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Apostasy in the Church — The Book

Collaborated by
A commentary on the Book of Jude

By
Val Lee

Also published by Amazon.com

and Barnesandnoble.com

Copyright © All rights reserved

CONTENTS

Chapters and Headings

Part 1
Introductory Preface/You and the Apostasy
Page 5

The Briefcase
Page 9

Chapter 1/Exhibit 1
Pastors, Counselors and Others Holding to One Mind and Purpose
Page 10

Chapter 2/Exhibit 2
Divorce American Church Style
Page 18

Chapter 3/Exhibit 3
Discipline Eviction
Page 27

Chapter 4/Exhibit 4
Lost Biblical Discipleship
Page 32

Chapter 5/Exhibit 5
Despairing Believers
Page 40

Chapter 6/Exhibit 6
Liberals and their Babylonian-Like Churches
Page 42

Chapter 7/Exhibit 7
The Legalistic Church
Page 49

Chapter 8/Exhibit 8
Sin’s Presence/I Must Fight the Darkness
Page 52

A Point of Evaluation
Page 58

Part 2
The Book of Jude Commentary
Page 60

Chapter 1
God’s Beloved
Page 71

Chapter 2
Creeping In
Page 74

Chapter 3
Knowing All Things
Page 78

Chapter 4
Historical Accounts
Page 81

Chapter 5
Unreality—Changing of the Colors
Page 86

Chapter 6
Angels and Doctrinal Knowledge
Page 87

Chapter 7
Sinister Villains
Page 97

Chapter 8
The Fruitless and the Productive
Page 104

Chapter 9
Fire Protection with Cleaning Precautions
Page 119

In Closing
Page 123

Apostasy in the Church
Part 1

Introductory Preface
You and the Apostasy

I am not aware of what you, the reader, are expecting as you focus your eyes on this very page. I do not know what you already surmise concerning the apostasy. I do not know if you may be one who does not possess an inkling of what the word means or implies. For you who are entering a sphere you have never entered before, you need to first discover that the apostasy refers to the falling away of the church from its original foundation. It is the renunciation of Biblical teachings in various forms and deceivingly veiled ways. It tutors an agenda of defection.

You, no doubt recognize, we all live in strange, abnormal and questioning times. Evil is on an untamed rampage and the church is not escaping from its extended razor-slicing claws. Are the razor-sharp claws of liberalism tempting you to compromise through trendy church agendas? Think about it. Are there more liberal agendas floating through your fellowship than there were in previous years and have these altered any of your former Biblical stands?

You can drown yourself in ignorance if you are in a church that is turning to less and less scriptural inductive teaching. There are so-called Bible instructing churches out there that no longer allow comprehensive scripture teaching in Sunday school. They have curved away from the course, forsaking the learning of their first love. The Bible warns us of the apostasy as it signals the last days of the church age. There will no longer be a hunger and thirst for the Word of God as church attendees will not desire sound teaching. They will not seek after doctrinal accuracy. This will result in attendees locating many teachers who will tell them all they want to hear, feeding their thirst for liberal and sensual desires. They will find gratification through the teaching of license, which enables them to enjoy everything of an agenda following world.

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APOSTASY IN THE CHURCH    Page 6

They will believe they are right in feeding the flesh as they are being obedient to church teachings and therefore obeying God. We read of these true arriving occurrences in 2 Timothy 4:2-3. However, today, they are not futuristic—they have arrived. Wake up … the apostasy is here!

I tell you, it is present! I sat in an adult Sunday school class where a teacher was teaching total heresies by using the scriptures unethically. Basically, he rewrote the Word to fit his lessons. To this day, I do not believe he was saved. He never mentioned Christ reverently as he was trying to disprove His teachings. It was totally amazing that this man, in this Baptist church, was allowed to teach anything. He held no godly qualifications, just the opposite. He had been arrested for drunk driving previously and the leadership knew it. He supported pornography, the occult, and most, if not all, liberal godless agendas. The whole thing was insane, but people held onto every word he spoke and they shared his teachings with others. A few of us let the situation be known to the head pastor, but he obviously did not care that much, as he continued to allow him to teach, just under the guidance of another pastor.

We need to make sure we are always alert to what is taking place in our fellowship from week to week to keep from being sucked into the apostasy. And it is easy to be sucked in unawares!

Awhile back, a woman was telling me she formerly did not approve of female pastors but now she does. This is a completely unbiblical stand but the claws of liberalism are beginning to imbed themselves in her through church teaching that is compromising. The books of Timothy and Titus, as well as other texts, make it clear the pastorate is exclusively for the godly male gender. She went on to say, however, that she did not approve of homosexuality. My husband, Alan, who I told later of the conversation, pondered upon her stance and insightfully reflected, “She formerly didn’t approve of female pastors but changed her mind. How long will it be before she says, well, I didn’t use to approve of homosexuality, but now I do?”

Many believers are accepting what has always been unacceptable in Christendom. Sensual agendas being everywhere present are slowly squeezing into conservative fellowships. These scheming agendas include homosexuality. Statistics were recently printed that state around 40% of evangelicals approve of homosexual marriages. I do trust this is not true as statistics can be tainted, but there are so-called believers who are justifying homosexuality more and more as it has become acceptable in most every realm.

INTRODUCTORY PREFACE                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       7

To point this out more for your pondering, I read an article in a Christian magazine whereby a theologian stated the Bible does not condemn homosexuality. What a lie! Has this man not read Romans 1:20f that traces the descent of a people who yield to it as well as other passages? Christ made it clear that a sexual relationship consists of a married couple, one man and one woman, a heterosexual monogamy life union.

We must remember that liberal believers do not know more than the God of yesteryears. The Bible clearly designates what is not of God and He is not diverting. Believers and churches cannot play games of worldly compliance. Satan is cunningly aware that if he can get Christians to compromise with one area in scripture, he can soon slacken their hold on many stances that are tolerated by a liberal world. When societal acceptability is the determining factor in right and wrong, the church is in deep turbulent seas and many churches have been set adrift in these engulfing waves of change.

I held a Bible study with a friend who was a member of a large Bible believing church that was becoming society accepting for political expediency. I was very concerned about her being in this fellowship, but I did not want to disclose to her those things that were taking place that were contrary to the Word of God as I did not want to discourage her sprouting faith. I presented the situation before the Lord and asked Him to reveal to her the compromise in this assembly.

The Lord almost started answering my prayers immediately and it was if my friend got hit by a 2 X 4 when spiritual discernment arrived. The Lord continually opened her eyes to all the liberalism this church held to. She began to hear all the things that were contrary to scripture that she was deaf to previously. She then started praying for spiritual discernment herself. It was not long before she started seeking a Bible church that held to the Word without contemporary compromise.

Prayer is the key factor in obtaining and building discernment. Paul prayed for the Colossae church to obtain knowledge of God’s will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding. Those who do not seek the discernment of God and His Word can be slowly deceived leading further and further into the greater darkness of designed beguilement.

APOSTASY IN THE CHURCH                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               8

To get to the core of absent discernment and liberal happenings in relationship to you, you must ask yourself, is the Bible becoming less reliable according to your pastors and teachers? Are you viewing the possible rise of a liberal church community that has wavered away from wise discernment? Have you started to question certain passages through reasoning … well … this might not be applicable for today?

I do hope you are a steadfast believer who has not begun to waver in your views. If you are one who is not so sure of the accuracy of scripture due to the people around you not being sure, I would ask you to consider the case I present in this book and place before your eyes of what has come in slowly in the way of unnoticed deception. I believe as your eyes become unveiled by the facts, you will bind the Word of God to your heart as inerrant when facing this ruse.

THE BRIEFCASE

The Briefcase   page   9

I will begin my case through the presentation of the reality of the apostasy being everywhere present today. I will open my briefcase and pull from it facts I have noted and believe should be presented for your verdict.

To weigh my opening argument, you must personally learn to be observant of your fellowship, churches you know of and hear of from others. When it comes to Christian publications and broadcasts, you need to take note of their entire content as false doctrines are slipped into true doctrines so they can rarely be detected. I request you always be attentive with open eyes and ears. If you recognize the spiritual battle for your mind and heart, you will desire the discernment that clearly divulges the infallibility of scripture. Consistently studying the Word equips you for the satanic battle as it is one of our main pieces of armor; it being the sword of the Spirit as disclosed in Ephesians 6:17.

Chapter 1

Exhibit 1:
Pastors, Counselors and Others Holding to

One Mind and Purpose

With all this exposed preceding presented forewarning, I will now remove and present exhibit one. This exhibit is a photo of average pastors. I raise this photo before your mind’s eye, as I believe much of today’s apostasy lies on their shoulders. Pastors can easily manipulate congregations into liberal beliefs if people are scripture-ignorant. They can maneuver attendees to move to their tune through frequently replaying, “We have to make changes to become a contemporary excited growing church.” I have heard such words as “tolerance” and “diversity” creep into a congregation from a pastor that desired a more liberal world view.

A photo of Christian counselors can be placed right along side the one of pastors, being they also move to the same tune. Most Christian counselors seem to be cast from the same mold as today’s pastor. Most clients become patrons of counselors through pastoral recommendation. This is dangerous, as people can believe the counselor is speaking Biblical truths since their pastor recommended them. They may not question anything the counselor advises. Unfortunately, I have come to perceive that most counselors do not care about the Bible’s conservative teachings. They abide in the liberal techniques taught in universities to psycho analyze. They hold little or no concern for scriptural application to resolve issues. I have had my socks shocked off when the women I counsel disclose Christian counselors’ recommendations.

Most Christian counselors do not address sin and do not demand repentance from their clients. They employ empty worldly philosophies, terminologies and methodologies to sound intellectual so patients keep feeding their pocketbook. Counselors do not want to step on toes too much as their patients may never come back. They choose to mainly listen, but when an occasion arises to justify sins, they are often jolly on the spot.

Psychoanalysis explanations easily push away the sins that so easily entangle us, driving us deeper into worldly philosophies of validation.

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EXHIBIT 1   Page  11

Colossians 2:8 instructs us concerning those who will try to captivate us so we turn away from the solidarity of the Word through philosophies, the traditions of men, teachings of the world, etc; rather than according to Christ. We are commanded in this verse not to allow such activity. We are disobeying God when we fall into such traps that are fleshly elevating. Everyone wants to believe they are on the pentacle of every novel motivation. Christ knows our nature whereby He places warnings so we do not walk into such transient traps; so we stay stabilized in the faith and shun any desire that puffs up our ego through commanding intelligence.

I have heard believers come from counseling sessions spouting every new psycho phrase that gives no impression of them being believers who are standing on the Rock that never wavers. I sometimes wonder how much medication has been prescribed to prevent them from having to deal with the sinful heart issues.

I believe counselors and pastors walk hand in hand in their agendas. It is not unusual to see counselors aiding pastors when dealing with people in the congregation. At times, pastors seem to cling to a well-known counselor as opposed to God and His Word. I am dismayed often at what is taking place in respected churches because pastors are afraid to offend. Keeping a liberal counselor at hand can help appease and make everyone happy…supposedly.

Rarely, if never, do pastors and counselors label the sin that invades lives as vile, evil, detestable, depraved, corrupt, wicked, etc. They most never command total repentance nor explain the judgment or discipline of God. It breaks my heart to know how sin is swept under the carpet in the name of appeasement and tolerance. Drugs, lying, cheating, violence, promiscuous sex, etc, seem to cause little or no disturbance in the church of today. Of course, pastors know if they addressed these things, as they should, they would end up with a very small congregation.

Due to this, it is easy for Christian leadership to accept the teaching that society must analyze all from “a new world view.” As a result, one no longer hears, “We must view all things from the ageless ways of immutable scripture.” Now everything has to be examined in relation to it being the hottest and most stimulating approach to living for styling believers as new world participants. If things cannot be viewed through this contemporary light, they are ignored.

Contemporary-ism is one of the most sought after stimulating approaches for churches that fits into the new world order of believe-ism. I was in a church where one of the pastors kept throwing the word “contemporary” in my face.

APOSTASY IN THE CHURCH                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            12

I think he viewed himself on a mission of contemporary conversion, but I never would bite his bate. I believe I just frustrated him. A friend of mine recently left a church because the power to change her and her husband into contemporary believers was just too much for them. They have now located a church that puts no silly demands on people; holding simply to Biblical truths.

One motivating hidden agenda behind all this hoopla is pastors desiring the unsaved to be totally comfortable in a non-threatening environment where they never feel convicted by strong Bible messages. A friend told me some time ago that she heard an ad for a church that stated something to this effect, come to our church and take part in a non-threatening environment. My friend desires to write a letter to the church asking how the Bible can be taught and no one feels threatened? These ads are placed before the public as pastors believe such motivation and compromise brings in big numbers resulting in noteworthiness and larger paychecks. Today’s church has been homogenized into a new faith, not the faith of holding to the Bible alone as churchianity (habits of popular, cultural church-life) has become so prosperous.

We see as we peer within the general body of believers, that fellowships no longer hold a reputation for discipline and integrity. Consequently, you have many people attending who are unsaved. It also opens the doors for the backslidden believers. You can come to obtain many in your congregation who hold few morals and who are not normally found in church, such as fornicators, adulterers, homosexuals, pedophiles, etc. Not to mention those who have no problem with dishonesty, lies, and embezzling. Many implement these deceptive practices in business and personal dealings during the week without a thought. A Christian couple recently told my husband and me of a pastor they had several years ago, who had a homosexual practicing son and he was allowed to play the piano for the church and his personal vile actions were justified.

Everyone can feel religious in an all-acceptable, non-threatening environment where they believe their good work of attending church outweighs all the bad they live-out during the week. Often times, people refer to these churches as “seeker friendly.” They are dubbed this as pastors deliberately structure their churches so they are appealing to the world. These fellowships are a perfect fit for those who are seeking some religious experience but desire no internal change of pattern. There can be some good in this as a few accept salvation and I am grateful for this; but the tragic thing is there is a complete lack of godly close spiritual fellowship and strong Bible teaching. The church is to be going out into the world and saving, which subsequently results in the newly-saved being baptized, attending church and being discipled.

EXHIBIT 1     Page 13

This is the example presented in Acts. The church is to be made-up of God’s called out ones. There is no example presented in scripture where the unsaved become part of the church and then are redeemed. I am not saying a person who is truly seeking salvation cannot come to church, but the majority of attendees should be saved. I would say 99% of those who regularly attend church should be converted, acknowledging the church is to be a place of worship and growth for the redeemed.

An unregenerate person cannot worship God, as they have not been cleansed by the Savior’s blood and therefore are spiritually dead. They have no true concept of what they are participating in. It does not bring joy to Christ’s ears to hear the children of satan praising His name. 1 John 1:7 speaks of believers walking in the Light, as Christ is the Light, and of them fellowshipping with one another, and Christ’s blood cleansing them from all sin. Here is one verse that represents what the church is to be. We can never have true fellowship with one who has not been cleansed by the blood of our Savior.

A true pastor who loves the unsaved and only wants to increase numbers for salvation sake will evangelize by going out into the community, preaching and teaching the Word. If he has a small congregation, it is no big deal as he is obeying the Word and has right motives. Such a godly man will be teaching others to evangelize as well in obedience to scripture. He also will faithfully teach the Bible in a humble manner and not try to entertain a fellowship.

Those pastors who have sold out for numbers will try everything under the sun to get people into the door and a reader board is a must. While driving one day, my eye caught a church’s reader board sign that advertised, “This Sunday is casual day.” What a silly thing—the church imitating businesses and schools just in hopes of attracting the worldly-minded through its doors. It is a Bible-teaching church, but it appears to be willing to compromise all common sense to be like the world.

“The arts” are also a significant trait of the apostate church and used in advertising to usher all through the open doors. Why? Because the advertised arts in every form including lewdness is everywhere emphasized in the world—A Hollywood commanding culture that demands everyone tag along.

APOSTASY IN THE CHURCH   Page 14

I heard a music pastor of a Baptist church spending significant time expressing how the arts must now be part of the church to be in style with the world. Every artistic endeavor must be presented by the members of the church. He continued explaining how his wife was part of the secular worldly arts. He glorified her music talents and emphasized that believers must give to her financially as she and her group were destined for famous applauding magnification as top-billed performers.

This “we are one with the world” teaching marches onward in the church as satan’s scheming empty philosophies are enchanting most everyone. We are not to pursue every passing mode of vanity when we are to be walking in the eternal values of scripture that are of our holy Savior who hates every way that enters the church that is not exampled in His Word.

A true ambassador for Christ only represents God to the community. Ambassadors do not conform to the country they are in; they remain distinctly different as a total representative of their nation. The only way we can be a separated ambassador is not to partake in those things that do not take hold of Christ’s wise character. We cannot be making our churches silly by doing silly things.

Doing things according to the scriptures is of uppermost importance. Having great numbers in your congregation doesn’t always spell Biblical character and actions. We must be discerning, humble believers who live by the Book not judging a church’s nobility by a worldly successful mentality.

A successful mentality that governs a church, I believe, can induce Christ’s judgment. In the beginning of Revelation, Christ brings judgment upon compromising churches, as He does not justify any evil way. A worldly successful mentality always spells compromise to God’s decrees. Though Revelation and other books warn churches to fear God so successful mentalities do not enter, pastors have turned a deaf ear. We see in scripture that many false teachings were attempting to take over congregations to make them user-friendly for all.

EXHIBIT 1    Page 15

Though chastisement fell upon the churches by Christ in Revelation, churches today believe they are immune to it, being under grace, so there is little fear of God. They believe the fear of God is an old-fashioned thing anyway. They believe having a bit of respect for God is all that is required; however, 1 Peter 1:15-17 commands that we are to be holy as God is holy. We are to act holy in all our behavior; conducting ourselves in fear during our stay upon the earth. Philippians 2:12 instructs us to work out our “salvation with fear and trembling.” Churches should be recognized as places that comprise holy people who fear God, not success-seeking people.

Not fearing God has resulted in many pastors leading their congregations down the road marked “Worldly Contemporary-ism” as they deliberately passed the posted exit for “Inductive Truths.”

It seems most people today prefer to be merely led and analyzing leadership’s motives is out of the question when it comes to any church function. Yes, we are to respect and submit to leadership but only as pastors and teachers comply with the Word in all accuracy. If they are adopting methods and ideas that are extra-biblical, we have the right to question. Not gossip but go to our leaders with concerns. This is not sin!! Pastors may try to make you feel like you are in sin but you are not if you are exposing those things that are contrary to holy uprightness and the disclosing act is performed in love and courtesy.

What we behold today is satan’s plan to bring demise to the fundamental church. Men who desire to go into the ministry who hold liberal views often attend conservative seminaries. Upon graduation, they become respected pastors of orthodox churches by campaigning in sheep’s garb. They must disguise themselves as such as they are actually neoorthodox in thought and intention, not believing in the inerrancy of scripture. They believe the Bible holds no standard for truth and absolutes.

Neoorthodox ministers can speak using the terms of conservative fundamentalists, unfortunately, they mean the opposite in their presentations. This type of nonsense deceives many people.

Such shaded men will even quote noted theologians whereby the congregation easily places their trust in them. After a year or so, these expositors slowly begin to quote liberal theologians here and there. They inch in ecumenicalism and the people are slowly deceived like the frog that is gradually heated in a pan of water atop a burner; it never jumps out—not knowing death is descending upon it at a snail’s pace . We must trust in the teachings of God’s holy, sacred, immutable and inerrant Word, solely.

APOSTASY IN THE CHURCH   Page 16

Some of you reading this will say, “Yes, I have noted how some churches bring in false doctrines slowly.” Some of you are fortunate to be in a solid inductive-teaching church and you are not even aware of what is taking place elsewhere. Nevertheless, it is good for all to be educated in what is happening about us in these days of wickedness. Ephesians 5:16 commands us to make the most of our time because the days are evil.

I was in a powerful inductive teaching church and thinking all was well, but out of the blue, I started hearing strange and contradicting doctrines. I just kept praying for understanding of what was taking place and I found the pastors were following new liberal theologians. Alan and I were broken and hurt, as were many others in the congregation who began to hear the strangeness of the new teaching. The pastors after confrontation never repented and lied to cover things, resulting in a festering wound. Many did leave like us but others chose to stay as their friends attended there. I personally do not believe Christians should ever stay in a false-teaching setting. All through scripture, we are warned never to place ourselves under the instruction of those who instruct deceptively.

A friend of ours, who graduated from a conservative seminary, recently went back to his alma mater to sit in on some of the classes. He was shocked to hear so much false doctrine coming from current professors. When he attended, all was Biblically solid. He went to the president of the college to kindly express his disgust. He informed him of the false doctrine that he had heard in these classes; unfortunately, this president revealed little or no concern.

Knowing misleading doctrines are being taught in what were once reputable seminaries is heartbreaking. I have sat in churches hearing contrary teaching pour forth from pastors who attended conservative seminaries in disbelief.

The majority of people who sit under such instruction have no idea they are being deceived. Most do not care when concerned ones begin to expose. Most church attendees love and trust their overseers. People trust their preachers even when they begin to teach falsehoods. As long as teaching gradually and gracefully changes, believers are accepting. It pains my heart to witness this. Scripture takes a backseat with the approval of congregations because they were gradually deluded. They allowed their hearts and minds to be changed to please authoritative men. They feel if they hold to their previous fundamental ways, they are moving contrary to the authority of their church.

EXHIBIT 1    Page 17

In the Old Testament, the false teachers’ instruction had consumed Judah, southern Israel. God revealed how these false religious leaders ran to the occupation of ministry but He did not call them; please contemplate on Jeremiah 23:21.

You may ask, well, what do I do with all this information? I say, always seek after godly believers and leaders, but above all do not trust in man but only in God; Jeremiah 17:5. I repeat this often that it might be set in stone in your heart.

Chapter 2

Exhibit 2:
Divorce American Church Style:

For this exhibit, I will pull out two Kleenexes from my attaché case. The two tissues represent a husband and a wife. I will glue them together and let them dry. .. Now, after waiting, I will try to pull them apart without damaging them. You know, this is impossible and that is why God hates divorce.

Anyone divorcing for any reason causes great damage to many individuals. Any type of infidelity can significantly and brutally harm a marital relationship.

The religious leaders in Christ’s day enjoyed playing games with Him when it came to the subject of marriage, adultery and divorce (It is no wonder that Christ often eluded them). Christ declared to the liberal Pharisees that divorce could only take place when there was adultery, in Matthew chapter 19. Some of Israel’s religious leaders thought they should be able to divorce with the drop of a cooking pan or whenever someone prettier than their wife walked by. Sinful mentalities from age to age just do not change.

The text of John chapter 8 discloses a scene where temple leaders bring an adulterous situation before Christ—a woman caught in the very act of adultery. In this affair situation, we see only the woman was brought before Christ by the saintly temple leaders when the law declared both the man and woman were to be stoned; Deuteronomy 22:22. The religious leaders never state a man and a woman were caught, just the woman; though obviously, they could have brought the man as well.

They declare to Christ that Moses said they were to stone such women, but they were to stone such men too! When our pastor was preaching in John, Alan pointed these truths out to him and me. I had never taken note before of their great protecting bias for the man and I do not think our pastor had either.

It is quite obvious that these religious rulers would have never thought of just bringing the man. They clearly felt he was to be protected and not even confronted. They never even made an excuse for his absence and they knew the Old Testament through study and memorization. They, no doubt, believed this was man’s natural sensual tendency as we recognize from their attitude on divorce and remarriage. Christ may have written down their present and past lovers in the dirt as he addressed their wicked setup.

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EXHIBIT 2    Page 19

Segments of this scenario do occur today with differing twists when Christian leaders desire to put it all on the woman when a Christian man is being disobedient to the Word in the area of sensuality or whatever else. Some might state this, “Well, if the woman held a quiet and gentle spirit, sexual sins and divorce would never enter into the marriage.” Or “If she was always quiet when he looked at others in a sexual way, he would stop.” This is a harmful thing to think or say in light of the fact that the Christian man is the head of the home. He is the one who is to inspire and teach all purity and steadfastness. The husband is responsible to present his wife pure, without any spot or wrinkle; Ephesians 5:27. He is to keep her from being stained by the world in any impure way. Alan says he has far more responsibilities before God than I when it comes to keeping a holy home.

God’s statements placed in Malachi 2:13-17, must also be kept in thought—He does not hear the prayers of the man who treacherously leaves his wife. The Lord clearly discloses that He deals with any sin that involves unfaithfulness and the dissolving of the marriage covenant.

A woman certainly can influence to save a marriage as she exhibits chaste behavior and a quiet and gentle spirit as 1 Peter chapter 3 admonishes. These attributers can transform a man eventually as a wife faithfully practices the teachings of this passage. This involves modest dress and behavior and never flirting with other men. She must also submit to her husband’s authority in all respect as we read elsewhere in scripture. Conversely though, never is she to the placed where she is asked to sin against God.

This passage may be addressing saved husbands who are in disobedience as well as unsaved men. However, it must be noted that 1 Peter chapter 3 doesn’t totally guarantee repentance but it certainly is all-feasible. 1 Corinthians 7:16 states “You do not know if you will save your husband.” Therefore, when it comes to the unsaved, we note there are no complete guarantees for the wife. However, a Christian wife must be a witness of holiness no matter the result as we see from the Word. I will also add for encouragement, that I knew a man who repented on his deathbed whereby he declared it was due to his wife’s witness. Of course, many women don’t have to wait to the last minute to see the results and I read recently from one of our church’s emails of a husband who came to Christ.

APOSTASY IN THE CHURCH    Page 20

You, who are reading this, may be a Christian woman and you are married to an unsaved man who needs to be led to the Lord. You need to stand by your chaste, godly silent behavior. When a woman is married to an unsaved man, she cannot go to the church and ask for church discipline. This is held for only believing husbands and those who claim to be—those attending a church fellowship. You must hold to prayer, faith and endurance. It is a difficult road to travel, but the Lord holds your hand and grants endurance. May His grace be upon you, dear one.

If you are a hurting abused wife, I will tell you if your husband has committed adultery, not to give up praying for his repentance until he remarries. God has brought men to repentance on countless occasions and many marriages have been restored to Christ’s glory! There are many dilemmas when remarriage enters the picture. Repentance is always best! I point to Hosea who had to deal with his prostitute-wife who followed satanism; yet, never did he give up petitioning for her contrition. She eventually returned to Hosea but it was probably following many years of Hosea falling on his knees. His faithful heart and prayers led to her repentance and return. The book, Love Life by Dr. Ed Wheat, uses Hosea as an example of steadfast commitment and provides ways to restore one’s love life. This book does not allow any room for divorce and upholds renewed marriages.

Marriage renewal does not just happen in books, as I was told of a woman who prayed 7 years for her whoremonger-husband who divorced her. After all her years of intercession, he truly repented. Remarriage to him took place as her reward of unceasing petition. Their marriage testimony restored another couple’s marriage and I knew them and appreciated their openness to share which provided hope for others. I also have heard such stories read on Thru the Bible radio programs.

Unfortunately, today, the majority of pastors don’t care to save marriages as they want their divorce care program enlarged. Divorce care or recovery groups basically become a dating service for those who were not happy in their marriage and dumped their mate. Pastors know this when they bring in a divorce program into the church but do not care because it is a number maker.

It seems most pastors, if not all, will put a person in divorce recovery and never question if they obeyed all the scriptures concerning their past marriage. They never inquire of the women if they submitted to their husbands in all things and respected them in all things.

EXHIBIT 2   Page 21

They never ask husbands if they loved their wives as themselves and only had eyes for their wives. They never investigate to determine if they were the spiritual leaders in the home as ordained in the Word. They just set them in a divorce recovery program and will have a new marriage performed when they meet another.

Any leader who studies the Bible knows the curriculum of these divorce programs is not Biblical, but secular, deceptive and wicked.

I have a friend who was told by a pastor to join a divorce care program when her husband, who attended the church, left her. He moved out of their home when she was on a trip. Her husband had decided not to go with her when she went to visit family and friends. She had no idea that he had a plan in his decision, that of dealing with her treacherously. Before her return home, she received a phone call from him telling her he had left. I brought her home from the airport and we walked into her nearly empty home. She was in tremendous shock and pain as she witnessed visibly her husband’s cessation intentions.

Their large Baptist church refused to perform church discipline though it admitted he had no grounds for divorce. They loved on him, invited him to activities and people let him know they approved of his measures. One key woman from the church simply stated to my friend concerning his departure, “I’m sure he had his reasons.”

The pastor and others were holding to, divorce is fine if you have any kind of reason. It is so similar to Christ’s time when people divorced for any sort of cause; yet, He correctively declared, only because of adultery could one divorce. He disclosed people dissolve their marriages because they harden their hearts. My friend knew her husband had hardened his heart against her so he could rob her of everything he could get his hands on through the divorce. He refused to pay half of the house payments though he was demanding half of the income received when it sold and received it. An assistant pastor told her, not long after her husband had departed, that he should not be required to make half the payments because he had his own place now.

When she wrote to the head pastor more than once of her heartache and her husband’s unjust ways, she never received an answer. I asked a key person I knew in that church why the pastor was not replying to her and she said he was too busy with this and that; however, several months went by and it became evident that he did not care and would never do so. The leadership turned to shunning her, which placed more infliction upon her. I believe this all occurred because she stood with marriage till death and church discipline.

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She departed from that church knowing she was not wanted being one who desired to hold to scripture. Her husband called her a “religious fanatic” which people in the church seemed to happily agree with.

My friend freely admitted that she was not perfect in the marriage and that God was changing her through conviction. Her husband viewed himself as totally faultless and deserving of all the gusto he could achieve. He would never admit to me or anyone that he could do wrong.

Eventually he started attending another large Baptist church. He and the head pastor shared a friendship so he decided to switch. She approached this pastor through letters requesting he perform church discipline, hoping he would want to heal the marriage through applying Biblical commands. She believed church discipline would produce repentance.

She got nowhere with her letters and requests asking to speak with this pastor. However, after a persisting period of time, he reluctantly consented. He and a counselor—who has a horrific dishonest reputation including prison time—met with her. They were very hateful and cruel to her. This pastor also refused to perform church discipline and informed her that her husband was completely welcome to attend his church. She asked if he would be welcome if he came with a girlfriend as she was told he had one. The pastor seemed to be little bothered if they attended services. At the conclusion of their time together, the pastor did apologize for his animosity.

Previous to her divorce hearings and trial, she sent out letters inviting pastors; including those who stood with her husband so they could witness his motive of greed for themselves. She stated the time and date, but received no response from the churches and no pastor ever attended.

By God’s grace and mercy, my friend made it through, though she still wrestles with the heartache and all the memories. The church and judicial system failed her by standing with divorce, but Christ has faithfully stood by her side.

I am currently counseling a precious beautiful lady who I will call Cindy. Her husband has left her. He has had problems with pornography since adolescence and constantly lusts after other women to her continual heartbreak. She was a worker in the home and one who had always loved her husband and children—whom she home-schooled.

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Even though Christian leaders knew that Cindy’s husband was lusting after other women, involved in self-fulfillment, and treated her scornfully, they stood with him and persecuted her.

Cindy’s husband and his churched friends skillfully planned his moves before he ever walked out on her. They made sure they did all possible in an attempt to make Cindy commit suicide through their endless scrutinized cruelty and lies. They wanted her out of the way to create an easy road whereby he acquired everything he desired. I have witnessed it myself and have been in tremendous hurtful shock. Yes, there are people in the church who have no problem with murder as long as their hands do not perform it. Such people want Cindy’s holy uncompromising voice silenced.

Yes, in many ways this is similar to the other woman I counseled and spoke of above. Cindy, however, attends a different church, lives in another area; yet, she too has been rejected as if she were the sinning party. She has been cast aside as an undesirable believer who is viewed as being too sound in the Bible.

Cindy has requested church discipline, but has been told by pastors that they cannot judge her husband. One believer took him into his home to live; an ordained pastor took him hunting and involved him in other activities. He was invited to Bible study after all his crimes were exposed to the pastor and leaders. He faithfully continues to attend church, being treated as a welcomed righteous believer.

Cindy feels as if she has been seated in the middle of a church and is being stoned for her Biblical stands. She does not believe in sexual sins and divorce. She has been told pornography and lusting are not a form of adultery even though Christ announced one who lusts has committed adultery in his heart.

During the time, I was exposing and dealing with Cindy’s situation, a wife of an ordained pastor told me pornography is not adultery. Amid this conversation, she pretended to open a porno magazine and run her hand gingerly across it. She sweetly looked me in the eye, explaining, “Valerie, this is not adultery.” I replied by stating Jesus said one has committed adultery in his heart who lusts after another woman. Then she retorted with “Don’t you know Valerie that pastors and congregations are into pornography.” I eventually got up and walked out the door as I was running on overload with disgust.

Scripture commands that men are to view other women as sisters in all purity; 1 Timothy 5:1-2. There is no excuse if men, who call themselves Christians, are not doing this. Of course, women too must also look at men as brothers in all purity. If we fall, we must admit it as sin and seek deliverance. Hating sin is of all importance when it comes to the Holy Spirit moving and transforming our mindset. We cannot accomplish this apart from Christ and forsaking the mentality of this world. Memorizing scripture and praying without ceasing can strengthen us so we remain faithful to one person. We may be tempted in one way or another, but through Christ’s power, we can overcome.

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Many sexual agendas are accepted in today’s church as it parades a facade of religiosity tolerance. You can hear them preached against from the pulpit but accepted by pastors when engaging in general conversations with united friends. It often seems the man in the pulpit and the man of actuality are two different people. Pastors preach the Bible but when they are requested to enact its precepts, they refuse. You can begin to believe you are dealing with a split personality. You may hear pastors spout that they hate all sexual agendas that are contrary to scripture. Contrary, however, those same pastors will treat the immoral members of their congregation in all kindness and acceptance, standing completely behind such people.

Today’s church is acting out in strange extremities in many areas including divorce-acceptance. In general, it sides with “no-fault divorce.” Society did not even begin to accept “no-fault divorce” until 1969 when Governor Ronald Reagan signed it into law in California. This law slowly ate the whole nation as state after state complied. Divorces in the church now outnumber those in unsaved society. The first divorce census occurred in 1887 when there were .05 divorces in every thousand. I have an encyclopedia (copyrighted 1965) that states that adultery is the only grounds for divorce in New York. Historical correctness puts the church to shame. The church has fallen and continues to fall with the world and its acceptance of this decree.

Some pastors may pretend to be shocked at a divorce situation at first, but then will quickly spout the divorce laws of the land as if they represent the Gospel truth. Such occurred with a lady who spoke to her pastor of her husband’s divorce actions. The pastor seemed shocked at the sin at first but then cited the secular court agenda on the matter like a divorce lawyer. What breaks my heart further when it comes to cessation crime is the 50/50 split. Even pastors believe everything should be divided 50/50, as if this is what God declared.

My husband and I were discussing this last night and he said, and I totally agree, that when a person departs from a marriage to do their own thing, they don’t deserve a penny! Christ would never divide money, property, etc, according to a 50/50 deal. He would command “turn from your wicked ways” to the person engaging in this transgression.

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Yes, secular courts demand a 50/50 split and we must submit to the law if the church refuses to take action or one party is an unbeliever; but submitting to the law does not mean we agree with unbiblical requirements! What we see in scripture is, divorce is sin and there is no such thing as “no fault divorce.” We also know from the Word that Christ holds the church accountable for every action it takes and for everything it teaches and promotes.

When it comes to divorce contemplation, you must learn that the Bible teaches that all lawsuits between believers are to be carried out within the church, not in secular courts. 1 Corinthians 6:1-9 makes this clear! The church is the court of believers. Those above reproach and thoroughly knowledgeable of the Bible (wise men), are to be the judges in legal cases between believers. Wise men should be appointed who hate divorce as Christ does and would act accordingly.

When it comes to ladies departing from a bad marriage, I am not afraid to tell a woman if she leaves her husband she must remain single or else be reconciled to him as I Corinthians 7:10-11 exhorts. I always state this to women who desire to leave the marriage. However, it seems I am the only one teaching this. When I relay this to women, they inform me their pastors and counselors have never instructed them in this way. What happened to the inerrant Word that demands our obedience?

John the Baptizer went about letting people know of the divorce/adultery sin of Herod and Herodias. Herodias had divorced Herod’s brother to be his wife. You can well bet if John was a pastor today, he would not let anyone like Herod in his church. He would not use the trendy excuse, “As long as he attends church that is all that matters.” He would perform church discipline, and if Herod didn’t repent of his wrongdoing, he would treat him as an outcast and he would never be allowed in church again.

I Corinthians chapter 7 never encourages the divorced to remarry or to seek a mate; only the young widows are encouraged to remarry so they are not temped. The only people who have a clear path set before them when it comes to remarriage are those whose spouses have breathed their last; verse 39. And these people can only marry believers … there is no dating whoever comes along.

Jesus stated that the one who marries a divorced woman commits adultery, Matthew 5:32; and He just leaves it at that. Now this verse can be a puzzler as Christ states in the first portion that a person commits adultery if they remarry, unless their spouse was sexually unfaithful.

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Now I cannot sit in judgment on those who have remarried following a divorce who were faithful to their spouses and obeyed all the commands for men and women in marriage; but personally, I honestly have never run into this situation. In every situation I have encountered, there has been disobedient sin on both sides. Perhaps that is why the scriptures do not set an open road before us.

As I end this segment, many may feel like they need to throw stones at church windows for all the crimes that occur within. However, we may have missed the boat in assisting church leaders to stay on queue. They need protection from the evil one as they stand on the front lines of the battle zone. Much of this protection must come from an interceding, praying congregation. You and I also need to encourage our pastors to stay in the Word and keep dressed in the armor of God. Walking away from the battle is not scriptural. But standing on the Word is, even if we have to stand alone.

Chapter 3

Exhibit 3:
Discipline Eviction

This is a gigantic problem in the church today as where there is no discipline, wildness reigns and consumes like fire. This is an area that significantly involves pastoral leadership and its ability or lack of to enforce sin-control management.

I will now pull out of my briefcase a photo of an untamed fire that is getting too close to a populated area. When sin is not eliminated, it engulfs a church like destructive flames of a wild fire. To preserve a healthy church, leadership and the congregation must be on guard concerning sin’s acceptance.

The text of Matthew chapter 18 deals with bringing sin before the church when one is unrepentant. Though this is rarely practiced today, it is still commanded. Fellowships that do not fear God and disobey this ordinance of defiance correction do reap the repercussions. One of the consequences of such disobedience is the elimination of spiritual discernment. At least this is the main area that I survey that is most affected. This always leads to chaos and silliness displayed throughout the church. Silly social activities seem to be the false anchor that holds this type of church body together.

There are a few churches that perform discipline, but it is often a sham. That is because pastors believe anyone should be allowed to attend services even if church discipline has been performed without resulting repentance. Pastors and congregations often treat unrepentant sinners like those that did nothing wrong. They just sweep it under the carpet and move on without another word. This would be comparable to the judicial system allowing sentenced criminals to return to society immediately following their trials and court convictions—never sending them to prison. Presently, because of lax laws, many people have to live in fear in certain areas of our nation because few criminal are incarcerated. My cousin, who lives in California, has bars on her windows as the innocent must now be kept behind roded windows and doors for their protection with lawless ones on the loose. Many lawless ones are loose in our churches as well.

27

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Pastors make excuses for not exercising church discipline as if they have changed the mind of God. There are pastors who make themselves a god by replacing the commands of God with their words of compromise; enabling them to become a god unto themselves.

Some discipline pretexts are born out of fear—fear of the press, fear of being sued, fear of people leaving the church, etc. Some pastors will say I cannot perform church discipline on people who attend my church who are not members. However, membership is not Biblical. It was ordained solely by men. Not performing church discipline on a person for this reason would be akin to our government refusing to arrest and try a murderer because he is not a citizen of our nation. Protection of the innocent should be the name of the game. Both in the church and in society, it is necessary to bring correction to make everyone fearful of sinning.

Some good advice was handed to a friend of mine who was told you should never join a church where church discipline is not exercised. I, however, know of an influential Baptist church that claims it performs Biblical church discipline when it actually never has. The pastor simply states everyone always repents so they never have to bring sin before the church. This is a lie as I knew people in this church who never repented.

You need to be assured that the church you attend has performed it. Over a half a century ago, you could possibly find churches where no discipline was needed, but not now. Sin is bursting out the seams in most churches especially in the area of lies. Revelation 21:8 should place fear of hell’s fire in everyone’s heart.

Pastors and believers who speak lies should feel guilty, but such guilt is rarely observed in today’s church. God hates all lies; which is why He church disciplined Ananias and Sapphira through murder; Acts 5:1-11. They were deceptive concerning the sell of their property. God snuffed out their lives to make an immense point in the new church age. I believe He was conveying, I do not want sin in the doors of My church. Do you get My point?

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Since God personally dealt with Ananias and Sapphira, you might ask, “Does this mean, we do not need to deal in repentance? We can just expect God to zap them in one way or another?”

Well, the Bible teaches we are to assist in bringing fellow believers to repentance. God certainly does have His hand in it as He makes sure we all reap what we sow. In other words, He makes sure we pay the consequences of our actions.

We are also to pray for wayward ones. We are to desire their repentance and James says it is a good thing to turn a brother from the error of his way. If they become teachable, we are to admonish repentance so they can be restored back into church fellowship.

Another passage on this subject can be found in 2 Thessalonians 3:6. This verse admonishes us to keep away from brothers who lead an unruly life, not according to the tradition or teaching of the apostles. Moving down to verse 14, we see this further emphasized as those who don’t respond to this letter to the Thessalonians are not to be associated with so they are “put to shame.” This reveals believers do not accept such behavior. This action of discipline exposes change must take place before fellowship is restored. Fellowship is the reward for repentance—fellowship with Christ and fellow believers.

Grace is revealed in verse 15 as we are not to regard the person who is not obeying the letter as an enemy, but he is to be admonished as a brother. One main aspect of disobedience addressed here in Thessalonians is a brother who is unwilling to work, as he is undisciplined.

You may rightly inquire, “How we are not to associate with him, yet we are to admonish him?” I believe this teaches we keep requesting him to repent periodically so he can be restored to fellowship. He is not to be in the church engaging in fellowship; but believers can pray for him and request his repentance.

Having church discipline present in your church is like having insurance. If you are wronged, you know you have people who will deal with it. If you sin, you are held accountable.

Last week a friend came over for a time of fellowship and prayer. We discussed church discipline as one of her pastors was dismissed for scriptural disobedience. We also chatted concerning various portions of the Word. We conversed on how one should be treated who has not repented after their sin has been brought before the church. She told me this former pastor is still treated kindly and respectfully or so it seems. In Matthew 18:17, we are taught if a person declines to repent, they are to be treated like a “Gentile or tax collector.” These are two negative terms, not positive. Unfortunately, some will say Christ loved the Gentiles and tax collectors so this means we are to love them as usual and not shun them.

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Yes, Christ did love these two groups of people and associated with them to draw them to repentance, but this is not the implication here. We must also note that a tax collector was not one who was respected as he generally stole from the people. He was one who took advantage. He dishonestly pocketed some of the revenue. That is why when Zaccheus repented he promised to give back four times as much, if he defrauded anyone. Zaccheus made this statement because he knew his occupation was not reputable. This action spoke to the people of this man’s inward change through Christ’s altering power. This transformation had produced an honest heart which now held a personal relationship with a holy God.

“Gentile” and “tax collector” are set in inimical tense. It cannot be overlooked or taught falsely. If Christ meant we are to love them as if nothing happened or all was well, then He would have commanded that we love the unrepentant sinner as He loved the disciples. In the New Testament, the word “Gentile” refers to those who are unsaved. The unrepentant sinner is not to be treated like a fellow believer who is walking in fellowship with Christ. Christian leaders are to humbly ask for the repentance of the disobedient one, on an occasional basis. A wayward believer needs to turn from their wicked ways so they can once again glorify Christ.

2 Corinthians 7:9-11 speaks of proper church discipline from the proper pastorate heart with proper results. Pastors confronting sinful believers, must seek a true repentance; not a false sorrowful regret as seen in the world of fame and fortune. This is usually a temporary outward show of remorse; revealed when one is caught in the act. What God desires is a “godly sorrow” as verse 11 states “For behold what earnestness this very thing, this godly sorrow, has produced in you; what vindication of yourselves, what indignation, what fear, what longing, what zeal, what avenging of wrong! In everything you demonstrated yourselves to be innocent in the matter.”

A true repentant person will be greatly sorrowful for their sin and a lasting change will result. A church congregation will witness the change from a hardness of heart … to humility and lowliness of heart. The person will be broken just like a properly disciplined child that weeps before their parents following correction.

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The people addressed in these verses had upheld sin and rejoiced in it, but now had become sorrowful for their pride, arrogance and lack of hatred for sin.

The way to avenge sin, as we read in these verses, is for pastors to remove it from the church. It is to be hated and despised to the point of extraction. Pastors and congregational members are to hate the vileness of all defiance.

I received a threatening email from a man who recently started his own church fellowship. One of the first items on his agenda is to end my conservative voice. This directly involves my stands opposed to sexual impurity and divorce. What is uncanny, is his church is supposedly conservative and Bible-believing.

Because I will not turn and accept what is immoral, he plans to perform church discipline on me even though I have not attended his church and will never attend.

My my, our churches need prayer!

Chapter 4

Exhibit 4:
Lost Biblical Discipleship

This is an important aspect of apostasy for if people are not taught the ways of God, the church falters. Withheld knowledge = uneducated believers.

Yes, I know, you are waiting for me to hold up something to represent absent discipleship. But … I just can’t find anything in my briefcase for application. Now wait … let me see … think fast! Okay, I believe I’ve got it. I will empty out my briefcase to show you its emptiness. This is the essence of lost discipleship—emptiness. Believers feel empty and hopeless in their faith, being they are not taught the value of knowing the Word of God that brings all the answers to life’s woes.

Every age group in a church should have godly examples set before them. The believers who disciple others, whether old or young, need to own a reputation of godliness. Unfortunately, most people think anyone should be able to teach. Leaders assume believers get to know their Bible through teaching, but it is to be the other way around. You know your Bible then you disciple. If people are not Bible-knowledgeable, they can teach just about any heresy and I have witnessed it to my heartbreak. That is why pastors need to ground saints strongly in scripture before ever allowing them to instruct. Teachers have a sticker judgment; therefore they need to thoroughly have a grasp on God’s Word; James 3:1.

First Aspect
Of Lost Biblical Discipleship—
The Children:

To converse with you concerning teaching children, which greatly touches my heart, Christ left the perfect example of the importance of loving and caring for children. However, most pastors do not take His example seriously as adults and teens are always on their front burner of concern. Usually those who teach children are never even questioned concerning their knowledge of the Word.

The complaints I hear concerning children and the lack of them being taught scripture continuously increases. I was in a church several years ago and a woman in my husband’s Sunday school class was speaking of leaving the church as her little daughter was not being taught the Word which left her with grievous concerns. I told her to speak to the Sunday school administration as I didn’t desire she leave without first voicing her concerns to leadership. Unfortunately, she got nowhere and she and her husband did leave for greener productive pastures where the yearning heart in children to learn God’s Word was seriously upheld.

What is further saddening and hard to comprehend is children’s Sunday school seems to cater toward the curriculum methods of the public school system with much play time. Churches believe the newest is the best and if the schools are implementing great, new teaching methods then the church needs to pick up on it. These methods will use silly looking cartoon characters that mock the seriousness of Christianity; but leaders think it gains the children’s attention. It makes Christianity a joke, but since everyone loves Spiderman, Superman, and Looney Tunes, similar characters must be drawn and implemented into churches.

I have noticed that what accompanies silly caricature teaching is the turning away from solid Bible teaching. Presenting just one verse in a short airy lesson is most common in curriculum; whereby, play time consumes 80% of the class period.

I have found myself shocked when I teach churched children and find they don’t even possess the slightest knowledge of Bible stories including Daniel in the lions den, Elijah and the prophets of Baal, the miracles of Christ, etc. I am just blown away! When I was a churched child, eons ago, children knew the basic powerful stories of scripture. Learning the Bible was what Sunday school was all about … discipling children was taken seriously.

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Many years ago, when my two sons were young children, they enjoyed inductive Old Testament teaching. They would spout scripture facts like a Bible college student. I am thankful their teacher did not use any wishy-washy children’s curriculum in Sunday school. Every child deserves such gifted teaching of the Word.

I have a friend who relishes teaching children and she was appalled when she was asked to partake in new curriculum that made sure the children did not learn the Bible, only conservative ideas. She was mostly to supervise their playing which children participate in all week long. She changed the curriculum so the children learned the Bible, giving them very little play time.

Some years ago, an irate woman complained about a children’s Sunday school teacher at a Baptist church. She was very disgruntled as this teacher did not support Harry Potter. This teacher had advised the children to stay away from it as it was satanic, even though it allowed them to obtain many extra points in their public schools. The Sunday school superintendent stood 100% with Harry Potter and therefore stood with the yammer. Not long following, this teacher was dismissed.

In the Harry Potter book series, Harry and others are attending a school of witchcraft and sorcery. Satanic sorcery is found throughout the books. The Bible condemns demonism but few Christians care today. In Acts 19:19, new converts burnt their satanic magic books to reveal their conversion to Christianity. When was the last time you heard of believers getting together to burn their Harry Potter books or any publication related to occultist teachings? Today many believers would like to burn any Christian who would think such a thought.

Parents should be cautious and alert to their children’s teachers and what they believe and adhere to. Harry Potter is shocking and what also is appalling is there are teachers who proclaim evolution and lead children’s Sunday school classes. I was in a Baptist church where a SS overseer was greatly disturbed with the fact that people could teach who did not hold to the creation story. Of course, what should we expect when many denominations celebrate Darwin’s birthday … What is going on here?

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I am grateful there are churches that are concerned for children and desire the best for them when it comes to discipleship.

I would suggest for those fellowships that may be small or lack true godly teachers, to have one class for all. Children can learn well under a gifted instructor who is teaching adults. I have witnessed it. Children grow miraculously in this setting. There are men who can inductively teach adults, and in synchronization, teach children. They know how to perk up children’s ears while teaching great truths to adults.

Children are our most precious asset; let us care enough to get them discipled in a most equipping way. It needs to be every church’s goal to obtain teachers who are solid in the faith and in the Word. Children are the future church leaders—they must not to be overlooked and their intelligence belittled!

Second Aspect of Lost
Biblical Discipleship—
The Teens

Much of the children’s scenario can be associated with the teen and adult groups. If the mindset of the church is to entertain children, it generally runs throughout the whole assembly.

Activities occur with teens as with children, but instead of playing energetic bouncy games, they will attend the latest movies, visit coffee shops; have sleepovers, swim-overs, and scavenger hunts … just simply engaging in fun activities in the name of community association. A couple weeks ago I saw a church marquee directed to teens and it was all about fun.

The other night Alan noticed a Bible-teaching fellowship’s reader board that announced cheerleading competition; Bible learning was not mentioned or anything related to Christianity for that matter.

A Christian lady told me her daughter was part of a youth group that rarely taught scripture, but movies were big—real big. She was aghast to the hilt. The world was the name of the game, not separation and discipleship.

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This is such a common complaint with parents as you may know; but most youth pastors go with the flow for numbers sake—what else is new.

Serious Bible studies decrease numbers in youth departments—fun and rock music increases them significantly.

Therefore, we must inquire as to what kind of future church leaders are being brought up in such an environment? I think I know and I will tell you, those who accept everything as cool and trendy. These future church leaders will never scrutinize anything that comes into the church as their movie idols and rock idols would never judge.

Indulging in sin to the fullest is where the action is and it is fine in the church. Why? Hollywood is the standard. Tolerance and whatever else is promoted by the entertaining world is the mindset that is slowly eating away at our churched youth. And few youth pastors care to halt its fleshly driven influences as one mind with one world is the youthism encompassed by teens.

I do hope somewhere there are people who are inductively discipling teens in the Word and turning them away from the world. I trust somewhere there are godly, separated, holy teens who cling to scripture and are strong in the battle against sin. May they rise up in the future to be transformers and rescue our churches.

Third Aspect of Lost
Biblical Discipleship—
The Adults

I once made a suggestion to name a new church—Equipping the Saints Bible Church, but it did not go over too well and seemed to leave the pastors a bit bewildered. Unfortunately, most churches are not equipping believers. Ephesians 4:11-32 deals with equipping saints for a holy life and witness, which should be applied in all seriousness. Mature believers are to implement their spiritual gifts to teach others to exercise theirs so the body functions powerfully flow through true Biblical discipleship.

Another aspect of adult discipleship should involve the equipping of believers to stand strong in the spiritual battle. We are in a war against satan and the armor stated in Ephesians chapter 6 is to be put on for our protection and for the furtherment of God’s kingdom. Discipleship into holy living and Christian service is a great defense against our enemy that is why the whole Word of God must be taught seriously (I can’t stress this enough!) not in a halfhearted manner which is the prevalent way.

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Discipleship education should be carried out by godly, knowledgeable men who do not have to reply on curriculum; just their own personal data of the Bible. The precept of a living example of Biblical knowledge to induce application is powerfully needed in our churches for acquired godliness and outreach. Elders are to possess a comprehensive understanding of the Word so they can teach and equip without having to be ashamed. They are to be the thriving examples of application.

A woman told me last week of a pastor she sat under in an evening class and he was unable to answer the simplest Bible questions. He just had to keep saying, “I don’t know.” Apparently, the seminary he attended did not stress knowing the Word thoroughly. I am a bit familiar with this Baptist movement where scripture learning is belittled. This pastor’s lack of knowledge, however, represents many pastors who just don’t care to learn their Bibles, but every pastor is to know the Word as it is a main Biblical requirement for preachers set by God; 1 Timothy 3:2, 2 Timothy 2:15 and Titus 1:9.

As I move you to the heartfelt area of lost Biblical adult discipleship, you must be aware that there are many cold and callous teachers in Christendom just as there were in Judaism. We see in the Gospels that sincere believers wanted to be discipled; that is why they flocked to John and then to Christ. It is no different today; but many teachers are unwilling to act out of love and patience within the discipleship realm. Many want to teach their doctrines, infiltrating them into the church through cloning disciples into falseness. These apostate teachers take advantage and distort the scriptures so they have people following them not the true Biblical Christ.

I will tell you of an incident that involved a pastor’s wife who wanted to disciple a young believer into her own likeness not that of Christ. Her ill motives were often revealed through her actions as her plot did not unfold as she desired. Her disciple, who was a round peg, was unable to fit into her hole as a square peg. Her temper would flare as her anger escalated into a great tempest because her acquired disciple was not developing into her modeled example. The anger of this pastor’s wife caused her malfunctioning facsimile to become very distressed, confused and feeling totally unworthy though she was trying very hard to clone herself. But the pastor’s wife always sent confusing and contradictory messages.

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What hit a strange note was the departing act, when the pastor’s wife would give her disciple a hug and say, “I love you” at the end of each session. It was as if she felt by tagging on this unmeant verbiage, it removed all the unbiblical disdain she had just drowned her confused follower in. It eventually became clear that she never held any love or compassion for her pupil at all. She just wanted someone to adore her and hang onto her every word of bewildering rhetoric.

It must also come to be of no surprise, that she was found to be one who held many beliefs contrary to the Bible that came to revelation as lives were destroyed and torn apart as a result of her attempts at dictatorship. Hateful manipulation can cause despair to arise in hearts as there are those in churches who lead falsely. Everyone does need to be cautious concerning whom they allow to disciple them individually or in a group setting.

Christ at various times instructed us to recognize apostate believers. He taught and warned of bogus believers who would come into the church through the agency of satan to disciple people away from the Savior.

These bogus apostates will befriend true believers to disciple them. They pretend to be true followers of Christ just as Judas portrayed himself, leaving the disciples completely unawares as he ministered beside them. I believe one of the reasons Judas was allowed to be a disciple was to teach us to be very aware of whom we place ourselves under when it comes to being led.

False disciplers should be approached, if at all possible. This includes Sunday school class teachers and small group leaders. If you Biblically confront them and they refuse to repent, you need to request that the pastor perform church discipline. If he refuses, you must turn them over to Christ who judges in righteousness and disciplines. You should warn others as well in order to keep God’s teaching in the hands of those who are faithful to the Word. In addition, you must be careful not to cross over the line to gossip when exposing falseness in the church. Christ never spread slander, He just revealed what was scriptural and what was unscriptural. Christ exposed the religious leaders who appeared to be impressive so people would see the inner motor, driving them to lead the people.

He did not do it in secret or in whispering tones or to just certain ones to cause an underground uprising. He did reveal His heart to His disciples, things He did not express to others, but out of genuine concern and as a warning. He did not desire to make-fun of, nor reveal vindictive hatred toward the false religious disciplers; but He did strongly correct error so truth would be obeyed. He did use forceful words such as white washed sepultures or tombs to get His point across concerning false disciplers motives and actions. At times, we must wisely choose strong words to get our point across concerning false teachers who are leading people away into heresy. However, we must make sure there is no vengeful hatred in our hearts just that which hates sin and seeks its extermination. Vengeance is reserved for the Lord alone to perform.

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You must always be awake and alert so you look beyond the externals to the heart and motive of pastors, teachers, and anyone who disciples. You must be discerning and questioning. Do they truly aspire to build you and others in the Word and in the faith? Is it all about Christ and not about them? Do they desire to decrease so Christ increases as the uppermost discipler.

You must remember when you place yourself under others that God is never a God of confusion; 1 Corinthians 14:33. If you are forever confused by a person’s teaching, you had better be praying and conferring with the Word.

Adult discipleship can be very comprehensive. The main thing is it must be done right—Biblically. Those who sit under disciplers must be learning the Word and growing in Christ. An educated Bible church is a light to the world. A church that is not engaged in discipleship, just barely pumps a pulse as it is not nourished properly. Believers need the true milk and food of the Word to be vibrant discerning lights for Christ.

Chapter 5

Exhibit 5
Despairing Believers

Now we will move to our fifth exhibit for argument. I will pull out of my briefcase a picture of concerned believers, appearing painfully distressed. Again, you will just have to imagine this through your mind’s eye. This photo represents believers who are alarmed and who question the methods that compose contemporary churches and contemporary pastors—not the majority of Christians but a snippet.

If you look at the background area of my photo, it appears that some of the believers are running away. These are those who are leaving trendy churches but are having a difficult time finding the Biblically-traditional. Often times when they do locate such a fellowship, the leaders decide a change toward contemporary-ism believing they are out of step with everyone else. The pastors who desire to stay conservative are conveniently removed or kindly asked to step aside. This leaves many congregational members in deep despair who do not want the new fashionable ways.

These people can hold a pain in their hearts just as many faithful believers of old as we see in scripture. They can sometimes feel they are alone except for a few others who care about the apostate, societal conforming church.

The apostle Paul’s heart was often hurting due to the fact that the churches were compromising. He spoke of his concern for all the churches in 2 Corinthians 11:28-29. In Philippians 3:20-21, he speaks his heart’s distress about everyone being simply concerned for their own interests. His desire was for all to be holding the interests of Jesus Christ, which would produce a kindred spirit for the true cause. At this time, he was in prison. During his incarceration, he felt totally alone at times as he mentions how all had abandoned him in 2 Timothy 4:10-18. This did not stop him from wanting to proclaim the Gospel to the Gentiles. Despite total abandonment, his heart throb was to see people redeemed.

David felt very alone as we read in the Psalms and 1 Samuel. There seemed to be few outside of himself who truly loved the LORD alone. He was a man running for his life, as he would not turn from the vocation God had called him. He was not afraid to stand alone for the LORD though he certainly had to bear his heart to Him and rely on Him to remain steadfast.

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Elijah, in 1 Kings, felt he was fighting alone for the LORD and was all discouraged; but the LORD informed him that He had 7,000 left in Israel that had not gone the way of contemporary religious society—they had not bowed the knee to the false god, Baal, who everyone was following as to be styling; 1 Kings 19:18.

If you are a despairing believer like me, do not turn aside and join the gang. If you believe you are alone in your stances, keep on keeping on. … Stay steadfast in the hope of our eternal reward. It will be worth all the pain and sadness of feeling alone in the battle for the inerrant Word of God.

Chapter 6

Exhibit 6:
Liberals and their Babylonian-Like Churches

We leave the “Despairing Believers” to explore another view … that of “Liberals and their Babylonian-Like Churches.” You will find far more material in this category as opposed to the despairing believers who simply want a Bible following church.

Are you now ready for the unveiling of this sixth exhibit? Well, here it goes. Here stands a photo of liberal church participants. Yes, … once again, you simply have to guess their appearance. Please keep in mind as you view this exhibit that sin is rampant in most fellowships and conservatism is a joke to many so you may not see much Spirit-filled joy on their faces. Such joy only arises from living in the Spirit.

Now, I must inject here, that churched liberals can reveal significant joy; unfortunately, it is a societal happiness that is embodied from loving the world that entertains the flesh that ignites a great high.

If you could research their hearts, you would recognize they have little desire to conform to scripture, as that is not what feeds their hungry flesh. The hottest movies or concerts are their cup of tea of discussion in their adult Sunday school class. You may often hear it asked, “Did you see this or that movie?” The desired forte for Sunday School night outs, is planned pleasure. A “Video Night” brings in far more people than prayer meetings. Moreover, the videos are rarely required to be chaste and edifying. Numbers is the object for all togetherness, and the more compromise—the better. Have you noticed that? It was a sad day when vile videos such as The Titanic entered church activities. This flick from ’97 is totally depraved. It contains words that curse our loving Lord. And it is only natural that the swearing is accompanied by fornication and nudity. This movie was not filmed by God-fearing saints; it was produced by the vile of the vilest. Hollywood is not known to promote and uplift Christ and His accompanying holy and chaste attributes.

This scenario is typical and disheartening to the few who want to be fed the Word of God.

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I am even shocked by some videos produced by Christians in this day and age. I know these releases make our holy Lord weep when not every woman is covered in modesty and when they do not hold to pure, separated, edifying chaste language.

Many movies since Titanic, also holding fornication agendas, even far worse … are being accepted by believers as being good entertainment. Christians even justify actors who are homosexual; they only notice their Oscar winning merits and charismatic appeal.

The Hollywood-loving media of the jet-set tells believers what they want to hear and the Bible does not. Chastity is a foreign word to most Christians. Virginity till marriage and being faithful to one till death is like an outer space exploration of impossibility. The media’s influence has resulted in many believers having no problem being a bit promiscuous as long they know the person well, and have marriage in mind somewhere in the future. A churched lady recently stated something to the effect that she won’t have sex with her boyfriend till his divorce is final, being she has Christian morals.

Revelation speaks of the new coming unsurpassable, nonpareil Babylon that is full of immorality (not innocent modest purity and chaste behavior and dress). This culture will be styling like America in that it will be the thriving industrial and commercial port of the world. Anything of men’s desire will be purchased here—all state-of-the-art commercial delights such as fun recreational sporting toys, designer sexy clothing, décor items, food, ticketed entertainment, etc. It will proffer every delight in prosperity materialism and it will be the religious ecumenical center of the world. It will be a society that glorifies itself as queen of the world; Revelation 18:7.

America is envied as the queen of the world today. Its Hollywood/rock culture and accompanying styles are worshipped and imitated throughout the globe.

All the nations will drink of the passion of the renovated Babylon of old, resurrected and arrayed in 7th Avenue make-up of en route society. Nations drink today of the wine of styling, sensual and alluring America.

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Like America, New Babylon will sit as the prominent cutting-edge civilization as unveiled in Revelation chapters 13, 14, 17-18.

However, it will be completely beyond the imagination and sweeping far beyond America’s proficiencies and refinement. In the book of Daniel, Babylon was described as the head of gold—unsurpassed by former kingdoms and coming kingdoms. God dubs this new and upcoming civilization Babylon as it will be a contemporary clone of old Babylon in religion and in culture. New Babylon will even have a man-sculptured statue that will be worshipped by the whole world. Sound familiar to King Nebuchadnezzar’s Babylonian monstrous idol which is described in Daniel? This new idol will surpass King Nebuchadnezzar’s as it will eventually miraculously speak. This will lead the world into further adoration of this man-like idol; Revelation chapter 13.

New Babylon will hold to a fun in the sun type mentality so much like the fun in the sun jesus mentality of believers today—the jesus of America—the Babylon of today’s world.

This new jesus that complies with the New Babylonian styling outlook we see arriving in eschatological times, is not just a god of fun but is also a Hollywood rock and rolling jesus. The false cross of rock fun is being propagated in most Churches. The changeless Rock of Ages, who had to suffer and die for a rock and rolling mentality, has been remodeled to be in vogue with New Babylon.

However, it is the holy removed Savior that enables us to die to the flesh that is only fun-seeking. It is He who empowers us to resist satan who adds glitter to all evil; never unveiling the complete ugly consequences of self-indulgence of a self-fulfilling society.

There are many false christs who are followed in this rock and rolling age of fun-seekers. Multitudes in evangelical circles are being brought to a Hollywood jesus not the separated, sacrificial, and humble Jesus Christ of the whole Bible.

The Babylonian contemporary church is the church of satan and believers should be doing all to transform it back into its original Biblical mandate of historically correct callings and away from a rock and rolling mentality. We don’t need to be Babylonians to reach Babylonians for Christ. It is a lie straight from hell that teaches we must be like the world to reach the world. It is an antichrist lie that will continue to be present in the time of New Babylon and that is why God calls His children to come out from amongst the Babylonian mind maneuvers; Revelation 18:4.

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James 4:8-9 tells us to turn from worldliness, which presents entertaining joy and laughter. We, of the true church, are to repent of our entanglement with society so our joy turns to mourning and gloom.

Turning from worldly joy draws us to the true separated Jesus who warned that we will be persecuted as He was persecuted. Standing on Him and His holy righteous ways of godly living is our injunction even though this true Christ is not in vogue and His demands are scary.

God revealed the coming activates of Revelation 18:4-5 to warn us of Babylonian perceptions that can capture us today. It is a command to us not to partake of any styling, rock and rolling entertaining society and their ecumenical religious views of tolerance. God commands separation from society throughout His holy Word. Light has nothing to do with darkness and the love of the Father cannot be in those who love culture and society; James 4:4. We are to be strangers and aliens on this earth. Our eyes are to be on Christ our Savior alone who bore our sins in His body; lest we forget and are blinded to the alluring captivating ways that entangle us and separate us from His holy ways of living. We have nothing in common with this world that is passing away.

Knowing our Bibles as we should is a discerning shield, preventing mind penetrating, cultural allurements … we recognize right away all their neon signs of deception. Unfortunately, Believers want to imitate culture so they appear to be in fashion using the latest styling vocabulary and knowing all the entertainers and their latest releases. This mentality is present in most every assembly, which has everyone pre-tuned to the new coming Babylonian precedence. Christ cautioned, the apostasy must come prior to end time happenings; 2 Thessalonians 2:3.

Satan desires to be exalted above God and all mankind. He places his Hollywood rock mentality into man so man too wants to be on center stage of adoration and envy.

Christ was meek and lowly of heart and teaches us to follow the opposite of satan’s role model. We are never to desire self-adoration, praise, or stage worship; but to present every humble aim at Christ’s feet.

God will eventually destroy the new Babylon—the self-feeding, state-of-the-art, lustful, community that rules the world. Her unsurpassed fortunes and productions will cause kings, merchants and everyone to lament over her death when God brings her destruction, as He did the first Babylon; Revelation 18:9-19.

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The Babylonian agendas are still alive and well today, however, as sensuality is not even considered shock-able material in the church any longer. I find this truth hitting home more and more as apostasy happenings grow stronger and stronger in the church.

Not long ago, a discerning, godly lady, who doesn’t enjoy today’s shocking church agendas, told me in great disgust of a couple who are living together and it is fully accepted by a pastor she knows. They were introduced to her by him with great enthusiasm. Their fornicating, live-in situation was spoken of as being the best way to go by the pastor, as a signed piece of paper means nothing. All three, the pastor and the couple, were not ashamed in any way. My friend spoke out in complete shock of it being an act of sin. The pastor responded in an abusive tone, asking for chapter and verse. She simply could not believe her ears as this pastor knew full well the chapters and verses!

I knew a man who was very faithful to his Baptist church, but confided on the side that he had no problem engaging in sexual play as a divorced man. He received cancer not long after making this shocking statement and death overtook him quickly.

No one would ever dare to imply that he received God’s judgment as that is not modish in today’s Babylonian churches. No one thinks about the instruction of Christ stated to the lame man in John 5:14 whom He healed—“Do not sin anymore, so that nothing worse happens to you.” Pastors also do not homilize on 1 Corinthians 11:28-32, which warns believers of the suffering and death that will ensue if they take communion unworthily. Most leaders would never tell a congregation that this may be the case regarding some attendees who are in pain. Too many tithing members would walk out the door. Of course, not all who suffer are in sin, as Paul was not, but held a medical complication to keep him meek.

This leads us to what has become popular in church and it is not stepping on people’s toes. What is popular is taught and all pastors and leaders seem to be well versed in the no-noes. Pastors and teachers will use illustrations from the latest sport releases and Hollywood flicks to engage their audience. A few jokes are always a must during sermon messages in this day and age so laughter fills the place. No preacher wants to be viewed as drab or humdrum, plus preachers are hired to make liberal attendees feel right at home. One world renowned pastor plays movie clips to keep his audience alert and pacified. Few Bibles are seen in his church.

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Today it is worldly referrals that revive congregations to life not the convicting powerful moving of the Holy Spirit as in days gone by. Providing a “save environment” for all who enter a church door is now number one on the hit parade of church attendee goals.

This all seems grim and it is. It is heartbreaking to see how the church has fallen in recent decades to Babylonian degrees. What is further saddening is liberal thinking believers can be placed in respected positions within the church community. And I know this all too well. … When I was attending a Bible college in Portland Oregon, I met a man and fell in love. We eventually became engaged and began to plan the wedding. I set up an appointment for a premarital exam with a respected physician who occasionally spoke at our Bible College, believing him to be godly. He was the most respected Christian doctor in the Portland area and viewed as a prominent Christian leader. Upon being seated in an examining room, he probed me with questions. He inquired about my virginity, which caused his demeanor to abruptly change. He was shocked and angered to discover I was a virgin. He inquired, “Haven’t you even tried sex” and I replied, “No.” This made him even madder and very appalled with my purity. I left his office in complete shock and bewilderment as he acted as if he had never seen a legitimate virgin before even though he dealt mainly with believers and many Bible college students.

I thought, if this man is a believer, why is he not thankful for my Biblical behavior? Why would my virginity incite him to be so angry and hostile? Previously, I had a secular doctor become strangely angry due to my virginity, but never a Christian. I didn’t expected it.

I still lack the answers over all these years, but it is obvious that the liberal world fed his true forte of hidden thoughts. I never viewed this doctor in the same respectful light again. How could a physician who is uplifted as a Christian leader hate virgins?

Everyone must beware, as there are many like this physician who had something malfunctioning within his heart. You can find similar reckless mindsets throughout the Christian community and holding leadership roles.

Oh … by the way … the man I met at Bible college and married is my precious Alan—just for those who want to know. We have been married for over 30 years, and boy am I glad I went to this college. Ladies, you can find the godliest men at a Bible school; but you also can find the most depraved—so be careful.

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The apostasy is grave and not absent from any arena in Christianity or so it seems. Just read about the personal lives of many on-stage entertaining believers in Christian publications. You can be made sick in a very short amount of time. Nevertheless, don’t throw in the towel. Pray for the Lord to bring uncompromising people into your life who will continually excite your vigor for Christ. If you are in a lukewarm church, intercede for the Lord to lead you to a fellowship that is faithful to the Word in all ways and has no aspirations to man-please.

Remember in humility that all of us can be to blame in one way or another in not always speaking out against sin as we should. All of us are capable of taking part in this apostasy of liberalness. Doing what is right in our own eyes seems wise according to society, but it always leads to the destruction of the soul. We must keep warnings before our eyes, as we are called to continually examine ourselves. May you and I do this in all seriousness and bathe daily in prayer to maintain alert steadfastness.

Chapter 7

Exhibit 7:
The Legalistic Church

The unveiling of exhibit 7 encompasses a scenario of the legalistic church. How should I place a memory in your mind of such a church? Well, let me see. Now what do you know … I just happen to have a small replica of a church in my briefcase and a little chain. I will place the church on the desk and wrap the chain about it.

There are chained churches in the sense that people are held within by a jail-like bondage. In these churches, pastors teach the Bible according to their mindset just to promote their agendas to establish their church. They can turn, twist and remold the Word to bring members into their control and bondage. Brainwashing so legalism is imbedded into believers’ brains enables pastors to maintain their doctrinal control. It keeps believers on bended knees before them not Christ. Attendees live in fear as they might unknowingly offend one in authority someday as they have witnessed such occurrences. Such an offence could place them in the doghouse where they are distrusted and hated to eternity.

There are many overseers today who are involved in rewriting and remolding the Word. They make their churches similar to jails; telling the people their church is the only true church in the city or possibly in the state. Most every Sunday they will remind the people that their denomination is the best and the only true one. They will name other churches in the area and state something to this effect about them—you should never go there or you will be in sin because they do not stand with what our church teaches or our scriptural interpretation.

To maintain harsh doctrinal controls, legalistic pastors will say people who study and are educated in the Word are trouble makers and gossips. Pastors will even incite their loyal followers to look down on those who intensely study, as they are a threat and may stimulate an attitude of grace.

Such preachers do not teach comprehensively. They simply mold sermons by placing scriptures here and there to establish their own principles which are never to be questioned. Because they leave congregations ignorant of most scripture, these congregational members believe all that descends from the pulpit; even though they are being placed under laws that are not scriptural by any means.

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If one does engage in personal comprehensive Bible learning and a pastor catches on, they can be in troubled waters whereby they might become too fearful to study beyond church dictates. A pastor can catch on to such a one as they usually start proclaiming the Word in its purity and they are excited about it. I know … I have been there. When the Word comes to life in you, it flows from your innermost being.

Alan and I were members of a legalistic church, but one day the light switched on. Suddenly, I began to be excited about the Word. I brought scriptures to women in enthusiasm as I knew it was all true and alive.

Being so entrenched in this church, it took the Spirit’s enlightening power to open our eyes so Alan and I could see beyond leadership’s strangling hold. I am so thankful we serve a gracious God who can remove our blindness when we don’t even know we are blind. Needless to say, things did not set well with the overseers who belittled the Bible. Alan and I left the church after realizing that we could not depart from the truths of scripture to follow men’s words.

There are many overseers today who are involved in rewriting and remolding the Word. They make their churches similar to jails; telling the people their church is the only true church in the city or possibly in the state. Most every Sunday they will remind the people that their denomination is the best and the only true one. They will name other churches in the area and state something to this effect about them—you should never go there or you will be in sin because they do not stand with what our church teaches or our scriptural interpretation.

The Sadducees and Pharisees added to scripture, which put many burdens on the people, which they could not bear. They were unbiblical demands that were not of the law but solely of man. You will notice in the Gospels how Christ attacks the religious leaders for making people hold to their traditions, the traditions of men. Just because a pastor states something does not mean people have to adhere to it; only if it is verified in scripture. There are people who believe they must jump if their pastor says jump or they are in sin. They believe if they expose any false doctrine, they will be headed for hell’s damnation. However, the Bible makes it clear throughout that it is our duty to test everything taught. We are to resemble the Bereans who diligently searched the scriptures for verification of all that Paul and Silas presented concerning the Christ; Acts 17:10-11.

There was a lack of scriptural humble teachers in Christ’s day. He revealed that the scribes and Pharisees had seated themselves in the “chair of Moses” or taken authority they should have never assumed. They taught the Old Testament but did not live by it nor did they desire to. They told others to, but they did not. When it came to obeying the religious leaders, Christ commanded the people to do and observe as they teach Moses, but do not do according to their deeds; for they say things and do not do them. They tie up heavy burdens and lay them on men’s shoulders, but they themselves are unwilling to move them with so much as a finger; Matthew 23:2-4.

EXHIBIT 7    Page 51

Though the Jewish religious teachers lacked every bit of compassion, Christ did not let the Jews off the hook completely in the area of obedience. They were still responsible to obey the Word even though they had proud, pompous, sinful religious leaders. Even though Christ knew these pious persuaders would eventually murder Him as they were murderers from the beginning; He still desired the people submit to them as they taught the Law of Moses and the rest of Old Testament scripture. The Bible untainted is the authority no matter who teaches it.

In conclusion to this legalistic presentation, you truly need to be on guard for those who preach and teach for self-elevation and manipulative control as the religious teachers did in Christ’s day. Being in the Word and learning it thoroughly is the protective vanguard that can prevent you from moving to a fellowship filled with spiteful dogmatism, where no loving grace dwells.

Chapter 8

Exhibit 8:
Sin’s Presence/ I Must Fight the Darkness

Yes, you are right; it is hard to show an illustration that covers the whole aspect of sin so I request you imagine that I am holding before you a painted representation of a black heart. That is the color of our lives when we allow sin in. Christ is the one who washes our hearts clean through His blood; resulting in a clean, white metamorphosis.

In 2 Peter chapter 2, we are warned that people will try to bring sensuality into the church, but these people are not to be part of the church. They must be excluded from the body. They are ones who have eyes full of adultery as they follow sensuality as we read in verses 2-14. These people come into the church spouting false words, not true Biblical doctrine, because they indulge the flesh, holding to corrupt desires. They hold no fear of God and His judgment. They are like animals that need to be captured and killed because they glory in deception and have a goal to deceive the church into accepting liberal sensual agendas. The warning here is emphasized throughout scripture so we stay close to those who are faithful to the Word alone. Now tell me, when was the last time you heard a sermon on this topic so you could be advised?

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An incident was relayed to me of an occurrence in our area of a man who was faithful to Christ and His Word. Some people in the church did not like this man who was so strong when it came to teaching the Word and who refused to adhere to a tolerance mentality. He was booted out of his church underhandedly. Some people were left stunned by their leadership’s performance of being intolerant of a man who wanted the Word proclaimed. However, they possessed no power to override the decision.

I love my church and my pastors, but as I pen this book, at this very minute, I am hurting as I am in a state of church correction. I am very conservative but I never thought it would lead to discipline.

Our church has beautiful orchestra music. It also teaches the Bible solidly and I love Sunday school and church. I was told when we first came to the church that it held to conservative stands when it came to music. I mistakenly felt this would be the type of music I would always hear.

However, this Sunday following church, I received a rude awakening. I was to be a teacher for Vacation Bible School and was going through this week’s agenda with the staff. I was very surprised to find there was to be an electric guitarist leading the music. Not only was I surprised by the electric guitarist, but the music was blasphemous as we sang to Christ as if He were a mere detective who wanted us locating clues. I could not sing the words to the music as it completely belittled Christ—our holy righteous omnipotent LORD. I was very hurt with much of what I witnessed when the whole program came to life.

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Because I cannot worship God to the world’s rock beat and silly words, I phoned the VBS leader explaining I would attend the beginning exercises after the music portion ended. She seemed to understand a bit, but later on, one of the pastors phoned and let me know he did not want me teaching and being a part of VBS if I could not stand behind the electric guitar. I had to stand with everything completely.

Later the VBS leader, to my surprise, also let me know in a rude way that she too was opposed to my conservative voice.

Everything today is so odd to me because fifty years ago most pastors would not have even thought of bringing a guitar into the church let alone an electric one. Church music consisted of choirs accompanied by piano and organ. The congregations basically sang hymns. I am old and I remember!

When I was speaking to our beloved pastor, I mentioned how I would sit in the car at a former church and sing hymns and come in during the preaching time as I just cannot sing to the Lord with a rock band. It breaks my heart. He informed me I was wrong and stated if I can’t completely go along with all that is part of a church, then I cannot attend. Everyone has to agree on everything that takes place in a church according to him. This is something that deeply saddened me and I have cried, but at the same time, I am grateful that my Lord holds all my tears in His bottle; Psalm 56:8.

It is hard to bear these words of reproach by my pastor as most churches today do not have choirs and organs but rock drums, electric guitars, etc. This leaves me without a church. I also can never go along with the contemporary mindset of the majority of churches. This also would leave me without a fellowship because I follow the Bible and its teachings on coming out and being separate from culture. I cannot stand with the contemporary methodologies, terminologies, psychology, liberal curriculum, etc, that has now overtaken fellowships. I cannot stand with the liberal theologians that many pastors adore now. I cannot be part of anything that takes away from the fullness of the measure of Christ; anything that belittles or humanizes Him. I can’t be part of that which in any way does not attend to scripture 100%.

I wrote a letter to our pastors yesterday and here is a portion. In it I informed them where I stood so they know whether to have me participate in anything or not in the future.

EXHIBIT 8    Page 55

“… I will also never applaud anything of any worldly mindset that is not 100% Biblical and separated from this world and its methods and activities.

I am so thankful that God brought The Life and Dairy of David Brainerd into my life who, as a missionary to Indians, hated this world and all that was of it and only desired to walk in meekness and humility. It is absolutely the best book I believe available on the example of what the Christian walk should resemble on this vile earth. He was one who sincerely hated his life and was willing to die for His Savior in an instant. I quote page 85 from this book ‘… God was so precious to my soul that the world with all its enjoyments was infinitely vile. I had no more value for the favor of men than for pebbles.’ Page 91 …’my desires seem especially to be carried out after the weanedness from the world, perfect deadness to it, and to be even crucified to all its allurements. My soul longs to feel itself more of a pilgrim and stranger here below; that nothing may divert me from pressing through the lonely desert, till I arrive at my Father’s house.’ Page 120… ‘was again distressed as soon as I walked hearing much talk about the world and the things of it. … Oh, I thought what hell it would be to live with such men to eternity.’ ”

I know many pastors would stand with my pastor in his litigation as they would think I deserve it because I stand on the Word and not what is trendy and lax—that which overlooks the sinful ways of the world. Pastors and others have informed me they do not desire I stand opposed to those things that are present in churches that are unbiblical. They do not desire I stand in opposition to those things that slap Christ in the face and all He died for. He died for all sins and when we stand for anything of a secular nature, we slap Him in the face as He commands us to come out from amongst them and be separate. The love of the Father is not in those who love society’s culture and its productions; cultural friendliness is banned in the scriptures. Those who stand with it are enemies of God; James 4:4.

What do I do now in light of this discipline for refusing to conform to the world’s outlook? I just keep writing and trusting God, praying this book will be published in His timing. I know Christ will heal me from this pain as He has consistently mended my soul. He has a reason for everything and we know from James chapter 1, that we learn endurance from all our hardships.

This has not been the first time I have been stifled by a pastor. I would like to state some of the silly things pastors have told me to keep me under their thumb of obedience to prevent me from exposing false doctrines and evil desires.

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“You will cause a church split if you let anyone know you believe in predestination.” Yes, it is silly, but it was an attempt to keep me from revealing those precious scriptures in the Bible that teach predestination. This occurred many years ago in a legalistic Baptist church when I was part of a ladies Bible study group. Of course, I believe all who call upon the Lord can be saved, but predestination is also taught throughout the New Testament. This is one of those mysteries no man can entirely explain. This church taught their doctrines were superior to scripture. I was also told I could not teach scriptures that did not comply with the church’s creeds.

I was commanded not to send emails exposing the false teaching of The New Perspective on Paul by a pastor of a Bible church. This false doctrine humanizes Christ and belittles the authority of the New Testament. It teaches Jesus and Paul sought their own egocentric agendas. These New Perspective concepts take no strong stands against homosexuality, promiscuous sex, etc. The doctrines please anyone who just desires a taste of religion as it is referred as the theology “for everyone.” It encompasses doctrines that please every palate. The pastors of this church wanted to control me so I wouldn’t disclose the lies of these teachings. I, of course, am to be in subjection to my husband and leaders of my church; however, when men who call themselves pastors become heretics, it is not inappropriate to expose their doctrines through Biblical precision. These pastors were consistently requested to repent by men in the church who interceded in the distressing situation of lies and deception. Alan also did what he could in relationship to this plight that suddenly took our church by storm.

I was told by a pastor that a teenage girl would be destroyed if she was informed she was dressing very immodestly. I have, no doubts whatsoever that she has made many men stumble. This gal wore very revealing attire and looked like a hooker and others were not afraid to say so behind her back. She spoke before a missionary banquet in the shortest of skirts and in a tight knit top. She also had not problem dressing in very low tops, revealing pants, etc. How can a Christian lady not know when she is dressing differently from modest society especially if she has been raised in a conservative Christian missionary home?

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My husband and I were told by a Baptist pastor that we could never tell what was accruing in a sister church where my husband had been a youth/assistant pastor (In this fellowship everyone was departing due to the head pastor’s very known dishonesty). This Baptist pastor stated it was a sin to tell the truth about a wayward pastor. Basically, he stated it was impossible for a pastor to do wrong within this Baptist denomination.

All these reproaches have brought great pain, but Christ always brings His steadfast love, which renews by the grace of His Holy Spirit. What further blesses my heart in all this is Christ’s words where He stated all things hidden will be made known; Matthew 10:26.

In today’s apostate church, I just have to expect to be hated by many for standing on God’s Word alone … for if I call any disobedience to God and his Word a vile wicked sin, believers look at me like I came from Mars. This is because no one wants to label sin as God does. Making light of it makes it easier to swallow and accept.

I must admit here that I am not perfect and Alan and I would be swift to tell you we have done things that appall us today as they went along with the flow of church leadership and bad example not checking every way with scripture. There have been times when we should have listened better to the aged who warned of the influence of changing Christianity. This is what I must remember so I walk in grace with fellow believers and pray continually for discernment for the church, which is composed of redeemed fallen men who are simply made of dust. Moreover, God is mindful of this; Psalm 103:14.

In Acts 13:10, Paul addressed a magician as one full of deceit, a fraud, a son of the devil and the enemy of all righteousness. These are perfect terminologies for the unsaved and those in chosen sin. Paul was not afraid to lay it on the line with the unsaved or those in desired disobedience.

The text of 2 Corinthians chapter 6 speaks to us in admonishment so we do not engage in the deeds that represent the ways of darkness. It speaks of us being separated from evil as we are to shun all lawlessness. We are only to surround ourselves with that which is righteous. This is because we have nothing in common with unbelievers as is stated in this ever-neglected passage. There is no calling for us to be imitators of darkness so we can win the lost. Sin is black darkness and we must set no room for tolerance. As believers, we must make sure the white light of Christ is ever visible even in these days of hovering sinister clouds that anchor themselves over churches.

A Point of Evaluation:

You may be forming opinions in your mind at this point after analyzing, pondering and wondering if your church or others are apostate from my preface arguments. You may be thinking that I just contributed more to the confusion and you are not willing to make a firm verdict.

As I present my closing argument, the Jude commentary, may you accumulate solid answers. May its scriptural truths evoke revival transformation in the heart of every person that reads and studies it. The church in general needs revival to bring it back to the place of respecting God’s decrees. The agenda of getting it to fit into today’s society so it sits unnoticed must be eliminated.

All we observe today was predicted by Christ in the Gospels and enhanced upon by the other New Testament books, including Jude, to convey to you discernment and warning.

If many questions marks still loom in your mind after reading through the entire book, I would advise you to keep delving into the scriptures and praying for God’s discernment and enlightenment. He is the one who holds all the answers to every troubling way and day.

Before you probe Jude, I would like to write a bit about salvation—being saved unto Christ and delivered from the lake of fire. John 3:16 is a promise of salvation to those who ask Christ to be their Savior. He came and died for lost sinners like you and like me on a cross of suffering and shame. You can ask the Savior to save you and give you a new life so you are no longer under the bondage of sin.

You can be saved today if you have not already made the decision to follow Christ. You can simply say, Heavenly Father I thank you for sending your son Christ Jesus to die for me, and I now ask that He cleanse me of my sin by His precious shed blood. Please take control of all my life. Thank you that Jesus died for me out of His great love for me. In Jesus’ name; amen.

If you pray this sincerely, you can know you are going to heaven when you die. You do not have to pray this exact prayer, as you can pray from your heart in your own words by acknowledging who Christ is and what He did for you. 1 John 5:11-13 assures us that we have eternal life if we have the Son. The person who does not have Christ controlling their lives owns no assurance that they are going to heaven when they die. Those who do not have Christ will be thrown into the lake of fire as their names are not written in the Lamb’s book of life; Revelation 20:10-15.

Part 2

The Book of Jude Commentary

Historical Prelude

Jude, who penned this book for our Lord, was the half-brother of Christ. James, who authored the book of James, held eldership over the large church at Jerusalem and was a brother to Jude. These siblings were the sons of Mary and Joseph. Remember Joseph kept Mary a virgin until the supernatural birth of Christ. God blessed Mary and Joseph with other children following Christ’s birth. If you turn to Matthew 13:55-56, you will note that Christ’s half-siblings are mentioned. Christ lived with four half-brothers and an unknown amount of half-sisters.

Though God performed many miracles in the nativity account that surrounded Jesus’ earthly family, we also recognize that Christ loves all and He stated those who do His will are the true members of His family; Matthew 12:49-50. Due to this truth, I believe neither James nor Jude identified themselves as being brothers to Christ. I also perceive it is owned to the fact that Christ now reigns in all glory, majesty and splendor apart from His earthly inherited tent; 2 Corinthians 5:16.

Growing up with the perfect Christ was a noble privilege though James, Jude and the rest of Christ’s family did not fully recognize this till they obtained saving faith. Christ spent the majority of His life with his family, thirty years; while approximately three years were dedicated to His ministry. Christ, out of His own grace and love, was placed with within this God-fearing family via His faultless timing.

Mary, His mother, was all-exceptional; one with a pure and obedient heart.

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She illuminated humility and grace. She was feminine, holding a quiet and gentle spirit which is precious in the sight of God. She was no women’s libber! No doubt, her desires encompassed soon being married, being a homemaker, loving her husband and children, if God so blessed her; Titus 2:4-5.

If you turn to Luke 1:30, you will read how Mary “found favor with God.” This exclusive message was delivered by God through the angel Gabriel.

She, no doubt, knew of Gabriel through scripture, being one who comprehended the Old Testament and its teachings of the predicted Messiah. It was the angel Gabriel who revealed the promised Messiah in Daniel 9:21f.

Mary was told of something miraculous that had never occurred and will never occur again. She, a pure virgin, who walked in chaste behavior was going to bear a Son by the power of the Most High. He would be a “holy Child” and “called the Son of God;” Luke 1:35. What an astonishing thing to contemplate on!

God knew this was a hard pill to swallow for this unmarried woman; therefore, He lovingly brought comfort through Gabriel by informing Mary of her relative, Elizabeth; verse 36. She knew her relative was old and past childbearing age; yet, she too was to miraculously give birth. Mary was not alone in this time of miraculous works. Gabriel reminds Mary that “nothing is impossible with God,” verse 37, concerning Elizabeth’s astonishing conception. Mary is totally assured of God’s power to perform mighty works of allowing a woman to bear past her time. She recognizes that such a tremendous miracle did not cease with Sarah, Abraham’s wife, as disclosed in the book of Genesis. A similar statement of assurance was presented to Abraham and Sarah in Genesis 18:14, where God asked, “Is anything two difficult for the LORD?” The God of yesteryears is the God of today. We must not walk in smallness of faith. This is the message presented to Mary, the mother of God and the mother of Jude. Faith is the glorious victory in overcoming all doubt.

God ministered to Mary with just the right prescription. He knows how to heal any scriptural doubting we may hold. He can move beyond what we ask or think.

God opened the way of comfort for Mary through Elizabeth so she would not feel alone in this unusual situation that could prove to be most embarrassing. God is all-able to bring people into our lives that can assist us through the deep roaring seas of tribulation where we need faith and endurance to face today and tomorrow. But we also know as believers that no person can minister to us like the Lord as 1 Peter 5:7 discloses. He oversees every one of His children as a guiding Father who is omnipotently superior to any earthly father … that is why we cast all our cares upon Him.

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There may be times when God will separate us from others so we can learn total dependence upon Him. I have been here and I know how important this lonely, painful lesson is. No matter what our circumstances, we can always personally feel His presence as we seek Him through prayer and the scriptures that hold all the answers.

Verse 38 is most remarkable, as it reveals Mary’s total heart of submission … so unlike Elizabeth’s husband. Though Zacharias was godly, he lacked the submission and faith that were found in Mary. Mary replies, “May it be done according to your word.” This is what we all should say when it comes to applying God’s Word! We are to be those who love all the inerrant scripture—longing to apply it without question. What lessons can be learned from this one statement made by Mary.

Mary most likely held great excitement in her heart knowing she was the fulfillment of prophecy. She was the virgin spoken of in Isaiah 7:14 “Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, a virgin will be with child and bear a son, and she will call His name Immanuel.” Mary was the woman who every young maiden desired to be, the one to bring God in man form into the world. This is incomprehensibly miraculous for us to totally grasp.

Mary’s quick response in faith to Gabriel’s words concerning Elizabeth displayed she held no doubts concerning what God could do. She arose to travel to Judah, in a hurry; verse 39.

The details involving Gabriel’s next task is found in Matthew 1:16-25. This involves Joseph’s part in the holy advent of Christ’s birth. In Matthew 1:16 Joseph is called Mary’s husband. This is before Gabriel came to Joseph with the miraculous news. This is because they were married in decision, but had not joined together in being united under one roof through consummation. The engagement period in Israel represented a marital vow that was not to be broken unless adultery occurred. We see from John chapter 2 that the Jews engaged in wedding celebrations which Mary and Joseph had not partaken.

(Many will say Jesus was mocked for being illegitimate by the religious leaders as seen in John 8:41. I don’t believe this; I believe the Pharisees were just trying to justify themselves before Christ by saying they did not come from an act of fornication. They did not live where Jesus lived nor desired to go to this mocked land of Nazareth. They seemed to assume he was born in Nazareth as they called him a Nazarene.

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The religious leaders did not appear to know of His birth which occurred around 30 years previous in Bethlehem or of the miracles that surrounded it which proved Him to be God-man. Never do we see this discussed among them.

If Jesus was known as being of fornication, why was the family completely welcomed into the Jerusalem temple after Jesus’ birth? Why weren’t Mary and Joseph ridiculed and put out?

Jesus, as an infant, was transported to Egypt by his parents as Herod wanted Jesus dead; and, of course, so did satan. God’s directives came by way of two dreams to direct the paths of this young family. Both dreams were angelic warnings. The first warned them of Herod’s murderous plan to eliminate Jesus; whereby, they were instructed to flee to Egypt, and stay until the Lord told them to return. The second angelic warning proceeded Herod’s death, when Joseph was directed to return to Israel, but not the Judea area, as Herod’s vile son reigned in his stead. The religious leaders never kept tabs on this unknown baby though phenomenal happenings surrounded His life.

When the people from Christ’s hometown speak of Him, Matthew 13:55-56, they ask, is not this “the Carpenter’s son” and “his mother called Mary?” They did not state, this is Jesus, the son of Mary, and we do not know who his father is.)

Only God knows the timetable on all the nativity events perfectly. No time, in hours, is provided, concerning Mary leaving for Judah and the time needed in preparation. It is possible that she married Joseph before her departure. The Holy Spirit was to overshadow her, and it seems she would not depart until she knew for sure that she was pregnant through this miraculous way. God wanted Mary to enter into the marriage covenant so she would not suffer disgrace, as an unmarried pregnant woman. The LORD graciously sent Gabriel to Joseph as He totally cared for the ordained plight of this godly daughter of Israel. Joseph, somewhere in this story, obeyed God and took Mary for his wife.

Mary left her home to go and be with one of kindred spirit as Elizabeth was family, united with God and phenomenally pregnant. Mary knew Elizabeth had an open heart and home and she could go there any time and be received in love.

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God spoke the way through Gabriel or she would not have known of God’s other little baby miracle in fetal development. Isn’t it interesting that God chose to have John born of a woman, whom Mary loved and respected … an actual relative.

I sincerely believe that Mary’s family stayed with Elizabeth when they came to Jerusalem for the various feasts of holy days. They probably thought it an honor to stay with a priest who served in the temple. Mary seemed to know Elizabeth well as there seemed to be no question concerning her going to her home unannounced.

Elizabeth was six months with child at this time. John was six months older than his cousin Christ Jesus. Why did it happen like this? Perhaps so Elizabeth could encourage and minister to Mary. At least, this is what I believe. She was a godly older woman who could comfort this young pregnant gal, she being pregnant too through an act of God.

Mary is reassured she is loved when she is welcomed by Elizabeth and John. This is wondrous fulfilled prophecy we see in verse 41. Remember, Gabriel informed Zacharias that John would be filled with the Holy Spirit while in Elizabeth’s womb. John leaped in the womb when Mary arrived. What a small bundle of large comfort for Mary. This certainly reveals the ways of God that are beyond full comprehension.

I wonder if Mary and Elizabeth studied the Old Testament passages together concerning the Messiah since they were both aware what Mary was caring the fulfilled prophecy—the Messiah. Elizabeth was impregnated with the Messiah’s forerunner.

Mary knew the scriptures well and she may have already held all the passages in her heart concerning the Christmas promise. She was a knowledgeable woman who rested in God’s Holy Scriptures. In Hebrew Messiah means “anointed one.” Christ translated means “anointed one.” Jesus means “savior.” Christ Jesus equates “Anointed Savior.” God, is the only holy anointed one, never being subject to sin. Many have been anointed to perform God’s will in scripture such as prophets, priests and kings, but they were not holy anointed God. Our “Anointed Savior” is the only one who can cleanse us from our sin by His precious blood.

Obviously, God has revealed much to Elizabeth, as she knows Mary is carrying her Lord God; verse 43. She also knows Mary responded with belief when the angel came to her, verse 45, as she exclaims, “Blessed is she who believes what was spoken to her by the Lord.” What is humorous about all this is her godly, priestly husband did not and she knows it! She is excited to have one in her midst who did not question the messenger from God Almighty. Now … do not get me wrong as I have no doubt that Elizabeth was a godly, submissive wife who did fully respect and love the man God gave her. Their marital relationship certainly was preordained of God just as Sarah and Abraham’s.

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Verse 46 begins the “Magnificat,” Mary’s exaltation of God in canticle form. She rejoices in the Lord, her Savior, as His humble bond slave. We learn from this verse that Mary walked in the absence of pride and arrogance. She was filled with godly humble attributes. I am sure she instilled such elements in Jude, James and her other children; though such attributes cannot be fully apprehended until salvation, which was experienced later by these sons and daughters.

Mary also was given insight to know that every generation will count her blessed and is not that what Christmas is much about. The knowledge of her privilege of birthing God Himself is going forth into every new generation, being highlighted every nativity season.

She continues in offering her praise for the attributes of God—His omnipotence (being all powerful), His omniscience (being all knowing) and His omnipresence (being everywhere present). This involves Him performing great and mighty acts as overseer of all. She mentions His holiness and mercy that stretch from generation to generation. She includes His ability to scatter the proud and to bring rulers down. She stresses His ways of exalting the humble ones and bringing food to the hungry, while sending the rich away empty handed. She concludes with the fact He is well able to assist Israel and stay faithful to her descendants.

What does this tell us of Mary? Well, … that she was an intelligent educated young lady. She knew the Word of God. She sought to memorize it as she quotes Old Testament passages, many from the Psalms. People say women from this era were untaught and stupid. Mary reveals just the opposite. She obviously grew up in a home where God was revered by her mother and father. She was instructed in the Word of God thoroughly. This should not surprise us as we witness the wisdom of Elizabeth who was her relative. Elizabeth was clearly intelligent and educated too. This type of fervent caliber was probably evidenced throughout Mary’s family. Mary was reared to be a godly wise woman. Many women in the Old and New Testament were wise and intelligent; some held mighty power.

Mary stayed with Elizabeth three months. This means she probably stayed for the birth of John as Elizabeth was six months pregnant when Mary traveled to see her. She had to come a distance, approximately 100 miles. There were no cars and paved thoroughfares then, so more time must be added to John’s womb incubation. Elizabeth may have been close to 6 ½ months pregnant when Mary arrived.

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It would make sense that Mary stayed a short time following the birth to assist. Since Elizabeth’s relatives rejoiced with her at the birth of John, verse 58, it is possible that Mary’s mom traveled down to celebrate too and then took her daughter back to Nazareth. However, it must be noted, nothing is stated concerning Mary’s mother and father being participants during this maternal time. Only God knows if they were still alive. We do know Mary had one or more siblings as her sister Mary (holding the same name) was at the tree of crucifixion when Christ was crucified; John 19:25. She was the wife of Clopas or Cleopas and Jesus appeared to his uncle, Cleopas and possibly his aunt, Mary, too following the resurrection;  disclosed in Luke 24:13f. I personally believe He appeared to both his aunt and uncle, knowing they beckoned Him to come into their home.

The wonders of this entire setting of miracles are completely beyond what we can grasp in our finite minds. There is so much going on behind the scenes of this remarkable true tale.

We note at the beginning of chapter two of Luke that a census was to be made “of all the inhabited earth.” What a span to cover! Of course, this was orchestrated by Roman emperor, Caesar Augustus. Rome was the ruling empire at this time and it oppressed Israel who looked toward a Messiah that would deliver her. God had another plan, however. Messiah would not rule Israel or the world until much later, when He would return a second time.

We read in verse 3, that everyone had to register in their own city—the city within the tribe of their heritage. If you turn in your Bible to the back, in the map area, you should locate a map of the divided land of Israel. It will show you the divisions according to the 12 tribes of Jacob, minus Joseph and Levi, but including Joseph’s sons, Manasseh and Ephraim … much too much to go into now. There was a designated city for each tribe to register.

Joseph and Mary were of the tribe of Judah, so Mary had to return to this southern area of Israel once again. Remember this is the general location where Elizabeth and Zacharias lived. Mary traveled from Nazareth with Joseph to a different city this time—Bethlehem, just south of Jerusalem. Elizabeth obviously didn’t reside in Bethlehem as they had to locate a place to stay.

We do not know for sure, but Elizabeth and Zacharias may have visited Mary and Joseph after Christ’s birth, since Jerusalem and Bethlehem were so close in proximity.

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Remember the Temple was in Jerusalem where Zacharias served as a priest though they resided somewhere outside of this area, as he obviously had to travel home when not officially ministering in the temple; Luke 1:23.

In verse 6, we observe that Mary gave birth to Jesus in a lowly manger area or in a type of primitive barn where the animals were lodged as there was no room in the inn for this unique couple. Jesus lived a life of a humble servant for mankind and there was no better way to represent this but through this lowly birth.

His growing up years with Jude, James and his other half brothers and sisters are silent; they are not revealed to us as God saw no significance in us knowing of these.

Christ putting Himself in this family is fulfilled prophecy,  being Joseph would have been on the throne reigning as king, and not holding a simple carpenter position if the kingly line of David had not been made void at the time of the Babylonian captivity. When Babylon invaded Judah, this ended the Davidic line of the reigning kings. According to the Davidic lineage, Christ had the right to the throne of David through Joseph, being his first born son—adoptively speaking that is. Joseph’s family ancestry traced back to David is disclosed in Matthew chapter 1 and Mary’s bloodline to David in Luke 3. As Joseph’s first born, Christ would have reigned as king succeeding Joseph. See Luke 1:32, Revelation 5:5 & 22:16 and Isaiah 9:7 concerning the prophecies of the Davidic Messiah.

As God, the creator of all—Colossians 1:13-19, Christ held the right to the throne in all aspects.

Viewing Elizabeth’s age, she could have been Mary’s blood aunt. Both Elizabeth and Zacharias were of the line of Aaron, the priestly line; Luke 1:5. Zacharias was “of the division of Abijah.” The Abijah line was of Aaron which we confirm from reading 1 Chronicles 24:1-10. In Ezekiel 44:22, it states a priest can only marry a virgin or a widow of a priest. It was very important that a priest and his wife be above reproach as they represented the righteousness and holiness of God.

God recognized this exceptional couple with obedient hearts for Him alone. They walked blamelessly, not allowing the world to influence them in any evil manner; Luke 1:6.

Christ would have received priestly blood from this family line of Mary’s. Remember Christ was king, priest and prophet on earth. God appointed prophets; therefore, it was not an inherited calling.

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Of course, Christ is God and therefore our priest by all authority, which is the only true and eternal power. Christ is Priest according to the order of Melchizedek because He has no beginning or end; Hebrews 7:9f. He is our only priest because He is omnipotent God; therefore, there is no need for a blood-inherited vocation.

We see God the Father’s great love in putting Christ in a family that was probably the most devoted to Him in all the Holy Land. God the Father made sure His Son was loved, protected and heard His truths. This would, of course, have been Christ’s truths as well. Christ moved in the Old Testament as part of the Godhead, teaching His Word which godly men recorded.

Both Jude and James became members of this inimitable family. They came by way of natural birth. God had a plan for them too.

These sons found wonderful role models in their parents not to mention God … Him being a born member of their family. Elizabeth and Zacharias certainly must have held some influence in their lives as well.

No doubt, Mary, Joseph, Elizabeth, Zacharias, and others told these children of the miraculous miracles surrounding their cousin John—his birth and his dedication to God. They most likely witnessed this dedication themselves when visiting John and his family in Jerusalem.

What is bizarre, is Jude and James saw it as no special privilege to grow-up with Christ. In John chapter 7, Christ’s brothers ridiculed Him and wanted him to attend the Feast of Booths in Jerusalem so he could be arrested and persecuted. They knew it meant certain death as it was not a secret that the religious leaders wanted to do away with Him. They wanted Him appearing in public so he would be an easy target. This is all hard to comprehend, but satan was at work to deceive all, including Christ’s family.

Christ’s half brothers certainly recognized His complete righteousness, but their hard hearts and pride kept them from acknowledging that He was indeed the Messiah. They held hate for their half-brother; perhaps they were jealous of His present notoriety. I believe it is possible that Joseph’s brothers loathed Him for the special, insightful gifts God had bestowed upon Him and not them. Joseph’s special heart for God is revealed in the Old Testament book of Genesis.

Jude and James undoubtedly heard of their mother’s appointed time with God who revealed the forthcoming birth of Christ by the Holy Spirit’s intervention. They also must have heard of the powerful working of the Holy Spirit when their mother went to visit Elizabeth, as these women both prophesized the omnipotent ways of God.

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Jude, James and the other two brothers and sisters only knew second hand of the miracles of Christ’s birth. There may have held inadequate feelings; never being able to live up to Christ’s sinless life.

Christ was preaching at age twelve, this viewed in Luke 2:41f. (After this chapter, we never see Joseph mentioned so I believe somewhere between the temple teaching and Christ’s ministry, Joseph died.) Christ, while living in the home, I believe, was always speaking of the ways of God. Therefore, He was preparing and teaching His siblings and mother for their future faith in Him, which He knew, would come about … He knowing all things. When Jesus’ parents found Him in the temple, He asked, “Don’t you know I had to be about my Father’s business?” Obviously, He felt they should know. They couldn’t have forgotten the momentous events of the nativity that arrived by the Father, though it was almost 13 years ago that the heavenly disclosures occurred that foretold of His ministry—Luke 1:35, “And He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and His kingdom will have no end.”

Jude, James, and the other two brothers, sisters and mother did not receive Christ as their Messiah immediately. It appears Mary did not believe until sometime before the crucifixion, though she did refer to God being her Savior in the “Magnificat;” Luke 1:47.

At the time of the cross, Jesus tells Mary she will be placed in the care of John, His disciple. Since Mary became a believer, Jesus desired she be in a believing home—it will be exciting to hear her salvation story when we arrive in heaven since it is not disclosed in scripture.

John, being such a compassionate man, seems to be the obvious choice to us as well. Jesus certainly revealed a special concern for His mother at this time. Remember, Mary was told that a sword would even pierce her own soul; Luke 2:35. She suffered monumental pain seeing her son on the tree though God graciously warned her of what was to come. It is also interesting to note that this last statement to John concerning Christ’s mother’s care, John 19:26-27, was His last act of love prior to death.

We read in Acts 1:12 that Jesus’ brothers were with Mary in the upper room praying, so it is obvious that God opened their eyes to believe too. I would guess the sisters believed as well since God brought His grace to the rest of the family. Christ spent thirty years with His earthly family and we know He is spending eternity with them as well. Not that Christ’s earthly family is more important than any of us; yet, it is remarkable to think about this astonishing grace that brought James and Jude to be so exceedingly used of Christ.

Verse Exposé

Chapter 1

God’s Beloved

Jude presents himself in a humble light as Christ’s bondservant; in no way elevated above any other believer by position as Christ’s half-brother or author of this letter. He does identify himself as the “brother of James.” People knew James as the overseer of the famed Jerusalem church, as I stated previously, which encompassed thousands.

The book of James is the earliest known New Testament manuscript.

Jude is only known to us today by this book and his relationship to Christ as seen in the Gospels. This note of him being the “brother of James” obviously added to the book’s authenticity.

This letter is written to the “beloved.” This is an endearing term used for believers who are simply redeemed by grace; no believer has been found holding qualities that merit God’s love and compassion. It is a privilege and a delight to be called, “beloved.” It is akin to being born into an extremely affluent family where one never deserved or achieved the wealth.

“Beloved” is not used for distant relations but those close to the One who loves. No one is closer to the heart of God than His own children. This love is intimate; revealing an unparalleled human relationship. Though humans may use this term, though not frequently in this day and age, there is no way human love can ever match God’s love. We can never even begin to comprehend it. We can never grasp the love God has for the unsaved. There is no greater preserving love than the love Christ has for us on an intimate, personal level.

Jude informs us further that this book is written to believers in Christ and who are “kept by Christ” (NASB). The KJV Bible renders “kept” as “preserved.”

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Preserved is also true to the Greek word “TEREO” which signifies the preservation of the believer in Christ. It is assuring to recognize this encompassing security. This security is a gracious promise to us, a gift from God. We also find this truism in Romans 8:38-39 where our Lord informs us that nothing can separate us from His love. Words are used in this passage whereby we can picture those things that may try to separate but always fail. Life and death can set immediate images in our mind, good and bad, but we get the picture. Even in death believers cannot be separated from God; we are kept for eternity. In life, with its hardships, we are preserved and held by loving hands; Psalm 37:24. Those things listed that are created as well as height and depth can be easily captured in thought so we keep these things in mind when going through our trials; when we might lack the faith.

Verse two of Jude states some of the attributes we receive in Christ: His mercy, peace and love. This verse is a prayer that Jude prayed for these believers, for them to be increasing in these gifts of grace. We too can pray for the increase of these gifts for fellow believers and ourselves.

Of course, we need the mercy of God in the confessing of our sins, acknowledging we fall so short in these fleshly bodies. We also know we have His forgiveness through the price paid on the tree. Peace is what unbelievers can see in our lives and thus covet for themselves, which provides witnessing opportunities. The Holy Spirit is in us so we do not walk in hopeless fear and distress, come what may. It is a peace that surpasses all understanding; Philippians 4:7. Therefore, we should walk in thanksgiving for this blessed gift of the Spirit.

Love, in this verse, is AGAPE. Charity may fit better than the word love in this society of sensuality and self-seeking allurements. This is more than a feeling; James chapter 2 makes this clear, as our faith is to reveal love in action. We are to care and minister to our fellow believers in Christ. We are also to reach out to the lost that they may be saved. Another way we reveal our love for God is obeying His inerrant Word as Christ told his disciples, love is keeping His commandments. Much more can be stated, knowing true charitable love is intensely expounded upon in the scriptures and worth our study.

In verse 3 we witness again the word, “beloved.” Jude wants us to be reassured that we are God’s beloved. All others may forsake us, but God’s love is always there for us. There are believers who are in prison for their faith in many overseas countries, thus they feel alone. However, they can feel God’s gracious personal love filling their hearts daily; resting in the fact that they are His beloved.

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This term of love can be rendered as endearment and is used only for us who are in Christ. This follows through with the fact that we also have a common salvation reserved for us in Christ. Jude is expressing his heart of love for these believers so they stay steadfast in Christ through the truths revealed in this book.

Chapter 2

Creeping In

Jude was written in 65 AD and though the church was young, false teachers were already sneaking into assemblies. Therefore this book was penned to forecast what can take place once false teachers are allowed to run amuck in the church. Christ warned about all that we see today in fellowships in Matthew 13:31-33, where He predicted the church apostasy. I truly believe when Christ spoke of the growth of the Gospel by using a mustard tree seed that grew into a large tree, that He is speaking of the fate of the church becoming successful, prosperous, and accepted. Revelation chapter 3 reproves the Laodicea church; it became lukewarm due to the fact that it had become wealthy. It was mostly apostate for this reason.

The church today is a huge organization, known for being the wealthiest conglomerate in the world. It certainly did not start out this way! Many have chosen to be apart of it just for appearance and prestige sake. Matthew 13:32-33 speaks of the birds of the air coming to rest in its branches. Since birds are fowl and added to the tree, I believe they represent the false teachers and unsaved who come and feel right at home in its branches, or I would say, “Pews.” I also adhere to this as birds represent satan in verses 1-9 who comes and takes away the seed of the Word of God.

I surmise that the leaven in verse 33 represents the false teachers as well since leaven is always viewed in the negative in the Bible; it represents that which pollutes and ruins. Matthew 13:25 speaks of the tares that invade the kingdom of heaven or the church which seems to tie this whole following section theme together.

I have to ask myself, “Why the church is so huge when the road to heaven is narrow and few follow it.” (Matthew 7:13-14) These two verses are stated just a few pages before the Matthew chapter 13 passage which reveals the church being encompassing. It certainly seems that something is amiss.

Due to these warnings and others stated by Christ, Jude did not want these believers led away from the true Biblical faith. He did not desire they become compliant to teachings not of God that would slither in through false teachers. That is why Jude states through God that they need to live by the faith of the saints, which is represented by steadfastness.

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Faith in God was seen throughout the Old Testament, but faith’s greatest level has come to New Testament believers through the fulfilled knowledge of Christ, and bestowing of the power of the Holy Spirit.

It is a great thing to have faith passed down to us. In 2 Timothy 1:5, we read how Timothy was taught the ways of God by his grandmother, Lois, and his mother, Eunice. Paul completed the discipleship but obviously appreciated the grounding that was embedded earlier by these godly women.

In verse 4, we arrive at the reason for this God-written letter, transcribed for us by Jude. People, not obedient believers, had “crept in unnoticed.” They are the condemned and the ungodly … not living by the moral upright ways of Christ. They teach license or that one’s behavior need not be above reproach.

I was recently reading an article in a newspaper that justified little lies. The article represented many in the church who see lying as no big deal as God does not care that much. They had a picture of a man standing before a stained glass window in a church to spread the propaganda that God shows little or no care concerning such behavior. This is a type of license.False teachers treat grace as license.

In Jude the word “licentiousness” is used, the adjective form. These who refuse moral Biblical guidance might state that under grace, you do what you want as you are already forgiven. They would never provide forewarning to the fact that believers should stay as far away from sin as possible to prevent them from reaping what they sow. They would be the ones to proclaim, “No one can live up to Biblical standards so why even try that hard.”

These believers belittle Christ through disrespecting Him and by not teaching others to hate sin. When they engage in this, they deny our only Master and Lord, Christ Jesus. This is done by presenting a slight semblance rather than His true identity.

It is interesting how false teachers love to have an appearance of religion which is how they creep into congregations unnoticed. Though today most church doors are held wide open for them in the name of love. However, such an agenda pours hatred upon believers as leadership does love them enough to protect them from satan’s agents who want to distort the scriptures.

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This is just one aspect of license as it seems to be unending today in our church society that is lax in every evil way, to believers’ destruction.

Many people who represent religion can spout the Bible and deceive the multitudes and drag them into every sinful action imaginable and all in the name of religion.

In 1 Kings chapter 21, vile Jezebel, the queen of licentious false worship, implements God’s Word to plan and justify a murder. She even proclaimed a fast for all the people. By this, she appeared to be trying to accomplish God Almighty’s will. She knew in order to put one to death; a law violating accusation had to be by the witness of two. She produced two false witnesses to lie and state righteous Naboth had cursed God and the king—who was her husband, Ahab. Exodus 22:28 forbids cursing God or the king. Leviticus chapter 24 commands that one is to be put to death if they blaspheme or curse God.

This whole scenario arose as King Ahab wanted Naboth’s vineyard so he could plant a garden, as his property was adjacent. Does that sound like a sweet endeavor for a king? Ahab offered him money or a better field, but Naboth desired it be left in the family. Ahab went into depression as a result; whereby, Jezebel determined to please him by inventing a murderous path to take possession. This greed-filled act of execution was accomplished through her implementing a righteous appearance, cunningness and resourcefulness.

Through her trickery and the rehearsed lies from false witnesses, Naboth was stoned. As soon as Jezebel lived out her plan, she told Ahab to quit sulking and take the land.

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Many false teachers can quote scriptures and hold an appearance of righteousness to lead the people astray as they put their trust in those who seem so holy. These false teachers know where to purchase the highest quality wool on the market to appear as the most innocent of Christ’s sheep. But Christ refers to them as being ravenous wolves; Matthew 7:15. Paul warned the Ephesians, Acts 20:29, that savage wolves would come in not sparing the flock when he departed. No one today would dare to label false teachers as Christ or Paul did, which has brought the church to the mess it is in.

The apostle John was concerned about false believers coming into one of his churches. In 2 John, he acted cautiously by telling this home church not to even allow anyone in the door who did not abide in the teaching of Christ; verses 9-10.

Chapter 3

Knowing All Things

Focusing back on Jude 5, we see a reference to the addressed believers as knowing all things. They certainly held insights granted to them by the Holy Spirit concerning the Old Testament. It is nice to know we have access to knowing all things through owning the Scriptures. However, we can be blinded in knowing all things when we are in bondage to the things society struts. I know as I have been bondage to the things of this world that clouded my discerning outlook. Because I desired a cloudless view of my life in Christ, I had to shed some activities of conviction. Three main hindrances from my past come to mind. These gripped me when I was in my twenties and single. One was the television, which I viewed just about every night. I knew every show on every channel. … I was known as a walking and talking TV Guide. I cried out to God amidst conviction and the fact that a brainless machine produced in me a state of unreality. I looked at this world through rose-colored glasses and never truly witnessed a society dying in its sin and headed to hell. Evening shows always made people appear pleasant, and even bad guys were not that bad, just in need of a little social reform.

If my memory serves me correctly, I prostrated myself in grief and asked Christ to take away my desires for this idol-machine. He quickly answered my sincere groaning and I never felt like this was something I had to engage in again to bring some temporary entertaining satisfaction. He taught me to use my time far more wisely and away from that which does not generally teach modesty, holiness, innocence, undefilement and a love for Christ.

Another area in which He convicted me concerned my love for rock music; I was totally in bondage to this rebellious, sensual beat. I cried out to Him once again in great anguish for deliverance. By His omnipotent transforming power, I was able to enjoy lovely and pure music with a rhythm of peace and tranquility. I encountered a closer relationship to Christ when I forsook this beat of the world.

Sensuality was the third thing whereby I had to prostrate myself before the Lord. I was dating a man who was attending seminary to be a pastor, but he did not incite me to a holy relationship with him. We did not go all the way nor did we ever come close to removing our clothing; however, we were in bondage physically through holding, kissing, etc. I knew sensuality was not to have a part in my being. All these feelings were to be held for marriage. I was simply being used and that became very apparent.

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At first, I thought our dating was an answer to prayer, as the Lord knew I wanted to take part in ministry and this man was headed for the pastorate. However, he felt no conviction nor did he see our relationship as one that needed to be transformed to purity. He did not desire complete innocence.

Later, when I met Alan, he let me know he did not want to kiss a woman until he was engaged to her and then only briefly to prevent temptation. I never felt I was in sensual bondage while dating him and we did not kiss until our betrothal.

Before meeting Alan, my pastor had encouraged me to break up with the man I was in bondage to. At this time, the Lord granted me the discernment to recognize the relationship was not of Him. My pastor was also the one who counseled Alan and me and performed our marriage ceremony. We are still very grateful for his holy discipleship and his continuing godly friendship. He lives in southern Washington today.

I do not say these things to imply I am no longer tempted and never need to cry out to God, but these were my largest, sinful hurdles that clouded my eyes from having a full vision of truth and wisdom. The more we remove sin the more we gain insights and truths from the Word. There are always rewarded blessings when we do things God’s way not ours.

Returning to Jude, I believe these believers did not have a halfhearted love for the Word as Jude is able to go immediately into Old Testament historical facts. God employs Old Testament truths here to clarify His points. It seems obvious that these believers held copies of the Old Testament since these references are set before them as known facts. Many of the illustrations in Jude are Pentateuch accounts. The Pentateuch is also referred to as the Torah or first five books of the Old Testament. Moses wrote the first five books, which teach the early history of the Jews and the law. Penta means five in the Greek. Decalogue is a word used for the Ten Commandants meaning, “the ten words” which are held in the Pentateuch.

I believe these Christians obviously spent countless hours learning the scriptures, as Jude does not speak to them as if they are ignorant of the Old Testament. I am sure they would put us to shame by their knowledge—by the fact they knew all things.

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In centuries past, even the unsaved knew the Bible in America. Economic affluence and access to broad literature was not a common thing and only the few scholarly wealthy owned many books. In this era of impoverishment by today’s standards, if a book could be had, it was the Bible that was purchased. It was read and spoken of everyday by most every person.

It was the main textbook used in education. In the nineteenth and early twentieth century, many schools also possessed the Blue Back Speller authored by Noah Webster which was taught along with the Bible. This book implemented the scriptures in teaching grammar. It presented the Word in such a way to make scripture applicable for students. This speller is still marketed.

Chapter 4

Historical Accounts

As we continue in the text of Jude 5, we see Jude referring to the time of Israel’s departure from Egypt as is disclosed in the book of Exodus—the second book in the Old Testament. Jude states, “The LORD, after saving a people out of Egypt, subsequently destroyed those who did not believe.”

Moreover, history records it took mighty feats to deliver a people out of Egypt. Even though miracle after miracle was displayed before the Egyptians to put to shame their animal and insect gods, they refused to obey the LORD and allow the Jews to depart from their enslavement. The consequence was the death of every firstborn Egyptian.

This was the way God chose to remove His people from this pagan land where they were dreadfully abused. All other warnings went unheeded. God brought many plagues on the land but not until the death of Pharaoh’s firstborn son, did he allow them to leave. He had been his heir to the throne, no doubt. You can imagine Pharaoh’s grief, which I’m sure was there even though he was totally hard hearted. Even the hardhearted can feel some affection for close family members.

His grief must have immediately turned to anger. The desire to continue to manipulate, manifested itself swiftly as Pharaoh sent his army in pursuit of Israel. He did not know that he was sending his soldiers to their death doom as in his mind, he was always the conquering victor. His entire regiment was drown in the Red Sea after God forged two miracle walls of water, which allowed His chosen to walk through the sea on dry ground. These walls of mounted Red Sea water fell on Pharaoh’s forces that raced behind, rushing to overtake. God graciously and miraculously delivered the Hebrews from this land of enslaving bondages.

One reason God had to remove these Jews from Egypt was to get the world out of them. However, they moaned and groaned shortly after being divided from this land where they had no employment opportunities. God wanted them completely dependent upon Him but they cried for their independence. He desired they not be lured again to Egypt’s pleasantries.

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However, their new home of desert wasteland décor caused them to look backward to city life.

Egypt’s thriving kingdom was the envy of most. It had the uppermost educational opportunities, technology, massive architectural feats, unsurpassed medical treatments and discoveries, gourmet food galore, elite social parties, religion … you just name it … even Jewish slavery.

Because the Hebrews never desired to be completely separated from this country club state of luxurious affairs, God had to continuously discipline them through infliction—sometimes deadly chastisements.

Today God wants to get the world out of all believers, but they, like the Jews of old, refuse to come out and be separate from sin’s bondage. Therefore, He has to discipline the children of the true church. The same sin nature these Jews held onto is being held onto by Christians. They want to be indulging, taking in all the delights of secular civilization. Satan knows what he is doing when he makes all things pleasing to the eye gate and palate.

Unfortunately, the Gospel of today does not teach cultural abandonment because that is not pleasing to the mentality of sensual man who wants it all and now.

Because of the Hebrews incessant and unrelenting unbelief, God destroyed the first generation that departed from Egypt. All due to the fact, it would not let go of its apron strings. They were denied entry into the Promised Land because they could never receive their passports due to Egyptian technicalities. It seems a waste that they were delivered from Egypt and died en route. Yet, God was ever gracious and longsuffering. He provided chance after chance so they would respond to His heeded warnings.

Even Moses could not enter this land because he struck the rock instead of speaking to it as commanded; Numbers chapter 20. He was, however, able to view the Promised Land before his death on Mt. Nebo; Deuteronomy chapter 34. It is impressive to note in Deuteronomy 32:4, that Moses referred to God as “The Rock” which is symbolic of this incident and its consequence.

Moving to verse nine in Jude prematurely, we read more of Moses in relationship to Deuteronomy chapter 34.  Jude 9 reveals God buried Moses. This was obviously following the angel Michael’s encounter with the devil. We will study this verse further when we travel down to this section.

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The point of Jude 5, is God brought death upon the Jews after leaving the Promised Land. Nobody gets away with not reverencing God and His commands. Our God is a consuming fire as Hebrew 12:29 reveals and we are not to take that fact for granted. Just choosing to obey God on our terms is never without consequence; nor ignoring and not applying certain portions of His written Word.

Jude 6 reminds us of the fall of satan and his fellow angels who joined in conspiracy when they strove to function apart from God’s supremacy and righteousness. The fallen angels or demons mentioned here are not the ones who plague the world as these are under bonds in darkness for eternity. It appears from this verse that our kind God did not unleash all these vile and unclean creatures on the world that fell with satan. By God’s grace, He obviously only allowed a certain number to dwell on the earth. In this verse God reminds us that there is eternal judgment for our waywardness and fallen angels will be judged as well for their deeds.

Isaiah 14:12-19 speaks of satan or lucifer when he was cast from heaven due to his pride and his desire to ascend above God. He, at one time, was a stunning angel who held much power but it all went to his head. God referred to him as the “star of the morning, son of the dawn.” Lucifer may have been the highest in authority and the loveliest of all the angels. He, in time past, shone when he chose to walk in righteousness and holiness.

This passage reveals this evil creature’s motivation that drives him to constant jealous mischievousness. He is jealous because God rules the world not him. His desire is to destroy all mankind as everyone is made in the image of God, whom he hates, despises and envies.

I believe he still holds hopes to dethrone and take God’s place, which is impossible as he is the defeated foe. He possibly thinks by derailing believers, he can gain great power by defaming God’s name.

Believers today, like lucifer, lose their holy shine when they bend to his ways, perceiving they can gain everything, but actually lose all.

It is no wonder that people today want to walk in the pride and arrogance that motivated satan so others will look up to them instead of to God. It is a sad thing when pastors desire God’s glory for themselves, revealing they are walking hand in hand with satan’s desires.

This comes about through adultery committed in the spiritual realm where one does not desire to conform to the admonishments of scripture including those stated in Jude. James 4:4 exposes this when declaring, “You adulteresses, do you not know that friendship with the world is hostility toward God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God.”

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There are multitudes of applications for this verse. One application can be to desire the praise and admiration of men whereby we make ourselves enemies of God. Through desiring the admiration and praise of others that arises from the agendas of the world, we uplift and exalt ourselves in undermined ways.

Putting others down is one way man can selfishly exalt himself. Desiring to be number one is seen commonly in society. A minister can appear on television just for the sake of gaining popularity and notoriety.

We must always be watchful of our pride, as it is part of our flesh that wants to take over and quench the Holy Spirit’s work in our lives. Believe me, I know!

Jude 7 moves us further into the take note warnings of our Lord. He places before us Sodom and Gomorrah. The people of these cities represented a society that held no moral bounds. You can read of this gross immoral situation in Genesis chapter 19.

We know homosexuality owned this society. They were in bondage to sexual promiscuity, which grew and grew to unbelievable lengths just as we see occurring in our own nation. No one, including our politicians and religious leaders, has been able to put any kind of lid on it. We have to live with this increasing grotesqueness everyday. There is no place we can run to … there is no withdrawing from it. I was talking to a woman the other day and she was saying remember when no one even knew what homosexuality was all about? We discussed the sadness of the situation, as this activity was virtually unviewed forty years ago. Most people never saw it nor did they want to.

The consequence to not holding to chaste moral codes is eternal fire, as we read here in Jude. God plainly states in Hebrews 13:4, “Adulterers and fornicators God will judge, but the marriage bed is undefiled.” God does bring judgment on those who break His moral codes of decency, purity and modesty. 1 Corinthians 6:9 warns us that no unrighteous person will inherit the kingdom of God, including fornicators, adulterers, effeminates, homosexuals, etc.

We witness in God’s love for us that He is very concerned that we reap the profit of keeping ourselves pure and unstained by the world. If God did not cherish us, He would not have given us this love letter full of warnings for our personal benefit. Jude is a book of warnings so we are on the lookout for those who would image us into general society.

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We are called to be a peculiar separated people. We should never be ashamed of being different. The Jews too were called to be a peculiar people but they desired to be styling, conforming themselves to culture. Consequently, they paid the penalty in powerful ways. If they would have obeyed Leviticus 20:23, which commanded them not to follow “the customs of nations,” they would have spared themselves unbelievable heartache.

Chapter 5

Unreality—Changing of the Colors

Dreaming seems to be the main subject of verse 8. The false teachers dream and this dreaming is a kind of dreaming that defiles the flesh. Obviously immoral thoughts and dreams consume their lives; they involve themselves in everything sleazy and vulgar awake or asleep. These people do not live in reality just everything that represents lust!

Jude is a portrayed reality of God’s truth. Certainly rejecting the truth and reality of Jude is a mark of false teachers today. I find many believers today, if not most, live in a dream world not wanting to take seriously one word of warning found in this revealing book of veracity.

“Defile” has a weighty word emphasis. We as believers never want to defile ourselves with the things of society that removes our purity. The Greek word used here is “MIAINO” and it means to stain as one changes the color of an object. It would imply a change in a person—a negative change, that which turns one away from innocence to evil. I know respected people in the church who are bent on turning innocence to evil. Two of them are leaders in churches and they incite pornography and lusting. They have no problem in removing natural innocence from children as well. They are respected in Bible-believing churches and though other leadership knows of their agendas, they care little since deceivers know how to appear like saintly chameleons. I have been hated for saying their agenda is sinful. Alan and I have known them for years and had thought them to be godly until all was exposed.

When sin takes hold of our life, we do change our image like a lizard its color, we shed the righteousness of the Holy Spirit. His holy attraction is quenched; deemed no longer useful to us, so His inner beauty is not visible in our being. When He is disregarded, people only view a fleshly depraved shell of a person.

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Chapter 6

Angels and Doctrinal Knowledge

The authority brought forth in this verse seems to point heavenward as the sin of the flesh stands in opposition to God and His holy kingdom of angelic majesties. If you turn to 2 Peter 2:10-12, you see angels and their authority spoken of and the evil ones who despise them. This refers to self-serving evil men who gratify their own desires, holding no respect for God or His angels. We are never to worship or adore angels, yet we are called to respect their God-given authority. I personally refer to 2 Peter as Jude’s sister book, as the teachings of Jude are repeated throughout.

God commands in 1 Corinthians 11:10 that a woman should have something on her head during worship, for the sake of the angels. Obviously angels look in on the church service and in the Greek it means God’s angels not evil beings as I have heard implied. A division of respecting angelic authority is women wearing the head covering. Verses 8-10 and 12-13 state a woman is made in the image of man therefore she needs a symbol of authority on her head. This speaks to when she is praying or prophesying (telling forth God’s divine counsel) in church. Some fellowships believe a woman should always have something on her head (always in the public realm). Yet, I do not deem this to be true from this passage. This section is referring to the assembly of the church since we move into the Lord’s Supper in the proceeding verses and this remembrance is done as a corporate church body.

I personally find it interesting that men have no difficulty obeying verses 4 & 7 in this 1 Corinthian passage, as I never see men wearing hats during a Sunday sermon and even young boys are taught by their dads to remove them when entering a church building.

Part of this Corinthian passage also involves obedience in the aspect of women having long hair; verses 14-15. Both the Old and New Testament teach the differential aspect of male and female. Most men and boys do have short hair in obedience to God’s Word, verse 14, which is also interesting to note.

A woman’s hair is her glory, verse 15; it is not like men’s hair that is usually plain and thin and looks bad when it is left to grow long. In general, men have not been provided with the luxurious hair that compliments women that provides a crowning glory and an additional modest covering.

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Today some women in society worship masculinity in that they covet to obtain the same professional positions as men. They will even resemble them in appearance and dress in hopes of gaining masculine respect. This greatly bothers me as God willed that men and women not wear the same type of clothing; this was specified in the Pentateuch; Deuteronomy 22:5. God stated that such a thing was an abomination to Him.

Competing with men in sports assists women to hit the goal of total gender oneness or so they think. God makes it clear, however, that He does not believe in unisex!

The competitive sex aspect seemed to be part of homosexual societies, which is why I believe God commanded the distinctions. Femininity was part of His design that was never to be marred. Women throw away a precious part of themselves when they move to worship masculinity. A one-sex society is very boring and entirely destructive.

We have witnessed in America the differences between males and females diminished with homosexuality making a bold appearance in society. A hundred years ago, women wore long hair, modest feminine long attire and hats to church. Men were expressively masculine. If women, of a century ago, were to rise up and judge our obedience today to the Lord in these aspects, I wonder how we would fare. I have to admit to you that I wear pants most often but I am definitely feminine. When attending Sunday morning worship, I wear a dress. I do don a hat for church and have long hair. Feeling feminine is a joy and I see it as Biblical. Alan enjoys my femininity too … imagine that.

As I have read books from the 19th century, I have found most Christian women desired to obey all of scripture. They recognized pagan culture and society should never affect Biblical truth and our adherence to it. Therefore, they kept America’s culture conservative by not swaying off the Biblical path—being salt of the earth that persuaded most others to act in a Biblical manner, not pagan.

Jesus and His followers were persecuted for not submitting to sensual culture and society. In Leviticus 20:23, Christ revealed that His children were not to conform to culture or customs of secular society. Jesus and his disciples would not have been constantly confronted if they would have blended in as believers do today.

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Christ never chose to associate with false teachers and prophets—the scribes, Sadducees and Pharisees. I want to fully emphasize that Christ and the disciples never fellowshipped with the religious, popular leaders outside of Nicodemus and possibly a few other Pharisees who were sincerely seeking souls.

Billy Graham changed the climate by fellowshipping with those who did not adhere completely to the Bible. However, many did not even recognize this was taking place and still do not. He was the only significant spokesman who uplifted ecumenicalism in the rooting of its movement. He was a key component in bringing forth the apostasy and ushering in the beginnings of the one-world religion which resembles the apostate church revealed in Revelation, Matthew and 2 Thessalonians that will be ecumenically encompassing.

Franklin Graham stated: “In the early years, up in Boston, the Catholic church got behind my father’s crusade. That was a first. It took back many Protestants. They didn’t know how to handle it. But it set the example. ‘If Billy Graham is willing to work with everybody, then maybe we should too’” (The Indianapolis Star, June 3, 1999).

Bill Graham spouts much false doctrine to lead true believers into following satan’s religious lies. He has walked the liberal inclusive road for years.

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In Newsweek, August 14, 2006, Billy Graham stated: “I would not say Islam is wicked and evil. … I have a lot of friends who are Islamic. There are many wonderful people among them. I have a great love for them. I have spoken at Islamic meetings in Nigeria and in different parts of the world.” When asked whether he believes heaven will be closed to Jews, Muslims, Buddhists, Hindus or secular people. Graham said, “Those are decisions only the Lord will make. It would be foolish for me to speculate on who will be there and who won’t … I don’t want to speculate about all that. I believe the love of God is absolute. He said he gave his son for the whole world, and I think he loves everybody regardless of what label they have.”

These are heretical statements! They are contrary to the Word of God in every way. The only way to heaven is through Jesus Christ and His shed blood for mankind’s redemption. False prophets will not place anyone in heaven no matter their sincerity. Those who worship the false idol gods of the Buddhists and Hindus will never locate a place in paradise. Revelation 22:13-16 informs us that idolaters are not allowed into heaven along with sorcerers, immoral persons, murderers and those who practice lying.

Now don’t get me wrong … I am very thankful for those who have come to Christ through the Graham ministries. We all have to be grateful for the multitudes of conversions.

However, elevating people such as Billy Graham leads people down an all-deceptive road of false-doctrine-confusion. No matter the fame or popular of any believer, we still have to be cautious of all they teach and do; we must compare all their words and actions to the Word. We do not accept all that a person does and says, even if they appear to be mightily used of God. God and His Word have to be our only and final authority in all things.

I am informing you of this for your own personal good as we can never follow man or woman only the inerrant, holy, undefiled Word of God. We must remember that no amount of Christian good works can override sound doctrine.

In Christ’s day, there were those who were false disciples and were doing good works in Christ’s name, but He made it clear they were out for their own agendas.

To remain on the right path, one that does not follow men, we need to sustain vigilance. This vigilance must be constantly aimed at the Bible. It must hold first priority in our hearts whereby we give it our best time. It is this book that allows us to gain the discernment that everything in it is for a reason … to produce spiritual maturity within and to vanquish all that is false.

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We must remember though, being just hearers of the Word, which would include just being readers as well, withholds obedience production. Obedience sprouts great discernment and internal uplifting blessings. Questioning God’s Word always births confusion and consequence.

We must exercise the faith that everything in God’s Word is true and for our benevolence. The Word assures us of itself. 1 Timothy 2:16 states that all scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproving and correction, for training in righteousness. 2 Peter 1:21 states, “No prophecy of scripture was ever made by human will, but men moved by the Holy Spirit spoke from God.”

Having this faith in the Word is the key to rising above any appealing false teacher and their deceptive presentations.

When the Jews in the Old Testament turned from the written Word to do their own thing and followed false religious teachers, they were severally spanked by God. Many received a premature death sentence. This occurred as a result of them not respecting the angels who gave the Word. Hebrews 2:2 and Galatians 3:19, teaches the Word is unalterable that the angels delivered. Anyone who defied it paid the consequences.

What God is getting at in Jude and the other applicable passages on this subject, is every believer must stay on task and not let any person turn another away from all that has been passed down to us by God through the agency of angels. Even if much of this seems incomprehensible, we do not turn our backs on all the facts that are presented. We walk by faith not by sight. Exercising faith can enable the Spirit to bring us to a loftier place of comprehension.

We see ultimately in Jude that when we observe the Old Testament Jews and their lack of obedience to the law found in the Pentateuch, that they were walking in disrespect for angles as the law was given to Moses by angels, sent from God. They were and are to be valued as the messengers who delivered it.

Many of Christ’s earthly quotes were from the book of Deuteronomy, the final book in the Pentateuch. He didn’t throw the Old Testament away nor should we. He stated, Moses wrote of Him—John 5:45-47 and one major prophecy of Him is located in Deuteronomy 18:15.

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Verse 9 of Jude further instructs us concerning angels, observing Michael the archangel is mentioned. Michael means “like God.” He disputed with the body of Moses. … now, why would he do this? Well, if we turn to Daniel 12:1, we see Michael has the position of overseeing God’s people, the Jews, and Moses was a Jew. Daniel is referring to Michael’s protection of God’s people in the tribulation period. Being the archangel, it is believed that Michael is over all angels as the chief of angels. He is also referred to as the “great prince” in Daniel 10:13. Christ is going to come again bearing a voice like the archangel; 1 Thessalonians 4:16. We know from this verse that Michael has a most prevailing voice to match his exclusive role over God’s people. Someday we will be able to personally experience all of heaven’s glories including Michael and the other angel beings.

Daniel 10:21 speaks of Michael’s fortified protection over Israel when Persia and Greece would be at war with each other. To refresh your historical memory, Daniel was taken captive during the time of Babylonian rule, eventually the Media-Persian World Empire arose. Ultimately, the Greeks gained power over the Medes and the Persians. Rome later came to supremacy and that takes us to the time of Christ as Rome reigned over Israel at that time.

I will take you back to the beginning for a more composite history lesson. Egypt commenced world kingdom history, as she was the first ruling empire who reigned for thousands of years. The Assyrians then raised their hands to gain world power and arrested northern Israel, making her a captive slave. As time pressed on, the Babylonians defeated the Assyrians and gripped the world as no other empire in history. It was the kingdom of gold, unfolded in Daniel 2:32 & 38.

The Jews of Israel worshipped, paid tithes, learned scripture, etc; but held many sins they chose to ignore which provoked God’s holocaustic judgment. This judgment was death and captivity. God marched in with sword, pestilence and famine and those who were not killed were taken into captivity. Two main captivities took place in the Old Testament—first, the northern portion of Israel, which consisted of ten tribes and their designated lands. They were exiled to Assyria. One hundred and thirty-six years later, the southern portion of Israel, Judah—consisting of two remaining tribes—was removed by King Nebuchadnezzar to Babylon.

To understand the land division you need to note that Jacob, also called Israel, had 12 sons whom the nation of Israel descended from. The land was divided amongst those who ascended from these sons. However, Manasseh, and Ephraim, Joseph’s sons, replaced Joseph’s tribal portion of land as Levi, the priestly tribe, had no designated section of property, being they served in the temple. This change allowed Israel to still be divided 12 ways.

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A Bible atlas is a must if you do not have adequate maps at the back of your Bible or within your notes in a study Bible. Maps can also be located by doing an Internet search by typing in the area of location with the words, “historical maps.” If you have adequate maps, you can see how the land of Israel was divided amongst the 12 tribes. You should also have a map that portions the northern and southern kingdoms after Israel was split. A New Testament map will reveal Israel’s division into districts during the time of Christ, which included Judea, Samaria, Galilee, Decapolis, and Perea.

God sent out a warning of the arriving captivities through many true prophets over the years who forecasted doom and gloom to both the northern and southern kingdoms for their rebellious actions. However, the Jews did not repent.

After the northern kingdom was removed by Assyria, the southern kingdom of Judah sought the advisement of false prophets. They wrongfully reasoned that nothing could befall them because they worshipped at Solomon’s sacred temple. They believed God would never destroy their place of worship established by Him so they were secure. The false prophets basically told the people they were righteous and God would not judge. They made the Jews feel holy, religious and safe. Their message was, “Your ok and I’m ok.”

God had allowed the southern kingdom of Israel, Judah, to remain as they still had some redeeming qualities. However, these soon dissipated which prompted God to enlist the great Babylonian military force to bring judgment on Judah and many pagan nations. There were three main Semitic captivities under Babylon, the first involved Daniel and noble youths, the second occurred during King Jehoiachin’s reign, and the last seizure took place under King Zedekiah. It was during the third invasion that Solomon’s temple was destroyed as well as all of Jerusalem. This all arose under the hand of Babylonian king, Nebuchadnezzar, who was appointed by God to judge Judah, the southern kingdom. Their sin had superseded that of the northern kingdom. This judging event was orchestrated under the authority of Archangel Michael, who as I stated, is the guardian of the Jews as the book of Daniel reveals. Of course, God dictates Michael.

You should note that every angel mentioned in the Bible is of male gender as they never possess feminine names. There is no mention of any angelic female. “Why?”

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It is due to the fact that angels were created countless eons before Eve ever stepped on the earth. Eve was made in the image of man. Man was made in the image of God as we read in 1 Corinthians chapter 11. Angels are most always depicted as female by society, but this is not according to scripture and fact.

Michael the archangel was assigned to intervene concerning the body of Moses as we read in Jude 9. God did not want Moses’ remains worshipped, at least this is what I believe, so God buried him personally in the place known only by God; Deuteronomy 34:6. God was protecting the body of Moses from satan’s evil cunning devices. Satan desires to turn people from a righteous, true and living God to worship men (dead or alive) or the things made by men; Isaiah 2:8, Acts 7:41 and 17:29.

Sinful men will worship just about anything as we even observe today in America. The New Age movement worships spirits in crystals, nature and various other things. Roman Catholicism has many idols—imaged saints that are prayed to. Satan would have loved to have obtained Moses’ body to place on display for public worship. Satan wants men’s attention drawn from God in any possible way. If he could have obtained the cadaver, he could have positioned men’s attention on Moses who has always been acclaimed for his outstanding walk with God that equipped him to lead 5,000,000 or so people around a desert wilderness for 40 years with few mishaps.

Some people will worship that which they felt was once close to God. That was why the Shroud of Turin, which was supposedly the burial cloth of Christ, received such publicity. It was proven “a fake” fabricated by men. It also did not comply with the scriptures concerning the linen wrappings (plural).

It is also important to note that Michael, though the most powerful and authoritative of the holy angels, does not rebuke satan as we see in conclusion to Jude 9. We are in the wrong when we think we can rebuke him; we are never given a command to do so. No where, that I can find, did the apostles rebuke him. They did rebuke his followers. Jude 8 taught us that we cannot rebuke angelic majesties and satan is the highest ranking evil angel.

Now you may view many charismatic people on television theatrically rebuking satan, but only the Godhead has the authority to do this and Jesus did rebuke him when on the earth. We can ask God to rebuke him for us, I believe, but this is all. We have to maintain caution in Christianity so as to never exert our liberties beyond Biblical bounds to boost the power of our ego and the power we feel we hold within. The Holy Spirit is to be controlling not the other way around.

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Verse 10 of Jude, speaks more of the tares that try to infiltrate the faith. They revile God and the ways of God; the things they cannot grasp in their sinful flesh which eventually leads to their eternal demise.

We are to study God’s Word so we are never ashamed of our lack of knowledge and taken in by these tares. Lack of scriptural knowledge can also limit our conception of a Holy God whereby we can teach false doctrine concerning deity, whereby we lead others astray by our deceived selves.

A great way to research doctrine is to implement study aids. It is important to own a detailed Bible Dictionary such as Unger’s; two concordances, one compact for quick reference, such as Cruden’s and an exhaustive Concordance to research Hebrew and Greek root word meanings, such as Strong’s. The Old Testament was recorded in Hebrew and the New Testament was mostly documented in Greek. Strong’s Concordance has its own website, whereby you can research words without cost: http://www.eliyah.com/lexicon.html

Alan, my husband, was once leading a church service and he spoke something out of jest, but the pastor believed him because he respected him as a teacher and did not think he would kid around. Alan humbly apologized and was cautious henceforth. We never thought anyone would take what he said seriously.

Everything I write or teach needs to be scripturally scrutinized. You and I should never believe another until our own Biblical investigation confirms it. The enabling power of the Holy Spirit grants us insight to understand the Word.

Always remember obedience to scripture is a must! That is why it must be taught accurately and should obtain your personal conformation. Some think they do not have to observe scripture unless it convicts them. This is false doctrine that prevails everywhere. Nowhere in the Word does it teach we are allowed to overlook exhortations until we receive conviction. This is simply an excuse to apply license.

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The tares, we read of in Jude, are not those who care about the exhortations of scripture and therefore they will suffer destruction, “By the very things they know by instinct, like unreasoning animals, they will be destroyed by.” “Why?” Because there is a coming judgment by the hand of Christ, the One they did not take seriously.

Most everyone knows God created mankind with instinct as Romans 1:18f declares. God has penned His truths of creation on all men’s hearts of instinct through His seen evidence. Men who deny there is a God are without excuse, as He has exposed His omnipotence through creation and man instinctively accepts it or rejects it. When man rejects the creator, He opens himself up to many sins and desires of the flesh, including sensuality. Men easily can act out like animals and we see this increasing consistently in our society in many forms; many unmentionable forms.

Chapter 7

Sinister Villains

In verse 11, Old Testament wicked sinister characters are laid before us to teach us to reject their behavior for godly living. You have seen thus far the importance of learning the Old Testament, which provides greater insight into the New Testament. Once we grasp the truths of the New Testament, we must take the time to learn the Old Testament. A great deal of it is quoted in the New, and examples in the Old emphasize the truths in the New. When you see portions of scripture laid out in the New in all capitals, this tells you that these verses first appeared in the Old. Most Bibles will have references to the right of these verses where you can turn to read the original declared scriptures.

These evil villains, cited from the Old Testament with depraved hearts, easily represent people we see in today’s general society as men’s base fascinations never abandon him.

The first person God presents to us through Jude is Cain. He takes us back to the beginning of mankind as he was a son of Adam and Eve and we find him cited in Genesis 4:1-17.

Cain is the first bad guy presented in scripture, where Abel, his brother, was the good guy who loved and followed God. Cain committed the first murder in history because God accepted his brother’s spiritual sacrifice not his. Cain would most likely be in a church today if his birth had been delayed, as he viewed himself as a tithing believer. Also, remember murderers do not usually spend life in prison these days and some get off through technicalities. I knew a man who attended a Bible believing church and most likely still does, who killed a man and got off and holds no remorse for taking a life. I know because his words and attitude disclosed this. Cain seemed to hold little or no remorse for taking Abel’s life. The church most likely would let him in the doors without question as believers state no one is to judge.

I heard a pastor on the news declare that he could not judge a mass murderer who attended his church and was a deacon until his arrest. The pastor revealed no sympathy for the victims and their families; only acceptance and forgiving love for his deacon. It is a very grievous thing when Christians do not weep and get angry over sin, especially the expelling of innocent lives. It is a sad thing when believers do not think it is for them to judge what God has already judged as evil and deserving of death.

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Cain jealously hated his brother Abel because he was viewed as righteous in God’s eyes. Psalm 37:32 aptly declares, “The wicked spies upon the righteous and seeks to kill him.”

The subsequent verse introduces us to Balaam. He was a seer for hire in the Old Testament. He being a false prophet was willing to curse the people of God for money. Balaam represents people who come to Christianity for pious gain whether materially or socially. Many agendas can be hidden in desperately wicked hearts.

Frequently, this mindset involves the secular business workplace. A respected lady in our Christian community mentioned to me how her son, a physician, needed to be attending a large church so he could increase his patient clientele.

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When I attended a business college, church attendance was encouraged for fleshly fulfilling purposes. Of course, everyone has to earn a living, but using the church for material and personal gain in very evil. We need to choose a church that holds the highest Biblical standards, not based according to its size and leave secular enterprising agendas outside its walls.

God stopped selfish enterprising Balaam in his tracts by having Balaam’s ride pronounce a reproach against him. This was on the road that Balaam thought would lead to devilish accumulation. What a sight this would have been; beholding an animal that holds a cursed name telling off a man! Balaam was on his way to plan mischief with Balak, King of Moab. Balak wanted Balaam to curse the children of God, the Jews, offering great fiscal rewards for this satanic task.

What is most ironic is Balaam thinks nothing of his burro frankly speaking to him and in angry agitation tells him off. Fortunately, the donkey lets him know just who he is dealing with, listing his faithful hoofing credentials.

Numbers chapters 22-25 expose us to Balaam. Verse 11 of Jude informs us that Balaam committed error. Balaam is also condemned in Revelation 2:14-16 as he led the children of Israel into many sins. He held the scent of greed wherever he trod. He can represent many today who use gimmickry so people will give to their cause in the name of false Christianity. Balaams are everywhere present in Christianity and they seem to be significantly increasing in number.

Balaams are people who serve God expecting substantial monetary rewards. Pastors who are Balaams love large collection plates filled to the brim and thousands in their congregation to adore them because they have put their church on the map of success. There are pastors who will refuse to oversee a fellowship unless the price is right and the price has to be significantly right. Balaams are in Christianity for what they can get not what they can give. Many televangelists are Balaams and you can tell by the shinning rings on their fingers and their silk, tailor-made wear.

Balaam and Balak were both immoral in intent. They desired to own the Jews so they would follow after false religious teachings and engage in sexual promiscuity of pagan kind. Balak was not being successful in getting the Hebrews, God’s children, to stumble. He determined if they could not beat them, then they should get them to join them. Balaam and Balak instigated a plan whereby they would introduce the men of God to the lovely, enticing Moabite women. Resultantly, they would intermarry without a thought, not seeing what lay beyond the sensual delights of these godless babes of moral destruction.

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Balaam and Balak succeeded to a degree because many desired to follow their immoral religion of fleshly delights. In Numbers chapter 25, the bodily, alluring daughters of Moab became triumphant in their persuasions of idol worship and sex; whereby, the Jews followed and God’s judgment hatchet fell.

Balaam sounded very godly and even prophesied in the name of the LORD and in truth. He was a powerful preacher who knew about God and His Word. He held all the acquired godly-appearing ingredients to deceive God’s children.

The scriptures also reprove Balaam in 2 Peter 2:12f. This passage reveals the agendas of false teachers who entice others by fleshly desires and consistently pay the consequences as Balaam did “as black darkness has been reserved for them.”

Korah, follows Balaam on Jude 11’s villain list; he also was corrupt and self-centered and his ways are set before us in Numbers chapter 16. He opposed the authority of Moses whereby the earth “opened its mouth and swallowed” him “up,” like a whale swallowing a fly. He was rebellious to God’s righteous ways of living. He did not hold an obedient heart to God’s truths and commands. He wanted to be number one … not last. He had no desire to be the little unnoticed toe in God’s working body, but had to be the commanding head and nothing less. 1 Corinthians chapter 12 teaches us that no part of the body of Christ is better than another. The heads that conduct the church body, the elders and teachers, are not better than those who silently perform unnoticed ministries, who represent a little part of the functioning—the toes. However, of course, we must submit to and respect church elders as they present God’s Word accurately for us to obey.

In the New Testament, Christ proclaimed the last shall be first and the first last, as humility is the core of faith. Christ was meek and humble of heart—Matthew 11:29. He is our example of not holding any kind of elevated mindset. Neither the uplifting of men nor the fame of men is of God.

Verse 12 of Jude reveals that people like Cain, Balaam and Korah are in our churches as they eat with us. The “love feasts” mentioned here occurred prior to communion in early church times. The Corinthian church educates us concerning the love feasts, which have been discontinued because believers abused this time. The Corinthians ate, drank and ignored the poor believers in attendance, not allowing them to have any food during this remembrance of Christ’s death and resurrection.

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1 Corinthians chapter 11 speaks of the church being despised due to its cliquish partiality and drunkenness. We see here God is very concerned about what takes place in every church and it should never act according to a haughty, self-indulging mindset.

God did not command the love feast dismissal; believers just chose to end them. It certainly would not be wrong to have love feasts today if performed out of love of Christ and the uplifting of Him alone. We see from the text of 1 Corinthians chapter 11 that the communion service followed this time of people fellowshipping around a dinner.

We read in Jude 12 that the beguilers were partaking of this pre-communion meal and most likely the bread and the cup as well. Today, everyone is invited to take communion in contemporary congregations with no questions asked. One does not need to have a testimony to take the cup and bread. This allows false teachers to even appear more spiritual for acceptance sake. They do not fear taking the cup unworthily as they have a satanic agenda to fill that does not encompass fearing God. They have no true dread of God and His punishment, just a desire to deceive and recruit.

While contemplating these various aspects that surround communion and who is to partake, I thought of George Muller (1805-1898) who had a far-reaching evangelistic ministry in England. In regard to his church services, I was struck by the fact that one had to prove their salvation through godly faithfulness, humility and not being entangled with materialism before they could break bread. 1 Corinthians 5:11 exhorts us not to associate with covetous believers and a great deal of scripture deals with walking humbly before our God and others. George Muller was very cautious and what he required was not contrary to the Word. We would have far superior fellowships today if this was applied; we wouldn’t have many sitting in the pews taking communion unworthily.

We read these false believers in Jude were hidden, even during the pre-communion meal. They blended in and knew how to play the Christian act or part. Such ones are those who seem godly yet will try to introduce doctrines that are worldly and unscriptural. It reports that they are “hidden reefs.” These reefs are as hidden sandbars in the ocean. Ships run into these undetected destroyers to their ruin. These reefs or false teachers can destroy a congregation as they lead others by example, by insisting whatever feels good is good. They bear no good fruit, because they don’t love Christ and His Word with all their hearts, but love the worldly ways of self-centered pleasure.

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They only care for themselves and their own agendas. They are not on fire for the Word of God. They do not constantly speak of God’s truths and how Christ is working in their lives.

Human reefs can ruin us if we do not live solely by scripture—walking in all godliness, holiness, and truth. Galatians 1:10 states, “For am I now seeking the favor of men, or of God? Or am I striving to please men? If I were trying to please men, I would not be a bondservant of Christ.” This is a profitable verse to memorize in that it can assist us in never following deceived influences who teach contrary to scripture. Galatians deals with church attendees who influence by presenting a tainted Gospel. It addresses people-pleasing believers who wanted to be part of a tolerance-centered congregation and therefore they wouldn’t eradicate the false teachers. Jeremiah 17:5 is also a great verse to commit to memory in this area, as it declares, cursed is the man who trusts in man and makes man his strength.

On-fire Christians who apply God’s Word will detect reefs, those who are not spirit-filled believers. Perhaps not right away. But through observation and paying heed to what they say, they detect something is amiss. They take note of their actions that reveal something is not right here, which sounds an alarm of warning in their spirit.

Many Christians want to think the best of others and will hope that what they perceive cannot be true when it is in a negative scope. True love wants to believe the best. However, in many cases in today’s church, disappointment can be a norm when wanting to locate a true dedicated obedient believer who will not eventually slap them in the face in one way or another with some false teaching.

All through the centuries, believers have had to walk in caution in the Christian sphere. Paul stated that he had to be constantly on guard due to the false brethren; 1 Corinthians 11:26.

Bible translator, William Tyndale (1494-1536) died by the hands of a false believer. A worthless man by the name of Henry Philips brought William Tyndale’s ministry of Bible translating, printing and distribution to an abrupt end through his acting achievements.

Tyndale knew if he was caught for this illegal activity that it could mean death; he being the most wanted man by Romish religious clergy. This ruling religious sect did all they could to stop his small as a hand New Testaments from landing in the palms of commoners which he smuggled into England through ingenious schemes.

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Philips successfully pretensed himself as a friend by establishing a close relationship of trust. He gained Tyndale’s certitude by posing as a dedicated fellow believer in Christ and His Word. You can imagine Tyndale’s shock and pain when this faithful friend implemented espionage to trap him with evidence of his underground work. It was like the kiss of Judas upon his face. Tyndale was arrested, strangled and his body burned at the stake near Brussels, Belgium all because of a “hidden reef” he befriended who had hateful murder hidden in his spying heart.

In Revelation chapter 2, Christ exalts the Ephesus church for not tolerating evil men and putting to test those who called themselves apostles, and found them to be liars. Philips was found to be lair and a deceiver but not until a powerful dedicated life became a burnt sacrifice.

In the Ephesus church, the evil destructive ones were removed before they could bring harm upon believers through the Ephesians discerning scrutiny.

Chapter 8

The Fruitless and the Productive

As we continue to observe verse 12 of Jude, we note these false hidden teachers are autumn trees without fruit. I believe the “no fruit” and “bad fruit” found in scripture are mostly synonymous.

We can test church attendees by observing their fruit production—Matthew 7:15-20. We can sight both good and bad fruit through the wisdom of Christ’s words found in this Matthew passage. The good fruit would be detected in a person through a holy heart of loving obedience to the Word. Not that a true believer never has a sinful thought or action, but the overall person walks in general uprightness. The good fruit also produces more of the same godly crop.

Christ’s given insight on the bad fruit reveals it is not an inner godly, long lasting harvest. If you look beneath the beautiful skin, you detect all the destructive blemishes.

When it comes to personally observing bad fruit, I have come across much through inspection. And I must admit, it sometimes takes years before the blemishes appear outright. False teachers and false believers can fool Christians for years as they can act so good on Sunday. They can be grand theatrical performers but eventually the make-up wears away.

Some teaching tares will pace themselves to perfect synchronization knowing just when to start bringing in false doctrines—after they have believers eating out of their hand. These doctrines begin to appear when they feel assured they have won everyone over to their trust. Therefore, you and I must never be passive, but on the alert and on guard so we do not follow and become rotten fruit as well, which is their goal in leading others down their harvest path. Their false doctrines are placed upon others so the domino effect of never ending evil falls on everyone and everyone falls down like Humpty Dumpty. Everyone self-destructs and no true witness is left. This is what the consuming apostasy is all about and it is consuming most everyone slowly today in a tolerant teaching environment.

When I have been under teachers who introduce false teaching, I think I cannot be hearing this. In the past, I have prayed for the Lord to correct me if I am wrong in how I am interpreting something.

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However, I would find upon study that what I believe is the truth. About this time, I would usually bounce things off of Alan wanting to be cautious and not too judgmental. He, being discerning, would share his thoughts and concerns. We would usually stick it out until we could not bear hearing doctrines that were out of sync any longer. This type of thing has hurt Alan and I deeply. God has led us together in cautioning discernment, which is important to a marriage.

I have a friend who has been a math teacher in the public school system for years. She has taught with various ones in her career who she never would have guessed were believers by their words and actions. Once she was shocked to learn that a couple fellow teachers were pastors’ wives and one of these ladies was formerly on staff with “Campus Crusade for Christ.”

She learned these so-called Christian women of position could put on a great show at church, but act totally carnal when in the secular school system to blend in just right. One teacher holds a position in a Baptist church but she owns the foulest of mouths; swearing unceasingly.

We can see the essential importance of learning how leaders act outside the walls of the church before we place ourselves under their teaching and authority. Before a man can be placed in a pastoral role, the church must learn what kind of reputation he holds in the community as is taught in Timothy and Titus. He must be one who is above reproach in every way as one who brings pure honor to the Savior.

We also see a phrase in Jude 12 that points to self-centeredness as these people only cared for themselves. Such people believe they are number one when it comes to importance as we view often today. They watch out for number one and what number one believes. It is always “ME time” for them. They believe everyone is to tune themselves to the words of number one; not the holy One. These types of people are empty in all ways and have no fear of God … being described here through a visual aid—“clouds without water, carried along by winds.” This aptly describes anyone who is caught up in man-made thinking and activities. They think they are on center stage when it comes to accomplishments, but in reality they are empty like waterless clouds that bear no good productive thing.

Jude 13 continues this exposure of the disgusting attributes of these tares through more visual aids—they are wild waves of the sea who cast up their own abominable foam. They are wondering stars for which black darkness is reserved for them forever.

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This verse just doesn’t fit into contemporary Christianity does it? Today’s easy believism and positive believism would hurl out anyone through any church door for thinking negative of any godless person who comes to take part. Everyone is beautiful who comes to church no matter their wicked lifestyles. How God must weep over the apostate church!

Joel Osteen, the pastor of America’s largest church, over 30,000 members, states his church “is open for everybody.” He refuses to condemn homosexuality, abortion and anything that would cause the world to hate him.

“Friday Church News Notes, September 29, 2006, – At a recent book signing in Boston, Joel Osteen, pastor of Americas largest church, said he doesn’t believe it is his calling to condemn homosexuality and homosexual marriage. When Osteen, the pastor of Lakewood Church in Houston, Texas, was asked his opinion about gay marriage, he gave the following vapid reply: I never feel like homosexuality is God’s best. I don’t feel like that’s my thrust … You know, some of the issues that divide us, and I’m here to let people know that God is for them and He’s on their side.”

Paul was hated by those who were made to feel guilty by his writings on holy living. Pastors today do not want to be hated; they want to be loved by everyone for fame sake.

Joel Osteen was selected by Barbara Walters as one of the 10 Most Fascinating People in 2006. This is the first time a pastor has appeared on the annual television special. Osteen focuses on a positive message and refuses to preach on negative issues such as repentance and judgment. You will not hear a sermon on hell at his prestigious Lakewood Church. Walters stated, it was Osteen’s “positive message and huge congregation” that led her “to pick him.”

If any of the prophets and apostles were preaching in today’s world, they would never be selected in a positive way to represent the American way of adoring fascinating people. Christ was martyred for not submitting to culture and so were many of the apostles. They would not consider it a privilege to be seen as famous and desirable from the world view. They would be mocked today for their prudish, unwavering ways.

Christ warned, “Woe to you when all men speak well of you, for their fathers used to treat the false prophets in the same way;” Luke 6:26. “If you were of the world, the world would love its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, because of this the world hates you.

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Remember the word that I said to you, the slave is not greater than his master. If they have persecuted Me, they will also persecute you; if they kept My saying, they will keep yours also;” John 15:19-20.

Enoch was not a man-pleaser but spoke the truths of God devoid of likable compromise. I believe he had his times of persecution and rejection, knowing he preached the judgment of God.

Verse 14 of Jude sheds new revelation upon us concerning Enoch who we read of in Genesis chapter 5. In Genesis, we are not made aware of the fact that Enoch was a prophet, but here in Jude it is disclosed. Enoch lived before the flood, so I would guess he prophesied of the world water rushing inundation and the great oncoming judgment that we read of here where Christ comes with “many thousands of His holy ones.”

Enoch was an exceptionally righteous man as God did not desire that he suffer death so He raptured him to heaven, therefore “he was not.” The Hebrews 11:5 KJV text states, he was “translated;” this equates with he disappeared or was raptured.

Enoch was Noah’s righteous grandfather. He was of the godly line of Seth; Genesis 5:3. Seth looked just like his father, Adam, as we are told from this verse. Mormons believe in the “mark of Cain” being present today. They teach the black race descended from Cain’s evil genealogy. However, the godless line of Cain was completely annihilated at the time of the flood. Only Seth’s genealogical tree continued; his brother’s did not.

We find Enoch’s faith spoken of in Hebrews 11:5 (the faith chapter) which teaches us God removed Enoch from the earth because “he was pleasing to God.”

Enoch is our example of being pleasing to God by fully recognizing God does not lie and therefore warned of God’s coming judgment. From Genesis to Revelation the Bible has warnings of the “wrath to come” or the “day of the Lord.” Christ, the prophets, apostles, etc, pronounced words of doom due to the fact that nothing like it has appeared in the way of judgment in the past; including the world wide flood of Genesis.

If you read Revelation and related Bible scriptures, you see it needs to be preached as Enoch did and as Jude does here. It is all neglected in this day of worldly apostasy where humanism reigns even in Christendom.

You can recognize by verses 14 and 15 of Jude why Enoch’s warnings are needed, as these verses state “Behold, the Lord came with many thousands of His holy ones, to execute judgment upon all, and to convict all the ungodly of all their ungodly deeds which they have done in an ungodly way, and of all the harsh things which ungodly sinners have spoken against Him.”

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These verses in Jude are magnified in an envisaged presentation in Revelation. The apostle John witnessed it through a staged reality performance from God and wrote it all down as it occurred to inform you and me. Revelation mainly deals with the tribulation. Revelation pronouncements should cause believers to sit up and take notice. It ought to incite fear of what is to fall upon all unbelievers whom Enoch referred to way back at the beginning of time. These are all inerrant disclosures.

In chapter 6 of Revelation, we read of the opening of 7 seals of a book. These seals unlock the wrath of God upon the earth when broken. Here Christ removes peace from the earth. Peace is one of His gifts bestowed upon mankind so most live in some type of ordained respectful order. The majority of society does not engage in murderous rampages. However, when the Lord God eradicates peace from the earth, men will slay one another commonly. We also note from this chapter that God will bring famine and pestilence upon mankind in a way never witnessed before as it will affect the whole earth. Man will also be mauled and devoured by wild beasts. Animal rights activists will be silenced during this time when God allows these creatures to torment men as never before.

An earthquake will devastate beyond Richter scale registering revealing incomprehensible magnitude. And the sun will become black as sackcloth; the moon will turn to a bloody state and stars will be allowed to enter earth’s atmosphere falling upon mankind. Every mountain and island will be moved out of their places.

If you read towards the end of chapter 6, you will see that mankind will hide himself in caves and will call for the mountains and rocks to fall on him as he will not want to face the Lamb of God—Christ who is all holy and hates all sin. This verse reveals there will be no atheists—everyone will know Christ is avenging the sin of the world.

And no that is not all—God will destroy a third of mankind by fire, smoke, and brimstone through a mounted army of two hundred million. He will destroy a third of the earth, a third of the trees, grass, creatures of the sea and ships a sail. He will strike a third of the sun, moon, and stars.

Furthermore, the waters of this earth will turn to blood and man will be smitten with every possible plague. Hell stones, a hundred pounds each, will fall from heaven upon men.

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This is just a taste of Revelation’s avenging pain orchestrated by Christ arriving upon mankind in this great day of tribulation that will descend from a pure and righteous God.

I believe, I have provided you with a little mirror to reveal a few of the upcoming events that explain why Enoch took the occasion to warn mankind of the great tribulation from the beginning of time. We are ever so much closer to end time catastrophes … we all need to take heed and take the delivery of the salvation message more contemplatively. When Paul witnessed to Felix in Acts 24:23, he discussed with him “righteousness, self-control and the judgment to come.” Felix was a Roman administrator who lived a loose pleasure-filled life and needed to fear the judgment to come upon all that he might embrace Christianity and repent.

Today there is a movement that removes the arriving tribulation judgment that is preached in Revelation, Acts, Jude, and in numerous Biblical books. This captivating deceived movement places us in the kingdom age today if we just grab hold.

There are people in churches who are rewriting Revelation to their own condemnation. Revelation 22:18-19 dooms those who add to this book …they will receive the plagues contained within and those who subtract will be banned from heaven.

Many pastors and teachers are proclaiming false precepts, adding and subtracting from Revelation without any fear. They eradicate the coming judgment and most everything else avowed.

This teaching can be referred to as Christian dominion though those who present it do not refer to it as any doctrinal stance; they simply proclaim it. The Bible teaches that Christ will rule in the Kingdom age from Jerusalem and He will bring death upon all who oppose him before He takes His earthly throne.

Revelation chapter 19:11-21 announces:

Christ is coming on a white horse. He is going to judge and wage war. His eyes are a flame of fire and He wears many crowns. He is clothed in a robe dipped in blood and His name is the Word of God. From His mouth comes a sharp sword and with it He will strike down the nations and He will rule over them with a rod of iron. He treads the wine press of the fierce wrath of God, the Almighty! An angel will come and stay to the birds, “Come and assemble for the great supper of God so you may eat the flesh of mighty men, the flesh of kings, and the flesh of the commanders and the flesh of men, both free and slaves, and small and great.” And I saw the beast and the kings of the earth and their armies assembled to make war against Christ who sat on the horse and against His army.  

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The pagan warriors’ blood spilled their defeat, which paved the way for the Mighty Son of God, King of Israel, to introduce millennial peace to the earth. (Revelation chapter 20, Ezekiel chapter 34 and 39:1-12, Zechariah 2:10-12, 8:3-8, etc.)

Despite these unmistakable teachings, many Christian songs are being composed and sung in churches that imply we are dwelling in the kingdom age though nothing has been fulfilled as of yet. Some of this composition is arriving from the Vineyard movement. It implies that we should be reigning with Christ right now on the earth—believers must bring it on. It instructs the changing of the world socially, economically, educationally and spiritually, to usher in the kingdom. This is totally divergent to scripture, it being man’s desired belief system. It is brainwashing and it is working because so few believers know their Bibles today including the book of Revelation.

Dominion doctrine teaches that any god-acknowledging people, through their own instrumentation, must commit to bring peace upon the earth through humanitarian endeavors. All humanistic, religious-minded people are intricate in this effort. Ecumenicalism is the glue of this movement.

Dominion apostate doctrine maintains one basic belief: Christ will not return until the ecumenical church maintains global control—it is within reach and it is being done; so it is kind of like, we have arrived.

This doctrine falsely and deceptively teaches that the church has replaced Israel and so the church is our hope of kingdom come. Yes, it is wishy-washy and full of entangling confusion. God is not a God of confusion; which must always be retained in mind. Every believer must be on guard so they aren’t sucked into any bogus new agenda thinking.

The book of Jude dismantles apocalypse false doctrines plus other misleading dogmas of today.

Looking at Enoch’s quotation further, please notice he used the word “ungodly” four times in Jude 15. This world is going to suffer from a coming judgment that will be rained upon “all” of the earth’s ungodly. Therefore, we must bring Christ’s message to as many as possible.

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It is not about ushering in a humanitarian habitation; it is about the saving Gospel message that must include warnings of the judgment to arrive. It must be preached with Enoch’s warning passion.

This verse should also stir believers’ hearts to obedient fear, knowing every Christian must strive to live by God’s standards. We will all stand before His judgment seat, and be tried by fire in regards to our works; 1 Corinthians chapter 3. We must be wise enough to realize we will not be judged in light of American cultural standards, but by God’s holy perfect standards.

This coming judgment is to set fear in all believers so we walk in a godly manner while upon the earth. 1 Corinthians 3:3-4 warns us not to walk in a fleshly manner or like mere men. We are to walk in godliness so people recognize we are not of this world or of American culture, but simply ambassadors for Christ. Enoch lived this way, being not of this world, living and speaking of those things that are eternal and possess everlasting value. He chose not to identify himself as part of the local community. His identity card revealed he was united with God alone. He was one with God in preaching the coming judgment.

Verse 16 of Jude brings all this into context as those who are false teachers don’t possess the heart, mind and soul of Enoch. They are earthly-minded, reeking of arrogance, craving earthly gain and they implement flattery to grab hold. They speak of themselves and their accomplishments, not warning of the coming judgment of God. They own no true concept of living holy separated lives through regeneration.

Malachi chapter 4 warns of God’s judgment on the arrogant or proud person. It states, “For behold a day is coming, burning like a furnace; and all the arrogant and every evildoer will be chaff; and the day that is coming will set them ablaze.”

Jude and Malachi are warnings to me so I desire to put on humility. It is wrong for me to build myself up or give myself praise. This truth in Jude speaks to my heart in a great way as my flesh always wants to exalt itself. Praying for humility and being delivered from pride is a continual prayer of mine when my flesh raises its ugly, hideous, deceived head.

I also recognize from these warnings that I am never to make fun of another as this proclaims a proud statement of, “I am better than you.” I will Someday give an account of every word I uttered and I know I will be made ashamed as I fall very short. May Christ continue to mold and change me into His image before my time arrives when I come before my Lord for analysis of reward.

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The scriptural warnings of Malachi and Jude are for my benefit and yours. What may assist us with these verses is to shine a brighter light of reflection upon them by picturing the proud, self-seeking, typical salesperson. Such a one loves to flatter for business success and will pretend they are one in thought with whomever they approach. I think all of us have been flattered by a salesperson for their personal, proud financial gain and our personal loss.

We must always make sure we never buy into such gimmickry and never implement it ourselves for our own personal financial success. The Lord blesses honesty, humility and forthrightness. Arrogance and flattery are not to be part of the believer’s heart in the church or outside. They are the implementations of the world for carnal personal achievement.

Verses 17 and 18 embrace another warning concerning end times and those who mock the scriptures—the recorded words of Christ, the apostles and prophets. Remember, 2 Peter 3:2 commands us to abide in the teachings of the holy prophets and the apostles as they wrote the words of Christ. Mocking scriptural truths occurs because there are those who want to pursue “their own ungodly lusts.” Of course, this has been the prevailing theme in this little letter of Jude. It is repeated as a warning for us to be careful of those who feed the flesh … not to get close to them so they influence us. This would include those who are flirtatious toward you. These people are very dangerous holding evil motives in their heart. They are in the church as you probably well know if you are allowing your eyes to be discerningly open.

This verse in Jude is reaffirmed in 2 Peter 3:3-4. Peter deals with people mocking because Christ still has not returned as scripture predicted. They view the Word of God as false and therefore lethal license can be implemented. They may arrogantly state, “Nothing has changed in the world, so the Bible must not be true.” These people are excuse-makers. They use this excuse to live according to what is right in their own eyes, following after their own lusts. They have no fear of God seeing so many getting away with wickedness or so it appears. Those who truly believe scripture recognize no one gets away with any unrepentant way and all stated consequences in Revelation and elsewhere will arrive.

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It is sad when someone points out a wayward believer to me who seems to be getting away with murder. I always assure them a day of reckoning will come as God says, He is the “God of vengeance” and we can leave this in His hands. Psalm 94 is the vengeance song, which we can pray for those who despitefully use us and others for personal gain. This Psalm reveals the pain one goes through when they are being persecuted for righteousness sake. Not long ago I encouraged a hurting woman who was in persecuted pain to pray this psalm. I also pointed out the uplifting truths of 2 Thessalonians chapter 1 for her encouragement. This passage deals with Christ bringing judgment upon those who persecute the righteous.

We are also to pray for the repentance of anyone who is in sin so they once again bring glory to the Savior. We cannot walk in bitterness or hatred toward another. When Stephen was being stoned for proclaiming convicting truths to the Jews, Acts chapter 7, he begged God not to hold the sin against them in modeling the example of His Savior when crucified.

In 2 Peter 3:14-17, Peter is addressing those untaught and unstable ones who mock Paul by stating his statements are hard to understand and therefore they distort them. These were people who misrepresented Paul’s writings as well as the rest of scripture as we read here. These people will always be hanging around so we must be aware. I know a man who attends church yet he enjoys spitefully making fun of Paul. I often pray for him to feel conviction so his heart changes. Leadership does need to confront such people as no one is to despise the apostles’ teachings; 2 Thessalonians 2:15 and 3:6; 1 Corinthians 11:2 and 4:17-21.

We note throughout the book of Jude, people in the church desiring to walk according to the flesh. Therefore we know they are not filled with the Holy Spirit, they are devoid of the Spirit, as we see if we drop down to verse 19. As I stated before, those who are filled with the Holy Spirit are recognizable as they speak about all of God’s Word with enthusiasm and on a continual basis. These Spirit-filled ones do not care if they are considered socially unacceptable because this criterion of society approval is no where found in scripture. Of course, I do not mean we walk in a silly manner by displaying silly behavior. Christ, our example, always portrayed a wise and discerning manner. If we feel we lack in wise, dignified behavior and speech, we can ask God to change us. Proverbs is a powerful book for instilling wise conduct and I have needed to seek its wisdom often.

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In Jude 19, we read more of the warnings about these people who come in the door of churches. They are “worldly minded.”  Worldly minded and worldly worded walk hand in hand.  Many missionary pamphlets I have received display an in-vogue appearance. I hate to pick them up as they make me sick to my stomach, as they imitate every new craze to make every believer feel like they are on the pinnacle of showy astuteness. Those who publish these periodicals do not offer an appearance of people who are of the Holy Spirit, just the opposite. They portray those who are of the cutting edge of humanitarianism, which is viewed as very posh in today’s secular society. They implement most every new released phrase of explanation so you will want to give to such an in-grove organization. They rarely speak of persecution … more likely how the world loves them for their bountiful compassionate efforts that do not threaten like the Gospel message of repentance and regeneration.

As we delve more into Jude, we see these false teachers as those who produce divisions as well as everything else we have noted. I know of a pastor who has caused three or more church splits in the area of Boise, Idaho. It was not that long ago that he had left behind a bunch of dismayed people. However, he has moved on to start another church, which has already acquired a large building. He is eloquently impressive.

Elders, who solidly hold to the Word, will not be producing church divisions. It is most always those people who bring in their own personal interpretations who cause splits. I have noticed how easy it can be for a man with leadership qualities to deliberately start attending a troubled church, simply for the purpose of causing a split so he can have a ready-made church. Self-motivating people can simply start a separation by stating negative things about leadership that are unfounded, and take the diabolical steps from there. Easy!

Jude is completely applicable for us today including in the area of being watchful of those who want to divide churches simply so they can hold a position of arrogant authority in order to do their own thing according to their own way.

As we move into verse 20, we turn to those who represent true and sincere believers and the exhortation for them to build themselves up in the “most holy faith.” I love this phrase which calls for holiness conformity, being it is absolutely opposite of anything that is of this sinful world. It can never offer the “holy faith” we have in our Savior. God’s Holy Word is matchless and through it He fashions us to be His conformed. Of course, this conformation can never reach sinless perfection. However, it does take hold of continuing maturity whereby we never become complacent in the faith.

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“Praying in the Holy Spirit” is the next phrase of this verse. It is interceding according to the scriptures. The verses are endless that we can pray to the Father in the name of Christ as we search throughout the Holy Word. Sunday, our pastor was teaching on prayer and one illustration he gave was to pray for husbands to love their wives as their own bodies. This is directly from the Holy Word and we know it is according to the Holy Spirit’s perfect will holding the power thereof.

I enjoy interceding with Colossians 1:9-13 for fellow saints to grow in their faith. These verses cover everything a person needs for godly maturity. It encompasses believers advancing in perception, power, steadfastness and so forth. I plead verse 13 for the unsaved, interceding for so and so to be delivered from the domain of darkness and transferred to the kingdom of His beloved Son. I also enjoy praying many other scriptures, for I know if I entreat in this way, I am supplicating according to God’s perfect will in His Holy Spirit.

We are next commanded to keep ourselves in the love of God; verse 21. We can turn to 1 Corinthians chapter 13 and get a greater grasp of this love that is not self-centered and never demands its own way. It is a love of charity, a sacrificial love not a sensual love. We can also see it demonstrated at the conclusion of the book of John in chapter 21, where Christ inquires of Peter of his love for Him. Christ tells Peter if he loves Him, he will feed the sheep, meaning fellow believers. What it stresses completely is implanting God’s truths, and it must not be done in a sheepish manner but with all Christ’s authority and power. If we truly love fellow believers, we will desire their growth unto spiritual maturity. A man teaching another man or other men is best (men should not place themselves in tempting situations by teaching a woman). A woman teaching another woman or other women is also best. Women are not to exercise authority over men by teaching them; 1 Timothy 2:12-14.

Now God did use Priscilla to teach Apollos, Acts 18:24-26, but she did it in conjunction with her husband as head. She would have never taught men in the church, though she was gifted and intelligent, as she walked in obedience to the apostles teaching in conjunction with scripture.

Acts 21:8-9 addresses Philip the evangelist who was a deacon in the Jerusalem church. He was the one who introduced the Ethiopian eunuch to Christ as witnessed in Acts chapter 8. Philip had four virgin daughters who were prophetesses. His prophesying daughters spoke the Word of Christ, but were not preachers or teachers over men.

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God can bless women significantly through the gifts of the Holy Spirit, but they must be implemented in conjunction with their calling of being of a quiet and gentle spirit that doesn’t want to usurp authority over men.

We know “keeping ourselves in the love of God” can also entail personal sacrifice for our Savior’s testimony. Christ states in John 21:18-19 to “Follow Me” and these verses boldly signify unto a martyr’s death which was specified for Peter as a warning of his pending martyrdom which would arrive when he became elderly. Peter followed unto death as did some of the other apostles because he loved the Savior unto death. We know following Christ has meant unto death for countless believers since Peter. Even today believers in various foreign lands follow unto a martyr’s death to display their undying love for the Savior.

Jude points us to the most marvelous truth of all at the end of verse 21 and that is our eternal hope of being with Christ forever and ever! We are commanded to wait anxiously for this time of eternal life. It is not a sin to yearn for heaven and the sinless embodiment we will receive. Being disappointed that Christ did not receive us today into His heavenly home is a good thing. We get tired of battling sin and having this hope set before us allows us to continue on despite the heaviness of the fight at times. A happy ending is awaiting.

We are to have mercy and walk in mercy according to Jude 22. Some believers may be struggling in their faith and we need to encourage them to keep on keeping on. Barnabas was an encourager in the early church and we all need to be encouragers as this world is very wicked, yet alluring. The battle can be fierce at times and simply phoning someone who we know is in a spiritual battle can lift them up and assist them to stand firm. Frequent calls to them and asking if they want to cover a few verses in a particular book in the Bible during every conversation can cause the troubled one standing on troubled waters to be benefited.

Taking the time to disciple a weak and hurting believer has numerous rewards. This is certainly exercising mercy on those who may be doubting.

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New believers are weak and suffer with many doubts and we need to be sensitive to this and make sure someone is aiding them in discipleship. Going verse by verse through the book of John is a good place to begin as new believers need to learn about their loving Savior. They usually have many questions and mature believers in the church need to be always available for their inquisitive minds.

Chapter 9

Fire Protection with Cleaning Precautions

We now move onto our responsibility of reaching the lost. We do not desire that anyone burn forever in the “Lake of Fire” as revealed in Revelation 20:20 which is a forthright teaching on the final fiery judgment of the unsaved. “Snatching them out of the fire,” as we read in Jude 23, is a requirement bestowed on us. This example was left to us by the Lord as He sent the apostles out into the streets to reach the lost no matter the personal price which included the disdain of convicted hearers.

Sitting around and just enjoying life with no thought of others is not of the Lord. We are to sacrifice in order to snatch people “out of the fire.”

When it comes to wives and mothers, we must recognize our first call is to be workers in the home. I personally love this call. However, desiring to do the work of the service is also a call, but never to the neglect of my home.

If outreach ministry to women and children does this, then I must discontinue. If my home is not filled with constant love and devotion, I must back off. If my home is not clean and managed, then I must back off. My children are now grown, but when they were in the home, I made them a priority; but not in neglect of my husband. I often tell ladies who are not feeling they are doing enough that they must remember their first call is to be a worker in the home, loving their husband and children; Titus 2:4-5.

We cannot have our husbands and children feeling neglected as we follow our own agendas of service. We were called in Genesis to be our husband’s helpmate not an uppity women’s libber, having no respect for natural domestic attributes. The home front must always be protected and guarded. We have many disturbed homes because they are not protected by a stay-at-home attentive sentry.

Time for outside ministry can come when the children leave the home if a woman’s husband allows. God wants Christian homes to be a major witness in obedience to His Word.

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A woman may not think she is accomplishing much for the kingdom when she is shinning forth brilliantly as an obedient hardworking submissive wife and loving mother. She retains more impact on the watching world than she ever can imagine. This planet is filled with unfaithfulness and she can be a light amongst an adulterous and sinful generation; Mark 8:38.

One thing that has assisted me in desired outreach and still does is sending out salvation letters—mailings I send randomly to people listed in the phonebook. They state the Gospel message and include a challenge to receive Christ. I have a letter saved on the computer and I print copies off. Another thing I engage in, is handing New Testaments to ladies and I leave tracts in restrooms. These activities do not cause me to neglect my husband and home.

There is a bit more to Jude 23, as we must keep ourselves pure when we go into this vile world to reach those lost in wickedness. Secular influences and ways are never to pollute. Our garments must always be pure and unstained as we walk in sin-avoidance.

Awhile back, I bought a white leather jacket from a lady at a yard sale. She was definitely of this world and her jacket reeked of it. I took it home and cleaned it up … all in an effort to remove its smelly sinful past. However, after all my attempt of purifying it, it still festered of the world’s involvements. I ended up placing it in a closet with a vanilla air freshener. It eventually removed the scents I abhorred. Then I fastened a metal tea set broach to distinguish my feminine personality. Now it has been transformed—looks and smells nice, and people like it; but I still think of where it came from on occasion. Yucky!

I know if I had bought it off a rack all spankin’ new, without a past, I never would have had to deal with it. However, I also never would have thought so thoroughly through this verse’s meaning.

We are to “hate” the sinful “garment polluted by the flesh.” Hate paints an accurate portrait of how we are to view all of society’s ways that are divergent to the Word of God. It is a strong word but God placed it in Jude to get our attention. Sin and disobedience are not to be looked at in a flippant manner. The things the world seeks after are not to be the things we seek after. To even hate the garment means we hate the sin so much that we can’t even stand the garments that took part in it. If we don’t hate the sin, we can be tempted to take part as Galatians 6:1 gives warning of.

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Every sin is to be abhorred by us without compromise or agreeing. We do not state, “Oh yes, I understand why you fell into that sin so it’s not that bad.” It can be easy to hold this type of attitude because our flesh desires to please for acceptance sake. We must always be alert and on guard so we do not forsake our holy Lord’s teachings.

To illustrate this more clearly, let us examine Jacob when he held a desire for revival. In Genesis 35:1-4 God told Jacob to worship at Bethel in the Holy Land. With heart-filled obedience, Jacob instructed his people to remove everything that smelled of godlessness, including their garments. This was part of their cleansing from pagan defilement. They were to put on garments that represented righteous and pure living. They were called to be a peculiar people as aliens on this earth just as we are today. Our dress should mirror holy and modest living not entanglement with a sinful society. We should hate garments that mirror an indecent and amoral culture.

Clothing formerly was referred to as a “habit” meaning what represented a person’s habitual activity. We still witness this in the labor world as various garments tell us how a person makes a living. It is easy to recognize a construction worker, cook, farmer, maid, mechanic, and on and on. A habit symbolizes a calling, rank or function. Jacob wanted cleansing from habits of the world in dress and action. He wanted a new calling placed upon God’s people that revealed new habits of life that came from new habits of dress.

Believers today are to discern that the garments worn by sinners = the representation of humankind’s polluted ways. It is what makes a garment or the skin dirty or polluted. We want to be worthy to walk in perfectly laundered white garments with Christ when we arrive at our heavenly home; Revelation 3:5.

The theme of purity is carried on in Jude 24, where we are encouraged to be faultless or unblemished before our Savior. “Blameless” is set before our eyes in this verse that takes the theme of being unpolluted further. Christ is able to keep us from stumbling so we can come to him blameless without any pollution that soils. He is able to make us stand “in the presence of His glory, blameless with great joy.”

Isn’t it nice to know He can keep us from falling or stumbling? He is completely omnipotent and therefore very able to keep us close to Him so we never stumble. We need not fear ever moving away from Him. This can only happen if we sincerely choose to do so. He knows our hearts and He is totally able to strengthen us to keep us from turning away. We have this duplicated in scripture through the promise found in 2 Peter 1:10.

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If we practice God’s righteousness and are growing in the faith, we will never stumble. 2 Peter 1:4-8 lists the qualities we need to be increasing for faithful enabling. Of course, this doesn’t mean we will never displease our Lord by thought or action, but by holding tightly to Him, we will never forsake Him for a sinful life.

Jude 24 and the verses in 2 Peter can be memorized for consistent encouragement and growth. If we keep building ourselves up in this most glorious and holy faith, we are never “useless or unfruitful.”

Wow, I have actually reached the concluding verse of Jude, verse 25. This is further praise to our Great God and Savior, who is “the only God and Savior.” Notice “the only.” We must be aware of the fact that there have been many false-christs and there are many today in our religion-filled world. We are warned of these antichrists in 1 John 2:18. Antichrists are most always presented possessing a few attributes of the true Christ for deception purposes.

Christians worship the true, immutable Christ. Let us praise our great God and Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord through awarding Him “glory, majesty, dominion and authority before all time and now and forever. Amen!”

Our eternal home is forever just as God has always been and ever will be. Christ’s children need never fear their future destiny. They are promised eternal life not temporary or just for a thousand years … but everlasting.

IN CLOSING

I now close and snap my briefcase. It is time for you to personally decide if the apostasy is here, as you have now weighed all my arguments with Biblical presentations. I trust these have provided insight for you, the reader, and they provoke you to be a more diligent studier of the Word; recognizing its total application for today’s world.

I request once again, if you are one who has never sincerely given their life to Christ, please do so now. Romans 6:23 teaches, “The wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

The End

July 18, 2009 Posted by | Apostasy, Apostasy in the Church, Bible, Bible Commentary, Christian Books, Christianity, Uncategorized | , , , | 1 Comment

Queen Esther/Looming Holocaust—the book

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By Val Lee

 

 

 

Historical Introduction

 

Most every believer requires strengthening bestowments in the area of encouragement. Isaiah chapter 40 is the perfect place to turn for mind renewal and faith strengthening. It proclaims the omnipotence of an overseeing God—our God who watches over us. Verse 17 explains, “All the nations are nothing before Him; they are regarded by Him as less than nothing and meaningless.” Verse 22 reads, “It is He who sits above the circle of the earth, and its inhabitants are like grasshoppers; who stretches out the heavens like a curtain and spreads them out like a tent to dwell in.”

Verse 23f reveals God rules over all governmental authorities; He establishes rulers and judges and later, often votes them out of office. Christians are commanded to intercede for all in authority; 1 Timothy 2:1-2. Prayer is vital today as threatening leadership governs many sectors on our globe. Even in our nation, there are unjust laws, some which permit the removal of innocent young life. Heavenward petitions can produce hope and answers in troubling times such as ours. Prayer altered perilous times historically. Grim and hopeless data would be the substance of all history books if God never defeated wicked rulers, which He performs in His time, according to His will. He is a just God who hears the supplications of His people, which is why Nero, Hitler, Stalin, Hussein, etc., only ruled for a period in history. Prayer removed wicked Haman from the scene in the book of Esther. 

The concluding verse of Isaiah 40 is completely apropos for the book of Esther, as it states, “Yet those who wait for the LORD will gain new strength; they will mount up with wings like eagles, they will run and not get tired, they will walk and not become weary.” Esther prayerfully waited on the Lord and He granted her the power to walk in great strength in death’s face. At first, death reality struck Esther like a sword, piercing through her secure palace door. However, God provided her the fortitude to fulfill her predestined calling whatever the incurring cost.   She was even willing to be annihilated for her people, the Jews—God’s chosen.

 

Many of us have had to face cruel world reality and it can hit unexpectedly and painfully. Death, disease, hardship and persecution are indubious. You may be hurting because world reality is shoving you this very moment. God’s grace and courage upheld Esther, may it faithfully uphold you.

 

We as believers have much to be grateful for as we are upheld by our Savior through it all. The unsaved own no eternal hope when reality pain strikes them. The Bible teaches that most of earth’s population walks about in spiritual deadness—people being dead in trespasses and sins; Ephesians 2:1-5. If we were to picture this world in accuracy, we would see it as a snatching flaming graveyard; Jude 23. This is why we must reach out, holding forward sincere concern and the Gospel hope. Esther reached out to deliver others in loving concern and God’s omnipotent miracle upholding hand, transformed events.

 

I will cite a slight overview of the Old Testament and bring us to the period of Esther sequentially with a compiled walk-through.  In the book of Genesis, we note the conception of the Jewish race, which consists of God’s chosen people. The Jewish race began with Abraham and Sarah, who gave birth to Isaac.  Isaac married Rebecca, and they conceived Jacob, who became the father of twelve sons who fathered the twelve tribes of Israel (Israel is also a designated name for Jacob). The Jews who came forth from these twelve sons produced a great people of God who formed the nation of Israel.  The land of Israel was divided according to these twelve tribes for them to inhabit.  Each tribe had a section of land allotted to them. Joseph was one of the twelve sons of Jacob, and Joseph’s descendants were provided a section of land, though not in his name. It was deeded in the name of his sons, Ephraim and Manasseh. Through them, Joseph’s descendants received two portions of land as designed by God.  God appointed the sons of the tribe of Levi to serve Him as priests; therefore, they did not require any bequeathed land placed in their tribal name.  However, they could own land within any tribal area.  Thus, we have the land of Israel divided twelve ways.

 

To aid your historical understanding further, it was during the time of Joseph’s stay in Egypt as a ruler equal to Pharaoh in power that the Jews located to Egypt. They were few in number at this time, consisting of Jacob’s sons, their wives and children. Pharaoh welcomed them warmly and provided land. Centuries later, the Jews became a people of multitude and their vast strength and numbers threatened Egyptian domain. To remedy the situation, the Jewish foreigners were subjected to slavery. They grievously labored in the production of bricks. The Hebrews continually cried out to God in their languishing toil and a man by the name of Moses arose to deliver, the ordained one. Moses, through the power of God, led the Jews to the promised land of Israel (the appointed property God decreed to the Jewish race). Moses did not enter the land, but under Joshua, the Jews did.  In battle, the Hebrews defeated the land’s pagan inhabitants so they could become a great nation that feared and obeyed God. You can read of these happenings in the first five books of the Bible, called the Pentateuch. 

 

Following Joshua’s death, God appointed Judges to protect and deliver the Jews.  By placing yourself before the book of Judges, you can read of the magistrates who presided during this period.  These judges included the renowned—Samson, Gideon, and Deborah.  Samuel was Israel’s last judge who anointed Saul as Israel’s first king.  By reading 1 Samuel you can learn of Samuel’s life and be introduced to the epoch of the kings. The books that record the lives of the kings are 1 and 2 Samuel, 1 and 2 Kings, and 1 and 2 Chronicles. Samuel also anointed David as Israel’s second king, who replaced godless Saul, who eventually perished in battle. Solomon, David‘s son, secured the throne through God’s predestined hand, following David’s death. Solomon erected the first temple of worship—a very elaborate feat of architecture, famous throughout the known world.  Following Solomon’s rule, Rehoboam, Solomon’s wicked, godless son, ascended to the throne.  Because Rehoboam was a vile taskmaster over Israel, this nation became divided. Jeroboam, a man who had rebelled against Solomon’s rule, gained kingship of northern Israel. This area consisted of ten tribal areas. Rehoboam, Solomon’s son, ruled lower Israel—consisting of two tribal areas—Judah and Benjamin.  This lower kingdom held the capital city of Jerusalem, where the elaborate temple and Solomon’s grand palace stood. The northern kingdom was called Israel and the southern was called Judah.  Only those who descended from the line of David ruled the southern kingdom of Judah.  The northern kings were not related to David by direct descent.  Remember Jesus Christ came through the line of David as the Old Testament proclaimed He would; therefore, He has right to the throne for eternity, through His earthly birth, and as God of all. 

 

The Judah kingdom produced seven godly kings; Israel had only one.  Israel became very worldly and forsook God’s ways so she could be styling with society.  She did not desire to be a separated, peculiar, and an alienated people for God.  As a result, God allowed her to be led away captive by the Assyrian Empire, which held the most successful and ingenious fighters of the ancient world. Eventually, Judah became extremely evil, allowing the world to influence her as well. During the time of the great and massive Babylonian Empire, King Nebuchadnezzar took Judah captive and destroyed Jerusalem and Solomon’s temple. It was during this period of Jerusalem’s destruction that Mordecai (Esther’s adoptive father) and Esther were removed as Babylon’s captives. As prisoners, they were relocated to the Media-Persian area of the Babylonian Empire.  King Ahasuerus ruled Media-Persia under King Nebuchadnezzar; Esther 2:5-6. The story of Esther evolves around King Ahasuerus.

 

I believe the events of the book of Esther occurred within the time frame of the Babylonian Empire, not the Media-Persian World Empire as most believe. If they occurred during the Media-Persian World Empire, Mordecai would have been 100 years old or older.  Mordecai was Esther’s cousin and his aunt would have been far past childbearing age when she bore Esther according to such calculations.  In addition, the book of Esther states the events occurred after Mordecai and Esther were removed from Jerusalem under King Jeconiah; 2:5-7.  King Jeconiah ruled Judah during the time of King Nebuchadnezzar. Verse 7 states Mordecai “brought up” Esther. The word used in the original Hebrew text equates with, he “moved” her.  Media-Persia was an ancient empire. King Nebuchadnezzar most likely trusted King Ahasuerus with 127 of the Media-Persian provinces. 

 

Many subservient kings ruled under empire-owning kings in history. In 2 Kings 16:5-10, we see three kings mentioned as reigning over the northern kingdom of Israel. The Assyrian king, Tiglath-Pileser III, was the prominent king of the three and he ruled over a great deal of the known world before this nation succumbed to the Babylonian Empire. (When at the BritishMuseum, I viewed a large perfectly preserved black marble bust of Tiglath-Pileser III, along with large fragments of his dismantled palace that held artwork that depicted slavery. It was Tiglath-Pileser III, who placed the northern kingdom of Israel in slavery.)

 

After Mordecai, Esther, and King Jeconiah—AKA Jehoiachin—were removed from Jerusalem by King Nebuchadnezzar, King Zedekiah ruled Judah under King Nebuchadnezzar; 2 Kings chapters 24 and 25. You see, this type of king-under-king rule was common.

 

To understand this governing of ancient kingdoms, it must be kept in mind that there were no vehicles or paved highways. Travel was difficult and slow. There were no telecommunications. A king of a vast kingdom had to own area kings, as history verifies.    

 

King Herod the Great ruled under Caesar Augustus—the king of the dominating Roman Empire under which Christ was born.  King Herod had a luxurious palace and held the reigning power over Israel, but under Caesar. King Herod exercised ruthless power when he massacred multitudes of babies, committing infanticide, in an attempt to kill the Christ child; Matthew chapter 2. He had been told the Christ baby was the King of the Jews. He envisioned this tiny baby boy as an intruding threat to his throne. Various children ruled as kings in history and Herod was well aware of this fact. (Someday Jesus Christ will rule as King of the Jews when He returns in glory.  He will be the magistrate of the entire globe.)

 

Esther and Mordecai, after being forced from Jerusalem, became inhabitants the city of Susa, ruled by King Ahasuerus; Esther 1:1-2. The setting of all cited events in Esther occurred in Susa, close to the border of Iraq, close to IranBaghdad is currently the capital of Iraq and its largest city. It is one of the most highly culturalized cities in the Middle East. It rests northwest of ancient Susa. The land areas surrounding this region (the north end of the Persian Gulf) have recorded the highest temperatures in the world, so we know Susa was not an area of cool comfort.  Through the war in Iraq, America has gained an idea of the climate and terrain of this nation.  Soldiers have reported you breathe and eat sand. 

 

With all this stated prehistory, I trust you are ready to delve into the remarkable book of Esther.

 

 

Contents

 

1. The Banquet

 

2.  Rash Behavior

 

3.  The Villain

  

4. “If I Perish, I Perish”

 

5. “Even to Half the Kingdom”

 

6.  A Sleepless Night

 

7.  Haman’s Demise

 

8.  Mordecai Crowned

 

9.  The Chime of Victory

 

10.  The Facts Recorded 

 

 

Preface

 

This little book will introduce you to a lovely, godly woman—Esther. She is one of the supreme, female historical figures of all time. Her feminine attributes stand out brilliantly in this day and age of selfish womanhood. Her genuineness should touch your life for change.

 

Esther was predestined to shelter God’s doomed people. Her walk of faith allowed her to experience the omnipotent, saving work of God in holocaustic circumstances.

 

To comprehend the content of this commentary, you need to read the Book of Esther, probing its pages for uplifting truth.

 

 

 

Chapter 1

 

The Imperial Banquet

 

The curtain of the first act opens on this book and we witness an all-city generous celebration. The staging is magnificent as the glories of a wealthy kingdom are set before us. We behold an all-impressive palace. Both the poor and rich are banqueting in its massive elaborateness at the kingdom’s expense. This imperial feast will last 180 days. Wow, have you ever known a banquet to last this long?

 

It is only in this first chapter that we find the magnificence of this palace and garden area unmasked. We note hangings of fine white and violet linen are suspended by fine linen purple cords on silver rings.  Now, this is not all that we get to glimpse. There are marble columns and couches of gold and silver on a mosaic pavement holding all sorts of precious stones. What a site to behold! No doubt, many people walked about with their mouths open. Most castles were not this elaborate.

 

The populace received drinks in golden vessels of various kinds and the wine was plentiful. But the host did not demand that the people drink the wine. He let the people act according to their own desires in the matter. The host is the king and he is completely cordial and sensitive to others. Yes, this has all been orchestrated by the king, who is showing off all his riches and splendor. Nothing but the best for the wealthy sovereign of this massive kingdom—the area of Media-Persia.

 

Though it appears this emperor was a boaster; actually, he was a giving man, not given to partiality, and everyone was able to partake of everything from the savory cuisine to the grandeur of the palace and grounds. Generosity was one of the king’s good attributes.

 

(I want to inject here that we must understand we are observing a pagan culture in this chapter.  This celebration and most city celebrations emphasize having a good time. This is far different from what God ordained for His nation Israel that has become interwoven into this civilization and will take center stage in the storyline. 

 

Before being captured and removed to Media-Persia, the Jews did gather in the capital city of Jerusalem for God’s decreed celebrations of thanksgiving—worshipping Him for all His provisions. Jewish celebrations were also a reflective time, as Israel’s inhabitants would remember their sin.  Designated animals were sacrificed. Such sacrificial times enabled the people to understand how much God hated disobedience and that a price had to be paid. In the New Testament, Christ became the payment for sin as the perfect and final blood sacrifice. He died on a cross for everyone and three days later, arose from His grave. Anyone can place his or her faith in Jesus Christ; yet with the consideration of the rejection that accompanies following a God of holy innocence. You can choose right now to follow Christ. You can ask God the Father to save you through God the Son, Jesus Christ. When you do, you receive abundant life and eternal life; Romans 6:34 and Hebrews 10:8-11.)  

 

You might think all ends well concerning this glorious, elaborate gathering of the kingdom. Well, … not so, something dramatic takes this merry-making king off guard and this setting scene becomes all disrupted. The Queen, Vashti, refuses to come in the presence of the king and display her beauty before the people as he commanded. He is infuriated! No one refuses the king, even the queen who wears a crown of authority. His advisors demand her discharge! They do not want a women’s lib upheaval. They do not want wives disrespecting their husbands.

 

We see in this chapter, women’s rebellion trying to raise its ugly head through the disobedience of Queen Vashti. Women are to honor their husbands as the New Testament commands; Ephesians 5:33. I find it interesting how this command of God was emphasized even during this pagan regime.  In Romans chapter one, God reveals that He has placed in all men, including the unsaved, a knowledge of His attributes—His eternal power and divine nature. God, through His grace, has written His law on all men’s hearts (Romans 2:14-15) so some order is maintained in this fallen world including in the area of a man being the head of his household. 

 

At the end of Esther chapter 1, verse 22, we take note of the fact that the king allows certain personal freedoms to abide in his kingdom such as a man having a right to speak his native language in his own home, not necessarily the Media-Persian national tongue. However, the native dialect of the wife, if different, could not be spoken. All had to be performed in respect to the honored husband. 

 

 

 

Chapter 2

 

Rash Behavior

 

The opening of the curtain of the second chapter arises and we behold King Ahasuerus coming to his senses and realizing what he had decreed concerning Vashti out of his rash behavior. He acted impulsively, exerting his power. At this moment, he misses her grievously. If he had thought about it more thoroughly, he could have saved his marriage, which God declared to be life long. He could have simply not allowed her into his presence until she apologized to him and the kingdom in total humility and repentance. He was an impulsive king and this led him to have to locate a means to correct himself on occasion. He certainly relied too much on his advisors. Of course, he simply may not have been very mentally gifted and therefore, cannot be faulted too much.

 

King Solomon requested wisdom from God, seeing he owned much inadequacy. Solomon insightfully knew he could not rule effectively apart from God. God, of course, knew his shortcomings and granted him wisdom, unsurpassed knowledge and understanding; however, sin still invaded his life and the kingdom.  Shortsightedness exists in any monarchy rule and it still plagued Solomon though the wisest of the wisest.

 

If a king was not sharp and wise, he secured his kingdom’s downfall. Most kings inherited the role. Most were trained to rule within palace walls, not learning from experience. They generally would not listen to the people regarding their needs. Ivory palaces with their inward wealth left most kings entrapped in self-glory as witnessed with King Herod in Matthew chapter 2.

 

In 1 Samuel 8:10-17, God speaks through Samuel, to reveal the consequences Israel would face as she turned from a theocracy form of government to a monarchy (This was before Samuel anointed Saul as Israel’s first king). In a theocracy, God rules not a man. That is why originally our American government was opposed to a monarchy and desired a theocracy. That is why all our original laws were Biblically enacted. That is why homosexuality, adultery, divorce, immodesty, etc., where illegal in this great land. It was to be a government by the people who feared God and acted accordingly.

 

Israel wanted to be trendy and styling, just like the nations that surrounded her. She suffered servitude travail as Samuel’s warnings came to fruition in future years regarding the demands of kings. Esther and her people suffered in Media-Persia because the Jewish kings faltered severely which led to this foreign captivity. The Jews were removed from Judah, the southern portion of the Holy Land, and were dispersed in the pagan land of Babylon

 

Returning to chapter 2 of Esther and the plight of the king’s loneliness, it was suggested that many beautiful virgins be brought to the king so a new queen could be sought. Now this was a fleshly way to get his mind off Vashti. This sensual route pleased this pagan king and this is how Esther entered the palace grounds. Esther was brought as a captive to Persia from the land of Israel and now she is made a captive of the king. She and many other women were placed in custody or arrested and made the property of the king against any say of their own.  Verse 8 speaks to this custody, “… and many young ladies were gathered to Susa the capital into the custody of Hegai, that Esther was taken to the king’s palace …”

 

It is assumed that Esther’s name was changed from Hadassah, verse 7, to the pagan goddess name Esther when she entered the palace. Hadassah means myrtle. Esther would not have changed her Jewess name so she could appear pagan. This changing of the name was a normal occurrence. We see this transpired in Daniel chapter 1, when the Jewish young men had their godly names withdrawn to be dealt pagan god titles, including Daniel. This occurred when they were made to serve King Nebuchadnezzar; they too were forcefully withdrawn from Judah.

 

No doubt, this union made under duress is not what Esther dreamed about concerning marriage. She desired to obey God and marry a godly Jew who loved and respected her. She desired to keep house, providing love and nurturing care for her husband and children; Titus 2:4-5.

 

A Jew was not allowed to marry a pagan just as Christians are not allowed to marry the unsaved today—2 Corinthians 6:14f. However, we know, Esther did not walk around in sorrow and weighed down with guilt in her plight. She knew God understood her heart and she recognized His blessings upon her. She, no doubt, remembered Joseph was assigned a pagan wife when in subjection to Pharaoh.

 

Esther and her adoptive father, Mordecai, were of the Jewish tribe of Benjamin. Her parents died and her cousin Mordecai took her as his daughter. If you go to the maps at the back of your Bible, you will see where this tribe dwelt within the land of Israel. It is closely related to the city of Jerusalem. Jerusalem was where Esther and Mordecai resided before their captivity. Jerusalem, the capital (today, it remains Israel’s capital), held the temple and king’s palaces and their tombs. It was also the main location of habitation. This was where Jews came to partake in the commanded festivals and offerings. Jerusalem was burned to the ground some years following Esther’s transportation.

 

Returning to chapter 2 of Esther, we take note of her being a godly woman of character—holding to modesty and femininity. She certainly stood out, allowing her to gain approval and a superior status in the harem; verse 9.  She was so well-educated in the ways of the Media-Persians, no one suspected her of being of the slave race of Jews. She obviously spoke the language fluently and also wrote the language as revealed in 9:29. Not all women were illiterate in Bible times, as many would have you believe.  

 

Mordecai, also being a man of character—very godly and obedient to God’s Word—cared very much about Esther and faithfully checked on her welfare; verses 11f.  

 

Verse 12 discusses all the spa preparations made for virgins before joining with the king in a marital relationship. These preparations were a year in length. Esther certainly must have been at the peak of beauty and softness when brought before the king. Myrrh, which is often warmed to sooth, was one of Esther’s fragrant beauty aids. I personally enjoy wearing this unusual, but lovely Middle Eastern scent obtained from the Cammiphora shrub. This thorny flora can grow to be 30 feet tall and is identified by its knotted branches, musty smelling leaves and white flowers. This perfume also owns medicinal properties and is applied to alleviate ulcers, sores, wounds, athlete’s foot, chapped skin, ringworm, eczema and the spread of gangrene. Besides being located in the Middle East, it is also native to North Africa and India.

 

Historically, it was worth its weight in gold. And, if you remember, it was one of the valued gifts brought to Christ when a babe and aptly signified His death. Interestingly, when the Cammiphora branches are cut, they bleed a reddish-brown resin—myrrh (meaning bitter). The myrrh color and bleeding have come to symbolize the sacrificed blood of Jesus Christ. He endured a bitter death for us. Myrrh also represents comfort and healing which is also symbolic of the Savior.

 

In verse 13, we see a wedding gift was offered to every virgin before she was brought to the king. They could acquire any item they desired from the Harem. Obviously, it was a beautiful area that had to be kept well-stocked for all these wives-to-be. 

 

We learn from verse 15, that Esther was not materialistic and desired wisdom above things when she went to the king. Her inward heart sought wise lasting counsel not riches that pass away. She did not desire to offend the king or others who were in the palace with negligent manners. (When we arrive at chapters 4 and 5, we will observe further the importance of knowing protocol.) This is Esther’s wedding day and she wants it perfect, as she seems to want to be queen. This would provide her with more advantages.

 

Esther was a godly, pure woman and went to the king as a modest rare gem. Her witness of wisdom and modesty caused her to be in favor with all those who saw her. (I believe Webster’s 1828 definition concerning modesty is absolutely perfect in regard to Esther: “Unaffected modesty is the sweetest charm of female excellence, the richest gem in the diadem of her honor.”She was not one who would have engaged in dirty jokes or misguided behavior. Obviously, the king was very impressed by her. She was a wise, intelligent woman not given to silly talk or notions of fantasy. She was perfect for the role and later she would act as an ambassador and legislator for her people. The king knew she would not be a woman who would embarrass or make a mockery of him. She held a sensitive and gentle heart.

 

After seeing the king, the women of the virgin harem graduated to the second harem as they had now been united with the king in the marriage act.  Since Esther was crowned queen, verse 17, she no longer had to live in a harem.  She was placed in the palace, awarded a large section, as revealed in 4:13.

 

We see this is an event of powerful magnitude. The king, so enamored by Esther and so in love with her, provided a banquet, and even named it “Esther’s Feast;” 2:18.  She had to be the most impressive woman in the kingdom to catch the heart of this powerful, presiding king.  I am sure everyone at this banquet is taking in the godly loveliness of this uniquely gifted woman. I believe the castle seamstresses fashioned the perfect stunning gown that made her even more the stand out.  No doubt, Esther’s impartial and gracious personality captured the hearts of those attending through regal invitation. I am sure she was the talk of the town and nation for teeming days to come. 

 

In verse 20, we view again, the submissive and obedient heart of Esther, so taught to be by Mordecai. He certainly deserves a great deal of praise for this prize he raised and home-schooled. She submits to Mordecai in every way, including not revealing her people as he instructed. God reemphasizes her conformity for a reason. In 1 Peter 3:2-4, we see the type of woman God desires us to be, one obedient to God’s Word without rebellion. Verse 2 speaks to the chaste and respectful behavior of the godly married woman. Of course, this refers to outside the marriage bedroom.  Verse 3 speaks of true adornment being internal and verse 4, the magnitude of a gentle and quiet spirit that resounds throughout the land in witness—being precious in the sight of God. Such a spirit reveals true femininity.

 

(Verse 20 of Esther emphasizes her submission. It does not state AND ESTHER PROTESTED MOSES’ LAWS CONCERNING WOMEN BY CARRYING A SIGN STATING “DOWN WITH MOSES, UP WITH WOMEN.” It does states she submitted to Mordecai in all that he told her, just as she did when in his care.

 

Women today speak evil of Paul, but under grace we have so much more freedom compared to the women under the law, such as Esther. I personally wonder why women today do not condemn Moses as a radical women-hater and male chauvinist. His writings were far, far stricter than Paul’s. Both Paul and Moses penned the words of God, not their own. The words of the Pentateuch, Moses’ five composed books, were delivered by the angels of God—Acts 7:53 and Hebrews 2:2. This reveals their God-ordained authority.)

 

In verses 21-23, back in Esther chapter 2, we witness God using Mordecai to prevent an overthrow of King Ahasuerus.  It states two men desired to lay hands on the king.  This means to kill.  They certainly were not simply going to punch him a few times and let him go.  They refused to show great respect for this highest of offices.  King Ahasuerus held the highest office in the entire Media-Persian empire, consisting of 127 provinces; 1:1.  

 

It was no accident that Mordecai overheard this plot of assassination.  God did not want this kingdom in chaos at this time. If King Ahasuerus had been murdered, these men would have had to murder all those loyal to the king, including his royal family. They most likely would not have hesitated to kill Queen Esther. They would have brought in a complete new government with new heads of provinces, etc.  It would not have been a pretty sight and God knew these men would have brought even more evil within this pagan plighted land. King Ahasuerus had ascended to the throne by birthright not murderous ways. God had worked in the lives of all the rulers placed over Israel since her captivity, completely by design.  Romans 13:1 teaches, “There is no authority except from God and those which exist are established by God.”

 

Queen Esther acting as a knowing informant, verse 22, reveals the plot and exalts Mordecai’s name as a faithful and upright citizen who acted honorably by saving the king’s life. In this, the Queen reveals her faithfulness as well. 

 

Romans 13:2 is excellent instruction, for it states, those who resist the governing authorities receive God’s condemnation. The judging result concerning these two convict culprits was lethal. They were hanged on the gallows; verse 23. These sentences to death for insurrection would have placed fear in many who might have attempted to steal the throne. The Bible further states in Romans 13:3-4 that rulers are a cause for good behavior; therefore, we must have a fear of doing right for governments do bear a sword.

 

 

Chapter 3

 

The Villain

 

Entering chapter 3, we are introduced to Haman, the villain of our story, who takes center stage in more ways than one. Where it seems King Ahasuerus should have promoted Mordecai for his loyalty, he decides to promote Haman as overseer of “all the princes that were with him;” 3:1.

As Haman now held this most important title, people were to bow down and pay homage to him, actually worship him like a god. There is no doubt this is what Haman desired. Mordecai, being a man of God, would not compromise even though he knew disobedience could cost him his life. He could never honor an Agagite and transgress God’s decrees. Haman’s people, the Agagites or Amalakites, had been the enemies of the Jews since Moses.

Obeying God was Mordecai’s first and only priority. I believe Mordecai’s story is recorded in history, due to the fact most people would think, “What’s the big deal?  I want to live in peace.” He stands as one who is strong in his faith in God and His Holy Word which states emphatically, “We are to have no other gods before us;” Deuteronomy chapter 5. We must always obey God before men and their laws. This truth is set before us in Acts 5:29. In this text, we witness Peter and the apostles boldly stating to the Jewish authorities, “We must obey God rather than men.” However, this right we hold as believers, should never excuse self-centered government rebellion.  

 

Sinister Haman

 

Haman was a sinister Agagite. God let us know Haman was of this decent, addressing him as an Agagite, placing this information before us in Esther 3:1. 

 

The Agagites were Amalakites, as we learn from 1 Samuel 15:8.  Haman was called an Agagite—after Agag, the king of the Amalekites as we read in this verse.  These people were cursed of God for their Antisemitism. We read of this curse in Exodus 17:14. God demanded they all be destroyed in this text and He declared He would annihilate them completely. We rejoice here because the Jews fought against their enemies, the Amalekites, and were victorious. Amalek was the king of these people at this time, Exodus 17:13, before the time of King Agag. 

 

In 1 Samuel chapter 15, the Israelites are once again battling the Amalekites (The Amalekites once occupied parts of Egypt, Israel, Jordan and Saudi Arabia.  King Amalek was the grandson of Essau—who fathered the Edomites; Gen. 36:12.) and God is demanding the death of every Amalekite. The Jewish army obeyed the LORD and all the Amalekites were destroyed that were present at the location of this battle. However, King Saul disobeyed God and allowed King Agag to live; whereby, the prophet Samuel had to hack him to death in obedience to God’s command.

 

I believe Haman, being a descendant of Agag, identified that the Jews had slaughtered his people in two main chronicled battles. This owing to the fact he was an educated man that earned an A+ in history to gain the position he owns in this kingdom. These deflating and humbling combative facts, no doubt, incited his furry to engulf the entire Jewish population. Mordecai’s insurrection of refusing to pay homage, 3:2, was just a spark that set off his fiery rage.

 

Mordecai was acting in obedience to God (Deuteronomy 25:17-19) and would never bow down to Haman—of Amalakite descent. It was not wrong to bow before authority, as we witness in 2 Samuel 24:20 where Araunah bowed his face to the ground before King David in respect and honor. In Genesis 23:7, Abraham bowed to the people of a pagan land. In 1 Samuel 24:8, we witness David bowing his face to the ground and prostrating himself before King Saul. 

 

We read in Esther 3:6 that Haman did not desire to place his hands on Mordecai alone when he found out who his people were. It was at this time that he determined to destroy all the Jews. As we delve further into this chapter, we observe Haman coming into the presence of the king owning a complete knowledge of the Jews; verse 8. In verse 9, we observe Haman informing the king that the Jewish religion is contrary to the Media-Persian belief system; implementing it as an excuse to entirely annihilate the Jews in their 127 provinces. Verse 10 informs us that Haman is an enemy of all the Jews, not just Mordecai.

 

The Jews were commanded to always remember the Amalekites and what they did to them when they came out of Egypt. They were to blot out their memory and they were never to forget! I believe, the Agagites were eventually annihilated and blotted out as God stated in Exodus 17:14.  It may have been through Queen Esther that God’s curse of death for the all Agagites (these antisemitists) was carried forth, removing their remnant completely.   

 

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Verse 7 reveals Esther has now been queen five years when all this begins to comes to pass. We know this by the fact she became queen in the seventh year of King Ahasuerus’ reign; 2:16. And verse 7 states the king has now reigned twelve years. 

This new scene opens with Haman casting a lot in order to find the most appropriate time to talk to the king concerning the destruction of the Jews. He will not appear before the king unless he feels superstition is on his side. This casting of lots is referred to as Pur or Purim.  (No one seems to totally understand this concept, though it seems to resemble the throwing of the dice, as a stone or other object was thrown that held markings. The displayed markings determined destiny or so thought.)  approaches the king in verse 8. He must incite the king to believe the Jews must be destroyed—they being rebellious to the king’s ways. Haman knows he must put forth a good act to convince the king. 

We witness here Haman even using money to bribe the king. However, King Ahasuerus tells Haman he can keep the money and the demise will be carried forth; verses 9-11.  It is interesting the king didn’t even care to learn who these people were or their reputation within the kingdom. It certainly appears their nationality was not mentioned.  As I stated before, this king trusts too much in man. Jeremiah 17:5 declares that if a man trusts in other men he is cursed. God and His Word must be our only stable trust.  

The Israelites were to be completely abated in one day, including all women and children; verse 13. This would be accomplished a year from the enacted decree. It was time-appropriated in consideration of the transit interval needed for the death warrant declaration to reach every distant province. 

(Daniel 6:4-13 holds a resemblance tale. Here, we see Daniel is hated for his faith and commitment—much like Mordecai. A plot is formed for Daniel’s demise. This king is also used as an evil pawn … as was King Ahasuerus. Here too we read of a death signed decree. In verses 6-9, we see King Darius being wrongly persuaded to destroy all who will not worship him only as god. If anyone disobeyed, they were to be cast into the lion’s dreadful den. These evildoers knew Daniel would not compromise nor turn away from God Almighty as a faithful Jew even if it meant death. They knew Daniel was no coward or compromiser.

Daniel had learned of the petition, but still he prayed with open windows, boldly and resolutely. He was willing to perish for God. He was a tremendous witness—not trying to please all, and not denying the Scriptural commands. He was thrown to the lions, but God shut the lions’ mouths. We know God was gracious at this time as many of the prophets were killed for not compromising. Of course, their eternal hope was well worth their suffering and execution.) 

Mordecai would not compromise and did not fear death when he refused to bow down to Haman. God made sure, through His grace, that Mordecai and Daniel were both preserved through their circumstances.  

We see the foolishness of this edict signing even further as verse 15 of chapter 3 states, while the king and Haman were eating and drinking, “the city of Susa was in confusion.” The people were abruptly informed they had to kill their Jewish neighbors and their children a year from today.  Many of the Media-Persians, no doubt, had come to love these humble people and now they are told they have to murder them for no reason. It might be noted that some of these people possibly had some in-laws who were Jews.  If one had a son or daughter who married a Jew, they would have to kill their son-in-law or daughter-in-law and their own grandchildren who held Jewish blood. What confusion indeed! Of course, intermarriage was a sin, but many Jews disobeyed. 

The falling dead are what people are envisioning at this moment and it is on this dreadful scene that the curtain falls.  

 

Chapter 4

“If I Perish I Perish” 

We have now arrived at Esther chapter 4; here, this factual drama heightens in intensity as it marches on in intrigue. Toward the closing of chapter 3, we witnessed the Jewish death decree announcement.      

As we view the current scene in 4:1, Mordecai is in deep and grievous mourning. He displays his grief in a visual way as he wears socially unacceptable clothing—sackcloth. (Sackcloth was made of coarse dark goat’s hair, the substance of sacks. It was far from attractive. Often grievers would add ashes to their sackcloth or sat in them. This sackcloth and ash display often revealed a repentant heart toward God as well. And I do not think it is wrong to assume that the LORD used this tragic decreed situation to convict the Jewish populace of sin. God desired to draw His people closer to Himself and away from the cultural ways of the pagan Media-Persian Empire.)

Please note there was no rioting, simply a peaceful demonstration. The Jews calmly represented their woes. Haman painted them falsely before  King Ahasuerus. God made sure the truth concerning their obedient citizenship was made known through their witness before men. 1 Corinthians 4:5 informs us that what is hidden in darkness will be brought to light by God and He will disclose the motives of men’s hearts.  Every hidden desire and motive of Haman was eventually brought to light through God who hates every hidden evil thing.

 

Even though the king and Haman do not know of Mordecai’s blood connection with the queen, her maidens and eunuchs certainly do as they report to her concerning Mordecai’s grievous activities; verse 4.

 

Esther is queen and, no doubt, second in the land in importance as empress. She has multitudes of persons in her attendance and under her command. We know she is dearly loved by her servants as we observe through their respect—they are concerned by all that effects the queen. Many may have come to a belief in God due to her witness. Remember, Naomi in the book of Ruth, brought the woman Ruth of a pagan land to a saving knowledge of God through her righteous representation.

 

Esther has been queen six years now and possibly has as many as four children by the king. She may have bore a couple of sons; the elder would be heir to the throne if Vashti’s son or sons perished. The Bible does not state Esther was barren and for a queen to be in good standing with the king, she needed to produce princes. God has thoroughly blessed her; therefore, I personally believe He allowed her to reproduce.  The king did not know that by signing Haman’s edict, he signed the queen’s and their royal offspring’s death decree.

 

Esther inquires into Mordecai’s mournful display, as her heart is broken for her adoptive father who is not acting within a normal state of mind. She wants him to retire his garment of mourning so she no longer has to worry. However, he totally refuses. He will not! He attempts to make her understand by thoroughly informing her of the looming holocaustic situation. He also orders her to plea for her people before the king. Yes, he is commanding the queen; verse 8.

 

In verse 11, we observe this pronounced massacre is naturally producing anguishing turmoil within Esther. She is in devastating shock! And not only does she have to endure the mournful news, but she must plan quickly a presentation before the king. She has not seen the king for thirty days and she is to address the issue of her death decree before him. It is interesting to note that Esther has kept a mental calendar—noting every passing day she has not been with her king and husband. She obviously has missed him. As far as she knows, he may be displeased with her as he was with Vashti. With his many concubines, he may have found a new love. You can imagine the thoughts that were running through her mind at such a time.

 

Traversing further into this stirring tale, we see more of the powerful character of Mordecai displayed before us. He now undertakes the commanding role as defender of his people. He is no longer simply Esther’s protector; he is now the one who must lead and encourage the deliverance of his people and Esther. As Barak was the encouraging force behind Deborah in the book of Judges so is Mordecai to Esther.

 

As Israel’s prophet for this time and setting, he foretells to Esther what God has disclosed to him. Though it does not say God, we know He is the one who has revealed His truth to Mordecai. Never once is God mentioned in this little book, but His providence, protection and guidance are completely distinguished. Mordecai dreadfully reveals Esther’s fate of death and her children if she does not respond to God’s calling to be Israel’s redeeming intercessor; verses 13-14. Today, Jesus Christ holds the position of redeeming intercessor for all believers in the heavenly realm.

 

Verse 14 also speaks to Esther’s family line. Mordecai reveals if she remains silent, she and her father’s house will perish. She and her children will die and God will allow it. Her silence will be a sentence of death placed upon her for shunning the LORD’S calling for her life. It seems obvious that she was made queen for such a time, to preserve God’s people alive. These were the most serious words Mordecai ever spoke to his adoptive daughter and Esther cannot run and hide from them; there is nowhere to go.

 

This brings us to greater exposure—more of Esther’s godly qualities set before us; verse 16. She is willing to die for her God. “If I perish, I perish.” (All believers today are called to die for their faith if necessary. Christ said people must consider the cost of following Him. Every Christian must be willing to lift up a cross and follow no matter the price, and many have followed unto death.)

 

We also witness further the ruling authority of Queen Esther in this verse. She, being one of the most powerful reginas on the earth, orders the Jews to pray and fast for her. She understands the power of fasting intercession. She will fast and will order her maidens to fast with her. She orders Mordecai to oversee her fasting commands. She is mindful of God’s omnipotence. She knows He is the Creator of the heavens and the earth who answers petitions in accordance to His divine will and purpose.  She recognizes the preservation of God’s people is God’s predestined will!

 

We can envision the closing scene of this chapter with countless people on bended knees.

 

 

Chapter 5

 

“Even to Half the Kingdom”

 

The curtain is now being drawn away to reveal the ultimate climaxing scene of this book. Here we view Esther displayed in all her queenly splendor; 5:1. She is in her royal robes and is possibly displaying her diadem which was ceremonially placed on her at her crowning debut; 2:17. It was probably protocol for the queen to wear her royal attire when in public rooms such as these. It is also a reminder to King Ahasuerus that she is empress and of utmost importance in the kingdom. (Some historians believe Queen Vashti was asked to be lewd in her conduct before the king and his guests and that is why she refused his invitation and was removed from her position. I, personally, do not see this. The queen was always to be properly attired in modest royal garments. Vashti, most likely, didn’t desire to leave her place as hostess, overseeing the stately women. She being queen thought she held the power to refuse.)

 

The first verse also speaks in regard to the king’s rooms and King Ahasuerus’ throne room where he is seated. I would imagine his throne was intricate in tapestry and gold design. We know all that surrounded Him spoke loudly of prominent regal wealth. (Through 1 Kings 10:18f we get to glimpse King Solomon’s ornate throne, it being made of ivory and overlaid with the most precious gold. It had six steps and there were twelve fashioned lions upon the steps, two per step, one on each end. This throne was world famous as there was none other that compared to its lavishness.)

 

King Ahasuerus was certainly wearing his royal robes and diadem, he being on display. I am sure he appeared as no one else in the kingdom could appear in presentation elegance. It could be a life-threatening thing for anyone to stand before this king who held complete judgmental power over the Media-Persian citizens. I am sure many shook in fear when meeting this sovereign face to face. We are commanded to fear and tremble before our sovereign King, the Creator of the heavens and the earth—Philippians 2:12

 

(When my husband and I were in London, I received an awakening to the intricacies of monarchy rule. It certainly can be a glamorous realm in which to reside. Seeing Buckingham Palace and the changing of the guard made me feel I was part of something I had never experienced before and was very naive in regard. Seeing the Parliament building and other historical areas tucked within Westminster kept me learning on the go. Scanning the intricacies of layers upon layers of imperial history widened my eyes, enabling me to enjoy better vision when studying the regal aspects of Scripture.)

 

We perceive Esther has to be in anguishing turmoil at this point, not knowing if this meeting could end her life. You can imagine her relief when the king graciously holds out the scepter and she touches its pinnacle in bowing humility (Now, it does not say she bowed, but we know this was proper protocol before a sovereign).

 

Holding forth a scepter revealed approval. You can picture this in a child’s fairytale setting; whereby, a little girl’s eyes become like saucers when a portrait of a beautiful palace with a king seated on his throne in all his royal grandeur is set before her in large storybook illustrated form. This leaf turns aside and a new is set before her, prompting her eyes to shimmer. Right there, in illuminating color, is the most beautiful queen in all the world. The child intensely examines her soft royal red robe, blue silk gown and glistening crown. This small girl ponders the splendor of the queen’s raiment. She images them on her—being all tailored just to her size, so she can pretend to be queen. The next sheet is positioned before her and she gazes at the queen bowing before the king. She can only see the queen’s eyelids—her eyes are bowing too. Another brightly painted scene emerges and she peers at this lovely queen, taking special note of her feminine perfect hands. One is placed on the king’s fine golden scepter. Tears now arise, fogging the child’s vision, as the next illustrated leaf exclaims exchanged love. This is when the eyes of the king and queen become united. This touching scene (Yes, a bit elaborated by me) can prick our hearts to tenderness and even more so, as we know this fairy-like tale actually maintains a place in global history.   

 

(The British Crown Jewels are displayed at the Tower of London. When there, I took note of the imaged doves seated on the ends of a couple of the scepters. Doves represent peace and submission. They are symbolic of the Holy Spirit according to Christian and secular recordings.

 

Doves were the only birds that could be offered in sacrifice according to Mosaic Law—two were offered at Christ’s birth. The Holy Spirit appeared as a dove, descending and resting on Christ at His baptism. Doves secure a profile of Christ at His crucifixion, as He was beaten beyond recognition, yet never retaliated. 

 

Doves also represent never departing faithfulness and affection—doves affectionately mate for life. Christ, out of His affectionate love, will never leave nor forsake believers.)

 

You can imagine the joy that filled Queen Esther’s heart when she recognized the prayers of her people had been answered, when the king lovingly received her. (It certainly is not wrong to pray for a renewed love to awaken a husband and wife. Such intercessions possibly ascended for this king and queen. Sometimes feelings can vanquish away, but God can renew hearts to tenderness. In marriage, we should always strive for the feelings of young, excited love through the grace and power of God who desires marriage for life. He can work beyond what we can ask for think.)

 

The king knows Esther had to be greatly troubled to approach him and attempts to sooth her with loving words, “Even to half the kingdom it shall be yours.” He meant it as he is well acquainted with her regina abilities. He speaks to her as the one who is queen, being powerfully significant in his eyes.

 

He distinguishes she sacrificed herself to come to him against what is normal protocol and immediately wants to know the unrest of her mind. It is obvious his love has not faded and lavishes comforting words upon her. She represented the attractive attributes of an appealing wife, being his graceful doe and loving hind; Proverbs 5:19. He would love to have her rule beside him, owning half of his kingdom.  

 

Esther, as a wise and intelligent woman, does not fly into an emotional scene before the king at this point. She calmly invites the king to a banquet along with Haman that she has prepared; verse 4. The old adage that through a man’s stomach his heart can be obtained seems to be applied here. A prudent wife does not present a major problem or request to her husband before he is fed, rested and satisfied.

 

The king knows Esther has prepared a remarkable buffet, as she is not one to perform things half-heartedly. She has painstakingly worked to make it perfect. Wanting to be with his queen for this sumptuous meal, the king hastily grabs Haman and hurries to the banquet. He wants to eat, drink and be with the love of his life. Mainly, he wants to know what is on his wife’s heart. At the banquet Esther refuses to speak her mind and simply requests that they return the next day and promises the king that she will disclose everything; verses 5-8. The curtain closes.

 

The curtain reopens at verse 10, where we view a nearby setting. We see Haman at home glad of heart, rejoicing before his friends and family. He turns this time into a brag session and recounts his positioned glory, riches, influence, and his many sons. He relays that the queen had requested only him and the king attend her banquet. No one else in the kingdom has ever been so distinguished by the queen. He is even invited to a second banquet tomorrow hosted by the queen. Suddenly, his happy temperament changes to one of gloom as he remembers Mordecai’s lack of respect. Haman is very agitated and everyone around him can see it. He wants every national citizen to recognize his importance and act accordingly! His wicked family and friends sympathize and do not hesitate to advise him to build a gallows and hang Mordecai. Why should such a simple murder be troublesome? The queen and king are uplifting Haman in notable ways, therefore his clan believes he can do anything he desires. Haman simply has to attain the permission of the king and his troubles will be gone forever.

 

Haman, owning the support of family and friends, immediately sets to action. He commands the building of the gallows in all faith that his desire will be accomplished. Haman triumphantly closes the scene.

 

 

Chapter 6

 

A Sleepless Night

 

Chapter 6 intervenes to add hope to this grim setting. As the curtain arises, we view a king unable to sleep—he may be worried about his queen. He seems to believe the best sleeping pill is to be read to. (We do know people are praying and this is an answer. God can work in the lives and hearts of the unsaved. I have seen it. I believe it is God who is keeping this man awake.) A servant reads to the king the chronicles of the Media-Persian government. The king so happens … No! It is through an act of God that this king listens intently to the account of Mordecai who had saved his life; 2:21-23.  

 

King Ahasuerus assumes that surely something marvelous was performed for Mordecai—his savior. Obviously, the king forgot the occurrence and recording—a king has a lot to think about and important incidents can slip the mind.  He learns none of his servants took note of Mordecai’s lifesaving report either. No one to that day had distinguished Mordecai as the king’s savior. Of course, who would act without the king’s permission? 

 

The king is determined that something be done. He will not pass by this written account that strikes a note of accountability even in the middle of the night.  (Here we witness another good attribute of this king, he believes he is to give honor to whom it is due.)

 

It just so happens (No! God has a great sense of humbling humor) that Haman desires an audience with the king. He wants to tell the king of his demise-scheme concerning Mordecai, this being presented in the most convincing of ways. (What timing! How this chapter makes us chuckle. This drama is turned into a comedy for a short duration. This is a reminder that God is on the throne and there is nothing outside His control; Psalm 50:10-12. Our God is an awesome God of wisdom and might. Psalm 59:8 tells us God laughs at His enemies and scoffs at all the nations.) Before Haman can present his request, he becomes sidetracked with the king who desires to honor a person. Haman holds no doubts, that it is he. Haman says to himself, “Whom would the king desire to honor more than me.” He knows he is the most highlighted man in the kingdom … very famous. He believes the king and queen can’t help, but love him to pieces.  Why, he is going to the queen’s banquet today. No one else has been invited except for the king. (Can you imagine the bouncing excitement that is now present in Haman’s sinful, evil heart?) 

 

Verses 7-9 reveal Haman’s sick mind, knowing he desires to be led around like the king, himself, on the king’s stately steed, in all the king’s arrayed splendor, including his crown. He held a tremendous affinity for ruling power. (I believe, Haman hoped to someday take the throne from the king. Why else does he want to be seen as a crowned king in the streets if this is not the goal of his heart? He does not want to be led humbly as the king’s servant, but as king, in all royal attire.)

 

Haman hears he must do all this for Mordecai. What? Haman must be standing totally dumbfounded. This is the name he hates and dreads the most. How can he comprehend the king is delighted in Mordecai? Haman must be asking himself, “How in the world could this king know this disgusting, obstinate Jew?” While still engulfed in his shock, he learns he must parade this dreadful man before all the rejoicing public. This will be performed in the exact way Haman described to the king. Mordecai will appear in all kingly splendor, just as Haman desired for himself. Haman, no doubt wonders, “How could this wonderful moment turn into such a living nightmare?”

 

From here, the setting moves to the street scene celebration. However, depressed Haman is not celebrating.  He is not jumping up and down in glee as he parades Mordecai down the avenues. The last thing in the world he desires is to appear as a simple servant of Mordecai’s. Truth at times can be stranger than fiction. Haman’s harmonious loud proclamation of praises “Thus it shall be done to the man whom the king desires to honor” spoken before the world, certainly does not hold an inward enthusiastic note. Haman felt very embarrassed having Mordecai mounted above him in the grandest of ways.

 

You can envision this, Mordecai’s heyday … everyone is applauding as he passes by. Mordecai must have chuckled in his heart while being led by Haman—his guiding servant. He knows Haman is inwardly fuming mad, disgusted and defeated in heart. He also recognizes God is at work behind the scenes at this time, and he can’t help but rejoice as he sees prayer being answered.

 

Haman is passing by the people who know everything concerning his Jewish death decree. And many probably know of his personal hatred for Mordecai which led to his execution plans. We have to understand he built a monstrous gallows that reaches five stories—quite tall for that day and age.  Everyone can see it and has surely asked about it … no one has kept quiet about it. An execution was big news. My, oh my, poor Haman.

 

We must view humble Mordecai here as one who is being very blessed of the LORD. He is being elevated above everyone in the kingdom. This is a time for the kingdom citizens to celebrate Mordecai. God says, he who humbles himself, shall be exalted; Luke 14:11.  God knew Mordecai’s sacrificial heart and made the way for his crowning debut.

 

Mordecai possibly does not know about the gallows Haman built for him.  He for sure knows he is being very blessed by God.  He most likely understands God is answering prayer and this horse ride may be the first step in the deliverance of his people.   It is by God’s marvelous intervention that Mordecai is not now swinging at the end of Haman’s noose.

 

The scene is now following only Haman. After all this excitement that is too much for him to bear, he quickly heads for home for comforting reassurance to get his mind off the tragic episode he just engaged in. Upon his arrival, he immediately tells his wife and friends what has happened. He is boggled and so are they. Not that long ago, they were rejoicing with him as he had ascended to new heights in his career. He had also confided in them concerning one depressing aspect in his life—Mordecai. They had empathized and encouraged him to build a tall gallows so he could hang this disrespectful Jew. Now, upon hearing of the Mordecai parade, his wife and friends prophecy, “If Mordecai, before whom you have began to fall is of Jewish origin, you will not overcome him, but will surely fall before him.” They, who had honored him, now doom him. What friends!  It certainly appears they are well aware of the protecting hand God has on His people as they promptly refer to Mordecai’s Jewish origin. However, they will soon discover the vengeance of God will also touch their individual lives.

 

As they continue to discuss this incident of disgrace, the king’s eunuchs arrive and hastily take Haman to the banquet. The king wanted Haman to be on time for both banquets. He has to know what is injuring his queen’s heart.  The curtain is drawn.

 

 

 

Chapter 7

 

Haman’s Demise

 

The curtain is again withdrawn and we see the palace that holds center stage in the kingdom and in our story. It is where the great happenings are taking place and where all exquisiteness is displayed, as we took note of in the first chapter. We can imagine a very tastefully bejeweled room, holding all riches—precious and costly items of gold, silver and everything superior.  All this is exhibited as well as delectable cuisine—the best in the world.

 

Queen Esther has thoughtfully prepared this second banquet for her verbal presentation. It is the perfect backdrop. King Ahasuerus opens the scene with the first lines, beckoning the queen to tell him the woes of her heart. “What is your petition, Queen Esther? It shall be granted you.  And what is your request?  Even to half the kingdom it shall be done.” Wow, how we are moved by his loving and sacrificial words that have been repeated in the past to ensure his elevated desire for his wife. This sincere and romantic language surpasses the ages of penned works. These wooing words lead to another climax in the story. Esther must now disclose everything, risking everything—her own power and her own life. She knows the king can still choose to stand with Haman, which will end her life. This touching, caring scene can be turned into a deadly plight. She proceeds anyway as she really has nothing to lose. She is as good as dead due to the decree.

 

Esther is not stupid and she has planned her words well. She knew just how to prick her husband’s heart, which she now believes she owns. She in boldness states in respectful honor of her sovereign, “If I have found favor in your sight, O King, and if it pleases the king, let my life be given me as my  petition, and my people as my request; for we have been sold, I and my people, to be destroyed, to be killed and to be annihilated. Now if we had only been sold as slaves, men and women, I would have remained silent, for the trouble would not be commensurate with the annoyance to the king.” She wisely does not tell the king, she and her people were driven to this country as slaves. Through God’s intervening hand, they had became reputable, hard-working citizens. She wants him to view the Jews with the respect they deserve.  

 

The king is greatly perplexed by all this; verse 5. He is in total shock. He cannot understand who would want to kill the woman he loves, let alone make her a slave. She is the most important and honored woman in his kingdom of 127 provinces! Even to think of her as a slave leaves his mind dumbfounded. He loves her with all his heart and he is angry! He demands to know who he is—“Who would presume to do this?”

 

Esther knows she is on level ground and can proceed in confidence. Her man is angry and nothing will stop him from taking revenge. Here is the most exciting line in this historical account: “A foe and an enemy is this wicked Haman!”  What dramatic words spoken. How they must have pierced her husband’s trusting heart. Haman is his most faithful servant and above all the servants and princes in rank. He has been one of his dearest friends. This king is greatly perplexed and agitated. He goes to the palace garden to vent. When he feels he has finally gained a bit of composure, he returns to find Haman falling on Esther’s couch where she reclined. … Oh no, what a no, no! This is not proper protocol at all. (Now mind you, Haman wasn’t trying to take advantage of the queen in an inappropriate manner, he purely wanted her to plead for his life. He could see by the look on the king’s face that he was dead meat!) I am sure the queen felt very uneasy having her deadly enemy so close to her and touching her body. No doubt, the king saw the tremendous fear overtaking the queen with the man who desires her demise falling on her. No wonder he imagined “rape.” and asked disbelievingly, “Will he even assault the queen with me in the house!” The servants were not so sure what was going on until these angry wounded words fell from their king’s mouth. They were most likely dismayed over Haman’s strange behavior at this banquet. Now, when all is clear, they hastily remove Haman, covering his head to spare the king more embarrassing shame. These servants knew more than the king concerning the affairs of Haman. They reveal they don’t like Haman as they tell on him. They knew he was a pompous, untrustworthy man. As I wrote prior, the citizens of Susa all know what Haman is up to, including the palace servants. They disclose to the king that Haman has built a gallows for honorable Mordecai—the king’s savior.  Without hesitation, the king tells his servants to hang Haman on his own gallows.

 

This may appear to be a great place to close the final curtain as the enemy has fallen and the king and queen appear secure; however, curtains still must move about as more scenes will come to stage and some not so pretty.

 

 

Chapter 8

 

Mordecai Crowned

 

In chapter 6, King Ahasuerus pronounced Mordecai a hero. In chapter 7, the king learned Mordecai was facing death at the hand of Haman—a traitor. Haman was thus executed by order of the king. Now, is the ordained time for Queen Esther to make known her relationship to her cousin Mordecai, who adopted her when orphaned. With Mordecai now holding a prestigious place before the king, it was certainly God’s perfect timing for the revelation. Esther discloses all and the king is not disappointed; he eminently honors them both. Their victory day has come! They have been faithful to God in all things and now He uses the king to advance them even further. (When believers arrive in heaven and stand before their heavenly King, they will be rewarded for staying faithful and holding to His inerrant Word.)

 

Pressing forward, the set now moves to the grand home of Haman. This massive mansion with servants has been transferred to Esther as a present from the king. It is another symbol of her power and authority and the king’s love for her. It is as if the king said, “You now hold Haman’s noble place.” It is like a special kiss on her cheek. Mordecai also has a part in this scene, as Esther places him over this expansive estate as its manager. Not only this, but Mordecai is positioned in power directly under the king—given the king’s signet ring, which embossed the king’s emblem in clay or wax when placed face down. The king made sure it was returned to him, having been in Haman’s possession. Haman had held this most coveted imperial ring, which revealed he had been second in command under the king. This bestowing of the royal ring was equivalent to the king giving his signature to another.

 

It appears the king desires both Queen Esther and Mordecai maintain equal authority under him. He had offered to Esther part of his kingdom and now she is stationed above all others in its vastness. I am sure the inhabitants of Susa are taking note—none of this is escaping their desire to know. We witnessed previously that happenings are not kept hidden—word gets out to the people and even to the secluded palace staff. The public knew Haman had built a gallows for Mordecai and they had witnessed Haman hanging from it.

 

The curtain closes and rises again on a dramatic display of feeling. Esther is once again before the king—falling at his feet. Since she knows she owns the heart of the king, she emotionally asks for the lives of her people. She knows Haman can no longer harm her and the king will protect her from her antisemitic enemies. Yet, she still implores the king for her people, the Jews.  She is a selfless Jewess who lives for God and His will. It has never been God’s will that the apple of His eye completely perish. He has always preserved the Jewish race and someday they will turn to Christ in belief and be exalted on the earth and in heaven. 

 

We see in verses 9f that both Esther and Mordecai are very intelligent—being literate and educated in politics. They utilize their god-given intelligence by writing a decree stating the Jews can defend themselves against any antisemitists. The king’s signed decree could never be revoked according the law of the Media-Persians. The Jews were to be massacred on the twelfth month and the thirteenth day by order of the king. (You would think rash behavior’s consequences would cause kings to wisely consider every law and decree.  You would think they would thoroughly investigate every detail of consideration before setting their ring’s insignia in clay or wax.) 

 

Fortunately, the law could be altered and Queen Esther implores the king to add to the edict allowing the Jews to defend themselves against their enemies. The king ascribes Mordecai, who is second in command, over this task to pen the edict of defense. Verse 11 states the Jews had the right to assemble to defend themselves and to kill and annihilate an entire army or people, which might attack them. God has opened this door of salvation that will preserve His people alive.  He has placed within Esther and Mordecai the wisdom to amend the decree.

 

Owing to Mordecai’s unfailing truthful and faithful ways, the king arrays him in royal robes of blue and white, and caps him with a large gold diadem. This royal gala scene is enriched by the fact the entire city of Susa is rejoicing and shouting. Wow, just think of the masses of citizens who are participating.  Proverbs 29:2 states, “When the righteous increase, the people rejoice, but when a wicked man rules, people groan.” Haman, I don’t believe, was liked or respected—being very pompous and assuming. Contrastingly, Mordecai promotes life and liberty in godly humility. By maintaining a spotless reputation and a desire for justice, the majority of the Susa populace exclaim union with him.

 

In verse 16, we see the Jews enjoyed gladness, joy and light (Under Haman, they were doomed to death’s darkness). They also obtained honor—having Esther and Mordecai in power insured their respectability. This scene ends on a positive note—another happy chapter ending. Curtain closes.

 

 

Chapter 9

 

The Chime of Victory

 

Chapter 9 verse 3 reopens the curtain of this unraveling tale that is not over. At this appointed scene, we witness further blessings of God, bestowed upon the Jews. Princes, satraps, governors, etc., assist the Hebrews in their defense against their enemies—the antisemitists. The dread of powerful Mordecai had fallen upon them evoking them to join the ranks of the king. Verse 4 states that Mordecai became famous and “greater and greater.” What more could a godly man request of his God? Of course, he didn’t ask or expect, which was why this humble man was exalted. 

 

Because of sin in the world, we must observe a bloody scene of revenge, but held within the realm of a sovereign God; verse 5. It is a matter of self-defense. It is the pathway God provided to preserve His people alive.  Queen Esther’s people have no choice but to kill their enemies; their adversaries are out for blood. If the Jews withhold the sword, the antisemitists will prevail! These enemies hold the same heart as Haman. Media-Persia does not need anarchy.

 

One thing that stands out in this particular chapter is the Jewish obedience to the Word of God—not laying hands on the plunder; verse 10. In other words, they kept themselves unadulterated by not seizing the possessions of those they killed. Self-centered objectives of personal gain were absent from this scene and all noticed. The Jews in Media-Persia are totally yielded to God, making sure all their enemies perish without touching their personal possessions. These wise Hebrews receive all the blessings that obedience brings. They had learned obedience from the evil consequential ways of Saul, as you read in chapter 3 of this commentary. They knew the Word of God.

 

The sin of greed is present in the heart of mankind. This war of the good guy versus the bad guy did not incite the normal sins of victory. In many battles, self-centered pursuits of pleasure interfere with orders when an enemy is deposed of. The Jews upheld a tremendous righteous witness through it all.

 

In verse 13, we see Esther once again boldly interceding for her people before the king. She requests another day of vengeance be granted for the Jews who dwell in Susa, the capital. The permanent destruction of the enemies of the Jews must be accomplished, and she will not fall short of her calling in the matter. She also requests Haman’s ten sons be hung on the gallows.  King Ahasuerus seems to be in a bit of shock over all the deaths, but still grants the queen her requests. The Media-Persians must understand it is not profitable to follow the road of antisemitism!   

 

Adding up the figures in this chapter, we see approximately 75,800 enemies were eliminated; verses 6, 15 and 16. This led to an exhilarating time of praising God for His grace and total deliverance! I know of no other time in history where the Jews were able to destroy all their adversaries. However, God will destroy all their enemies when the millennial rule of Reges Christ Jesus is ushered in.

 

God, throughout Scripture, calls us to praise Him for all His benefits and blessings. Verse 1 contains a powerful statement regarding this whole episode of blessed victory. It reveals God can easily overturn every event according to His divine will, “… On the day when the enemies of the Jews hoped to gain the mastery over them, it was turned to the contrary so that the Jews themselves gained the mastery over those who hated them.” This was the ultimate blessing for these Jews at this time. We receive countless bestowments daily because of our relationship to Christ. The New Testament testifies that we should see persecution as a blessing too, being worthy to suffer shame for His name; Acts 5:41. Esther and Mordecai both suffered for obedience, but in this chapter, they receive the rewards of peace and prosperity.

 

Two designated days of the month are given for this celebration of liberation, the thirteenth and fourteenth day of Adar. If you take the time to look at a Jewish calendar (can be located in some study Bibles and on the web), you observe its year holds twelve months as does ours; yet, this calendar does not correspond to our AD calendar. The month of Adar encompasses a portion of February and March. Today, Jews celebrate this holiday of deliverance on March 2-5, being called Purim according to the command in Esther; verse 26.  If you will turn to Esther 3:7, you will see how Haman cast the lot called Pur, to determine when he should present his scheme to the king. It took a full year of casting this lot before Haman felt confident to approach the king as we read previously. This entitlement recognizes the time from the conspiracy to the deliverance.

 

Returning to verse 22, we note the Jews are to celebrate their Purim victory, through feasting, rejoicing and sending portions of food to the poor. (If you read James chapter 2, you will see how much God loves the poor—genuinely poor believers throughout the world. This does not refer to believers who are lazy or drunkards. God commands believers to be diligent workers and if they are not, we are not to associate with them. They are walking in disobedience and consequences are to arise; 2 Thessalonians 3:10-14. Through the James passage, we recognize the poor are precious to God and He has chosen them to be rich in faith. We are never to consider ourselves as superior to others. Being wealthy, beautiful, talented, or educated does not produce a better standing before God. God examines the heart and a righteous heart is precious before God and especially if it dwells in a poor person.) 

 

In verse 25, which is Mordecai’s exhortation to celebrate Purim, he gives honor to the king who changed the edict so the Jews could be saved. He desires no vendetta be placed on the king for allowing Haman to persuade the destruction of the Israelite nation. God did intervene and He did not place a horrifying death judgment on King Ahasuerus—the LORD acted out of complete forgiveness. God knew the king saw the evil he had performed and withdrew from it and He continued to bless this king’s empire. 

 

Because of verse 20 and those following, I believe Mordecai wrote the book of Esther as it states Mordecai recorded all these events and sent copies out to the Jews in every province. The Jews did obey Mordecai’s command and celebrated Purim on the two days legislated. Mordecai also stressed how it was always to be celebrated by every future generation. 

 

The Jews have faithfully obeyed this and in today’s culture, they celebrate by starting with a fast in remembrance of Esther’s  fast. She called for all the Jews to fast as well. This was all performed before she approached the king in order to change his decree of death. 

 

In Synagogues on May 2, Jews read the story of Esther from a scroll.  When Haman’s name is mentioned, it is a signal for a loud noise to erupt to stamp out his name, as he attempted to stamp out the Jews.

 

The Jews also send presents of food to each other as was required; Esther 9:22. They send two kinds of food as a minimum. They also give to two different charities to obey the command of giving portions to the poor.

 

On the afternoon of May 2, they hold a special feast and sometimes a parade. The holiday continues through May 5.

 

Mordecai referred to it as a custom, verse 27, as this was not included in the Law of Moses. These events occurred toward the end of Old Testament writings. 

 

In verse 29, Queen Esther as a literate woman along with Mordecai, write the decree. They, holding pinnacle authority under the king, confirm Mordecai’s edict of remembrance. This declaration encouragement uplifted God’s saving power. His truth has rung loud and clear in this true tale. This all speaks to the certainty of the proud or pompous being defeated; Malachi 4:2.

 

We must note through it all, Esther did not harm the testimony of God; she was a woman of obedience and submission. She did not rebel in her role and never grew bitter.  She chose godly femininity, which set her in a place of admiration.

 

If she had rebelled as a woman’s libber, she would not have been adored throughout the centuries. Seeking feminine godly attributes should be a continual goal in every woman’s life. I have compiled a list of the godly attributes and characteristics of Esther:

 

God-fearing

Quiet and gentle spirit

Obedient

Chaste

Unspoiled

Thoughtful

Contented

Tactful

Gracious

Humble

Modest

Decent

Non-materialistic:

(desired wisdom before things—2:13-15)

Feminine

Loyal

Tender

Sacrificial

Calculated

Uncomplaining

Supportive

Organized

Intelligent

Honest

Loving

Prayer Warrior

Intelligent

Cared for all people

Respected

Faithful

Wise

Subject to governing authorities

Patient

Uncompromising

Determined

Proclaimer of peace and truth

 

Now it is time to lower the final curtain, this being the finale—a happy ending of rejoicing victory.  God answered the prayers of these Jews beyond what they could have asked or thought; Ephesians 3:20.

 

What we find in chapter 10 is life returning to normal.

 

 

Chapter 10

 

The Facts Recorded

 

 

Chapter 10 opens with King Ahasuerus bringing a tax to the land, possibly to aid the monarchy and military. This short closing chapter explains the previous events were recorded in the Book of Chronicles of the Kings of Media and Persia. The last verse informs us that Mordecai sought the welfare of the whole nation.  He never acted out of sinful partiality. This Gentile nation greatly thrived under his godly, meek, and just leadership. This governing produced blessings that were placed upon all citizens.  When Christ rules the earth from Israel during His millennial reign, He will bring justice to all nations, which will produce countless blessings.

 

It is certainly wonderful that we serve the God of Isaiah 40 who can turn all things around for His crowing glory.  His book, the Bible, holds a happy ending just as the book of Esther.

 

January 1, 2009 Posted by | antisemitism, Bible Commentary, Christian Books, Esther, Hate, History, Holocaust, Jews, Queen Esther/Looming Holocaust, Royalty, Uncategorized | , , | 1 Comment

The Shack

Dear Readers,

We live in the day and age of the apostasy and Christians need to be alert to their surroundings.  I would implore you to watch the above video link concerning the new best selling book, The Shack.  My sister phoned me to warn me of this false publication that holds to heretical doctrine concerning God.  She started reading the book and stopped when God the Father was portrayed in female form.  She was wise to spot the heresy that she knew was a calculated lie and told others. This resulting in her defense of the faith, despite criticism.

Throughout Scripture, people are warned not to worship false deities, including those of feminine impressions.  Mary, the false goddess of the Catholic Church, is called the “queen of heaven” as she is worshipped as deity.  She is viewed as God Almighty.  In Jeremiah, God forbids the worship of the “queen of heaven” who is Satan, portrayed in female gender. Everywhere in Scripture God is masculine in both the Old and New Testament. The Greek and Hebrew, which are the original languages of the Bible, verify this.  Angels are always text in the masculine as well.  Woman did not appear on the scene until the creation of the earth—countless eons following the creation of angels.  She was cast in the image of man. Nothing has been created in her image in the spiritual realm.  Sinful man likes to worship and adore the feminine figure, which is why people enjoy imagining gods and angels in such likeness.

We cannot add or subtract from the Bible.  We cannot add or subtract God’s words, as there are grievous consequences.  When Christ was on the earth, He did not turn into every form to please every personality and He performed the Father’s will. God never changes—His agendas and statements never change. He is the same yesterday, today and forever.

You need to ask, where in the inerrant Word did God make the statements and perform the actions that are credited to Him in The Shack?   If a person cannot accept the Biblical Trinity, then something is very wrong with their heart.

Dr. Harry Ironside, pastor of Chicago’s MoodyMemorialChurch from 1930-1948, emphasized the fact that truth mixed with error results in “all error.”  “A little leaven, leaveneth the whole lump.”

In God who never lies nor His Word,

August 24, 2008 Posted by | Angels, Christian Books, Theology | , , | 2 Comments