Tag Archive: Matthew 19


“You shall not walk in the manners of the nation, which I cast out before you: for they committed all these things, and therefore I abhorred them.” Leviticus 20:23

Biblically speaking, Jesus’ resurrection occurred on the first Sunday after the Jewish Passover meal. So why is it that some years “Easter” occurs before the Passover?

In 325 AD, the Council of Nicaea voted to hold “Easter” on the Sunday after the first full moon on or after the vernal (Spring) equinox (the day when sunlight is equal on both hemispheres of the earth; aka the first day of spring. After this point, days get longer and nights shorter.)

Choosing this pattern for dating Jesus’ resurrection is curious at best. Why did those overseen by Constantine (the Roman Emperor) ignore the actual pattern (the Sunday after the Passover meal) established by the Lord? Why did they adopt a pattern practiced by paganism for centuries? And does it even matter?

It only matters if we first understand what paganism, witchcraft, occultism, etc. has wholeheartedly embraced for centuries prior to Jesus’ resurrection regarding Easter. A simple search online will reveal the many deceptive pagan connections between rabbits, eggs, the word and timing of Easter and false, fertility goddess worship.

One brief example-

“Dating Easter in conjunction with the vernal equinox and full moon had nothing to do with the biblical account of Christ’s resurrection or the Passover. It was pagan practices, such as the spring fertility goddess rituals that the Catholic Church “absorbed” and attempted to Christianize, that resulted in Easter’s being linked to the vernal equinox and the full moon. The only thing that is biblical regarding when Easter is now observed is the fact that Easter is always on a Sunday. However, this is not the case. Easter is celebrated on the first Sunday after the first full moon after the vernal equinox (March 21 in 2008, the first day of spring). (Got Questions)

Does it matter whether or not Christians embrace the world’s rituals? I believe the answer is yes. Jesus didn’t lay eggs (nor do rabbits for that matter). He did, however, tragically suffer His Heavenly Father’s spiritual and eternal wrath while He was upon the cross. He chose to obey His Father wholeheartedly, taking the penalty we deserve. “You [LORD] shall make His soul an offering for sin…” Isaiah 53:10. Jesus paid the price in full and then willingly laid down His life only to triumphantly raise to life again three days later just like He said He would. Jesus fulfilled hundreds of Old Testament prophesies all to prove that He is the very Christ. He made the truth absolutely and abundantly clear so not to add to all the confusion surrounding Him. 

Am I saying we should boycott church on “Easter” Sunday?  That would be ridiculous! But should we “dress” and “dance” like the world just because it’s popular and pleasing to the eyes?  God forbid!

Resurrection Sunday is the exclamation point, the heart of God’s Gospel, yet too often the waters are muddied and lines blurred within the Church. We tell others to believe God’s Word, but then behave like world when practicing its high days. Sadly, adults are many times motivated to follow the world’s lead simply because it makes our children happy. But Jesus didn’t say do whatever makes our children temporarily excited. He said, “Let the children come to Me, and forbid them not” Matthew 19:14. This generation is confused enough as it is. They are literally inundated with the world’s Antichrist messages carefully, creatively, and intentionally force fed to them through videos, games, toys, TV, movies, music, books, school, friends… and more and more, even today’s Christianity.

Satan’s strategy hasn’t changed. Water down, confuse, and corrupt from the inside out. Why should we, the body of Christ, muddy the waters? Why blur the lines? Why add confusion to an already overly confused generation?

Why not present a different message? Why not lovingly speak the truth? Why not simply preach Christ and Him crucified? Why not be separate? Why not shine forth the pure light of Jesus? Why not offer the world the pure water of the Word?

Why not?

Advertisements

acquire-the-fireSadly, there is a very real spiritual battle that many are too happy to gloss right over. Many Christian parents and teachers earnestly desire to see their children interested in the things of the Lord, but sometimes feel like they don’t have the right tools to keep their interest once children have reached a certain age. So the search begins.  It’s at this point that priorities shift in the criteria for resources and church fellowships that are sought after.  “We need a church and materials that will hold my child’s interest, ones that he will really like.”  Of course this isn’t in and of itself completely bad, but there is definitely more to the story.

If a young teenager has only been lightly trained in his understanding of God’s Word, what kind of youth group will he most likely be drawn to?  As parents of young children, we don’t turn and say to our children, “What would you prefer to eat first, dessert or the main meal?”  No, we hopefully train our children to understand that there are priorities in eating.  First we eat our main course, including the vegetables, then go from there.  Although, perhaps a simple example, the same can be said for training our children in their activities with the Lord.

When looking for a church, our first priority ought always be to pray for the Lord’s leading.  Then there should be an honest desire to find a fellowship that has a strong emphasis on teaching the Word of God in such a way that promotes discernment, building the youth’s understanding of the Lord Jesus Christ.  If this is done correctly, the rest should really work itself out.  Even if it means missing out on church once and a while, parents should also stop in to visit their children’s Sunday school and/or youth group meetings on a semi-regular basis.  Also, keep an open communication with your children and their teachers to see what they’re really learning from week to week. After all, you’re to ones the Lord has made most responsible for training your family. Don’t pass that privilege off to someone else!  Lastly, pray some more!  Never forget there is a very real battle to influence the hearts and minds of this upcoming generation.  Children are much easier to influence and once they are trained, it is difficult (albeit not impossible) to retrain them later.

While millions of young people around the world are staying busy week by week being entertained “in the name of Jesus”, there is a very real push to rewrite the messages they are hearing.  Regardless of what many of them profess, too many Sunday schools and youth groups rely much more on some company’s curriculum or training materials than the Word of God.  This is why it is important to know what your children are learning.  Many so-called Christian curriculum companies understand the money that can be made on selling their products to a large audience, so naturally in order to continue increasing their sales base, the message will have to appeal to as many as possible. And ever deeper than this, there is a very real desire to creatively and carefully move this generation off the firm foundation of the Word of God to the shifting sands of this world’s ecumenical doctrines.

We would be fools to believe the church is immune to the direction this world is headed.  It really is up to every parent and Godly teacher to become informed, exercising Christ-centered discernment in training the youth of today!  Below is a short, but very insightful article which gives a little background of one such group.  Youth Specialties has been around for 40 years and is involved in publishing books, organizing youth training and music events and camps around the world, as well as developing youth curriculum for churches and youth groups. Please take a few minutes to prayerfully read over this article.

Article:   SHAPING THE MINDS OF YOUTH   by Roger Oakland

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

“And we know that the Son of God has come and has given us an understanding, that we may know Him who is true; and we are in Him who is true, in His Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God and eternal life. Little children, keep yourselves from idols. ” 1 John 5:20-21

“Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it.” Proverbs 22:6

“Then the little children were brought to [Jesus] that He might put His hands on them and pray, but the disciples rebuked them. But Jesus said, “Let the little children come to Me, and do not forbid them; for of such is the kingdom of heaven.” Matthew 19:13-14

When driving through a big city, it’s easy to get distracted, redirected, and even lost.  We can find our eyes quickly wandering from the road, pulled away by the bright lights and tall buildings.  Street signs are literally piled one upon another with arrows pointing in every direction, not to mention all the chaos of car horns and sirens.  Sometimes the same thing can be said when trying to navigate our Christian walk.

Truth-vs-lie 2It’s easy to get pulled in a lot of different doctrinal directions, misled by the opinions of men, especially as a young believer. God’s Word instructs us to “Be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive…” Ephesians 4:14.  Sadly, there are too many teachers willing to offer their confusing and often times contaminated philosophies to unsuspecting seekers stopping to ask directions, sending them the wrong way down bumpy avenues and dark alleys.

As a born again believer in Jesus Christ, it’s essential to diligently navigate using God’s Word, not man’s opinions or doctrines of devils. One thing that seems to get many Christians misguided in their doctrinal direction is the false notion of evolution.  If a young believer begins reading Genesis at face value it won’t be long before it occurs to him that the Genesis account of creation is in direct contrast to evolutionary teachings.  Now this young believer has a choice.  He can either ignore the first several chapters of Genesis, assuming they are mythological, he can read it as it’s written, or try to blend the evolution and literal creation accounts together.

The goal for the rest of this blog is to provide the first two of five key “sign posts” to help navigate through the concerns and confusion of the evolution vs. creation debate in hopes of keeping born again believers headed in the right direction.

signpost 5Sign Post 1:  The literal intent of Genesis.  Too often people decide to deal with the creation/evolution debate by categorizing Genesis as allegory or mythology.  The problem with this is threefold.  First, the text itself is written as a historical not an allegorical account.  Most Hebrew scholars agree that the Genesis creation account is meant to be understood historically, not simply as some metaphoric storyline. (Note: Mentioning scholars here isn’t to lift up men, but rather to make the simple point that those studying the Hebrew text as a career do have sound input for this point of the argument.)  Of course this doesn’t mean these same scholars have chosen to believe the creation account, but they do at least agree that the text itself is intended to be taken literally, not allegorically.

Dr. James Barr (Regius Professor of Hebrew at Oxford University), who himself does not believe Genesis is true history, nonetheless admitted as far as the language of Genesis is concerned that-

“So far as I know, there is no professor of Hebrew or Old Testament at any world-class university who does not believe that the writer(s) of Gen. 1–11 intended to convey to their readers the ideas that (a) creation took place in a series of six days which were the same as the days of 24 hours we now experience (b) the figures contained in the Genesis genealogies provided by simple addition a chronology from the beginning of the world up to later stages in the biblical story (c) Noah’s Flood was understood to be worldwide and extinguish all human and animal life except for those in the ark.” 1.

Making the Genesis creation account allegorical would be akin to believing your car’s navigation system was not meant to be taken literally.  This would not only add confusion, but would inevitably and continually get everyone in the car lost, rendering the navigation device useless.

Secondly, Jesus Himself quoted from Genesis as a literal text.  For example, when asked about divorce, referring to Genesis 1 and 2, He said, Have ye not read, that He which made them at the beginning made them male and female? And said, For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they twain shall be one flesh? Matthew 19:4.  Also consider that every writer from the Bible referencing people from Genesis 1-11, i.e. Satan, Adam, Eve, Enoch, Noah, etc. always did so in a literal way. None of the men moved by the Holy Spirit to pen God’s Word ever gave even a slight indication that Genesis was anything but a true historical record.

The third issue with allegorizing the beginning chapters of Genesis is simply this: If the beginning is not historical, then where does the allegory end?  Genesis means book of beginnings.  It’s the record of the how the universe, earth, and mankind began. It’s also the account of the origin of God’s appointed nation, Israel.  There are no grammatical differences indicating chapters 12-50 are to be understood any differently than the first eleven chapters.  Therefore if the first eleven are intended to be allegorical, then why wouldn’t the rest of the book follow suit?  Ironically, those professing Christians claiming the beginning of Genesis is mythological usually don’t ascribe the same interpretive philosophy for the remainder of the book.  This is inconsistent and contradictory at best.  Genesis is meant to be read as the text is written.  Just as it is in any other book, if there are analogies or allegories, it will be clear from the text.

signpost 7Sign Post 2:  Evolution is not a science, but a religion.  Although we exist in a post-modern society, we are still heavily influenced by the philosophies of the early to mid 20th Century.  That is to say we are still quickly beguiled by whatever calls itself science.  There was a time when men believed science was going to be the answer to all the world’s problems.  The issue here is most of mankind’s real problems are caused from his own corrupted, sinful heart and science has no ability to reach the spirit of man.  So in order to supplement the innate lack within science itself and in hopes of making a total departure from the True God of the Bible, men have chosen to ascribe scientific terminology and credentials to spiritual notions.  If you put a robe on a man and place him behind a pulpit he appears religious, however if you put a lab coat on the same man and place him behind a lectern, he appears knowledgeable and scientific regardless of how existential his teachings are.   This is probably the most important sign post of all.  So many people have been duped into believing that evolution is scientific when in fact nothing could be further from the truth. (Note: Due to the overview nature of this article, I will not delve too deeply into this sign post, but because of its importance, several links are provided below for further study.)  Considering the following quotes by two non-Christians:

“In fact, evolution became in a sense a scientific religion; almost all scientists have accepted it and many are prepared to ‘bend’ their observations to fit in with it.” (British physicist, H.S. Lipson)2.

“Evolution is promoted by its practitioners as more than mere science. Evolution is promulgated as an ideology, a secular religion—a full-fledged alternative to Christianity, with meaning and morality. I am an ardent evolutionist and an ex-Christian, but I must admit in this one complaint. . . the literalists [i.e., creationists] are absolutely right. Evolution is a religion. This was true of evolution in the beginning, and it is true of evolution still today.” (Michael Ruse, History and Philosophy Professor, Author of The Darwinian Revolution (1979),Darwinism Defended (1982), and Taking Darwin Seriously (1986). 3.

Real science, the science that builds rocket ships, makes satellites, etc. is not the same as “molecules to man” evolution.  Operational science cares nothing about the meaning of life. If interviewed, most would readily admit that the meaning of life is a spiritual, not scientific pursuit. Yet, in the ultimate sense, evolution attempts to serve as a framework with which all knowledge must be weighed against; a framework that is supposed to explain what life really is all about. Evolution is, in fact, not just a story about where all things originated from, but a story about where we are and where we’re headed.  It actually serves as the overarching historical record of everything related to this universe and mankind. The big picture of evolution really does attempt to be the answer for the origin and meaning of all life.  When all its scientific garb is stripped away, evolution is a spiritual philosophy attempting to replace God’s Word and sadly even God Himself! 

Many may also not realize that evolution, the idea that one creature has the ability to shift into a totally separate and distinct creature, is the basis for every occultic, shamanistic, and polytheistic belief system.  Consider the following quote from occult researcher and Bible apologist, Dave Hunt:

“Evolution plays a key role in the occult.  Theodore Roszak pointed out that mysticism is ‘the parent stock from which the theory of biological evolution springs.’  Anthropologist Michael Harner reminds us that ‘millennia before Charles Darwin, people in shamanic cultures were convinced that humans and animals were related.’  Evolution, as the core belief of Hinduism and witchcraft,is at least as old as the theories of reincarnation and karma, in which it is a key element.” (Dave Hunt, Occult Invasion, p. 20.)

In fact, the natural (or better stated, spiritual) progression of evolution follows that man only has one final step in his ascension.  That step — godhood.  Sadly, this is the very lie that Satan himself was self-deceived by and later fed to the entire human race. (Genesis 3:5Isaiah 14:14.)  Robert Jastrow, the founder and director for many years of the Goddard Space Institute that sent Pioneer and Voyager said, “Evolution could have been going on in some planets 10 billion years longer than on this planet, and those beings would be as far beyond man on the evolutionary scale as man is beyond a worm. And when we see them, they would seem like gods to us.” 4.

W. L. Wilmer is one of the leading authorities on masonry. In his book, The Meaning of Masonry,   he says:   “The evolution of man into superman—(see, we’re not just talking about evolving in the human beings, but evolving upward to godhood.)—the evolution of man into superman was always the purpose of the ancient mysteries. Man who has sprung from the earth and developed through the lower kingdoms of nature to his present rational state has yet to complete his evolution by becoming a godlike being, and unifying his conscience with the omniscient.” 5.

It is this writer’s biblical conviction that the philosophy of evolution will never be abandoned in the minds and hearts of men, not because it’s so essential for scientific advancement, but because evolution is utterly crucial as THE framework for spiritual deception.  Evolution is, in reality, the ultimate framework deluding billions of hearts and minds into believing they might actually have a chance to become their own gods.  Evolution is as the Bible calls it, a “science falsely so called” (1 Timothy 6:20) and stands in direct and complete opposition to God’s Word. It leads many to destruction and many believers into an ineffective walk, doubting their faith in God’s Word, fearing men instead of God.

As we choose to faithfully follow God’s Word, may we carefully consider the sign posts placed along the way.  God has lovingly given us His true and perfect Word to keep us from getting lost and from misdirecting others from the truth that is found in Jesus Christ alone.  

“Evolution is really at the heart of [the occult].   This is how we become gods, and evolution of course, causes you to believe in some kind of a force innate within the universe that is moving us in the direction of godhood.   Therefore, if you can tap into this force through yoga or some other spiritual technique, and you can accelerate your progress towards godhood and gain this power.   So evolution plays a really important role and also plays an important role, it has cost an awful young people their faith.   Of course you can’t destroy real faith, but an awful lot of young people who were in Christian homes, who believed in God, who believed in the Bible, when they are confronted by some bright professor in a university or even in high school who says, look, Genesis is a myth, that’s not the way it happened, it happened through evolution.   And because this is science speaking they believe it, well then they’ve had the rug pulled out from under them, and an awful lot of young people have turned away from God from Christianity because of evolution.” ~Dave Hunt, Audio Discussion of The Occult Invasion, Pt. 3)

“Your Word is true from the beginning.” Psalm 119:160a (KJV)

“Every word of God is pure: He is a shield unto them that put their trust in Him.” Proverbs 30:5

“Blessed is that man that maketh the LORD his trust, and respecteth not the proud, nor such as turn aside to lies.” Psalm 40:4

“All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.” 2 Timothy 3:16

(Part 2: Posted Soon)

Helpful Articles for Further Study: (Please note that although all the articles below provide excellent insight to the necessity of believing a literal, 6 day creation as taught plainly in God’s Word, this blog does not necessarily support every teaching found on other websites, especially those dealing with the promotion of Calvinistic doctrines, i.e. T.U.L.I.P. and Replacement Theology.)

Footnotes:

  1. J. Barr, personal letter to David Watson, April 23, 1984.
  2. H.S. Lipson, “A Physicist Looks at Evolution”, Physics Bulletin (V. 31, n.d. 1980).
  3. Michael Ruse, “Saving Darwinism from the Darwinians,” National Post (May 13, 2000), B3.
  4. http://www.thebereancall.org/content/world-getting-ready-son-perdition
  5. http://www.thebereancall.org/content/occult-invasion-revisit-part-three-evolution-demonic
%d bloggers like this: