Posts Tagged ‘Atheism’

image_pdfimage_print

Having Learned Nothing…

Sunday, May 15th, 2011

Today, (or yesterday, actually) The Guardian in England ran a story about an interview with Stephen Hawking,  the 69 year-old British physicist who makes it quite plain that he does not believe in any sort of afterlife:

A belief that heaven or an afterlife awaits us is a “fairy story” for people afraid of death, Stephen Hawking has said.

In a dismissal that underlines his firm rejection of religious comforts, Britain’s most eminent scientist said there was nothing beyond the moment when the brain flickers for the final time.

Hawking, who was diagnosed with motor neurone disease at the age of 21, shares his thoughts on death, human purpose and our chance existence in an exclusive interview with the Guardian today.

The incurable illness was expected to kill Hawking within a few years of its symptoms arising, an outlook that turned the young scientist to Wagner, but ultimately led him to enjoy life more, he has said, despite the cloud hanging over his future.

“I have lived with the prospect of an early death for the last 49 years. I’m not afraid of death, but I’m in no hurry to die. I have so much I want to do first,” he said.

“I regard the brain as a computer which will stop working when its components fail. There is no heaven or afterlife for broken down computers; that is a fairy story for people afraid of the dark,” he added.1

Now, that may be all well and good, except that Mr. Hawking has absolutely no proof that there isn’t an afterlife. Mr. Hawking hasn’t been out of this life at all – not even for a second. Hence, he isn’t qualified to categorically state anything about the existence or non-existence of life after death.

Actually, there is only one Person who is truly qualified to speak authoritatively on the existence of an afterlife and what it consists of: Jesus Christ of Nazareth.

Stephen Hawking cannot tell us where he came from, or where he is going. Yet, the Lord Jesus stated plainly:

Jesus answered and said unto them, Though I bear record of myself, yet my record is true: for I know whence I came, and whither I go; but ye cannot tell whence I come, and whither I go. (John 8:14)

And again:

Then said Jesus again unto them, I go my way, and ye shall seek me, and shall die in your sins: whither I go, ye cannot come. Then said the Jews, Will he kill himself? because he saith, Whither I go, ye cannot come. And he said unto them, Ye are from beneath; I am from above: ye are of this world; I am not of this world. I said therefore unto you, that ye shall die in your sins: for if ye believe not that I am he, ye shall die in your sins. Then said they unto him, Who art thou? And Jesus saith unto them, Even the same that I said unto you from the beginning. (John 8:21-25)

Even if Mr. Hawking doesn’t want to believe the Bible, how does he propose to explain away the near death experiences of a multitude of individuals? Though their near death experiences are not authoritative concerning what the “afterlife” truly consists of, their experiences are sufficient to establish that some sort of life exists after this one. Instead, Mr. Hawking has become so smart, he is willingly blind to any evidence contrary his narrow point of view. In short, Mr. Hawking is blinded by pride and arrogance.

However, attitudes like Mr. Hawking’s are nothing new. Which is why the Scripture states:

For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God. For it is written, I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and will bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent. Where is the wise? where is the scribe? where is the disputer of this world? hath not God made foolish the wisdom of this world? For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe. (I Corinthians 1:18-21)

Nonetheless, I am certain Mr. Hawking would reject any suggestion that he might be wrong. One would think that having spent 69 years on this earth, Stephen Hawking would have learned to not discount any possibility when he has no conclusive evidence one way or the other.

Which is why Mr. Hawking is headed for Hell…

The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God. They are corrupt, they have done abominable works, there is none that doeth good. The LORD looked down from heaven upon the children of men, to see if there were any that did understand, and seek God. They are all gone aside, they are all together become filthy: there is none that doeth good, no, not one. (Psalm 14:1-3)

  1. Stephen Hawking: ‘There is no heaven; it’s a fairy story’, The Guardian, 5/15/2011
Share

Who was Joseph’s Father?

Saturday, March 12th, 2011

Copyright 2005. Revised 2008. All scripture is Authorized King James Version, 1769 edition. This article may be copied and used without permission of the author, provided it is copied and used in its entirety. Underlining is used in Scripture passages for emphasis.

In the Freethinker’s “non-tract” (No. 5) the atheists claim that the following is a contradiction in the Bible:

Who was Joseph’s Father?
Matthew 1:16
And Jacob begat Joseph the husband of Mary, of whom was born Jesus, who is called Christ.
Luke 3:23
And Jesus himself began to be about thirty years of age, being (as was supposed) the son of Joseph, which was the son of Heli,

The following are the full texts of the passages supposedly in contradiction.

Matthew 1:1-16
The book of the generation of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham. Abraham begat Isaac; and Isaac begat Jacob; and Jacob begat Judas and his brethren; And Judas begat Phares and Zara of Thamar; and Phares begat Esrom; and Esrom begat Aram; And Aram begat Aminadab; and Aminadab begat Naasson; and Naasson begat Salmon; And Salmon begat Booz of Rachab; and Booz begat Obed of Ruth; and Obed begat Jesse; And Jesse begat David the king; and David the king begat Solomon of her that had been the wife of Urias; And Solomon begat Roboam; and Roboam begat Abia; and Abia begat Asa; And Asa begat Josaphat; and Josaphat begat Joram; and Joram begat Ozias; And Ozias begat Joatham; and Joatham begat Achaz; and Achaz begat Ezekias; And Ezekias begat Manasses; and Manasses begat Amon; and Amon begat Josias; And Josias begat Jechonias and his brethren, about the time they were carried away to Babylon: And after they were brought to Babylon, Jechonias begat Salathiel; and Salathiel begat Zorobabel; And Zorobabel begat Abiud; and Abiud begat Eliakim; and Eliakim begat Azor; And Azor begat Sadoc; and Sadoc begat Achim; and Achim begat Eliud; And Eliud begat Eleazar; and Eleazar begat Matthan; and Matthan begat Jacob; And Jacob begat Joseph the husband of Mary, of whom was born Jesus, who is called Christ.
Luke 3:23-38
And Jesus himself began to be about thirty years of age, being (as was supposed) the son of Joseph, which was the son of Heli, Which was the son of Matthat, which was the son of Levi, which was the son of Melchi, which was the son of Janna, which was the son of Joseph, Which was the son of Mattathias, which was the son of Amos, which was the son of Naum, which was the son of Esli, which was the son of Nagge, Which was the son of Maath, which was the son of Mattathias, which was the son of Semei, which was the son of Joseph, which was the son of Juda, Which was the son of Joanna, which was the son of Rhesa, which was the son of Zorobabel, which was the son of Salathiel, which was the son of Neri, Which was the son of Melchi, which was the son of Addi, which was the son of Cosam, which was the son of Elmodam, which was the son of Er, Which was the son of Jose, which was the son of Eliezer, which was the son of Jorim, which was the son of Matthat, which was the son of Levi, Which was the son of Simeon, which was the son of Juda, which was the son of Joseph, which was the son of Jonan, which was the son of Eliakim, Which was the son of Melea, which was the son of Menan, which was the son of Mattatha, which was the son of Nathan, which was the son of David, Which was the son of Jesse, which was the son of Obed, which was the son of Booz, which was the son of Salmon, which was the son of Naasson, Which was the son of Aminadab, which was the son of Aram, which was the son of Esrom, which was the son of Phares, which was the son of Juda, Which was the son of Jacob, which was the son of Isaac, which was the son of Abraham, which was the son of Thara, which was the son of Nachor, Which was the son of Saruch, which was the son of Ragau, which was the son of Phalec, which was the son of Heber, which was the son of Sala, Which was the son of Cainan, which was the son of Arphaxad, which was the son of Sem, which was the son of Noe, which was the son of Lamech, Which was the son of Mathusala, which was the son of Enoch, which was the son of Jared, which was the son of Maleleel, which was the son of Cainan, Which was the son of Enos, which was the son of Seth, which was the son of Adam, which was the son of God.

Now, I don’t normally consult commentaries as they are usually in error when it comes to doctrine. However, though this could be an issue of doctrine, it is also an issue of Jewish custom. Thus, all that is required to be correct is that one be able to actually research and read the documents one will find regarding Jewish genealogies and how they are reckoned.

With reference to Matthew 1:16, Matthew Henry1 makes the following commentary and observation:

10. The line is brought down, not to Mary the mother of our Lord, but to Joseph the husband of Mary (v. 16); for the Jews always reckoned their genealogies by the males: yet Mary was of the same tribe and family with Joseph, so that, both by his mother and by his supposed father, he was of the house of David; yet his interest in that dignity is derived by Joseph, to whom really according to the flesh he had no relation, to show that the kingdom of the Messiah is not founded in a natural descent from David.2

With reference to Luke 3:23, again Matthew Henry is consulted:

2. His pedigree, v. 23, etc. Matthew had given us somewhat of this. He goes no higher than Abraham, but Luke brings it as high as Adam. Matthew designed to show that Christ was the son of Abraham, in whom all the families of the earth are blessed, and that he was heir to the throne of David; and therefore he begins with Abraham, and brings the genealogy down to Jacob, who was the father of Joseph, and heir-male of the house of David: but Luke, designing to show that Christ was the seed of the woman, that should break the serpent’s head, traces his pedigree upward as high as Adam, and begins it with Ei, or Heli, who was the father, not of Joseph, but of the virgin Mary. And some suggest that the supply which our translators all along insert here is not right, and that it should not be read which, that is, which Joseph was the son of Heli, but which Jesus; he was the son of Joseph, of Eli, of Matthat, etc., and he, that is, Jesus, was the son of Seth, of Adam, of God, v. 38. The difference between the two evangelists in the genealogy of Christ has been a stumbling-block to infidels that cavil at the word, but such a one as has been removed by the labours of learned men, both in the early ages of the church and in latter times, to which we refer ourselves. Matthew draws the pedigree from Solomon, whose natural line ending in Jechonias, the legal right was transferred to Salathiel, who was of the house of Nathan, another son of David, which line Luke here pursues, and so leaves out all the kings of Judah. It is well for us that our salvation doth not depend upon our being able to solve all these difficulties, nor is the divine authority of the gospels at all weakened by them; for the evangelists are not supposed to write these genealogies either of their own knowledge or by divine inspiration, but to have copied them out of the authentic records of the genealogies among the Jews, the heralds’ books, which therefore they were obliged to follow; and in them they found the pedigree of Jacob, the father of Joseph, to be as it is set down in Matthew; and the pedigree of Heli, the father of Mary, to be as it is set down here in Luke.3

Even the Jews themselves confirm the fact that their genealogies were/are traced through the father.

SURNAME ADOPTION:
Most Jews did not have fixed hereditary surnames until the early 19th century. Before that, people were known only by their first name and a patronymic, i.e. their father’s given name, e.g. “Yaacov ben Shmuel”, meaning “Yaacov the son of Shmuel”.

Jews were required to take surnames at various times: Austrian Empire (1787), Russian Pale (1804, not enforced until 1835/1845), Russian Poland (1821), West Galicia (1805), France (1808), various German states: Frankfurt (1807), Baden (1809), Westphalia (1812), Prussia (1812), Bavaria (1813), Wuerttemberg (1828), Posen (1833), Saxony (1834).4

The following is extracted from Beth Chai a Jewish newsletter. In it a rabbi explains the reckoning of Jewish genealogy and the differences between modern reckoning and Biblical reckoning.

Rabbi’s Message
As most of you are probably aware, the basic definition of a Jew is a member of the Jewish People, in other words, someone who is born to Jewish parents. The Jewish People are primarily a nation, an ethnicity; its members are essentially citizens rather than adherents to a creed. On the other hand, someone who is not Jewish can become a member of the Jewish People by the religious process of conversion. This is something akin to being a naturalized citizen, and here the individual’s adoption of a creed typically comes into play.

When a child has only one Jewish parent, the criterion of Jewish identity becomes more complicated. This is because the definition of Jewishness in Biblical times was very different from what it is today. In ancient Israel, as in many cultures, women and children automatically assumed the status of the male head of the household. All women who married Israelites, whether or not their families were Israelites, became members of the Jewish People. All children born to Israelite men were considered Israelites. For example, Moses married Zipporah, a woman from a Midianite family. Zipporah then became a member of the Nation of Israel, and their son Gershon was fully an Israelite. Zipporah’s father Jethro also seems to have become a part of the people. There was no such concept as conversion in Biblical times. Members of Israelite households were Israelites. There appear to have been other ancient examples of Gentile adults becoming part of the Nation of Israel without marrying into the Jewish People.

During the development of Post-Second-Temple Judaism, the Rabbis changed the definition of who is a Jew in order to allow for situations where the paternity of an individual might be in doubt. So in classic Jewish Law, the child’s identity followed that of the mother. Today, Orthodox and Conservative branches of Judaism follow the Talmudic practice of determining identity by the child’s mother. Reform and Reconstructionist authorities also include the Biblical definition of identity through the father. Another practice introduced by Rabbinic (Post-Second-Temple) Judaism is that of religious conversion.

Our practice at Beth Chai is very much like that of Biblical Judaism. We recognize as Jewish anyone who has a Jewish parent, whether by birth, adoption, guardianship or marriage. We consider any household where a Jew resides to be a Jewish household, and we accept as members of Beth Chai any and all members of Jewish households who wish to join our community.

My best wishes to you all for the New Year.

Dr. Arthur C. Blecher5

Now, there is one other item to deal with, that is, in Luke 3:23 it reads: “And Jesus himself began to be about thirty years of age, being (as was supposed) the son of Joseph, which was the son of Heli,”

If one genealogy is of Joseph, (in Matthew) and the other is of Mary (in Luke) why does it have to state that they are both of Joseph? Isn’t that assuming that Joseph is His father, instead of God?

All of the controversy centers around the fact that most people in Jesus’ day assumed that Joseph was indeed His father. Even the Lord Jesus’ mother forgot that God was His Father as is testified to in Luke, chapter 2:

Now his parents went to Jerusalem every year at the feast of the passover. And when he was twelve years old, they went up to Jerusalem after the custom of the feast. And when they had fulfilled the days, as they returned, the child Jesus tarried behind in Jerusalem; and Joseph and his mother knew not of it. But they, supposing him to have been in the company, went a day’s journey; and they sought him among their kinsfolk and acquaintance. And when they found him not, they turned back again to Jerusalem, seeking him. And it came to pass, that after three days they found him in the temple, sitting in the midst of the doctors, both hearing them, and asking them questions. And all that heard him were astonished at his understanding and answers. And when they saw him, they were amazed: and his mother said unto him, Son, why hast thou thus dealt with us? behold, thy father and I have sought thee sorrowing. And he said unto them, How is it that ye sought me? wist ye not that I must be about my Father’s business? And they understood not the saying which he spake unto them. And he went down with them, and came to Nazareth, and was subject unto them: but his mother kept all these sayings in her heart. (Luke 2:41-51)

Now. I always find this a little amazing. That His own mother could forget all the events of twelve years previous, and having to flee to Egypt to avoid the wrath of Herod because of the child ten years before. Nevertheless, like many mothers with several children (and Mary and Joseph had several, despite what the Catholics say), Mary got caught up in all the business of raising her children and forgot about the special circumstances of her first child — the one born to her when she was still a virgin.

Thus, the point of both genealogies is for the Jew, to prove that the Lord Jesus Christ is indeed of the lineage of David as the Old Testament prophets said He would be. Nevertheless, Joseph is not Jesus’ father. Rather, God is Jesus’ father. If it were not so, Jesus would have been fully a son of Adam, and none a Son of God. Yet, He is both — fully God and fully man. By this means Jesus is our near kin, and thus has every legal right to offer Himself in our place as payment for our sins, as it is written:

Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil; And deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage. For verily he took not on him the nature of angels; but he took on him the seed of Abraham. Wherefore in all things it behoved him to be made like unto his brethren, that he might be a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people. (Hebrews 2:14-17)

Thus, the actual correct lineage of the Lord Jesus Christ, is the one listed in Luke — which is the lineage of Mary. But, in keeping with the understanding of the how Jewish lineage is given, Joseph, the husband of Mary, is again given as the last in the lineage prior to Jesus.

Conclusion

Again, we see that there exists no contradiction in Scripture. It simply is that the Jews, at that time reckoned the genealogies only through the father. Thus, many people would suppose that Joseph was Jesus’ father, though he was not at all. Nevertheless, in the reckoning of the Jews, it was entirely, legally correct to list Jesus’ lineage on both sides as Joseph’s lineage.

Finis

  1. Matthew Henry, although a better Bible scholar than most, still has a Protestant view of the Scriptures and how certain information got in the Scriptures. Thus, one must be very careful in reading what he writes. He does not hold the Authorized King James Version to be the only word of God for the English-speaking people. However, as I stated in the main body, on this issue, it is almost impossible for him to be incorrect.
  2. Henry, Matthew, Matthew Henry’s Commentary on the Bible, (Peabody, MA: Hendrickson Publishers) 1997.
  3. Ibid.
  4. http://www.jewishgen.org/InfoFiles/faq.html
  5. Original link: www.bethchai.org/January%202003%20beth%20chai%20issue.pdf. I saved the pdf and you may view it here.
Share

An Answer to the “Free-Thinker’s” Non-tract – Part II

Friday, March 11th, 2011

Copyright 2007 All scripture is Authorized King James Version, 1769 edition. This article may be copied and used without permission of the author, provided it is copied and used in its entirety. Underlining is used in Scripture passages for emphasis.

a continuance . . .

Since the greatest part of this entire “non-tract” and its validity rests upon the presumption that there exists no spiritual world, and that the “contradictions” found in the Bible are valid if and only if there is no spiritual world, this portion is devoted to looking at the existence of the spiritual world and the fact that all of the Bible is predicated upon the existence of the spiritual world.

In fact, the Bible declares that the spiritual preexisted and predominates the physical world. The Bible’s proof for this is found in two short succinct verses of Scripture.

God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth. (John 4:24)

In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. (Genesis 1:1)

Now, there is far more in the Scripture than this that attests to the fact that the spiritual world pre-existed the physical, and is greater than the physical. However, the above two verses are clear and plain enough to make the point without belaboring it. Thus, for one to say the Scripture has contradictions without studying and attempting to understand the spiritual world, is to judge it without basis. In the previous section it is plainly shown that the atheist cannot authoritatively state that the spiritual world does not exist. To then cast off the Bible and declare it full of contradictions is to prove oneself a very foolish individual.

To this the Scripture speaks plainly, for the Scripture speaks of those individuals who have leaned on their own understanding, and have concluded that they have sufficient knowledge to determine everything about their destiny and all the ramifications and consequences for their thoughts and actions. In fact, not once, but twice this mindset is spoken of. In fact, it is spoken of so close together that we could conclude that this concept is a trap and snare in which man is easily caught.

There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death. (Proverb 14:12)

There is a way that seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death. (Proverb 16:25)

Since none of the atheists can conclusively declare that there exists no spiritual world (and thus no God). It would behoove them to give consideration to texts that speak authoritatively on the spiritual world.1 If the atheist does not do this, we must conclude that the atheist is speaking only from the benefit of his or her own experience. In fact, if any of us depend only upon our own perception and experience, we will find ourselves extremely limited in what we can know and perceive. Moreover, to be incorrect about the spiritual world will have disastrous consequences for the individual for all of eternity. To deny that it exists insures that the one will not be prepared for the experience they will surely have when they pass from this world into eternity.

Indeed, it is one thing to be wrong about a question on a math test. After all, there are many questions on the test, and it is only a test. The worst that can happen is that we have to retake the course, or reapply for admission, or something of that sort. It is another thing to be wrong about black ice being on the highway instead of just rainwater. After all, we could die in the accident, or kill someone else. At a minimum, we are going to have a nasty scare. What if we are wrong about a firearm being loaded? The implications and possible consequences are dangerous and horrible to consider, both to us and those around us.

But let us consider the implications and consequences if we are wrong about the spiritual world. Does it matter to us what happens when we die if we do not have a soul at all, or do not have one that does not continue on in eternity? Certainly, it would not matter. The Scripture does show that there are people that believe that way, but that this view is also foolish.

If after the manner of men I have fought with beasts at Ephesus, what advantageth it me, if the dead rise not? let us eat and drink; for to morrow we die. (I Corinthians 15:32)

In the above verse, the apostle Paul is addressing the church at Corinth about the fact that there existed in that church some who did not believe in the resurrection of the dead. They believed that once they died, that was all there was to it: no resurrection, no judgment. This was despite the fact that the Old Testament speaks plainly of the resurrection of the dead and subsequent judgment.

And at that time shall Michael stand up, the great prince which standeth for the children of thy people: and there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation even to that same time: and at that time thy people shall be delivered, every one that shall be found written in the book. And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt. And they that be wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament; and they that turn many to righteousness as the stars for ever and ever. (Daniel 12:1-3)

Oh that my words were now written! oh that they were printed in a book! That they were graven with an iron pen and lead in the rock for ever! For I know that my redeemer liveth, and that he shall stand at the latter day upon the earth: And though after my skin worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God: Whom I shall see for myself, and mine eyes shall behold, and not another; though my reins be consumed within me. (Job 19:23-27)

Ye men of Israel, hear these words; Jesus of Nazareth, a man approved of God among you by miracles and wonders and signs, which God did by him in the midst of you, as ye yourselves also know: Him, being delivered by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God, ye have taken, and by wicked hands have crucified and slain: Whom God hath raised up, having loosed the pains of death: because it was not possible that he should be holden of it. For David speaketh concerning him, I foresaw the Lord always before my face, for he is on my right hand, that I should not be moved: Therefore did my heart rejoice, and my tongue was glad; moreover also my flesh shall rest in hope: Because thou wilt not leave my soul in hell, neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption. Thou hast made known to me the ways of life; thou shalt make me full of joy with thy countenance. Men and brethren, let me freely speak unto you of the patriarch David, that he is both dead and buried, and his sepulchre is with us unto this day. Therefore being a prophet, and knowing that God had sworn with an oath to him, that of the fruit of his loins, according to the flesh, he would raise up Christ to sit on his throne; He seeing this before spake of the resurrection of Christ, that his soul was not left in hell, neither his flesh did see corruption. (Acts 2:22-31)

Thus, the apostle Paul is declaring to them by inspiration of the Holy Ghost, that if there is no subsequent resurrection and judgement, but we simply die and are not conscious for the rest of eternity or that we wink out of existence, then what profit was Paul’s perseverance in the service of the Lord Jesus Christ. After all, he suffered considerable physical persecution for preaching the gospel. If there is no resurrection, then there is certainly no point in suffering persecution for the cause of Christ.

Moreover, Paul earlier made the point: What is the purpose of having believed the gospel if there is no resurrection? After all, if there is no resurrection, then there is no eternal life and no salvation and they were yet in their sins and condemned.

But if there be no resurrection of the dead, then is Christ not risen: And if Christ be not risen, then is our preaching vain, and your faith is also vain. Yea, and we are found false witnesses of God; because we have testified of God that he raised up Christ: whom he raised not up, if so be that the dead rise not. For if the dead rise not, then is not Christ raised: And if Christ be not raised, your faith is vain; ye are yet in your sins. Then they also which are fallen asleep in Christ are perished. If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable. (I Corinthians 15:13-19)

And indeed, I would have to agree, if there is no resurrection, no eternal life, no spiritual world of any sort, then the preaching of, and obedience to the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ, is pointless and worth nothing more than to make life miserable as there would be no hope, no expectation of things to come. All would be in vain.

However, the apostle Paul declared to the Corinthians at the beginning of the chapter that the resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ (and thus the resurrection of all) was an established fact. Moreover, that there were a multitude of witnesses of the Lord Jesus Christ after His resurrection.

For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures: And that he was seen of Cephas, then of the twelve: After that, he was seen of above five hundred brethren at once; of whom the greater part remain unto this present, but some are fallen asleep. (I Corinthians 15:3-6)

So it is that the historical evidence of the resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ is and was attested to by those who knew the Lord Jesus was crucified and died on the cross at Golgotha.2 They saw the Lord Jesus Christ after His resurrection and thus would confirm the validity of what Paul taught. In addition, this confirmation attests to the fact that there is also a spiritual world.

Since the Scriptures are express and consistent about the existence of the spiritual world, and about the resurrection and eternal judgment, it behooves one to pay attention to the admonition the Lord Jesus Christ gave those who followed Him. In the following passage, the Lord Jesus Christ points out the foolishness of not preparing for the day of one’s death. In this parable He tells of the rich man who took no thought of the life to come. This rich man was focused entirely upon life in this world, with no thought of the spiritual world and the consequences of his actions in this life affecting his destiny in eternity.3

And he spake a parable unto them, saying, The ground of a certain rich man brought forth plentifully: And he thought within himself, saying, What shall I do, because I have no room where to bestow my fruits? And he said, This will I do: I will pull down my barns, and build greater; and there will I bestow all my fruits and my goods. And I will say to my soul, Soul, thou hast much goods laid up for many years; take thine ease, eat, drink, and be merry. But God said unto him, Thou fool, this night thy soul shall be required of thee: then whose shall those things be, which thou hast provided? So is he that layeth up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God. (Luke 12:16-21)

So then, the Scripture points out that a disregard for and unbelief in the spiritual world was not unusual during the time of the Lord Jesus, or of Paul the apostle. At that time there existed a certain sect of the Jews that denied the reality of the spiritual world. Unfortunately, they were one of the predominate sects of the time. When the apostle Paul was arrested at Jerusalem, it was the ruling class of the Jews that wanted Paul dead for the preaching of the gospel. Thus, to fulfill their legality, they attempted to prove Paul guilty under their religious law.

And Paul, earnestly beholding the council, said, Men and brethren, I have lived in all good conscience before God until this day. And the high priest Ananias commanded them that stood by him to smite him on the mouth. Then said Paul unto him, God shall smite thee, thou whited wall: for sittest thou to judge me after the law, and commandest me to be smitten contrary to the law?
And they that stood by said, Revilest thou God’s high priest?
Then said Paul, I wist not, brethren, that he was the high priest: for it is written, Thou shalt not speak evil of the ruler of thy people.
But when Paul perceived that the one part were Sadducees, and the other Pharisees, he cried out in the council, Men and brethren, I am a Pharisee, the son of a Pharisee: of the hope and resurrection of the dead I am called in question.
And when he had so said, there arose a dissension between the Pharisees and the Sadducees: and the multitude was divided.
For the Sadducees say that there is no resurrection, neither angel, nor spirit: but the Pharisees confess both.
(Acts 23:1-8)

Therefore, as the last statement shows, a denial of the spiritual world even among the people that had a covenant with God, is nothing new. Now, I know this raises questions as to how this can be. If God dealt directly with the Jews, how could some of them deny what should have been (to them at least) utterly plain; that the spiritual does indeed exist? Moreover, if this is the case, then how can I possibly believe there is a spiritual world, and life after my body ceases to function? Also, if it were true, would not God simply make them believe, if He were dealing with them?

The answer to those questions is this: The choice to believe or disbelieve is an individual choice that the LORD God will not make for you or anyone else. Whether it is the existence of a spiritual world, an acceptance of the fact that there is one God, and a belief in Jesus Christ as the Son of God, or any of the things in the Scripture; all these things are choices the individual has to make. No one can or will make these choices for you. Moreover, since we are made with the knowledge that there is a God, and there is a right and wrong, it is more an issue of believing what we already know to be true.

Now, we could say that if we already know it in our hearts, then we should automatically believe it. However, this is not so. As a technician, I have seen many people look right at a malfunction in a piece of equipment and flatly deny that there is anything wrong, even though they have been plainly taught that what they are looking at is improper operation of the equipment. Why? Because to acknowledge the malfunction would place a burden on them that they did not want. They would have to fix the problem. How many times have we seen or heard of people denying what was plainly evident to everyone around them? After all, how can someone possibly miss the fact that a train is coming when the whistle sounds, the train is quite large, and very loud? Yet, every year a number of automobiles are struck by trains at railroad crossings. What happened? Did the train pursue them down the road? Or, is it more likely that they did not want to acknowledge what was plainly true — that there is a train coming, and it is far too close to attempt crossing the tracks? (The old ‘I can beat the train syndrome.’)

Even so it was with the Jewish people. Though as a whole they had a covenant with the LORD, it was still the individual Jew’s choice to believe and be obedient. When Israel was brought out of Egypt, the LORD God gave the Jewish nation the choice to enter into the covenant, and told them expressly what would happen if they did not fulfill their end of the agreement. And yet for all that, and the things that the Children of Israel had seen, the book of Judges is very express about what happened when the generation that had seen the miracles God had performed for Israel, passed away.

And when Joshua had let the people go, the children of Israel went every man unto his inheritance to possess the land. And the people served the LORD all the days of Joshua, and all the days of the elders that outlived Joshua, who had seen all the great works of the LORD, that he did for Israel. And Joshua the son of Nun, the servant of the LORD, died, being an hundred and ten years old.
And they buried him in the border of his inheritance in Timnathheres, in the mount of Ephraim, on the north side of the hill Gaash. And also all that generation were gathered unto their fathers: and there arose another generation after them, which knew not the LORD, nor yet the works which he had done for Israel. And the children of Israel did evil in the sight of the LORD, and served Baalim: And they forsook the LORD God of their fathers, which brought them out of the land of Egypt, and followed other gods, of the gods of the people that were round about them, and bowed themselves unto them, and provoked the LORD to anger. (Judges 2:6-12)

Oh, how short are our memories. Every generation thinks that it is the generation, and that they know more than their fathers. Of course, that is true even today. Many people have forgotten the sufferings of the Great Depression, of World War I and World War II. Even Korea and Vietnam fade in the memory. I once saw a survey of High School students that demonstrated that the majority of them could not even recount in what half-century the American Civil War occurred, let alone the details of the conflict.

Now, this being the case, is it such a surprise that people would forget the LORD God and all He has done? That, unless they were slammed in the face with spiritual realities every day, they would get all wrapped up in their lives and forget all about the fact that every one of us will one day die. It certainly did not enter into the mind of the rich man that Jesus spoke of above. Moreover, what about those who do not wish to be accountable to anyone at all? Certainly they will not wish to acknowledge that they are accountable to the LORD God that they cannot see, and they certainly will work to actively deny any judgment to come in which they will have to answer for their choices and behavior.

So it is that we have the choice to pay attention to the reality of the spiritual world, or we can deny it exists — until we die. However, once we die, the Scripture points out that it will be forever too late to change our destiny.

And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment: So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation. (Hebrews 9:27-28)

So then, of what profit is it to deny even the possibility of a spiritual world? How does it help one in the slightest to dismiss out of hand the existence of the spiritual world, and thus the existence of God? Now, I know that many, if not most of the atheists and Freethinkers claim that they have tried religion and found it to be wanting. In that regard, I would agree whole-heartedly; religion, either for the sake of religion, or to salve one’s conscience is not in the least worthwhile and will not bring anyone any closer to understanding anything about the LORD God. However, it is also not at all profitable to utterly dismiss the Scripture and say that it is of no value either.

So then, how are we to determine anything about the existence of a realm that cannot be seen, heard, touched, tasted, or smelled? How then can we be certain of something that even the Jews, God’s chosen people, were not entirely certain of, to the point of denying anything spiritual at all? Moreover, even those Jews that believed in the spiritual world (the Pharisees), apparently were dead wrong about what God was requiring of them. After all, the Lord Jesus Christ made both of the following statements concerning the Pharisees:

For I say unto you, That except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven. (Matthew 5:20)

Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye make clean the outside of the cup and of the platter, but within they are full of extortion and excess. Thou blind Pharisee, cleanse first that which is within the cup and platter, that the outside of them may be clean also. Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye are like unto whited sepulchres, which indeed appear beautiful outward, but are within full of dead men’s bones, and of all uncleanness. Even so ye also outwardly appear righteous unto men, but within ye are full of hypocrisy and iniquity.(Matthew 23:25-28)

To be continued . . .

  1. Not every text that claims to be about the spiritual world is accurate. This is due to the fact that the devil exists and is a real person, though not physical. The power of the Devil is to influence individuals in their mind to put forth information that will mislead and deceive men as to the true nature of the spiritual world. Only the Scripture is protected by the LORD God from this meddling as it is forever settled in heaven. What we have here on earth are copies. Though the Devil and men may alter some of the copies, they cannot alter or destroy all the true copies of the word of God. For the English-speaking people, the Scripture is the King James Version.
  2. It should be remembered that those who initially saw the Lord Jesus Christ after His resurrection did not believe that it had happened, even though He plainly instructed them that it would occur. They could not believe it as they were also stuck in the physical and not understanding the spiritual at all. (Ref. Luke, chapter 24.
  3. At this point I must ask: What is the difference between the rich man of this parable, and the atheist and freethinker of today? Is there really any difference at all?
Share

An Answer to the “Free-Thinker’s” Non-tract – Part I

Tuesday, March 8th, 2011

Copyright 2005; updated 2010. All scripture is Authorized King James Version, 1769 edition. This article may be copied and used without permission of the author, provided it is copied and used in its entirety. Underlining is used in Scripture passages for emphasis.

As with any answer, it is best to begin at the beginning. It is not often that I do this, but this is somewhat irresistible as the introduction contains contradictions in itself. Therefore, the introduction to this tract is where we will begin. After addressing the introduction, the “contradictions” will be addressed and explained.

The introduction of non-tract No. 5 states:

“Paul said, “God is not the author of confusion,” (I Cor. 14:33), yet never has a book produced more confusion than the bible! There are hundreds of denominations and sects, all using the “inspired Scriptures” to prove their conflicting doctrines.
Why do trained theologians differ? Why do educated translators disagree over Greek and Hebrew meanings? Why all the confusion? Shouldn’t a “divinely inspired” document be as clear as possible?
The problem is not with human limitations, as some claim. The problem is the bible itself. People who are free of theological bias notice that the bible contains hundreds of discrepancies. Should it surprise us when such a literary and moral mishmash, taken seriously, causes so much discord? Here is a brief sampling of biblical contradictions.”

The very beginning sentence begs the question: If there is a God (and there is), isn’t there also a Devil? If you are going to argue against the existence of God, shouldn’t you also argue against the existence of the Devil as well? How is it that the Atheist always argues against the existence of God, but NEVER argues against the existence of the Devil (or Satan)?

Perhaps it is because the Devil, who is the author of confusion, is heavily influencing their thinking. After all, the Scripture (the Bible) plainly states:

And the servant of the Lord must not strive; but be gentle unto all men, apt to teach, patient, In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth; And that they may recover themselves out of the snare of the devil, who are taken captive by him at his will. (II Timothy 2:24-26)

If we notice, the above passage states that those that oppose themselves (the lost) are taken captive by the devil at the devil’s will. The fact that Satan uses snares to do this makes it impossible for the individual to know that Satan is influencing his or her thinking. As a testament to the Scripture’s honesty, the Bible is plain that even born-again believers can be unknowingly influenced by the Devil. There are three prominent instances in Scripture. The first is the incident with Peter in Matthew 16:

From that time forth began Jesus to shew unto his disciples, how that he must go unto Jerusalem, and suffer many things of the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised again the third day.
Then Peter took him, and began to rebuke him, saying, Be it far from thee, Lord: this shall not be unto thee.
But he turned, and said unto Peter, Get thee behind me, Satan: thou art an offence unto me: for thou savourest not the things that be of God, but those that be of men. (Matthew 16:21-23)

What makes this all the more amazing is that shortly before this incident, Peter was the one that declared that Jesus was the Christ, the Son of the Living God.

When Jesus came into the coasts of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, saying, Whom do men say that I the Son of man am? And they said, Some say that thou art John the Baptist: some, Elias; and others, Jeremias, or one of the prophets. He saith unto them, But whom say ye that I am? And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God. And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven. (Matthew 16:13-17)

By the way, it should be noticed that in the last statement by the Lord Jesus Christ, that He stated that discerning who He is, cannot be accomplished by men’s methods. Rather, the discerning of who the Lord Jesus Christ is, both then and now, strictly by revelation from God. For one to know with certainty that the Lord Jesus Christ is God in the flesh cannot be accomplished except through the operation of faith. Which leads us to a short rabbit trail that will be examined more fully later, that is: How does one obtain faith?

So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. (Romans 10:17)

It is not a matter of how much you hear, rather, are you willing to hear and consider what God has to say about man (and thus you) and man’s condition and what God has done about it, as it is written:

Come now, and let us reason together, saith the LORD: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool. (Isaiah 1:18)

Now, let’s return to the subject of being influenced by the Devil. The second incident is with James and John, the sons of thunder. We should ask the question of just where their attitude came from as we consider this passage.

And it came to pass, when the time was come that he should be received up, he stedfastly set his face to go to Jerusalem, And sent messengers before his face: and they went, and entered into a village of the Samaritans, to make ready for him.
And they did not receive him, because his face was as though he would go to Jerusalem. And when his disciples James and John saw this, they said, Lord, wilt thou that we command fire to come down from heaven, and consume them, even as Elias did? But he turned, and rebuked them, and said, Ye know not what manner of spirit ye are of. For the Son of man is not come to destroy men’s lives, but to save them. (Luke 9:51-56)

It should be obvious, the manner of spirit they were of was demonic. They, without realizing it, were being influenced by the Devil.

The third incident is also with Peter just before the Lord’s crucifixion.

And the Lord said, Simon, Simon, behold, Satan hath desired to have you, that he may sift you as wheat: But I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not: and when thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren. And he said unto him, Lord, I am ready to go with thee, both into prison, and to death. And he said, I tell thee, Peter, the cock shall not crow this day, before that thou shalt thrice deny that thou knowest me. (Luke 22:31-34)

Of course, we should all know what Peter ended up doing: He denied the Lord Jesus Christ just as the Lord had told him he would.

Now, this being the case with those who are born of God, just what chance do those who are not the Lord’s stand against Satan and his wiles. Again the Scripture states:

But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost: In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them. (II Corinthians 4:3-4)

By the way, the god of this world is Satan, by right of conquest. However, in returning to the issue at hand we find that the Lord Jesus Christ spoke of the Devil when He rebuked the Pharisees:

Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it. (John 8:44)

Now, I have a couple of questions:

  • Have you ever been lied to?
  • And believed the lie?

The most accomplished liar in all of creation, both physical and spiritual, is Satan, the Devil.

How is it that the Atheist never attempts to disprove the existence of Satan?

By the way, did you know that the Supreme Court of the United States has declared Atheism to be a religion? However, as you will see by the following quote from a Atheist reviewing the video America’s Godly Heritage that the reviewer is not honest about Atheism being a religion. Please notice the last line of the quotation.

Claim 1: “The Supreme Court ruled that Secular Humanism is a viable First Amendment Religion.
Cases cited: Torcaso v. Watkins (367 U.S. 488), 1961, and an unnamed 1985 decision.
Torcaso v. Watkins ruled nothing of the sort; a footnote mentioned “Secular Humanism” as a “Among religions in this country which do not teach what would generally be considered a belief in the existence of God [sic].” This did not refer to what “secular humanism” generally refers to today, but to a church in California, the Fellowship of Humanity. The footnote cited Fellowship of Humanity v. County of Alameda, 153 Cal. App. 2d 673, 315 P. 2d 394. I checked the second cite, which is the _Pacific Reporter_, and found that the Fellowship of Humanity formed in 1952 and was suing the County of Alameda to recover property taxes and penalties paid under protest. The California Appeals Court ruled that this was a legitimate religion and therefore tax exempt (2-1 decision). (This case was filed September 11, 1957.) The members of the Fellowship of Humanity referred to themselves simply as “humanists,” not as “secular humanists.” (PDF capture of the Skeptic Files page1)

However, the Fellowship of Humanity still exists, and it has a website. On its website the following statement is quite visible:

“Humanism is about what humans ARE and DO at their Best for each other and all Life Forms without supernatural interventions.” (http://www.humanisthall.net/)

Thus to claim that the humanists at Fellowship of Humanity are not secular humanists is patently absurd. After all, they plainly state they do not believe in the supernatural (http://humanisthall.net/BYLAWS.htm) which plainly eliminates a belief in God. Thus, they are secular humanists as well, and secular humanism is a religion.

This makes one of the primary claims of Atheists a patent lie. They are influenced by their religion, and their religion influences their view of the Scriptures.

Contrary to the claim in the introduction to this “non-tract” where it is stated “People who are free of theological bias notice that the bible contains hundreds of discrepancies.” the Atheist has a theology. It just so happens that the theology the Atheist has is one of self. They are their own gods. And they worship and serve themselves. Quite obviously, there is a head-on collision with the Bible.

Again, this is not new. In the Bible the Lord Jesus Christ addressed this very issue with the Jews in John, chapter 10:

Then the Jews took up stones again to stone him.
Jesus answered them, Many good works have I shewed you from my Father; for which of those works do ye stone me?
The Jews answered him, saying, For a good work we stone thee not; but for blasphemy; and because that thou, being a man, makest thyself God.
Jesus answered them, Is it not written in your law, I said, Ye are gods?
If he called them gods, unto whom the word of God came, and the scripture cannot be broken; Say ye of him, whom the Father hath sanctified, and sent into the world, Thou blasphemest; because I said, I am the Son of God? (John 10:31-36)

Here, He quoted the Psalms to show them that they acted like they were gods that could control their destiny and the destiny of those around them.

I have said, Ye are gods; and all of you are children of the most High. But ye shall die like men, and fall like one of the princes. (Psalm 82:6-7)

Again this is stated in Isaiah as the LORD God challenged men concerning their refusal to obey Him and hear His word. In fact, this particular challenge sounds very much like the LORD is speaking directly to the Atheist.

Produce your cause, saith the LORD; bring forth your strong reasons, saith the King of Jacob. Let them bring them forth, and shew us what shall happen: let them shew the former things, what they be, that we may consider them, and know the latter end of them; or declare us things for to come. Shew the things that are to come hereafter, that we may know that ye are gods: yea, do good, or do evil, that we may be dismayed, and behold it together. (Isaiah 40:21-23)

Finally, twice in Psalms and once in Romans, the word of God declares that Atheism is nothing new.

The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God. They are corrupt, they have done abominable works, there is none that doeth good. The LORD looked down from heaven upon the children of men, to see if there were any that did understand, and seek God. They are all gone aside, they are all together become filthy: there is none that doeth good, no, not one. (Psalm 14:1-3)

The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God. Corrupt are they, and have done abominable iniquity: there is none that doeth good. God looked down from heaven upon the children of men, to see if there were any that did understand, that did seek God. Every one of them is gone back: they are altogether become filthy; there is none that doeth good, no, not one. (Psalm 53:1-3)

For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness; Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them. For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse: Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools, And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things. Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves: Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen. (Romans 1:18-25)

So it is that the Atheist is not honest when he declares that he has no theological bias. Moreover, the Atheist cannot honestly declare that there is no spiritual realm in which powers beyond our control influence what we think and sometimes how we act — even without our knowledge and understanding that that is what is going on. In short, until someone on this earth knows everything, and knows and can prove that they know everything, anyone that declares that a spiritual world does not exist is lying. Moreover, we would have to ask what is influencing them to declare such things.

To be continued . . .

  1. It was necessary to capture the page from the Wayback Machine as the site (and page) disappeared.
Share

Should we tell lies?

Sunday, March 6th, 2011

Copyright 2006. All scripture is Authorized King James Version, 1769 edition. This article may be copied and used without permission of the author, provided it is copied and used in its entirety. Underlining is used in Scripture passages for emphasis.

In the “non-tract” the atheists claim that the following is a contradiction in the Bible:

Should we tell lies?

Ex. 20:16

Thou shalt not bear false witness. (Prov. 12:22: Rev. 21:8)

I Kings 22:23

The Lord hath put a lying spirit in the mouth of all these thy prophets, and the Lord hath spoken evil concerning thee. (II Thess. 2:1 1; Josh. 2:4-6 with James 2:25)

The following are the full texts of the verses supposedly in contradiction.

Exodus 20:16

Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour.

I Kings 22:23.

Now therefore, behold, the LORD hath put a lying spirit in the mouth of all these thy prophets, and the LORD hath spoken evil concerning thee.

The companion verses are:

Proverb 12:22

Lying lips are abomination to the LORD: but they that deal truly are his delight.

Revelation 21:8

But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.

The “contradiction” companion verses:

II Thessalonians 2:11

And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie:

Joshua 2:4-6

And the woman took the two men, and hid them, and said thus, There came men unto me, but I wist not whence they were: And it came to pass about the time of shutting of the gate, when it was dark, that the men went out: whither the men went I wot not: pursue after them quickly; for ye shall overtake them. But she had brought them up to the roof of the house, and hid them with the stalks of flax, which she had laid in order upon the roof.

James 2:25

Likewise also was not Rahab the harlot justified by works, when she had received the messengers, and had sent them out another way?

You know, I am surprised that the ‘Freethinkers’ did not use the passage from Exodus, chapter one, to show even more “contradiction” in the Scripture. After all, the Calvinists that translated and published the Geneva Bible in the 1500’s used it to justify disobedience to God-ordained, lawful, civil authority! Yes, those who translated and published the Geneva Bible thought that God blessed the Hebrew midwives for their lying to Pharaoh about the Hebrew women.

However, as any proper study of the Scripture demonstrates, the LORD God did not bless the Hebrew midwives for lying in their disobedience. Rather, God blessed them because they saved innocent babies alive.

And the king of Egypt spake to the Hebrew midwives, of which the name of the one was Shiphrah, and the name of the other Puah: And he said, When ye do the office of a midwife to the Hebrew women, and see them upon the stools; if it be a son, then ye shall kill him: but if it be a daughter, then she shall live. But the midwives feared God, and did not as the king of Egypt commanded them, but saved the men children alive. And the king of Egypt called for the midwives, and said unto them, Why have ye done this thing, and have saved the men children alive? And the midwives said unto Pharaoh, Because the Hebrew women are not as the Egyptian women; for they are lively, and are delivered ere the midwives come in unto them. Therefore God dealt well with the midwives: and the people multiplied, and waxed very mighty. And it came to pass, because the midwives feared God, that he made them houses. And Pharaoh charged all his people, saying, Every son that is born ye shall cast into the river, and every daughter ye shall save alive. (Exodus 1:15-22)

What it states in the above verses is quite plain: God dealt well with the midwives because they sought to save the children alive instead of acquiescing to the unlawful command of Pharaoh. It should be noted that the Scripture does not state that he approved of their lying. What the midwives apparently did was (in their hearts and minds) choose between the lesser of two evils: they could tell the truth — and they and the children die. Or, they could lie — and save themselves and the children alive.

This is a case of man’s short-sightedness and inability to constantly comprehend that God has all things well in hand and is able to deliver His servants no matter the circumstance as was amply illustrated in Daniel with Shadrach, Meshack, and Abednego.

Then Nebuchadnezzar in his rage and fury commanded to bring Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. Then they brought these men before the king. Nebuchadnezzar spake and said unto them, Is it true, O Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, do not ye serve my gods, nor worship the golden image which I have set up? Now if ye be ready that at what time ye hear the sound of the cornet, flute, harp, sackbut, psaltery, and dulcimer, and all kinds of musick, ye fall down and worship the image which I have made; well: but if ye worship not, ye shall be cast the same hour into the midst of a burning fiery furnace; and who is that God that shall deliver you out of my hands? Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, answered and said to the king, O Nebuchadnezzar, we are not careful to answer thee in this matter. If it be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and he will deliver us out of thine hand, O king. But if not, be it known unto thee, O king, that we will not serve thy gods, nor worship the golden image which thou hast set up.

Then was Nebuchadnezzar full of fury, and the form of his visage was changed against Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego: therefore he spake, and commanded that they should heat the furnace one seven times more than it was wont to be heated. And he commanded the most mighty men that were in his army to bind Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, and to cast them into the burning fiery furnace. Then these men were bound in their coats, their hosen, and their hats, and their other garments, and were cast into the midst of the burning fiery furnace. Therefore because the king’s commandment was urgent, and the furnace exceeding hot, the flame of the fire slew those men that took up Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. And these three men, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, fell down bound into the midst of the burning fiery furnace. Then Nebuchadnezzar the king was astonied, and rose up in haste, and spake, and said unto his counsellors, Did not we cast three men bound into the midst of the fire? They answered and said unto the king, True, O king. He answered and said, Lo, I see four men loose, walking in the midst of the fire, and they have no hurt; and the form of the fourth is like the Son of God. Then Nebuchadnezzar came near to the mouth of the burning fiery furnace, and spake, and said, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, ye servants of the most high God, come forth, and come hither. Then Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, came forth of the midst of the fire. And the princes, governors, and captains, and the king’s counsellors, being gathered together, saw these men, upon whose bodies the fire had no power, nor was an hair of their head singed, neither were their coats changed, nor the smell of fire had passed on them. (Daniel 3:13-27)

When we compare the very different results of the two trials the servants of the Lord went through, we find that the LORD God could have easily preserved the lives of the Hebrew midwives just as He did the three Hebrew men.

However, like many Christians today, the Hebrew midwives missed the greater blessing of being in total obedience and dependence upon the LORD God. Because the Hebrew midwives did not depend totally upon the LORD, they lied to hide what they were doing. This was because they would not believe that the Lord was fully capable of defending them as He defended and preserved the three Hebrew men, and later preserved Daniel in the den of lions. In short, their faith was lacking. It is not that the Hebrew midwives did not have faith, it is that they did not exercise it to discern that the LORD God would preserve them and the Hebrew babies when Pharaoh sought to have them destroyed.

The result of this was that the Lord could only bless the Hebrew midwives to a limited extent, thus He gave them houses. In contrast, the Lord was able to bless the three Hebrew men beyond our understanding. First, because they did not lie, but were very direct about refusing the king’s commandment, the Lord carried them through the fire that killed the men who threw them into the furnace. Second, the Lord did not even allow the fire to touch them in any way whatsoever. Last of all, the fourth man walking in the furnace with them was none other than the Lord Jesus Christ Himself. In summation, the Lord Himself honored His servants because they were honest to their own hurt in testifying that there is no other God than the LORD God, and Him only should one worship and serve.

Now, to be plain, it is not the lying of the Hebrew midwives the Lord blessed, nor was it the lying of Rahab the harlot the Lord blessed. Rather, the lies they told actually held back the greater blessing the LORD God could have, and would have bestowed upon them. Now, lest we be self-righteous and cast stones at them, we ought to understand that it can be, and is, a disconcerting thing to not be able to see the deliverance the Lord has for His children. In fact, there exists no promise the Lord will deliver His children from the results of persecution on this earth. Rather, He has very plainly promised all those who have trusted Him in Christ Jesus, that they have a home in heaven and they will be with Him upon death.

In understanding the fullness of the issues raised by this supposed contradiction, we also must understand something else about the LORD God and His nature concerning how He deals with man. The following two verses summarize the “contradiction” that many see in Scripture. In fact, I would say that most of those who name themselves ‘Christian’ do not understand the principles, doctrine and nature of the LORD that brings forth the verses below.

I Kings 22:23.

Now therefore, behold, the LORD hath put a lying spirit in the mouth of all these thy prophets, and the LORD hath spoken evil concerning thee.

II Thessalonians 2:11

And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie:…

Now, if we notice, the verse from II Thessalonians is not the complete sentence. If we are to understand fully the logic of the statement, we must have the complete sentence. Otherwise, it is much like reading the Owner’s Manual to your vehicle and not bothering to read entire sentences, or complete the sections that apply to the respective parts of the vehicle. The result of that will be a very short service life for the vehicle.

The complete sentence from II Thessalonians reads thus:

And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness. (II Thessalonians 2:11-12)

Though this is not the whole context of the passage, it does tell us the reason for the delusion the LORD God will bring upon those of whom the passage speaks. Plainly they “believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.” However, we must also understand the passage is speaking about the end of a particular dispensation of witness, and the fact that the appointed time for the people in that dispensation to believe the gospel will be over, and the LORD will suffer them no longer. In short, you can only reject the truth for so long, and then the LORD will indeed put an end to trying to reach you.

With that stated, the full sentence from II Thessalonians does give us a reason for the Lord’s action, which would also indicate that there are reasons for the statement from I Kings, chapter 22. Nonetheless, before we go on we must understand the operative principle behind the statements of I Kings and II Thessalonians. That operative principle is found in Jeremiah, chapter 17.

The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it? I the LORD search the heart, I try the reins, even to give every man according to his ways, and according to the fruit of his doings. (Jeremiah 17:9-10)

And again:

Therefore hath the LORD recompensed me according to my righteousness, according to the cleanness of my hands in his eyesight. With the merciful thou wilt shew thyself merciful; with an upright man thou wilt shew thyself upright; With the pure thou wilt shew thyself pure; and with the froward thou wilt shew thyself froward. (Psalm 18:24-26)

In both of the above passages, there is a common principle: that the LORD renders unto man the desires of a man’s heart that we, individually, might know who and what we really are. It is only those individuals that ignore their own thoughts and actions and the effect they have on others, who would miss the unmistakable ‘red flags’ in their behavior that tell them and everyone around them that something is dreadfully wrong in their heart and soul. In fact, many of those individuals are just like what the LORD describes in the following passage.

But unto the wicked God saith, What hast thou to do to declare my statutes, or that thou shouldest take my covenant in thy mouth? Seeing thou hatest instruction, and castest my words behind thee. When thou sawest a thief, then thou consentedst with him, and hast been partaker with adulterers. Thou givest thy mouth to evil, and thy tongue frameth deceit. Thou sittest and speakest against thy brother; thou slanderest thine own mother’s son. These things hast thou done, and I kept silence; thou thoughtest that I was altogether such an one as thyself: but I will reprove thee, and set them in order before thine eyes. (Psalm 50:16-21)

What then is the issue here? Is it that the LORD is contradicting Himself? No, not at all. Rather, the LORD is responding to man in such a way that individually, none of us will ever be able to level the accusation at the LORD that he “controlled” what we thought and our resulting actions. In short, the LORD here is very plain about the fact that it is our choice as to the thoughts we have, and the actions we take. The only thing the LORD does is amplify and bring out those things which would otherwise remain hidden in our deceitful hearts.

Briefly, what we are seeing here is our Creator dealing with us in such a way as to allow us to see who and what we really are. The Lord desires that we all know the truth about ourselves, and that we turn away from what we are now, and turn to righteousness. However, we would never do that if we did not see ourselves for what we truly are: rebellious creatures that only want to have it our way, regardless of who we hurt and destroy.

Is this contrary to righteousness?

To understand this, we must go back to the 1st and 2nd chapters of Job and read about the challenge Satan laid before the LORD concerning Job, the servant of God. In the two chapters of Job, we find that the LORD gave Job over to Satan for a limited time and purpose, and Satan could go no further than what the LORD allowed or authorized.

Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan came also among them. And the LORD said unto Satan, Whence comest thou? Then Satan answered the LORD, and said, From going to and fro in the earth, and from walking up and down in it. And the LORD said unto Satan, Hast thou considered my servant Job, that there is none like him in the earth, a perfect and an upright man, one that feareth God, and escheweth evil? Then Satan answered the LORD, and said, Doth Job fear God for nought? Hast not thou made an hedge about him, and about his house, and about all that he hath on every side? thou hast blessed the work of his hands, and his substance is increased in the land. But put forth thine hand now, and touch all that he hath, and he will curse thee to thy face. And the LORD said unto Satan, Behold, all that he hath is in thy power; only upon himself put not forth thine hand. So Satan went forth from the presence of the LORD. (Job 1:6-12)

And the LORD said unto Satan, Hast thou considered my servant Job, that there is none like him in the earth, a perfect and an upright man, one that feareth God, and escheweth evil? and still he holdeth fast his integrity, although thou movedst me against him, to destroy him without cause. And Satan answered the LORD, and said, Skin for skin, yea, all that a man hath will he give for his life. But put forth thine hand now, and touch his bone and his flesh, and he will curse thee to thy face. And the LORD said unto Satan, Behold, he is in thine hand; but save his life. So went Satan forth from the presence of the LORD, and smote Job with sore boils from the sole of his foot unto his crown. (Job 2:3-7)

Now, because the LORD God is who He is, and He is sovereign, He does state plainly that He is responsible for Satan being allowed to sift, or try Job. This is clear by the statement “although thou movedst me against him, to destroy him without cause.” Therefore, the Scripture is plain: Satan is not allowed to roam freely doing whatsoever he pleases, but must answer to the LORD God for what he does at any given time. We also find this to be the case in I Kings, chapter 22:

And he [Micaiah] said, Hear thou therefore the word of the LORD: I saw the LORD sitting on his throne, and all the host of heaven standing by him on his right hand and on his left. And the LORD said, Who shall persuade Ahab, that he may go up and fall at Ramoth-gilead? And one said on this manner, and another said on that manner. And there came forth a spirit, and stood before the LORD, and said, I will persuade him. And the LORD said unto him, Wherewith? And he said, I will go forth, and I will be a lying spirit in the mouth of all his prophets. And he said, Thou shalt persuade him, and prevail also: go forth, and do so. Now therefore, behold, the LORD hath put a lying spirit in the mouth of all these thy prophets, and the LORD hath spoken evil concerning thee. (I Kings 22:19-23)

Now, how can this be right? If we bother to look at all the events leading up to this point in time, we will find it recorded that Ahab was a very wicked king that took many concubines and wives, stole the property of his subjects, broke the covenant the LORD had with Israel, and essentially did whatsoever he pleased without regard for others. As we might say today, the man was a despot and tyrant. Moreover, the woman he chose for queen was as wicked a woman as anyone would ever care to meet. So wicked was she that even today, little girls are not named after her, and calling someone a ‘Jezebel’ is a slander.

Therefore, it is not hard to conclude that Ahab loved evil and hated things that were good. Thus, we arrive at the point in time of I Kings, chapter 22 and find that the LORD has appointed a time for Ahab’s judgement. However, we also find that the Lord gave Ahab a choice: Ahab could have believed the true prophet of God Micaiah and not gone up to Ramoth-gilead. Instead, when told the truth, Ahab rejected it in favor of the lies told by the false prophets. As a result, Ahab died in the battle of Ramoth-gilead.

Now, if we apply the Scriptural principles found in Jeremiah 17:9-10 and Psalm 18:24-26, we find that the false prophets loved lying and did not know the LORD God, neither did they believe God. Rather, they did what they did for the same reason so many television and radio ‘preachers’ do what they do today: Money and fame. After all, it is a cushy job if you can make it fly — and you don’t care what happens to you after you die. As a result, the LORD gave them the desires of their heart — lies came out of their mouth and they didn’t even realize it. In fact, they thought what they said was the truth and Micaiah was the liar. However, as events proved, they were the liars and false prophets.

So then, what about the lying spirit? The lying spirit is none other than one of the angels that rebelled against God and followed Lucifer in his rebellion and attempt to take the throne of God. Thus, the lying spirit loves to do evil and delights in lying. In short, the lying spirit got the desire of his heart as well — the opportunity to lie and commit evil.

In summation, what we find here is that the LORD God allowed evil persons to get what they wanted, and in their acts of evil, aided and abetted the destruction of Ahab, a wicked king. In the process of all this, all these persons also condemned themselves for the evil they delighted in doing.

Thus, the LORD God did not, and does not contradict Himself in this at all. Rather, it would be contradictory of the LORD to declare that we have a choice to do good, or do evil, and then prevent us from making one of the choices. Rather, the LORD is allowing the essence of our heart to be made manifest so that we, and everyone around us can see who and what we really are.

Should we tell lies? The Scripture is very plain about this — we absolutely should not. However, because all men have a deceitful heart that would ever lie about its true intent, the LORD must reveal who and what we are by bringing out the desires of our heart. He does this by allowing the lies to come forth and be told. Assuredly, that is not the Lord’s choice for us. Rather, He would have everyone be utterly honest about everything. But, since we are not, and will lie about being liars, the LORD has no choice but to allow it to be seen of all so that we cannot deny who and what we are.

Does the LORD have the power to stop all lies from being told? Certainly He does. However, that would only insulate us from who and what we really are and would not cause us to repent of it. The LORD God’s aim in all this is to bring every one to the point of being reconciled to Him through the new birth in Christ Jesus.

For the born-again child of God, the LORD’s aim in revealing the works of the flesh is to cause the child to be more conformed to the Lord Jesus Christ and His character and nature; and to assist the child in ruling over the flesh that was not changed at salvation.

Is there a contradiction in Scripture? No. Rather, what is evident here is that the ‘Freethinkers’ have misunderstood the Scripture and what it states. Is this really surprising? Again: no, it is not. After all, many that claim Christ cannot understand the Scripture either, and draw out of it many strange and unusual doctrines. The reason for this is evident from Scripture itself:

Surely the Lord GOD will do nothing, but he revealeth his secret unto his servants the prophets. (Amos 3:7)

And again:

Stay yourselves, and wonder; cry ye out, and cry: they are drunken, but not with wine; they stagger, but not with strong drink. For the LORD hath poured out upon you the spirit of deep sleep, and hath closed your eyes: the prophets and your rulers, the seers hath he covered. And the vision of all is become unto you as the words of a book that is sealed, which men deliver to one that is learned, saying, Read this, I pray thee: and he saith, I cannot; for it is sealed: And the book is delivered to him that is not learned, saying, Read this, I pray thee: and he saith, I am not learned. Wherefore the Lord said, Forasmuch as this people draw near me with their mouth, and with their lips do honour me, but have removed their heart far from me, and their fear toward me is taught by the precept of men: Therefore, behold, I will proceed to do a marvellous work among this people, even a marvellous work and a wonder: for the wisdom of their wise men shall perish, and the understanding of their prudent men shall be hid. (Isaiah 29:9-14)

And yet again:

In that hour Jesus rejoiced in spirit, and said, I thank thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes: even so, Father; for so it seemed good in thy sight. All things are delivered to me of my Father: and no man knoweth who the Son is, but the Father; and who the Father is, but the Son, and he to whom the Son will reveal him. (Luke 10:21-22)

Finis

Share

Shall we keep the sabbath?

Saturday, March 5th, 2011

Copyright 2005. All scripture is Authorized King James Version, 1769 edition. This article may be copied and used without permission of the author, provided it is copied and used in its entirety. Underlining is used in Scripture passages for emphasis.

In the Freethinker’s “non-tract” (No. 5) the atheists claim that the following is a contradiction in the Bible:

Shall we keep the sabbath?

Ex. 20:8
Remember the sabbath day to keep it holy. (Ex. 31:15; Num. 15:32.36)
Is. 1:13
The new moons and sabbaths, the calling of assemblies, I cannot away with; it is iniquity. (John 5:16; Matt. 12:1-5)

The following are the full texts of the verses supposedly in contradiction.

Verses supporting the keeping of the Sabbath

Exodus 20:8

Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy.

Exodus 31:15

Six days may work be done; but in the seventh is the sabbath of rest, holy to the LORD: whosoever doeth any work in the sabbath day, he shall surely be put to death.

Numbers 15:32-36

And while the children of Israel were in the wilderness, they found a man that gathered sticks upon the sabbath day. And they that found him gathering sticks brought him unto Moses and Aaron, and unto all the congregation. And they put him in ward, because it was not declared what should be done to him. And the LORD said unto Moses, The man shall be surely put to death: all the congregation shall stone him with stones without the camp. And all the congregation brought him without the camp, and stoned him with stones, and he died; as the LORD commanded Moses.

Verses that supposedly say to not keep the Sabbath.

Isaiah 1:13

Bring no more vain oblations; incense is an abomination unto me; the new moons and sabbaths, the calling of assemblies, I cannot away with; it is iniquity, even the solemn meeting.

John 5:16

And therefore did the Jews persecute Jesus, and sought to slay him, because he had done these things on the sabbath day.

Matthew 12:1-5

At that time Jesus went on the sabbath day through the corn; and his disciples were an hungred, and began to pluck the ears of corn, and to eat. But when the Pharisees saw it, they said unto him, Behold, thy disciples do that which is not lawful to do upon the sabbath day. But he said unto them, Have ye not read what David did, when he was an hungred, and they that were with him; How he entered into the house of God, and did eat the shewbread, which was not lawful for him to eat, neither for them which were with him, but only for the priests? Or have ye not read in the law, how that on the sabbath days the priests in the temple profane the sabbath, and are blameless?

The key to understanding how this is not a contradiction rests upon two things:

First: Knowing and understanding the difference in dispensations of witness.

Second: Knowing and understanding what the Sabbath is actually for.

To begin, please note that all the verses in support of the keeping of the Sabbath are in the Pentateuch, or the Books of the Law. These first five books of the Scripture are held by Judaism to be the Law that one must keep to be righteous before God. To understand how the Jews got this idea, we must look at Exodus and what happened a Mount Sinai. Beginning at Chapter 20 and ending in Chapter 23, we find the giving of what seem to be commandments from God. However, if we look further on in Chapter 24, we find this passage in the beginning of the chapter:

And he said unto Moses, Come up unto the LORD, thou, and Aaron, Nadab, and Abihu, and seventy of the elders of Israel; and worship ye afar off. And Moses alone shall come near the LORD: but they shall not come nigh; neither shall the people go up with him. And Moses came and told the people all the words of the LORD, and all the judgments: and all the people answered with one voice, and said, All the words which the LORD hath said will we do. And Moses wrote all the words of the LORD, and rose up early in the morning, and builded an altar under the hill, and twelve pillars, according to the twelve tribes of Israel. And he sent young men of the children of Israel, which offered burnt offerings, and sacrificed peace offerings of oxen unto the LORD. And Moses took half of the blood, and put it in basons; and half of the blood he sprinkled on the altar. And he took the book of the covenant, and read in the audience of the people: and they said, All that the LORD hath said will we do, and be obedient. And Moses took the blood, and sprinkled it on the people, and said, Behold the blood of the covenant, which the LORD hath made with you concerning all these words. (Exodus 24:1-8)

In addition, we find in Deuteronomy, chapter 9, the following statement concerning the Ten Commandments, at the time the LORD spoke to Israel at Mount Horeb (Sinai).

Remember, and forget not, how thou provokedst the LORD thy God to wrath in the wilderness: from the day that thou didst depart out of the land of Egypt, until ye came unto this place, ye have been rebellious against the LORD. Also in Horeb ye provoked the LORD to wrath, so that the LORD was angry with you to have destroyed you. When I was gone up into the mount to receive the tables of stone, even the tables of the covenant which the LORD made with you, then I abode in the mount forty days and forty nights, I neither did eat bread nor drink water: And the LORD delivered unto me two tables of stone written with the finger of God; and on them was written according to all the words, which the LORD spake with you in the mount out of the midst of the fire in the day of the assembly. And it came to pass at the end of forty days and forty nights, that the LORD gave me the two tables of stone, even the tables of the covenant. (Deuteronomy 9:7-11)

Again, this is reinforced in Deuteronomy, chapter 10, in relating how the replacement for the first tables of stone came to be. In this it is plainly stated that the Ten Commandments are the covenant the LORD God had with Israel.

At that time the LORD said unto me, Hew thee two tables of stone like unto the first, and come up unto me into the mount, and make thee an ark of wood. And I will write on the tables the words that were in the first tables which thou brakest, and thou shalt put them in the ark. And I made an ark of shittim wood, and hewed two tables of stone like unto the first, and went up into the mount, having the two tables in mine hand. And he wrote on the tables, according to the first writing, the ten commandments, which the LORD spake unto you in the mount out of the midst of the fire in the day of the assembly: and the LORD gave them unto me. (Deuteronomy 10:1-4)

Thus, it is clear and plain that the Children of Israel (the Jews) voluntarily agreed to be bound by the aforesaid requirements (Chap. 20 through 23) of the covenant the Lord offered to them. Now if we understand what a covenant is, we will understand that a covenant is a contract between two or more parties to accomplish a specific end. Thus, the keeping of the Sabbath belongs to Israel and anyone else the Scripture records as having made such a contract with the LORD God.

However, since the Scripture records no one else as having made that kind of a contract, or covenant with the LORD God, we must understand that the express keeping of the Sabbath belongs only to Israel so long as the covenant between the LORD and Israel is not broken by both parties.1

Now, we do find that ultimately this covenant was dissolved by both parties. First, by Israel through their failure to abide in the covenant. And second, by the Lord Jesus Christ during the final days prior to His crucifixion.

O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not! Behold, your house is left unto you desolate. For I say unto you, Ye shall not see me henceforth, till ye shall say, Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord. (Matthew 23:37-39)

Thus, we find that the keeping of the Sabbath, as expressed in the Ten Commandments belongs only to Israel. If and only if we find in the Gospels, or the rest of the New Testament that we are commanded to keep the Sabbath, must we keep the Sabbath. However, what we find in the New Testament is typified by the following passages.

Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holyday, or of the new moon, or of the sabbath days: Which are a shadow of things to come; but the body is of Christ. (Colossians 2:16-17)

And again.

One man esteemeth one day above another: another esteemeth every day alike. Let every man be fully persuaded in his own mind. He that regardeth the day, regardeth it unto the Lord; and he that regardeth not the day, to the Lord he doth not regard it. He that eateth, eateth to the Lord, for he giveth God thanks; and he that eateth not, to the Lord he eateth not, and giveth God thanks. (Romans 14:5-6)

Now then, with regard to the “contradictory” passages, they must be dealt with individually as one is from the Old Testament, and two are from the New Testament during the time of the Lord Jesus Christ’s earthly ministry.

Beginning with the verse from Isaiah, which states:

Bring no more vain oblations; incense is an abomination unto me; the new moons and sabbaths, the calling of assemblies, I cannot away with; it is iniquity, even the solemn meeting. (Isaiah 1:13)

We find that this is part of a larger condemnation of Judah for their abandonment of the covenant the Lord made with them at Mount Sinai centuries earlier.

Hear, O heavens, and give ear, O earth: for the LORD hath spoken, I have nourished and brought up children, and they have rebelled against me. The ox knoweth his owner, and the ass his master’s crib: but Israel doth not know, my people doth not consider. Ah sinful nation, a people laden with iniquity, a seed of evildoers, children that are corrupters: they have forsaken the LORD, they have provoked the Holy One of Israel unto anger, they are gone away backward. Why should ye be stricken any more? ye will revolt more and more: the whole head is sick, and the whole heart faint. From the sole of the foot even unto the head there is no soundness in it; but wounds, and bruises, and putrifying sores: they have not been closed, neither bound up, neither mollified with ointment. Your country is desolate, your cities are burned with fire: your land, strangers devour it in your presence, and it is desolate, as overthrown by strangers. And the daughter of Zion is left as a cottage in a vineyard, as a lodge in a garden of cucumbers, as a besieged city. Except the LORD of hosts had left unto us a very small remnant, we should have been as Sodom, and we should have been like unto Gomorrah. Hear the word of the LORD, ye rulers of Sodom; give ear unto the law of our God, ye people of Gomorrah. To what purpose is the multitude of your sacrifices unto me? saith the LORD: I am full of the burnt offerings of rams, and the fat of fed beasts; and I delight not in the blood of bullocks, or of lambs, or of he goats. When ye come to appear before me, who hath required this at your hand, to tread my courts? Bring no more vain oblations; incense is an abomination unto me; the new moons and sabbaths, the calling of assemblies, I cannot away with; it is iniquity, even the solemn meeting. Your new moons and your appointed feasts my soul hateth: they are a trouble unto me; I am weary to bear them. And when ye spread forth your hands, I will hide mine eyes from you: yea, when ye make many prayers, I will not hear: your hands are full of blood. (Isaiah 1:2-15)

Now, it should be evident why the LORD God did not desire for Israel to “keep the Sabbath” at this point in time. The above passage is one of the most damning passages of Scripture in the Bible. The LORD’s condemnation of Judah is extensive and a precursor of the judgement to come. Why? For the express failure to keep the covenant they said they would not only keep, but teach their children from generation to generation. Thus, this condemnation of Judah is justified.

Moreover, not that many decades before the time of Isaiah, the prophet Samuel recorded an incident that was for all Israel to learn from. The Children of Israel should have learned from the failure of Saul, their first king. The following passages is the LORD’s rebuke of Saul following his disobedience to the LORD’s commandment.

And Samuel said,Hath the LORD as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the LORD? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams. For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry. Because thou hast rejected the word of the LORD, he hath also rejected thee from being king. (I Samuel 15:22-23)

If we look back at the agreement the Children of Israel made at Mount Sinai, we find the following statement:

And he took the book of the covenant, and read in the audience of the people: and they said, All that the LORD hath said will we do, and be obedient. (Exodus 24:7)

Thus, Saul, having Samuel as a faithful priest of God, would have known that he was to obey, and then sacrifice, rather that sacrificing without obedience. Yet moreover, Saul should have known the following seeing that the LORD appointed him king when he was humble in heart.

And it came to pass, when they were come, that he looked on Eliab, and said, Surely the LORD’S anointed is before him. But the LORD said unto Samuel, Look not on his countenance, or on the height of his stature; because I have refused him: for the LORD seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the LORD looketh on the heart. (I Samuel 16:6-7)

Therefore, we find that the LORD God’s refusal of the Children of Israel’s observance of the Sabbath was based upon the higher standard of having a right, humble and obedient heart before God. Because they did not, the LORD informs them that their observances avail nothing (in fact they are an abomination to Him) as they are done as religious formalities, and not as true worship, or true observance of the covenant they had with the LORD.

So then, what of the other two ‘contradictions’ from the New Testament? As has been shown before, so it is with these: They are lifted out of context with no understanding of the surrounding issues.

And therefore did the Jews persecute Jesus, and sought to slay him, because he had done these things on the sabbath day. (John 5:16)

At that time Jesus went on the sabbath day through the corn; and his disciples were an hungred, and began to pluck the ears of corn, and to eat. But when the Pharisees saw it, they said unto him, Behold, thy disciples do that which is not lawful to do upon the sabbath day. But he said unto them, Have ye not read what David did, when he was an hungred, and they that were with him; How he entered into the house of God, and did eat the shewbread, which was not lawful for him to eat, neither for them which were with him, but only for the priests? Or have ye not read in the law, how that on the sabbath days the priests in the temple profane the sabbath, and are blameless? (Matthew 12:1-5)

In the case of the first verse, the entire passage is from John, chapter 5, verses 1 through 18. However, it teaches very much the same thing as the passage from Matthew, chapter 12. The passage from Matthew spans verses 1 through 13. In the passage from Matthew 12, one of the most pertinent statements made consists of a question and answer the Lord Jesus Christ makes to those in the synagogue before He healed another man on the Sabbath:

And when he was departed thence, he went into their synagogue: And, behold, there was a man which had his hand withered. And they asked him, saying, Is it lawful to heal on the sabbath days? that they might accuse him. And he said unto them, What man shall there be among you, that shall have one sheep, and if it fall into a pit on the sabbath day, will he not lay hold on it, and lift it out? How much then is a man better than a sheep? Wherefore it is lawful to do well on the sabbath days. (Matthew 12:9-12)

So it is that the LORD God never intended for man to do absolutely nothing on the Sabbath day as the Jews were declaring. Rather, even in the covenant (which was still in force and effect) it was always lawful to that which was right and needful on the Sabbath. What was forbidden was the performing of any servile work, or work for profit. Thus, for a man to gather sticks on the Sabbath, during the time Israel was in the wilderness, would have been profaning the Sabbath as there was expressly no need in that the LORD was already providing manna for everyone in Israel. Manna did not require cooking to be eaten and thus there was no need for a fire. Besides that, the man had six other days in which to gather sticks. It is not like the Sabbath just snuck up on him and suddenly was there.

In the case of David, who “profaned the tabernacle” by eating the shewbread, if we examine that whole situation, we find that David was fleeing from Saul, and had no means of support and no food. It has never been the case that the LORD God would deny a man the sustenance to live when it was available. Even so, it was the case with the disciples eating corn on the Sabbath. The Lord Jesus Christ and His disciples had no certain place to lay their head, and no certain meal. Therefore, it was lawful for them to do what they were doing on the Sabbath.

Incidentally, verses 6 through 8 of Matthew 12 confirm this fact.

But I say unto you, That in this place is one greater than the temple. But if ye had known what this meaneth, I will have mercy, and not sacrifice, ye would not have condemned the guiltless. For the Son of man is Lord even of the sabbath day. (Matthew 12:6-8)

And again, in the Gospel of Mark it is recorded that the Lord Jesus Christ made an additional statement, thus making it expressly clear who the Sabbath is for.

And he said unto them, The sabbath was made for man, and not man for the sabbath: Therefore the Son of man is Lord also of the sabbath. (Mark 2:27-28)

So then, what are we to make of what is recorded in Genesis, chapter 2, verses 1 through 3? After all, this is before Israel and the giving of the law and the covenant.

Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them. And on the seventh day God ended his work which he had made; and he rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had made. And God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it: because that in it he had rested from all his work which God created and made. (Genesis 2:1-3)

As the Lord Jesus Christ stated in Mark, chapter 2, verses 27 and 28, this is for man, that a pattern of rest should be established so that men do not toil their lives away without rest. Moreover, it demonstrates plainly that the LORD God does not desire that a man work continually without a day for rest and consideration of his life upon this earth, and just Who it is that has granted him life.

A final thought

There are those who claim that men must keep the Sabbath for justification before God. However, nowhere in the Scripture is that taught — even in Israel during the time of the covenant. Yes, the proper keeping of the Sabbath would allow the LORD God to bless the nation of Israel as a whole. But it had nothing to do with an individual’s justification before God.

Why? Because it is impossible to be justified before God by keeping the law. Yes, the Sabbath is part of the law and keeping it is a requirement under the law. However, the first commandment is this:

And one of the scribes came, and having heard them reasoning together, and perceiving that he had answered them well, asked him, Which is the first commandment of all? And Jesus answered him, The first of all the commandments is, Hear, O Israel; The Lord our God is one Lord: And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment. And the second is like, namely this, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these. And the scribe said unto him, Well, Master, thou hast said the truth: for there is one God; and there is none other but he: And to love him with all the heart, and with all the understanding, and with all the soul, and with all the strength, and to love his neighbour as himself, is more than all whole burnt offerings and sacrifices. And when Jesus saw that he answered discreetly, he said unto him, Thou art not far from the kingdom of God. And no man after that durst ask him any question. (Mark 12:28-34)

What then does it matter if one keeps the Sabbath, and yet violates the first commandment under the law? After all, the Scripture is express about the keeping of the law and how much of it one is required to keep.

If ye fulfil the royal law according to the scripture, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself, ye do well: But if ye have respect to persons, ye commit sin, and are convinced of the law as transgressors. For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all. For he that said, Do not commit adultery, said also, Do not kill. Now if thou commit no adultery, yet if thou kill, thou art become a transgressor of the law. (James 2:8-11)

So then, of what value is it to ‘keep the Sabbath’ and violate the very first of all commandments? Rather, this is the very reason why the LORD, from the beginning gave the following commandment which the apostle Peter preached to the Jews at Jerusalem:

But those things, which God before had shewed by the mouth of all his prophets, that Christ should suffer, he hath so fulfilled. Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord; And he shall send Jesus Christ, which before was preached unto you: Whom the heaven must receive until the times of restitution of all things, which God hath spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets since the world began. (Acts 3:18-21)

So it is that there exists no contradiction in Scripture concerning the keeping of the Sabbath. Rather, the giving of the Sabbath to Israel was for the specific purpose of witness to the nations around Israel, and to demonstrate that man cannot keep the law and be justified before God. The real purpose of the Sabbath is so that man can rest from his labors and consider his life and his eternal destiny.

Finis

  1. Please note: Just because one party to a covenant violates the bounds of the covenant, it does not mean the covenant is dissolved. Both parties must agree to dissolving the covenant before it is no longer in force and effect.
Share

Really? You Think So?

Friday, October 17th, 2008

I trust you will understand the title of this article by the time you’re done reading it. If not, well, not to be flippant, but I can’t help you there. I am going to be as plain as I can be, without venturing into ridicule (I hope).

I’ve been working on reformatting the articles on the website to make them far more readable and compatible with every browser out there. In the process of that, this week I have worked on the Apologetics section and have reformatted several of the “Contradictions” articles. While reformatting the introductory articles that address the “non-tract” (which is really a tract for atheism), I reread the introduction of the “non-tract” and was struck by the statement:

“The problem is not with human limitations, as some claim. The problem is the bible itself.”

Which sets in the middle of their argument against the Scriptures, which states:

Why do trained theologians differ? Why do educated translators disagree over Greek and Hebrew meanings? Why all the confusion? Shouldn’t a “divinely inspired” document be as clear as possible?
The problem is not with human limitations, as some claim. The problem is the bible itself. People who are free of theological bias notice that the bible contains hundreds of discrepancies.

Notice the thing about the statement that caught my eye? The statement claims that problems with the Bible and interpreting it are not caused by human limitations.

Really?

How absolutely arrogant can we be here? So, the supposition here is that man, or some men, are perfect? Some of the approximately 6 billion people that walk this earth are actually unlimited in their perspective and ability? How is that now?

If this is the case, then why don’t we have an answer to some of the problems that have given man grief ever since man has been on this earth? Just where are these supposed “enlightened, perfected ones” that are so perfect they are “free from theological bias?”

You know, I grew up on a farm, and I know it when I see it and smell it. No one, but no one is “free from theological bias.” Everyone has some opinion, idea or knowledge of God. Everyone — PERIOD. There are no exceptions. Thus, logically, everyone has a “theological bias” of some sort. Even the atheist has an opinion about God — he doesn’t believe God exists. This, in itself, is a “theological bias,” an opinion that holds that God is not there.

Perhaps then, this explains somewhat the outlandish statement “The problem is not with human limitations, as some claim.” After all, only someone with an overinflated sense of self worth would even contemplate making such a statement. This statement really does defy all evidence. All we have to do is look at the stock market and the economy and we will have sure and certain evidence that man has plenty of limitations. Moreover, the statement contradicts the evidence given in the preceding paragraph of the “non-tract.” Thus, it is a real hoot to state:

“Why do trained theologians differ? Why do educated translators disagree over Greek and Hebrew meanings? Why all the confusion? Shouldn’t a “divinely inspired” document be as clear as possible?”

And then turn right around and state:

“The problem is not with human limitations, as some claim.”

If man were so stinking “unlimited,” wouldn’t we have found out the conclusive, irrefutable, inarguable truth by now? After all, according the atheists, man have been around for far longer than 6000 years. No, according to the theory of evolution subscribed to by atheists, man has been around plenty long enough to have come to conclusive and irrefutable truth by now. After all, “some” of us are “unlimited” and “free from theological bias” and thus able to see infinitely, and determine the truth of all things.

Now I know that the atheists and freethinkers try to warp and twist the meaning of “inspiration” as it is used in Scripture, so that it somehow means that man wasn’t involved in the LORD’s working on earth. After all, the vast majority of the Scripture is about man, and the failings of man, and why man needs (indeed, must have) a redeemer. I also know that the atheists and freethinkers totally discount the spiritual, even though the Scripture deals with the spiritual, and shifts from the physical to the spiritual from one verse to the next.

Ahh, but the atheists and freethinkers are not limited and are “free from theological bias” so that they can discount and intentionally ignore all rules of logic and common sense when it comes to the Scripture. Gee, I wonder if they do this with the owner’s manual for their vehicles? Or is it that they assume they already know, and thus aren’t required to read?

Logically, it is demanded that one must take into account the spiritual when reading the Scripture. This is no different than any other book. If I am reading a book about electrical theory and practice, I am not free to argue with it because it doesn’t address things from a mechanical or hydraulics point of view. It’s kind of like looking at the owner’s manual for a Dodge truck and thinking it’s wrong because you own a Ford, and your vehicle isn’t like that; meanwhile, ignoring all evidence and firmly convincing yourself that the manual must be wrong.

Actually, it is really sad that such hubris exists in man, to move him to claim that the problems people experience with understanding Scripture are not due to man. The really sad part is the lack of understanding of just how limited man really is. We are very nearly deaf, dumb, blind, and stupid, and we really don’t perceive that at all. This goes back to the old adage that “the more you know, the more you realize you don’t know.” By that old adage, the folks that wrote, approved of and utilize this tract, really don’t know anything — they just think they do.

Of course, this is in reality, nothing new. There have always been those who cavil the word of God, and the LORD God has always known that. That is why we find the following passage in the Old Testament:

Produce your cause, saith the LORD; bring forth your strong reasons, saith the King of Jacob. Let them bring them forth, and shew us what shall happen: let them shew the former things, what they be, that we may consider them, and know the latter end of them; or declare us things for to come. Shew the things that are to come hereafter, that we may know that ye are gods: yea, do good, or do evil, that we may be dismayed, and behold it together. Behold, ye are of nothing, and your work of nought: an abomination is he that chooseth you. (Isaiah 41:21-24)

You know, none of us have a clue what tomorrow will bring. In fact, none of us really know what will happen an hour from now. So much for not having limitations. However, the LORD God does know, and He has caused much of things to come to be recorded in His word.

However, if the atheist is so smart and not limited in his perception, let the atheist tell us what will be on the morrow, and of things to come. However, no man has been able to do that yet, despite the “unlimited” powers of some.

If it weren’t so serious, it would be laughable. However, I don’t think it’s going to be all that funny when the atheist stands at the white throne of judgement and is face to face with the LORD — and is proven dead wrong. Somebody is going to eat the words of the “non-tract,” and regret the day they ever thought them up.

Really, You think so?

No. Unlike the authors of the “non-tract,” I know so.

Share

Biblical Inconsistencies? – The Creation of Light

Monday, October 13th, 2008

Ever feel like you are dealing with a child who just refuses to learn? Well, that is the feeling I have in answering some of the supposed inconsistencies and contradictions in the Scripture that are raised by the Atheists and Freethinkers. Some of the supposed inconsistencies they “point out” are so childish and immature that it reminds me strongly of dealing with a petulant three or four year old who just doesn’t want to understand the simplest of things. Now, to be certain, there are things in Scripture that certainly appear to be contradictions that the LORD God has put there so that we would be drawn to look deeper and seek the LORD for answers. In reality, there are no contradictions and no inconsistencies at all in Scripture, only a lack of understanding on our part as to how to look at the passages in question.

I take a strictly literal interpretation of Scripture, as I am a fundamentalist by choice and conviction, and that to some, creates the most difficult of situations in Scripture. However, that is not really the case once it is realized that there is a literal physical, and a literal spiritual — and the two are vastly different worlds. Moreover, it also helps immensely to understand that the LORD God is not bound by time and history in explaining something. He is under no requirement to conform to the American point of view and experience, or the point of view of German, Jewish or Russian societies, or any other society on earth for that matter.

Primarily the LORD uses the Jewish experience in the Old Testament, but that is solely due to the fidelity of one man — Abraham, who was and is the friend of God. Because of Abraham’s faithfulness, the LORD God gave certain promises to him that included a child of promise (Isaac) and a nation out of that child of promise (Israel), and then the Messiah out of that nation. Since the Scripture is centered around, and focuses on the work of the Lord Jesus Christ and the redemption of man, it is only natural that the predominance of Scripture is of a Jewish perspective, but not all.

With those things in mind, it makes understanding the Scripture not so difficult. However, if we approach the Scripture with such a petty and childish attitude as to point out the following as an inconsistency, then what can we expect to understand of the word of God?

GE 1:3-5 On the first day, God created light, then separated light and darkness.

GE 1:14-19 The sun (which separates night and day) wasn’t created until the fourth day.1

Beyond doubt, the first question that sprang to mind was:

Have the Freethinkers ever heard of the explanation of how light is produced?

And it was followed by:

Do you Freethinkers and Atheists know anything at all about light, mass, and energy? Anything?

Sorry, but this is just petty and childish to say that only the sun and stars can produce enough light to light up the earth, and that only the sun could differentiate night and day.

After having worked with lasers for several years (calibration, sensing, and cutting applications) I am very familiar with the fact that light can be produced from any source material. All you need is mass, and sufficient energy, applied correctly to cause the electrons in the outer shell of the atoms to jump to the next higher shell. When those electrons lose that energy and drop back to their normal energy level, they give off photons of light at a particular frequency, thus yielding whatever color of light that corresponds to that frequency.2

Hence, the Scripture is express that mass was present:

In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.
And God said, Let there be light: and there was light. And God saw the light, that it was good: and God divided the light from the darkness. And God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And the evening and the morning were the first day. (Genesis 1:1-5)

Since it is clear that the LORD God has the energy to produce all that mass, then how hard would it then be for Him to apply energy to the water that is present, and then regulate it so that there are periods of light and darkness?

Not hard at all.

Here now we have the reason that most of the Atheists and Freethinkers cannot understand the Scripture and oppose it:

They are hidebound in their thinking. So hidebound that they throw out very simple, elementary, scientific principles in their opposition and attempts to denigrate and throw out the word of God.

By the Scripture, the result of this is predictable. The LORD God has already given the conditions by which He will grant understanding of His word. We can begin at any number of places in Scripture, but the clearest and plainest place to begin is in Luke, chapter 24:

And he said unto them, These are the words which I spake unto you, while I was yet with you, that all things must be fulfilled, which were written in the law of Moses, and in the prophets, and in the psalms, concerning me. Then opened he their understanding, that they might understand the scriptures, And said unto them, Thus it is written, and thus it behoved Christ to suffer, and to rise from the dead the third day: And that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. (Luke 24:44-47)

As the Lord Jesus Christ makes plain, it is He that grants understanding of the Scriptures. Because the apostles were hard of heart, and expected the Lord Jesus Christ to establish the Kingdom right then and there, all that was to happen, which was foretold in the Scripture, was hidden from them. The LORD then had to open their understanding so they could look back into the Scriptures and see where it was foretold. This ought to be instructive to anyone, let alone those who believe and trust the LORD for salvation:

The LORD God is under no obligation to reveal His word to anyone, let alone someone who has a cavalier attitude toward His word.

This brings us directly to the conditions the LORD God has set in which it can easily be determined whether or not the LORD will reveal His word to any specific individual. These conditions are given in order of importance and progression so that it may be understood why the Scripture seems so difficult for some, and yet easy for others.

The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it? I the LORD search the heart, I try the reins, even to give every man according to his ways, and according to the fruit of his doings. (Jeremiah 17:9-10)

Give not that which is holy unto the dogs, neither cast ye your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn again and rend you. (Matthew 7:6)

Stay yourselves, and wonder; cry ye out, and cry: they are drunken, but not with wine; they stagger, but not with strong drink. For the LORD hath poured out upon you the spirit of deep sleep, and hath closed your eyes: the prophets and your rulers, the seers hath he covered. And the vision of all is become unto you as the words of a book that is sealed, which men deliver to one that is learned, saying, Read this, I pray thee: and he saith, I cannot; for it is sealed: And the book is delivered to him that is not learned, saying, Read this, I pray thee: and he saith, I am not learned. (Isaiah 29:9-12)

Whom shall he teach knowledge? and whom shall he make to understand doctrine? them that are weaned from the milk, and drawn from the breasts. For precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little: For with stammering lips and another tongue will he speak to this people. To whom he said, This is the rest wherewith ye may cause the weary to rest; and this is the refreshing: yet they would not hear. But the word of the LORD was unto them precept upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little; that they might go, and fall backward, and be broken, and snared, and taken. (Isaiah 28:9-13)

With the merciful thou wilt shew thyself merciful; with an upright man thou wilt shew thyself upright; With the pure thou wilt shew thyself pure; and with the froward thou wilt shew thyself froward. (Psalm 18:25-26)

But unto the wicked God saith, What hast thou to do to declare my statutes, or that thou shouldest take my covenant in thy mouth? Seeing thou hatest instruction, and castest my words behind thee. When thou sawest a thief, then thou consentedst with him, and hast been partaker with adulterers. Thou givest thy mouth to evil, and thy tongue frameth deceit. Thou sittest and speakest against thy brother; thou slanderest thine own mother’s son. These things hast thou done, and I kept silence; thou thoughtest that I was altogether such an one as thyself: but I will reprove thee, and set them in order before thine eyes. (Psalm 50:16-21)

Thus saith the LORD, The heaven is my throne, and the earth is my footstool: where is the house that ye build unto me? and where is the place of my rest? For all those things hath mine hand made, and all those things have been, saith the LORD: but to this man will I look, even to him that is poor and of a contrite spirit, and trembleth at my word. (Isaiah 66:1-2)

For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek. For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith. For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness; Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them. For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse: Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. (Romans 1:16-21)

So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. (Romans 10:17)

But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him. (Hebrews 11:6)

Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life. Verily, verily, I say unto you, The hour is coming, and now is, when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God: and they that hear shall live. (John 5:24-25)

Then came the Jews round about him, and said unto him, How long dost thou make us to doubt? If thou be the Christ, tell us plainly. Jesus answered them, I told you, and ye believed not: the works that I do in my Father’s name, they bear witness of me. But ye believe not, because ye are not of my sheep, as I said unto you. My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand. (John 10:24-28)

Therefore leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ, let us go on unto perfection; not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works, and of faith toward God, Of the doctrine of baptisms, and of laying on of hands, and of resurrection of the dead, and of eternal judgment. And this will we do, if God permit. (Hebrews 6:1-3)

Whether you know the Lord Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour or not, it behooves every last person on the face of the earth to listen, and attend unto the word of God. The emphasis the LORD God has laid upon His word cannot be over-stated. For those who claim that they exalt the name of God, yet refuse to hear and be obedient to His word, this is the LORD’s reply to them:

I will praise thee with my whole heart: before the gods will I sing praise unto thee. I will worship toward thy holy temple, and praise thy name for thy lovingkindness and for thy truth: for thou hast magnified thy word above all thy name. (Psalm 138:1-2)

If we at all expect to understand the Scripture, we must be attentive and considerate of what the LORD God is telling us. If we are childish and petty, we cannot expect to ever understand the first thing about the Scripture. The LORD plainly stated the conditions in which He will reveal His word to someone. We must meet His conditions, and not the other way around.

If you know the LORD, you can NEVER have the attitude that you know all you need to know, as the LORD can and will cut-off your understanding of his word. If you have the attitude that the verses above are ‘just too many verses to look at, read and consider,’ then your attitude is not right, and don’t expect your understanding of Scripture to increase.

We must ever be mindful that the LORD God is under no obligation, other than what He places upon Himself, to reveal His word to anyone. We would do very well to hold the attitude of Job after the LORD God rebuked him:

Moreover the LORD answered Job, and said, Shall he that contendeth with the Almighty instruct him? he that reproveth God, let him answer it. Then Job answered the LORD, and said, Behold, I am vile; what shall I answer thee? I will lay mine hand upon my mouth. Once have I spoken; but I will not answer: yea, twice; but I will proceed no further. (Job 40:1-5)

We need to learn to shut our mouths and listen — and that goes for all of us (myself included), not just the Atheists and Freethinkers.

Now, is it any wonder the Atheists and Freethinkers do not understand the Scripture?

Is it any wonder that the majority of “Christians” do not understand the Scripture?

I didn’t think so.


  1. Infidels.org|Biblical Inconsistencies
  2. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Light
Share
Translate »