|The Age of Reason is a free Bible study/Christian
history that shows how and why modern
Christianity became apostate.
In today’s apostate Christianity most Christians do not know the Bible, are not seriously striving to master the Bible, and have no motivation to repent because they compare themselves with the other shallow Christians with whom they choose to congregate. When they look for Christian reading material, therefore, they want a book that will appeal to their emotions and assure them that all is well with their souls. They will not like The Age of Reason because it reveals apostasy even among good Christians like you, brother, who are motivated by a true, deep, and humble love for the Lord to obediently master His Book. When they read these chapter summaries they will be offended by the fact that they say things that are different from what they were fed by tradition. That will offend them because they think apostasy afflicts other Christians, not them. And they aren’t humble enough to search the Scriptures to see whether these things be so – that’s why they prefer to read little inadequate “summaries” like these rather than read the chapters themselves that rely on studying the Scriptures (chapter and verse) and submitting to the authority of what God says. Do not be like them, brother. And do not be surprised if you read things here that offend you; after all, if I really am revealing apostasy I am going to offend you. (Pvb 27:17: Iron sharpeneth iron; so a man sharpeneth the countenance of his friend.) Of course, if I’m just a deluded crackpot I’m going to offend you, too – and that’s why I depend on your love for the Scriptures to take you to the chapters themselves where I make my case based on Thus saith the Lord... I say again: your Christianity cannot be slothfully based on shortcuts like chapter summaries, spoon-fed doctrines via weekly sermons, and ear-tickling books. Our relationship with the Lord is supposed to be based on one thing and one thing only – what the Bible says. In order to reveal apostasy I am going to have to cut across the grain, so remember that you can’t write me off when these summaries offend you; you can only do that if the Bible study doesn’t back me up. Most Christians prefer the safety of these summaries because in them they are only rejecting me – and that’s fine. But in the Bible they’d have to reject the Lord of the Bible – and that’s exactly what I’m going to prove modern Christianity has unknowingly done. Let them that have ears that hear, hear.
|You may CLICK a TITLE to jump down to that summary.
(H = Historical, D = Doctrinal Chapters)
When the Lord Jesus Christ showed up the first time His “Bible-believing”, Bible-preaching, soul-winning, praying, tithing, fasting, sabbath-keeping followers not only did not recognize Him, they despised and rejected His teachings and chose Barabbas over Him...I put Bible-believing in quotes because of the undeniable fact that the Lord wasn’t crucified by Bible believers who went by what His Bible said; He was crucified by theologians who went by what other books said the Bible meant.
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This book is intended to be a wake-up call for those who believe what the Bible says. It is meant to introduce them to the fact that, just as Eve was deceived by the subtlety of Satan, they, too, just may be tradition-bound, Bible-rejecting, blind followers of men who know neither the Scriptures nor the power of God. It is hoped they will get a glimpse of the sad fact that while they are piously teaching new Christians not to smoke or to use “the f word”, they are unknowingly rejecting the authority of God and are in danger of going to hell. And when I say that, I am not just speaking to those unskillful in the word of righteousness. Neither am I merely including the proud old but generally liberal mainline denominations such as the Episcopalians, Lutherans, Methodists, and Presbyterians. I am also addressing those denominations, independent or not, that generally consider themselves to be champions of “orthodoxy” and “fundamentalism” such as the Assemblies of God, Baptists, Churches of Christ, and today’s popular nondenominational mega churches. And, lest anyone think I’m favoring some cult, I include in that group the Roman Catholic, Mormon, Jehovah’s Witness, and Seventh-Day Adventist churches. If I’ve left any group out please be assured that I believe that just as it was during the time of the First Coming so it is today: To be affiliated with any denomination is to be linked with apostasy. (My definition of cult: Any religion that allows or encourages people to think something within the organization – such as a book, a person, or a committee – has doctrinal authority equal to or greater than the Holy Bible.)
I hope to help those individuals who are trying to ensure that their relationship with Jesus Christ is in accordance with the Bible – not tradition – because they know that the Word of God and the word of God are inseparable. Many people, however, will read this book just to see if I agree with their pet doctrine(s) or not. Today many Christians, when looking for a Bible study, are not humbly looking for something that will train them up in the way they should go by teaching them the hard truths of God; they are smugly looking for something that will tickle their ears by assuring them that, in spite of their appalling ignorance of the word of God, they are somehow already on the path of righteousness. They want to read, not study; and they want to agree, not learn. In other words, they prefer to waste their time with “Bible studies” they don’t need because they already know and agree with everything in them! Those people are already offended by this introduction and will not like this book because they prefer books that make them feel good about themselves – not books that show them to be part of the modern Babylonian captivity. Immature Christians will ignore the major and damning tenets of this book that show the church and its doctrines to be corrupt. They will do so by taking offense at trivial things I may say along the way that they disagree with – but that do not affect their Christian walk in any way! In other words, because they cannot deal with the major and far-reaching reasons this book was written, they’ll strain at gnats, swallow camels, quit studying, and go find something less challenging. Keep that in mind as you read this book because it is not for babes in Christ; this is a meaty Bible study written for soldiers; the gloves are off. It’s time for some Swordplay; for as iron sharpeneth iron, so a man sharpeneth the countenance of his friend. There is too much pabulum in the pulpits, which has turned men into panty-waisted, effeminate, supercilious little sissies whose “Christian” world is so far removed from the fight that it’s no longer sticks and stones that hurt – it’s words! That’s what lip service does.
The Lord is a man of war (Ex 15:3). He wants us to be men of war (Ju 3:1,2; Ps 144:1; 1 Ti 6:12). Sadly, we’re having trouble producing men let alone warriors. The modern church has filled our ranks with medics and psychologists whose carnal preoccupation with social acceptance has made “Christianity” unappealing to and even hostile towards warriors. Being for men of war, this book is very direct; you’ll have no trouble knowing what I’m saying. My directness will offend those modern Christians who do not understand war and what is needed to participate in war. I say again: Modern Christians understand neither war nor the total involvement needed to successfully participate in war.
God likes and uses patterns (He 9:23,24) and repetition (Ec 1:9,10), therefore beginnings in the Bible are important because they teach us 1) the way God established His kingdom, and 2) how to recognize manmade differences from His established order. God established His pattern when He created His angels and His Kingdom: God owned everything and everyone, and God was the one and only Head and He alone made all of the decisions. But then we see a change to that order: Rather than accept God as his boss, Lucifer began to think and do things on his own, which is carnality. That was not submission to God; it was rebellion against His authority and robbery of His prerogatives of Headship and ownership. It was also murder because if God accepted that situation it would make God cease to be God, the One and Only Head – God would become a god. Lucifer was taking power from the King and giving it to the people. Therefore, God established another pattern: Based on independence vs. submissive obedience God decided to throw some of His own children out of His household, which divided the angels into two groups, His angels and devils – and the war was on. The war intimately involves humans. God wins if we remain submissive to His Headship, Satan wins if he can get us to think and do things on our own. Therefore, the issue in the war is authority. God wants us to focus on obedience, Satan wants us to focus on what we think is right and wrong. (Lucifer’s goal is not the disappearance of the church; it’s the disobedience of the church.) That is why God established another pattern by giving Adam and Eve a simple order: Do not partake of the forbidden fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil – because God alone would decide for us what was right and what was wrong. But Satan introduced a change to that order by getting Adam and Eve to think knowing right and wrong was actually good. Then we get another lesson because as soon as they ate the fruit of right and wrong, Adam and Eve couldn't help deciding on their own: They decided – without consulting God – that nudity was wrong, and they made aprons of fig leaves to cover themselves. In spite of the fact that Adam was now “clothed”, he still hid from God because he understood that what he had done on his own, even if he thought it was right and good, would not please God. God responded with outrage. He kicked Adam and Eve out of His garden. What we learn: God isn’t offended by either nudity or fig leaves…He is offended when we usurp His prerogative as The One Who Decides Everything. We offend Him when we stop being subjects whose lives revolve around knowing and doing His will, and instead become citizens whose lives revolve around doing what we think is right and good. In other words good is obeying God, and evil is doing anything without first consulting Him. By understanding that, we realize the purpose of God’s laws: They exist to teach us and to condemn us. An example of condemnation is when God asked Adam, “Hast thou eaten of the tree, whereof I commanded thee that thou shouldest not eat?” God was showing Adam an undeniable fact – Adam broke the law and deserved to be kicked out. But the law is also good because it can teach us: Our sins eventually make us realize we cannot help breaking some law every now and then. That makes us fear God’s wrath, which makes us want to please Him more, which makes us study His Book in an effort to learn His rules, which makes us get to know Him better, which makes us better appreciate and respect His leadership, wisdom, love, and mercy, which makes us love Him more…and that cycle continues until we grow close enough to Him to realize the actual laws themselves are not important; what is important is doing His will – no matter what that is because He is God and we are His servants who love Him. The Pharisees never learned that because their lack of genuine love for God made them never go through the above cycle; they stopped at learning His laws and therefore never learned that doing His will is our one and only duty. Peter had to be trained out of his Pharisaical focus on the written laws and learn to do the will of God (Ac 10:13,14). At Judgment if God sees our heart was on Him, we’ll inherit the promises. But if He sees our heart avoided the above growth cycle by fixating on the laws, He’ll use those laws to show us we broke them and deserve to be kicked out of His household. In short, if all we do is learn His laws we are merely learning about the very things that will condemn us – just like the Pharisees. But if our genuine love for God makes us go deeper into the cycle, we’ll eventually realize the laws are parables that He uses to hide Himself – the Pearl of Great Price – from those who do not really care about Him, and to reveal Himself to those who love Him enough to spend time at His feet. In that way we grow more appreciative of His laws because they are great and wonderful schoolmasters indeed. A man’s relationship with the Bible is an exact indication of his relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ…a superficial relationship indicates condemnation; a genuine relationship indicates mercy. This chapter also introduces other fundamental issues and principles that are necessary to understanding the rest of the Bible.
Earlier, Adam had yielded his sovereignty by allowing his body (Eve) to get him into trouble, which resulted in his being cursed by God. Noah also surrendered control over his body by getting drunk (Ge 9:21). The head should never democratically surrender control to its body because the head is supposed to be a monarch. Noah’s drunkenness was bad because his head became incapacitated and surrendered control to his body. These episodes would later result in laws against fornication (but not against intercourse) and laws against drunkenness (but not against intoxicating beverages). Interestingly enough, when fornication and drunkenness became sins, gluttony also became a sin (but not eating)…because fornication, drunkenness, and gluttony share the same foundational evil: The sinful principle behind all three is yielding control to the body, which is the same principle behind democracy (!), which is the antithesis of Godly order and is an abomination to God.
Adam’s descendants disappointed God so He drowned them all but Noah and his family. Noah became the second patriarch of the human race. He, too, was issued the Old Commission. However, his descendants also failed to please God – except for Abraham. Instead of drowning everybody again, God decided to let His carnal people live on their own – without Him. Therefore, God divided humans into two groups, His people and pagans. God no longer was the Father of all men; He was now the God of the Hebrews – Abraham and his descendants. Accordingly, only the Hebrews – God’s people – were given spirit life (see chapter D8 pages 2 & 3). All of the pagans had only the first birth and were therefore merely body and soul instead of body, soul, and spirit like God’s people who are born-again of the Spirit. The rest of the chapter is filled with examples that show how – throughout the Old Testament – God tried to get His people to glorify Him by submitting to His authority and to the authority of the rulers He put over them. All too often God’s people angered Him by carnally doing that which was right in their own eyes. By showing how and why Christians became different from pagans, this chapter helps straighten out many modern doctrinal inconsistencies.
The Bible says God’s people in the wilderness continually provoked Him by being stiffnecked and rebellious (Dt 9:6,7). And the Lord put their rebellion in His Book to benefit us, so let’s look at some examples of authority and rebellion. And when you read these examples in the Bible I want you to seriously consider what they reveal about the type of ruler God is. By today’s standards He is too demanding, too unforgiving, too irritable, too tyrannical, and too violent. If you don’t get to know and accept the real Him now, you will likely reject Him at the Second Coming just like most of His people did at the First Coming.
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And while the above explanation of the saints’ actions is helpful in demonstrating what carnality is, it still falls far short of showing why the Bible says the carnal mind is enmity/violent hatred against the authority of God. No, I said that wrong in my zeal to keep submissive obedience to authority in the picture: The carnal mind is not enmity against the authority of God; it’s more personal than that: it’s enmity against God Himself. Let me make the distinction clear. Authority is a big deal because the issue in the Bible is authority. The issue in the Bible is not God, and the issue in the Bible is not the existence of God. Those are not issues; those are merely facts that are known by all of God’s children (Ja 2:19). The issue is authority because God is no longer the only king. There is another king, Satan, whose objective is to overthrow the type of orderly, dictatorial, hierarchical authority God established in His household. Therefore authority – how you view authority and react to it – will demonstrate which king and which kingdom you prefer. True love is choosing God’s way. Violent enmity against God is choosing equality. When the war is over and King Satan is gone, the issue will no longer be authority because there will be but one King again.
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Anyway, when God’s people in the wilderness turned their yellow backs to the grapes of Eshcol, the Promised Land, and their duty to God to submit to Moses’ leadership, they then took the next logical step according to the carnal mind: They came up with a form of government more to their liking – one that would do what they thought was right. This form of government gave the power to the people and therefore made the “head” of the government a servant of the people. Obviously I’m talking about the form of government that centuries later would be called democracy. This government was formed from the majority consensus of God’s people (Nu 14:1,2) and was the Natural product of the carnal mind doing what it thought was best for physical life on planet earth. They knew in the course of human events that this form of government was right because its goodness was so readily apparent, so self-evident to all Reasonable men. Therefore these well-intentioned Christians whose motivation was the safety of the women and children (v.3) decided to choose a new leader whose mandate would be to carry out the will of the people (v.4). The Biblical Christians were such a small minority that all they could do was rend their clothes, fall on their faces before the majority, and beg them to view the situation from God’s perspective (vv.5-9). The majority of Christians listened to these Bible arguments, realized that these fanatics were so narrow-minded that they’d never come out into the “real world” and listen to Reason, and reluctantly and prayerfully concluded that – for the good of the church – Moses, Aaron, Joshua, and Caleb should be executed on the spot (v.10) in order to save all their lives. At that point the entire congregation saw the glory of God appear in the tabernacle (v.10). Suddenly everybody fearfully remembered Nu 12:8 and had to go to the bathroom, but Moses got to his feet and went over to see what the Lord wanted.
This was a big moment. Would the Lord tell Moses that democracy was a Godly form of government and to submit to the will of the majority of Christians? No, He wouldn’t (to the ideological disgust of the modern church). One of the doctrinal failings of New Testament Christianity is to miss the critical importance of this episode and therefore to not learn from it. I’m not just referring to the obvious and undeniable attempt by Christians to institute a democratic form of government; I’m also referring to how God responded to this attempt to have a Christian democracy. (And because modern Christians have missed the significance of this dramatic ideological showdown between dictatorship and democracy, they also don’t see it repeated throughout the Old and New Testaments.)
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It is important to stress that these men honestly had no idea they were sinning. The carnal mind does not make you wake up one day and say, “I want to do evil.” That is not what happened to Lucifer and that is not the way Satan is today. The carnal mind is not evil because of what it thinks. The fruit of the carnal mind is not bad or evil when viewed on its own. It is only bad and evil when it is viewed from the broad perspective of ideology, concepts, and principles. Only then can we understand that carnality is made bad by the issue of authority. But not just any authority; carnality is only bad when viewed from the perspective of God’s authority. It isn’t what the carnal mind thinks; it’s the fact that it is thinking independently of God. It is a usurpation of God’s authority as the one and only God, the one and only Head. For that reason I am not writing a Christian novel whose success depends on your liking it. I am writing a Bible study so when you come across something you don’t like or something that differs from modern traditional Christian doctrine you’ll have the opportunity to handle the situation like Moses: “Let’s see what the Lord says about this.” If that is your reaction you are demonstrating two qualities necessary for the development of discernment – humility before the authority of God and His word, and discipline, which is needed to overcome the Natural inclinations of the old man. For example, I don’t despise democracy (and the principles upon which it is based) because I think it is evil and abhorrent; I despise it only because I have chosen sides in this war. My values, beliefs, doctrines, and life are not based on what I think, want, or like; and I do not concern myself with whether something is right or wrong: I simply find out what the Lord says and accept it as what “my side” believes in and fights for. There are two opposing kings, two opposing kingdoms, two opposing armies, and two opposing ideologies in this war. I have chosen the Lord’s side. That means I have chosen the side of the Dictator Who wants to do the thinking and Who wants to decide what to do and Who wants to decree what is right and what is wrong. The side I’ve chosen requires me to suppress myself daily. If I don’t like that I can always go over to the other side where Satan’s religion encourages me to develop my Reason rather than stifle it, to express myself daily. The Lord’s side requires me to lose my identity; the Devil’s side allows me to keep my identity.
The shame is that many Christians would like to be on the Lord’s side but modern “Christian” doctrine is misleading them into serving Satan even while they think they are serving Christ.
It was just this sort of blindness that afflicted Korah when he moved up from being a member of the body to being another head. Nu 16:2 says he “rose up” against authority and made a nice little egalitarian speech in Nu 16:3. (Notice the rising and the equality in Is 14:13,14; Eze 28:2,5.) These men certainly did not think they were opposing God Himself by resisting Moses, therefore when he told them they were not only taking too much upon themselves (v.7), but were actually going against God (v.11), they thought he was wrong. Imagine their surprise when God had the earth swallow Korah, Dathan, and Abiram – and their families (vv.30-33). The Christians who had prayed with and supported Korah turned and ran (v.34). And then fire from God caught and consumed the fleeing, screaming two hundred and fifty respected Christians who represented the congregation (v.35). The next day the congregation, having thought about the “rightness” of their cause overnight, “murmured” against their authorities (v.41) and were not happy when the Lord showed up again (v.42) because He was turning out to be a big disappointment Who always sided with the bosses – whether the bosses were right or not. They simply couldn’t understand it because, like most Christians in every era, they were carnal. God decided to shut their opinionated mouths with a deadly plague that killed 14,700 of His special people (v.49). And then God made Aaron’s rod blossom and told Moses to keep it as a reminder (Nu 17:10) of Ro 13:1,2. Christianity today has failed to understand that Ro 13:1,2 is better and more helpful than Aaron’s rod because the rod was but a silent token whose meaning – as we shall see – was quickly forgotten.
One of God’s prophets, Balaam, told pagan King Balak up on a place called Peor, what he had to do to defeat God’s people – who had been invincible up to this point because God fought for them: God’s people could only be defeated from within. Only if they displeased God would He allow them to be defeated by their enemies. So King Balak had to figure out how to subtly introduce leaven into the Hebrews’ lives by making them do that which was right in their own eyes instead of faithfully submitting to God’s leadership. Much to the dismay of good men like Moses and Phinehas, the whoredom of Peor was a terrible success. Because of the fruits of Peor, God’s people again erred by building the unauthorized altar, Ed. This is used as a lesson to show, again, that we should be servants who do what we are told rather than independent agents who come up with “good” ideas on our own.
At any rate, we need to be more like King Jehoshaphat for the two reasons in 2 Ch 17:3,4: First, his Christian walk was proper because he lived it by consulting God through His word. Second, he avoided the ways of our old friend Balaam from Peor. It is quite possible that Jehoshaphat erred and allowed the four high places to remain because, in spite of the fact that he wanted to avoid the whoredom of Peor (and was generally successful in doing so), he just didn’t understand how Ed could be bad and didn’t understand how the four could be bad. That should illustrate how subtle and deceiving our carnal minds can be. We truly do have to develop a servant’s mentality and hang on our Lord’s every word in order to more perfectly know His will, and in order to understand that the whoredom of Peor is a big problem for Christians today – and its subtlety is ruining the church from within.
We need to realize none of the mistakes mentioned in this and in the previous chapters was committed by stupid Christians. Saints who thought they were serving the Lord committed them, saints who were no different from you and me. These mistakes were made because the realities and events of everyday life caused our brethren to take their eyes off Christ and the Bible and instead to focus on the events themselves. We must never allow that to happen. We must always have some part of our minds objectively analyzing events in order to find and understand the Biblical concepts and principles behind them. And then we must have what it takes to walk by faith, not by sight. You and I have already used some of the events in the Bible to develop and practice our ability to objectively and Scripturally evaluate the actions of Old Testament saints. We are not condemning them; we are learning from them. As we move through the rest of the chapters in this section we shall continue practicing discernment by Scripturally evaluating the actions of Christians about whom we have read in our studies of world history. We are going to see why they made the decisions they made and see if we think they were the Biblically-correct decisions, and in the process gain a better understanding of world history from a Christian perspective. By the time you finish this book you will understand how important it is for us to use discernment because you will see how the world-shaping errors of our carnal Christian ancestors down through history compounded and produced Western civilization and the unscriptural doctrines in our so-called “Bible-believing, Bible-preaching, Bible-teaching” churches.
This chapter uses Alexander the Great, the Greek philosophers, King Herod, the Maccabees, and early New Testament era Christians to show what philosophy is, why the New Testament warns us about it, and how it began to leaven Christianity.
The “canon” of philosophy essentially closed with Aristotle. All other philosophers – Roman, medieval, and modern – merely used the tools and rules established by the Classic Greek philosophers. Later philosophers would coin a catchy phrase every now and then, and they would apply philosophy to other disciplines such as economics, but there was nothing they could add to philosophy: The Greeks had already defined it and established the rules. In a nutshell then philosophy is not letting religion of any kind influence what you think or do. That’s it. Nothing else is philosophy. When someone says, “My philosophy is to keep a low profile”, it’s just a colloquialism; strictly speaking he is not using the term correctly unless he actually means he didn’t consider the Bible. And if someone says, “He sticks to his religious philosophy”, the two words are oil and water; they don’t mix. When the Bible uses philosophy, vain deceit, the tradition of men, and the rudiments of the world as synonyms in opposition to Christ (Co 2:8), it is referring to Greek philosophy and all of its derivatives. It is not referring to “false” philosophy; there is no such thing as false philosophy or true philosophy – philosophy is philosophy. And just as it doesn’t matter if a carnal idea is good or bad because anything carnal is bad, any philosophy is bad because by definition philosophy must be carnal or it’s not philosophy. That’s not a secret and it never has been. The following are all synonyms for philosophy: Anything secular such as secular thought or writings; anything scientific or anything having to do with science, because science is knowledge arrived at by deliberately philosophical, secular, non-religious means; Reason; Carnality; doing that which is right and good in your own eyes; living by your own counsel; the Natural mind; Nature; Nature’s laws; humanism; the Classics; the Enlightenment; the Age of Reason; the whoredom of Peor; the leaven of the Pharisees that results in tradition and false doctrine; the doctrine of devils; the ideology of Satan; the spirit of antichrist; enmity against God; rebellion; witchcraft; and a damnable heresy.
This shows how Saint Augustine and his famous book, The City of God, subtly made philosophy, or Reason, part of the scholarly circles of Christianity – particularly when the Roman Catholic Church made Augustinian doctrine the foundation of Catholicism.
The influence of Greek philosophy on the educated classes of these early centuries and the intellectual contempt with which they held Christianity cannot be overstated. Christianity’s dependence upon faith in the unseen, belief in the unseen, and obedience to an unprovable Bible was nothing but contemptible, mindless superstition to those who had adopted Greek Reason as a way of life. In religion you were bound by doctrine, which meant you had to learn “God’s truth” and then live by it. A man of philosophy, however, could escape the blinding rules of religion and live by the Natural truth revealed by his sincere and considered opinion. That was Augustine’s “considered opinion” as a youth. When he matured his opinion of religion would change – and he would change religion.
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Because he was so instrumental in making Christianity a Reasonable religion and in rescuing it from the “narrow-minded dogmatic literalism of old-fashioned superstition”, Augustine is considered – along with Aquinas – one of the two greatest Christian thinkers in history. The encyclopedia says about Augustine, “His mind was the crucible in which the religion of the New Testament was most completely fused with the Platonic tradition of Greek philosophy; and it was also the means by which the product of this fusion was transmitted to the Christendoms of Roman Catholicism and Protestantism.”
When the Roman Empire collapsed Europe plunged into lawless chaos. The only framework of order was the rickety structure of the young Roman Catholic Church, which grew and emerged as the foundation of Western civilization. Upon this foundation Europe was built. But ideological divisions quickly caused problems: Non-Catholic Christians differed with some of Rome’s Augustine-based doctrines; some Catholic scholars began to want more of Augustine’s Greek philosophy openly made part of Christianity; and scientific advancements and discoveries seemed to prove the value of making Reason part of society.
While it is true that many in the hierarchy of the Catholic Church were ignorant of the Scriptures that is not to say they were poorly educated. On the contrary, theirs were easily some of the best minds in Europe. They were mentally far, far above the masses. That, combined with their extreme wealth and power, insulated and isolated them from normal society, which resulted in their living dual lives. In public they were variously pious, aloof, arrogant, humble, and magisterial as situations warranted. In private they simply did whatever they wanted. They got drunk, they stayed up all night, they slept around the clock, they tinkered, they read, they hunted, they had huge parties, they murdered people, they traveled, etc. And, like most men in history with great power and authority (such as David and Solomon), they developed huge sexual appetites that were – for the good men of history – difficult to control, and – for the bad – something to be indulged. These clerics simply did anything and everything. And they did it with impunity.
The upper echelons of the Roman Catholic hierarchy were an elite group; they were above the law. They would burn common people at the stake for voicing heresies and then retire to the drawing room with a group of their peers to seriously discuss the very heresies for which they executed others. They circulated books, manuscripts, and papers among themselves that concerned philosophy, heresy, government, religion, sexual practices, the economy, trade, foreign religions, etc. They were minds, strong minds that examined, discussed, and became intrigued with a topic – only to become bored with it later. Because they had strong minds and walked on an intellectual plane, they could handle principles, concepts, and ideas, including those that were associated with heresies. But the common people lacked those mental abilities. If a commoner learned about a heresy he couldn’t control it. He invariably opened his stupid mouth and spread the leaven to others like him in society where it often took root because the masses were incapable of mentally dealing with and properly analyzing principles and doctrines.
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Intellectuals like Abelard who agreed with philosophy were a minority that conservatives derisively called “Rationalists” because they used secular humanism/Reason to point out “problems” in the Bible that offended Reason – such as miracles. Conservative scholars such as St. Bernard of Clairvaux (1090-1153) warned that Christian Rationalism would grow and eventually become a problem. He said Rationalism was a subtle danger because any so-called “neutral” pursuit of knowledge, such as secular scholarship, Christian Rationalism, and science, is not neutral; it is actively pagan and contrary to the lordship of Christ and the glory of God. We’ll see why Bernard was correct in a few minutes.
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Today it is difficult to appreciate just how radical and offensive philosophy was. After all, in just a few pages we have easily covered material that it took European Christians centuries to digest. There are two reasons philosophy took so long to work its way into the fabric of the lives of Western Christians: First, philosophy truly was radical to people in general and Christians in particular who had, since time began, lived under authority. People simply were not supposed to think or act on their own unless they were an authority and had that prerogative. And even Christian authorities themselves who had no earthly authority over them – like King David – were still required to check with God before doing anything to ensure that they didn’t offend Him. Christians simply understood how arrogantly evil it was to do something without proper authority, to step out of line, to leave your place in society, to be a foot that acted without consulting the head. Second, philosophy remained an academic concept within the exclusive and carefully protected domain of scholars…until it began to be passed on to the unthinking masses – most notably and dramatically by Martin Luther. Scholars were careful with Reason because they had the mental capacity to realize how truly revolutionary it was to the fundamental structure of society. Lacking that mental ability to deal with concepts and principles, the masses would respond to Reason by “knowing” on a gut level that it was right and good because it “felt” so Naturally self-evident.
Rome found itself facing doctrinal strife among its theologians who had differing opinions as to whether pagan philosophy should be made part of Christianity or not. At the same time, Europe was beginning to divide itself into various kingdoms/nations, and some of those kings wanted to rule without interference from the Pope. Liberal theologians, who approved of the Reason and “human rights” of the Greek philosophers, supported these rebel kings. Conservative theologians, who believed Christianity should not allow pagan philosophy to leaven doctrine, supported the old ways. Political and religious circumstances backed the Pope into a corner and caused him to order Saint Thomas Aquinas to officially blend Christianity and pagan Reason (also called Natural Law until the mid 19th century), which made doing what we think is right and good an approved way of “serving” God for the first time in history. Aquinas was extremely successful: The tree of the knowledge of good and evil suddenly lost its meaning; the whoredom of Peor lost its significance; and carnality ceased having to do with thinking and doing things independently of God…and began having to do with sex.
After Aquinas combined Greek Reason and Christianity, any Christian who utilized Roger Bacon’s carnal way of thinking by saying, “Oh, come on! God gave us brains and I think He expects us to use them!” would be – for the first time in history – right! It would become such an accepted way of thinking in the new Enlightened Christianity it would undermine all authority, including the practical validity of the word of God. For example, if a proper Christian said, “The Bible says we shouldn’t do such-and-such” (which should have settled the issue), his Enlightened friends increasingly replied with, “But what’s wrong with such-and-such?!” With that reply his friends showed they had partaken of the forbidden fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil: the true standard in their lives had become what they thought was right and wrong, and they merely rendered lip service to Thus saith the Lord. We aren’t here to be independent heads all deciding what we think is right and wrong; we’re here to be obedient servants for whom what God says is the final authority and our immediate imperative.
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One quick point: Protestants frequently deride the Roman Catholic Church for incorporating pagan things into Christianity like prayer beads, Xmas, eating fish on Friday, etc. And yet the biggest and by far the worst pagan thing Rome made “Christian” was Reason. Why no Protestant outcry? Because today we have just as many hypocrites and vipers at the controls as there were in Christ’s day.
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Aristotle had idiotically said about government that the rule of popular law (people make the laws) is preferable to the rule of any single person because the collective good of the mediocre masses outshines even the brilliance and goodness of a single great man. And he said the purpose of government should be to promote the “common good” in accordance with Natural Reason (which in democratic terms is defined as the majority). And he said the only legitimate source of governmental authority is the people. Aquinas rejected Pv 28:2 and parroted Aristotle by saying God made “Natural goodness” a part of all men equally. That meant when you took equality into account, the majority collectively would have more Natural goodness and wisdom than the minority. (If you want to believe democracy is consistent with the Bible you should be carrying the Revised Standard Version, which alone has a democratic (plural) reading of Pv 28:2.) Aquinas accepted the theories of earlier pagans who claimed the purpose of government was to promote the welfare of the people, and he said a ruler of government was legitimate in God’s view only as long as the majority of the people approved of him. If Aquinas was right about God’s way being a democratic one, all of the following would mean God’s support for David was hypocritical: Absalom’s successful democratic campaign won the hearts and support of the majority (2 Sa 15:2-6); David knew the majority supported Absalom (2 Sa 15:12,13); all the elders of Israel agreed that the murdering adulterer, David, must die (2 Sa 17:1,2,4); a vast Christian army was formed from all cities in Christendom, from the city of Dan in the north to Beersheba in the south, to overthrow and kill King David (2 Sa 17:11)! These pagan ideas about government, society, and religion had been cautiously bandied about in Christian Rationalist circles for centuries – but now they were God’s truth. They were now part of Western civilization and part of our “Judeo-Christian heritage.” The Modern Age, the Age of Aquinas, was here, and “progress” would quickly follow. And while it was true that Reason was still in its infancy among Christians, and that it would take another two hundred years to mature and bear fruit, the very fact that it was now officially a part of society and Christianity marks this as the beginning of the Age of Reason and the beginning of Mystery, Babylon’s captivity of God’s people. And if we are in the Age of the Gentiles, and the number of the Gentiles is 10, and the Babylonian captivity in the Bible was 70 years, if you take roughly the year 1300 and add 10 times 70 equals 700 years to it, you get roughly the year 2000. Since the year 1300 is just an approximation, and since we think the Second Coming of Christ is imminent, all we know is that the Age of Reason/Babylonian captivity won’t end until the Lord Jesus Christ returns, kicks democratic government out of power, establishes a dictatorship, and sets us free by outlawing Reason/carnality in no uncertain terms. And if His rule during the Old Testament is any indication, He will again – at least at the violent beginning of His reign – inflict some spectacularly cruel and unusual punishments on vast numbers of His people to drive home, again, the same lessons we covered in earlier chapters. Let them that have ears to hear, hear.
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At times the Vatican thought it would be wise to endorse the works of Thomas Aquinas in order to Rationalize Christianity. After all, philosophy and Reason seemed to be the only way to salvage the Church’s credibility after Albertus Magnus’ failure showed that not all Catholic doctrines could be proven with Scripture. At other times, however, it seemed far too risky to officially adopt the very philosophical Reason that all of God’s people had denounced since before the time of Christ. If Aquinas and his work became official, it would be an enormous doctrinal shift at a fundamental level: The Church would go from anti-Reason to pro-Reason; from claiming a faith-based reliance on the literal word of God, to a “more practical” reliance on theological scholarship; from a conservative institution trying to preserve the Old-Time Religion, to a “progressive” institution endeavoring to maintain “relevance” and “popular appeal”; from a doctrine-based religion that denounced heresy and punished heretics, to a “love-based” religion that embraced everyone and punished no one. Today’s secular scholars who may not understand the above fundamental changes can nevertheless recognize this epoch-changing historic shift by the fact that the Vatican dramatically metamorphosed from an Augustine-based religion into an Aquinas-based religion. For example, I mentioned on page H7-6 that the Augustine-based Dominican Order reorganized and became Aquinas-based. That wasn’t done for no reason; it was because the Dominicans enforced orthodoxy: they had been defenders of Augustine-based doctrine (anti Reason, and pro literal interpretation), but now they were champions of Aquinas-based theology (pro Reason, and anti literal interpretation). This momentous change from thus-saith-the-Lord-based orthodoxy, to what-decideth-man-based theology was a slow but inexorable process.
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The work of Aquinas would revolutionize world governments, revolutionize the world’s economy, create incredible financial prosperity, revolutionize the structure of the family and of Western society, make science a dominant if not necessary part of life, and cause Christians to stop fighting wars to defend and spread Christianity and instead begin fighting wars to defend and spread democracy. The incorporation of Reason into society was the most dramatic and far-reaching change in the history of civilization. In the past the direction of thought was from God to man. God figured into everything and controlled everything. But now God, religion, and the Bible were being replaced by Reason. The origin of thought was no longer God, and man began to say and do many things in life with no thought or consideration for God at all. The Age of Reason and the modern Babylonian captivity of God’s people were now under weigh with way on.
Educational institutions multiplied across Europe, and Greek philosophy/Rationalism/Natural Law was taught in all of them. But the Roman Catholic Church was not incorporating the principles of philosophy fast enough for many educated Catholic priests and laymen such as Calvin, Zwingli, and Ockham. Martin Luther, a Roman Catholic Augustinian monk, was dedicated to the philosophic teachings of Saint Augustine, and he used those teachings to justify his rebellion against his church superiors when Luther’s demands for reform were ignored. Because Luther was so popular with the ignorant masses, nationalistic noblemen who wanted Germany to be independent from Rome manipulated the naive Luther into serving their interests. More Enlightened Catholic priests used the tenets of the age of Reason to break from Rome in order to start new denominations whose views of the Bible, of Christianity, and of life were based heavily upon Greek Reason. The Protestant Reformation was underway and it quickly began teaching that the secular principles of philosophy, which had already been incorporated into Christianity by Aquinas, should also be incorporated into government and society. Secular governments and societies now began to appeal to Christians.
Luther continued to write and turned out some pretty good hymns. His writings were later used when a Protestant denomination was started that used his name. His writings have let us know that, while he was successful at dodging the law, he couldn’t hide from Satan. Presumably because Luther’s doctrines were so pure, Satan personally declared war on this fat outlaw, appeared several times to him and began to harass him. The Bible tells us Christ’s disciples had trouble dealing with devils, but Martin Luther wrote that he did not. When Satan launched a fart at Luther, Martin beat him at his own game by sending him running “mit einem furz” (with a fart). (Whether it was because Luther’s considerable girth greatly amplified the sound and frightened the Prince of Darkness or if his gas terribly offended Satan’s snoot the Protestant leader didn’t record.) But Satan did not give up easily. And Luther quickly found himself earnestly contending for the faith – even when Satan began fighting dirty.
Modern morality-worshipping Christians who translated Luther’s accounts of these face-to-face battles with Satan saw something in Luther’s writings that caused them to react with the cartoonish absurdity of a woman who sees a mouse – their eyes grew wide and their hands flew to their faces as they danced on tippy-toe and screamed in horror. (This reaction is viewed with disdain by real soldiers of Christ who stand calmly, unmoved and unshaken, secure in the knowledge that in Christ they have the strength to handle even this crisis. They know the flighty, wimpy, immature reaction of these shrieking parade-ground soldiers who have never left the comfort of their padded pews shows they have not only never been in combat, they don’t even know what this spiritual war is all about.) What did these tradition-bound translators see in Luther’s writings that not only horrified them but also made them decide it was better to lie than translate it correctly? It was just a bunch of shit! You see, it wasn’t “ink” that Christian translators claim Satan hurled at Luther and Luther threw right back – it was shit. The great reformer said Satan would pick up some shit (which was presumably lying around on the floor in Luther’s abode) and throw it at Luther in an attempt to defeat him. Remaining undaunted though he was now soiled with shit (“bescheissen”), Luther, in the heat and fury of this desperate combat with the Devil, scraped the splattered shit off of himself and threw it back. In response Satan mooned Luther by baring his ass (“steiss”). (This makes Martin Luther the only known Christian in history who has seen Satan’s asp hole.) Luther, blood up now, told Satan to “kiss my steiss” and threatened to “throw him into my anus where he belongs” and “scheiss in his face.” There were multiple encounters, but one day Luther finally defeated the Devil by threatening to take Satan’s own pants off of him, shit in them, and hang them around Satan’s neck. It cannot be determined from Luther’s account if Satan was wearing the same trousers that he, in the earlier encounter, pulled down in order to moon Luther, or if it was a different pair. But we do now know that Satan wears trousers.
Some people have felt that the drama of these encounters and the fact that there were a number of them not only make Luther a Christian hero, but also make David’s brief encounter with Goliath, and Michael the archangel’s encounter with this same Devil (Jude 9), pale in comparison. Other people think these encounters may indicate the Protestant reformer was a low-life liar.
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As this Augustinian prudishness spread, Christians ignored their Bibles and decided to make it a sin if a girl married before her twelfth birthday, and a boy before his fourteenth birthday. (The Bible neither discourages nor makes it a sin to become one of Christ’s brides at any age.) When explorers later sailed around the world they found that other societies in warm climes went naked some of the time. Teaching these “naked savages” that nudity was sinful became an immediate and major concern of missionaries. This self-righteousness peaked in the Victorian era as Christians heaped more tradition on top of what they’d already gotten from Ambrose, Augustine, and Luther: Hypocritically thinking the appetite for food was good but the appetite for sex was sinful, Protestants decided even food could cause their lust to conceive at the dinner table if they permitted the tasty limb of a chicken to be called a “leg”, so they coined the term “drumstick.” Then every time they said “drumstick” they congratulated themselves for not being “carnal.” Once this “doctrine” was accepted, Christians – who are normally loath to apply the principles behind true Bible doctrines – demonstrated an inventive zeal for morality by applying it to other things in life: Christians with money who could afford upholstered furniture demonstrated their moral superiority over Christians with “bare” or “naked” furniture by putting a skirt of fabric on their chairs to “decently” cover the sinfully-seductive curve of the wooden legs. Christians with money also covered their bodies with layer upon layer of fine fabric and jewelry and showed it all off by taking Sunday strolls or drives and made condescending remarks about the naked and grimy poor out toiling in the fields, because the elite thought God made it easier to avoid sin if you had money. But He made it just the opposite. Another example of the widespread Christian acceptance of morality as an authority in all matters of faith and practice can be found in the Presbyterian minister, Sylvester Graham (1794-1851), who invented the plain “graham cracker” because he believed spicy and heavily-seasoned foods sinfully increased sexual desire. And the moral Christian, John Kellogg (1852-1943), one of the founders of the breakfast cereal company, preached that all sexual activity was sinful carnality, even between husbands and wives (in over 40 years of marriage he never had sexual intercourse with his wife); and he became a vegetarian because he believed eating meat heightened the sinful desire to masturbate, which he called “Onanism” after Ge 38:8-10, which is covered in chapter D11. The zeal for morality would produce many “Crusaders against Carnality”, such as Anthony Comstock (1844-1915) who described himself as a “weeder in God’s garden.” He founded an organization to prevent the public from transgressing against the rapidly-growing number of “moral sins”, and in 1873 he succeeded in having the U.S. Congress pass a law against the sin of sending through the mail material that might inflame the prurient passions and imaginations of people by depicting or describing nudity or sexual acts. Sinful material that needed to be weeded from God’s garden included marital manuals and medical textbooks on anatomy, which started the long debate over what is “pornography”, an argument that was settled by creating a “standard” that was a blend of ever-changing morality and public opinion: “I’ll know it when I see it.” In that way “sins” in Martin Luther’s day were different from “sins” in the Victorian era and were different from “sins” today – because they are based not on what the Bible says but on the shifting sands of pagan morality and man becoming the authority in all things by “knowing” good and evil when he sees it.
The real historical significance of Martin Luther wasn’t his doctrine. After all, most Christians don’t care about doctrine, which is why they prefer morality – you don’t have to study the Bible to learn the latest morals. Luther was important because he showed society – indeed, he inspired society – how to act. The Greek philosophers and Augustine and Aquinas had taught the elite in society how Reason can justify rebellion. Until now history had seen only a few instances of minor rebellion among the educated – such as when Emperor Louis IV and William of Ockham used Aquinas to justify their rebellion. And if commoners rebelled – such as the Peasant’s Revolt – it was always a relatively small number whose action was disapproved of by most of the rest of the masses. Martin Luther is the one who took “just cause rebellion” out of the scholarly realm of philosophic principle and made it – from that day forward – a part of morality. And that gave it to the masses who don’t want to have to read, think, and study in obedience to commandments like 2 Ti 2:15; they just want to know by letting their “conscience be their guide.” By his very public example Martin Luther did more to make Reason a part of morality than any other person.
A religious dispute with the Pope caused Catholic King Henry VIII to split from the Catholic Church. Afraid that religious fervor might cause English people to overthrow the government and restore Catholicism, Henry and his successors gradually made government and society more secular: The old Catholic religious holy days were transformed into secular holidays; statues in public places of people in the Bible were destroyed and replaced by secular statues of governmental, literary, and military leaders; religion was taken out of the public schools; and public plays, which had always had religious themes, were replaced by secular plays written by young newcomers like Shakespeare. When King James ascended to the throne of Britain he very much disliked the way his four predecessors had secularized government and society. And he disapproved of the way certain elements of Enlightened Protestantism were using misguided religious zeal to promote Reason as the foundation for government, economics and commerce, education, doctrine, and social and family life. For example, Enlightened Protestants wanted to redefine monarchy as an evil, sinful form of government, outlaw it, and give the king's power to the people. They wanted the ruler to become a public servant who carried out that which was right in the eyes of the common masses. They believed in the collective wisdom of individual idiots and valued the opinions of the ignorant masses. An ideological battle raged: Some believed kings ruled by divine right ever since God established monarchy as a legitimate and non-evil form of government when He put Saul, David, and Solomon and their heirs on the throne; and some believed the Greek philosophers’ doctrine of Equality made it evil for any monarch to rule over many subjects/servants who were just as good as he was. They wanted the masses promoted from subjects to citizens whose opinions became their ruler’s basis for right and wrong as he carried out the will of the people. King James’ attempts to make Christianity more a part of life in Britain included the production of the King James Bible, the Biblical education of the clergy, the restoration of religious figures to government office, the creation of a new British national flag with a stylized cross of Christ on it to symbolize the nation's intent to glorify God (that flag is still the British flag today), and the reformation of the bankrupt economy he had inherited from Queen Elizabeth. When James died, his son, Charles, became king and tried to continue James’ efforts to re-Christianize government and society. But Oliver Cromwell, a radically Enlightened Puritan who had risen to prominence in Parliament, organized an army, defeated the king’s forces, beheaded Charles, and made Reason the supreme law of church and state. After Cromwell, British monarchs became increasingly powerless and Parliament (which is French for “the people speak”) became increasingly powerful.
Calvin was a man of intelligence, integrity, and courage. Those three attributes allowed him to understand philosophy’s foundation of equality (which Aquinas had made Christian), realize there were areas in Protestantism and in society that contradicted God’s Natural Laws, and decide to make changes to Christianity and to all of Western civilization. Calvin believed the flaws in the young Protestant denominations were impeding the establishment of the Kingdom of God on earth. One of the most ungodly aspects in Christianity, Calvin decided, was that bishops and elders had ruled the churches ever since the Apostles (1 Ti 5:17; He 13:7,17,24). He believed that directly violated God’s Natural Law of Equality that had been discovered by the pagan philosophers, and was convinced he needed to make all churches democratic. And, of course, Calvin for the same Reasons decided the dictatorships of kings like David and Solomon were evil and inequitable, and that the governments of all countries needed to be made democratic in order to conform to the self-evident will of God. That sounds like a larger task than it actually was: Remember, all of Christianity had already been leavened with philosophy for about 350 years, which is why Calvin had been required to learn philosophy. So all he needed to do was come up with a way to present the evidence to Christians that authoritarian civil and ecclesiastical governments were inequitable according to Reason. Because most Christians were ignorant of the Bible and therefore had no choice but to use their carnal minds to evaluate Calvin’s clear explanations of Greek philosophy, it was Natural that Calvin won large numbers of converts, which he considered to be proof God was blessing his efforts.
Calvin settled in the Protestant and democratic city-state, Geneva, and quickly organized it into a militant and highly-effective training ground for Christians from abroad who were, upon completion of their studies, sent back to their own countries to gain more converts. His “Reformed Protestantism” spread to France (Huguenots), Scotland (Presbyterians), England (Puritans), America (Pilgrims and Congregationalists), Italy, Spain, the Netherlands, Poland, and many other countries. He even started a panel of arbiters that, as a supreme court, settled religious problems from other countries, and Geneva came to be called the Protestant Rome. His main teaching institution was the Geneva Academy. Another successful proselytizing tool was his Geneva Bible Version, which was published in 1560. It was a study Bible with many marginal notes explaining Scripture from an Enlightened viewpoint. Calvin’s plan was to establish a grassroots program of international evangelization that would Enlighten more and more Christians until they grew numerous enough to become effective political forces in their countries in the hope of eventually replacing monarchy with democracy. His proselytizing machine in Geneva was very efficient at making Reasonable men “experts” on Christianity without having – or needing – a complete understanding of the Bible.
Calvin’s plan was so successful that over the next two centuries wherever Calvin’s “Reformed Protestantism” was in the majority, such as America, Scotland, and Switzerland, democratic governments in both church and state were quickly forged. (The only Protestant denomination in the thirteen American colonies that was not immediately infected by “Reformed Protestantism” was the Church of England: All other Protestant denominations adopted the Calvinist doctrine of establishing democratic governments in both church and state.) And wherever denominations (Catholic, Lutheran, Church of England) that had not yet accepted Calvin’s philosophy were in the majority, such as in England, Germany, France, Spain, and Italy, governments of church and state remained authoritative. To help make my point about Calvin’s impact on Western civilization I’ll use some quotes: American historian George Bancroft said, “He that will not honor the memory and respect the influence of Calvin knows but little of the origin of American liberty.” Noted German historian von Ranke said, “John Calvin was the virtual founder of America.” And President John Adams said about a related subject, “Let not Geneva be forgotten or despised: Religious liberty owes it most respect.”
Make no mistake about it, the growing Hellenization of Western civilization that Aquinas legitimized would have eventually resulted in the rise of democratic institutions even without John Calvin. But in practice Aquinas merely allowed scholars to use Reason without a guilty conscience. Those scholars then taught John Calvin. And Calvin went beyond merely recognizing that society and religion had “ungodly” inequities in them; he actually implemented an effective grassroots system that would apply the doctrines of philosophy to society, governments, finance, churches, and schools all over the world. The brilliance of Calvin’s method was he didn’t just use military conquest to spread philosophy like Alexander had done, and he didn’t just use scholarly discussions to spread philosophy like Aquinas had done: Calvin tapped into the religious zeal of Christianity. He turned the spreading of philosophy into a Christian crusade and had Christians all over the world devoting their lives to his cause. More than anyone else, Calvin is the reason so many Christians over the centuries have believed it was part of their Christian duty to God to spread democracy, overthrow dictatorships, establish freedom of religion, separate church from state, separate church from economics, separate church from work, separate church from school, promote women’s suffrage, promote women’s liberation, send women out of the home into the workplace, and exalt morality until it displaced the Bible as the foundation of modern Christianity.
The Age of Reason eventually conquered all Christian denominations. In fact, “Reformed” Protestantism’s democracy would become so much a part of “Christianity” that if you look at anti-Catholic Protestant literature of the mid 1900s and earlier, you’ll find a frequently mentioned “proof” that Catholicism was unchristian was the Vatican’s support for monarchy and its opposition to democracy.
Calvin’s most important success was in Great Britain, where his followers established a democratic government patterned after that in ancient Athens – and then later used Reason to hatch capitalism. Britain would export these humanistic ideologies all over the world (most notably to the United States of America, which would quickly become the world’s leading propagator of pagan philosophy and democracy). Therefore, even though Henry VIII caused England to secede from the religious and political authority of Rome, it was Calvin – through Puritanism – who did more to revolutionize, to modernize, England than any other person. He modernized it by bringing it out of the medieval world of religious monarchs who presided over an agrarian-based economy, and by turning it into a secular democracy with an industrial economy.
I am not saying Calvin intended to hurt Christianity. He and his fellow Reformed Protestants wanted to make Christianity and society more Christian by implementing the ideals of the Enlightenment. In practice, however, they made Christianity more Pharisaical. By that I mean the principles behind Bible doctrines were lost amidst the Calvinistic flood of morality. Puritans wanted to help Christians become more disciplined and more holy with a lot of well-intentioned rules, but the very Liberty they believed was part of God’s Natural Law caused the church to gradually lose its ability to effectively punish its own wrongdoers. In that and in many other ways discipline slowly disappeared from Christianity, from the family, and from society. As a result, today in our churches it is not only permissible to be a leavened, slovenly, do-nothing Christian who is completely ignorant of the Bible, but those kinds of people are actually welcome because they make the church look larger and more “successful”, they are potential sources of revenue, and it is stupidly assumed by preachers that the several thousand sermons they preach during their lifetimes on a single topic – salvation – are going to somehow help slovenly apostates become doctrinally sound pillars of Christianity.
Again, neither Calvin nor Calvinism nor any Christian denomination was trying to do anything wrong. On the contrary, they were all trying to do what was right – in the eyes of man. They denounced humanism – not knowing they themselves were humanists whose religious zeal for Reason was instrumental in spreading humanism to all of Western civilization. Calvin detested the half-baked Christianity he saw in Roman Catholicism and in the Protestant churches; they only partially and selectively embraced Reason, and he believed that was as bad as partially and selectively embracing the Lord Jesus Christ and His holy word. He intended to “reform” Protestantism. For centuries after Calvin’s death, men continued finding inconsistencies between Reason and life, which they rectified by doing that which was right in their own eyes: Monarchs had no “human right” to rule over their subjects, so the people had to be set free by democracy; bishops had no human right to have the rule over their flocks, so church governments had to become democratic; democratic governments had no human right to control the economy, so capitalism would put the economy into the hands of the people; husbands had no human right to rule their wives, so Women’s Liberation would do what Calvin hadn’t yet thought of; governments had no human right to dictate religious beliefs, so freedom of religion would allow people to have no religious beliefs; governments had no human right to ban same-sex marriages, so… And today we continue to use Reason to “correct” – as we become aware of them – all of the inconsistencies that have resulted over the centuries from our lack of Biblical discernment.
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King James wanted to lead his subjects into an era of Christian harmony in which the Bible was the sole authority in all matters of faith and practice. One of the important early steps toward religious agreement was to put the same Bible into everybody’s hands and to demonstrate to the people that the king and his governors and bishops all submitted to the ruling authority of God’s Book. His plan would eventually fail because Christians were beginning to accept the Calvinistic notion that any type of authoritative government was of the Devil. They did not want James’ ideal Christian nation because they believed it was unchristian. The church had been divided into denominations for about a century and it was already beginning to fall apart. In the Old Testament whenever God wanted to get His nation of Israel back on the right track all He had to do was put a good Christian on the throne. That Christian authority would then require his subjects to live by the Bible. King James tried to be such a king. (I do not believe God put James on the throne for that purpose; I think He put James on the throne so He could use him to produce the King James Bible.) Anyway, from Satan’s perspective the brilliance of democratic forms of church and civil governments is that the people are in charge! In practice that means no single man – no matter how doctrinally correct and Biblically motivated he may be – will be able to make any meaningful and long-lasting changes in order to reverse apostasy because the apostate/unsaved majority wants to continue to have a secular nation. In other words, revival in this democratic age has been reduced to the level of the individual; national revival is no longer possible because the majority is made up of apostates and non-Christians. To run with the majority during the race of life is to be mediocre all of the time and wrong most of the time.
All societies, governments, economies, churches, families, businesses, and militaries had been authoritarian for all of the history of the world. The Age of Reason, however, revolutionized Western civilization. Today Western civilization is doing what it honestly and sincerely believes is right and good by spreading (with Calvin’s zeal) the philosophic doctrines of the Age of Reason to Eastern civilization by eradicating authoritarian forms of government, communism, and religious “intolerance.” In short, the Age of Reason has been changing the world from authoritarian (with its accompanying unselfish emphasis on being a contributor to the good of the whole, the nation, the church) into a selfish world filled with people who view themselves as individuals rather than as parts of a whole. This can be seen in our churches: The emphasis is on proselytizing – nothing more. Pewsters never talk about Biblical doctrine; they talk instead about social morality and conservative social issues. They never discuss studying the Bible. They never know if others are growing or backsliding, and therefore they never exhort and help one another doctrinally, financially, socially, and emotionally, and they never help each other by correcting, reproving, and rebuking. In short, Christians now think “love” is being socially civil with each other. This complete and appalling lack of interest in the spiritual welfare of one another is merely a Natural outcome of a society in which self-interest, self-sufficiency, self-evidence, and self-love have gained the ascendancy. All of the above have caused us to stress a “personal relationship” with Jesus Christ, and we have experienced a dwindling interest in the welfare of the church. I say again, our support for the welfare of our churches consists mostly of religiously tithing and religiously sitting in a pew two or three times a week. Way too many Christians are not involved in serious Bible study at home. Because of that they are – at best – children in their doctrinal understanding. And that is why they have no clue that Christianity consists of much more than putting something into the collection plate, sitting in a pew, and not using the “f” word.
One of the weaknesses of this book in its effort to help you recognize and repent from apostasy and become a better Christian may be that I don’t dwell more on the lack of a vital and important sense of community, of unity, and of family in the modern church. And I’m not just talking about local congregations; I’m talking about worldwide Christianity. I’m talking about really understanding that we are members of Christ’s body – and that our several duties (including learning the Bible, maturing, helping our households learn and grow, helping our fellow pewsters learn and grow, resisting the leaven of wicked Christians, and identifying and resisting the influences of the Age of Reason) must occupy most of our time and energy because we are fighting for our everlasting futures and have the privilege of carrying Christ’s baton and handing it to the next generation. The baton we were given by previous generations is unclean; let’s pass it on in better doctrinal shape for God’s sake.
The church, the body of Christ, has become merely one of the many facets in our lives. It should not be that way; the church must consume our lives. Most Christians aren’t even interested in the Bible, in doctrine, or in the church. If you ask a fellow pewster what his life’s work is he’ll probably say “tentmaker” or some other occupation. And if you then ask him what his interests and hobbies are he’ll probably say “sailing” and “gardening.” Christianity isn’t even in his top ten! It isn’t real to him; it is dead formalism; he’s not part of a body at war – he’s an individual complacently wrapped up in self! He is a product of the Age of Reason. That’s why he didn’t reply that his life and his passion are the Lord and His church.
In this book I often say, A man’s relationship with the Bible is an exact picture of his relationship with Jesus Christ. Perhaps I should also stress, A man’s relationship with the church is an exact picture of his relationship with Jesus Christ (Mt 25:37-40). In spite of what we say with our lips, I believe modern Christianity has failed to recognize and convey the critical importance of the fact that we are the corporate body of Christ. I can’t help but think of John Donne and something he wrote.
John Donne was an intellectual, an adventurer, a theologian, and a poet who lived during the reign of King James. Donne is more famous today for his poetry, which he stopped writing when he became a preacher. King James, also an intellectual, traveled comfortably among Europe’s intellectual, theological, and literary elite. And he became aware of some of Donne’s theological writings, read them, and some time later urged Donne to become a preacher. Donne did so and was by all accounts an excellent one. His sermons are considered to be some of the best during a time (the reign of King James) when England had some of the best preachers in its history. King James was favorably impressed with Donne’s performance, made him a royal chaplain, commanded Cambridge University to bestow upon him a doctorate of divinity, and later made him dean of St. Paul’s Cathedral in London. (As a youth Donne had attended Cambridge before he converted to Protestantism (his parent’s reared him Roman Catholic), and Catholics weren’t given degrees in divinity.)
During Donne’s lifetime there were several plagues that struck London. The carts that came and went piled high with bodies were accompanied by a man ringing a bell. The bell was to let people know the cart was passing so they could come out and see who had died, pray, and let the men know if they had another body that needed to be picked up. Therefore, preacher Donne, who’d lost loved ones, including his brother, to the plague, penned the following famous lines in his Devotions of 1623:
No man is an island, entire of itself; every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main. If a clod be washed away by the sea, Europe is the less, [so it is that] Any man’s death diminishes me, because I am involved with mankind. And therefore never send forth to know for whom the bell tolls; it tolls for thee.
(You knew you had the plague when you got raised reddish (rose-like) boils with a whitish line of tight skin around the base. Many people carried flowers such as posies in their pockets to preserve their health. The posies didn’t work and the bodies of the dead were burned. British children of the time, therefore, invented the grim-but-real and all-too-often-true playground rhyme: “Ring around the rosy; pockets full of posies; ashes, ashes: We all fall down.”)
If a Christian brother is plagued with sin, or with apostasy, or anything else – we, too, are afflicted; the church needs help. Christ needs help – and we are His helpers. This business of actively helping each other is important if the church is to survive. It is so important that to not actively help our brethren is to be damned (Mt 25:45,46).
Even though I’m not going into the importance of rediscovering our corporate relationship with the body of Christ and the imperatives that result from it, I’m praying that once you fully understand how apostate today’s Christianity really is you’ll mature rapidly to the point where your love for Christ will cause you to fight for Biblical Christianity rather than denominational Christianity. Your growth and experiences will help you see more clearly that discerning members of our Household are our friends and carnal ones are our enemies (Mt 10:34-39).
Any effort to determine how doctrinally sound and how motivated Christians are will go over like a lead balloon. If a man were to tell a preacher he and his family wanted to join the church and the preacher asked, “Are you an expert on the Bible?…Oh, you’re not. Well, based on your present routine of Bible study, how much longer do you think it’ll take until you are a mature Christian properly armed for the war?”, in all likelihood the man would take his family and go join another church. But that’s exactly what we need: Let the slovenly apostates who don’t want to grow go be a carnal influence in some other congregation! We’ve got a war to fight and we don’t need people in our ranks who are not striving to be soldiers.
Well, as usual I’ve started preaching. It’s a good habit of mine. And I hope it is a habit with you, too. Let’s get back to 17th century Britain.
This chapter documents the problems the Pilgrims encountered when trying to establish Biblical colonies in America that were populated by Christians who increasingly lived by Reason; they depended more on what they thought was right rather than on what the Bible said. This increasing Enlightenment was reflected in the early Protestant institutions of higher learning such as Rutgers, Dartmouth, Yale, Harvard, Brown, University of Pennsylvania, and Princeton, which all promoted the secular Reason, or “rationalism”, or Natural Law of Greek philosophy and discouraged “enthusiasm”, which was basing your thinking strictly on the Bible instead of on Reason. This chapter also explains how the modern legal system was founded on human Reason/Natural Law upon the teachings of men like the Father of Modern Law, Sir William Blackstone. And the chapter deals with the philosophers of the time (including Voltaire, Rousseau, Diderot, and Locke) who had such a huge influence on the men who made Western civilization democratic (such as Blackstone and the American Founding Fathers).
The colonies grew, prospered, became more secular, and adopted toleration. Colleges were set up. The language of higher education was Latin, and students were required to study – you guessed it – Latin translations of Greek philosophy. A “classical education” was considered essential to becoming a “gentleman.” A gentleman’s education included literature, art, aesthetics, mathematics, the newly emerging scientific method and thought, poetry, and a heavy emphasis on “classical letters”, which was Greek philosophy with its concept of “scholarly purity” (secular thinking unencumbered by Christianity). Hence a gentleman was “a man of letters.”
Yale, Harvard, and Princeton were some of the early Protestant educational institutions. They had a symbiotic relationship with Enlightened Protestantism. The Protestant denominations thought the Age of Reason was a Godsend because they saw it as the main factor in their split from Catholicism – and anything that got them out from under the Vatican had to be good. Protestants believed Reason was a Christian safeguard that would prevent them from becoming bound in religious superstition like Catholicism, keep their doctrine pure, and establish a Christian society that honored God by conforming to Nature’s Laws. To them pagan Greek Reason and its resultant Enlightenment were the tools God used to free them from the Dark Age mythology of pagan Roman Catholicism. And again, they did not consider pagan Greek philosophy to be pagan; it was universal truth the Greeks happened to discover first. That is why Protestantism placed such importance on a “classical education” in its schools. Their schools, in turn, produced Enlightened preachers and pewsters who viewed the dramatic changes in religion, government, and society as positive trends that needed to continue. This in turn gave rise to even more Protestant colleges such as Brown, Rutgers, Dartmouth, and the University of Pennsylvania. All of these schools considered it their primary responsibility to produce what had been called Rational Christians but were now referred to as Enlightened Christians.
As education became a major shaper of society the various curriculums were unified. This unification was started by Thomas Clap, president of Yale. One of the supporters of this standardized education was Francis Alison, a Presbyterian preacher who taught at the University of Pennsylvania. Alison wrote, “I have seen proposals to unite the several colleges on this continent in the same plan of education. This proposal was made by Mr. President Clap and deserves serious consideration. There ought to be more care taken to prepare boys than is now used in preparing them to recite Virgil, Tully, and the Greek Testament, and sufficient understanding of Latin, Greek, and English to write at least grammatically, if not elegantly. Euclid’s elements and algebra should be taught carefully. And philosophy should be a business of greater care than is now the common practice, because without this branch of knowledge we shall be ill able to defend our holy Christian religion; to understand the Rights of mankind; or to explain and enforce the duties which we owe to God, our neighbors, and ourselves. I would, as a friend of learning, recommend that you engage Gentlemen and gospel ministers of more ‘enlarged views’ to engage in this reformation. I will count it a favor to receive, and will punctually answer your letters, especially while you are active in promoting the Cause of Liberty, Virtue, and Learning.”
Princeton, which was founded in 1746 by two prominent Great Awakening Protestant preachers, wanted to educate Christians in order to produce “refined sentiments, noble principles”, and to encourage both moderation and toleration by the inculcation of “Rational” living: “The utmost care is taken to encourage Rational Christian behavior in the students. Enthusiasm on the one hand, and profaneness on the other, are equally guarded against and meet with the severest checks.” These Protestant educational institutions all taught that Natural Law put democratic authority in the hands of the people.
Satan’s use of educational institutions to indoctrinate all future generations was brilliant. He knew humans infected with Equality would Naturally gravitate towards his ideology, overthrow powerful monarchies, and install democracies. Educational institutions were just another way to spread the forbidden-fruit ideology of the pagan Greek philosophers. First it was scholarship that infected Europe’s elite – such as Augustine and Aquinas – with Reason. Then educated religious leaders like John Calvin used grassroots movements to “reform” religions, governments, and societies. And now formal educational institutions train up our children to think and act according to that which is right in their own eyes. When looking back at the humble beginnings of Reason among the Greek philosophers and tracing its development over many centuries into the most widespread and powerful ideology on the planet, we can’t help but wonder how it could have been so successful at toppling powerful monarchies in so many countries. For example, two of the last powerful, Bible-believing kings on earth, James and Charles, who actively despised democracy (which caused King James to write a book defending monarchy), were so frustrated by their inability to stop the swelling influence of Enlightened Christians that they jailed the Andrew Melvilles, fired the Sir Edward Cokes, and allowed activist Puritans to move away to North America and set up colonies – hoping the problem would go away. But it didn’t…because the problem wasn’t really the people themselves – it was the ideology/doctrine they believed. Understanding the power of ideology, John Maynard Keynes wrote, “The power of vested interests [such as powerful kings] is vastly exaggerated compared with the gradual encroachment of ideas.” He also said, “Ideas shape the course of history.” When we reflect upon the history-shaping power of the people when their actions are motivated by ideologies that are right in their own eyes, we get a glimpse of why Ro 8:7 says the carnal mind is enmity against God; why God said King Saul’s democratically-conceived good idea in 1 Sa 15:18-25 was “rebellion” and “witchcraft”; why King David executed the young man for merely believing it was OK to kill an evil monarch (page H2-7); why the Lord Jesus Christ says tradition makes the word of God of none effect (Mk 7:13); and why it is so important for us to learn correct doctrine. This spiritual war will be won by those Christians who are motivated by what God says in His Book – not by Christians who are motivated by morality, Reason, religious tradition, conservative values, and what they honestly think is right.
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Jean Jacques Rousseau (1712-1778) was a philosopher and a superstar of his day. He was born in Geneva, where his education consisted solely of studying Calvinist philosophy-laden sermons and Greek biographies. As a young man he moved to France, moved in with a woman who used up her wealth to pay for his continuing education, renounced Calvinism, and converted to Catholicism. After a while he abandoned the woman (who then died in poverty), moved back to Geneva, and reconverted to Calvinism. Upon returning to France after a few years, Rousseau lived with another woman and fathered five children from 1746 to 1752 – all of whom he unapologetically gave to an orphanage as soon as they were born.
Rousseau taught that man in his ancient Natural state was pure and was only corrupted by the societies he created. In other words, since modern man is a product of his corrupt environment, modern society needed to be changed by us corrupt men in order to produce the kind of uncorrupt societies that even the “pure” men of antiquity couldn’t create. (This idiotic, contradictory nonsense caused scholars, both Calvinist and Catholic, to renounce him.) He said Natural Equality among pure men had been upset when they invented agriculture, private property, and commerce – which fed their self-interest/greed and made them want to increase their own wealth at the expense of others. Therefore, the power needed to be taken away from the corrupt ruling few and be restored to the pure masses where it belongs. Accordingly, the purpose of government is to establish and protect that ancient unspoiled Natural Equality (that produced evil men who created corrupt societies).
Considering himself to be an expert on rearing children, Rousseau taught that young children are pure and uncorrupted and should be allowed to develop without “oppression” from their society-corrupted parents so the children can mature “Naturally” – like the evil, corrupt-society-producing men above did. (Yes, this famous philosopher who had so much influence on modern society, was, like many of the other famous philosophers, a very messed-up individual.) In appreciation for his huge contributions to our Enlightened free society, the United States named a peak and a mountain range after him.
Rousseau wrote The Social Contract in 1762. It was built upon the assumption that Locke’s writings were valid. In this work Rousseau said when the ruler breaks the “social contract”, the people have an obligation for the good of society to rebel against him. The problem with any form of democracy, Rousseau realized, was in the very majority that comprised it. He agreed with other thinkers, most notably the outspoken Plato, who taught that most people are stupid. Rousseau theorized that the moronic majority of citizens, whether they are “pure” or corrupted by society, are so stupid they need a constitution and a system of laws to keep them from self-destruction. He thought, because the masses tend toward religious superstition, that claims should be made for the divine inspiration of the constitution in order to encourage its unquestioned acceptance by the dim-witted multitude. He also believed it was necessary to find a substitute for anything you took from society. Therefore, when monarchy was removed, in order to replace all the “God save the king” devotion and loyalty, the government must promote loyalty to the State itself as if it were a person. Rousseau is the father of modern patriotism, and today love for, loyalty to, and devout pledges of allegiance to an inanimate flag have become almost as common in the democratic world as love for, loyalty to, and devout pledges of allegiance to an inanimate wafer in the Roman Catholic world – for which Protestants call Catholics idolaters.
Early Enlightened Protestant denominations refused to call the unEnlightened Church of England “Protestant” because doctrinally and ideologically the Church of England was slower to embrace the tenets of the age of Reason. When Enlightened Protestants such as Puritans, Presbyterians, Calvinists, Congregationalists, Baptists, and Methodists grew tired of the old-fashioned unEnlightened rule of kings James and Charles, and decided they could no longer tolerate the old-fashioned unEnlightened preaching of the Church of England, they migrated to Britain’s North American colonies. But most Christians in the Church of England stayed home. One of the reasons the British Christians in the North American colonies decided to start a revolution against King George III, but the British Christians in Britain decided not to rebel, was the unEnlightened Church of England was the majority in Britain and the Enlightened Protestant churches were the majority in North America. I say again – the sermons preached in England were radically different from those preached in the thirteen North American colonies. Were preachers basing their sermons on the word of God – or on the tenets of the age of Reason? You will read actual sermons and will learn why informed leaders in Britain blamed the American Revolution on the American Protestant pastors.
For a full Bible-based sermon, which outlined the doctrinal position of the Protestant churches using chapter and verse, we review the following famous and popular sermon preached by Rev. Jonathan Mayhew in 1750. Mayhew was a graduate of Harvard College (which, as we have seen took stern measures against any students who showed signs of “enthusiastic Christianity”) and was the pastor of Boston’s West Church. Mayhew is the one who invented the popular slogan used to clamor against the government and to incite an armed rebellion, No taxation without representation! Our f-ing father, President John Adams, called Mayhew a “transcendent genius.” After Rev. Mayhew had everybody stand for the reading of Ro 13:1-7, he began his sermon. Let’s open our Bibles and pull up a pew:
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In order to see if this Harvard-educated Protestant preacher really was the “transcendent genius” when it comes to the Bible that President Adams said he was, let’s examine a single sentence from his sermon that sums up his position: “And the apostle here we find to be not in favor of submission to all rulers, but only to those who actually rule properly by exercising a Reasonable and Just authority for the good of human society.” The Pharisees were rulers of human society (Jn 3:1). Christ knew they were evil vipers (Mt 12:34) who transgressed the Bible, worshipped God in vain, and were blind rulers leading human society into the ditch (Mt 15:3,9,14) with false doctrine (Mt 16:6,12). These evil rulers ruined the earthly lives of people, took people to hell with them, and were full of extortion, excess, uncleanness, hypocrisy, and iniquity (Mt 23:14,15,25-28). They murdered their own people, were of the devil, and were liars (Jn 8:40,44,55). Knowing how bad these rulers were, the Lord commanded the Christian multitude (Mt 23:1) to submissively and obediently do all and whatsoever the evil rulers said (Mt 23:3). The second word in v.3 will tell you why it was right for Christians to submit to evil rulers; the word therefore refers to v.2, which says the evil rulers were to be obeyed because they were in positions of authority. All authority is of God and is to be obeyed. And then Christ went on to teach people to obey those evil rulers but not to be like them. Obviously, Rev. Mayhew and his theology teachers missed/ignored verses like these that destroy the arguments for and the revolutionary tenants of democracy. And so have all the preachers and pewsters since. That is why Mayhew’s false doctrine of just-cause clamoring and rebellion (which springs from covetousness) has survived, thrived, and become gospel to all modern churches – including the one you attend. In order to not be like evil preachers we must “search the Scriptures daily, whether their teachings be so” (Ac 17:11), because not only does God punish false prophets (Je 14:14,15), He also punishes those who hear them (Je 14:16).
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In order to be “fair”, we’ll also examine the arguments of those unenlightened Christians who espoused “enthusiastic religion” and rejected the new Rational approach to the Bible. One such preacher who refuted the revolutionary spirit of the Great Awakening “revival” was Rev. Jonathan Boucher. On this hot topic he declared “to suffer grievances nobly is proper, while to disobey the established government is simply to resist the ordinances of God.” His preaching was offensive to the f-ing fathers, who had nothing charitable to say about him. Boucher responded to the threats of physical violence against him by preaching his sermons armed with a brace of loaded pistols. But he was finally driven from the colonies in September 1775 by elements allied with the Sons of Liberty. In other words, the “freedom of religion” so cherished by the majority of colonists only applied to Enlightened religion – and Christians like Rev. Boucher who dared to preach the unpopular truth of the Bible and to call upon God’s people to repent were openly despised, reviled, rejected, and not welcome in America.
Rev. Boucher’s sermons used the same Scripture commonly used to justify Enlightened principles, but he tried to show that the verses did not do so. In addition to Ro 13:1-7, he used Ga 5:1 because Republican Christians loved the fact that it says, “Stand fast, therefore, in the liberty wherewith Christ has set us free.” There’s a preacher striding up to the podium now with a King James Bible and two guns. That must be Boucher – let’s listen…
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And now we’ll examine a report made by British statesman Edmund Burke (Burke was an influential member of Dr. Samuel Johnson’s inner circle. Johnson published his famous Dictionary in 1755, and was the dominating literary figure of his time.) to the House of Commons in 1775 about the ideological outlook of the colonists. His report is a favorable one: He is saying the colonists, like the people of England, are motivated by a love for Natural Liberty. But three things in his report are of interest to us. One is his analysis of Protestantism – that its true birthplace and foundation is philosophy, which makes it unalterably opposed to monarchy (also called absolutism and arbitrary government). The second is the zeal among colonists to learn the philosophical tenets of Nature’s Law contained in Blackstone’s Commentaries. And the third is the fact that morality and religion are believed to be the same. Let’s don our powdered wigs and listen to this Parliamentary report:
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By now you should have a pretty good idea why so many sermons dealt with tenets of Greek philosophy and used so many allusions to Greek and Roman mythology. And you should understand that the foundation of Protestantism is the wicked belief that protesting, resisting, clamoring, and rebelling against evil authorities such as the Pharisees, Pharaoh, Herod, and Nebuchadnezzar is pleasing to God. In other words, the main tenant of Protestantism – indeed, the very tenant that gave Protestantism its name – came from Roman Catholicism’s acceptance of pagan philosophy. Philosophy did not become the cornerstone of Western civilization’s legal systems and governments by accident; it appeared first in the church. Christians first heard (and still hear today) Enlightened principles from the pulpit and took them to work with them. The role of Enlightened preachers cannot be overstated in the development of Western civilization in general and the American Revolution in particular. The Western fires of modern Freedom were kindled by Ambrose and Augustine, kept alive by Abelard and Albertus Magnus, spread across Europe by Aquinas, incorporated into Protestant political activism by Luther and Calvin, and used by American Great Awakening pastors to start a Revolution that would produce the greatest, most influential and far-reaching secular democracy in the history of the world.
This chapter shows why history is understating the facts when it calls Samuel Adams the Father of the American Revolution. You will learn what really happened at the “Boston Massacre”, who invented that name, and who turned that incident into the most successful piece of propaganda in American history. You will learn about the Sons of Liberty, Thomas Paine, Benjamin Franklin, John Hancock, Patrick Henry, George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Benedict Arnold, and Ethan Allen. You will learn about their character, the kind of Christians they were (or weren't), and whether their motivation to participate in the American Revolution came from the Bible or from Greek philosophy.
History records that as the Sons of Liberty poured out of their meeting in the Old South Church to go dump tea into Boston harbor, John Hancock called out to them, “Let every man do what is right in his own eyes!” On an ideological level that quote sums up the purpose of the American Revolution, democracy, the Age of Reason, the British Civil War, the Protestant Reformation, freedom of religion, Greek philosophy, Satan’s rebellion, carnality, and equality. On a practical level, the fact that Hancock’s quote is from a well-known Bible passage (Ju 21:25 among other places) and is quoted almost exactly, can mean only one of two things: First, Hancock was deliberately giving anti-Scriptural advice to men who already didn’t care about the word of God because they were heading out to sin anyway. I consider that to be unlikely. Second, it is probable – based on how we have already seen a popular Enlightened pro-rebellion Protestant preacher take a verse that says you’ll be damned if you rebel and make it say you’ll be damned if you don’t – that Hancock was taught in sermons that the verse means it is good to use Reason by doing what we think is right. In that case, Hancock, his preachers, and their fellow Christians had no interest in the Bible because the negative meaning of the verse is even clear to “the grazing multitude”, and because the Boston Tea Party was unquestionably the sin of clamoring in Ep 4:31.
The Scriptures show how truly evil basing our thoughts and actions on self – carnality – is. When God had Jeremiah prophecy to His people that He was going to punish them with death, destruction, and the Babylonian captivity, He told Jeremiah what to answer when indignant Christians demanded to know what their great sin was (Je 16:10). God said their fathers forsook Him and walked after, served, and worshipped other gods (Je 16:11). And then God said something quite revealing (and shocking to today’s Enlightened Christians): He said Jeremiah’s generation did worse than their fathers by living according to their carnal minds in order to avoid hearkening to the word of God (Je 16:12)! How could God say being carnal is worse than worshipping and serving false gods? Because a person who serves false gods is still a servant; but a person who lives carnally, who lives according to that which is right in his own eyes, has risen up from servitude by ascending to the seat of The Most High by becoming another head like God – which is exactly what Satan did (Is 14:13,14; Ezek 28:2,6,8).
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Sam Adams was interested in only one thing – a revolution. He did not want fair representation in Parliament and, like Oliver Cromwell and Martin Luther before him, only used the love of money as an issue because it appeals to the masses without the need for intellectual participation. (That’s why politicians always clamor about taxes during election campaigns.) And, since “No pope and no wooden shoes!” had already been used to fight taxes in England, on this side of the Atlantic “No taxation without representation!” was thrown out to the masses as a rallying cry and as a snappy little comeback. The following famous quote, issued under the rubric of “no taxation without representation” is interesting for two reasons: First, it reveals that revolution and democracy are founded on nothing but philosophy and its imaginary Principles and Laws of Nature. Second, it mentions one of the early “proofs” that the Bible contains errors and therefore cannot be the inspired, inerrant word of God: Since taxation by a king without the representation and consent of his subjects is contrary to the “principles of government” in God’s Eternal Natural Laws, 1 Sa 8:10-19 (especially verses 15 and 17) had to be an error because it claims God Himself authorized kings to tax and to take things from their subjects even if their subjects didn’t like it. The famous and popular quote said: “My position is this – I repeat it – I will maintain it to my last hour: taxation and representation are inseparable. This position is founded on the Laws of Nature; it is more, it is itself an Eternal Law of Nature…you will find that taxation and representation were always united; so true are the words of the consummate Reasoner and politician, Mr. Locke. I before alluded to his book – I have again consulted him – and find that he writes…so much in favor of my own sentiments. The words of this great man are well worth your serious attention. His Principles are drawn from the Heart…I know not to what, under Providence, the revolution and all its happy effects are more owing, than to the Principles of government laid down by Mr. Locke.”
The British position against rebellion, although hypocritical because of that Christian nation’s own history of rebellion and adherence to the Laws of Nature, was this time correctly based on authority. When the colonies claimed that their charters made them self-governing, sovereign states, the representative of the king replied, “The King did not grant away his sovereignty over you when he made you a corporation. When His Majesty gave you power to make wholesome laws, and to administer justice by them, he parted not with his right of judging whether justice was administered accordingly or not. When His Majesty gave you authority over such subjects as live within your jurisdiction, he made them not your subjects, nor you their supreme authority. The colonies are part of the British kingdom because two independent authorities cannot exist within the same state. [That’s the reason for Ro 8:7.] There is and can be but one authority, and it must be obeyed. This doctrine is not new, but the denial of it is.”
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Thomas Paine (1737-1809) was an Enlightened Protestant preacher and political philosopher. He was a deep thinker of shallow character, a drunkard, an opportunist, and an infidel who claimed to believe in a “supreme being” only because of the religious climate of his day. He advocated a constitutional republic with a strong central government and a progressive income tax to support socialized welfare. He was hard-line Enlightenment but was too bright and too bold for most people. He had a 20th century mind in an 18th century body. He understood back then – and had the backbone to proclaim – that the secular principles of the Enlightenment – Equality and Liberty – demanded rights for women and an end to slavery. The f-ing fathers couldn’t handle that; it was too much too soon. It is easy for us to see today that Paine was right (based on the values of the Age of Reason), but back then it required not only the acceptance of a principle, but the ability to apply it to other things in order to build an Enlightened society. Thomas Paine had that ability. The fact that the f-ing fathers could not or would not seriously consider Paine’s ideas teaches us something about them: Their rejection of what the Bible says, their rejection of apostasy-revealing Biblical sermons of men like Rev. Jonathan Boucher, and their rejection of the correct (according to the principles of the Age of Reason) counsel of Thomas Paine about slavery and the rights of women, reveal the American f-ing fathers to be true and faithful adherents of neither the principles of the Bible nor the principles of the Enlightenment – their overriding motivation was Self; they merely did what they thought was right and good no matter what the Bible or the Greek philosophers said.
In a way you could call Thomas Paine the father of modern doctrineless Christianity. Augustine opened the door by saying the Greek philosophers uncovered God’s truths by using “Natural Theology” – which is truth derived from self-based contemplative Reason rather than the Bible. Thomas Aquinas then formally incorporated Natural Theology into Christianity, which is why all “theology” courses now utilize Reason to explain the Bible (two things that are mutually exclusive and cause modern Christianity to have so many contradictory doctrines and traditions). When Natural Reason became equal to the Bible, Christianity polarized into two groups: The first utilized both Reason and the Bible – while claiming the Bible to be the “sole authority”, and is represented by the conservative evangelicals and fundamentalists today. The second group almost completely ignored the Bible – even while giving it lip service – and deteriorated into apostates whose Reason said God would be pleased as long as they were “good people.” The liberal churches today represent this second group. Many of the U.S. founding fathers practiced this Natural Theology – although it was often called “deism” back then because they weren’t sure what the true deity’s name might be. After Thomas Paine jump-started the American Revolution with his famous pamphlet, Common Sense, he returned to Europe where his Enlightened political and religious agitating so offended French authorities that he was locked in a French prison and sentenced to death. After the U.S. founding father, James Monroe (whose close friendship with Thomas Jefferson, the 3rd president of the U.S., would help him become the 5th president), used political influence to have him released, Paine wrote (while living in Monroe’s home) his infamous anti-Christianity/pro-modern-deism book, which he appropriately titled, The Age of Reason. His book used examples from Scripture (using Monroe’s Bible) to “prove” how unnatural, untrue, and unreliable the Bible is, and it became – and remains – one of the most popular Bible-bashing books among those who worship deities whose doctrines are based on feelings. Paine wrote: “I sincerely detest it, the Bible – as I detest everything that is cruel…Of all the systems of religion that were ever invented, there is none more derogatory to the Almighty [because it makes Him appear to be a tyrannical despot], more unedifying to man [too harsh and unloving], more repugnant to Reason [miracles, spirit beings, everlasting torment in hell], and more contradictory in itself [on the one hand it says He is a God of love and mercy, and on the other it says He is vengeful], than this thing called Christianity. Too absurd for belief, too impossible to convince…it produces only atheists and fanatics…and leads to nothing here or hereafter.” In the early 1800s Paine’s deism morphed into “Transcendental Meditation” among the literary elite, and is why people sat in pretty settings – like Walden Pond – to commune with Nature: it was religiously more informative than studying the Bible! TM and Natural Theology went out of vogue in the mid 1800s when Natural Law was exposed as a pagan myth, but Paine’s love of Reason remains.
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Thomas Jefferson, with the exception of Thomas Paine, was the best example of an Enlightened Christian gentleman. His heroes were Locke, Newton, and Bacon. Jefferson was not an original thinker but he had an excellent mind, was an avid reader, and possessed the writing ability of Sir William Blackstone, whom he admired. And he was vindictive. He got his start in pagan philosophy when he, together with James Madison and James Monroe, lived in the fashionable boarding school, Classical School for Boys, which was run by the Enlightened and influential preacher and teacher, James Maury. Maury was so impressed with pagan Reason he named his slaves after the ancients. The courses he taught included Greek philosophy, manners, morals, mathematics, Latin, and Greek.
Because Jefferson so fervently believed in Natural Law, he tried to apply it to Christianity and to government. And because Reason rejects things that are not natural, Jefferson logically rejected the deity of Christ, His miracles, the existence of angels and devils, and all supernatural events of the Bible. In fact, he went so far as to edit all of that stuff out of the New Testament, producing what is known as the “Jefferson Bible.” He said he removed those parts in order “to pick out the diamonds from the dunghills.” The “Jefferson Bible” is still sold today. Jefferson also wrote a booklet on the “morals” of Christ. In it President Jefferson used antiquarian Reasoning to uncover the Natural Law “morals” that Christ unconsciously revealed in His speech. Jefferson thought it necessary to use Reason to uncover Christ’s “morality” because when our Lord was crucified He was still so young that His actual words were “defective” because “He hadn’t yet reached His peak development as a thinker” as had Jefferson and the ancient pagan philosophers. Even though he described himself as a deist, his letters to his nephew in 1787 show that Jefferson was really an agnostic. Because he was a Virginian and a good writer he was asked to prepare a declaration of independence. He was neither asked nor expected to write something original, and he didn’t. He merely drew upon the prevailing philosophy of the Age of Reason, borrowing heavily from Locke – a man Jefferson thought had reached his peak development as a thinker.
You will learn that the Founding Fathers were true converts of philosophical Reason. You will learn why they designed the Great Seal of the United States of America the way they did and why they wrote, “Announcing Beginning New Secular Order” on it in Latin. (See it on the back of any dollar bill.) You will learn why even though many states had Christian constitutions the Founding Fathers made the federal constitution a secular one. You’ll learn why no other nation’s capital on earth has anything like the District of Columbia, and what it was created to accomplish. You will learn why your church and Christian school never taught you any of the above and why they didn’t let you know about Article 11 in the Tripoli Treaty of 1796 that our Founding Fathers approved and signed. (The treaty is easy to find and read on the Internet.) You will learn why and when “these” United States became “the” United States, what all of that had to do with the American Civil War, and how it made the original need for a “federal” (as opposed to “central”) government disappear. You will learn how the “Great Experiment” of secular democracy affected religion and society in America. You will learn why democracy and patriotism were unofficially incorporated as part of modern American Christianity. You will learn about the efforts by Christians to rewrite the Constitution and the entire legal system when they became aware that both were based on nothing but pagan philosophy’s discredited Natural Law. You will learn about “In God We Trust” and why both World Wars I and II were fought between democratic and autocratic countries. You will learn about the meaning and importance of the Nuremberg Trials of 1945. And you will learn why Satan is so interested in Equality, philosophy, the Laws of Nature, the Laws of Man, inalienable human Rights, and Freedom.
Let me use the Tripoli Treaty as an example of how tradition-bound Enlightened Christians use the Bible. They have been taught in church that the f-ing fathers were good Christians who intended for the government to be based on Christianity. So they go looking not for the truth, but for snippets of information that seem to support their tradition. Alas and alack, unofficial stuff is all they can find. And when they read documents like the official Great Secular Seal and the official Tripoli Treaty, both carefully deliberated and written by the f-ing fathers themselves, they find they don’t like the truth and are offended by the f-ing fathers’ plainly-stated official position, so they reject the facts by either ignoring them with a who-knows-what-it-means? snappy little Pontius Pilate comeback, or by trying to excuse and explain them away. In other words, official U.S. Government documents penned personally by the f-ing fathers have no more authority than the authorized words of God when they differ from what Christians sincerely think is right and good. Christians in this Age of Reason are their own authority and will submit to neither official government documents nor the Bible when those sources are deemed offensive. That is one of the reasons I have gone to considerable trouble to go back to the beginning of history and put events into chronological perspective: I want people to see that all of this stuff verifies itself because it is so consistent with everything in history and in the Bible. And I want them to see that if the f-ing fathers were good Christians they would have endorsed different preachers, read and enjoyed different authors and thinkers, would not have produced the Declaration of Independence, the Great Secular Seal, the Constitution, or the Tripoli Treaty, and would have been ostracized by the Enlightened elite of their day. If the f-ing fathers had wanted to use Christianity as some kind of foundation for government or society it would have been a glaring departure from their philosophy and it would have been inexplicably contradicted by their actions.
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The f-ing fathers were shocked by this religious revival and found that being Enlightened as distinct from Christian could now be a political liability. When Aaron Burr (grandson of the famous preacher and president of Princeton University, Jonathan Edwards) was publicly criticized for ignoring Christianity, his fellow politicians reminded him of the Christian vote and advised, “Had you not better go to church?” Even Alexander Hamilton, recognizing this strange adoption of democracy by Christianity, in frustrated resignation tried to wrap his Federalist cause in Christian rhetoric.
By the time they died, most, if not all, of the f-ing fathers were very disappointed with their “Great Experiment.” One historian says, “All the major revolutionary leaders died less than happy with the results of the revolution.” John Adams spent his later years deriding both democracy and the revived Christianity: “Where is now the progress of the human mind?” In 1786, John Jay concluded, “The mass of men are neither wise nor good”, and Noah Webster articulated a growing pro-monarchy sentiment: “I was once as strong a republican as any man in America. Now a republican government is among the last kind I would choose. I would infinitely prefer a limited monarchy, for I would sooner be subject to the caprice of one man, than to the ignorance and passions of the multitude.” That’s why Webster would soon oppose the Bill of Rights – it preserved too much of the ignorant masses’ power. George Washington admitted that “We have probably had too good an opinion of human nature in forming our confederation”, but was shocked “that even respectable characters speak of a monarchical form of government without horror.” The f-ing fathers were so disillusioned and disgusted by the voting masses that in 1787 they convened the Constitutional Convention to eliminate the Articles of Confederation and establish a new government specifically designed to curb the power of the masses – even going so far as to look into forming a limited monarchy like Great Britain. Alexander Hamilton made a famous pro-monarchy speech – but other delegates like Rufus King were careful not to make their consideration of monarchy too public. Convention president Nathaniel Gorham quietly wrote to Prince Henry of Prussia asking him to consider being king of the USA. James Madison said they “were now digesting a plan which in its operation would decide forever the fate of Republican Gov’t.” However, because the new government had to be unanimously ratified by the 13 nation-states, and because so many people had already accepted the philosophy that monarchy is evil and unchristian, the f-ing fathers soon realized they had to reluctantly abandon any thoughts about returning to monarchy…so they wrote a Constitution that cleverly changed the basis of the federal government’s authority from the unanimous consent of the nation-states (which would acknowledge their sovereignty), and vaguely based it on a “We the people” majority. The states, seeing that the Constitution took too much power away from the people, were outraged and refused to ratify it unless a Bill of Rights was added to protect and preserve the rights of the people. But even with the Bill of Rights, the Constitution still allowed the federal government to subtly become powerful enough to silence the “states’ rights” issue of sovereignty, with the result that most people today no longer look to their once-sovereign-but-now-impotent state governments when they want help, protection, and laws passed – they expect the federal government to do everything.
Thomas Jefferson, for whom preachers were a real source of disgust, frustration, and rage during his entire life, was particularly upset to see Christianity incorporate the Enlightenment rather than be buried by it. When he was in his seventies he decided to enjoy some reflective moments considering what a great civilization he had helped build while learning some of the intellectual roots behind the principles upon which he built this nation. So he studied the works of Plato. Having read some nice things about this pagan philosopher who is the “wisest of the philosophers”, Jefferson looked forward to delving into this great thinker’s arguments, irrefutable Reason, and undeniable wisdom because Jefferson had always trusted that Plato was one who had – unlike Christ – reached his “peak development as a thinker.” Instead, he was shocked when he found Plato to be fraudulently overrated. Just as the Spanish-Arab scholar Averroes had created a crisis in Christianity by exposing Plato and Augustine’s Plato-based “proof” of the immortality of the unregenerate soul as indefensibly false, and just as Catherine the Great realized her philosophical idol, Diderot, was an air-headed charlatan when she got to know him, so too was the elderly Jefferson horrified to find out Plato’s arguments were just as specious, unconvincing, and unimpressive as you and I have found all of the arguments from the Greeks to Grotius. Hoist on his own petard, Jefferson died sadder but wiser, and left the mess he had created to future generations who, as he had done, would assume those who had gone before had laid a solid foundation.
Many people correctly said democracy is a flawed system because it assumes you get sagacity from the ignorant masses, that you get collective wisdom from individual idiots. Those fundamental charges were rebutted by Enlightened zealots who, believing our democracy to be a “new utopia”, attempted to draw sharp distinctions between a republic and a democracy by emphasizing the more aristocratic (and therefore more erudite) nature of a republic. They also argued that the United States is under the rule of law – not the masses of ignorant voters. But since both republics and pure democracies have the masses as their very source of legitimacy, power, and authority, it was impossible to denigrate the masses by exalting republicanism…without mocking the “sacred” pagan principles that are the sole foundation of the Age of Reason, the f-ing fathers’ ideology, the Declaration of Independence, and the Constitution – upon which foundation rests the entire free world.
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Because the right of a sovereign state to secede from anything with which it might be confederated was not seriously questioned, the initial sentiment in the North when the South threatened to secede was “good riddance.” But then economics intervened. The most important harbor in the U.S. was New York. Charleston, because of its eastern seaboard location and its extensive railroad system linking it with the east, was second. New Orleans was third because the Mississippi, Missouri, and Ohio rivers gave it natural highways reaching far into the continent west of the Appalachian Mountains. The North charged a 25% import tariff. The South set its rate at 10%. If you were shipping steel from France to the U.S., a 15% profit margin would certainly cause you to unload in Charleston or New Orleans. Because of its more sophisticated economy the North had higher overhead costs and could not compete with a 10% tariff. Newspaper editorials appeared in the North saying if the South seceded there would be grass growing in the deserted streets of New York in ten years. That’s why Fort Sumter in Charleston harbor was so important to the North, and is why the military action of the Civil War began there.
To southerners, President Lincoln was like King George III: he was taxing them, denying their “right” to self-determination, and he was responding with military might to their declaration of independence. From a Biblical perspective the North was right (unless the southern nations were in fact sovereign) because rebellion against evil and oppressive authority is never right. From the standpoint of the principles of the Declaration of Independence, however, the southern states were right (whether they were sovereign or not). But it is difficult or impossible to defend one side or the other because democracy is rife with contradictions whether viewed through Scripture or secular logic – contradictions that are compounded by years of “legal precedent.” As soon as the U.S. came into existence it began changing as it reacted to inconsistencies and problems, and in so doing it created new problems and inconsistencies. Because the states were sovereign nations people used to say, “I’m proud to be a citizen of these United States.” Until the Fourteenth Amendment there was no such thing as an “American citizen” because you were not a citizen of the United States, you were a citizen of (for example) New Jersey, which was confederated with the other states by its participation in the federal government in the District of Columbia. But when immigrants were processed in New Jersey and then went inland to find a home, were they to be treated by Virginians as foreign citizens of New Jersey, or were they to be treated as all colonists had been before the American Revolution when all colonists were citizens of Great Britain/citizens of the United States? Slowly the ideological lines were drawn: Those who valued the principles of the Declaration of Independence favored states’ rights; those who valued a practical compromise favored a stronger central government. (As Bible believers you and I favor anything that gives authority to the single head.)
Another problem with democracy for Christians concerns government officials. Should we pray for them and refrain from speaking ill of them because they have the rule over us, or should we view them as our public servants? We can only ignore such contradictory nonsense if we ignore the importance of authority. And for Christians to ignore authority is a critical mistake with huge and far-reaching ramifications and consequences.
When Article Thirteen prohibited slavery in violation of Article One, this contradiction was made possible by the increasing importance of the Declaration of Independence as an authoritative bible for society. When Natural Law was exposed as nothing but Greek mythology, some other mystical authority had to be found to rule society. And since the National Reform Association’s lost cause showed everyone the Constitution could not be based upon Christianity or the Bible, all Enlightened eyes turned to the Declaration of Independence. It had it all: It combined a generic “God” and democracy and patriotism and the principles of the Age of Reason in one foundational document that could be an ideological substitute for the Bible. Proponents of treating the Declaration of Independence as a “higher authority” include President Lincoln, who appealed to the principles of the Declaration to make slavery evil; William Seward, a senator from New York and Lincoln’s Secretary of State who purchased Alaska; and modern-day Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, who wants to restore Natural Law as “human nature” and “reason” rather than as the old discredited God-implanted moral code. Vestiges of “godly” Natural Law still existed in Lincoln’s day, so it was easy to claim an ideological supremacy for the Declaration of Independence because no patriotism- and democracy-worshipping Christian would argue with it. Therefore, the Declaration ceased being merely a joint announcement by thirteen rebellious colonies and became – without legislation of any kind – a document superior to the Constitution. The southern states had already accepted the authority of the federal government over the states when they applauded the Missouri Compromise, and now they found that the very Constitution that restricted the powers of the federal government (by limiting it to specific tasks beneficial to the states) had become itself subject to the principles of Greek mythology behind the Declaration of Independence! It was perfect…because Americans may scoff at Natural Law, but they’d never deny their belief in the “sacred” principles behind the Declaration of Independence. From a Christian perspective, therefore, “Seward’s folly” wasn’t Alaska; it was making the Declaration a clever substitute for discredited Natural Law. And that is how the federal government justified the creation of laws that told the states what they could and couldn’t do: The Thirteenth Amendment wasn’t violating either Article One or the Bible, because anything that contradicted the principles of the Declaration of Independence was now unconstitutional and unchristian. The government was merely submitting to the same “higher authority” that all Freedom worshippers bowed to.
For the same reasons, the legal system was (supposedly) no longer based on Natural Law/Common Law – it was based on “Equity” (or “Conscience” as it used to be called), which is now known as “equity jurisprudence.” In this way the legal system became based on the same principles as the Declaration of Independence. The brilliance of this is in the fact that the Declaration of Independence can never be changed. We can vote to change the Constitution, and revision committees can change the words in the Bible, but not one jot or tittle of the Declaration of Independence can ever be changed because it is a historical document. Today no church doctrine or governmental law will be tolerated if it violates the underlying ideology of the Declaration of Independence. Satan has done well: All Christians now worship the “original Greek”, whether it be the ERROR manuscripts or the Greek philosophy underlying the Declaration of Independence and the Age of Reason.
I’ll use this Civil War era quote to show that Reason had become so unquestionably authoritative that self-evidence was its own proof: “Slavery is contrary to the principles of Natural Right and to the great law of Love. It is founded on injustice and fraud, and can be supported only by the existing laws and customs which have been established by men acting against the Laws of Nature. This point is not necessary to prove, indeed, a discussion of these principles has become unnecessary in consequence of the revelations of the Enlightenment concerning Reason and Common Sense.”
And now look at this 21st century Hollywood movie quote. This speech was made by the star of the movie to a congressional committee, and it was the patriotic, dramatic, and ideologically-inspiring turning point of the show that made you want to jump up and recite the Pledge of Allegiance: “Mr. Chairman, ladies and gentlemen of the committee…I stand for a woman’s right to choose. I stand for the elimination of the death penalty. I stand for a strong and growing armed forces because we must stomp out genocide on this planet – and I believe that is worth dying for! I stand for seeing every gun taken out of every home – period. I stand for making the selling of cigarettes to our youth a federal offense. I stand for term limits and campaign reform. Mr. Chairman, I stand for the separation of church and state. The reason that I stand for that is the same reason that I believe our forefathers did: It is not there to protect religion from the grasp of government, but to protect our government from the grasp of religious fanaticism. I may be an atheist, but that does not mean I do not go to church; I do go to church: The ‘church’ I go to is the one that emancipated the slaves, that gave women the right to vote, that governs every freedom that we hold dear. My ‘church’ is this very chapel of democracy that we sit in together, and I do not need God to tell me what are my moral absolutes; I need my heart and my brain and this ‘church’.”
The Civil War was the first and only time the United States declared war on a democracy. In many ways the Civil War was necessary in order to resolve some of the questions and problems that were not anticipated when the Constitution was written. The Civil War also served as a distraction from the issue of upon what – now that Natural Law was discredited – is the government of the U.S. – including the now-sacred Declaration of Independence – based? With the practical problems faced by the nation during the buildup to war, during the fighting, and during Reconstruction, people were not able to remain focused on the principles and concepts of the Bible. And by the time the dust of Reconstruction settled, states’ rights and the sovereignty of the states were dead issues, and “these United States” passed into history and became “the United States.” A union of confederated sovereign nations became one nation under a strong central government. The original meaning of sovereign state in practice became county, and therefore the original meaning of federal government became that of central government. And the District of Columbia lost its reason for being, which has resulted in people today wanting it to be represented in Congress just like a state.
As the government in the District of Columbia gained the ascendancy and the states lost their sovereignty, the central government gradually forced the states to adopt secular governments. The early state constitutions that in some way recognized the Christian religion were declared to be contrary to the Enlightenment doctrines embraced by the central government and the f-ing fathers, so they were all rewritten and made secular. Constitutions can be changed because as official laws they are under the control of the people. The Declaration of Independence, however, cannot be changed because as a “sacred” historical document it is under the control of no one on earth. Today in the United States the philosophic doctrines embodied in the Declaration of Independence are, in practice, the final authority in church and state.
Many things we “know” about the Bible did not come from the Bible. In only one page this chapter shows how religious tradition really does make the word of God of none effect. You will learn that the star was not a super nova, a comet, or a planetary conjunction. You will learn from the Bible exactly what it was and why old Christians used to put on top of their Xmas trees either a star or an angel. (You will notice that this Doctrinal Section of The Age of Reason is different from the Historical Section: Even though the Historical Section contained a number of Scripture references, it could profitably be read without consulting those references. But the Doctrinal Section, which is full of Scripture references, cannot be profitably read without looking up the Scripture. I make no apologies for that; The Age of Reason is written for an exclusive group – Bible believers.)
If you were sitting on your porch at night, or even during the day, and saw a comet or supernova would you decide while looking at the object that:
1) It was going to lead you on a journey to some indeterminate location so you could
2) Find a newborn king no one else knew about, and
3) Worship and present him with gifts, and
4) Try to convince some friends not only that the object means all of that but also that
5) They should accompany you on this journey?
Of course you wouldn’t. But in their Jeffersonian haste to replace the supernatural events in the Bible with natural ones, Christians don’t think.
So let’s check with the Bible. Any star, nova, comet, or planetary conjunction that dramatic would be a real attention-getter. But the Bible uses King Herod in Mt 2:7 to show that the star attracted nobody’s attention but the wise men’s!
For all of the above reasons it is extremely unlikely that the star was a bright heavenly object.
The answer, as usual, is not to be found in the flatulence of modern science, but rather in God’s Authorized 1611 King James Bible: The star was an angel God sent to give instructions to the wise men. Just as we refer to athletes and actors as “stars”, the Bible refers to angels as stars. Read Re 1:20 and then compare Re 12:4 with 12:9. For other examples read Nu 24:17; Jb 38:7; Re 9:1,2; 22:16.
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People used to know all of this. And on top of their Xmas trees they would put either a star or an angel.
You will learn why today’s denominational theories about where the waters of Noah’s flood came from and then where they went simply do not hold water Scripturally. You will learn what the Deep of Genesis 1 has to do with the Flood and what the universe looks like.
Let’s take a brief look at “dark matter” in order to see how a Bible believer might use discernment when he reads the daily newspaper. The Big Bang theory so popular with scientists says a ball of matter exploded, driving the matter outward. But the outward-traveling bits of matter did not continue to expand and get farther away from each other. Instead, some of them got close enough so gravitational attraction could pull them into swirling galaxies. All stars are in galaxies. The galaxies are far away from each other. So far, in fact, that all the stars we see at night are in our own Milky Way Galaxy. In between galaxies science always thought there was nothing – no stars, “no nothing;” just the void and vacuum of outer space.
But that didn’t sit well with scientists because if the Big Bang did happen, all of that outward-traveling matter would not have collected into galaxies with nothing in between. In fact, it is stretching it to say that even 10% of the matter would have randomly collected into galaxies. That leaves 90% of the matter in the universe missing out there somewhere. And that makes the theory look pretty weak. So they said there must be huge clumps of matter out there that we can’t see…and they called it dark matter. But even if there is dark matter out there, many remained unconvinced about the Big Bang theory.
Then along came the C.O.B.E. Project, which you probably read in the news provided “confirming evidence” of the Big Bang theory. In essence, they aimed sensitive radiation-detecting equipment out in space between galaxies to see if they could find anything in the void. And, out in the “void” or “vacuum” of space between galaxies, they recorded a faint wavy line. (A flat line would mean nothing was there.) They decided the wavy line was not the heat signature of some unknown substance, it had to be evidence of leftover heat from the Big Bang explosion and from the huge clumps of dark matter (and its accompanying “dark energy”). Therefore, the Big Bang theory has been “validated.” And from their Reasonable scientific perspective you and I can see how they’d think they are on the right track. And their error doesn’t bother us at all; they can bark at the moon all they want. But you and I have an advantage over scientists because you and I are not prohibited by the rules of philosophy from letting the Bible guide our thoughts.
To Bible believers it looks like all they did was discover the heat signature of the firmament.
All matter emits radiation – heat radiation, since nothing exists at a temperature of absolute zero. Think of a fishbowl or a birdcage, for example: Everything in it – fish or birds – has detectable radiation. And even if we can’t see the water or the air they still emit radiation because there is something there. So we don’t say the space between the fish and birds is a void or vacuum, because that space is not nothing…it is something. And we don’t call that radiation-emitting-but-invisible stuff dark matter (or the leftover heat of the Big Bang), because we’ve already called it air and water.
OK, what’s the point? The point is you and I knew all of this stuff about the universe long before the Big Bang theory and the C.O.B.E. Project:
God made the fish and the birds. So they really exist – they aren’t nothing, a void, or a vacuum. And God made the water and the air. So they also really exist. Why do they exist? Because God created them. What did God do with the birds and the fish? He put them in the invisible air and water.
God also made the sun, the moon, and the stars. So they really exist – they aren’t nothing, a void, or a vacuum. And God made the firmament. So it also really exists. Why does it exist? Because God created it. What did God do with the sun, moon, and stars? He put them in the invisible firmament (Ge 1:17). So all these years while scientists have been barking at the moon and telling us the sun, moon, and stars were in nothing, a vacuum, a void, you and I just rolled our eyes and thought, “Will they ever learn?” And when the C.O.B.E. Project “discovered” that there is a low-level heat signature of something out there between the stars and galaxies, you and I just rolled our eyes in disgust because scientists said it was primordial heat from the Big Bang and from dark matter – instead of heat from the firmament…and they thought it validated the Big Bang instead of the Bible.
You will learn from the Bible where the Lord Jesus Christ – in His resurrected physical body – went when He ascended up into heaven. You’ll learn why the Bible says He “sitteth upon the flood” on a “sea of glass like unto crystal” “on the sides of the north”, and why we say north is “up.”
There are three heavens. The first heaven is the lowest; it is our atmosphere where, for example, the birds fly (Je 8:7). The second heaven is outer space (Ge 1:6-17). The third heaven is the highest heaven and is also called “paradise” (2 Co 12:2-4).
The waters of the deep are above the two lower heavens (Ps 148:4) and God lives above these two heavens (Ps 113:4,5) on top of the waters of the deep. So the deep is a boundary: Beneath the deep are two heavens, outer space and our atmosphere; above or on top of the deep is heaven, the third heaven, paradise.
The face of the deep is covered with ice (Job 38:30), which explains the “sea of glass like unto crystal” before the throne of God in heaven (Re 4:6). And it is upon this frozen sea of glass in heaven that the saints stand with the harps of God (Re 15:2).
God says nature can teach us things (1 Co 11:14) because He created things on earth according to a pattern of heavenly things (He 8:1-5). This spherical earth is covered with watery oceans. The North Pole was once thought to be ice on top of land like Antarctica. But there is no earth there, just the polar ice cap, the frozen surface of the Arctic Ocean.
This spherical universe is also covered with a vast ocean – called the deep. The surface of the deep is frozen where God’s throne is. But where is that?
God made all compasses point north. All compasses point toward the polar ice cap, toward the frozen surface of the deep. On all maps and globes north is up and we’ve already seen the Bible says Jesus went up to heaven, but is God’s throne also north?
God and north are associated in…
This chapter discusses a number of topics and events that happened prior to the Creation Week and Adam and Eve. It shows the distinction between the garden of God, the garden of Eden, and Eden. It shows that modern Christianity ignores many of the events in the Bible. It has an illustration of the Kingdom of God back when it was still the only kingdom before it was divided by Lucifer's rebellion, and it has an illustration of the present universe that has two kingdoms, the Kingdom of God and the Kingdom of Heaven.
In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth (Ge 1:1). And obviously at that point man was not around because man was not created until Ge 1:26. But notice in v.28 that God told man to multiply and replenish the earth. Replenish means to refill or to fill again and implies that something was there before. That would mean two things: First, there was an earth before the seven-day creation, and second, it was populated.
God used the same word when He later told Noah to multiply and replenish the earth (Ge 9:1). God obviously used replenish with Noah because, first, the earth existed before Noah’s flood, and second, it had been populated by Adam’s descendants. Now notice that when God referred to animals in Ge 1:22, He used the word fill instead of replenish. He did so because the animals did not exist before. God is very careful about the words He chooses. And the fact that He chose the word replenish with Adam – just like He did with Noah – leads to the obvious question: Who was living on what earth before Adam was created?
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In the state of Pennsylvania there is a county called Lancaster. Lancaster County is in Pennsylvania. The county is in Pennsylvania but the county is not Pennsylvania. The county is Lancaster, not Pennsylvania. Pennsylvania is not the name of the county just because the county is in, or part of, Pennsylvania. Lancaster is a county of Pennsylvania, and it is in Pennsylvania, but that does not mean the county is named Pennsylvania.
In Eden there was a garden (Ge 2:8). This garden was in Eden. It was in the eastern part of Eden. The garden was not named Eden; it was in Eden. It was a garden of Eden (Ge 2:15), and it was in Eden, but that does not mean the garden was named Eden. See also Ge 2:10.
In Ge 13:10 we have a place called “the garden of the Lord” being compared with Egypt. Egypt is often a type of the world in the Bible, much more often, in fact, than birds, trees, and stars are used in their figurative sense. In Is 51:3 we see this “garden of the Lord” mentioned along with “Eden” (not the “garden of Eden”). That means “Eden” is the same as “the garden of the Lord” which is typified by Egypt – the world. In other words, this planet we live on was named Eden and the whole thing was the garden of the Lord. On the planet Eden, God later created a smaller garden that was home to Adam. This small garden was not named Eden because Eden was the name of the entire planet. So the small garden was called, appropriately enough, the garden of Eden.
In Ge 1:1 God created the heaven and the earth. The earth was named Eden and the whole planet was God’s garden. It was referred to as the garden of the Lord and the garden of God. Lucifer was put in the garden of God to keep it and to dress it. But he rebelled and warred against God. In this war the planet Eden was destroyed and became without form and void. God took the destroyed Eden and in six days created the planet anew. But because Eden was now part of the Devil’s kingdom (Mt 4:8,9; 12:25-28; 2 Co 4:4; Jn 12:31; 18:36), God didn’t make the entire planet His garden this time, and it would no longer be referred to as the garden of the Lord. In the eastern part of Eden, God planted a garden and put Adam in it to dress it and to keep it. But Adam also rebelled against God and was kicked out of the garden of Eden.
I’ll now try to piece together what happened from the Scriptures so you can see whether these things be so. (As you study this topic the two illustrations on pages 4 and 5 of this chapter may help you visualize what I’m saying.)
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This topic is a “gee whiz” topic, a fun topic. And I enjoy it. It helps us get some mental exercise because it goes to a lot of places in the Bible that are silently swept under the rug by modern Christianity. This topic is also a good illustration of how shamefully lazy, ignorant, unskilled, uninterested, and unadventurous we are when studying the mind of God and the subjects He put in His Book.
This uses examples of Christ’s teachings to show that His doctrines befuddled the Pharisees because He took the Bible literally and they did not. These first five chapters of the Doctrinal Section are introductions or practice sessions in order to prepare you for the rest of the Doctrinal Section. These early chapters use commonly misunderstood doctrines in the modern church to demonstrate: 1) The modern church does not go by the Bible – even with simple little things like these that do not threaten anybody’s lifestyles. 2) We really do learn more from the Bible when we go by what it actually says – rather than by what somebody tells us it says. 3) I really do go by the Bible, so maybe it’ll be safe for you to delve more deeply into the doctrinal section – as long as you continue to carefully check the Scriptures to ensure that I don’t stray from them.
These examples illustrate the necessity of a literal interpretation in order to fully appreciate and understand Bible doctrine. When many people point to the parables in the Bible in attempts to discredit literal interpretations, their blindness causes them to miss the fact that they are actually providing more evidence to support a literal interpretation of the Bible. Why? Because the Bible literally says the parables are parables!
Taking the Bible literally is also a good way for ignorant wretches to avoid being offensive to the Lord. Because we have grown up in an Enlightened culture in which equality supposedly makes the different strata of society level it is sometimes difficult for us to understand how important it is for people to know their place in society – and stay there. When an ignorant buffoon of a servant has been hired to serve food and drink at a conference of wealthy, cultured, educated, dignified, intelligent, and powerful international aristocrats, the worst thing he can do is open his mouth and say something other than Yes, sir; No, sir; Right away, sir; etc. For him to say and do anything outside of his duties is to risk offending the dignitaries in many, many ways that he is unaware of and simply cannot understand. He needs to be trained to serve with fear and respect, and he must understand that one of the drawbacks of being an aristocrat is the fact that you must occasionally suffer the presence of your servants. That is bad enough, and is why you do not see aristocrats on various modes of public transportation, in movie theaters, etc. (My wife and I know an excellent chef who as a young man was serving dignitaries at a White House dinner. He said something he thought was OK and appropriate to one of the aristocrats. He was immediately demoted and transferred to Camp David.) As God’s slaves we must study and strive to serve Him as efficiently and as unobtrusively as possible in the hope that we’ll be found pleasing in His sight. Two necessary components of discernment are fear and humility, and they will help us avoid the haughty and offensive arrogance of not taking His commandments literally by deciding to guess at what He really meant to say. I say again, we sinners are simply too young and too stupid to rise up and change His Instructions into what we think is right and good. God is great; we are not. We are the servant class and God has given us His Book of Instructions. If we do not obey it literally we run the risk of having Him say, “Why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say?” (Lk 6:46); “Thou art an offence unto me” (Mt 16:23); “How long shall I suffer you?” (Mt 17:17). We need to climb down from our prideful arrogance and get about the business of being humble servants who live to carry out our Master’s every word.
This shows why authority is the most important issue in the Bible, whether people know about it or not. If you do not understand this chapter you do not understand who God is and you do not understand Christianity. Authority became the issue when Lucifer rebelled and became the god of this world. We must demonstrate with our obedient works that we choose Christ as our God rather than Satan. Only when Satan is defeated and there is again but one kingdom and one God will authority cease being a critical issue. In the meantime we must submit ourselves to the hierarchies that God has ordained: He put us under parents, rulers, and governors and He told us to obey them as if they were God (Eph 5:22;6:5-7; 1 Pet 2:13-15). This chapter explains the principles behind authority in order to bring the issue more sharply into focus and to better help us understand why independence and rebellion and carnality are such abominations to God that they result in damnation (Rom 13:1,2).
Notice that the main theme of “the Lord’s Prayer” is authority (Mt 5:10,13b). Also, Christ was so mindful of authority that He even refused to correct the wrong of Lk 12:13, and He rebuked the man for failing to think about the fact that Christ had no authority to interfere (Lk 12:14). Christ then pointed out that covetousness (v.15) is the reason people resist authority – which is why Lucifer rebelled.
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A good, clear, and undeniable example of how the Lord Jesus Christ wants us to treat ungodly authorities over us today can be found in Mt 23:1-33. He starts by telling the multitude of Christians – including His own disciples (v.1) – that the scribes and Pharisees were authorities over them because – like it or not – they sat in Moses’ seat (v.2). And just as Moses was supposed to be obeyed as if he were God Almighty, so, too, were Christians ordered to obey whatsoever the Pharisees told them to do (v.3). Christ then goes on to tell Christians not to treat others like the Pharisees did, and He backs it up by saying some very damning things about the Pharisees.
Didn’t Christ know the Pharisees were ungodly hypocrites who were not only overburdening Christians, but were also dragging them to hell (v.15) with them? Oh yes. Didn’t our f-ing fathers “justify” their disobedience to King George III by portraying him as an ungodly authority who was overburdening them? Oh yes. Did Christ tell Christians the Pharisees were not proper authorities because they had lost their “right” to rule by betraying their duty to be godly authorities? No! But isn’t that exactly what over four hundred years of Enlightened Christians have fervently believed? Yes! Didn’t Christ tell Christians they should obediently submit to the wrongful treatment of their authorities? Oh yes. But didn’t our f-ing fathers convince over two hundred years’ worth of preachers and pewsters the “godly” course of action was to resist ungodly authority? Oh yes.
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The above examples teach us something about the relationship between authority and right and wrong: The authority determines right and wrong, and if there is no authority there is no right and wrong. That’s why God told His servants to stay away from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. If the members of the body ignore the head and decide what they want to do it destroys authority and the standard of right and wrong; every man does what is right in his own eyes. When a Christian’s head thinks it is time to study the Bible and his body thinks it is time to watch TV, a struggle for authority/supremacy is occurring because the body should never resist the will of the head. Depending on whether the Bible or the TV wins, that person is either a monarch ruling well his own household or a democratic servant without sovereignty. Any Christian who is not an expert on the Bible like God ordered is not only a disobedient rebel, he also has no choice but to live his life by constantly going to the tree of the knowledge of good and evil to decide what to do. That is carnality. It is an abomination. It is enmity against God because it is an attack on who He is. Without a Bible version that is accepted as authoritative and absolute there is no way for God, the authoritative Head who determines right and wrong, to clearly dictate His will. Christians who ignore the infallible authority of the word of God by not taking it literally must compensate by partaking of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. They do so by running to the Greek and Hebrew in order to choose a definition that seems right in their own eyes. They are destroying Christianity by dividing the Kingdom of God against itself. A kingdom is divided whenever there is more than one authority in it.
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The existence of God – Who and What He is – establishes inequality as the good and right status quo (Is 40:25; 46:5). God is the Alpha and the Omega; He is all-knowing, ever-present, and omnipotent. What else is He? He’s the Creator. That means everything and everyone else that exists came from Him and belongs to Him. And nothing and nobody has any of His qualities listed above. And we never will have any of those qualities. That means none of us will ever be equal to God.
But there’s more to God than His capabilities. There is the fact that He is. Because He exists, because there is a God, and because He is that God, inequality exists and will remain because – to quote an old song – there’ll never be another You. (I frequently use popular love songs as hymns in my mind.) Therefore everything and everyone else in existence is inferior to, owned by, and subordinate to Him. All of this makes God the Authority – it’s just Who He is. All other lesser authorities, no matter who they are, occupy their positions as types of the Supreme Authority Who, in His omnipotent omniscience, allowed them to be in power. The Bible makes that quite clear. Nobody would be so stupid and suicidal as to dare to be His equal in anything. To do so would challenge the fact that He is everything that He is. That is why I think the evil God created back in the beginning was the concept of equality.
Before Lucifer accepted the wicked idea of equality it wasn’t possible for him to consider his own thoughts, his will, or his capabilities to be in any way equal to God’s. When Lucifer incorporated the idea of equality it enabled him to covet God’s prerogatives: Even though God owns everything, Lucifer wanted to have something of his own. Here’s what we learn when we put together 1 Ti 6:10; Ezek 28:4-6,15,16; Is 14:13,14: When Lucifer wanted to have some of God’s creations he began using his brain to accumulate physical wealth. Lucifer’s covetousness made him no longer view the physical objects God made as neutral things; they became possessions in his eyes – things to have, to own. We also learn that as those possessions grew in number they caused his heart, his mind, to be lifted to a point where he thought he was God’s equal. Lucifer’s independent – or equal – mind is called both iniquity and violence, which just happens to be the definition of the carnal mind in Ro 8:7. Thus, Lucifer’s love of material wealth (money) led him to covet (rob) God’s things. That challenged God’s position as God and it made Lucifer rise up as another head. That started the war, caused Lucifer to seduce Adam and Eve into partaking of the forbidden fruit of knowledge, etc., etc. In other words, Lucifer’s love of money really was and is the root of all evil; it all started with him, his coveting started the war against authority and for equality.
This proves with Scripture that there really is a difference between the saved and the unsaved, between mortal “life” and immortal life, between spirit and soul, and between the old man and the new man.
Mt 10:28 is thought-provoking in the same way Jn 3:10 is. In the former, Christ casually mentions to Old Testament saints the second body that goes with the soul to hell. Christ apparently didn’t think He needed to give them a 1 Corinthians 15 dissertation on the two bodies and from whom/Whom they come because He expected Old Testament saints to already know about being born of the Holy Spirit and the second body that comes from it. That is why in John 3 when Nicodemus had trouble following Christ’s talk about the difference between being born of the Spirit and being born of the flesh, Christ rebuked him by pointing out that a master of Israel should already understand the new birth in Jn 3 and the second body in Mt 10:28. Also notice that Mt 10:28 is perfectly complemented by 1 Pe 3:19, which refers to the Old Testament saints’ second – spirit – bodies in hell. Mt 10:28 and 1 Pe 3:19 show that the Old Testament saints really did have two bodies and that the second one was the spirit body. And they show that, while we may disagree about the exact time when the new birth makes saints spirits rather than mortals by giving them spirit bodies, we must agree it happens before the mortal body hits the grave because no soul goes anywhere without the new birth’s spirit body.
We can understand Nicodemus’ confusion: Even today many Christian dissemblers and eternal security advocates think Christ was wrong to say there is a second body that accompanies the soul to hell. They “correct” Christ by claiming the soul goes alone to hell because their doctrines are contradicted by the accompanying second (spirit) body. Dissemblers reject the Old Testament saints’ spirit bodies because they are just as guilty of dissembling and dissimulation as were Peter and Barnabas in Ga 2:11-14. Dissembling in the Bible is feigning a doctrinal difference between God’s Old Testament saints and His New Testament saints, and dissimulation means to conceal our true doctrinal unity in Christ (Ga 3:24,28,29) by pointing to irrelevant differences in outward appearances between Jews and Gentiles. Because these dissemblers today reject Christ’s teaching about the second body in Mt 10:28 and 1 Pe 3:19, they love the fact that Ishmael (Abraham’s firstborn son who was unsaved) was merely born after the flesh, but they hate and reject the fact that Isaac (Abe’s second son who was a Christian) was born after the Spirit (Ga 4:22,23,28,29). Why do they dissemble? Because, among other things, they do not understand the fact that all Old and New Testament saints are priests (Ex 19:6; 1 Pe 2:5,9), and we are all under the same High Priest, Christ Jesus (He 5:5,10). The fact that God ordained but one High Priest, Christ, over His house (He 10:21) shows there is but one priesthood – no matter what dissemblers claim. We are Christians because we are priests serving our High Priest, Christ. And Old Testament saints are Christians because they, too, are priests serving the same High Priest we are. (If you need to review some of the verses showing the Old Testament saints were Spirit-born followers of the same Christ we are, consult the list of verses on pages D8-2,3.) The Bible reveals but one God, one High Priest, one priesthood, one religion, one salvation, one church, and one body of believers against whom Satan is trying to prevail in his unholy ideological war.
This shows that the Bible establishes a difference between the human animal and the human angel, and what the Bible means when it says Christ, by taking on human mortality, was made a little lower than the angels. It explains why unsaved humans, who are just body and soul, are no different from animals according to Ecclesiastes 3:18,19. It shows why Christ and the Old and New Testament saints repeatedly referred to the unsaved as dogs, and why God and His people suddenly – after Abraham was separated from the rest of the human race – began to declare that He was “the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob” rather than the God of all humans like He used to be back in the days of Adam and Noah. You will learn why saints and the unsaved live by different rules, and why the difference between saints and the unsaved is so important. You will have lots of Scripture to look up in order to carefully evaluate all of my points.
The Bible says Christ, in order to save us from the curse of the law (Ga 3:10,13), had to die in our place. But since angels are spirits and it is not possible for spirits to die, Christ had to be made a little lower than angels so He could die (He 2:9). In other words, He became a flesh-and-blood descendant of Abraham – a mortal human – so He would be able to die (He 2:14,16).
OK, if mortal beings are considered “lower” than spirit beings because mortals die and spirits don’t, how do we mortal humans rank with mortal animals? After all, animals became – when God put into their nostrils the breath of life – living souls that die (Re 8:9; 16:3; Jb 12:10; Ps 49:12,20; Ge 7:21,22) just as humans became – when God put into their nostrils the breath of life – living souls that die (Ge 2:7,17; Ezek 18:4; Ro 6:23), so what’s the difference? The Bible answer is none; the unsaved human who is just body and soul (no spirit) is no different from animals (Ec 3:18,19). Tradition has long taught that animals don’t have souls because of the embarrassing difficulty of trying to explain why the theory of the immortality of the soul applies to the souls of people but not to the souls of animals. It was much easier for Christians to ignore what the Bible said, claim animals didn’t have souls, pretend the intellect (soul) is what separates us from and elevates us over animals, and cast stones at anyone who said otherwise by calling them “evolutionists.” To see more evidence that the Bible doesn’t differentiate between the souls of humans and animals compare Josh 6:21 where the “all” that they killed included humans and animals, with Josh 10 where the “all that breathed” that they killed (v.40) were souls (v.28,30,32,35,37,39). Also, when God’s people settled in the Promised Land, God gave them different instructions on how they were to treat nearby cities and those cities far away. In the distant cities that were peaceful all could live (Dt 20:10,11). In the distant cities that were not submissive only the women and animals could live (Dt 20:12-15). But in the cities within the Promised Land “nothing that breatheth” was to remain alive (Dt 20:16-18).
Both humans and animals are lower than angels simply because mortals are not immortals. Things that die are in fact – from an eternal perspective – insignificant. Not only does the Bible say, “man hath no preeminence above a beast” (Ec 3:19), but about humans it says, “they themselves are beasts” (Ec 3:18). The fact that unsaved humans, animals, plants, and insects die means they are temporary from the perspective of time, and insignificant from the perspective of eternity.
The explanations you’ve heard for why God and His people referred to the unsaved as dogs (such as, “The word dog is a misleading, unfortunate, and offensive literal translation because the word should be viewed as an allegorical reference to cute, lovable, cuddly little puppies; it was a term of endearment”), are misleading, unfortunate, and offensive because they are un- and anti-Scriptural. Preachers usually just make stuff like that up because, lacking doctrinal understanding, they’re embarrassed that taking Christ literally seems to make Him an equality-rejecting, demeaning, uncivilized bigot toward unsaved people – and they’re trying to cover for Him. He doesn’t need their help, and it is correct to take Christ literally.
God’s people, including the original New Testament Christians, used to understand all of the above, so they accepted it, incorporated it into their thinking, and literally referred to the unsaved, who were merely body and soul (no spirit), as DOGS: Ex 11:7; Ps 22:12,16; Mt 7:6; 15:23-28; Ph 3:2; Re 22:15. Even though this topic is a mystery today, it was no secret back then; even the pagans understood how God’s people viewed them (Ru 2:10,13; Mk 7:26-28; Jn 4:9).
You have always been told to grow, but nobody ever taught you how growth is attained. Until now. You will learn why we must eat other mortal life forms (the food chain) in order to sustain our physical lives, and you will learn why we must eat the immortal flesh and blood of Christ in order to sustain our spirit lives. You will learn what communion is and why neither Catholics nor Protestants understand its real significance, which makes them both try to make it into some kind of mystical and reverent “sacrament.”
When the Pilgrims stepped off the Mayflower in 1620 they, according to a popular story, had a problem. They tried to grow crops in soil that was infertile. They didn’t know the difference between fertile and infertile. Then an Indian came along and saved their crop. He did so by teaching them to catch fish and plant them along with the seeds so the crop would have flesh to eat so it could grow. So, what is fertile soil? It is soil that has dead things in it that are called “organic matter.” Any dead things will do – leaves, wood, grass, vegetables, ants, crickets, snails, frogs, mice, squirrels, raccoons, turkeys, deer, and even humans.
We learn something from this: In order to live and grow properly crops need some living thing to die for them in order to become food. In fact, all living things in God’s creation, from grass to worms to fish to people, cannot survive unless they eat some other living thing. It’s called the “food chain.” The carnal, physical, old man body must eat some other physical life form in order to live and grow. Which brings us to the other body, the spirit body.
The spirit body is a real body. It is the pattern after which the physical body was made. Therefore things that are true about the physical body are types or pictures of something about the spirit body; in order to survive they both need something alive to die in order to become life-giving food. Let’s examine the food for the spirit body.
The “Lord’s Supper” or “communion” has Roman Catholics and Protestants divided because of confusion over what Christ meant when He said to eat the bread that was His body and to drink the cup of His blood.
Roman Catholicism developed the purest form of idolatry with its doctrine. It says the wafer of bread at communion ceases to be bread at all; it miraculously becomes Jesus Christ! It may still look like a wafer but it has physically changed into Christ’s flesh and blood body. Catholics are taught to adore, worship, pray to, genuflect before, and carry in procession the “consecrated” wafer because it is God Almighty! It does not – like the statues of Jesus, Mary, and Joseph – merely serve as a reminder of the actual person; the wafer actually is God. Pagan religions used to make statues that became their deity. The statue was not just an image of their deity; it actually was their deity. That pure idolatry is the essential core of Roman Catholicism; they take a physical object and make it their deity. And while people are no longer burned at the stake for rejecting that idolatrous doctrine, it remains 100% in effect in the Roman Catholic institution today. The Catholic doctrine of communion is incorrect.
The Protestants hang their hat on the word “remembrance” in 1 Co 11:24,25 along with the fact that v.26 shows that communion is merely a picture of the Lord’s death. To them the Lord’s Supper is just a reminder that the Lamb of God died for our sins. Curiously, however, they try to make the simple communion ritual into a deeply mystical experience with a theatrical air of mournful gravity. In fact, the way they handle the bread or crackers and wine or Welch’s with such formal religious awe is similar to the idolatry of Catholicism. They are not practicing idolatry, but they are trying to artificially create an atmosphere laden with “religious meaning” just as Catholics do with their sacraments. Protestants are partly right about communion because it is a remembrance of Christ’s death. But it is more than that. Spirit bodies, like physical bodies, need food to eat or they will die. But wait, didn’t I say spirit bodies can’t die and don’t even need to eat from the tree of life in order to stay alive?! Hold on a minute, don’t get ahead of me; we’ll get to that.
This chapter proves with Scripture that only those who have been given everlasting life by God are qualified to live in hell forever. Unsaved mortals have by definition never been born again, do not have everlasting life, and cannot spend eternity anywhere. This chapter goes through the Bible and shows that every time the Bible talks about someone going to hell, that person is a child of God with everlasting life – such as Lucifer and Judas, which helps bring out the meaning of Mat 25:41, Heb 6:4-6, and 2 Pet 2:20-22. That’s why there is not a single example anywhere in the Bible of any pagan ever going to hell.
If God’s people with everlasting life are the only ones who can go to hell, you might ask, why are there no examples in the Bible of God’s people going to hell? And you’d feel pretty safe asking that question because if there were examples in the Bible someone would be preaching them...wouldn’t they? Well, you are about to get a big lesson in how tradition makes the word of God of none effect because there are plenty of examples of Christians going to hell: Let’s answer the question, WHO ARE THE WICKED?
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Once we dump our human pride and our faith in men by realizing much of what we’ve been taught and believed for generations has not been in the Bible (!), we will gain a better appreciation for Ec 1 (history repeats itself), because today just before the Second Coming we are no less blind, Scripturally ignorant, and bound by traditional doctrine than were God’s people at the First Coming. And if we don’t let the Bible straighten us out we, too, will despise Christ at His coming, reject His doctrines, and prefer the traditional, philosophy-based morals and values of the Antichrist. Once it sinks in that the wicked are Christians, that our enemies really are they of our own Household (Mt 10:36), maybe we’ll get serious about our Bible study and Christian walk, become dedicated soldiers fighting for the cause of Christ by recognizing and doing something about carnal Christians who act like puking dogs, and maybe we’ll stop being politically active, effeminate conservatives who waste time trying to convince a secular society of dogs to stop barking, humping, and vomiting.
The reason the Bible talks about sex, marriage, divorce, and fornication is an important one: It is impossible to fully understand salvation and how it works without understanding what God has taught us about those subjects. Unfortunately, sex has become taboo in modern Christianity. That’s one of the reasons you’ve never been taught anything about these Bible subjects by your church or Bible school or book on Christian doctrine. The other two reasons are your preacher is ignorant of the subjects and he is afraid to seriously study them – he’d rather cling to the vague religious traditions and societal morals that nobody ever taught him! This chapter covers masturbation, incest, polygamy, and the Old Commission and the Great Commission.
Woman is a type of mankind, God’s people, His body, the church. Man is a type of God. God and mankind cannot get together because mankind is unclean, and this is pictured by the fact that man (type of God) should never soil himself by touching a woman (type of sinful man) (1 Co 7:1; 1 Sa 21:4,5; Re 14:4). Therefore we are supposed to be chaste virgins (2 Co 11:2).
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If having sex with – or touching – a woman is bad because we are to be chaste virgins, how can a man and a woman (Christ and His bride) get together? Through marriage, when a man and his wife become one flesh (Ge 2:24). Notice the very next verse (Ge 2:25) says they were both naked without shame (just as you are not ashamed when you are by yourself and are naked). That’s because when two marry and become one flesh, when they get naked together they are uncovering their own nakedness, not someone else’s. In other words, when a man has sex with his wife he is merely touching his own body, because she is his body. Yes, when a husband and his wife have sex with each other it is exactly the same as if they masturbated. That is how Christians can be married and still be chaste virgins – they only touch their own bodies. And that is why – even though a man is touching a woman – the marital bed is undefiled (He 13:4); because he isn’t touching a woman, he’s touching himself, his own body (Ep 5:28,29).
Today’s Christians have two problems with this. First, because they don’t understand how two become one flesh, they stop short of believing the word of God. They don’t accept it by applying it to everyday life. The proper Christian, though, doesn’t worry about how it happens, but why. Two become one flesh by fiat. God simply decreed it; that’s all He has to do to make something a fact. What He says must be our reality!
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The reason “Bible” schools and the preachers they pump out teach nothing about sex is they simply don’t know anything and are insecure. They are vaguely aware of the inconsistencies and changes in the way “society” has viewed sex over the decades and centuries, but they never seriously examine the issue because they are afraid to challenge tradition or to question the doctrinal soundness of denominational leaders living or dead. And they are afraid to be considered “lustful”, “carnal”, “obsessed with sex”, or just “weird.” So they continue to assume that “ethics” and “morals”, even though they change with “the times”, are somehow Biblical, authoritative, and unchanging “standards” that should shape our lives. They don’t realize how inconsistent their thinking, their “values”, and their doctrines are…because everybody else is just as confused and ignorant as they, and because they justify themselves before men instead of by the word of God.
You will learn from the Bible what marriage is and why it relates to the topics in the earlier chapter. You will learn how consummation makes a person transition from being merely an espoused wife into being a permanent wife – as in “one flesh.” And you’ll learn that unless we make it to the marriage supper of the Lamb, we are but espoused brides of Christ (2 Cor 11:2).
Marriage is a general word so you have to be careful about its meaning. It can refer to the initial agreement between the two men because, unless a later date is set, that is when the exchange of property takes place. It can also mean the “ceremony”, such as a marriage supper, at which the exchange is made public and official. And it can mean the act of consummation because that is when the two become united. For example, the legal exchange of property part of marriage in Ge 24:51 took place between Bethuel (Rebekah’s father) and Abraham’s servant who was acting on the behalf of Isaac in accordance with Abraham’s instructions. And then the consummation part of marriage took place in Ge 24:67. This important distinction among the legal contract/agreement part of marriage, and the finalizing/consummation part of marriage, and the evaluation/judgment part of marriage (this judgment part of marriage takes place between the other two parts and will be covered shortly) is missed or ignored by “eternal security” advocates who fail to realize spiritual realities must agree with the physical patterns established in the Bible.
Some Christians think a man who has sex with an unmarried woman is automatically making her his wife because he has “consummated”…well, I don’t know what they think he might have consummated. Maybe their problem is they don’t know what consummate means. It is not a union; it’s the completion, perfection, or finalizing of something that happened before. Therefore it is not true that casual sex makes two people husband and wife. Why? Because the woman still belongs to another if her owner hasn’t agreed to give her away and if there is no intent to acquire a wife. In other words, if there is no legal transaction there is no deal to consummate. If the man and woman are Christians, however, the man has defamed her and disgraced her father. Therefore he is not only required to pay a fine to the father, he also has an obligation to marry the daughter because most men wouldn’t be interested in a woman humbled (Dt 22:28,29).
Even before the consummation occurs, however, a woman legally becomes a man’s wife at the property exchange agreement. Joseph’s wife Mary is a perfect example. We know Mary was a virgin until after Christ was born because Joseph “knew her not” until then (Mt 1:25). Now note that even though the marriage was not consummated, Mary is called Joseph’s “wife” (Mt 1:20,24). Should we think the use of the word “wife” always means “finalized wife” and therefore the consummation is not required for two to become inseparably one? No, because Lk 2:5 tells us even though Mary was already legally Joseph’s wife, which meant he could take her with him to other towns like Bethlehem and get a room at an inn with her, she was technically and specifically only his “espoused wife.” Another good example is Dt 22:23,24. Here we find that a woman who is only “betrothed” and is still a “virgin” is legally the man’s “wife” even though the union has not been consummated. (Legally enough to authorize the death penalty for disregarding that fact!) That means the word “wife” in the context of Mt 1:20,24 and Dt 22:24 only refers to the initial, legal process part and meaning of marriage. Mary was Joseph’s wife legally, and Joseph was her legal husband. It is imperative that we understand this topic because, while we are legally Christ’s brides, His wives, we are, like Mary, merely unconsummated espoused wives (2 Co 11:2). Why is that an important point? Because of what the “that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ” part of 2 Co 11:2 refers to. The outcome of an espousal is dependent upon the groom’s being satisfied when he inspects his bride. This is a type of Judgment.
The judgment part of marriage has been forgotten. It takes place after the “legal” or “espousal” part of marriage (salvation), and before the “finalization” or “consummation” part of marriage. When Joseph found out, before the consummation, that Mary was (as he supposed) a fornicator rather than a chaste virgin he decided to put her away (Mt 1:19). This pre-consummation judgment is supposed to prevent a man from being fooled into ending up with a wife he doesn’t really want. Because Jacob foolishly got drunk at his wedding feast he not only skipped the judgment process and went straight to the consummation part, he didn’t even know whom he was consummating (Ge 29:22,23,25)! But after the consummation has occurred, putting away/divorce is not possible because consummation is when the legal part of marriage (when two are merely “reckoned” to be one flesh) is superseded by reality. (The legal prerequisite to consummation, which is the legal exchange of property, is absent in cases of rape and consensual premarital and extramarital sex.) So it would be fair to say the legal part of marriage is a human transaction represented in Mt 19:5, and the post-judgment consummation represents the divine procedure mentioned in Mt 19:6b.
An excellent description of this judgment (that is such an important part of marriage) as well as the potential outcome of this judgment is Dt 22:13-21. In it we learn that after the legal part of marriage, the giving and the taking part in verses 13 and 16, a man takes his new, legal bride to the bedroom in order to examine her so he can make a judgment as to whether or not he will consummate the union. If he finds she is not pure he may decide to return the property to the man who gave her to him, as is his legal right. That is what putting away is: It is legally severing the legal bonds of marriage for cause. (God has provided no means or cause to put asunder the consummated marriage because it can’t be done.) The reason Joseph was going to put away his bride, Mary (Mt 1:19), was he’d discovered, in the period between the legal giving and taking part of marriage and the consummating part, that she was (as he supposed) impure.
When the husband goes to the father with his finding that the damsel is not a virgin, the parents have an opportunity to bring forth, for example, the bloody tokens of her virginity (that they’ve carefully preserved just in case this would become an issue) in order to prove her virtue (Dt 22:17). Notice that when Mary’s parents had absolutely no evidence that could establish – to Joseph’s or to anybody else’s satisfaction – the virtue of their obviously pregnant daughter (which made old bloody tokens irrelevant), God the Father in effect saved her honor and her marriage by presenting to Joseph the tokens of her virginity in accordance with His rules (cp. Dt 22:17 and Mt 1:20).
But if, during the pre-consummation examination/judgment, the bride is found to be impure, she will be put away and executed (Dt 22:20,21)! Thus the Scriptures make it clear that the part of the marriage process that has been ignored and forgotten today is the most important part – Judgment! How did that happen? Western civilization is built upon philosophy and its doctrinal offspring, the Enlightenment, the independence and sovereignty of the individual, the liberation of women from their God-ordained role as servants, the proscription of human chattel, and the love affair with equality. Because those ideas are so instinctive and appealing to the Reason of the Natural carnal mind (because their veracity is universally self-evident) they were allowed to overrule the words in (any version of) the Bible because Reason has replaced revelation. With our lips we claim to believe the Bible, but in practice we reveal ourselves to be unbelieving fornicators who have squandered our Christian virginal purity. We then either shamelessly ignore the judgment part of marriage that comes before the consummation part, or convince ourselves Judgment is really a joyful occasion at which Christ’s espoused brides receive varying numbers of rewards based on their service. But the purpose of the judgment part of marriage is to determine if the consummation will even take place. Handing out rewards, duties, and responsibilities to wives in God’s household has nothing to do with marriage; that happens later.
You will learn the difference between fornication and adultery – and why divorce is permitted, indeed, why divorce is only possible for the cause of fornication – not adultery (Matt 19:9). And you’ll learn why death is the only thing that can terminate a consummated marriage – and how that turns out to be a good deal as far as our relations with Christ and the Devil are concerned.
As noted in the previous chapter, divorce is a legal procedure. (In this chapter I use divorce as a synonym for the Scriptural term putting away because of modern usage, customs, and legal procedures. However, it may be that the “bill” or “writing” of “divorcement” invented by Moses (Mt 19:7,8) is, in God’s eyes, neither efficacious (Mt 5:32b) nor the same as “putting away” a wife.) But no legal procedure (no matter what it’s called) can do anything to keep a person from dying if you divorce his head from his body – as in cutting his head off. In a consummated marriage the man and wife become one flesh; he is the head and she is the body. And that is why divorce, for any reason, legal or otherwise, is just not possible when a union has been consummated. However, the legal giving and taking part of marriage can, before the consummation, be reversed by another legal procedure. But in order to satisfy the law, in order that the divorce/putting away be legal, the divorce/putting away must be based on a legal reason. And according to the Lord Jesus Christ the only legal reason for putting away a wife is fornication (Mt 19:9).
Many people confuse fornication and adultery, but it’s really very simple: Fornication is premarital sin; adultery is post-marital sin. Because Mary was pregnant out of wedlock it was believed she was a fornicator (Jn 8:41). On the other hand if you are married, “stepping out” on your spouse is adultery (Le 20:10). Notice in Mt 19:9 the Lord’s use of fornication and adultery is consistent with the meanings of the words. While we’re in that verse let’s look at another common misunderstanding based on tradition. Some say Mt 19:9 can be used as a proof text for New Testament monogamy because it means a married man can’t marry again without committing adultery. But since the verse doesn’t say that, they are merely letting their tradition force a meaning that is not only not in the verse, but one that contradicts the rest of Scripture and is inconsistent with the picture of salvation painted by the Bible’s teachings on sex, marriage, judgment, consummation, divorce and damnation. What then is meant by the verse when it says a man who illegally divorces his wife, and is therefore still legally married to her, is an adulterer if he marries again? It means the same thing Ja 2:9,10,11 does: If you transgress the law by divorcing your wife for an illegal reason, you are guilty of adultery, murder, stealing, etc., because any transgression makes you a lawbreaker, a sinner. That is, you’re guilty of any and all sins because you’ve broken the law! You see, the problem isn’t this sin or that sin, it’s becoming a lawbreaker, and any sin makes you an outlaw. (There is a speck-in-your-eye, beam-in-mine lesson on forgiveness in that.) The Bible teaches a lot about sin and forgiveness that is ignored: If you commit a sin, anything else you do that isn’t a sin becomes sin (Hag 2:11-14) because it’s done by a filthy sinner. In other words an outlaw is an outlaw until the law has been satisfied. But in Mt 19:9 the Lord goes further than that by saying an innocent man who participates in sin by marrying an illegally-divorced woman becomes an adulterer. That is what the verse is about, not polygamy or monogamy. This is supported by reasoning with Scripture: Mt 19:9 cannot be saying marrying another woman (polygamy) is adultery. Why? Because God never would have sanctioned polygamy in the Old Testament if polygamy violated His Commandment against adultery (Ex 20:14).
Once the union is consummated the bonds of marriage can be broken only by death (Ro 7:2). Therefore a Christian’s consummated union with Christ can never be broken since neither Christ nor the saint can ever die. That’s the good news. The bad news is consummation with Christ does not happen at the new birth; our entire Christian walk takes place before the marriage supper, the Judgment by Christ, and consummation. It is our Christian walk that will be scrutinized in accordance with the word of God in order to determine if we are chaste virgins or premarital (pre-consummation) fornicators. Fornicators will be put away and damned. The Judgment Seat of Christ will not be a joyous event; the Bible attaches the word “terror” to it (2 Co 5:11). In fact, Matt Seven and five other unprepared virgins show that surprise is another element some Christians will experience at Judgment.
Matt Seven? I lump the “many” rejected Christians at Judgment in Mt 7:21-23 into one person named Matthew Seven. Matt Seven was saved, was a spirit, and therefore was part of the spiritual Kingdom of God. He wanted to inherit the promise, which includes the new Kingdom of Heaven and its everlasting, physical real estate (Mt 7:21), but was disinherited/divorced by Christ because Matt disregarded the first half of Mt 6:33 by doing what 1 Jn 2:15 told him not to do. Matt knows he is saved and is not lying to his Judge when he defends himself by listing his works, his fruit of the Spirit, the evidence of his faith (v.22). He has a reason for arguing; he believes in “eternal security” and thinks if he can just prove he is a son of Abraham (as if God didn’t know) then he can’t be cast away! But Matt, like too many others, doesn’t understand sex and marriage – in spite of the fact that they are obviously important because of God’s use of them as types of His relationship with His bride. Matt thinks “once married always married” because he saw some guys behind pulpits wave their arms and shout, “God doesn’t have an eraser!” (God uses a blotter: Ex 32:32,33; Dt 9:14; 29:20; Re 3:5.) This and other traditional clichés, along with society’s conservative “moral values”, became the foundation of his thinking because, having never bothered to study things like sex, marriage, divorce, and fornication in the Bible, he had no alternative but to believe what seemed right in his own eyes.
That’s why, when an incredulous Matt Seven is told by Christ it is legal to put him away because “I never knew you,” Matt has no idea the meaning of knew in this context includes/means consummated (Ge 4:1,17), or even that it is a legal term because he never examined the connection between sex, judgment, and marriage (Dt 22:13-21; Ge 24:67; 2 Co 11:2). (To verify it is born-again Christians who are put away by Christ at Judgment, notice the word see in both Jn 3:3 and Lk 13:28.) That’s why Matt, when he found out he was being rejected at Judgment, argued by listing proofs of his Christianity. David would never have done that because David didn’t believe in eternal security (Ps 51:1-11). But Matt and many other Jews (including Nicodemus in Jn 3) did not understand salvation and thought God would never mistreat one of His wives by throwing her into hell. That’s why one of the things Matt did was to remind Christ that he – like all brides of Christ – took God’s name upon himself and therefore did his works in His name. Christ knew many Jews thought eternal security/no divorce was God’s policy. Therefore He picked up on Matt’s marriage analogy in order to teach that what the Jews did know and practice about marriage should be applied to God at Judgment: “I can legally put you away because I never knew/consummated you.”
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Another example of how ignorance of the Scriptures allows false doctrine to flourish is Jn 10:28,29, which is one of the darlings of eternal security advocates. They readily admit the “I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish” part is not a true proof because – like Jn 3:16 – it could be only referring to the fact that the new birth replaces the mortality of the flesh with the immortality of the spirit. It is the word “neither” that makes this passage so important to them because it signifies a change of topic: Even if the “eternal life” part doesn’t prove eternal security, they think the part after neither is an indisputable proof because it says nobody can pluck anyone who is in Christ from His/His Father’s hand.
The problem with Jn 10 as a “proof” is it only lasts for five more chapters: In Jn 15:1,2,6 Christ says the Father, who is greater than all, is the very one who casts Christians out of His hand! V.1 identifies Christ as the vine, and the Father as the husbandman/pruner. V.2 says every branch “in me” (in Christ) that proves to be unfruitful is pruned by the Father. And then v.6 says these pruned Christians that didn’t “abide in me” are cast into the fire and burned. Abide means to stay, to not leave, to endure. So, the Father casts those Christians who were “in Christ” but didn’t mature and bear fruit into hell.
The point is, the more we understand the Bible the more our modern doctrinal inconsistencies will jump out and get our attention. What we are discussing is important.
How could David eat the shewbread, which it was not lawful to do? How could the priests profane the sabbath, which it was not lawful to do? And how could a man who had a sheep that fell into a pit on the sabbath, work on the sabbath by rescuing that sheep? Or, more appropriately, how could they do those things and yet be guiltless (Matthew 12:1-13)? This chapter explains how expediency is connected with being a mature Christian and how it sometimes helps us better carry out the will of God.
The law is a good deal because it allows us to be legally reckoned dead to it. That not only means we can be legally espoused to Christ, it means legally the law doesn’t apply to us. That allows us to make stupid mistakes as young Christians and it allows us to sidestep the law when it threatens to hinder the cause of Christ. But the fact that we still must confess our sins and obtain forgiveness for them means, while we can legally reckon ourselves to be free from the law, the law actually still exists. The law, in fact, is so real that if we don’t obtain forgiveness for our sins we will be put away as impure fornicators. All of that is commonly understood. But let’s look at the marital side of the coin instead of the sin side.
Just as we are only legally reckoned to be dead to the law and free from sin, so are we only legally reckoned to be dead and freed from our union with the Devil. This has implications for both Christians who “lose it” and those who faithfully endure to the end.
When a Christian becomes an unfaithful slut and is put away by Christ as a fornicator, that Christian is no longer in Christ and is no longer legally sealed by His substitutionary death from the law. The slut is cast away and is no longer under grace – he’s under the Law! That means he now has to answer to the Law (not the Lawgiver) for his sins. And the Law demands death for sin. The slut is also legally Satan’s wife again, and is in deep doo-doo because the only way to be freed from a consummated union is for death to do them part. Both Satan and the slut, however, have everlasting life. Therefore, the only way out is for Christ to die, have His death apply to the slut in order to free him from Satan, and birth a new spirit body that can become espoused to Christ. Alas, Christ already did all of that for the slut once, and He will not do it a second time (He 10:10,18,26; Jn 13:7-10). Therefore, the slut, with no way to be freed from his union with Satan, will pay the wages of sin with the second death in the lake of fire.
The faithful Christian who endures to the end finds himself in a different situation. When he dies his mortal body is buried and rots in the ground while his soul and other body go to the third heaven. Being in the third heaven, however, isn’t the end of his problem because he is still only legally espoused to Christ, because Christ’s death only legally freed him from Satan – but not actually.
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The faithful Christian in the third heaven, therefore, joins the saints who have gone before us in watching you and me (He 12:1) to see if we’ll endure to the end or if Satan will prevail over the church…because they can’t make it without us (He 11:39,40). If Satan wins, to the victor go the spoils (2 Sa 16:22) and we all remain Satan’s brides to serve him forever. If Christ wins, we still can’t marry Him because He won’t commit adultery by marrying Satan’s wives. And we faithful saints have no way to terminate our marriage to Satan because we have everlasting life and, as victors, won’t be thrown into the lake of fire. That’s why Satan must die in the lake of fire to free us from our marriage to him. Satan’s real death, therefore, must happen prior to the marriage supper of the Lamb that we may turn our legal espousal to Christ into a real marital bond.
This chapter explains what fornication is and shows that sexual transgressions are but one small facet of fornication. You will understand why fornication is the only sin that is justification for divorce. In other words, you will learn why Christianity is full of non-sexual fornicators on their way to a divorce they won’t understand because they never learned their espoused Husband’s Instruction Book (Language that mocks tradition is used.)
Ge 38:15-23: Judah was a good Christian man who would never engage in the unlawful sex defined in Le 18. So when he wanted sex he openly went to a girl he thought was a pagan whore (because Christian girls were not allowed to be whores according to Dt 23:17). Many people erroneously think Judah was a hypocrite because, right after going out and SCREWING a prostitute, he was going to have Tamar put to death for also having sex outside of marriage (Ge 38:24). But Judah had not sinned, had done nothing that offended anybody’s “morals” (because pagan morality was not a part of Christian society), and didn’t have to put up with loudmouthed, opinionated, Enlightened Scripture wresters and tradition-bound Bible rejecters of the twenty-first century who thought the morality and ethics they never studied and didn’t understand were probably right and probably pleasing to God even if they didn’t come from Him or His Rule Book. (It’s not a sin to write an occasional run-on sentence, is it? And if it is, could we properly invoke expediency to make run-on sentences lawful as long as it’s for the good of the church?!) Anyway, all of the above is why Judah’s whoring was done openly and without shame or fear that God or man would disapprove. Even Tamar knew it was not sinful for Judah to pick up a prostitute…because he was a widower (Ge 38:12). That means he was not violating any restrictions placed on married Christian men such as Pv 5:3,5,8,15,18,19 and Mt 5:27,28. When Tamar decided to dress up like a prostitute it certainly wasn’t because she was afraid a good Christian like Judah would reject her offer as sinful – what a stupid strategy that would be! No, she knew there was a long list of things in her favor: Judah was a widower; the SCREWING would not be sinful in general or FORNICATION in particular; with her body she figured she would be as alluring to Judah as Abishag was supposed to be to David (1 Ki 1:1-4); it was common and legitimate for pagan prostitutes to cater to Christian men, so Tamar ran no risk of being run out of town as an undesirable element while she waited for Judah to come along; and she knew Judah could afford the service. Unless you allow tradition to make the word of God of none effect you’ll see Judah did nothing wrong. But it was a different story when a Christian woman went whoring; the death penalty was called for and was supported by all good Christians. (Therefore, as Christ’s women we are whoring whenever we are not faithful in our Christian walk.) Modern Christians whose traditional conservative morals cause them to think Judah was guilty of fornication and to think his son, Pharez, was born of fornication don’t realize that if they are correct it means our Lord was born of fornication: When Judah SCREWED Tamar he was contributing to the ancestry of the Lord Jesus Christ (Ge 38:29; Ru 4:12,18-22; Mt 1:3; Lk 3:33). I say again, Judah was not sinning and the Lord was not born of the fornication that modern Christian tradition and morality say He was. Modern Christians do err by not knowing the Scriptures, by letting their religious traditions make the word of God of none effect, and by making the Pharisees in Jn 8:41 correct when they implied Christ was born of fornication. Modern Christianity is inexcusably apostate.
Some well-meaning Christians will argue that places like Pv 7 prohibit unmarried Christians from consorting with prostitutes. While we’re dealing with this it might be quicker if we add the fact that these same people say Pv 20:1 and 23:20,21,27-34 prohibit Christians from drinking intoxicating liquor such as beer, whiskey, and wine. But these are just the old Mt 15:2 scams of the Pharisees – creating sins not in the Bible by allowing the moral traditions of men to make the word of God of none effect – and are easily dealt with. When you read the above verses, note that they are warnings and not prohibitions. Since tradition is a very powerful, influential, and persuasive force we must be careful when we address these issues. For example, I could never win a debate on these issues if we stayed in the three proverbs above. Why? Because tradition makes us think those warnings are or should be prohibitions…until we put things into perspective with the rest of the Bible:
· Pv 23:2,20,21 are warnings about eating food. But it’s still permissible to eat food.
· In the Old Testament God’s people were not merely warned about the dangers of marrying pagans; it was recommended that they not do it. But they were still permitted to do so.
· In the New Testament we are warned about the dangers of marrying anyone, Christian or pagan (1 Co 7:32-35). In fact, it is recommended that we not marry at all (1 Co 7:1,7,8)! But we are still permitted to do so.
Why are we warned about things that are lawful such as alcohol, Christian wives, prostitutes, Christian husbands, food, and unsaved spouses, to name just a few? Because as Christian warriors who are supposed to be in control of our bodies we should be aware of the lusts and distractions that can get in our way. Different people have problems with different things. The wise head will take all of this into account when handling and controlling whatever weakness his body may have. Don’t you know what fasting is all about? It’s about learning, practicing, and exercising mastery over your body in the area of the most powerful and most frequently occurring lust you experience. There’s a saying in naval warfare, “Pick out the biggest and commence firing!” That’s what fasting is all about: Food is our biggest lust. When you fast you should be learning to apply the self-control you are exercising over an activity that is both legitimate and necessary for physical life to everything else in life. That’s how you learn to rule well your own body so you can not only just say no! to your body at various times as is appropriate, but also that your well-disciplined body will instantly obey you even unto death! That is, after all, the kind of disciplined servant you are striving to be for the Lord, isn’t it? Isn’t it?
You will learn that it was Reason that made God’s rules of slavery in Leviticus 25:39-55 of none effect in the modern church. You will learn why we are God’s slaves rather than just His hired servants. And you’ll learn other things related to this topic – such as why God searched among the animals for an help that would be meet to serve Adam.
God wrote rules for slavery in Le 25:39-55. Christians were to treat fellow Christians indebted to them as hired servants rather than as bondservants (v.39,40). Christian servants were to serve until the seventh year (Dt 15:12-15) or until the jubilee (Le 25:40), at which time they were to be released. Once a Christian servant is freed, he is not to be put back into servitude (Je 34:15-17). Therefore, if a Christian servant never wants to leave his master’s service, he can – before he is released – proclaim his undying love for his master and be made a servant forever (Dt 15:16,17).
If one of God’s people wanted bondmen and bondwomen (slaves), he would purchase only heathen (Le 25:44,45). Bondservants, unlike hired servants, were owned and were the property of the owner (see the list of property in Dt 5:21, and then see how God’s people forgot their Owner, something even an ass doesn’t do according to Is 1:2-4). That’s why a hired servant, who is not the master’s property, is not a member of the master’s household; but a purchased bondservant, as property, is a member of the household according to Le 22:10,11. Therefore we must consider ourselves full-time slaves of Christ, not independent hired servants, because it makes a big difference whether we are members of a household or not – and whose household it is (Le 22:12,13). That’s why Christian women would remain under a male guardian (1 Co 11:10,15; Is 4:1) such as their brother or son…or even another man to whom they were given (Jn 19:26,27).
Slaves, because they were property, were to be passed down in families as an inheritance just like any other possession (Le 25:46). Verse 46 also shows that God intends the institution of slavery to exist forever. I’ll say that again in order to emphasize the difference in God’s eyes between Christians and dogs: Christian servants were to be let go at certain intervals as we saw above, but unsaved bondservants were to be slaves forever as part of our inheritance.
According to God’s word, both the slave trade (as defined in the Bible) and slave merchants are acceptable to God. However, because both slaves and prostitutes were dogs (unclean pagans), the money made from those legitimate businesses could not be used in the house of God for certain things (Dt 23:18).
This topic couldn’t be spelled out more plainly in the Bible, so if your church never taught you the truth about this easy subject, what makes you think the stuff it taught you about more complicated doctrine is any less antichrist? It is fear that makes Christians prefer blindness. Fear causes them to treat the Bible as a mere history book with neutral reports about “how they lived back then”, rather than as a Book containing teachings carefully selected by God for our instruction. We claim the Bible to be the sole source of all our doctrine and the source of all we do in our daily lives, but that is a lie whose motivation is fear. Christians know what the Bible says but they are afraid of the disapproval of the world and the god of this world, which causes them to worship (honor and glorify) Satan by conforming to his leaven. That is backwards. We are to fear God and worship (honor and glorify) Him by conforming to His word.
God had slavery in mind in Ge 2:18-20: In v.18 He decided Adam needed a servant. And then He allowed Himself to look foolish to our carnal minds by wasting time going through all the animals in search of a help meet for Adam! What, didn’t our all-knowing God already know the animals would prove unsuitable? Of course He did. And since the Bible is not a neutral history book, God put this search among the animals in there to teach us something: We learn that, just as God rules over servants/slaves (us), He wants us to have servants/slaves over whom we rule and reign. And He wants those servants to be animals. He has always wanted our servants to be unsaved mortal humans, not fellow Christians, so He had Adam look among giraffes and aardvarks to let us know He wants dogs – unsaved humans – to be the animals (Ec 3:18-20) that serve us. He created Eve as Adam’s servant as a type of the human animals that would later appear when He divided the human race into saints and dogs in Abraham’s day. Later He put His instructions regarding slavery in the Bible to show us that unsaved humans will be our servants forever. (Notice that race has nothing to do with any of this.) Any Christian, therefore, who does not learn to overcome instinctive Reason will, because he thinks no differently from dogs, be unfit to rule.
You will learn the difference between the old man and the new man. You’ll learn why Christ was flesh and blood before the cross (Heb 2:14), and why He was flesh and bone in His resurrected body (Lk 24:39). You’ll learn that the war rages between our mortal body and our spirit body. You’ll learn about the difference between our mortal physical bodies, our spirit bodies of the new birth, and our combined physical/spirit glorified bodies of the future. And you’ll learn other related topics such as who Mystery, Babylon the Great Whore is, when we get our circumcised hearts/glorified bodies, and why certain foods have been clean or unclean depending on which period in history you are talking about.
CLEAN AND UNCLEAN MEAT: Failure to distinguish between our two bodies, the old man and the new man, causes well-intentioned Christians to unwittingly glorify Satan’s whore – our fallen, sinful, corrupt, physical old-man body. For example, they take 1 Co 6:19, then fail to compare it with v.15 (which would show it’s referring to the new man), and use it to justify their doctrine that smoking cigarettes, eating pork and leavened bread, etc., defile the temple of the Holy Ghost – which they think is the sinful, smelly, waste-producing physical old man! They don’t actually pronounce the words old man when saying we are the temple of the Holy Ghost because they don’t understand the Bible well enough to really know what they’re talking about; they lack awareness. The Pharisees had exactly the same problem; they focused on the old man by thinking that, because they were saved and were physical descendants of Abraham, they had it made. That’s why the Lord rebuked them for not knowing they should focus on Christ’s body, the new man, not Satan’s old-man body (Jn 3:2-6,9,10). God’s people were interested in making the old man (and its sepulchers) look good on the outside because they lacked the Biblical understanding that would enable them to be aware of the need to preserve the new man from corruption, because if any Christian defiles his new man, which is the temple of God, him shall God “destroy” (1 Co 3:17). (We saw when discussing Mt 10:28 on page D7-1,2 destroy means to be thrown into hell – a destination only the new-man/born-again body can reach.) By focusing on the old man the Pharisees missed the point of Old Testament laws such as circumcision, unclean food, etc. Christ used Mk 7:14-16, which illustrates the difference between the old man and the new, to rebuke and educate them. Sadly, Christ then found out His own disciples, who’d caused the clash by offending the Pharisees when they “defiled” their physical bodies (Mk 7:2), did not understand the important distinction between the old man and the new, either (v.17). That means the disciples in their ignorance agreed with the Pharisees and “all the Jews” (v.3) that eating with unwashen hands did defile the temple of God. So the really sad part is, believing in their hearts it was sin, they did it anyway! That is sin. The Lord, exasperated again with His disciples, explained that the old-man body isn’t the issue. The issue is whom you are inside. If your soul allows evil things to come out of you (by not ruling well over carnal Reason), they defile you.
Pork never was unclean from a physical standpoint. People today waste time talking about how terribly pigs are raised and how flawed is their digestive tract. Irrelevant. God only declared animals to be clean and unclean when He wanted them to typify the condition of humans. Note, for example, that Adam and all of his descendants were Christians. As a picture of that, all animals were clean and could be eaten.
When God divided the human race in Noah’s day: There were “unclean” humans who would “miss the boat” and there were those who found grace in the eyes of the Lord and would spend a year at sea in the navy, and to typify that division God declared some animals to be clean and others to be unclean (Ge 7:1,2). Then when Noah stepped off the ark (Ge 8:20) he made a clean animal sacrifice (type of the Lamb without blemish on the cross), and the human race became homogeneous again: all people were Christian descendants of Noah. True to form, God told Noah the unclean animals were now clean (Ge 9:3).
As we know, God later divided the human race in Abraham’s day. Only this time He didn’t drown anybody; He made their offspring dogs. The Jews became His people; dogs did not. Therefore clean and unclean animals again made their appearance (Le 11).
Then the clean Lamb on the cross instituted the New Testament and opened the gospel to all mankind. With the human race again homogeneous (Ac 10:28,34; Mk 16:15), God again made all animals clean (Ac 10:13-15) to symbolize that fact. There are indications that in the future when we rule with Christ some or all of the old ceremonies, feast days, and laws will be reinstated. I believe one of those reinstated laws will be clean and unclean meats to symbolize the difference between the ruling class of saints and the working class of dogs. That would be consistent.
Some people think Peter’s vision in Ac 10 should not be taken literally when it declares all meats to be clean. They think the figurative meaning – opening the gospel to Gentiles – should be its only meaning. Obviously they’ve never noticed or understood any of the above. Neither can they come up with any plausible figurative meaning for the words kill and slay in Ac 10:13 and 11:7. Those words are crucial to understanding the passages. Yes, God now approves of both killing and eating all kinds of animals because the Great Commission makes all kinds of animals/humans clean/eligible for the gospel.
This chapter helps put into perspective the fact that we, the church, are the body of Christ. It will help you understand why the past heroes of the Bible have not and cannot receive the promise – and cannot be made perfect – without us! (Heb 11:39,40). Therefore, since we are compassed about by those heroes who are witnessing our Christian fight (Heb 12:1), let us lay aside every secular weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, look unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith, and run with patience the race that is set before us.
In He 11:39,40 notice that Enoch, Noah, Abraham, Moses, David, etc., have not received “the promise.” They are with the Lord in His Kingdom of God, but they are only hoping to inherit the new Kingdom of Heaven. They have not yet inherited that promise because they cannot do it “without us.”
Why can’t they inherit it without us? Well, here’s how the usual answer goes: “The Old Testament and its animal sacrifices could not take away sin (He 10:4). Therefore, the Old Testament saints could not receive the promise until the Lamb of God died on the cross to take away the sins of the world.” That’s a reasonable guess until you realize He 11:39,40 was written after Christ had taken away the sins of the world. The sins of the Old Testament saints were already paid for when it was written, that’s why they were in Heaven when it was written! And they are still waiting to inherit the promise.
One reason they can’t inherit the promise is the new heavens and new earth are not finished yet. The present earth took seven days to make. The first temple took seven years (1 Ki 6:37,38). We, the house or temple built without hands, will take seven thousand years. And that is how long the new heavens and new earth will take.
Another reason the Old Testament saints can’t receive the inheritance (even New Testament saints can’t receive it yet) is the war is still undecided. That’s what 1 Ti 2:15 is referring to. In it the “woman” (a type of the church) will only be saved if her children continue in the faith. The purpose of the Old Commission and the Great Commission comes into play here: The church will only be saved, first, if succeeding generations retain the doctrinal purity of the literal word of God, and second, if those new generations keep the faith. Now are you beginning to see why we are supposed to give our lives for the welfare of the church? Does Pv 22:6 take on increased significance? Do you see why He 12:1 immediately follows 11:39,40, and do you now understand why 12:1 begins with Wherefore? And why chapter 12 is an exhortation to keep the faith?
1 Th 3:8 is another indication that even our fellow New Testament saints who have gone before cannot make it without us. It says the same thing He 11:40 says: They only make it if we, the succeeding generations, their “offspring” if you will, keep the faith. Now you know why godly children (1 Ti 3:4,12) are so important to the “care of the church” (1 Ti 3:5).
If you put it into perspective you can see that Christ did all the important stuff and we do the legwork. As His body we continue His work, which is Christ doing the work as long as our works are obedient manifestations of Him in accordance with the Bible. (If our works are not in accordance with the Blueprint/Bible, we’ll still be building a house but it won’t be the house of God (Ps 127:1; Mt 7:24-27), it’ll be the synagogue of Satan. There is no substitute for knowing and following the Blueprint.) That is how we keep the gates of hell at bay so the dead saints, we, our disciples who live after us, and their future disciples, can inherit the promise. That’s what 1 Co 15:29 is all about: We get baptized and continue the race for the dead saints who have gone before, and we prepare our disciples to do the same after we’re gone. Interestingly enough, our spiritual forefathers understood this and knew a lot of what they did was not for themselves, but for you and me (1 Pe 1:10-14).
This means slothful, do-nothing saints who aren’t working toward being experts on the Bible, and saints whose doctrine is wrong, and saints who are Enlightened, are very bad for the dead saints and for us. The slothful ones who are not gathering with Christ are against Him. And the ones who have accepted the leaven of the Pharisees are sabotaging us from within. Obviously, instructing them in the way of truth is important. But just as most children need firm discipline until they mature, so will most Christians. Discipline in the form of public and private rebuking must return to Christianity. Church discipline needs to increase in number and severity. But we live in a willful, democratic society, and most carnal Christians will not repent – they’ll sue you (1 Co 6:1,6). They must be shunned quickly and completely lest they drag the church down to hell with them. I cannot overemphasize that.
In what is undoubtedly the dullest chapter in the book you will learn about an important topic that many Christians haven’t the interest or patience to study. A lack of understanding of this topic contributes to misunderstandings about salvation, Abraham’s bosom, eternal security, and the immortality of the soul. In order to break law and grace down into easily-understandable categories you will learn to differentiate the First Testament (also called the Law of sin and death); the law of mortality; the Old Testament; the Second Testament (also called the Law of Grace); the state of grace; the scepter of grace; the New Testament; and why some of those laws are capitalized and some are not. In spite of the overall dull and plodding pace required to study this chapter, you will find oases of sub topics that are fascinating to the student of God’s word, and will be thrilled as you better understand Biblical events and how they relate to God’s various laws and Laws.
Why does the wages of sin have to be death? Because true Law is a Testament. And a Testament is based on the death of the Testator. Because true death and the word forever go together, a true Law/Testament is permanent/forever. Lesser laws, however, are temporary because they are not based on true death; they are based on decrees and on the pseudo deaths of mortal sacrifices. So God created the First Testament Law when He made His warning to Lucifer, and it went into effect when Lucifer slew the Lamb (Re 13:8). At that point the Law of sin and death became irrevocable. At that point two laws were in effect. The first is what the good angels remained under – the stressful and temporary pseudo law of the scepter of grace. I say pseudo law because it was temporary; it was not (yet) a Testament/Law. And the second law was the First Testament Law dedicated by the death of the Testator, which irrevocably damns anyone under it to death in the lake of fire.
It is important to understand what death is and what it isn’t, because the distinction will help us understand the different types of law. The lake of fire teaches us that true death is everlasting torment – nothing else is real death. Real death requires everlasting life. Mortal “death” on the other hand is not real death, just as mortal “life” is not real life – as we saw in the chapter on The Quick and the Dead. That’s why mortal death is referred to in the Bible as sleep (Dt 31:16; Jb 14:12; Ps 13:3; Da 12:2; Lk 8:52,53; Jn 11:11-14; 1 Co 15:51; 1 Th 4:14); mortals can be resurrected/awakened. But death in the lake of fire is never called sleep because nobody dozes off in the lake of fire and nobody is ever resurrected.
How was it possible for Lucifer to dedicate the First Testament by slaying the Testator/Lamb back at the foundation of the world? Didn’t the Lamb have eternal life, and didn’t mortality first show up later with Adam and Eve? Yes to both points. To understand the first point keep in mind that true death is living in torment forever and read 2 Sa 18:33; 19:1-4; Jn 8:58; Re 5:6. We learn that God, as typified by King David, was deeply grieved by the rebellion and death of His beloved son, Lucifer. (If you understand the irrevocable finality of the First Testament Law that condemns Lucifer to death you’ll understand how our omnipresent God already views Lucifer as dead.) And because God transcends time and space, even the past and future are always part of His present. Therefore, the hurt, pain, and anguish He felt as a result of Lucifer’s murderous enmity and subsequent death sentence will, like the torment of the lake of fire, never fade for Him. You and I can have our hurt and tears wiped away, but God will always be present with the anguish of that awful betrayal. In other words, it is a mistake to view the slaying of the Lamb back in eternity as being like our mortal pseudo death; the death the Lamb suffered was real death – everlasting torment. That’s why Re 5:6 shouldn’t be read as, “stood a Lamb with its throat slashed” (as is sometimes pictured in books); it should be read as, “stood a Lamb with tears on his face in everlasting torment.”
But, you ask, could that tearful kind of real and everlasting death, as opposed to a bloody kind of mortal death, satisfy the Biblical requirement for blood in places like He 9:16,18? Yes, for two reasons:
1. God says history repeats itself (Ec 1:9,10). With that in mind let’s review what happened when the Second Testament was dedicated by the death of the Lamb of God on the cross: Christ was truly immortal God and truly mortal man, which is why He had two different kinds of blood (1 Jn 5:6). This fact was revealed to the world in Jn 19:34. The water in that verse was not stagnant blood that had settled into clear serum and blood like many ignorant people claim (you’d need a much longer period of time or a centrifuge for that), it was God’s blood as mentioned in Ac 20:28. And we know God’s blood is the water blood, not the red blood (D17-1). Now notice that sorrow is linked to death in Mt 26:38, and agony is linked to both sweat (water) and blood in Lk 22:44. This torment/death can only be eternal death if it occurs either a) in the lake of fire or b) in God for Whom all events are always in the present. Therefore when we apply Ec 1:9,10 to all of this we learn that the First Testament, like the Second Testament, was dedicated by the clear blood of the immortal Lamb when, in tormented pain caused by His beloved Lucifer’s betrayal, He shed His water in the form of tears – just like the water He later shed in the garden of Gethsemane and on the cross. In this way both the First Testament and the Second Testament were made everlasting Laws by the death of the Testator and were dedicated with His immortal water/blood…which makes robes clean and white – not red (Re 7:14).
2. Mortal death, even Christ’s, could not produce an everlasting Testament. And mortal blood, even Christ’s, could not dedicate an everlasting Law. Therefore, the immortal water from the Lamb on the cross is what dedicated the Second Testament, and the red mortal blood from the Lamb on the cross is what dedicated the New Testament. (Yes, the New Testament is different from the Second Testament, just like the Old Testament is different from the First Testament.)
Understanding what real death is allows us to realize God didn’t dream up the everlasting torment of the lake of fire; He just duplicated the everlasting pain Lucifer’s sins (and our sins) are putting Him through forever. His love and His mercy are truly great.
Did you ever wonder why some denominations use verses like “Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ…” (Gal 2:16) and “For by grace are ye saved, through faith…Not of works…” (Eph 2:8,9) to show that we are saved by faith alone; and some other denominations use verses like “What doth it profit, my brethren, if a man say he have faith, and have not works? Can faith save him?…faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone…Was not Abraham our father justified by works, when he had offered Isaac his son upon the altar?…Ye see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only…faith without works is dead…” (Jam 2:14-28) to show that we need to be saved by works? Wonder no more. A careful and detailed verse-by-verse treatment of this important doctrine will teach you to notice things you have never been taught to pay attention to before. For example, go back over the above verses and other related verses in the Bible to see that works, which are required of us, are different from works of the law, which are never required of us. This goes along with the fact that the law is a curse that saves no one, and that is why the New Testament carefully explains the difference between works of the law and good works.
If I wanted to get you to believe in some traditional doctrine I’d join an established denomination in order to gain credibility. If I had the money I’d also pay to attend a “Bible” college and try to graduate with a D- or better. I might also try for a D- or better in graduate school so I could be called “doctor.” Then, when I applied for a job as your preacher, I’d preach an impassioned sermon on some big denominational doctrine I knew you already agreed with. In the sermon I’d make believing that doctrine an indication that you’re a good, strong, well-informed Christian – unlike the backslidden apostates in other denominations who don’t believe the doctrine. I’d use some of my best stories, anecdotes, and analogies in order to involve your emotions so you’d feel good and want me to come back and preach again. In that way you’d approve of me as a denominational loyalist, you’d respect me as a “fearless” preacher who’s not afraid to loudly and strongly preach a message you already agreed with, you’d feel safe knowing I was a denominational flunky who was unlikely to toss any curve balls, and you’d be titillated at the prospect of having a preacher who knew how to tickle your ears.
As your preacher I’d make a big deal of Ga 2:16 and Ep 2:8,9 if I wanted you to believe in salvation by faith alone (don’t look them up now; we’ll get to them in a minute). But if I wanted you to believe in salvation by works, I’d harp on Ja 2:14,17,21,24,26. In both cases I’d either ignore the contradicting verses or get you to ignore them with a bag of tricks that includes clichés, ridicule, and misapplication of Scripture such as, “They’re just trying to take away from what Christ did on the cross! But I wanna tell you what, brother, the Bible says ‘It is finished’, I believe it, and that settles it! Amen?!”
The problem is, because people don’t believe and apply everything in the Bible, they never let the presence of verses that apparently contradict their doctrine cause them to search the Scriptures for God’s truth that never contradicts any verses. Both of the above sets of verses are correct. That means both doctrines are incorrect.
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By the way, under the rubric of dispensationalism some Christians today feign a doctrinal difference between Jews and Gentiles (called in the Bible “dissembling”, “dissimulation”, and the “false gospel” of Peter and others, which was covered on D16-2). In other words, they think some “works” verses in the New Testament don’t apply to us New Testament saints – they only apply to Jews. Dispensationalists do this in an effort to explain this Biblical “conflict” between what the New Testament says about faith and works in books like Ephesians, Hebrews, James, Jude, and Revelation – and in order to preserve their belief in justification by faith alone and eternal security. In other words, the false gospel of Peter (dissembling, saying there is a doctrinal difference between Jews and Gentiles) has survived to this day because Christians have failed to grasp the difference between works and works of the law.
If you ever thought the two kingdoms were the same and that they both have the same king, did you ever wonder why the Bible sometimes says something very specific about only one of the kingdoms? For example, the Bible says, “Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the KOH…” (Mt 7:21) only about the KOH – never about the KOG. And it says, “Except a man be born again, he cannot see [or] enter the KOG” (Jn 3:3,5) only about the KOG – never about the KOH. This chapter will help you understand the two kingdoms and the fact that each kingdom has its own different king.
The Kingdom of God (KOG) and the Kingdom of Heaven (KOH) are not the same. (As we discuss this topic you may wish to refer to the illustrations in chapter D4, The Gap.) If the two kingdoms are not the same why does Scripture often say the same things about both the KOG and the KOH? The answer is not a short one but it is straightforward.
In the beginning God was the only King. That meant there was only one kingdom, His kingdom, the KOG. All of His spirit children were part of His kingdom. When Lucifer decided he was equal to God he became another king (Is 14:13,14; Eze 28:2,6). That which he coveted, physical wealth, was all given to him, and he became king of the entire physical creation, called the KOH.
God put humans on earth, which is part of the Devil’s KOH. Christians therefore are part of both the KOG (the new man) and the KOH (the old man). Dogs, who have only the old man, are part of the KOH only and cannot see or enter the KOG.
Because this earth and this universe (the KOH) are leavened with sin, the KOH will always be the Devil’s habitation because this KOH will become the lake of fire (I haven’t put any Scripture together supporting this idea that the lake of fire will be everything inside the great deep, but two references come to mind: Jona 2:2,3; Ps 69:15). That’s why God is now preparing the new heavens and the new earth for us to inherit, which is the new, future Kingdom of Heaven, which is also called Zion (KOH/Z). The KOH/Z is the physical real estate that God promised to Abraham and his descendants (saints) forever; the land of Canaan was just a type of the KOH/Z.
You and I were born in the Devil’s physical KOH. We were then born again into God’s spiritual KOG. If we are judged to be faithful, if we overcome the corrupting influence of this KOH and focus on the KOG, we shall inherit the Promise, the KOH/Z. Always remember: The KOG is spiritual and there are two physical KOHs – the present KOH and the future KOH/Z.
If your preacher does not use the King James Bible you should ask him why he preaches that David killed Goliath and why he has never preached that it was really Elhanan who killed Goliath. If you have access to any Bible version other than the KJV and the New King James Version compare 1 Sam 17:4,51 with 2 Sam 21:19 to see that your preacher has just as much “manuscript authority” to loudly proclaim that Elhanan killed Goliath as he does to talk about David. The ignorance about the Bible version issue is undermining Christianity. Most Christians, in fact, do not believe the inspired word of God – as defined by God in His Book – exists. If it were not for the existence of the inerrant King James Bible there wouldn’t be any Christians on God’s green earth who believe His church still has His word. This chapter will teach you about the “original autographs”, the Hebrew and Greek manuscripts, the Alexandrian text, the Textus Receptus, about translating Bible versions, and it will deal with Bible “errors” in general, “errors” in the KJV, and show you multiple true errors in all of the modern versions. And it will explain why the errors in the modern versions are the result of diligent and laudable efforts of the translation committees. (Yes, that sentence is worded correctly.) You will see that God really has done with His word exactly what He said He’d do.
If you are already knowledgeable you have been carefully analyzing my choice of words in order to evaluate exactly what I mean when I say word of God, Bible, and Scripture. I’ll make it easy for you: The Authorized 1611 King James Bible is without a doubt the word of God. By that I mean God selected every word in it – even the words in italics. The King James Bible is today the inspired-by-God, infallible, inerrant, holy word of God with no contradictions or falsehoods of any kind. No other Bible version or book or manuscript available today is the word of God – they are all corrupt. That includes the New King James Version and the Textus Receptus.
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There is the right way – the Scriptural way – to look for the true word of God, and there are wrong ways (all wrong ways are based on philosophy) to choose a Bible version. First, since without faith it is impossible to please Him (He 11:6), we must start by believing God exists and by believing what He has said about His word. Second, God says we are to know them by their fruits, as in a corrupt tree does not bring forth good fruit. Therefore if we find a Bible version that has no errors or contradictions we may safely discern that the Tree from which that pure fruit came wasn’t the Apostle Paul, or Wescott and Hort, or the King James translators – it was God. And if we find a Bible version that has errors and inconsistencies in it, we may safely discern that that leavened fruit did not come from God, that it came from man, and that it should not be referred to as the word of God, the Bible, or Scripture.
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Many Christians assume, because their preachers often confidently correct the word of God by quoting “the original Greek”, that the original Greek manuscripts exist. They don’t; it’s a myth. The original Greek, Hebrew, and Aramaic/Chaldean manuscripts – also called “the originals”, also called “the original autographs” – do not exist. And neither do any copies of the originals. In fact, for well over the last one thousand five hundred years no preacher, pewster, scholar, archeologist, or Bible translator has ever laid eyes on the originals or direct copies of the originals.
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The Bible version your preacher holds in his hand is the result of the best scholarship money can buy. The ERRORists have spent much time and energy becoming experts on the ERROR manuscripts and the dead languages. They’ve brought all their considerable expertise to bear in the production of their Hebrew Old Testament texts and their Greek New Testament texts. Your preacher isn’t qualified to even touch the hem of the ERRORists’ garments. That’s why he’ll never even dream of publishing his own dead-language text.
The same is true of the Bible translators: They have spent much time and energy becoming experts in their field. They’ve forgotten more about the dead languages and the mechanics of translating them than your preacher ever learned from his assignments in his Dead Languages 101 course – even if he managed to get decent grades when he turned in his homework to his teacher. That’s why no publisher would ever dream of hiring your preacher to translate the next Bible version.
Your preacher went shopping one day and bought a Bible version. The expert translators who put that Bible version together made informed choices about which Hebrew and Greek texts to use. Then they combed through many, many volumes of other works in order to refine both the underlying texts and the actual English words that appear in each verse in the Bible version. Your preacher liked their work enough as a consumer he paid to have it.
But your preacher isn’t smart enough to know how dumb he is. So he thinks his Dead Languages 101 homework assignments made him a better-qualified expert on the dead languages and on translation work than the men who devote their lives to that work. He wants to strut his stuff by correcting the experts. But because he doesn’t really know his rear end from a hole in the ground he needs what I call a layman’s aid.
Many kinds of layman’s aids are published. All of them are designed to give some basic information. Some of the more popular ones are Greek and Hebrew lexicons, concordances, and interlinear Bibles. Some interlinear Bibles compare different Bible versions with each other. Others compare an English version with Greek and Hebrew texts. These may contain notes about which ERROR manuscript fragment was used and about variations in other fragments. Concordances and interlinears tend to be popular among laymen such as preachers and pewsters because they are quick and easy to use.
If your preacher went to Bible school he may have kept one of the books they made him buy. If that is too complicated for him he probably bought an interlinear, a concordance, or some other basic, easy-to-use dictionary.
Here’s what he does. If he gets his sermons from some of the published sermons, they often tell him which words in his Bible version to correct. These corrections are almost always because denominational doctrine doesn’t like certain words in the version. If he prepares his own sermons, he won’t correct his Bible version as often because he doesn’t know what to correct. If he does correct the Bible in sermons of his own making you can often tell because his correction is a stupid, pompous waste of your time. For example, one preacher pointed out that the English word “conscience” is formed by “con” (with) and “science” (knowledge). He then pointed out that the Greek word for conscience is “suneidesis”, which is formed by the Greek “sun” (with) and the Greek “eidesis”(knowledge)! Notice that the church is not edified by that kind of drivel. But they’re not trying to help you; they’re trying to make you think they’re smart. All they accomplish, however, is to prove they are in way over their heads and have no business shepherding a flock.
But it’s when they correct their Bible version (no matter what version it is) by saying, “This is an unfortunate translation; the real Hebrew meaning for this word is…” that they reveal themselves to be unbelievers and fools. Unbelievers because they don’t believe the word of God exists, and fools because they think you’re going to accept them as more qualified in the ERROR manuscripts and in the nuances of translating than the paid professionals! The very fact that your preacher thinks he can spend three and a half minutes in the dictionary section of his concordance and come away knowing more than entire translation committees is the height of folly, and it proves he is incompetent. He does not understand language in general, dead languages in particular, dictionaries, or why the Hebrew and Greek dictionary in the back of his concordance often has a very broad selection of definitions from which to choose. What, does he really think the translators of his Bible version weren’t aware of those other choices? Can he get any more stupid?! Your preacher would be more impressive if he quoted other Bible versions by saying something like, “This ‘young animal’ in our version was translated as ‘baby goat’ in the Global Standard Version. I respect the expertise of both translators but I think ‘baby goat’ fits with the context and with our denominational doctrine better.” If he limits himself to quoting other versions at least he’s quoting the work of experts instead of “correcting” the work of experts.
You can’t take a layman’s aid and Dead Languages 101 and out expert the experts. All you can do is make yourself look like a pompous, bungling, foolish Bible rejecter. But that’s why layman’s aids are published (in addition to making money); they are so you can make up your own Bible version and be your own authority. You don’t have to accept the ERROR manuscripts, the ERRORists, the translators, the Bible versions, or the preachers as authorities; all you have to do is what seems right to you…like everybody else does.
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The above examples were chosen because they represent the kinds of errors that are found in the ERROR manuscripts and in the modern Bible translations that come from them. In a search for the true word of God the examples help us understand some things:
· All modern versions of the Bible are products of the Age of Reason and of democratic societies founded on Reason. They all used the “higher textual criticism” methods that originated with Greek philosophy and were adopted by antiquarians.
· All modern Bible versions are scientific because they were produced with secular humanism and were therefore not influenced by faith, by religion, or by anything else that is outlawed by the scientific method.
· In general, all modern Bible versions are neutral, unbiased, accurate translations of the corruption that leavens the Hebrew and Greek ERROR manuscripts.
· The NKJV is not a faithful representation of the leavened Textus Receptus family of the ERROR manuscripts. Yes, in some places it does reproduce the errors of the Textus Receptus, but in other places it inexplicably abandons the Textus Receptus reading and reproduces the reading that appears in the Authorized Version. Therefore, Bible believers despise it because it contains corruption, and scholars despise it because as a translation it is an inconsistent compromise.
· The Authorized 1611 King James Bible is neither a product of the Age of Reason nor a democratic society. It was produced under one of the last kings on earth whose life and reign were heavily influenced by his faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.
· Every place corruption exists in the ERROR manuscripts the KJV deviates from that leaven and contains truth. There is no manuscript support for the places where the KJV deviates from the Textus Receptus because the wording in the KJV cannot be accounted for in any manuscript on earth and no earthly source has been proven to be its source. It is precisely because the KJV is not the result of the humanistic higher textual criticism demanded by the scientific method, and because it is not a faithful translation of any earthly manuscript that Enlightened Christian scholars disdainfully view the King James Bible as an inferior translation.
· Because of the unquestioned, proven errors in all families of the ERROR manuscripts, and because those same errors exist in all modern Bible translations, there is not a person on earth who has looked into any of this who believes any modern Bible version or old manuscript is the word of God as defined by God. They aren’t all stupid; they are correct.
· The only reason a Bible version controversy exists is because of the AV1611. I say again: If the King James Bible did not exist there would be no Bible version controversy. It is the only manuscript on earth in which scholars have been unable to find provable errors. It is the only manuscript on earth that any of God’s people believe is the true word of God. The King James Bible is unique; there’s nothing on earth like it that is the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
· If the KJV did not exist all of today’s ignorant and/or apostate preachers and pewsters would be correct in saying the true word of God does not exist on earth today.
· Now you know why Bible believers don’t waste their time with Greek and Hebrew lexicons: No dead language tome has any authority over the living word of God. Use of the Greek and Hebrew is a sure sign of ignorance and a possible sign of apostasy.
· The fact that all modern Bible versions, all of the Greek and Hebrew editions of the ERROR manuscripts from which they come, all layman’s aids used to correct the experts, and the fact that all of the references used by the experts are copyrighted has no significance – until you realize the Authorized Version came from God. The text of the King James is neither owned nor controlled by man. Man’s copyright laws protect and preserve the corruption of the other Bible versions, but for the last four hundred years God alone has preserved the purity of the King James Bible because it is His law. The King James is the only one that hasn’t been preserved by man and his copyright laws.
· Anyone who uses a modern version does not fully understand the issue of authority.
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Now, I want to point something out to you preachers who use modern versions. You were taught to say stuff like this to your congregations: “It is not the small percentage of errors and contradictions in the Hebrew and Greek manuscripts that we focus on. We rejoice that God’s providential preservation has kept those errors to a minimum, and we focus on the amazing degree of consistency and agreement among the Hebrew and Greek manuscripts. All of our major fundamental doctrines are supported by the amazing consistency of the old manuscripts.” Don’t ever say stuff like that again, brother, because it is not based on anything the Bible says (!) and actually ignores everything the Bible does say (!) about the word of God and its preservation and purity. You also don’t want your congregation to catch you being a hypocrite. For example, if you ever say David killed Goliath (2 Sa 21:19!), or that a profession of faith is required before baptism (Ac 8:37!), or refer to Christ saying, “He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her” (Jn 8:7!) you are hypocritically promoting doctrines that are not supported by the “amazing consistency and agreement” of the old manuscripts! Didn’t you ever stop to think? Didn’t you ever read the footnotes or notice the missing verses in your version? You did? So you’ve known all along you were teaching doctrines not supported by the “oldest and most reliable manuscripts”! In that case, brother, in spite of your sweet personality, your “family values”, and your wonderfully inspiring and emotional sermons, you are nothing but a whited sepulcher full of lip service. I’m warning you to flee the wrath to come by repenting. Go get yourself the only Bible that supports the teachings mentioned above, study it, learn from it what faith is, believe it, and incorporate it into your life. Only when you’ve done that will you be qualified to shepherd the house of God. Why did I bring up faith? I didn’t – you did when you spouted that claptrap about being able to trust doctrines because the majority of corrupt manuscripts agree on them! Who taught you that agreement among several liars somehow creates reliability? Why would you want to base your faith on known corruption? Your damning and embarrassing inconsistencies are the result of your not having the solid rock of the word of God as your foundation. And your inconsistencies are also proofs that either you haven’t studied enough to be organized and consistent in your Christianity (which would make you too immature to be preaching), or you have been a whited sepulcher without knowing it like Matt Seven. Some earnest soul searching is in order, brother.
This chapter will show you that God gave Adam dominion over the earth. But then Adam lost dominion by sinning. Noah, Abraham, and Moses never had dominion. Only when Joshua led God’s people across the Jordan into the Promised Land did God restore dominion – along with the Ark of the Covenant. When God’s people went bad Jeremiah told them that God wanted them to go into captivity to pagan Nebuchadnezzar and be ruled by him. They refused to believe it and suffered badly for it. When they returned to rebuild the temple after 70 years of captivity, God restored neither their dominion nor the Ark of the Covenant. Infected by Greek philosophy, God’s people began to believe that rebellion against their pagan rulers was right and good. They were wrong. When Christ showed up, His people were all excited because they thought He would restore dominion, overthrow Roman rule, and restore the Kingdom of Israel (Lk 19:11; 24:21; Act 1:6). He repeatedly refused to do so (Jn 6:15; 18:36). They crucified Him and voted to release the freedom-fighting insurrectionist, Barabbas. Modern Christianity has no idea that the doctrine of dominion even exists. For that reason, this chapter carefully and in detail goes through the Bible so you can learn about dominion by hearing the word of God. This is another critical doctrine unknown to the modern church. You must understand this doctrine before you vote in another election.
This chapter covers an important topic, dominion, about which many of you have heard nothing. Dominion is having the right or authority to rule over something. As you learn about dominion you’ll realize why the Lord Jesus Christ in Jn 18:36 boldly declared, “My kingdom is not of this world”, and why He resolutely turned His people down when they tried to involve Him in government and politics (Jn 6:15). But, you may ask, did not the Lord establish His kingdom on earth in Ge 1:26,28 when He gave Adam dominion by saying, “Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion…over all the earth.”? And did not He give His people dominion over the land of Canaan when Joshua crossed the Jordan River? Yes, He did. But as your understanding of this topic becomes more complete you’ll see why He told Pilate His kingdom is not of this world, and why Christ the King doesn’t reestablish His kingdom and dominion on earth until Re 11:15, and what significance that has for Christians today. So, beginning with events on Eden this will be a roughly-chronological history and analysis of dominion.
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Anyway, Christians refused to believe Jeremiah’s message that God wanted them to surrender dominion to Nebuchadnezzar and submit to his pagan Babylonian government, so they mocked Jeremiah, accused him of treason, threw him in prison, and murdered him in their hearts (Je 18:18; 20:1,2; 37:13-15; 38:4,5).
The Bible preachers of the day came up with sermons that seemed godly to their carnal Reason. They told Christians God wanted His people to have peace, that God was on the side of the Christian military against the pagan Babylonian army, and that God would save the nation of Israel. If you lived back then it would be very, very easy to believe the Bible preachers. In fact, when you compare that preaching with the preaching here in the British colonies during the buildup to the American Revolution, it doesn’t look good for us. God expected His people in Israel to know whether they should believe Jeremiah or believe the preachers. In other words, God expected His people to know they should allow themselves to be governed by pagans! That seems like it would have been tough to discern. And yet we know God wouldn’t expect them to do it unless they could discern it. By way of contrast, what Scriptural decision did our American founding fathers have? They had to discern whether or not they should start a rebellion against their own Christian government and start a new government in which every man did that which was right in his own eyes. If you had a choice, would you rather stand before God at Judgment and be guilty of wrongly resisting Nebuchadnezzar, a foreign pagan king who attacked you, or be guilty of wrongly resisting George III, your own Christian king who taxed you? This helps us get a glimpse of the fact that we are worse today than the carnal Christians who went into the Babylonian captivity.
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Now, continuing with this business of God presiding over the dominionless return of His people to Jerusalem, notice pagan Nebuchadnezzar was God’s servant (Je 25:9; 27:6; 43:10). Also note that God was so pleased with Nebuchadnezzar’s faithful service He gave him a reward (Ezek 29:17-20). Did you catch the significance of the reward? It was Egypt – the world! We Christians have no dominion. The unsaved have it. Now notice that King Cyrus of Media-Persia, who defeated Babylon and was also served by Daniel the eunuch (who understood the significance of Ro 13:1-7 and 1 Pe 2:13-20 even if our founding fathers didn’t), was also God’s anointed servant (Is 44:28; 45:1) who had dominion over the same territory (Ezr 1:1,2) Satan has dominion over (Mt 4:8,9; Lk 4:5,6). God had His pagan servants, the kings of the earth, keep dominion over both the land of Israel and the saints when they were allowed to return to the Promised Land. We are strangers and pilgrims sojourning on earth with no dominion.
The Bible teaches Christians it doesn’t matter who our rulers are – pagan, Christian, good, or bad – they are God’s anointed ministers and are to be submitted to and obeyed as if they were God. But shouldn’t bad rulers be resisted in order to make a better world? No; the issue isn’t good or bad, the issue is authority. Yeah, but since the Jews were specifically ordered by God to submit to pagan Nebuchadnezzar, wasn’t Daniel the eunuch going too far by submitting also to pagan King Cyrus? Daniel isn’t considered wise for nothing. He knew God had taken dominion away from His people and given it to the Devil. And he knew God’s people were once again strangers and pilgrims sojourning on the earth. That’s why the real estate and dominion Daniel wanted had nothing to do with anything on this planet (He 11:9,10,13-16). Daniel showed by his example it doesn’t matter who our masters are on earth, we are to serve them faithfully. The fact that God says Cyrus was His servant with God-given dominion shows Daniel was right to submit to any government that came along. (This concept was the basis for the doctrine later known as “the divine right of kings.”) And Christians properly submitted as the years rolled by and conquerors came and went. But not all Christians were as wise or as humble as Daniel, and the carnal mind wouldn’t go away.
Alexander the Great showed up and conquered Media-Persia. When he died, four of his generals divided his empire among them. One of these was the Enlightened Greek general, Ptolemy, who began the Ptolemaic empire, which was centered in Egypt. Another of these Enlightened generals was Seleucus. He started the Seleucid Empire, which was centered in Babylon and included Syria. Judah was caught right in the middle where God could give His people a good lesson on submission to whatever ruler had dominion that week. The Seleucids were more aggressive than were the Ptolemaics in pushing philosophy, and that made the Jews prefer to be under Ptolemaic dominion. Alas, Antiochus IV of the Seleucid Empire gained hegemony over Judah. He hated the Jew’s religion and burned Bibles, prohibited its reading, outlawed the sabbath and circumcision, ended the celebration of feasts, and started Greek centers for the development of the mind and body – called gymnasiums. Greek athletics were popular among the Jews. Unfortunately, when Antiochus outlawed circumcision, Jews who were secretly loyal to the Bible had to drop out of athletics because, as was the custom then, sports were participated in while naked.
There were three types of Christians living in Judah at the time. The first type agreed with Daniel the eunuch: If pagan rules were going to cause you to offend God, you were to respectfully decline to obey the authorities over you and peacefully allow them to burn you alive or throw you to the lions. These Daniel-like Christians were few in number.
The second type was the Jason crowd. Jason was a high priest who believed in “going along and getting along” by embracing the Enlightened ways of the Greeks. There were lots of people in this group, but many were in it only because they didn’t want to suffer affliction with the people of God (He 11:24-28).
The third group consisted of the Maccabee rebels. This group was at first small because most Christians still accepted the Bible doctrine that rebellion against authority is as the sin of witchcraft. But this third group would grow in popularity in direct proportion to the amount of carnal Reason in the church. It is interesting to note the irony in how the Maccabees became champions of a Bible-based society and enemies of an Enlightened society – they became Enlightened. They accepted just enough anti-Bible Reason to “justify” some witchcraft (rebellion) – as long as it was to get rid of pagan government. They began to rebel against their government with acts of theft, sabotage, and murder. All of that appealed to Christians, but it was Xmas that finally convinced most Christians to actually support the Maccabees.
It was the winter of 167 B.C. Antiochus IV entered the Jewish Temple on the sacred pagan holy day of December 25 and dedicated it to the Greek god of the Olympic games, Zeus. (Interestingly enough, that Temple would later be rebuilt and enlarged by King Herod – who was president of the Olympic games.) Anyway, there was no way God’s people were going to allow any Bible-rejecting pagan to associate Xmas with the true God of the Bible. They were galvanized into action.
The leader of the rebellion was a thug named Mattathias Hasmoneas. One day he slugged another Christian who was about to offer a pagan sacrifice, and then he murdered the government official who was presiding over the celebration. Mattathias and his five sons fled to the hills and lived as outlaws. They organized and led a series of hugely popular – and to some degree successful – military uprisings against the ungodly government. These military campaigns became known in history as the Jewish Wars for Independence. The big hero of these wars was Mattathias’ son, Judas. After three years Judas recaptured Jerusalem and rededicated the Temple. God’s joyous people, with no authority from God, invented Hanukkah to celebrate the occasion, and gave this young freedom fighter the nickname, Maccabee, which means the Hammer. Mattathias’ family continued acts of terrorism, theft, murder, sedition, and guerrilla warfare for generations. Eventually the entire family was approvingly called the Maccabees as more and more of God’s people incorporated rebellion into their thinking. They now considered rebellion to be a legitimate alternative whenever it seemed right in their own eyes. However, many Christians only supported the Maccabees and accepted rebellion because they didn’t want to die: The Maccabees and their armies were also fighting a holy war against any of their fellow Jews who were not actively supporting the rebels. Those Jews who were neutral and those who were pro government were murdered. The Daniel-like Christians and the Jason group became distinct minorities.
The Roman Empire was a rising power at this time, and Judas the Maccabee, who read (and ignored) the same 2 Ch 16:1-10 you and I have, sent a delegation to Rome to work out an alliance with the Romans to defeat the Seleucids. This got Rome interested in the region, which it eventually made a part of its empire.
When Judas died in battle, his brother took over and established a (short-lived) treaty with the Seleucids, who rewarded him by appointing him High Priest of Jerusalem. The real priests were mad that they’d been out-maneuvered in a political power play. They said the sons of Mattathias Hasmoneas were not legitimate priests because only the Levite sons of Aaron could be priests. But the Hasmonean boys owned the hearts and minds of the pewsters because the Maccabees were the populist judges who were delivering Israel from pagan oppression. (In fact, Judas the Hammer said God wanted him to be another Gideon.) So these Maccabees became the Hasmonean line of priests and were detested by the Aaronic line of priests. This was the beginning of denominations within Christianity.
The Maccabees brought Samaria (north of Judah) and Idumea (south of Judah) under their control. And they forced the pagan Idumeans (formerly called Edomites) to convert to Judaism. (That’s why King Herod of Christ’s time was one of God’s people.)
Years later when Judah was under the dominion of the Roman Empire, the political fortunes of the Maccabees took a turn for the worse. The Maccabees fell from political favor and Herod was appointed king. Now that Herod was the one smoking cigars with those in Rome instead of the Maccabees, the Maccabees found their old spirit of rebellion against foreign domination rekindling! Herod was no longer considered a fellow believer doing the best he could under difficult circumstances; he was a stinking Edomite who was collaborating with pagan Rome! He was a traitor! Rise up! Rise up! And therefore another wave of “godly piety” swept the synagogues, and rebellion was again a popular subject in sermons. Government property was once again stolen, vandalized, and destroyed. Christians who worked for the government, such as tax collectors, were despised, beaten, and sometimes murdered along with Roman officials. Patriotic fervor was fanned by religious zeal as Enlightened Jews sprang up everywhere in support of the Maccabees. The Hammer was back! At least in the hearts and minds of carnal Christians.
King Herod wasn’t about to shirk his duty. And all of this insurrection made Herod look bad – like a man who couldn’t rule well his own kingdom. But Herod was in fact as capable a ruler as he was decisive and ruthless. The insurgents, though popular with the people, no longer had the military genius and organizational skills of Judas the Hammer, so they were unable to effectively contend with government forces. Herod captured the last of the Maccabees and executed them.
God’s people, however, no longer needed the Maccabees to fan their hatred of their pagan government, they just needed someone who was willing to step up and be their deliverer, their judge. For that reason any thief or murderer who had decent organizational skills and the cunning to direct his efforts mainly at governmental targets had at least some measure of popular support. After all, Judas the Hammer was popular even though he murdered many of his fellow Christians – those who lacked the degree of patriotism he thought necessary. So King Herod constantly had to deal with insurrectionists who were part thug and part populist hero. But one day the patriotic fervor turned to religious zeal/Messianic fever. (In fact, as we shall see, most of the Messianic fervor was due to the fact that most Christians thought the Messiah would be another Hammer who would rebel against pagan rule and restore dominion to Israel.)
It happened unexpectedly, and it happened with a flair that got everybody’s attention.
A large convoy of wealthy Christian foreigners arrived in Jerusalem from the east. These were obviously men of means; they had money, power, and influence. The way they spoke, the way they dressed, the way they handled themselves, all indicated they were to be taken seriously and treated with deferential respect. They weren’t commoners who typically go unnoticed when they drift into town (as was the case a short time later when Joseph took his wife and his small child to Egypt). They said they had spoken with a gentleman (they may actually have said angel) who approached them in their homeland in the east. This angel told them the Christ, the King of the Jews, had been born, and they were to go to Jerusalem, find Him, and pay their respects. “So”, they asked the inhabitants of Jerusalem, “where is our king?” (If we accept that God chose the wise men because they were good Christians, we might surmise they were very disappointed with the kind of Christians they found in Israel. Also, while we’re speculating, could it be that the wise men were descendents of some of Jonah’s disciples; that one of the reasons God sent Jonah to Ninevah (Jona 3:2), which was east of the Tigris and Euphrates and northeast of Jerusalem, was to prepare for the birth of His Son?) All of Jerusalem was buzzing with their arrival and their mission (Mt 2:3), and the men were directed to King Herod, who, intrigued and suspicious, granted them an audience immediately.
Herod was no fool, and he, too, was impressed with the depth and substance of these men. He shrewdly noticed they mentioned nothing about politics and spoke only of their common Bible faith. They said they believed the angel they saw was in fact a real and genuine messenger from their Messiah. They exercised all the proper courtesies required when in the presence of a sovereign – but were not cowed or fawning. Powerful men indeed.
Herod said nothing that would betray his increasing fear that these men might be part of a well-financed international conspiracy of patriotic Christian Maccabites bent on establishing Israel’s independence – and getting rid of him. He said all the right “Christian” things and asked all the right questions. The chief priests had told Herod the Bible said the Messiah would be born in Bethlehem. When he told that to his visitors they replied that the Messiah’s messenger had specifically ordered them to go to Jerusalem. Herod advised them to inquire in Bethlehem and let him know what they found, so the men left.
Meanwhile, patriotic Christians were dusting off their Bibles and again going over all the verses that say the Christ would become Judge of Israel, deliver them from foreign oppression, and reestablish the kingdom. All this activity had Herod and his advisors worried about a large-scale, organized, well-financed uprising. But Herod couldn’t quite bring himself to believe the gentlemen were anything but sincere, innocent Christians – until they failed to return.
When Herod got the news that these men and their convoy left Bethlehem and went straight back to the east, he was furious. How could he have been so blind! They’d played him for a fool! He had them in his grasp and had let them go! Now he knew it was a conspiracy, so he ordered his soldiers to Bethlehem to nip this latest rebellion in the bud.
This chapter shows why Caucasians are not descendants of the lost ten tribes of Israel – in spite of some interesting tidbits from history that might suggest otherwise. It explains why racial purity is a false issue. And it explains why the intentions of Christians of all groups and denominations to use peaceful politics and/or military action to establish Christian governments based on the Bible in the U.S. or in any other country are doctrinally wrong. And it shows that the Bible teaches us that any rebellion on our part – even against evil rulers – is as the sin of witchcraft.
This chapter does not just deal with the lost ten tribes. The topic of the ten tribes is not even the most important subject in this chapter. Witchcraft is. But the ten tribes topic does help to establish the way many Christians today look at things. Until we get back to the Bible our perspective will continue to be carnal. And as we approach the end times we’re going to have to subdue the carnal mind and dump traditional Christian doctrines or we will be casualties, not victors, in the war.
Some Christian groups teach as dogma the theory of the “Lost Ten Tribes of Israel.” The doctrines and practices of these groups often differ greatly because there is nothing definite in the Bible or in history about the lost ten tribes to unify their theories. But because much of the ten tribe stuff is very interesting, and because this is a good context in which to discuss a growing concern of mine, I’ll briefly review the ten tribes theory, the doctrines that have developed from it, and my concerns for the future. Let’s begin.
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Now you know what your New Testament Christian calling is, and it is consistent with not having dominion: Submit and suffer: If your rulers are bad, submit, obey, and suffer. If you do obediently submit and they wrongfully violate your “rights” by throwing you into prison like Joseph and Jeremiah, or by giving you the death penalty like Daniel, Christ, and John the Baptist, submit. This is but another illustration that the issue in the Bible isn’t right and wrong, the issue is submission to authority. That’s why both Ro 13 and 1 Pe 2 say obedient submission to authority is “good” and resistance to authority is “evil.”
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Then ask yourself why your favorite preacher never taught you to avoid the rebellious insolence and brazen willfulness of the horrific sin of clamoring (Ep 4:31). Any English dictionary will show that clamoring includes most forms of democratic dissent, disapproval, protest, picketing, striking, protest marching, etc. The Bible says our earthly Christian walk is supposed to demonstrate that we can submit to and please any hard masters that have authority over us – even the froward ones.
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Now we leave the realm of Bible study and enter the realm of conjecture. Because the Bible says history repeats itself, I fear that just as the church has been its own worst enemy in the past, it will be its own worst enemy in the end times. Remember, the context in which we must consider ourselves is that of having no dominion. Does anything in our past seem to apply today? Very much so.
The Maccabees were rebels and outlaws who became religious and patriotic heroes. They wanted self-rule for God’s people. The government tried to stop them. The rebellion went on for a long time. When Christ showed up, Christians realized they didn’t like His politics and voted for Barabbas. Our lust for self-rule, rebellion, and democracy has done nothing but grow stronger since then. Not only is rebellion justified as “Christian”, but democracy itself is taught as a “Christian” form of government supposedly outlined in the Bible. And Christians now actually think their political and social clamoring is pleasing to God.
What if we don’t repent and God allows His pagan servants in our secular government to do things we really hate. And then all these Christian groups who think we should start following the example of “heroes” like the Maccabees begin to destroy government property. Frustrated Christians rally to their cause. The government, like Herod, cracks down with the military. The government outlaws Christian groups who are in rebellion, and mass arrests are made in an attempt to restore order to society. Eventuality Christians who follow Christ’s example and are properly aloof from political involvement while being obediently submissive, are caught in the middle. They are beaten and killed by Christian patriots (such as the Sons of Liberty and the Maccabees) and are reported to the government as enemies of the state like Christ and Jeremiah were.
In other words, it is possible we’ll bring much tribulation upon ourselves because we don’t know what our New Testament Christian calling is.
According to the last book in the Bible things are going to get pretty weird around the time of the Second Coming. And part of our problem may be our false notions about Christ and His doctrines. What if the true Christ shows up with darker hair, eyes, and skin than is depicted in today’s popular portraits that, to me, look like Buffalo Bill Cody? With His physical lineage He may not be as white as we think – or hope. And on top of that, this particular Christ with His darkish Middle Eastern complexion also has the offensive Middle Eastern belief that women should be shamefaced servants and governments should be patriarchies and monarchies. And to top it all off, while claiming to be Jesus Christ, He begins to condemn today’s Christianity as Satanically corrupted and filled with the doctrines of devils!
We may also have to use some serious Scriptural discernment if some very impressive false Christs come along. Satan has been smart enough to do a pretty good job of fooling us so far, and I see no reason to believe he can’t come up with a false Christ who will very nicely fit our Enlightened expectations and even delightfully exceed them. Supporters of the true Christ will be shockingly few in number if the Bible is correct.
I don’t know what will happen in those days. But it’s going to be bad. It’s going to be very bad because history is going to repeat itself.
Perceptive and informed Christians who have carefully read these chapter summaries may have already discerned what the damnable heresy mentioned in the New Testament is. The rest of you will have no doubt about it when you study this chapter.
When Christ refused Satan’s offer in Mt 4:8-10 for Him to rule the world, He could have said, “Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and Him only shalt thou worship.” But He didn’t. He used both worship and serve in a way and context that let us know worship and serve are synonyms. So, we want to know what Christ knew. We want to know how He’d have been serving and worshipping the Devil if He had agreed to rule all the kingdoms on earth.
First, how would Christ have ruled? He would have been a dictator, He would have ruled well, and He would have established societal, familial, and governmental structures that were in accordance with the Bible. There is no question about that. But what did Christ know that made Him refuse to replace ungodly world government with His Biblical rule? Satan also knew Christ would have established worldwide Scriptural societies. What did Satan know that made him think that would be good for his cause? Why did Satan think Christ’s Biblical rule would help the gates of hell prevail over the church? You don’t think Satan had a good idea, do you? You don’t think Christ blew a good opportunity, do you? Then what has modern Christianity failed to learn from this lesson in the Bible? We have failed to learn about authority.
Had Christ ruled the world all of His good Biblical works would have glorified Satan because they would have been worshipping and serving the Devil. Why? Because of authority. Christ had a choice. Had He accepted authority from Satan, He would have been under Satan’s authority. That means He would have been working for Satan – serving him. Why? Because the head gets all the credit for everything. The captain is responsible for everything in his dominion – because he is the one and only supreme authority. If Christ’s authority to rule had come from Satan, all of Christ’s good works would have glorified Satan. And all the good and bad angels, and all the people on earth would have seen living proof that the world works pretty well when Satan is in charge. The Lord’s prayer would have become Satan’s prayer: “For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory.” All because of authority and the way it works.
This principle also appears in 1 Co 11:3-5. A woman’s head is her husband, the man’s head is Christ, and Christ’s head is God. A perfect chain of command. Now look at what happens when the man does something; it reflects on Christ because Christ is the authority over him. The verses teach, for example, that when a woman does good or bad, it reflects on her husband, which reflects on Christ, which reflects on God. That’s what 1 Co 6:15-17 is all about. Godly authority is structured like a body. The various members of the body have different functions. Some are apostles, some are prophets, teachers, pastors, husbands, wives, and children. We shouldn’t despise each other up and down the chain of authority because we all reflect on God. When King Herod ordered a Christian soldier to Bethlehem to murder babies and children, Herod reflected on his master. Since Herod was a Christian, was his master God? No, because we have two bodies. The old man belongs to the Kingdom of Heaven; the new man belongs to the Kingdom of God. Which master we serve determines whose servants we are. Herod made a carnal decision to kill the babies; he was serving Satan. The Christian soldier, however, who was under Herod’s authority was not supposed to consider right or wrong; his job was to obey. If he followed the Bible, he obeyed Herod and went and slaughtered the babies. That reflected well on God and He was pleased. It also reflected well on Herod, by the way, because Herod was the soldier’s head. But Herod’s carnal decision did not reflect poorly on the soldier, because the soldier wasn’t up Herod’s chain of command.
The saints in Abraham’s bosom were Satan’s wives. Christ had not died yet on the cross to free them from that bondage, which meant legally they were not yet His espoused wives. Therefore, because of authority, everything those wives did during their lives, Scriptural and unscriptural, reflected on Satan, their husband, head, and authority. In that situation when the good saints died they ordinarily would have been condemned to the fires of hell. But because they had no choice or control over the situation and were “victims of circumstances”, when they died God, as King of kings, exercised His prerogative and raised His royal scepter and put them in Abe’s bosom (a city of refuge) until the death of their High Priest on the cross according to Nu 35:25,28. You and I, after the cross, are legally Christ’s espoused wives; therefore our Christian walk does legally demonstrate which husband we prefer. That’s why nobody goes to Abe’s bosom anymore. But because we are all still subject to the arbitrary scepter of grace, even though formal Judgment doesn’t take place until later, when we die we go either to hell or to the Third Heaven – depending on what God does with His scepter.
Let me stress the point about Abe’s bosom. The saint’s were there because they could not go to Heaven and their works could not be applied to Christ as long as they were only Satan’s brides because that put them under his exclusive authority. Had Satan understood all this stuff he would not have made the tactical blunder of crucifying Christ (1 Co 2:8). The closest, so far, that Satan has come to winning the war was at the First Coming. Had he not crucified Christ, there is no way the church could win because legally there would have been no brides of Christ who could legally run the race for Him. If Satan had not crucified Christ he would be the victor today and would no longer be concerned about the lake of fire. That’s why Old Testament prophets were kept in the dark about certain things, why many New Testament doctrines were veiled in the Old Testament, and why Christ was so careful to be obscure with much of what He said: He is a General fighting a war against overwhelming odds. (Those overwhelming odds are why Satan agreed to the rules of war.) Therefore He tried to keep General Satan fooled over thousands of years. That meant only letting His soldiers of the cross know selected unclassified information that wouldn’t reveal His strategy to Satan. This means you and I, as loyal soldiers, need to realize why Christ needs us to live and die by revelation, not Reason. Our marching orders are to die daily. Our New Testament Christian calling is to humbly and obediently submit to all authority over us (1 Pe 2:21).
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Avoiding this damnable heresy by learning to be respectfully submissive to all authorities begins with proper parenting (Pv 22:6). To this end, parents shouldn’t spare the physical rod of correction (Pv 13:24; 19:18; 22:15; 23:13,14; 29:15,17). (In the OT if a child proved to be stubbornly disobedient, his parents were to have him executed as an example to the rest of society (Dt 21:18-21). Because Lucifer, the original disobedient rebel, was sentenced to death in the lake of fire, and because rebellion is witchcraft, and stubbornness is iniquity and idolatry (1 Sa 15:23; Ex 22:18), the penalty for disobedience is death.) Ep 4:31 and Ro 1:29-31 list sins the modern church ignores because they are contrary to the democratic principles of the Age of Reason. You’ll notice these sins offend the Bible doctrine of submissive obedience to authority. Covetousness: To want to have something, such as: 1) To want the possessions or prerogatives of others to be yours. 2) To want your will, way, or opinion to prevail over others. (Covetousness is a foundational sin because all other sins are based on or derived from it. That’s why a synonym for covetousness is, according to Co 3:5, idolatry.) Clamor: To vehemently express dissatisfaction; to argue for change; to complain. Envy: Discontent with another’s position, possessions, prerogatives, or accomplishments; and to want them to be yours. Debate: To argue, dispute, or contend with. Maliciousness and malignity: These both involve forms of aggression or opposition rather than submission. Whisperers and backbiters: Those who secretly complain about, plot against, or slander. Despiteful: Without respect for; contemptuous. Disobedient to parents: The specific inclusion of this sin makes it clear that disobedience by children and the other sins in these verses are not “amusing antics of childhood” as commonly believed today – they are sins against authority that must not be tolerated. Implacable: Stubbornly unyielding, unrelenting. By not teaching about these sins, preachers are defrauding the church.
This scary chapter deals with Ex 15:26 and Jam 5:14 in the most Biblical and comprehensive treatment of this topic I have ever seen or heard about. Gird your loins and be sure to have your Bible when you study this chapter.
Ex 15:26 And said, If thou wilt diligently hearken to the voice of the LORD thy God, and wilt do that which is right in his sight, and wilt give ear to his commandments, and keep all his statutes, I will put none of these diseases upon thee, which I have brought upon the Egyptians: for I am the LORD that healeth thee.
Ja 5:14 Is any sick among you? let him call for the elders of the church; and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord:
When my wife and I were young Christians an elderly missionary and his wife who were staunch King James Bible advocates took us to a nearby church. The church supported him and he wanted us to hear him preach. And, of course, with two new faces showing up, everybody wanted to meet us, find out if we were saved, if we were looking for a good church, etc. We enjoyed speaking with an elderly couple who were members of the church. They knew a lot of Bible and were delighted to find a couple who shared their interest in the Scriptures and who were so full of questions. When the service was over they invited the four of us to their home for some chow.
The elderly church members soon shoved the dishes aside so we could break God’s Bread. The issue we were discussing was Christians going to medical science for their health versus going to the Lord. My wife and I’d never heard anything about it before and were still too naïve to know the “proper” response to scary topics was to get real quiet and act as if they’d just said something embarrassingly offensive, thank them for the chow, and leave. We still thought Christians were supposed to pull out their Bibles and humbly engage in Swordplay in order to help each other more perfectly know God’s will. Anyway, the host couple would read verses like the two at the top of the page, to which the missionary would respond by protesting that the verses did not mean what they said, produce a Greek and Hebrew dictionary for laymen, and read potential meanings for some of the words. Frustrated and embarrassed when it became evident he was going to have to overthrow a number of verses in the Bible, he retreated with red face into a little shell right there at the dinner table and spent the remainder of the discussion silently and futilely flipping back and forth in his layman’s aid seeking comfort and reassurance. He was apparently unable to refute the word of God (as was I when I later studied the doctrine on my own) because he never spoke up again. In addition to learning something about the health issue it was interesting for me to observe his fear, his cowardly behavior, his immaturity, and his lack of an open interest in the things of the Lord – characteristics I thought were the opposite of those that Christians were supposed to have and demonstrate. I will give the missionary credit for one thing: he never resorted to the ungodly use of carnal ridicule and stupid clichés so often used by Christians as last-ditch defenses when losing a serious discussion about doctrine.
The next day the missionary was fielding questions from me about various doctrines when we came to one I had done some studying on and which I knew he and his denomination disagreed with. I’d point out a verse in the Bible and he’d respond by picking one of the definitions in his Hebrew/Greek lexicon that changed the meaning of the verse. So I’d turn to another verse that supported my position. He’d respond by opening a huge commentary by an author approved by his denomination and read a section in which the author by fiat decreed the verse to be incorrect. This pattern went on until it occurred to me to ask him a question about the source of his belief and about the validity of his method of argument: “Brother, why is it that every time I turn to something God says in His Book, you attack it by turning to something man says in some other book?” (That is not something you say to a supposed King Jameser.) He ignored my question, gathered his wife, packed their suitcases and left my house. I never saw him again and he never answered my question. He was apparently offended because he thought I had insulted him. I thought he had attacked the authority, validity, and existence of the word of God and was, by his example, unthinkingly attempting to corrupt a young Christian. His indignation was personal; mine was righteous. I say this only for your edification.
The two verses at the beginning of the chapter sum up God’s health care plan for His people and show His plan has always been the same in both Testaments. You will see that, just as with the rest of God’s words, I take these words literally and seriously. I believe Christians will not get sick unless God wants us to. And when we do get sick – even unto death – we should not run to the doctor for healing while giving lip service to God; we should let God heal or kill us while we ignore the doctor. But before we begin this topic I want to put it into perspective.
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You will likely find this to be the most fearful chapter in this book. It is not the most difficult to understand and it is not the most important issue in this book. But because it is a body blow rather than the head jabs common to the rest of the book, this subject will help reveal to you where your throne is, that is, where you live. We are married to the Lord for better or for worse and, from an Enlightened viewpoint, you are about to learn something about our Husband that makes our marriage take a turn for the worse. You are going to learn that Scriptures that define our calling like 1 Pe 2:19-21; 4:12-19; and 1 Jn 3:16 do not just apply to governmental and religious persecution; they also apply to verses like Job 1:8; 2:3.
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Unless our actions originate on a cerebral level, unless we live and walk with discernment, we cannot please God (Ro 8:7,8) and cannot know the things of God (1 Co 2:12-16). Without discernment we shall die in the lake of fire (Ro 8:6; Mt 16:24-26). That’s why other issues in this book are more important than the issue in this chapter.
But this chapter is important as an indicator of your level of maturity. If you dwell in the cerebral zone of discernment, you’ll be able to handle this topic without uncontrollable fear because this topic does not threaten your spirit life. However, if you have not packed up and moved into the temple of the Holy Ghost and still live in the old man, the flesh, this topic is a threat to the very life God has told you to disregard as unimportant. If you have a problem ruling well your old man household from the conceptual realm of the discerning new man, this chapter will reveal that problem. You will then on a daily basis be able to humbly discuss the applicable Scripture and this topic with the Lord and ask Him to help you work on your level of faith, belief, courage, commitment, strength, and discipline.
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One day as a teenager I disrespectfully wise-assed my mother. My growth had made me physically stronger than she, and that gave me the confidence to resist her will. When I saw her slap coming I easily ducked it; she got nothing but air and looked clumsy as her continuing swing pulled her off balance. As I smugly straightened up, full of pride and satisfaction, my mother recovered her balance along with the realization that I’d crossed the line from the typical youthful inability to control a glib mouth (Ja 3:8-10) to actual rebellion against authority. She pointed her finger and looked up into my face and said, “Young man, you’ve done wrong and you deserve to be disciplined: You stand up and take your punishment like a man!” My pride and satisfaction melted into shame and regret as my love for my mother made me realize the truth of what she said, as well as the fact that I was starting down a road I didn’t want to be on. Too young to realize a spontaneous apology was appropriate, I silently stood at attention while my mother slapped me.
That episode was lost in the busy clutter of life until years later when my heavenly Father brought it to my attention. I realized that starting with that slap, and because my physical capabilities gave me an option, any punishment I received from my mother from that day forward was approved by me. I approved or agreed not because I liked it and not because my mother was always right, but because it was her job to train me up, and my job to submit to her will. My parents and I walked together as I matured because we agreed they had the prerogative to inflict pain on me, and I had the duty to humbly submit to their will. That’s just the way God set things up.
And as sons and daughters of God our relationship with Him works the same way: It is voluntary. The Lord has shouldered the responsibility of a parent; it is His job to train us up in the way we should go, and He is never remiss in His duty because He is a Faithful and Good Shepherd. It is our job to submit to His will. Notice the word Therefore in Dt 8:5,6 teaches us that one of the reasons we are to obey God is fear of His punishment. See also He 12:5-11, which talks about the importance of acknowledging and accepting punishment from God. Accepting His punishment is part of our “subjection” to His authority (v.9). His punishment is for our “profit” (v.10), but only if after submitting ourselves to His punishment we are then “exercised”, motivated, changed, and guided by that chastening (v.11). See also Ps 119:75 and Jn 18:11.
We are God’s witnesses when we obediently submit to His will. If we please Him, Le 26:3-13 will happen. But if we are not obedient, Le 26:14-39 will happen. These show that God uses sickness as punishment. Therefore, when bad things happen to us we need to discern if they are tests, guides, or punishments. If they are punishments we must do Le 26:40,41. If we do not voluntarily “accept the punishment of our iniquity” (Le 26:41b), we’ll be rebelliously ducking our Father’s corrective slap. In other words, we have a choice as to whether we accept God’s punishment or fight against it. Now turn to the sentence in bold print on page H10-11 and apply King James’ statement to this topic. Our Christian calling and duty is to humbly submit to His correction and guidance in order that the flesh might be defeated and the war won. Just as it was Christ’s duty to die, it is our duty to die. We have wrongly ignored the physical dying part of that duty by always discussing the part about dying daily to self. For example, when was the last time your preacher or Bible study group even brought up this topic, let alone taught a lesson on it? Hmm? Fear of physical death is a great unmotivator, making this one of the least-viewed chapters at TheSwordbearer.org. But don’t worry; even the Lord’s disciples were at first afraid to address this topic.
Earlier I said it was not important for us to know all the right answers and that our real responsibility is to learn things from God and then incorporate them into our lives. That requires the maturity necessary to know the Lord, accept His guidance and correction, and put His will into action in our lives. The Bible commands us to be perfect, and I believe those three things – knowing God, accepting His will, and doing His will – are essentially what perfection is. Perfection includes the ability to repent. Repentance requires knowing we have been contrary to God’s will and then humbly conforming to His will. David was perfect (1 Ki 15:3). The fact that he committed quite a few sins just makes him like the rest of us. Being perfect doesn’t mean never sinning. Being perfect from God’s perspective means incorporating and identifying with every verse David wrote in Ps 119. Perfection is more a matter of character, a matter of the heart, a matter of who we are. God is looking for people who love and serve Him in a personal way like David. He is not looking for people like the Pharisees who ignore Him by focusing their attention on keeping the law. David’s old man tried to run from God by sinning, but David’s new man always fought back, regained control, and returned to the Lord. The carnal sides of the Pharisees tried to ignore God by hiding behind His laws, and their new men never loved the Lord enough to miss Him and come out from hiding.
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If you answered one of the last two questions with a yes I have no more problem with that than I would if my son were too young to mow the lawn or drive a car. Christianity is a growth process. It is urgent that we mature because there’s a war going on and we are needed, but our Family has people of all ages and levels of maturity in it and we are here to help each other. If you or loved ones have health problems, this chapter has been very difficult. In that case you might have to deliberately and wisely back away from this topic until you are ready to examine it Scripturally. Just be honest with the Lord and say something like, “Lord, I can’t even begin to deal with this issue from the Scriptures; I instantly get defensive and attack the very idea that we should rely only on You for our health. Yes, Sir, I admit I’m terribly afraid to even take an honest, discerning look at the issue. And even if it turns out that medical science is OK, I still have to admit to You this may be something in life that if You ever did ask me to do, I might not love You enough to do it – and that lack of faith upsets and frightens me more than the medical issue.” In the meantime, spend your time concentrating on other ways you can serve God. The Lord will understand and He will help you grow. Remember, our objective is not losing our dependence on medical science; our objective is growing closer to the Lord and glorifying Him in accordance with His word. We are trying to develop the kind of intimate, trusting relationship with a very real God that we’ll have for all of eternity. So if you aren’t ready for this issue, don’t push it.
This chapter uses encounters with proselytizing Mormons and Jehovah's Witnesses to make some points about effectively using the Bible when in doctrinal discussions with others.
“Now, as to the validity or invalidity of the Mormon religion itself. Your Book of Mormon claims to be another testament of Jesus Christ. You probably have written and made official your own last will and testament. It issues instructions to your family and gives your stuff to them. But even though you’ve already written that testament your family cannot use it to get your stuff because it is not valid until you die to put it into effect. That is straight out of He 9:16,17. Now, I know Jesus Christ died two thousand years ago in order to make valid His New Testament, but when has He died since He gave “another” of His testaments to Joseph Smith in order to make the BOM valid? Doesn’t the Bible make it clear that the resurrected Christ will never die again (Re 1:18)?” At this point his stunned silence was beginning to take on a tinge of defensive resentment. [Note: A Mormon elder answered this point by telling me that, just as Christ was murdered to dedicate the Bible, Joseph Smith was murdered to dedicate the BOM! (Smith was murdered in his jail cell.) I then embarrassed him in front of his companion by pointing out that his own religion says Joseph Smith is not the testator of the BOM – Christ is, which is why the cover says Another Testament of Jesus Christ. “If the BOM is actually Another Testament of Joseph Smith, as you say”, I asked, “what are the other testaments he died to validate? Or did your religion also screw up by putting Another in the title?” He sneered that if he’d known I was going to nit pick his words, he’d have brought a thesaurus! (He meant to say dictionary: Our problem is English!) The dog had returned to his vomit, and I knew the conversation was over.]
“My last point”, I said to my Mormon friend, “concerns the validity of your Mormon priesthood. You have correctly stated that the Levitical, or Aaronic, priesthood was flawed and had to be replaced (He 7). And you have said that your Mormon priests are the priests after the order of Melchisedec. However, the reason the Levitical priesthood was flawed and had to be replaced was because the sons of Aaron were mortal; they were temporary; they died. The value of Melchisedec, priest of the most high God, is that he is immortal, without father, without mother, without descent, having neither beginning of days, nor end of life; but like the Son of God; abideth a priest continually. Therefore, in order to be a Melchisedecian priest, your Mormon priests would have to satisfy those requirements. Are they immortal? Have they no father and mother who birthed them? Have they no beginning of days nor end of life? What makes the Mormon Church think they really are priests after the order of Melchisedec? In fact, haven’t you confused the Levitical and the Melchisedecian priesthoods? There were many Levitical priests. But the Melchisedecian priesthood is always spoken of as singular, never plural (He 7:11,15,17,20,21,23-28). It is done that way because only God has no parent and no beginning of days. Only Jesus Christ is spoken of as our Melchisedec.”
When my Mormon companion had nothing to say about any of this, I pointed out to him that there would be good answers to all of the points I brought up if Mormonism were of God. I urged him to study the issues, to talk with his elders, and come to me for help if he wanted. I also urged him to let me know if he had any success finding valid refutations to my points because I, too, am interested in knowing the truth.
He never contacted me, never invited me to meet his Melchisedecian elders, and he never left Mormonism. That means one of two things: First, he found valid answers but hasn’t enough love for the Lord and for me to share God’s truth with me. Or, second, he is a hypocrite who is content to live in a religious system about which he [now] has serious fundamental doubts. The fact is Mormons simply cannot handle the above truths of the Bible that invalidate their religion, their BOM, and their founding false prophet. That is why all Mormons quickly do what they’ve been taught to do – retreat from the Bible to the sanctuary of the BOM. They will tell you they know the BOM is true because they trust their “feelings” – just like the angel Moroni told them: “…ask God…and if ye shall ask with a sincere heart…he will manifest the truth of it unto you” (Moron 10:4). Notice three things: First, that laughable “test” is the same one all false religions tell their converts to use. Second, it is inconclusive because it can be effectively countered by someone else’s “sincere knowledge.” Third, the “test” is classic Age of Reason carnality because it relies on self-evidence and man being the measure of all things. Only Jesus Christ instructs His followers to reject the inputs of self and use His Book to know the truth. You must not only be able to recognize carnal Reasoning in others, you must also recognize it in you and never let yourself fall for it. All false religions will try to get you to stop using your Sword because it is the one thing they cannot handle. When witnessing you must stay focused on the Bible. If you find they are not interested in the Bible do not cast your pearls before swine. I say again, never allow yourself to be sidetracked into a discussion about the BOM, the NWT, the NAS, your “sincere feelings”, or layman’s aids based on the ERROR manuscripts. If people are interested in looking into the Bible version issue with you in order to see if the KJV really is the inspired word of God, fine, because if they don’t know the word of God exists you will be unable to get them to abandon Reason and by faith submit to the authority of the word of God. All people who reject the existence of the word of God as defined by God are Bible rejecters. Let them alone. Never be tricked by carnal Reason into fighting for the King without His Sword.
This chapter shows you why in Acts 2 the Holy Ghost is present and working; why “tongues” are spoken; that the subject is a miraculous sign; that interpreters are never needed; and that real tongues cannot ever be abused. It also shows why in 1 Cor 14 the Holy Ghost is uninvolved; that only “unknown tongues” are spoken (note the difference from what is spoken in Acts 2); that the subject is edifying the church; that interpreters are present and always needed and required; and that “unknown tongues” can be abused. You will also learn about 1 Cor 14:14, which is the last-ditch verse used by charismatics when all of their other verses to “prove” gibberish is Scriptural have failed when they are confronted by a Bible believer.
1 Co 14:34-38: The whole chapter so far has been dealing exclusively with men because they are the only ones who speak in church. The explanations have been careful, patient, even respectful. But now in a quick five-verse, almost parenthetical change of subject, women are dealt with briefly and decisively. Women are to remain silent in church. Period. And just in case that isn’t clear enough for New Testament Christians we are given a specific example that has been rejected ever since the “roaring twenties” and women’s liberation: If a woman wants to lean over in church and ask her husband something about the Bible, about the sermon, etc., she is not allowed to do so because she is to remain zip lip and ask him later at home! Why? Because it is a shame for any woman to speak in church. It could not possibly be clearer. (“Have you not read?” “Is it not written?” “Why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say?”) This verse should not be used as a proof text that women shouldn’t be preachers because, by ignoring the strict wording of the example, that would allow people to think it is permissible for women to ask their husband a question in church. In other words, it relaxes the obvious meaning of the rule. This is an excellent indicator of the power tradition has to make the word of God of none effect because when you and your wife read this New Testament commandment you will not want to believe, accept, and be governed by what it plainly says. Because you took reading in the first grade you can see that it isn’t confusingly written and has no challenging vocabulary words. It is simple and straightforward: V.34 mentions the rule; v.35a gives a specific example of the rule so nobody will be tempted to think the rule applies only to preaching; v.35b says the reason for the specific example is to prevent the shameful breaking of the rule; and v.37 is nothing short of the Bible emphasizing its authority by pointing its finger in our impudently-willful faces and challenging us – if we claim to be Christians – to humbly acknowledge that these verses are rules from God. V.37 is a quick jerk on the leash to remind us the Master is watching; it is the Drill Sergeant who has been issuing instructions in a neutral tone suddenly and briefly reminding us of His terrible authority by fixing His gaze on us and demanding, “Have you got that, soldier?!” or “Is that clear?!” in order to force our active, vocal, submissive assent in an effort to prevent passive, silent, rebellious rejection. This verse snaps us back to attention and forces us to take the entire chapter seriously. If you’ve ever been in or under authority you recognize all that goes into this verse. In v.38 the sudden sharp tone of the previous verse begins to fade – but not the veiled threat.
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1 Co 14:40 requires an understanding of much of the Bible and is why Bible believers find the gibberish doctrine not only unscriptural, but also offensive to Godly order. Mature Christians have a deep and clear understanding of Biblical principles concerning authority, hierarchy, master/servant, head/body, carnality, fasting, drunkenness, order vs. chaos, submission vs. independence, having power on your head, and the beauty, peace, and harmony that results when total control meets total submission. They actually identify with those concepts and therefore understand that gibberish is absolutely contrary to everything the Bible wants us to become. How is gibberish so contrary to everything Biblical? Because the head does not rule well over its own body. The body is acting independently of the head. Not only does the head not know what is being said, neither does the body have any idea. (Obviously I’m treating gibberish as if the Cretians are under the external control of devils. If they are not under the control of devils the Cretians themselves are in control and do know what they are saying – nothing.) The body has risen to a position of dominance over the now meekly submissive head. The very head that was commanded by God to rule the body is now disgraced, which means God is disgraced (1 Co 11:3). We are told to rule our tongues in order to carefully govern what we say and to ensure that everything we say glorifies God. Gibberishers proudly and foolishly claim to have no control over their mouths and no knowledge of what they say.
The body of a gibberisher has completely usurped the prerogatives of his head. That is robbery, rebellion, trespass, and witchcraft. (Having gotten this far in this book, you should be able to explain why I chose each of those four words.) The man who claims to be involuntarily speaking gibberish is no different from the man who is drunk; he has lost control. The very idea that any Christian would think it was Scriptural when some dopey preacher trying to get him to do gibberish says, “Just go with ‘it’, let yourself go” is an appalling testimony to the terrifying depths of depravity to which the church has sunk. And when a Swordbearer points out to them how dreadfully unscriptural and anti-Scriptural the whole thing is, he then has to suffer through asinine carnality as these Cretians angrily respond with, “Well, I know how I feel when I’m doing it, and it feels good: It feels like I’m loving Jesus!” That’s like a moron who brutally rapes a two-year-old girl and then justifies it by angrily saying, “But how can something that feels so good be bad?” (That comparison is somewhat specious but I’ll allow it to make the point that feelings mean nothing, and I’ll let it underscore how offensive the gibberish cult is to all that the Bible teaches us about discernment vs. carnal Reason.)
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In closing, I have something to say about love. Love and brotherly love are mentioned in 1 Jn 4:7,8 and defined in 1 Jn 5:2,3 and in 1 Jn 3:16. If we spare the rod and don’t rebuke each other we don’t really love each other. But as much as the church needs a lot of spanking today, let’s be careful about using that fact to justify, excuse, or condone hatred.
We are told to love our enemies. And we are told those enemies are fellow Christians (Mt 10:34-39). I have a hard time “feeling” like I love lousy, lazy, lying Christians who are defrauding the church. But while I do not trust or base anything on my feelings, I do analyze them in an effort to discern if I am acting out of selfish pride or Biblical love and compassion. For example, I pray that my anger is a righteous anger motivated by a love of the truth and not by a puffed-up, prideful love of self. I know that even when I am armed with Scriptural truth, if I have not charity I am a tinkling cymbal, I am nothing. I bring this up because I think it is important if the church is to win the war.
Our heart (not our feelings) is crucial to the war: The Lord looks for righteous men to stand in the gap. As Abraham’s questioning of the Lord shows, if He can find even a handful of righteous Christians He will spare the rest. That’s what Christ did for us, for by the righteousness of one the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life. That’s what Moses did (Nu 14:19,20). I’m not trying to diminish the unique importance and necessity of what Christ did, I’m trying to show why the love in 1 Jn 3:16 is so important. If we ever want to be available to stand in the gap for the church we must love the lousy, lazy, lying Christians who are defrauding the church. Without that love we really aren’t trying to help (save) them when we rebuke them – we’re trying to condemn them. Without that love we are not Swordbearers in God’s eyes, we are tinkling cymbals.
I think God accepted Moses’ plea for the church because He saw the love in him required for forgiveness. Moses’ love was not a mere formality; it was genuine. Yes, he got angry at his faithless, lazy, fearful, willful brethren, but his rebukes and his discipline were those of an angry parent whose anger and discipline are made righteous by the underlying motivation of love.
Let us earnestly contend for correct doctrine and let us reemphasize the rod and other forms of church discipline, but let us also humbly ask God to give us love.
Among the topics covered are tithing, collections for the saints, when the New Testament started, usury, debt, and why it is important to apply Biblical principles to these and every other part of our lives. (This is not one of those “God will make you rich if you just send me money” flimflams.)
Keep in mind that the tithe was 10%, it was mandatory, and that it was to support the priests, because we are going to apply that to the New Testament where the tithe no longer exists.
That’s right, there is no such thing as tithing under the New Testament. Verses like Lk 11:42; 18:12; Mt 23:23 did not happen in the New Testament era. Christ lived under the Old Testament in the Old Testament era. That’s why He kept the law. The New Testament did not go into effect and the New Testament era did not start until He died on the cross (He 9:16,17). Nowhere does the Bible say any testament goes into effect when a Great Commission is given, or when anyone is baptized with the Holy Ghost, or receives power from the Holy Ghost, or has cloven tongues like as of fire sit on them. It says the Testament of Jesus Christ, which is called the New Testament because it replaced the Old, went into effect the minute Christ died up on the cross. And there is no tithing anywhere in the Bible after Christ died on the cross.
The tithe is gone. The ten percent rule is gone. But voluntary offerings are still here in the form of “collections.” Notice that the Lord Jesus Christ never praised any Christian for giving 10%, but He did for giving 100% (Mk 12:44). Offerings are voluntary. Offerings are 100%. The Lord wants everything we have. But because He already owns the cattle upon a thousand hills (everything), He doesn’t really want offerings; He wants us (He 10:5; Ro 12:1; 1 Jn 3:16).
The Pharisees were never able to figure the tithe out because of their selfish love of money. Their heart wasn’t in the 10% they gave; it was in the 90% they kept. They incorrectly thought 10% belonged to God and 90% belonged to them. That’s robbery; we own nothing. Everything we have belongs to God and He wants us to give everything we have, even our lives, to the church, to the brethren. That’s why in the New Testament era the tithes and offerings have been replaced by “collections” (1 Co 16:1-3; Ph 4:15,16; 2 Co 8:2,4; 2 Co 9; Ro 15:26; Ac 4:32; 1 Co 9:13/1 Pe 2:5,9). Collections for whom? Collections for the saints! Why for the saints? Because the New Testament priesthood of all believers has replaced the Old Testament Levitical priesthood. All Christians are priests (1 Pe 2:9; Re 1:6). Therefore, the New Testament system in which the collections are for the saints is no different from the Old Testament system of supporting the priesthood with tithes and offerings.
God calls the New Testament system a collection rather than a tithe because He doesn’t want us to get the evil idea that “90% is mine.” Less obvious is why He calls it a collection rather than an offering: It is because nothing is ours to offer; God is collecting what is already His and distributing it to needy saints. It is a Christian welfare program, a redistribution of wealth to help God’s priesthood of believers.
So if your fellow Christian can’t afford a hula-hoop for his kid you don’t have to be a Pharisee by telling him, “Be ye warm and filled, but I’ve already given my tithe.” There is no tithe. If you can help him in some way you will want to do it because love fills you with charity towards the members of your Family. That is the New Testament “tithe” and that’s the way it was supposed to happen in the Old Testament, too.
This chapter makes it clear why the only one of the Ten Commandments not repeated in the New Testament is the Fourth Commandment. It also proves that all examples of God's people keeping the sabbath in the gospels were because they were living under the Old Testament before Christ's death on the cross instituted His New Testament (Heb 9:16-18). And after the cross there are zero examples of Christians keeping the sabbath. What the sabbath was supposed to teach us is explained.
Since Saturday worship is not a New Testament institution like it was in the Old, is it still OK for people to go to church on Saturday? Yes, the New Testament says we can worship God on any day of the week.
But we need to deal with the fact that the sabbath is an everlasting covenant. In doing so I hope to help you see how to live in this New Testament era by learning from the Old Testament and applying it to your life. We can depend on God’s consistency by comparing the two Testaments in order to further our knowledge of His will. Let me show you what I mean with an easy example – circumcision.
Christ’s disciples knew circumcision was an everlasting covenant (Ge 17:10-14). Because of that some sabbath groups today believe the Apostles made a grievous error when they terminated the requirement to circumcise the penis in the New Testament (Ac 15:1-11,23,24). But because these groups cannot come right out and reject that plain but (to them) offensive New Testament teaching that keeping the law and circumcising your penis actually subvert your souls (v.24), they often publicly downplay circumcision while in private hypocritically advising the continuance of the subversive doctrine. They simply cannot understand how the Apostles could end a covenant that God made everlasting while at the same time claiming that God thinks we’ll do well (Ac 15:28) as long as we keep the strange list in Ac 15:29 (which I’ll cover in a minute).
The fact is the Apostles did not frivolously and suddenly do away with penis cutting. They had been taught by Christ how to study and apply the Bible. Therefore they knew circumcising the penis was merely a type of something else. The real circumcision was the circumcision of the heart (Je 4:4; Ac 7:51; Ro 2:28,29; Ga 5:2,3,6; 6:12-15; Co 2:11), just like ripping garments was supposed to be a picture of repentance in the heart (Joe 2:13). The only reason the Lord made His people cut their penises and rip their garments was because they couldn’t cut and rip their hearts. (The Bible makes it clear that our Natural tendency is to hide behind a superficial action like tithing, circumcision, and Saturday church attendance while ignoring the heart.) The Apostles may have figured out the unimportance of penis cutting by thinking: “Hmm, God rebuked us for not having our hearts circumcised even though He told us to circumcise our penises. The fact that we did physically circumcise our penises together with the fact that we cannot physically circumcise our hearts means God is actually interested in some other action on our part. What He really wants from us is submissive obedience. It is therefore OK to eliminate physical circumcision completely.”
But the next logical question about the Apostles is, even though they figured out that penis cutting is a superficial type or picture of submissive obedience, by what authority did they do away with the actual, physical penis cutting that God Almighty established? Shouldn’t they have submissively obeyed the penis cutting established in God’s Old Testament and simply made it clear that physical circumcision is just a symbol of submissive obedience? These questions are very important because the issue in the Bible is authority.
Anything God does has His authority behind it. That’s why, when He made kings masters over their subjects, husbands masters over their wives, parents masters over their children, etc., He expected those under authority to obey their authorities as if the authorities were God. When God made Moses the authority over Christians, He expected those Christians – including Aaron – to obey Moses as if he were God (Ex 4:16). That’s how Moses knew he had the authority to invent rules about divorce, and that’s why God supported Moses. Paul and the other Apostles understood they were like Moses and the prophets who were used by God to write His Old Testament, and therefore knew New Testament Christians were expected by God to obey them as if they were He. That’s how Paul, even though he hadn’t received any specific commandments from God, knew he had God’s permission to invent guidelines (1 Co 7:6). Paul spoke with the authority of God. Therefore, any and all writings of the Apostles that God put in His Bible are God’s writings. That Moses-like authority is why the Apostles rebuked Christians who practiced circumcision and who kept the Old Testament law by saying we gave no such commandment (Ac 15:24)! That’s the same as saying, “God didn’t tell you to do that.”
The reason the Apostles didn’t continue to obey the penis cutting of the Old Testament’s Fourth Commandment is they understood a simple fact that many Christians today don’t seem to be able to grasp: When Christ’s death instituted His New Testament it superseded/replaced/did away with any previous testaments of His. In other words there was no longer a Fourth Commandment to obey! The Apostles had to discern which, if any, of the old Ten Commandments God wanted to be included in His New Book of Rules. It is obvious to the man of faith that God wanted the other nine repeated in the New Testament era because they appear in the New Testament. And the absence of the Fourth Commandment in the New Testament means God did not want it included.
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But why does God consider His Old Testament rules like physical circumcision, indeed, the entire law (Ac 15:24) to be troubling and subversive if they are still practiced today? Subversion means to overthrow, to corrupt, to undermine, to cause the downfall of. Therefore nothing in God’s Old Testament can remain in effect if His New Testament is to be authoritative. If all or some of the Old Testament did remain in effect we could pick and choose things to obey or ignore from both the Old and New Testaments if and whenever we felt like it. In that way we would become the authority, we would make the decisions, we would be the head. But because of the way wills work if our Father writes a will at one point, later changes His mind and writes another, and then dies, it doesn’t matter which will we prefer; we are stuck with the new one! And anything He liked in His first will He had to repeat in His second will or it would become ineffective along with the entire first will. God’s New Testament is now in effect. And it had better be the only one in effect if we are to be saved because the only thing the Old Testament did was curse and condemn. That fact is behind verses like Ac 15:24 and Ga 5:4.
One of the easiest and most popular chapters, this effortlessly shows that Christ was not crucified on “Good Friday” in order to be only a day and a half in the ground. He was crucified on Wednesday. All of your questions are answered.
Most Christians believe the Lord Jesus Christ was crucified on Good Friday and rose from the dead just in time for a sunrise Easter church service. That would mean He was buried during what we’d call Friday night, all day Saturday, and Saturday night, for a blasphemous total of one day and two nights – which means they are all wrong.
My main objective in this chapter is to show you how conclusively the Scriptures establish a Wednesday crucifixion, a sunset burial, and a resurrection at sundown at the end of Saturday. But I’m also going to show you how powerful tradition is and how inept, unbelieving, deceitful, cowardly, and blindly loyal to their denominations Christians can be. This is a perfect topic to use because, ignoring the fact that the Good Friday tradition makes the word of God of none effect (which itself is a high crime), a Wednesday crucifixion doesn’t really affect any denominational doctrines and doesn’t affect anyone’s lifestyle. That means the Wednesday crucifixion is a harmless doctrine. It is easy to understand how some Christians could be reluctant and afraid to accept some of the big doctrines covered in earlier chapters, but this Good Friday business is completely benign. Why then are the denominations so afraid of it? Because it goes against tradition. Tradition means/involves a lot of people. And our natural insecurity, which is intensified when we aren’t experts on the Bible, makes us timidly assume that out of all those people – including some “big names” – there must have been at least some who were experts on the Bible, understood the Good Friday issue, and were correct about it. I hope this chapter will help destroy your faith in tradition and in “all those people” who created it. And then, if you’ve been reluctant to seriously address some of the earlier chapters because they seemed too “different” and because you assumed your church probably correctly understood those issues, I hope you’ll begin to believe what the Bible says: If your church can’t even handle small doctrines like Good Friday, how can it handle big doctrines? And if you can’t handle small doctrines like Good Friday and stand up for the truth about it, what makes you think you’re a Swordbearing Christian warrior armed and prepared for war?
The earlier chapters about sex often cause Christians to have specific – and explicit – questions about sex and sin. This chapter dares to answer them.
Then when is Mt 5:28 a sin? When the unsinful “lust A” of Ja 1:14 becomes the sinful “lust B” of Ja 1:15. Lust A must conceive in order to produce sin. Your temptation, your lust, conceives the instant you agree to give in and do that which it is unlawful to do. Go back to Mt 5:28 and let me show you why the words after her and with her are in the verse. I’m going to use an example to show that, unless you intend to do something unlawful with her, you haven’t lusted after her in your heart.
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So the next time you see a guy lusting and drooling over the gorgeous and tempting pictures in a magazine, relax, it’s OK – it’s not a sin. But if you see him put the food magazine down and break his fast by sneaking something from the refrigerator, he has sinned. In fact, according to Mt 5:28, he sinned in his heart the second his lust conceived when he decided to partake of real food instead of just fantasizing about it via the pictures in the magazine.
This chapter boldly teaches Scriptural definitions of words you have never heard preached about in church. It also shows you how important it is to stick with “thus saith the Lord” when talking about sin and when trying to make English words sinful to say. (Language that mocks tradition is used.)
As an ignorant, unsaved Bible rejecter I learned some things about word usage from the world. These teachings were common knowledge because they were the product of morality. Morality, as you know, has nothing to do with God’s authoritative decrees about sin in the Bible. Morality and ethics actually undermine the authority and prerogative of God by using the general, or majority, consensus of the masses to determine good and evil. In other words, morality and ethics are the result of tradition. For that reason I am neither a moral nor an ethical man. I despise morality and ethics because they are blasphemy, rebellion, and sin that make the word of God of none effect. The fact that morality and ethics flourish in Christianity is a sad testimony to the shocking carnality and ignorance of Christians.
When I got saved I was surprised to learn that God’s people don’t go to their Lord and Savior for guidance and instruction for very much at all. We have already covered many major topics that prove that. In this chapter we are majoring on what many would say is a minor topic, and we are doing so to prove – again – that Christians are so enamored with tradition they are not even correct when it comes to simple doctrines such as cussing, swearing, and taking God’s name in vain. Therefore they still believe and preach the same pagan blasphemy about word usage that I learned from the world as an unsaved ignoramus. Let’s look into what I learned from the world in order to verify that it is the same confusing, contradictory nonsense believed by morality-promoting, tradition-bound Christians.
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It is not a sin to use any words. Certain actions are sinful, such as fornication, but it is never wrong to use the word fornication. In order to make words sinful, preachers needed to redefine words as actions. So they usurped God’s prerogative by inventing sins that have made the word of God of none effect. That is an abomination. So let’s ignore their ignorance-based shock that we have the balls to discuss any topic under the Son, and their unscriptural offense at our willingness to mock their moral traditions by using words from “the gutter”, and let’s see why this issue is in fact not a minor one.
How are we made in the image of God? Or, perish the thought, could the modern church have this doctrine all wrong, too? This chapter shows that we do not know our Bibles well at all. And it shows why the makers of the modern Bible versions that wrongly call God “She” should study this chapter.
The fact is you and I are not made in the image of God. That is merely another tradition believed by millions of Christians who don’t think when they read the words God put in the Bible from which we are to discern true doctrine.
If I said, “I’m going to paint a picture; a large, colorful one.” Or if I said, “His son looks just like he does; tall and freckled”, no one would have any problem connecting the information after the semicolon with the statement before it, especially since it is all said in the same sentence and not spread out – here a little and there a little – among other unrelated info. So if you were asked what the son looks like you’d reply, “He’s tall and freckled.”
OK, it’s pop quiz time for all those who earn their paychecks in “full time Christian service.” The subject matter from which we shall derive our test question comes from these Bible verses:
And the test question is: How did God make man in His own image?
See what I mean? None paid the slightest attention to the info after the semicolon! We can only conclude that either the material was too complex for them to handle, or tradition has blinded them to what God says.
Only Adam was created in the image of God. Eve was not created in God’s image, and neither are you and I.
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The reason none of us today is in the image of God is because, while Adam was “at the beginning” made in the image of God, he was shortly thereafter unmade into two separate people/sexes so he could have an help who was meet for him – because it had been established that none of the animals was a suitable servant-companion. That is why when Adam and Eve – neither of whom was in the image of God – had children, the Bible doesn’t say the children were in the image of God. It says Adam “begat a son in his own likeness, after his image; and called his name Seth” (Ge 5:3).
This chapter was added years after The Age of Reason first came out. It is made up of letters answering actual questions from Christians like you who have studied The Age of Reason and were struggling with the Christian walk. Many topics are covered such as the issue of the immortality of the souls of the unregenerate (a doctrine that is dealt with intermittently throughout the book), how to deal with apostates, the mark of the Beast, problems in the home, how to go through daily life as a Christian, and how the Bible really can be used to determine the course we take through life.
Most Christians do not know the Bible because they don’t want to. All they want to know about Christianity is “the answers.” They want a cheat-sheet, a shortcut, so they can know the answers without really getting to know the subject. That’s why they are so quick to accept what their church tells them [or what they read in this or some other book] without first ensuring that it agrees with the entire Bible. But even if they are given the right answers it does them no good; we must get our beliefs from the Lord. That is why I always stress that you must sit at His feet and be His disciple. You must get to know the Shepherd’s voice – not mine. By learning only canned denominational answers Christians expose themselves as tares – not wheat – because a man’s relationship with the Bible is an exact picture of his relationship with Jesus Christ.
People don’t need the right answers from you and me, Harry; they need to know to Whom they should go for those answers. Through the Bible and only through the Bible do we establish and develop a relationship with the Lord. And only in that way can we grow into the kind of confident walk with Him that He expects.
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Let me say this about praying while I’m thinking about superficiality. I think our phony prayers either reflect our relationship with God or Christians have never been taught how to pray. A prayer is just straight talk with God. One day my wife and I stopped to say hey to some Christians we knew. During the visit a Christian they knew stopped by and wanted us to pray that his hand would heal OK because he’d accidentally shot himself. When he and the other guy prayed, my wife and I silently prayed along, but everyone else was constantly saying stuff like: “Oh yes, Father”, “Yes, Jesus”, “Oh, Jesus”, “Thank you, Jesus” and “Oh, Father.” But during my turn to pray aloud not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse! Because nobody has ever taught me how to pray, and because my method of prayer was different from theirs, I assumed they thought I wasn’t good at praying. To give you an idea of how I prayed, turn to and read aloud Mt 6:9-13 in a normal voice. Now I’ll say the Lord’s prayer the way these people prayed: “Oh Father, we come to you, Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name, Father. Thy kingdom come, oh, Father. Thy will, Father God, be done in earth, as it is in heaven, oh yes, dear Father. And, Father, give us this day, Father, our daily bread, and we’ll thank you for it, Father…etc.” And while they prayed that way, their tone of voice was going up and down like a dingy on the high seas, and the people were constantly saying the above asides. Now, ordinarily I wouldn’t care how people prayed, but they obviously didn’t like my Mt 6:9-13 method of praying. Is there something wrong with doing things the way the Bible teaches us? Why doesn’t my voice dramatically rise and fall like a dingy? Why, when my sister and I wanted the car in high school didn’t we go to our father and pray: “Oh Father, we come to you now, Father, to humbly beseech you, Father, that in your infinite mercy, Father, you might grant and ordain, Father, that we might have the car keys, Father, and we’ll thank you for them, Father – oh yes, Father Dad. We’re decorating the gym, oh Dad – yes, Father – and should be home, dear Father Dad, before lunch, oh Dad. So give us the keys, dear Father, and give us traveling mercies, Father, that we might be safe, oh Dad…etc.” I don’t talk to any real person like that and I don’t talk to my real God like that. And I think that’s the way the Pharisees prayed.
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You should have three real and immediate objectives. When I say immediate I don’t mean they should be accomplished by next month or next year. I mean immediate as in first and foremost objectives: 1) You must learn the Bible. That means stay home and study. It doesn’t mean go out and spar with your preacher and fellow pewsters. 2) You must gradually bring your family under your control. 3) You must educate your family about the Bible.
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Also, if I may submit one more thing for your consideration: Your viewpoint on life should be a strong and positive one. Your Biblical relationship with the Lord should make you humble and obedient enough to be a strong warrior who, as a doer, confronts problems and solves them. Problems include not just things that are obviously unscriptural, but also things that you don’t like – things that make you uneasy. Being strong and in control should be conveyed not just by your actions, but also in your speech. The weak will whine, “I wish I could stop smoking”, but you say, “I stopped smoking because I wanted to.” The weak will whine, “I wish I’d been brave enough to fight Goliath”, but you say, “I fought Goliath in spite of my fear.” The weak will whine, “I wish I’d lived a better Christian life”, but you say, “I am now ready to be offered, and the time of my departure is at hand. I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith: Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day.” The weak will whine, “I wish I had saved more money”, but you say, “I just revamped my savings program because I decided it was best to do so.”
Let others express regrets for their failures. If you and I are warriors, we’ll be men of action – not passive whiners who watch life get ahead of them. Yes, we’ll screw some things up, but we’ll adjust and fix them. Mistakes and sins are inevitable parts of the fight because we are ignorant sinners striving to learn, to grow, and to be perfect. Perfection isn’t looking back at a sinless life; perfection is being a proper servant who is always ready, willing, and able to serve the Lord by doing anything He wants to the utmost of his ability. Perfection is being a doer of the word. A weakling and loser is the whiner who sincerely wished he’d done this or that when the opportunity presented itself.
Learn to be in control of everything. Be in control of your speech as well as yourself, your household, and everything within your jurisdiction in life. Be in command of your areas of responsibility because it’s your duty, it’s your job. Rule and reign with Christ today, tomorrow, and forever. Make mistakes along the way, but always have a perfect record as a doer along the way. We are here to be perfect doers – not sinless. And then if God is happy with our lives as doers, if He sees He can count on us as obedient men of action, He’ll not impute sin to us.
Be like David; when he sinned he didn’t become a whiner and let it defeat him: He continued being a man of action by repenting and making it right. That’s why he never made the same mistake twice. When God’s prophet went to him and said, “You sinned with Bathsheba”, he didn’t whine, “I wish I didn’t have a problem with sex.” He took action by repenting and saying, “It won’t happen again.” And it didn’t; he pressed on with serving God by being a bold doer of the word.
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Because of your military background and the decisiveness you’ve so far demonstrated in your Christian walk, I don’t really worry about your being a doer of the word – with one glaring exception, if I may be permitted to be critical in a way that I hope is iron sharpening iron: Whenever you become aware, beyond any doubt in your military mind, of something the Lord wants you to do, that should become an imperative of the highest priority. Why? Because we’re here to be doers who are led by the Lord. That includes timing. When He reveals to you that something needs to be done, He expects you to do it right away – not whenever you get around to it in your own sweet time. Do not pattern your Christian walk, Harry, after the way you’ve handled baptism. If baptism is any indicator, you are not a doer. Going to Israel confirmed something for me: It’s the doing that matters, not the setting or the mood. There is nothing grand or glamorous about Israel; it’s the deeds that were done there that are glorious. Therefore it matters not if the creeks are cold; if the church you attend is apostate and doesn’t care if or when you get baptized; if you’d like to wait until your entire family is ready to be baptized in a big ceremony; or if you have a golf match scheduled: If God grants you the honor, privilege, and responsibility of knowing His will, do it! Do it now! Procrastination does not glorify Him; it makes Him look like an impotent Potentate with lousy, willful, lazy servants. It makes Him look like He can’t rule well His own household. May I suggest that you get on your knees, confess your sin, and go get baptized as soon as you can – no matter how unglamorous the setting, the timing, or the attendance may be? May I further suggest that you always remember the fact that two years after you knew you were supposed to get baptized you still hadn’t quite found the particular combination of weather, setting, attendance, etc., that you wanted and therefore still haven’t gotten around to it! And use that embarrassing fact as an example to you and to others of how we are not to serve Christ. It is a perfect example of selfish, willful carnality and disrespect for the commanding authority of God Almighty.
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Christianity today is full of “Marthas” who are cumbered about with much serving (Lk 10:38-42). Martha was full of “care” and therefore was concerned about many things. She is a perfect picture of today’s active Christian who is involved in so much. There are many church groups, activities, prayer breakfasts, ministries, charity works, etc., etc. And everybody runs around talking about how God “called” them to do something. I never object when they say that, but I don’t believe it. I think at least 90% of today’s “callings” are of the flesh. Because I was interested and active as a young Christian I had preachers and visiting missionaries work on me from the pulpit. They’d preach their typical soap opera sermons full of emotion in order to get pewsters worked up and then have an altar call for those who “felt God calling them” into “full time Christian service” of one kind or another. I certainly felt the emotion – just like when I watch a movie – but I was careful to wait for God. Don’t get ahead of Him. Wait, I say, on the Lord.
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In general I do not like children today. They have no manners, no respect for their elders, and no discipline. They are sullen and unresponsive. Often when I look into their eyes I’m surprised I don’t see two OFF flags. And when I speak with their parents I usually see what the problem is. However, because even undisciplined, uneducated teens and adults aren’t stupid, they often look around and compare themselves with others of their generation and realize their parents did a lousy job with them. Sadly, in spite of that realization they often don’t have the self-discipline to turn their lives around – and their kids end up just like them. Once when I was in uniform in a public setting I was approached by a man and wife and their small boy. They said their child was interested in pursuing a career like mine and would I please give him some advice. I looked at the little boy and said, “Son, if you obey your parents and keep your grades up you can do anything in life you want.” I was shocked, disgusted, and saddened when the parents laughed, rolled their eyes, and walked away saying, “Obey his parents? Shit! That’ll be the day! Har! Har! Har!”
I believe parents today lack love and a sense of responsibility. And if they protest that they do love their children and do accept their responsibility as parents, then I must conclude they are too selfish and/or too undisciplined to overcome the Natural inclination we all have to be just as lazy as we think we can get away with. Therefore, instead of spanking their children and having to deal with the emotional rebellion that physical correction is likely to produce (especially in these Enlightened times when morons think pain is bad), parents convince themselves it is better for their children if non-physical methods of correction are used. And instead of taking an active part in their children’s education by occasionally checking their child’s homework, reading their reports, and beating the laziness and the willfulness out of them, they later whine, “I don’t understand how she could turn out this way – we took her to the best schools!” And instead of discussing the Sunday sermon when eating supper, asking the children about Sunday school and discussing it with them, having Bible instruction sessions at home, and kneeling down in the living room and praying with their children, parents later whine, “I don’t know why she is such a slutty bitch – we always made sure she went to church!” In general it is an unfortunate fact that churches and educational institutions today will not use corporal punishment on your children. Therefore they eliminate the most important part of training up a child. Because of that it is up to you and your wife to closely monitor what your children are doing, with whom and where they are doing it, how they are progressing, how their attitude is, and spank them when they do not please you.
I am not suggesting you cannot yell at your kids and use other forms of non-physical punishment. But do not fail to make spanking the form of punishment your children expect when they do wrong. And do not let anyone tell you it is wrong to discipline your children when you are mad at them. But do not let your emotions govern your actions: never surrender the sovereignty of your head to your body. You may allow yourself to have emotions, but you should always rule over them.
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Here you reveal that you have a huge problem, Richard: You don’t believe the word of God! You’ve studied it over and over through your many years in gibberish churches, have taught your family what the Bible says about gibberish, believe gibberishers to be dishonest liars about involuntary miraculous utterances, and yet you’ve decided to surround your family and yourself with unholy liars whose numbers and deceitful doctrines cause you to doubt your own faith! You even speak the language of Mars Hill by saying these liars don’t “agree” with your “assessment” of the Scriptures. In other words, you’ve decided to “agree to disagree” with unholy liars who have been causing you and your family to doubt the very faith for which you are supposed to be contending! Is that good leadership? Or are you defrauding yourself and your own family? No wonder you don’t act on the Scriptures – you don’t believe them. You muse about them, find them interesting, find them amazing, but you don’t believe them. You’ve chosen to sit your whole Christian life among people you felt comfortable with – otherwise you wouldn’t have spent so many years among them. Your belly likes them and (you say) your mind doesn’t. Therefore your god is your belly. You have avoided denominations that are more rigid because you prefer to be around lazy, effeminate, wishy-washy liars who won’t require anything of you – they don’t even require you to believe their doctrine! That’s perfect if you just want to feel good and render lip service. The Bible, however, requires us to get involved and fight. It says our enemies are they of our own household. But for some reason over all these years the Lord has never been able to teach your fingers to fight and your hands to make war.
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Once, as a new Christian, three men I’d been witnessing to asked me to be at their place at such a time so I could debate their Catholic priest (whose name, in my mind, was Goliath). I tried not to show it but I was terrified. How could a young layman like me hope to compete with an experienced, formally trained priest? But, I’d already spent too much of my life being concerned with me, and I was determined to be concerned about the Lord from then on – even if it meant being humiliated, tongue-tied, and ass-whipped by a Catholic priest.
What happened you ask? I glorified God. But, Len, did you get your ass kicked by the priest or did you slay Goliath? That doesn’t matter; all that matters is I went and did it – I was a doer. Yeah, Len, but were you commandingly eloquent or were you a dry-mouthed, nervous rookie? That doesn’t matter; God just wants us to be willing to glorify Him. It’s better for you not to know what happened because it emphasizes the fact that we are to serve the Lord and leave the results to Him. We are not here to win; we are here to serve. If we faithfully do that, we shall win – even if it kills us.
You’ve suggested that you may not be very eloquent. You have grown rapidly and well – that is your eloquence.
When God selected Moses to confront Pharaoh, Moses screwed up. He said in effect, “Lord, I don’t think you’ve thought this out properly and therefore haven’t made a good selection by choosing me. My brother, Aaron, is much more eloquent than I, so why don’t you pick him?” Moses should have glorified God by treating Him as if He were the all-knowing God who had His reasons for picking Moses. God does not screw things up. If we just accept and carry out His will the war will go exactly the way He wants it to.
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When you ask what I think the mark of the Beast will be you must understand that nobody can give you a specific answer because nobody knows. But I can try to help you avoid the mark no matter what it turns out to be. I believe there is a lot more to the mark of the Beast than Christians realize. And I believe democracy is intimately involved.
Yes, democracy is just as evil as the Bible reveals it to be. (People who disagree with that have no inner sanctum.) Do not participate in democracy. Do not vote. Be a law-abiding citizen. (It is legal to not like democracy and to not vote.) It is important to stress that point: Do not break the laws of your country, and do not resist your government. Guns, for example, are helpful tools out on a country farm and are great aids for defending your family against intruders. But if the government passed a law that required me to hand in my guns, my inner sanctum would make a decree and I’d promptly turn in my guns. My only objective is to serve and glorify God. I couldn’t care less about the Second Amendment’s guaranteeing me the “right” to keep and bear arms – or about any other philosophy-based worldly concepts.
If the Antichrist comes to power and rules over the United States of the World, do not break his laws or resist him in any way. God wanted Pharaoh, Saul, and Nebuchadnezzar – all types of the Antichrist – to rule over His people. And He wanted His people to submit to their rule. Look at Daniel as an example. He submissively and properly obeyed and served his government (the Antichrist). The eunuch was so obedient, so helpful, and so trusted by his ungodly bosses that they promoted him to high office (Da 6:1-3). In fact, Daniel was such a model employee of the government – no anti-abortion activities, no “Christian right” political activism, no pro-democracy/anti-tyranny planning, no campaign to have the Bible made the law of the land – that his enemies knew their only chance to get Daniel to resist governmental directives was to make a law that required him to go against the God of the Bible (Da 6:5). Daniel chose to humbly submit to the death penalty rather than comply with their entrapping governmental directive. But those men were crude and obvious, and their only objective was to kill Daniel. Satan, however, cannot win by just killing us all; he must deceive us with subtlety. Let me try to help you see how discernment can be crucial to knowing when God wants us to submissively obey ungodly government and when He wants us to humbly submit to the death penalty rather than take the mark of the Beast.
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This is all more difficult for you than it was for me for the simple reason that I grew much more slowly than you are. It took me many years to learn the stuff I put in my book. Over many of those years I didn’t rule my house like I do now. I had to develop both as a servant of Christ and as a ruler at home. Robin also had to grow both as a servant of Christ and as my servant. It took years for us to learn and grow and implement the changes that are now part of our lives, part of who we are. We are clay vessels the Bible has shaped over time.
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Is my book harmful then because it may be too much too soon for immature Christians? No, just like it isn’t harmful for children to sit with their parents in church and hear adult topics preached. Young children know about mowing the lawn, driving cars, and flying jet fighters long before they are old enough to attempt them. That adult knowledge is not harmful to them. Christians who study my book must likewise pace themselves by not doing things until they have grown enough to handle them.
It’s OK to say, “I’m too young to mow the lawn.” And it’s OK to say, “I’m too young to handle that Bible doctrine.” Growth is a good process because it allows us to prepare for the things of tomorrow by taking care of the things of today. Our Christian walk is done one step at a time.
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Maybe I’m just trying to say I care about you and wish the war were somehow easier for me to fight. But war is hell, and I hope that you’ll not only overlook and forgive my aggressiveness, but that you’ll discern if what I say is true and helpful or not. I’m doing the best I can for the Lord and His church, and it’s not easy for me. And, unless I somehow grow rapidly and radically, I’m not likely to soon change. So, if appropriate, please use forgiveness as a means of shouldering the part of my burden I’m not able to carry, and let’s press on together toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.
|Colossians 2:8 Beware lest any man spoil you through
philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men,
after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.
This chapter explains why Christ and the Old Testament saints meant it literally when they called pagans dogs. But by the time of the First Coming many saints had been corrupted by Greek philosophy – so much so that Christ had to rebuke Nicodemus for not already understanding the new birth. In order to help us New Testament saints avoid that same kind of apostasy, Christ put His warning about Greek philosophy in Col 2:8. The early New Testament era Christians from the regions the Apostle Paul taught doctrine (the Paulicians, Bogomils, Cathari, and Albigenses from Berea, Thessalonica, and Philippi) refused to let philosophy leaven their doctrine. But the powerful Roman Catholic Church embraced philosophy and adopted Augustine as its doctrinal guru – and Augustine is famous for “borrowing” Plato’s “proof” that pagans have immortal souls and are therefore not dogs. From 1200 - 1400 A.D. the Vatican sent four Crusades and the Inquisition to exterminate millions of the above philosophy-hating “heretics” who rejected Rome’s Augustinian doctrines. That is why more than a century later, the ex-Catholic Protestant reformers – who didn’t know the Bible any better than they had as Catholic priests – never thought to question the pagan origin of Catholicism’s doctrine of the immortality of all human souls...they simply carried it over into their Protestant denominations because it was “common knowledge.” That is how the doctrine became blindly accepted by the majority of modern Christians - even though they never studied it! All relevant Scripture and all arguments used throughout history on this topic are explained.
This chapter is likely to be the only comprehensive, in-depth Bible study you will ever find about this important subject. In spite of the fact that many beliefs and practices within modern Christianity are influenced by this long-standing tradition, the sad fact is – no matter what church or theological school you attend, and no matter what side of the controversy you are on – you have never had this doctrine adequately and formally covered in sermons, Sunday schools, Bible school curriculums, or home Bible study.
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You will notice I often say “the immortality of pagan souls” instead of the more common “the immortality of souls.” That is because I want you to focus on the crux of the issue. No Christian denies that born-again saints have immortality and therefore live beyond the grave; everybody agrees on that. The controversy is over pagans…have they – through some process other than the new birth – also received immortality so that they, too, live beyond the grave? Nobody, no matter which side of the argument they are on, will object to my being specific by referring to the issue as “the immortality of the souls of the unregenerate” because, by definition, the generic term “immortality of the soul” includes pagans. If we attempt to “prove” pagans have life after death by proving Christians have life after death we are wasting our time because Christian immortality can be explained by being born of the Spirit, but pagan immortality cannot. So, since we all agree that Christians have either 1) immortal souls or 2) mortal souls that gain immortality from the spiritual birth, and since we all agree that animals have mortal souls and do not live beyond the grave, let us open the Bible and see if unregenerate humans have immortal souls (or immortality of any kind) that allows them to live beyond the grave.
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God created humans and beasts out of earth (Ge 1:24,25; 2:7). God gave humans and beasts the breath of life (Ge 2:7; 6:17; 7:15). God made men and beasts living souls that die (Re 8:9; 16:3; Jb 12:10; Ezek 18:4; Ge 2:7; 7:21-23).
So far we see no difference between men and beasts. In fact, God plainly states men have no preeminence above beasts because both of them share the same breath and both die (Ec 3:18-20; Ps 49:12,14,20). In those verses the fact that both men and beasts are mortal is a big deal because until the animals in Ge 3:21 died no living creature had ever seen any other creature die. In order to understand the significance of mortal death as it relates to men and beasts we need to examine the angels.
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We’ve seen how the equality and Reason of Greek philosophy caused God’s people to reject the inspiration and sufficiency of the Scriptures, split into denominations, forget the distinctions between spiritual saints and flesh-only pagans, and variously reject the existence of life after death or to think even pagans can go to heaven. These apostates became the vast majority among God’s people and would remain the majority until Christ’s First Coming. When Christ showed up He was so appalled by their incredible ignorance of the Bible that in addition to repeatedly and pointedly saying things like, “Ye do err not knowing the scriptures... Have ye not read...? Is it not written...?”, He even asked with sarcastic exasperation, “Have ye not read so much as this…?” (Lk 6:3). Let’s examine how Christ’s teachings were in perfect agreement with the beliefs of Abraham’s generations…but so different from the religious beliefs of the Maccabees, the Pharisees, the Sadducees, and many modern Christians.
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The Lord Jesus Christ’s ministry was a tremendous success, in part because He was such an outstanding teacher of the Bible. Many people learned a lot of Bible from Him: There were the two fools on the road to Emmaus (Lk 24:13-35), to whom He opened all the Scriptures and expounded the things concerning Him. There were the eleven Apostles who sat at His feet for years. The Apostle Paul was taught by Him in the wilderness. Nicodemus learned things he should have already known. There were also the Lord’s many disciples, and it was “of them” that He picked twelve to be “apostles” (Lk 6:13). From these many disciples He “appointed other seventy also” (Lk 10:1,17). These 85 men profited greatly by having Christ personally teach them the Bible. As the Lord traveled around the countryside He taught thousands and thousands of people on hillsides, on lakeshores, in synagogues, at public water wells, at stonings, and in their homes. He was always teaching the Bible. Therefore when He returned to heaven He left a huge army of doctrinally-correct Christians who had learned their doctrine directly from Him.
These Christians went on to teach others what Christ taught them. In many cases, these teachings of Christ directly or indirectly affect the issue of soul immortality. For example, Paul taught that Ishmael was a pagan, born only of the flesh; but Isaac was a saint, born of the Spirit of God (Ga 4:22-29)…and Paul expected his New Testament audience to understand that difference when he referred to people as dogs (Ph 3:2). Nicodemus taught that people born only of the flesh cannot see or enter the spiritual realm (heaven and hell), ye must be born again. Others repeated what they’d learned from Christ about how the souls of the people who go to Abraham’s bosom and hell have left their physical first body in the grave and taken their second body of the new birth to the spirit realm inhabited by God’s spirit children (Mt 10:28; Lk 12:4,5). Others repeated Christ’s teaching that the grave is for mortals who have the capability of dying because they are lower than angels (He 2:9), but that God created the everlasting lake of fire for His bad angels (Mt 25:41) because His angels are spirits (He 1:7) and spirits are not able to die (Lk 20:36) in the grave like dogs. The Apostles said Christ taught them that Judas Iscariot was, before the cross, one of those spirit children of God’s who was going to the lake of fire (Jn 6:70), but that Paul was one of God’s spirit children who had been to the spirit realm of the third heaven in his second body (2 Co 12:2-5; Jn 3:3,5). They also passed on the teaching that the Old Testament saints in Abe’s bosom were spirits (1 Pe 3:19) who were birthed by the Father of spirits. These guardians of Biblical Christianity also warned everybody about the leaven of philosophy (Co 2:8). In other words, Christ sent His first-century disciples around the world to teach their brethren the things He had taught them, and He had them record those same teachings in His Bible for us. That is why good Christians get their doctrine from the Bible/Christ – not from the philosophy-based writings of men like Philo, Justin, Origen, and Cyril.
Christ’s teachings were passed on to early New Testament saints, and these teachings are the evidence that the early church as a whole rejected the Greek philosophers’ theory that the souls of dogs had everlasting life. In other words, the early Christians were doctrinally correct because they accepted all of the above that Christ taught them about the difference between born-once pagans and born-again saints.
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The nascent belief that pagans have immortal souls got its first big boost in the 5th century when Augustine published his book, The City of God, which included the world’s first (and only!) “Christian proof” that pagans have immortal souls. Augustine’s philosophy-based book effectively marks the reintroduction of Greek philosophy into Christianity. Because it was disguised in sheep’s clothing it was more effective than the heavy-handed program of Hellenization imposed upon God’s people by the Ptolemaic and Seleucid empires. Those Old Testament attempts to infect God’s people with Reason had caused the well-intentioned Maccabees to rise up in rebellion, but this time there would be no military resistance because the leaven was coming from within the church.
Discerning Bible-based Christians were disappointed when Augustine addressed the immortality of the soul controversy because of what his “proof” ignored. He chose to ignore the fact that the Bible says the unregenerate flesh-only man cannot receive and know spiritual truths, cannot be subject to God’s laws, cannot please Him, and cannot be anything but enmity against Him. Knowledgeable Christians saw that Augustine’s proof only dealt with mankind in general by completely ignoring the Biblical distinctions between saints and the unregenerate. For reasons unknown to scholars he merely restated Plato’s childish “proof” – and then used that as the foundation upon which to conclude that all men are made in the image of God, which is a direct contradiction of what the Scriptures plainly say (covered in chapter D26, In The Image of God Made He Them), and that the souls of all men – including the unregenerate that have been born only of the flesh – are somehow spirit, which gives them everlasting life.
There were men who read Augustine’s book and immediately recognized him as an intellectual fraud, such as Vincent of Lérins. It cannot be determined with certainty whether Vincent and the other discerning Christians were that smart, or if the majority of Christians was that stupid – but it did take 850 years for the majority to realize Augustine was a fraud!
Discerning Christians were unable to stop Augustine’s “proof” from spreading because his book was quickly adopted by the Roman Catholic Church and accepted as doctrinal dogma. The immortality of pagan souls became the justification for the Catholic Church’s high-profile wars to convert pagan nations at sword point…they had to save the poor creatures from spending their “everlasting lives” in hell!
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As the centuries went by, discerning Christians lived quiet lives away from the spotlight of history because, knowing we do not have dominion and understanding the heathen hoards weren’t pouring into hell, they were not interested in building empires by conquering kingdoms and building denominations by recruiting unregenerate dogs. But they were actively involved in helping each other remain strong in doctrine and weak in the flesh, and they never hesitated to share the gospel with strangers and exhort Catholics to study the Scriptures. Precisely who these groups of Christians were and what their exact doctrines were is unknown because history is written by the victors – and the Roman Catholic Church wiped these groups out and then wrote their “history.”
Geographically, these groups, whose origins go back to the first centuries of the New Testament era, settled the contiguous regions along the trade and migration routes from the Caspian Sea, around the Black Sea, and along the Danube River all the way to the Atlantic. The group names that pop up most frequently in history include: 1) The Paulicians. This eastern group of Christians originated in Armenia, which became the world’s first Christian nation (300 A.D.) and included the region of the old Assyrian Empire in the vicinity of the Caucasus Mountains. 2) The Bogomils. This central group was made up of Slavics and Saxons who spread east and west from the region south of the Balkan Mountains from the Adriatic Sea to the Caspian Sea – an area centered around the cities of Berea, Thessalonica, Philippi, and Neapolis (Ac 16:11,12; 17:10-13). 3) The Cathari. This large western group spread all the way across southern Europe from the Adriatic Sea to the Atlantic Ocean. 4) The Albigenses. This group of Christians appears to have been part of, or closely linked with, the Cathari of southern France and northern Italy. The Albigenses got their name from one of their main population centers, the city of Albi, in southern France. The different names may have been nothing more than conveniences of communication for historical and geographical identification – because the different names cannot be used to prove they were doctrinally divided into denominations. For ease of communication I usually refer to them collectively as the Cathari (pages H7-6 and D24-1).
Doctrinally, these groups had a number of things in common and, in fact, may have been homogenous. They completely rejected the spiritual efficacy of the physical sacraments of the Roman Catholic and Greek Orthodox churches (called “sanctifying grace” in the Roman Church). They rejected the New Testament validity of the priesthoods of those two denominations. They rejected the earthly political aspirations of those two churches. And they rejected the hierarchies of the two. The Cathari refused to call physical buildings churches, which caused some people to claim they were anti-church. They embraced Spartan lifestyles and devoted themselves to preaching the Bible, which they claimed to be more authoritative than the doctrinal teachings of the Greek and Roman churches. And they rejected the Roman Catholic doctrine of the immortality of pagan souls. Not surprisingly, the Roman Catholic and Greek Orthodox churches, which excommunicated each other as heretics and non-Christians, hated these Cathari groups because their preaching convinced many Christians to leave the two powerful denominations. Both churches labeled the Cathari heretics, non-Christians, and followers of cults such as the Manichean dualists. Because historians have never found any evidence linking the Cathari with Manichaeism, it is believed medieval Catholic historians linked the two merely because of some dualistic similarities in doctrine – which are not dissimilar to some things within Christianity and Catholicism. I’ll cover some of the elements of Cathari “dualism” shortly, but remember that history contains very few specifics about their doctrines – except for their rejection of the above-mentioned particulars of Roman Catholicism.
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By the early 11th century the Vatican felt so threatened by these large, growing groups of quiet-living, Bible-preaching heretics that it actually responded with the murderous violence of Cain – it launched several full-scale military crusades to wipe out Cathari population centers.
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The rotting corpses of millions of Cathari put Christians who rejected the immortality of unregenerate dogs in a distinct minority, and it made those who accepted the immortality of pagan souls a distinct majority that would remain until the Second Coming. However, during the destruction of the Cathari the Christian majority was embarrassed to find out Augustine’s proof of the immortality of souls was specious. That revelation launched many years of intense theological debate and religious and political maneuvering, which are of great doctrinal and historical interest to those studying this topic. Let’s examine that debate within the context of history.
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When the fourth crusade against the Cathari completed the task of razing their remaining towns and slaughtering the inhabitants, the Vatican commanded the Inquisition to sniff out, torture, and kill any survivors who had gone into hiding. Because dead people cannot discuss doctrine, it looked as if Rome had finally done away with those who questioned the validity of the Catholic tradition that pagan souls are immortal. But then the unexpected happened: A man named Averroes reached out from the grave, discredited the only “Christian proof” of heathen immortality, and put the Vatican into another panicked defense of not only its doctrinal competence, but also its continued status as a social and religious powerhouse.
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Averroes showed that the philosophical arguments of Plato and Augustine were specious when he demonstrated conclusively and undeniably that Augustine’s Plato-based “proof” of the immortality of human souls actually – if you took Reason seriously – made a good case for the opposite conclusion! In doing so, Averroes single-handedly pulled the rug out from under the validity of Plato, the “church fathers”, Augustine, magisterium, and papal infallibility. This was a huge crisis for the Vatican. If it allowed people to think Augustine was wrong about heathen immortality, and if it allowed people to think Christ had been literal when He called pagans dogs, they might question the Vatican’s doctrinal competence, its military conquest of pagan nations in order to save their souls, and its extermination of Cathari “heretics.”
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But now that Augustine’s “proof” was openly criticized as specious, and because most Christians know their church’s doctrines are supposed to be based solely on the firm foundation of Biblical truth, and because of the reality that many of the naïvely-faithful had been shocked to learn that Augustine’s brain-dead “proof” had been the only doctrinal foundation supporting heathen immortality in over 1,300 years of New Testament Christianity, Catholicism realized it had a problem it could no longer ignore. Now that the Augustinian foundation of Roman Catholicism was discredited, scholars could no longer utilize other Catholic traditions – such as sending missionaries out to rescue pagans from hell – as backward “confirmations” of the theory that all souls are immortal. Scholars now had to face the fact that many church traditions over the centuries had been founded upon Augustine’s assumption – and subsequent “proof” – that early heretics like Philo, Justin, Clement, Origen, and Cyril had been correct to teach that God and His saints should not be taken literally in the Bible when they call pagans dogs. Scholars needed humility to admit their error, faith to believe what the Bible literally says, and time to study and grow into doctrinal maturity so they could dismantle centuries of errors built upon errors. It was all just too much for the Vatican to handle; too much had been built upon the foundation of heathen immortality to go back to sola Scriptura. But doctrine wasn’t Rome’s only problem: Long before the writings of Averroes showed up, spiritual matters like doctrine had been overshadowed by temporal political, geopolitical, military, and denominational problems directly related to the Church’s lust for worldly dominion.
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Second, the Vatican began looking for someone with the intellectual ability to salvage the sagging credibility of the never-proven doctrine. It selected the well-known scholar, Dominican bishop, and teacher of philosophy, Albertus Magnus (1200-1280). Albertus was an excellent choice; he was the foremost scholar of his time, and is the only one to be given the title “the Great” (which is what magnus means). But Albertus quickly found out why the immortality of pagan souls had never been proven: there are no examples in the Bible of Egyptians, Philistines, Persians, Babylonians, or any other pagans living beyond the grave; all examples involve God’s people. If Albertus tried to take the examples of God’s people (apples) living beyond the grave and apply them to pagans (oranges), he would expose himself as an intellectual dunce, be stripped of his magnus title, and become Albertus Idiotus.
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Albertus’ frustrating attempts to make it look like he’d proven the traditional Catholic doctrine were all embarrassing failures.
But nobody blamed him and nobody tried to call him Albertus Idiotus; because every scholar who’d ever examined the issue knew it could not be proven by Reason, was not in the Bible, and in fact seemed to contradict a number of places in the Bible. When scholars and theologians saw Albert the Great fail, it merely convinced them that any Christian of lesser intellect who attempted to prove the doctrine was also going to fail – and was going to expose himself as Biblically and intellectually immature. That is why no serious Christian scholar since Albertus Magnus has ever tried to publish a comprehensive Biblical proof that pagans have immortal souls.
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...the Vatican…decided to go ahead and take its third step to establish the credibility of pagan immortality: it assigned its brilliant liberal scholar, Dominican friar, and philosopher, Thomas Aquinas (1225-1274), the task of formally recognizing the doctrinal validity and credibility of Reason as part of Christianity. He was not told to prove the immortality of pagan souls because Albert the Great had already proven it couldn’t be done. Aquinas merely said in passing that the reason man doesn’t want to die is because he can’t – his soul is immortal. And he assured Christians that they could continue trusting the teaching magisterium of the Catholic Church.
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…so they took the fourth step…in 1323 Thomas Aquinas was made an official Roman Catholic saint for his work of integrating Reason and Christianity, and he displaced Augustine as the Church’s foundation. All resistance and scholastic debate stopped, and the acceptance of the never-proven and no-longer-open-for-discussion doctrine of pagan immortality was assured among the ignorant and uncaring masses.
Another factor that influenced the spreading acceptance of the theory that pagans have immortal souls was the leaders of the Protestant Reformation all grew up Roman Catholics who trusted in the validity of the works of a Christian saint, their own Thomas Aquinas, and therefore never questioned the revolutionary changes wrought by the Age of Reason. Not one of the leaders of the Protestant Reformation knew enough Bible to question the never-proven (!) belief that pagan souls have immortality without the spiritual birth. Probably the closest any Reformer ever came to learning the truth was the brilliant John Calvin. He learned enough Bible to realize the new birth is a sovereign parental act of God and has nothing to do with the carnal “free will” of the unregenerate. Had he not been so preoccupied with establishing Christian political dominion on earth he might have had the study time to discern the centuries-old unsolved parable of the difference between the saved and the unsaved. At any rate, nobody has ever been able to Scripturally prove pagans have immortal souls. That is the reason the doctrine has become such an embarrassment to the modern church that nobody seriously preaches and teaches it. I say again, nobody has ever been able to Scripturally prove pagans have immortal souls. And if anyone ever does, he will be more famous among theologians than Plato, Augustine, and Aquinas.
The ex-Catholic priests who started the Protestant Reformation founded a new breed of Enlightened denominations that would believe (until the mid 19th century) Reason was God’s gift to mankind to reveal His Natural Law. These Protestant denominations simply and blindly accepted (until the mid 19th century) the Bible PLUS Reason as the foundation of doctrine, and by the time they found out Reason and Natural Law never existed, they had already revolutionized the social order of Western civilization, including church and civil government, economics, education, and the purpose of warfare (to fight for democracy rather than religion).
The incorporation of Reason into Christianity allowed the theory that pagans have immortal souls to survive without ever being proven. Reason also caused theology to wax…while faith, Biblical literacy, and Biblical literalism waned.
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Therefore Augustine’s theory that pagan humans have immortal hell-bound souls did not come from the Bible. That’s why today’s encyclopedias openly state that the Christian doctrine of the immortality of the soul is not supported by either Testament of the Bible, but came to Christianity from the Greek philosophers. (Go look it up in your encyclopedia. Britannica’s Micropædia has it under “soul”; and in the Macropædia under “Christianity” find the section “Christian thought and doctrine”, and in the subsection “Christian Philosophy” read the part called “History of Christian philosophy.”) The pagan origin of the doctrine is not a mystery. I say again, it is very well known.
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Natural Law and Reason remained the common-knowledge status quo for centuries in Western civilization in general, and in Christianity in particular. But in the early-to-mid 1800s, people, including retired-president Thomas Jefferson, decided to look into the foundations of democracy. These people were shocked when they learned the only foundation and origin of democracy is the specious pagan Reasoning of the philosophers, which, incredibly enough, had also been used as the foundation of the Age of Reason, Western civilization, and the doctrine of the immortality of pagan souls! It was the crumbling credibility of Natural Law that caused Noah Webster to admit in his Dictionary of 1828 that the existence of Natural Law was very much doubted. And it was the reason politicians and lawyers in the 1830s wanted our Natural Law/human-Reason-based legal system to be replaced by one based on the Bible. And it is why no Christian since 1849 has published a doctrinal treatise trying to finally prove pagan souls are immortal. And it was the reason, in the early 1860s, the eleven Protestant denominations in the United States that formed the National Reform Association wanted the U.S. Constitution rewritten to remove the shame of our having a godless government and to make the government of the U.S. based on the Bible. But the National Reform Association failed to convince the majority to base the U.S. government on the Bible because the Christians who actually understood why Reason is bad were outnumbered by the ignorant majority.
Understanding that historical context, let’s go back to the era of the ex-Catholic Protestant reformers who started their own denominations – because that era is when the modern doctrinal theory of “eternal security” was derived from the Natural Law doctrine of pagan immortality.
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There have been no modern attempts to prove pagan immortality. Way back in 400 A.D. Augustine tried to prove it using Reason and Scripture. He failed. Albertus Magnus tried it several times using Reason and Scripture in 1250 A.D. He failed. For the next 600 years nobody – Catholic or Protestant – tried because they realized all of the arguments had already been discredited. When the Protestant Reformation and the Age of Reason got underway, deceitful and ignorant Catholics and Protestants merely reused the same old tired and discredited “proofs” in order to appear doctrinally competent in front of small, gullible audiences. I say again, Albertus Magnus’ failed attempt in about 1250 would be the last formal scholarly attempt to prove pagan immortality…
But let’s set the stage before we get to the only Christian in the last 750 years who dared to step forward and try to become the only man in history to doctrinally prove pagans have everlasting life.
In the first and second decade of the 1800s, research into the origins of the fundamental ideologies of Western civilization exposed Reason and Natural Law as pagan mythology, which started decades of debate over what to do about the fact that our modern democratic society was founded on a lie that originated with and was propagated by pagan Greek philosophy. The debate would rage until the late 1860s when the Protestant National Reform Association’s attempt to Christianize American government met a shocking-but-telling defeat at the hands of the majority. Right in the middle of that period Rev. Luther Lee, a minister of the gospel and a Wesleyan Methodist professor of theology, became the only Christian since Albertus Magnus to publish a formal attempt to prove pagans have immortal souls and can go to hell. That was 1849, and since then…nothing.
Our narrative begins when Rev. Lee started looking for course material to teach a classroom of trusting young preachers the doctrinal underpinnings of one of the most important and far-reaching doctrines in modern Christianity – the immortality of pagan souls. Rev. Lee was a well-respected author in theological circles and had enough confidence in his knowledge of what God “really meant to say” that he never hesitated to “correct” his King James Bible by selecting one of the definitions he considered suitable from his favorite, well-thumbed Greek and Hebrew dictionary. Remember, this was the 1840s, a period when most Christians still thought tinkering with the jots and tittles in God’s Book was blasphemy at best and heresy at worst – which underscores the supreme confidence Rev. Lee had in his theological competence.
Upon deciding to educate young Christians in the fundamentals of their faith, Rev. Lee realized he had no comprehensive doctrinal material available on the immortality of heathen souls, so he began a scholarly search within his own denomination…and found nothing. Well, he’d just have to broaden his research to include the theological schools and libraries of other denominations. Surely they hadn’t been basing their doctrinal “belief” on the same appalling ignorance as he had all these years. (Why is it that we have a tendency to lazily assume other Christians have been the kind of dedicated, motivated, responsible, knowledgeable experts on Bible doctrines that we have never cared enough to become?) His extensive research revealed that absolutely nothing existed in all of Christendom that taught the immortality of the soul! He was shocked to find that the few times the doctrine was even mentioned, it was in passing – as if the writer assumed somebody had already proven it! It had been bad enough that his own denomination had no credible, scholarly, Biblical foundation for its “belief”, but to find that not a single church espousing the doctrine knew its rear end from a hole in the ground was worse, because it was clear evidence that modern Christianity was full of pious, hymn-singing, collection-plate-filling slothful apostates who didn’t even care enough about doctrine to master the biggest and most important issues!
And here is where we give credit to Rev. Lee: In the last 750 years he is the only Christian who has attempted to fill the gap by being the first man in the history of this planet to publish a proof that pagans have immortal souls. He wrote a 63-page treatise in 1849 and published it in 1850 under the title, The Immortality of the Soul. (You may download Rev. Lee’s book in PDF format from the web page for chapter D27 at TheSwordbearer.org.) You can fault Rev. Lee for not believing the inspired, inerrant word of God existed in the mid 1800s; and you can fault him for not looking into this important doctrine until he had to look like he knew what he was talking about in front of his Bible students; and, yes, you will quickly see that he wasn’t informed enough to know what Noah Webster knew back in 1828 – that the Natural Law foundation of both the Age of Reason and the immortality of the soul was a lie. But we have to look around at every other preacher we’ve ever known or read about and realize they never knew enough or cared enough to step up to the plate like Rev. Lee did. He had guts and he had heart…and that’s more than we can say for anybody else who’s ever pounded a pulpit. Rev. Lee tried. And, like Plato, Augustine, and Albertus Magnus before him…he failed.
How do you know he failed even before we take a look at some of his work? Because you’ve never heard of him. If he had succeeded in doing what giants failed to accomplish over the last 2,500 years, he would have become more famous than Plato, Augustine, and Thomas Aquinas. Go look Rev. Luther Lee up in the encyclopedia to see what I mean…
He’s not there. He failed.
I’m sure you will find the following excerpts from the Preface to Rev. Lee’s work as interesting as I did. (I’ve cleaned up some of his language to make it more intelligible to modern readers):
This subject…is vastly important. Whether we have a spiritual nature, or no spiritual nature…and whether sinners who reject the gospel are to cease to exist, cease to know, think, and feel when they die, or if they exist and think and feel forever in hell, are matters of too great importance to be passed by without receiving the most profound consideration. In this little volume will be found these momentous questions, and all the important facts and arguments bearing upon them. It is believed that a lesson bearing directly on the soul’s immortality cannot be found elsewhere. When the author’s attention was called to the subject, he expected to find it treated in some other volume, but he searched in vain. Fragments of the subject he could find, scattered through various works, treating in the main on other subjects, a fragment here, and a fragment there; an incidental allusion to the subject in this volume, and a single direct argument in that, but in no one volume could he find the subject fully and clearly discussed. To supply this deficiency the present volume has been written, and is now presented to the Christian Public.
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I’ll cover his Biblical arguments shortly because they are the same arguments everybody makes. But some of his Reason-based proofs are interesting because they provide a rare glimpse at how much Christians back then when Natural Law was still “Christian” openly and publicly depended on the tenets of Greek philosophy – and therefore rejected the Bible verses that say God gave animals mortal souls with the breath of life, which made mortal men and beasts no different because both die.
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We learn that Rev. Lee didn’t even know THE BASICS because he didn’t know animals have souls. And you saw that he still believed in the ancient pagan Greek philosophers’ theory that God gave all men Reason so they could tap into His Natural Law and know His eternal truths without having to study the Bible.
You may be wondering why Rev. Lee could not simply acknowledge the Biblical fact that God gave animals souls like He did humans. This gets back to some of the problems that came up in the Dark Ages when Averroes exposed Augustine’s “proof” as invalid. You have to be able to think like those who try to use the Bible to prove pagan souls are immortal and go to hell. How do they do it? They do it this way:
1. They quote Bible examples of God’s people having immortal souls that live beyond mortal death…
2. …and then they use those souls of God’s people to “prove” pagans also have immortal souls because God gave pagans souls, too!
Did you catch it? If Rev. Lee admitted that God gave animals souls like the Bible says He did, it would expose the traditional – and only – “Biblical proof” that pagans have immortal souls as specious! For example, let’s reuse the above traditional “proof” – only let’s apply it to animals:
1. They quote Bible examples of God’s people having immortal souls that live beyond mortal death…
2. …and then they use those souls of God’s people to “prove” animals also have immortal souls because God gave animals souls, too!
That is why Albertus Magnus wisely decided not to use sola Scriptura to prove the immortality of souls; if he used Biblical examples – all of which involve God’s people – to conclude pagan souls are immortal, he’d also have to conclude animal souls are immortal because the Bible says animals also have souls and the breath of life! That is why I said on page H7-8 that Albertus was in quite a pickle.
And that is why, when Thomas Aquinas looked into the issue, he decided to keep his intelligent mouth shut.
And that is why Rev. Lee could not admit animals have souls – he had just finished using 36 pages of Biblical examples to prove God’s people have immortal souls – therefore pagans do, too, because they also have God-given souls. I say again, the reason Rev. Lee and Albertus Magnus and all other serious-minded Bible scholars have never been able to prove heathen and/or animal immortality is there are no Biblical examples of the souls of animals or pagans living beyond the grave, and the fact that the souls of God’s people live beyond the grave cannot be used to prove the souls of animals and pagans do, too. The reason there are no examples of animals or pagans going to heaven or hell in the Bible is because they don’t, indeed, they can’t!
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because of the truth, the authority,
and the necessity of the Bible.