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Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men. After the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.
Colossians 2:8
Issue #29 March & April 2007

Following the Biblical Stream:
By Philip Busby

Last time, we talked about the fact Cain went out from the presence of God into a place east of Eden called Nod. There Cain built a city and named it after his son Enoch. We talked about the fact a city was not just a provision for his family but a concept which Cain was bringing into the world. As we go forward in this study, it's vitally important we understand God is not a puppet master pulling the strings of man. God has given man the world and all it contains. How man develops it and what ideas make it - as they say - "go round," is up to man himself. So, when the Bible tells us Cain built a city, it's not simply a group of houses but the beginning of a concept that will greatly affect how, at least, his family line will live their lives. This concept was also picked up or, at least, paralleled to a great degree by others, and so, his idea has had lasting consequences.

Because of its profound affect on man's development, it's interesting that the first mention of city building comes from Cain's family; and as we look down these verses we see other human developments which are attributed to Cain's family line. Starting in Genesis 4:18 and going through verse 24, we are given a glimpse into the family of Cain. This is not just a listing of names but some very good information about how far back certain practices go. As we touched on last time, people who believe in evolution will tell you we developed around survival, but this is not the case. Sure, man had to work by the sweat of his brow, but he was not struggling just to survive. What man developed in these early days was very little about need and a lot out of desire. We are not the "naturally selected" creatures evolutionist want us to believe we are. However, we are, very much, creatures of habit, because there is very little new under the sun. (Ecc. 1:1-11) The happenings in these first chapters and verses in Genesis show us just how little we have changed or learned since the beginning of it all; and even though we have had to struggle greatly to make many of these ideas work, we are insistent they are the only ways. In fact, we have insisted on it so much, that the more time passes, the more true it becomes. Believing we do not have a choice has become a self-fulfilling prophesy, of sorts! (Rev. 13:1-10)

Verse 17 tells us Cain knew his wife. Here is a point I've been asked about on more than one occasion. Who did Cain and his brother(s) marry? The simple response is, their sisters, and immediately people ask, how did that work? The first thing you must understand is that in history there is a lot of intermarriage of families! In modern times, and for good reason, this is greatly looked down on. However, in human history, it's not so much the case. If you go all the way down to the time of Abraham and Sarah's family, you see close family marrying one another. Abraham and Sarah had come from Ur to Canaan, and once their son Isaac was old enough, Abraham made provisions for his marriage. Abraham knew it was not in God's will for Isaac to marry a Canaanite woman, so he sent his servant to get the wife God had chosen for Isaac. (Gen. 24) This turned out to be Rebekah, who was the daughter of Bethuel. Bethuel was the son of Milcah and Nahor. Nahor was Abraham's brother. (Gen. 24:15) This means Rebekah was Isaac's cousin once removed.

Rebekah and Isaac would have two sons named Jacob and Esau. Jacob would receive the blessing of the covenant from God, (Ex. 2:24) and God would also lead Jacob away from taking a Canaanite to wife. (Gen. 28:1-9) Jacob would return to his mother Rebekah's house and end up with two sisters for wives, Leah and Rachel. Leah and Rachel were Laban's daughters, and Laban was Rebekah's brother. (Gen. 27:42-46) This means that if you go by Jacob's father's side, Leah and Rachel were Jacob's second cousins once removed. If you go by his mother's side Leah and Rachel were simply Jacob's cousins. You see, the whole idea of tribes has to do with families staying together as a group, which, many times, included intermarriages like these. The Biblical Moabites and Ammonites were descendants of Lot's sons which were conceived by his two daughters. Lot did not do this willingly, but it's an example of how stupid it is to drink alcohol! (Gen. 19:30-38) Many of the nations of the world are originally representative of families. Sometimes we refer to them as races, and sometimes we refer to them as nations, but almost all of them started from a cohesive family unit of some sort. As families expand into larger groups, main leadership roles, many times, transfer from strictly the patriarch(s) of the family to one specific group or line in the family. This is how nations obtained governments, mainly monarchs. Then we even see intermarriage in many "royal" lines, specifically. This is what makes them royal and considered separate. To go out and marry into another royal family was a way to make an ally by mixing ruling families together. So, man got away with close family intermarriages for a very long time.

Now, regardless of other things, today one of the biggest barriers to close intermarriage is the genetic defects which generally appear in the children. In light of what we are discussing here in Genesis, it's important to understand, genetic defects are not developed in a generation; they are the result of a long process of physical deterioration. Simply put, at the time of Adam and Eve, humanity was nearly pure. If man could get away with close marriage for as long as he did, and still have at least relatively healthy children, it shows us that for Cain to marry his sister would not have been a problem on a physical level at all. However, this brings out an interesting factor. Evolutionist tell us things evolve and adapt. The Bible tells us we no longer have access to the Tree Of Life which was a sustaining physical force. On top of that there is the curse of the ground, and humans have been depleting and polluting the earth, from which all our food comes, ever since. When we look at the modern truth of specifically needing to avoid intermarriage, we see yet another example of how unscientific evolution is. The observation of the facts prove we are not evolving and adapting into something better, we are degrading and having more and more trouble with physical defects. The facts fly in the face of evolutionary theory which says a small group within a species can turn up with qualities better suited for survival, and that small group can then develop into a whole new species.

Now, just to be clear, I'm not saying there is nothing wrong with marrying your sister or even a close cousin! In a sin filled world there are many reasons not to continue the practice, and God outlawed these practices in the law of Moses. (Lev. 18:6-18) Man is flesh, and man can choose to live only in the flesh instead of being a whole person. In doing this, man ends up living off instinct, which means he, mostly, only does what makes him feel good. However, physical relationships are an act of the flesh, and even your flesh has the sense to know that close family physical relationships are not right. This is a rare example of even your flesh knowing what is right. In just wanting to feel good, the flesh may not tell you to abstain from sex before marriage or even extramarital sex, because those morals have to do with following the laws of God which are discerned by our mind and spirit. Most sin is caused by us not following laws like these, because we are only listening to the flesh. However, if even the flesh has an instinct to know what you are doing is not right and you go forward with it anyway, it shows the cancer of sin has truly eaten deep into who you are. It's one thing to allow your flesh to have something it wants even when you know it's wrong. This is simply failing to keep your sinful flesh under submission. However, when you do something which goes against even the flesh's natural instincts, you are not just giving in to temptation of the flesh, you are using your mind to choose a very different path than God created us to walk! (Rom. 1)

This leads us directly into the next subject which these verses bring up. Genesis 4:18 tells us Cain's son Enoch begat a child named Irad. Irad begat Mehujael, who begat Methudael, who begat Lamech. Verse 19 tells us, "Lamech took unto him two wives:" It only took a handful of generations before we start to see the selfish fleshliness which Cain not only refused to repent of, but fostered in his children's lives, to distort the plan of God even further in the lives of men. Once we feel we can get away with breaking even one of the basic patterns God set up for man to live by, it's only a matter of time before more and more standards fall. This, just like Cain's city idea, was not a huge evil scheme but a distortion of God's plan. God had established the basis of Family. Cain had expanded that idea into an obligated community. There's nothing wrong with community but only if people of like-mindedness freely build it. If it's something you hope to force or trap people in, then it's wrong! Cain built a city before there were even enough people to populate it. This was to further his own personal ideas of how man should live, and it worked. A later and greater implementation of this idea, at a place called Babel, would force God to take the actions which gave the place its name. (Gen. 11:1-9)

Now, just a few generations down Cain's family, we see another distortion. God created one woman for one man, but Lamech decided there was no reason he couldn't have two wives. This idea would also become a very normal practice among men. A little leaven leaventh the whole lump, (I Cor. 5:6) and there is no better way to make this true than to keep men in a lump as Cain's city idea had done. One bad idea begets another! However, the idea of a man marrying more than one wife immerses us in a discussion about the dynamics of marriage; and when it comes to marriage, Jesus explains a great deal of things which are very unpopular these days! In spite of their unpopularity, they are still true; but ironically, the very churches which lean so heavily on the New Testament for their doctrine have been some of the first to throw out most of what Jesus said.

You see, the reason people do not understand the issue of marriage is because we have created such a mess with premarital sex, extramarital sex, divorce and remarriage, that it literally becomes impossible to untangle. Who really belongs to who is a big question, and one which has to be dealt with one case at a time. Men marrying more than one wife is looked down on in the worst way today. However, in truth, the issue of a man marrying more than one wife is far less complex than the mess most people have created with their promiscuity.

Through the Bible, we see men having more than one wife, and we see God using some of these men in great ways. In the New Testament, we see the stipulation that a man desiring a full-time ministry position should be the husband of only one wife, which means there were still people in the church, at large, who had more than one wife. To us, this may seem odd, and many people just blow it off as being just the "times." However, this is dangerous because that is exactly what people say about homosexuality. The fact our modern society is becoming so willing to accept homosexuality as a norm but looks with such disdain on more than one wife, shows us how much we are moved by political correctness, while ignoring the Word Of God. Today, some will tell you God only cracked down on homosexuality because man simply was not "enlightened." Now that's sad, because your saying man was not "enlightened" enough to handle homosexuality back then but God allowed multiple marriage. Does that mean today we are so "enlightened" we know better than to allow multiple wives, but somehow this enlightenment helps us understand why people of the same gender can be together sexually?

Man changes his mind, but God never changes. (Mal. 3:5-6, Heb. 13:8) So, instead of listening to nonsensical, political driven, modern propaganda, lets look at the Word Of God! Jesus told us in the law of Moses, God allowed for divorce but only because of the hardness of men's hearts. (Mark 10:2-5) The stipulation we miss is that even this divorce law gave no room for remarriage. This is because of the physical relationship and the possible consequences which marriage is created to deal with. We understand this on a certain level when we say things like, "Divorce is always harder when there's children involved." As I've explained a number of times, marriage is about a lifelong commitment between a man and a woman. This commitment allows a physical relationship which can produce a child, and a child needs a set of parents to raise it. This is why in giving man the opportunity to procreate, God also established the institution of marriage. God brought Eve to Adam, and Adam said, "This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh:" (Gen. 2:23) So, the two becoming one is not just a platitude, it's a reality, and this becomes more obvious when a child is born.

This brings us to the subject of adultery; and adultery is simply this, having a physical relationship with someone whom you have not made or should not make a lifelong commitment to. Not that it's an excuse to do it, but the "have not" part can be taken care of, and many times has been at the end of a shotgun! However, the "should not" part is very bad because it can not be fixed, and this is where the messiness really starts. You see, it's hard to be one with someone who is already one with someone else. When we do this, we destroy something so rudimental to our creation, we can not even know the damage we have done! Many people think this idea is archaic and this is nothing new. Proverbs 6:32 puts it, simply, this way, "But whoso committeth adultery with a woman lacketh understanding: he that doeth it destroyeth his own soul."

Jesus takes time to talk about marriage because so many (now more than ever) make mistakes because they "lacketh understanding." Paul points out a truth of creation which is very simple. In I Corinthians 11:8-9 he says, "For the man is not of the woman; but the woman of the man. Neither was the man created for the woman; but the woman for the man" We can be as upset about this as we want, but Paul is only pointing out an obvious truth laid out in the creation story. Understand, Paul is not saying women are lesser in any way; he is only pointing out why the dynamics of marriage work the way they do. Paul explains why the responsibility lies where it does, and with that in mind, we go back to the words of Jesus. In Matthew 5:32 Jesus tells us the man who puts away his wife for any reason except that of fornication, "...causeth her to commit adultery:" He goes on to tell us the man who marries "...her that is divorced committeth adultery." Jesus also tells us, the man who puts away his wife and marries another commits adultery against her. (Mark 10:11) Jesus even says in Matthew 5:27-28 that when a man looks at a women with the intent to lust after her, he has already committed adultery with her in his heart. Now, the time we see the responsibility also put on the women is in the case of a woman divorced from her husband marrying another man. In this case, she commits adultery as well. (Mark 10:12)

Now let's break all this down. Because the woman is made of the man, it is a man's responsibility to care for a woman once he has taken her. (Gen. 2:24) There is something deep in us which still tells us this is true, but we try hard to ignore it! When a man joins himself with a woman, he is taking on responsibility for her and any consequences of their joining. When a man has no intention of fulfilling this responsibility, he has committed adultery. If the woman has no intent of allowing the man to take on this responsibility, then she has acted much the same as a harlot. She may not have done it for money, but she did do it just for the pleasure it brings. This is why we say people should wait until marriage. Whether man or woman, we should never start a physical relationship without first having a solid commitment from both sides, and an agreement to get married "someday," is not a solid commitment. That is why most marriage laws require witnesses and the signing of legally binding documents.

Now, our first topic is a man who puts away a woman he is married to. In doing this he causes her to commit adultery. This is because he has not lived up to his promise of responsibility, and this means the time they have been together is adultery, much the same way a relationship completely outside of marriage would have been. The only exception to this is if the woman has given herself to another man, because in doing this, she is the one who has broken the commitment. This, of course, does not include rape because that is not her choice. (Matt. 5:32)

The next element is that a man who marries a woman who has been divorced causes her to commit adultery. A divorced woman has already made a commitment to a man, and this is when we need to understand that divorce does not end responsibility. Divorce is just giving the other person a written confession that you no longer want to be with them. According to the Word Of God, the responsibility still stands, and neither person is available for remarriage as long as they both shall live. Even many divorce laws agree with this in the aspect that, especially, women are almost always entitled to alimony, and if given primary custody of any children, she will also receive child support. However, if the woman remarries, she commits adultery, and gives her husband the right to put her away. Many laws see this as well, because usually, alimony automatically stops when a woman remarries.

The last part is a little harder, and it will lead us to the discussion we have been driving toward all this time. Jesus told us that a man who puts away his wife and marries another also commits adultery, and this really brings up the question of why does God not call multiple marriage adultery? In the law of Moses multiple marriage is not outlawed, but it is mentioned. In Leviticus 18:18, we are told the marrying of sisters is not allowed. In Deuteronomy 17:17, future kings of Israel are warned about "multiplying" wives, but nowhere does God expressly take away the possibility of multiple marriage altogether. He only warned of the dangers, but why? Especially if a divorced man cannot marry another? The key lies in what Jesus said about the law of divorce.

Most people see the law of Moses as incredibly strict, but Jesus made it clear the law was gracious. Jesus said, "You have heard it said of old, but I tell you..." I Corinthians 10:13 tells us God will not put more on us than we can bear. The law was laying out standards that any decent human being should be able to keep, but there is an even higher road of righteousness it's trying to lead us to. This shows us how true it is that we are not saved by our works but by the grace of God; (Eph. 2:8-9) and this has direct relationship to the issue of more than one wife. Jesus told us the law only allowed for divorce because man's heart is so dark it may be better, at times, to be separated from one another than have the turmoil staying together might cause. Jesus was making the point clear. Divorce is not the end of a union, it is only a separation. "What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder." Matt. 19:6 This means reconciliation is always a possibility. If both people would live humbly before God and grow in His grace, the answer to their marital problems are obtainable. Whether this ever happens or not is not the point. The attempt to follow the higher road of righteousness in our lives is always the point, and this is where the dilemma comes in. Divorce is not what God wants in our lives, but living in a situation where anger and hatred can control our lives is also not what God wants. God made the family to be a unit that works for our good not our destruction. So, God allowed divorce, but only because of hardness in our hearts which needs to be corrected!

A similar case comes to light when talking about multiple wives. Let me be very clear on this point. It is not God's desire that men marry more than one woman! However, just like divorce, in a sin filled world there are factors to consider. First is a point that no modern woman wants to hear; women are more at risk in our world than men. Before sin entered the world this was not a factor. No human was - for lack of a better term - "at risk." However, women and children are far too often the victims of society and world events! This has been recognized for a very long time, and in many societies there have been traditions which dictate a line of secession for the care of women who do not have a father or husband. (An example of this shows up in the story of Boaz and Ruth. Ruth 3:1-4:22) Now, because of the hardness of man's heart this does not always work for the good of the women, but these traditions usually start with the best intentions.

Such a tradition is even referred to in I Corinthians 7, where Paul talks about the man who keeps his virgin, does well, but if he can not, then they should marry. This is said because women, especially those without fathers, would be assigned to men who would serve as their surrogate fathers - so to speak. In some cases, these women would never get married and/or leave these men's care. So, at times, these men would marry the women themselves. Now, Paul was speaking in the framework of believers needing to do the work of the Lord. Paul explains the unmarried are free to do the work of the Lord, but those who are married have to do the work of the marriage and family. A man who has more than one wife really does not have the time to care for the church at large! In this light, Paul talks to those who have been given the responsibility of caring for unmarried women and simply points out, once the girl is old enough there is nothing wrong with making it a marriage. Simply put, it's better to make a marriage commitment to the woman than to find yourself being tempted to commit adultery with her all the time. However, he who can control himself does better!

This is the point of not forbidding multiple marriages. It's not that God created man to take more than one wife, and it's not a great idea. So, this is simply another thing only allowed because of our sinful nature. If the woman is not already in a union with another man, it's more appropriate for the man to take the woman as his wife than it is for them to have a physical relationship and not take on the responsibilities which comes with it.

Now, our last point about divorce and adultery is that Jesus said a man who puts away his wife and marries another commiteth adultery against her. (Mark 10:11) In light of multiple wives, the question becomes, why would this be a problem? The answer is still - responsibility. Again, God did not allow multiple wives because that is the perfect plan of God, it's because it is better for a man to take on responsibilities than to live in adultery with another woman. However, by telling us it is counted as adultery to put away a wife and marry another, Jesus was pointing out a simple truth we should be able to discern from the information we have already covered. If a man is going to put aside his responsibility in one relationship. there is no point in God allowing him to take on another. Adultery already exists by him putting away the first wife! Allowing another wife under these circumstances only compounds the problems the people in the situation already have. There is nothing solved by allowing a man who does not keep his commitment to one wife, to make a commitment to another!

Now, I have not had time in this writing to cover everything; but in closing, let me just point out, the laws in most countries forbid multiple wives. This adds a whole other conversation about abstaining from all appearance of evil, (I Thess. 5:22) obeying the laws of the land, (Rom. 13:1-4) and the fact that when a society does not allow for this, there should also be circumstances which make its allowance far more unessential. Talking about marriage as only for this world, also brings greater understanding of this entire issue. (Matt. 22:24-34) So, as I wrap things up, I hope everyone understands this is not a thorough look at the issue of marriage and divorce. This is only a quick run-down of the most basic facts for the purpose of this study, and I understand this may have brought up even more questions than it answered. On that note: let the letters and e-mails begin!

Until next time, Shalom!

clearPART IV
By Philip Busby

As we talked about last time, it's important we understand Jesus was a newly created human, because it's what gives Jesus the power and authority He has as a human on this earth. Jesus was not another human hopelessly trapped in the sin-filled cycle the rest of us are in. Jesus was God The Son in a spotless human form; which gave Him, as a human, unfettered access to God The Father. Since the fall, sin has kept the seed of Adam from having that. To understand this point better, we need to consider Matthew chapter 16 verse 19. There Jesus says, "And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven." It is human decisions which control what happens here in our created space. What hurt us so deeply when we fell into sin was that we no longer could stand before God in purity. When we were in innocence, God was simply there by our side; but when we chose to walk our own way, God's ability to be close to us became limited. When we do wrong, God is forced to judge us. The closer His presence is to our lives, the more quickly the judgment must come, because the holiness of God demands the development of holiness in our lives. (Matt. 5:48, I Pet. 4:12-19) You can't have your cake and eat it too - so to speak. You can be in an ever developing walk with God or you can walk away. Those are the only two choices. However, in this flesh, even our desire to be holy can only get us so close. Moses was only allowed to see the back of God, and he came down from the mountain glowing. (Ex. 33:17-23) Priests who ministered before God in the temple, who did not follow the instructions of the law, were consumed by fire. (Lev. 10:1-7) We needed a human who could stand before God making intercession for the rest of us, directly before the presence of God.

Genesis 6:3 tells us, God said His Spirit would not always strive with man because man was flesh. As flesh, individual men may give up sin, but this world still vexes us. Men like Enoch, Elijah, and Moses are great examples of men who desired God's ways so much that God took them from this world before their bodies were overcome by death; and the story of Moses is directly tied to what God was telling us in Genesis 6. God's Holiness cannot tolerate sin because just the grief which sin can bring into the life of one who desires holiness can lead them to stumble! This truth is why Paul said in Ephesians 4:26-27, "Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down on your wrath: Neither give place to the devil." The more we try to follow in God's Holiness, the more we find ourselves unable to tolerate sin, as well. One of the very reasons we choose to follow God in the first place is that we want to leave sin behind. This means a true believer comes to the state of not wanting to tolerate sin long before we know much about how to confront it. This simple truth is one of the reasons Paul instructs in I Timothy 3:6 that a minister should not be a novice. From the very start we can be exuberant about serving God, and this is good, but we should understand we have much to learn. We need to turn our exuberance toward learning, instead of trying to lead so much. Many good intentioned bad ideas have come from young Christians who simply have not had the time to understand some of the most basic dynamics of living for God. Far too many of these ideas have become fully accepted norms in our churches, and people end up never growing out of them.

You see, it's difficult to confront sin without falling into sin yourself. This is why we have to remind our children, and ourselves, that two wrongs don't make a right. It's hard to have righteousness in judgment. So, God tells us not to judge. (Matt. 7:1-2) This is not a command to stop teaching the Word; it's a warning against us trying to execute justice even when others are doing things we know are wrong. (Ezek. 3:20-21) We are obligated to teach what the Bible tells us; but when it comes to judgment, we need to stay hands off. That is why God also tells us that vengeance is His. (Rom. 12:19) We have enough trouble handling our own actions; so don't allow any man to stop you from teaching the truth, but leave the judgment of others solely in God's hands!

This problem of sin vexing the righteous was something Moses faced. God had told Moses to speak to the rock, and water would come out to quench Israel's thirst. However, Moses was so tired of the disbelief and sinfulness of the people that he was slipping on a personal level. (Num. 20:1-13) This was, by far, not the first time Moses and/or God had been murmured against when the people wanted water and/or food. God had provided every time, once even bringing water from a rock when Moses struck it. (Ex. 17:4-7) Now, early on, at Mount Sinai, Moses had begged God to spare the people, even when they had done something so contrary to what God was trying to accomplish through them that they had almost voided their usefulness. Again, the closer God is to people the more swift the judgment must come, (I Pet. 4:16-19) but Moses acted as their intercessor. He pleaded with God to spare Israel. "The effectual fervent prayers of a righteous man availeth much." James 5:16 So, God moved away from the people and Moses went back down the mountain to join the people. When Moses got there, he became so angry with them that he threw the tablets of stone God had given him, breaking them to pieces - and there it is!

The people had made themselves an idol of gold to worship, because they did not think Moses was coming back. God cannot work through a people who are going to break their commitment with Him every time they think some little thing has gone wrong. God was going to purge the sin by destroying the people and starting over with Moses. Moses had begged God to spare the people, and because Moses was a righteous man, God spared them. Moses' righteousness is why God was willing to start over using just Moses. However, even Moses, being the one who had begged God to spare the people, was very wroth with them the minute he saw what they were doing. This was a righteous anger so strong Moses failed to handle it properly, and he ends up smashing to bits the very thing the people needed the most.

You see, those stone tablets Moses had received from God, contained the instructions which would take the people from being caught up in the traditions of men and show them what a life lived for God should look like. Being caught up on the traditions of men is exactly what the people were doing. They had formed an idol and said this is the god who brought us up out of Egypt. (Ex. 32:1-6) They were not necessarily trying to deny the existence of God; they were simply trying to make God according to their own thoughts. (Rom. 1:23) What they needed was instructions, precisely like the second commandment, which tells us not to make unto ourselves any graven images. (Ex. 20) Moses had gotten the people a second chance from God, but in trying to deal with them himself, he had destroyed the very thing they needed. This meant Moses would have to go back up the mountain and receive the laws again. Being up on the mountain for so long the first time was the thing which caused the people to stray in the first place!

This is why the Holiness of God was going to destroy the people. God knew the burden Moses was asking to take on, and the fact it was going to be a long struggle. God was not going to ask Moses to do this, but Moses, by his own choice, took it on. Now, Moses probably did not fully understand what he was getting himself into, but this is where we must understand Matthew 16:19. What is bound and what is loosed is up to us! When we pray, we must be careful what we pray for. When Jesus was asked how we should pray, he said we should start our prayer by acknowledging God is God. "Our Father which art in heaven, Hollowed be thy name." Then we should ask, "Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done, as in heaven, so in earth." From there, we can go on to ask for our daily needs; but good prayer is asking God that His will be done, not ours! (Luke 11:1-4, 22:39-43)

Moses had taken to himself a great burden, and to emphasize the change, God did not give Moses the law in the same way He did the first time. The first time, God told Moses to come up into the mount, and God gave Moses tablets of stone which God had hewn and on which God had written. The second time, God instructs Moses to hew the tablets himself; and so Moses had to do the physical labor of cutting stone. Then Moses had to carry those stone tablets all the way back up the mountain. God's law was what the people needed. Moses had taken responsibility for them, and if he was going to get the law back, he was going to have to work for it. My grandmother used to say, "You never appreciate anything that's given to you." We don't know how much Moses valued those first stone tablets in the first place, but you can rest assured he valued the second set a lot more. With every hit of the chisel, Moses probably regretted breaking those first ones. We like to say prayer changes things, but what we fail to understand is that sin changes things as well. We are in a constant fight with the changes sin makes, even on a very personal level.

Now, much further down the road, as God was going to, once again, bring water from a rock, Moses was asked to speak to the rock, not strike it. However, by this time Moses was so tired of striving with the people that he went out and struck the rock anyway. (Num. 20:1-12) Now, Moses was, by far, not a novice; but God asked Moses to speak instead of strike, because God wanted to remind Moses of the truth we are talking about. It's hard to continually strive for righteousness in a sin-filled world which beats at you daily, and even Moses had become so tired and stressed that he found himself disobeying God's instructions. Now, the water came, even though Moses struck the rock, because this was more of a personal issue between God and Moses. God was not going to allow Moses to totally go down into burnout, no matter what Moses asked. Moses was precious in God's sight, and this gave God the chance to show both Aaron and Moses that they would not be able to lead the children of Israel into the promised land!

Moses' life shows how much we need a direct link to God; but it also proved, no man from the seed of Adam was going to fill our need for a direct link. It's just outside of our abilities to make the right choices and continually stand in the gap. However, Jesus coming in human flesh could create that direct and permanent link with God we so desperately need! (I Jn. 2:1-2) Jesus can be everything Moses - bless his heart - could not be! This is what confused the religious leaders when Jesus told the man sick of the palsy that his sins had been forgiven. The religious leaders frowned greatly on this; but Jesus simply pointed out, it's just as easy to say thy sins be forgiven as it is to say rise up and walk. He had used the forgiveness words so they would know He had "...power on earth to forgive sins,.." Matthew 9:1-8 Remember what Jesus told those who were going to stone the adulterous woman in John chapter 8? Jesus said, "He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her." Jesus was the only one who fit that description. So, once the people walked away from the woman, Jesus asked her where her accusers had gone, and "hath no man condemned thee?" She responded, "No man, Lord." Then He told her, "Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more." This story confuses many people, because they see Jesus as condemning the people for wanting to stone her, but that's not true. Jesus was doing them as much, or more a service as the woman, by taking the responsibility to Himself.

God had shown Israel, in the law, that they should take actions to clean out sinfulness from Israel. However, Israel had never done a very consistent job at this, and that serves as an example of how hard it is for sinful men to police themselves. What Jesus was simply trying to show us is that He was going to be the one in charge of such matters from then on. We may not understand why God judges in the way He does, but it's no longer our distress. Jesus (being God in the flesh) has taken on the complete authority to judge man directly among men! His ability to be above the sinful problems we face of simply keeping our own lives pure, is a uniqueness which sets Jesus apart from every other human born. We can truly, "Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time: Casting all your cares upon him; for he careth for you." I Peter 5:6-7

Until next time, may The God of grace and mercy guide you into all truth as you study His Word!

To read DeCoding The Truth from the beginning, visit us on the web. Click on Learning Center, and under Featured Sections, click on DeCoding the Truth.

A Little Hitler In Us All
By Philip Busby

In our world today, we are moving beyond the scope of using our technology to ease suffering and fix physical injury. We are moving faster and faster into the realm of choosing who and what kind of people are worthy to exist in the first place!

For years, those of us who are Pro-life have warned and warned that our cause is not just about being, as the media insists, "anti abortion," but truly about respecting life! When a society accepts, for any reason, the idea it's OK to take innocent life, it is accepting the idea that we can cut through any human life to obtain the world we want! It is not a simple matter that abortion remains legal. Every year which passes, we grow more and more of a mindset that we do not have to value every child and every life. Instead, the value of life becomes subjective. We only value what is currently seen as good, healthy and progressive to the human race. Once we start down that road of thinking we are walking the same line as the Nazis, and the question is not how far we will take it - but how fast!

Pro-life people have been accused, over the years, of trying to take away a woman's right to choose what she can and can't do with her body, but this is only a way for people to ignore the fact we aren't talking about the mother's body at all! Today, as we fight against the atrocities of embryonic stem cell research and human genetic engineering, we are accused of not caring about the suffering of millions who could be helped by these technologies. Again, people don't want to hear the message that it's not about the life you may save but about the life you are extinguishing in the first place. With abortion, it was/is the message of don't take a life just because you don't care about it or want it. Now we find ourselves fighting a step beyond that basic truth. Today, people want to use unborn children for medical "advancements," simply because they are going to be thrown out anyway! Basically, they are bringing out the true feeling they have had from the beginning, which is, "We simply do not care about whether we are taking a life or not, we only care about what we stand to gain by doing it." Practices like abortion have gone on long enough; many believe they can simply portray the Pro-life stance as an archaic attitude. They want all of us to ignore the original message of "Save the child's life!" They want us to believe that argument is behind us. Thus, Pro-life people are being accused of "delaying" multiple medical "breakthroughs" which would save thousands of lives. Don't be fooled, it's not that they don't get it. The truth is, they don't want others to get it. They need, at least, the illusion of general public support, and that is why being actively Pro-life is still very important!

You may not think that little bumper sticker in the back window of your car is doing much, but that is just what they want you to think. Don't back down just because you don't think others agree anymore. That only makes it seem to those around you that others don't care anymore. It's important we stand up against the Hitlers of our day! The Hitler of a half-century ago took advantage of the political situation of his day, and used the eventual power he obtained to cut right through those "delays" decent people create. Once he had control in Germany, he went straight to carrying out his personal ideas of what made life valuable. This is what made Hitler so obviously evil to so many. Hitler was able to start far down the chain of inevitable decisions and start eliminating those whom he felt were least valuable, right out in the streets. Only once, and very early on, did a public outcry cause Hitler to take his killing behind closed doors, which shows us just how quickly we can learn to accept even the most gruesome acts. How much worse will it be in a society where we have been lulled a step at a time?

For Hitler, the unworthy were the Jews, the gypsies, and those who were not considered mentally compatible with the systematic world he and many others wished to build. Those who were, ultimately, considered worthy to live were white with blue eyes, and blond hair. Today, it may not always be white, blond, with blue eyes but don't fool yourself, it's much the same. Instead of desiring the child which a loving relationship between a husband and wife will produce, many people only want what they see as the "best." They may not be eliminating people they find undesirable - right out in the streets, but they are doing it behind closed doors already. If you think these activities have no relationship to something like the Holocaust - think again!

Today, more and more people are going to "medical centers" and having their children custom made in a petri dish. This involves the conception of multiple children, using carefully selected eggs and sperm which may or may not be from those individuals seeking to be parents. Then the children, mostly referred to only as "embryos," are closely examined and sorted according to "favorability."

In 1933 the Nazis were supported by scientists who advocated "selective breeding" (eugenics) to "improve" the human race. Laws were passed between 1933 and 1935 to reduce the future number of genetic "inferiors" through involuntary sterilization programs. 320,000 to 350,000 individuals judged physically or mentally handicapped, along with 30,000 Roma (Gypsies) and about 500 children of mixed African-German backgrounds were subjected to surgical or radiation procedures so they could not have children. Roma, along with Blacks, were also prohibited from intermarrying with Germans.

Today, after the sorting of the "embryos," those children found unworthy of life are thrown away. After the desired result(s) are produced, even those children left of the chosen embryos are also, many times, discarded. However, there are those who do believe this is a waste of life, and if many politicians have their way, this will be stopped. Instead of throwing away the "unused" children, their physical essences will be used for medical experimentation! After all, we want to relieve the suffering among humanity, and why not continue the tradition? In the 1930s through the 1940s, millions of people were killed by the Nazis, in death camps, but not before many were used as slave labor and medical experimentation. Why not, they were just going to be gassed anyway! Many advancements in "modern medicine" today are a direct result of Nazi experimentation on "lesser humans."

The other cry which is often heard in today's world is, "Just think of the money which could be saved if there were fewer sick or 'disabled' in our society." In the 1930s, the Nazis were encouraged to move forward by supporters of sterilization, who also argued the handicapped burdened the community with the costs of their care. So, the voices of today have quite a pedigree, and it is their voices which are archaic, not those who want to stop the killing!

From 1933 to the spring of 1945, the Nazis killed over 6,000,000 Jews, and thousands of others, before they were stopped by the collapse of their regime. Millions of people, mostly Jews, had been displaced, and countless Jewish communities all across Europe had disappeared forever. Since 1973, indiscriminate of race, over 47,000,000 abortions have taken place. The annual number of abortions has doubled since Roe vs. Wade from 744,600 to 1,313,300 in 2000. For every 1000 live births, there are 306 abortions. There are more than 140,000 second and third trimester abortions each year, and these numbers don't even include all the children killed through the process of in-vitro fertilization and medical experimentation!

Hitler was not going to stop at killing all the Jews and a handful of other groups; and today's world shows us the killing is not going to stop with a few women who don't want to carry a child to term. The truth is, this issue is not just about children or a right to choose, it's about how we think and what we want as a society. Hitler's Holocaust was not carried out by Adolf Hitler himself; it was carried out by a great number of people who were willing to be the hands and feet of Hitler's plans. Even worse, it was allowed to happen by a world who simply stood by and watched for far too long. How many Jews, and others, would have been saved if immigration quotas would have been lifted or - at the very least - eased in July of 1938, when delegates from 32 nations and representatives from refugee aid organizations met in Evian, France to discuss refugees fleeing Nazi Germany? However, even the United States was unwilling to ease its restrictions!

Then, as well as now, we see that things like the Holocaust don't happen because of one person or one thought but because of the many moral guidelines which many have thrown away. The reason so many do not know the meaning of a term like "Family values" is because they do not value much of anything outside of themselves. Let's be clear, there's nothing in the Word of God which tells us we must get married, or if we do, we have to try and have children. However, the family is the most basic unit of people living together. Married or unmarried, we are all someone's child. If we don't know what it means to have family values then we do not understand what is valuable to society as a whole, because the most basic description of family values is simply finding value in others. It has been said that you can pick your friends but you're stuck with your relatives, and this, in many ways, makes the point. If we are not raised in an environment where we are encouraged to find the value of individual members of our own family, how can we find value in others? We may not all agree, we may not all get along, but we should value others, not because we choose them but because they exist. It shouldn't matter if others are strong or weak, rich or poor, sick or healthy. It shouldn't matter what color their skin is or from where they came, we should all understand they are precious in God's sight and they should be in ours as well.

The people who do the most preaching on the good of the many out weighing the good of the few, are, many times, the ones who believe they are in the many, but we can never know when this will change. Unfortunately, it seems we have not learned even the simplest lessons from the past! Most never stop to consider when fighting for the freedom to take a life to save a life, that someday they may be the ones in a class which is considered expendable. Hitler was just a man, and he can teach us much; because what evil men do best is show us what we are all capable of. No matter who we are or what we want in life, we cannot afford to continue throwing so many of our values away that we do not even value life itself, because that will lead to the release of the little Hitler in us all!

Holocaust Remembrance Day is April 15, of 2007. For more information visit and click on Learning Center.

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