What is Envy?

What is Envy?                                                                             By Jack Kettler

This study will focus on the sin of envy and related sins. Some things that are warned against in Scripture have, at times, positive connotations. As will be seen, with the sin of envy, it never has a positive meaning in Scripture.

Question: What does the Bible say about envy?

Answer: A simple definition of envy is “to want what belongs to someone else.” A more thorough description of envy is ‘a resentful, dissatisfied longing for another’s possessions, position, fortune, achievements, or success.’” *

Biblical distinctions are helpful and necessary for understanding God’s Word.

“For this reason we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to ask that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding; that you may walk worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing Him, being fruitful in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God.” (Colossians 1:9-10 NKJV)

In this study, we will heed the apostle’s exhortation!

Scriptures on envy and similar sins such as covetousness, and jealousy will be examined.

We will start with the latter two:

Covetousness

“Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s house; thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor any thing that is thy neighbour’s.” (Exodus 20:17 KJV)

Matthew Poole’s Commentary on the Exodus passage explains that God’s law is concerned, with not only outward acts, but primarily with thoughts of the heart or the inward motions of the heart: 

“The coveting here forbidden is either,

1. The inward and deliberate purpose and desire of a deceitful or violent taking away of another man’s goods; but this is forbidden in the eighth commandment. And it is hard to conceive that St. Paul should think that this command did not forbid such a practice, Romans 7:7, which even the better sort of heathens esteemed a sin, whose words are, that they who are withheld from incest, or whoredom, or theft, only from a principle of fear, are guilty of those crimes; especially seeing the Old Testament Scriptures, which doubtless he diligently studied, do so plainly condemn evil purposes of the heart, as Leviticus 19:17 Deuteronomy 9:4, 5 15:7, 9, &c. Or,

2. The greedy desire of that which is another man’s, though it be without injury to him. Thus, Ahab sinned in desiring Naboth’s vineyard, though he offered him money for it, 1 Kings 21:2. Or rather,

3. Those inward motions of the heart, which from the fountain of original corruption do spring up in the heart, and tickle it with some secret delight, though they do not obtain tie deliberate consent of the will. For seeing this law of God is spiritual and holy, Romans 7:12, 14, and reacheth the thoughts, intents, and all the actual motions of the heart, as is apparent from the nature of God, and of his law; and seeing such motions are both the fruits of a sinful nature, and the common causes of sinful actions, and are not agreeable either to man’s first and uncorrupted nature, or to God’s law; they must needs be a swerving from it, and therefore sin. And this is the reason why this command is added as distinct from all the rest.” (1)

Poole explains how the commandment was drawing attention to the inward motions of the heart. Sin starts in the heart.

In addition, to strength this, Jesus says:

“But I say unto you, that whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart.” (Matthew 5:28 KJV)

Jealousy

“For jealousy makes a man furious, and he will not spare when he takes revenge.” (Proverbs 6:34 ESV)

Ellicott’s Commentary for English Readers explains jealously in Proverbs 6:34:

“(34) For jealousy is the rage of a man.—that is jealousy is furious, and cannot be appeased by bribes.” (3)

“Wrath is cruel, anger is overwhelming, but who can stand before jealousy?” (Proverbs 27:4 ESV)

Envy

“For wrath killeth the foolish man, and envy slayeth the silly one.” (Job 5:2 KJV)

“Fret not yourself because of evildoers; be not envious of wrongdoers!” (Psalm 37:1 ESV)

“Let not your heart envy sinners, but continue in the fear of the LORD all the day.” (Proverbs 23:17 ESV)

From the Pulpit Commentary on Proverbs 23:17 we learn:

“Verse 17. – Let not thine heart envy sinners, when thou seest them apparently happy and prosperous (comp. Proverbs 3:31; Proverbs 24:1, 19; Psalm 37:1; Psalm 73:3). The Authorized Version, in agreement with the Septuagint, Vulgate, Arabic, and other versions, takes the second clause of this verse as an independent one: but it seems evidently to be constructionally connected with the preceding, and to be governed by the same verb, so that there is no occasion to insert “be thou.” But be thou in the fear of the Lord all the day long. Jerome, corrected, would read, Non aemuletur cor tuum peccatores, sed timorem Domini tota die, As Delitzsch and Hitzig, followed by Nowack, have pointed out, the Hebrew verb, קָנָא (kana), is here used in two senses. In the first clause, it signifies to be envious of a person: in the second, to be zealous for a thing, both senses combining in the thought of being moved with eager desire. Ζηλοτυπέω is used in this double sense, and aemulor in Latin. So the gnome comes to this – Show your heart’s desire, not by envy of the sinner’s fortune, but by zeal for true religion, that fear of the Lord which leads to strict obedience and earnest desire to please him.” (2)

A couple of more passages should suffice:

“Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up.” (1Corinthians 13:4 KJV)

“Envy, drunkenness, orgies, and things like these. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.” (Galatians 5:21 ESV)

In a number of biblical passages, envy and jealousy are used interchangeably.

For many, the words covetousness, jealousy, and enviousness are almost synonymous. There are however, sometimes subtle and important distinctions. 

For example, the following contemporary definitions are helpful to see the subtle distinctions. These definitions come from an online dictionary:

Covet – “To feel strong or immoderate desire for that which is another’s.”

Jealous – “Fearful or wary of being supplanted; apprehensive of losing affection or position.”

Envy – “A feeling of discontent and resentment aroused by and in conjunction with desire for the possessions or qualities of another.” http://www. The freedictionary.com/envy

In order to help recognize certain distinctions, it can be asked, can covet, jealous, and envy ever be used in a positive sense, first in normal language and then in Scripture?   

Covet

“I covet your prayers.” Positive use of the word. We even see the word covet used positively in Scripture:

“But covet earnestly the best gifts: and yet shew I unto you a more excellent way.” (1 Corinthians 12:31 KJV))

Jealous

“He is jealous for the things of God.” Positive use. God is jealous of His name. Likewise, we see that jealous can be used positively in Scripture:

“For thou shalt worship no other god: for the LORD, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God.” (Exodus 34:14 KJV)

Envy

“Hey, bro, I envy you for your beautiful children.” Positive use. No There is no Scriptural positive use of the word.

In this example, the usage is a kudos in the sense that what a friend has is good, and you wish you could have something comparable.

This example of envy is a strained use of the word and is actually a degradation or deconstruction of the word.

As seen, covet and jealous can be used positively in a biblical context. Envy, however, cannot be used positively unless watering down or reversing the meaning. There is no positive use of envy in Scripture.

Envy is unabashedly destructive. While envy can be a stimulus for some people, you have to ask, is this a good type of drive for success?  

Paul in Corinthians, says no to envy:

“Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant.” (1Corinthians 13:4 ESV)

Digging Deeper:

A more detailed look at the biblical meaning of these words from the International Standard Bible Encyclopedia:

Covet

kuv’-et (‘awah; zeloo, “to desire earnestly,” “to set the heart and mind upon anything”): Used in two senses: good, simply to desire earnestly but legitimately. e.g. The King James Version 1 Cor. 12:31; 14:39; bad, to desire unlawfully, or to secure illegitimately (batsa`; epithumeo, Ro 7:7; 13:9, etc.); hence, called “lust” (Mt 5:28; 1Co 10:6), “concupiscence”
 (the King James Version Ro 7:8; Col 3:5).

Covetousness

kuv’-et-us-nes: Has a variety of shades of meaning determined largely by the nature of the particular word used, or the context, or both. Following are some of the uses: (1) To gain dishonestly (batsa`), e.g. the King James Version Ex 18:21; Ezekiel 33:31. (2) The wish to have more than one possesses, inordinately, of course (pleonexia), e.g. Lu 12:15; 1Th 2:5. (3) An inordinate love of money philarguros, the King James Version Lu 16:14; 2Ti 3:2; philarguria, 1Ti 6:10), negative in Heb. 13:5, the King James Version.

Covetousness is a very grave sin; indeed, so heinous is it that the Scriptures class it among the very gravest and grossest crimes (Eph. 5:3). In Col 3:5 it is “idolatry,” while in 1Co 6:10 it is set forth as excluding a man from heaven. Its heinousness, doubtless, is accounted for by its being in a very real sense the root of so many other forms of sin, e.g. departure from the faith (1Ti 6:9-10); lying (2Ki 5:22-25); theft (Jos 7:21); domestic trouble (Pro. 15:27); murder (Ezekiel 22:12); indeed, it leads to “many foolish and hurtful lusts” (1Ti 6:9). Covetousness has always been a very serious menace to mankind, whether in the Old Testament or New Testament period. It was one of the first sins that broke out after Israel had entered into the promised land (Achan, Jos 7:1-26); and also in the early Christian church immediately after its founding (Ananias and Sapphira, Ac 5:1-42); hence, so many warnings against it. A careful reading of the Old Testament will reveal the fact that a very great part of the Jewish law–such as its enactments and regulations regarding duties toward the poor, toward servants; concerning gleaning, usury, pledges, gold and silver taken during war–was introduced and intended to counteract the spirit of covetousness.

Eerdmans maintains (Expos, July, 1909) that the commandment, “Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor’s house” (Ex 20:17), meant to the Israelite that he should not take anything of his neighbor’s possessions that were momentarily unprotected by their owner. Compare Ex 34:23 ff. Thus, it refers to a category of acts that is not covered by the commandment, “Thou shalt not steal.” It is an oriental habit of mind from of old that when anyone sees abandoned goods which he thinks desirable, there is not the least objection to taking them, and Ex 20:1Ex 7:1-25b is probably an explanation of what is to be understood by “house” in Ex 20:17a.

Examples of covetousness: Achan (Jos 7:1-26); Saul (1Sa 15:9, 19); Judas (Mt 26:14-15); Ananias and Sapphira (Ac 5:1-11); Balaam (2Pe 2:15 with Jude 1:11).” William Evans (4)

Jealousy

jel’-us-i (qin’ah; zelos): Doubtless, the root idea of both the Greek and the Hob translated “jealousy” is “warmth,” “heat.” Both are used in a good and a bad sense–to represent right and wrong passion.

When jealousy is attributed to God, the word is used in a good sense. The language is, of course, anthropomorphic; and it is based upon the feeling in a husband of exclusive right in his wife. God is conceived as having wedded Israel to Himself, and as claiming, therefore, exclusive devotion. Disloyalty on the part of Israel is represented as adultery, and as provoking God to jealousy. See, e.g., De 32:16,21; 1Ki 14:22; Ps 78:58; Ezekiel 8:3; 16:38,42; 23:25; 36:5; 38:19.

When jealousy is attributed to men, the sense is sometimes good, and sometimes bad. In the good sense, it refers to an ardent concern for God’s honor. See, e.g., Nu 25:11 (compare 1Ki 19:10; 2Ki 10:16); 2Co 11:2 (compare Ro 10:2). In the bad sense it is found in Ac 7:9; Ro 13:13; 1Co 3:3; 2Co 12:20; Jas 3:14, 16.

The “law of jealousy” is given in Nu 5:11-31. It provided that, when a man suspected his wife of conjugal infidelity, an offering should be brought to the priest, and the question of her guilt or innocence should be subjected to a test there carefully prescribed. The test was intended to be an appeal to God to decide the question at issue.” E. J. Forrester (5)

Envy

en’-vi (qin’ah; zelos, phthonos): “Envy,” from Latin in, “against,” and video, “to look,” “to look with ill-will,” etc., toward another, is an evil strongly condemned in both the Old Testament and the New Testament. It is to be distinguished from jealousy. “We are jealous of our own; we are envious of another man’s possessions. Jealousy fears to lose what it has; envy is pained at seeing another have” (Crabb’s English Synonyms). In the Old Testament it is the translation of qin’ah from kana‘, “to redden,” “to glow” (Job 5:2, the Revised Version (British and American) “jealousy,” margin “indignation”; in Isa 26:11 the Revised Version (British and American) renders “see thy zeal for the people”; Pro 27:4, etc.); the verb occurs in Ge 26:14, etc.; Nu 11:29 the King James Version; Ps 106:16; Pro 3:31, etc.; in the New Testament it is the translation of phthonos, “envy” (Mt 27:18; Ro 1:29; Ga 5:21, “envyings,” etc.); of zelos, “zeal,” “jealousy,” “envy” (Ac 13:45), translated “envying,” the Revised Version (British and American) “jealousy” (Ro 13:13; 1Co 3:3; 2Co 12:20; Jas 3:14,16); the verb phthoneo occurs in Ga 5:26; zeloo in Ac 7:9; 17:5, the Revised Version (British and American) “moved with jealousy”; 1Co 13:4, “charity (the Revised Version (British and American) “love”) envieth not.”

The power of envy is stated in Pro. 27:4: “Who is able to stand before envy?” (the Revised Version (British and American) “jealousy”); its evil effects are depicted in Job 5:2 (the Revised Version (British and American) “jealousy”), in Pro. 14:30 (the Revised Version, margin “jealousy”); it led to the crucifixion of Christ (Mt 27:18; Mark

15:10); it is one of “the works of the flesh” (Ga 5:21; compare Ro 1:29; 1Ti 6:4); Christian believers are earnestly warned against it (Ro 13:13 the King James Version; 1Co 3:3 the King James Version; Ga 5:26; 1Pe 2:1). In James 4:5 “envy” is used in a good sense, akin to the jealousy ascribed to God. Where the King James Version has “The spirit that dwelleth in us lusteth to envy,” the Revised Version (British and American) reads “Doth the spirit which he made to dwell in us long unto envying?”; the American Revised Version, margin “The spirit which he made to dwell in us he yearneth for even unto jealous envy”; compare Jer. 3:14; Ho 2:19 f; or the English Revised Version, margin “That spirit which he made to dwell in us yearneth (for us) even unto jealous envy.” This last seems to give the sense; compare “Ye adulteresses” (Ho 2:4), the American Revised Version, margin ‘That is, who break your marriage vow to God.’” W. L. Walker (6)

Contemporary assessments and deductions:  

Thus far, we have seen three types of sin, covetousness, jealousy, and envy. Sin is sin, yet envy has stood out as particularly immoral. Envy is the coveting of another person’s benefits, belongings, or skills given to them by God, thus making it a direct sin against God in addition to sinning against another person.   

It is nothing new to see sin covered or dressed up to look like righteousness. The mass of fallen humanity are experts in justifying their sins.

Motivated by Envy:

Politicians, in particular, are some of the leading experts on how to commit theft motivated by envy and make it look respectable; for example, “it is for the children” ploy never gets old. Political envy is ostensibly, a Robin Hood maneuver, stealing from the rich to give to the poor. The poor who are the supposed the recipients of the theft are just as envious, and go along and cheer the theft of others. 

The Politics of Envy:

R. J. Rushdoony captures how politicians are agents of envy in his book, Larceny in the Heart:

In the online description of the book, Larceny in the Heart we read:

“Why are the most successful and advanced members of society often deemed to be the criminals? In a word – Envy. The envious man finds superiority in others intolerable, and he wishes to level and equalize all things. Many sociologists and social scientists turn this hatred and resentment into “virtue” under the guise of “social science” by calling it a demand for fraternity and equality…” From the Amazon book description

In his earlier book, The Roots of Inflation, Rushdoony makes an astute observation about larceny:

“The larceny is, of course, disguised as charity, a concern for the social welfare, a humane public policy, a Square Deal, a New Deal, a New Frontier, and so on and on. Larceny is bad enough, but theft in the name of righteousness is the ultimate in hypocrisy and self-deception.” (7)

Rushdoony quotes Helmut Schoek, from his book on Envy: a theory of social behaviour, in which he describes the fruits of envy:

“Envy demands the leveling of all things, because the envious man finds superiority in others intolerable. He sees it better to turn the world into hell rather than to allow anyone to prosper more than himself, or to be superior to him. Envy negates progress.” (8)

Perceptively, Rushdoony explains how envy is involved the first sin of Adam and Eve:

“Of course, envy has deep roots in history and is an aspect of man’s original sin. First of all, the tempter, in approaching Eve, played on the difference between God and man as an evil. God, he held, is trying to prevent man from reaching a position of equality with Him. “God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil” (Gen. 3:5).” (9)

In closing:

Envy is characterized by the deceitful craving of what others have, and harbors resentment towards God when He blesses someone else.

St. Augustine called envy “the diabolical sin.” (De catechizandis rudibus 4, 8: PL 40,315-316)

Envy is hatred towards God. Historically envy is one of the seven deadly sins. All sin is deadly. Do not let the seeds of envy take root in your heart.

“To God, only wise, be glory through Jesus Christ forever. Amen.” (Romans 16:27) and “heirs according to the promise.” (Galatians 3:28, 29)

Notes:

1.      Matthew Poole’s Commentary on the Holy Bible, Exodus, Vol. 1, (Peabody, Massachusetts, Hendrickson Publishers, 1985) p. 160.

2.      H. D. M. Spence and Joseph S. Exell, The Pulpit Commentary, Proverbs, Vol. 9, (Grand Rapids, Michigan, Eerdmans Publishing Company reprint 1978), p. 442.

3.      Charles John Ellicott, Bible Commentary for English Readers, Proverbs, Vol. 4, (London, England, Cassell and Company), p. 314.

4.      Orr, James, M.A., D.D. General Editor, “Entry for ‘COVET, COVETOUSNESS, ‘” International Standard Bible Encyclopedia, (Grand Rapids, Michigan, Eerdmans, reprinted 1986), p. 733.

5.      Orr, James, M.A., D.D. General Editor, “Entry for ‘JEALOUSY,’” International Standard Bible Encyclopedia, (Grand Rapids, Michigan, Eerdmans, reprinted 1986), p. 1572.

6.      Orr, James, M.A., D.D. General Editor, “Entry for ‘ENVY,’” International Standard Bible Encyclopedia, (Grand Rapids, Michigan, Eerdmans, reprinted 1986), p. 955.

7.      R. J. Rushdoony, The Roots Of Inflation, (Vallecito, CA, Ross House Books, 1982), p. 4.

8.      R. J. Rushdoony, The Roots Of Inflation, (Vallecito, CA, Ross House Books, 1982), p. 33.

9.      R. J. Rushdoony, The Roots Of Inflation, (Vallecito, CA, Ross House Books, 1982), p. 34.

Mr. Kettler has previously published articles in the Chalcedon Report and Contra Mundum. He and his wife Marea attend the Westminster, CO, RPCNA Church. Mr. Kettler is the author of the book defending the Reformed Faith against attacks, titled: The Religion That Started in a Hat. Available at: THERELIGIONTHATSTARTEDINAHAT.COM

For more study:

* https://www.gotquestions.org/Bible-envy.html

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What does the Bible say about inheritance and succession?

What does the Bible say about inheritance and succession?                      By Jack Kettler 

An exercise in “As iron sharpens iron, so a man sharpens the countenance of his friend.” (Proverbs 27:17 NKJV)

From Barnes’ Notes on the Bible on Proverbs 27:17:

“The proverb expresses the gain of mutual counsel as found in clear, well-defined thoughts. Two minds, thus acting on each other, become more acute.” (1)

According to the Bible Concordance on inheritance at the BibleHub.com/concordance online, the word inheritance has 263 occurrences in Scripture.

Two questions:

What is Biblical inheritance? Are the laws of the Old Testament on inheritance still binding?

What do the Scriptures say?

The law of inheritance in the following verses:

“And you shall speak to the people of Israel, saying, ‘If a man dies and has no son, then you shall transfer his inheritance to his daughter.” (Numbers 27:8 ESV)

“If a man has two wives, the one loved and the other unloved, and both the loved and the unloved have borne him children, and if the firstborn son belongs to the unloved, then on the day when he assigns his possessions as an inheritance to his sons, he may not treat the son of the loved as the firstborn in preference to the son of the unloved, who is the firstborn, but he shall acknowledge the firstborn, the son of the unloved, by giving him a double portion of all that he has, for he is the firstfruits of his strength. The right of the firstborn is his.” (Deuteronomy 21:15-17 ESV)

“A good man leaves an inheritance to his children’s children.” (Proverbs 13:22 NKJV)

From Gill’s Exposition of the Entire Bible on Proverbs 13:22:

“A good man leaveth an inheritance to his children’s children… He not only has a sufficiency for the present support of himself and family; but is so prospered and succeeded, as to leave an inheritance after him; and which is continued to and enjoyed, not only by his immediate offspring, but theirs also; for being got honestly, it wears well; see Proverbs 13:11;

and the wealth of the sinner is laid up for the just; the riches which wicked men get are laid up in the purposes of God for good men; and in his providence they are translated from the one to the other: so the riches of the Egyptians were designed for the Israelites, and by the providence of God were put into their hands; see Job 27:16.” (2)

Breaking the word down lexically:

Strong’s Concordance Hebrew:

5159. nachalah – possession, property, inheritance

5158b, 5159. nachalah. 5160.

Short Definition: Possession, property, inheritance.

Transliteration: nachalah

Phonetic Spelling: (nakh-al-aw’)

Short Definition: inheritance.

3425. yerushshah – possession, inheritance

Transliteration: yerushshah

Phonetic Spelling: (yer-oosh-shaw’)

Short Definition: possession. Heritage, inheritance, possession.

Strong’s Concordance Greek:

2817. kleronomia – an inheritance

Part of Speech: Noun, Feminine

Transliteration: kleronomia

Phonetic Spelling: (klay-ron-om-ee’-ah)

Short Definition: an inheritance

2816. kleronomeo – to inherit

Phonetic Spelling: (klay-ron-om-eh’-o)

Definition: I inherit, obtain (possess) by inheritance, acquire.

Inheritance biblically defined from the International Standard Bible Encyclopedia:

“INHERITANCE

in-her’-i-tans (nahalah, “something inherited,” “occupancy,” “heirloom,” “estate,” “portion”): The word is used in its widest application in the Old Testament Scriptures, referring not only to an estate received by a child from its parents, but also to the land received by the children of Israel as a gift from Yahweh. And in the figurative and poetical sense, the expression is applied to the kingdom of God as represented in the consecrated lives of His followers. In a similar sense, the Psalmist is represented as speaking of the Lord as the portion of his inheritance. In addition, to the above word, the King James Version translations as inheritance, morashah, “a possession,” “heritage” (Deuteronomy 33:4 Ezekiel 33:24); yerushshah, “something occupied,” “a patrimony,” “possession” (Judges 21:17); cheleq, “smoothness,” “allotment” (Psalm 16:5); kleronomeo, “to inherit” (Matthew 5:5, etc.); kleronomos, “heir” (Matthew 21:38, etc.); kleronomia, “heirship,” “patrimony”, “possession”; or kleros, “an acquisition” “portion,” “heritage,” from kleroo, “to assign,” “to allot,” “to obtain an inheritance” (Matthew 21:38 Luke 12:13 Acts 7:5; Acts 20:32; Acts 26:18 Galatians 3:18 Ephesians 1:11, 14, 18; Ephesians 5:5 Colossians 1:12; Colossians 3:24 Hebrews 1:4; Hebrews 9:15; Hebrews 11:8 1 Peter 1:4).

The Pentateuch distinguishes clearly between real and personal property, the fundamental idea regarding the former being the thought that the land is God’s, given by Him to His children, the people of Israel, and hence, cannot be alienated (Leviticus 25:23, 28). In order that there might not be any respecter of persons in the division, the lot was to determine the specific piece to be owned by each family head (Numbers 26:52-56; Numbers 33:54). In case, through necessity of circumstances, a homestead was sold, the title could pass only temporarily; for in the year of Jubilee every homestead must again return to the original owner or heir (Leviticus 25:25-34). Real estate given to the priesthood must be appraised, and could be redeemed by the payment of the appraised valuation, thus preventing the transfer of real property even in this case (Leviticus 27:14-25). Inheritance was controlled by the following regulations:

(1) The firstborn son inherited a double portion of all the father’s possession (Deuteronomy 21:15-17);

(2) The daughters were entitled to an inheritance, provided there were no sons in the family (Numbers 27:8),

(3) In case there were no direct heirs, the brothers or more distant kinsmen were recognized (27:9-11); in no case should an estate pass from one tribe to another.

The above points were made the subject of statutory law at the instance of the daughters of Zelophehad, the entire case being clearly set forth in Numbers 27; Numbers 36.” Frank E. Hirsch (3)

Comments:

The International Standard Bible Encyclopedia does an excellent job of biblically defining inheritance laws and their range, thus answering question number one.

Inheritance laws served the purpose of the passing of wealth to the next generation and enabled families to preserve their wealth. The laws of inheritance in the Old Testament undergird modern laws of succession. Modern laws of inheritance did not just appear out of thin air. Like many laws in the modern world, inheritance laws have their origin in Old Testament case laws, i.e., murder, rape, theft, perjury, etc.

A contemporary definition of inheritance:

Inheritance is money or objects that a beneficiary receives when a benefactor dies.

In contrast to this modern definition, biblical inheritance is connected to blood or familial relations.

Family Inheritance laws in the New Testament:

The New Testament does not address physical inheritance laws. The New Testament deals with spiritual inheritance. Not addressing the topic of family birthright succession does not invalidate or repudiate the principle of Old Testament inheritance laws. According to sound hermeneutical principles, The Old Testament law stays in force unless specifically set aside like the dietary laws and the gentiles (See Mark 7:19; Acts 11:9). To bolster this assertion, consider that the New Testament does not address bestiality. Who would argue that this silence is a repudiation of a moral law? The New Testament silence is not enough for a law to be set aside.

Therefore, to answer question number 2, Old Testament laws and biblical principles are still in force unless the New Testament specifically sets them aside like the sacrificial animal laws and the ceremonial temple laws.

Two examples of the New Testament emphasis on spiritual inheritance:

“In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who works all things after the counsel of his own will.” (Ephesians 1:11 KJV)

“Therefore he is the mediator of a new covenant, so that those who are called may receive the promised eternal inheritance, since a death has occurred that redeems them from the transgressions committed under the first covenant.” (Hebrews 9:15 ESV)

Comments:

There is no greater blessing than to see your children have the genuine fruits of regeneration.  

Our study is not over. Enter the doctrine of incorporation in history.

Additional advances in the doctrine of succession or inheritance:

R. J. Rushdoony says that the doctrine of incorporation is one of history’s most important doctrines. The doctrine of incorporation does not replace Old Testament inheritance laws; it supplements the Old Testament laws of succession.

Rushdoony has this to say concerning corporations:

“The church thus, as the original and true corporation has an earthly as well as a supernatural life…. (p. 229)

The influence of the concept or doctrine of incorporation or the corporation went beyond the state into the world of commerce. The business corporation echoes whether or not it knows it, the Biblical doctrine of the church. Two things may be said at this point. First, it goes without question that the doctrine of the corporation has, in humanistic hands, been greatly abused and misused. However, this should not lead us into overlooking a second fact, namely, that the concept of the corporation has given continuity to man’s activities in one sphere after another. Medieval and modern institutions have a continuity and history unlike anything in the non-Christian world. What the corporation doctrine has enabled men to do is to transcend the limitations of their life-time and life-span. Men can create and develop a business, a school, or an agency whose function lives beyond themselves. This has been a very revolutionary and Biblical fact…. (p. 230)

Granted that corporations are not necessarily good (nor necessarily bad), it still remains true that the concept of the corporation has been important in history by giving continuity to the works of men. Among other things, the original corporation, the church, has given a new meaning to time. Time is now time in terms of Christ, B.C. Before Christ, or A.D., Anno Domini, the year of our Lord, in Christ…. (p. 231)

The development of corporations in Western history has been very important. Many Christian corporations were established during the medieval era to carry on specific Biblical duties and to organize people for common action to meet a specific Christian need or function. Attempts at statist control were also common…. (p. 231)

In the United States, virtually total freedom existed for generations for all kinds of corporations. The incorporation of a church or Christian agency of any kind was simply a legal formality notifying the state of the existence of such a body and its immunity from statist controls. In recent years, the statists have turned that notification into a form of licensure and control. The matter can be compared to filing a birth certificate. When the birth of Sarah Jones is recorded by her parents and doctor, permission for Sarah Jones to exist is definitely not requested; rather, a fact is legally recorded. Similarly, in American law religious trusts, foundations, or trusts did not apply for the right to exist but recorded their certificate of birth, their incorporation. The current Internal Revenue Service doctrine is that the filing is a petition for the right to exist. This turns the historic position, and the First Amendment, upside down. It asserts for the federal government the “right” to establish religion and to control the exercise thereof. As a result, a major conflict of church and state is under way. At the same time, many abuses of the concept of a church corporation prevail. Some organizations sell “ordinations” as pastors and priests to enable men in the evasion of income taxes. This kind of abuse does not invalidate the integrity of a true church, nor is it a legitimate reason for the entrance of the state into the life of valid churches. Then too, because of the intrusion of the federal and state governments into the sphere of church incorporation, some are advocating disincorporation by churches. Given the vulnerability of the church as an incorporated legal entity to statist controls, we should not forget the total vulnerability with disincorporation. In some court cases, the results are proving to be especially disastrous. If our weapons against an enemy prove to be somewhat defective, does it make sense to throw away those weapons and to disarm ourselves?” (p. 231, 232) (4)

Comments:

The genius of the doctrine of incorporation is that it makes stronger the ability to pass on wealth to the future without being restricted to birthright inheritance from blood relatives. Incorporation now allows righteous ministries to pass on godly blessings to future generations.

We can be thankful the God in His Word has given directives to His people on preserving His blessing upon families and individuals. With the advent of Christ, we now see through corporations, additional ways to store and protect the wealth God has provided. This wealth can be passed on to our godly offspring enabling them to build upon the success of diligent parents. Godly children do not have to start dirt poor.

The state and its laws:

Modern inheritance tax laws are revolutionary, and Marxist, and a threat to the biblical family inheritance.

Rushdoony explains this in The End Game of Humanistic Law:

“In economics, redistributive legislation in Marxist countries means the open transfer of land and wealth from private ownership to the state as the trustee of all the people. In the democratic nations, the same redistributive goal is achieved by a variety of means, most notably the inheritance tax and the income tax. In the United States, 75% of all farms, businesses, and activities are wiped out by the death of the owner because of the confiscatory nature of the inheritance tax. The income tax works annually to redistribute wealth, as does the property tax, and a variety of other taxes. In fact, the goal of taxation can no longer be said to be the maintenance of civil order and justice; rather, its goal is social revolution by means of taxation. Taxation has indeed become the new and most effective method of revolution; it is the reactionary redistributionists who still think in terms of the armed overthrow of existing orders. The more liberal ones know that taxation is the more efficient means of revolution.” (5)

Inheritance laws are tools to preserve wealth! 

How are inheritance laws tools? Gary North explains:

“Inheritance is inter-generational. Each generation is supposed to leave an inheritance to the next generation. This inheritance is comprehensive. It involves worldviews. There is competition in history among people who hold rival worldviews. One way that adherents of a worldview can increase the influence of their worldview is to build an economic inheritance. The heirs will be able to use this capital asset to extend the worldview. This means that every inheritance is supposed to be confessional. Covenant keepers are not supposed to subsidize rival worldviews with the capital they leave behind…

The Bible makes it clear that righteous men leave an inheritance to their grandchildren. It also says that wealth is accumulated in order for righteous people to inherit it. The righteous will inherit the earth (Psalm 37:29). This means that they will inherit enormous responsibility. This is eschatologically certain. It is a prophecy. Jesus confirmed it. “Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth” (Matthew 5:5). The meaning is not that wimps will inherit the earth. It means that people who are meek before God will exercise dominion. This means that covenant keepers must strive for mastery in their fields. They must therefore strive for success. This is a moral requirement. It is not optional…

Inheritance is basic to every social system. There has to be succession. We are mortal. We will be replaced. The question of who will replace us, and what they will do when they replace us, are major issues.” (6)

In Closing:

“He who has a slack hand becomes poor, but the hand of the diligent makes rich. He who gathers in summer is a wise son; He who sleeps in harvest is a son who causes shame.” (Proverbs 10:4-5 NKJV)

From Adam Clarke’s Bible Commentary on Proverbs 13:22:

“A good man leaveth an inheritance – He files many a prayer in heaven in their behalf, and his good example and advices are remembered and quoted from generation to generation. Besides, whatever property he left was honestly acquired, and well-gotten goods are permanent. The general experience of men shows this to be a common case; and that property ill-gotten seldom reaches to the third generation. This even the heathens observed. Hence:

De male quaesitis non gaudet tertius haeres.

The third generation shall not possess the goods that have been unjustly acquired.” (7)

“To God, only wise, be glory through Jesus Christ forever. Amen.” (Romans 16:27) and “heirs according to the promise.” (Galatians 3:28, 29)

Notes:

1.      Albert Barnes, THE AGES DIGITAL LIBRARYCOMMENTARY, Barnes’ Notes on the Bible, Proverbs, Vol. 6 p.103.

2.      John Gill, Exposition of the Old and New Testaments, Proverbs, (Grace Works, Multi-Media Labs), 2011, p. 243.

3.      Orr, James, M.A., D.D. General Editor, Entry for Inheritance, International Standard Bible Encyclopedia, (Grand Rapids, Michigan, Eerdmans, reprinted 1986), pp.1468.

4.      R. J. Rushdoony, Roots of Reconstruction, Incorporation, (Vallecito, California, Chalcedon, 1984), pp. 229-232.

5.      R. J. Rushdoony, Roots of Reconstruction, Law as Redistribution, (Vallecito, California, Chalcedon, 1984), p 1014.

6.      Gary North, Chapter 21: Dominion and Inheritance, (Dallas, Georgia, Point Five Press), p 187-189.

7.      Adam Clarke, Clarke’s Commentary, Proverbs, (Concord, NC, Wesleyan Heritage Publications), p. 67.

Mr. Kettler has previously published articles in the Chalcedon Report and Contra Mundum. He and his wife Marea attend the Westminster, CO, RPCNA Church. Mr. Kettler is the author of the book defending the Reformed Faith against attacks, titled: The Religion That Started in a Hat. Available at: THERELIGIONTHATSTARTEDINAHAT.COM

For more study:

Dominion Covenant: Genesis by Gary North

Tools of Dominion: The Case Laws of Exodus by Gary North

Leviticus: An Economic Commentary by Gary North

Sanctions and Dominion: An Economic Commentary on Numbers by Gary North

Inheritance and Dominion: An Economic Commentary on Deuteronomy by Gary North

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Are you Woke? What is the Woke movement? A fact sheet.

Are you Woke? What is the Woke movement? A fact sheet.                         By Jack Kettler 

An exercise in “As iron sharpens iron, so a man sharpens the countenance of his friend.” (Proverbs 27:17 NKJV)

From Barnes’ Notes on the Bible on Proverbs 27:17:

“The proverb expresses the gain of mutual counsel as found in clear, well-defined thoughts. Two minds, thus acting on each other, become more acute.” (1)

What is a definition of Woke?

Woke is a term that has come into the mainstream from what can be called African American English. It is a term, which refers to an awareness of social justice and in particular racial issues. The “woke” movement began in the African American community and the acceptance of black liberation theology, another name for Marxism. The movement has expanded into other perceived social justice areas. In brief, “woke” is the term used to explain an awakening to issues of race, gender, and sexual injustice.

Supposedly historic Christians have been ignorant and in the dark about these issues. In reality, traditional Christians have dealt with these issues as individual sins rather than group rights or identity politics. 

Is woke-ism a new fad like the Emergent Church Movement? Promoters of woke-ism are progressively theologically liberal on issues like LGBTQ rights, the environment, and racial inequality, and see themselves as social justice warriors. From the inroads this movement has made into evangelicalism, woke-ism has the hallmarks of faddism.

If you read the Christian contemporary woke leaders it becomes quickly apparent they only have a superficial knowledge of the Bible. Proponents of woke-ism and historic traditional Christian apologetics have substantial differences as proof. Woke-ism operates on assumptions, which are not too be questioned they are supposedly self-evident. If you do not agree with the assumption, you are not “woke.” How convenient and how circular.  

Woke-ism made possible by Post-Modern thought:

Up until the mid-twentieth century post, enlightenment or modernist thinking was still dominant. As evident from the ministries like that of Francis A. Schaeffer and L’abri in Switzerland.  Christians during this time were concerned with the intellectual validation and defense of the Christian faith. 

Postmodernism cannot be better explained than by Gene Edward Veith, Jr.:

“In postmodernism, the intellect is replaced by will, reason by emotion, and morality by relativism. Reality is nothing more than a social construct; truth equals power. Your identity comes from a group. Postmodernism is characterized by fragmentation, indeterminacy, and a distrust of all universalizing (worldviews) and power structures (the establishment). It is a worldview that denies all worldviews (“stories”). In a nutshell, postmodernism says there are no universal truths valid for all people. Instead, individuals are locked into the limited perspective of their own race, gender or ethnic group. It is Nietzsche in full bloom.

Although postmodernists tend to reject traditional morality, they can still be very moralistic. They will defend their “rights” to do what they want with puritanical zeal. Furthermore, they seem to feel that they have a right not to be criticized for what they are doing. They want not only license but approval. Thus, tolerance becomes the cardinal virtue. Under the postmodernist way of thinking, the principle of cultural diversity means that every like-minded group constitutes a culture that must be considered as good as any other culture. The postmodernist sins are being judgmental, being narrow-minded, thinking that you have the only truth, and trying to enforce your values on anyone else. Those who question the postmodernist dogma that “there are no absolutes” are excluded from the canons of tolerance. The only wrong idea is to believe in truth; the only sin is to believe in sin.” (2)

Post-Modern thought gave up on these pursuits, abandoning theological and intellectual precision. The adherents of woke-ism have abandoned historic church confessions and the biblical theology of sin and the need for redemption.

There is nothing in woke-ism literature about repenting from individual sins unless you are white, conservative, a capitalist, and heterosexual. Woke-ism is progressive, a movement of the political and theological left. 

Instead, the investigator finds assertions about social injustice that are based upon nothing more than unproven assumptions and appeals to selective data, which are not to be questioned.

As said earlier, if the assumptions are questioned, the critic is dismissed as not being “woke.” The “woke-er” argues in a circle, themselves, being the standard of interpretation. With this spectacular intellectual decline, the stage is set for a massive rise in new cultic groups forming on nothing more than following a slick lip artist leader who can arouse the emotions.

“To God, only wise, be glory through Jesus Christ forever. Amen.” (Romans 16:27) and “heirs according to the promise.” (Galatians 3:28, 29)

Notes:

1.      Albert Barnes, THE AGES DIGITAL LIBRARYCOMMENTARY, Barnes’ Notes on the Bible, Proverbs, Vol. 6 p.103.

2.      Gene Edward Veith, Jr., Postmodern Times, p. 195-196. Mr. Kettler has previously published articles in the Chalcedon Report and Contra Mundum. He and his wife Marea attend the Westminster, CO, RPCNA Church. Mr. Kettler is the author of the book defending the Reformed Faith against attacks, titled: The Religion That Started in a Hat. Available at: THERELIGIONTHATSTARTEDINAHAT.COM

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Is it possible to be a pious Christian and be involved in politics?

Is it possible to be a pious Christian and be involved in politics?       By Jack Kettler 

An exercise in “As iron sharpens iron, so a man sharpens the countenance of his friend.” (Proverbs 27:17 NKJV)

From Barnes’ Notes on the Bible on Proverbs 27:17:

“The proverb expresses the gain of mutual counsel as found in clear, well-defined thoughts. Two minds, thus acting on each other, become more acute.” (1)

What is a definition of piety?

Piety is reverence for God in order to fulfill religious responsibilities.

What is false piety?

False piety manifests itself as pharisaism, hypocrisy, religiosity, sanctimoniousness. An expression of false piety can be living in the desert, gazing at the navel, in other words, separation from the sinful world, and seeking a deeper spiritual life free from this world, since the external physical world is allegedly sinful.  

The case of two Christian leaders:

A brief Abraham Kuyper bio:

In 1886, Abraham Kuyper led the break from the State Church, establishing the Reformed Churches in the Netherlands. Kuyper’s close association with Herman Bavinck, professor of systematic theology at the seminary, came about during this period.

In 1901 Kuyper became prime minister of his homeland, a position he held for four years.

Kuyper’s copious writings include some 16,800 Standard editorials, nineteen major convention addresses, sermons, the Encyclopedia of Sacred Theology (1898), Lectures on Calvinism at Princeton University (1898), and The Work of the Holy Spirit (1900).

A brief John Knox Witherspoon bio:

John Knox Witherspoon was a Scottish-American Presbyterian minister and a Founding Father of the United States. He became president of the College of New Jersey, now Princeton. He was a signer of the Declaration of Independence and participated in the Continental Congress.

He was such a stanch Calvinist that he won the nicknames “Scotch Granite” and “John Knox redivivus,” Witherspoon was a serious and graceful preacher so gifted with a superior memory that he did not take notes into the pulpit.

Were Kuyper and Witherspoon pious?

Both men who were publically recognized theologians went through numerous theological examinations for ministerial and teaching positions. Can it be shown that either man was accused of being impious for their political activity? If so, there should be plenty of recorded minutes from church assemblies to document this.

If Kuyper and Witherspoon were not pious, those who believe this should provide an assessment of where they went wrong.

Questions a deeper life pietist may ask:

First, it can be alleged that politics is dirty, unspiritual, and second, given the number of people are going to hell, how can anyone waste time with politics.

To the first objection, so what!

In addition, fighting theological heresies, occultism, and paganism can be dirty also. Pastoral counseling can get muddy.

To the second objection, this is a false dilemma fallacy. Responding to this with a question, given the number of people going to hell, how can anyone go to work, help children with homework, engage in recreational or competitive sports, mow the lawn, etc., etc.

The false pietist limits the choices to just two, saving people from hell or politics. In reality, the Bible requires believers to be involved in numerous choices or activities such as going to work, education of your children, treating your employees or employer biblically, etc.      

Ultimately, all political issues are spoken of directly in Scripture or by implication. According to an irrefutable principle of Scripture, there is no neutrality. This issue of neutrality covers every area of life. Every issue must be decided biblically; therefore, involvement in politics is spiritual.

The next abbreviated entry, answers both of the above pietistic objections. The entry is from Francis A. Schaeffer on the errors of Pietism and the roots of pietism, Platonism.

An excerpt from chapter one, The Abolition of Truth and Morality by Francis A. Schaeffer on false piety and its defective view of Christianity:

“There are various reasons but the central one is a defective view of Christianity. This has its roots in the Pietist movement under the leadership of P. J. Spener in the seventeenth century. Pietism began as a healthy protest against formalism and a too abstract Christianity. But it had a deficient, “platonic” spirituality. It was platonic in the sense that Pietism made a sharp division between the “spiritual” and the “material” world — giving little, or no, importance to the “material” world. The totality of human existence was not afforded a proper place. In particular, it neglected the intellectual dimension of Christianity.

Christianity and spirituality were shut up to a small, isolated part of life. The totality of reality was ignored by the pietistic thinking. Let me quickly say that in one sense Christians should be pietists in that Christianity is not just a set of doctrines, even the right doctrines. Every doctrine is in some way to have an effect upon our lives. But the poor side of Pietism and its resulting platonic outlook has really been a tragedy not only in many people’s individual lives, but in our total culture.

True spirituality covers all of reality. There are things the Bible tells us as absolutes which are sinful — which do not conform to the character of God. But aside from these the Lordship of Christ covers all of life and all of life equally. It is not only that true spirituality covers all of life, but it covers all parts of the spectrum of life equally. In this sense there is nothing concerning reality that is not spiritual.” (2)

In conclusion:

“Just because you do not take an interest in politics doesn’t mean politics won’t take an interest in you!” – Pericles

The way politics may take an interest in you is if a wicked politician comes to power and decides to steal what you own through taxation, or land appropriation, and take your sons to fight in his army.

We should pray that God would raise up pious political leaders who are well schooled in theology like Kuyper and Witherspoon.

“If we as Christians do not speak out as authoritarian governments grow from within or come from outside, eventually we or our children will be the enemy of society and the state. No truly authoritarian government can tolerate those who have real absolute by which to judge its arbitrary absolutes and who speak out and act upon that absolute.” – Francis August Schaeffer, How Should We Then Live? The Rise and Decline of Western Thought and Culture

“If there is no final place for civil disobedience, then the government has been made autonomous, and as such, it has been put in the place of the living God.” – Francis A. Schaeffer, A Christian Manifesto

True piety is Godly. False piety is truncated spirituality and often hypocritical, i.e., pharisaical.

“To God, only wise, be glory through Jesus Christ forever. Amen.” (Romans 16:27) and “heirs according to the promise.” (Galatians 3:28, 29)

Notes:

1.      Albert Barnes, THE AGES DIGITAL LIBRARYCOMMENTARY, Barnes’ Notes on the Bible, Proverbs, Vol. 6 p.103.

2.      Francis A. Schaeffer, A Christian Manifesto, (Westchester, Illinois, Crossway Books (1991) p. 213.            

Mr. Kettler has previously published articles in the Chalcedon Report and Contra Mundum. He and his wife Marea attend the Westminster, CO, RPCNA Church. Mr. Kettler is the author of the book defending the Reformed Faith against attacks, titled: The Religion That Started in a Hat. Available at: THERELIGIONTHATSTARTEDINAHAT.COM

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What does the Bible say about pornography?

What does the Bible say about pornography?                    By Jack Kettler

What is pornography? What does the Bible say about it? There has been much said on this topic. This study will serve and an introduction of biblical teachings on this subject. Lexical evidence will be looked at to understand word origins.  “…in 2002 the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that large sections of the 1996 Child Pornography Prevention Act, including the depiction of virtual child porn, were overly broad and unconstitutional. Free speech advocates and pornographers had challenged the legality of the act, and six of the nine justices sided with them…”

Today pornographers have free reign. The federal courts routinely strike down any attempt to stop even the vilest pornography sites under the auspices of free speech. Culturally, this has been disastrous.

The first question, what is pornography?

Pornography is a noun.

It is printed or pictorial material having the explicit depiction or exhibition of sexual organs, and activity intended to provoke sensual feelings.

The word pornography is composed of two Greek words. The first is porne, meaning “harlot,” which is akin to the word pernanai, meaning, “to sell.” The second word is graphein, meaning, “to write.” (1)

Today most pornography is called “cyberporn,” or Internet pornography, and is found all too easily on the Internet, hence the name.  

The Bible does not reference pornography explicitly. However, as will be seen, the viewing of pornography is in conflict with Bible morality.

Second, what does the Bible say about it? Several biblical passages will be surveyed. 

“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery (moicheuó). But I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lustful intent has already committed adultery with her in his heart.” (Matthew 5:27-28 ESV)

Strong’s Concordance 1939. Epithumia

Epithumia: desire, passionate longing, lust

Original Word: ἐπιθυμία, ας, ἡ

Part of Speech: Noun, Feminine

Transliteration: epithumia

Phonetic Spelling: (ep-ee-thoo-mee’-ah)

Definition: desire, passionate longing, lust

Usage: desire, eagerness for, inordinate desire, lust.

 The text in Matthew 5 says, “looks at a woman,” which involves the “lust of the eyes” (1John 2:16). The lust of the eyes is the yearning to have those things, which have visual allure. In King David’s case, it was the lust of his eyes that led to adultery (2Samuel 11:2-4).

 A standard definition of lust is a powerful sexual desire.

 In addition, there is a visual component and attraction involved in the lust of the eyes leading to adultery, which makes this passage relevant to pornography.     

 Strong’s Concordance 3431. Moicheuó

Moicheuó: to commit adultery

Original Word: μοιχεύω

Part of Speech: Verb

Transliteration: moicheuó

Phonetic Spelling: (moy-khyoo’-o)

Definition: to commit adultery

Usage: I commit adultery (of a man with a married woman, but also of a married man).

“Therefore God gave them up in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, to the dishonoring of their bodies among themselves, because they exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever! Amen. For this reason, God gave them up to dishonorable (atimia) passions (pathos). For their women exchanged natural relations for those that are contrary to nature; and the men likewise gave up natural relations with women and were consumed with passion for one another, men committing shameless acts with men and receiving in themselves the due penalty for their error.” (Romans 1:24-27 ESV)

 The reader will note the highlighted text involves pathos (lust), which necessarily involves the lust of the eyes; hence, the visual connection to pornography.  

 Strong’s Concordance 819. Atimia

Atimia: dishonor

Original Word: ἀτιμία, ας, ἡ

Part of Speech: Noun, Feminine

Transliteration: atimia

Phonetic Spelling: (at-ee-mee’-ah)

Definition: dishonor

Usage: disgrace, dishonor; a dishonorable use.

 Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance 3806. Pathos

Inordinate affection, lust.

From the alternate of pascho, properly, suffering (“pathos”), i.e. (subjectively) a passion (especially concupiscence) – (inordinate) affection, lust.

 Lust is the result of visual stimuli that are turned into sexual desire. Visual images and lust are inseparable. This understanding is why biblical texts involving lust are relevant to the issue of pornography.

“Know you not that your bodies are the members of Christ? Shall I then take the members of Christ, and make them the members of a harlot? God forbid. What? Know ye not that he which is joined to a harlot is one body? For two, saith he, shall be one flesh. But he that is joined unto the Lord is one spirit. Flee fornication (porneia). Every sin that a man doeth is without the body; but he that committeth fornication sinneth against his own body. What? Know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.” (1Corinthians 6:15-20 KJV)

 “Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication (porneia), uncleanness (akatharsia), lasciviousness.” (Galatians 5:19 KJV)

 Porneia is rendered as sexual immorality in many translations and covers both adultery and fornication. The reader will note the connection to pornography as the word porneia unpacked lexically. 

 Strong’s Concordance 4202. porneia

Porneia: fornication

Original Word: πορνεία, ας, ἡ

Part of Speech: Noun, Feminine

Transliteration: porneia

Phonetic Spelling: (por-ni’-ah)

Definition: fornication

Usage: fornication, whoredom; met: idolatry.

 Strong’s Concordance 167. akatharsia

Akatharsia: uncleanness

Original Word: ἀκαθαρσία, ας, ἡ

Part of Speech: Noun, Feminine

Transliteration: akatharsia

Phonetic Spelling: (ak-ath-ar-see’-ah)

Definition: uncleanness

Usage: uncleanness, impurity.

 Digging deeper from Vine’s Dictionary. Fornication, Fornicator from Vine’s Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words:  “Fornication, Fornicator

[A-1, Noun, G4202, porneia]

is used

(a) of illicit sexual intercourse, in John 8:41; Acts 15:20, Acts 15:29; Acts 21:25; 1 Corinthians 5:1; 1 Corinthians 6:13, 1 Corinthians 6:18; 2 Corinthians 12:21; Galatians 5:19; Ephesians 5:3; Colossians 3:5; 1 Thessalonians 4:3; Revelation 2:21; Revelation 9:21; in the plural in 1 Corinthians 7:2; in Matthew 5:32; Matthew 19:9 it stands for, or includes, adultery; it is distinguished from it in Matthew 15:19; Mark 7:21;

(b) metaphorically, of “the association of pagan idolatry with doctrines of, and professed adherence to, the Christian faith,” Revelation 14:8; Revelation 17:2, Revelation 17:4; Revelation 18:3; Revelation 19:2; some suggest this as the sense in Revelation 2:21.

[A-2, Noun, G4205, pornos]

denotes “a man who indulges in fornication, a fornicator,” 1 Corinthians 5:9-11; 1 Corinthians 6:9; Ephesians 5:5, RV; 1 Timothy 1:10, RV; Hebrews 12:16; Hebrews 13:4, RV; Revelation 21:8; Revelation 22:15, RV (AV, “whoremonger”).

[B-1, Verb, G4203, porneuo]

“to commit fornication,” is used

(a) literally, Mark 10:19; 1 Corinthians 6:18; 1 Corinthians 10:8; Revelation 2:14, Revelation 2:20, See

(a) and

(b) above;

(b) metaphorically, Revelation 17:2; Revelation 18:3, Revelation 18:9.

[B-2, Verb, G1608, ekporneuo]

a strengthened form of No. 1 (ek, used intensively), “to give oneself up to fornication,” implying excessive indulgence, Jude 1:7.” (2)

 Easton’s Bible Dictionary states regarding the word porneia:

“…much of the behavior that is fairly acceptable in our culture is exactly what Paul would term ‘porneia.’ Sexual immorality. Like what? Like premarital sex. Like sex outside of marriage. Like pornography. Like prostitution.” (3)

 “Put to death therefore what is earthly in you: sexual immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry.” (Colossians 3:5 ESV)

 Sins associated with pornography can be:

 ·         Sexual nakedness (Genesis 9:21-23)

·         Forbidden to uncover nakedness (Leviticus 18:9)

·         Adultery (Leviticus 18:20)

·         Bestiality (Leviticus 18:23)

·         Homosexuality (Leviticus 18:22)

·         Incest (Leviticus 18:6-18)

·         Rape (Deuteronomy 22:23-29)

·         Prostitution (Deuteronomy 23:17-18)

 In closing:

 Looking at pornography is engaging in sexual immorality and falls under the understanding of the Greek word porneia. Pornography falls under a fundamental category of sin that all humans will experience, “the lust of the eyes” (1John 2:16).

 The consequences of viewing pornography can be long-lasting physical and relationship damage similar to the addiction to alcohol.

 More importantly than physical damage:

“Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.” (1Corinthians 6:9-10 ESV)

 From Matthew Poole’s Commentary on 1Corinthians 6:9-10:   “That by the kingdom of God is here meant the kingdom of glory, the happiness of another life, is plain, because he speaketh in the future tense; this kingdom, he saith,

the unrighteous, that is, those who so live and die,

shall not inherit. If we take the term unrighteous here to be a generical term, the species, or some of the principal species, of which are afterwards enumerated, it signifieth here the same with notoriously wicked men. But if we take it to signify persons guilty of acts of injustice towards themselves or others, it cannot be here understood as a general term, relating to all those species of sinners after enumerated; for so idolaters cannot properly be called unrighteous, but ungodly men.

Be not deceived, (saith the apostle), either by any false teachers, or by the many ill examples of such sinners that you daily have, nor by magistrates’ connivance at these sins.

Neither fornicators; neither such as, being single persons, commit uncleanness with others (for here the apostle distinguisheth these sinners from adulterers, whom he mentioneth afterward).

Nor idolaters, nor such as either worship the creature instead of God, or worship the true God before images.

Nor adulterers, nor such as, being married persons, break their marriage covenant, and commit uncleanness with such as are not their yokefellows.

Nor effeminate persons; nor persons that give up themselves to lasciviousness, burning continually in lusts.

Nor abusers of themselves with mankind, nor such as are guilty of the sin of Sodom, a sin not to be named amongst Christians or men.

Nor thieves; nor such as take away the goods of their neighbours clandestinely, or by violence, without their consent or any just authority.

Nor covetous; nor persons who discover themselves excessively to love money, by their endeavours to get it into their hands any way, by oppression, cheating, or defrauding others.

Nor drunkards; nor persons that make drinking their business, and use it excessively, without regard to the law and rules of temperance and sobriety.

Nor revilers; nor persons that use their tongues intemperately, railing at others, and reviling them with reproachful and opprobrious names.

Nor extortioners, nor any such as by violence wring out of people’s hands what is not their due. None of these, not repenting of these sinful courses, and turning from them into a contrary course of life, shall ever come into heaven.” (4)

 General Scriptural commands to avoid sexual immorality:

 ·         Make a covenant with your eyes (Job 31:1)

·         Flee fornication (1Corinthians 6:18)

·         Thinking on things, which are pure (Philippians 4:8)

·         As a man thinks in his heart, so is he (Proverbs 23:7)

·         Must make no provision for the flesh (Romans 13:14)

·         Sexual immorality not to be named (Ephesians 5:3)

·         Abstain from fleshly lusts, which war against the soul (1Peter 2:11) “To God, only wise, be glory through Jesus Christ forever. Amen.” (Romans 16:27) And “heirs according to the promise.” (Galatians 3:28, 29)

For More Study, addiction to porn and its consequences:

How Porn Changes the Brain at https://fightthenewdrug.org/how-porn-changes-the-brain/

This study does not minimize the clear biblical violations of sexual immorality at the heart of porn addiction. Like in alcohol addiction, there are physical consequences (liver damage) that result from the addition.

Notes:

1.      Webster’s New Collegiate Dictionary, copyright 1981 by G. & C. Merriam Co., 888.

2.      W. E. Vine, An Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words, (Iowa Falls, Iowa, Riverside Book and Bible House), p. 455.

3.      Matthew George Easton Easton’s Bible Dictionary, Entry on “Fornication,” (Easton’s Bible Dictionary is in the public domain).

4.      Matthew Poole’s Commentary on the Holy Bible, 1Corinthians, vol. 3, (Peabody, Massachusetts, Hendrickson Publishers, 1985) p. 556.

Mr. Kettler has previously published articles in the Chalcedon Report and Contra Mundum. He and his wife Marea attend the Westminster, CO, RPCNA Church. Mr. Kettler is the author of the book defending the Reformed Faith against attacks, titled: The Religion That Started in a Hat. Available at: THERELIGIONTHATSTARTEDINAHAT.COM

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What is Art, and what does the Bible say about Artistic talent?

What is Art, and what does the Bible say about Artistic talent?                    By Jack Kettler

What is Art? How does the Bible treat Artistic talent? How should Christians interact with the Arts? This study is an introductory primer on the arts in general. The reader should consult Images and Worship a primer by this author for a survey on Art and worship.

KJV Dictionary Definition: Art

‘ART, The second person, indicative mode, present tense, of the substantive verb am.

ARTFUL, a. See Art.

1. Performed with art or skill.

2. Artificial, as opposed to natural

3. Cunning; practicing art, or stratagem, crafty, as an artful boy. This is the most usual sense.

4. Proceeding from art or craft, as an artful scheme.”

In general, art is an exhibition of human innovative skills and imagination.

Art can be different things, pictures, painting, music, sculpture, Shakespearian plays, poetry, movies, and literature. In one sense, everything created by a man is a work of art. Art can represent good and beautiful things created by humans. It can also represent ugliness and rebellion against God.

Art is never neutral; it can be good or evil. It can glorify God or mock God. Literature and films can be inspirational, or they can be pornographic and promote atheism and other forms of ungodliness. Therefore, the Arts should be viewed discerningly. Unfortunately, Art produced by Christians can be flawed as well, and represent heresy. See * note for an example of Christian heresy in literature and film.

In many cases, Art displays reveal the artist’s worldview. The viewer of the Arts should be aware of particular worldviews that are on display and judged accordingly.

A painting or picture of creation would fall under the description of Psalms 19:

“The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky above proclaims his handiwork.” (Psalm 19:1 ESV)

Art that replicates God’s creation is not neutral according to the Psalmist; it declares the glory of God.

“For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness.” (Romans 1:18 NKJV)

Art produced by the men of Romans 1:18 likewise is not neutral; it suppresses the truth about creation.

How does the Bible say about Artistic talent?

Artistic talent is borrowed from Heaven. “For the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable” (Romans 11:29 ESV).

In Scripture, we see that God gives artists their skill, and He gives particular artisans specific directions for His ordained projects.   

From the HELPS Word-studies using the Strong’ numbering system on the word gifts:
“Cognate: 5486 xárisma (from “grace,” 5485 /xáris) – properly, the operation of grace (divine favor), i.e. a grace-endowment to edify the Church (note the -ma suffix, focusing on the end-result of the endowment of grace).

5486 /xárisma (“grace-gift”) divinely empowers a believer to share God’s work with others, i.e. Spirit-empowered service to the Church to carry out His plan for His people.

[5486 /xárisma (but not limited to) “spiritual gifts.” xarismata (the plural form) literally means “grace-endowments.”]” See Helps Ministry Inc.

 These gifts or xárisma are not limited to spiritual gifts. Consequently, they can refer to artistic gifts. Artistic skill is a gift of God’s grace.

 What do men do with their talents; glorify God or themselves? What does the Bible say about the artist and Artistic talent?

 We see a reference about artistic work in Exodus 31. God gave this artistic talent:  “Then the LORD spoke to Moses, saying, See I have called by name Bezalel the son of Uri, the son of Hur, of the tribe of Judah. And I have filled him with the Spirit of God, in wisdom, in understanding, in knowledge, and in all manner of workmanship, to design artistic works, to work in gold, in silver, in bronze, in cutting jewels for setting, in carving wood, and to work in all manner of workmanship. And I, indeed I, have appointed with him Aholiab the son of Ahisamach, of the tribe of Dan; and I have put wisdom in the hearts of all the gifted artisans, that they may make all that I have commanded you: the tabernacle of meeting, the ark of the Testimony and the mercy seat that is on it, and all the furniture of the tabernacle – the table and its utensils, the pure gold lampstand with all its utensils, the altar of incense, the altar of burnt offering with all its utensils, and the laver and its base – the garments of ministry, the holy garments for Aaron the priest and the garments of his sons, to minister as priests, and the anointing oil and sweet incense for the holy place.” (Exodus 31:1-11 NKJV)

 In this text, God is instructing Moses to create a sacred tent for the Ark of the Covenant. This sacred tent was a visible symbol of God’s presence. God references several artisans whom He selected to decorate the tent. God says, “I have put wisdom in the hearts of all the gifted artisans.” In this text, we learn that God commands the work of the artisan, and He is the origin of this artistic talent by way of what is known as God’s communicable attributes. These attributes are those, which He shares with humankind.

 Another example is Solomon building the temple in 1Kings. This text focuses on detail and precision:  “In the four hundred and eightieth year after the people of Israel came out of the land of Egypt, in the fourth year of Solomon’s reign over Israel, in the month of Ziv, which is the second month, he began to build the house of the Lord. The house that King Solomon built for the Lord was sixty cubits1 long, twenty cubits wide, and thirty cubits high. The vestibule in front of the nave of the house was twenty cubits long, equal to the width of the house, and ten cubits deep in front of the house. And he made for the house windows with recessed frames. He also built a structure against the wall of the house, running around the walls of the house, both the nave and the inner sanctuary. And he made side chambers all around. The lowest story was five cubits broad, the middle one was six cubits broad, and the third was seven cubits broad. For around the outside of the house he made offsets on the wall in order that the supporting beams should not be inserted into the walls of the house. When the house was built, fit was with stone prepared at the quarry, so that neither hammer nor axe nor any tool of iron was heard in the house while it was being built. The entrance for the lowest story was on the south side of the house, and one went up by stairs to the middle story, and from the middle story to the third. So he built the house and finished it, and he made the ceiling of the house of beams and planks of cedar. He built the structure against the whole house, five cubits high, and it was joined to the house with timbers of cedar.” (1Kings 6:1-10 ESV)

 The above text in 1Kings show the details that went into constructing the House of the Lord.

 In 1Chronicles, we learn about the precious stones went into beautifying the temple: 
“So I have provided for the house of my God, so far as I was able, the gold for the things of gold, the silver for the things of silver, and the bronze for the things of bronze, the iron for the things of iron, and wood for the things of wood, besides great quantities of onyx and stones for setting, antimony, colored stones, all sorts of precious stones and marble.” (1Chronicles 29:2 ESV)

 In 2Chronicles, we read about the decorations and Artistic skill that went into the building of the temple: “The son of a woman of the daughters of Dan, and his father was a man of Tyre. He is trained to work in gold, silver, bronze, iron, stone, and wood, and in purple, blue, and crimson fabrics and fine linen, and to do all sorts of engraving and execute any design that may be assigned him, with your craftsmen, the craftsmen of my lord, David your father.” (2Chronicles 2:14 ESV)  
“The nave he lined with cypress and covered it with fine gold and made palms and chains on it.He adorned the house with settings of precious stones. The gold was gold of Parvaim.So he lined the house with gold—its beams, its thresholds, its walls, and its doors—and he carved cherubim on the walls.” (2Chronicles 3:6 ESV)

 Other passages about Artistic talent that God gave to individuals in the Bible:  “The Lord said to Moses,  “See, I have called by name Bezalel the son of Uri, son of Hur, of the tribe of Judah,  and I have filled him with the Spirit of God, with ability and intelligence, with knowledge and all craftsmanship,  to devise artistic designs, to work in gold, silver, and bronze,  in cutting stones for setting, and in carving wood, to work in every craft.” (Exodus 35:1-5 ESV)

“He has filled them with skill to do every sort of work done by an engraver or by a designer or by an embroiderer in blue and purple and scarlet yarns and fine twined linen, or by a weaver—by any sort of workman or skilled designer.” (Exodus 35:35 ESV)

“He has made everything beautiful in its time. Also, he has put eternity into man’s heart, yet so that he cannot find out what God has done from the beginning to the end.” (Ecclesiastes 3:11 ESV)

Comments:

In passages survey from Scripture, we see that God is concerned about detail and gives individuals Artistic talent. The aim was that in all this is that God will be glorified.

A view of the Arts by Protestant reformer, John Calvin:
“But, as sculpture and painting are gifts of God, what I insist on is, that both shall be used purely and lawfully, that gifts which the Lord has bestowed upon us, for His glory and our good, shall not be preposterously abused, nay, shall not be perverted to our destruction.” (1)  “The object of music is God and His creation. The glory of God and the elevation of man are its goal, and the inspired Psalms are its means. Since it is the goodness of God emanating through the universe that makes men sing, God ought to be the centre of man’s thoughts and feelings when he sings. Seriousness, harmony and joy must characterize our songs to God.” (2)

Presbyterian theologian and a missionary, Francis Schaeffer’s thoughts on art:
“The lordship of Christ should include an interest in the arts,”

“A Christian should use these arts to the glory of God, not just as tracts, mind you, but as things of beauty to the praise of God.”

“There was no pragmatic reason for the precious stones. They had no utilitarian purpose. God simply wanted beauty in the temple. God is interested in beauty.”  “…there is a very real sense in which the Christian life itself should be our greatest work of art. Even for the great artist, the most crucial work of art is his life.”  “As a Christian we know why a work of art has value. Why? First, because a work of art is a work of creativity, and creativity has value because God is the Creator.”

“Second, an art work has value as a creation because man is made in the image of God, and therefore man not only can love and think and feel emotion but also has the capacity to create. Being in the image of the Creator, we are called upon to have creativity. In fact, it is part of the image of God to be creative, or to have creativity.” (3)

 Abraham Kuyper, prime minister of the Netherlands, asserts that leading Protestant reformer John Calvin believed regarding the Arts:  1. “esteemed art, in all its ramifications, as a gift of God.”

2. “fully grasped the profound effects worked by art upon the life of the emotions.”

3. “appreciated the end for which art has been given.”

4. “believed “that by [art] we might glorify God.”

5.  “attributed to [art] the noble vocation of disclosing to man a higher reality than was offered to us by this sinful and corrupted world.” (4)

 In closing:

 Art is the demonstration of human innovative skills and imagination by virtue of created human beings sharing in the communicable attributes of God. Communicable attributes are those attributes shared with humanity. God’s incommunicable attributes, such as omniscient and omnipresence, are not. Artistic talent is not innate in a man; it is given by God to be shared with God’s creation, humanity.

 Christians, therefore, can and should participate in the Arts. They should do this being aware that artistic is talent is borrowed from heaven or more preciously; God gives or loans the talent to the artist this side of heaven.

 In a unique display, the famous contemporary Irish music group, the Corrs understood this quite well and titled their fourth studio album, Borrowed Heaven. John Coltrane, the jazz saxophonist, was one of the first musicians in the modern era publically to give God credit in the notes from his album A Love Supreme.

 Does the artist give God the glory for their talent or not. The talent or ability is on loan from God. Whom gets the glory? 

 In evaluating the arts, Christians should be worldview conscious. Said another way, view the Arts with discernment with a biblical mindset.

 “To God, only wise, be glory through Jesus Christ forever. Amen.” (Romans 16:27) And “heirs according to the promise.” (Galatians 3:28, 29)

 Notes:

 1.      John Calvin, Institutes of the Christian Religion, ed. John T. McNeil (Philadelphia: The Westminster Press, and The S.C.M. Press Ltd., London, 1960), 1.11.8-16.

2.      Quoted in Henry R. Van Til, The Calvinist Concept of Culture, (Phillipsburg, NJ: Presbyterian and Reformed Publishers, 1972), p. 110.

3.      Francis Schaeffer, Art and the Bible, (Inter Varsity Press, Kindle Edition), pp. 18, 26, 49, 51.  

4.      Abraham Kuyper, Lectures on Calvinism, (Grand Rapids, Michigan, Eerdmans Publishing Company, reprinted 1981), p. 153.

 Mr. Kettler has previously published articles in the Chalcedon Report and Contra Mundum. He and his wife Marea attend the Westminster, CO, RPCNA Church. Mr. Kettler is the author of the book defending the Reformed Faith against attacks, titled: The Religion That Started in a Hat. Available at: THERELIGIONTHATSTARTEDINAHAT.COM

 For More Study:

 * Six Major Problems with The Shack https://www.ltw.org/read/articles/2017/03/six-major-problems-with-the-shack

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What does the Bible say about money?

What does the Bible say about money?                                                   By Jack Kettler

“For the love of money is the root of all evil, which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.” (1Timothy 6:10)

This passage from Timothy is routinely misunderstood. Money is not condemned; the love of money is. In the New Testament, we learn about Jesus and His view of money. Jesus observed the rich putting their money into the treasury, and the poor widow casting in her two mites. The two mites were in the eyes of Jesus were worth far more.

“And He sat down over against the treasury and beheld how the multitude cast money into the treasury and many that were rich cast in much. And there came a poor widow, and she cast in two mites, which make a farthing. And He called unto Him His disciples, and said unto them, Verily I say unto you, This poor widow cast in more than all they which are casting into the treasury; for they all did cast in of their superfluity; but she of her want did cast in all that she had, even all her living.” (Mark 12:41-44 RV)

Jesus is concerned about a person’s heart. The rich people in this passage were, in reality, giving nothing. The poor widow gave everything. She could have given only half, one mite. We can all ask, are our hearts fixated on money?

Rather than deal with temptations and warnings in Scripture about money, this study or primer will be concerned with a definition of money, and biblically how exchanges were to be made and what was the item or medium of trade.

As an introduction, money in the Bible was not made out of paper like today; it was a hard medium of exchange like silver, gold. Livestock or crops could be traded or bartered but were not as efficient as a metal since storage of grains and other factors such as transportation made it unmanageable. With modern silos, numerous crops have a better storage value. Metal, on the other hand, in ancient times, had a practical storage value. In addition, silver and gold could be held in a person’s hand and could be relocated to an exchange.

Scriptures on money and its everyday functions. A survey of passages with lexical help:

Strong’s Concordance 3701 keseph

keseph: silver, money

Original Word: כֶּסֶף
Part of Speech: Noun Masculine
Transliteration: keseph
Phonetic Spelling: (keh’-sef)
Definition: silver, money

Silver is used as money in a number of passages. The biblical references are listed rather than the whole text except in a few cases.

Sometimes the King James translators use the word money and sometimes silver when translating the Hebrew word keseph.

See the two examples from Genesis 17:27 and Genesis 20:16 on the translation of keseph

Genesis 17:12-13

Genesis 17:23

Genesis 17:27 – “And all the men of his house, born in the house, and bought with money (keseph) of the stranger, were circumcised with him.”

Genesis 20:16 – “And unto Sarah he said, Behold, I have given thy brother a thousand pieces of silver: (keseph) behold, he is to thee a covering of the eyes, unto all that are with thee, and with all other: thus she was reproved.”

Genesis 23:9

Genesis 23:13

Genesis 31:15

Genesis 37:28

Genesis 42:25-35   

Genesis 43:12-23; 44:1-8; 47:14-18;  

Exodus 12:44; 21:11, 21, 34-35; 22:7, 17, 25; 30:16;

Leviticus 22:11; 25:37, 51; 27:15, 18;

Numbers 3:48-51; 18:16;

Deuteronomy 2:6, 28; 14:25-26; 21:14; 23:19;

Judges 5:19; 16:18; 17:4;

1 Kings 21:2,6,15; 2 Kings 5:26; 12:4,7-16; 15:20; 22:7, 9; 23:35;

2Chronicles 24:5, 11, 14; 34:9, 14, 17;

Ezra 3:7; 7:17;

Nehemiah 5:4, 10-11;

Esther 4:7; Job 31:39;

Psalm 15:5;

Proverbs 7:20;

Ecclesiastes 7:12; 10:19;

Isaiah 43:24; 52:3; 55:1-2;

Jeremiah 32:9-10, 25, 44;

Lamentations 5:4; Micah 3:11;

Matthew 25:18, 27; 28:12, 15;

Mark 14:11;

Luke 9:3; 19:15, 23; 22:5;

Acts 7:16; 8:20.

Strong’s Concordance 2091 zahab

zahab: gold

Original Word: זָהָב

Part of Speech: Noun Masculine

Transliteration: zahab

Phonetic Spelling: (zaw-hawb’)

Definition: gold

Gold used as money in the Old Testament:

Genesis 13:2 And Abram was very rich in cattle, in silver, and in gold.

Genesis 24:35

Genesis 44:8

1Chronicles 21:25

Ezra 8:25-27

Isaiah 13:17

Isaiah 46:6

Isaiah 60:9;

Ezekiel 7:19; 28:4;

Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance Greek 5557 chrusos

Gold

Perhaps from the base of chraomai (through the idea of the utility of the metal); gold, by extension, a golden article, as an ornament or coin — gold.

See GREEK chraomai

Gold in the New Testament:

Matthew 2:11; 10:9;

Acts 3:6; 20:33;

1Peter 1:18.

Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance 5475 chalkos

Money, copper or bronze

Perhaps from chalao through the idea of hollowing out as a vessel (this metal being chiefly used for that purpose); copper (the substance, or some implement or coin made of it) — brass, money.

See GREEK chalao

Copper or bronze used as money:

Mark 6:8

Mark 12:41 And Jesus sat over against the treasury, and beheld how the people cast money into the treasury: and many that were rich cast in much.
From the International Standard Bible Encyclopedia, an abbreviated entry on money:
“mun’-i: Various terms are used for money in the Bible, but the most common are the Hebrew keceph, and Greek argurion, both meaning silver. We find also qesiTah, rendered by Septuagint “lambs,” probably referring to money in a particular form; chalkos is used for money in Mt 10:9; Mark 6:8; 12:41. It was the name of a small coin of Agrippa II (Madden, Coins of the Jews); chrema, “price,” is rendered money in Ac 4:37; 8:18,20; 24:26; kerma, “piece,” i.e. piece of money (Joh 2:15); didrachmon, “tribute money” (Mt 17:24 the King James Version, the Revised Version (British and American) “half-shekel”); kensos, “census,” “tribute money” (Mt 22:19).

1. Material and Form:

Gold and silver were the common medium of exchange in Syria and Palestine in the earliest times of which we have any historical record. The period of mere barter had passed before Abraham. The close connection of the country with the two great civilized centers of antiquity, Egypt and Babylonia, had led to the introduction of a currency for the purposes of trade. We have abundant evidence of the use of these metals in the Biblical records, and we know from the monuments that they were used as money before the time of Abraham. The patriarch came back from his visit to Egypt “rich in cattle, in silver, and in gold” (Ge 13:2). There was no system of coinage, but they had these metals cast in a convenient form for use in exchange, such as bars or rings, the latter being a common form and often represented or mentioned on the monuments of Egypt. In Babylonia the more common form seems to have been the former, such as the bar, or wedge, that Achan found in the sack of Jericho (Jos 7:21). This might indicate that the pieces were too large for ordinary use, but we have indications of the use of small portions also (2Ki 12:9; Job 42:11). But the pieces were not so accurately divided as to pass for money without weighing, as we see in the case of the transaction between Abraham and the children of Heth for the purchase of the field of Machpelah (Ge 23:1-20). This transaction indicates also the common use of silver as currency, for it was “current money with the merchant,” and earlier than this we have mention of the use of silver by Abraham as money: “He that is born in thy house and he that is bought with thy money” (Ge 17:13).

Jewels of silver and gold were probably made to conform to the shekel weight, so that they might be used for money in case of necessity. Thus Abraham’s servant gave to Rebecca a gold ring of half a shekel weight and bracelets of ten shekels weight (Ge 24:22). The bundles of money carried by the sons of Jacob to Egypt for the purchase of grain (Ge 42:35) were probably silver rings tied together in bundles. The Hebrew for “talent,” kikkar, signifies something round or circular, suggesting a ring of this weight to be used as money. The ordinary term for money was keceph, “silver,” and this word preceded by a numeral always refers to money, either with or without “shekel,” which we are probably to supply where it is not expressed after the numeral, at least wherever value is involved, as the shekel (sheqel) was the standard of value as well as of weight (see WEIGHTS AND MEASURES). Thus the value of the field of Ephron was in shekels, as was also the estimation of offerings for sacred purposes (Le 5:15; 27:1-34, passim). Solomon purchased chariots at 600 (shekels) each and horses at 150 (1Ki 10:29). Large sums were expressed in talents, which were a multiple of the shekel. Thus Menahem gave Pul 1,000 talents of silver (2Ki 15:19), which was made up by the exaction of 50 shekels from each rich man. Hezekiah paid the war indemnity to Sennacherib with 300 talents of silver and 30 of gold (2Ki 18:14). The Assyrian account gives 800 talents of silver, and the discrepancy may not be an error in the Hebrew text, as some would explain it, but probably a different kind of talent (see Madden, Coins of the Jews, 4). Solomon’s revenue is stated in talents (1Ki 10:14), and the amount (666 of gold) indicates that money was abundant, for this was in addition to what he obtained from the vassal states and by trade. His partnership with the Phoenicians in commerce brought him large amounts of the precious metals, so that silver was said to have been as plentiful in Jerusalem as stones (1Ki 10:27).

Besides the forms of rings and bars, in which the precious metals were cast for commercial use, some other forms were perhaps current. Thus, the term qesiTah has been referred to as used for money, and the Septuagint translation has “lambs.” It is used in Ge 33:19; Jos 24:32; Job 42:11, and the Septuagint rendering is supposed to indicate a piece in the form of a lamb or stamped with a lamb, used at first as a weight, later the same weight of the precious metals being used for money. We are familiar with lion weights and weights in the form of bulls and geese from the monuments, and it would not be strange to find them in the form of sheep. QesiTah is cognate with the Arabic qasaT, which means, “to divide exactly” or “justly,” and the noun qist means “a portion” or “a measure. H. Porter” (1)

 From the International Standard Bible Encyclopedia, an abbreviated entry on Weights:  “wāt (Measure of quantity) משׁקל, mishḳāl, (משׁקל, mshḳōl (Ezekiel 4:10), from קל, shāḳkal, “to weigh” אבן, ‘ebhen, “a stone” used for weighing in the balance): Weights were commonly of stone or bronze (or of lead, Zechariah 5:7, Zechariah 5:8). They were of various forms, such as the lion-shaped weights of Babylonia and Assyria, or in the form of birds and other animals. The Hebrew and Phoenician weights, when made of stone, were barrel-shaped or spindle-shaped, but in bronze, they were often cubical or octagonal or with numerous faces (see illustration under WEIGHTS AND MEASURES). Hemispherical or dome-shaped stone weights have been found in Palestine (PEFS, 1902, p. 344; 1903, p. 117; 1904, p. 209).

Figurative: The phrase “without weight” (2Kings 25:16) signifies a quantity too great to be estimated. “Weight of glory” (2Corinthians 4:17, βάρος, báros) has a similar meaning, but with a spiritual reference. “Weighty,” “weightier” (Matthew 23:23; 2Corinthians 10:10, βαρύς, barús, βαρύτερος, barúteros), signify what is important. The Greek (ὄγκος, ógkos) (Hebrews 12:1), is used in the sense of burden, hindrance, as is also the Hebrew nēṭel (Proverbs 27:3). H. Porter” (2)

 From the International Standard Bible Encyclopedia, an abbreviated entry on MEASURES: mezh’-ur, Several different words in the Hebrew and Greek are rendered by “measure” inEnglish Versions of the Bible. In Job 11:9 and Jeremiah 13:25 it stands for madh, middah, and it is the usual rendering of the verb madhadh, “to measure,” i.e. “stretch out,” “extend,” “spread.” It is often used to render the words representing particular measures, such as [‘ephah] (Deuteronomy 25:14,15; Proverbs 20:10; Micah 6:10); or kor (1Kings 4:22; 5:11 (1Ki 5:2, 5:25 Hebrew text); 2Chronicles 2:10 (Hebrew text 2:9) 27:5; Ezra 7:22); or seah (Genesis 18:6; 1Samuel 25:18; 1Kings 18:32; 2Kings 7:1,16,18); or batos, “bath” (Luke 16:6). For these terms, see WEIGHTS AND MEASURES. It also renders middah, “measure of length” (Exodus 26:2); mesurah, a liquid measure (Leviticus 19:35; 1Chronicles 23:29; Ezekiel 4:11,16); mishpaT, “judgment” (Jeremiah 30:11; 46:28); ca’ce’ah, a word of uncertain meaning, perhaps derived from seah (Isaiah 27:8); shalish, “threefold, large measure” (Psalms 80:5 (Hebrew text Psalms 80:6); Isaiah 40:12); tokhen, and mathkoneth, “weight” and that which is weighed, taken as measure (Ezekiel 45:11). In Isaiah 5:14 it stands for choq, “limit.” In the New Testament, besides being the usual rendering of the verb metreo, and of the noun metron, it is used for choinix, a dry measure containing about a quart (Revelation 6:6). H. Porter” (3)

 Thus far, from the material covered, money in biblical times was in some metal such as silver or gold.

 Was this system perfect?

 Warnings against unjust weights and balances are for everyone, even political rulers:
“You shall do no wrong in judgment, in the measurement of weight, or capacity. You shall have just balances, just weights, a just ephah, and a just hin; I am the LORD your God, who brought you out from the land of Egypt.” (Leviticus 19:35-36 NASB)

“You shall not have in your bag differing weights, a large and a small. You shall not have in your house differing measures, a large and a small. You shall have a full and just weight; you shall have a full and just measure, that your days may be prolonged in the land which the LORD your God gives you.” (Deuteronomy 25:13-16 NASB)

“Thus says the Lord GOD, enough, you princes of Israel; put away violence and destruction, and practice justice and righteousness stop your expropriations from my people, declares the Lord GOD. You shall have just balances, a just ephah and a just bath.” (Ezekiel 45:9-10 NASB)

“Hear this, you who trample the needy, to do away with the humble of the land, saying, when will the new moon be over, so that we may sell grain, and the sabbath, that we may open the wheat market, to make the bushel smaller and the shekel bigger, and to cheat with dishonest scales, so as to buy the helpless for money and the needy for a pair of sandals, and that we may sell the refuse of the wheat?” (Amos 8:4-6 NASB)

“A merchant, in whose hands are false balances, he loves to oppress. And Ephraim said, surely I have become rich, I have found wealth for myself; in all my labors they will find in me No iniquity, which would be sin.” (Hosea 12:7-8 NASB)

“Is there yet a man in the wicked house, Along with treasures of wickedness and a short measure that is cursed? Can I justify wicked scales and a bag of deceptive weights? For the rich men of the city are full of violence, her residents speak lies, and their tongue is deceitful in their mouth.” (Micah 6:10-14 NASB)

“A false balance is an abomination to the LORD, but a just weight is His delight.” (Proverbs 11:1 NASB)

 From the Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary on this warning from Proverbs 11:  “CHAPTER 11

Proverbs 11:1-31.

1. (Compare Margin). The Hebrews used stones for weights.

just—complete in measure. A false balance, the use of all false weights and measures in commerce, is abomination, i.e. highly abominable, as the abstract signifies; which is opposed to the false opinion of men, who account it a fineness of wit, or, at worst, but a trivial fault.

To the Lord; partly because this wickedness is acted under a colour of justice; and partly because it is destructive to human society, and especially to the poor, whose patron the Lord owneth himself to be.” (4)

 More warnings against unjust weights and balances:  “A just balance and scales belong to the LORD; all the weights of the bag are His concern.” (Proverbs 16:11 NASB)

“Differing weights and differing measures, both of them are abominable to the LORD.” (Proverbs 20:10 NASB)

“Differing weights are an abomination to the LORD, and a false scale is not good.” (Proverbs 20:23 NASB)

 Comments on monetary manipulation:

 There have always been people that have schemed to get an advantage over other people in business or commercial transactions. This is particularly true of rulers or politicians. Politicians like to tax endlessly. Eventually, people have enough with endless taxation. A dream come true for politicians and tyrants is the modern printing press and electronic money creation in which the true value of a monetary currency is diluted. Dilution of the currency is a crafty form of hidden taxation. Most economists call it inflation, and almost no one knows how it happens. Every time there is a new printing run, the paper notes are further diluted. Advocates of biblical money call this is inflation.

 From the online KJV Dictionary’s definition of money: “money, n. plu. moneys.

1. Coin; stamped metal; any piece of metal, usually gold, silver or copper, stamped by public authority, and used as the medium of commerce. We sometimes give the name of money to other coined metals, and to any other material which rude nations use a medium of trade. But among modern commercial nations, gold, silver and copper are the only metals used for this purpose. Gold and silver, containing great value in small compass, and being therefore of easy conveyance, and being also durable and little liable to diminution by use, are the most convenient metals for coin or money, which is the representative of commodities of all kinds, of lands, and of everything that is capable of being transferred in commerce.

2. Bank notes or bills of credit issued by authority and exchangeable for coin or redeemable, are also called money; as such notes in modern times represent coin, and are used as a substitute for it. If a man pays in hand for goods in bank notes, which are current, he is said to pay in ready money.

3. Wealth; affluence.

Money can neither open new avenues to pleasure, nor block up the passages of anguish.

moneyed, a. Rich in money; having money; able to command money; used often in opposition to such as have their wealth in real estate.

Invite moneyed men to lend to the merchants.

1. Consisting in money, as moneyed capital.”

 Definition of Barter from the online Webster’s Revised Unabridged Dictionary: “1. (v. i.) To traffic or trade, by exchanging one commodity for another, in distinction from a sale and purchase, in which money is paid for the commodities transferred; to truck.

2. (v. t.) To trade or exchange in the way of barter; to exchange (frequently for an unworthy consideration); to traffic; to truck; — sometimes followed by away; as, to barter away goods or honor.

3. (n.) The act or practice of trafficking by exchange of commodities; an exchange of goods.

4. (n.) The thing given in exchange.”

 In closing:

 Real money is a tangible, instrumental object, metal, or commodities, which serves as a medium of exchange for the purchase of goods, and services and a tangible financial instrument is a way to store value. To illustrate this last point about storage value consider; in the 1920s if one put 10 thousand dollars of paper notes in a suitcase under the bed and pulled it out today, what happened?

 An ounce of gold coined in biblical times would still be an ounce of gold today. A hundred dollars printed today is much different in value than $100 printed 100 years ago. Since 1913, the dollar has plummeted in value. At that time, a person with $100 could buy the same amount of food, clothing, and other necessities, as $2,529 would buy today. 

To borrow an illustration from a friend; historically, an ounce of gold has consistently bought a good man’s suit. It does today, and it did back in 1913 when gold was $20. Today, an ounce of gold is close to $1500, and a good man’s suit is about the same.

 The constant running of the government printing presses diluted the value of the paper notes. The suitcase under the bed is not a way to keep value. On the other hand, 10 thousand dollars in gold or silver coins at today’s cost would make one a hefty profit, which could be leveraged for other items of intrinsic value.    

 As seen from the illustrations, modern-day paper notes have no intrinsic value or storage worth. At one time U.S. paper notes were redeemable in silver or gold. Today this system of paper notes only has the backing of the good faith of the government printing these notes.  

 In contrast, gold, silver, using various weights and measures, as seen in the Bible did have intrinsic value. The advantage of biblical money is that it is less easily manipulated and cannot be inflated. Contrary to popular knowledge, it is a misnomer to call paper notes money. In and of itself, paper notes have no value.

 The present system of paper notes as an exchange is somewhat precarious. A return to a medium of exchange that has intrinsic value would be more than prudent.

 “To God, only wise, be glory through Jesus Christ forever. Amen.” (Romans 16:27) And “heirs according to the promise.” (Galatians 3:28, 29)

 Notes:

 1.      Orr, James, M.A., D.D. General Editor, Entry for Money, International Standard Bible Encyclopedia, (Grand Rapids, Michigan, Eerdmans, reprinted 1986), p. 2076.

2.      Orr, James, M.A., D.D. General Editor, Entry for Weights, International Standard Bible Encyclopedia, (Grand Rapids, Michigan, Eerdmans, reprinted 1986), p. 3079.

3.      Orr, James, M.A., D.D. General Editor, Entry for MEASURE; MEASURES, International Standard Bible Encyclopedia, (Grand Rapids, Michigan, Eerdmans, reprinted 1986), p. 2016.

4.      Jamieson, Fausset and Brown, Commentary on the Whole Bible, (Grand Rapids, Michigan, Zondervan, 1977) p. 464-465.

 Mr. Kettler has previously published articles in the Chalcedon Report and Contra Mundum. He and his wife Marea attend the Westminster, CO, RPCNA Church. Mr. Kettler is the author of the book defending the Reformed Faith against attacks, titled: The Religion That Started in a Hat. Available at: THERELIGIONTHATSTARTEDINAHAT.COM

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Jacques Derrida and Language Deconstruction a review

Jacques Derrida

The Great Thinkers’

By Christopher Watkin

P & R Publishing 2017

A Review by Jack Kettler

Bio:

Christopher Watkin (MPhil, Ph.D., Jesus College, Cambridge) researches and writes on modern and contemporary French thought, atheism, and religion. He lectures in French studies at Monash University in Melbourne, Australia, blogs at christopherwatkin.com, and can be found on Twitter @DrChrisWatkin.

What others are saying:

“Chris Watkin has done what I thought was impossible. He has explained Derrida’s deconstruction with lucidity, brevity, and charity. Not only that: he has imagined what it would be like for Cornelius Van Til to go toe-to-toe with Derrida in a discussion about language, logic, and the Logos made flesh, all of which figure prominently in John 1:1-18. And if that were not enough, he has done it in just over a hundred pages. Readers who want to know what all the fuss over postmodernity is about would do well to consult this book.” – Kevin J. Vanhoozer, Research Professor of Systematic Theology, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School

“Philosopher Stanley Fish once declared, ‘Deconstruction is dead in the same way that Freudianism is dead. . . . It is everywhere.’ Christopher Watkin’s remarkable book explains better than any other the nature of Derrida’s program and the reasons for its persistence. Watkin corrects misunderstandings and caricatures. Derrida is easy to dismiss when one takes a few of his thoughts out of context. But a great deal of importance must be highlighted. The author engages in a biblical and Reformed critique, one that ‘hold[s] fast what is good,’ while identifying its evils (1 Thess. 5:21-22). Complete with helpful diagrams, the book is a tour de force. I wish I had possessed it while in graduate school.” – William Edgar, Professor of Apologetics, Westminster Theological Seminary

“The Reformed community has long sought to stage a dialogue between Jacques Derrida and Karl Barth, but no one before Christopher Watkin has ever considered initiating a dialogue between Derrida and Barth’s Reformed critic Cornelius Van Til. Watkin explains Derrida’s fundamental ideas very clearly; more, he shows Calvinists some things that might be gained if they read Derrida with sympathy. Not least of all, the Bible might disclose more of its meaning.” – Kevin Hart, Edwin B. Kyle Professor of Christian Studies, University of Virginia

Review:

Christopher Watkin has done a masterful job introducing and explaining Jacques Derrida’s thoughts to the reader. Using important citations from Derrida’s philosophy of “Language Deconstruction.”

Derrida was a prolific writer and is evidenced by the fact that:

“Derrida was the author or coauthor of at least seventy books, held professorships in Paris and the University of California, Irvine, and received honorary doctorates at many more universities (including Cambridge: the petition failed in the end), but that says very little about the scope of his influence.” (xxii introduction)

Watkin’s goal is to help the reader with an overview of Derrida’s most important ideas, which cover a significant range of subjects from metaphysics, ethics, politics, and theology. Along with this goal is another, which makes it understandable and how to interact with it in terms of a Reformed Van Tilian presuppositionalist position. This challenge may seem almost impossible for many, yet Watkins does a superb job.

A couple of examples of how Watkin’s introduces the reader to Derrida:
“In other words, deconstruction is a warning against treating our meanings as completely clear and our truths as The Truth. Derrida’s most succinct expression of this conclusion is in “Force of Law,” where he argues that we should never simply identify the law with justice, or, to put it a bit differently, never identify our laws with The Law. One could build a rather strong case for such a thesis from the Prophets, Jesus, and Paul. No?” (Introduction xxiv)

“My aim is to provide Christians with a way of understanding Derrida that does justice both to his own thinking in its own terms, and to the Bible in its. Although I hope my analyses and interpretations will stand for themselves, I perhaps owe the reader at the outset some explanation of my methodology. First, I write as a Christian for a Christian publishing house. Second, I start with the assumption that one must earn the right to critique a position by understanding it and being able to express it in a way that its adherents will be happy to own and endorse as correct. It is the important principle of audi alteram partem: listen to the other side. In terms of understanding a philosopher’s writing, this means that until we have understood not only what position someone holds, but also the reasons why he holds it—or, in other words, why that person finds his position attractive—we have not yet understood it.” (Introduction xxv)

 Key concepts of Derrida:

Logocentrism and Phonocentrism (Chapter 1 p. 5.)

“Logocentrism. A term used by Derrida to describe the traditional Western understanding of truth, according to which an absolute and self-present logos grounds all truth and acts as a transcendental signified. For logocentrism, truth is to be found outside language, and language is a tool that can be thrown away once it has brought us to an immediate understanding of truth.  The “epoch of the logos” (OG, 12) began with Plato’s ideas—fixed, eternal Forms that guaranteed the meaning of the changing and particular entities in the world—and is only now coming to an end.” (130)

“Phonocentrism. A term used by Derrida in OG to describe the Western philosophical privilege for the supposed immediacy of meaning in spoken language over the inferior mode of writing. Writing uses signs (written words), whereas speech is an unmediated expression of the speaker’s thoughts. The Western understanding of truth in general, Derrida argues, rests on this presupposition of immediacy, but it is in fact an illusion.” (131)

Text. “There is Nothing Outside the Text” (Chapter 1 p. 6.)

“Text. A term used by Derrida in phrases such as “there is nothing outside the text” to mean more than written language or books. It means any structure (linguistic, economic, historical, etc.) in which values or meanings circulate and are exchanged. Anything that we experience is always already text because it cannot enter our experience as utterly singular, isolated, and absolutely “other,” but must always already have been brought within the web and circulation of meanings in terms of which we make sense of the world.” (132)

Différance (Chapter 1 p. 11.)

“Différance. For Derrida, the mode of existence of everything that exists. In major strands of traditional Western metaphysics, things exist as isolated atoms, their meanings completely present to our consciousness. Derrida argues that this is a theological illusion and that, rather than being completely present, things exist as always different from themselves and deferred with respect to themselves (the two senses of the French différer). A near-synonym of arche-writing.” (129)

  Two examples of Derrida and Van Til’s thought are similar in Chapter 4:

“Thus far in this section, I have been arguing that Derridean and Van Tilian thought share an aversion to claiming to speak of God in an absolute, brute, or uninterpreted way. There is also a second important resonance between Derrida and Van Til on the subject of brute fact, this time as it pertains to creation. We have already seen that, in Colossians 1, Paul argues that all things were created by Christ and for Christ. This means that all things (including ourselves) are always already interpreted, or, to put it in more Derridean terms, there is “nothing outside” the context of God’s pre-interpretation. The world is not first of all an inert, indifferent, or meaningless environment that God subsequently chooses to infuse with meaning; materiality and meaning are—just like unity and plurality, and just like universality and particularity—of “equal ultimacy” in the biblical account of “all things.” (108)

“Insofar as the claim for there to be something “outside the text” is the claim that such a thing stands as a brute, uninterpreted fact not dependent on or situated within any context that governs its meaning, Derrida’s famous phrase is close to the Van Tilian rejection of the objectivist’s idea of brute facts. While Derrida and Van Til are united here in opposing the objectivist appeal to brute facts, there is of course also a great difference between the two positions. For Van Til, a correct understanding of things is always to interpret them in line with God’s own interpretation, whereas Derrida’s “there is nothing outside the text” results in a radical openness to the meaning of things. Looked at from another angle, though, the difference is not as great as all that. Derrida and Van Til would be quite happy to agree, I think, that, in Van Til’s terms, “The meaning of words derives from the total system of which they form a part” (ICG, 9). They would also agree that we cannot know that total system exhaustively.” (109)

 This chapter has much more interaction with Derrida’s and Van Tilian thought given Watkin’s grasp of both philosopher and theologian. 

 Concerning one of his goal in writing this book, Watkin’s says:

 “I hope that I have done enough in these pages to make at least a plausible case that the future of Reformed scholarship in dialogue with Derrida can be fruitfully pursued in the Van Tilian tradition.” (125)

 The chapters:

 Part 1: Derrida’s Thought

1. What Is Deconstruction? Not Meaninglessness but Openness Logocentrism and Phonocentrism “There Is Nothing Outside the Text” Différance Deconstruction Is Not Just Another Way of Reading

2. Ethics and Politics The “Mystical Foundation of Authority” Not Relativism but Incommensurability “Every Other Is Wholly Other” Language and Violence

3. Theology “I Rightly Pass for an Atheist” The God of Ontotheology Messianicity without Messianism

Part 2: A Reformed Assessment of Derrida’s Thought

4. Derrida and Van Til: A Chapter Waiting to Be Written Frame’s Reformed Readings and Misreadings of Derrida Derrida’s Style and Van Tilian “Epistemological Self-Consciousness”

5. Derrida and Van Til in the Light of John 1:1–18 The Creator-Creature Distinction and “There Is Nothing Outside the Text” Absolute Personality Theism and Ontotheology Trinity, Différance, and “Every Other Is Wholly Other” Accommodation, Language, and Violence Brute Facts, the Transcendental Signified, and Idolatry Gift, Recognition, and Praise Predestination and Messianicity without Messianism Union with Christ and “I Am Just”

Conclusion

 In conclusion:

 Without a doubt, Watkins has accomplished his goal of making Derrida understandable and how Derrida and Van Til’s thought can interact.

 Every pastor and Christian apologist should have to this book and the other book in this series. I highly recommend this book.

 “Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” (2 Timothy 2:15)

 “To God, only wise, be glory through Jesus Christ forever. Amen.” (Romans 16:27) and “heirs according to the promise.” (Galatians 3:28-29)

 Notes:

 1.      Christopher Watkin, Jacques Derrida, Great Thinkers, (Phillipsburg, New Jersey, Presbyterian & Reformed Publishing CO, 2017). pp. xxiv, xxv, 5-6, 11, 108-109, 125, 129-132.      

 Mr. Kettler has previously published articles in the Chalcedon Report and Contra Mundum. He and his wife Marea attend the Westminster, CO, RPCNA Church. Mr. Kettler is the author of the book defending the Reformed Faith against attacks, titled: The Religion That Started in a Hat. Available at: www.TheReligionThatStartedInAHat.com

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Bio-Chemical Individuality: towards an understanding of dietary supplements and the categories of essential nutritional needs. A health primer.

Bio-Chemical Individuality: towards an understanding of dietary supplements and the categories of essential nutritional needs. A health primer.                       By Jack Kettler

A myth must be put to rest, which is still very prevalent in our society. That is the myth that dietary supplements are not necessary. Why? First off, can one get all the nutrients needed simply by eating a healthy diet? How many people can eat the five servings of fruits and vegetables per day that are recommended? It is a fact that most people fail to eat the recommended amount of fruits and vegetables daily. In reality, doing this is an almost impossible time-consuming task. It is therefore vital to recognize that supplementation with top quality dietary supplements may be helpful. The supplementation concept will be defended in this article, and the importance of finding the optimal food sources of essential nutrition.

Unfortunately, for too long, the conventional wisdom from so-called health experts who denied the need for nutritional supplementation is now seen to be nothing more than quackery under the veneer of respectability. Fortunately, a change was coming. The June 19, 2002 volume of the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) contains the “Clinician’s Corner” section that features the Scientific Review and the Clinical Applications, “Vitamins for chronic disease Prevention in Adults.”

From the publication JAMA:

“Most people do not consume an optimal amount of all vitamins by diet alone…It appears prudent for all adults to take vitamin supplements.” (1)

The JAMA article is an excellent starting point. Maybe in the future, JAMA will recommend and publish studies regarding the use of other nutritional supplements. When common sense begins to take over, and someone is sure that nutritional supplementation is necessary, questions arise like which supplements, how many, and length of time before having desired results. These questions may involve much research on the inquirer’s part before finding satisfactory answers. It is hoped that the following article will supply the reader with a strategy for an ongoing program of nutritional supplementation.

To begin with, the most critical nutrient for anyone is the one that a person is deficient. As a practical starting point to answer this question in a general way, everyone should be concerned to know if one’s body is getting the required nutrients in each class of the essential nutrient categories. The first goal should be to obtain essential nutrients in our diets. If this is not feasible regarding what supplements, how many, and how long to take a particular supplement should be asked by those seeking to remedy a health issue more challenging to answer. Why is this? Those involved in the nutrition industry are well aware of the phenomena of varying results among supplement users. Some people have seemingly miraculous results, while others have no noticeable changes. Why is this so? It is easy to share the excitement with those who have immediate results with nutritional intervention. What can we say to those who see no change after using the same regiment of nutrients?

Before we can even attempt to answer this question of varying results, a concept called “Biochemical Individuality” will help us understand why different individuals utilize nutrition more efficiently, leading to different results from nutritional consumption. Hopefully, this article will shed some light on this phenomenon of different results among individuals who are using the same supplements and providing a rational basis for continuing a program of nutritional supplementation.

As previously mentioned, some people seem to have immediate results with supplements, and others do not notice anything. It is important to note that noticing or feeling is not necessarily indicative of the effectiveness of nutrition. How many people feel or notice a change when vitamin D is absorbed into the bloodstream and feeds the cells in various places in the body? If one is getting vitamin D through the diet or supplementation and the body is utilizing it efficiently, how can one question the fact that a metabolic process is happening in the body and one may benefit even if it is not noticed outwardly?

The metabolic process may be different for different individuals. Therefore, an understanding of the concept of “biochemical individuality” will also give direction when trying to determine what amount of supplements is right for an individual. It will provide the basis for experimenting with different amounts of nutrients and not being discouraged.

The term “Biochemical Individuality” is the name of a book written by the brilliant biochemist Roger J. Williams in 1956 and republished in 1998. Dr. Williams discovered the vitamins, Pantothenic acid in 1933 and Folic acid in 1941

Dr. Williams explains the “Genetotrophic Concept,” a term, which he created, which is essential to understanding biochemical individuality:

“While the same physical mechanisms and the same metabolic processes are operating in all human bodies, the structures are sufficiently diverse and the genetically determined enzyme efficiencies vary sufficiently from individual to individual so that the sum total of all the reactions taking place in one individual’s body may be very different from those taking place in the body of another individual of the same age, sex, and body size.” (2)

“Although every nutritionally important mineral, amino acid, and vitamin is needed by every individual, it follows – if biochemical individuality exists – that the needs are quantitatively distinctive for each individual.” (3)

“It may be stated as follows: Every individual organism that has a distinctive genetic background has distinctive nutritional needs which must be met for optimal wellbeing.” (4) (Emphasis mine)

In other words, each individual also has unique and distinctive nutritional needs, which means some individuals may need higher levels of nutrients than others may. Determining and meeting those needs will give the body a fighting chance to combat health issues naturally.

The concept of nutritional individuality can also be explained by showing how human physiological differences are known to be both outward and internal.

We are individuals who are unique and different from everyone else. One’s body appearance, though in many ways the same, is also quite different from others. Individuals do not all look the same. There are both outward and inward differences. The inward differences are just as striking as our outward differences. Everyone has the same vital body organs. However, all stomachs are not the same size, nor are their hearts and other internal organs. They come in all shapes and sizes.

An individual’s intestinal lining may be different or even malformed, thus hindering critical nutrients’ absorption into the bloodstream. If this is the case, the individual may need more of certain nutrients to get the necessary cellular support. In addition, as Dr. Williams has shown in his book mentioned book above, an individual’s internal composition and comprised of the different organ shapes and sizes are factors, plus an individual’s enzymic functions, excretion patterns, and endocrine activities are involved and can have a substantial impact on individual nutritional needs.

Biochemically speaking, individuals have differing nutritional needs. As a side note, when the government puts out the recommended daily nutritional allowances (RDAs), these figures for some people may have no relationship to reality. Unfortunately, as Dr. Williams has argued, there may not be such a thing as usual or average nutritional requirements.

Summarizing his laboratory experiments, Dr. Williams says:

“It is worthy of note, however, that these experiments give strong corroboration of the central idea of this chapter, namely, (1) each human individual has quantitatively a distinctive pattern of nutritional needs, (2) from individual to individual, specific needs may vary several fold, and (3) important deficiencies may exist which have not been discoverable clinically by observing acute outward symptoms.” (5) (Emphasis mine)

Therefore, to summarize Dr. William’s research, each person has unique or distinctive nutritional needs. Furthermore, not every person starts at the same place when considering cellular health. Unfortunately, for some individuals, many processes leading to bad health have begun to take a toll, and they need to nourish the body in such a way as to provide the nutrients needed for the body’s immune system repair functions. The endocrine, digestive, and elimination systems of our bodies also need to have care.

In other words, one may need more than a daily maintenance amount of nutrients. It should also be noted that the government’s RDAs should not be confused with nutritional requirements. These guidelines are helpful and a good starting place when looking into where to start when analyzing one’s nutritional picture. The RDAs criteria were developed for healthy people with no known illness or deficiency problems.

The challenge of nutritional science is to find ways to identify an individual’s unique needs. What we do know is that there are four main classes of essential nutrients. Listed below are the four main groups of nutrients with brief descriptions of their role in the body. Some familiar food sources are also listed. In addition, there are other vital nutrients such as phytohormones or plant sterols, a unique group of antioxidants, and other immune system support nutrients.

An individual will have to determine if they are deficient in any of these nutrients and then take steps to correct the problem. A task like this is not necessarily easy. With that said, this task does not have to be seen as daunting. Dr. William’s books are an excellent place to start this quest to determine unique individual nutritional needs.

A survey of the different categories of essential nutrition:

1. Monosaccharides:

What are they? Monosaccharides arenatural plant sugars. Eight have been identified as essential to optimal cellular needs and are utilized by the body in the battle against health issues. Monosaccharides are the newest class of recognized essential nutrients.

Glycosylation can be described as the course of action, which involves the essential monosaccharides and is the beginning and end of cellular health without exception! In fact, according to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Review, February 2003, “If you don’t have glycosylation, you don’t have life.” Glycosylation is adding a polysaccharide (chain of sugars) to a polypeptide (chain of amino acids) to make a glycoprotein. Each of the essential biologically active sugars is needed by the body to make specific glycoproteins that coat every cell surface in our body, enabling the immune system to function by creating the cellular antenna on each cell surface. These cell surface antennas allow the cells to communicate with each other using a unique cellular alphabet.

Because of the importance of the glycosylation process and the role monosaccharides play in this process, many doctors, health practitioners, and nutritionists are now calling monosaccharide technology the “operating system” of the human body. This is why this category is listed first.

The Eight Monosaccharides:

  • Glucose provides a potent fast-energy source, enhances memory and stimulates calcium absorption, and can be found in many fruits and vegetables, sorghum, dates, raisins, and pineapples.
  • Galactose enhances wound healing, increases calcium absorption, and triggers long-term memory formation, and is found in milk.
  • Mannose is vital to proper cellular function and positively affects the body’s immune response to pathogens. Mannose may also have anti-inflammatory and blood-sugar-lowering capabilities and can be found in seeds, plant saps, cacti, and aloe.
  • Fucose plays a vital role in developing a healthy immune response in infants and can be found in flaxseed, gum, algae, and certain seaweeds.
  • Xylose like other essential saccharides, xylose helps fight microbial invaders such as fungus and bacteria and may support weak immune systems. It has been featured in allergy nasal spray products due to its ability to discourage allergens’ binding to mucous membranes and can be found in husks of grains, such as wheat, rye oat, and barley.
  • N-acetylglucosamine can be very helpful for the proper maintenance of joints and can reverse or prevent cartilage and joint damage and inflammation and is found in some seeds and plant saps.
  • N-acetylgalactosamine plays a vital role in promoting proper function of and communication between cells. There is evidence that it can help improve the immune system and is found in milk.
  • N-acetylneuraminic acid can significantly influence a newborn’s immune and nervous systems and is found in milk.

These eight monosaccharides have been identified in “Harper’s Biochemistry,” chapter 56, of the 1996 and following editions. Only two, glucose and galactose, are common in the modern diet.

A combination of green harvesting, processing, over-cooking of foods, and different eating habits account for the loss of these vital nutrients from the modern diet. If lacking any of these necessary sugars, it is prudent to supplement the missing ones. There is an ongoing scholarly debate regarding a healthy individual’s body and its ability to manufacture the missing ones from the two still common in our diets.

In regards to glycosylation, it should be noted that some cells are replaced in the body daily. Other cells are replaced weekly, monthly, and in the case of bone cells, may take a year or more to be replaced with new ones. The glycosylation process is ongoing, does not happen overnight, and has the utmost bearing on the question of how long someone should supplement.

It should be noted that it is impossible to know which cells will receive the necessary requirement of monosaccharides or how many cells will get the monosaccharides they need. The cells that die are being replaced by cells, which also need to be glycosylated, and one may or may not have sufficient monosaccharides available at that moment to get that job done.

Many glycoproteins have a short life of 10 days or less. Keeping the body supplied with an adequate amount of monosaccharides seems prudent to be used for the new glycoprotein synthesis process. It is also important to note that monosaccharide absorption, which is the beginning of the glycosylation process, depends on the necessary enzyme, vitamin, and mineral co-factors. Having the necessary co-factors is of enormous importance. If one does not have the necessary co-factors, the vital nutrients will simply pass through the body and be eliminated in the waste.

2. Essential Fatty Acids (EFAs):

In biochemistry, a fatty acid is a carboxylic acid or organic acid with a long aliphatic tail, either saturated or unsaturated. Most of the natural fatty acids have an even number of carbon atoms because they are made up of acetate, which has two carbon atoms.

  • Omega-3 or Alpha-Linolenic Acid (LNA) is an essential fatty acid (EFA), which means that it is essential to human health and cannot be manufactured by the body. For this reason, Omega 3 fatty acids must be obtained from food. Omega 3 fatty acids can be found in fish and certain plant oils.
  • Omega 6 or Linoleic Acid (LA) is an EFA, cannot be made by humans, and is considered essential in the diet. Omega 6 is found in cereals, eggs, poultry, oils, whole-grain bread.
  • Omega-9 or Oleic Acid is essential but technically not an EFA because the human body can manufacture a limited amount, provided the essential LNA and LA EFAs are present. Oleic acid lowers heart attack risk and arteriosclerosis and aids in the prevention of numerous health issues. It is found in olive oil (virgin cold-pressed), olives, avocados, almonds, peanuts, sesame oil, pecans, pistachio nuts, cashews, hazelnuts, and macadamia nuts.

It is vital to maintain a balance of Omega 3 and Omega 6 in the diet as these two fatty acids work together to promote health. It should be noted that usually, there is far more Omega 6 in the modern diet.

3. Amino Acids:

Eight are essential of 22 known amino acids. Amino acids have been called the “building blocks” of the body. They help in building cells and repairing tissue. In addition, they form antibodies to combat invading bacteria and viruses. They carry oxygen throughout the body and participate in muscle activity.The eight essential are:

  • Isoleucineprovides elements required for the manufacturing of essential biochemical components in the body, which are utilized to produce energy, stimulates the upper brain, and helps one mentally alert. They can be found in eggs, fish, lentils, poultry, beef, seeds, soy, wheat, almonds, and dairy.
  • Leucine also provides ingredients for manufacturing essential biochemical components in the body, which are utilized of energy, stimulates the upper brain, and help one be mentally alert. They can be found in cottage cheese, sesame seeds, peanuts, dry lentils, chicken, and fish.
  • Lysineensures the adequate absorption of calcium and helps form collagen, which makes up bone cartilage and connective tissues and aids in the production of antibodies, hormones, and enzymes. They can be found in food sources such as green beans, lentils, soybean, spinach, and amaranth.
  • Methionine is a principle supplier of sulfur, which prevents maladies of hair, skin, and nails. It helps lower cholesterol levels by increasing the liver’s production of lecithin, reduces liver fat, and protects the kidneys. They are found in fish, whole grains, and dairy.
  • Phenylalanine is used by the brain to produce Norepinephrine, a chemical that transmits signals between nerve cells and the brain; keeps you awake and alert. It reduces hunger pains, functions as an antidepressant, and improves memory. Phenylalanine is found in dairy products, almonds, avocados, lima beans, peanuts, and seeds.
  • Threonine is a vital component of collagen and enamel protein. It helps prevents fat build-up in the liver. It also helps the digestive, and intestinal tracts function more smoothly, assists metabolism assimilation. Threonine is found in dairy products, beef, poultry, eggs, beans, nuts, and seeds.
  • Tryptophan is a natural relaxant and helps ease insomnia by inducing normal sleep. It reduces anxiety and depression; helps in the treatment of migraine headaches. It is known to help reduce the risk of artery and heart spasms and works with Lysine in reducing cholesterol levels, and is plentiful in chocolate, oats, bananas, dried dates, milk, cottage cheese, meat, fish, turkey, and peanuts.
  • Valine promotes mental vigor, muscle coordination, and calms emotions and is found in dairy products, grain, meat, mushrooms, peanuts, and soy proteins.

We get most of the amino acids from food. If we lack any of the essential ones, they must be supplied through supplementation. The others are non-essential, which means the body can manufacture them with proper nutritional intake. Remember that adding a polysaccharide (chain of sugars) to a polypeptide (chain of amino acids) is essential to make a glycoprotein. Monosaccharides and amino acids are without question vital for optimal health.

Amino Acid deficiency can be manifested as a weak immune system, fatigue, stomach acid or alkaline imbalance, dizziness and nausea, water retention, and infertility.

4. Vitamins and Minerals:

A vitamin is any group of organic substances, which are essential for metabolism and for physiological growth and development. Vitamins are co-factors, and are necessary for the proper functioning of an enzyme.

Vitamins and minerals are needed in the body for several important processes, including:

  • The growth and repair of body tissues
  • As co-factors in enzyme metabolic reactions
  • For oxygen transfer and oxidative metabolism
  • Support immune function
  • Work as antioxidants
  • Vitamins regulate metabolic processes.
  • Control cellular functions

Essential Vitamins:

  • Vitamin A plays a significant role in the functioning and quality of the body’s immune system, especially the body’s skin and mucus membranes. It can be found in green, yellow, and orange vegetables, cantaloupes, apricots, and sweet potatoes.
  • Vitamin B and Complexes: B1, B2, B6, and B12. The B vitamins help the body to convert food to energy. They break up the proteins and fats that make the nervous system run efficiently. They help keep the eyes, hair, and skin healthy, and maintain mental functioning, and support muscle tone and oral health. They can be found in bananas, meats, poultry, fish, potatoes, broccoli, grains, eggs, and milk.
  • Vitamin C plays a vital role in wound healing, and the rebuilding of tissues and can be found in citrus fruits such as oranges, grapefruit, strawberries and green or red peppers, and broccoli.
  • Vitamin D helps to ensure calcium absorption and is especially important in bone development and strength and is supplied from fish, liver, and egg yolks.
  • Vitamin E has a role in the repair of DNA and in the body’s natural immune system and is found in seeds, nuts, seafood, eggs, and oils.
  • Vitamin K is vital for blood clotting and can be found in cabbage, cauliflower, spinach, and other green leafy vegetables, cereals, soybeans.

Essential Minerals:

Minerals are inorganic and are essential, acting as the necessary co-factors for many enzymes. Enzymes would not function without minerals. Minerals help the body organize the molecular construction of the cells and membrane. The fourteen minerals necessary for life are:

  • Phosphorus is best known for its role in the creation of bones and teeth and is found in whole grain cereals, milk, fish, and vegetables.
  • Copper acts as a co-factor for many enzymes and vitamins and is found in oysters and other shellfish, whole grains, beans, nuts, potatoes, and organ meats.
  • Manganese works in the digestive system by breaking down foods through digestion into a form that the body can use and is found in whole grains, nuts, leafy vegetables, and teas.
  • Selenium is especially important in the body’s battle against free radical damage and is found in brown rice, chicken, wheat, shrimp, sunflower seeds, tuna, and eggs.
  • Zinc serves many vital purposes since approximately one hundred enzymes rely on zinc presence to be effective in their specialized tasks and is found in beef, pork, and lamb.
  • Calcium is also vital in the prevention of incapacitating bone problems, such as osteoporosis and is found in milk and milk products such as yogurt, cheese tofu, broccoli, and orange juice.
  • Iron promotes the important functioning of the body’s immune system, particularly in the production of the white blood cells, which are essential to combating infection and numerous health issues. It is found in red meats, seafood, and fish apricots, and beans.
  • Phosphorus has a role in the working of the body’s muscular system and is found in dairy products, egg yolks, meat, poultry, fish, and legumes.
  • Sodium has a vital role in the circulatory system and is found in meats, nut, grains, fruits, and vegetables.
  • Iodine plays a role in the body’s basic metabolism levels and processes because of its influence on the thyroid’s activities and is found in salmon, tuna, and seaweed.
  • Potassium promotes the growth and health of cells, particularly through its importance in waste product removal and to enhance muscle control and is found in milk, yogurt, fruits, and vegetables.
  • Magnesium is required by more than 300 biochemical processes in the human body, such as the body’s most fundamental structures and systems, from the bones to the heart, and is found in spinach, almonds, barley, and Brazil nuts.
  • Choline is necessary for growth and nerve and kidney function and is found in lecithin, beef liver, beef heart, egg yolks, wheat germ, cauliflower, cucumber, and peanuts.
  • Molybdenum protects against tooth decay, is necessary for metabolism, and is found in green beans, wheat germ, and spinach.

Phytoestrogens, the most important Phytohormones:

Phytoestrogens are compounds that occur naturally in plants and, under certain circumstances, can have actions like human estrogen. Phytoestrogens are commonly found in foods such as beans, cabbage, soybeans, and grain. These nutrients help support communication among the body’s organs. They have been shown to support the body’s well-being against heart problems and weak immune systems.

  • Saponins; are the most important being diosgenin, which comes from the wild yam root of the Dioscorea plant.
  • Isoflavones are found abundantly in legumes or beans.
  • Lignins are found in seeds, particularly in flaxseed.

The Best Known Antioxidants:

Antioxidants are involved in the prevention of cellular damage caused by free radicals. Free radicals are atoms with an abnormal number of electrons and can be formed when oxygen interacts with specific molecules. They can do immense damage when they react with important cellular machinery such as DNA or the cell coverings. The body’s defense system utilizes antioxidants.

The best currently known antioxidants are:

  • Quercetin is both fat and water-soluble. It helps reduce inflammation, lowers blood pressure, and supports the heart, and is found in apples, onions, parsley, and red wine.
  • Grape skin extract is water-soluble and is known to protect the body against weak immune systems, and heart problems.
  • Green tea is water-soluble and is known to help the liver and stop infections by supporting the immune system.
  • Bush plum is water-soluble, and has the highest known concentration of vitamin C, and helps the body repair tissue and the healing of wounds found in the Australian Bush Plum.

Colostrum and Lactoferrin:

Colostrum, or the mother’s first milk and is an important immune system builder.

Consider how significant a lack of colostrum can be:

“If a calf, foal, puppy, etc. experiences difficulties at birth and is unable to nurse for 12 to 18 it will probably die. This is due to the re-absorption of immuno-factors by the mother.” (6)

Lactoferrin is known to be a biologically active glycoprotein and helps activate the immune system and benefits intestinal cell health.

Essential Enzymes and human needs:

First, an enzyme is a protein that catalyzes or speeds up a chemical reaction in the body. Enzymes are digestive agents that break down food particles into molecules that can then be absorbed through the intestinal walls and into the bloodstream.

Secondly, enzymes require companions or helper molecules in order to operate. They are called co-factors. A co-factor is a substance that needs to be present with the enzyme for a specific reaction to take place. The term co-factor can refer to either an inorganic molecule that works with enzymes or organic molecules. It should be noted that some enzymes specifically require organic molecules (vitamins) to function correctly, and others require inorganic molecules (minerals) to function correctly. They are both called co-factors because they help carry pieces of molecules to different places in the body via the bloodstream.

If the companion molecule is an organic vitamin, then the companion is called a co-enzyme. The word co-enzyme refers to an organic molecule or a vitamin. A co-enzyme is a functional and necessary part of an enzyme.

Digestive enzymes come from food sources such as sprouts, papaya, pineapples, avocados, bananas, and mangos. Enzymes are manufactured internally in our bodies by the digestive system, which secretes them into the saliva, stomach, pancreas, and intestines.

There are six main divisions or groups of enzymes. Within each class of enzymes, there are many more.

The Six Groups:

  • Hydrolases are needed to break down proteins, carbohydrates, and fat molecules into their simplest forms.
  • Isomerasebreaks down chemical groups within molecules. Note: this enzyme is needed to help attach galactose (a monosaccharide) to the bodily cells,
  • Ligases bring about the unification of two different molecules.
  • Lyasessplit the double bonds between atoms within certain chemical groups.
  • Oxidoreductases facilitate oxidation and reduction within a wide range of biological processes.
  • Transferase, as the name implies, transfer chemical groups from one molecule to another.

What happens if one is deficient in one or more critical enzymes? Alternatively, if the necessary nutritional co-factors are missing, the enzymes cannot assist in the digestive process. On the other hand, the enzyme may be missing the needed co-enzyme. Enzyme deficiency is known to cause heart problems, joint pain, obesity, and many other health problems because of the nutritional loss due to this deficiency. The importance of essential enzyme activity has been seriously overlooked in the field of nutritional science. There are a number of good enzyme supplements available in the marketplace.

Concluding thoughts on dietary supplements and how nutrition is turned into new cells:

The information supplied in this article will help the reader with some directions when trying to answer the question regarding the right supplements and food sources and how much of each particular supplement is needed by the body to feed or supply its necessary nutritional needs.

Unfortunately, there are no easy answers for each individual’s unique requirements. It would be wonderful if there were a nutritional body scanner that could answer this question. The doctor could then tell the individual if one needed extra vitamin B or more amino acids. Short of waiting for this machine to be invented, it seems prudent to adhere to a well-balanced diet consisting of foods as close to their raw state as possible. Maintaining a regime of essential nutrients and a proper exercise program, coupled with plenty of rest, drinking clean water, and breathing clean air will help develop a healthy, active lifestyle.

Again, it needs to be asked, what happens if one is deficient in one or more of the essential monosaccharides, amino acids, vital dietary enzymes, or vitamins, and minerals? Will the glycosylation or other metabolic processes break down if an individual lacks in their unique required nutritional needs?

Unless there are unique factors that require a doctor’s analysis and recommendation, it is vital to take enough of a supplement and take them long enough. Like the ongoing glycosylation process, all cells need vitamins, minerals, amino acids, fatty acids, and enzymes supplied in the diet or by supplementation to live. This is an ongoing, lifelong sustaining process. In other words, the body needs to be nourished.

Nutritional supplements are not drugs. They must be thought of differently. Approaching nutrition like drugs is a mistake. One should not be looking for an overnight quick fix. Nourishing the bodies through proper diet and nutritional supplementation is entirely different. It is a lifestyle or way of life. Eating is necessary to live. It has been said, “We are what we eat.” Therefore, it must be evaluated if our food intake is truly nourishment and not merely empty calories devoid of nutritional content.

Finally, some people ask when they would be able to stop taking a supplement. This question is a tip-off that the individual is approaching a nutritional supplement like a drug. To make a point, what happens if one is deficient in one or more of the essential vitamins and minerals? Beriberi, pellagra, rickets, and scurvy are well known nutritional deficiencies. Suppose one had the symptoms of scurvy (a vitamin C deficiency). It be wise to take a vitamin C supplement until the symptoms disappeared and then stop or make sure that one is continuing to get enough vitamin C through your diet or a supplement for the rest of their life.

In review, one of the ways the structure and function of cells are determined is the nature of nutrition supplied into the body. Nutrition is the raw material that goes into the ongoing creation of new cellular structures. For this process to happen correctly, an individual needs to have vital nutrition in the body. When ingested in the body, nutrition is broken down into micronutrients, which become the building blocks or parts used in the making of the cells in one’s body.

All of the recognized groups of nutrition are vital for improving cellular structure and function by supporting the body’s physiological functions of repair, regeneration, and other immune defense mechanisms. In other words, the body repairs itself, and nutrition provides the molecules necessary to accomplish this. When this happens, these are not drug effects. It is normal physiology. In other words, the biochemistry of the body is being changed nutritionally, and because of this, no claim is being made that nutritional products treat, cure, or mitigate disease. In short, when the body has the correct nutrition supplied, the structure of the new cells will be normal, and they will function correctly.

Nutrition is essential because it supplies critically needed raw material for your body’s metabolism processes. Live a healthy lifestyle, nourish the body with the best foods, and find the best supplements for the body by giving it the tools needed to repair and correct itself! In other words, give the body a fighting chance! Support the immune, endocrine, digestive, and elimination systems of the body and do not let health issues get the upper hand. Be proactive when it comes to health!

The Bible and Nutrition:

“The earth brought forth vegetation, plants yielding seed after their kind, and trees bearing fruit with seed in them, after their kind; and God saw that it was good.” (Genesis 1:12)

“Then God said, ‘Behold, I have given you every plant yielding seed that is on the surface of all the earth, and every tree which has fruit yielding seed; it shall be food for you.’” (Genesis 1:29)

Barnes’ Notes on the Bible explains this passage:

“Every herb bearing seed and tree bearing fruit is granted to man for his sustenance. With our habits it may seem a matter of course that each should at once appropriate what he needs of things at his hand. But in the beginning of existence it could not be so. Of two things proceeding from the same creative hand neither has any original or inherent right to interfere in any way whatever with the other. The absolute right to each lies in the Creator alone. The one, it is true, may need the other to support its life, as fruit is needful to man. And therefore the just Creator cannot make one creature dependent for subsistence on another without granting to it the use of that other. But this is a matter between Creator and creature, not by any means between creature and creature. Hence, it was necessary to the rightful adjustment of things, whenever a rational creature was ushered into the world, that the Creator should give an express permission to that creature to partake of the fruits of the earth. And in harmony with this view we shall hereafter find an exception made to this general grant Genesis 2:17. Thus, we perceive, the necessity of this formal grant of the use of certain creatures to moral and responsible man lies deep in the nature of things. And the sacred writer here hands down to us from the mists of a hoary antiquity the primitive deed of conveyance, which lies at the foundation of the common property of man in the earth, and all that it contains.

The whole vegetable world is assigned to the animals for food. In the terms of the original grant the herb bearing seed and the tree bearing fruit are especially allotted to man, because the grain and the fruit were edible by man without much preparation. As usual in Scripture the chief parts are put for the whole, and accordingly this specification of the ordinary and the obvious covers the general principle that whatever part of the vegetable kingdom is convertible into food by the ingenuity of man is free for his use. It is plain that a vegetable diet alone is expressly conceded to man in this original conveyance, and it is probable that this alone was designed for him in the state in which he was created. But we must bear in mind that he was constituted master of the animal as well as of the vegetable world; and we cannot positively affirm that his dominion did not involve the use of them for food.” (7)

“Every moving thing that is alive shall be food for you; I give all to you, as I gave the green plant.” (Genesis 9:3)

“Then I shall give you rains in their season, so that the land will yield its produce and the trees of the field will bear their fruit.” (Leviticus 26:4)

“You visit the earth and cause it to overflow; you greatly enrich it; the stream of God is full of water; you prepare their grain, for thus you prepare the earth.” (Psalm 65:9)

“He causes the grass to grow for the cattle, and vegetation for the labor of man, So that he may bring forth food from the earth.” (Psalm 104:14)

“My son, eat honey, for it is good, Yes, the honey from the comb is sweet to your taste.” (Proverbs 24:13)

“But as for you, take wheat, barley, beans, lentils, millet and spelt, put them in one vessel and make them into bread for yourself; you shall eat it according to the number of the days that you lie on your side, three hundred and ninety days.” (Ezekiel 4:9)

“For everything created by God is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with gratitude.” (1 Timothy 4:4)         

Wisdom through the ages:

“All that mankind needs for good health and healing is provided by God in nature… the challenge to science is to find it.” – Paracelsus, the father of Pharmacology

“Doctors are men who prescribe medicine of which they know little to cure diseases of which they know less in human beings of which they know nothing.” – Voltaire

“Let your food be your medicine, let your medicine be your food.” – Hippocrates 320 BC

“When diet is wrong, medicine is of no use, when diet is correct, medicine is of no need.” – Ancient Ayurvedic Proverb

“A dietary deficiency cannot be corrected with drugs or anything else, only the missing nutrients.” – Anonymous

In closing:

A healthy diet from optimal food sources is of the utmost importance. Nutritional products are vital for improving cellular structure and function by supporting the physiological functions of repair, regeneration, and other immune defense mechanisms of the body. The body heals itself and nutrition provides the molecules necessary to accomplish this. When this happens, this is not a drug effect, it is normal physiology, in other words, the biochemistry of the body is being changed nutritionally and because of this, no claim is being made that nutritional products treat cure, or mitigate disease.

Mr. Kettler is a Certified Wellness Consultant (DSHEA Certified) (Diplomat in Nutritional Education and Health)

Extended Bio

Mr. Kettler has previously published articles in the Chalcedon Report and Contra Mundum. He and his wife Marea attend the Westminster, CO, RPCNA Church. Mr. Kettler is the author of the book defending the Reformed Faith against attacks, titled: The Religion That Started in a Hat. Available at: THERELIGIONTHATSTARTEDINAHAT.COM

Disclaimer: The information in this article should not be considered a substitute for a doctor’s care or advice.

Notes:

  1. Journal of the American Medical Association, Vitamins for Chronic Disease Prevention in Adults, JAMA 2002; 287:3116
  2. Roger J. Williams, Biochemical Individuality, (New Canaan, Connecticut, Keats Publishing, Reprint 1998) p. 189.
  3. Williams, p. 189.
  4. Ibid, p. 190.
  5. Ibid, p. 184.
  6.  Beth M. Ley, Colostrum & Lactoferrin, (Detroit Lakes, MN, BL Publications, 2000) pp. 45, 46.
  7. Albert Barnes, THE AGES DIGITAL LIBRARYCOMMENTARY, Barnes’ Notes on the Bible, Genesis, Vol. 1. p. 71-72.

This article was originally written in 2005 and now updated in 2020.

Recommended Reading:

Roger J. Williams, Biochemical Individuality, (New Canaan, Connecticut, Keats Publishing Reprint 1998).

Roger J. Williams, The Wonderful World Within You, (Wichita, Kansas, Bio Communications Press, Revised edition republished 1998).

Roger J. Williams, Nutrition Against Disease, (New York, Pitman Publishing Corporation, 1971).

Roger J. Williams, Physicians Handbook Of nutritional Science, (Springfield, Illinois, Thomas Books 1975).

Anthony J. Cichoke, The Complete Book Of Enzyme Therapy, (New York, Avery, 1999).

Robert Ronzio, The Encyclopedia of nutrition and Good Health, (New York. Facts On File Inc., 2003).

Beth M. Ley, Colostrum & Lactoferrin, (Detroit Lakes, MN, BL Publications, 2000).

Lester Packer and Carol Colman, The Antioxidant Miracle, (New York, John Wiley and Sons, Inc., 1999).

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Death and Dying, What Happens at Death?

Death and Dying, What Happens at Death?                                                   By Jack Kettler

What Happens at Death? Death is one of the most certain realities: “it is appointed for men to die once.” (Hebrews 9:27)

There is a discipline called thanatology that started during the 20th Century. Thanatology can be defined as the scientific study of death and the practices associated with it, including the review of the needs of the terminally ill and their families.

Thanatology, as defined, has overlapped with biblical pastoral counseling. Christian colleges offer training and certification in this area. The word thanatology comes from the Greek “thanatos,” which means death. It is good to understand the promises we see in Scripture on death and dying to increase our hope in the final resting place of believers.

Scriptures that are relevant about the death of the saints in the Lord:

God speaking to Moses:

“Then die on the mountain where you ascend, and be gathered to your people, as Aaron your brother died on Mount Hor and was gathered to his people.” (Deuteronomy 32:50 NASB)

What does gathered to his people mean?

From Brown-Driver-Briggs we learn:

“אָסַף200 verb gather, remove (Assyrian asâpu, DlPr 45) —

Qal Perfect אָסַף Genesis 30:23 +; אָסַפְתָּ Psalm 85:4, etc.; Imperfect יֶּאֱסֹף 2 Kings 5:3; יַאַסְפֵנִי Psalm 27:10, etc.; also וַיֹּסֶף 2 Samuel 6:1; 2masculine singular תֹּסֵף Psalm 104:29; 1singular אֹסְפָה Micah 4:6; so probably (suffix) אִֹ˜ספְךָ 1 Samuel 15:6 (read אֹסִפְךָ) see Köi. 382 DrSm; Imperative אֱסֹף Numbers 21:16 + אֶסְפָה Numbers 11:16; 2feminine singular אִסְמִּי Jeremiah 10:17; אִסְפוּ Psalm 50:5 +; Infinitive absolute אָסֹף Jeremiah 8:13 + (Hiph`il, from סוף according to BaNB 73); construct אֱסֹף 2 Kings 5:7 +; אָסְמְּךָ Exodus 23:16; אָסְמְּכֶם Leviticus 23:39; Participle active אֹסֵף Numbers 19:10; אֹסִפְךָ 2 Kings 22:20; 2Chronicles 34:28 (pointed אִֹ˜ספְךָ i.e. Hiph`il; compare Köl.c.); אֹסְפָם Psalm 39:7; passive plural construct אֲסֻפֵי Ezekiel 34:29;

1 gather, collect (a) persons Genesis 29:22; Genesis 42:17 (followed by אֶלֿ) Exodus 3:16; Exodus 4:29; Numbers 11:16,24; Numbers 21:16; Joshua 2:18 (followed by אֶלֿ + הֿ locative) Joshua 24:1 (followed by הֿ locative; all these J E); 1 Samuel 5:8,11; 2 Kings 23:1 (followed by אֶלֿ) Joshua 2:16; Isaiah 11:12; Zephaniah 3:8; Habakkuk 2:5; Ezekiel 11:17 (all “” קבץ) +; collect men, people, armies, etc., for fighting Numbers 21:23 (E) Judges 11:20; 1 Samuel 17:1; 2 Samuel 10:17; 2 Samuel 12:29 +; compare Zechariah 14:2 (followed by עַלֿ against); (b) once object beasts Jeremiah 12:9; (c) things, especially fruits ofearth Exodus 23:10,16 (Cov’t code) Leviticus 25:3,20,39 (H) Deuteronomy 11:14; Deuteronomy 16:13; Deuteronomy 28:38; Isaiah 17:5; Jeremiah 40:10,12; Job 39:12; Psalm 39:7; compare Ruth 2:7 (“” לקט glean); the quails Numbers 11:32 (twice in verse); food in General (מַאֲכָל) Genesis 6:21 (followed by אֶלֿ); eggs Isaiah 10:14; money 2 Kings 22:4; 2Chronicles 24:11; ashes of red heifer Numbers 19:9,10; chariots 1 Kings 10:26; 2Chronicles 1:14, etc.; of fisherman (בְּמִכְמַרְתּוֺ, in metaphor) Habakkuk 1:15; of collecting wind Proverbs 30:4 מִי רֿוּחַ בְּחָפְנָיו׳א.

2 gather an individual into company of others: (a) object person especially gather to one’s father 2 Kings 22:20 (עַלאֲֿבֹתֶיךָ) = 2 Chronicles 34:28 (אֶלֿ; both “” Niph`al of same verb q. v. ); hence also (b) bring, object person 1 Samuel 14:52 (on form here see Dr) 2 Samuel 11:27 (both followed by אֶלֿ), association, responsibility, protection being implied; also of stray ox or sheep Deuteronomy 22:2 (followed by אֶלתּֿוֺח); hence also (c) take up, care for, subject ׳י Psalm 27:10 (compare perhaps Isaiah 40:11 קבץ); (d) draw up the feet upon the bed (אֶלֿ) Genesis 49:33.” (1)

As the lexicon notes, “gather an individual into the company of others.” Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and Moses all were gathered to their people. Who are their people? God called Abraham or (Abram) out of Ur of the Chaldees, see Genesis 11:27-12:9. In Abraham’s case, many or all of his relatives were pagans. God called Abraham out of Ur and set him apart from his bloodline relatives. Were his bloodline relatives “his people” that he “was gathered to” that is referred to in the Deuteronomy passage? The answer must be no to this question. Whom was Moses gathered to?  

The people Moses were gathered to must be the redeemed saints in the Old Testament that are now with the Lord in Heaven. Moses died on Mount Nebo. The relatives of Moses people did not die there. In the case of Aaron, he died on Mount Hor. Moses and Aaron died on two different mountains. So, gathered to his people cannot mean the physical grave. There are too many graves in different locations. Therefore, both Moses and Aaron were gathered to their people, the saints, in heaven.

In Gill’s Exposition of the Entire Bible in Deuteronomy 32:50, we see why this gathering place must be heaven:

“And die in the mount whither thou goest up, … Immediately after having taken a view of the land, expect to die, prepare for it, and willingly and cheerfully submit to it:

and be gathered unto thy people; to the spirits of just men made perfect in heaven, his more immediate and more remote ancestors, the souls of good men; for otherwise there were none that died, and were buried here, before him, and therefore can have no respect to the burying place of his people.” (2)

Gill makes the case that this gathering place must be heaven since both Moses and Aaron were buried in two different mountains.

What about Abraham’s Bosom? Can this explain, “Gathered unto thy people”?

As a necessary aside from the International Standard Bible Encyclopedia:

“ABRAHAM’S BOSOM

booz’-um (kolpos Abraam; kolpoi Abraam):

Figurative. The expression occurs in Luke 16:22, 23, in the parable of the Rich Man and Lazarus, to denote the place of repose to which Lazarus was carried after his death. The figure is suggested by the practice of the guest at a feast reclining on the breast of his neighbor. Thus, John leaned on the breast of Jesus at supper (John 21:20). The rabbis divided the state after death (Sheol) into a place for the righteous and a place for the wicked (see ESCHATOLOGY OF THE OLD TESTAMENT; SHEOL), but it is doubtful whether the figure of Jesus quite corresponds with this idea. “Abraham’s bosom” is not spoken of as in “Hades,” but rather as distinguished from it (Luke 16:23)–a place of blessedness by itself. There Abraham receives, as at a feast, the truly faithful, and admits them to closest intimacy. It may be regarded as equivalent to the “Paradise” of Luke 23:43. James Orr” (3)

Abraham’s Bosom must be understood figuratively. Jesus’ use of the term was intended to convey comfort just like his Words to the thief on the cross about “Paradise.” Therefore, “Abraham’s Bosom” and “Paradise” must be equivalents.

Going on in the survey of passages about the death of the saints:

“Who can count the dust of Jacob or number the fourth part of Israel? Let me die the death of the upright, and let my end be like his!” (Numbers 23:10 ESV)

According to this passage in Numbers, the death of the upright is to be desired. Interesting, this prophecy about Israel is confirmed by Balaam who is speaking.

As John Gill notes regarding this passage about the death of the upright:

“‘the death of the true ones,’

who are truly righteous and upright, truly gracious persons; who have the truth of grace, and the root of the matter in them: these die as well as others, yet their death is different from others, not in the thing itself, but in the concomitants and consequences of it; they die in the Lord, in union to him, in faith of him, in hope of eternal life by him, and their death is precious to him; and in consequence of this they are carried by angels to glory at death are immediately in heaven with Christ, and it will be well with them to all eternity. Balaam had some notion of this; and though he did not care to live the life of such, he wished to die their death, or that he might be as happy at death as they; by which he bears a testimony to the immortality of the soul, to a future state after death, and to an eternal life and happiness to be enjoyed by good men.” (4)

“Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.” (Psalm 23:4 ESV)

Because God is with us in the valley of the shadow of death, we do not have to fear.

“For this God is our God forever and ever: he will be our guide even unto death.” (Psalm 48:14 KJV)

Gill’s Exposition of the Entire Bible on Psalm 48:14 is edifying:

“For this God is our God for ever and ever, Who is spoken of throughout the whole psalm as greatly to be praised, as well as is known in Zion, as the stability, security, and protection of her. This is said as pointing unto him as if visible, as Christ is God manifest in the flesh, now in Gospel times, to which this psalm belongs; as distinguishing him from all others, from the gods of the Gentiles, rejected by the people of God; as claiming an interest in him as their covenant God; as exulting in the view of such relation to him; as suggesting how happy they were on this account; and especially since this relation will always continue, being founded in an everlasting covenant, and arising from the unchangeable love of God;

he will be our guide, even unto death; the Lord orders the steps of the righteous, holds them by the right hand, and guides them with his counsel and in judgment: Christ, the great Shepherd of the flock, feeds them, as the antitype of David, according to the integrity of his heart, and guides them by the skilfulness of his hands; he guides their feet in the ways of peace, life, and salvation, by himself; he leads them into green pastures, beside the still waters, and unto fountains of living waters: the Spirit of the Lord leads them to the fulness of Christ; guides them into all truth, as it is in him; directs them into his and his Father’s love, and leads them on to the land of uprightness. And this guide is an everlasting one; “even unto death”, or “in death”, or “above death” (k); so as not to be hurt of the second death. He guides not only to the brink of Jordan’s river, but through the deep waters of it, and never leaves till he has landed them safe on the shores of eternity: and some, as Aben Ezra, render the word as if it was “for ever”; and others, as Abendana observes, render it “secretly”; the Lord sometimes leading his people in ways dark and hidden to them: and others give the sense of it, “as in the days of youth”; that is, God is the guide of his people in old age as in youth; he is always their guide, and ever will be: to which sense incline R. Moses in Aben Ezra, others in Kimchi and Abendana, and as also Jarchi and the Chaldee paraphrase; but Kimchi and Ben Melech render it as we do, “unto death”, or “unto our death”.” (5)

This comforting promise from Psalm 48 is personal to us when Gill says; “unto our death” God will be our guide.

The Psalmist continues:

“Precious in the sight of the LORD Is the death of His saints.” (Psalm 116:15 KJV)

“A good name is better than precious ointment, and the day of death than the day of one’s birth.” (Ecclesiastes 7:1 KJV)

Entering into the New Testament, we read:

“Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.” (Matthew 5:4 ESV)

Mourning is part of a grieving process for our loved ones who die. Comfort shall come!

“And Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, to day shalt thou be with me in paradise.” (Luke 23:43 KJV)  

These words of comfort to the repentant thief bring comfort to all the faithful.

“Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die. Believest thou this?” (John 11:25-26 KJV)

“For if we live, we live to the Lord, and if we die, we die to the Lord. So then, whether we live or whether we die, we are the Lord’s.” (Romans 14:8 ESV)

As Paul notes, if we die, “we are the Lord’s.” As we see in the next passage from 2Corinthians, if we die, we are at home with the Lord.

“Yes, we are of good courage, and we would rather be away from the body and at home with the Lord.” (2Corinthians 5:8 ESV)

Barnes’ Notes on the Bible captures this great hope of Christians perfectly:

“We are confident – 2Corinthians 5:6. We are cheerful, and courageous, and ready to bear our trial. Tyndale renders it: “we are of good comfort.”

And willing rather to be absent from the body – We would prefer to die. The same idea occurs in Philippians 1:23. “Having a desire to depart and to be with Christ; which is far better.” The sense is that Paul would have preferred to die, and to go to heaven; rather than to remain in a world of sin and trial.

To be present with the Lord – The Lord Jesus; see the note on Acts 1:24; compare Philippians 1:23. The idea of Paul is, that the Lord Jesus would constitute the main glory of heaven, and that to be with him was equivalent to being in a place of perfect bliss. He had no idea of any heaven where the Lord Jesus was not; and to be with him was to be in heaven. That world where the Redeemer is, is heaven. This also proves that the spirits of the saints, when they depart, are with the Redeemer; that is, are at once taken to heaven. It demonstrates:

(1) That they are not annihilated.

(2) that they do not sleep, and remain in an unconscious state, as Dr. Priestley supposes.

(3) that they are not in some intermediate state, either in a state of purgatory, as the Papists suppose, or a state where all the souls of the just and the unjust are assembled in a common abode, as many Protestants have supposed; but,

(4) That they dwell with Christ; they are with the Lord (πρὸς τὸν Κυρίον pros ton Kurion). They abide in his presence; they partake of his joy and his glory; they are permitted to sit with him in his throne; Revelation 3:21.

The same idea the Saviour expressed to the dying thief, when he said, “today shalt thou be with me in paradise;” Luke 23:43.” (6)

“For the hope which is laid up for you in heaven, whereof ye heard before in the word of the truth of the gospel.” (Colossians 1:5 KJV)

Keeping our eyes fixed upon heaven decreases our attachment to things of this earth.

“But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope. For if, we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him.” (1Thessalonians 4:13-14 KJV)

Paul gives encouragement to those whose loved ones have already passed.

“And I heard a voice from heaven saying, “Write this: Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on.” “Blessed indeed,” says the Spirit, “that they may rest from their labors, for their deeds follow them!” (Revelation 14:13 ESV)

“He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.” (Revelation 21:4 ESV)

The following sermon from Spurgeon is a fitting close of this brief study.

Death is at Christ’s Disposal by C. H. Spurgeon:

“All the issues of death are at Christ’s disposal. No man can die unless Jesus opens the mystic door of death. It is our consolation that our death is entirely in his hands. In the midst of fever and pestilence, we shall never die until he wills it.

In the times of the greatest healthiness, when all the air is balmy, we shall not live a second longer than Jesus has purposed; the place, the circumstance, the exact second of our departure, have all been appointed by him, and settled long ago in love and wisdom.

A thousand angels could not hurl us to the grave, nor could a host of cherubim confine us there one moment after Jesus says, “Arise.”

This is our comfort. We are “immortal until our work is done;” mortal still, but immortal also.

Let us never fear death, then, but rather rejoice at the approach of it, since it comes at our dear Bridegroom’s bidding!

Christ has the key of death, and therefore death to us is no longer a gate of terror.

“Fear not” may be specially applied to the matter of the grave. We need not fear to die, because Jesus has the key of the grave. We shall never pass through that iron gate with an angel to be our conductor, or some grim executioner to lead us into a dreary place of hideous imprisonment. No, Jesus shall come to our dying bed, in all the glory of his supernal splendor, and shall say, “Come with me my spouse, for the day breaks, and the shadows flee away.”

The sight of Jesus, as he thrusts in the key and opens that gate of death, shall make you forget the supposed terrors of the grave, for they are but suppositions, and you shall find it sweet to die.

Since Jesus has the sepulcher’s key, never fear it again, never fear it again.

Depend upon it; your dying hour will be the best hour you have ever known! Your last moment will be your richest moment, better than the day of your birth will be the day of your death.

It shall be the beginning of heaven, the rising of a sun that shall go no more down forever!

Let the fear of death be banished from you by faith in a living Savior.

“I have the keys of hell and of death.”

Excerpt from Christ with the Keys of Death and Hell by C. H. Spurgeon” (7)

In closing:

From the above Scriptural passages, we see what blessings awaiting the believer when passing from death to life:

·         An end of suffering – Matthew 5:4; Revelation 21:4

·         The hope of heaven – Colossians 1:5

·         Being reunited with the saints – Deuteronomy 32:50

“To God, only wise, be glory through Jesus Christ forever. Amen.” (Romans 16:27) And “heirs according to the promise.” (Galatians 3:28, 29)

Notes:

1.      Brown-Driver-Briggs, Hebrew-English Lexicon, Peabody, Massachusetts, Hendrickson Publishers, 1979), p. 62-63.

2.      John Gill, Exposition of the Old and New Testaments, Psalms, (Grace Works, Multi-Media Labs), 2011, p. 535.

3.      Orr, James, M.A., D.D. General Editor, Entry for “Abraham’s Bosom,” International Standard Bible Encyclopedia, (Grand Rapids, Michigan, Eerdmans, reprinted 1986), p. 22.

4.      John Gill, Exposition of the Old and New Testaments, Numbers, (Grace Works, Multi-Media Labs), 2011, p. 345.

5.      John Gill, Exposition of the Old and New Testaments, Deuteronomy, (Grace Works, Multi-Media Labs), 2011, p. 466.  

6.      Albert Barnes, THE AGES DIGITAL LIBRARYCOMMENTARY, Barnes’ Notes on the Bible, 2Corinthians, Vol. 2 p. 2976-2977.

7.      Excerpt from Christ with the Keys of Death and Hell by C. H. Spurgeon

Mr. Kettler has previously published articles in the Chalcedon Report and Contra Mundum. He and his wife Marea attend the Westminster, CO, RPCNA Church. Mr. Kettler is the author of the book defending the Reformed Faith against attacks, titled: The Religion That Started in a Hat. Available at: THERELIGIONTHATSTARTEDINAHAT.COM

For More Study:

Final Gifts: Understanding the Special Awareness, Needs, and Communications of the Dying Available at Amazon.com

 About the book Final Gifts:

 In this moving and compassionate classic – now updated with new material from the authors -hospice Nurses Maggie Callanan and Patricia Kelley share their intimate experiences with patients at the end of life, drawn from more than twenty years’ experience tending the terminally ill.

 What to learn when reading this book?  “My mother was nearing the end of a nearly 7-year battle with advanced breast cancer, when I found this wonderful book. Thank God I’m a fast reader, as her condition deteriorated rapidly, and she became bedridden and practically non-communicative within two days of the book’s arrival. Although her body seemed ready for death, something seemed to be holding her back, causing her to become agitated. Using the clues in the book, I realized that she was waiting for my father to say good bye and to tell her he’d be okay. Once I convinced him to do this, she passed peacefully about six hours later, surrounded by those she loved.” Anonymous

There are many stories like this in the book that help the relatives of loved ones who are close to death understand their loved one’s physical actions or verbal communications.

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