Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Latest Reading

Baptists and Liberty of Conscience by Henry C. Vedder, Classic reprints by Vance Publications, originally published in The Baptist Quarterly Review 6 (January-March 1884). This is an interesting work on the history of the Baptist and Anabapist view on Freedom of Religion as opposed to the Protestant and Catholic view. This will matter again soon when Islam takes over.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

World History, Class Eighteen

World History - Class Eighteen
The Conquest of the World, Slavery, and the Renaissance

Jews had been in the Iberian Peninsula since at least the third century. In medieval Spain, according to Henry Kamen’s The Spanish Inquisition, they represented the single largest Jewish community in the world. In the 13th century they formed just under 2% of Spain’s population – about 100,000 persons. Political rivalry and economic jealousy led to many laws against this prosperous and influential population, as in the rest of Europe. Jews began to be restricted to a certain section of town called an aljama which was its name when unified as a corporate body for political purposes. These sections of towns were societies of their own. As the Jewish situation in Europe worsened with all Jews being expelled from England in 1290 and then from France in 1306, the urban elite in Spain who owed money to the Jews, the Catholic commoners who lived beside the aljama’s and resented their separateness, and the farmers who hated them for the way they felt exploited by the moneylenders, hostility in Spain increased.

In the mid-14th century the civil wars that broke out in the kingdom of Castile encouraged more outrages against the Jews. In Seville, hundreds of Jews were killed and the aljama was destroyed in a fit of religious frenzy spurred by Catholic archdeacon Ferrant Martinez. Jews all over Spain were murdered or forced under threat of death to convert to Catholicism. These people were called Conversos. Conversos was the name given to anyone who had converted from Judaism or Islam and the name was also applied to their descendants. While some royal decrees made it illegal to force conversion and offered the Jews a chance to go back to their old religion it was felt safer by many to stay identified with the Catholic faith.

By 1492 there were only 1/4th as many Jews in Spain as in the century before mass riots against them that took place in 1391. While Ferdinand and Isabella tried to protect Jews and maintain some peace in their regard, an Inquisition began in 1480 was started by them ostensibly to keep Jews and Christians separate. Many of the Conversos had become the most virulently anti-Semitic priests and leaders. The Jews felt betrayed by their own brethren. General Inquisitor Torquemada convinced the monarchs that the only rational solution for the outright persecution of Jews by former Jews now in the Catholic Church was their total expulsion from Spain.

The issue of whether or not a Converso was truly a Christian or still practicing the Jewish religion in secret was a matter of great controversy to the “Old Christians” who came from families that had no Jewish ancestry as far as they knew. The Office of the Holy Inquisition was designed to try to root out the so-called Judaizers among the New Christians. Those Conversos who were successfully accused and tried for still practicing Judaism were denounced and executed at what was called an auto-da-fe’ . Eventually, those who were believed to be Protestants; followers of Erasmus or Luther, and even those considered to be liberal humanists or skeptics were included in the Inquisition. All of Erasmus’ works were eventually included in an Index of banned books by Pope Paul


IV in 1559 even though Erasmus was, during his early life, highly respected by the Roman Catholic Church.

Not everyone who was condemned was burned at the stake as many recanted their “errors” publicly and swore to “reform”. Whatever the case, auto-da-fe’s were huge public entertainment events and whether the victims were burnt or not and very expensive to put on. The issue of just how many thousands of people were put to death in this reign of terror in Spain as that country became the champion of the Roman Catholic cause is one of great controversy. Nevertheless, it is a testimony to how the Church of that age dealt with any doubts or objections to its dogma. This was not the only way or the most effective as we will see later in our discussion of the Counter-Reformation and was only possible in countries where church and state were firmly welded together.

No historical subject of great importance is so burdened with controversy or so full of myths and legends as the Atlantic slave trade but I want to tackle a summary of its beginnings here. We will be dealing with the subject of slavery over time as its importance becomes even more clear as an issue in the near dissolution of the United States of America. I am using as a primary source The Slave Trade by Hugh Thomas. One of the byproducts of Portuguese exploration was a raid by Lancarote de Freitas, who attacked an Azanaghi village in Africa and returned on August 8, 1444 to Portugal with 235 slaves. To quote from page 23 of Thomas’ work;

“The seizure of slaves, rather then their purchase, was then a frequent practice in both Europe and Africa. These “razzias”, as the odious practice of man-stealing was known, were carried out throughout the Middle Ages in Spain and Africa by Muslim merchants, and their Christian equivalents had done the same. Muslims were justified by the Koran in seizing Christians and enslaving them; the Christians, in their long drawn-out reconquest of Muslim Spain, had conducted themselves similarly.”

Slavery was not new, was not a European only institution, and was not a Catholic only practice. It was and is today a common practice and it is estimated that there are more slaves in the world, people owned by other people to varying degrees, today than ever in history. Aristotle, the Greek philosopher, had said that mankind was divided into two groups; the masters and the slaves. The Catholic Church consented in the kidnapping of people for slavery in spite of clear scriptural statements condemning such actions such as 1 Timothy 1:10 & in Revelation 18:13 the wicked city of Babylon at the end is accused of dealing in slaves and the souls of men. Portugal secured approval from successive popes for most of their further southward raids to secure black slaves. First, in 1442, Pope Eugenius IV issued the Bull Illius Qui approving Prince Henry’s expeditions to secure African slaves. The Pope granted Prince Henry exclusive rights over his African conquests. Then, in the 1450’s Popes Nicholas V and Calixtus III gave an even warmer approval in three more Papal Bulls. Whatever their intentions, the results of their actions were the approval of , as in the Papal Bull Dum Diversas, the Portuguese subduing Saracen, pagans, and other unbelievers alike and even to reduce them to perpetual

slavery. The excuse of how it would be a blessing to convert these people to Catholicism did not change the wretched state of slavery. Some Popes did express disgust at the slave trade but their outcry was rare. Perhaps, from a political point of view, the Popes were doing what they thought was best in the struggle against Islam.

The Portuguese, like their counterparts from the Italian city of Genoa, were not only interested in slaves but gold and opening trade routes for goods to come to Europe by way of India and China around Africa. The ultimate goal of many of the early explorers was to find a trade route to the wealth of India and China. By 1475, the Portuguese were not only bringing African slaves to Europe but were trading them for gold to African merchants. On the coast of Benin in West Africa, the African tribes of Ijo and Itsekiri, prospered from the slave trade with Portugal. The demand for African slaves was growing in Europe during the 1400’s, particularly in Spain. The Portuguese were very exclusionary in their monopoly of the trade and even concluded a treaty with Edward IV of England in 1481 which kept the English out of the lucrative slave trade for several generations.

In 1493, Pope Alexander IV drew a line across the world dividing it between Spain and Portugal which resulted in the famous Treaty of Tordesillas which permanently divided the world between spheres of Spanish and Portuguese influence.

Christopher Columbus noted that the Indians he had captured in the Caribbean did not make good slaves and didn’t hold up well under hard labor like the Africans did so in 1510 King Ferdinand ordered “the best and strongest available” slaves to be sent to what was called the West Indies to work in mines. A priest of the day, Bartolome’ de las Casas, had written History of the Indies accusing the Spanish colonists of murdering several million Indians through the cruelties of slavery. His claims agree with some recent historians who report a far greater native population throughout the Americas living before Columbus’ arrival than previously believed. Throughout the 1500’s, the 16th century, Spain and Portugal continued to be slave countries, providing Europe and the New World of the Americas with black African and white Arabic Muslim slaves just as African potentates and Muslim leaders used white European and black African slaves. Eventually, the balance was tilted so far in favor of black slaves that African slavery became the norm. As former American slave, Booker T. Washington, would later note in his book, Up from Slavery, the Portuguese found out that slavery made the masters idle and lazy and degraded the society in general.

For a contrast, while Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor, in 1519 was granting a slaving license for 4,000 slaves to a friend, the great emperor of the African kingdom of Songhai on the Niger River was presenting a gift of 1,700 slaves to a friend of his. The trans-Saharan slave trade, as in across the Sahara, was the big trafficking route throughout the 16th century until the Atlantic trade to the Americas began to promise more cash rewards. Until 1550 Europe was the biggest purchaser of slaves. After that, with the massive planting of sugar cane in the Spanish Empire of the Americas, the New World became

the destination for many more unhappy Africans. As the 16th century drew to a close there were more voices expressed in opposition of slavery but African slavery had
become too entrenched and accepted as a cultural norm throughout Catholic countries, as it always had been in Islamic countries, that there seemed to be no turning back.

By the end of the 1500’s the slave trade had been internationalized with England, France, and the Dutch involved, as well.

The slave trade went hand in hand with the lust for gold which the Spanish enjoyed in the Americas and the thirst for exploration and conquest everywhere. The Portuguese Fleet appeared at Calicut on the Indian Ocean in 1500 after Vasco da Gama had rounded the Cape of Good Hope in 1498. Between 1500 and 1505, the Portuguese established trading posts along the west coast of India. Francisco de Almeida was appointed First Viceroy of Portuguese India in 1505, also establishing bases along the east coast of Africa. His son, Lorenzo, established a base on Ceylon, now called Sri Lanka. Alfonso de Albuquerque was Appointed Viceroy of India in 1507. In 1508, Sultan Mahmud Begarha of Gujerat allied with Kansu al-Gauri of Egypt to try to halt the Portuguese interference with what had been a Muslim monopoly and fought the Naval Battle of Dabul against them, resulting in Lorenzo being killed. His father gained revenge in 1509 by burning a number of Muslim ports along India’s coast, including Goa and Dabul. Almeida destroyed the Muslim fleet at the Battle of Diu in 1509.

The Portuguese not only built valuable trading posts on the east coast of Africa and the west coast of India but they moved on to Canton, China in 1514, Burma by 1519, and Portuguese were in Peking, China by 1520 but were expelled from the capital due to some misbehavior by their ships on the coast of China.

In the meanwhile the Spanish were conquering all of South and Central America, and much of North America with the explorer Coronado, in 1540-1542, conquering New Mexico while he looked for fabled Seven Cities of Gold and is the first European to see the Grand Canyon. St. Augustine, Florida was founded by the Spanish in 1565 after they massacred a French colony on the St. Johns River. Present day California, New Mexico, Arizona, and Texas would also belong to Spain. This is the time that Francisco Pizarro conquered the Incas of Peru and Chile’, between 1540 and 1561, was conquered by Pedro de Valdivia and Garcia Hurtado de Mendoza. Spain took tons and tons of gold from the America’s during this period. So much wealth and riches were being removed from the New World to Spain that the English “sea dog”, Captain Francis Drake and his ship, the Golden Hind, snared more than 10 tons of gold from captured Spanish ships in just two years from 1577 to 1579. Spain spent their fabulous wealth as soon as they got it. For instance, Peter Bernstein’s The Power of Gold tells us that Charles V in 1516 became Holy Roman Emperor by being voted in by the Pope’s German Electors at a cost to Spain of 850,000 florins, a huge fortune, and further bankrupted Spain by 27 years of constant warfare with Francis I of France plus trying to claim the Netherlands as the property of Spain. Conquest can be quite expensive.


In any event, the name America appears on a map for the first time in 1507. As an aside I am going to present to you a recent Reuters News Agency story regarding that map.

“Map that named America is a puzzle for researchers
By David AlexanderMon Dec 3, 12:19 PM ET
The only surviving copy of the 500-year-old map that first used the name America goes on permanent display this month at the Library of Congress, but even as it prepares for its debut, the 1507 Waldseemuller map remains a puzzle for researchers.
Why did the mapmaker name the territory America and then change his mind later? How was he able to draw South America so accurately? Why did he put a huge ocean west of America years before European explorers discovered the Pacific?
"That's the kind of conundrum, the question, that is still out there," said John Hebert, chief of the geography and map division of the Library of Congress.
The 12 sheets that make up the map, purchased from German Prince Johannes Waldburg-Wolfegg for $10 million in 2003, were mounted on Monday in a huge 6-foot by 9.5-foot (1.85 meter by 2.95 meter) display case machined from a single block of aluminum.
The case will be flooded with inert argon gas to prevent deterioration when it goes on public display December 13.
Researchers are hopeful that putting the rarely shown map on permanent display for the first time since it was discovered in the Waldburg-Wolfegg castle archives in 1901 may stimulate interest in finding out more about the documents used to produce it.
The map was created by the German monk Martin Waldseemuller. Thirteen years after Christopher Columbus first landed in the Western Hemisphere, the Duke of Lorraine brought Waldseemuller and a group of scholars together at a monastery in Saint-Die in France to create a new map of the world.
The result, published two years later, is stunningly accurate and surprisingly modern.
"The actual shape of South America is correct," said Hebert. "The width of South America at certain key points is correct within 70 miles of accuracy."
Given what Europeans are believed to have known about the world at the time, it should not have been possible for the mapmakers to produce it, he said.
The map gives a reasonably correct depiction of the west coast of South America. But according to history, Vasco Nunez de Balboa did not reach the Pacific by land until 1513, and Ferdinand Magellan did not round the southern tip of the continent until 1520.
"So this is a rather compelling map to say, 'How did they come to that conclusion,"' Hebert said.
The mapmakers say they based it on the 1,300-year-old works of the Egyptian geographer Ptolemy as well as letters Florentine navigator Amerigo Vespucci wrote describing his voyages to the new world. But Hebert said there must have been something more.
"From the writings of Vespucci you couldn't have prepared the map," Hebert said. "There had to be something cartographic with it."
Waldseemuller made it clear he was naming the new land after Vespucci, describing how he came up with the name America based on the navigator's first name.
But he soon had misgivings about what he had done. An atlas Waldseemuller produced six years later shows only part of the east coast of the Americas, and refers to it as Terra Incognita -- unknown land.
"America has gone out of his lexicon," Hebert said. "(No) place in the atlas -- in the text or in the maps -- does the name America appear."
His 1516 mariner's map, on the same scale as the 1507 map, steps back even further, showing only parts of the new continents and reconnecting the north to Asia. South America is labeled Terra Nova -- New World -- and North America is labeled Terra de Cuba -- Land of Cuba.
"Essentially he's reconnecting North America to the Asian mainland, suggesting a continual world of land mass rather than separated by those bodies of water that separate us from Europe and Asia," Hebert said.
Why the rollback? No one knows.
In writings accompanying the 1516 map, Waldseemuller comes across as if he "has seen the better of his error and is now correcting it," Hebert said.
He speculated that power politics played a role. Spain and Portugal divided the globe between them in 1494, two years after Columbus, with territory to the east going to Portugal and land to the west to Spain.
That demarcation line is oddly absent from the 1507 Waldseemuller map, and flags marking territorial claims in South America suggest Portugal controls the region's southernmost land, even though it is in Spain's area of influence. On the later map, the southernmost flag is Spanish, Hebert said.
"It is possible one could say the 1507 map is influenced strongly by Portuguese sources and conceivably the 1516 map may be influenced more by Spanish sources," he said.
Although the map conceals many mysteries, one thing is clear: it represents a revolutionary shift in the way Europe viewed the world.
"This is ... essentially the beginning or first map of the modern age, and it's one that everything builds on from that point forward," Hebert said. "It becomes a keystone map."”
In 1513, Ponce De Leon explores Florida. Vasco Nunez de Balboa travels through Panama in 1513 and becomes the first European to see the Pacific Ocean from the Americas. In 1517 Francisco Fernandez de Cordoba explores the Mayan ruins of the Yucatan Peninsula in Mexico. We have already discussed Hernando Cortez’ adventures at Tenochitlan against the Aztecs. In 1519, Ferdinand Magellan, a Portuguese working for Spain, leaves on an attempt to circumnavigate the globe. He dies fighting the natives in 1521 in what was later to be called the Philippines.

In 1524, Italian navigator, Giovannia da Verrazano, working for France, enters what we now call New York Harbor. In 1541, Hernando de Soto, leads the first Europeans to see the Mississippi River. In 1606, Luis Vaez de Torres sails around New Guinea.

Exploration was not now the sole provenance of the Spanish and Portuguese as, in 1553, the English mariner, Richard Chancellor, opens up a northeastern sea route to Russia. In 1576, Martin Frobisher, rediscovers Greenland for the English. During an expedition in 1577-1580, Francis Drake circumnavigates the globe for the first time since Magellan’s expedition in 1522. In the process, he sails up California as far as San Francisco Bay. In 1610, English navigator, Henry Hudson, trying to find a northwest passage to India, instead finds landlocked Hudson Bay.

The great American historian of the 19th century, George Bancroft tells, in his epic The History of the United States of America From the Discovery of the Continent, of how the English colonized Virginia at Jamestown when a group of men, including adventurer John Smith, petitioned James I of England to set up a colony in Virginia. King James I agreed and on April 10, 1606 the first colonial charter under which the English established their claim to the New World was signed. The Jamestown colonists were not prepared for what they had to face and would have hardly survived had it not been for the help of kindly Indians. The term, Indians, by the way, was mistakenly given to those people first discovered by the Spanish thinking, or hoping rather, that they had, indeed,

arrived in the Indies or rather South and Southeast Asia, later called the East Indies with the Caribbean being called the West Indies. A group of the people we call the Pilgrims, journeying on a ship called the Mayflower, landed at a place they called Plymouth, in New England praying to enjoy the religious liberty they had been denied in England. Due to the close ties to the Reformation struggles that the English colonies in North America had we will discuss some important characters of these areas of English settlement in a short time.
In 1615, French explorer, Samuel de Champlain, reaches the eastward extension of Lake Huron, called Georgian Bay, becoming the first European to see the Great Lakes. It now becomes time to consolidate and try to exploit the territories that have been taken. Tobacco, chocolate, sweet potatoes, peanuts, and vanilla have been brought back to Europe from the New World.

In 1644, Dutch explorer Abel Tasman becomes the first European to discover the continent of Australia.

Now, let’s go on to a period of time which the Italians of the era between 1378 and 1464 called La Rinascita, or Rebirth, because it seemed to them to be a triumphant resurrection of the spirit of the classical era of Roman and Greek history after a barbarous interruption
of a thousand years. We call it the period of the Renaissance. It took more than a revival of antiquity, Durant tells us, in his fifth volume of The Story of Civilization entitled The Renaissance. It took a lot of money. The funds of merchants, bankers, the Church, and fortunes made on slavery and the theft of gold from technologically backward and politically disorganized cultures were necessary to buy the manuscripts that revived a love of pagan antiquity. The secularization of the growing middle classes of Europe, the growth of universities which invited skepticism and a disdain for the supernatural world of religion, and a larger acquaintance with the world all helped to create this love of the pagan past. It first took hold in Florence, Italy, which along with Venice, was the richest city in Italy. Art was Florence’s passion at this time. Patronage of art was a way of gaining status and power for wealthy merchant families.

The Medicis were one of those wealthy and powerful families. The flow of manuscripts from beleaguered, then conquered, Byzantium were not all religious. There were a great many secular works which found their way to Western Europe. The Medicis became known as patrons of the arts just as the Borgia family became known as ruthless politicians and power seekers. The Greek philosopher, Protagoras, had said that “man is the measure of all things”, which is in direct contradiction with the Bible’s clear statements that the Lord Jesus Christ is the measure of all things. This philosophy is called humanism and it was the prevailing religion of the Renaissance, the idea that somehow mankind was this magnificent creature who was going to create a perfect world all on his own without a God or gods involved. Although many of the humanists were also deeply religious there is a great strain of atheism and glorification of man as the ultimate example of nature’s perfection in the Renaissance.

One of the arts and sciences that were profoundly affected by the Renaissance were architecture with the majesty of the Gothic Cathedral replaced by the mixture of classical and gothic architecture of Filippo Brunellesco. Other major artists of the Renaissance were Leonardo Da Vinci, not only an artist but an inventor and far ahead of his time in particular with military science. He not only painted memorable masterpieces such as the Mona Lisa and The Last Supper but also explored everything from flying machines to eyeglasses, designing things far ahead of his time like armored tanks and helicopters. Another great artist of this period was Michelangelo who is famous for his statue of David and painting the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel in Rome.

One of the period’s great sculptors was named Ghiberti. Another was named Donatello. Again another was Luca della Robbia. In painting some of the most famous names were Masaccio, Raphael, and Titian along with Fra Angelico. Artists and scholars were lured to Florence by the patronage of the wealthy Medici’s and others of wealth. A group who met with Lorenzo Medici formed the Platonic Academy to study pagan Greek philosophy. Often, like Origen and Philo, men of the Catholic faith would attempt to
combine Plato and Christ, making one understandable to themselves and those likeminded by the words of the other. The Hebrew occultic study of the Kabbala became popular much as it is today among some celebrities.

The Borgia’s were a ruthless and brutal political family that began its ascent to power with Rodrigo Borgia, who, moving from Spain, had changed the spelling of his name from Borjas, the family of Pope Calixtus III. He became a cardinal and then, spreading the wealth of his family around liberally in the College of Cardinals, he bought his way to being Pope Alexander VI in 1492. His purchase of the papacy was a pagan beginning for a pagan pope, says Durant. He was a wily politician and even allied himself with a Turkish Sultan against his enemies. He was known for promoting relatives to positions of influence and power. He sold offices, took over the estates of dead cardinals, and sold dispensations and divorces to make money. He had taken a married woman as a lover when only a priest and she bore him four children. When he began to set his sights on the Papacy he found her a husband and she was twice widowed, dying at the age of 76, and leaving her wealth to the Church.

Alexander’s oldest son, Caesar Borgia, became a cardinal and fighting for the Papal States against their enemies he even used one of Leonardo’s war machines and became the most powerful man in Italy. He had a reputation for bloodthirsty cruelty, as well. Once he released several convicted prisoners and shot each of them with arrows for sport.
Caesar’s sister, Lucrezia, who lived until 1519, was also an infamous member of the Borgia family. Their family name has come down to us as consistent with treachery, deceit, murder, and political betrayal. Alexander eventually died, in 1503 of what some call malaria, but what others have said was the result of an attempt to poison a cardinal that backfired, with Alexander consuming his own poison.


One of the Renaissance’s most interesting characters and the owner of the name where we get the word, Machiavellian, from was Niccolo Machiavelli, who lived from 1469 to 1527. He was the son of a Florentine lawyer who became a politician, a philosopher, and an author writing books on politics that still affect our political world today; including The Prince and The Art of War. As a political philosopher he admired lying, treachery, deceit, and almost every kind of wicked design a leader could concoct to achieve his ends. His belief that “the ends justify the means” has been a battle cry of many of our most recent politicians in American history, much to our shame. Durant says that he represented the ultimate challenge of a revived paganism against a weakened Christianity, which, of course, he should have said Catholic Christianity. Machiavelli is on almost everyone’s list of history’s most influential people and much admired by the world today.

Eventually, the Renaissance, so loved by humanists everywhere as a time of great glory and awakening for their godless pipe dreams, came to a gradual end. Its anti-scriptural dream lives on in most of today’s universities and colleges, as the doctrines of secular humanism have even crept into Protestant and Evangelical Christian Education and
practice in present day America. While the Bible says that mankind is basically wicked and in need of the Saviour, Humanism teaches that people are basically good, no Saviour necessary. The Renaissance, at its essence, was an exercise in humanistic self-adoration.

The British Isles saw the reign of Henry VII, from 1485 to 1509, who strengthened royal authority and suppressed private feudal armies. His son, Henry VIII, broke with the Papacy. We will discuss him in a bit in regard to his place in the Reformation. For 5 years from 1553 to 1558, Mary I ruled England and re-established Catholicism. She married Philip of Spain and was called Bloody Mary for her execution of over 300 Protestants. Then, in 1558, Elizabeth I took over in England. Mary’s sister, she returned England to Protestantism. She even sent expeditions to France to help Huguenots, French Protestants, fighting by the Catholic Church. She allied with the Netherlands in their revolt against Spain but avoided outright war with Spain. Then, in 1586, mighty Spain planned to invade England. The names of thousands of English Protestants were prepared, who would be murdered if the Spanish Armada was successful. In 1587, Sir Francis Drake, who had just come off from circumnavigating the globe, attacked the Spanish at Cadiz and destroyed many ships.

The Spanish continued to prepare their massive invasion and finally departed in July of 1588. But, after many unsuccessful naval engagements that didn’t go their way, the failed Armada tried to return to Spain by going around the British Isles, only to lose over half their ships and thousands of men to battle, starvation, or drowning in the North Sea and the Atlantic Ocean.

In Scotland, Mary, Queen of Scots, ruled from 1544 to 1547 allying herself with France against England and fighting against Elizabeth. The French were driven out of Scotland,


and in 1567, Mary’s infant son, James VI came to power, becoming king over Scotland and England as James I of England some thirty years later..

France had almost continuous wars with Spain and fighting in Italy during this period under monarchs Louis XII and Francis I. As I have mentioned before, the Holy Roman Emperor of Germany was also the King of Spain, Charles V (Charles I of Spain). He fought several wars with Francis I of France. The Wars of Religion took place between 1560 and 1598. Huguenot or French Protestant leaders fought against the Catholic establishment finally marked by the ascendancy of Henry of Navarre, a Protestant who eventually returned to the Catholic Church.

Germany saw a Knights War, a Peasant’s War, and the collapse of the powerful Teutonic Knights when their grand master turned Protestant. During this period of time in the 1500’s, Poland became firmly united with Lithuania, and Poland became one of the great powers of Europe. Bohemia and Hungary were combined under a single ruler for most of this period. However, Louis II was defeated by the Turks at the disastrous Battle of Mohacs. Ferdinand of Hapsburg paid tribute to the Turkish Sultan.

Russia saw the Grand Duchy of Moscow transformed into the Russian Empire in the 1500’s. Under Basil III and Ivan IV (aka Ivan the Terrible), this great new Slavic empire was almost constantly at war with its neighbors. These wars were caused partly by the lack of natural geographic barriers on the vast flatlands of Eastern Europe and partly by the Russians desire for an outlet to the sea. Russia’s westward expansion was halted by the Poles and the Swedes but was successful to the East over the Mongols and Tartars.

This was also the era of the Ottoman Empire’s greatest glory. In a brief reign, Sultan Selim I nearly doubled the empire’s size with victories over the Persians and the Egyptian Mamelukes. Selim’s better known son, Suleiman the Magnificent, was a military genius. He was the most powerful ruler anywhere in that century. His long reign coincided with Frances I of France, Charles V of the Holy Roman Empire and Spain, and Henry VIII of England. Suleiman conquered most of Hungary and nearly captured Vienna, Austria. His great admiral, Khair ed-Din Barbarossa, made him dominant over the coast of North Africa. Victories over Persia resulted in his conquest of Armenia. The Black Sea became a Turkish lake. Europe was saved from outright conquest by the division of his strength in attacking Persia. Sixty years after his death the long, slow decline of the Ottoman Empire began with the naval defeat at the Battle of Lepanto by Don Juan of Austria.

This period of time in India saw squabbles in the Moslem states and Hindu uprisings with Babur, a descendant of Genghis Khan and Tamerlane, conquering North India and founding the Mogul Empire (named after the Mongols from which he had descended). His grandson, Akbar, is thought of as one of the great warriors of Indian history. In South India, the Hindu Vijayanagar Empire saw its greatest glory during this time, the 1500’s.


In the late 1500’s the Japanese invaded Korea but were finally repulsed. Japan had a leader named Hideyoshi, who planned on taking over all of East Asia, invading China through Korea and setting up the Japanese court at Peking. It didn’t work, however, and he died in the attempt to hold Korea after his fleet was annihilated by Chinese Admiral Yi Sung Sin.

Siam, now called Thailand, invaded Cambodia late in the century during a ten year war with Burma. Indonesia and Malaya suffered under conquest for Portugal by Albuquerque. The Dutch arrived in 1595 to rival the Portuguese for power.

In West Africa, Alonso I, of Kongo, ruled from 1506 to 1543, and caused the Christianization of many of his subjects. Eventually in 1570, the King of Kongo would have to appeal to Portugal for military help to prevent invasions from neighboring tribes.
The Songhai Empire reached its peak in the 1500’s but was destroyed at the end of the century by an invasion from Morocco of Spanish and Portuguese mercenaries equipped with firearms which were unheard of in Africa’s interior.

Small arms like the arquebusier and large cannon came into their own during this period revolutionizing land warfare. Ironclad ships like the ones manned by Admiral Yi Sung Sin and the great Spanish Galleons revolutionized Naval warfare.

Speaking of war, martial arts schools began to be quite prevalent in European cities at this time, as well. It became commonplace practice for gentlemen to learn skills for pleasure, sport, and education that had once been essential just for survival. Two very informative books about the study of hand to hand, personal combat are Sidney Anglo’s The Martial Arts of Renaissance Europe and Medieval Swordsmanship by John Clements. The ancient sport of boxing reappeared in 16th century England under the control of elite sporting clubs but it was not until the 18th century that modern Boxing truly began to evolve into the sport it is today. Another informative book that covers the Medieval Period and the Renaissance is English Castles by Adrian Pettifer.

World History – Class Eighteen Study Questions

1. In Roman Catholic Spain of the late medieval period what was the name given to anyone who had converted from Judaism or Islam to Roman Catholicism with the name was also being applied to their descendants?

2. What treaty permanently divided the world between spheres of Spanish and Portuguese influence?

3. Which Holy Roman Emperor bankrupted Spain with his purchase of the imperial title and 27 years of constant warfare?

4. Name three explorer-adventurers and the areas of exploration for which they are famous.

5. What rebirth of the knowledge of pagan antiquity was fueled in part by the enormous profits of the slave trade?

6. Name three important people of the period mentioned in question 5 and what their accomplishments were. (This can simply be the family name.)

7. Name the failed effort to conquer England and destroy English Protestantism by Catholic Spain.

World History – Class Eighteen Quiz

1. What treaty permanently divided the world between spheres of Spanish and Portuguese influence?

2. What rebirth of the knowledge of pagan antiquity was fueled in part by the enormous profits of the slave trade?

3. Name the failed effort to conquer England and destroy English Protestantism by Catholic Spain.

Turn in your study paper

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Exodus, chapter 32

1 ¶ And when the people saw that Moses delayed to come down out of the mount, the people gathered themselves together unto Aaron, and said unto him, Up, make us gods, which shall go before us; for as for this Moses, the man that brought us up out of the land of Egypt, we wot not what is become of him.

People, even today, are always looking for a leader other than God, particularly one that reflects their own desires and lusts. They want a God they can see.

2 And Aaron said unto them, Break off the golden earrings, which are in the ears of your wives, of your sons, and of your daughters, and bring them unto me.
3 And all the people brake off the golden earrings which were in their ears, and brought them unto Aaron.

Chapter 21 would imply that Aaron was having them, in type, admit that they were servants rebelling against their master. But, no one can be sure if this was the intention.

4 And he received them at their hand, and fashioned it with a graving tool, after he had made it a molten calf: and they said, These be thy gods, O Israel, which brought thee up out of the land of Egypt.

Perhaps this was Apis, the bull god, a derivation of Satan, the calf that has the face of a cherub in Ezekiel and in Revelation. Satan is a cherub, and a cherub has the face of a calf. These “gods”, plural, are the calf and the gold on the calf.

5 And when Aaron saw it, he built an altar before it; and Aaron made proclamation, and said, To morrow is a feast to the LORD.

Aaron is trying to sanctify this pagan symbol by declaring that they were going to worship God in a feast that he made up. Much of our worship methods are purely pagan in origin. We make it up as we go along. Most of the things we use and do in modern, even fundamentalist churches, were not ordained by God nor did He ask for them.

6 And they rose up early on the morrow, and offered burnt offerings, and brought peace offerings; and the people sat down to eat and to drink, and rose up to play.

1Corinthians 10:7 Neither be ye idolaters, as were some of them; as it is written, The people sat down to eat and drink, and rose up to play.

7 ¶ And the LORD said unto Moses, Go, get thee down; for thy people, which thou broughtest out of the land of Egypt, have corrupted themselves:

Notice the peculiar idea that these people can’t blame Satan or anyone else for they “have corrupted themselves”. See how the Lord disowns His people and throws the blame on Moses.

8 They have turned aside quickly out of the way which I commanded them: they have made them a molten calf, and have worshipped it, and have sacrificed thereunto, and said, These be thy gods, O Israel, which have brought thee up out of the land of Egypt.

It doesn’t take us long to start worshipping something other than God even in His place. We “turn quickly”. We are thankful to all the wrong things; ourselves, money, material possessions, sex, celebrities, politicians, educators, great artists, and by our not acknowledging God as God, and being thankful, and by serving other false gods, we are opened to the kind of sin that will burn us up. Look at this progression in Romans;

Romans 1:19 ¶ Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them. 20 For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse: 21 Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. 22 Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools, 23 And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things. 24 Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves: 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. 26 For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature:
27 And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet. 28 And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient; 29 Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers, 30 Backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, 31 Without understanding, covenantbreakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful: 32 Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them.

The above sins result from God removing His hand from you and giving you over to the sin that does so easily beset us.

Hebrews 12:1 Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us,

Sin is not merely the cause of God’s judgment upon a people but can be the consequence of God’s judgment. He will give you over to sin and once you have chosen to serve other gods, yourself, and Satan you have no control over how far it will go. Your resultant sin will consume you. Immorality in America, 9/11, our hollow economy, and the total destruction of our culture since the 1950’s, as well as abortion, people shacking up, rampant illegitimacy, and homosexual behavior is the judgment that God visited upon us after we Christians, as a people, turned our backs on His Bible and His admonition.

How long were we given to abandon slavery before God judged us with a Civil War and the consequent dictatorship of the Federal Government with the control by monopoly capitalists; industrialists and financiers? The dream of our founders being successful was predicated on righteousness and obedience but almost as soon as the 1800’s began Baptists began looking to retranslate the Bible that God had given us. Everything after 1865 flowed from our apostasy.

Look at how we substituted a knowledge of the Bible and daily Bible reading with Lorenzo Dow’s and Charles Finney’s altar call and the 1-2-3 repeat after me Dwight L. Moody, Billy Graham, and Jack Hyles kind of salvation. Getting numbers, people saved, became the primary job of the church rather than making disciples and teaching and helping people let God sanctify them through His word and helping each other in tough times.

The modern fundamentalist preacher has adopted the Puritan’s view that the sermon was the primary means by which God speaks to His people and John Wesley’s Sunday night service and Charles Finney’s “special service” every night of the week. It is the Bible, the Bible, the Bible that sanctifies. Here we are, dancing around our pagan idols. Fundamentalists are Pharisees, trying to be justified by their own righteousness and I don’t see a dime’s worth of difference between a separated, never divorced Baptist and a Roman Catholic. It’s still all about me and not Christ. Our sin is burning us up.

9 And the LORD said unto Moses, I have seen this people, and, behold, it is a stiffnecked people:
10 Now therefore let me alone, that my wrath may wax hot against them, and that I may consume them: and I will make of thee a great nation.
11 And Moses besought the LORD his God, and said, LORD, why doth thy wrath wax hot against thy people, which thou hast brought forth out of the land of Egypt with great power, and with a mighty hand?
12 Wherefore should the Egyptians speak, and say, For mischief did he bring them out, to slay them in the mountains, and to consume them from the face of the earth? Turn from thy fierce wrath, and repent of this evil against thy people.
13 Remember Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, thy servants, to whom thou swarest by thine own self, and saidst unto them, I will multiply your seed as the stars of heaven, and all this land that I have spoken of will I give unto your seed, and they shall inherit it for ever.
14 And the LORD repented of the evil which he thought to do unto his people.

Prayer can change God’s mind, even though the assumption is that God knew this would happen and, seen before hand, He waits for us to pray sincerely, in obedience. There are other episodes in the Bible where God can change His mind, as long as it is not written down as a fixed decree. You can’t pray to be saved but without Christ. It ain’t gonna happen.

Isaiah 38:1 ¶ In those days was Hezekiah sick unto death. And Isaiah the prophet the son of Amoz came unto him, and said unto him, Thus saith the LORD, Set thine house in order: for thou shalt die, and not live. 2 Then Hezekiah turned his face toward the wall, and prayed unto the LORD, 3 And said, Remember now, O LORD, I beseech thee, how I have walked before thee in truth and with a perfect heart, and have done that which is good in thy sight. And Hezekiah wept sore. 4 Then came the word of the LORD to Isaiah, saying, 5 Go, and say to Hezekiah, Thus saith the LORD, the God of David thy father, I have heard thy prayer, I have seen thy tears: behold, I will add unto thy days fifteen years.

15 ¶ And Moses turned, and went down from the mount, and the two tables of the testimony were in his hand: the tables were written on both their sides; on the one side and on the other were they written.

The stone tables (our word, tablet, comes from this) were written on front and back. As an example of God’s writing, see;

Revelation 5:1 And I saw in the right hand of him that sat on the throne a book written within and on the backside, sealed with seven seals.

16 And the tables were the work of God, and the writing was the writing of God, graven upon the tables.

God writes things.

Daniel 5:5 In the same hour came forth fingers of a man’s hand, and wrote over against the candlestick upon the plaister of the wall of the king’s palace: and the king saw the part of the hand that wrote.

Exodus 32:32 Yet now, if thou wilt forgive their sin––; and if not, blot me, I pray thee, out of thy book which thou hast written.

Revelation 3:5 He that overcometh, the same shall be clothed in white raiment; and I will not blot out his name out of the book of life, but I will confess his name before my Father, and before his angels.

Revelation 13:8 And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.

Your name was written in God’s book. If you reject His salvation, He removes your name and it will not be found written in His book.

17 And when Joshua heard the noise of the people as they shouted, he said unto Moses, There is a noise of war in the camp.

Joshua is a born soldier.

18 And he said, It is not the voice of them that shout for mastery, neither is it the voice of them that cry for being overcome: but the noise of them that sing do I hear.

“Mastery” is a military term for dominance or conquest as well as a sports term for victory over another.

1Corinthians 9:25 And every man that striveth for the mastery is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a corruptible crown; but we an incorruptible.

19 And it came to pass, as soon as he came nigh unto the camp, that he saw the calf, and the dancing: and Moses’ anger waxed hot, and he cast the tables out of his hands, and brake them beneath the mount.

There are things that God doesn’t want in worship that are purely manmade. Today, foolish Christians use music based on African rhythms denoted by purely sexual terms and include them in their worship. There is little difference between the fleshy, carnal music used in today’s worship and purely secular music in a nightclub. Just adding the words, ‘God’ and ‘Jesus’, in a song doesn’t make it Godly.

Dancing for the Lord, as in David’s case, was not a coed activity. He danced unto the Lord.

2Samuel 6:16 And as the ark of the LORD came into the city of David, Michal Saul’s daughter looked through a window, and saw king David leaping and dancing before the LORD; and she despised him in her heart.

And women would dance.

1Samuel 18:6 And it came to pass as they came, when David was returned from the slaughter of the Philistine, that the women came out of all cities of Israel, singing and dancing, to meet king Saul, with tabrets, with joy, and with instruments of musick.

But coed dancing is wicked and carnal and fleshy and no Christian should entertain themself with it. Frank Sinatra referred to dancing as making love to music in one of his popular songs. When the waltz came out and was so popular that it has been said that on any given night one out of four Viennese (Vienna, Austria) were out waltzing, people opposed it on moral grounds. Just ask yourself, if you saw a man and a woman doing most popular dances today in a room without music you would have to be pretty jaded not to think that they were insanely captivated by pure lust. If you go to a modern nightclub you will see a mass of people simulating sex with each other.

The first time the Ten Commandments are broken, they are broken at a dance.

20 And he took the calf which they had made, and burnt it in the fire, and ground it to powder, and strawed it upon the water, and made the children of Israel drink of it.
21 ¶ And Moses said unto Aaron, What did this people unto thee, that thou hast brought so great a sin upon them?
22 And Aaron said, Let not the anger of my lord wax hot: thou knowest the people, that they are set on mischief.

Deuternomy 9:20 And the LORD was very angry with Aaron to have destroyed him: and I prayed for Aaron also the same time.

23 For they said unto me, Make us gods, which shall go before us: for as for this Moses, the man that brought us up out of the land of Egypt, we wot not what is become of him.
24 And I said unto them, Whosoever hath any gold, let them break it off. So they gave it me: then I cast it into the fire, and there came out this calf.

This lying priest of God said that this idol came out of the fire when back in chapter 32 it was explained that it was made with engraving tools.

We do this so much with our sin, blaming something or someone else when it was our own choice.

25 And when Moses saw that the people were naked; (for Aaron had made them naked unto their shame among their enemies:)

One of the things that characterized the knowledge of good and evil that Adam and Eve suffered was a shame at being naked and a desire to cover themselves. One of the traits that characterizes demonic influence is a lack of that shame. People want to “get back to nature”, to get naked. It is a fundamental desire of some demon possessed sinners is to be naked in publicly as possible.

If you look at our churches today you often see people shamelessly sitting in the pews in various states of undress, with women even wearing shorts and short dresses, trying to show off their legs and other body parts. There is this hunger to expose themselves. Men do the same but have different priorities of flesh. Women today are held up mostly for their youthful attractiveness, hence older women talking about hairstyles or makeup that makes them look younger.

26 Then Moses stood in the gate of the camp, and said, Who is on the LORD’S side? let him come unto me. And all the sons of Levi gathered themselves together unto him.

Here, Moses is drawing the proverbial line in the sand. Moses comes from that tribe, Levi. His kin rallies to him.
27 And he said unto them, Thus saith the LORD God of Israel, Put every man his sword by his side, and go in and out from gate to gate throughout the camp, and slay every man his brother, and every man his companion, and every man his neighbour.
28 And the children of Levi did according to the word of Moses: and there fell of the people that day about three thousand men.

Three thousand men involved in the dance, regardless of their relationship to the Levite, were killed. This marks the beginning of the Law. The Law begins with three thousand getting killed as Pentecost, the beginning of the Church Age of God’s grace, begins with three thousand being added to the believers.

Acts 2:41 Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls.

People who get tangled up in doctrine out of their dispensation would do well to notice that if you claim to still be under the Hebrew theocracy you are called to kill unfaithful people. How inconsistent is this with the church age doctrine, under grace, after Christ’s resurrection. There are many Christian preachers who go beyond understanding the spiritual application of the Old Testament and act as if we are still under its rule, yet they pick and choose to justify their own convictions.

29 For Moses had said, Consecrate yourselves to day to the LORD, even every man upon his son, and upon his brother; that he may bestow upon you a blessing this day.
30 ¶ And it came to pass on the morrow, that Moses said unto the people, Ye have sinned a great sin: and now I will go up unto the LORD; peradventure I shall make an atonement for your sin.
31 And Moses returned unto the LORD, and said, Oh, this people have sinned a great sin, and have made them gods of gold.
32 Yet now, if thou wilt forgive their sin––; and if not, blot me, I pray thee, out of thy book which thou hast written.

God has written a book with everyone’s name in it. If you reject the free offer of salvation through Jesus Christ your name will be removed out of it.

Deuteronomy 29:20 The LORD will not spare him, but then the anger of the LORD and his jealousy shall smoke against that man, and all the curses that are written in this book shall lie upon him, and the LORD shall blot out his name from under heaven.

Philippians 4:3 And I intreat thee also, true yokefellow, help those women which laboured with me in the gospel, with Clement also, and with other my fellowlabourers, whose names are in the book of life.

Revelation 3:5 He that overcometh, the same shall be clothed in white raiment; and I will not blot out his name out of the book of life, but I will confess his name before my Father, and before his angels.

Revelation 13:8 And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.

Revelation 17:8 The beast that thou sawest was, and is not; and shall ascend out of the bottomless pit, and go into perdition: and they that dwell on the earth shall wonder, whose names were not written in the book of life from the foundation of the world, when they behold the beast that was, and is not, and yet is.

Revelation 20:12 And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works.

Revelation 20:15 And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.

Revelation 21:27 And there shall in no wise enter into it any thing that defileth, neither whatsoever worketh abomination, or maketh a lie: but they which are written in the Lamb’s book of life.

Revelation22:19 And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.

33 And the LORD said unto Moses, Whosoever hath sinned against me, him will I blot out of my book.
34 Therefore now go, lead the people unto the place of which I have spoken unto thee: behold, mine Angel shall go before thee: nevertheless in the day when I visit I will visit their sin upon them.
35 And the LORD plagued the people, because they made the calf, which Aaron made.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Mark, chapter eight

1 ¶ In those days the multitude being very great, and having nothing to eat, Jesus called his disciples unto him, and saith unto them,
2 I have compassion on the multitude, because they have now been with me three days, and have nothing to eat:
3 And if I send them away fasting to their own houses, they will faint by the way: for divers of them came from far.
He is going to repeat His former miracle but with fewer people.
4 And his disciples answered him, From whence can a man satisfy these men with bread here in the wilderness?
This is how our flesh is. I can remember how God, one day, delivered me from something that should have happened to me and then a few months later I was fretting about another seemingly impossible situation that I had created and was doubting that God would help me. The Hebrews who came through the Red Sea also forgot His miracle when faced with something else unpleasant.
Psalm 78:17 And they sinned yet more against him by provoking the most High in the wilderness.
18 And they tempted God in their heart by asking meat for their lust. 19 Yea, they spake against God; they said, Can God furnish a table in the wilderness?
5 And he asked them, How many loaves have ye? And they said, Seven.
6 And he commanded the people to sit down on the ground: and he took the seven loaves, and gave thanks, and brake, and gave to his disciples to set before them; and they did set them before the people.
7 And they had a few small fishes: and he blessed, and commanded to set them also before them.
8 So they did eat, and were filled: and they took up of the broken meat that was left seven baskets.
Here, He publicly has fed people again. This wasn’t secret.
Acts 26:26 For the king knoweth of these things, before whom also I speak freely: for I am persuaded that none of these things are hidden from him; for this thing was not done in a corner.
The five thousand in Mark 6 are representative of God feeding Israel in that 12 baskets of fragments are taken up signifying the 12 tribes. Here, the feeding of four thousand represents His gift to all men as He feeds them with 7 baskets remaining, seven being the number of God’s perfection and completion. God has fed us with His words and we are fools to disregard them and to not feed on them every single day.
9 And they that had eaten were about four thousand: and he sent them away.
10 ¶ And straightway he entered into a ship with his disciples, and came into the parts of Dalmanutha.
11 And the Pharisees came forth, and began to question with him, seeking of him a sign from heaven, tempting him.
They just had gotten a sign but now they want to get Him to say something or do something to get Him to do wrong by their book.
12 And he sighed deeply in his spirit, and saith, Why doth this generation seek after a sign? verily I say unto you, There shall no sign be given unto this generation.
He knows they don’t want the truth. I, personally, think a generation refers to our polluted heritage.
Genesis 6:9 These are the generations of Noah: Noah was a just man and perfect in his generations, and Noah walked with God.
1John 3:12 Not as Cain, who was of that wicked one, and slew his brother. And wherefore slew he him? Because his own works were evil, and his brother’s righteous.
Genesis 6:2 That the sons of God saw the daughters of men that they were fair; and they took them wives of all which they chose.
John 8:44 Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it.
I know you are going to say, “But, Eve said she had gotten a man from the Lord”. Well, we know how easily deceived Eve was and how willing she was to make excuses. See my commentary on Genesis, chapter 4.
13 And he left them, and entering into the ship again departed to the other side.
14 Now the disciples had forgotten to take bread, neither had they in the ship with them more than one loaf.
15 And he charged them, saying, Take heed, beware of the leaven of the Pharisees, and of the leaven of Herod.
16 And they reasoned among themselves, saying, It is because we have no bread.
17 And when Jesus knew it, he saith unto them, Why reason ye, because ye have no bread? perceive ye not yet, neither understand? have ye your heart yet hardened?
18 Having eyes, see ye not? and having ears, hear ye not? and do ye not remember?
A hardened heart has to do with not understanding or being willing to understand what God is showing you or teaching you. The consequences of a hardened heart become worse and worse sin. Read Romans 1:16-32.
19 When I brake the five loaves among five thousand, how many baskets full of fragments took ye up? They say unto him, Twelve.
20 And when the seven among four thousand, how many baskets full of fragments took ye up? And they said, Seven.
21 And he said unto them, How is it that ye do not understand?
Why would you ever doubt that God would provide for you when you have already seen His miracles? He has already provided for you at various times. Why doubt Him now?
Philippians 4:19 But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.
Matthew goes on to show us what the leaven of the Pharisees is.
Matthew 16:11 How is it that ye do not understand that I spake it not to you concerning bread, that ye should beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and of the Sadducees? 12 Then understood they how that he bade them not beware of the leaven of bread, but of the doctrine of the Pharisees and of the Sadducees.
This is the false doctrine of the fundamentalist and the liberal who twist the scriptures to justify their personal convictions. In this passage, the mention of the political, Herod, shows that you must watch out for the doctrine of political religionists, today, who would have the President appear on the big screen at their conventions to give his blessing and to get their votes.
Both fundamentalist and liberal want a messiah for President. They want a Pastor to lead the nation, leading it into a worse state than we have now.
22 ¶ And he cometh to Bethsaida; and they bring a blind man unto him, and besought him to touch him.
23 And he took the blind man by the hand, and led him out of the town; and when he had spit on his eyes, and put his hands upon him, he asked him if he saw ought.
24 And he looked up, and said, I see men as trees, walking.
Here is the first time where Jesus heals in steps. There are many who teach that this is a type of the Christian who is growing. You don’t see everything clearly at first.
Others say, that, as men are like trees all through the Bible, that you are better off seeing them as trees and not to be fooled by their outward appearance.
Psalm 1:3 And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper.
Ezekiel 20:46 Son of man, set thy face toward the south, and drop thy word toward the south, and prophesy against the forest of the south field; 47 And say to the forest of the south, Hear the word of the LORD; Thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I will kindle a fire in thee, and it shall devour every green tree in thee, and every dry tree: the flaming flame shall not be quenched, and all faces from the south to the north shall be burned therein. 48 And all flesh shall see that I the LORD have kindled it: it shall not be quenched.
Ezekiel 31:2 Son of man, speak unto Pharaoh king of Egypt, and to his multitude; Whom art thou like in thy greatness? 3 Behold, the Assyrian was a cedar in Lebanon with fair branches, and with a shadowing shroud, and of an high stature; and his top was among the thick boughs.
25 After that he put his hands again upon his eyes, and made him look up: and he was restored, and saw every man clearly.
We know from the Bible that Jesus didn’t have to even touch the man to heal him so there must be a purpose in doing it this way, for our sake. Perhaps, the Lord wanted him to see the spiritual side before he saw the physical side.
26 And he sent him away to his house, saying, Neither go into the town, nor tell it to any in the town.
He’s not looking for the publicity here. They’d miss the point anyway.
27 ¶ And Jesus went out, and his disciples, into the towns of Caesarea Philippi: and by the way he asked his disciples, saying unto them, Whom do men say that I am?
28 And they answered, John the Baptist: but some say, Elias; and others, One of the prophets.
29 And he saith unto them, But whom say ye that I am? And Peter answereth and saith unto him, Thou art the Christ.
Here is an argument people make for reincarnation but Jesus dismisses this with the present tense. Here are some other passages that are twisted and used to justify “Christian reincarnation”.
John 9:1 ¶ And as Jesus passed by, he saw a man which was blind from his birth. 2 And his disciples asked him, saying, Master, who did sin, this man, or his parents, that he was born blind? 3 Jesus answered, Neither hath this man sinned, nor his parents: but that the works of God should be made manifest in him.
But, the Bible dismisses this idea very clearly.
Hebrews 9:27 And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment:
30 And he charged them that they should tell no man of him.
31 And he began to teach them, that the Son of man must suffer many things, and be rejected of the elders, and of the chief priests, and scribes, and be killed, and after three days rise again.
Notice the pre-telling here of the gospel and the post-telling in these verses;
1 Corinthians 15:1 ¶ Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand; 2 By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain. 3 For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; 4 And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures:
The apostles were dull in their thinking because, like a modern Christian, their thinking had been corrupted by all of the false things they had been taught by Biblically illiterate preachers and commentators who had rejected READING the Bible in preference for reading about the Bible. By not permitting God to change their hearts through His words they elected to worship intellect and scholarship, theirs and others. Modern Christians are for the most part humanists. It’s amazing what a fundamentalist can accomplish without Christ.
32 And he spake that saying openly. And Peter took him, and began to rebuke him.
33 But when he had turned about and looked on his disciples, he rebuked Peter, saying, Get thee behind me, Satan: for thou savourest not the things that be of God, but the things that be of men.
Peter, like Satan, wants Jesus to forsake His mission. Modern Christians also like to twist God’s purpose to suit their own. You can see something from God and then the next second be deceived by Satan. Of course, the next frightening possibility is that Satan was in Peter and that even Christians can have a possession. Look to the evil spirits that dwell in you and have dwelt in you since you were a child. Let the Holy Spirit fill you with His power so that there is no room for their work. We should all ask the Lord to rebuke Satan and unclean and evil spirits in our minds and bodies, in our workplaces and homes, and even in our church. The Pastor who takes it on himself to rebuke Satan in the name of Jesus Christ is asking for his congregation to be infested with devils as the Bible clearly states;
Zechariah 3:2 And the LORD said unto Satan, The LORD rebuke thee, O Satan; even the LORD that hath chosen Jerusalem rebuke thee: is not this a brand plucked out of the fire?
Jude 8 ¶ Likewise also these filthy dreamers defile the flesh, despise dominion, and speak evil of dignities. 9 Yet Michael the archangel, when contending with the devil he disputed about the body of Moses, durst not bring against him a railing accusation, but said, The Lord rebuke thee. 10 But these speak evil of those things which they know not: but what they know naturally, as brute beasts, in those things they corrupt themselves.
One sure way to prevent a revival from breaking out is to challenge Satan yourself and not ask God to rebuke him. Another way is to preach a sermon to the congregation under the pretense of a prayer to God and talk people out of pleading with God to save them.
34 And when he had called the people unto him with his disciples also, he said unto them, Whosoever will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.
Self worship is the curse of most Christians. We seek to serve our flesh through food, comfort of living, pleasure, and entertainment. In fact, it appears to be the focus of our lives. We are running errands for a corpse. Our lives have no value because we have made a god of our flesh, which will die forever one day in its present form, and although our body will be redeemed and united with our soul and spirit in heaven, its present form, for all its miraculous abilities and components, is dying. We fundamentalists even glory in whatever suffering we can cause our flesh to appear spiritual, thereby glorifying ourselves and not Christ. When I hear a Christian say that they deliberately stayed up most of the night to pray and they didn’t mind being exhausted because they were doing it for the Lord I want to puke because they were, in fact, doing it for themselves, their own feeling of spirituality, and those feelings of superiority that a Pharisee so smugly holds.
1Corinthians 15:31 I protest by your rejoicing which I have in Christ Jesus our Lord, I die daily.
Luke 14:33 So likewise, whosoever he be of you that forsaketh not all that he hath, he cannot be my disciple.
Read His Book and allow Him to change your affections and your hearts and quit trying so hard to do things in the flesh, thinking yourself so spiritual. What we have done is to create ministries and edifices that must be fed like our flesh and we can’t even begin to give preeminence to the Holy Spirit because we have chained ourselves to the demands of our carnal worship.
Oliver Cromwell is said to have noted that most of what we call faith is merely our own carnal reasoning and imagination.
35 For whosoever will save his life shall lose it; but whosoever shall lose his life for my sake and the gospel’s, the same shall save it.
We are to subordinate every thought to Christ. Do you honestly think, oh spiritual man, that you can do that yourself?
2Corinthians 10:5 Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;
36 For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?
Here is a classic example of the Bible defining itself. Soul is self identity. It is self, self awareness, our emotions and intellect.
Luke 9:25 For what is a man advantaged, if he gain the whole world, and lose himself, or be cast away?
“Himself” is inserted in Luke for “his own soul” in Mark. I once heard a Biblically illiterate preacher with a PH.D., which means nothing in regard to spiritual discernment by the way, say that spirit and soul were the same thing. These fools are everywhere in Christianity. Make it up as we go along because we have rejected the word of God like Peter has just done. Get thee behind me, Satan.
37 Or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?
38 Whosoever therefore shall be ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation; of him also shall the Son of man be ashamed, when he cometh in the glory of his Father with the holy angels.
Doctrinally, this is a Tribulation statement. When Christ returns in glory, the church will be the holy angels that had already been raptured and enjoyed the marriage feast of the lamb, that are come to judge and to reign with Him for a thousand years. But, practically and inspirationally, this is a great statement that should give us all pause. Are you ashamed of Jesus Christ?

Latest Reading

A Frozen Hell, The Russo-Finnish Winter War of 1939-40 by William R. Trotter, Alqonguin Books of Chapel Hill, 2000. This is an outstanding narrative of Finland's struggle for freedom against Communist Russia. It details how the underequipped and outnumbered Finns inflicted a ten to one casualty ratio on the Soviets. The book details battle by battle and of the lies and broken promises from the Western nations of the USA, Britain, and France that they would come to the aid of Finland. It also tells of how, when Hitler turned on the Soviets, the Finns allied with him against their great enemy. This is a very good explanation of one small complexity of this very complex war.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Latest Reading

America in Crimson Red, The Baptist History of America by James R. Beller, Prairie Fire Press, 2004. This is my second read of this book. It's very good and fast paced. Although full of information it is good reading. It devotes considerable time to great black preachers and to long forgotten heroes of the faith. There is just one problem I have with it. Like all books written by preachers except for Dr. Ruckman's church history series, it focuses on preachers. The backbone of Christianity is the people, the body of Christ on earth, the church. So, what about them? What about people who have victory over sin every day? What about people who gave a significant part of their meager earnings to support a church or missionaries? What about people who stood up for Christ and lost jobs, government positions, military rank because of their stand? What about laymen who led people to Christ? I am seeing Nicolaitanism, something Jesus says He hates, victory over the laity.
I see a dark strain in American fundamentalism. It is a denial of the power of God on anyone's life but a preacher's or a missionary's. Something is wrong. I just listened to or tried to listen to several sermons today by various preachers and not one of them gave their congregation something that they could use to their benefit and to the glory of God every single day. Not one of them stressed for their congregation Bible reading, Bible memorization, and Bible study. No, it was just, come to me to get fed, and don't worry about feeding yourself. Something is terribly wrong. You are to be a Christian 24/7, not just on Sunday morning, Sunday night, and Wednesday night.
How could a child grow if his or her parents only fed them three times a week? There is something dreadfully wrong with Christianity today.
But, this book is a must read for any Baptist Christian in America.

Mark, Chapter Seven

1 ¶ Then came together unto him the Pharisees, and certain of the scribes, which came from Jerusalem.
2 And when they saw some of his disciples eat bread with defiled, that is to say, with unwashen, hands, they found fault.

Obviously, in this context, ‘defiled’ means unclean or unwashen. The Pharisees have a rule that in order to be spiritual and godly you must wash your hands before you eat. Now, we know that washing your hands is necessary for the prevention of many diseases. However, one of the marks of a Pharisee is regarding how you look on the outside, such as your manner of dress. Pharisee’s also judge others by the ritual they do. A Pharisee determines your spirituality by how faithful you are to church, to soul winning WITH the church, and how many church functions you attend. These things can be done by anyone who feels that they’ll get something positive for their lives out of being involved in these things but it does not determine how close they are to Christ. Usually, it involves adding to the Bible. For instance, Sunday School is not scriptural but it is a good thing, but to say that the health of your church depends upon the size of your Sunday School class is to belittle the scripture as being inconclusive or as having holes in it.

It has been proven time and time again that unsaved people and nominal Christians can attend church faithfully, and do all of the things that a Pastor would smile upon, such as come down to the front step and which the podium the preacher speaks from stands which fundamentalists like to call “the altar”, and it means absolutely nothing. These “aisle athletes” will come down to the “altar” every single service just about. These only shows that either they are not doing their duty throughout the week by getting on their face before God and dealing with their sins every day or that they are trying to get approval from the Pastor. These sheep are most likely not feeding themselves with God’s word the rest of the time in which they aren’t in church. Fundamentalist Pastors are not big on Bible reading because they have no control over it and they are usually too short sighted to realize that a Bible reading church will be a faithful church. There is also the possibility that a fundamentalist Pastor will be concerned that his errors of doctrine will be all to obvious to a congregation that knows true doctrine from reading the Bible daily and in great depth.

While Sadducees say “it’s all good” and have no standards of any import, the Pharisees mistake standards and separation for a relationship with Jesus Christ. Neither are correct. Sadducees have all sorts of Bible versions that say different things. The Pharisee has the correct Bible but twists the plain words of Scripture to justify their own convictions, as in teachings on whether or not a Pastor can have been divorced before he was saved or after if it was his wife who sinned against him, or whether or not animals have souls and spirits, or regarding eternal security, etc.

Sadducees and Pharisees both today mingle humanism and pop psychology in their sermons and make the Bible gibberish by using verses completely out of context to force the Bible to not only contradict itself but to mean things it doesn’t say.

3 For the Pharisees, and all the Jews, except they wash their hands oft, eat not, holding the tradition of the elders.

Traditions; Sunday School, bus ministries, Grandmother’s day, Church softball leagues, Aerobics in the basement, State worship, and the like plus many others are confused with true worship and to question these things is considered not to be spiritual. When a Pastor prefers traditions over Bible reading, letting God speak to you daily and cleanse your heart, then he is condemning his congregation to powerlessness and there will be no Holy Spirit revival there.

4 And when they come from the market, except they wash, they eat not. And many other things there be, which they have received to hold, as the washing of cups, and pots, brasen vessels, and of tables.
5 Then the Pharisees and scribes asked him, Why walk not thy disciples according to the tradition of the elders, but eat bread with unwashen hands?
6 He answered and said unto them, Well hath Esaias prophesied of you hypocrites, as it is written, This people honoureth me with their lips, but their heart is far from me.

Isaiah 29:13 Wherefore the Lord said, Forasmuch as this people draw near me with their mouth, and with their lips do honour me, but have removed their heart far from me, and their fear toward me is taught by the precept of men:

Proverbs 4:23 Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life. 24 Put away from thee a froward mouth, and perverse lips put far from thee. 25 Let thine eyes look right on, and let thine eyelids look straight before thee. 26 Ponder the path of thy feet, and let all thy ways be established.
27 Turn not to the right hand nor to the left: remove thy foot from evil.

This goes for all of us. One of my biggest problems is being genuine. I’m always thinking of myself and not Jesus Christ. When I am doing something for Him, supposedly, such as teaching Sunday School or visiting people it is often vain as the success of the work becomes more important than Jesus Christ. This, I suspect, is a problem for many pastors and missionaries. They get caught up in a numbers game, like some kind of salesman. “How many decisions have I gotten for Christ”, rather than how disciples are being made, how they’re being taught. We usually revert to the form of something rather than the heart.

The Pharisee wants to see that on the outside you are doing right. You are married, having never been divorced. You come to church whenever the doors are open. You dress ultra-modestly and not “worldly”. You twist the scriptures as they do to justify your convictions. It’s all on the surface. The Pharisee thinks that if you practice a habit your inside will change. This isn’t necessarily true.

If I have a Sunday School student who is poor, maimed from birth, and not particularly bright, and can’t read very well, then one might think he doesn’t have much value by the Pharisee’s thinking except as an OBJECT of compassion. However, if he takes gospel tracts and gives them to people each week and prays for me often, then he has much more value than I do, usually. His work is the best.

7 Howbeit in vain do they worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.
8 For laying aside the commandment of God, ye hold the tradition of men, as the washing of pots and cups: and many other such like things ye do.
9 And he said unto them, Full well ye reject the commandment of God, that ye may keep your own tradition.
10 For Moses said, Honour thy father and thy mother; and, Whoso curseth father or mother, let him die the death:
11 But ye say, If a man shall say to his father or mother, It is Corban, that is to say, a gift, by whatsoever thou mightest be profited by me; he shall be free.
12 And ye suffer him no more to do ought for his father or his mother;
13 Making the word of God of none effect through your tradition, which ye have delivered: and many such like things do ye.

I think of the fools who refuse medical care to their children and say that prayer is all they’ll rely on, often resulting in the worsening condition of their children. They deny God’s power in giving the doctor knowledge or wisdom. They reject that there couldn’t even be a medical profession if God did not permit the truths of the human body to be revealed. They restrict God by saying that the person who heals is not of God but of something else. They have no real faith and, in fact, their faith reflects their worship of themselves. I’ve heard of the “power of prayer” more than I’ve heard of the power of the One we pray to, and I have even heard, God forbid, of the “magic of prayer”. How hideous.

We don’t refuse to eat and say that prayer will sustain us. No, we eat and thank God for His providence in providing food for us. People are insane when they reject this Book and try to operate as Christians apart from it, at least in America. They start making up their religion as they go along. I would say that most Christians are too busy worshipping themselves to be of any use to God. Do you have more faith in your faith than faith in Christ?

We have traditions; door knocking, passing out tracts, Sunday school, preaching, taking up an offering, the “altar” which is just a step at the front of a church, hymn singing, etc. and these traditions CAN wind up being the object rather than a method to achieve an end for Christ, although they aren’t wrong in themselves. Remember, there was no Sunday School until the end of the 1700’s and there was no church building until the late 200’s. These things are good but are not the end we seek but a means to the end, which is the salvation of men, women, and children and their discipleship and the glorification of Christ, who is God.
14 And when he had called all the people unto him, he said unto them, Hearken unto me every one of you, and understand:
15 There is nothing from without a man, that entering into him can defile him: but the things which come out of him, those are they that defile the man.
16 If any man have ears to hear, let him hear.

The food you eat does not defile you spiritually. It is the actions that flow from a wicked heart. Your real problem isn’t the nearly naked woman on the billboard, the queer at the gay rally, the alcohol ad in the magazine, these things are not your problem. Your problem is your own wicked heart and your lust for sin.

The words of verse 16 are repeated often to underscore something very, very important. The seven types of churches in the first part of Revelation are told this each one.

17 And when he was entered into the house from the people, his disciples asked him concerning the parable.
18 And he saith unto them, Are ye so without understanding also? Do ye not perceive, that whatsoever thing from without entereth into the man, it cannot defile him;
19 Because it entereth not into his heart, but into the belly, and goeth out into the draught, purging all meats?
20 And he said, That which cometh out of the man, that defileth the man.
21 For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders,
22 Thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lasciviousness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness:
23 All these evil things come from within, and defile the man.

Our imaginations are vile and wicked things and we present all manner of violence and pornography from the depths of our unrighteous fantasies.

2Corinthians 10:5 Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;

God will destroy all the images that we use to stir up our evil minds.

Isaiah 2:12 For the day of the LORD of hosts shall be upon every one that is proud and lofty, and upon every one that is lifted up; and he shall be brought low: 13 And upon all the cedars of Lebanon, that are high and lifted up, and upon all the oaks of Bashan, 14 And upon all the high mountains, and upon all the hills that are lifted up, 15 And upon every high tower, and upon every fenced wall, 16 And upon all the ships of Tarshish, and upon all pleasant pictures.

He has already commanded that certain pictures be destroyed back at the time the Hebrews were to enter the promised land.
Numbers 33:52 Then ye shall drive out all the inhabitants of the land from before you, and destroy all their pictures, and destroy all their molten images, and quite pluck down all their high places:

And pictures led Israel into idolatry.

Ezekiel 23:14 And that she increased her whoredoms: for when she saw men pourtrayed upon the wall, the images of the Chaldeans pourtrayed with vermilion,

One note about foolishness in verse 22 is that the Bible definition differs from our current understanding because we have departed from the Bible.

Foolish people are unwise.

Deuteronomy 32:6 Do ye thus requite the LORD, O foolish people and unwise? is not he thy father that hath bought thee? hath he not made thee, and established thee?

A foolish man is a silly man.

Job 5:2 For wrath killeth the foolish man, and envy slayeth the silly one.

A foolish person works iniquity.

Psalm 5:5 The foolish shall not stand in thy sight: thou hatest all workers of iniquity.

Foolish people are wicked and they often prosper from our human estimation and not by God’s standard.

Psalm 73:3 For I was envious at the foolish, when I saw the prosperity of the wicked.

24 ¶ And from thence he arose, and went into the borders of Tyre and Sidon, and entered into an house, and would have no man know it: but he could not be hid.
25 For a certain woman, whose young daughter had an unclean spirit, heard of him, and came and fell at his feet:
26 The woman was a Greek, a Syrophenician by nation; and she besought him that he would cast forth the devil out of her daughter.

A “Greek” is merely someone who is not a Jew. A Greek is a gentile.

27 But Jesus said unto her, Let the children first be filled: for it is not meet to take the children’s bread, and to cast it unto the dogs.
28 And she answered and said unto him, Yes, Lord: yet the dogs under the table eat of the children’s crumbs.
29 And he said unto her, For this saying go thy way; the devil is gone out of thy daughter.

Matthew gives more details. See Matthew 15.

22 And, behold, a woman of Canaan came out of the same coasts, and cried unto him, saying, Have mercy on me, O Lord, thou Son of David; my daughter is grievously vexed with a devil. 23 But he answered her not a word. And his disciples came and besought him, saying, Send her away; for she crieth after us. 24 But he answered and said, I am not sent but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel. 25 Then came she and worshipped him, saying, Lord, help me. 26 But he answered and said, It is not meet to take the children’s bread, and to cast it to dogs. 27 And she said, Truth, Lord: yet the dogs eat of the crumbs which fall from their masters’ table. 28 Then Jesus answered and said unto her, O woman, great is thy faith: be it unto thee even as thou wilt. And her daughter was made whole from that very hour.

The Gentile nations hate to be thought of as dogs but in comparison to God’s chosen people, the Jews, that is what we are called. Jesus had come to the Jews. He did not travel to India or America as false religions say. God created these people out of the wicked Gentile nations and made them for Himself. They fell away and He wanted them to return. But, He warned them that He would extend His grace to the Gentiles and that many of the kingdom would be cast out. They did not receive it. The only reason we’re getting the crumbs is because the Jews rejected Christ. So, the Gentile nations like America and Britain need to stop being so proud and arrogant.

The Gentiles;

Isaiah 40:17 All nations before him are as nothing; and they are counted to him less than nothing, and vanity.

But Israel isn’t one of them;

Numbers 23:9 For from the top of the rocks I see him, and from the hills I behold him: lo, the people shall dwell alone, and shall not be reckoned among the nations.

30 And when she was come to her house, she found the devil gone out, and her daughter laid upon the bed.
31 ¶ And again, departing from the coasts of Tyre and Sidon, he came unto the sea of Galilee, through the midst of the coasts of Decapolis.
32 And they bring unto him one that was deaf, and had an impediment in his speech; and they beseech him to put his hand upon him.
33 And he took him aside from the multitude, and put his fingers into his ears, and he spit, and touched his tongue;

This is the area where the maniac that was possessed had lived.

34 And looking up to heaven, he sighed, and saith unto him, Ephphatha, that is, Be opened.
35 And straightway his ears were opened, and the string of his tongue was loosed, and he spake plain.

I don’t understand why Christ healed in this manner. By the way, we say “tongue-tied” today.

36 And he charged them that they should tell no man: but the more he charged them, so much the more a great deal they published it;
37 And were beyond measure astonished, saying, He hath done all things well: he maketh both the deaf to hear, and the dumb to speak.

These are the same people who asked him to leave when the pigs committed hogicide.

Jesus Christ did all things well. This would be a great sermon and, I’m sure, has been used.

John 8:29 And he that sent me is with me: the Father hath not left me alone; for I do always those things that please him.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Latest Reading

Forced Into Glory, Abraham Lincoln's White Dream by Lerone Bennett, Jr., Johnson Publishing Company, 2000. This is an interesting book for about the first hundred pages. In these pages he proves his point. In that regard, this could have been an article. But, instead Bennett drones on and on. We understand. Abraham Lincoln was not what his admirers make him out to be. He was, in fact, a run of the mill racist, who freed few if any slaves, made war on white and black civilians, and, basically, would not be remembered as a great man if he hadn't been murdered. This book is not near as good and informative as his Before the Mayflower. But, it is worth reading to get a balanced view of history.

Exodus, chapter 31

1 ¶ And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying,
2 See, I have called by name Bezaleel the son of Uri, the son of Hur, of the tribe of Judah:
3 And I have filled him with the spirit of God, in wisdom, and in understanding, and in knowledge, and in all manner of workmanship,

He has been FILLED with the spirit of God. These men have the Holy Spirit in them which is in opposition to the heresy taught in virtually every Christian school that in the Old Testament the Holy Spirit didn’t fill them but came ON them ONLY, not In them. The Holy Spirit is not revealed in the Old Testament as a person, but more as an influence. In spite of what your favorite preacher might have said, if he denies that the Holy Spirit ever filled anyone in the Old Testament under the law, then he is either a liar or is an illiterate.

All artistic talent comes from God. If you have the ability to engrave or draw or create music or sing and you choose to serve Satan with it and not God by using it in a secular matter to support the desires of the flesh then you will answer to God.

4 To devise cunning works, to work in gold, and in silver, and in brass,
5 And in cutting of stones, to set them, and in carving of timber, to work in all manner of workmanship.
6 And I, behold, I have given with him Aholiab, the son of Ahisamach, of the tribe of Dan: and in the hearts of all that are wise hearted I have put wisdom, that they may make all that I have commanded thee;

An artist from the tribe of Judah, affiliated with Jesus Christ, and one from the tribe of Dan, affiliated with the Anti-Christ as I mentioned in Genesis, are to be used here. Isn’t it interesting also how Aaron is to wear an ephod that resembles Satan’s apparel in the Garden of Eden before his rebellion and casting of a stumbling block for Adam? There is something going on here that is very prophetic but at this point I can’t figure out what it is. Maybe those people smarter and more spiritual than myself can understand it. I’ll explore it as I go, here.

Wisdom is a gift. God gives you the work to be done and then gives you the men to do it, or it is not from God. Many preachers are astounded at the lack of laborers for their work and the problem is that it is THEIR work and not God’s.

7 The tabernacle of the congregation, and the ark of the testimony, and the mercy seat that is thereupon, and all the furniture of the tabernacle,
8 And the table and his furniture, and the pure candlestick with all his furniture, and the altar of incense,
9 And the altar of burnt offering with all his furniture, and the laver and his foot,
10 And the cloths of service, and the holy garments for Aaron the priest, and the garments of his sons, to minister in the priest’s office,
11 And the anointing oil, and sweet incense for the holy place: according to all that I have commanded thee shall they do.
12 ¶ And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying,
13 Speak thou also unto the children of Israel, saying, Verily my sabbaths ye shall keep: for it is a sign between me and you throughout your generations; that ye may know that I am the LORD that doth sanctify you.

Sabbaths are a sign between the Jews and God. This is shown outside of the Ten Commandments to underscore its importance. Notice that in the part of the Bible that doctrinally applies to you, Christian, that keeping the Sabbath or Sabbaths is not found.

Romans 13:1 ¶ Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God. 2 Whosoever therefore resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance of God: and they that resist shall receive to themselves damnation. 3 For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to the evil. Wilt thou then not be afraid of the power? do that which is good, and thou shalt have praise of the same: 4 For he is the minister of God to thee for good. But if thou do that which is evil, be afraid; for he beareth not the sword in vain: for he is the minister of God, a revenger to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil. 5 Wherefore ye must needs be subject, not only for wrath, but also for conscience sake. 6 For for this cause pay ye tribute also: for they are God’s ministers, attending continually upon this very thing. 7 ¶ Render therefore to all their dues: tribute to whom tribute is due; custom to whom custom; fear to whom fear; honour to whom honour. 8 Owe no man any thing, but to love one another: for he that loveth another hath fulfilled the law. 9 For this, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not kill, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness, Thou shalt not covet; and if there be any other commandment, it is briefly comprehended in this saying, namely, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. 10 Love worketh no ill to his neighbour: therefore love is the fulfilling of the law.

14 Ye shall keep the sabbath therefore; for it is holy unto you: every one that defileth it shall surely be put to death: for whosoever doeth any work therein, that soul shall be cut off from among his people.

For those denominations who believe that Saturday Sabbath should still be observed or that Sunday is the Sabbath, do you put people to death for working on that day? Even in our country, until the Roman Catholic Church took control, there was mail delivery on Sunday until about 1912.

15 Six days may work be done; but in the seventh is the sabbath of rest, holy to the LORD: whosoever doeth any work in the sabbath day, he shall surely be put to death.
16 Wherefore the children of Israel shall keep the sabbath, to observe the sabbath throughout their generations, for a perpetual covenant.
17 It is a sign between me and the children of Israel for ever: for in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, and on the seventh day he rested, and was refreshed.

The Sabbath is a SIGN between God and the people of Israel, not the church.

1Corinthians 1:22 For the Jews require a sign, and the Greeks seek after wisdom:

For the church;

Romans 13:7 ¶ Render therefore to all their dues: tribute to whom tribute is due; custom to whom custom; fear to whom fear; honour to whom honour. 8 Owe no man any thing, but to love one another: for he that loveth another hath fulfilled the law. 9 For this, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not kill, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness, Thou shalt not covet; and if there be any other commandment, it is briefly comprehended in this saying, namely, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. 10 Love worketh no ill to his neighbour: therefore love is the fulfilling of the law.

The Sabbath is not mentioned in this review of the Law that applies to us in this age. We are not saved by these things, or kept, but these are what is expected of us.

If you believe that you have to keep the Jewish Sabbath as a Christian, do you think you should be killed if you violate it? I doubt it.

18 And he gave unto Moses, when he had made an end of communing with him upon mount Sinai, two tables of testimony, tables of stone, written with the finger of God.