"Marked by hypocritical censorious self-righteousness."But we all know what the key word is: "hypocritical". Today's society enjoys labeling as "pharisaical" anyone who is caught saying one thing but doing another. This is apparent whenever some famous televangelist has an affair or when a politician exploits his religious affirmations for personal gain. Pharisees definitely have the reputation of being hypocrites; in fact, Christ labeled the teachers of the law as such on numerous occasions. But just because some Pharisees are hypocrites does not mean that all hypocrites are Pharisees. And it certainly does not mean that all Pharisees are hypocrites. What is a Pharisee, anyway? The word used in the NT comes from a Jewish root word: parash. It is not surprising that the word has nothing to do with hypocrisy (after all, the Pharisees would not have named themselves "hypocrites"). Rather, "parash" means "to separate, distinguish, or scatter abroad." This came from the separation that the high-and-mighty Pharisees had from the common Israelite. In Romans, Paul explains that the Law was created to show man his sin, and thereby his inability to get to God and his need for salvation. The Pharisees should have known this; Psalm 19 says that the Law of God exists to convert the soul. However, they deliberately distanced themselves and the Law from the common people and used it to control. Romans says that the works of the law can never justify a man. However, a close study of the actions of the Pharisees will show that they controlled the people by dictating what the law was and why one needed to follow it. This earned them many rebukes from Christ. John the Baptist even called them a "brood of vipers." So how does this relate to the Roman Catholic Church? In the same way that the Pharisees took the Law and made themselves its figurehead, the hierarchical system of the Roman Catholic Church has trapped the doctrine of Grace in a web of sacraments and ritual. The Pharisees told the people, "You must obey the Law, so do what we tell you." The RCC says, "Salvation is by grace through faith, but in order to get that grace you must obey us and follow all our rituals. Jesus said that the traditions of man make the Word of God useless. This goes for both Law and Grace. The Roman Catholic Church promises that we can obtain grace by doing what they tell us to do. But God's Word says that there is but ONE Mediator between God and man: Jesus Christ. In Him, David S. MacMillan III
I have a ton of things to do this week, including school work, office work, Student Leadership Council duties, and writing an article for the second edition of Regenerate Our Culture. For those of you who have not yet checked out this awesome effort, I would advise you to do so now! Thanks to all my readers! I will be coming out with a few more articles in the next few days dealing with some very critical issues . . . keep checking back in! In Him, David S. MacMillan III
Forever, O LORD, Your Word is settled in heaven. (Psalm 119:89)In a world of knowledge, rampant with scientific inquiry, is it possible to really believe that the ancient Scriptures are reliable? Many would say
Asa the father of Jehoshaphat, Jehoshaphat the father of Jehoram, Jehoram the father of Uzziah, Uzziah the father of Jotham,
. . . and so on. When we delve into the Old Testament, however, we find a disturbing inconsistency. It turns out that Jehosaphat indeed was the father of Jehoram, but that Jehoram's son was Ahaziah. And Ahaziah was not the only person left out. The line of the kings given in II Chronicles 21-25 has Jehoram, the father of Ahaziah, the father of Joash, the father of Ahaziah, the father of Uzziah.
Many clergy have explained this apparent contradiction in this wise: the three kings that were left out of the record were notorious for giving honor to Baal rather than God. As a result, the Jews omitted them from the line of kings, and this record was what Matthew had as he wrote the Gospel of Matthew.
This approach, however well-meant, ignores the fact that God divinely inspired Matthew to write his book. I Peter 1:21 tells us that Scripture came about as God spoke through man
- Jehoram, the king who was 100% Davidian: Raised up by God.
- Ahaziah, the first king who was omitted from the lineage: God has held back.
- Joash, the kind with only 25% of the Godly bloodline: God has burned [out].
- Jehoaddan, the first queen on the way back to the pure bloodline: God is delighted.
- Amaziah, the king who was 60% Davidian: God has increased.
- Jecoliah, the queen whose son was the first person to get back in the Matthew lineage: God will overcome.
- Uzziah, the first king who was back in "synch": The Strength of God.
- Jerusah, the wife of Uzziah whose son was 90+% Davidian: God has possessed.
- Jotham, the son of Uzziah who was 90+% Davidian: God lives on.
So never let anyone tell you that Israel should not be supported! In Him, David S. MacMillan III
In the Torah, Moses wrote (Leviticus 26:18 and elsewhere) that in the furture, whenever Israel sins greatly as a nation God will allow calamity to come their way. he will howver give them time to repent. If they, as a nation, do not repent after their warning period, then the remainder of their punishment will be multiplied by seven.
Over 600 years before the birth of Jesus, God used Ezekiel, a contemporary of Daniel, to show Israel her sin. In Ezekiel 4:3-6, God told the prophet to lie on his side for 430 days to signify the 430 years Israel would spend in exile for her sins. ANother contemporary of Daniel's and Ezekiel's, the prophet Jeremiah, predicted that the first 70 years of the 430 years would be a Babylonian exile (Jer. 25:11). That was Israel's warning period.
Sure enough, as predicted, Nebuchadnezzar came along and transported the Jews from Jerusalem to Babylon in 606 B.C. Then, 70 years later, Cyrus the Great of Persia conquered Babylon in 536 B.C. and said he would pay for the millions of Jews to go back to Jerusalem. But the Jews refused. Only 50,000 devout Israelites went back. The rest didn't want to interrupt thier businesses in Babylon.
This obviously made God angry, so take 430 years of exile, subtract 70 years of warning, and multiply the remaining 360 years times 7, as Moses instructed in the Torah. You will get 2,520 prophetic years of 360 days each (the Jews measured prophetic years with 360 days) = 907,200 days from the day Cyrus made his decree to return to Jerusalem, which comes out to May 14, 1948, the day Israel became a nation.