthodoxy until about 60 years ago -- every judge would tell you that's what we do. If you have that philosophy, obviously foreign law is irrelevant with one exception: Old English law, because phrases like "due process," the "right of confrontation" and things of that sort were all taken from English law. So the reality is I use foreign law more than anybody on the Court. But it's all old English law. All right, if you have that theory, you can understand why foreign law is irrelevant. So he will never convert me. I just have a -- (laughter) --
But if you're looking for the evolving standards of decency of American society, why would you look to France? The only way in which it makes sense is if you have a third approach to the interpretation of the Constitution, and that is I am not looking for the evolving standards of decency of American society; I'm looking for what is the best answer in my mind as an intelligent judge. And for that purpose I look to other intelligent people, and I talk sometimes about conversations with judges and lawyers and law students. Do you think you're representative of American society? Do you not realize you are a small cream at the top, and that your views on innumerable things are not the views of America at large? And doesn't it seem somewhat arrogant for you to say, I can make up what the moral values of America should be on all sorts of issues, such as penology, the death penalty, abortion, whatever? That's the only context in which the use of foreign law makes sense, because what we're doing is not looking to history, as I do, not looking to the mores of contemporary American society, which we did for a while -- we used to see how many states had abolished, for example, in Koker -- how many states had abolished the death penalty for rape. All except one. Well, you could say we devolved. But we have put that behind us. And in our last Eighth Amendment case, eight states -- no, what was it? -- no -- 18 states out of the 38 states that have capital punishment refused to impose it upon the mentally deficient. The other states left it up to the jury as to how mentally deficient he was and whether that justified the crime, given how heinous it was. Nonetheless, we said even though only 18 out of 38, we have now reached a change in our moral perceptions. I suggest that change is based not upon the theory that you're looking for what the moral perceptions of America is, but that you're looking for moral perceptions of the justices. And I frankly don't want to undertake that responsibility. I don't want to do it with foreign law, and I don't want to do it without foreign law. I sleep very well at night, because I read old English cases. (Laughter.) And there's my answer.
JUSTICE BREYER: I think that's pretty good. I think that's really what's worrying people. And of course I think that underneath that my own views, it's really because I think, and I think many judges think, that your own moral views are not the answer; that people look other places for trying to find out in those few cases where such a thing is determinative how to find answers that aren't -- I mean, I'm tempted to say Bob Browker (ph), who is a good judge up in Massachusetts, used to say, "When I want to know what the common man thinks, I ask myself what I think, and I'm right every time." (Laughter.) That's not it. By the way, I want to keep a concession -- .....
JUSTICE BREYER: Well, I -- India -- India -- they've written a pretty good opinion. There was one in Canada. The U.N. had discussions on this. And they weren't all one way. And I cited things the other way too, anything I could find. And then I think I may have made what I call a tactical error in citing a case from Zimbabwe -- not the human rights capital of the world.
JUSTICE SCALIA: One of the difficulties of using foreign law is that you don't understand what the surrounding jurisprudence is so that you can say, you know, "Russia follows Miranda," but you don't know that Russia doesn't have an Exclusionary rule...
But most of all, what does the opinion of a wise Zimbabwe judge or a wise member of the House of Lords law committee, what does that have to do with what Americans believe, unless you really think it's been given to YOU to make this moral judgment, a very difficult moral judgment? And so in making it for yourself and for the whole country, you consult whatever authorities you want. Unless you have that philosophy, I don't see how it's relevant at all.
Thursday, November 23, 2006
Yet he says he's not a racist. Just as Mel Gibson claimed.
My question has been: What makes you not a racist? Because you say you aren't? One can claim to not be racist till they're blue in the face, but if what keeps flowing out of their mouths is racist, we've got to go with their behavior, not their claim.
I've also observed this in the professing Christian community. People who profess to be conservative, biblical Christians are behaving as if God isn't in control of this country's elections and leaders. Rather, they vote liberally (pro-abortion, pro-homosexual rights), hoping that the lesser of the two evils will be "good enough" or perhaps "not quite as bad".
Are you a conservative Christian because you say you are? Or are you one because your behavior bears that out?
Its as if professing Christians are scared to death that a very liberal person will win the elections, so they hope their vote for the less liberal man will make a difference. By doing so they reject biblical principles on a few different levels:
1. They show unbelief in a totally Sovereign God.
2. They fear man rather than God.
3. They don't live by biblical principles when it matters on a large scale.
4. They are hypocrits.
That last one hurts to even say, because I know some personally. But I can't compromise on truth, no matter who holds to error. I must answer to God. And I do realize we all are inconsistant at certain times. No one is sinless, least of all me. Just ask my family. But I'm finding the way professing Christians are behaving in light of their claims to be glaringly inconsistant. And these are folks under solid biblical teaching.
This year we've been going through the book of Daniel at church. Over and over we see in Scripture how Daniel feared God, not man, and he was a person of integrity. While showing respect for which ever king he was serving under, he never ever compromised God's commands. If that meant going into the firey furnace or a hungry lions' den, so be it. He would rather face death than disobey his God and Master.
So why do we Christians compromise on "lesser" things? If we so do in those, will we also not do so in the "larger" issues of life? Are we failing the test? Does that bode well for when harder issues come up?
Is God not the one who raises up and brings down leaders of the nations? Is He not in control of every atom of HIS creation?
Then why do we act like He is not? Why do we fear the enemy more than "the One who can destroy both body and soul"?
Do we really believe He is sovereign or do we just say we believe it?
Our behavior reflects what we really believe.
So did your vote this election reflect what you proclaim to believe about God?
Monday, November 13, 2006
*Within nine months we will be withdraw from Iraq.
*Iraq will collapse and the terrorists will take over their country, undoing all we've done thus far.
*The Democrats will then impeach George Bush for the failure of the Iraqi government.
Is. 40: 23 He brings princes to naught and reduces the rulers of this world to nothing. 24 No sooner are they planted, no sooner are they sown, no sooner do they take root in the ground, than he blows on them and they wither, and a whirlwind sweeps them away like chaff.
Prov. 15: 3 The eyes of the LORD are everywhere, keeping watch on the wicked and the good.
Dan 4:35 all the inhabitants of the earth are accounted as nothing, and he does according to his will among the host of heaven and among the inhabitants of the earth; and none can stay his hand or say to him, "What have you done?"
May those who claim Christ as Lord (owner, master, head, boss) ACT like it and therefore not fear man (or the opposition, politically speaking), but rather be biblically minded in how we vote and where we place our trust. If we say we are biblical and thus conservative, why would we support men who are pro-choice and homosexual rights, as well as pro-Islam?
Are you "conservative" because you say you are, or because you actually vote that way? I think that's a fair question.
Folks, true believers cannot be pragmatic when it comes to many things in life. I pray you see that and dare to be men and women of integrity. Be a Daniel at heart and in the secret recesses of your homes. And the voting booth.
Saturday, October 14, 2006
The hypocrisy of the Left is so glaringly obvious and yet people are so blind.
To what, you might ask?
MSNBC reported today:
"First openly gay person elected to Congress dies--
Former Mass. Rep. Gerry Studds had a blood clot in his lung, husband says"
First off, there's no such thing as a homosexual marriage. This is just another way the liberal media is trying so incredibly hard to push their agenda down our throats.
Marriage, by the Creator's definition is: one man and one woman in an exclusive, monogamous relationship that foresakes all others.
Like Adam and Eve. That was the first wedding ever recorded. Its in the opening pages of the Holy Bible. Others are mentioned in Scripture, and interestingly, the Scripture ends in a marriage feast.
Gen 2:24 Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.
Marriage is a beautiful thing. Most importantly, it reflects in many ways, of the believer's relationship with Christ Jesus:
Eph 5:22 Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord.
Eph 5:23 For the husband is the head of the wife even as Christ is the head of the church, his body, and is himself its Savior.
Eph 5:24 Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit in everything to their husbands.
Eph 5:25 Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her,
Eph 5:28 In the same way husbands should love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself.
Eph 5:29 For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ does the church,
Eph 5:30 because we are members of his body.
Eph 5:31 "Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh."
Eph 5:32 This mystery is profound, and I am saying that it refers to Christ and the church.
Eph 5:33 However, let each one of you love his wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband.
2Co 11:2 I feel a divine jealousy for you, for I betrothed you to one husband, to present you as a pure virgin to Christ.
Rev 21:2 And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.
Rev 21:3 And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, "Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God. [See also Rev. 19:7-9].
This is why, I believe, God hates homosexuality. It distorts and twists His creation of marriage, which ultimately is a slap in the face to Him. It turns what is beautiful and a reflection of our relationship with God, into something unholy, vile, and wicked. It dishonors God.
One of the reasons why God rightly destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah was that they practiced homosexuality:
Gen 18:20 Then the LORD said, "Because the outcry against Sodom and Gomorrah is great and their sin is very grave
Gen 19:5 And they called to Lot, "Where are the men who came to you tonight? Bring them out to us, that we may know them."
Gen 19:6 Lot went out to the men at the entrance, shut the door after him,
Gen 19:7 and said, "I beg you, my brothers, do not act so wickedly.
Gen 19:24 Then the LORD rained on Sodom and Gomorrah sulfur and fire from the LORD out of heaven.
Gen 19:25 And he overthrew those cities, and all the valley, and all the inhabitants of the cities, and what grew on the ground.
Jer 23:14 But in the prophets of Jerusalem I have seen a horrible thing: they commit adultery and walk in lies; they strengthen the hands of evildoers, so that no one turns from his evil; all of them have become like Sodom to me, and its inhabitants like Gomorrah."
1Co 6:9 Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality,
1Ti 1:10 the sexually immoral, men who practice homosexuality, enslavers, liars, perjurers, and whatever else is contrary to sound doctrine,
1Co 6:9 Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality,
God sees homosexuality as an evil, illegitimate relationship which goes directly against His command. It is the result of a hardened, sinful, unbelieving heart. To enter heaven, one must repent of his sin (including homosexuality and all immorality), and turn to Christ Jesus alone for the forgiveness of those sins, and for eternal life. Sin requires judgement: it was either taken by Christ on your behalf or it will be personally required of you in hell. No matter the sin--"little" or "big". One sin earns death and hell. But the free gift of God is eternal life, found solely in His Son, Christ, and not of our own works.
Back to Mr. Studds....
What irked me was the double standard given to Studds in the majority-ruled House and how they Democrats today want the blood of Speaker Hastert.
One year after getting into office, Studds took advantage of a 17 year old page and had sex with him. He attempted to molested others as well. TEN years AFTER this, the House decided to move to censure Studds and Studds kept his job for another 14 years.
Where was the call for Tip O'Neil's resignation back then? Where was the accusation of O'Neil covering up information?
Dennis Hasterts dealt with Mark Foley. He was removed. Not censured so he could continue to work around pages. No, he was REMOVED from his position. So now the Democrats have the shoe on the other foot and are suddenly outraged over emails? Over advances? Folely, as we know it so far, did not have sex with underaged pages. Studds did. In my state, this would constitute rape, consenual or not.
Studds, the repeat sexual preditor of minors, skated free; Folely who sent sexually explicit emails gets removed. Tip O'neil kept his job; Hastert is being demanded to step down.
The double standard is glaring. Worse, it shows a lack of care and concern for the victims of Studds. And don't get me wrong. Foley needed to leave. What he did was absolutely inappropriate. He needs punishment. But there are others I wonder about. Where was the cry for blood by the Democrats back then? Suddenly they cry foul now, but when their own guy was found guilty of WORSE things, they didn't demand he skip town and loose the job. Nope.
Where was John Murtha back in the 70's? Why didn't he call for the removal of Studds AND O'Neil?
Where was Steny Hoyer?
Where was John Dingell?
Where was Robert Byrd?
Where was William J. Coyne?
Where was Ted Kennedy?
Where was Barney Frank?
A proven sexual preditor kept his job in the House. An accused email predator is told to get out of Dodge.
You do the math.
Saturday, October 07, 2006
"Finally, all of you, live in harmony with one another; be sympathetic, love as brothers, be compassionate and humble." 1 Peter 3:8'
Austerus' is a solid and exemplary Christian. He has a deep, extensive, and experimental knowledge of Divine things. Inflexibly and invariably true to his principles, he stems with a noble singularity the torrent of the world, and can neither be bribed nor intimidated from the path of duty. He is a rough diamond of great intrinsic value, and would sparkle with a distinguished luster--if he were more polished. But, though the word of God is his daily study, and he prizes the precepts, as well as the promises, more than thousands of gold and silver, there is one precept he seems to have overlooked--"be compassionate and humble."
Instead of that gentleness and humility which will always be expected from a professed follower of the meek and lowly Jesus, there is a harshness in his manner, which makes him more admired than beloved; and those who truly love him, often feel more constraint than pleasure when in his company. His intimate friends are satisfied that he is no stranger to true humility of heart; but these are few. By others he is thought proud, dogmatic, and self-important; nor can this prejudice against him be easily removed, until he can lay aside that cynical air which he has unhappily contracted.
How lamentable are such blemishes in such a person!
I pray that the Lord would continue to help me find the balance of uncompromisingly standing for Truth, being fierce when needed, and yet also having a heart of love for Him and reflecting that to others. Grace and truth is our Savior. I need it too.
To the church at Ephesus:
Rev 2:2 "'I know your works, your toil and your patient endurance, and how you cannot bear with those who are evil, but have tested those who call themselves apostles and are not, and found them to be false. 3 I know you are enduring patiently and bearing up for my name's sake, and you have not grown weary.
4 But I have this against you, that you have abandoned the love you had at first.
Wednesday, October 04, 2006
According to World Net Daily: "Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams is backing a Church of England report that claims viewing God in masculine terms can validate "overbearing and ultimately violent patterns of behavior" in intimate relationships and "contributes to domestic abuse," the London Daily Mail reports. "
The report, entitled "Responding to Domestic Abuse, Guidelines for Pastory Responsibility" claims that "misguided" or distorted views of God, based on the Old Testament portrays Him and His power in "unhealthy and oppressive" ways. Things like crediting God with violent acts and atittudes "requires 'careful' interpretation, the report warns." Apparently this view of God, in addition to Him being male, is at the heart of some who want to validate their own violent and abusive behavior.
This anti-biblical, liberal garbage is not new. However it continues to perpetuate a few things:
1. Pagan/gnostic feminism; 2. abusers are not responsible for their own actions, and 3. an unclear reading of biblical texts. What Scripture says seems to be clouded in mystery, which only the RCC or EOD, apparently, can interpret for us. It also echoes "Hath God really said?" from the Devil himself.
I have quoted John MacArthur on the pagan and gnostic roots of feminism here. What comes to mind regarding the Church Of England (COE) and its archbishop's view (Rowan is an honorary druid), is that they are trying to blurr the line of who God claims to be: masculine and Sovereign owner of His creation. In doing so, they change God into who they want Him to be, and they also perpetuate the anti-male notions that man is bad, violent, and a caveman; woman is best, loving, gentle, and kind. Pagan feminism has at its roots these ideas, with the solution of woman being the savior of people. Of course, this is also a slap in the face of Jesus Christ as Creator God and only Savior.
Abusers aren't totally at fault for their behavior because they, apparently according to this liberal thinking, are only acting on what they think is true about God... and thus try to what, immitate Him?
First, abusers are always at fault for their abuse. God expects and indeed calls to account man's sin. To abuse another is sin. For example Exodus 21 covers this. Secondly, God doesn't abuse anyone. All punishment He gives is completely owed to the one who has disobeyed. Thirdly, abusers aren't interested in who God is and loving Him and following Him. Rather, they are all about Self and their wants/needs/desires/demands. So to lay abusers' behavior back on God is a pitiful arguement. This view ties in with the gnostic/feministic view of man versus women (see the article I reference above with quotes from MacArthur showing this very thing).
Scripture clearly reveals who God is (Scripture is inerrant and infallible, making wise the simple, as God says)
Personal masculine pronouns used for God
Psa 25:8 Good and upright is the LORD; therefore He instructs sinners in the way. 9 He leads the humble in what is right, and teaches the humble His way.
Isa 40:10 Behold, the Lord GOD comes with might, and His arm rules for Him; behold, His reward is with Him, and His recompense before Him. 11 He will tend His flock like a shepherd; He will gather the lambs in His arms; He will carry them in His bosom, and gently lead those that are with young.
Isa 45:18 For thus says the LORD, who created the heavens (He is God!), who formed the earth and made it (He established it; He did not create it empty, He formed it to be inhabited!): "I am the LORD, and there is no other.
Gen 1:27 So God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.
Gen 5:2 Male and female He created them, and He blessed them and named them Man when they were created.
Deu 32:39 "'See now that I, even I, am He, and there is no god beside me; I kill and I make alive; I wound and I heal; and there is none that can deliver out of my hand.
Psa 2:4 He who sits in the heavens laughs; the Lord holds them in derision. 5 Then He will speak to them in His wrath, and terrify them in His fury….
Psa 150:1 Praise the LORD! Praise God in His sanctuary; praise Him in His mighty heavens! [“Him” and “His” is used 13 times in this chapter of 6 verses.]
God refers to Himself as a bridegroom and husband:
Isa 62:5 For as a young man marries a young woman, so shall your sons marry you, and as the bridegroom rejoices over the bride, so shall your God rejoice over you. [See John 3:29.]
Rev 21:2 And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.
God refers to Himself as a Father
Jer 31:9 With weeping they shall come, and with pleas for mercy I will lead them back, I will make them walk by brooks of water, in a straight path in which they shall not stumble, for I am a father to Israel, and Ephraim is my firstborn.
Psa 68:5 Father of the fatherless and protector of widows is God in his holy habitation.
God is King
Psa 22:28 For kingship belongs to the LORD, and He rules over the nations.
“Father”, “Son”, “Prince” used in reference to Jesus Christ, who is God:
Isa 9:6 For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon His shoulder, and His name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
God the Father and Jesus the Son are masculine
Mat 1:21 She will bear a son, and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins." 22 All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had spoken by the prophet: 23 "Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall call His name Immanuel" (which means, God with us).
Joh 5:20 For the Father loves the Son and shows Him all that He Himself is doing. And greater works than these will He show Him, so that you may marvel.
Heb 1:1 Long ago, at many times and in many ways, God spoke to our fathers by the prophets, 2 but in these last days He has spoken to us by His Son, whom He appointed the heir of all things, through whom also He created the world.
Rev 21:3 And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, "Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be His people, and God Himself will be with them as their God.
The Trinity is masculine:
Joh 14:16 And I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Helper, to be with you forever, 17 even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him. You know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you.
As far as attributing violent acts to God, Scripture says the following:
God took credit for destroying the whole world and all but eight people on it
Gen 6:17 For behold, I will bring a flood of waters upon the earth to destroy all flesh in which is the breath of life under heaven. Everything that is on the earth shall die. [Gen. 7:17-24 we see that indeed it happened just as God said He would do it.]
God took credit for destroying Sodom and Gomorrah
Gen 19:28 And he looked down toward Sodom and Gomorrah and toward all the land of the valley, and he looked and, behold, the smoke of the land went up like the smoke of a furnace. 29 So it was that, when God destroyed the cities of the valley, God remembered Abraham and sent Lot out of the midst of the overthrow when He overthrew the cities in which Lot had lived.
Mat 10:15 Truly, I say to you, it will be more bearable on the day of judgment for the land of Sodom and Gomorrah than for that town.
2Pe 2:6 if by turning the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah to ashes He condemned them to extinction, making them an example of what is going to happen to the ungodly;
God took credit for bringing disaster upon Israel
2Chron. 7: 20 then I will uproot Israel from my land, which I have given them, and will reject this temple I have consecrated for my Name. I will make it a byword and an object of ridicule among all peoples. 21 And though this temple is now so imposing, all who pass by will be appalled and say, ‘Why has the LORD done such a thing to this land and to this temple?’ 22 People will answer, ‘Because they have forsaken the LORD, the God of their fathers, who brought them out of Egypt, and have embraced other gods, worshiping and serving them—that is why He brought all this disaster on them.’”
Jer 25:8 "Therefore thus says the LORD of hosts: Because you have not obeyed my words, 9 behold, I will send for all the tribes of the north, declares the LORD, and for Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon, my servant, and I will bring them against this land and its inhabitants, and against all these surrounding nations. I will devote them to destruction, and make them a horror, a hissing, and an everlasting desolation.
Jer 25:10 Moreover, I will banish from them the voice of mirth and the voice of gladness, the voice of the bridegroom and the voice of the bride, the grinding of the millstones and the light of the lamp. 11 This whole land shall become a ruin and a waste, and these nations shall serve the king of Babylon seventy years.
[Indeed we see this happen in the historical book of Daniel.]
God took credit for moving kings to bring war to nations
Deut. 2: 30 But Sihon king of Heshbon refused to let us pass through. For the LORD your God had made his spirit stubborn and his heart obstinate in order to give him into your hands, as he has now done.
Josh. 11: 20 For it was the LORD Himself who hardened their hearts to wage war against Israel, so that He might destroy them totally, exterminating them without mercy, as the LORD had commanded Moses.
Prov. 21: 1 The king’s heart is in the hand of the LORD; He directs it like a watercourse wherever He pleases.
God took credit for killing the firstborn in Egypt
Ex. 4: 4 So Moses said, “This is what the LORD says: ‘About midnight I will go throughout Egypt. 5 Every firstborn son in Egypt will die, from the firstborn son of Pharaoh, who sits on the throne, to the firstborn son of the slave girl, who is at her hand mill, and all the firstborn of the cattle as well. 6 There will be loud wailing throughout Egypt—worse than there has ever been or ever will be again.
Ex. 12: 12 “On that same night I will pass through Egypt and strike down every firstborn—both men and animals—and I will bring judgment on all the gods of Egypt. I am the LORD.
Ex. 12: 29 At midnight the LORD struck down all the firstborn in Egypt, from the firstborn of Pharaoh, who sat on the throne, to the firstborn of the prisoner, who was in the dungeon, and the firstborn of all the livestock as well.
Note: God uses evil men for His purposes. However, at the same time, Scripture says that God lays the sin at the feet of each person. The balance between this is seen here:
John 19: 11 Jesus answered, “You would have no power over me if it were not given to you from above. Therefore the one who handed me over to you is guilty of a greater sin.”
Jer. 25:9 and 27:6 calls King Nebuchadnezzar "My servant" and uses him to destroy Judah, Israel, and Egypt. However, He later punishes Nebuchadnezzar, because his heart was filled with sin and unbelief. The good news is that Nebuchadnezzar was saved and given a new heart and faith and he praised God and was humbled by Him. See Daniel 4.
Jer 44: 2 “This is what the LORD Almighty, the God of Israel, says: You saw the great disaster I brought on Jerusalem and on all the towns of Judah. Today they lie deserted and in ruins 3 because of the evil they have done.
Acts 4:27 Indeed Herod and Pontius Pilate met together with the Gentiles and the people of Israel in this city to conspire against your holy servant Jesus, whom you anointed. 28 They did what your power and will had decided beforehand should happen.
God destroys other nations:
Is. 14: 24 The LORD Almighty has sworn, “Surely, as I have planned, so it will be, and as I have purposed, so it will stand. 25 I will crush the Assyrian in my land; on my mountains I will trample him down. His yoke will be taken from my people, and his burden removed from their shoulders.” 26 This is the plan determined for the whole world; this is the hand stretched out over all nations. 27 For the LORD Almighty has purposed, and who can thwart him? His hand is stretched out, and who can turn it back?
Rev. 17: 16 The beast and the ten horns you saw will hate the prostitute. They will bring her to ruin and leave her naked; they will eat her flesh and burn her with fire. 17 For God has put it into their hearts to accomplish His purpose by agreeing to give the beast their power to rule, until God’s words are fulfilled.
God is the same yesterday, today, and forever. He is immutable. He doesn't change like shifting shadows. The God of the Old Testament is the God of the New Testament. God is love, patient, perfect, merciful, kind, gracious, slow to anger and abounding in love. He is also pure, holy, righteous, just. Because of this He must always deal with sinners and their sin. His attributes are not in opposition to each other but actually work in harmony; therefore we cannot omit the attributes we dislike and talk only of the ones we do. To ignore any of His attributes as if "that was God then, not now" is to reject the God of Scripture.
Here are a few other New Testament verses about God's coming wrath:
Rev 19:15 From His mouth comes a sharp sword with which to strike down the nations, and He will rule them with a rod of iron. He will tread the winepress of the fury of the wrath of God the Almighty.
2 Thes. 1: 8 In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ: 9 Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of His power.
Act 5:9 But Peter said to her, "How is it that you have agreed together to test the Spirit of the Lord? Behold, the feet of those who have buried your husband are at the door, and they will carry you out." 10 Immediately she fell down at his feet and breathed her last. When the young men came in they found her dead, and they carried her out and buried her beside her husband. 11 And great fear came upon the whole church and upon all who heard of these things.
I suggest reading Jonathon Edward’s “Sinners In the Hands of An Angry God” here.
May such men like Archbishop Rowan take heed:
Heb 10:29 How much worse punishment, do you think, will be deserved by the one who has spurned the Son of God, and has profaned the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified, and has outraged the Spirit of grace?
Heb 10:30 For we know him who said, "Vengeance is mine; I will repay." And again, "The Lord will judge his people." 31 It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.
Monday, September 11, 2006
But as we sat in disbelief, the news came in that there was another plane still in the air. That was Flight 93. Hostages were of course, on board.
That's when my oldest daughter and I stopped and prayed for those people.
Who would've thought it was God's plan to have so many in an airplane being held hostage, while His children down below praying for them? Its amazing how God works.
We saw the Lord's answer in part that day. Later we saw much more of what took place: heroes who stood against evil men that day, Americans fighting for other Americans, ready for battle in the face of the death they knew was imminent. The call to arms: Let's roll!
They did. We prayed. God answered.
Of all the things I remember about 9-11, the fact that God called me and my daughter to pray for those on Flight 93, is what stands out the most.
The rest of that day my oldest daughter played a song by Twila Paris, "God Is In Control" which speaks of God's faithfulness to His children. It was quite appropriate for her to choose that song, this little 8 year old girl. She knew who to go to, who to trust. She got it right that day.
We serve a sovereign God. His ways are not our ways; His thoughts, His plans, are not our's. We must trust Him not only for eternal life, but in the events of life--both little and big.
Out of His grace, the Lord has told us the end of human history: the return of the Lord Jesus Christ as Judge and Victor. Sin, death, the Devil, hell....will all be destroyed utterly. The Lake of Fire will be full for eternity. He WILL have His way. He WILL do away with His enemy and our's. And we will worship Him as we one day see all His glory.
I hope as we think about what happened 5 years ago, and what has happened since, and what will happen in the future, we turn to Christ for truth, eternal life, forgiveness of our wicked sin, peace, and hope. May we repent of our sin, recognizing that as individuals and as a nation, without true faith and trust in Christ Jesus, our hopes are vain, our strength is weak, our lives are fleeting, and our best efforts and intentions are full of sin, and we offend a holy God.
Friday, September 08, 2006
The movie/book is about (what else?) a married women who must deal with various issues in her life (lonliness, questioning where she is now in her life, etc. etc.--same old complaints) and ends up falling in love with (surprise, surprise) a Bendict monk.
Full synopsis from Lifetime's website:
"I think a woman wants love and freedom at the same time. When I was writing the book, I was exploring that concept. I think a lot of women can relate to it."— Author Sue Monk Kidd
"Take a journey of mystery, passion and self-discovery with Academy Award® winning actress Kim Basinger in a powerful story based on the best-seller "The Mermaid Chair." The movie follows married mom Jessie, who just sent her daughter off to school and now feels alone and listless in her 20-year marriage. When this restless wife gets a disturbing phone call, she must return to her childhood home on a beautiful Southern island to deal with the shocking behavior of her mentally unstable mother. During this visit, she finds herself undeniably attracted to a Benedictine monk. While struggling with this temptation and delving into her family's secretive past, Jessie undergoes a spiritual, artistic and erotic awakening. Her experiences on the island lead Jessie to discover her true self and what she really wants from her life. "
Yes folks, its all about Self. This is the rebellion and sin of Satan and then of Adam and Eve. Feminism. Sadly being a mother , wife, and daughter isn't enough, even though for godly women it is.
Feminism is not only worldly, its pagan. Its founding is in Gnosticism.
John MacArthur says:
If you read ancient Gnostic literature you will see that they attack the Creator God, they mock Him, they disdain Him with a disdain that even has components of hatred in it. They hate the Creator God who made matter because to them matter was evil, and it becomes the prison of the free floating spirit.
According to one recently discovered Gnostic text, God the Creator is presented as, "Blind, ignorant, arrogant, the source of envy, and they call him the 'Father of Death.'" Gnostics believe that this fake god somehow (and they have to believe this or their whole thing would fall apart)--this fake god somehow, when he created the universe, accidentally infused into humanity some spark of divine life. They would have to say that or they would have no way to fan the spark of divine life that they want to believe that is in them. So that man is divine: there is a little component of divinity in him which he needs to fan until it just consumes him and he becomes fully divine. But here is this man with the divine spark, or this woman with a divine spark imprisoned in evil matter, and he has to find, or she has to find, a way to escape.
Gnostics taught that there is no such thing as sin, because there is no such thing as right and wrong in the human realm; therefore, there is no need for a Savior, there is no need for a death on the cross, there is no need for an atonement. What they needed to do to be saved was (listen to this) "Throw off the God of the Old Testament--this evil God." Throw off the God of the New Testament with all of His laws and all of His threats, and all of His so-called punishment. Throw off the whole Old and the whole New Testament and free yourself from the encumbering of this subgod, this bungling creator who did what he never should have done and created a prison for us in doing it.
So you can see that the first tenet of their system was a blasphemy against God--calling God evil, bungling, ignorant. The system also included (listen to this) lies that elevated women.
Ancient Gnosticism focused on women, this is what it said, for example, "Eve was a spirit endowed woman who saved Adam." They said, "Final salvation for the whole world from the imprisonment of matter will come through female power, and the key is female self-actualization, self-realization, self-knowledge, in which a woman becomes so fully in tune with herself and so well knows herself, and actualizes, and realizes and fulfills herself that she becomes fully divine, and as she becomes divine she will rescue the rest of these lame men just like Eve, fully divine, rescued poor Adam."
In fact, convoluting the creation account, Gnostic texts tell us that Dame Wisdom was the heavenly Eve. There was a mystical heavenly woman named "The Heavenly Eve" who is the same as Dame Wisdom (she is the source of all wisdom). She entered the snake in the garden, and she taught both Adam and Eve the true way of salvation. The snake then is not called the "Tempter," the snake in Gnostic literature is the "Instructor." The snake is ultimate wisdom, the snake was wiser than anybody else. The snake, it says in Gnostic literature, is the redeemer because the snake is the incarnated woman who comes to heavenly Eve and teaches the truth about self-realization, which is self-fulfillment, which is making yourself divine, which delivers you from being encumbered by matter.
"Though caught in matter," they say, the Gnostics, "humanity once again can become part of the universal whole by a process of self-realization." They say in the Book of Genesis, "The lack of self-realization is really the problem that man has." The Bible says that man's problem is sin--sin! And the root of his sin is his self-preoccupation, so they flip that completely around.
So the heart and core of Gnostic religion then is the "consubstantiality of self with God;" you make yourself into God. You are the only God that exists: you get in tune with yourself, you elevate yourself--self-esteem, self-knowledge, self-actualization, self-realization, self-fulfillment; whatever your self wants that's how you become God--you just give complete sway to your own self-desire.
MacArthur shares a few quotes with us from the Feminist leaders which are right in line with the gnostic lies:
The "Declaration of Feminism" goes back to November of 1971 when they laid out their agenda and this is what it says, "The end of the institution of marriage is necessary for the liberation of women; therefore, it is important for us to encourage women to leave their husbands and not live individually with men. All of history must be rewritten in terms of oppression of women. We must go back to ancient female religions like witchcraft!" Mark that, "We must go back to ancient female religions like witchcraft!"
Anne Lori Gaylor writing an article called "Feminist Salvation" in the "Humanist" in 1988 says, "Let's forget about the mythical Jesus and look for encouragement, solace, and inspiration from real women. 2,000 years of patriarchal rule under the shadow of the cross ought to be enough to turn women towards the feminist salvation of the world."
Back to Sue Monk Kidd:
"[Sue] Monk Kidd's spirituality is spelled out clearly in her book, When the Heart Waits. She explains: There's a bulb of truth buried in the human soul [everyone] that's only God ... the soul is more than something to win or save. It's the seat and repository of the inner Divine, the God-image, the truest part of us"—Ray Yungen, A Time of Departing, 2nd ed., p. 134
"Her most powerful awakening, however, still lay ahead of her ... Sue's explorations and study took an unexpected turn into feminist theology. The result was The Dance of the Dissident Daughter."
The Dance of the Dissident Daughter"Sue Monk was a "conventionally religious, churchgoing woman, a traditional wife and mother" with a thriving career as a Christian writer until she began to question her role as a woman in her culture, her family, and her church. From a jarring encounter with sexism in a suburban drugstore to monastery retreats and rituals in the caves of Crete, Kidd takes readers through the fear, anger, healing, and transformation of her awakening."—From the Back Cover
This feminist is hailed by David Jeremiah (thought by many to be a mainstream, "solid" Bible teacher, and now Kidd's book is coming to t.v. to hook more women into her pagan religion.
Scripture clearly states that all mankind is born in hostility toward God, dead in sins and transgressions (Rom. 3:10-18; Eph. 2:1-4; Rom. 8:7). No one has any "good" in them. All are in desperate need of the Savior. Without trusting in Christ Jesus as the only way, truth and life, no one will go to heaven and to the Father, and God's wrath will continue to abide on him. The way to eternal life, Jesus said, is narrow and few that find it. Destruction's way is broad and many will go there.
In addition to that, God's high calling for women is to be wives and mothers; to learn to love their husbands and submit to them, and to learn to love their children, to be busy at home, to minister to their familes first and foremost, then to other women and children within the local church. Titus 2 isn't an option.
Don't be fooled, folks. Kidd is a false teacher and is NOT teaching biblical truths whatsoever.
Saturday, September 02, 2006
Famous Christians in History is a chance to study the lives of renowned believers who made a difference in their world. You will be encouraged as you discover how God uses ordinary people to accomplish extraordinary things.
Includes:• Accounts of their struggles, triumphs, and failures• Looks into their private lives • Stories of how they defended our faith or became famous living it out• Timeline to help you relate their lives to world events
Among those they promote are: Madam Guyon, Roman Catholic mystic; and William Braham, who was an anti-Trinitiarian.
What is disturbing is the encouragement of professing Christians to read Madam Guyon (Jeanne Marie Bouvier De La Motte, 1648-1717). She was a Roman Catholic mystic and studied as well as taught the Eastern mystical contemplative spirituality. She is highly recommended by many in the Emergent Church Movement/Contemplative Spirituality circles. Christianity Today endorses her. As well, she is recommended on the dvd "Be Still".
Here are two her quotes, found from Lighthousetrailsresearch:
"Here [the contemplative state] everything is God. God is everywhere and in all things."
This is a pantheistic, perhaps even panentheistic, view of God, hardly biblical whatsoever. God is not everything, rather He is the Creator, unlike all He creator. He is unique, set apart:
Isa 40:18 To whom then will you liken God, or what likeness compare with him?
Revelation proclaims the destruction of unbelievers, Satan, the Beast, death,and hell (Rev. 19:20; 20:10,14,15). This is incompatable with "all is in God and God is in all" view.
She also taught, "May I hasten to say that the kind of prayer I am speaking of is not a prayer that comes from YOUR MIND. It is a prayer that begins in THE HEART.... PRAYER THAT COMES FROM THE HEART IS NOT INTERRUPTED BY THINKING!"[Experiencing The Depths of Jesus Christ p. 4]
1Cor. 14: 14 For if I pray in a tongue, my spirit prays, but my mind is unfruitful. 15 So what shall I do? I will pray with my spirit, but I will also pray with my mind; I will sing with my spirit, but I will also sing with my mind.
According to Richard Fisher, "The school of mysticism that Guyon adhered to, sometimes called Quietism, was an extreme form of Roman Catholic mysticism that emphasized the cleansing of one’s inner life and included the belief that one could see Christ visibly."
"She taught that we can know of God by “passing forward into God,”7 going into a mindless, meditative state where we can get in touch with the Christ within the self, merge with that Christ and be lifted into ecstasy."
To their shame, Moody Press published her autobiography. Christian Classics Ethereal Library (CCEL) offers her book online as well. If CCEL offers it for research purposes, they need to boldly designate it as such. Otherwise it can been seen as an endorsement.
Whitaker House now publishes the book, which given their line of heretical books (Mary K. Baxter, E. W. Kenyon, Rebecca Brown) is much more understandable (one wonders why they promote their fictional book, "Winds of Evil" by Sharon Gilbert as "Be afraid of things that go bump in the night". Christians are not to be fearful nor be anxious about anything--but I digress).
For a thorough treatment of what Guyon taught, read Fisher's article here.
Lastly, Marilyn Hickey and her daughter Sarah promote William Brahman to their readers.
Branham said, "...not one place in the Bible is trinity ever mentioned...It's Catholic error and you Protestants bow to it" (Conduct, Order, Doctrine Q and A, p. 182). "Father, Son, and Holy Ghost is offices of one God. He was the Father; He was the Son; He is the Holy Ghost. It's three offices or three dispensations,..." (Ibid., p. 392). This view of the Godhead is called Modalism and is a false and heretical view of God.
Branham explained, "There never was a person baptized in the name of `Father, Son, Holy Ghost' until early Catholicc church" (Ibid., p. 178)....Branham attempted to explain the distinction, "You see, you misunderstand it then. It's one God in three dispensations....
The Trinity, however is not a Roman Catholic doctrine. Rather its biblical. The Trinity is defined as: One God, and within that one God there exists three co-equal and co-eternal persons, namely the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. The Father is not the Son, nor is the Holy Spirit the Father or the Son. They are distinct from one another, having a loving relationship between them, communication between them, the giving of gifts between them, and submission (the Spirit to the Son, and the Son to the Father).
Interestingly, Robert Bowman says:
Oneness accuses the Church of being tied with Rome with the Trinity being of pagan origin. History shows the doctrine of the Trinity was there long before Constantine’s time when the Church in Rome became a center for Christianity after it was legal to be a Christian.
Despite the accusation's of the Roman Church inventing and promoting the Trinity we find the Church in Rome falling prey to numerous falsehoods that they tried to keep out, one of which was Oneness. Almost 125 years before Constantine conflict arose with what is classified as modalism (Oneness Pentecostalism). This teaching found support with two early Bishops of Rome, Zephyrinus and Callistus. Zephyrinus was the head Bishop at the time and was attracted to the Modalistic view. Caught between two major factions trying to keep the peace, he was advised by his soon to be successor Callistus on how to keep both sides satisfied. After Zephyrinus died in 217 A.D. Callistus kept his policy and Modalism became the official theory in Rome for almost a generation. He also was determined to excommunicate both Sabellius ( who promoted Modalism) as well as Hippolytus (who promoted the Trinity) who he accused of promoting two Gods. He devised a formulae that would satisfy the contention of both parties to keep the peace, since he considered himself the Pope.
Only the Christian God is triune, and consequently, to deny the Trinity is to say that, historically, Judaism and Islam have been right about the being of God, while Christianity has been wrong. Oneness writers have said as much.
--Robert Bowman Jr. www.gospeloutreach.net
For an outline of verses that show the Trinity, go here and here.
Branham also taught that Eve had sex with the Serpent in the Garden,with Cain as the product of that union:
"Here is what actually happened in the Garden of Eden. The Word says that Eve was beguiled by the serpent. She was actually seduced by the serpent. He was as close to being a human that his seed could, and did mingle with that of the woman and cause her to conceive" (The Original Sin, pp. 2, 3).
For a detailed article dealing with the life and doctrine of Branham, go to Watchman apologetic website*. I found excellent quotes there for this article.
Of course Gen. 4:1 says: Now Adam knew Eve his wife, and she conceived and bore Cain, saying, "I have gotten a man with the help of the LORD."
Scripture attributes the birth of Cain to Adam and God. Not the devil. This is so clear that a child can understand it.
Claiming to be the forerunner endtime prophet to Jesus' return (move over John the Baptist!), he tried to predict that America would be destroyed in 1977 (The Seven Church Ages, p. 322)., but as you know, we're all still here. This proves he was a false prophet in addition to being a false teacher and false pastor.
One wonders if either Marilyn or Sarah have ever bothered to read Branham's material or do research on him, because had they done so, they would not offer him as an influence Christian man. As far as I know, Hicky claims to be a Trinitarian. Supporting Branham would go against that doctrine. Perhaps, like other "Christians" we see on TBN, the doctrine of the Trinity doesn't matter to them. This is to their shame.
As you can see, Marilyn Hickey and her daughter prove Paul's words to be true:
1Tim. 2: 11 A woman should learn in quietness and full submission. 12 I do not permit a woman to teach or to have authority over a man; she must be silent. 13 For Adam was formed first, then Eve. 14 And Adam was not the one deceived; it was the woman who was deceived and became a sinner.
These two are decieved themselves and are disobedient to clear commands of Scripture. They should not be listened to.
*A cautionary note: on the page on Braham at Watchman, they offer Greg Boyd's "Oneness Pentecostals & The Trinity" for further reading on Oneness Pentecostals, but Boyd, once a Oneness Pentecostal himself, has since continued in heresy, the latest of which is the Open View of God--that God doesn't know all things and has limited understanding.
I first came across religious (not biblical Christian) candles about a year ago, with "His Essence" candles. Yup, candles that bring Jesus' very presence into your home. But first you have to light the candle to call Him forth. You also need to set the right mood. Ugh. Is this the romantic notion that is spreading through many churches today---that Jesus is my boyfriend whom I keep falling in love with?? Perish the thought. What nonesense. Where's the reverence for the Lord?
Now I've stumbled across "Fruit of the Spirit" candles.
Want to know what Self-control SMELLS like? According to one distributor, "The sweet notes of blackberry are blended with dewfruit, osmanthus, rose, and Canadian fir to create this refreshing scent."
Patience: "Sweet melon notes are blended with herbal notes of lavender and topped with just a hint of smooth, creamy vanilla."
One wonders what the fruit of the flesh smells like.
Not to be outdone, the Jesus candles now have a line of lotions, so you wear His presence throughout the day.
I don't understand this thinking. Clearly this is competition with the Yankee type candles, but with a religious twist. Do these creators really think we can invoke a special presence of God or bring the fruit of the Spirit by lighting wax? I need to pay to get closer to the Lord? This seems Roman Catholic to me. Its quite far from what the Word says. Candles have nothing to do with the fruit of the Spirit nor the presence of God (we are children of Light, and Christ is the Light--Ephesians 5:8). Rather, being indwelled with the Holy Spirit and having Him conform us to the image of Christ Jesus is what brings fruit of the Spirit (Romans 8:29). The Word of God is what also helps us grow in maturity, love, and knowledge of truth.
The best thing we can do in our relationship with God is to study His Word, feed upon it, carefully consider it, pray about it, and obey it (Ps. 119).
Lighting a bunch of smelly wax just won't do that.
Whatever the motive (sincere as they might be) this is hardly biblical. More than that, it seems they are trying a gimmick to make money off the Lord and our relationship with Him. True Christians should consider this and refrain from feeding the monster.
Wednesday, August 23, 2006
Every twig has a voice!
"Pay attention to the rod and the One who ordained it." Micah 6:9
Christians should hear the rod, and kiss the rod, and sit mute and silent under God's rod.
Christians should be mute and silent under the greatest afflictions, the saddest providences, and sharpest trials which they meet with in this world, that they may the better hear and understand the voice of God's rod.
As the word has a voice, the Spirit a voice, and conscience a voice--so God's rod has a voice.
God's rods are not mutes. They are all vocal, they are all speaking as well as smiting. Every twig has a voice!
'Ah! soul,' says one twig, 'you say it smarts. Well! tell me, is it good to provoke a jealous God?' Jerem. 4:18.
'Ah! soul,' says another twig, 'you say it is bitter, it reaches to your heart; but have not your own doings procured these things?' Rom. 6:20, 21.
'Ah! soul,' says another twig, 'where is the profit, the pleasure, the sweet that you have found in wandering from God?' Hosea 2:7.
'Ah! soul,' says another twig, 'was it not best with you, when you were high in your communion with God, and when you were humble and close in your walking with God?' Micah 6:8.
'Ah! Christian,' says another twig, 'will you search your heart, and try your ways, and turn to the Lord your God?' Lam. 3:40.
'Ah! soul,' says another twig, 'will you die to sin more than ever, and to the world more than ever, and to relations more than ever, and to yourself more than ever?' Rom. 14:6-8; Gal. 6:18.
'Ah! soul,' says another twig, 'will you live more to Christ than ever, and cleave closer to Christ than ever, and prize Christ more than ever, and venture further for Christ than ever?'
'Ah! soul,' says another twig, 'will you love Christ with a more inflamed love, and hope in Christ with a more raised hope, and depend upon Christ with a greater confidence, and wait upon Christ with more invincible patience?'
Now, if the soul is not mute and silent under the rod, how is it possible that it should ever hear the voice of God's rod, or that it should ever hearken to the voice of every twig of God's rod?
Heb 12:4 In your struggle against sin you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood.
Heb 12:5 And have you forgotten the exhortation that addresses you as sons? "My son, do not regard lightly the discipline of the Lord, nor be weary when reproved by him.
Heb 12:6 For the Lord disciplines the one he loves, and chastises every son whom he receives."
Heb 12:7 It is for discipline that you have to endure. God is treating you as sons. For what son is there whom his father does not discipline?
Heb 12:8 If you are left without discipline, in which all have participated, then you are illegitimate children and not sons.
1Co 15:57 But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. 58 Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain.
2Co 2:14 But thanks be to God, who in Christ always leads us in triumphal procession, and through us spreads the fragrance of the knowledge of him everywhere.
Heb 12:3 Consider him who endured from sinners such hostility against himself, so that you may not grow weary or fainthearted.
Isa 40:26 Lift up your eyes on high and see: who created these? He who brings out their host by number, calling them all by name, by the greatness of his might, and because he is strong in power not one is missing.
Isa 40:27 Why do you say, O Jacob, and speak, O Israel, "My way is hidden from the LORD, and my right is disregarded by my God"?
Isa 40:28 Have you not known? Have you not heard? The LORD is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He does not faint or grow weary; his understanding is unsearchable.
Isa 40:29 He gives power to the faint, and to him who has no might he increases strength.
Isa 40:30 Even youths shall faint and be weary, and young men shall fall exhausted;
Isa 40:31 but they who wait for the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.
Thursday, August 03, 2006
Chapter 23 - CHRIST SHALL YET HAVE A GLORIOUS REWARD
[Here are some of my favorite quotes---there are so many, that THIS is the abbreviated version of what I originally wanted to post! For the entire document, see the link at the bottom. --Denise]
The present state of the world:
Infidelity still uses great swelling words of vanity, makes hard and ungodly speeches respecting Jehovah and his saints, often spews out its venom against all that is pure and holy, asserts the sufficiency of human reason as a guide to heaven, betakes itself to the caves of sorcery, and can boast of nothing better than a death without hope, and a grave without a resurrection.
For nearly six thousand years the pagan world has been seeking an image of the invisible God, and the summit of its aspirings still reaches no higher than the sun, or moon, or stars, or devils, or crocodiles, or peacocks, or serpents, or images of gold, silver, wood, or stone. Its morals never mend. Under its sanctions every precept of the decalogue is broken publicly and privately, ritually and legally. No marvel that when Satan is worshiped, there should be found habitations of cruelty. No nation without God's word has in its language any term expressing what Christians mean by sanctification. Corruption is and ever has been the alpha and the omega of heathenism. All that is stupid in the donkey, silly in the dove, filthy in the swine, fierce in wild beasts, and venomous in serpents—is fitly ascribed to heathenism. "The wicked freely strut about, when what is vile is honored among men." Psalm 12:8...
From what abominations has the the gospel saved us! "Do you not know that the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor male prostitutes nor homosexual offenders nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. And that is what some of you were. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God." 1 Corinthians 6:9-11
Now and then Atheism proclaims its tenets, is confident that mankind are superstitious in their worship of Jehovah, makes its disciples of the drunkard, the licentious, the prostitute, and the blasphemer, and once in a while threatens a terrific eruption of its scalding lava on the face of society. Its latest form of development is in a wretched Pantheism....
Although just now somewhat shorn of his power to persecute, Muhammad, the prophet of Mecca still practices his sorceries, maddens the passions of men, holds the cup of carnal delight to the lips of his besotted worshipers, and endeavors to light up the horrors of the grave by pointing to a Paradise of sin!
Notwithstanding all that has been done in blessing and in cursing, in fulfilling prophecy, and in setting up Messiah's kingdom, Judaism is still entrenched behind Targums, Paraphrasts, an oral law, endless traditions, and the most inveterate prejudices and enmity against the truth. Thus it is with things claiming no connection whatever with Christianity. When we come to nations professedly accepting the gospel, there is still much to dishearten.
The Catholic church still adheres to her ignorant priesthood, her sacraments of human invention, her apostolic supremacy, and her nearness to Messiah's sepulcher; but knows not that she is poor, and miserable, and blind, and naked, far from Christ's precepts, far from his example, far from his doctrines. In the pride of her apostolicity she renounces every distinctive truth taught by apostles.
She, that has made the kings, merchants, and dwellers on earth drunk with the wine of her fornications, holds forth other goblets to the nations, saying: "I have perfumed my bed with myrrh, aloes, and cinnamon. Come, let us take our fill." Follow her footsteps to any region of the world, and you find that "the doctrine of the cross is least understood where crosses most abound." The lamp of God's Word is put under a bushel, candles are substituted, and darkness becomes visible...
Besides, a low state of piety paralyzes half the limbs of the body of Christ. Cold and selfish, many never aim high. A low estimate of evangelical doctrine makes many indifferent to the teachings of Christ himself. Often too do we hear unpleasant whisperings and buzzings in the Christian camp. Some act as if they would rather make a proselyte from a sister church—than a convert to Christ who would not follow with them....
Plumer encourages us:
It should not discourage us that we can do nothing effectually. The excellency of the power is of God. We may plant and water, but God alone can give the increase. This is the best arrangement. If we depend on God, we shall not be disappointed. If he does the work, it will be well done; and to him, without dispute, will be all the glory. Yet we may do much instrumentally.
We may keep ourselves and those under our influence, informed respecting the state of the world. It is a great thing to know and to make known how men are living in sin and dying in despair, having a dismal eternity before them, and their ruin being unnecessary, salvation having been provided, a ministry instituted, and a glorious gospel commanded to be preached....
We may cultivate an ardent love to the souls of men. Oh that there were a thousand times more of that godlike spirit which Shaftsbury scornfully called a "rage for saving souls." No man ever had too much love or pity for those who were perishing under the load of their guilt and in the horrors of their depravity. It is easy to over-estimate wealth, honor, station—but it is not possible to set too high a value on the salvation of a soul by Jesus Christ.
In particular, have faith in Christ, in his mediation, in his ability to execute all his offices. He has dominion over wicked men and devils. All power in heaven and earth is given to him. He saves, and he destroys. He kills, and he makes alive. He has the keys of death and of hell. He does all his good pleasure—in all worlds. For the good of his church he orders all things. He and his people are so far one, that in all their affliction he is afflicted, and in all his glory they rejoice. That which, in Daniel 7:14, is said to be given to Christ, is in the same chapter, verse 27, said to be given to the saints of the Most High. When Christ is glorified, his people shout for joy. When they are glorified, they enter into the joy of their Lord.
Closing with a great prayer glorifying God and His sovereignty, asking for Him to bring things to the stated end in which Christ reigns visibly and surpremely and gloriously, he says:
We are indeed asking great things, but we do it at your command. We ask no more than you have promised to your Son—and no more than he has purchased by his most precious blood—and no more than he himself intercedes for in heaven. Amen.
For the full article, go here.
Wednesday, August 02, 2006
We left off, looking at what false teachers are characterized by. Now Plumer suggests how to deal with them. Here are some of my favorite quotes. Please check out the full list he gives at the link at the bottom of this article. ~Denise
*As soon as we discern their false teaching, it is our duty to refuse to hear them or to read their books. Never was more wholesome or beneficial advice given than that of Solomon: "Cease, my son, to hear the instruction that causes to err from the words of knowledge" (Prov. 19:27). In answer to a question from a corrupt writer, John Newton excused himself for not having read his book, by saying: "If a neighbor sends me a joint of meat, and I find one slice corrupted, I am not bound to eat it at all." Human nature is in most cases too weak to bear a long and voluntary subjection to evil influences without very ill effects. Were men wholly without sin, it would grieve them to be compelled to listen to lies and to slanders on God's truth and government. The less pain such false teachings give us, the more dangerous they are. All pleas for giving our ears to false teachers are in the teeth of the good petition: "Lead us not into temptation."
* False teachers must also be firmly and meekly resisted in all their attempts to lead men astray. When even Peter was betrayed into deception concerning false doctrines, Paul withstood him to the face, and rebuked him sharply. Jude "exhorted" his brethren "earnestly to contend for the faith once delivered to the saints" (verse 3). He who is willing to risk nothing for Christ, does not love Christ. He who, being duly called to defend the truth, declines to do so, does not love the truth. That is a good saying, and none the worse for being old: "Do you love controversy? suspect your love. Do you abhor controversy? suspect your Christianity."
*In dealing with corrupt teachers, it is peculiarly important not to be intimidated by them. "The fear of man brings a snare." "Do not fear anything except the Lord Almighty. He alone is the Holy One. If you fear him, you need fear nothing else. He will keep you safe." (Prov. 29:25; Isa. 8:13-14). Truth is like the spear of Ithuriel. No falsehood can endure its touch. The sword of the Spirit is two-edged and very sharp.
*The longer a godly man lives, the firmer is his confidence in the simple truths of Scripture to renew the heart, save the soul, check error, and bring glory to God.
And some of my favorite “conclusions” by Plumer in this article:
* There is such a thing as truth. Truth is light. It makes manifest. It is one. It is harmonious. No truth contradicts any other truth. In truth are no jars, no discords, no contradictions. Like its Author, truth is simple, eternal, immutable. It came from God, who cannot lie, cannot deceive, cannot be mistaken, cannot be outsmarted. Sin and holiness never were the same, and to all eternity shall be different. Right and wrong cannot agree, because one is conformity to truth and justice, while the other is at war with both. One is from above; the other is from beneath. Truth is the opposite of fiction, fable, falsehood.
*We are bound to distinguish true and false doctrine. The Scripture requires us to test all things, and to hold fast to that which is good; and to test teachers by their doctrine (1 Thess. 5:21; 1 John 4:1). This can be done. We can know the truth. The doctrine of the Pharisees and the doctrine of the Sadducees never did agree with the doctrines of Christ. The doctrine of the Nicolaitans subverted the doctrines of the Apostles. Light and darkness are not more opposite than truth and error. Nutritious food and deadly poison may look alike, but they can be, and they must be, distinguished.
*We cannot in the least depart from sound doctrine without affecting our views of God, His nature, government, or worship. It is necessary to believe that man is a lost sinner, in order to believe that the provisions of the Gospel are not nugatory. If men hold false doctrine, it is because they have not received the love of the truth, and so are swayed by pride, or prejudice, or lack of right affections.
*We must not only hold the truth—but hold it to the rejection of opposing error. After a fashion, the Pharisees held much truth, but they so mixed it up with error that they "made the word of God of no effect." One man in this age has sent forth the opinion that we may well believe all creeds, the more the better. For this strange notion, there is neither reason nor Scripture.
*We must be valiant for the truth. We must hold it at all costs and hazards. Myriads have wisely laid down their lives for the testimony of Jesus. All the truth of Christianity now upon earth has been preserved to us by the intrepidity of confessors and the blood of martyrs. Men, whose office, station, and profession require them to stand up for the truth—yet fail to do so—are among the greatest enemies of God and man (Jer. 9:3).
*Others say—good practice is all we regard; we care nothing for doctrines. But have such forgotten that "as a man thinks in his heart so is he" (Prov. 23:7)? The world furnishes no case of a man being better than his principles. Who would trust a man who believed it was right to lie, and steal, and murder?
*We must not shrink from a just exposure of false doctrine and a faithful vindication of the truth. The pious and amiable John Newton made it a rule never to attack error, nor warn his people against it. He said: "The best method of defeating heresy is by establishing the truth. One proposes to fill a bushel with tares; now if I can fill it first with wheat, I shall defeat his attempts." Surely the truth ought to be abundantly set forth. But this is not sufficient. The human mind is not like a bushel. It may learn much truth and yet go after folly. The effect of Mr. Newton's practice was unhappy. He was hardly dead until many of his people went far astray. Paul says: "Preach the word of God. Be persistent, whether the time is favorable or not. Patiently correct, rebuke, and encourage your people with good teaching." (2 Tim. 4:2). The more subtle, bitter, and numerous the foes of the truth are—the more fearfulness and decided should its friends be. The life of truth is more important than the life of any man or of any theories.
Let no man forget that there is a rejection of truth, which makes ruin certain. "He who believes not shall be damned." A little error is bad; but error in fundamental truth hinders salvation. South says: "I know it is doubted, whether a bare error in judgment can damn a person; but since truths absolutely necessary for salvation are so clearly revealed in Scripture, that we cannot err in them, unless we are notoriously lacking to ourselves; herein the fault of the judgment is resolved into a precedent default of the will; and so the case is put out of doubt." If men are ever delivered from the bondage of corruption, the truth must set them free (John 8:32). And if men are turning from the holy commandment and the precious truth of God to fables and falsehoods, it must be because they love a lie. "For this reason God sends them a powerful delusion—so that they will believe the lie and so that all will be condemned who have not believed the truth but have delighted in wickedness" 2 Thessalonians 2:11-12.
Let us not grow weary in earnestly contending for the faith.
For the whole article go here.
By William S. Plumer
[Below are some excerpts from an article I discovered at Grace Gems. I've abbreviated the list, but Plumer gives far more detail and Scripture along the way. I just wanted to get to the parts that stood out to me and I thought would be helpful to others. Please read the whole article. I'll post the link at the end, since I've had problems putting it into the text at the beginning here. I'm sorry for any inconvenience. ~Denise]
The amount of zeal displayed by false teachers is sometimes prodigious. They compass sea and land to make one proselyte. They often put to shame the lukewarmness of some who hold the truth. Their devoutness sometimes seems astonishing. In them Satan seems transformed into an angel of light. I have never seen more seeming warmth in religious worship than among some who deny the divinity of our Lord Jesus Christ and of the Holy Spirit. They are both sanctimonious and fanatical. They have fire, but it is wild fire. Let us follow no teacher merely because he is moral, zealous and apparently devout.
It is God's plan that "there must be heresies among you, that they which are approved may be made manifest among you" (1 Cor. 11:19). The Scriptures make it no less clear that our duty requires us to "test the spirits, to see whether they are of God" (1 John 5:1).
Let us then learn the marks of false teachers. What does history say of them? In all ages they are much alike.
I. False teachers exercise much craftiness and deceitfulness in spreading their false doctrines.
II. False teachers commonly promise much more than they perform.
III. False teachers are commonly boastful.
IV. The very same people at times display fierceness and bitterness.
V. False teachers love to make dupes of unstable, ill-informed females and young people.
VI. Notwithstanding their boastings, many false teachers are commonly cowards.
VII. False teachers are sometimes very successful for a season.
VIII. Sooner or later the folly of false teachers shall be manifest.
The character of a polished propagator of false doctrine may be thus sketched. He is cunning, artful and smooth. He is believable and ready to flatter, but he has no real benevolence. At times, he has a show of modesty, but no real humility. He is never sincere, open, and true. He talks very much according to the company he is in. In his heart, he hates scriptural holiness and some of the truths that lead to it; yet at times, he may have an air of sanctimoniousness.
When he dares, he can scoff, and scowl, and show malice like any other wicked man. His artifices better suit the naive, than the judicious, and so he chiefly addresses the unlearned and the unstable. At times, he probably blusters a good deal, but he has none of the true courage of the Apostles. He is not ready to suffer the loss of all things for the truth.
It is easy for providence to lead such men away to secular pursuits. Our country has seen four men, preachers of false doctrine in one city, led away to other pursuits more congenial to their carnal tastes. Law, medicine, trade, politics, literary pursuits are more congenial to such than preaching and praying.
Often false teachers have an unhonored old age. After death, none rise up to call them blessed. They never saved a soul from the error of its ways. Sometimes the death of such is attended with many painful circumstances. They never bear any testimony for God. Their dying chamber is never on the verge of heaven.
Sometimes they hug their delusions to the last, and never awake to a just view of their own case until the stamp of eternity and the seal of immutability are placed upon their character, until they stand before the judgement of God, and begin the doleful and endless wail of lamentation over a life misspent and opportunities of salvation lost forever.
Here arises a great practical question: How shall we treat false teachers when they arise? The answer to this question needs not to be long.
To be continued on the next post.
Link to the full article at Grace Gems here.
Tuesday, August 01, 2006
Many words in Scripture point towards forgiveness, such as:
peace with God,
not imputing iniquity,
taking away sin,
making an end of transgression,
not remembering iniquity,
cleansing and removing sin,
casting it into the sea, or behind the back,
scattering it like a cloud,
blotting it out,
The forgiveness of sins is free. It is "without money and without price." We can do nothing to merit it, or prepare ourselves for it.
When God pardons, He pardons: all sins, original sin and actual sin, sins of omission and of commission, secret and open sins, sins of thought, word and deed.
To those who believe in Jesus, all is freely forgiven. Full pardon, or none at all, is what God gives. Nor is this gift ever revoked by God. When He forgives, He forgives forever!
"Blessed is he whose transgressions are forgiven, whose sins are covered. Blessed is the man whose sin the Lord does not count against him."
Saturday, July 29, 2006
Rom 9:20 But who are you, O man, to answer back to God? Will what is molded say to its molder, "Why have you made me like this?" 21 Has the potter no right over the clay, to make out of the same lump one vessel for honored use and another for dishonorable use?
Isa 29:16 You turn things upside down! Shall the potter be regarded as the clay, that the thing made should say of its maker, "He did not make me"; or the thing formed say of him who formed it, "He has no understanding"?
Jam 1:18 Of His own will He brought us forth by the word of truth, that we should be a kind of firstfruits of His creatures.
Rom 10:20 And Isaiah boldly says, “I was found by those who did not seek me; I revealed myself to those who did not ask for me.”
John 1: 12 Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God— 13 children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God.
Rom. 9: 16 It does not, therefore, depend on man’s desire or effort, but on God’s mercy.
Eph. 1: 11 In Him we were also chosen, having been predestined according to the plan of Him who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of His will
1Cor. 1: 27 But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. 28 He chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things—and the things that are not—to nullify the things that are, 29 so that no one may boast before him.
Friday, July 28, 2006
"The feverish urge of modern evangelism is not how to promote the glory of the triune Jehovah, but how to multiply conversions. The whole current of evangelical activity during the past [hundred] years has taken that direction. Losing sight of God's end, the churches have devised means of their own.
Bent on attaining a certain desired object, the energy of the flesh has been given free rein; and supposing that the object was right, evangelists have concluded that nothing could be wrong which contributed unto the securing of that end; and since their efforts appear to be eminently successful, only too many churches silently acquiesced, telling themselves "the end justified the means". Instead of examining the plans proposed and the methods adopted by the light of Scripture, they were tacitly accepted on the ground of expediency. The evangelist was esteemed not for the soundness of his message, but by the visible 'results' he secured. He was valued not according to how far his preaching honored God, but by how many souls were supposedly converted under it.
Once a man makes the conversion of sinners his prime design and all-consuming end, he is exceedingly apt to adopt a wrong course. Instead of striving to preach the Truth in all its purity, he will tone it down so as to make it more palatable to the unregenerate. Impelled by a single force, moving in one fixed direction, his object is to make conversion easy, and therefore favorite passages (like John 3:16) are dwelt upon incessantly, while others are ignored or pared away...." More.
Most unbelievers do many things which are very proper,but not out of love to God. The unregenerate man never does anything with holy motives. His life is better than his heart. Indeed his heart is the worst part of him! It is all wrong. It is hard, and proud, and selfish, and unbelieving, and without any love to God. So far from pleasing God, all the unregenerate are continually offending him. Their very best works are but splendid sins! They do some things which God requires, and abstain from some things which Godforbids--not because they love God or His law, but because it promotes their health, or wealth, or honor to do so.
Ploughing is itself a lawful act. If there is no ploughing, there can be no bread. Yet God says: "The ploughing of the wicked is sin!" Yes, he puts it down with other sins which greatly offend him. The whole verse reads thus: "A high look, and a proud heart, and the ploughing of the wicked--is sin." Proverbs 21:4. If God had intended to teach that everything done by wicked men--even the most common and necessary thing was sinful--could He have chosen more fit words?
Here is a passage which shows that all the religious services of the unconverted, are defiled with sin. "The sacrifice of the wicked is an abomination to the Lord." Proverbs 15:8.