Expositional commentary on Scripture using an inductive exegetical methodology intent upon confronting the lives of Christians with the dogmatic Truths of God's inspired Words opposing Calvinism and Arminianism, Biblical commentary, doctrine of grace enablement, understanding holiness and wisdom and selfishness, in-depth Bible studies, adult Bible Study books and Sunday School materials Dr. Lance T. Ketchum Line Upon Line: July 2007

Friday, July 13, 2007


I. Ordo Regenerare

26 Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. 27 And he that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit, because he maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God. 28 And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. 29 For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren. 30 Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified” (Romans 8:26-30).

In most part, our vision of the spiritual reality of another existence beyond this world is shallow at its best. Our reality is pretty much locked into our “under the Sun” existence. Our prayer life too is pretty much preoccupied with the things of this existence. The only real knowledge we have of our new existence “in Christ” is what God has revealed to us through His Word. Although believers are positionally “born again” and indwelled by the Spirit of God, our faith-vision of eternal realities is still very much veiled.

The word “infirmities” in Romans 8:26 is from the Greek word astheneia (as-then'-i-ah). It can refer to a feebleness or weakness of the mind or body. The context would lead us to understand that the problem we need help with is one of inability to comprehend certain spiritual realities. It would appear this is referring to the believer’s inability to really comprehend how the situations and circumstances of this “under the Sun” existence impact eternal things and how these two existences interrelate. Only the Spirit of God knows these things in their fullest sense. How can a believer truly pray for needs in this existence while not knowing how the answer to any prayer might impact eternity?

The word “helpeth” is from the Greek word sunantilambanomai (soon-an-tee-lam-ban'-om-ahee). It means to take hold of something together as partners in a venture or endeavor; to cooperate. The Spirit of God joins with the yielded believer in prayer. The Spirit of God prays with us as we pray. God knows our “hearts,” our emotions; the things we love, worship and, hold valuable probably better than we do because He lives within the believer’s body in the Person of the indwelling Holy Spirit. The intent here is to communicate the reality that the Spirit’s presence in our bodies is more than a mere occupying presence. There is an intimacy of knowledge, awareness and inner workings that involves Him in every aspect of our thoughts, emotions and actions. The Spirit of God is intricately interwoven into the very essence of who and what we are as individuals. There is nothing in our lives in which we are involved to which we do not involve Him. Whatever we join ourselves to, we join the Spirit of God to. He is part of who we are and what we do (although He is not necessarily a partner in all of this).

“16 Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you? 17 If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are” (I Corinthians 3:16-17).

15 Know ye not that your bodies are the members of Christ? shall I then take the members of Christ, and make them the members of an harlot? God forbid. 16 What? know ye not that he which is joined to an harlot is one body? for two, saith he, shall be one flesh. 17 But he that is joined unto the Lord is one spirit. 18 Flee fornication. Every sin that a man doeth is without the body; but he that committeth fornication sinneth against his own body. 19 What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? 20 For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s” (I Corinthians 6:15-20).

Just as the indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit connects God with every aspect of our existence, His presence within us connects the believer to every aspect of God’s existence. Even though this spiritual connection exists, the believer’s knowledge of God and the Spirit’s communication of that knowledge are still “veiled.”

6 Who also hath made us able ministers of the new testament; not of the letter, but of the spirit: for the letter killeth, but the spirit giveth life. 7 But if the ministration of death, written and engraven in stones, was glorious, so that the children of Israel could not stedfastly behold the face of Moses for the glory of his countenance; which glory was to be done away: 8 How shall not the ministration of the spirit be rather glorious? 9 For if the ministration of condemnation be glory, much more doth the ministration of righteousness exceed in glory. 10 For even that which was made glorious had no glory in this respect, by reason of the glory that excelleth. 11 For if that which is done away was glorious, much more that which remaineth is glorious. 12 Seeing then that we have such hope, we use great plainness of speech: 13 And not as Moses, which put a vail over his face, that the children of Israel could not stedfastly look to the end of that which is abolished: 14 But their minds were blinded: for until this day remaineth the same vail untaken away in the reading of the old testament; which vail is done away in Christ. 15 But even unto this day, when Moses is read, the vail is upon their heart. 16 Nevertheless when it shall turn to the Lord, the vail shall be taken away. 17 Now the Lord is that Spirit: and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty. 18 But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord. 1 Therefore seeing we have this ministry, as we have received mercy, we faint not; 2 But have renounced the hidden things of dishonesty, not walking in craftiness, nor handling the word of God deceitfully; but by manifestation of the truth commending ourselves to every man’s conscience in the sight of God. 3 But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost: 4 In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them. 5 For we preach not ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord; and ourselves your servants for Jesus' sake. 6 For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. 7 But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us” (II Corinthians 3:6-4:7).

The context of II Corinthians 2:14 through 6:18 is the spiritual dynamic of Biblical ministry in the power of the Holy Spirit of God (“ministration of the Spirit;” II Corinthians 3:8) and what is essential for the dynamic of enabling grace to take place.

In II Corinthians 3:18, Paul speaks of all Christians as people with “open” (unveiled) faces looking at ourselves in a “glass” (mirror) and seeing the “glory of the Lord” unfolding in their lives. The word “changed” is from metamorphoo. It is in the Present Tense and refers to progressive sanctification. This internal transformation, manifested in outward transfiguration, is accomplished “by the Spirit of the Lord.” The intent is that Christ is revealed through the life of a believer as that believer yields to the indwelling Holy Spirit and the Holy Spirit “fills” the believer’s life overflowing from that believer’s life with the “fruit of the Spirit.” The context is about how the “veil” (II Corinthians 3:13-18) of ignorance and misunderstanding is removed by the working of the Holy Spirit through a synergism formed with a yielded believer in Christ.

The word metamorphoo is the same word used of Christ in Matthew 17:22. This is what happens to the Spirit filled believer through progressive sanctification. The Spirit of God transfigures the believer’s life and appearance to be more and more like Christ as the believer grows “in grace” and in intimacy with Christ relationally. All though believers are being transfigured progressively as they grow spiritually, the believer will never be fully transfigured to be like Christ until the glorification. Glorification is when the believer will be completely transfigured by a creative act of the Holy Spirit. We might say this transfiguration is an ordered process coming in stages (the order of regeneration).

Unveiling Christ will not happen by the believer “walking in craftiness” (II Cor. 4:2). The word “craftiness” is from the Greek word panourgia (pan-oorg-ee'-ah), meaning adroitness; in other words through the believer’s resourceful and skilled communicative skills. Neither will Christ be unveiled by “handling the word of God deceitfully;” by corrupting, adulterating, compromising the truth of God’s Word as the hucksters do. The only way Christ can be unveiled through the believer’s life is “by the manifestation of the truth.” The word “manifestation” is from the Greek word phanerosis (fan-er'-o-sis), meaning exhibition. In other words, the truth (the will of God) must be translated into the language of living in the life of believers by the indwelling Spirit of God (fellowship/synergism with the Spirit).

The word “commending” in II Corinthians 4:2 is from sunistao (soon-is-tah'-o). It simply means to stand near. The idea is that Christ is unveiled to lost people as the Spirit filled believer stands near them (lives the Christ-life and proclaims the Words of Christ to them). God has chosen to use saved people as His human agents (“ambassadors;” II Corinthians 5:17-21) to unveil Christ to the lost world.

Notice that God’s intent is that this unveiling is to be directed toward “every man’s conscience” in His “sight” (i.e., before His face). The word “conscience” is from suneidesis (soon-i'-day-sis), meaning perception capabilities or moral consciousness. The presence of a conscience presumes the presence of moral consciousness. There is moral consciousness even in the “lost” (spiritually dead”).

In II Corinthians 4:3, the specific objective of unveiling Christ is revealed; i.e., revealing Christ and His salvation to the “lost.” This verse is best translated from the context as: “if our gospel be veiled it is veiled to them that are perishing” (“lost” is in the Present tense and Particle Mood). It is “in” the realm of the “lost” that Satan” has “blinded” their minds. The context here refers to those that are hardened in unbelief. This follows through from II Corinthians 3:14; “but their minds were blinded.” This refers to Jews who were hardened to the revelation of Christ in the sacrifices of the Old Covenant. The sacrifices were typical of Christ and His substitutionary death. They made the sacrifices their reality and trusted in the sacrifices rather than the One they portrayed.

The word “blinded” in II Corinthians 3:14 is from poroo (po-ro’-o), meaning to cover with thick skin. It refers to being callused or hardened to the point of losing their ability to understand. When someone has an understanding that is wrong, he stops looking for the right understanding and even resists anyone trying to correct his wrong understanding. The word “blinded” in II Corinthians 3:14 refers to callousness and inattentiveness to anyone teaching something contrary to what that person already believes. In fact, their wrong belief is actually a form of unbelief equal to idolatry. Their own callousness is what hardened them to the working of the Spirit of God through the life of the faithful believer preaching the unadulterated Word of God.

In II Corinthians 4:4, the word “blinded” is from tuphloo (toof-lo'-o). It is from the root word tuphlos (toof-los'), which refers to something opaque (not allowing light to pass through). It can also mean to make something hard to understand or to obscure the truth. Again, the context is talking about veiling Christ. Satan obscured the truth of the revelation of Christ in the Old Covenant sacrifices by distorting the purposes of those sacrifices. He does the same in the New Covenant by obscuring and distorting the facts of the gospel and the purpose of Christ in His incarnation, death, burial and resurrection. Christ will not be fully unveiled until the believer’s glorification/transfiguration. Even the humanity of Jesus obscured His deity. This was evident in the momentary transfiguration of Jesus prior to His resurrection and glorification.

1 And after six days Jesus taketh Peter, James, and John his brother, and bringeth them up into an high mountain apart, 2 And was transfigured before them: and his face did shine as the sun, and his raiment was white as the light. 3 And, behold, there appeared unto them Moses and Elias talking with him. 4 Then answered Peter, and said unto Jesus, Lord, it is good for us to be here: if thou wilt, let us make here three tabernacles; one for thee, and one for Moses, and one for Elias. 5 While he yet spake, behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them: and behold a voice out of the cloud, which said, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased; hear ye him. 6 And when the disciples heard it, they fell on their face, and were sore afraid. 7 And Jesus came and touched them, and said, Arise, and be not afraid. 8 And when they had lifted up their eyes, they saw no man, save Jesus only. 9 And as they came down from the mountain, Jesus charged them, saying, Tell the vision to no man, until the Son of man be risen again from the dead” (Matthew 17:1-9).

God’s present answer to this satanic obscurity and distortion is the Spirit filled believer (II Corinthians 4:5). During the Dispensation of Grace or the Church Age, God has “commanded the light to shine out of darkness” (Matthew 5:16) through the Spirit filled believer’s life “to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face . . . (now unveiled through the medium of the believer’s life) of Jesus Christ.” After the full transfiguration/glorification of believers and their return with the glorified Christ, God will reveal Himself and His perfect will through the lives of these glorified believers as they rule and reign with Christ during the Kingdom Age. The world will still have God’s inspired Word. Believers will still be indwelled by the Holy Spirit of God and be progressively sanctified (transformed/transfigured). At the same time, the world will have perfect models of Christ in the glorified believer/priests from the Church Age now reigning with Christ as kings and priests.

The statement of Romans 8:26-28 should not be disconnected from previous statements already made that create a continuous flow of thought that leads to the statement in Romans 8:29-39. The thrust of the meaning of the word “grace” is the omni-influence of the Holy Spirit in His presalvific and postsalvific work in bringing lost sinners to repent of sin and “dead works”, believe the objective facts of the gospel and, confess Jesus as Lord to begin the process of regeneration. Dispensationalism is God’s progressive plan beginning before the “foundation of the world” to deliver believers from the fallen creation in Adam (Romans 5:12) into the New Genesis “in Christ.” Once “born again” the progressive work of God towards bringing believers into the New Genesis advances when believers are indwelled by the Spirit of God and spiritual immersed (baptized) into the “body of Christ,” which is the next phase of the New Genesis after the Dispensation of the Law. Progressive sanctification/transfiguration is the best we can have in the unveiling of Christ during the Dispensation of Grace “wherein we stand” today through the indwelling Holy Spirit.

“1 Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ: 2 By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God” (Romans 5:1-2).

10 For in that he died, he died unto sin once: but in that he liveth, he liveth unto God. 11 Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord. 12 Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof. 13 Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God. 14 For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace” (Romans 6:10-14).

“3 For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh: 4 That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. 5 For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit. 6 For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace” (Romans 8:3-6).

The context from Romans chapter five through Romans chapter eight is about progressive sanctification through the enabling grace of God by the indwelling Holy Spirit. The intent of progressive sanctification is to teach believers how to translate their new life in Christ into such a reality that it will reflect the image of Christ to the world and glorify (reveal) the invisible God. This can only be accomplished by a supernatural work of the Holy Spirit in synergism with a believer whose will is completely yielded to the indwelling Holy Spirit. The spiritual dynamic of this synergism is simple. The believer learns the intricate details of the Truths the Word of God reveals to us by the illumination of the Spirit of God and accepts those Truths as governing principles of life (convictions or orthodoxy). The believer then yields his will to the indwelling Holy Spirit Who translates those known Truths into the language of living (living Truth, “doers of the Word” or orthopraxy).

Romans 8:28 is a transitional verse. Romans 8:28-30 is often referred to as the Ordo Salutis (Latin for the order of salvation). It should more accurately be referred to as the Ordo Regenerare (Latin for the order of regeneration). The order of regeneration is the subject of the text, not salvation. The Latin word regenerare merely means “born again” or to generate/create again. Understanding this difference is critical to understanding the doctrine of election in the Word of God. The detail of the text is the order by which a lost sinner is removed from the fallen first creation in the first Adam and moved into the New Genesis “in Christ.” Christ is the elect One and the New Federal Head of the New Genesis. All (“whosoever”) who are saved “by grace through faith” are foreknown of God and become part of the New Genesis “in Christ.”

Jesus Christ is “the firstborn” of humanity by His glorification into the New Genesis. As “the firstborn,” he holds the primogeniture of the New Genesis, which He will share with all the redeemed, “born again” believers (‘many brethren”). This is the “inheritance” all believers will share with Christ. Again, we cannot understand this if we do not understand the unfolding nature of progressive revelation and the various eschatological historical paradigms (Dispensationalism) to the New Heaven/Earth, the final state of the New Genesis.

Before we can understand Romans 8:29-30, we must understand Romans 8:28. There are two critical words in Romans 8:28 that greatly impact and determine the context of Romans 8:29-30. The overall context is the progressive work of God beginning with a New Genesis “in Christ” before the “foundation of the world” (Rev. 13:8), unfolding progressively through historical paradigms known as dispensations. The two words in Romans 8:28 are the words “called” and “purpose.” God is working all things together for good to these individuals referred to as “the called” and He is doing so “according to His purpose.”

We know with surety that Romans 8:28 is connected in continuity to Romans 8:1 by the continual use of the Greek words de (deh) and gar (gar). Gar is translated “for” beginning verses 2, 3, 5, 6. De is translated “so then” in verse 8, “but” and “now” in the beginning of the two sentences in verse 9, “and” in verse 10, and “but” in verse 11. The word “therefore” of verse 12 continues the continuity. Verse 13, 14, 15, 18, 19, 20, 22 and 24 all begin with gar, which are all translated “for”. De is translated “and” in verses 17, 23, 27 and 28, “but” in verse 25, and “likewise” in verse 26. The “for” beginning verse 29 is from the Greek word hoti (hot'-ee), which is a demonstrative conjunction or is causative. This should better be translated because. The emphasis of the text is that God’s working in the lives of believers is progressive. “All things” are working together for good to the ultimate and progressive end of the glorification/transfiguration of believers. This progression to “the regeneration” begins with, “There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus . . .” (Romans 8:1b).


Mystery Babylon and Its Judgment

“1 And there came one of the seven angels which had the seven vials, and talked with me, saying unto me, Come hither; I will shew unto thee the judgment of the great whore that sitteth upon many waters: 2 With whom the kings of the earth have committed fornication, and the inhabitants of the earth have been made drunk with the wine of her fornication. 3 So he carried me away in the spirit into the wilderness: and I saw a woman sit upon a scarlet coloured beast, full of names of blasphemy, having seven heads and ten horns. 4 And the woman was arrayed in purple and scarlet colour, and decked with gold and precious stones and pearls, having a golden cup in her hand full of abominations and filthiness of her fornication: 5 And upon her forehead was a name written, MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH. 6 And I saw the woman drunken with the blood of the saints, and with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus: and when I saw her, I wondered with great admiration” (Revelation 17:1-6).

The San Giovanni Laterno Church is the first church of Rome and an inscription on the front (translated from Latin) says, “MOST HOLY LATERAN CHURCH, MOTHER AND MISTRESS OF ALL CHURCHES OF THE CITY AND THE WORLD.” God calls this “Mother and Mistress” “the great whore” and “THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS.”

Revelation 17:1 introduces us to the subject matter of the next two chapters (17 and 18). One of the seven angels with the Bowls of God’s wrath (seven Vial Judgments) tells John to “come hither.” He is going to show John a vision of the “great whore . . . MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS” (v 5). However, she is not the subject of the vision. Her judgment is the subject. Revelation chapters 17 and 18 detail this judgment. There is little doubt to me that this refers to Roman Catholicism, Ecumenicism and its pervasive religious apostasy.

“For true and righteous are his judgments: for he hath judged the great whore, which did corrupt the earth with her fornication, and hath avenged the blood of his servants at her hand” (Revelation 19:2).

“And I saw the woman drunken with the blood of the saints, and with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus: and when I saw her, I wondered with great admiration” (Revelation 17:6).

In these two verses we see God’s view of this system of apostasy. This is what the historical period of Church history call Thyatira developed into.

“18 And unto the angel of the church in Thyatira write; These things saith the Son of God, who hath his eyes like unto a flame of fire, and his feet are like fine brass; 19 I know thy works, and charity, and service, and faith, and thy patience, and thy works; and the last to be more than the first. 20 Notwithstanding I have a few things against thee, because thou sufferest that woman Jezebel, which calleth herself a prophetess, to teach and to seduce my servants to commit fornication, and to eat things sacrificed unto idols. 21 And I gave her space to repent of her fornication; and she repented not. 22 Behold, I will cast her into a bed, and them that commit adultery with her into great tribulation, except they repent of their deeds. 23 And I will kill her children with death; and all the churches shall know that I am he which searcheth the reins and hearts: and I will give unto every one of you according to your works. 24 But unto you I say, and unto the rest in Thyatira, as many as have not this doctrine, and which have not known the depths of Satan, as they speak; I will put upon you none other burden” (Revelation 2:18-24).

The “fornication” at Thyatira was the introduction of paganism into Christianity. It was during this period of Church history that the blasphemy of transubstantiation began to be fully practiced in the continual sacrifice of the Eucharist (Mass). The words of Revelation 17:1, “sitteth upon many waters” is explained in 17:15.

“And he saith unto me, The waters which thou sawest, where the whore sitteth, are peoples, and multitudes, and nations, and tongues” (Revelation 17:15).

Her influence is worldwide. She has become a dominant religious, political, and economic influence in almost every nation of the world. The kings of the earth have joined themselves to Roman Catholicism. Many nations have ambassadors to the Vatican. Roman Catholicism is the largest and most influential cult in the world. Her teachings are a contradiction against the Word of God and an opposition to the gospel of Christ. Plainly, her doctrines are the doctrines of men and are lies. She is a seducer and deceiver of mankind. She seduces kings and people to join them to her. She truly is a spiritual harlot.

The religious apostasies of Roman Catholicism and Ecumenicism have truly made “all nations drink of the wine of the wrath of her fornication” (14:8). Now, in Revelation 17:2, they are drunk with it and under its influence and control.

This “fornication” is the perversion of truth and involvement in the world system. Roman Catholicism has been the leading proponent of Amillenialism. She has been a leader in promoting the establishment of an utopian kingdom on earth through socialism and political means. Roman Catholics have been the front-runners of the social gospel that has become the foundation of the welfare system of this nation.

They have been the leading proponents of Liberation Theology that proposes revolution to establish socialism (and the social gospel; redistribution of funds) in nations all over the world. The vast majority of the “inhabitants of the earth” have accepted these philosophies. They embody the political and religious movements called Liberalism and Fabian Socialism. We will see later that political Liberalism will eventually turn upon the “great whore.” We are seeing the beginnings of that even today. Expect it to happen and don’t be fooled into considering her an ally.

In Revelation 17:3 John is transported to another place and time. He is taken away from this system of apostasy into the “wilderness.” What is this “wilderness“?

“And the woman fled into the wilderness, where she hath a place prepared of God, that they should feed her there a thousand two hundred and threescore days” (Revelation 12:6).

“And to the woman were given two wings of a great eagle, that she might fly into the wilderness, into her place, where she is nourished for a time, and times, and half a time, from the face of the serpent” (Revelation 12:14).

This is where the 144,000 sealed Jews are being preserved, separated by God from this world system. It is only by detachment from the apostasy that anyone will be able to completely escape her seduction and deception and see her for what she really is. From this vantage point with God’s people, John will be able to see her as God sees her, the “great whore” of spiritual fornication.

From this perspective John tells us what he sees “in the Spirit.” He sees a “woman . . . upon a scarlet coloured beast, full of names of blasphemy, having seven heads and ten horns.” Here is revealed the real source of her influential power and her real object of worship. She rides the beast!

“And there appeared another wonder in heaven; and behold a great red dragon, having seven heads and ten horns, and seven crowns upon his heads” (Revelation 12:3).

“And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him” (Revelation 12:9).

“And I stood upon the sand of the sea, and saw a beast rise up out of the sea, having seven heads and ten horns, and upon his horns ten crowns, and upon his heads the name of blasphemy” (Revelation 13:1).

She is of the Antichrist. She is therefore a force of evil disguised as truth, but “full . . . of blasphemy” (17:3). Don’t be seduced by her. In Revelation 17:4 we see she is covered with regal splendor, surrounded with pomp and circumstance and adorned in royal robes. Alexander Hyslop’s The Two Babylons has the following to say about this vision:

“In 1825 . . . Pope Leo the XII struck a medal, bearing on the one side his own image, and on the other, that of the Church of Rome symbolized as a ‘woman,’ holding in her left hand a cross, and in her right hand a cup, with the legend around her, ‘sedet super universum,’ the whole world is her seat.”

The “cup” has historically symbolized the Eucharist, containing the blood of Christ offered in the Roman Catholic Mass. This Mass and cup are central to the apostasy of Roman Catholicism and its denial of the sufficiency of the “once for all” sacrifice of Christ. It is therefore a cup of blasphemy. This cup is central to her “abominations” and filthiness of her fornication (Rev. 17:4). It is her method of enticement and seduction. Through it she keeps her people dependant upon her for forgiveness of sin.

In Revelation 17:5 God gives us four definitive statements about her. First she is a “mystery.” There is something mysterious and hidden about her and what she really is. It will be necessary that God reveal this “mystery” to us. Beginning in Revelation 17:7 God will do just that.

Second, she is “Babylon the great.” This city was historically the center of pagan apostasy and every imaginable form of religious perversion. It was the center of all idolatry and false teachings. As people came into this city, everything in it drew them to its perversions and seduced them to join in with them.

Third, she is “the Mother of Harlots.” Roman Catholicism is not only a seductive harlot, seducing mankind into paganism and apostasy; it is a system that has mothered many other apostate religions. The majority of so called Christian religions that have joined themselves with her in her ecumenical seduction came out of her during the Reformation period of Church history.

Ecumenicism itself is a bed full of harlots. If it is ecumenical, it is involved in seducing others into its spiritual fornication and the seduction of mankind. Don’t ever confuse this seduction with evangelism. If the true gospel of repentance from the world and faith toward God is not preached it is nothing more than seduction, not evangelism.

Fourth, she is “the Abominations of the earth.” Every perversion of truth find their source in her. She is satanic. Satan is a liar and the father of lies. The implication of Revelation 17:6 is that the “great whore” has found pleasure in the murder of saints of Christ. The murder of Christians began in ancient Rome under the imperial rule of the Emperors. It resumed under Papal imperial rule again in the dark ages and the Inquisition where millions of believers were mutilated, tortured and murdered because they refused to accept the false doctrines of Roman Catholicism.

John says, “When I saw her, I wondered with great admiration.” The word “admiration” means John was completely astonished by what he saw. He had seen the Church of Christ at its inception. He saw the history of the Church unfold before his eyes through the seven epistles of Christ in Revelation chapters 2 and 3. Yet he stands in amazement at what the Church became in its final state of apostasy.

John is astonished that the Church would finally become the very source of deception that would lead mankind into the worship of the Antichrist. I am amazed that so many Christians have allowed themselves to be coerced into being silent about Roman Catholicism and Ecumenicism. It is Satan’s system for the propagation of a false belief system. It is filled with lies, deception and is the seducer of mankind into apostasy.

“4 And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues. 5 For her sins have reached unto heaven, and God hath remembered her iniquities. 6 Reward her even as she rewarded you, and double unto her double according to her works: in the cup which she hath filled fill to her double” (Revelation 18:4-6).

“Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them” (Romans 16:17).

“11 O ye Corinthians, our mouth is open unto you, our heart is enlarged. 12 Ye are not straitened in us, but ye are straitened in your own bowels. 13 Now for a recompence in the same, (I speak as unto my children,) be ye also enlarged. 14 Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness? 15 And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel? 16 And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. 17 Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, 18 And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty” (2 Corinthians 6:11-18).

“And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them” (Ephesians 5:11).

“This witness is true. Wherefore rebuke them sharply, that they may be sound in the faith” (Titus 1:13).

“A man that is an heretick after the first and second admonition reject” (Titus 3:10).

“3 If any man teach otherwise, and consent not to wholesome words, even the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to the doctrine which is according to godliness; 4 He is proud, knowing nothing, but doting about questions and strifes of words, whereof cometh envy, strife, railings, evil surmisings, 5 Perverse disputings of men of corrupt minds, and destitute of the truth, supposing that gain is godliness: from such withdraw thyself” (1 Timothy 6:3-5).

“Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away” (2 Timothy 3:5).

“And if any man obey not our word by this epistle, note that man, and have no company with him, that he may be ashamed” (2 Thessalonians 3:14).

“Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world” (1 John 4:1).

“10 If there come any unto you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into your house, neither bid him God speed: 11 For he that biddeth him God speed is partaker of his evil deeds” (2 John 1:10-11).

“3 Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints. 4 For there are certain men crept in unawares, who were before of old ordained to this condemnation, ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness, and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ” (Jude 1:3-4).

RELIGIOUS & POLITICAL LIBERALISM: The Evolving Theonomic World View

“17 Brethren, be followers together of me, and mark them which walk so as ye have us for an ensample. 18 (For many walk, of whom I have told you often, and now tell you even weeping, that they are the enemies of the cross of Christ: 19 Whose end is destruction, whose God is their belly, and whose glory is in their shame, who mind earthly things.) 20 For our conversation {citizenship} is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ: 21 Who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body, according to the working whereby he is able even to subdue all things unto himself” (Philippians 3:17-21).

The vast majority of fundamental Baptists and most evangelicals are dispensationalists. That means we believe that, according to Scripture revelation, the immorality of the world and unbelief in God will increase in the “last days” before Jesus bodily returns in the air for His Church (all “born again” believers that lived from the Day of Pentecost to the end of the Church Age), there will be seven years of “tribulation” (progressive outpouring of God’s wrath) upon the earth after which Jesus will return to the earth with His “bride” (the previously resurrected/translated Church, now in glorified bodies) to establish the Davidic Throne and the Millennial (1,000 year) Kingdom on earth. This is known as the Premillennial view.

The vast majority of liturgical Christianity (sacerdotal and sacramental Christianity) holds an Amillennial view of future events. The word millennium is a Latin term meaning one thousand years. It comes from the root words mille, meaning thousand, and annum, meaning years. The word amillennial actually is a combination of Greek and Latin. In Greek, placing the letter “a” before a word negates the word. Amillennial would literally mean no-millennial. However, that is not the true position of most Amillennialists. Most Amillennialists believe there will be no literal reign of Christ on earth. For them, Christ’s reign is on a throne in Heaven over a Kingdom of hearts on earth. They believe the one thousand years of Scripture is just figurative and the Kingdom began with ascension of Christ to Heaven.

Therefore, central to this position is the denial of the literal reign of Jesus Christ upon the earth. There are two central divisions in this position. There are those who believe the prophecies relating to the millennium are being fulfilled presently on earth as Christianity subdues the world and ushers in a utopian theonomic society (this is the Augustinian position of Amillennialism; the theonomy is the governance of God’s laws and commandments through a State/International Church. Augustine’s term for this was the Holy Catholic Church.).

The vast majority of Covenant theologians (Replacement Theology) completely reject the idea of a literal return of Messiah to the earth to establish a literal Kingdom on earth. They disparage this belief saying it originates from historical Jewish fables and traditions regarding the coming of Messiah to establish a literal, political kingdom on earth where the nation of Israel will be the world power on earth.

Amillennialists have sought to usher in their utopian Kingdom on earth through Political Activism; seeking to institute the Laws of God within a society through the implementation of State Churches and Evangelism by Coercion. In doing so, they seek to have Christ reign on earth through the head (Vicar) of this State Church. Their goal is to do this in every country in the world. This is a Theonomic world view.

Historically, Baptist Pastors and fundamental Christians have been politically active in the arena of American politics. It was Baptist Pastors who were responsible for the now perverted laws restricting the involvement of government in the church or in the establishment of a state religion. Liberals have reinterpreted that Law and used it to establish an anti-Christ state Church of Secular Humanism.

Christians should be politically active. However it is critical to differentiate between being politically active and Political Activism. Being politically active is just being a good citizen and being a restraining force on evil until the rapture of the Church. Political Activism goes far beyond that. Political Activism is really another term for Theonomy. Theonomy is a worldview held by most Amillennialists. In the extreme, the Theonomist sees Political Activism as evangelism. For the New Evangelical, Political Activism evolves into a substitute for evangelism.

I think it important to interject here the difference between a Theonomic worldview and a Theocratic approach to evangelism. A Theonomy is a God governed society. We do not have that today, nor can we establish a Theonomy regardless of how hard we try. Establishing a Theonomy is not the mission of the church during the Church Age. That is the vision of the Amillennialists. (It actually will not take place until the Millennial Kingdom on earth.)

The Theonomist seeks to influence society by passing laws that are moral and that will restrain the forces of sin intent upon ushering a utopian kingdom of righteousness on earth (this is really nothing more than an evangelical form of Liberation Theology). This is the Theonomist’s central mission in life. Therefore his ministry involves him mainly in Political Activism with evangelism as his secondary mission in life (usually Political Activism totally replaces evangelism). This individual sees his mission in life as saving society rather then seeing souls saved. Of course every Christian should seek to influence government to pass moral laws that restrain evil and sin, but that is not his central mission on earth.

Some of the theological roots of Latin American Liberation Theology can be traced directly to the writings of certain European theologians. Three of the more notable of these are Jurgen Moltmann, Johannes Baptist Metz, and Dietrich Bonhoeffer. Without going into detail, Moltmann has suggested that the coming kingdom gives the church a society-transforming vision of reality as opposed to a merely private vision of personal salvation. Metz has emphasized that there is a political dimension to faith, and that the church must be an institution of social criticism. Bonhoeffer has issued a call to redefine religion in a secular context. His theology emphasizes human responsibility toward others, and stresses the value of seeing the world with “the view from below,” i.e. the perspective of the poor and oppressed. These philosophies are a critical part of theological liberalism’s influence on evangelical Christianity and part of what makes up New Evangelicalism.

New Evangelicals do not go as far as all of this in their evolving Evangelical Theonomic approach to the solution of sociological problems. New Evangelicals are usually drawn into this Theonomic worldview and its practices because they tend to cooperate with liberal Amillennialists. Since they join themselves to individuals with a Theonomic worldview, they end up participating in the Political Activism these people are involved in. This usually results in individual Christians substituting Political Activism for evangelism. At this point they really cease to be Evangelicals in a practical sense and become Theonomists.

A Theocratic approach to evangelism understands that God influences a society when He controls the hearts of individuals. The greater the numbers of hearts that are controlled by His Spirit, the greater influence those individuals will have on a society. Evangelism (as defined by winning souls and making disciples) becomes the central ministry of a Theocratist. His attempts to change the masses of society through Political Activism will prove to be unprofitable and reformational (as opposed to transformational).

A failure to differentiate between Political Activism and being politically active is what often leads well-meaning Christians down a road of fruitlessness and futility. The Christian Political Activist finds that he is alienating the very people he seeks to win to Christ and creates a Them and Us division in society. One can legislate morality, but one cannot force an unregenerate man to live morally. This is the very heart of the failure of our Criminal Justice System and the reason why we have over a 90% recidivism rate among hardened criminals. We cannot get a man who thinks like an animal to live like a saint no matter how moral our laws are. We can restrain him through social peer pressure and incarceration, but he will naturally do whatever he thinks he can get by with in the darkness.

“Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter” (Isaiah 5:20).

“And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil” (John 3:19).

“5 Thus saith God the LORD, he that created the heavens, and stretched them out; he that spread forth the earth, and that which cometh out of it; he that giveth breath unto the people upon it, and spirit to them that walk therein: 6 I the LORD have called thee in righteousness, and will hold thine hand, and will keep thee, and give thee for a covenant of the people, for a light of the Gentiles; 7 To open the blind eyes, to bring out the prisoners from the prison, and them that sit in darkness out of the prison house” (Isaiah 42:5-7).

This evolving Evangelical Theonomic world view is quickly consuming the true evangelical mindset to the extent it is almost non-existent any longer. In this mindset Theology is no longer immutable. Gustavo Gutierrez, author of A Theology of Liberation, provides us with a representative methodology. Like other liberationists, Gutierrez rejects the idea that theology is a systematic collection of timeless and culture-transcending truths that remains static for all generations. Rather, theology is in flux; it is a dynamic and ongoing exercise involving contemporary insights into knowledge, humanity, and history (Post Modernism or Theological Fluid Constructionism).

Gutierrez emphasizes that theology is not just to be “learned,” it is to be “done.” In his thinking, “praxis” is the starting point for theology. Praxis (from the Greek prasso: to work) involves revolutionary action on behalf of the poor and oppressed and out of this, theological perceptions will continually emerge. Therefore, the main work of the Liberation Theologian is social reform, not evangelism. His ministry is to save society.

The Theonomic theologian must therefore be immersed in the struggle for transforming society and proclaim his message “from that point.” In this theological process, then, “praxis” must always be the first stage; “theology” is the second stage. Theologians are not to be mere “theoreticians,” but “practitioners” who participate in the ongoing struggle to liberate the oppressed. This is not a soteriological missional vision. It is sociological missional vision, i.e. a social gospel.

Salvation is viewed not primarily in terms of life after death for the individual, but in terms of bringing about the kingdom of God; a new social order where there will be equality for all. This is not to deny eternal life per se, but it is to emphasize that the “eternal” and the “temporal” “intersect” in liberation theology. This is in fact very similar to a Theonomic worldview.

“If, as the traditional formulation has it, history and eternity are two parallel (i.e., non-intersecting) realms, our goal within history is to gain access to eternity” (Millard J. Erickson, Christian Theology; Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1983, p 592).

“But if history and eternity intersect, ‘if salvation is moving into a new order . . . then we must strive against everything which at present denies that order.’” (Justo L. Gonzaliz and Catherine G. Gonzalez, Liberation Preaching, Nashville: Abingdon, 1980, p 24)

This type of pragmatism is at the heart of present day New Evangelicalism. Pragmatism tends to determine both the validity and meaning of truth based upon the ability of that truth to generate practical results. This pragmatism goes back to the philosopher William James (1882-1961) and has had enormous influence on both Liberal Theology and Evangelical Theology. It in fact may be a central contributor to the birth of New Evangelicalism.

“For his lectures [William James], the first one given August 27 [1899], James drew upon his familiar ‘Talks to Teachers,’ but at Berkeley he also gave a lecture to the Philosophy Union on ‘Philosophical Results,’ in which he first used the term ‘pragmatism’ for a theory of ‘truth’; namely, that the test of any concept is an answer to the question ‘What sensible difference to anybody will its truth make?’ In other words, the truth of a concept lies in its practical consequences when applied to a real, as opposed to a theoretical, situation in human life . . . James made it [pragmatism] a means of judging true from false by looking at results.” (William James by Gary Wilson Allen, The Viking Press, page 392)

Results became the criteria for evaluating the value of any given truth at any given moment in time (cultural relevancy). This has certainly been the criterion for much of what is done in the new Evangelical camp. The repeated cry seems to be, “Make the Bible relevant.” If a Bible truth is not relevant to man’s needs or producing the results they want, it is ignored or, at best, given a reduced place of importance.

Do we just need better laws? Christians look for a solution to the moral decline of our society in government. Has the Dispensation of Law taught us nothing? Israel had perfect law, the laws of God. Israel had a perfect theocratic government. Why didn’t it work? Because perfect laws and perfect government require perfect (spiritually mature) people to make them work. Law is irrelevant to unregenerate people. Isn’t that what Habakkuk 1:4 says? “The law is ignored and justice is unenforceable.”

The Bible puts every problem in life in the context of a worldview revealing a steady degeneration of truth. Because many Christians do not hold this worldview, they think the solution to this moral decline is Theonomy. Theonomy is a worldview that thinks Christians can establish the Kingdom on earth by forcing the moral laws of God upon a society.

Theonomy says, “If we can change society by changing government and moral law, we can change man.” That is the same message of the old social gospel wrapped in a new package. It didn’t work with that name on it and it won’t work with this name on it. If there is any hope of changing a society, it is through evangelism. However, if you have read the end of the Book, society will not be changed. Therefore, Christians need to understand they are not here to reform society. We are here on a search and rescue mission to help as many people as possible escape the “wrath to come.”

When we look at world history (past and future) in the context of God’s worldview, we see all circumstances of life in their divinely appointed place in the culmination of God’s universal world plan.

Preachers (and most Bible believing Christians) are by nature very zealous people. They want to see God’s will done. However, when people begin to think pragmatically rather than theologically, the application of Bible truths tend to produce purposes that lack a real Biblical mandate. When Christians think pragmatically, they tend to rationalize truth. They fail to apply solid hermeneutical principles. As a result they may interpret Scripture accurately, but apply their interpretation in a direction never intended by the text.

This is the difference between Biblical exegesis and eisegesis. The following statement from a book called Hermeneutics written by Bernard L. Ramm and Others (Baker Book House) clarifies the difference between hermeneutics and exegesis.

“It has been customary to specify hermeneutics as the theory of interpretation and exegesis as the application of the theory to the text.”

Exegesis is the exposition and critical explanation of a text or portion of Scripture seeking to arrive at the exact meaning of the text from the grammar, the context, the purpose of the book of the Bible in which the text lies and how the rest of Scripture compares with that text (inductively).

Eisegesis is a personal interpretation of a text of the Bible using and interjecting your own ideas into that text. This is the kind of Biblical interpretation we find in the Theonomic preaching of the Reclaiming America Movement.

I want to give two examples of eisegetical preaching that comes to us from two Bible texts coming from those holding to the Reclaiming of America philosophy (a Theonomic worldview). These two texts are II Chronicles 7:14 and Luke 19:13. First, let’s look at II Chronicles 7:14.

“If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land” (II Chronicles 7:14).

The failure to put this text into its historical context will result in making wrong applications of the text. First of all, let’s look at it in its whole context. This lies in the context of the dedication of the newly built Temple of God built by Solomon and the children of Israel. Solomon had just preached a sermon of dedication and than offered a prayer of dedication. The prayer was for the verification of the Davidic Covenant and the acceptance of the Temple built for God to dwell among His people (6:12-42).

The prayer of Solomon also expressed the willingness of the children of Israel to accept the conditions of the Davidic Covenant. II Chronicles 7:14 is part of God’s response to king Solomon and a confirmation to Solomon of the necessity to repent and return to the Lord should Israel fail to keep the conditions of the Davidic Covenant. God’s response comes to king Solomon and the children of Israel in the form of both a promise and a warning. II Chronicles 7:14 is the ‘if” response to the “if” problem of II Chronicles 7:13. Now let’s read the whole of God’s response and see if proper Biblical exegesis allows us to make the broad application that the Theonomists would have us to make.

“12 And the LORD appeared to Solomon by night, and said unto him, I have heard thy prayer, and have chosen this place to myself for an house of sacrifice. 13 If I shut up heaven that there be no rain, or if I command the locusts to devour the land, or if I send pestilence among my people; 14 If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land. 15 Now mine eyes shall be open, and mine ears attent unto the prayer that is made in this place. 16 For now have I chosen and sanctified this house, that my name may be there for ever: and mine eyes and mine heart shall be there perpetually. 17 And as for thee, if thou wilt walk before me, as David thy father walked, and do according to all that I have commanded thee, and shalt observe my statutes and my judgments; 18 Then will I stablish the throne of thy kingdom, according as I have covenanted with David thy father, saying, There shall not fail thee a man to be ruler in Israel. 19 But if ye turn away, and forsake my statutes and my commandments, which I have set before you, and shall go and serve other gods, and worship them; 20 Then will I pluck them up by the roots out of my land which I have given them; and this house, which I have sanctified for my name, will I cast out of my sight, and will make it to be a proverb and a byword among all nations. 21 And this house, which is high, shall be an astonishment to every one that passeth by it; so that he shall say, Why hath the LORD done thus unto this land, and unto this house? 22 And it shall be answered, Because they forsook the LORD God of their fathers, which brought them forth out of the land of Egypt, and laid hold on other gods, and worshipped them, and served them: therefore hath he brought all this evil upon them” (II Chronicles 7:12-22).

This text (and its promises) is clearly applicable only to the nation of Israel and the Davidic Covenant. To make this text a foundation for Reclaiming America is certainly unfounded. To make this text and its promises applicable to the United States surely reveals a Covenant Theology (Reformed and Amillennial) and not a Dispensational Theology. In Covenant Theology (Reformed and Amillennial), the Church (a national or international universal body of believers with a hierarchy of clergy) replaces Israel. Dispensationalism is the result of hermeneutics according to Biblical exegesis. Covenant Theology makes its own hermeneutics and is therefore eisegesis. Eisegesis, not exegesis, is its methodology.

New Evangelicals are led into this deception because many (most) of them see the Church before the Rapture as encompassing all of the Christian churches. The Church to them is this universal body of all “born again” people. Of course, that is very poor hermeneutics in that it completely lacks a dispensation context. The mystical Church does not exist before the Rapture. It is BEING built. It has never been assembled and will not be assembled until the “trump” sounds (I Thessalonians 4:6-17 and Revelation 4:1). The church before the Rapture is always local.

The dividing factor between Covenant Theology and Dispensational Theology is that all the promises of the Covenants of God to Israel are transferred to this universal, theonomic institution called the Church. Shedd reveals this fact about Covenant Theology in his application of Isaiah 43:1-6 to the Church instead of to the restoration of the nation of Israel in the (dispensation of) Kingdom Age (Shedd takes a two covenant position. The majority take the favored three-covenant view of Covenant Theology, i.e. a covenant of redemption, a covenant of works and a covenant of grace. Shedd believed the covenant of mercy includes the covenants of grace and redemption).

“Though this distinction [between a purported covenant of redemption and a covenant of grace] is favored by the Scripture statements, it does not follow that there are two separate and independent covenants antithetic to the covenant of works. The covenant of grace and that of redemption are two modes or phases of the one evangelical covenant of mercy. This distinction is only a secondary or subdistinction. For when, as in Isaiah 43:1-6, the elect are spoken of as the party with whom God the Father makes a covenant, they are viewed as in Christ and one with him. The covenant is not made with them as alone apart from Christ. This is taught in Gal. 3:16, ‘To Abraham and his seed were the promises made;’ but this seed is ‘Christ.’ The elect are here (as also in 1 Cor. 12:12) called ‘Christ,’ because of the union between Christ and the elect.” (Shedd’s Dogmatic Theology, Volume II, page 360-361; Thomas Nelson Publishers)

To apply the promises of Isaiah 43:1-6 to the Church, rather than to the future restoration of the nation of Israel requires an eisegetical approach to Scripture (interjection of a supposition). This interpretation shows the interjection of Covenant Theological ideas into the text (eisegesis). This is the common practice of Theonomists.

The other text Theonomists use is Luke 19:13. Again, we must be careful not to take the text out of context or try to understand it outside of a dispensational hermeneutic. When the Reclaiming of America zealots use Luke 19:13, it is pulled out of the context of the parable in which it lies.

“11 And as they heard these things, he added and spake a parable, because he was nigh to Jerusalem, and because they thought that the kingdom of God should immediately appear. 12 He said therefore, A certain nobleman went into a far country to receive for himself a kingdom, and to return. 13 And he called his ten servants, and delivered them ten pounds, and said unto them, Occupy till I come” (Luke 19:11-13).

The parable involves the Church Age and the testing of the disciples for the Kingdom Age. When we talk about the Kingdom, it should not be confused with heaven. This is not talking about salvation, but rewards. There will be a time span between His going and His return (the Church Age). During this time span the faithfulness of His servants is being tested. The ten servants represent all believers of the Church Age; including you and me (“ten” represents the completion of a cycle in Scripture). By the test, we understand Christ has the same expectation of all believers equally. He expects every believer to multiply (“bring forth fruit”). This involves soul winning and discipleship. It is not a directive to Political Activism to usher in a Theonomy.

“But he that received seed into the good ground is he that heareth the word, and understandeth it; which also beareth fruit, and bringeth forth, some an hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty” (Matthew 13:23).

“And these are they which are sown on good ground; such as hear the word, and receive it, and bring forth fruit, some thirtyfold, some sixty, and some an hundred” (Mark 4:20).

“But that on the good ground are they, which in an honest and good heart, having heard the word, keep it, and bring forth fruit with patience” (Luke 8:15).

“Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you” (John 15:6).

The servants would be rewarded proportionate to the degree of their faithfulness as measured by the gain they make upon the Lord’s investment in them (read Luke 19:16-19).

“16 Then came the first, saying, Lord, thy pound hath gained ten pounds. 17 And he said unto him, Well, thou good servant: because thou hast been faithful in a very little, have thou authority over ten cities. 18 And the second came, saying, Lord, thy pound hath gained five pounds. 19 And he said likewise to him, Be thou also over five cities” (Luke 19:16-19).

The rewards refer to literal cities of the Kingdom Age. The disciple who multiplied himself by ten will govern 10 cities in the Kingdom Age. The disciple who multiplied himself by five will govern 5 cities in the Kingdom Age (compare Revelation 2:25-27).

“25 But that which ye have already hold fast till I come. 26 And he that overcometh, and keepeth my works unto the end, to him will I give power over the nations: 27 And he shall rule them with a rod of iron; as the vessels of a potter shall they be broken to shivers: even as I received of my Father” (Revelation 2:25-27).

“As the vessels of a potter shall they be broken to shivers” refers to the nations of the world. They shall be “broken” into smaller areas and given to individual, glorified Church Age saints to govern (this is the Priesthood of the believer and the Priesthood of the Kingdom Age with Christ as High Priest). “Even as I received of my Father,” means these believers will be given the same authority as Jesus possesses to govern their groups of cities. This is the dispensation of the Kingdom Age, not the Church Age.

Luke 19:13, “Occupy till I come.”

Christ has expectations regarding His investment in redeeming your soul. Christ expects a profit on His investment. He expects gain (Luke 19:15b, “gained”).

“10 As every man hath received the gift, even so minister the same one to another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God. 11 If any man speak, let him speak as the oracles of God; if any man minister, let him do it as of the ability which God giveth: that God in all things may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom be praise and dominion for ever and ever. Amen” (I Peter 4:10-11).

Thursday, July 12, 2007

RELIGIOUS & POLITICAL LIBERALISM: Reformed Theology and the Influence of Its Eschatology upon World Politics

“1 And I saw an angel come down from heaven, having the key of the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand. 2 And he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is the Devil, and Satan, and bound him a thousand years, 3 And cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal upon him, that he should deceive the nations no more, till the thousand years should be fulfilled: and after that he must be loosed a little season. 4 And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years. 5 But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection. 6 Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years” (Revelation 20:1-6).

“4 And this I say, lest any man should beguile you with enticing words. 5 For though I be absent in the flesh, yet am I with you in the spirit, joying and beholding your order, and the stedfastness of your faith in Christ. 6 As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in him: 7 Rooted and built up in him, and stablished in the faith, as ye have been taught, abounding therein with thanksgiving. 8 Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ” (Colossians 2:4-8).

What we believe about Biblical prophecy and future world events will greatly impact our world view and how we live our lives in the light of the pending immanent fulfillment of those prophecies. There are three major theological positions on the millennial reign of Christ.

Millennium is a word meaning a thousand year period. Another word for it is Chiliasm coming from the Greek word CHILIAS meaning one thousand. Chiliasm refers specifically to the teaching that Jesus Christ will reign on earth for one thousand years after His second coming. That is essentially the meaning of the first theological position on the Millennium called PREMILLENNIALISM.

Premillennialism results from a literal and (usually) dispensation interpretation of prophecy. It sees the Church Age coming to a catastrophic end due to the judgment of God upon the earth. In most cases, Premillennialists see the redeemed (the saved of the Church Age) removed (raptured) from the earth prior to the judgments beginning (the Tribulation). Almost all historians of early church history agree that Chiliasm was the view held by those of the Apostolic Age.

Premillennialism also distinguishes between God’s dealings with the Church and Israel in end time prophecies. It holds to the re-gathering and restoration of the literal nation of Israel at the beginning of the theocratic Millennial Kingdom under Jesus Christ.

A second theological position is known as Amillennialism. The word millennium is a Latin term meaning one thousand years. It comes from the root words mille, meaning thousand, and annum, meaning years. The word amillennial actually is a combination of Greek and Latin. In Greek, placing the letter “a” before a word negates the word. Amillennial would literally mean no-millennial. However, that is not the true position of most Amillennialists. Most Amillennialists believe there will be no literal reign of Christ on earth. Christ’s reign is on a throne in Heaven over a Kingdom of hearts on earth. They believe the one thousand years of Scripture is just figurative and the Kingdom began with ascension of Christ to Heaven.

Therefore, central to this position is the denial of the literal reign of Jesus Christ upon the earth. There are two central divisions in this position. There are those who believe the prophecies relating to the millennium are being fulfilled presently on earth as Christianity subdues the world and ushers in a utopian theonomic society (this is the Augustinian position of Amillennialism; the theonomy is the governance of God’s laws and commandments through a State/International Church. Augustine’s term for this was the Holy Catholic Church.).

Perhaps Philip Schaff in his introduction to his History of the Apostolic Church best summarizes this position.

“The central current and ultimate aim of universal history is the Kingdom of God established by Jesus Christ. This is the grandest and most comprehensive institution in the world, as vast as humanity and as enduring as eternity. All other institutions are made subservient to it, and in its interest the whole world is governed. It is no after-thought of God, no subsequent emendation of the plan of creation, but it is the eternal forethought, the controlling idea, the beginning, the middle, and the end of all his ways and works. The first Adam is a type of the second Adam; creation looks to redemption as the solution of its problems. Secular history, far from controlling sacred history, is controlled by it, must directly or indirectly subserve its ends, and can only be fully understood in the central light of Christian truth and the plan of salvation. The Father, who directs the history of the world, ‘draws to the Son,’ who rules the history of the church, and the Son leads back to the Father, that ‘God may be all in all.’ ‘All things,’ says St. Paul, ‘were created through Christ and unto Christ: and He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together. And He is the head of the body, the Church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in all things He may have the pre-eminence.’ Col. 1:16–18. ‘The Gospel,’ says John von Müller, summing up the final result of his lifelong studies in history, ‘is the fulfilment of all hopes, the perfection of all philosophy, the interpreter of all revolutions, the key of all seeming contradictions of the physical and moral worlds; it is life—it is immortality.’ . . . The kingdom of Christ, in its principle and aim, is as comprehensive as humanity. It is truly catholic or universal, designed and adapted for all nations and ages, for all the powers of the soul, and all classes of society. It breathes into the mind, the heart, and the will a higher, supernatural life, and consecrates the family, the state, science, literature, art, and commerce to holy ends, till finally God becomes all in all. Even the body, and the whole visible creation, which groans for redemption from its bondage to vanity and for the glorious liberty of the children of God, shall share in this universal transformation; for we look for the resurrection of the body, and for the new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness.”

Then there are the Amillennialists who believe the saints in heaven are fulfilling the prophecies about the millennium during this period of time (proposal by Kliefoth). This requires the spiritualization of these prophecies in that they cannot apply to people living on earth. Both of these two millennial positions require an allegorical interpretation of Scripture. In both cases they believe the eternal state will happen immediately after the second coming of Christ. Many do not believe in a literal second coming or an eternal state. Theological liberals commonly hold this latter position.

The third major theological position is known as POSTMILLENNIALISM. This position was first proposed by the English Unitarian, Daniel Whitby (1638-1726). Much of this position is the direct result of the interpretation of the purpose and work of Christ from the Unitarian perspective of salvation and the Church.

They believe the Church Age will end with the whole earth turning to Christianity (at least their concept of it). Once this is accomplished then Christ will return. Post means after, therefore postmillennialism means Christ will return after the millennium, not before it. This not only requires the allegorical interpretation of prophecy, it requires the rejection of many portions of Scripture regarding the millennium (such as Revelation 20:1-7).

The vast majority of Covenant theologians completely reject the idea of a literal return of Messiah to the earth to establish a literal Kingdom on earth. They disparage this belief saying it originates from historical Jewish fables and traditions regarding the coming of Messiah to establish a literal, political kingdom on earth where the nation of Israel will be the world power on earth.

These positions drive the hermeneutics of those holding them. However, some of these positions are more eisegetical (eisegesis; n : personal interpretation of a text, especially of the Bible, using your own ideas) as opposed to exegetical (exegesis; n : an explanation or critical interpretation, especially of the Bible). In eisegesis, the interpretation of a text is determined by preconceived ideas or beliefs that are already held to. In exegesis, the interpretation of the text DETERMINES the beliefs to be held to. Covenant Theology and Amillennialism (and Reformed Theology) are primarily eisegetical. Dispensational Theology and Premillennialism are primarily exegetical. In the context of an Amillennial world view, Liberal Theology began to adopt Karl Marx’s philosophies of Social Economics as its main emphasis in ushering in a utopian kingdom (thereby birthing the Social Gospel).

Marx viewed the means of the sociological progression of the implementation of his economic theory through two eyes; sociological revolution and sociological evolution (this is what the word PROGRESSIVE means to a political liberal). Marx viewed society (the Social Economy) in two categories, Proletariat (lower class of producers; laborers or wage earners) and Bourgeoisie (upper/middle class of consumers that take capital or profit from what is produced by the labor class thereby exploiting the labor class for personal gain). His economic theory was primarily intent on equalizing the distribution of capital (Product) between all classes and thereby eliminating those classes (or equalizing them).

Religious Liberals took up Marx’s PROGRESSIVE evolutionary economic theory and adapted it to their Amillennial view. They saw the scientific advances in the world as the means to the end of all poverty and sickness; a utopian Kingdom on earth advanced by humanity (Humanism). A Liberal, Socialist Baptist pastor named Harry Emerson Fosdick in the Cole Lectures for 1922 delivered before Vanderbilt University (Christianity And Progress; a series of six lectures) said, “When, then, we find the minds of men first throwing off their intellectual vassalage to antiquity and beginning to believe in themselves, their present powers and their future prospects, it is this new found mastery over nature’s latent resources which is the spring and fountain of their confidence.”

Although in Fosdick’s second lecture (The Need For Religion), he deals with and warns about mankind making science and its own intellect into a substitute for God, that was the natural evolutionary outcome of his so called Progressive Christianity (Religious Liberalism).

Marx’s REVOLUTION view for social change is known as Communism. His EVOLUTION view of social change is known as Socialism. The Revolution View proposed the radical and violent overthrow of the structure of a society in order to force the institution of this economic theory through a totalitarian governance of that society. His Evolution View (Marxist Reconstructionism) proposed the gradual institution of this economic theory through the Democratic process (this is what is going on in Political Liberalism). Marx laid out the goals for this social evolution and implementation of his economic theory in the Communist Manifesto I. (The Communist Manifesto, Gateway Edition, Henry Regnery publisher, 1954, pages 11 and 12).

1. Abolition of property and land and application of all rents of land to public purposes
2. A heavy progressive or graduated income tax
3. Abolition of all right of inheritance
4. Confiscation of the property of all emigrants and rebels
5. Centralization of credit in the hands of the state by means of a national bank with state capital and an exclusive monopoly
6. Centralization of the means of communication and the means of transport in the hands of the state
7. Extension of factories and instruments of production owned by the state; bringing into cultivation of waste lands, and the improvement of the soil generally in accordance with the common plan
8. Equal liability of all labor. Establishment of industrial armies, especially for agriculture
9. Combination of agriculture with manufacturing industries; gradual abolition of the distinction between town and country, by a more equitable distribution of population over the country
10. Free education for all children in public schools, the abolition of children’s factory labor in its present form and the combination of education with industrial production, etc.

It requires little effort on our part to see the advances this philosophy has made upon the societies of Europe and North America. However the progress of this MOVEMENT has not been accomplished by revolution. The Marxists discovered that the societies in which revolution took place were usually destroyed by the revolution. There was little of value left to redistribute after the revolution.

From this revelation, the Marxist Revisionism (Reconstructionism) of the late 1800’s began to develop. In the 1890’s Sidney and Beatrice Webb founded the Fabian Socialist Society. This was known as Federalism in Europe and New Dealism in the United States of America. Notice the key terms in their agenda:

“They avowed a NON-REVOLUTIONARY, GRADUALIST policy to attain a highly organized DEMOCRATIC state socialism by way of SCHOLARLY demonstration, brilliant PROPAGANDA, and PERMEATION of established political and influential organization.”

In Religious/Political Liberalism, Secular Humanism (Non-theism) has married Marxist Reconstructionism (the evolution of Marx’s socialist economic theory). The two have been made “one flesh.” Religious Liberalism (Socialism) invented the Social Gospel as its means to achieve Marx’s evolutionary view for social change (Reconstructionism and Redistribution). This became a major part of what Religious Liberalism and Secular Humanism have come to refer to as Social Planning. This is progressively (gradually) moving societies toward Marx’s redistribution economic philosophy.

One portion of Scripture has been singled out by theological liberals and misinterpreted to try to give Biblical credibility to this redistribution economic philosophy. Of course, they take this portion of Scripture completely out of its eschatological context in its primary reference to the Jews during the seven year Tribulation on earth.

“31 When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory: 32 And before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats: 33 And he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left. 34 Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: 35 For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in: 36 Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me. 37 Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink? 38 When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee? 39 Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee? 40 And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me. 41 Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels: 42 For I was an hungred, and ye gave me no meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me no drink: 43 I was a stranger, and ye took me not in: naked, and ye clothed me not: sick, and in prison, and ye visited me not. 44 Then shall they also answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, or athirst, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not minister unto thee? 45 Then shall he answer them, saying, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to me. 46 And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal” (Matthew 25:31-46).

Verse 31 establishes the eschatological chronology of the text. It is after the second coming of Christ to the earth. It is not about the Church Age. It refers to the way people treat “his sheep” during the seven year Tribulation and it details Christ’s retribution for that treatment.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007


The Sociological Implications of Denying God’s Existence
(Three Steps Into Apostasy/Reprobation)

“18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness; 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” (Romans 1:18-32).

The purpose of the Scriptures is doxological, i.e. that we might know God and bring Him glory (make Him known). The vast majority of humanity rejects the Scriptures, either in whole or in part. In Romans 1:20, God gives His conclusion about those who suppress these truths that testify to His existence. “They are without excuse.”

“Even if one does not accept the Bible as the inerrant Word of God, the concept of a personal, omnipotent, omniscient, loving God is fatally flawed by the old-earth dogma. The very reason for postulating an ancient cosmos is to escape from God – to push Him as far away in space and as far back in time as possible, hoping to escape His control altogether, letting Nature become ‘god.’ ”[i] (Creation and the Modern Christian, Henry Morris, Master Book Publishers, page 42)

If a person rejects the two witnesses in Romans 1:19-20 to the existence of God, are there grounds to believe that person might respond to additional witness in the gospel? Before a person will see his need of a Savior, he must believe that God exists and the God that exists is absolute as to Who He is and what He expects. There is no second chance. A person has one lifetime to believe in God and accept His free gift of salvation in Jesus Christ.

When lost people stand before the Great White throne, they will stand there without excuse. God has given them two great lights that testify to His existence. Satan is doing everything he can do destroy those two witnesses. Before a person has any hope of being saved, he must open His heart to the inner testimony of his conscience testifying that God exists. Once a person accepts the fact of God’s existence, His message to all mankind is that we are lost and need a Savior.

“16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. 17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. 18 He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. 19 And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. 20 For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved. 21 But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God” (John 3:16-21).

In Romans 1:21-23, God begins to reveal to us three responses of lost mankind to His two witnesses of Romans 1:19-20. (Three steps towards apostasy/reprobation.)

“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” (Romans 1:21-23).

When individuals deny the existence of the God of the Bible (this does not mean they deny the existence of a god), God will begin to give them over into His wrath even in this life. When a society begins to deny the existence of the God of the Bible (absolute and righteous), the things listed in these verses will become more and more prevalent in that society until they dominate it.

In the mid 1960’s, Romans 1:21-32 began to happen in the U.S.A. Today we live in the period of history commonly referred to as the Post Christian Era. Christianity is no longer the positive restraining force it once was. Every few years a new generation of liberals and Secular Humanists graduate into our society. Generation after generation has been over-run by the lumbering bandwagon of pseudo- intellectualism called Secular Humanism or Liberalism. Across it sides (scribbled in crayon) is a banner proclaiming, “God is dead.”

That is not a true statement. God is not dead. However, it does accurately state their goal. It is the goal of Secular Humanism to kill the very idea of God. It is the goal of Secular Humanism to totally eradicate every moral absolute from the face of the earth and replace them with their own (political correctness; i.e., Neo-absolutism). This is the religion of the Antichrist that will ultimately become the Satanocracy that will govern the whole world. This is a broad movement touching all religions, governments and the economics of every nation in the world. In religion it is Ecumenicism. In government it is Marxist Reconstructionism (Fabian socialism). In economics it is Keyne’s Economic Socialism. Put them all together and we have the Satanocracy.

“7 For many deceivers are entered into the world, who confess not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh. This is a deceiver and an antichrist. 8 Look to yourselves, that we lose not those things which we have wrought, but that we receive a full reward. 9 Whosoever transgresseth, and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not God. He that abideth in the doctrine of Christ, he hath both the Father and the Son. 10 If there come any unto you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into your house, neither bid him God speed: 11 For he that biddeth him God speed is partaker of his evil deeds” (II John 1:7-11).

The first major step into apostasy is to deny God’s existence. The result is, “There foolish heart was darkened” (Romans 1:21).

“The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God. Corrupt are they, and have done abominable iniquity: there is none that doeth good” (Psalm 53:1).

God says that the person denying His existence is a fool. Mark that person down as a fool. Regardless of how many degrees he has or how important he is. Mark it down. He is a fool.
What is the cause of their hearts being darkened? “When they knew God, (through the two witnesses of verse 19-20) they glorified Him not as God.” “Glorified” is from the Greek word doxazo (dox-ad'-zo), which means to cause the dignity and worth of some person or thing to become manifest and acknowledged. Even though there are these two overwhelming internal and external witnesses to the existence of God, the first steps into apostasy is to deny those witnesses and refuse to acknowledge God’s existence. Therefore (because God’s existence is denied) “neither were they thankful.”

“Darwin said we evolved from lower species and that nature is in a struggle for existence; Marx said society is in a constant class struggle; Nietzche proclaimed that God is dead and that ‘one must die several times while still alive. Kiekegaard found life disgusting.

Whether we realize it or not, these are among the philosophies which have become the basis for the worldview of modern education. This view permeates through our school systems in every academic discipline. As it does, it produces the same uncertainty and the same confusion of mind that it did in those men who formulated the philosophies.

In everything which touches our lives we are reaping the harvest from the seeds these men and their disciples have sown. The alarming thing is that most people don’t understand or realize this.”[ii] (Hope For The Terminal Generation, Hal Lindsey and C.C. Carlson, F. H. Revell Company, page 29)

Obviously, when people deny God’s existence, they will not be grateful for Who God is or what He does to give them life and its provisions. When people deny God’s existence, they reduce themselves to just another animal. However, even some animals are more grateful to their masters than a human who denies the existence of God.

Another step into apostasy is “they became vain in their imaginations.” Before God can be explained away, alternatives to Creation must be established. The word “vain” is translated from the Greek word mataioo (mat-ah-yo'-o) meaning foolish or empty of truth. “Imaginations” is from the Greek word dialogismos (dee-al-og-is-mos'), which refers to the inward reasoning of a person as he deliberates and questions what is true.

“Until the emergence of Social Darwinism, it was generally held in the West that the process of history constantly revealed that the Judeo-Christian God was behind it . . . Darwin changed all of this. His idea of natural selection is meaningless gibberish unless he is in fact referring to an impersonal force, a power that propels history and establishes its direction. Although Darwin had Christian associations as a young man, as his life progressed he became less and less willing to ascribe the control and direction of history to God. Rather, he came to think of the progress of history as being determined by the impersonal engine of natural selection. God was exchanged for a force, and history dropped into a depersonalized mode.

The Social Darwinists of our time have continued along this line. Our society, once rightly called a Christian civilization, has become secular to a greater degree than the solons of Western civilization would have thought possible. Education, government, business, the media, and, in many cases, religion, have moved through progressive stages of secularization from Christianity to atheism. As a result, God is not merely ignored but rather is resented, opposed, and vilified at every opportunity.”[iii] (Seven Men Who Ruled the World from the Grave, Dave Breese, Moody Press, page 48)

The second major step into apostasy by those who deny God’s existence is, “Professing themselves to be wise, they become fools” (Romans 1:22). “Professing” is from the Greek word phasko (fas'-ko) meaning to affirm or allege something. This refers to their opinion of themselves. “Wise” is from the Greek word sophos (sof-os'), which is the basis for our English word sophisticated. It means to be wise, skilled in letters, cultivated and learned. To them, anyone disagreeing with them is ignorant. “Fools” is from the Greek word moraino (mo-rah'-ee-no) from which we get our English word moron. It means to prove one’s self a fool.

“Reading Freud [Sigmund Freud] on religion, one hears in his words the source of many a modern conversation about the nature of the Christian religion and the purpose of the coming of Jesus Christ into the world. Freud, an atheist, gave every successive detractor of the value of religion a set of clever, psychological remarks through which to express contempt for God and His work. After all, psychoanalysis was the new revelation, and psychotherapy the new salvation.”[iv] (Seven Men Who Ruled the World from the Grave, Dave Breese, Moody Press, page 137)

The third major step into apostasy by those who deny God’s existence is they changed God’s glory into images (Romans 1:23). “Change” is from the Greek word allasso (al-las'-so) meaning to exchange one thing for another. “Glory” is from the Greek word doxa (dox'-ah), which in this context means the reality of what something is.

The intent is that they exchanged the real God for a manufactured God. They made up a God. Every step away from the God of the Bible is a step into the human imagination. Any deviation from the God of the Bible creates a deviant and false god. Close enough is never good enough when it comes to theology. God has revealed Himself for mankind to know Him accurately and personally. Unless we know Him accurately, our relationship with Him and worship of Him will not be what it should be.

“23 But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him. 24 God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth” (John 4:23-24).

This fact is evident by the practices that come from the denial of the God of the Bible as seen in Romans 1:24-32. God’s first response to lost mankind’s denial of His existence is found in Romans 1:24-25.

“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” (Romans 1:24-25).

God is never inactive when it comes to those who reject Him and His absolutes. However, His purpose is to bring lost souls to the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ. When man is pre-occupied with the carnal things of this world and his own selfish desires for them, his tendency is to reject the inner witness of his conscience. God is working in that person’s life by allowing him to be filled with unrighteousness to the place where he can finally see the end of such a way of life. Romans 1:24-32 gives us the digression of sin when God’s existence and absolutes are rejected.

One thing all Christians need to caution themselves about regarding people who have denied the existence of God and are given over to lives of sin as described in Romans 1:24-32, is that of self-righteous contempt for these people. Apart from the grace of God, this would describe every person in the world. The Christian has one responsibility regarding these people.

“17 But, beloved, remember ye the words which were spoken before of the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ; 18 How that they told you there should be mockers in the last time, who should walk after their own ungodly lusts. 19 These be they who separate themselves, sensual, having not the Spirit. 20 But ye, beloved, building up yourselves on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Ghost, 21 Keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life. 22 And of some have compassion, making a difference: 23 And others save with fear, pulling them out of the fire; hating even the garment spotted by the flesh” (Jude 1:17-23).

[i] Creation and the Modern Christian, Henry Morris, Master Book Publishers, page 42
[ii] Hope For The Terminal Generation, Hal Lindsey and C.C. Carlson, F. H. Revell Company, page 29
[iii] Seven Men Who Ruled the World from the Grave, Dave Breese, Moody Press, page 48
[iv] Ibid, page 137