Tag Archives: Christianity

I Started A Business Yesterday, But…

I have followed Gospel for Asia for years now. They are a trustworthy organization
The blog is from my friend Larry. We were roommates back in the 90’s and he is a mighty man of Yahoveh. (E)

Larry Who

Any of us can start a business. To do so, all we must do is discover a customer need, fill that need at agreeable prices for both customers and us, and bada bing bada boom, we are in business.

Sounds easy enough, right? Why aren’t more people doing it?

The answer is simple: money.

It takes money to buy supplies, equipment, rent a shop, advertise, hire workers, meet state and federal laws, insurances, provide salaries, and dozens of other things.

Yet, no matter how well we plan and budget ahead of time, the amount of money needed to get the business off the ground will always be much more than we figure. Always. This seems to work according to the precepts of Murphy’s Law: “Anything that can go wrong will go wrong, and at the most inopportune time.”

Okay, now that the heavy stuff is out of the way, I…

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Who Are We Anyway?

Note: While I don’t agree with all of the sentiment expressed in the following. The main point is certainly in line with my perception of the current national attitude. This seems especially true among the believers I run across with only a few notable exceptions like Ron Paul and some close friends. (E)

Warning: Some Foul Language

From an Article on the site: Fred On Everything Scurrilous Commentary by Fred Reed

Smiting the In-fiddle

And Malt Does More than Milton Can, to Justify God’s Ways to Man

June 6, 2011

Fred On Everything

Cyberg, Tennessee—The Reverend McBilly Osfeiser strode to the rostrum of of the Full Bible Perfect Word Baptist Church, a frame building reeking of plainess and Protestantism. He was a tall man, with the sharp facial planes and hard visage of a desert patriarch about to kill something. The congregation shrank in their pews. He was a man who brooked no sin, and no sinners, whom he consigned to eternal damnation, and thought they were getting off light. He looked fiercely about, and spoke:

“Brethren, I come before you to preach the word of God, for these be evil times, and the children of Israel, and yea the parents and grandparents, even unto their heirs and assigns, are sore beset by the tribe of Mohammed, and Beelzebulb, and Luciferin and Luciferase. In the name of God we must gird our loins, whatever exactly gird means, and smite the followers of Allah, and suffer them not to live, neither child nor mother with child nor suckling babe. Their lands shall be accursed and nothing there shall prosper, neither tares nor the wild ass; thus saith the Lord God, the God of Israel , the god of love and mercy.

“Today we shall begin our sermon with the story of Samsung and Delilah, in the book of Hezechiah, chapter fourteen, verses nine through twenty-seven, in the reign of Herod Agrippa. In that time Israel was sore beset by the Malachites and the Catamites, even the Stalactites and Stalagmites, and the Assyrians of Kng Areopagitica with many chariots threatened the city of Solomon. But Samsung spent three days and three nights fasting and praying, and sacrificed a sheep, and it was good in the eyes of the Lord. In the morning he went forth and slew them all, cutting through them with sling and samothrace as one scything wheat until not a Stalagmite was left standing. saving the city.

“Today, brethren, we of Christ face the same test of our faith. In Afghanistan, as we speak, the Mohammedan Taliban build mighty forces which they will use to conquer all of Christendom and enslave us, having gotten here mysteriously.

“The powers of the darkness are many and patient, and the Mohammedan awaits to make our wives and daughters into harem slaves. It is well said that if we do not slew them there, or perhaps slay them, they will slew us here, or a slew of them will slay a slew of us there, maybe here, or they will…whatever. Remember the second book of Malthusians, when Chay-suss expelled the Gadarene Swine from the woman afflicted with leprosy, “Rebus sic stantibus,” he said. “Carthago delenda est,” which is the Latin for “Get the back whence thou camest, and thy towel.”

“I urge you, brethren, to support our Christian troops who with magnificent courage are killing the heathen with drones strikes from thousands of feet while sitting in Colorado. To those weak in faith, who say that we are killing innocent women and children, I say unto ye, women are the source of all Taliban and thus must be military targets. If we destroy arms factories, should we not destroy Taliban factories? As the mighty warrior Jay-suss would want, we will smite them, and leave them bleeding and dying, and wailing over their broken children, blinded and crushed and burned, that they might learn to walk in the ways of righteousness.

“And now, brethren, I want to introduce you to one of our own warriors for Christ, Willy Bill Bedford, who is just back from the heathen land of Afghanistan, and wounded—wounded, brethren!–smiting the in-fiddle for Jay-suss. Willy Bill, will you come up and testify?”

Willy Bill was a big, chunky kid with a sloping forehead you could have used to bank a turn in a motorcycle race, and about every other tooth was missing so he looked like a piano keyboard. His left arm was in a cast. “Willy Bill,” shouted Reverend Osfeiser, “Tell your brothers and sisters in Jay-suss how you been doing the Lord’s work.”

Willy Bill seemed uncomfortable but he sort of scrunched up his courage and said, “Yeah, well. OK, Reverend. Well, we was out in Litani Province and there was twelve of us in a Humvee with ’bout a thousand rounds each of seven-six-two and a sack full of Bibles an’…”

The reverend roared, “And tell the brethren why you had Bibles, the inerrant perfect word of God, with you!”

“Oh, yeah. We belong to Bible Spreaders, we try to bring Moslems to know Jesus, you know. BS is real important to us, so we always….”

“You hear that? Bringing souls to God!”

“Well, we came to Awali, that’s this village, maybe three hundred sand-nig—Taliban and their kids, all dirty and livin’ in mud huts because they don’t love Jesus and the kids there beg for something to eat because they don’t know that beggin’ ain’t right. Well, we told them to get away and smacked them around a little because they might be suicide bombers, you know, and you could just tell the grown-ups hated us for our religion and our freedoms and all, and then we heard a rifle go off. Well, they ain’t supposed to have rifles. So the lieutenant called in a air strike and a couple of sixteens came in, and whoom, they just smacked the livin’ dog-snot out of those fuckers and…..”

“Now, Willy Bill, don’t be using language like that. Do you think Jay-suss talked that way? It’s a sin.”

“I’m sorry, Reverend. I won’t do it again. I don’t want to commit no sin. Anyway, it was a good strike, killed almost everybody although a few was left screamin’ and makin’ a fuss and women was huggin’ kids or what was left, I mean, how much sense does that make? I guess they learned their lesson. So we went through and left Bibles on top of some of the dead ones so whoever found them would come to Jesus and then I fell off the Humvee and broke my arm.”

At which the Reverend McBilly Osfeiser shouted, “Hosannah! Praise the Lord! While we have sat here, living a life of ease, Willy Bill, Cyburg’s own Willy Bill, has smote the in-fiddles, and saved our precious daughters from being in harems, though perhaps not in back seats, and saved our holy Tennessee, where we are free and snakes have handles and the God of Wrath rules as he did with Noah in the Sinai!”

I need a drink.

It’s Hammer Time

Stand Against The Ban

Check out Keith Johnson and Nehemia Gordon‘s site on How The Name of the one True God has been banned for centuries by the jews and the church and how we need to take a stand against the ban. 

His Name is Yehovah!

It is not Lord or God or Hashem or Adonai or any other substitution made by men. It is time to STAND AGAINST THE BAN.



A Christmas Story

I ran across this article today in my files. I am sorry that I do not know the source other than it is someone named Jesse. I have done some editing and additions to the original.

Before you read it I feel compelled to give a warning:

Scripture says that if we know something is true and yet do not do it that that thing becomes sin in our lives. James 4:17. This is also in Torah. If one came to realize that something they had been doing was sin there were guidelines they followed to show their repentance that eventually led to them having to watch the life drain out of an innocent animal to cover their sin.  Numbers 15:27-31

Each of us is only accountable for what we know. So…once you are aware the accountability begins. Here is the true christmass story (Ed):

In Genesis 3:15 we see that because of man’s sin, that a Savior is needed and will appear though the seed of the woman, by whom the serpent will be destroyed. Since the beginning of time the serpent has been trying to provide a “counterfeit messiah” to deceive many! Christmas, easter and lent all have their roots with Nimrod.

This is where our “christmass story” begins……Semiramis the widow of Nimrod “the mighty hunter before YHWH” (Gen 10:9) had been murdered in a act of violence, His wife (Semiramis) looking to perpetuate his worship and to retain power over men herself, deceived them in to joyfully believing that through a “miraculous conception” she had given birth to a son she named Tammuz, who was Nimrod incarnate.

Remember this is 2000 years before the Birth of Yeshua (Jesus) the Messiah, we see this counterfeit being planted! This woman with her son was being worshipped as “Madonna”=”Mother of god” “the queen of heaven” this child was born on Dec. 25th very close to the winter solstice which was already being celebrated. Our Anglo-Saxon ancestors called this day “Yule Day” which was Chaldean for “little child” and the night proceeding it was “mothers night”. So now that we know a little bit about this “christmas story” and where out “Yule logs” come from, what about the christmas tree, mistletoe, and jolly ole’ st.nick himself?

The christmas tree was to represent Nimrods re-incarnation into his illegitimate son Tammuz, they would decorate it with silver and gold and later, out of Egyptian culture, would fasten round balls of silver and gold which were the “Balls (testicles) of Ra” Yummy! Mistletoe bears fruit at the time of the winter solstice and was used by druid witches to decorate the holly or “holy” tree, the most sacred tree to druids because it is green year round’.

Druids bringing in the mistletoe” by E. A. Hornel & G. Henry,

We know from the Bible that Yeshua the Messiah is the prophesied “Branch” (in Hebrew “Netzer”) [See Is. 11:1; 53:2; Jer. 23:5; Zech. 6:12.] It’s funny how this counterfeit messiah uses counterfeit “branches” to decorate his reincarnated “tree”. And then there is my personal favorite jolly ole’ st.nick himself or santa claus which originated in ancient canaanite culture. Molech, who was a metallic statue with Frygian style hat (santa style hat). He was heated up until he was bright red, then people would come and sacrifice their children on his lap in exchange for good fortune and material things wished for! YUCK Ho Ho Ho = Ohh no!!!

Let’s see what the Bible has to say about all these traditions of men…. The great prophet (or “seer” in Hebrew) Jeremiah had this to say to the whoring house of Israel who began to embrace the practices of the gentiles. Jer. 10

1Hear the word which the LORD speaks to you, O house of Israel. 2Thus says the LORD,” Do not learn the way of the gentiles, and do not be terrified by the signs of the heavens although the nations are terrified by them; 3For the customs of the peoples are delusion; they cut down a tree from the forest, the work of the hands of a craftsman with a cutting tool. 4“They decorate it with silver and with gold; they fasten it with nails and with hammers So that it will not totter. 5“Like a scarecrow in a cucumber field are they, and they cannot speak; they must be carried, because they cannot walk!  Do not fear them, for they can do no harm, nor can they do any good.”

We now know where YHWH and the Bible stand on having a “christmas tree”. Let’s see what the Bible has to say about santa…. Lev. 18:21

” ‘Do not give any of your children to be sacrificed to Molech, for you must not profane the name of your God. I am the LORD.” Lev 20:1-3 “Say to the Israelites: ‘Any Israelite or any alien living in Israel who gives any of his children to Molech must be put to death. The people of the community are to stone him.
I will set my face against that man and I will cut him off from his people; for by giving his children to
Molech, he has defiled my sanctuary and profaned my holy name.”

And the seer Zephaniah 1:4-6

“ I will stretch out my hand against Judah and against all who live in Jerusalem. I will cut off from this place every remnant of Baal, the names of the pagan and the idolatrous priests- 5 those who bow down on the roofs to worship the starry host, those who bow down and swear by the LORD and who also swear by Molech, those who turn back from following the LORD and neither seek the LORD nor inquire of him.”

And in the book of Act’s 7:43

You have lifted up the shrine of Molech and the star of your god Rephan, the idols you made to worship. Therefore I will send you into exile’ beyond Babylon.”

See all these Scriptures Leviticus 20:4-5, 1 Kings 11:5-7, 1 Kings 11:33, 2 Kings 23:10-13, Isaiah 57:9, Jeremiah 32:35, Jeremiah 49:1-3, And Ezekiel 8:14 is about Semiramis’s illegitimate son Tammuz. And remember that throughout scripture, as believers we are grafted into the olive tree of Israel, see Romans 11:24, and James 3:12. And we, Israelites loved our paganism so much that we were taken captive from the land and lost in the nations until the end times.

Since YHWH has NOT, in His word, authorized the celebration of christmas anywhere, then who induced men to begin doing so? As early as the first century, Paul was condemning those from the gentiles who were attempting to incorporate their old pagan “days, and months, and years” into their new faith. Gal. 4:8-11

About the year 230 the Gentile Christian “Church Father” Tertullian wrote:

“By us [Gentile Christians] who are strangers to biblical Sabbaths, and new moons, and festivals, once acceptable to God., the Saturnalia, the feasts of january, the brumalia, and matronalia are now frequented, with gifts being carried to and fro.”

Since Tammuz was worshipped as god incarnate, that implied also that he was an incarnation of the “Lord of the heavens,” the sun, and since the sun noticeably began to grow stronger at about the 25th of December, this date came to be known not only as the rebirth of Nimrod but of the Sun as well.

In ancient Rome this day was known as “Natalis Invicti Solis”— the birthday of the unconquered sun. Lights were kindled then to burn until the 6th of January (Epiphany). The feast of Saturnalia, lasting about a week, was held at this time of the winter solstice, accompanied with much merrymaking, wild revelry and debauchery.

“Mithras, the sun-god, was born of a virgin in a cave on December 25, and worshipped on Sunday, the day of the conquering sun. He was a savior-god who rivaled Jesus in popularity. He died and was resurrected in order to become a messenger god, an intermediary between man and the good god of light, and the leader of the forces of righteousness against the dark forces of the god evil.”
– Pagan Origins of Christmas

To obtain more adherents to Roman Catholicism it was the policy of the papacy to amalgamate the heathen festivals with things of Christendom. Pope Gregory wrote to Augustine the first missionary to the British Isles (C.E. 597):

“Do not destroy the temples of the English Gods; change them to Christian churches. Do not forbid the “harmless” customs which have been associated with the old religions; consecrate them to Christian use.”

Thus Rome retained a pagan form for “christmas” but could not restrain its pagan spirit– existing to this day. The name “christmas” appeared about 450 C.E. when Pope Julius decreed that all Catholics must celebrate the birthday of “christ” at the same time that the heathen were celebrating the Saturnalia, etc. It was designated as “Christe-masse”, or Christ’s mass.

The whole hearted believer will not contribute to this perpetuation of christ-mass by observing it in any way whatsoever; but will withdraw in horror from such pagan-born celebrations revered by a world that greeted the infant Messiah with Herod’s sword, reeking with the blood of Bethlehem’s baby boys, and which finally crucified Him in diabolical hatred.

The prophecy of Rev. 11:10 may soon be fulfilled when YHWH’s two witnesses shall be slain, then

they that dwell upon the earth shall rejoice over them and make merry and shall send gifts to one another.

“Christ-mass time is full of greed, materialism, and thievery. People fighting in stores over black Friday “christ-mass sales”. This time of year also has the highest rate of suicide! The Christian argument to celebrate Christ-mass is weak at best, most my friends say that they observe it for Christ and for no other reason. That’s all nice and fluffy, but let’s see what YHWH says about that…. 1Kings 12:33- 13:2

33Then he went up to the altar which he had made in Bethel on the fifteenth day in the eighth month, even in the month which he had devised in his own heart; and he instituted a feast for the sons of Israel and went up to the altar to burn incense. 1Now behold, there came a man of God from Judah to Bethel by the word of the LORD, while Jeroboam was standing by the altar to burn incense. 2He cried against the altar by the word of the LORD, and said, “O altar, altar, thus says the LORD, ‘Behold, a son shall be born to the house of David, Josiah by name; and on you he shall sacrifice the priests of the high places who burn incense on you, and human bones shall be burned on you.”

Here we see that Jeroboam did this in God’s name and with good intentions in his heart but it does not fit into His Word and does not work! Also see Amos 7:10-13. It can also be proven though Scripture that the Messiah was Born during Sukkoth, But that’s another loooooong blog perhaps another time!? So all being said, what excuse are you using to follow the counterfeit this year?

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

The Torah reminds us:

“You shall not follow a multitude to do evil”(Ex. 23:2)

And as Yeshua himself said:

“That which is highly esteemed among men is abominable in the sight of Elohim”(Luke 16:15)

And as Paul writes:

“Be you not conformed to this world but be you transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may know what is that good and acceptable and wholehearted will of G-d.”(Rom. 12:2)

May those who have ears to hear, HEAR! And eyes to see, SEE! Shalom – Jesse

Special Thanks to James Trimm for the use of materials in his blogs (Nazarenespace.com) Wikipedia, BibleGateway.com, and many random History books and sites. Also remember not to trust what I say, but look it up for yourself! And a very special thanks to my bro Judah for editing this so it’s readable to someone other than me!

Time For Christians To Shred Their Bibles

By Chuck Baldwin
December 16, 2010

Archived column:

Many of us grew up in Sunday School and church. We have heard the
great Bible stories over and over. We heard about the story of how
Moses’ mother defied Pharaoh and hid her little baby boy in
bulrushes. We heard the story of how Moses killed the Egyptian
taskmaster defending a Hebrew slave and later became the great
deliverer of God’s people. We heard the story of young David going
out alone against the Philistines’ greatest warrior, Goliath. We
heard the story of how Saul’s servants refused to carry out the
king’s order to murder the priest Ahimelech. We know well the story
of Daniel who defied his government’s order to refrain from praying.
The names Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego are very familiar to us. We
heard our teachers and preachers extol their courage in defying the
government’s order to bow to the image of their emperor. We remember
that John the Baptist went to prison (and was eventually beheaded),
not for preaching the Gospel, but for criticizing the king for his
immoral behavior. We certainly recall the story of Simon Peter who
bluntly told his civil magistrates, “We ought to obey God rather
than men.” We know that the Apostle Paul wrote many of his epistles
from inside government prisons. We certainly recall that before John
penned the Revelation, he had been banished to an island-prison by his
civil authorities.

I challenge Christians to objectively look at the great stories of
Bible heroes (in both testaments) and observe how many times they are
noted for either being martyred for defying a civil authority, or,
perhaps, for being delivered from death for defying a civil authority.
The stories of defiance to civil government (in one form or another)
comprise a great percentage of all the stories contained in the
Bible–perhaps even a majority of them.

So, how has it happened that a majority of today’s Christians, it
seems, have become such sheepish slaves of government? How has it
happened that, for the most part, the concept of courage in the face
of government oppression has been totally lost to the average
Christian, pastor, and church? For all intents and purposes, it is
time for many Christians to shred their Bibles, because the lessons
and principles of God’s Word have absolutely no influence over their
attitudes and conduct.

For example, if the story of Peter in prison were being experienced
today, instead of the church rallying behind their pastor and
conducting an all-night prayer meeting for him, most church members
would be excoriating him in the name of Romans chapter 13. Instead of
Paul being let down the wall in a basket to escape the civil
authorities trying to apprehend him, the average Christian today would
be the first one to turn him over to the authorities.

In the mind of the average Christian, God is not God; government is
God! For instance, when one well-known Christian attorney was recently
confronted by the teaching of Scripture relative to the church’s
independence from government (meaning, no church should allow itself
to be subject to the government’s tyrannical 501(c)3 non-profit,
tax-exempt status), he said, “That might be Biblically correct, but
it is not legally correct.” In other words, the “Christian”
attorney would rather a church be legal than Biblical. And,
unfortunately, that seems to be the attitude of the vast majority of
professing Christians today. They would rather please the government
than please God; they would rather obey the government than obey God;
they would rather be at peace with the government than be at peace
with God.

And when it comes to the courage of risking anything of value in
order to do right, forget it!

Think of what Abram risked when he obeyed God and left his country
and kin and struck out for a land that God had not even told him of.
Think of what Moses risked when he killed that Egyptian; think of what
Joshua and Caleb risked when they defied the entire nation that was
following the evil counsel of the ten spies; think of what David
risked when he faced the giant; think of what Elijah risked when he
confronted 850 false prophets all by himself; think of what the Old
Testament prophets risked when they rebuked or challenged the kings of
Israel and Judah; think of what the disciples risked when they “left
all” and followed Jesus; think of what the early church risked when
it embraced the Gospel and defied the wishes of Rome and Jewry (not to
mention their own families and friends). But these stories are more
like fairy tales to the average Christian today. They serve no
practical benefit whatsoever!

Let a church deacon, trustee, or elder be told by some
government-backed attorney that he is really a corporate officer,
subject to the laws and punishments of IRS tax codes, and that church
leader will say anything, sign anything, or do anything to save his
own financial security. In order to not jeopardize his own standing
with the IRS, that same church leader would turn his back on his best
friend, or gladly join with the government in prosecuting a fellow

I personally know of more than one case where professing Christians
either lied against a beloved brother in order to protect themselves
against threatened government (read: IRS) penalties, or actually
testified for the prosecution (read: IRS) under oath in a court of law
against a Christian brother. In each case, these “brothers”
actually felt it was their “Christian duty” to betray their
friends and brothers and help the government.

I am reminded of the verse where Jesus said, “Yea, the time cometh,
that whosoever killeth you will think that he doeth God service.”
(John 16:2 KJV)

I am also reminded of the warning from the prophet Jeremiah when he
cautioned, “Take ye heed every one of his neighbour, and trust ye
not in any brother: for every brother will utterly supplant, and every
neighbour will walk with slanders. And they will deceive every one his
neighbour, and will not speak the truth: they have taught their tongue
to speak lies, and weary themselves to commit iniquity.” (Jeremiah
9:4,5 KJV)

Jeremiah’s prophecy is spot-on! Christians today cannot be trusted
to be faithful to the truth; they cannot be trusted to not betray and
turn against their brethren; they cannot be trusted to not be party
with slander and libel. If it means saving their own skin, or keeping
their bread buttered, or staying in the good graces of the IRS, they
would sell out their best friend–maybe even their own mother! And it
is no coincidence that Jeremiah, himself, experienced firsthand that
which he had spoken. It is no wonder he said, “Trust ye not any

When will Christians get it through their heads (and in their hearts)
that oftentimes government is the enemy of God? When will they
understand that they have only one Sovereign: King Jesus? When will
they come to comprehend that helping government perpetrate unjust
action against fellow believers is a crime against Heaven? When will
they stop talking about the Bible and actually start internalizing its
teachings, examples, and principles?

It has gotten to the point today many unbelievers are far more
trustworthy than today’s Christians–especially when it comes to the
subject of resisting unjust government. It grieves me say that many
“Christian” attorneys, politicians, pastors, and church leaders
are merely shills and toadies for a government that has often become
both oppressive and illegitimate!

May God help us! He will have to, because we won’t get much help
from the vast majority of today’s professing Christians. That is for

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The War Prayer by Mark Twain

I’ve posted this before but it is worthy of reposting regularly. (E)

It was a time of great and exalting excitement. The country was up in arms, the war was on, in every breast burned the holy fire of patriotism; the drums were beating, the bands playing, the toy pistols popping, the bunched firecrackers hissing and sputtering; on every hand and far down the receding and fading spreads of roofs and balconies a fluttering wilderness of flags flashed in the sun; daily the young volunteers marched down the wide avenue gay and fine in their new uniforms, the proud fathers and mothers and sisters and sweethearts cheering them with voices choked with happy emotion as they swung by; nightly the packed mass meetings listened, panting, to patriot oratory which stirred the deepest deeps of their hearts and which they interrupted at briefest intervals with cyclones of applause, the tears running down their cheeks the while; in the churches the pastors preached devotion to flag and country and invoked the God of Battles, beseeching His aid in our good cause in outpouring of fervid eloquence which moved every listener.

It was indeed a glad and gracious time, and the half dozen rash spirits that ventured to disapprove of the war and cast a doubt upon its righteousness straightway got such a stern and angry warning that for their personal safety’s sake they quickly shrank out of sight and offended no more in that way.

Sunday morning came – next day the battalions would leave for the front; the church was filled; the volunteers were there, their faces alight with material dreams – visions of a stern advance, the gathering momentum, the rushing charge, the flashing sabers, the flight of the foe, the tumult, the enveloping smoke, the fierce pursuit, the surrender! – then home from the war, bronzed heros, welcomed, adored, submerged in golden seas of glory! With the volunteers sat their dear ones, proud, happy, and envied by the neighbors and friends who had no sons and brothers to send forth to the field of honor, there to win for the flag or, failing, die the noblest of noble deaths. The service proceeded; a war chapter from the Old Testament was read; the first prayer was said; it was followed by an organ burst that shook the building, and with one impulse the house rose, with glowing eyes and beating hearts, and poured out that tremendous invocation – “God the all-terrible! Thou who ordainest, Thunder thy clarion and lightning thy sword!”

Then came the “long” prayer. None could remember the like of it for passionate pleading and moving and beautiful language. The burden of its supplication was that an ever-merciful and benignant Father of us all would watch over our noble young soldiers and aid, comfort, and encourage them in their patriotic work; bless them, shield them in His mighty hand, make them strong and confident, invincible in the bloody onset; help them to crush the foe, grant to them and to their flag and country imperishable honor and glory.

An aged stranger entered and moved with slow and noiseless step up the main aisle, his eyes fixed upon the minister, his long body clothed in a robe that reached to his feet, his head bare, his white hair descending in a frothy cataract to his shoulders, his seamy face unnaturally pale, pale even to ghastliness. With all eyes following him and wondering, he made his silent way; without pausing, he ascended to the preacher’s side and stood there, waiting.

With shut lids the preacher, unconscious of his presence, continued his moving prayer, and at last finished it with the words, uttered in fervent appeal,” Bless our arms, grant us the victory, O Lord our God, Father and Protector of our land and flag!”

The stranger touched his arm, motioned him to step aside – which the startled minister did – and took his place. During some moments he surveyed the spellbound audience with solemn eyes in which burned an uncanny light; then in a deep voice he said

“I come from the Throne – bearing a message from Almighty God!” The words smote the house with a shock; if the stranger perceived it he gave no attention. “He has heard the prayer of His servant your shepherd and grant it if such shall be your desire after I, His messenger, shall have explained to you its import – that is to say, its full import. For it is like unto many of the prayers of men, in that it asks for more than he who utters it is aware of – except he pause and think.

“God’s servant and yours has prayed his prayer. Has he paused and taken thought? Is it one prayer? No, it is two – one uttered, the other not. Both have reached the ear of His Who hearth all supplications, the spoken and the unspoken. Ponder this – keep it in mind. If you beseech a blessing upon yourself, beware! lest without intent you invoke a curse upon a neighbor at the same time. If you pray for the blessing of rain upon your crop which needs it, by that act you are possibly praying for a curse upon some neighbor’s crop which may not need rain and can be injured by it.

“You have heard your servant’s prayer – the uttered part of it. I am commissioned by God to put into words the other part of it – that part which the pastor, and also you in your hearts, fervently prayed silently. And ignorantly and unthinkingly? God grant that it was so! You heard these words: ‘Grant us the victory, O Lord our God!’ That is sufficient. The whole of the uttered prayer is compact into those pregnant words. Elaborations were not necessary. When you have prayed for victory you have prayed for many unmentioned results which follow victory – must follow it, cannot help but follow it. Upon the listening spirit of God the Father fell also the unspoken part of the prayer. He commandeth me to put it into words. Listen!

“O Lord our Father, our young patriots, idols of our hearts, go forth to battle – be Thou near them! With them, in spirit, we also go forth from the sweet peace of our beloved firesides to smite the foe. O Lord our God, help us to tear their soldiers to bloody shreds with our shells; help us to cover their smiling fields with the pale forms of their patriot dead; help us to drown the thunder of the guns with the shrieks of their wounded, writhing in pain; help us to lay waste their humble homes with a hurricane of fire; help us to wring the hearts of their unoffending widows with unavailing grief; help us to turn them out roofless with their little children to wander unfriended the wastes of their desolated land in rags and hunger and thirst, sports of the sun flames of summer and the icy winds of winter, broken in spirit, worn with travail, imploring Thee for the refuge of the grave and denied it – for our sakes who adore Thee, Lord, blast their hopes, blight their lives, protract their bitter pilgrimage, make heavy their steps, water their way with their tears, stain the white snow with the blood of their wounded feet! We ask it, in the spirit of love, of Him Who is the Source of Love, and Who is ever-faithful refuge and friend of all that are sore beset and seek His aid with humble and contrite hearts. Amen.

(After a pause)

“Ye have prayed it; if ye still desire it, speak! The messenger of the Most High waits.”

It was believed afterward that the man was a lunatic, because there was no sense in what he said.

Note: Twain wrote The War Prayer during the US war on the Philippines. It was submitted for publication, but on March 22, 1905, Harper’s Bazaar rejected it as “not quite suited to a woman’s magazine.” Eight days later, Twain wrote to his friend Dan Beard, to whom he had read the story, “I don’t think the prayer will be published in my time. None but the dead are permitted to tell the truth.” Because he had an exclusive contract with Harper & Brothers, Mark Twain could not publish “The War Prayer” elsewhere and it remained unpublished until 1923.

New Testament Theology of the State – Video

Norman Horn

New Testament Theology of the State paper at the UT-Austin Christian Scholars Forum 2008. It’s been over a year since the event, but I’ve only had the video for about six months I think. I wanted to edit the original file a bit, because another paper was presented during the session. Unfortunately, the presenter was unable to attend due to a family emergency and her paper was, quite literally, read straight through by a friend. The Q&A session was quite fun because, obviously, I was the only person fielding questions.

Winner of the “Best Paper” Awards at the Christian Scholars Forum

No Man Can Serve Two Masters

“Why is it that we see men willing to sacrifice property, the comforts of home, the sweets of the domestic and family relationship, undergo privations and sorrows, suffer hunger, and cold, and nakedness, and want for long and weary years, and freely give up life itself at the bidding of earthly rulers and for the sake of corrupt and perishing human kingdoms, while so few are willing to undergo the slightest inconvenience or suffer the least self-denial for the heavenly and eternal kingdom?

Why is it that we even see men who profess to be members of the Kingdom of Jesus Christ, wiling to suffer the loss of all things, property, children, and their own life’s blood for the earthly kingdom, yet are unwilling to spend a very small portion of time or money for the Kingdom and cause of God. Why is it?”

David Lipscomb, Gospel Advocate 1866

Thanks to Libertarian Christians.com

Give to Caesar; Give to God

Follow up on submission to authority and how Romans 13 applies to us as believers. (E)

by Jason Hommel

“Give to Caesar what is Caesar’s and to God what is God’s.”

Many of my readers have asked me to explain what Jesus said in this verse. They want to know if Jesus meant to say to pay taxes or not.

In order to explain this verse, I need to quote several other parts of the Bible, first.

The first Biblical Principle to understand is that Jesus spoke in parables, on purpose, to hide understanding.

Mat 13:10 And the disciples came, and said unto him, Why speakest thou unto them in parables?
Mat 13:11 He answered and said unto them, Because it is given unto you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it is not given.

This means that for every parable, there are at least two meanings. There is the misleading meaning for the foolish world (the popular interpretation), and then there is the true meaning that would be understood only by true believers.

Thus, if there are two meanings, at least, both seemingly valid on the surface, then, in order to know which is which, we need to see what God has already said on this matter. Furthermore, it gets even harder, because some verses might be used by false Biblical teachers (false prophets) to justify the wrong view! Thus, discernment is needed. And what is discernment? I had one Christian man email me recently to say that discernment is not even a word!


1 : the quality of being able to grasp and comprehend what is obscure


: showing insight and understanding


: to see or understand the difference

Discernment is the ability to know what is true, and what is not true! And it is gained by experience. Just like muscles get stronger with use, so does your own discernment.

Hebrews 5:14 But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.

I take pains to explain this, because today, discernment is a skill that is greatly needed.

So, first of all, before we ask if God approves giving money to kings, we ought to consider what God thinks of Kings in general.

When the Israelites wanted a King, God said that was because the people were rejecting God, and thus, the King itself was a form of God’s punishment upon them. Kings are thieves.

1 Samuel 8:6-18 But when they said, “Give us a king to lead us,” this displeased Samuel; so he prayed to the LORD. 7 And the LORD told him: “Listen to all that the people are saying to you; it is not you they have rejected, but they have rejected me as their king. 8 As they have done from the day I brought them up out of Egypt until this day, forsaking me and serving other gods, so they are doing to you. 9 Now listen to them; but warn them solemnly and let them know what the king who will reign over them will do.”

10 Samuel told all the words of the LORD to the people who were asking him for a king. 11 He said, “This is what the king who will reign over you will do: He will take your sons and make them serve with his chariots and horses, and they will run in front of his chariots. 12 Some he will assign to be commanders of thousands and commanders of fifties, and others to plow his ground and reap his harvest, and still others to make weapons of war and equipment for his chariots. 13 He will take your daughters to be perfumers and cooks and bakers. 14 He will take the best of your fields and vineyards and olive groves and give them to his attendants. 15 He will take a tenth of your grain and of your vintage and give it to his officials and attendants. 16 Your menservants and maidservants and the best of your cattle and donkeys he will take for his own use. 17 He will take a tenth of your flocks, and you yourselves will become his slaves. 18 When that day comes, you will cry out for relief from the king you have chosen, and the LORD will not answer you in that day.”

Why won’t the Lord answer prayers for deliverance? Because God is the one sending the punishment upon the people in the first place, a punishment they deserve! God raises up Kings to punish God’s people. Kings are used by God to oppress and punish rebellious people.

Daniel recognized this while in exile in Babylon:

Daniel 9 “Therefore the curses and sworn judgments written in the Law of Moses, the servant of God, have been poured out on us, because we have sinned against you.

What Law was Daniel recognizing? This one if they disobey the commandments: Leviticus 26:14-43

Leviticus 26:25
And I will bring a sword upon you, that shall avenge the quarrel of my covenant: and when ye are gathered together within your cities, I will send the pestilence among you; and ye shall be delivered into the hand of the enemy.

Daniel, and all the Israelites were delivered into the hand of the Babylonian King, as a punishment.

Some preachers support a doctrine called “the divine right of Kings”. They teach this to preach obedience to tyrants.

They use Daniel 4, that says that God raises up all Kings, to teach submission to tyrants. They forget that God uses kings to punish God’s people when they disobey God!

Daniel 4:17 ” ‘The decision is announced by messengers, the holy ones declare the verdict, so that the living may know that the Most High is sovereign over the kingdoms of men and gives them to anyone he wishes and sets over them the lowliest of men.’

They forget that Daniel himself, in obedience to God, refused to obey orders of the King to worship the king, and Daniel himself was thrown into the Lion’s den for disobedience, and the man who wished Daniel to worship the King were thrown in, instead. Rightly, then, those who teach total submission to tyrants ought to be thrown to the Lions!

Tyrants were always resisted by God’s people.

Daniel’s friends were commanded to worship a golden statue. They didn’t and were saved from fire.

The book of Esther is about a King who allowed those who hated the Jews to attack them, but later, Esther revealed that she was a Jew, and the King then issued another order allowing the Jews to resist their attackers.

Pharaoh in Egypt issued the order to kill babies. Moses was placed into a basket, and was saved.

King Herod issued the order to kill babies. Jesus was saved; his family fled to Egypt.

God will punish Kings.

Isaiah 24:21
And it shall come to pass in that day, that the LORD shall punish the host of the high ones that are on high, and the kings of the earth upon the earth.

God is the King of Kings!

Revelation 17:14
These shall make war with the Lamb, and the Lamb shall overcome them: for he is Lord of lords, and King of kings: and they that are with him are called, and chosen, and faithful.

I also teach the “divine right of Kings”. But only if it is understood that WE are kings!

1 Peter 2:9
But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light;

Revelation 1:5-7
5 and from Jesus Christ, the faithful witness, the firstborn from the dead, and the ruler over the kings of the earth. To Him who loved us and washed us from our sins in His own blood, 6 and has made us kings and priests to His God and Father, to Him be glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.

Revelation 5:10
And have made us kings and priests to our God; And we shall reign on the earth.

In actual fact, the USA was founded by people who understood their Biblical sovereign rights, that is, the rights of Kings!

This is why there were no taxes for the first 200 years there were colonists in the USA, and why there was rebellion at the idea of 1% tax on tea by the King of England. It was not the amount they were battling, and they did not fight for the right to “be represented” while paying 55% tax rates; they were battling the idea of any taxes at all!

The entire book of Judges is all about God raising up Judges to free his people from having to pay tribute, or taxes, to foreign powers. After the period of Judges, and after the age of Kings began, that kind of Godly deliverance stopped, and the nature of the Kings grew worse and worse, particularly after the first three kings, Saul, David, and Solomon. Solomon’s child was a tyrant who raised oppressive taxes.

So, yes, God sets up Kings, but that does not mean that submitting to them in all cases is the same as submission to God; rather God sets up kings as a punishment for people who will not submit to God, Kings are a punishment.

These kinds of nuances are often lost on many people who read the Bible.

Skeptics and fools cry out that God sanctions slavery. The reality is that God calls his people out to freedom.

Skeptics and fools cry out that God sanctions usury. The reality is that the prophets described usurers as extortioners, murderers, thieves, & slave owners, etc.


So, to understand Jesus’s answer, we need to understand the nature of the question, and who was asking it and why.

The Pharisees asked the question. They hated Jesus, they wanted to kill him, and they eventually succeeded. This question was a trap. It damned Jesus if Jesus said to pay taxes, and it damned Jesus if Jesus said to not pay taxes. How so?

If Jesus said to pay taxes, Jesus would be violating all the Biblical laws, principles, and stories of Godly deliverance, and could have been condemned by the laws of the “self-righteous” Pharisees.

If Jesus said to not pay taxes, then Caesar would have reason to kill him. Just like today in our world if you don’t pay taxes, there is tribulation awaiting.

This is why the question was a trap, it was a classic “Catch 22”, damned by God if you say to pay, damned by Caesar if you say to not pay taxes.

This is why they marveled at the answer. Jesus was wise. He gave an answer that would be interpreted as “pay taxes” by unrighteous people, and only those who know the Bible would understand that Jesus was saying “of course you have no obligation to pay taxes”.

Matthew, Chapter 22
Paying Taxes to Caesar

15 Then the Pharisees went out and laid plans to trap him in his words. 16 They sent their disciples to him along with the Herodians. “Teacher,” they said, “we know you are a man of integrity and that you teach the way of God in accordance with the truth. You aren’t swayed by men, because you pay no attention to who they are. 17 Tell us then, what is your opinion? Is it right to pay taxes to Caesar or not?”
18 But Jesus, knowing their evil intent, said, “You hypocrites, why are you trying to trap me? 19 Show me the coin used for paying the tax.” They brought him a denarius, 20 and he asked them, “Whose portrait is this? And whose inscription?”

21″Caesar’s,” they replied.
Then he said to them, “Give to Caesar what is Caesar’s, and to God what is God’s.”

22 When they heard this, they were amazed. So they left him and went away.

It does not take a scholarly understanding to know how to interpret the words of Jesus. It’s simple. But the wicked will slander even the simple answers.

Exodus 20:15
Thou shalt not steal.

That applies to all men, as the Pharisees admitted that it did, and, of course that applies even to Caesar. But the foolish will say that Caesar has a right to steal, or that compulsory taxes are somehow not stealing, or that it’s not stealing if we have a right to vote, despite the clear warnings in Samuel 8:6-18 that the king will take, take, take, and that Kings are a punishment on people who will not obey the King of Kings.

And really, to  the second part of what Jesus said, to pay “To God, what is God’s”, you have to know what belongs to God.

Haggai 2:8 All silver and gold belong to me, [says the Lord God]

Psalm 24:1 The earth is the LORD’s, and the fulness thereof; the world, and they that dwell therein.

1 Corinthians 10:26 For the earth is the Lord’s, and the fulness thereof.

So, if everything belongs to God, and if you give everything to God, then what is left over for Caesar? Pause and think.

Some will say that Jesus implied that the coin belonged to Caesar, because the coin had Caesar’s image on it. Really? Our money today has the images of dead presidents on them. Does that mean it belongs to them? Nobody ever makes that claim!

Some say that all US paper money belongs to the Federal Reserve. Not so.

In truth, Federal Reserve Notes are not the “property” or “assets” of the Federal Reserve who issues them, they are the LIABILITIES of the Federal Reserve who issues them! Our money today used to be based on promissory notes, or promises to pay.

If you have a $5 bill, it does not mean that you owe the Fed $5, it means that the Fed owes you $5, and it should have been five silver dollars, too!

It is amazing to me that fools can get that basic understanding so wrong, in their twisted attempts to mis-apply the words of Jesus!

Money is money because it belongs to the one holding it, not the one who issued it!


There is a risk in explaining the words of Jesus. Especially today. I will be viscously attacked for this article, primarily by Christians whose government approved, tax-exempt, 501(c)3 Churches teach them, in full hypocrisy, that the people attending their Church need to pay taxes that the Church need not pay.

Christians will quote Romans 13.

But if you understand that WE THE PEOPLE are sovereigns, kings, the power, then the passage reads entirely differently!

Here it is, unedited:

Romans 13 (NIV)
1 Everyone must submit himself to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God. 2 Consequently, he who rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgment on themselves. 3 For rulers hold no terror for those who do right, but for those who do wrong. Do you want to be free from fear of the one in authority? Then do what is right and he will commend you. 4 For he is God’s servant to do you good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword for nothing. He is God’s servant, an agent of wrath to bring punishment on the wrongdoer. 5 Therefore, it is necessary to submit to the authorities, not only because of possible punishment but also because of conscience. 6 This is also why you pay taxes, for the authorities are God’s servants, who give their full time to governing. 7 Give everyone what you owe him: If you owe taxes, pay taxes; if revenue, then revenue; if respect, then respect; if honor, then honor.

Here it is, more properly translated, if you know that WE, Christians, are KINGS and authorities.

Romans 13 (NIV)
1 Everyone must submit himself to WE THE PEOPLE UNDER GOD, for there is no authority except that which God has established. THE PEOPLE THAT exist have been established by God. 2 Consequently, he who rebels against THE PEOPLE is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgment on themselves. 3 For THE PEOPLE hold no terror for those who do right, but for those who do wrong. Do you want to be free from fear of THE PEOPLE WHO ARE SOVEREIGN AUTHORITIES UNDER GOD? Then do what is right and THE PEOPLE will commend you. 4 For THE PEOPLE ARE God’s servant to do you good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for THE PEOPLE do not HAVE THE RIGHT TO BEAR ARMS FOR nothing. THE PEOPLE ARE God’s servant, an agent of wrath to bring punishment on the wrongdoer. 5 Therefore, it is necessary to submit to THE PEOPLE UNDER GOD, not only because of possible punishment but also because of conscience. 6 This is also why THE STATES are to pay THE CONSTITUTIONAL CAPITATION TAX, for WE THE PEOPLE are God’s servants, AND THE PROPERLY DELEGATED CONSTITUTIONAL AUTHORITIES give their full time to governing. 7 Give everyone what you owe him: If you LEGALLY AND LAWFULLY owe taxes, pay those taxes; if revenue, then revenue; if respect, then respect; if honor, then honor.

I have hesitated to preach this in full, for the many years I have known all of this, because persecution upon me is a likely result. But I have been encouraged today by my wife, who said, “you must preach that”, God bless her.

Matthew 10
22 And ye shall be hated of all men for my name’s sake: but he that endureth to the end shall be saved.
23 But when they persecute you in this city, flee ye into another: for verily I say unto you, Ye shall not have gone over the cities of Israel, till the Son of man be come.
24 The disciple is not above his master, nor the servant above his lord.
25 It is enough for the disciple that he be as his master, and the servant as his lord. If they have called the master of the house Beelzebub, how much more shall they call them of his household?
26 Fear them not therefore: for there is nothing covered, that shall not be revealed; and hid, that shall not be known.
27 What I tell you in darkness, that speak ye in light: and what ye hear in the ear, that preach ye upon the housetops.

Finally, you ought to think carefully if you decide to defy Kings on this earth. They will likely bring punishments due by God, and you may need a miracle to be delivered, as Daniel and his three friends were delivered.

2 Timothy 3:12 (NIV)
In fact, everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted,

1 Chronicles 16:22 “Do not touch my anointed ones; do my prophets no harm.”

July 31, 2010

Jason Hommel [send him mail] is editor of the Silver Stock Report.

Copyright © 2010 Jason Hommel


My Reponse to “Follower Of Christ”

Below is a response to a comment that a brother sent after I had commented on his comment about being sober and vigilant. I am not placing this here for any other reason than to clarify some of what I believe about cannabis use and the fact that we live in a nation where our “leaders” have decided this very useful substance should illegal. Toward th end I also get into the whole idea that some believers have that wine in the Bible, at least when in context of believers is, somehow?, not really wine but grape juice. I could write pages about how this is not likely the case and why, particularly evangelical believers, seem to believe this. There is a whole historical reason as to how this idea came into present Christian thinking, (it was not an issue in the nearly 2 thousand year history of the church), and the whole psychology that has developed around this one issue. I may choose to address this in future but for now my comments below will have to suffice. (E)

His Comment

Brother, thanks for clarification.
I used to take cannabis daily as a lost soul, it made me a wreck, psychially, physically, socially…

Sure, it takes away pain and so one, but it is scientifically proven that it does it already in so small amounts without getting a buzz..

I have made the experience that the Holy Spirit is healing my illnesses.
Btw, Timothy’s wine was not fermented wine.

I concur that the US system should give more mercy on small cannabis dealers/users (lesser jail time/punishment), but
1) it IS a crime
2) Romans 13
3) if the people wouldnt abandon God, there would be much less cannabis ABUSE

I think, that this is the true root of evil in this country. Cannabis abuse is “just” a
YHWH bless!

My Response

I agree that it is unnecessary to get a buzz to get relief. I actually had a friend let me have a bit a couple of years ago, (I have Fibromyalgia), I took a couple of “hits” and for 4 hours I was pain free. Now that may not sound like much but I have NEVER been pain free for most of the past 10 years or so. My wide was amazed and tearful because I was like the man she married 15 years ago for those 4 hours. I was not high at all other than a bit of lightheadedness which with the 15 meds I am on for all my other health issues is not all that unusual for me anyway.
Unfortunately, I do not live in a state where medical cannabis is allowed so I would have to break the law in order to have sustained relief of my symptoms. That, in itself, does not bother me except for the fact that if I ended up in jail they might withhold my other meds including insulin and I could die. I have not felt strongly enough about it that I am willing to risk that.
That leads me to a question about your reply. I take it that you accept that if the government makes a law we as believers are bound to that because of what you believe Romans 13 teaches about obedience to authority. My question is whether this is always the case. In other words do you believe that we are to obey even if a law is unjust or immoral?
If that is the case, I guess we would have to agree to disagree because I believe if an authority asks us to violate our conscience we am being disobedient to YHWH who put that conscience in us to help us choose rightly. For instance, if the law says that one must not help the poor or the oppressed can one follow that law when YHWH so clearly says in His word that avoiding to care for those who are poor and oppressed brings His judgment.
I see the issue of cannabis in the same way. The word clearly states that YHWH gave us herbs for our benefit. The fact that some individuals might abuse those herbs does not negate the fact that Daddy gave them for our use. How then do we respond when a government attempts to take away something that is a gift from our Creator? The fact that a government says that something, that for thousands of years was used for mans benefit, is suddenly illegal is problematic.


An advertisement for cannabis americana distri...

Image via Wikipedia


A crime by the original definition in common law set down many centuries ago is an act that causes direct harm to another person or that person’s property. By that definition most laws are illegitimate.To me this is no different than the Pharisees making oral law that went beyond or even t superseded Torah. They were adding to or taking away from it in such a way that the people could not even know how to follow the Torah properly. Yahshua made it clear that this was unacceptable.

The principle then is that if man’s laws go beyond or in some way try to negate Gods laws we are to ignore them and follow God. We “ought to obey God rather than man”. How does this apply to our discussion of the use and illegality of cannabis? The principal here is again clear. In the 17th and 18th century it began to be clear, even to unbelievers, that The Creator had invested within each person “certain inalienable rights”, and that among those rights were the right to Life, Liberty and the pursuit of happiness. These rights are not something that the government can decide to bestow upon the people or, for that matter, remove from them as they are innate to all individuals. That when governments attempt to restrict those rights individuals have a right to ignore the government or, in the case of this country, rise up and overthrow the government. (Revolutionary War)

Basically, this is much the same as what Yahshua stated. We are not to allow men, through any form of authority, restrict us from the right to our own conscience, (the Torah written on our hearts), even if some may misuse the liberty we are given by God. Misuse is no one’s business unless it brings harm to anothers’ property or person.

Romans 13 when studied out in the Greek is talking about giving respect to those in authority not absolute obedience. The best scriptural example of this is in Acts chapter 4 where Kepha (Peter) and Yochanan (John) were taken before the council in Jerusalem and commanded not to preach in the name of Yashua (Jesus). Kepha and Yochanan were respectful in their response. they made it clear that they must obey YHWH rather than the Council. They never say that the council has “no right to tell them what to do”, rather they are respectful and submissive.

Submission does not me absolute surrender of one’s right to hear from YHWH for one’s self. It only means that one acknowledges those in authority to do what they choose even though one may still have to disobey them because of conscience. This has been misunderstood in the Body and many believers have lost or never learned to hear from the Ruach (Spirit) for themselves.

Do not forget that Kepha and Yochanan were later beaten for their disobedience. We find no where in scripture where either man ever spoke against the council for having done so. They allowed that the council had the authority to choose to punish them for their disobedience even though their conscience would not allow them to obey. This is true submission to authority.

So, to conclude. Just because something is illegal does not mean that it is wrong. Certainly the government has a right to make their laws, but as an individual one has a right to disobey if it violates one’s conscience. Of course, one must weigh the consequences of that decision and decide if it is worth the risk. One is not a criminal just because one’s government has made a law against something that one is choosing to do. If you think that incorrect, consider the “criminal” Nobel Prize winner  Liu Xiaobo in China.

One last thing. The idea that the wine that Timothy drank was not fermented can not be proven either scripturally or from contemporaneous writings. Wine is wine not grape juice. New wine, possibly without fermentation, was only available immediately after the harvest, in the early fall. Grape juice, because of it’s high fructose content, will spoil very quickly without modern canning, refrigeration methods or processing it for fermentation. Even so called New Wine had probably undergone some fermentation. Grape juice begins to ferment pretty quickly. I have actually made wine in as little as a month that had a pretty strong alcohol content and had to be watered down.

That being true then, it would make no sense for Shaul (Paul) to recommend a little grape juice for Timothy’s apparent stomach problems. Modern science also helps us to understand why this is likely the case. We now know that many ulcers are caused by bacteria in the stomach. Wine, especially red wine, has anti-bacterial properties that can reduce or eliminate those ulcer causing bacteria and even have some healing properties for ulcers already present. Grape juice has none of those same properties and would, therefore, be of no benefit, and consequentially would not likely have been recommended by Shaul.

Blessings All

‘The Pure Rendition of How You Yourself Are’

Kierkegaard on the Mosque at Ground Zero and Quran book burning

by Jeff Snyder

One of the many reasons I enjoy reading pre-20th Century western literature is because Christianity – or more accurately, the teachings of Christ – still laid sufficient claims on people that it was commonplace to find discussions of questions of conscience in opposition to the passions, needs and dictates of the moment. For example, it is far from unusual to find even the heroines of the works of Jane Austen, occupied as they are with the pressing questions of maintaining a suitable station in life and whom one should marry, nevertheless remarking upon, or mulling, questions of Christian charity and duty.Questions of conscience are largely banished from public discourse on current affairs, which almost exclusively adopt and develop a purely utilitarian, goal-driven, desire-based, everything’s relative, man-is-the-measure-of-all-things perspective. What we ask are questions like, “Are the Iraq and Afghanistan wars making us safer? Are we establishing stable, democratic regimes there that will respect individual rights?” Not, “Is it wrong to murder people to make ourselves safer from possible future attacks, or in order to establish what we believe will be a good political system for the survivors of our beneficence?” It is very clear from public discourse and debate about such things that both the initial choice of action, and our persistence in carrying it out, depend on the answers to our very own goal-driven assessments and utilitarian calculations.

Recently, Rev. Terry Jones caused an international brouhaha by announcement of plans to burn Qurans during services at his Dove (yes, you read that right, the symbol of peace) World Outreach Center on September 11th, the ninth anniversary of the attack on the World Trade Towers and Pentagon. Modern man generally responded in typical fashion. General Petraeus (reflecting the utilitarian, our well-being and pain are paramount standard) asked this not to be done because it would inflame the passions of our enemies and thereby endanger our troops. The Religion News Service attacked the Rev. Jones’ – personality. (It’s too much, you really can’t make this stuff up.) Appeals for tolerance abounded.

While the planned book burning fizzled out, many Americans are still outraged and preoccupied with the proposed plan to build an Islamic cultural center near Ground Zero, and a dedicated segment of the media rides that wave. I realize that many, many people who may be reading this are not Christians, or even despise Christianity. I do not count myself as a Christian, though raised in that faith. Regardless, the Rev. Terry Jones, and many who denounce the building of the Islamic civic center and mosque are people who consider themselves Christians. Fred Reed had a really excellent article the other day endeavoring to explain why some Muslims might be angry with the West. But even if those considerations fail to defuse the anger that the book burners and building denouncers feel towards Muslims or Islam by illustrating that these outraged Christians are like the man who decries the splinter in his brother’s eye and sees not the beam in his own, even if they persist in seeing some or all Muslims as their enemies, well, they are still commanded by the one they call Lord to love and forgive their enemies. So it seems they might want to consider an old-school sermon on this subject, from a time when these things still meant something to some people, before religious news services offered personality assessments, before so much of Christianity, in self-righteous assurance of its own grace and personal relationship with God, turned away from self-examination and the commandment to love one’s neighbor, toward partnering themselves, the great, Moral Majority, with princes and principalities in the calling: “Come, let us make a world that is well pleasing to us.”

Christians, should, theoretically, have a reason, therefore, to think of these things. But even for us non-Christians, I think it worthwhile and instructive to hark back to a time when writers still knew both the demands, and language, of conscience, so different from the passivity of tolerance, so much more demanding than the utilitarian, needs-based, self-serving standards given free rein today.

In time-honored fashion, therefore, I select, for our reading today, a passage that is ever timely, from the conclusion of Søren Kierkegaard’s Works of Love:

It is said, “Forgive, then you will also be forgiven.”1 Someone, however, might manage to misinterpret these words in such a way that he imagined that it was possible to receive forgiveness himself although he did not forgive. Truly this is a misinterpretation. Christianity’s view is: forgiveness is forgiveness; your forgiveness is your forgiveness; your forgiveness of another is your own forgiveness; the forgiveness you give is the forgiveness you receive, not the reverse, that the forgiveness you receive is the forgiveness you give. It is as if Christianity would say: Pray to God humbly and trustingly about your forgiveness, because he is indeed merciful in a way no human being is; but if you want to make a test of how it is with forgiveness, then observe yourself. If honestly before God you wholeheartedly forgive your enemy (but if you do, remember that God sees it), then you may also dare to hope for your forgiveness, because they are one and the same. God forgives you neither more nor less nor otherwise than as you forgive those who have sinned against you. It is only an illusion to imagine that one oneself has forgiveness although one is reluctant to forgive others. No, there is not a more exact agreement between the sky above and its reflection in the sea, which is just as deep as the distance is high, than there is between forgiveness and forgiveness. It is also a delusion to believe in one’s own forgiveness when one refuses to forgive, for how could a person truly believe in forgiveness if his own life is an objection against the existence of forgiveness! But a person deludes himself into thinking that he himself for his part relates himself to God and on the other hand that with regard to another person he relates himself only to the other person rather than that in everything he relates himself to God.

Therefore to accuse another person before God is to accuse oneself, like for like. If someone is actually wronged, humanly speaking, then may he take care lest he be carried away in accusing the guilty one before God. Ah, we are so willing to deceive ourselves, we are so willing to deceive ourselves into thinking that a person for his part should have a private relation to God. But the relation to God is like the relation to the authorities; you cannot speak privately with a public authority about something that is his business – but God’s business is to be God. Suppose a domestic servant, to whom perhaps you are otherwise well disposed, has committed a crime, a theft, for example, and you do not know what to do about the matter. Then above all you do not privately approach the highest public authority, because he does not know of anything private in matters of theft. He will promptly have the guilty party arrested and initiate proceedings. Similarly, if you want to pretend that you are completely outside the matter at hand and now privately want to complain to God about your enemies, God will make short shrift of it and bring charges against you, because before God you yourself are a guilty party – to accuse another is to accuse yourself.2 In your opinion, God should, so to speak, take your side, God and you together should turn against your enemy, against the one who did you wrong. But this is a misunderstanding. God looks impartially at all and is wholly and completely what you want to make him only in part. If you address him in his capacity as judge – yes, it is leniency on his part that he warns you to desist, because he is well aware of the consequences for you, how rigorous it will become for you; but if you refuse to listen, if you address him in his capacity as judge, it does not help that you mean he is supposed to judge someone else, because you yourself have made him into your judge, and he is, like for like, simultaneously your judge – that is, he judges you also. But if you do not engage in accusing someone before God or in making God into a judge, then God is the gracious God.

Let me illustrate this by an incident. There was once a criminal who had stolen some money, including a hundred-rix-dollar bill. He wanted to change this bill and turned to another criminal at the latter’s house. The second criminal took the bill, went into the next room as if to change it, came out again, acted as if nothing had happened, and greeted the waiting visitor as if they were seeing each other the first time – in short, he defrauded him out of the hundred-rix-dollar bill. The first criminal became so furious over this that in his resentment he notified the authorities of the matter, how shamefully he had been defrauded. The second criminal was of course imprisoned and charged with fraud – but alas, the first question the authorities raised in this case was: How did the plaintiff get the money? Thus there were two cases. The first criminal understood quite correctly that he was in the right in the case of the fraud; now he wanted to be the honest man, the good citizen who appeals to the authorities to obtain his rights. Ah, but the authorities do not function privately or take up any isolated matter it pleases someone to lay before them, nor do they always give the case the turn the plaintiff and the informer give it – the authorities look more deeply into the circumstances. So it is also with the relation to God. If you accuse another person before God, two actions are instituted immediately; precisely when you come and inform on the other person, God begins to think about how you are involved.

Like for like; indeed, Christianity is so rigorous that it even asserts a heightened inequality. It is written, “Why do you see the splinter in your brother’s eye but not see the log that is in your own?” A pious man has piously interpreted these words as follows: The log in your own eye is neither more nor less than the seeing and condemning the splinter in your brother’s eye. But the most rigorous like for like would of course be that seeing the splinter in someone else’s eye becomes a splinter in one’s own eye. But Christianity is even more rigorous: this splinter, or seeing it judgingly, is a log. And even if you do not see the log, and even if no human being sees it, God sees it. Therefore a splinter is a log! Is this not a rigorousness that makes a mosquito into an elephant! Ah, but if you bear in mind that from the point of view of Christianity and truth God is always present in everything, that it is solely around him that everything revolves, then you will certainly be able to understand this rigorousness; you will understand that to see the splinter in your brother’s eye in the presence of God (and God is indeed always present) is high treason. If only you could avail yourself, in order to look at the splinter, of a place and a moment in which God is absent. But, in the Christian sense, this is the very thing that you must learn to hold fast, that God is always present; and if he is present, he is also looking at you. At a moment when you really think God is present, it surely would not occur to you to see any splinter in your brother’s eye or occur to you to apply this dreadfully rigorous criterion – you who are guilty yourself. But the point is, even if all better persons, as far as their own lives are concerned, do their best to have the thought of God’s omnipresence present (and nothing more preposterous can be imagined than to think of God’s omnipresence at a distance), they still often forget God’s omnipresence as they relate themselves to other people, forget that God is present in the relationship, and are satisfied with a purely human comparison. Then one has security and quiet to discover the splinter. What then is the guilt? This, that you forget yourself, forget that God is present (and he is indeed always present), or that you forget yourself in his presence. How uncircumspect to judge so rigorously in God’s presence that a splinter comes to be judged – like for like; if you want to be that rigorous, then God can outbid you – it is a log in your own eye. The authorities certainly have already regarded it as a kind of brazenness on the part of that criminal we mentioned to want to play the righteous man who pursues his rights legally and judicially, alas, a criminal who himself must be prosecuted legally and judicially – but God regards it as presumptuousness for a human being to pretend purity and to judge the splinter in his brother’s eye.

How rigorous this Christian like for like is! The Jewish, the worldly, the bustling like for like is: as others do unto you, by all means take care that you also do likewise unto them. But the Christian like for like is: God will do unto you exactly as you do unto others. In the Christian sense, you have nothing at all to do with what others do unto you – it does not concern you; it is a curiosity, an impertinence, a lack of good sense on your part to meddle in things that are absolutely no more your concern than if you were not present. You have to do only with what you do unto others, or how you take what others do unto you. The direction is inward; essentially you have to do only with yourself before God. This world of inwardness, this rendition of what other people call actuality, this is actuality. The Christian like for like belongs to this world of inwardness. It turns itself away and will turn you away from externality (but without taking you out of the world), will turn you upward or inward. In the Christian sense, to love people is to love God, and to love God is to love people – what you do unto people, you do unto God, and therefore what you do unto people God does unto you. If you are indignant with people who do you wrong, you actually are indignant with God, since ultimately it is still God who permits wrong to be done to you. But if you gratefully accept the wrong from God’s hand “as a good and perfect gift,”3 then you are not indignant with people either. If you refuse to forgive, then you actually want something else: you want to make God hard-hearted so that he, too, would not forgive – how then would this hard-hearted God forgive you? If you cannot bear people’s faults against you, how then should God be able to bear your sins against him? No, like for like. God is actually himself this pure like for like, the pure rendition of how you yourself are. If there is anger in you, then God is anger in you; if there is leniency and mercifulness in you, then God is mercifulness in you. It is infinite loving that he will have anything to do with you at all and that no one, no one, so lovingly discovers the slightest love in you as God does. God’s relation to a human being is at every moment to infinitize what is in that human being at every moment.


  1. Matthew 6:14: “For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you.”
  2. See, e.g., Luke 6: 37: “Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven,” and Matthew 7:2: “For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.”
  3. James 1:17.

September 16, 2010

Jeff Snyder [send him mail] is an attorney who works in Manhattan. He is the author of Nation of Cowards – Essays on the Ethics of Gun Control, which examines the American character as revealed by the gun control debate.

Copyright © 2010 by LewRockwell.com. Permission to reprint in whole or in part is gladly granted, provided full credit is given.

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