Welcome to my biblical potpourri page two. Here I will be putting the likes of informative and thought provoking Christian articles, both mine and others. These articles are in a simplistic form only, in order to give the reader a quick introduction, overview, and summary of the subjects covered. Bear in mind that any article appearing on this page may be added to or improved upon at any time."The first step towards the evangelizing of the world is the christianizing of the church"
Vance Havner (1901-1986)
1. What Is A Loving Church?
Is it the following?
1) One that exudes warmth and friendship to all, which can be felt upon entering and experienced by outward expression.
2) One that consists of people deeply committed to helping, caring and loving, with special attention being given to those who've certain struggles, be that physical or emotional, and carried out unconditionally without placing limits, bearing in mind that there will be those who will always need constant support because of the nature of their problem or problems.
3) One that is committed to creating a supportive, nurturing and affirming environment, one that takes into account any special needs, and provides mentoring.
4) One that encourages open and unrestricted discussion and the exercising of different opinions in a controlled, safe setting, with help given and allowances made for those who have difficulty in expressing themselves, or who lack confidence.
5) One that makes financial provision for poorer members and is attuned to any need -- seeking rather than waiting.
6) One that safeguards the individual dignity of each member, and makes every attempt to keep problems between members out of the secular setting wherever possible.
7) One that provides a fair, non-intimidating, uncomplicated, unbiased and quick avenue for complaint, along with an advocate for those unable to express themselves well, unable to cope with the stress of appearing before a committee, or who genuinely for any other reason cannot appear.
8) One that always fosters a spirit of reconciliation and love.
9) One that generates security, stability and respect via loving discipline, appropriate rules, order, balance, responsible, transparent and worthy leadership, soundness in doctrine, and rightful worship of God.
10) One that takes a pride in its surroundings and personal appearance.
11) One where the minority is treated as well as the majority, where Christian love, concern and unity comes before majority vote, where the desire to serve is greater than the desire to lead, where quality is considered more important than quantity, and where the ground rules don’t keep changing.
12) One where class, favoritism, race, selectiveness or cliques play no part.
13) One that is actively committed to the eternal well-being of those within and without, which would include contact where ever possible and as often as possible with ex-members.
14) One that does not mislead members, or misrepresent God by false witness, and is true to its calling.
Why might people say a church is not loving? Let's take a look at such a statement —
1) Is there a big difference between the amount of help and caring going on and the amount of help and caring that should and could be going on?
2) Is there a big difference between the help someone is given and the amount of help they need? The fact that certain members do help or show caring to others does not in itself indicate that a church is a loving and caring membership. It only indicates the amount occurring, or points to certain ones.
3) Was the correct help given and when it was needed most?
4) Was the help as they needed or as was decided? Two people can have the same problem, yet each may need a different approach and/or method. One may need help for a while, but for another it may be on going.
5) Were strings attached, unwarranted advice given, poor judgment exercised, dignity offended?
6) Was a complaint that was held by someone not dealt with correctly, not given fair attention?
7) Did the church members or leadership respond with inappropriate Christian behavior when challenged by those who felt biblically justified in doing so, or when certain individuals, acting in accordance with their conscience, made an unpopular stand.
To deny that a church is not loving or caring just helps to prevent it becoming loving or caring.
Does the amount of ex-members tell us something about its condition?
Isn’t there a greater responsibility on the stronger and more capable members to help and approach the shy, lonely, hurting or struggling members, rather than expecting them to do the seeking?
Obviously then, when people say a church is not a loving church, it must be seen in the context they are meaning. Helping them define their statement prevents misunderstanding, helps to prevent their present feelings becoming unnecessarily compounded and you somewhat responsible. Their comment may will be fair in its context.
2. Applying Logic To Scripture
Firstly, I wish to present a few reasons why a Christian embraces error (Rom 16:17,18). There may be more than just one of these reasons involved and any one of these reasons may go hand in hand with any of the others.
A) They don’t question what they have been brought up to believe (Acts 17:11; 1 Thess 5:21). In other words, they don’t check things out for themselves.
B) They have itchy ears – that is, they prefer to believe what they prefer to be true, or to put it another way, they make Scripture say what they want to hear, choose to believe what suits (2 Tim 4:3,4).
C) They have a blind faith in their pastor, priest, or other (Matt 24:24; 1 Tim 4:1).
D) They fail to do their own research, study. And by that I mean, thorough research, deep study (Heb 5:11-14; 2 Peter 3:16; Eph 4:14; 2 Tim 3:7).
E) They aren’t seriously committed, are caught up in the world (Rev 3:14-22; 2 Cor 6:17).
F) They follow in the majority’s footsteps thinking that the majority must be right. A fatal mistake as the majority can often get things wrong.
G) They are biased, or prejudiced towards those presenting a view that differs from theirs. Are too dismissive of that which doesn’t sit with what they believe.
H) They simply don’t apply necessary logic.
The last reason, logic, is the one I wish to elaborate on here, and as an example I will be applying that logic to seven widely held assertions that I believe are incorrect. The logic used is primarily in the form of sets of questions that aren’t in any specific order. Try to approach each argument objectively not letting the seven assertions get in the way if such are what you happen to believe. The arguments are fairly brief as one could spend a great deal of time on each, which is not my intent here.
1) Saved Christians go to Heaven the moment they die.
2) There’s an eternal burning hell for those who’re not saved, which they go to upon their death.
3) Christians will be spared the End-time calamities/tribulations due to being raptured.
4) Once saved we’re always saved.
5) The Ten Commandments have been abolished, aren’t applicable anymore?
6) The seventh day Sabbath, Saturday, has been exchanged for Sunday.
7) Women can be ordained as elders/pastors.
Okay, let’s begin:
1) Saved Christians go to Heaven the moment they die.
If this statement is true:
Why is Christ bringing His reward [eternal life or death] with Him at His second coming (Rev 22:12; 2 Tim 4:8; Matt 16:27; Luke 14:14)?
If there’s a coming Judgment, as Paul said (Acts 24:25), and which the book of Revelation verifies (Rev 14:7), it must take place before Christ’s second coming seen as He’s bringing His reward with Him. Therefore, if saved Christians go to Heaven the moment they die what’s the point of that coming judgment (Rev 14:7)?
Why does Scripture say that David (a man after God’s own heart) never ascended into the heavens upon his death, in other words, he didn’t go up to Heaven (Acts 2:29,34)?
How could someone truly enjoy being up in Heaven while watching or knowing that their loved ones are going through misery and heartbreak on earth?
Why should some have an advantage over others by going to Heaven earlier in their life?
Why does Scripture say that past Bible heroes of the ages haven’t been given their reward of eternal life yet but will have to wait because that will be better [fairer] (Heb11:39,40)?
Why does Scripture say that the dead no longer know anything, nor praise God (Ps 115:17; 6:5; Eccl 9:10)?
Why didn’t Lazarus leave a record of what he saw in Heaven if he went there? Wouldn’t his friends, family, and others want to know what Heaven was like? And wouldn’t some with opposing views and a lot to lose be hot on his tail to silence him?
Why would Christ pull someone out of Paradise to just bring them back to this drab and fallen world? How bizarre, confused, even cruel.
Why would Scripture metaphorically refer to the dead in Christ as sleeping [waiting] if they go straight to Heaven at death (Job 14:12; 1 Thess 4:13; 5:9,10; Dan 12:2; Ps 17:15)?
Why would Christ say that He was going back to Heaven so that He could prepare homes for us that He would take us to on His return to earth if we go to Heaven upon our death (John 14:2,3; Heb 9:28)?
Is not one of the dangers of thinking we go straight to Heaven at death that some may take their own life in order to get there quicker or once they strike upsetting troubles in their life that they feel they can’t handle, and especially so if they believe once saved always saved?
Why does Scripture speak of a coming resurrection rather than of a continuing one (John 6:40; 5:28,29; Luke 14:14) – that is, Christians throughout the ages going straight to Heaven upon their death?
I’m prepared to admit that when Christ rose from the dead some saved ones lying in their graves nearby did come forth and are in Heaven, but what an exception!! After all, it was Christ who arose. Could these saved ones not represent the second coming resurrection? What about Moses, you say? Don’t we make exceptions sometimes? Why not God also? Could Moses represent those who will be raised from their graves at the second coming; Elijah those who’ll be translated at Christ’s coming; and Enoch the certainty of God’s promised deliverance from sin and death?
How come the harvest occurs at the end of the world (Christ’s second coming), according to Scripture (Matt 13:29,30; 37-43)?
What about one’s soul ascending to Heaven at death, you ask? How could we be mortals, as Scripture states (Job 4:17, KJV; 14:12), and yet have an immortal soul? That’s an oxymoron. Besides, Scripture says to not fear those who can kill the body but rather the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell (Matt 10:28. Note also Ezek 18:20, KJV; James 5:20). Thus, if there were such a thing as a disembodied soul (and one came from an unsaved person who had died) it obviously wouldn’t continue forever in some hell. However, the word “soul” is also translated “being” in different Bible versions. We don’t have a soul, we are a soul, hence the expression, “that poor soul” when referring to someone still alive but afflicted with something unfortunate. Why were Adam and Eve prevented from eating the fruit from the “tree of life” (via an angel with a flaming sword) if they had immortality (Gen 3:24)? Why does Scripture say that only God has immortality (1 Tim 6:16)? If we had an immortal soul, we effectively would still have immortality. Why do the Scriptures say that immortality will be given at Christ’s second coming if saved Christians receive immortality upon their death (1 Cor 15: 51-53, KJV)? And where did Christ ever imply that some disembodied soul separates from the body at the time of death? It was Plato (a Greek) who popularised the immortality of the soul, and it’s clear that Greek influence crept into the early Church as is seen here.
Samuel’s ghostly appearance? See my poem.
Yes, too many questions, too many holes -- thus, something’s amiss with statement (A). Apply this to the other statements too.
2) There’s an eternal burning hell for those who’re not saved, which they go to upon their death.
If this statement is true:
Why does Scripture say that the wicked (which includes Satan and his evil angels) will be consumed (Rev 20:9,10; Ps 37:20)? Why does Scripture say that when God destroys the wicked there will be nothing left of them and that the saved will tread on their ashes (Mal 4:1,3; 2 Peter 2:6)? In other words, they will literally cease to exist in any form.
Why would a just God who judges wisely (Rev 19:2) punish the wicked forever when they were only sinful for their mortal life – three score years and ten? Where’s the justice, fairness in that? Isn’t such sadistic? Such would hardly reassure the saved in Heaven. Isn’t some eternally burning hell a complete contradiction of all that the Bible says about the character of God? Is God another Hitler, as some would have us believe, who tortures people endlessly? Hardly!
How could the saved be truly happy and at peace in Heaven knowing that their loved ones were continually burning in some hell, yelling and screaming in unbelievable agony? Where’s the closure?
The Rich man and Lazarus? See my poem.
Therefore, given the above, surely one can only draw the logical conclusion that expressions like “eternal fire,” “unquenchable fire,” “eternal punishment” and “forever and ever” are purely metaphoric symbolism conveying a permanent result, an intensity, a thoroughness, not a period of time. Or to put it another way, metaphors that emphasise the almost unimaginable tragedy of the lost. There’s a lot of symbolism contained in God’s Word which we mustn’t apply literally. Didn’t an “unquenchable” fire fall upon Jerusalem (Jer 17:27)? Wasn’t Sodom and Gomorrah destroyed by “eternal” fire (Jude 7)? There you go then.
Why does Scripture say that the wicked are “reserved” until the day of judgment for their punishment if they’re already burning (2 Peter 2:9; John 5:28,29; Dan 12:2)?
Why does Scripture say that the firey destruction of the wicked and Satan takes place on earth, not some other place (Isa 34:8,9; Rev 20:9,10)?
Why should those whose ill deeds were much less than another’s suffer just as long? In other words, why should petty sinners suffer as long as the likes of Saddam Hussein?
And wouldn’t many spurn a God who they understand lets people burn forever? Such a God would hardly attract but rather repel! Thus, hell is simply the coming fiery annihilation of the wicked.
3) Christians will be spared the End-time calamities/tribulations due to being raptured.
If this statement is true:
If God has allowed Christians to go through past calamities, sufferings, wars, inquisitions, etc, why would He suddenly choose to spare them from such now? Where is the fairness if those in the past had to go through such but not us? Doesn’t persecution refine, and isn’t persecution something that sorts out the genuine from the not so genuine? Why are many Christians currently being persecuted, even executed, for their belief in God? Why are some Christians already going through a hell on earth? What about those who are living under dictatorships? God hasn’t raptured them. Why does God’s Word talk of an End-time worldwide power that will persecute and attempt to kill those who remain faithful to Him (Rev 13; Rev 12:17; 14:12, KJV)? Why are the righteous told to be faithful unto death (Rev 2:10; 19:2)? Why does Scripture say “Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness” (Matt 5:10, NIV, note verses 11, 12 also). Why does God’s Word say that the “anti-Christ” (who leads many Christians astray) will appear before His second coming (1 John 4:3)? Why does God’s Word say that things on earth will not get better this side of Christ’s return? If we look around us, are things getting better, really better?
If Christ says that He’s coming a second time (with a trumpet blast, lightning, etc) to this fallen earth to retrieve the saved, then His coming to secretly and silently snatch away the saved (as many believe) would make that a third return. Doesn’t Scripture only speak of a second coming (Heb 9:28)? How could Christ be loudly blowing a trumpet and at the same time coming as a thief? Isn’t Christ’s coming as a thief simply implying that folk will be caught unprepared (Rev 16:15)? Of course it is, it wouldn’t make sense otherwise. Remember the foolish virgins?
If saved Christians are already in Heaven, due to being raptured, how will Christ sort out the sheep from the goats (the tares from the wheat) at His coming (Matt 25:31,32) where He strikes down the wicked (2 Thess 1:7,8; Luke 17:29,30; Rev 6:15-17; Ps 50:3)?
How come the harvest occurs at the end of the world, according to Scripture (Matt 13:29,30; 37-43; 24:31)? Why does the Bible tie both the rescuing of the saints (1 Thess 4:16,17; Matt 25:31,32) and the destruction of the living wicked (2 Thess 1:7,8; Luke 17:29,30) in with Christ’s second coming if there’s supposedly no saints left on earth at His second coming?
If a pilot with a plane full of passengers was suddenly raptured, all the passengers would be killed, along with others on the ground that the plane might hit as it crashed. If the wicked are to be given another chance to repent after the raptured ones have gone, as the rapture believers say, the passengers on that doomed plane, not to mention those on the ground, would unfairly miss out on that chance. However, we are clearly told that now is the day of our salvation (2 Cor 6:2). No one gets a second chance.
When the world was destroyed via a flood, that same event dealt with both the saved and the unsaved. Noah was spared via an ark, the wicked were left to drown outside the ark. And so it will be at Christ’s second coming. The saved will be lifted up to Heaven, the wicked will be struck dead. And as mentioned, Christ’s coming will also be a very noisy affair -- a trumpet blast heralding His arrival (2 Peter 3:10; Matt 24:31; 1 Thess 4:16; 2 Thess 1:7,8; Luke 17:29,30; Rev 6:15-17). Hence why the Scriptures say that immortality will be given at Christ’s second coming (1 Cor 15: 51-53, KJV).
Is the rapture theory Satan’s attempt to lull Christians into a false sense of security and even worse Laodicean condition -- whereby, they will be both unprepared for tribulation and persecution when it comes upon them, and truly lost? I believe so.
4) Once saved we’re always saved.
If this statement is true:
Can’t we change our mind? Are we effectively locked into being saved once we accept God’s gift of grace whether we like it or not? Such would violate our freedom to choose our own path at any given time.
Why is Christ going to say, “Depart from Me,” to certain Christians who have prophesied, cast out devils, etc, in His name (Matt 7:21-23)?
Why does Christ tell Christians that if they remain lukewarm He will spit them out of His mouth (Rev 3:15,16)?
Why does Christ say that salt that has lost its “saltiness” is only fit for throwing out (Matt 5:13)?
Why does Christ say that every branch that doesn’t bear fruit will be cut off (John 15:1,2)?
Why are we told that if we destroy God’s temple we will be destroyed by God Himself. And that we are that temple (1 Cor 3:19)?
Why are we told to work out our salvation with fear and trembling (Phil 2:12, note also Heb 12:14)?
Why does Christ say, “He who overcomes will thus be clothed in white garments; and I will not erase his name from the book of life” (Rev 3:5, NASB)?
Why was even Paul concerned that he might be lost should he cease to be vigilant in his walk (1 Cor 9:27)?
Why are we told to mind lest we receive God’s grace in vain (2 Cor 6:1)?
Why does Christ say that only those who do His will and keep His Commandments will receive eternal life (Matt 7:21; 19:17)?
Why are we told about those who were trying to work their way to Heaven and as a consequence falling away from God’s grace (Gal 5:4)?
Why does Scripture say that if we willingly continue to sin after having come to a knowledge of God’s truth [will] we will not be covered by His sacrifice on Calvary (Heb 10:26,27)?
Why does Scripture say that our responsibility doesn’t end when we become a Christian (2 Peter 2:20-22)?
Why does Scripture say that we can’t turn our backs on Christ and still be saved (Ezek 18:24)?
Why does Scripture say that “wrongdoers” won’t enter Heaven (1 Cor 6:9,10)?
If after having accepted God’s gift of grace we are allowed to abuse His Law without consequence, doesn’t that make a mockery of the Christian walk? Is grace effectively a licence to sin? If so, why does Scripture repeatedly say to refrain from the desires of the flesh (Gal 5:16,19), to put away the old life (Eph 4:22-24), to not be conformed to the world (Rom 12:2; 2 Cor 6:17; James 4:4), and why are Christians being told to come out of Babylon lest they be destroyed along with it (Rev 18)?
And aren’t we Christ’s ambassadors (2 Cor 5:20)? How should ambassadors behave?
5) The Ten Commandments have been abolished, aren’t applicable anymore?
If this statement is true:
If God’s Law has been abolished and we are no longer required to keep it, why does Scripture say that any one who commits sin commits lawlessness (1 John 3:4)? How can we commit sin if there’s no law (Rom 4:15)?
Why did Christ say that not one letter of His Law is to be removed until Heaven and earth have passed away (Matt 5:18; Luke 16:17)?
Why did God say He hadn’t come to abolish His Law but to fulfil [act in accordance with, reaffirm, clarify (Isa 42:21)] (Matt 5:17)?
Why would God abolish such a wonderful moral code -- the standard of Christian conduct?
If this Law could be done away with why did Christ have to die?
How would we know sin if we didn’t have this Law (Rom 7:7; Ps 19:7)?
Does God sometimes come up with flawed ideas, arrangements?
Why were the Ten Commandments written on stone by God’s own finger and not written by the hand of man in a book as was the ceremonial law? Why were the Ten Commandments placed inside the Ark rather than outside the Ark as was the ceremonial law?
Do the contents of the Ten Commandments no longer matter? In other words, is it okay to kill now, commit adultery, steal, etc? Was it only for Jews to refrain from doing such things and only back then?
If this Law was only given at Mount Sinai how come Abraham kept God’s Commandments well before Mount Sinai (Gen 26:5)?
Why are we told that we’ll be judged by God’s Law (James 2:12; Eccl 12:14)?
Why does Paul say he has full confidence in God’s Law and that He even delights in it (Acts 24:14; Rom 7:22)?
Why does Paul emphatically tell us to still uphold God’s Law (Rom 3:31)?
Why does Paul say that those whose mind is set on the flesh don’t submit to God’s Law and thus cannot please God (Rom 8:6-8)?
Why does Scripture say that circumcision is nothing but that what really matters is keeping God’s Law (1 Cor 7:19)? Therefore, God’s Law is hardly a ceremonial law.
Why do both Paul and James say that it’s the doers of the Law, not the hearers, who are considered righteous in God’s sight, and who will be justified, blessed (Rom 2:13; James 1:25)?
Why does James say that those who fail in just one of the Ten Commandments become accountable for all of it, and why does He speak of God as the Lawgiver (James 2:10-12; 4:12)?
If God’s Law is abolished, or no longer applicable, why has God written it on the hearts of His people (Heb 8:10)?
Why does Scripture tell us that we show our love for God by keeping His Commandments (2 John 6; 1 John 5:3)? Which is why it’s written on the heart, isn’t it? Willing obedience, in other words.
Why does Scripture say that God’s Law is Holy, just, and good (Rom 7:12)?
Why are Christians called liars when they say they know God yet don’t obey His Law (1 John 2:4)?
If keeping the Law isn’t important why is Satan honing in on Commandment keepers and why are Commandment keepers told to endure (Rev 12:17; 14:12)?
If God’s Law isn’t important any more why is the Ark of His Covenant seen in the heavenly sanctuary and referred to apocalyptically in Revelation chapter eleven, verse nineteen? The Ark of the Covenant was the depository of the Ten Commandments.
6) The seventh day Sabbath, Saturday, has been exchanged for Sunday.
If this statement is true:
Why did Christ say that not one letter of His Law is to be removed until Heaven and earth have passed away (Matt 5:18)? The Sabbath is a whole commandment!!
If the seventh day is a memorial (Ps 135:13, KJV; Ex 20:8-11) of creation and God’s resting from His work, as Scripture says, why would He change it. If our birthday fell on the 7th of March, would we decide to hold it on the 1st of March instead each time it came around? If God is a god of order who has the whole universe running like clockwork, why would He alter the order of the Sabbath day, and given it’s based on creation? And if God had altered it on account of Jewish abuse say, wouldn’t He have had to alter His Law in general given that the Jews abused the lot?
If the seventh day Sabbath points to the Creator God, what or who would a Sunday Sabbath point to given it’s the first day of the week, the beginning of His creating, and not the end of His creating? One doesn’t celebrate putting in the piles but the completed building.
If the fourth Commandment were removed, supposedly because it was ceremonial, who would know who the author of the other nine was or his dominion? Given that the Ten Commandments were kept apart from the ceremonial law how could the seventh day Sabbath be ceremonial?
If the seventh day Sabbath was just for the Jews why are we told it was made for man (Mark 2:27)?
Was God’s institution of one day (Gen 2:3) whereby all could come together to worship Him (in remembrance that He is the Creator) and receive rest from their labour, simply overkill, unfair? Was He being tyrannical wanting a whole day dedicated to Himself. Was He being stingy only giving us six days?
If the seventh day Sabbath was given only at Mount Sinai why were the exiles from Egypt told not to collect manna on the seventh day Sabbath sometime before Mount Sinai and why were they berated for refusing to keep the Commandments of which the seventh day Sabbath is the fourth (Ex 16:27-30)?
If the seventh day Sabbath was done away with at the cross why did the women who were going to embalm Christ rest on this day according to the Ten Commandments (Matt 28:1)?
How come Paul and the other apostles still kept this day (Acts 13:42; 17:2; 18:4)?
When Christ was on earth why did He say to remember this day when warning of the impending destruction of Jerusalem in AD 70, a destruction that occurred well after His death (Matt 24:20)?
If God blessed and set aside this day, why is there no mention of a transfer to Sunday, nor mention of a transfer of the Sabbath blessing to Sunday (Gen 2:3; Ex 20:11)?
Scripture talks of an attempt to alter God’s Law at some stage in earth’s history (Dan 7:25)? Wouldn’t the observance of Sunday instead of Saturday be considered such an alteration? Doesn’t the Roman Church take responsibility for the change to Sunday?
Doesn’t God clearly say that we’re not to subtract from or add to what He commands (Deut 4:2)?
If the number seven is a special number in God’s eyes, as deduced from Scripture, why would God decide upon the number 1 instead, Sunday being the first day of the week?
If the seventh day Sabbath was just for the Jews, why were gentiles also blessed by keeping the seventh day Sabbath (Isa 56:1-8)?
7) Women can be ordained as elders/pastors.
If this statement is true:
Why does Scripture only appoint men to the role of pastor (elders and pastors biblically being one and the same)?
If role distinctions are simply cultural, as many claim, and given that Christ was revolutionary in His attitude toward the treatment of women and broke many conventions, why didn’t He include women in His choice of 12 apostles, and more so given that women played leading priestly roles in the Roman-Hellenistic religious culture at the time? Such would have been readily accepted in the Gentile world.
Didn’t Christ teach by example, and don’t actions speak louder than words? If it’s an injustice to deny women ordination, why didn’t Christ set the example by including women amongst His twelve apostles? Christ had no inhibitions when it came to speaking out about the injustices of His time, nor the apostles, for that matter.
Why are wives told to submit to their husbands [priests in their own homes], and to show their husbands respect, if they can have authority over their husbands as elders/pastors within the church -- an oxymoron of sorts? Isn’t eldership by its very nature a ministry of authority in the Church? Aren’t the elders to “rule” well (1 Tim 5:17, KJV)? Surely the husband’s headship (1 Cor 11:3) in his own family (1 Tim 3:5) could hardly remain unaffected if his own wife were to serve as the head of the congregation to which he belongs? Isn’t a woman’s being the head of a congregation incompatible with her biblically submissive role (Eph 5:22)?
It’s interesting that the qualifications for the office of elder follow immediately after the prohibition of women as teachers/elders (1 Tim 2:11-15).
Why was Judas replaced with another man?
Why did Paul rebuke the Corinthian church (the problem church of Paul’s day) where so-called emancipated women were rebelling? Why did he say to them, “Did the word of God originate with you?” (1 Cor 14:36)?
How can a women pastor model before the congregation the male imagery of God -- God the Father? Surely such would be an adulteration. After all, God chose to reveal Himself as a father. Christ taught His apostles to address God as, “Our Father,” and He spoke of the fatherhood of God. And doesn’t Paul indicate that all forms of fatherhood derive from and reflect the fatherhood of God?
Why did Paul say that what he and the other apostles were teaching were things that God had revealed to them through the Spirit, that such wasn’t (isn’t) their words (1 Cor 2:10,13; 1 Thess 2:13), and why the appeal to the creation order (1 Tim 2:12-14)?
Obviously the apostles weren’t prisoners of their culture. If Paul was chauvinistic, sexist, why would he teach that women are equal to men, and why did he include them in his general ministry, as did Christ?
Why would God give us a guide book that contained incorrect instruction for Christians? Why are we told we can trust His Word if the apostles have things askew?
Why are we told that all scripture is inspired by God (2 Tim 3:16) and that every word of God proves true?
It’s interesting that evangelical feminists have been clamouring for a re-symbolization of the Godhead based on impersonal or feminine categories. Such, of course, clears the path for a female priesthood. It’s well known that the feminists’ destructive vision is that of an androgynous society. Feminists fail to recognise that equality does not require sameness. God designed men and women to complement each other. Thus, equal in worth and being, different in function -- theological, not cultural. If such forces as these are wanting the roles as laid down in Scripture to be removed, isn’t that a sure sign that we should be upholding those roles? It’s from such forces that the women’s ordination issue has arisen, and not from within Christianity. Hence why we’re seeing the feminising of Christianity and the likes of the homosexual lobby using similar secular ‘social justice’ arguments.
Given that females (as well as males) were priests in pagan religions but never in the history of the Jewish nation, given that females were never appointed as pastors/elders in the apostolic Church, given that Scripture says only men, and given that Satan is always coming up with substitutes for anything God has set up or laid down, isn’t it plain folly to ordain women as elders/pastors too?
It’s worth noting that life has been better for women under the influence of Christian culture and traditions than under any other influence. But despite that, we’re seeing legions of modern Eves. How long will it be before we see other beliefs and practices challenged, or has that already happened? To ordain women as elders/pastors is to wrongly question the authority of God’s Word for defining Christian beliefs and practices.
3. Women Pastors, Elders? Clearly Not
A very brief SUMMARY (drawn from various sources).
A) A pastor and an elder [the Bible considers them the same (Titus 1:5-7; Acts 20:17,28; 14:23)], as the leaders of each church congregation, are representative [symbolically] of God the Father to the church members (1 Cor 4:14,15; 2 Cor 6:18; John 20:17; Eph 3:14; Matt 6:9-15). God is literally a father. Only a man [a male] can actually represent a father. Therefore, God has only chosen men for this position (1 Tim 3:1-7; 2:12-14; Titus 1:5-9; Luke 6:13; Acts 1:23-26; 1 Cor 14:33-36; 11:3-10). To ordain women as elders or pastors is to violate God’s design, distort the elders/pastors symbolic representation of God the Father, and to wrongly question the authority of God’s Word for defining Christian beliefs and practices.
B) Christ when on earth chose only men as His apostles. Christ appointed only men as apostles at a time when most pagan religions had priestesses as well as priests. The male priesthood was a sign of a specifically biblical Jewish and Christian identity.
C) Judas was replaced by a man (Acts 1:23-26).
D) The apostle Paul refers to himself as the father of the Corinthian believers (1 Cor 4:14,15).
E) The apostle Paul indicates that all forms of fatherhood derive from and reflect the fatherhood of God (Eph 3:14,15)
F) In God’s Word the church is seen as an extended family which is led by elders/pastors who function as spiritual fathers (1 Cor 4:14,15).
G) God sent His first born Son to this earth (John 3:16).
H) God’s Word speaks of Christ as the new Adam (1 Cor 15:21,22).
I) Christ spoke of the Fatherhood of God (Mark 13:32; Matt 18:14; John 12:49,50; 14:2,8-13; 20:17).
J) Christ taught His disciples to address God as “Our Father” (Luke 11:1-4; Matt 6:9-15).
K) God’s Word speaks only of a man being an elder, “the husband of one wife” (Titus 1:6, KJV; 1 Tim 3:1-7, KJV).
L ) Paul rebuked the Corinthian church for going contrary to God’s instructions regarding this matter (1 Cor 14:36,37).
M) In the Bible, only a man is given the shepherding function [put in charge of looking after the flock — the congregation, membership] (1 Peter 5:2; John 21:16; Acts 20:28).
N) The qualifications for the office of elder follow straight after the prohibition of women as teachers/elders (1 Tim 2:11-15).
1) Man was created first (1 Tim 2:13; Gen 2:7,18). Man bears the name ‘man’ or ‘human’ which designates the whole human race.
2) Man is seen as the head and representative of humanity (Rom 5:12; 1 Cor 15:22), also as the embodiment of the race.
3) Man was given the leadership role in Eden, pre-Fall (Gen 2:15-17,19,20,23; 3:9-11,20; 1 Cor 11:9).
4) Man named all the animals, and also the woman, before and after the Fall (Gen 2:19,20,23; 3:20).
5) Man was stationed in the garden of Eden to develop and guard it (Gen 2:15).
6) Man was addressed by God concerning the forbidden tree, and entrusted with the responsibility of passing that information on (Gen 2:15-17).
7) Man was not deceived (1 Tim 2:14).
8) Man though, was held directly responsible for the tragic events that occurred, and for abdicating his headship (Gen 3:9-11; 17-19; Rom 5:12). Only after he blamed his wife did God address Eve (Gen 3:12,13).
9) Woman derived from man (Gen 2:18,21-23; 1 Cor 11:8). In biblical thought origin and authority are interrelated (Col 1:15-18).
10) The woman was created for man, not man for woman (1 Cor 11:9).
11) The woman was given to man as his helper (Gen 2:18).
12) The woman was deceived in contradiction to her divinely ordained submission through asserting her independence from man (1 Tim 2:14; Gen 3:13).
13) The woman at the time of the Fall was summoned by God to return to her creational submission to man (Gen 3:16). God’s judgment represented the divine remedy to maintain the intended order of the sexes as it appears in Genesis chap 2. Gen 3:16 also expresses the effect of sin corrupting the relationship, origin of suppressive subordination.
14) Eve [woman] is seen as the mother of all human beings, but not as the embodiment of the race.
15) The husband is the head of the wife in the same way that Christ is the head of the church (Eph 5:23).
16) The Husband is the head of the wife in the same way that God is the head of Christ (1 Cor 11:3; 15:28; John 5:30; 14:28).
17) The wife’s submission to her husband models that of our submission to Christ (Eph 5:22,24).
18)The wife’s submission to her husband models that of Christ’s submission to His Father (1 Cor 15:28; John 5:30; Phil 2:5-11).
1) Man lays upon [covers] the woman [the leading and protective position], while the woman submits to man [offers her body in loving subjection].
2) Man enters the woman. Thus man is the active [seeking] partner, while woman is the passive [allowing] partner.
3) Man plants the seed, woman receives the seed. Thus man is the life creating [giving] partner, while woman is the life bearing [sustaining] partner.
4) The woman’s resting egg is awakened [penetrated] by the male sperm.
5) The sexual organs point to the man’s appointed role of fatherhood, and the woman’s appointed role of motherhood.
Adam's role pre-Fall was to work, provide (Gen 2:15).
Eve's role pre-Fall was to help, submit (Gen 2:18).
Adam's role post-Fall was to work, provide (Gen 3:17).
Eves's role post-Fall was to help, submit (Gen 3:16).
Adam named Eve pre-Fall -- headship, leader (Gen 2:23).
Adam named Eve post-Fall -- headship, leader (Gen 3:20).
Man's role post Old Testament -- headship, leader (Eph 5:23; 1 Tim 3:5).
Woman's role post Old Testament -- help, submit (Titus 2:5; 1 Peter 3:7).
Here's a little digresson to ponder on regarding elders being on either side of the pastor when he's preaching during worship:
Elders thus act as the pastors guards lest he come under attack in some way [the disciples often flanked Christ on earth. In heaven God’s throne is protected by guards];
Elders share in the leading out — e.g. announcements, prayer, calling for the offering, fetching for the pastor, etc;
Elders uphold the pastor in prayer as he preaches, and by their very presence give support;
Elders correct the pastor if necessary to do so;
Elders share the combined burden of leadership.
Elders up the front with the pastor, (one on each side), symbolize the ecclesiastical leadership/authority and may also represent the Godhead — the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
The elder texts:
1 Tim 3:1-7, KJV
“This is a true saying [faithful, worthy of trust], If a man desire the office of a bishop [elder/pastor], he
desireth a good [commendable] work. A bishop then must be blameless [irreproachable, must have proven moral fitness], the husband of one wife [married only once; an elder divorced for any reason would be handicapped as a spiritual leader. This obviously would also include someone who is separated. An elder acts as a role model to the congregation. Only an untarnished record of marital fidelity would serve as a worthy pattern for his flock], vigilant [Greek, nephaleous — an abstainer from wine. In classical usage ‘nephaleous’ is used to describe a wine less meal], sober [prudent, sound minded, self controlled], of good behaviour [orderly], given to hospitality, apt to teach [skilled in teaching. Must be willing to be taught and also qualified to instruct others in the truths of God’s Word]; Not given to wine [not addicted to wine, models of sobriety], no striker [not quarrelsome, must be a peace maker], not greedy of filthy lucre [money]; but patient, not a brawler [not a fighter, must be a conciliator], not covetous; One that ruleth well [presides over] his own house [family, household], having his children in subjection with all gravity [seriousness. Must have obedient and respectful children]; (For if a man know not how to rule his own house, how shall he take care of the church of God?) Not a novice [newly planted, must be spiritually mature], lest being lifted [puffed] up with pride he fall into the condemnation of the devil [in other words, he will receive the same condemnation or judgment accorded the devil when pride precipitated his rebellion in heaven]. Moreover he must have a good report of them which are without [his reputation in the community must be of the highest character, one that merits the full respect and confidence of those not connected with the church] lest he fall into reproach [receive harsh criticism and reviling by believers and unbelievers] and the snare of the devil.”
Titus 1:5-9, KJV
“For this cause left I [Paul] thee [Titus] in Crete, that thou shouldest set in order the things that are wanting [the organizing of the Cretan church], and ordain [appoint and ordain] elders in every city, as I had appointed [directed, previously instructed] thee: If any be blameless, the husband of one wife, having faithful children [ones who were Christian believers] not accused of riot [without restraint] or unruly [rebellious, undisciplined]. For a bishop must be blameless, as the steward of God [the faithful and correct manager of God’s affairs]; not self-willed [arrogant], not soon angry [quick tempered], not given to wine, no striker, not given to filthy lucre; But a lover of hospitality, a lover of good men [rather, “goodness”], sober, just [upright], holy [devout, of appropriate conduct, respectful of God, dutiful], temperate [self controlled]; Holding fast [clinging to] the faithful word [the gospel] as he hath been taught, that he may be able [as an apt and humble teacher, having the intellectual ability] by sound doctrine [must have a firm grasp of God’s word, and use Scripture correctly] both to exhort [urge, encourage by argument, admonish, advise], and to convince [convict] the gainsayers [those who speak against].”
A simplistic overview:
God is a God of order (1 Cor 14:33). Even in a perfect world there has to be order. In fact, that is what helps to make a perfect world perfect. In a perfect world everything has its place and its part to play. It’s like that with the Trinity [the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit] (Matt 28:19). Though equal, each has their place and their part to play [function] (1 Cor 11:3; John 5:30; 15:26). So it is with men and women. Though created equal, they each have their place and part to play [complementary functions]. Both men and women are subject to the creational order ordained by God. God in His wisdom, knew that for things to work best in a marriage there would need to be some sort of order. Imagine a factory where everyone wanted to be the manager, or where no one wanted to be the manager. Or where everyone was fighting over who should be doing what [in general]. What chaos there would be! Similar problems can occur in a marriage. Thus man was given the ‘headship’ role [he was to protect and guide his wife] (Eph 5:23), and the woman was to be in ‘submission’ to him [allow him to protect and guide her] (Eph 5:22,24; Titus 2:5; 1 Peter 3:7). This became more necessary after the Fall because a spirit of rebellion (Gen 3:6-13) had then come into this world. Even so, man was not to rule over his wife [try to control her], and the wife was not to challenge his leadership [by displaying any form of disrespect]. When the New Testament talks about women’s submission to man it refers to the order of creation in Genesis chapter two (Eph 5:31; 1 Cor 11:8,9; 1 Tim 2:13,14), not to the curse of the woman in Genesis 3:16. Man therefore is the leader (1 Tim 3:5), protector (1 Peter 3:7), provider (Gen 17-19), father (Eph 3:14), and woman is the companion/helper (Gen 2:18), home maker/mother (Mal 2:15). This is why the Bible says that God the Father is the head of His Son Jesus Christ, that Jesus is the head of man [and the church (Eph 5:23)], and man is the head of his wife (1 Cor 11:3). Man’s headship role here is all about responsibility, not rank. The husband shows his love for his wife by loving ‘headship,’ and the wife shows her love for her husband by her willing [not forced] ‘submission.’ This arrangement symbolizes the relationship that should exist between Christ [the groom, who is the loving head] and the church [the bride — which should willingly submit to Christ] (Eph 5:22-24,33; Rev 19:7-9). The wives submission to her husband also models that of Christ’s submission to His Father (1 Cor 11:3). When women refuse to submit to their husbands, they discredit the Word of God (Titus 2:5). God’s Word asks women to submit to their husbands for Christ’s sake (Col 3:18). Man was given his headship role before the Fall occurred [before Adam and Eve sinned] (1 Cor 11:8,9; Gen 3:17; 2:22; 1 Tim 2:13,14). Man was created first (1 Tim 2:13,14), put in charge of the garden of Eden (Gen 2:15), given instructions regarding the forbidden tree (Gen 2:16,17), named all the creatures (Gen 2:19) and also the woman [both before and after the Fall] (Gen 2:33; 3:20). Woman came from man (Gen 2:22), that is why she is called woman (Gen 2:23). God’s Word also shows how man displays his headship by leaving his parents and joining with his wife [man takes the first step, takes the initiative] (Gen 2:24). Satan attempted to undermine man’s headship right from the beginning by deceiving Eve (Gen 3:1-6). Even though Eve was the first to sin, it was Adam that God went after first, in recognition of his headship role [function] (Gen 3:9). His headship role made him especially responsible. It was only after Adam blamed his wife that God then spoke to Eve (Gen 3:13). Adam was later addressed by God for having listened to his wife (Gen 3:17). Where God said [after the Fall that is] to the woman [Eve] “he will rule over you” (Gen 3:16, NASB), it was simply God telling the woman very clearly that she must return to her ‘submission’ role, which she had broken by doing her own thing [wandering off from her husbands watch care and getting caught out]. God also was expressing the fact that unfortunately because of sin in the world now, men would sadly abuse their headship role. God is able to see ahead remember. He can predict the future. Contrary to what many think, Paul the apostle, who had much to say on marriage and headship, was not presenting a cultural view, but instead, acting according to his Lord’s instructions (Titus 2:5; 1 Thess 2:13; 4:8; 1 Cor 2:10,13; 7:10; 14:36). In fact, Paul had brought about a riot in Ephesus with his different teachings (Acts 19:23-41). His message was pointing in the opposite direction to which society [the Roman Empire] at the time of his writing was going. The marriage bond was suffering a complete breakdown, divorce and adultery were rife, many couples were embracing lifestyles of independence, and women were spurning the home and traditional concepts of male leadership. Many were no doubt offended by what Paul had to say regarding male headship. Rather than going along with society, Paul courageously and correctly presented the Word of God (Jude 3; 2 Tim 4:2).
Feminists, caught up in their anger at men’s abuses of women, have been foolishly attempting to do away with any gender [male and female] roles [functions], and even any gender distinctions [male and female differences], where possible. To God the gender distinctions [male and female differences] and functional roles [headship, submission] are very important. To alter the roles that God has set up, or to blur the gender distinctions in any way [e.g. unisex fashions (Deut 22:5)] is to go against God’s creational design. Such would cause confusion, create doubts about doctrines [biblical beliefs] based on creation [as this one is], would be a rejection of God’s order established at creation for men and women, and would be doing things man’s way [humanistic belief] (Gal 1:10; 1 Sam 15:23; James 3:16; Luke 14:11). Evangelical feminists are well aware of the significance of the man’s biblical role and how it relates to God the Father. They see this as a real problem when it comes to the ordaining of women as elders or pastors. Thus they have been zealously attempting to breakdown this symbolization in an attempt to clear the way for a female priesthood (James 3:16; Luke 14:11; 1 Sam 15:23). It has always been Satan’s desire to cause chaos and confusion in this fallen world, and to misrepresent God the Father. He has been very busy doing this by trying to convince women that they can also be pastors and elders; by introducing unisex fashions that blur the sexual differences between men and women (Lev 22:5); by inciting women to rebel against their husband’s headship role; and by fooling men and women to generally interchange their roles, whether that be in the home, church or even workplace. Given all that’s been mentioned here, it would seen fitting then, that men should be the ones who fill all the leading roles in society [prime ministers, mayors, etc] in keeping with their general leadership role, thus upholding and strengthening men’s responsibilities in society.
A summary by Werner Neuer (from his book Man and Woman in Christian Perspective):
1. The biblical view of the sexes can be summed up in three points:
a. The unconditional affirmation of sexuality within divinely set boundaries as a good creation of God.
b. The full equality of man and woman because both were made in God’s image and fully redeemed in Christ.
c. The distinction of male and female, which involves different tasks for the sexes and a different
position of man and woman.
2. The biblical ordering of the sexes consists in the man being seen as the head of the woman and the woman as supporter of the man (Gen 2).
3. Headship for the man means:
a. The task of leadership and direction in marriage, church and society.
b. The acceptance of this leadership in dedicated selfless love, imitating Christ.
4. The position of supporter for the woman means:
a. Loving subordination under male leadership.
b. Completing the man by her special gifts as a woman.
5. The biblical ordering of man and woman (male superordination and female subordination) is an ordering in love, is sanctified by love and is also limited by it.
a. It is sanctified by love in that it reflects the eternal, inner-Trinitarian love of God (1 Cor 11:3) and the covenant of love between Christ and the church (Eph 5:22ff).
b. It is limited by love, since love makes impossible every type of arbitrary male despotism and every slavish subjection of women.
6. As an ordinance of creation the biblical ordering of man and woman fundamentally applies to everyone, since it rests on the created nature of male and female.
7. As an ordinance of total love it presupposes the new person who has been redeemed in Christ and in him freed from egoism for selflessness.
8. As an ordinance of selfless love it ends the age-old battle of the sexes; it brings both sexes to God’s intended development of their character, and so fulfils God’s creative intention for male and female.
9. The biblical view of the sexes is the perpetually valid Christian answer to the perversion of masculinity and femininity by unredeemed humanity. It is a call to repentance directed at both sexes which condemns both the oppression and devaluation of women just as much as the feminist revolt against God’s creation ordinance.
10. The biblical view of the sexes is of peculiar relevance to the present, for never before have the fundamental differences between men and women been so denied and the levelling out of all, except physiological, gender differences been so propagated. Behind this tendency to identify the sexes with each other, which finds its sharpest ideological expression in feminism, lies the confusion of the equality of the sexes with their identity. From the viewpoint of biblical theology this tendency is ultimately an anti-Christian rebellion against the divinely intended destiny of male and female. It must be seen as part of the eschatological rebellion of autonomous man against God’s ordinances and commands. That feminism is ultimately anti-Christian is frankly admitted by the feminist Mary Daly: ‘In its depth, because it contains a dynamic that drives beyond Christolatry [i.e., the worship of Christ], the women’s movement does point to, seek and constitute the primordial, always present, and future anti-Christ.’
11. Currently fashionable attempts to relativise the biblical view of man and woman as culturally conditioned and in need of revision are bound to founder. This is because the biblical view of the sexes is characteristically different from the conceptions of its contemporary environment.
12. A more precise analysis of the biblical view of the sexes shows that it is not only based on the created nature of man and woman, but ultimately on the nature of God himself. This means that a rejection of this view affects the Christian view of God and with it the fundamentals of the Christian faith and Christian theology.
13. The Christian church should therefore make it one of its central tasks to put into practice the biblical view of man and woman as fully and consistently as possible.
14. An unavoidable consequence of the biblical ordering of the sexes is the rejection of a female priesthood.
15. The spiritual power and authority of Christianity depends on making the biblical view of man and woman a reality. A spiritual renewal of the church of Jesus Christ can only be permanently effective if the biblical view of the sexes is recognised as a valid norm for Christian marriage and for the church.
You might like to also read the following article by the same author:
4. Men And Women
By Ken Unger
Being a man or a woman constitutes a different way of expressing the humanity that both share equally.
The average man is taller than the average woman.
The male skeleton is usually stronger than the woman’s. The bones are thicker and heavier. The greater strength of its bone structure obviously equips the man’s body better than the woman’s to overcome physical obstacles and to carry loads. The man has greater steadiness, strength and stress resistance due to his stronger bones. The man’s hand is stronger and bonier pointing to the fact that the man is built to control the environment practically and creatively, whereas the softer daintier woman’s hand is more suited to taking in hand the environment and looking after and caring for it protectively. A man’s bones are more angular, more rugged in shape, while the woman’s have rounder, less sharply marked forms and blunter corners. Woman’s bones are not merely finer, thinner and more graceful, but also softer, rounder and less rugged in shape. The more angular shape of the male body is more fitted for resistance, assaults and pushing than the rounder female body.
The striated muscles in men are more strongly developed and constructed than women’s. They serve above all for dealing with external obstacles. Wherever we manipulate, model or effect the environment, the striated muscles come into action. The man’s superior equipment in this respect and his stronger bone structure indicate that by nature the male rather than the female is designed to overcome external environmental obstacles, to reshape and master the environment. The woman is also naturally active, and is particularly concerned with things in her immediate environment. But her activity does not involve her much in pushing forward and overcoming external obstacles, so much as in caring and nursing, in sorting, tidying and polishing. A woman’s muscles are particularly suited to their tasks. They are by nature less suited to strong contractions than to active compliance at the right moment.
The suitability of women’s muscles to their tasks matches a similar capability of women in the psychological realm. The woman’s psyche, just like her muscles, can adapt very rapidly to every internal and external change. The average woman adjusts mentally and physiologically to external circumstances with versatility and adaptability.
The relative lack of muscle in women, which incidentally is not culturally conditioned but is the result of hormonal differences, is compensated for by more fat. As a result of this, and the shape of the bones already mentioned, the woman’s body is rounder and the mans more angular. We may sum up by saying that the man’s bodily frame is fitted for remodeling the environment, while the woman’s bodily shape expresses her greater gifts in arranging and caring for a circumscribed world of the nearest and most intimate things.
A woman’s skin is much softer, more tender, and smoother than a man’s, giving greater sensitivity. Women are therefore more aware of the pleasures of touch. This greater sensitivity of the skin matches the greater sensitivity of women in the psychological realm, their ability to approach matters carefully, their greater adaptability and sympathy, their capacity to give and take and to go along with situations; whereas the man tends to try to alter reality by changing it.
A woman, in contrast with all highly developed animals, has the appearance of motherhood without being or becoming a mother. This fact shows that the woman is built for motherhood as the goal and fulfillment of her being. The capacity for natural motherhood matches the motherliness in a woman’s psychological make-up, which may be developed even if biological motherhood is denied her.
The sexual organs serve the purpose of procreation and the establishment of new life. They thereby point to the man’s natural function of begetting and the woman’s of bearing. They also point to the man’s appointment to fatherhood and the woman’s to motherhood. The design of the sexual organs has as its consequence that the man as begetter in the act of intercourse is the active, giving and life-creating party, while the woman as bearer is the passive, receiving and life-sustaining party. Female passivity, male activity, female letting-it-happen, male effecting it, female receiving, male outpouring, female being found, male seeking and acquiring characterize the physical interaction of sexual intercourse. While the man has the more leading role and makes the ultimate decision if and when the union takes place, the behaviour of the woman is that of loving subjection, which she fulfills through the offering of her body. The woman’s resting egg is penetrated by the male sperm, awakening and bringing it into development. While a man simply becomes a father through begetting, conception is for the woman only the beginning of a period of far-reaching burdens and demands. The physical contribution of the man is thus fleeting in comparison with the bodily processes which the woman undertakes in motherhood. While a man is more strongly equipped for creative or destructive remodeling of his environment, the woman is more strongly equipped for arranging what the man has acquired for her or she has received from him.
A man’s life is characterized more by spontaneity than a woman’s: a woman’s life is characterized more by receptivity than a man’s. Among examples of man’s grater spontaneity one may cite his greater drive, greater aggressiveness, greater desire for leadership [dominance] and his particular capacity for creative achievements in all fields of intellectual life, a sort of intellectual procreative ability and analogous to his biological procreativity. Women have verbal superiority [linguistic, articulation, fluency, relating]. Men have spatial conceptualization superiority [technical, mathematical, scientific, industrial, discovery, inventing, philosophy, art, musical composition] and abstract thinking [chess]. The most brilliant achievements in the realms of philosophy, art, and musical composition and the pioneering discoveries in modern science are overwhelmingly the work of men. Invention is also predominantly a male preserve. Man is well known in his thinking to be the more creative, the woman is known to be more receptive when it comes to thought. This is confirmed by aptitude tests which have shown male superiority when it comes to comprehension and reasoning, while women excel in all rote-learning tasks. Regarding total intelligence the sexes are not really different.
Women are more holistic, more dominated by their feelings and more emotional. She is in less danger than a man is of isolating her soul from her body or her thinking from her feelings. A woman has a more developed relationship to the world of persons, a greater readiness to submit to the leadership of others [to serve, to give others help and support when they are in trouble] and a greater sociability [the tendency to seek the company of others and take pleasure in it]. Man has a more developed relationship to the world of things, is more eccentric and his thinking is more strongly directed toward the conceptual and general. For men this carries the danger that their reflection may become autonomous and cut off from the real world. The greater receptivity of women is seen in her greater ability and willingness to imitate, her greater adaptability and suggestibility, her greater linguistic aptitude and her superior capacity to sympathize, which rests on their greater sensitivity to people’s expression of feeling.
Whereas male cells contain a Y-chromosome and an X-chromosome, female cells have two X-chromosomes. This difference involves all the cells of the organism; probably the real personal differences between the sexes are determined by this. Sexuality affects the whole of a person’s body and not only a part. It is also evident in different hormone levels, in the different constitution of the blood and bodily liquids, of the nervous system, of internal organs and brain structure.
Every person possesses to a certain extent sexually specific characteristics of the other sex. This goes for biological as well as intellectual and psychological aspects. So in this way there is neither a total man nor a total woman.
5. Cremation Is Not A Biblical ConceptBy Roy E. Knuteson, Pd.D — The Discerner, Vol 17, #4, Oct-Dec, 1997
Note: Any square bracketed and italicized comments are the poet's.
Many apparently think so [that is, that it is a biblical concept] since it has gathered such wide acceptance in recent years even among professing Christians. The ministers of America are strangely silent on the subject and very few church attendees have ever heard a sermon on the subject, much less studied the matter themselves. Historically, cremation was considered a pagan method of disposing of the human body. Today, however, human reasoning, cultural acceptance, and economic factors determine what is right and what is wrong when it comes to funeral procedures, rather than the Word of God.
The Revelation on Cremation:
For committed Christians, the issue is: “What does the Bible say about cremation?” Our faith is grounded in the Judo Christian ethic which means that we must consider what the Old and New Testaments say on this important subject, which will eventually affect every person (Hebrews 9:27).
The Old Testament:
Is there scriptural allowance for cremation in the Old Testament? The answer is No! The universal law and practice of God’s people, Israel, was to bury the body, not burn it. Take Abraham, for example. As the Father of the Faithful, he chose to purchase a plot of ground for 400 shekels of silver as a place for burying his wife Sarah (Genesis 23:14). Why did he do that? Because it was the scriptural way to care for the dead. Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob were all buried, as were the more than two million Israelites who died in the desert. The Old Testament forbade the Jews from following the customs of their pagan neighbors, and specifically ordered them to bury dead bodies (Deut. 21:23). When Moses died, God buried him in Moab (Deut 34:6). Since that is God's method, should it not be ours. The Jewish commentary on the Law (The Mishna) denounced cremation as “an idolatrous practice.” The only case of a body being burned in Israel is recorded in Joshua 7:15. Aachan and his family were stoned to death, and their bodies were ordered to be burned because of their horrible sin of rebellion against a holy God. Burning a body was a demonstration of God’s “fierce anger” in Bible days (Joshua 7:26, NIV). Should our remains be disgraced in this same way? Amos 2 records the unpardonable sin of Moab, which was the burning of the bones of Edom’s king (verse one). The result of that sin of cremation in the 8th century BC was a God-sent “fire upon Moab.” Burning has always been a demonstration of God’s wrath. It is therefore not a fitting practice at biblical funerals.
The New Testament:
In New Testament times the only bodies that were burned were those of criminals. The place of cremation was the garbage dump in the Valley of Hinnon which was located just outside the walls of the Holy City. There, in ancient times, human sacrifices were offered (2 Chron 33:6). The condemnation of the corpse to this garbage dump which destroyed it, signified, as the Jews saw it, the loss of any future life through resurrection [this last sentence added by the poet]. Jesus used the word “Gehenna” [Greek transliteration of ge Hinnon, the Hebrew for ‘the valley of Hinnon’] as a picture of Hell [the Second death (Rev 20:6,14)], where “the worm does not die and the fire is not quenched” (Mark 9:48, NIV). Burning was the symbol of shame and disgrace, hardly the proper imagery for a Christian funeral. Jesus said that the dead should be buried, not burned (Matt 8:22). Our Lord’s own body was carefully placed in a tomb. He was “buried” the Scripture says. Our identification with Christ in His death is said to be a burial (Romans 6:4). Believer’s baptism graphically pictures that spiritual relationship. Cremation therefore, is a violation and a distortion of that scriptural object lesson. It must not be done. Every funeral in the New Testament included a burial, even for such persons as Annanias and Sapphira, and Judas (Matt 27:7,10)! It is therefore a statement of gross ignorance for any Christian to say: “There is nothing in the Bible that forbids cremation.”
The Origins of Cremation:
According to the historical records, the idea of reducing a dead body to ashes originated in heathen lands. The Romans, who also invented a crucifixion kind of death, were among the first to practice this abhorrent custom. The Hindus in India have always burned their dead and then sprinkled the ashes on the Ganges River. Since they believe in reincarnation they want to dispose of the body quickly so that the next incarnation can take place. Should Christians emulate the Hindus? Interestingly, Christians in India believe that cremation is as pagan as idol worship, and therefore always bury their dead. Cremation came to America via the uncivilized and non Christian peoples of the Middle Ages. These same pagans bored out the eyes of Christians, tore out their tongues, burned them at the stake, and fed them to the lions. The first crematorium in America was built in Washington, Pennsylvania in 1876 by some very ungodly and atheistic men. The Roman Catholic Church responded very quickly to the spreading of this evil practice by banning it in 1886. Long before that date however, Christian pastors spoke out against this practice and condemned this pagan way of disposing of a Christians body. It is therefore a rather recent development in our country, and sadly, it has now been adopted by many Christians as just another way to get rid of a dead body. Some Christians respond to this revelation by saying: “We know that cremation doesn’t cause anyone to by-pass the judgment as some believe, and therefore it doesn’t matter how we dispose of a loved one’s body.” Oh, yes it does! For a person to request cremation for themselves or another person is to go against the Bible and all of sacred history. Burial is the only biblical method as we await the resurrection, and no amount of reasoning about burial space, the sanitation of this method, and the high costs of funerals can change that. The question of cremation is not debatable, for God has spoken the final word. The Word of God is very clear on this subject, both by direct statements and spiritual examples. As Christians we are not permitted to do with our bodies as we please. Indeed, we are challenged to exalt Jesus Christ in our bodies, “whether by life or by death.” (Phil 1:20, NIV).
1. Cremation is of heathen origin and therefore is unscriptural and non-Christian. Any practice, regardless of its nature, that is contrary to God’s Holy Word is to be shunned by all conscientious believers.
2. Cremation removes the healing process that takes place naturally through a Christian burial. Usually, the four pounds of charred remains are sprinkled, in Hindu fashion, on some streams of water, or scattered by airplane to the four winds. Some people divide the ashes among the relatives so that each may have a part of their loved one’s remains. Others just leave the ashes with the mortician who will probably throw them in the city dump. When this happens, there is no committal of the body to the ground, no sacred place where the body is buried, and no place of remembrance in future years. There is something absolutely horrifying about the cremation process itself. The body is placed in a gas oven heated to 3,000 degrees where it is burned to a crisp, and reduced to ashes. Can you imagine yourself being responsible for the cremation of the body of your mother or father, or a mate or your child?
Understand, there is no loving concern as an unknown mortuary worker pushes the body into the flames and afterward crushes the remaining bones with a mallet before placing them in an urn. How different from a Christian burial, which is so beautifully illustrated by the burial of Jesus and others in the Bible.
Cremation dishonors the redeemed body of a Christian and is the cheapest, legal way to avoid a sacred responsibility. It is a barbaric act that is unscriptural and therefore unwarranted.
Based on the foregoing conclusions, I refuse to officiate at a funeral where the body is cremated. Believing this method to be non-Christian, I have resolved to officiate only at Christian burials and you ought to insist upon the same, both for yourself and your loved ones.
6. About Prophets
1) Prophecy comes to us from God through His prophets, a true prophet prophesizes in the name of the Lord, not in his own name (2 Peter 1:21; Rev 1:1,2), and true prophets will exalt God and Christ rather than themselves (Jer 1:4-9; 2 Cor 10:5).
2) A true prophet will speak in harmony with the Bible (Isa 8:20; Deut 13:1-3).
3) God’s law and prophets tend to be found together (Lam 2:9; Ezek 7:26; Jer 26:4-6; Prov 29:18).
4) A true prophet acts in accordance with the will and approval of God (Deut 18:9-12).
5) A true prophet will reprove of sin, point out the sins and transgressions of the people of God, and warn the people of God’s coming judgment (Ezekiel 3:17-19; Isa 58:1; 24:20,21; Rev 14:6-7).
6) A true prophet will emphasize the necessity of Jesus in the heart (1 John 4:1-3).
7) A true prophet will live a godly life, will produce good fruit, and will be recognized by the results of his/her work (Matt 7:15-20).
8) A true prophet’s words will be in harmony with the words of the prophets that have preceded him (Isa 8:20).
9) A true prophet recognizes the incarnation of Jesus Christ (1 John 4:1-3).
10) A true prophet edifies [spiritually uplifts] the church, counsels and advises it in religious matters (1 Cor 14:3-4).
11) The predictions of a true prophet will come to pass, a true prophet does not lie (Deut 18:21,22). However, it must be borne in mind that prophecies can be conditional, and that prophets may not at first always grasp correctly what God is revealing.
12) The messages of a true prophet bring comfort and encouragement to the people of God (2 Peter 1:19; 1 Cor 14:3).
The counsel of a true prophet protects from unbiblical errors and enables the people of God to obey His Written Word (Eph 4:11-16).
13) We are commanded not to despise prophets, but to test them, we must test them by the Word of God (1 Thess 5:20,21; Isa 8:20).
14) The prophets are the eyes of the church (1 Sam 9:9; Luke 11:34; Prov 29:18).
15) A true prophet will have visions and dreams (Num 12:6). While in vision, a prophet has no breath, and his natural strength is gone until the angel strengthens him (Dan 10:17-18). While in vision, a prophet can nevertheless speak (Dan 10:15,16). While in vision, a prophet keeps his eyes open (Num 24:16). While in vision a prophet is unconscious of his surroundings (2 Cor 12:2,4).
16) Christ warned against false prophets (Matt 7:15). Satan can use counterfeits to divert attention from the genuine.
17) Both men and women can be called as prophets of God (Jude 14; Ex 3:9,10; 1 Kings 17:1-3; Luke 1:13-17; Rev 1:10; Ex 15:20; Judges 4:4; 2 Kings 22:14; Luke 2:36; Acts 21:9). Women as well as men participated in the prophetic ministry of the apostolic church. The exact nature of the prophetic ministry is not clearly defined in the New Testament. Its primary [main] function appears to have been to serve the Christian community through edification, encouragement, counseling and consolation (1 Cor 14:3,4; Acts 15:21). Prophets functioned not as appointed leaders of the congregation, but as private believers with a God-given message of exhortation for the congregation. The office of prophet was not restricted to anyone but was open in a sense to everyone (1 Cor 14:31). While women shared in the prophetic ministry of encouraging, guiding and exhorting the Christian communities, there are no indications that they were ever appointed to serve as the representative leaders [elders/pastors].
18) The abiding gift of prophecy provides counsel and guidance before a crisis (Gen 6:9-17; Ex 3:4-12; 4:10-16; Deut 4:10-12; 1 Kings 17:1; 18:20-41; 2 Kings 2:11-13; Mark 1:2-5; Luke 7:28).
19) The gift of prophecy is a blessing from God to mankind, and it will remain in the church until the end of time (Eph 4:7-16).
21) The weakest of the weak may be called to this work (1 Cor 1:27-29; 2 Cor 12:9).
7. The Sabbath Change
Why Christians began keeping Sunday instead of the biblical seventh day Sabbath -- Saturday.
city of Rome had a large Jewish population. Following the death of the
Roman Emperor Nero (AD 68), a reawakened Jewish desire to be free from
Roman rule [to be an independent nation] exploded in violent uprisings almost everywhere.
Two major Jewish revolts against Roman rule took place in AD 66 and AD 135.
The Roman Emperors, Vespasian (AD 69-79) and Titus [son of Vespasian] (AD 79-81), crushed the first Jewish revolt, and the Roman Emperor Hadrian (AD 117-138) crushed the second Jewish revolt.
As a result of the rebellious Jewish behaviour the Roman government introduced a number of measures to punish them and keep them in check. Firstly, the Emperor Vespasian made the Jews pay a tax simply for being Jews. This tax was later increased by the Emperor Domitian [son of Vespasian] (AD 81-96) and then by Emperor Hadrian. Emperor Vespasian also abolished the Sanhedrin [the highest Jewish Council] and the office of High Priest, and forbade the Jews to worship at their temple site. Then Emperor Hadrian, whose military forces had suffered many casualties because of the Jewish uprising, outlawed in AD 135 the practice of the Jewish religion, particularly Sabbath-keeping [the biblical 7th day Saturday Sabbath (Ex 20:8-11; Gen 2:2,3)].
The trouble the Jews had caused made the general Roman population feel very angry towards them too. Many Roman authors began attacking the Jews by knocking their beliefs, especially Sabbath-keeping.
Christians who also kept the biblical 7th day Saturday Sabbath (Acts 17:2), soon became very worried that they might be identified with the Jews, and thus become the next target of Roman anger. After all, the Emperor Nero had once unfairly blamed Christians for the burning of the city of Rome [which actually took place in AD 64].
Soon Christian authors also began knocking Jewish beliefs, and distancing themselves as much as possible from them. As a conseqence, many Christians, especially those living in the city of Rome under the watchful eyes of Emperor Hadrian, began to observe Sunday [the 1st day of the week] as their Sabbath instead of Saturday, hoping that by doing so, it would act in their favour. The Christian church at Rome was largely made up of Gentile members [non-Jews] (Rom 11:13) who were strongly influenced by pagan practices such as sun worship with its Sun Day, unlike the Jerusalem church where the members were virtually all Jews who were deeply committed to their religious traditions which included the 7th day Saturday Sabbath. Thus, changing to Sunday observance came easier to church members at the church in Rome. The Christian church thus began its serious slide into apostasy (2 Tim 4:3,4; 1 Tim 4:1; Gal 1:8,9; James 2:10; Matt 7:22,23; 15:9).
Let’s digress for a moment.
In the days of the apostles, each church congregation selected its own officers [overseers/elders/bishops = Pastors (Titus 1:5-7; Acts 20:17,28; 14:23)] and regulated its own affairs, even though the Christian church in general was seen as one universal body (Eph 4:3-6). However, as the church began to loose its way, it not only moved further away from God’s truths, but also from its high standards of personal conduct. Many converts in Rome were well educated and had wealth and influence. Popularity and personal power began more and more to determine the choice of leaders, who, first assumed [to claim more than one is due] increasing authority within the local church, and then, sought to extend their authority over neighbouring churches (Acts 20:29,30). Thus leadership thought only of ruling the church instead of serving it (James 3:16; Luke 14:11). The church at Rome early developed into the largest church system which meant that the Bishop of Rome directed the largest body of Christians. Eventually, this very influential church at Rome promoted itself [vigorously] as the one that all the churches should agree with in matters of faith and doctrine, and that its bishop should be honored above all other bishops.
Cyprian (who died about AD 258) is considered the founder of the Roman church hierarchy. It was he who made the claim that Peter the apostle had founded [setup, established] the church in Rome, that the Bishop of Rome should therefore be honored above all other bishops, and that his opinions and decisions should always prevail [overrule all others] (1 John 4:1,3; 2 John 7).
Now to get back to the story.
The Bishop of Rome was very active in influencing Christians to observe Sunday instead of Saturday and was very successful due to the influence and authority he and the church at Rome wielded. Many Christians actually complained that the bishop should stop imposing his views on other Christians.
As time went by, another Roman Emperor appeared on the scene — Constantine the Great [his father was a devotee of the Sun God; his mother in later life was a zealous Christian]. Professing Christianity, Constantine pursued a policy of blending paganism and Christianity wherever he could in an effort to unite the diverse elements within the Empire and thus strengthen his kingdom which was beginning to full apart. Christianity thus became very popular under Constantine’s rule. More Gentiles came flooding into the church as a result, bringing with them, their pagan ideas and ways. By Constantine’s time the Day of the Sun [Sunday] had become very popular among both pagans and Christians.
Constantine therefore, in AD 321, introduced a law making Sunday a civil holiday, which effectively aided the Christian move to Sunday worship that had been occurring since Emperor Hadrian’s rule. Before Constantine’s Sunday Law, Sunday observance was not protected by civil legislation. Now Christians were able to observe Sunday without hindrance. As Christians now celebrated Sunday as “the Lord’s Day,” pagans celebrated it as the day of the Sun-god — just as Constantine had had in mind.
Under pagan Rome’s Emperor Constantine, church and state were linked, the church became subject to the state [came under its control or authority] and was made an instrument of state policy [helped in the carrying out of, or making of, government policy]. This reorganization of the political [secular] administration [managing] of the pagan Roman Empire became the pattern for the ecclesiastical administration [management] of the Roman church and its hierarchy.
Thus the seeds were sown for what would in due time become known as the Holy Roman Empire (with its popes) that would eventually arise out of the ruins [destruction] of the pagan Roman Empire (with its emperors). In a sense the pagan Roman Empire would continue to live on in Roman church form.
The eventual removal of the political [governing] capital from Rome to Constantinople, by Constantine in AD 330, left the Bishop of Rome pretty much free of imperial control [interference from emperors. Thus the bishop was more able to do his own thing].
A few years later, in AD 336, at the Council of Laodicea, Sunday observance instead of Saturday was introduced as church law by the Bishop of Rome [Canon 29 of this council specifies Judaizing (keeping the 7th day Saturday Sabbath) as the reason for avoiding Saturday Sabbath observance] (Dan 7:25; Rom 1:18).
Around AD 433 the synod of Sardica [a gathering of bishops at Sardica] assigned [gave, agreed to] the Bishop of Rome [pope] jurisdiction [authority] over all the city of Rome’s bishops or archbishops [heads of various provinces].
Later, the Emperor Justinian (AD 527-565), who strongly supported the Bishop of Rome, advanced the bishops interests [desires, plans] by issuing a decree in AD 533 declaring the Bishop of Rome to be the head of all the churches, although this decree did not become effective until AD 538, which was when the papacy finally acquired territorial rule and dominance.
Such was the way in which the Christian church was effectively hijacked and Sunday observance introduced in place of God’s 7th day Saturday Sabbath [along with many more wrongful introductions].
When Protestants [protesters] broke away from the Holy Roman Empire during the ‘Protestant Reformation’ they still clung to the observance of the man-made Sunday Sabbath which tradition has not only seen them keep but also defend.
Despite their attempts to remove themselves from apostasy and oppression via the Protestant Reformation, Protestants are now steering a course back to the very dangers of the past [both error and oppression] through the desire to join forces and let their voices be heard via the political arena in order to see changes brought about for the so-called better. Hence the belief held by many that a similar scenario to that of the past is in the making -- that is, that another political/religious worldwide power will arise that will eventually force its will on all (Rev 13:11-18). An image [copy] of what went before. A power/system that God warns Christians to not be a part of lest they suffer His wrath too, for God at His coming will destoy both that system and all who embrace it (Rev 19:19-21; 14:9-11).
Bear in mind too, that not just the Sabbath Commandment was tinkered with.
"He [a past power] shall speak words against the Most High [God; make pompous claims], shall wear out [persecute]
the holy ones [Waldenses, etc], and shall attempt to change the sacred seasons [shape the course of history]
and the law [God's Ten Commandments] ..." (Dan 7:25).
"The day is not distant, and it may be very near, when we shall all have to fight the battle of the Reformation
Sir Robert Peel (1788-1850)
"We must move as quickly as possible to a one-world government; a one-world religion; under a one-world leader."
Robert Muller, former Assistant Secretary General of the United Nations
The Seventh-day Sabbath [Saturday] has existed since the creation of this world (Ex 20:11; Gen 2:3).
The Seventh-day Sabbath is a memorial of this earths creation (Ps 135:13, this text only KJV; Ex 20:11; Gen 2:3). Like a birthday. A memorial is something that preserves the memory of a person, or something that happened. Something which helps to keep something else in mind. The only explanation for the seven day cycle is the Bible (Gen chapter 1,2). The month can point to the motions of the moon for its period, the year is determined by the revolution of the earth around the sun, but the week has no astronomical or natural source of origin. The Sabbath is a sign of God’s ruler-ship, His flag, as it were.
The observance of the Seventh-day Sabbath reminds us of the origin of the human race (Gen 2:2,3; Ex 20:8-11).
The Seventh-day Sabbath was made when man was (Mark 2:27; Gen 2:1-3).
The Seventh-day Sabbath was made for everyone (Mark 2:27). Not just the Jews. It existed before the Jews. The bible never calls it the Jewish Sabbath.
The Seventh-day Sabbath was made a holy day (Ex 20:11; Gen 2:3). The whole day, not just a part of it. God obviously considered this day very important. The Sabbath protects man’s friendship with God which might otherwise be forgotten — it provides the time necessary for the development of that relationship. The Sabbath day releases us from the pressures of the week days.
The Seventh-day Sabbath is to be kept holy (Isa 58:13; Ezek 20:13,21; Ex 20:8; 16:22-26; Num 15:32-36; Jer 17:21-27; Neh 13:15-22; Luke 23:54-56).
The Seventh-day Sabbath is not to be used for pursuing your own interests (Is 58:13,14).
The Seventh-day Sabbath begins at sunset and finishes at sunset (Lev 23:32; Gen 1:5).
The Seventh-day Sabbath is the forth commandment of the ten (Ex 20:8-11).
The Seventh-day Sabbath is the only commandment that points out the true God (Ezek 20:20), and who the author of the Ten Commandments is (Ex 20:10,11). This shows that the other nine commandments depend on it for their authority. The seal of a law gives the name of the lawgiver, his official title, the extent of his dominion. Thus the Sabbath is God’s seal (Rev 7:3; 14:6,7).
The Seventh-day Sabbath belongs to God (Mark 2:28).
The Seventh-day Sabbath was obviously kept by Abraham as Abraham kept the commandments (Gen 26:5).
The fourth commandment (Ex 20:11) says to “Remember” this Sabbath day, not to forget it. It was known about before the commandments were repeated on Mount Sinai (Gen 26:5; Ex 16:22-30). The commandments were repeated because the descendants of Abraham who had wondered away from God had lost their appreciation of them, along with their understanding of them, especially so when in slavery in Egypt. “Remember” also points us back to the Sabbaths origin, which was creation time — God doesn’t want it forgotten. If Adam had not fallen he would still be keeping the Seventh Day Sabbath today. Its worth noting that the Orthodox Jew is still observing it today. God wouldn’t tell us to keep it if it wasn’t a literal day.
God pronounced a special blessing on Gentiles [non-Jews] who kept the Seventh-day Sabbath (Isa 56:1-8).
Christ rested on the Sabbath in the tomb (Luke 23:52-56; 24:6-8). Therefore the Seventh-day Sabbath is also a memorial of Christ’s death, sacrifice, saving act.
Christ kept the Seventh-day Sabbath (Ex 20:11; Gen 2:3; Mark 1:21; Luke 4:16,31; Heb 4:4).
Christ took for granted the permanence of the Seventh Day Sabbath when warning of the coming destruction of Jerusalem in AD 70 (Matt 24:20) — Remember that Christ died in AD 31.
The Seventh-day Sabbath was kept after the cross (Acts 18:4; Matt 24:20; Luke 23:54-56; Acts 13:14,42; 16:13).
Mark wrote his book 32 years after the resurrection of Christ yet still calls the day before the first day [Sunday], the Sabbath (Mark 16:1,2).
Matthew wrote his book six years after the resurrection of Christ yet still calls the day before the first day, the Sabbath (Matt 28:1).
Many years after Christ’s death, Luke a Gentile referred to the Seventh Day Sabbath as, “the Sabbath day according to the commandment” (Luke 23:54-56). The woman in spite of their devotion to Christ would not proceed to embalm Christ’s body on the Sabbath because they knew it would violate [break, disobey] the Sabbath. This shows that they still considered the Seventh-day Sabbath very important.
The Seventh Day Sabbath is to continue (Heb 4:1-12; Isa 66:22,23), just like the rest of the commandments (Rev 14:12; 12:17).
The Seventh Day Sabbath is a test of loyalty. In Revelation those who keep the commandments [which contains the Seventh-day Sabbath (Ex 20:8-11)] are contrasted with those having the mark of the beast [false worship] (Rev 14:9-11; 13:17).
And of course, facts concerning God's Ten Commandments:
(some repetition here)
The Law of God must have existed before the creation of humans or else both Satan (1John 8:8; 2 Peter 2:4) and Adam (Rom 5:12,19) could not have sinned, because sin is lawlessness — not keeping the law (1 John 3:4). No law — no sin (Rom 7:7). No government is stronger than its laws and no law is stronger than the enforcement of its penalty. In other words — If a government has no laws it has no power, and its laws are not effective unless their penalty [ punishment] is carried out. God is the originator of justice. It is because the law could not be set aside, and penalty had to be enforced, that Jesus came to die for us (Rom 8:3,4). He showed the other side of God’s character – His mercy and love that would pay the penalty for us, so that we might live. God has never been able to forgive sin. He forgives sinners. The reason we know He cannot forgive sin is because Jesus died. Note Heb 10:26,27. After the transgression of Adam the principles of the Law would not have been changed but would have been arranged and expressed to meet man in his fallen condition .
God’s Law was kept by Abraham (Gen 26:5; James 2:22) who lived before the Ten Commandments were repeated at Mount Sinai, where God gave them to Moses on stone tablets. The law was obviously handed down from father to son.
God’s law was repeated at Mount Sinai (Ex 20:3-17) because the descendants of Abraham who had wondered away from God had lost their appreciation of it, along with their understanding of it, especially so when in slavery in Egypt. If they hadn’t wondered away from God there would have been no need for God to give it to Moses like He did.
The Jews were simply the ones chosen by God to look after, uphold and communicate his law to the world along with all His truths (Rom 3:2). Once they rejected Christ they were no longer His chosen people.
God’s law has not been done away with even though we are saved by grace [God’s mercy, undeserved favour] (Rom 3:31; Heb 8:10; Rev 14:12; 12:17). We keep the commandments not to be saved but because we are saved. A Christian does right because he is a Christian, never in order to be a Christian. An apple tree bears apples because it is an apple tree, never in order to become one. Apple trees don’t have to try hard to produce apples; its natural for apple trees to produce apples.
God’s law is considered perfect and holy (Rom 7:12; Ps 19:7).
Christ made it clear when He was on earth that He had not come to do away with the law (Matt 5:17-19; Luke 16:17). God does not do away with something simply because people abuse it. He educates. The validity of any God-given law is determined by its intended use, not by the way human beings use or abuse it. It is normal for human beings to introduce new models and structures to eliminate existing deficiencies. For God however, this would be abnormal and incoherent since he knows the end from the beginning. A change in the moral Law is no more possible than a transformation of the character of God who changes not.
Christ condemned those who rejected His commandments by replacing them with man’s commandments (Mark 7:9; Matt 15:9).
The apostle Paul, for example, still kept the law after the cross (Acts 24:14; Rom 3:31; 7:22).
God’s law shows us how we should behave in regards to Him and each other (Rom 7:7; 3:20; James 2:9). The Ten Commandments are the standard of Christian conduct (James 2:24,26; 2:20; Matt 19:17; Eph 2:10; Matt 5:16). When Paul speaks of the Law in the ‘context of salvation’ [Justification – Right standing before God] he is clearly affirming that law keeping is of no avail (Rom 3:20), but on the other hand when he speaks of the Law in the ‘context of Christian conduct’ [Sanctification – Right living before God], then he is maintaining the value and validity of God’s Law (Rom 7:12; 13:8-10; 1 Cor 7:19). Just as civil laws are designed to protect our freedom, not to restrict it, so God’s Law is telling us how to live in such a way that we can experience the greatest happiness and fulfilment.
It is the duty of every Christian to keep God’s law (1 Cor 7:19; Eccl 12:13; 2 John 6; James 1:25; Rom 2:13; Rev 22:12).
We are to keep every single one of the ten commandments, just as God gave them (James 2:10; Rom 13:8-10; Matt 22:36-40). It’s a question of loyalty. Rebellion hardly shows that we love God.
The keeping of God’s law must come from a willing heart (Rom 7:22; Heb 8:10; Prov 3:1,2; Rom 2:15; Ps 40:8; Gal 6:2; James 2:8,9; Rom 8:3,4). Not imitation, but habitation.
We will be judged by God’s law (James 2:12). If we don’t keep God’s law we show that we are not genuine about following Him, that we don’t really want to change that much, that we don’t really love or truly know Him (1 John 2:3,4,5; Matt 7:21; 7:20; John 14:15,21; 15:10), and we thus come out from under His grace (Heb 10:26,27; James 4:17; 1 John 3:4).
Yes, God’s law clearly still applies today (Matt 5:18; Luke 16:17; Ps 111:7,8; Heb 8:10; Rom 3:31; James 1:25; 2:10,12; John 14:21; 1 John 5:3; Rev 14:12; Isa 8:20; Rev 22:14. Last two texts KJV only).
By the way, God’s law must not be confused with the Jewish ceremonial law. Let's look at the difference —
The Ten Commandments
This law is for everyone (1 Cor 7:19; Eccl 12:13; Luke 16:17; Rom 3:31; Rev 14:12).
A) This law was spoken by God directly to the people (Deut 4:12,13).
B) This law was written on stone tablets by God Himself (Ex 31:18; Deut 4:13).
C) This law was placed in side the ark of the covenant (1 Kings 8:9).
D) All Christians are to keep this law (1 Cor 7:19; Rev 14:12; Rom 2:13; 3:31;1 John 2:3,4).
E) All are judged by this law (James 2:8,12).
F) This law is a summary of all moral duties to man and God (Eccl 12:13; Ex 20:3-17).
G) This law contains the weekly Seventh-day [Saturday] Sabbath (Ex 20:8-11).
H) This law is to continue (Rom 3:31; Rev 22:14, KJV; 14:9-12; Matt 5:17; Luke 16:17; 1 Cor 7:19).
I) This law contains eternal principles.
J) This law contains no offerings [such as animal sacrifices] or anything typical [biblical types — things that foreshadow].
K) This law is a perfect law (Rom 7:12; Ps 19:7).
L) This law is a spiritual law (Rom 7:14).
The Jewish Ceremonial Law:
This was the sanctuary [temple] laws which governed the religious services of Israel and which pointed forward to the coming Messiah. Hence the types and anti-types.
A) This law was spoken by God to Moses (Ex 24:4).
B) Moses wrote this law in a book (2 Chron 35:12; Deut 31:9; Ex 24:4).
C) This law was placed by the side of the ark of the covenant (Deut 31:2).
D) No Christian is to keep this law since the cross.
E) No one is judged by this law.
F) This law showed how sins are forgiven and sinners reconciled to God.
G) This law contained yearly Sabbaths and feasts.
H) This law ceased with Christ’s death (Eph 2:15; Acts 15:24).
I ) This law stood only in ordinances, rites and ceremonies (Heb 7:27; chap 9,10).
J) This law contained types (Heb 8:5).
K) This law is an imperfect law (Heb 7:18,19; 10:1).
L) This law is not in itself a spiritual law (Heb 9:10).
And let's not forget: The Jewish Civil Law:
These were laws which regulated a multitude of things which had to do with the operation of Israel. They had to do with health, sanitation, disease, crime, court procedures, etc. These are not binding today as civil obligations although many of the basic principles still apply.
Check out the following connected and interesting article. In fact, the next three articles are connected.
8. Rhythm Of LifeBy Tim Crosby, a sabbatarian
Life on this earth seems to be calibrated in some mysterious way to the number seven. We as humans operate under the cadence of a seven-day week—a cycle of human activity that doesn’t even follow the cosmic timing of the stars, the sun, or the moon.
The number seven even governs the music world. Most people think there are eight notes in an octave, just as there are eight sides to an octagon. But no, an octave has only seven. Count them: do, re, me, fa, so, la, ti—and then we start over again with do. That eighth note, the octave, begins a new cycle of seven. There are as many notes in the scale as there are days in a week.
Six Around One
A hexagon (six-sided object) provides the most efficient use of space. Just ask a bee busily building his honeycomb. Mathematicians and architects insist that a hexagonal room (six walls built around a floor—the “six around one” principle) provides the most efficient perimeter to area ratio and requires the least amount of wall material per square foot of floor space.
Like that central circle set in the middle of six workdays, the Sabbath is God’s original prescription for allowing His people to enjoy optimum health, spirituality, and longevity. “Six days you shall labor,” He says in Exodus 34:21, “but on the seventh day you shall rest; even during the plowing season and harvest you must rest.”
It seems that all life moves in seven-day rhythms. A growing number of scientists have embraced an entirely new field of study known as chronobiology that examines repeating phenomena in living organisms. These cycles are known as biological rhythms.
Franz Halberg of the University of Minnesota is widely considered the “father of chronobiology.” This tall gentleman from Romania works in an office crammed with bookshelves stacked with copies of journals and papers he’s produced over the years. He insists that we humans don’t just experience circadian rhythms of approximately 24 hours, we also operate under circaseptan or weekly rhythms as well.
Halberg first became interested in the subject when, as a high school student, he accompanied physician friends of his parents in their practice. He began to notice that patients with pneumonia either recovered or died in seven days.
Today, Franz Halberg proposes that body rhythms of that length—far from being passively driven by the social cycle of the calendar week—are innate, self-governing, and perhaps the reason why the calendar week arose in the first place.
Research has uncovered many conditions about us humans that seem to rise and fall in seven-day cycles. They include: heartbeat, blood pressure, body temperature, hormone levels, acid content in blood, red blood cell count, oral temperature, female breast temperature, urine chemistry and volume, the ratio between two important neurotransmitters: norepinephrine and epinephrine, and the flow of several body chemicals such as the stress-coping hormone cortisol. Even the common cold is circaseptan.
Doctors have long observed that response to malaria infection and pneumonia crisis peaks at seven days. Chicken pox symptoms (a high fever and small red spots) usually appear almost exactly two weeks after exposure to the illness. A person will tend to have an increase in swelling on the seventh and then the fourteenth day after surgery.
Organ transplants face similar crises as the body’s immune system attacks the newly introduced foreign object.
In the Blood
God knew all of this because He created us. Perhaps that’s why He commanded, in Genesis 17:12, that babies were to be circumcised one week after they were born. (Some scholars still don’t realize that on the eighth day is the Hebrew way of saying “one week later”—the eighth day of the Jewish week was the first day of the next week (Leviticus 23:39). The Hebrews used inclusive reckoning when speaking of time, just like we use inclusive reckoning when speaking of the notes of the octave. In other words, God told the Israelites to circumcise their children on the octave of the day they were born.
So, why wait a week? Because doctors tell us that’s when the prothrombin is at maximum.
Prothrombin is what causes the blood to clot, preventing endless bleeding. It’s never so high again.
The Week in History
Today, we take the seven-day cycle for granted. But in ancient cultures “weeks” varied in length from three to nineteen days. But, in the millennium before Christ, Israel’s seven day week took over the world. And their weekly cycle revolved around something very unique.
It was the Jews—those careful keepers of God’s time—who preserved one day as a period of rest and reflection; a “Sabbath” during which to focus on spiritual matters.
As the centuries rolled on, the Jewish Sabbath became an accepted part of Roman society. According to the ancient historian Josephus, writing in his book Against Apion, “The masses have long since shown a keen desire to adopt our religious observances; and there is not one city, Greek or barbarian, nor a single nation, to which our custom of abstaining from work on the seventh day has not spread.”
We live in a universe, not a multiverse. All of life is a symphony, and we’re each players in God’s great orchestra. Every song has a cadence, a rhythm. When we’re “in the groove” with the conductor, our lives experience a certain serenity, a familiar flow. Once we get out of step with the cadence of the song—the rhythm of time—our lives falter.
Imagine what it would be like if you tried to follow a 30-hour day. You’d soon find yourself completely out of step with society. Human nature is locked into that natural, God-created 24-hour circadian rhythm.
The same is true of the weekly circaseptan rhythm. That means that if you’re working on the Sabbath, you are breaking yourself.
Custom or Creation
One final question. How do we know that these rhythms aren’t just social or religious customs? Perhaps, after several thousand years, the weekly cycle has simply been bred into us.
The problem with such a “social convention” explanation is that it can’t explain circaseptan rhythms in algae, Dahl rats, mice, guinea pigs, honeybees, beach beetles, and face flies.
In his writings, author Jeremy Campbell reports that circaseptan rhythms “are of very ancient origin, appearing in primitive one-celled organisms, and are thought to be present even in bacteria, the simplest form of life now existing.”
Here’s something really intriguing: While human teeth are growing, small lines or ridges form on the dental enamel about every seven days. The growing tooth might even be said to exhibit a weekly “rest” as it leaves behind a dark marker (just as trees show darker rings where their growth pauses in the winter). According to scientific researchers A. Mann, J. Monge, and M. Lampl in their book Investigation Into the Relationship Between Perikymata Counts and Crown Formation Times, these lines—30-40 microns apart—are called striae of Retzius. These stria are found even on the teeth of fossil hominids that lived before modern culture existed.
Why should all living things have an innate seven-day cycle? I’d like to suggest a not-too-wild theory. “In six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, but he rested on the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy” (Exodus 20:11).
I believe that God put within us rhythms that flow from the internal logic of our bodies.
Isaiah 58 is a chapter containing some potent health secrets. The first is a promise that God will bless those who bless the less fortunate (verses 5-12). The second is that God will bless those who honor His holy day. “If you keep your feet from breaking the Sabbath and from doing as you please on my holy day, if you call the Sabbath a delight and the Lord’s holy day honorable, and if you honor it by not going your own way and not doing as you please or speaking idle words, then you will find your joy in the Lord, and I will cause you to ride on the heights of the land” (verses 13, 14).
Just as we tune our radios to receive our favorite musical broadcasts, so every living cell has embedded in its primal genetic material a resonant frequency—a clock, a beat that puts us in sync with the universe. That powerful, mysterious beat revolves around the number seven.
Right now, God is calling you to tune your life to His heavenly broadcast and join in the song.
9. It Just Makes So Much Sense
Thus, Satan's main focus,
(attack), is obviously on those who uphold God's seventh day Sabbath, because they're not
only flys in his ointment and truer witnesses, (given they keep God's Sabbath), but are also bucking
Satan's wishes. After all, he wants all to do his bidding, not just the majority. Hence
why the book of Revelation encourages those who are keeping God's Ten
Commandments, (which includes His seventh day Sabbath), to remain
faithful in their course of action (Rev 14:12).
The highest angel in Heaven, (for there’s order in Heaven too), named Lucifer, became discontented, coveting a higher position, equality with the Godhead, and without justification.
A third of the angels, (fooled by Lucifer’s words), sided with him, joining him in open rebellion.
Eventually, Lucifer, (now named the devil or Satan), and the angels who sided with him, were removed from Heaven (Rev 12:7-9,12; Isa 14:12-14; Ezek 28:14-17).
Meantime, God took planet Earth and creatively furnished it. His crowning act humanity. Upon finishing His creative work, which took six literal days, He rested on the seventh day, Saturday (Gen 2:2,3; Ex 20:11). He especially blessed this day, set it apart as a holy day of worship. It thus became His seal, flag, memorial, forever pointing to Him as the creator of Earth and its inhabitants, which the fourth Commandment, and only that Commandment, points out.
God warned the first inhabitants of Earth, (Adam and Eve), that Satan would attempt to lead them astray.
Satan sought out Eve, (who strayed from Adam’s side one day), managing to fool her, (and thus also entrapping Adam -- Gen chapter 3). Via such disloyalty and disobedience, (in other words, selfishness, sin, pride), Satan managed to gain control over both them and this planet -- Earth.
As a result, the following occurred:
1) Earth and humanity became infected by sin and decay.
2) Humans were no longer allowed access to the Tree of Life (Gen 3:24), which thereby reduced them to mortals. Such meant that they would eventually die, never to live again, unless God provided some sort of a way out of their predicament, which He did — the cross, and His return — the latter being when all the saved will be taken to Heaven (John 14:2,3; Heb 11:39,40; Rev 22:12; Matt 16:27). Meantime, they remain wherever they are (Job 14:12; 1 Thess 4:13; Dan 12:2). God has their blueprint, so to speak — therefore, one day they will live again, being restored to their unique individual self.
Sometime after the Flood, God raised up a nation (Deut 7:6), (ancient Israel, a Jewish people), who were to be a light to the world, upholders of His will, guardians of His Law (Rom 3:2), who kept the seventh day Saturday Sabbath, and this, before Mount Sinai (Ex 16:27-30). Had they not rebelled, and finally suffered a divine divorce (Matt 21:43; 23:37,38), they would still, (as His Holy nation), be continuing to uphold and convey that same Sabbath to the world in line with God’s instruction, its creation origin and purpose.
Since the fall of man, (in the garden of Eden), Satan has attempted to not only gain the hearts and minds of every human on Earth, but complete and utter control over all. He has worked via various tyrants and powers to enslave, deprave, and control them so. His major player in history being the Holy Roman Empire that ruled for hundreds of persecuting years (Dan 7:8,21,24; Rev 13:5-8). This religious/political power, in its early stages, played with God’s Law, and made keeping Sunday as the Sabbath, (instead of Saturday), Church law (Dan 7:25 -- AD 336, Council of Laodicea, Canon 29). Thus, Sunday became Satan’s seal, flag, memorial, and the observance of it thereby pointing to him, and its observance diverting glory his way. Those who refused this power's dictates were eventually killed.
Due to the Reformation and the involvement of Napoleon, this power received a huge setback which broke its stranglehold (referred to in Rev 13:12).
However, despite such, most protestants still kept to the Sunday Sabbath, and still do today.
Satan, angry about the persecuting reign of the Holy Roman Empire being halted (Rev 12:17), is now in the process of cunningly achieving such again, but via a New World Order (Rev 13:11,12), (a wolf in sheep’s clothing), whereby, he will have all on Earth under his control.
Once again, he has clearly been very busy seeing to it that the Sunday Sabbath is upheld and that the Saturday Sabbath is discredited. Eventually, via this power, he clearly won’t allow anyone to worship on Saturday, (just like before), which also will mean that freedom and civil/religious liberty will have become a thing of the past, and all in the name of a dubious peace and harmony that’s doomed because only Christ’s kingdom can usher in peace and harmony. Via the New World Order, death will no doubt finally be decreed on descenters, those who continue to keep the seventh day Sabbath (Rev 13:15) — once again, just like happened before.
Going by the book of Revelation, it’s clear that the past power (“beast”) and the new power (“image”) are tied in with each other (Rev 13:15). Could it be that modern adherents of the the old power have somehow infiltrated the new power?
God will soon return, and He will destroy Satan’s New World Order (Rev 19:2,20; Dan 7:26), those who’ve submitted to its folly (Rev 14:9,10), and all who’ve gone contrary to His will, which will include having accepted the then enforced Sunday Sabbath as the only legal day of worship as opposed to the Saturday Sabbath, which is God’s day of worship, He being the Lord of the Sabbath. Such a choice prior to His return will have declared our loyalty or disloyalty, for at that time, both His Commandments and the Saturday Sunday issue will have clearly become an issue on Earth, whereby, all will have had the opportunity to see the truth of the matter.
One only has to look at the strong Sunday versus Saturday debate that has been occurring on the internet for quite some time, and, I'm sad to say, certain very un-Christ-like anti-Sabbatarian sentiments. There's also a push for legislated Sunday sacredness coming from certain quarters.
So watch for any signs of a politically promoted universal day — that day being Sunday. Firstly a non-work day, and then...
Bear in mind that all throughout Earth's history it has always only been a faithful few who've remained true to God's will — never the majority. The majority have always rebelled, apostatised.
Christians also need to remember that throughout God’s Word the issue has always raged around loyalty to God or man, (Satan), true worship as opposed to false worship, truth as opposed to heresy, obedience as opposed to rebellion, willing adherence as opposed to legalistic adherence, true Christianity as opposed to a form of Christianity, and that the great controversy is all about Satan attempting to get the glory and honour that belongs to God.
10. It's A Plausible Scenario
than happy to declare that I'm passionately devoted to the complete separation
of Church and State. I believe I've history, (remember the Inquisitions, the Crusades -- not that long ago),
and God's Word (,12; Mark ) on my side. Anyway, to get to the
point, I personally believe that a persecuting Church and State senario will rise
again, (with global tentacles), given what I've read in the book of Revelation,
(particularly chapter thirteen, verses 11 to 18), given how we're so apt to repeat the past, and
given general indications.
Regarding such a scenario occuring again, (if not already in the making), one would have to raise the question where and how. As I ponder on such, I can't help but come to the conclusion that America is the most likely place for such a momentum and the global "beast" power that the Bible talks about that will arise just before Christ's return. A New World Order? The "beast" power in Revelation is clearly a religious/political power as it forces all on earth to "worship" it. To be able to force such, it would obviously have to have immense political clout and military/police backup. This "beast" is also aligned with or referred to as a "false prophet" (; ,14) which implicates religion again, and of course, something that's claiming God's authority to speak when it doesn't have such authority, something that may look the part, but is off track. Though there's more than one "beast" mentioned, they're both tied in with each other, and hence why their different aspects and roles are mentioned -- one past, but not out of the picture, and one future. So why America?
1) Well, though
It's not my intention to dwell more upon this aspect here, but it certainly bears out that much has gone on behind closed doors and in secret chambers. Where there's humanity, there'll never be true transparency. Thus, man's attempts, via the Christian realm or secular realm, will never usher in an answer. Only Christ's return will do that.
2) American Christians, at least most of them anyway, (who make up a large portion of America, and who're very much into vocalising “God bless America"), are extremely patriotic, (indeed most Americans in general), and as a consequence, are very much into the political scene. There are many American Christians who believe that Church and State should not be separate and are doing all that they can to bring about a Church and State return. Thus, it only stands to reason that they midst their religious/political fervour would want to introduce whatever they believe God wants. Can you see the danger? What one Christian thinks God wants and another Christian thinks God wants can be a very different matter. And then there are those Americans who do not hold to Christian beliefs at all. Yes, we're living midst a mixed multitude, and God will hardly be building His kingdom, (nor a Christian theocracy), on a mixed multitude made up of pagans and Christians, sinners and saints -- such is effectively an oxymoron.
3) Despite its woes, and despite how things might currently look, no country has the global clout that
Now, when you take:
a) a country with such global clout,
b) a country with such powerful and sophisticated military might,
c) a country very steeped in Christian tradition and religious fervour,
d) a country with a very large Christian population, (even if many are nominal Christians),
e) militant Christians with a political agenda, hard right ideology, and the belief that changing
f) a general patriotic fervour that seems to surpass any other country, and that permeates so much of all that’s essentially American,
g) and then add a dose of fear created by the likes of 911 events, and terrorism in general, (some of which many believe has been orchestrated), and which has many (even worldwide) willing to accept anything for the sake of safely, (e.g, the erosion of certain rights), and which had and has many scurrying back to their churches that they've possibly been absent from,
h) and I must add, there's even a pope, (who has tremendous clout and influence), calling for a New World Order too, (not just American presidents talking of such), and talking about the need for some sort of global military/police backup, (and his willingness to be a main player), thus one can't help noticing a smoking gun, (more like a volcano, to me), a very likely or believable scenario for a return to Church and State, or some sort of embrace all religious/political system that may appear Christian but that behind the scene is actually a wolf in sheep’s clothing that will eventually tighten its grip under the pretense that what it's doing is in the interest of earth's inhabitants. I guess that's why Revelation talks about the world being deceived and wondering after the "beast." And don't forget that
i) and for good measure, throw the ecumenical movement into the same bubbling pot -- a Reformation reversal in the making given the compromises being made, the less doctrinal concern, the worldliness and biblical ignorance of most Christians today, the changing face of the church, and the hollering for unity,
j) and to cement things further, a global call from many quarters for all to come together as one in peace and harmony, which sounds good, but under whose or what umbrella? And couldn't such play into the hands of a global "beast" -- a universal religion of sorts? Is it possible that America has and is being infiltrated on a number of fronts -- one perhaps being the resurrected continuence of the past "beast" power working behind the scenes here?
"Yes, Revelation chapter thirteen talks about two "beasts" -- one past, but still in the picture, and one present -- different, yet the same, for one's an "image" of the other. And the past beast? Well, the only one that I can think of that most fits the details and picture that one particularly sees in the first part of Revelation chapter thirteen is, the Holy Roman Empire (Church and State power) that history records as having ruled for hundreds of persecuting years. Years where it persecuted the "saints" -- they being, faithful followers of God and His truths, hence the eventual Reformation. And hence why I find the following quotes interesting:
Abraham Lincoln (1809-1865)
"When fascism comes to America, it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying a cross."
Sinclair Lewis (1885-1951)
"For over 200 years, the goal [of the Jesuits] has been the complete destruction of the United States Constitution. In the religious arena, the goal of the Jesuits is to wipe out any trace of Protestantism and other religions, and to restore worldwide domination by the pope."
Bill Hughes (From his book The Secret Terrorists)
"Moreover, the pope has thousands of secret agents worldwide. They include Jesuits, the Knights of Columbus, Knights of Malta, Opus Dei, and others. The Vatican's
Dave Hunt, Amercan Baptist Historian
Regarding the book "The Transformation of the Republic" by C.T. Wilcox (2003) --
"An expose of Vatican and Jesuit intrigues and interference into the political structure of the United States and Europe. It contains shocking revelations and fully authenticated documentation, much of it hidden for almost 100 years, to support the conclusion that the United States has been transformed from a beacon of light and hope into an empire with beast-like tendencies and that the world is headed for a Vatican led and instigated cataclysm while it sleepwalks towards the edge."
And from the same book --
"The Jesuit Order is an association of highly organized warrior priests. They are politicians first and foremost and have been expelled from virtually every country they have had the opportunity to corrupt and destroy. Their modus operandi is political and educational infiltration and subversion and the fomenting of wars and revolutions in order to weaken and mold the target country into submissive pliability, to then be used to carry out their purpose of global ecclesiastically backed dictatorship. The United States is no exception to this."
"If you trace up Masonry, through all its Orders, till you come to the grand tip-top head Mason of the World, you will discover that the dread individual and the Chief of the Society of Jesus [the Superior General of the Jesuit Order] are one and the same person.”
James Parton, American historian
"The day is not distant, and it may be very near, when we shall all have to fight the battle of the Reformation over again" Sir Robert Peel (1788-1850)
"We must move as quickly as possible to a one-world government; a one-world religion; under a one-world leader."
Robert Muller, former Assistant Secretary General of the United Nations
"There is a de facto “secret government” operating nationally and internationally and involved in the highest circles of the U.S.
"I am concerned for the security of our great nation; not so much because of any threat from without, but because of the insidious forces working from within."
General Douglas MacArthur (1880-1964)
As far as Jesuits go, and their being mentioned here, I would suggest that you do a Google search so that you can draw your own conclusions, perhaps typing in something like "Jesuit infiltration of America."
Evidence suggests or declares that the Vatican is controlled by Jesuits and that the pope is but a mere figurehead who has little say of his own, merely paroting what he is told, and that the real and only pope is the General of the Jesuits, who is commonly known as the "Black Pope".
Well, there you have it. And at the end of the day, it's your call. Even if you don't agree, you've surely got to admit it's a plausible senario, for there's too much smoke for such not to be seriously considered as being a fire.
My advice? Keep your eyes on that smoke, for in time you might see flames. And don't forget, followers of that "beast", (whoever, whatever, wherever it is), will come under God's wrath (Rev 14:9-11).
11. Opposites And Substitutes
Yes, one side clearly contains opposites and substitutes.
Christianity —— Atheism, Paganism
Creation —— Evolution
The Bible —— Humanism
Birth —— Abortion, Euthanasia, Suicide
Truth —— False doctrine, False prophets, Counterfeit miracles
Biblical prophecy —— Astrology, Clairvoyants
Morality —— Premarital sex, Immodesty, Pornography, Crudity
Marriage —— Cohabitation
The biblical marriage covenant —— Prenuptial agreements, Divorce
The spiritual —— Spiritualism, the occult, New Age
Genuine Christianity —— Legalism, Liberalism, Formalism.
God focussed worship —— Self focussed, Feelings driven
Pure Worship —— A holy and unholy mix
Reverent worship —— Entertainment orientated, Applause, Laughter
Biblical headship, submission —— Women’s ordination, Feminism, Role interchangeability
Gender distinctions —— Unisex, Homosexuality/Lesbianism
Salvation by grace —— Salvation by works
Order —— Disorder, Sloppiness, Lateness, Carelessness
Temperance —— Excess, Wastage
Discipline —— Lack of control, self indulgence
Humbleness —— Vanity, Egotism, Aloofness
Self sacrifice, servant hood —— Selfishness, Competitiveness, Manipulation, Control, Jealousy
Honesty —— Lying, Deceit, Pretence
Love —— Indifference, Hate, Favouritism, Partiality, Bigotry, Prejudice
Reconciliation —— Grudges, Un-forgiveness
Kindness —— Cruelty, Persecution, Thoughtlessness, Meanness
Principle —— The means justifies the end, Compromise
Understanding —— Insensitivity, Intolerance, A critical spirit
Beauty —— The abstract, Body mutilation (tattoos, piecing)
Gratefulness —— Discontent, Destructiveness, Lack of care
Only God’s immortal —— Belief in an immortal soul
The God introduced seventh day Sabbath (Saturday) —— The man introduced first day Sabbath (Sunday)
God’s Ten Commandments —— Lawlessness, Rebelliousness
Faithfulness —— Apostasy, Betrayal, Hypocrisy
Mercy —— Injustice, Hardheartedness
And no doubt more could be added to this list and within this list.
12. Seven 'Nevers' That Scripture ShoutsNEVER PUT MAN BEFORE GOD
NEVER COMPROMISE BIBLICAL STANDARDS AND PRINCIPLES
NEVER MIX THE UNHOLY WITH THE HOLY
NEVER TAMPER WITH GOD’S WORD
NEVER DISPLAY IRREVERENCE TO GOD
NEVER GO CONTRARY TO GOD’S COMMANDS
NEVER SPURN ANY PROPHET GOD MAY SEND
(hence why anyone claiming to be a prophet should be tested).
13. My Dictionary
Taken from various sources.
Accommodationists [or theological moderates] give the appearance of being Bible-believing conservatives, but accommodate conservative beliefs to liberal thought. Unlike radical/classical liberals, accommodationists accept some or even all of the Bible’s miracles and supernatural events, but they maintain that the Bible is not fully reliable in everything. They employ modified versions of contemporary higher criticism to interpret Scripture.
A figurative manner of speaking or writing, in which a subject of a higher order is described in terms of that of a lower; a representation in which something else is intended than what is actually exhibited; an extended metaphor.
The type of text that is found in many of the oldest New Testament manuscripts, best represented by Codex Vaticanus (B, 4th century), and the papyrus MS P75 (3rd century). This text type has now become the accepted text among textual scholars and the basis for new Bible versions.
In theology the study of the origin, nature, and destiny of man as contrasted with the study of God or of angels.
Relating to grand and/or violent events such as those described in Revelation — End-time events.
A collection of books not contained in the Jewish and Protestant canons but accepted by the Roman Catholic church under the name of deuterocanonicals. Fourteen books included in the Septuagint and Vulgate as an appendix to the Old Testament, but rejected as uncanonical by Protestants and Jews. Collection of early Christian writings of uncertain origin, rejected as additions to the New Testament. Writings or statements of doubtful authorship or authenticity.
Ancient Semitic [Jewish] language, or group of dialects, widely used in the ancient Middle East since the rise to power of the Assyrians and Babylonians. Spoken by the Jews during and after the Babylonian exile. Aramaic was the vernacular in Palestine in the days of Christ, and the language spoken by Christ.
Unduly self-denying and devoted. One who, for religious reasons, practices rigorous self-discipline by leading a life of meditation and self denial.
The belief that there are only two persons in the Godhead, i.e., the Father and the Son.
Brooke Foss Westcott and Fenton John Anthony Hort (Anglicans)
Publishers of The New Testament in The Original Greek (1881). While the Westcott and Hort text is based on two manuscripts [Codex Vaticanus & Codex Sinaiticus], many readings from other manuscripts are incorporated. Westcott and Hort revised the Textus Receptus by using Greek manuscripts that were older than those used by previous editors of the Greek New Testament. Some of these ancient manuscripts had not been discovered when Erasmus and Stephanus did their work. The Greek New Testament published by these men became the foundation for the English Revised Version (1885) and the American Standard Version (1901).
The type of text found in the majority of New Testament manuscripts.
In Christian language this term denotes the list of books accepted as divinely inspired composing the Old Testament and New Testament Scriptures.
Greek New Testament manuscript discovered in 1844 in the library of St. Catherine’s monastery on Mount Sinai.
Greek New Testament manuscript prepared about 350 AD (it had been in the library of the Vatican for at least 500 years).
Theological conservatives seek to conserve or preserve the view of Scripture set forth in the inspired Word itself and which formed the consensus of Christendom from its very beginning until the rise of higher criticism. Bible-believing conservatives accept the full inspiration and trustworthiness of the Bible in matters of salvation as well as on any other subjects the Bible touches upon. They reject the use of the higher critical methodologies.
Secret, mysterious, obscure in meaning. Having an ambiguous or hidden meaning.
An expression describing higher critical scholars’ assertion that at least some parts of the Bible reflect the prejudices or limitations of the inspired writers’ culture and times. Since the Bible writers allegedly wrote from ignorance or a distorted view of reality, such scholars argue that the “culturally conditioned” parts are not fully inspired and binding.
Belief that the universe and its natural laws were created by God, but that the natural laws govern its operation, not the will of God; Belief in God as the source of existence, stressing dependence upon reason rather than revelation and rejecting the rituals of organized religion.
Writing of the early church probably used as a Manuel of instruction to train converts to Christianity in doctrine and discipline before they were baptized.
While they differ in their opinions as to the number of dispensations, dispensational theologians hold that God has unfolded His plan of salvation or covenant of grace in successive dispensations or periods of time throughout human history. Dispensationalists accept the Rapture theory.
The theory that all the phenomena of the universe can be explained in terms of two distinct essential factors, as body and soul or good and evil.
An approach to Bible translation that seeks to communicate the original meaning in a given text by translating thought-for-thought. Because it seeks to make the Bible clear and “alive” in today’s language, it often loses many of the nuances of the original language, thereby sacrificing accuracy. Often exhibiting the biases of translators, this approach to Bible translation is most commonly reflected in Bible paraphrases.
Eisegesis (or Imposition)
Reading into a text a meaning that is not there, by illegitimately imposing onto it the interpreter’s own opinion or ideology.
The eighteenth-century European philosophical movement that held that truth can be obtained only through reason, observation, and experiment. Characterized by rationalism, skepticism about traditional doctrines, and the empirical method in science. It has since then influenced much of the Western world.
The doctrine concerned with the final events in the history of the world; death, judgment, heaven, hell and Second Coming.
Branch of philosophy that deals with the pursuit of the good, the meaning and justification of moral codes, and the criteria for evaluating right and wrong. Standards of conduct or code of behaviour.
Exegesis (or Exposition)
Reading out of a text a meaning that is already there, by faithfully explaining the meaning of a text in its original context.
An approach to Bible translation that seeks to preserve all of the information in the text, by translating word-for-word of the original language as much as possible. Because it seeks accuracy in translation, sometimes the translation may be difficult to understand or awkward to read.
A point of view characterized by belief in the literal truth of the Bible. Because Bible-believing Christians accept the literal truthfulness of Scripture, rejecting the approach of higher criticism, their liberal counterparts often label them “fundamentalist” to suggest that conservatives are anti-intellectual, obscurantist, reactionary, and authoritarian.
A system of religious philosophy flourishing in the first six centuries of the Church that combined ideas from Greek and Oriental philosophy with Christianity and that emphasizes dualism, holding that matter is evil and that emancipation—in Christianity salvation—comes through knowledge. Believed that the human body must have its passions repressed and denied.
Culture of the ancient Greeks. In ancient times the adoption or imitation of Greek culture. A body of humanistic and classical ideals associated with the culture, language, and philosophy of life prevalent in the Graeco-Roman world during the time of Christ.
The art and science of interpretation, as of the Bible. As a science of interpretation, hermeneutics seeks to establish the principles, methods, and rules needed for interpreting written texts, including the Bible. Every hermeneutical method is based on a set of assumptions about the inspiration and trustworthiness of Scripture.
An attitude of skepticism toward the Bible that leads to rejecting those parts of Scripture judged incompatible with the tenets of Enlightenment rationalism. Practitioners of higher criticism refuse to receive the Scriptures as God’s inspired and trustworthy communication of His will to all humanity. In this approach, human reason and experience, rather than inspired Scripture, are exalted as the objective, dependable criteria to determine truth. Higher critics question, criticize, dissect, conjecture, and reconstruct God’s inspired Word, thus robbing it of its power. Today, higher criticism operates under the various contemporary approaches of the historical-critical method.
An umbrella term that describes the contemporary manifestation of old-fashioned higher criticism. As a liberal approach to Scripture, it does not accept the Bible as fully inspired and trustworthy. Maintaining that some things recorded in the bible are not reliable or accurate accounts of what actually happened, critical scholars have put forward several, often contradictory, approaches touted as “objective” paradigms of Bible interpretation. These include: literary-source criticism, form or tradition criticism, redaction criticism, comparative-religion criticism, historical criticism, structural criticism, etc. These contemporary approaches are established on three major principles: analogy, correlation, and criticism. The historical-critical method is the opposite of the
historical-grammatical method [the plain, literal interpretation of Scripture].
A historical-critical approach that adopts a skeptical attitude to the historical claims of Scripture. It employs all the other techniques of the various approaches bracketed under the historical-critical method and, in addition, draws upon archeology and secular historical sources to determine authorship, date of writing, and allegedly led to the writing of the biblical book.
A term dating at least to 1788 to describe a method of studying Scriptures which conducts a detailed analysis of the biblical text in accordance with the original language and historical context. This approach, generally favored by Bible-believing conservatives, recognizes the Bible as fully inspired and trustworthy. The historical-grammatical method is the opposite of the historical-critical method [contemporary higher criticism].
A divine act which enables a person (prophet and non-prophet) in a right relationship with God to understand God’s revealed will correctly.
The assumption of bodily form, especially human form, by a supernatural being. Christ becoming man, having the body and nature of man.
Derives from Latin infallibilitas, meaning the quality of neither deceiving nor misleading. Applied to the Bible, the term suggests that Scripture is wholly trustworthy and reliable.
A divine act by which God enables the prophet to grasp and communicate in a trustworthy manner that which has been revealed to him/her in divine revelation.
Relating to the period separating the Old and New Testaments.
The Jews and the nation of Israel both commenced with Abraham. They weren’t really called Jews until about the time of Daniel. Otherwise were called Hebrews. The title Jew was really a nick-name — a shortened term for the tribe of Judah.
Right standing before God. Justified — treated as if righteous — occurs instantly on ones genuine acceptance of God’s grace.
Dictionary, especially of Greek, Hebrew, Latin or Aramaic language.
Liberalism/Liberals (Classical or Radical)
Theological liberals deny the full trustworthiness of the Bible. Seeking to accommodate Bible truth to modern culture or science, classical/radical liberals deny the validity of miracles and the supernatural, and they adopt the methods of higher criticism (historical-critical method) as the way to restore the truthfulness of the Bible.
Comparative study of languages, including their origins, development, and interrelationships; science of language.
An attempt to understand the Bible in its plain, obvious, and normal sense. This approach does not allegorize or spiritualize Scripture away in order to find some hidden, mystical, deeper, or secret meaning. The literal or plain meaning of Scripture should not be confused with a “literalistic” interpretation.
An interpretation that fails to take into consideration the historical, grammatical, and literary [e.g., poetry, parables, symbol, simile, hyperbole, epistle, etc.] characteristics found in the Bible.
A body of ritual or established formulae for public worship.
A title (originally a nickname) given to a family of patriotic Jews who revolted against Antichus Epiphanes, king of Syria, about 170 BC. The Maccabeans were the sons of Mattathias, a priest who first raised the standard against the Syrians, When he died, the revolt against the intruding Syrians was carried on by his four sons, of whom Judas is the most noteworthy.
Masoretes (or Massoretes)
A band of Jewish scholars who gave their attention to the Hebrew Bible and wrote critical and explanatory notes on it. They functioned from about 500 AD until about 1100 AD.
Mechanical (Dictation) Inspiration
A mistaken theory which claims that the Holy Spirit dictated each single word of Scripture. In this view of inspiration, the Bible writers are perceived as passive “junior secretaries” who merely transcribed what the Holy Spirit dictated with verbal [propositional] inspiration.
A figure of speech in which one object or idea is compared or identified with another in order to suggest a similarity between the two. Figurative — characteristic of a figure of speech; something not literal; metaphorical; representing symbolically.
Middle Ages, Medieval
The period of European history from about A.D. 500 to about A.D. 1500. More recent writers hold it to begin about 1100.
Novum Testamentum Graece [Latin for Greek New Testament]
Recent edition (1993) of the Greek New Testament edited by Kurt Aland and assistants in Munster Germany. Published by the German Bible Society. Because it accurately presents a vast amount of information [earliest and latest], this volume [with variant readings; includes the Textus Receptus] is the most widely used Greek New Testament among specialists of all denominations, worldwide. Over 1400 Greek manuscripts plus the ancient translations made during the early Christian centuries have been cited in this edition.
Religious and philosophical theory that God and the universe are identical. Belief in and worship of all Gods. The system that identifies God with the world and the world with God. Here all things are divine and no real distinction exists between God and the forces and laws of the universe.
A statement that is in fact self-contradictory and therefore false. Any seemingly inconsistent or contradictory person or thing. A statement that seems to be contradictory or absurd, but in fact may be true.
A Greek word that refers to the Second Coming.
The first five books of the Old Testament. In Judaism this group is called the Torah.
The belief in or worship of many gods.
Biblical truths that are applicable in all ages of the world.
A theological term indicating God’s ever-increasing unfolding or expansion of truth that was previously revealed. Each new revelation interprets and amplifies the previous revelation but does not contradict it in any way.
A verse or a longer passage that is used to establish a point. If the passage in its context supports the point, such is legitimate. However, the term is used in a pejorative sense for a method that arbitrarily uses isolated texts out of context to support or prove positions on which the interpreter has already made up his/her mind.
A system of thought that holds that human reason is self-sufficient in the pursuit of truth, even religious truth.
Deliverance or salvation from sin through the Atonement [making amends, something done or given] of Jesus Christ.
A divine act by which God discloses Himself, enabling the prophet to come to an understanding (about someone, thing, or event) that the prophet could not have discovered or fully understood on his/her own.
A religious rite instituted by Jesus Christ, such as baptism, foot washing, and the Lord’s Supper. The scope of what the term comprises varies widely. Some Protestants favor the “ordinance.”
Right living before God. Sanctified — made holy — the work of a life time, the work of the Holy Spirit.
Greek translation of the Old Testament made at Alexandria between 285 BC and the beginning of the Christian era. The translation was made by Jews, who of course understood the meaning of the Hebrew words and intended the Greek they used to answer it. This Septuagent version was not inspired, but in the providence of God it provided a valuable linguistic link between the Old and New Testaments. Often denoted by the Roman numerals ‘LXX.’
The first three Gospels, according to Matthew, Mark, and Luke. So-called because when read side by side (synoptically) they present certain parallels in structure and content.
Textus Receptus [shorthand for “the text which is now received by all”]
The edition of the Greek New Testament that reflects the largest number of New Testament Greek manuscripts (Byzantine texts) lying behind the King James Bible. The hasty work of Dutchman Desiderius Erasmus (1466? — 1536 AD) became the foundation for the Textus Receptus. Erasmus [an illegitimate child] was a humanist, trained as a monk for 8 years, exposed the vices of the Roman Catholic church and lashed out at its leaders, but remained loyal to the church. He studied Hippocrates for medicine, Plato for philosophy, and Pliny for natural history.
Collection of Jewish civil and canonical law, consisting of a compilation of oral tradition based on the Old Testament, the Mishna [first part of the Talmud], and a group of interpretations on the Mishna.
Something that prefigures, represents, shows, indicates or suggests beforehand, foreshadows, points towards, represents something to come, represents by prior type. Something that stands as an illustration, a pattern. To foretell by a similitude — one or that which is similar to another, likeness. Anti-type — that which is represented by a type or symbol, that which fulfills a type, an opposite type.
The Latin version of the Bible translated by St. Jerome and completed about A.D. 383. The Vulgate is the official Latin text of the Roman Catholic church and the basis of other translations, especially the Douay version. Douay Bible — English translation from the Latin of the authorized Roman Catholic Vulgate Bible of St. Jerome. As Christianity spread, the need arose for translation of the Holy Scriptures into various languages. At a certain stage the need was felt for a Latin Bible to bring the Word of God to the large numbers in the Roman Empire who used this language. About the middle of the second century AD the first Latin version appeared, followed by many others. Then came Jerome, who revised these Latin versions of the New Testament (382—405 AD) and translated the Old Testament from Hebrew into Latin. His version became the Vulgate, which throughout the Middle Ages was the standard Bible of the church. Since the Council of Trent (1545—1563) the Vulgate has been the official Bible of the Roman Catholic church.
Verbal (Propositional) Inspiration
The Holy Spirit’s guidance of inspired writers in choosing their own words as they wrote Scripture. When inspiration is described as “verbal,” it suggests that despite the inadequacies of human language, because of the Spirit’s guidance, the thoughts, ideas, and words of the Bible writers accurately convey God’s message revealed to them. Verbal inspiration should not be confused with mechanical [dictation] inspiration.
Versions [as in Bibles]
Translations of the Hebrew (and Aramaic) text of the Old Testament, or Greek text of the New Testament, as a whole or in part, into vernacular languages. Four ancient versions of the Hebrew Old Testament have been preserved: the Greek Septuagint, the Syriac Peshitta, the Aramaic Targums [paraphrases], and the Latin Vulgate. For the New Testament the most important of the ancient versions are the Latin, the Syriac, and the Coptic.