ISRAEL DOES NOT KNOW HER LORD

The Lord’s Children Have Rebelled

Isaiah 1:2–9

2Hear, O heavens, and give ear, O earth; for Jehovah hath spoken: I have nourished and brought up children, and they have rebelled against me (ASV, 1901).

Rehoboam from the Basel Town Hall, Artist Unknown

To listen to Isaiah the prophet is to listen to God, for the words, which come forth from him, have been received super-naturally and originate outside of the time and space domain. The Lord chose him and impressed upon him these matters to convey to the world. Now our Lord begins His great polemic toward His chosen people, the Nation Israel. He calls on the heavens saying to them to hear what He has to say. He then calls on the earth to give ear or “listen” to what He has to say. The Hebrew word for hear is shema,which is a straightforward word simply meaning hear. But the Hebrew word for listen is a Hiphil verb form. This particular form expresses an imperative meaning that God is saying with great emphasis to pay attention or be obedient. It is a command. The word is ha-azneen, which literally translated is “And In Your Ears.” God is saying to the Heavens to listen but to the earth He says get this message in to your ears or deep with you.  The strength of His orders are made clear to Israel.

His appeal to the heavens and the earth is not merely hyperbole. It would be if God had not created the whole Heaven and as well as that which is within it including the earth and its contents. This is recognition of the whole order of the Universe and the totally of life as well. 

What God’s people are doing is an offense against nature and the order he has ordained. Sin, pride, and oppression are contrary to creation as God envisioned it. The heavenly bodies all follow what God has ordained them to do. They move in their various circuits and ellipticals as He has commanded. The stars produce the exact light as He created and they all are suspended in the exact place wherein He has placed them. They do not move outside of the space and path He has provided. There is order to this Universe.  His request to the Heavens is to recognize what is happening on earth, that is, the Children of Israel’s sins. Within this Universe there is also moral order in addition to the physical order. This is what He is seeing His children, Israel breaking and therefore His much stronger admonition to the earth to LISTEN in your ears!

Moral order of mankind is subject to God’s absolute standards of conduct that do not change with circumstances, location or time. These standards are universal to all humanity despite culture or era, and they maintain their relevance whether or not an individual or a culture values them. God has placed in our hearts a standard of right and wrong that, if followed, would result in our being blessed (Romans 2:14–15). But our fallen nature and leading toward sinful behavior cloud our conscience. Therefore, the Bible admonishes us to ask God for wisdom (James 1:5). Psalm 119:59 says,“I considered my ways and turned my feet to Your testimonies.”Consideration of human nature shows us our inability and our need for God: “If Your law had not been my delight, then I would have perished in my affliction”(Psalm 119:92).

God has set in place certain standards, and it is sinful to break those standards. Psalm 24:1 testifies to God’s authority: “The earth is the LORD’s, and all it contains; the world, and those who dwell in it.” He set the absolutes of our morality expressed throughout His Word: “You shall therefore obey the LORD your God, and do His commandments and His statutes which I command you today”(Deuteronomy 27:10). The divine command of moral absolutism is what the Lord teaches us, and the Bible records. Jesus gave us the Golden Rule, which characterizes the universal morality we all realize which is to treat others as we want to be treated (Luke 6:31). Jesus also succinctly sums up the relationship to God and others.

Mark 12:30–31

30 And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment.31 And the second is like, namely this, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these (KJV).

The Beasts Know Their Master

Isaiah 1:3–4

3The ox knoweth his owner, and the ass his master’s crib; but Israel doth not know, my people doth not consider. 4Ah sinful nation, a people laden with iniquity, a seed of evil-doers, children that deal corruptly! they have forsaken Jehovah, they have despised the Holy One of Israel, they are estranged and gone backward (ASV, 1901).

Shoeing an Ox by Karel Dujardin, Cir 1622-78.

As the Lord continues to condemn Israel for her sins He brings an example to them of His creatures obeying Him through the instinct He has placed within them. But, His children Israel are a sinful nation. They are a people laden with iniquity, a seed of evil-doers, children that deal corruptly!  He said the same thing to them through His prophet Hosea.

Hosea 11:1–4

When Israel was a child, then I loved him, and called my son out of Egypt. 2The more the prophets called them, the more they went from them: they sacrificed unto the Baalim, and burned incense to graven images. 3Yet I taught Ephraim to walk; I took them on my arms; but they knew not that I healed them. 4I drew them with cords of a man, with bands of love; and I was to them as they that lift up the yoke on their jaws; and I laid food before them (ASV, 1901).

Pharaoh army drowns in the Red Sea. Artist Unknown

At the beginning the Lord’s relationship with Israel was like a father to a son. The Lord displayed His love toward the nation by summoning her from Egypt. However, when God later called them to obedience through His prophets and the Mosaic Law, they rejected Him and turned instead to false gods (the Baalim). The more He called them through the prophets the more they rebelled against Him. Like a father patiently teaching a young child to walk, the Lord had established and sustained Israel. He also restored (healed) the nation’s strength after times of judgment. She subsequently failed to acknowledge His intervention.

Israel is compared to a work animal as in the Isaiah passage. God adds to His depiction of the unnatural character of sin by referencing animals. Neither the ox nor the ass is very intelligent. However, even these animals knew from whence they came and who cared for them. Israel could surely do better then them. But no, Israel does not know that much. The Lord is likening Himself to a master who gently in kindness and love leads his animal and releases its yoke so that it might eat with greater ease the food he kindly provides. The Lord treated Israel with compassion and love and they rejected Him as if they did not know Him. In fact they did not just sin and disobey, they regressed and distanced themselves in their relationship to Him as He said they are estranged and gone backward. Submission to God’s commands will bring a right understanding (Proverbs 1:7), and refusal to submit can only result in foolishness (Romans 1:18–32).

Their Whole Body is Sick

Satan by William Blake, Cir 1800

Isaiah 1:5–6

 5Why will ye be still stricken, that ye revolt more and more? the whole head is sick, and the whole heart faint. 6From the sole of the foot even unto the head there is no soundness in it; but wounds, and bruises, and fresh stripes: they have not been closed, neither bound up, neither mollified with oil (ASV, 1901).

This passage expresses the sense that suffering mustfollow sin. Then, if they continue to revolt, they must still be smitten for it. So then why, will they continue to do so? Do they not realize that it is their moral disobedience that is causing their suffering? God said the same thing though the prophet Ezekiel.

Ezekiel 18:31–32

31Cast away from you all your transgressions, wherein ye have transgressed; and make you a new heart and a new spirit: for why will ye die, O house of Israel? 32For I have no pleasure in the death of him that dieth, saith the Lord Jehovah: wherefore turn yourselves, and live (ASV, 1901).

Again there is a moral order to this universe and God is saying get on My program and end the suffering you are causing yourselves to experience. I will not allow sin to go unpunished. Judgment for sin is my character. So stop your disobedience and experience my comfort. When God’s people turn their backs on God certain consequences necessarily follow. Isaiah recounted what was happening in order to help them understand that their difficult times had come because of their disobedience. When the Lord’s judgment falls upon His people is a matter of their choice. God has not decided, in some arbitrary way, to punish Israel. The political and social catastrophes they were experiencing were the natural results of living in ways contrary to those God designed for them.

The prophet in his personification of the nation Israel as a body, says that the whole head of the nation is diseased, its whole heart faint, or unable to get up off the ground and stand erect before God. The head and heart represent both the intellectual and moral attributes of the nation. The entire body is completely diseased. It is as if the entire body is one wound, or one festering sore. 

The Lord says they have not been closed, neither bound up, neither mollified with oil.Here He is referencing closing open wounds, and then treating them with oil, as was the practice in ancient times. The general sentiment of the entire passage is that there has been no medical treatment of the wounds of any kind; they have been left to themselves, to fester and spread corruption over the whole body. In other words there has been no attempt made to cure them. What He says is that the nation Israel does not want to stop their sin against God. This is difficult to understand even though it is apparent their disobedience to the Lord is the cause of them to increasingly suffer.

God’s Judgments Have Come to Israel

Jerusalem Burning by David Roberts Cir 1850

Isaiah 1:7–9

 7Your country is desolate; your cities are burned with fire; your land, strangers devour it in your presence, and it is desolate, as overthrown by strangers. 8And the daughter of Zion is left as a booth in a vineyard, as a lodge in a garden of cucumbers, as a besieged city. 9Except Jehovah of hosts had left unto us a very small remnant, we should have been as Sodom, we should have been like unto Gomorrah (ASV, 1901).

God writes future prophecies in a completed sense. Which is to say He makes future prophecies expressed in what we call the past tense. That is in His mind they have already occurred. He lives outside of time and space so when He ordains a future event expressed in the past tense it is certain to happen. Here the text is probably referring to the Assyrian (722 B.C.), Babylonian (605; 597 & 586 B.C.), and Roman destructions of Jerusalem (AD 70). At the time of this writing none of these invasions had occurred. Jesus referenced the AD 70 destruction caused by their disobedience.

Matthew 23:37–39

37O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, that killeth the prophets, and stoneth them that are sent unto her! how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not! 38Behold, your house is left unto you desolate. 39For I say unto you, Ye shall not see me henceforth, till ye shall say, Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord (ASV, 1901).

God continues sayingand it is desolate. He speaks of the whole land; and they were carried away captive, and scattered among the nations, where they had been until the late 1800’s when they began returning in the Zionist movement. This ultimately led to the re-establishment of their sovereignty in 1948 (Ezekiel 20: 33–37). He says, your cities are, or shall be, burnt with fire;as Jerusalem has been, and your land, strangers devour it in your presence;before their eyes, and it would not be in their power to prevent it. This was the case with the Assyrians, the Babylonians, and the Romans. All were were strangers and aliens from the commonwealth of Israel: and it is desolate, as overthrown by strangers;who ravage, plunder, and destroy all they meet with, and spare nothing, not intending to settle there. 

He continues with the daughter of Zionin which the city of Jerusalem is personified. Other instances of this type of personification are Isaiah 47:1, 5, where Babylon is called the “daughter of the Chaldeans;” and Lamentations 1:6; 2:1, 4, 8, 10, where Jeremiah uses this repeatedly to reference Jerusalem. Usually it designates the people living outside the city (Lamentations 2:13; 4:22; Micah 4:8, 10, 13; Zephaniah 3:14; Zechariah 2:10; 9:9). 

Vineyards needed to be watched for a few weeks as the fruit began to ripen; and the watchers, or keepers, built themselves, “booths” for their protection (Job 27:18). These were frail, temporary dwellings like tents. The imagery being conveyed is temporary dwellings, which are structurally very unsound and therefore helpless. Such was now the condition of Jerusalem in its sin awaiting God’s judgment, which was certain, and unwavering. Similarly, the text as a lodge in a garden of cucumbersis referencing another type of temporary lodging set up in a cucumber patch. 

In ancient Israel cucumber gardens required manual vigilance throughout the longer growing season, which extended from spring to fall.  Because of the longer growing period the watcher would need a somewhat more solid structure than a tent. So, such gardens had “lodges” in them, i.e. more permanent huts or sheds. They were usually built on an elevation of ground, with room for only one person, who all alone watched the ripening crop. “So did Jerusalem stand in the midst of desolation reaching far and wide—a sign, however, that the land was not entirely without any people”[1]This statement from The New Unger’s Bible dictionary is paralleling verse 1:9 Except Jehovah of hosts had left unto us a very small remnant, we should have been as Sodom, we should have been like unto Gomorrah.

 This just simply references their description, which was one of extreme depravity as was the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah. The clear implication is that God could have made his people like Sodom and Gomorrah—extinct. But he has chosen not to do that.The Lord always leaves a remnant. He will never destroy Israel. 

Leviticus 26:43–45

43The land also shall be left by them, and shall enjoy its sabbaths, while it lieth desolate without them: and they shall accept of the punishment of their iniquity; because, even because they rejected mine ordinances, and their soul abhorred my statutes. 44And yet for all that, when they are in the land of their enemies, I will not reject them, neither will I abhor them, to destroy them utterly, and to break my covenant with them; for I am Jehovah their God; 45but I will for their sakes remember the covenant of their ancestors, whom I brought forth out of the land of Egypt in the sight of the nations, that I might be their God: I am Jehovah (ASV, 1901).

Jeremiah 31:35–37

35Thus saith Jehovah, who giveth the sun for a light by day, and the ordinances of the moon and of the stars for a light by night, who stirreth up the sea, so that the waves thereof roar; Jehovah of hosts is his name: 36If these ordinances depart from before me, saith Jehovah, then the seed of Israel also shall cease from being a nation before me for ever. 37Thus saith Jehovah: If heaven above can be measured, and the foundations of the earth searched out beneath, then will I also cast off all the seed of Israel for all that they have done, saith Jehovah (ASV, 1901).

Daniel E. Woodhead


[1]Unger, M. F., Harrison, R. K., Vos, H. F., Barber, C. J., & Unger, M. F. (1988). In The new Unger’s Bible dictionary(Rev. and updated ed.). Chicago: Moody Press.

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Someday All Israel Will be Saved

All Israel will Be Saved

Romans 11:25-26

25 For I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery, lest ye should be wise in your own conceits; that blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in. 26 And so all Israel shall be saved: as it is written, There shall come out of Sion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob (KJV): 

Their Salvation Will Come After The Great Tribulation

All Nations Will Come Against Jerusalem

 

Zechariah 12:1-8 actually describes a battle that is the fifth of eight stages that comprise the Campaign of Armageddon. This takes place in the future and begins with the sixth bowl judgment during the middle of The Great Tribulation (Revelation 16:12-16).

Jerusalem Will be a Cup of Reeling

Zechariah 12:1-3

1 The burden of the word of Jehovah concerning Israel. Thus saith Jehovah, who stretcheth forth the heavens, and layeth the foundation of the earth, and formeth the spirit of man within him: 2behold, I will make Jerusalem a cup of reeling unto all the peoples round about, and upon Judah also shall it be in the siege against Jerusalem. 3And it shall come to pass in that day, that I will make Jerusalem a burdensome stone for all the peoples; all that burden themselves with it shall be sore wounded; and all the nations of the earth shall be gathered together against it (ASV, 1901).

 

Roman Destruction of Jerusalem by David Roberts Cir 1850

Roman Destruction of Jerusalem by David Roberts Cir 1850

God begins this oracle by stating that this particular message that is about to be delivered is heavy, or a “burden” (in Hebrew massa). That is, it is important and burdensome to be given, and to be heard. It is not pleasant but must be heeded in the same seriousness in which it was given. This is the second such massa in this book. The first encompassed chapter 9:1 through chapter 11:17. The first one graphically depicted Israel’s rejection of her Messiah and the rise of the worthless shepherd, which will be the Antichrist. His rise to power must precede Israel’s deliverance. God will use him to plunge the Nation Israel into its most severe time of testing foreseen by the prophet Jeremiah as the “Time of Jacob’s Trouble,” (Jeremiah 30:5-7). The prophet Daniel was given a revelation regarding this time as well; he recorded, “And at that time shall Michael stand up, the great prince who standeth for the children of thy people; and there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation even to that same time: and at that time thy people shall be delivered, every one that shall be found written in the book” (Daniel 12:1). Daniel finished this verse by stating that the Jews will be delivered. Read moreShare on Facebook

Apostasy of the Church Part III

 

The Wolf in Sheep's Clothing Artist Unknown

The Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing Artist Unknown

 

 

Charles A. Briggs. Continued.

When the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church put Briggs on trial in 1893, he was suspended from the Presbyterian Church. As a result Briggs became an Episcopalian and the Union Theological Seminary withdrew from the Presbyterian Church and became independent. Union still would train ministers for Presbyterian pulpits. This then enabled the apostasy to develop in the course of the twentieth century. Apostasy would first begin in a denominational school and then train ministers to teach the same refuse.

Eventually, more and more liberals took over the pulpits, and more and more churches became liberal themselves. By 1901 the leaders of the different positions in the conflict within the Presbyterian Church did not hold to the Westminster Confession for different reasons yet all publically stated they did!

So throughout the first two decades of the twentieth century, apostates took over the schools and trained ministers for the denominational churches. In an effort to stem the tide, in 1910 the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church issued the Five Fundamentals of the Faith, which included

  1. The inspiration of the Scriptures.
  2. The Virgin Birth.
  3. The Substitutionary Atonement.
  4. The resurrection of Jesus.
  5. The miracles of Jesus.

Those who subscribed to these five points were labeled “Fundamentalists,” and so a new word was coined. Those who denied these fundamentals were called Modernists or Liberals. The General Assembly issued these in 1910 and reaffirmed them in 1916 and in 1923. In more recent times The World Congress of Fundamentalists provided a definition of biblical fundamentalism. At their meeting in 1976 in Usher Hall, Edinburgh, Scotland they said; “Fundamentalism is militant orthodoxy set on fire with soul winning zeal.” They listed seven characteristics that define a fundamentalist. Note particularly the final two points:

  1. Maintains an immovable allegiance to the inerrant, infallible, and verbally inspired Bible.
  2. Believes that whatever the Bible says is so.
  3. Judges all things by the Bible and is judged only by the Bible.
  4. Affirms the foundational truths of the historic Christian Faith: The doctrine of the Trinity; the incarnation, virgin birth, Substitutionary atonement, bodily resurrection and glorious ascension, and Second Coming of the Lord Jesus Christ; the new birth through regeneration by the Holy Spirit; the resurrection of the saints to life eternal; the resurrection of the ungodly to final judgment and eternal death; the fellowship of the saints, who are the body of Christ.
  5. Practices fidelity to that Faith and endeavors to preach it to every creature.
  6. Exposes and separates from all ecclesiastical denial of that Faith, compromise with error, and apostasy from the Truth.
  7. Earnestly contends for the Faith once delivered.

The decade of the 1920’s was characterized by the great Modernist-Fundamentalist battles. There were many attempts to fight Modernism within the church. But toward the end of the decade, it was apparent that the Modernists were firmly in control of both the denominational church positions (this included all the major denominations except the Southern Baptist Convention) and their schools.

This led to the separatist movement of the 1930’s as the Fundamentalists pulled out of the denominations and started their own denominations or independent churches.  Emerging from the United Presbyterian Church of the United States of America was a group led by J. Greshem Machen, which unfortunately split into three separate denominations (Orthodox Presbyterians, Bible Presbyterians and the Evangelical Presbyterians) due to internal struggles. Out of the American Baptist Convention came the General Association of Regular Baptists (GARB). Out of the United Methodist Church came the Evangelical Methodists.

THE SCHISMS THAT WERE PROPHECIED BECAUSE OF THE APOSTASY, STARTED WITH THE SEPARISTS MOVEMENTS OF THE 1930’S

Jud 1:17-19 But ye, beloved, remember ye the words which have been spoken before by the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ; That they said to you, In the last time there shall be mockers, walking after their own ungodly lusts. These are they who make separations, sensual, having not the Spirit.

Ecumenical movements have characterized the 1940’s to the present day. In 1948, the World Council of Churches was organized on two principles: First, the unity of all the Churches in the basis of liberal tenets; and second, the unity of all religions. In 1950, the old Federal Council of Churches was reorganized into the National Council of Churches, again attempting to unify all churches in the United States along liberal tenets. Consequently, the visible church is primarily apostate today. Even among conservative denominations, some can already see the threat of apostasy in the taking over of the schools and the supplying of liberal ministers for the pulpit. The Southern Baptist Convention has not fully escaped this trend but in the decade of the ninety’s there was a reversal.

The New Evangelicalism:

Few movements of Satan in his fueling of apostasy are as destructive to fundamentalist Bible-believing churches as New Evangelicalism. People who are trying to be “with it” or up to date with “where Christianity is going” are confronted with it on every hand–through popular Christian radio and television preachers, at the local ecumenical bookstore, through members of other churches, through ecumenical evangelistic crusades, through political activity, and through interdenominational organizations such as Promise Keepers. The social good they seek to attain such as fighting abortion or same-sex marriage brings them together with Catholics, Mormons and others in their fight for social justice. Politics makes strange bedfellows.  In the Bible we see the Pharisees making league with the Herodians for the sake of opposing Jesus (Mark 3:6; 12: 13). There is nothing new under the sun.

This is perhaps the most insidious of all the apostasies.  It is characterized by catering to the desires of the people. Instead of being inculcated with God’s Word and having our personal world view and behavior patterned after God’s Word, The New Evangelicalism gives the people what they want.  One NT passage clearly predicts this reversal of worship of God to worshipping man.

Rom 1:25 Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen.

The idea with this new wave of apostasy is to soft sell the Bible and salvation. It is not attempting to save anybody from the fires of Hell but from an aimless and meaningless life here on earth. Our experiences and quality of life here are more important than the total service to God and the blessed assurance that He will soon come to lift us out of this sinful decaying world. Salvation is given lip service and evangelism with real confrontation is thought to be too divisive. This apostasy does not want to upset anybody. There is never any mention of Hell, which is the outcome of an unsaved life.  They may say that they believe strongly but their actions differ sharply from what they say. They want to flatter instead of present truth. The New Evangelicalism appeals to the carnal nature of man.

Usually their Bible teaching is characterized by an over emphasis on application. This of course is the middle of the road approach. They avoid doctrine as too divisive.

Paul warned us that the end times would be characterized as a departure from sound doctrine and a departure from the truth.

2Ti 4:3-4  For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away [their] ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.

WHAT THE BIBLE SAYS ABOUT DOCTRINE:

We are saved by believing from the heart the right doctrine of the gospel (Rom. 6:17). This shows why we cannot accept someone as a genuine Christian if they are committed to a false gospel, such as Rome’s sacramental gospel.

  1. We are to separate from those who teach false doctrine (Rom. 16:17).
  1. We must be careful of every wind of false doctrine (Eph. 4:14).
  1. No false doctrine is to be allowed (1 Tim. 1:3).
  1. The preacher is to take heed to the doctrine (1 Tim. 4:16).
  1. The Bible is given for doctrine (2 Tim. 3:16) and is to be preached with doctrine (2 Tim. 4:2).
  1. The preacher must be able to use doctrine to edify and protect the church (Tit. 1:9).
  1. We abide in Christ by sound doctrine (1 Jn. 2:24-27).

Fearing divisiveness they believe that they will lose members of their congregation and therefore funds. They are concerned with money and man-made approaches to self-help. A total dependence on God for their resources is abandoned for “sound business” practices or “fundamental marketing techniques.”  Total reliance on God by elders through prayer and patience is exchanged for parliamentary procedure and schemes for man made self-advancement and career goals. The pastor is considered as a CEO, not the teacher of God’s Word. Mission statements and strategic plans are formulated to accommodate personal plans. The Bible is subordinated to man’s desires.

The thought of prophecy is anathema to the New Evangelical for they say it causes division. This division of course is between those non-literal Bible expositors and the literal Biblical expositors.  Some have characterized the New Evangelicalism as being seduced by the world spirit of this present age.

It is evident in the leaders who are popularized. Usually they have a high degree of prominence in the government or sports and their testimonies are sought after for paid speaking engagements and book endorsements.

You will never see a Sunday school teacher or poor inner city pastor held up by them as pillars of the faith. Christ went to the lowest members of society to bring the truth to the world. He did not go to the popular and prominent.

This is a spirit of disobedience and a mood of compromise. It is a rejection of many of the negative aspects of New Testament Christianity. It is an attitude of positivism. They would rather be diplomats not fighters, positive rather than militant, infiltrators rather than separatists. They would not be restricted by a separationist mentality. The New Evangelical would rather pursue dialog, intellectualism, and appeasement than Biblical Militiantism. Psychology is fast becoming their guide. Some characteristics are in the following list:

 

  1. A repudiation of separation.
  2. By replacing separation with dialogue.
  3. By a love for positivism, by a repudiation of the more negative aspects (sin, Hell etc) of biblical Christianity, by a judge-not philosophy, by a dislike of doctrinal controversy.
  4. By exalting love and unity above doctrine.
  5. By a pragmatic approach to the ministry.
  6. By a desire for intellectual respectability, by pride of scholarship.
  7. By an attitude of anti-fundamentalism.
  8. By the division of biblical truth into categories of important and not important.
  9. By exalting social-political activity to the same level as the Great Commission.
  10. By a mood of softness, a desire for a less strict Christianity, weariness with fighting, and neutrality toward spiritual warfare.

The use of secular psychology is rapidly becoming the norm in Christian Schools and churches.

Our culture has become deeply and extensively psychological. The weakness and carnality of the church in recent decades has allowed this psychological mind-set of the world to flow into the church. This process has brought about a redefining of many foundational matters of the Christian faith. We used to correctly understand that man’s problem was sin and God’s remedy was His saving and transforming grace (Romans 5:12, 17). Now, the trouble is the disorder of codependency, and the solution is group therapy. Formerly, we understood that man tended to stray from God to follow his own self-willed path (Isaiah 53:6), and that he needed to deny himself, take up his cross, and follow Christ (Luke 9:23). Now, we think that man must esteem himself, affirm himself, and actualize himself. All of this new thinking is coming from psychological theory, which is primarily a philosophy of life. We are strongly warned in the word of the Lord not to be guided by the philosophy of the world.

 Colossians 2:8 “Beware lest anyone take you captive through philosophy and empty deceit, according to the tradition of men, according to the basic principles of the world, and not according to Christ”

Beware of the leaven of the new-evangelicals.

 

Daniel E. Woodhead

Sources of this material for the three postings are:

Breese, Dave, 7 Men Who Rule The World From The Grave, Moody Press, Chicago, IL 1990

Cloud, David W, Way of Life Encyclopedia, Way of Life Literature Port Huron, MI 2002

Couch, Mal, God Has Spoken, AMG Publishers, Chattanooga, TN 2003

Fruchtenbaum, Arnold G, The Footsteps of the Messiah, Ariel Ministries, San Antonio, TX 2003

Lewis, Brenda Ralph, A Dark History: The Popes; Vice Murder, and Corruption in the Vatican, Metro Books, NY, NY 2009

North, Gary, Crossed Fingers, How The Liberals Captured The Presbyterian Church, Published by the Institute for Christian Economics, Tyler, TX 1996

Scofield, C.I. The New Scofield Reference Bible, Oxford University Press, Oxford, GB 1967Share on Facebook

The Apostasy of the Church Part II

 

Belshazzar's Feast  by Rembrandt cir. 1635

Belshazzar’s Feast by Rembrandt cir. 163

At the heart of theological liberalism is an attack on the authority of the Bible. A central attack is to question the traditional authorship and historicity of the Pentateuch and other parts of Scripture. The result is to question or openly deny Old Testament prophecy and the dating of the writing of Old Testament books. Two examples of this are:

Julius A. Bewer, Union Theological Seminary Professor: “The dates and figures found in the first five books of the Bible turn out to be altogether unreliable” (Bewer, The Literature of the Old Testament, 1940)

A more recent illustration of liberalism comes from the pen of John Shelby Spong, a bishop in the Episcopal Church in America. “Am I suggesting that these stories of the virgin birth are not literally true? The answer is a simple and direct “Yes.” Of course these narratives are not literally true. Stars do not wander, angels do not sing, virgins do not give birth, magi do not travel to a distant land to present gifts to a baby, and shepherds do not go in search of a newborn savior. … To talk of a Father God who has a divine-human son by a virgin woman is a mythology that our generation would never have created, and obviously, could not use. To speak of a Father God so enraged by human evil that he requires propitiation for our sins that we cannot pay and thus demands the death of the divine-human son, as a guilt offering is a ludicrous idea to our century. The sacrificial concept that focuses on the saving blood of Jesus that somehow washes me clean, so popular in Evangelical and Fundamentalist circles, is by and large repugnant to us today” (John Spong, Rescuing the Bible from Fundamentalism: A Bishop Rethinks the Meaning of Scripture, Harper, 1991, pp. 215,234).

Liberalism in theology is similar to liberalism in politics. Both want to secularize their respective societies to the Humanist tenets. They put their faith in evolution, historical relativism, progress through science, the benevolent state, and getting other’s money. To do this they must quiet the Bible fundamentalist with his revealed truth. They refuse to believe the miracles and their truth regardless of the evidence for them. Once the liberal has infiltrated the upper echelons of fundamental seminaries they can spew their poison to future generations of pastors and cause fights within the denominations. The doubt their baseless theories and criticism of the Scriptures ignites is enough to cause splits and finally the strong political force of the denominations bleeds into the political arena. People begin to believe the error that comes from the “authorities.”

The denominations lost their battles because they did not know how to fight and win. They should have left the denominations en mass immediately instead of fighting! Some did to be sure but not enough did and many stayed in because “this is where they have always been.” They were more wedded to denominationalism than Christ and His Word. Further they did not want the fight. They just wanted it to stop because it confused them. We all know that God is not the author of confusion (I Cor 14: 33). We must separate from them. The Lord has commanded it.

  1. Separation is not an optional part of Christianity; it is a commandment (Rom. 16:17-18; 2 Cor. 6:14-17; 1 Tim. 6:5; 2 Tim. 2:16-18; 3:5; Titus 3:10; 2 John 7-11; Rev. 18:4).
  2. Separation is not mean or unloving; it is obedience to God.

 

  1. “Mark them . . . avoid them” (Rom. 16:17)
  2. “Be ye not unequally yoked together with” (2 Cor. 6:14)
  3. “Have no fellowship with” (2 Cor. 6:14)
  4. “Come out from among” (2 Cor. 6:17)
  5. “Withdraw thyself” (1 Tim. 6:5)
  6. “Shun” (2 Ti. 2:16)
  7. “Purge oneself from” (2 Tim. 2:21)
  8. “From such turn away” (2 Tim. 3:5)
  9. “Reject” (Titus 3:10)
  10. “Receive them not into your house neither bid them Godspeed” (2 Jn. 10)

 

  1. We are to separate even from brethren who are walking in disobedience (2 Thess. 3:6).
  2. 3. Separation is a wall of protection against spiritual danger. Failure to separate from error leaves one open to the influence of error (1 Cor. 15:33). The reason a shepherd separates the sheep from wolves is to protect them. Likewise, a faithful and godly Bible teacher will seek to separate his flock from spiritual dangers that are even more destructive than wolves. The Doctor of souls will do all he can to keep heresies out of the church. They are to the Church of Jesus Christ what disease is to a Medical Doctor that cares for human bodies in time and space. Both legitimate Doctors will do all they can to prevent or stop heresies/diseases in their respective bodies. Unfortunately there are more quacks in the spiritual realm than in the physical temporal one. This is because the prize for pure spiritual truth is eternal life. It is the greatest prize on earth to receive. Nothing has greater value. As evidence of this we see many false prophets, corrupt denominations and seminary teachings. As a result few find eternal salvation. Then Satan has accomplished one of his goals; the eternal destruction of human souls.

One type of deed that will be performed by apostates is mockery.

Jude 1:17-19  But, beloved, remember ye the words which were spoken before of the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ; How that they told you there should be mockers in the last time, who should walk after their own ungodly lusts. These be they who separate themselves, sensual, having not the Spirit.

They will mock the fundamentals of the faith such as the verbal inspiration of the Scriptures, the Virgin Birth, the Substitutionary death of the Messiah, and His physical resurrection from the dead. II Peter 3:3-8 states that they will mock the doctrine of the Second Coming.

2Pe 3:3-8  

Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts, And saying, Where is the promise of his coming? for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as [they were] from the beginning of the creation. For this they willingly are ignorant of, that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of the water and in the water: Whereby the world that then was, being overflowed with water, perished :But the heavens and the earth, which are now, by the same word are kept in store, reserved unto fire against the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men. But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day [is] with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.

A second deed is that of creating schisms or separations (Jude 19). Because they begin denying some of the fundamentals of the faith, they convince some but not all. In the course of time this produces a split within the church. Throughout this age of apostasy there has been schism after schism. Church after church and denominations have split over denials of the Trinity, the incarnation and the Second Coming.

These characteristics, heretical teachings and deeds of separations have become prevalent, as church history has progressed from about 1900 to the present day. This is the age of apostasy.

One of the roots of this began in Europe, particularly with German Rationalism where the inerrancy of the Scripture was denied with the development of Biblical Criticism and particularly with the documentary hypothesis in particular. One Julius Wellhausen was the chief architect of this concept. He insisted that human reason only, not the Bible, could be trusted. He presented the idea that the Bible, far from being God’s Word was just a collection of human documents. His particular contribution to the “Closing of the Book” was a denial of the authorship of the first five books of the Bible by Moses.  Dr. David Breese in his book, “The Seven Men Who Rule the World from the Grave” states that from these destructive heresies the church leaders quoted everything but the Bible and preached everything but the gospel, and reality was gone. Religious liberalism was born. Breese continues; “the calamities that came upon Europe such as Communism, Nazism, fascism, the world of the occult and other diseased ideas have been promulgated by the absence of a spiritual core made of divine life and spiritual blessing. Wellhausen and his liberalism destroyed the spiritual life in Europe and nearly succeeded in the spiritual destruction of the United States.” Today less than 1% of the population of Europe is made up of Evangelical Christians.

Lest you think that men are not able to negatively influence others to keep them out of The Kingdom listen to what the Lord Jesus had to say to the Pharisees:

Mat 23:13 But woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye shut up the kingdom of heaven against men: for ye neither go in [yourselves], neither suffer ye them that are entering to go in.

Liberalism is like a plague within the church. It exists within us and seeks to be like us but it denies the fundamentals of the faith. Liberals still want real Christians to think of them as “one of us.” They espouse a diseased set of ideas.

AS A CONSEQUENCE, IT IS ALMOST A RULE OF LIFE THAT LIBERALS DO NOT LEAVE THE VISIBLE CHURCH!

They stay and continue to spue their poison to whomever they can get to hear them. They attempt to create doubt in the marginal believer. They try and influence the one where the seeds did not fall on good ground. (Matt 13:5)

This is Satan continuing to impart doubt into the minds of those with marginal faith.

Gen 3:45 And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die: For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.

Let those who have ears to hear listen to the Lord God and His Christ.

Many events have occurred within the large mainline denomination to qualify for apostasy. One event that seems important to recall and was important enough for the writers of the Encyclopedia Britannica to include is the inauguration as president into Union Theological Seminary of Charles Augustus Briggs. Prior to his inauguration he had initiated debates within the seminary over the authority of the Bible in 1876 and the authority of the Westminster Confession in 1885.

Union is a seminary in New York City. At that time it was part of the Presbyterian Church. In his speech on January 20, 1891 Briggs made some points, which are obviously destructive heresies.  Union was a seminary that was devoted to training ministers for Presbyterian pulpits.

Briggs made six points. All of which fueled the split in American churches.

  1. He asserted that there are three great fountains of truth: The Bible, the church and reason. So reason and mankind became equal with the revealed Word.
  2. Some OT prophecies were fulfilled and some were reversed.
  3. He questioned the Mosaic authorship of the first five books of the Bible.
  4. He questioned the unity of the book of Isaiah.
  5. Those unsaved who died would have a second chance at eternal life.
  6. Sanctification is not complete at death.

This was the first public affirmation of liberalism in a theological seminary in the United States. The New York Presbytery brought Charges against Briggs on two occasions (1891 and 1893), but the charges were dropped, to preserve unity of the church rather than to deal with what was actually said. There was a huge group that wanted peace at whatever the cost. The cost was truth and it was lost.

TRUTH MUST NEVER BE SACRIFICED FOR PEACE. IT NEVER WORKS!

Daniel E. Woodhead

Sources:

 

Breese, Dave, 7 Men Who Rule The World From The Grave, Moody Press, Chicago, IL 1990

Cloud, David W, Way of Life Encyclopedia, Way of Life Literature Port Huron, MI 2002

Couch, Mal, God Has Spoken, AMG Publishers, Chattanooga, TN 2003

Fruchtenbaum, Arnold G, The Footsteps of the Messiah, Ariel Ministries, San Antonio, TX 2003

Lewis, Brenda Ralph, A Dark History: The Popes; Vice Murder, and Corruption in the Vatican, Metro Books, NY, NY 2009

North, Gary, Crossed Fingers, How The Liberals Captured The Presbyterian Church, Published by the Institute for Christian Economics, Tyler, TX 1996

Scofield, C.I. The New Scofield Reference Bible, Oxford University Press, Oxford, GB 1967Share on Facebook

The Apostasy of the Church Part I

 

 

Number of the beast by Hawkwood

Number of the beast by Hawkwood

 

 

Dr Scofield in his 1909 Reference Bible categorized the letters to the seven churches of Asia in Revelation chapters two and three as a chronological developmental exposition of a broad overview of Church history. He and the men that refreshed the notes in the Scofield Reference Bible in 1967 saw the letters as an accurate chronological depiction of the problems encountered throughout church history. The last letter, Laodicea provides an accurate picture of the apostasy of the visible Christian Church.

The Church of the Apostasy represents Church history from A.D. 1917-to the Rapture of the Church..

Rev 3:14-22  “To the angel of the church in Laodicea write: The Amen, the faithful and true Witness, the Beginning of the creation of God, says this: ‘I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot; I wish that you were cold or hot. ‘So because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of My mouth. ‘Because you say, “I am rich, and have become wealthy, and have need of nothing,” and you do not know that you are wretched and miserable and poor and blind and naked, I advise you to buy from Me gold refined by fire so that you may become rich, and white garments so that you may clothe yourself, and that the shame of your nakedness will not be revealed; and eye salve to anoint your eyes so that you may see. Those whom I love, I reprove and discipline; therefore be zealous and repent. ‘Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and will dine with him, and he with Me. He who overcomes, I will grant to him to sit down with Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne. He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.'”

The destination of the letter, in verse 14a is Laodicea, which means “people ruling.” This is set in contrast to God’s ruling in the church. It is a church entirely ruled by men, for the Holy Spirit is not present and doing His ministry of guiding, instructing and illuminating.

The description of Jesus is in verse 14b and is taken from Revelation 1:4, 6 and 7.  He is described as the faithful and true witness, whereas this church is neither faithful nor true to the Word.

In verses 15-16, they are characterized by lukewarmness. The distinctions between hot, cold and lukewarm can be determined by the overall context. The hot are the truly saved believers. The cold are those who are not believers and do not claim to be believers. The lukewarm are those who claim to believe in Jesus but are not truly regenerate believers.

Apostasy can be defined as the departure from the truth that one professed to have. It does not mean that they actually possessed the truth. Apostates do not actually possess the truth. Rather, it is a departure from a truth they professed to have because of an affiliation with a particular church. How does this happen?

One typical example of the apostasy occurring is the infiltration of the liberals into the hierarchy of the Presbyterian Church USA. Upon hiring a new minister into the denomination they were required to affirm their belief in the Westminster Confession of Faith. The Rev Milo F. Jamison, a premillennial dispensationalist had grown to not hold to it and was thrown out of the denomination in 1933 for daring to believe the Bible as it was written instead of following a creed or confession alone. He questioned a fellow Princeton grad applying for a ministerial pulpit position. Jamison knew that the man did not believe in the Confession either or any other creed. He was a liberal. Jamison asked him: “How could you tell the examining committee that you believe in the Westminster Confession when you really don’t?” The man answered: “I kept my fingers crossed during the exam.” So the liberal lied to get into the denomination. Once the liberals got in they took others in along with them and began to populate the hierarchy of the denomination. They wanted the church’s money and power as well as its prestige. Soon they gained control and dominated the Presbyterians and caused schisms. So where did the denomination go wrong?

Presbyterianism and other denominations put earthly, man-centered pursuits in place of the entire “Whole Council of God.” They believed creeds, confessions, loved power, property, and money instead of the pure sweet milk of the Word alone. They prided themselves on their educations especially the secular schools they attended. The liberals easily entered and caused dissention with the fundamentalists once they gained power. They captured Princeton Seminary in 1929 and Union Theological Seminary at least forty years earlier. The Episcopal Church had gone liberal a generation earlier than Princeton’s departure from orthodoxy. They fell even before Union.

The New Testament clearly predicts in two NT passages that there would be an apostasy in the latter days.

The first is found in 2nd Thessalonians.

II Thes 2:1-3 Now we request you, brethren, with regard to the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our gathering together to Him, that you not be quickly shaken from your composure or be disturbed either by a spirit or a message or a letter as if from us, to the effect that the day of the Lord has come. Let no one in any way deceive you, for it will not come unless the apostasy comes first, and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the son of destruction,

The second passage is: I Ti 4:1  

I Ti 4:1 But the Spirit explicitly says that in later times some will fall away from the faith, paying attention to deceitful spirits and doctrines of demons,

The prophetic word says that there will be a falling away in the last days.

This is a vivid description of the Laodicean Church.

Three NT passages describe the character of the apostasy.

I Tim 4:1-3 But the Spirit explicitly says that in later times some will fall away from the faith, paying attention to deceitful spirits and doctrines of demons, by means of the hypocrisy of liars seared in their own conscience as with a branding iron, men who forbid marriage and advocate abstaining from foods which God has created to be gratefully shared in by those who believe and know the truth. 

The source of the apostasy is demons, for apostates have essentially given in to seducing spirits and are preaching a system of doctrine, which is a doctrine of demons. Furthermore, they speak lies through hypocrisy, and their conscious’ have stopped working.

The second passage is found in II Timothy. 

II Ti 3:5   holding to a form of godliness, although they have denied its power; Avoid such men as these.

In verses 1-4 there is a description of the general character of the world in the last days, and it can hardly be denied that these elements are true in this present day. Verse five centers on the religious front, where the last days will be characterized by men having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof. Apostate ministers, retaining the clerical garb and church titles, have a form of godliness. But they deny the power thereof, for they have denied the true power of godliness. They claim to trust in God but are actually trusting in worldly methodologies.

The third passage is found in II Peter 2:1-22

2Pe 2:1-22   But false prophets also arose among the people, just as there will also be false teachers among you, who will secretly introduce destructive heresies, even denying the Master who bought them, bringing swift destruction upon themselves. Many will follow their sensuality, and because of them the way of the truth will be maligned; and in their greed they will exploit you with false words; their judgment from long ago is not idle, and their destruction is not asleep. For if God did not spare angels when they sinned, but cast them into hell and committed them to pits of darkness, reserved for judgment; and did not spare the ancient world, but preserved Noah, a preacher of righteousness, with seven others, when He brought a flood upon the world of the ungodly; and if He condemned the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah to destruction by reducing them to ashes, having made them an example to those who would live ungodly lives thereafter; and if He rescued righteous Lot, oppressed by the  sensual conduct of unprincipled men (for by what he saw and heard that righteous man, while living among them, felt his righteous soul tormented day after day by their lawless deeds), then the Lord knows how to rescue the godly from temptation, and to keep the unrighteous under punishment for the day of judgment, and especially those who indulge the flesh in its corrupt desires and despise authority. Daring, self-willed, they do not tremble when they revile angelic majesties, whereas angels who are greater in might and power do not bring a reviling judgment against them before the Lord. But these, like unreasoning animals, born as creatures of instinct to be captured and killed, reviling where they have no knowledge, will in the destruction of those creatures also be destroyed, suffering wrong as the wages of doing wrong They count it a pleasure to revel in the daytime. They are stains and blemishes, reveling in their deceptions, as they carouse with you, having eyes full of adultery that never cease from sin, enticing unstable souls, having a heart trained in greed, accursed children; forsaking the right way, they have gone astray, having followed the way of Balaam, the son of Beor, who loved the wages of unrighteousness; but he received a rebuke for his own transgression, for a mute donkey, speaking with a voice of a man, restrained the madness of the prophet. These are springs without water and mists driven by a storm, for whom the black darkness has been reserved. For speaking out arrogant words of vanity they entice by fleshly desires, by sensuality, those who barely escape from the ones who live in error, promising them freedom while they themselves are slaves of corruption; for by what a man is overcome, by this he is enslaved. For if, after they have escaped the defilements of the world by the knowledge of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, they are again entangled in them and are overcome, the last state has become worse for them than the first. For it would be better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than having known it, to turn away from the holy commandment handed on to them. It has happened to them according to the true proverb, “A DOG RETURNS TO ITS OWN VOMIT,” and, “A sow, after washing, returns to wallowing in the mire.”

As we read the passage, we don’t see Peter having any attitude of love or tolerance toward the apostates. The Bible and particularly the Lord Jesus do not display ANY toleration toward apostasy and both castigate it very severely, as these verses clearly show.

Peter also tells us what the mark of an apostate is. What they teach are called destructive denials.

The teachings of the apostates are indeed destructive heresies. The content entails denying even the Master that bought them. In other words, the content of apostate teaching involves the denial of the Person (the Master) and work (bought them) of the Lord Jesus. Other NT passages provide more specific aspects of this denial. First, a denial of the Trinity is dealt with in 1 John 2:22-23.

1 Jo 2:22-23 Who is a liar but he that denieth that Jesus is the Christ? He is antichrist that denieth the Father and the Son. Whosoever denieth the Son, the same hath not the Father: [(but) he that acknowledgeth the Son hath the Father also]. 

1st John 4:2-3 comments on a denial of the Incarnation:

1 Jo 4:1-2 Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world. Hereby know ye the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God:

The same is true of II John 1:7

2Jo 1:7 For many deceivers are entered into the world, who confess not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh. This is a deceiver and an antichrist

Third the denial of the Second Coming of the Messiah is the concern of II Peter 3:3-4

2Pe 3:3-4 Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts, And saying, Where is the promise of his coming? for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as [they were] from the beginning of the creation.

So the teachings of apostasy involve the destructive denials of the Person and work of the Messiah, especially with regard to His place in the Trinity, His deity, His incarnation as the God-Man by means of the Virgin Birth, and the fact that He is coming again physically. Basic to all these denials, of course is the denial of the God breathed origin of the Scriptures themselves.

ONCE THE SCRIPTURES ARE CAST ASIDE AS NON-AUTHORITATIVE ALL DOCTRINES DESIGNED TO PROTECT CEASE TO BE EFFECTIVE.

Daniel E. Woodhead

Sources:

 

Breese, Dave, 7 Men Who Rule The World From The Grave, Moody Press, Chicago, IL 1990

Cloud, David W, Way of Life Encyclopedia, Way of Life Literature Port Huron, MI 2002

Couch, Mal, God Has Spoken, AMG Publishers, Chattanooga, TN 2003

Fruchtenbaum, Arnold G, The Footsteps of the Messiah, Ariel Ministries, San Antonio, TX 2003

Lewis, Brenda Ralph, A Dark History: The Popes; Vice Murder, and Corruption in the Vatican, Metro Books, NY, NY 2009

North, Gary, Crossed Fingers, How The Liberals Captured The Presbyterian Church, Published by the Institute for Christian Economics, Tyler, TX 1996

Scofield, C.I. The New Scofield Reference Bible, Oxford University Press, Oxford, GB 1967Share on Facebook

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