Colonize Outer Space

The phenomenal rise of men in technological advancement has propelled mankind to the edge of outer space. Exploration of outer space has become the norms these days.

Seven years ago, Professor Stephen Hawking insisted that mankind must move to outer space within a century or face extinction. It is understandable such thoughts are motivated for the survival of mankind.

Stephen Hawking: Mankind Must Move to Outer Space within a Century

Two years ago, an article appeared on the Science ABC site giving several reasons justifying the need to colonize outer space.

Are Humans Trying to Colonize Outer Space?

In fact, discussions on colonizing outer space has gone on for many years. Many articles relating to this issue are found on the NASA website.

Space Settlements

Tango III : A Space Settlement Design

Last year, according to Future Travel Today, several reasons were put forth why we must colonize outer space.

Why We Must Colonize Space

In March this year, the Smithsonian Magazine published an article discussing the issues of colonizing other planets and who should be in charge.

When Humans Begin Colonizing Other Planets, Who Should Be in Charge?

Man’s desire to colonize outer space is inevitable. This is especially so with the recent crisis on weapons of mass destruction whether originating in Iran in the Middle East or the threat posed by the North Korean Regime indicating nuclear war with the US is imminent. There is no lack for such aspiration even without man threatening to kill one another into extinction.

However, the Holy Bible does have something to say about outer space beyond the reach of human abode for centuries. In the very beginning of God’s revelation with regards to the creation of this present heavens and earth, outer space has been indicated as a domain that the Lord did not give a pass during the six days of creation. Continue reading Colonize Outer Space

Corruption in High Places

Corruption exists everywhere from the most insignificant peasant trying to eke out a living to big industry players trying to buy favour to win lucrative contracts. But when corruption occurs in high places, in particular in the realm of religions, it damns the whole society and nation of people. The sinister nature of such corruption cannot be understated as the tentacles of their seductive and evil influence to collude with the powers that be will doom the people to unspeakable bondage and misery. The Holy Bible is littered with details of corruptive practices of religious professionals and the God of the Bible condemns their evil ways in no uncertain terms.

Matthew 21:23: And when he was come into the temple, the chief priests and the elders of the people came unto him as he was teaching, and said, By what authority doest thou these things? and who gave thee this authority?

The Lord Jesus Christ attracted a large following and did many miracles during His earthly ministry. His fame also united His enemies to challenge Him on every front seeking occasions to destroy Him. One such incidents occurred at the temple in Jerusalem where the Lord was teaching His followers.

While the Lord had been ministering all over the country, this time the war was brought to the turf of the religious authorities of the day. Thus, the Lord was confronted and challenged with regards to His authority for doing His work at the temple in Jerusalem. After all, the Lord was just a humble carpenter and wasn’t schooled under the tutelage of the esteemed religious professionals of the day.

Hence, this challenge to His credentials and certifications was necessary to demolish the good works done by the Lord. However, the crowds of followers needed no such qualifications from the Lord who taught them, led them, fed them, performed miracles to solve their earthly problems with healings and casting out devils where the religious authorities had no answer for such great work under the sun. They envied the Lord for commanding such respect and adulation and the war was now happening at the very seat of their power.

So this contest for supremacy at the temple was reaching a crescendo. In fact this wasn’t the first confrontation at the temple. A day before, the Lord caused a sensational incident at the temple when He overturned tables and chased the merchants out of the temple. The temple authorities dared not react to that incident.

Matthew 21:12: And Jesus went into the temple of God, and cast out all them that sold and bought in the temple, and overthrew the tables of the moneychangers, and the seats of them that sold doves,

Matthew 21:13: And said unto them, It is written, My house shall be called the house of prayer; but ye have made it a den of thieves.

Matthew 21:14: And the blind and the lame came to him in the temple; and he healed them.

Matthew 21:15: And when the chief priests and scribes saw the wonderful things that he did, and the children crying in the temple, and saying, Hosanna to the Son of David; they were sore displeased,

Matthew 21:16: And said unto him, Hearest thou what these say? And Jesus saith unto them, Yea; have ye never read, Out of the mouth of babes and sucklings thou hast perfected praise?

Matthew 21:17: And he left them, and went out of the city into Bethany; and he lodged there.

Why didn’t the religious officials challenge those merchants doing business at the temple? Who gave them the authority to conduct business at the temple? Since when Moses instituted business venture as part of worship at the temple? Did those in authority get a cut of the profit from those merchants? Rental income could be pretty attractive with such high human traffic. If there were no corruption and collusion between the authorities and those business people, the Lord wouldn’t have accused them for turning the temple into a den of thieves. The custodians of the temple were corrupt! Continue reading Corruption in High Places

Prophet Elisha Cursing and Killing Little Children

2 Kings 2:23: And he went up from thence unto Bethel: and as he was going up by the way, there came forth little children out of the city, and mocked him, and said unto him, Go up, thou bald head; go up, thou bald head.

2 Kings 2:24: And he turned back, and looked on them, and cursed them in the name of the LORD. And there came forth two she bears out of the wood, and tare forty and two children of them.

This episode on the prophet Elisha cursing the forty-two children contributing to their eventual death is a subject of much controversy in the Bible. Moreover, these victims were not just children but little children as recorded in the Bible. Just because these little children mocked him and he reacted in such a harsh manner is a little too much to stomach for our modern day society.

So Bible critics and God haters have a field day mocking God and the Christian faith for this piece of history concerning prophet Elisha. Hence they conclude the God of love in the Bible in fact is a cruel God not deserving our worship and adoration.

Christians also seek to explain away clumsily concerning these children who may not be little children with the help of the modern perverse bibles.

New International Version
23 From there Elisha went up to Bethel. As he was walking along the road, some boys came out of the town and jeered at him. “Get out of here, baldy!” they said. “Get out of here, baldy!” 24 He turned around, looked at them and called down a curse on them in the name of the Lord. Then two bears came out of the woods and mauled forty-two of the boys.

New American Standard Bible
23 Then he went up from there to Bethel; and as he was going up by the way, young lads came out from the city and mocked him and said to him, “Go up, you baldhead; go up, you baldhead!” 24 When he looked behind him and saw them, he cursed them in the name of the Lord. Then two female bears came out of the woods and tore up forty-two lads of their number.

International Standard Version
23 Later, Elisha[y] left there to go up to Bethel, and as he was traveling along the road, some insignificant young men came from the city and started mocking him. They told him, “Get on up, baldy! Get on up, baldy!” 24 He looked behind him, took note of the young men, and cursed them in the name of the Lord. Suddenly two female bears emerged from the woods and mauled 42 of the young men.

New King James Version
23 Then he went up from there to Bethel; and as he was going up the road, some youths came from the city and mocked him, and said to him, “Go up, you baldhead! Go up, you baldhead!”24 So he turned around and looked at them, and pronounced a curse on them in the name of the Lord. And two female bears came out of the woods and mauled forty-two of the youths.

Those little children from the passage in the King James Bible are conspicuously missing in the modern perversions of the Scriptures. Even the New King James Version changed little children into youths.

The little children have been replaced with older kids so that this might some how make them more culpable and accountable for their offence. Perhaps this should make the death of these young mockers more palatable to the modern crowd of Bible critics and God haters.

This is clearly a clumsy way of justifying prophet Elisha’s curse. How then should Bible believers respond to such false charges?

Everyone seems to focus the attention on the little children as victims and no one cares about the nature of the offence. So what if someone mocks a person for being bald? Is he so thin skin and has to get himself into a murderous rage?

Today bald men could seek treatment to manage this unhappy and socially awkward condition even though it does pinch on the wallet significantly. So there is no just cause to cause the death of those poor little children. The fault lies with prophet Elisha and not those little children who mocked him. This is the humanistic way of approaching the Holy Bible.

However, what modern people view as bald has a very different meaning altogether during the times in the Old Testament for the children of Israel. Being bald and making oneself bald is a sign of God’s curse and judgment as well as death and mourning. It is no laughing matter.

Jeremiah 16:5: For thus saith the LORD, Enter not into the house of mourning, neither go to lament nor bemoan them: for I have taken away my peace from this people, saith the LORD, even lovingkindness and mercies.

Jeremiah 16:6: Both the great and the small shall die in this land: they shall not be buried, neither shall men lament for them, nor cut themselves, nor make themselves bald for them:

Jeremiah 16:7: Neither shall men tear themselves for them in mourning, to comfort them for the dead; neither shall men give them the cup of consolation to drink for their father or for their mother.

Ezekiel 27:30: And shall cause their voice to be heard against thee, and shall cry bitterly, and shall cast up dust upon their heads, they shall wallow themselves in the ashes:

Ezekiel 27:31: And they shall make themselves utterly bald for thee, and gird them with sackcloth, and they shall weep for thee with bitterness of heart and bitter wailing.

In addition, shaving bald is connected with contracting leprosy, a form of judgment from God.

Leviticus 14:8: And he that is to be cleansed shall wash his clothes, and shave off all his hair, and wash himself in water, that he may be clean: and after that he shall come into the camp, and shall tarry abroad out of his tent seven days.

Leviticus 14:9: But it shall be on the seventh day, that he shall shave all his hair off his head and his beard and his eyebrows, even all his hair he shall shave off: and he shall wash his clothes, also he shall wash his flesh in water, and he shall be clean.

Moreover, the priests are not allowed to shave their head bald.

Leviticus 21:5: They shall not make baldness upon their head, neither shall they shave off the corner of their beard, nor make any cuttings in their flesh.

Even in the New Testament, shaving of heads is part of the cleansing rituals where the apostle Paul participated as well.

Acts 21:24: Them take, and purify thyself with them, and be at charges with them, that they may shave their heads: and all may know that those things, whereof they were informed concerning thee, are nothing; but that thou thyself also walkest orderly, and keepest the law.

So mocking someone concerning his bald head is not funny at all. Such accusatory remarks suggesting the person to be unclean is insulting to say the least. What more Elisha the prophet who was greatly used by the Lord during his time!

Since these little children mocked the prophet whether intentionally or not alluding to God’s judgment and mourning for him, they got what they asked for even without knowing the significance of a bald head.

Even though balding is natural and common, the meaning behind and the mockery with regards to balding cannot be understated. Their parents had failed them if these children were ignorant of this fact!

Is Elisha a child hater? Far from it!

When the elderly couple who did him good, he repaid them by praying for them to have a child. Subsequently, the child died. He did his best and restored the child back to life to the mother.

2 Kings 4:30: And the mother of the child said, As the LORD liveth, and as thy soul liveth, I will not leave thee. And he arose, and followed her.

2 Kings 4:31: And Gehazi passed on before them, and laid the staff upon the face of the child; but there was neither voice, nor hearing. Wherefore he went again to meet him, and told him, saying, The child is not awaked.

2 Kings 4:32: And when Elisha was come into the house, behold, the child was dead, and laid upon his bed.

2 Kings 4:33: He went in therefore, and shut the door upon them twain, and prayed unto the LORD.

2 Kings 4:34: And he went up, and lay upon the child, and put his mouth upon his mouth, and his eyes upon his eyes, and his hands upon his hands: and he stretched himself upon the child; and the flesh of the child waxed warm.

2 Kings 4:35: Then he returned, and walked in the house to and fro; and went up, and stretched himself upon him: and the child sneezed seven times, and the child opened his eyes.

2 Kings 4:36: And he called Gehazi, and said, Call this Shunammite. So he called her. And when she was come in unto him, he said, Take up thy son.

Clearly to condemn prophet Elisha for being harsh and cruel is unwarranted. At first glance, those little children may seem to have innocently and playfully mocked Elisha.

Unfortunately, Elisha was no ordinary man on earth. He was God’s prophet and God looked upon such mockery on sin with impending judgment and will not let it pass because God has expressly forbidden anyone from doing His prophets any harm. They were kids when they mocked God’s prophet, imagine what they might do when they grew up!

1 Chronicles 16:22: Saying, Touch not mine anointed, and do my prophets no harm.

Psalms 105:15: Saying, Touch not mine anointed, and do my prophets no harm.

Those little children dying prematurely may be tragic but they were not alone. God from time to time terminated lives of little children when the situation warranted such a call.

King David who committed adultery had his little child taken away from him.

2 Samuel 12:13: And David said unto Nathan, I have sinned against the LORD. And Nathan said unto David, The LORD also hath put away thy sin; thou shalt not die.

2 Samuel 12:14: Howbeit, because by this deed thou hast given great occasion to the enemies of the LORD to blaspheme, the child also that is born unto thee shall surely die.

2 Samuel 12:15: And Nathan departed unto his house. And the LORD struck the child that Uriah’s wife bare unto David, and it was very sick.

2 Samuel 12:16: David therefore besought God for the child; and David fasted, and went in, and lay all night upon the earth.

It was king David who had sinned and what had this poor child done?

Nothing! Just that he should not be allowed to live because this child would grow up to bear his father’s reproach and become a constant snarl and mockery to everyone reminding them of king David’s sin.

Will he be acceptable to the rest of the king’s sons, his brethren? Definitely not.

Even one of the sons of Jacob had trouble being accepted by his brethren and Moses before he died prayed for him.

Deuteronomy 33:24: And of Asher he said, Let Asher be blessed with children; let him be acceptable to his brethren, and let him dip his foot in oil.

What did Asher do to cause such misgivings with the rest of the brethren? Just because he was the youngest son of Zilpah, Leah’s maid and hence lower status with the rest of the brethren? Or was it because Leah named him Asher which means happy and this caused resentment?

Imagine the trouble the son of king David born out of adultery was allowed to live and grow up. The troubles he had to deal with would be so horrible and immense beyond imagination.

So God’s termination of his young life was an act of mercy even though it was a judgment upon king David causing him pains and grief. But king David’s attitude was one of optimistic and prayerful worship trusting God’s plan on this matter. He was looking forward to meeting this young child in the life after and it was not a hopeless eternal separation.

2 Samuel 12:22: And he said, While the child was yet alive, I fasted and wept: for I said, Who can tell whether GOD will be gracious to me, that the child may live?

2 Samuel 12:23: But now he is dead, wherefore should I fast? can I bring him back again? I shall go to him, but he shall not return to me.

Another young child taken away was the son of the wicked king Jeroboam who caused Israel to sin. The Lord allowed this child to die and be buried because he was the only one God found good in him from Jeroboam’s lineage. The rest of them were allowed to live and grow up to face condemnation and judgment.

1 Kings 14:13: And all Israel shall mourn for him, and bury him: for he only of Jeroboam shall come to the grave, because in him there is found some good thing toward the LORD God of Israel in the house of Jeroboam.

Children are not always innocent. They can be little rascals and devils who will misbehave badly if they don’t get their ways. They can be up to no good and a pain to deal with as Job had found and complained during his trials and tribulation.

Job 19:18: Yea, young children despised me; I arose, and they spake against me.

This sounds very much like the mocking Elisha received at the hands of those little children.

Even the Lord got so upset with the nation of Israel, including their children.

Isaiah 30:9: That this is a rebellious people, lying children, children that will not hear the law of the LORD:

Looking at the tragic death of little children and accusing the God of the Holy Bible as an unjust and cruel tyrant is completely wrong. Those little children Elisha cursed and died were not entirely innocent.

Little children are capable of mischief. The recent death of a two-year old girl was partly caused by two very young children playing a prank on the toddler.

Kids’ Prank Causing Death to Toddler

It is painful and heartbreaking to watch the CCTV of these little children and the innocent toddler before her demise. Her death was tragic and a serious reminder to parents to watch over their children and teach them because of inherent folly in children.

Proverb:22:15: Foolishness is bound in the heart of a child; but the rod of correction shall drive it far from him.

Proverb 23:13: Withhold not correction from the child: for if thou beatest him with the rod, he shall not die.

Proverb 23:14: Thou shalt beat him with the rod, and shalt deliver his soul from hell.

Those who refuse to take on their parental responsibility seriously are actual hater of their own children and such parental neglect could cause the death of their children.

Proverb 13:24 He that spareth his rod hateth his son: but he that loveth him chasteneth him betimes.

While folly is found in children because they lack understanding, they also bear no malice.

1 Corinthians 14:20: Brethren, be not children in understanding: howbeit in malice be ye children, but in understanding be men.

As such, as far as accountability is concerned, they are not liable for their folly as everyone is born dead in trespasses and sins.

Romans 5:13: (For until the law sin was in the world: but sin is not imputed when there is no law.

Romans 4:8: Blessed is the man to whom the Lord will not impute sin.

Those who think they have finally found a passage in the Bible that gives them an excuse to reject God’s Son for their salvation, they are indeed ignorant and their compassion misplaced. These liberal minded God haters will have no qualms murdering unborn children and yet they wish to appear compassionate and concern about the welfare of little children. Hypocrisy is fine art to these hypocrites and Bible critics.

Why they will not give God the benefit of the doubt when they cannot understand the Scriptures? Because they have no light in them.

Foolish Christians are also ignorant of the Scriptures when they do not study the Holy Bible diligently. They take a humanistic approach and think they can help God out by changing the Scriptures to suit the narratives of the unsaved bleeding heart liberals hell-bound in finding excuses to reject the Bible and the all merciful God who offers them salvation in Christ.

So what happened to those forty-two little children who perished after mocking prophet Elisha? Can’t this be another act of God’s mercy to prevent them from eternal burning should they be allowed to grow up? If they deserved eternal damnation, God is of course just to mete out accordingly.

So far from Scriptures, God has mercifully terminated the lives of little ones from growing up to face eternal damnation. Those little children who are innocent where God will not impute sin will have a future in the life after, albeit ignorantly get into trouble in a moment of folly.

Yonder years ago Abraham asked God who was about to destroy those reprobate wicked sinners in Sodom and Gomorrah whether as a Judge of all the earth He would do right.

Genesis 18:25: That be far from thee to do after this manner, to slay the righteous with the wicked: and that the righteous should be as the wicked, that be far from thee: Shall not the Judge of all the earth do right?

The destruction of the two cities was history. All those little ones and little children were burnt to ashes together with those sinners worthy of death. Will they be held accountable with those hell-bound sinners? Will not the Judge of all the earth do right?

You bet He would. He would do right for those little children who died with those sinners in Sodom and Gomorrah as well as the forty-two children who were torn by the bears during that sorry episode of folly.

Trying to put on a credible defence of the Bible on this event using the ways of the world will do no good. The enemies of the Lord are humanist at heart and Christians would do well to avoid them. Give God the benefit of the doubt that the God of the Bible will not be unjust. Moreover, the Lord Jesus Christ loves little children.

Matthew 19:14: But Jesus said, Suffer little children, and forbid them not, to come unto me: for of such is the kingdom of heaven.

Mark 10:14: But when Jesus saw it, he was much displeased, and said unto them, Suffer the little children to come unto me, and forbid them not: for of such is the kingdom of God.

Luke 18:16: But Jesus called them unto him, and said, Suffer little children to come unto me, and forbid them not: for of such is the kingdom of God.

No child in this world is neglected from above even though parents may be guilty of neglect in raising their child in this world.

Matthew 18:10: Take heed that ye despise not one of these little ones; for I say unto you, That in heaven their angels do always behold the face of my Father which is in heaven.

Psalms 103:17: But the mercy of the LORD is from everlasting to everlasting upon them that fear him, and his righteousness unto children’s children;


The Knowledge of Good and Evil

Daniel 12:4: But thou, O Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book, even to the time of the end: many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall be increased.

In today’s world, the quest for knowledge has fallen into line according to the revelation written in the last chapter of the prophetic book of Daniel. Knowledge shall be increased and indeed has increased exponentially in our days. But this quest for knowledge where many country’s economy has geared towards knowledge based and in anticipation and preparation for the dawning of artificial intelligence to become part of our reality in this present world, is not to be confused with the primary desire that caused the fall of man in the Garden of Eden.

It was the quest for the knowledge of good and evil that resulted in our sad and sorry state today. The knowledge of good and evil was one of the very first instructions communicated to Adam that he was expressly forbidden to partake.

Genesis 2:9: And out of the ground made the LORD God to grow every tree that is pleasant to the sight, and good for food; the tree of life also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of knowledge of good and evil.

Genesis 2:17: But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.

The fall of man is history. The knowledge of good and evil has become a present reality in this world. No one can turn back the clock to avoid this pervasive and condemning repercussion of the knowledge of good and evil.

Genesis 3:5: For 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.

Genesis 3:22: And the LORD God said, Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil: and now, lest he put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live for ever:

Not having acquired the knowledge of good and evil is in fact a blessing. Remaining in innocence will spare one from responsibility of wrong doing. Acquiring the knowledge of good and evil via transgression of God’s law results in damnation. Hence acquiring eternal life by means of the tree of life under this fallen condition has to be forbidden. It is tragic that the tree of life that gives life becomes a forbidden tree.

When the children of Israel refused to obey God’s commandment to enter the promised land giving excuses their children could be come prey during the war, these children who had no knowledge of good and evil were spared and they inherited the promise of entering Canaan Land.

Deuteronomy 1:39: Moreover your little ones, which ye said should be a prey, and your children, which in that day had no knowledge between good and evil, they shall go in thither, and unto them will I give it, and they shall possess it.

So without the knowledge of good and evil can be a good thing. However, when a person grows old, he eventually loses his ability to discern between good and evil. The aged Barzillai, who took care of king David and his people during the rebellion of Absalom conceded losing such faculty of senses.

2 Samuel 19:35: I am this day fourscore years old: and can I discern between good and evil? can thy servant taste what I eat or what I drink? can I hear any more the voice of singing men and singing women? wherefore then should thy servant be yet a burden unto my lord the king?

Since the fall of Adam, little children born into this world though born dead in trespasses and sins are born without the knowledge of good and evil, reminiscence of the pre-fallen state of man. They are born in innocence.

Unfortunately, the knowledge of good and evil will eventually dawn upon them as they grow. They become responsible for transgression of God’s laws. Even after these children have grown old losing the faculty of good and evil, this will not absolve them of sins committed after acquiring knowledge of good and evil.

In addition, a man having acquired knowledge of good and evil does not translate to spiritual discernment. King Solomon acknowledged this truth and asked God to grant him discernment between good and evil and to be able to judge God’s people as a king.

1 Kings 3:9: Give therefore thy servant an understanding heart to judge thy people, that I may discern between good and bad: for who is able to judge this thy so great a people?

Hence, the knowledge of good and evil is more of a liability than an asset. Having knowledge of good and evil and yet lacking discernment and ability to do good is a very bad deal. Had only Adam and Eve knew the Devil had lied to them, history would be so different.

Jonah was so angry with God not destroying Nineveh because the Lord had compassion on those little ones who had yet to discern between their right and left hands. These children who had yet to come to terms with knowledge of good and evil were one consideration for the Lord sparing the city where those sinners from the king to the peasants had repented after hearing the preaching of Jonah.

Jonah 4:11: And should not I spare Nineveh, that great city, wherein are more than sixscore thousand persons that cannot discern between their right hand and their left hand; and also much cattle?

Even the Lord’s people have to learn to discern between the righteous and the wicked and those who serve the Lord and those who don’t.

Malachi 3:18: Then shall ye return, and discern between the righteous and the wicked, between him that serveth God and him that serveth him not.

Under the fallen state, having acquired the knowledge of good and evil does not necessarily mean one can discern between good and evil even for born again Christians.

Hebrews 5:14: But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.

A child of God must grow in the grace and knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ and exercise his senses of discernment. He will then eventually be able to partake strong meat of the doctrines of the words of the living God to discern between good and evil.

The apostle Paul spoke about his pre-law experience without the benefit of having the knowledge of good and evil.

Romans 7:9: For I was alive without the law once: but when the commandment came, sin revived, and I died.

He was alive once. This was when the law had no effect on him. Eventually, the law caught up with him and he died. He further revealed how this phase of innocence works.

Romans 5:13: (For until the law sin was in the world: but sin is not imputed when there is no law.

Sin was in the world. Though born dead in trespasses and sins, sin is not imputed when there is no law. No knowledge of good and evil means no breaking of God’s law. Law is inactive and the man is alive. Once knowledge of good and evil has come, everything changes and man becomes liable and guilty before God and sin is imputed.

This is consistent with the Psalmist’s claim.

Psalms 32:1: Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered.

Psalms 32:2: Blessed is the man unto whom the LORD imputeth not iniquity, and in whose spirit there is no guile.

So the apostle Paul took up the same proclamation.

Romans 4:8: Blessed is the man to whom the Lord will not impute sin.

There are certain category of people the Lord will not impute sin. These are blessed people indeed. They are guilt free without knowledge of good and evil living in the pre-fallen state of Adam in this present fallen world.

As such, the Lord places a lot of emphasis on little children when teaching His disciples concerning the coming kingdom.

Matthew 19:14: But Jesus said, Suffer little children, and forbid them not, to come unto me: for of such is the kingdom of heaven.

Mark 10:14: But when Jesus saw it, he was much displeased, and said unto them, Suffer the little children to come unto me, and forbid them not: for of such is the kingdom of God.

Luke 18:16: But Jesus called them unto him, and said, Suffer little children to come unto me, and forbid them not: for of such is the kingdom of God.

These innocent little children are the foundation of the kingdom just as when Adam and Eve lived before their fall. The requirement to be fit citizens of the kingdom of heaven is to become as little children.

Matthew 18:3: And said, Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven.

So that is why the Lord insists on a rebirth before anyone can enter the kingdom of God. Anyone who has acquired the knowledge of good and evil has to undergo a rebirth to become little children in the Lord without which the gate of the kingdom is forever closed to such sinners.

John 3:3: Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.

John 3:7: Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again.

The Lord’s emphasis on little children cannot be underemphasized. The value the Lord places on these little children is immense and for those who dares to offend one such little ones, their fate is going to be horribly tragic. Their condemnation is a terrible certainty.

Matthew 18:6: But whoso shall offend one of these little ones which believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea.

Mark 9:42: And whosoever shall offend one of these little ones that believe in me, it is better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and he were cast into the sea.

Luke 17:1: Then said he unto the disciples, It is impossible but that offences will come: but woe unto him, through whom they come!

Luke 17:2: It were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and he cast into the sea, than that he should offend one of these little ones.

The knowledge of good and evil is not an asset but a liability. This knowledge of good and evil does not equate to having discernment, particularly, spiritual discernment and ability to do good.

Innocence is a blessing. Unfortunately, innocence is a passing phase after which knowledge of good and evil becomes a reality and guilt and sins condemn the sinner to a Christless eternity, unless this sinner becomes born again in the Lord as a little child, trusting in the shed blood of the Lord Jesus Christ to take away his sins.

The knowledge of good and evil gets the sinner no where but grief, guilt, sorrows and condemnation. On the other hand, we should seek after the Lord and find, acquire and increase in the knowledge of God and be free from the terrible and ill effects from the knowledge of good and evil.

Proverb 2:1: My son, if thou wilt receive my words, and hide my commandments with thee;

Proverb 2:2: So that thou incline thine ear unto wisdom, and apply thine heart to understanding;

Proverb 2:3: Yea, if thou criest after knowledge, and liftest up thy voice for understanding;

Proverb 2:4: If thou seekest her as silver, and searchest for her as for hid treasures;

Proverb 2:5: Then shalt thou understand the fear of the LORD, and find the knowledge of God.

Colossians 1:10: That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God;


Does The Bible Teach Capitalism?

Matthew 20:1: For the kingdom of heaven is like unto a man that is an householder, which went out early in the morning to hire labourers into his vineyard.

Matthew 20:2: And when he had agreed with the labourers for a penny a day, he sent them into his vineyard.

Matthew 20:3: And he went out about the third hour, and saw others standing idle in the marketplace,

Matthew 20:4: And said unto them; Go ye also into the vineyard, and whatsoever is right I will give you. And they went their way.

Matthew 20:5: Again he went out about the sixth and ninth hour, and did likewise.

Matthew 20:6: And about the eleventh hour he went out, and found others standing idle, and saith unto them, Why stand ye here all the day idle?

Matthew 20:7: They say unto him, Because no man hath hired us. He saith unto them, Go ye also into the vineyard; and whatsoever is right, that shall ye receive.

Matthew 20:8: So when even was come, the lord of the vineyard saith unto his steward, Call the labourers, and give them their hire, beginning from the last unto the first.

Matthew 20:9: And when they came that were hired about the eleventh hour, they received every man a penny.

Matthew 20:10: But when the first came, they supposed that they should have received more; and they likewise received every man a penny.

Matthew 20:11: And when they had received it, they murmured against the goodman of the house,

Matthew 20:12: Saying, These last have wrought but one hour, and thou hast made them equal unto us, which have borne the burden and heat of the day.

Matthew 20:13: But he answered one of them, and said, Friend, I do thee no wrong: didst not thou agree with me for a penny?

Matthew 20:14: Take that thine is, and go thy way: I will give unto this last, even as unto thee.

Matthew 20:15: Is it not lawful for me to do what I will with mine own? Is thine eye evil, because I am good?

Matthew 20:16: So the last shall be first, and the first last: for many be called, but few chosen.

This passage is often used to justify capitalism and reject communism. While we all know the ill effects of communism and how it brings equal misery to everyone in society, to use the above passage to justify capitalism is ridiculous. This passage doesn’t teach capitalism at all. This couldn’t be further from the truth and an insult to scriptural revelation.

This passage concerns the kingdom of heaven and the harvest regarding this kingdom down through the ages. The main character is the householder, the good man of the house. This same householder, also in connection with the kingdom, is mentioned in three other places in the New Testament in the Book of Matthew.

Matthew 13:27: So the servants of the householder came and said unto him, Sir, didst not thou sow good seed in thy field? from whence then hath it tares?

This householder wasn’t a capitalist but he suffered loss due to sabotage by enemies who sowed tares in his field. He didn’t even retaliate against those saboteurs.

A capitalist would immediately cut loss or take remedial action to correct the situation to preserve shareholder value of the enterprise. He would not sit idly by ignoring opportunity cost and allows his investment to be affected by his competitors.

Matthew 13:52: Then said he unto them, Therefore every scribe which is instructed unto the kingdom of heaven is like unto a man that is an householder, which bringeth forth out of his treasure things new and old.

This householder could be anyone instructed in the kingdom of heaven and he is not any kind of capitalist at all.

Matthew 21:33: Hear another parable: There was a certain householder, which planted a vineyard, and hedged it round about, and digged a winepress in it, and built a tower, and let it out to husbandmen, and went into a far country:

This householder has a vineyard. Having trouble collecting the fruits of his vineyard, he even sacrificed his son in the process. This is not the work of a capitalist.

Back to the passage in Matthew 20, the householder in question did not exhibit any trait of a capitalist. A capitalist is a profit maximiser and a cost minimiser. In fact, everyone in general is a profit maximiser and a cost minimiser.

He had contracted the first batch of workers for a penny a day. For the other batches of workers, he only promised them what was right compensation for them. Came payment time, those who worked for only one hour received the same compensation with the first batch of workers who toiled through the entire day.

If he were a capitalist, would he compensate this group of workers who worked only for an hour the same wages with those who worked the whole day? Haven’t capitalists been moving jobs to lower cost countries to maximize profit? To force this passage to teach capitalism is to strain at a gnat, and swallow a camel.

More importantly, this way of teaching scriptures distorts very important truths this passage has to reveal. Though this passage concerns harvest time only for a day, the kingdom of heaven does not imply only a one day harvest. The general truths of the harvest includes first fruits, the general harvest and the gleanings.

The first batch of workers entered the work to harvest the first fruits. Then followed by other batches reaping the general harvest. Finally, it was left with gleanings for the last batch of workers.

The first batch of workers enjoyed the first fruits of the vineyard. This was joyous time indeed. Then followed by the rest of the workers labouring in the general harvest. Harvest was plentiful and rewarding and not too difficult though labouring longer hours in the vineyard.

Come to the gleanings, there were not much left to harvest. It could be rather discouraging. The happy joyous fruitful harvest is long gone left with some fruits here and there, a rather pathetic sight. This makes harvesting more difficult and discouraging.

Towards the tail end of the harvest, productivity is rather low. Yet, the householder rewarded these workers just the same as those workers who worked the whole day. This does not seem fair. This is definitely not the practice of a capitalist.

This gives rise to comparison. The first batch of workers were bellyaching. They expected to be paid more when they realized those workers who worked for only an hour received a penny. They started to compare themselves with this group of workers. They didn’t compare themselves with those who worked only three hours less who also received a penny. This is the trait of fallen human nature.

Everyone would compare and exaggerate to his advantage and benefit. In fact, everyone is a profit maximiser and a cost minimiser and a capitalist at heart. Their sense of fairness is man-centric. The starting point is myself as a basis for fairness. Self entitlement mentality is very strong.

They would never think how good the householder is who rewarded those who worked only an hour so much more than they deserved. They would never praise the good and generous nature of the householder but wallow in self pity and misery.

Indeed the householder did not cheat them at all. They had all agreed to labour for a penny a day. The rest did not get a contract but trusted the householder to reward them.

This is a double-edged sword. Their trust in the householder could be misplaced and get cheated. There was no contractual obligation for the householder to reward them a penny like the first batch of workers. They could get considerably less than this first batch of workers and there would be no recourse for them.

So if the rest of the workers get very much less in remuneration, the first batch of workers would be happy and count themselves fortunate who have a contract to fall back on to demand just compensation. This is another evil trait of the fallen human nature. They would not rejoice with those who get more than they deserve but would be happy for all to suffer in equal misery, better still if others suffer misfortune.

Hence, the rest of those workers who entered the work based on faith and trust that this householder would not cheat them were rewarded. So it comes down to the attitude of these men when they were hired into the work. Those who left only an hour to work could have found the work left to perform not very lucrative and not worth their effort and turn down the offer to work based on the goodness and generosity of this householder.

After all, how much could they make for just an hour left to labour? Why not wait for better opportunity the next day? Is it worth the trouble to dirty their hands for this last hour of labour? They could turn out to be those described by Solomon giving excuses not to labour.

Ecclesiastes 11:4: He that observeth the wind shall not sow; and he that regardeth the clouds shall not reap.

Nevertheless, those who entered into the work even though it was just an hour of work left to perform were handsomely rewarded. It is very easy to justify inaction based on a self-centered approach.

In this actual world we live in, to work without a contract is dangerous. You could be taken advantaged and cheated by the employer. If such an offer to work comes your way, it is a judgment call whether this employer could be trusted. But the householder here in Matthew 20 is the Lord of harvest offering those who labour for Him to be rewarded what is right.

This harvest concerns preaching the gospel of Christ. During the early Church Age, thousands were saved. Those who toiled through the heat of the day saw their harvest and were rewarded down through the ages to the Reformation. This first batch of labourers secured compensation for their effort and their rewards were confirmed.

Matthew 19:27: Then answered Peter and said unto him, Behold, we have forsaken all, and followed thee; what shall we have therefore?

Matthew 19:28: And Jesus said unto them, Verily I say unto you, That ye which have followed me, in the regeneration when the Son of man shall sit in the throne of his glory, ye also shall sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.

It is the time of gleaning now where the labour is hard and discouraging. The vineyard is almost bare and the fields of the world are really pathetic. Fruitful harvest is long gone. Labouring without much fruitfulness is not very exciting and encouraging. How many are still willing to enter into the Lord’s vineyard to labour in the eleventh hour?

Luke 18:8: I tell you that he will avenge them speedily. Nevertheless when the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth?

Notwithstanding, those who are willing to labour during the eleventh hour during difficult circumstances, they will not be disappointed because the Lord is always generous to reward even the underserving. Those who labour during the first hour are rewarded and likewise those who labour in the final hour will not lose their rewards if they are willing to enter into the work of the Lord.

Matthew 20:16: So the last shall be first, and the first last: for many be called, but few chosen.

2 Timothy 4:8: Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing.

To equate the householder in this passage as an exploitative profit driven capitalist is to impinge his good character and an insult to the highest order. It does not do justice to what this passage has to teach.

Failing to consider the goodness of the person of the householder, the state of the vineyard at different period of time, the nature of the harvest, the state of mind and conditions of the workers during different time in evaluating profitability of the labour involved as well as the types of employment contract offered, concluding this passage teaches capitalism is going off on a tangent.

More importantly, the prophetic nature of the harvest throughout the Church Age with regards to the gospel of Christ becomes non existent when this passage is used to teach capitalism alone. Church history clearly shows the state of harvest beginning from the first fruits through the general harvest to the state of gleanings. The seven letters issued to the seven churches in the Book of Revelation also reveal the state of the last days church wallowing in lukewarmness where the harvest is soon to conclude.

Hence, it is foolish to interpret scriptures to support man-made theories and systems in the world. Failing to study Biblical economics that include a Jubilee to reset the economy in the world will tend to lead to the erroneous idea of the superiority of capitalism that must be defended at all cost including perverting scriptures to justify this end.

It is instructional to heed the state of our times in Church history and to know the conditions we are labouring under to avoid falling into discouragement and despair when we see so little left to harvest where productivity is very low. Economics text book calls this period of time the state of diminishing returns.

It may not seem worthwhile to labour anymore during this final hour of the harvest. However, the Lord’s rewards are certain and sure though the fruitful harvest experienced by those before us may seem to have reaped abundantly while we do not achieve very much.

Jeremiah 8:20: The harvest is past, the summer is ended, and we are not saved.

Psalms 126:5: They that sow in tears shall reap in joy.

Psalms 126:6: He that goeth forth and weepeth, bearing precious seed, shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, bringing his sheaves with him.

Revelation 22:12: And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be.


Did God Lie to Adam?

When the Lord put the first man upon the earth in the Garden of Eden, there was only one commandment with consequence for him to keep. This particular commandment concerns one particular tree in the Garden of Eden, the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Violation of this commandment carries a death penalty.

Genesis 2:15: And the LORD God took the man, and put him into the garden of Eden to dress it and to keep it.

Genesis 2:16: And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat:

Genesis 2:17: But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.

With regards to dressing the garden and to be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth, these works do not carry any adverse consequence. In the absence of death, those works only keep Adam meaningfully occupied. Adam has no expiry date on him.

However, concerning the death penalty to be meted out upon transgression of this commandment, it was very specific. Death would result in the day should Adam transgress.

Whether Adam fully understood the severity of the consequence of death, it is a subject of conjecture. No death has occurred on earth yet. So what does it mean to die and what pains and sufferings are involved regarding death in an environment absence of death are some thoughts to consider. For the scripture does record that even the Son of God has to taste death as a man.

Hebrews 2:9: But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honour; that he by the grace of God should taste death for every man.

So the subject of death became a tool for Satan to exploit when trying to seduce Eve to transgress the only commandment with the death penalty. The devil was cunning indeed as he approached Eve instead of Adam who was the original recipient of the commandment not to eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.

Genesis 3:1: Now the serpent was more subtil than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden?

Genesis 3:2: And the woman said unto the serpent, We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden:

Genesis 3:3: But of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die.

Eve’s reply to Satan’s crafty questioning was not accurate either. She added her own version of God’s commandment to include touching the forbidden tree.

In addition, God’s confirmed death penalty had been reduced to a punishment with a probable chance of mitigation with the introduction of the word “lest” added to her reply.

So the concept of death seems to be rather nebulous. With sufficient rewards, the punishment of death might appear to be a worthwhile gamble.

With Eve’s unscriptural response, this gave the devil room to enter for the final kill. It is noteworthy to know that Christians are commanded not to give place to the devil.

Ephesians 4:27: Neither give place to the devil.

Hence, Satan had gotten a foothold into this game of toying with Eve to succumb to his wiles.

Ephesians 6:11: Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.

Genesis 3:4: And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die:

Firstly, Satan contradicted God’s commandment assuring Eve she would not die. He won’t have this chance if Eve had ignored him and not talked about death. How much did Eve know about death living in an environment where death was absent?

With Eve’s watered down view of death, this was an opportunity for the devil. To induce Eve to transgress, a reward was dangled before her to consider transgressing against God.

Genesis 3:5: For 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.

Genesis 3:6: And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat.

So having done her cost and benefit analysis, the rest was history. Man fell into transgression and subsequently, everyone that comes into this world is born dead in trespasses and sins.

Ephesians 2:1: And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins;

God’s pronouncement of judgment came quick and swift after this incident. The consequences that followed were anything but pretty. Man and woman though not cursed directly, have to suffer during their lifetime living on earth.

Genesis 3:16: Unto the woman he said, I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception; in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children; and thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee.

Genesis 3:17: And unto Adam he said, Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree, of which I commanded thee, saying, Thou shalt not eat of it: cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life;

Genesis 3:18: Thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee; and thou shalt eat the herb of the field;

Genesis 3:19: In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return.

However, the death penalty that was supposed to be meted out to Adam and Eve was withheld. Earth has not experienced death as yet but ironically, it was animals on earth that had to experience death first. The Lord had to make coats of skins to cover the nakedness of the fallen Adam and Even. Their homemade fig leaves cover just won’t do.

Genesis 3:21: Unto Adam also and to his wife did the LORD God make coats of skins, and clothed them.

So what happened to God’s immutability with regards to His decreed promise of rewards and punishment? Adam and Eve deserved death but they were spared. Instead, innocent animals took their place.

Moreover, Adam and Eve were subsequently banned from having access to the tree of life. The reason being Adam and Eve after acquiring the knowledge of good and evil had become as god as far as God’s attributes are concerned.

Genesis 3:22: And the LORD God said, Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil: and now, lest he put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live for ever:

Genesis 3:23: Therefore the LORD God sent him forth from the garden of Eden, to till the ground from whence he was taken.

Genesis 3:24: So he drove out the man; and he placed at the east of the garden of Eden Cherubims, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to keep the way of the tree of life.

This seems to make what Satan told Eve valid and true. God’s acknowledgement that man having acquired the knowledge of good and evil alluded to an upgrade to their status.

Furthermore, Adam and Eve did not die, which was what Satan told Eve. On the surface, what Satan told Eve was correct and they did not die after this transgression.

It was the poor animals that had to die.

Hence, Adam and Eve had to experience what death entailed. It was no longer a concept they hardly understood and fully grasped before their transgression.

So did God lie to Adam and Eve concerning the death penalty?

It appears that what Satan told Eve was more truthful.

Some suggested that Adam and Eve died spiritually immediately after their transgression. Death simply means separation from God. God can no longer fellowship with fallen men. This may sound logical but not entirely true and not according to scriptural fact.

The scripture shows that God did continue to interact with men and fellowship with them. Apart from Adam and Eve, God also dealt with their children Cain and Abel.

Genesis 4:3: And in process of time it came to pass, that Cain brought of the fruit of the ground an offering unto the LORD.

Genesis 4:4: And Abel, he also brought of the firstlings of his flock and of the fat thereof. And the LORD had respect unto Abel and to his offering:

Genesis 4:5: But unto Cain and to his offering he had not respect. And Cain was very wroth, and his countenance fell.

Here the Lord accepted Abel’s offering but Cain’s offering was not.

These two sons of Adam though born dead in trespasses and sins had not transgressed any of God’s commandment for there was none given to them.

However, they did approach God with their offerings voluntarily. No written commandments were given with regards to such offerings other than the pattern they received from their father Adam concerning coats of skins to cover their nakedness and not fig leaves.

Although the Lord did not accept Cain’s offering, he was not treated as an outcast. Cain was assured he could do better and would be accepted as well.

Genesis 4:6: And the LORD said unto Cain, Why art thou wroth? and why is thy countenance fallen?

Genesis 4:7: If thou doest well, shalt thou not be accepted? and if thou doest not well, sin lieth at the door. And unto thee shall be his desire, and thou shalt rule over him.

Moreover, even after Cain murdered his brother Abel due to jealousy, the Lord continued to deal with Cain and even protected him from vengeance.

Genesis 4:14: Behold, thou hast driven me out this day from the face of the earth; and from thy face shall I be hid; and I shall be a fugitive and a vagabond in the earth; and it shall come to pass, that every one that findeth me shall slay me.

Genesis 4:15: And the LORD said unto him, Therefore whosoever slayeth Cain, vengeance shall be taken on him sevenfold. And the LORD set a mark upon Cain, lest any finding him should kill him.

In addition, years later another of Adam’s descendant Enoch had such close fellowship with the Lord that he did not even experience death.

Genesis 5:24: And Enoch walked with God: and he was not; for God took him.

Prophet Elijah is another case in point where he was taken to heaven in a chariot of fire.

2 Kings 2:11: And it came to pass, as they still went on, and talked, that, behold, there appeared a chariot of fire, and horses of fire, and parted them both asunder; and Elijah went up by a whirlwind into heaven.

So the Lord did and could fellowship with fallen men even though they are born dead in trespasses and sins. The question is whether God would accept fallen men and that is another subject altogether.

The problem is did God keep His promise to put Adam and Eve to death when they transgressed by partaking the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.

Genesis 2:17: But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.

It is pretty clear that God threatened Adam he would die in the day when he transgressed this particular commandment. But Adam and Eve did not die in the day of their transgression. They were allowed to live for many more years and Adam lived till ripe old age of 930 years.

Genesis 5:5: And all the days that Adam lived were nine hundred and thirty years: and he died.

This however, does not suggest God did not keep His promise to sentence Adam and Eve to death. The question has to do with when?

Execution was supposed to be on the day of their transgression. It seems to have been postponed till after 900 over years.

The contradiction concerns how man and God reckon time and day. Men living on earth consider a twenty-four hours day. But God who created heaven and earth is not restricted to earthly time and day measurement. Peter informed us one day with the Lord is as a thousand years.

2 Peter 3:8: But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.

A day may be very short for the Lord but for mere human creatures residing on earth, a thousand years is a super long period of time.

So Adam who lived to 930 years actually died that same day as far as the Lord is concerned when he transgressed God’s commandment.

There is no contradiction of scriptures here with the Lord failing to keep His promise. In fact, no man ever lives past a thousand years before he dies. The oldest man ever lived was Methuselah.

Genesis 5:27: And all the days of Methuselah were nine hundred sixty and nine years: and he died.

Other than Enoch and Elijah who did not experience death, all men born dead in trespasses and sins do not live past one day in the Lord’s reckoning of days.

The Psalmist also rightly concludes.

Psalms 90:4: For a thousand years in thy sight are but as yesterday when it is past, and as a watch in the night.

Psalms 84:10: For a day in thy courts is better than a thousand. I had rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God, than to dwell in the tents of wickedness.

So the Lord indeed kept His promise to put Adam and Eve to death in the day of their transgression.

The Lord also promised eternal life to Adam’s lost and helpless race of fallen men.

Titus 1:2: In hope of eternal life, which God, that cannot lie, promised before the world began;

1 John 5:11: And this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son.

1 John 5:12: He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life.

1 John 5:13: These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God.

As such, you need not die just because of Adam’s transgression.

Come to the Lord and receive His Son as your eternal salvation today.


Why Moses Allowed Divorce

Divorce is a sensitive issue. It usually involves not only the married couple concerned but their children and extended family members and sometimes, the community as well. Acceptance of divorce depends on societal norms in that community and nation.

In modern days, especially for Christian couples, just because they have made wedding vows before family and friends they would live till death before they part, it becomes even trickier when face with the issue of divorce when it arises. Are there biblically justifiable grounds for divorce?

Searching for justifiable grounds for divorce is nothing new. It has been going on since time immemorial. In fact, divorce is sanctioned in the Bible, especially under the Old Testament. Divorce has been enacted into law by none other than Moses who wrote the first five books of the Holy Bible.

The Pharisees were custodians of the law and they sat in Moses’ seat.

Matthew 23:2: Saying, The scribes and the Pharisees sit in Moses’ seat:

They were also regarded as masters and rulers in Israel and of course well versed with the law of Moses.

John 3:1: There was a man of the Pharisees, named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews:

John 3:10: Jesus answered and said unto him, Art thou a master of Israel, and knowest not these things?

The Pharisees certainly knew the law concerning divorce. However, the law on divorce seems to be questionable and subject to abuse. So this was a good opportunity to trip up the Lord Jesus Christ who was never schooled under their authority.

Matthew 19:3: The Pharisees also came unto him, tempting him, and saying unto him, Is it lawful for a man to put away his wife for every cause?

These Pharisees certainly knew the law on divorce very well. So the question was whether divorce for every cause was lawful. They were baiting the Lord to see how He would respond.

It was funny how they thought the Lord didn’t know the law on divorce allowed by Moses. So the Lord turned the table on them for not reading their Bible and hence not knowing God’s will on marriage and divorce.

Matthew 19:4: And he answered and said unto them, Have ye not read, that he which made them at the beginning made them male and female,

Matthew 19:5: And said, For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they twain shall be one flesh?

Matthew 19:6: Wherefore they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.

Well, they certainly didn’t like this reply. How could they overlook such simple and fundamental decree from above concerning earthly marriages? Divorce was obviously not God’s will. The Lord’s reply to their question gave them cause to continue their scheme to find occasion to accuse the Lord for challenging Moses’s decree which was a serious offence.

Matthew 19:7: They say unto him, Why did Moses then command to give a writing of divorcement, and to put her away?

They thought they had cornered the Lord to back down with this question appealing to the authority of Moses. So far these religious elites could not find any fault and occasion for them to nail the Lord during His earthly ministry.

It seemed like they were finally succeeding. Disputing the law on divorce allowed by Moses would be a serious challenge to the authority of Moses and would thus get the Lord into big trouble with serious consequence.

But what actually does the law on divorce allowed by Moses entail?

Deuteronomy 24:1: When a man hath taken a wife, and married her, and it come to pass that she find no favour in his eyes, because he hath found some uncleanness in her: then let him write her a bill of divorcement, and give it in her hand, and send her out of his house.

So here is the law regarding divorce. The ground for divorce here is not based on moral or character deficit of the wife or serious transgression of the law of Moses. It is based on what the husband regards as uncleanness and he no longer favours her.

One would think that divorce is based on serious offence such as adultery committed by the wife. But it is not the case. In fact, adultery attracts the death penalty under the law of Moses.

Leviticus 20:10: And the man that committeth adultery with another man’s wife, even he that committeth adultery with his neighbour’s wife, the adulterer and the adulteress shall surely be put to death.

As such, divorce could be based on something as frivolous as uncleanness determined by the husband and hence, the Pharisees’ question concerning divorce under every cause that could be subject to abuse. Under such arrangement, the husband has the upper hand. Whenever he doesn’t find the wife pleasing anymore he could easily find occasion and excuse allowed for as uncleanness to divorce his wife.

Moses not only allowed divorce under such seemingly unfair statute that favours the man, he also codified the divorce where this woman once divorced by this husband could no longer return to him under any circumstance when she becomes another man’s wife. After the woman has been divorced she is free to remarry but she can never return to her former husband and this is the condition whereby the husband must understand before divorcing his wife. There would be no turning back after the divorce if she remarries.

Deuteronomy 24:2: And when she is departed out of his house, she may go and be another man’s wife.

Deuteronomy 24:3: And if the latter husband hate her, and write her a bill of divorcement, and giveth it in her hand, and sendeth her out of his house; or if the latter husband die, which took her to be his wife;

Deuteronomy 24:4: Her former husband, which sent her away, may not take her again to be his wife, after that she is defiled; for that is abomination before the LORD: and thou shalt not cause the land to sin, which the LORD thy God giveth thee for an inheritance.

So this was the divorce statute given by Moses. Well, the Pharisees were not ignorant to this statute. They were using this statute hoping to trip the Lord so that they could find occasion to accuse Him for disobeying Moses.

But the Lord pulled no punches. He didn’t shy away from addressing this issue on divorce allowed for under the law of Moses. He turned around and accused the Pharisees and blamed them for this law on divorce where Moses allowed because he really had no choice due to the hardness of heart of the men of Israel.

Matthew 19:8: He saith unto them, Moses because of the hardness of your hearts suffered you to put away your wives: but from the beginning it was not so.

Here the Lord told them point blank they were the cause for divorce being allowed by Moses. Under the law, man could have more than one wife. Polygamy was practiced by the children of Israel and many famous biblical characters had more than one wife. They were never condemned nor rebuked by the Lord. However, polygamy is so recognized that the rights of the firstborn of the non favoured wife cannot be removed and replaced.

Deuteronomy 21:15: If a man have two wives, one beloved, and another hated, and they have born him children, both the beloved and the hated; and if the firstborn son be hers that was hated:

Deuteronomy 21:16: Then it shall be, when he maketh his sons to inherit that which he hath, that he may not make the son of the beloved firstborn before the son of the hated, which is indeed the firstborn:

Deuteronomy 21:17: But he shall acknowledge the son of the hated for the firstborn, by giving him a double portion of all that he hath: for he is the beginning of his strength; the right of the firstborn is his.

With polygamy allowed and recognized, some men might want to get rid of the wife he no longer finds favour. He could get himself off the hook and needs not fulfill to her his duty of marriage. This would also lighten financial burden and commitment with one less woman to care for and feed.

There is no alimony required under the law of Moses during a divorce. So the woman is obviously caught in a bad situation under such divorce arrangement.

What about her children after divorce if she has any? It would be unlikely the children are chased out of the house with her. Which man would want to marry her together with her children? It would be a sad situation for the children losing their mother in a divorce.

The only positive point about divorce as far as the woman is concerned is that she is free and she could remarry. With divorce allowed by Moses, other man could have this privilege to fulfill the duty of marriage to this divorced woman. But the woman could not return to her former husband and all her children if she has them in her previous marriage.

While it might sound good to get out of an abusive and unhappy marriage when divorce is allowed, divorce could be abused too and many times the case as questioned by those Pharisees. Divorce as allowed by Moses was a social expediency not the perfect will of God and the Lord told these Pharisees off in no uncertain terms.

The abuses under the terms and conditions of divorce have been so abused that the God of Israel rebuked the children of Israel severely in the last book of the Old Testament before the Lord turned silent on them for four hundred years.

Malachi 2:14: Yet ye say, Wherefore? Because the LORD hath been witness between thee and the wife of thy youth, against whom thou hast dealt treacherously: yet is she thy companion, and the wife of thy covenant.

Malachi 2:15: And did not he make one? Yet had he the residue of the spirit. And wherefore one? That he might seek a godly seed. Therefore take heed to your spirit, and let none deal treacherously against the wife of his youth.

Malachi 2:16: For the LORD, the God of Israel, saith that he hateth putting away: for one covereth violence with his garment, saith the LORD of hosts: therefore take heed to your spirit, that ye deal not treacherously.

Malachi 2:17: Ye have wearied the LORD with your words. Yet ye say, Wherein have we wearied him? When ye say, Every one that doeth evil is good in the sight of the LORD, and he delighteth in them; or, Where is the God of judgment?

Jehovah God clearly had been very angry with the children of Israel who had been dealing treacherously with the wife of their youth. They had been warned to take heed to their spirit and not deal treacherously with the wife of their youth as though the God of judgment was no longer around. Divorce allowed under Moses was the best platform to deal treacherously with the wife of their youth.

When the wife grows older and no longer attractive, finding faults such as uncleanness would be so simple and easy. Divorce could be so easily carried out and the poor woman would have to fend for herself after divorce and if she has children, she would no longer have rights to have access to her children. This is a terrible loophole for treacherous man to exploit.

Nevertheless, if divorce is not allowed, the wife who has lost favour might find herself in even more terrible plights. Being ignored and abused by the husband and perhaps even the husband’s other wives could be even more trying and painful.

Physical violence could become her constant companion too if she has to live on under the same roof with her husband. As such, getting divorce might be the lesser of the two evils and hopefully, the woman could live on happily either on her own or have a better second marriage.

Truly God hates putting away. Marriage bond is a symbol of God providing eternal salvation for His people. If divorce is the norm, this is a direct attack on God’s eternal security promised to His people.

The Pharisees raising the question on divorce hit a wall. They didn’t know they were dealing with God manifest in the flesh. This same God had been watching them tolerating their treacherous dealings with their wives for years. In addition, the Lord raised the bar for divorce where the only justifiable ground for divorce is fornication and not some frivolous uncleanness as determined by the husband.

Matthew 19:9: And I say unto you, Whosoever shall put away his wife, except it be for fornication, and shall marry another, committeth adultery: and whoso marrieth her which is put away doth commit adultery.

Actually, fornication as a justifiable ground leading to divorce is not new. The case of the conception of the Lord Jesus Christ is a case in point.

Matthew 1:18: Now the birth of Jesus Christ was on this wise: When as his mother Mary was espoused to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Ghost.

Matthew 1:19: Then Joseph her husband, being a just man, and not willing to make her a publick example, was minded to put her away privily.

Mary was with child of the Holy Ghost. Joseph, Mary’s espoused husband was a just man. His espoused wife was pregnant and he could put Mary to death.

But he could not find the adulterer and putting Mary to death was unjust because death penalty are carried out on both the adulterer and the adulteress and not on the adulteress alone. So if Mary was with child due to fornication, it would be better off to put her away privately in a divorce settlement.

By tightening this law on divorce and raising its standard, even the Lord’s disciples were displeased. They remarked that if that be the case, it was not good to marry.

Matthew 19:10: His disciples say unto him, If the case of the man be so with his wife, it is not good to marry.

One could imagine the spiritual maturity of these disciples. They wanted to reserve the rights and privilege to divorce their wives under the law of Moses where they could easily abuse the system. No wonder the Lord concluded the Old Testament with that sharp rebuke concerning the men of Israel dealing treacherously with the wife of their youth.

These Pharisees practiced creative and selective obedience to the law of Moses. They could come up with justifiable grounds to get waiver from compliance to the law of Moses such as not having to honour their parents.

Mark 7:10: For Moses said, Honour thy father and thy mother; and, Whoso curseth father or mother, let him die the death:

Mark 7:11: But ye say, If a man shall say to his father or mother, It is Corban, that is to say, a gift, by whatsoever thou mightest be profited by me; he shall be free.

Mark 7:12: And ye suffer him no more to do ought for his father or his mother;

Mark 7:13: Making the word of God of none effect through your tradition, which ye have delivered: and many such like things do ye.

Hence are these Pharisees so concerned about equity in the law on divorce allowed for under Moses? The treacherous dealings of their forefathers continued with them and their hypocrisy was simply disgusting to say the least.

They were not trying to discuss the finer points on the law of Moses with the Lord. It was not a sincere enquiry with regards to learning something useful for them to apply under the law of Moses. It was a question raised to tempt the Lord. Their silence after this rebuke was surely deafening.

Even the disciples of the Lord were displeased with the new requirement for divorce. Raising the bar with this new justifiable ground for divorce disadvantaged them.

So the Lord concludes that not all men can accept the duties and responsibility in a marital union. Only selected few, by birth, forced of circumstance or even voluntarily remaining single, are not having to deal with troubles in marriage.

Matthew 19:11: But he said unto them, All men cannot receive this saying, save they to whom it is given.

Matthew 19:12: For there are some eunuchs, which were so born from their mother’s womb: and there are some eunuchs, which were made eunuchs of men: and there be eunuchs, which have made themselves eunuchs for the kingdom of heaven’s sake. He that is able to receive it, let him receive it.

Most people on earth are not so gifted to remain single like the apostle Paul who for the Lord’s Kingdom sake went all out without a wife to distract him in the Lord’s work.

Staying single might avoid having to deal with all the troubles and distractions that come with married life but not getting married could get one into more serious trouble.

1 Corinthians 7:9: But if they cannot contain, let them marry: for it is better to marry than to burn.

1 Corinthians 6:18: Flee fornication. Every sin that a man doeth is without the body; but he that committeth fornication sinneth against his own body.

1 Corinthians 7:2: Nevertheless, to avoid fornication, let every man have his own wife, and let every woman have her own husband.

Hence, fornication is the only justifiable ground under the New Testament for divorce. Nevertheless, forgiveness and reconciliation should be sought before entering into divorce, especially for the sake of children having to suffer the trouble and trauma of parents going separate ways in a divorce.

Hebrews 13:4: Marriage is honourable in all, and the bed undefiled: but whoremongers and adulterers God will judge.

John 1:17: For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ.

Let no Christian man and woman ever consider the possibility and acceptability of divorce allowed by Moses in the Church Age. Grace and truth have come and hence, let no Christian man and woman entertain the notion of possible separation in a divorce for frivolous reasons.

1 Peter 3:7: Likewise, ye husbands, dwell with them according to knowledge, giving honour unto the wife, as unto the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life; that your prayers be not hindered.

1 Peter 3:8: Finally, be ye all of one mind, having compassion one of another, love as brethren, be pitiful, be courteous:

1 Peter 3:9: Not rendering evil for evil, or railing for railing: but contrariwise blessing; knowing that ye are thereunto called, that ye should inherit a blessing.

Any Christian couple taking heed to this admonition will never find themselves heading into the dark narrow alley of despair in a divorce.


Consulting Familiar Spirits

Fallen man has great curiosity concerning the future. If only we could know what would happen in the future, we could take preventive measures to mitigate pitfalls ahead and avoid tragedy. We know hindsight is perfect so we pay premium for certainty.

Everyone wishes to avoid trouble and desires prosperity, wealth and health. Hence, fortune telling is a big business. This explains why horoscopes and geomancy are so popular because man fears the unknown. If only someone could tell you about the future, you could live your life with peace of mind expecting all is well in every aspect in life. This is quite close to buying insurance to insure your future is paved with health and wealth and a life of ease.

There are some people who market themselves with such special gifts and talent to help insecure souls find their ways around in this life. So such people who claim to have access to the spirit world are much sought after especially by those who are facing troubles in life.

These people with special talent could reveal information to poor seekers that could be very real and convincing because they possess so much intimate details about the seekers through spirits of another world. As such, these seekers are taken in swallowing hook, line and sinker concerning everything these people also known as mediums have to tell them. This is a very dangerous path to take in surrendering one’s critical thinking to such mediums and of course eventually, the pied piper must be paid.

In the Old Testament, these people with special gifts and talent are those with familiar spirits. Consulting familiar spirit is expressly forbidden under the Old Testament.

Leviticus 19:31: Regard not them that have familiar spirits, neither seek after wizards, to be defiled by them: I am the LORD your God.

This commandment is given for a reason. Those who have familiar spirits are definitely some people with insights ordinary people do not possess. These people are possessed with familiar spirits that would know about the seeker, his circumstances, his family and friends and many other details in his life. He would prove to be so convincing to the seeker that the seeker will listen and obey what this person with familiar spirit would tell him to perform.

This would ultimately lead the person away from the Lord. Violation of this commandment attracts serious consequence.

Leviticus 20:6: And the soul that turneth after such as have familiar spirits, and after wizards, to go a whoring after them, I will even set my face against that soul, and will cut him off from among his people.

Death penalty awaits those with familiar spirits under the Jewish penal code. The state has a duty to carry out such execution on behalf of Jehovah God.

Leviticus 20:27: A man also or woman that hath a familiar spirit, or that is a wizard, shall surely be put to death: they shall stone them with stones: their blood shall be upon them.

Deuteronomy 18:9: When thou art come into the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee, thou shalt not learn to do after the abominations of those nations.

Deuteronomy 18:10: There shall not be found among you any one that maketh his son or his daughter to pass through the fire, or that useth divination, or an observer of times, or an enchanter, or a witch,

Deuteronomy 18:11: Or a charmer, or a consulter with familiar spirits, or a wizard, or a necromancer.

Deuteronomy 18:12: For all that do these things are an abomination unto the LORD: and because of these abominations the LORD thy God doth drive them out from before thee.

So these people with special talent did get executed in Israel even under the reign of king Saul. Ironically, in his moment of desperation, king Saul went to consult one such person with a familiar spirit.

1 Samuel 28:3: Now Samuel was dead, and all Israel had lamented him, and buried him in Ramah, even in his own city. And Saul had put away those that had familiar spirits, and the wizards, out of the land.

1 Samuel 28:7: Then said Saul unto his servants, Seek me a woman that hath a familiar spirit, that I may go to her, and enquire of her. And his servants said to him, Behold, there is a woman that hath a familiar spirit at Endor.

1 Samuel 28:8: And Saul disguised himself, and put on other raiment, and he went, and two men with him, and they came to the woman by night: and he said, I pray thee, divine unto me by the familiar spirit, and bring me him up, whom I shall name unto thee.

1 Samuel 28:9: And the woman said unto him, Behold, thou knowest what Saul hath done, how he hath cut off those that have familiar spirits, and the wizards, out of the land: wherefore then layest thou a snare for my life, to cause me to die?

King Saul was about to face the Philistines in battle and he was truly desperate. Usually, the king could get confirmation from Jehovah God what step to take before a battle but the Lord was ignoring him. Prophet Samuel who anointed him to be the first king of Israel had died. He had no one else to turn to for direction and assurance of victory against the Philistines.

Not knowing the future was a serious trouble for this commander in chief. Under the leadership of Jehovah God, the children of Israel had never lost a battle. The soldiers could go into battlefields with full confidence assured of victory because the God of Israel would fight for them.

Now king Saul was without divine illumination and assistance. His future was definitely bleak. Lacking military intelligence was a serious matter. So desperate times called for desperate measures. But he resorted to violating the commandments of the Lord in seeking a person with a familiar spirit to reveal to him the future and what he had to do before the battle with the Philistines.

1 Samuel 28:10: And Saul sware to her by the LORD, saying, As the LORD liveth, there shall no punishment happen to thee for this thing.

1 Samuel 28:11: Then said the woman, Whom shall I bring up unto thee? And he said, Bring me up Samuel.

1 Samuel 28:12: And when the woman saw Samuel, she cried with a loud voice: and the woman spake to Saul, saying, Why hast thou deceived me? for thou art Saul.

1 Samuel 28:13: And the king said unto her, Be not afraid: for what sawest thou? And the woman said unto Saul, I saw gods ascending out of the earth.

1 Samuel 28:14: And he said unto her, What form is he of? And she said, An old man cometh up; and he is covered with a mantle. And Saul perceived that it was Samuel, and he stooped with his face to the ground, and bowed himself.

1 Samuel 28:15: And Samuel said to Saul, Why hast thou disquieted me, to bring me up? And Saul answered, I am sore distressed; for the Philistines make war against me, and God is departed from me, and answereth me no more, neither by prophets, nor by dreams: therefore I have called thee, that thou mayest make known unto me what I shall do.

1 Samuel 28:16: Then said Samuel, Wherefore then dost thou ask of me, seeing the LORD is departed from thee, and is become thine enemy?

1 Samuel 28:17: And the LORD hath done to him, as he spake by me: for the LORD hath rent the kingdom out of thine hand, and given it to thy neighbour, even to David:

1 Samuel 28:18: Because thou obeyedst not the voice of the LORD, nor executedst his fierce wrath upon Amalek, therefore hath the LORD done this thing unto thee this day.

1 Samuel 28:19: Moreover the LORD will also deliver Israel with thee into the hand of the Philistines: and to morrow shalt thou and thy sons be with me: the LORD also shall deliver the host of Israel into the hand of the Philistines.

1 Samuel 28:20: Then Saul fell straightway all along on the earth, and was sore afraid, because of the words of Samuel: and there was no strength in him; for he had eaten no bread all the day, nor all the night.

Here was a case of necromancy.

This woman with a familiar spirit was taken in for a ride. Her standard operating procedures for this out of the world transaction was beyond her expectation. It was one of those business dealings she was familiar with but this time, it was her business partner, the familiar spirit failed to turn up for work.

So this woman with a familiar spirit was shocked. She realized king Saul had lied to her. Her usual trade was interrupted by divine intervention. The familiar spirit she was so familiar with went into vacation mode. She was treading on new territory and her familiar spirit became unfamiliar this moment. The Lord supernaturally allowed Samuel to be disturbed from his rest to return to this world and spoke with king Saul. Samuel’s condemnation of king Saul was quick and swift.

How does it work for those with a familiar spirit? Such a person would be a willing vessel for a familiar spirit to indwell him or her from time to time. When a seeker sought his expertise to communicate with someone from the dead, the familiar spirit would go to work. The familiar spirit could convince and reveal to the seeker he was the dead person the seeker was looking for. This familiar spirit is actually an imposter.

How would the familiar spirit know so much about the seeker? The Scriptures called such spirits familiar spirits for a reason. In fact these spirits are so familiar with the seeker that intimate details of the seeker that even the seeker’s parents or spouse would not know could be revealed to gain the seeker’s trust. These spirits are not human that came into this world with an expiry date. They have been around since the beginning of time.

Once the seeker believes the revelation from the familiar spirit, he would be drawn away from the Lord God of Israel. Hence, consulting with familiar spirits are forbidden in the Bible. It has been unequivocally condemned and punishments meted out to those who violate this law of God. So king Saul was executed for this transgression against Jehovah God.

1 Chronicles 10:13: So Saul died for his transgression which he committed against the LORD, even against the word of the LORD, which he kept not, and also for asking counsel of one that had a familiar spirit, to enquire of it;

1 Chronicles 10:14: And enquired not of the LORD: therefore he slew him, and turned the kingdom unto David the son of Jesse.

It is not possible for the living to communicate with the dead. Those with familiar spirits could however, act as imposters to lie to anyone seeking such special service. The case of king Saul managed to communicate with Samuel who had died was a case of divine intervention that even the woman with a familiar spirit was shocked. She would not be so terrified had it been a normal event with her usual business dealings with seekers that came to her for her service.

More importantly, it is the scriptures that confirmed Samuel speaking to king Saul. This was not the work of the familiar spirit. This was a one time incident to condemn the practice of necromancy.

Throughout the history of the children of Israel, one of the pet peeves Jehovah God had with them was concerning their rebellion in turning to false spirits and worshipped false gods. The children of Israel sought to communicate with another world via other agents rather than going to the God of Israel.

2 Kings 21:6: And he made his son pass through the fire, and observed times, and used enchantments, and dealt with familiar spirits and wizards: he wrought much wickedness in the sight of the LORD, to provoke him to anger.

2 Chronicles 33:6: And he caused his children to pass through the fire in the valley of the son of Hinnom: also he observed times, and used enchantments, and used witchcraft, and dealt with a familiar spirit, and with wizards: he wrought much evil in the sight of the LORD, to provoke him to anger.

Isaiah 8:19: And when they shall say unto you, Seek unto them that have familiar spirits, and unto wizards that peep, and that mutter: should not a people seek unto their God? for the living to the dead?

Isaiah 19:3: And the spirit of Egypt shall fail in the midst thereof; and I will destroy the counsel thereof: and they shall seek to the idols, and to the charmers, and to them that have familiar spirits, and to the wizards.

Isaiah 29:4: And thou shalt be brought down, and shalt speak out of the ground, and thy speech shall be low out of the dust, and thy voice shall be, as of one that hath a familiar spirit, out of the ground, and thy speech shall whisper out of the dust.

Nevertheless, under the reign of righteous kings, they did execute judgment on such wicked people and one such king was king Josiah.

2 Kings 23:24: Moreover the workers with familiar spirits, and the wizards, and the images, and the idols, and all the abominations that were spied in the land of Judah and in Jerusalem, did Josiah put away, that he might perform the words of the law which were written in the book that Hilkiah the priest found in the house of the LORD.

Any fallen man would be impressed and convinced if you as a total stranger could reveal to him his personal secrets and circumstances no one else knew. Nathanael believing the Lord Jesus Christ who told him He saw him under a fig tree before meeting him is a case in point.

John 1:46: And Nathanael said unto him, Can there any good thing come out of Nazareth? Philip saith unto him, Come and see.

John 1:47: Jesus saw Nathanael coming to him, and saith of him, Behold an Israelite indeed, in whom is no guile!

John 1:48: Nathanael saith unto him, Whence knowest thou me? Jesus answered and said unto him, Before that Philip called thee, when thou wast under the fig tree, I saw thee.

John 1:49: Nathanael answered and saith unto him, Rabbi, thou art the Son of God; thou art the King of Israel.

John 1:50: Jesus answered and said unto him, Because I said unto thee, I saw thee under the fig tree, believest thou? thou shalt see greater things than these.

Can you imagine how convincing familiar spirits would be who know so much about you, your friends and family and your circumstances and tell you things that would astound you? Won’t you listen to him and obey him what he would tell you to do?

Decades ago, I know of this church going person who went to Bible College. He spent four years and graduated and then returned to his home country. However, he left church shortly after and as far as I know, no church members could locate him. I went to his home but his family told me there was no such person. After a while, he opened the windows and saw me and then let me into his house.

We talked and he told me stuff that were ridiculous. He was disillusioned and unhappy with his Bible College experience. I knew he wasn’t having a good time with poor health and unable to cope with class and financially in trouble as well. But what troubled me was his revelation that he went to consult a medium after returning home.

The medium could tell him so much details about his past experiences and pointed out incidents where people wanted to harm him and even mentioned that one such person tried to poison him during a barbeque dinner. All these I believe are his vain imaginations and the medium simply confirmed them for him. Familiar spirits are very familiar with the person they are dealing with and it is not funny at all.

So he got what he wanted to believe and he listened to the medium who recommended he changed his name. No wonder church members could not locate him and especially with the help of family members confirming there was no such person residing there at his last known address.

Hence, I asked him about doctrines concerning salvation. He no longer believed salvation is by grace through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. Works would be necessary and other religions help too. So simply be a good person and perhaps you could make it. This was very sad revelation for a person who graduated with a Bible degree from a Bible College.

As such, I put to him this question: Did Jesus Christ come in the flesh?

He looked on the floor and refused to answer.

I pressed him a few more times for an answer and he finally told me no.

So that was it. It was no longer necessary to continue our conversation. And that was the last time I last met him more than two decades ago. The Bible tells us to try the spirits and that was what I did.

1 John 4:1: Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world.

1 John 4:2: Hereby know ye the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God:

1 John 4:3: And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world.

Since this person had another spirit, in particular, the spirit of antichrist, there was no point in debating him to bring him to his sense. In fact, in the beginning, some church members were already in doubt whether he was a suitable candidate for Bible College. His academic performance was pretty bad as far as we know and his salvation experience was not very impressive to begin with as he actually had trouble verbalizing and communicating well in English.

In addition, there was a strange spirit about him who was usually quiet and in fact strange. One time while he was in Bible College, he wrote a letter to a local preacher to beware of this foreign missionary calling the missionary a red hair monkey, a derogatory term in the Hokkien dialect close to the Chinese calling Caucasians foreign devils. Of course the gist of the letter was to warn the local preacher not to trust foreigners who were here on the mission field with ulterior motives.

The local preacher betrayed him and passed the letter to this missionary. This missionary met him back in Bible College with a hug and all was forgiven. Could a saved Christian behave that way, especially one who was pursuing a Bible education intending to be a preacher? Ignoring such red flags was not wise.

It is sad that missionaries sometimes take profession of faith for granted simply because the new “Christian” attends church and is active in activities. How much do they know about such new converts? Is the gospel message in English clearly understood by these English second language people? It is nice to write glowing reports from the mission fields regarding sinners converting to Christ and Christians surrendering to serve the Lord. But this may not always be the case with facts on the ground.

So we have this convert who went through Bible College and eventually rejected the Lord Jesus Christ and the pure gospel of Christ. What made it more frightening and tragic was he went to consult a medium just like king Saul went to a woman with a familiar spirit. This spiritual warfare is not an academic exercise. It is very real and many casualties have littered this earth for centuries.

In the Old Testament, believers are told not to consult a person with a familiar spirit. The consequence for the children of Israel who violated this commandment is death. In the New Testament, Christians are warned about seducing spirits. However, no powers are given to the Church to mete out judgment like those given to the State of Israel on such people. New Testament Christians are just warned to take heed about such Satanic activities and avoid them.

1 Timothy 4:1: Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils;

So some will indeed depart from the faith giving heed to seducing spirits. They will be sucked into doctrines of devils. As Christians, we are to discern between the spirit of truth and spirit of error.

1 John 4:6: We are of God: he that knoweth God heareth us; he that is not of God heareth not us. Hereby know we the spirit of truth, and the spirit of error.

If Christians are careless, they could become victims to seducing spirits. Christians cannot afford to be ignorant because there is a spirit working in the children of disobedience. We are living in perilous times and in a dangerous world.

Ephesians 2:2: Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience:

The Holy Bible has already revealed our glorious future. We need not seek to know the future by other means from the spirit world. The Holy Spirit who indwells us will lead us into all truths and not error.

John 16:13: Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come.

1 John 2:20: But ye have an unction from the Holy One, and ye know all things.

1 John 2:26: These things have I written unto you concerning them that seduce you.

1 John 2:27: But the anointing which ye have received of him abideth in you, and ye need not that any man teach you: but as the same anointing teacheth you of all things, and is truth, and is no lie, and even as it hath taught you, ye shall abide in him.

So listen to no other voice other than the voice of the Good Shepherd, the Lord Jesus Christ.

John 10:27: My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me:

Are you one of the Lord’s sheep?


Yoke Bearing for Christians

The Bible mentioned about yoke in the Old and New Testaments. The more famous and well known verse about yoke Christians like to talk about is 2 Corinthians 6:14: Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness?

However, yoke is more than just this verse Christians fancy most. The earliest mention of the word “yoke” is concerning servitude of a people.

Genesis 27:40: And by thy sword shalt thou live, and shalt serve thy brother; and it shall come to pass when thou shalt have the dominion, that thou shalt break his yoke from off thy neck.

This verse concerns the people of Esau. They would be put under the dominion of Jacob’s descendants. The yoke the children of Jacob applied on the children of Esau would come to an end when they finally dominate over Jacob’s children.

The next verse that talks about yoke has to do with the children of Israel living under bondage as slaves to serve their masters in the land of Egypt. It was a horrible yoke which Jehovah God eventually delivered them by the hands of Moses who led them out of Egypt.

Leviticus 26:13: I am the LORD your God, which brought you forth out of the land of Egypt, that ye should not be their bondmen; and I have broken the bands of your yoke, and made you go upright.

In actual literal practice, yoke is applied to an animal. However, some animals when they were not put under the yoke for agricultural purposes, they became sacrificial animals for the purpose of cleansing rituals for the children of Israel.

Numbers 19:2: This is the ordinance of the law which the LORD hath commanded, saying, Speak unto the children of Israel, that they bring thee a red heifer without spot, wherein is no blemish, and upon which never came yoke:

Deuteronomy 21:3: And it shall be, that the city which is next unto the slain man, even the elders of that city shall take an heifer, which hath not been wrought with, and which hath not drawn in the yoke;

Deuteronomy 21:4: And the elders of that city shall bring down the heifer unto a rough valley, which is neither eared nor sown, and shall strike off the heifer’s neck there in the valley:

Deuteronomy 21:5: And the priests the sons of Levi shall come near; for them the LORD thy God hath chosen to minister unto him, and to bless in the name of the LORD; and by their word shall every controversy and every stroke be tried:

After the children of Israel were delivered from the yoke of Egyptian bondage, they were warned that another more terrible yoke would come upon them when they rebel against God and fail to keep their covenant with the Lord.

Deuteronomy 28:48: Therefore shalt thou serve thine enemies which the LORD shall send against thee, in hunger, and in thirst, and in nakedness, and in want of all things: and he shall put a yoke of iron upon thy neck, until he have destroyed thee.

Usually, the enemies put the children of Israel under the yoke of bondage. Unfortunately, even the kings of Israel put them under severe bondage. After the death of king Solomon, the people requested Rehoboam who ascended the throne after Solomon to lighten their burdens. But king Rehoboam took counsel from those whom he grew up with to impose a even heavier yoke upon the children of Israel. Hence, the kingdom became divided.

1 Kings 12:4: Thy father made our yoke grievous: now therefore make thou the grievous service of thy father, and his heavy yoke which he put upon us, lighter, and we will serve thee.

1 Kings 12:9: And he said unto them, What counsel give ye that we may answer this people, who have spoken to me, saying, Make the yoke which thy father did put upon us lighter?

1 Kings 12:10: And the young men that were grown up with him spake unto him, saying, Thus shalt thou speak unto this people that spake unto thee, saying, Thy father made our yoke heavy, but make thou it lighter unto us; thus shalt thou say unto them, My little finger shall be thicker than my father’s loins.

1 Kings 12:11: And now whereas my father did lade you with a heavy yoke, I will add to your yoke: my father hath chastised you with whips, but I will chastise you with scorpions.

1 Kings 12:14: And spake to them after the counsel of the young men, saying, My father made your yoke heavy, and I will add to your yoke: my father also chastised you with whips, but I will chastise you with scorpions.

Throughout the writings of prophets Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Hosea and Nahum, the yoke continues to be a source of heavy bondage and servitude. It was not something positive and joyous celebration for the children of Israel. This was just the way it was due to sin and rebellion against God.

One of the most prominent mention of the word “yoke” is found in Lamentations. Jeremiah was lamenting bitterly concerning the destruction of Jerusalem and the Temple as well as the captivity of the children of Israel. Although he was not put to death by the Babylonians, he felt the pains of his people and the tragedy that fell upon Israel for their disobedience and rebellion against the God of Israel.

Lamentations 1:14: The yoke of my transgressions is bound by his hand: they are wreathed, and come up upon my neck: he hath made my strength to fall, the Lord hath delivered me into their hands, from whom I am not able to rise up.

Interestingly, Jeremiah mentioned something positive about bearing the yoke.

Lamentations 3:27: It is good for a man that he bear the yoke in his youth.

The reason Jeremiah could relate positively to yoke bearing is the realisation of the goodness of the Lord and trusting the Lord in times of adversity. Most importantly, the yoke is not permanent and hence it is good to bear the yoke in the youth. The Lord is just and knows what He is doing with them in spite of the burdens and sufferings of being put under the yoke.

Lamentations 3:28: He sitteth alone and keepeth silence, because he hath borne it upon him.

Lamentations 3:29: He putteth his mouth in the dust; if so be there may be hope.

Lamentations 3:30: He giveth his cheek to him that smiteth him: he is filled full with reproach.

Lamentations 3:31: For the Lord will not cast off for ever:

Lamentations 3:32: But though he cause grief, yet will he have compassion according to the multitude of his mercies.

Lamentations 3:33: For he doth not afflict willingly nor grieve the children of men.

Lamentations 3:34: To crush under his feet all the prisoners of the earth,

Lamentations 3:35: To turn aside the right of a man before the face of the most High,

Lamentations 3:36: To subvert a man in his cause, the Lord approveth not.

Lamentations 3:37: Who is he that saith, and it cometh to pass, when the Lord commandeth it not?

Lamentations 3:38: Out of the mouth of the most High proceedeth not evil and good?

Lamentations 3:39: Wherefore doth a living man complain, a man for the punishment of his sins?

Lamentations 3:40: Let us search and try our ways, and turn again to the LORD.

Lamentations 3:41: Let us lift up our heart with our hands unto God in the heavens.

Coming to the New Testament, yoke bearing takes on a new dimension. While yoke always portrays the idea of bondage and sufferings, it has become something desirable. Most glaring are the words of the Lord Jesus Christ who implores His people to take on His yoke.

Matthew 11:29: Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.

Matthew 11:30: For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.

The yoke in the world causes a lot of trouble and sufferings but the yoke of the Lord is the complete opposite. Taking on the yoke of the Lord brings rest to our souls.

Whenever a Christian complains it is so hard to live the Christian life, he is lying. The Lord tells us His yoke is easy and His burden is light. They are meant as a source of comfort for His people and not another form of terrible bondage impose upon His people to punish them.

The law of Moses imposed upon the children of Israel for their own good was a form of yoke the children of Israel found it hard to bear. So when a sinner believed and received the Lord, some Jews sought to impose the bondage of the law upon them.

Acts 15:10: Now therefore why tempt ye God, to put a yoke upon the neck of the disciples, which neither our fathers nor we were able to bear?

Galatians 5:1: Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage.

This yoke was decisively and conclusively rejected by the apostles when issues pertaining to observance of the law of Moses by the New Testament Christians were brought into question. Surely the Lord does not lie for His yoke is easy and His burden is light.

Now for the very familiar verse Christians usually apply to marriage, this verse actually covers more than just marriages.

2 Corinthians 6:14: Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness?

On the surface, this verse does apply to marital situation and there is nothing wrong with the application. However, the context of this verse is exemplified by the following verses.

2 Corinthians 6:15: And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel?

2 Corinthians 6:16: And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.

2 Corinthians 6:17: Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you,

2 Corinthians 6:18: And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.

So it is not merely for the case of Christians marrying non Christians. It is for Christians not to become yoked with encumbrances with the unsaved in many areas and not just on marriage. This however does not mean a Christian should avoid the unsaved like a plague because the apostle Paul clearly instructs that this would be unrealistic and impossible to do.

1 Corinthians 5:9: I wrote unto you in an epistle not to company with fornicators:

1 Corinthians 5:10: Yet not altogether with the fornicators of this world, or with the covetous, or extortioners, or with idolaters; for then must ye needs go out of the world.

So common sense prevails over how a Christian should avoid yoking up with an unbeliever and this applies more than just a marital union. This is the negative aspect of yoking in the New Testament.

In all practical purpose, yoking must be done with equal partners. In the business world, yoking is a synergistic partnership between companies to further their business venture for mutual benefits. If one party is a dominant party, such yoking is no longer an equal partnership. It would become a merger and acquisition scenario where the dominant company buying over the weaker company. Pains would be hard to avoid under such yoking arrangement as positions would be made redundant and employees could be retrenched. Hence, being unequally yoked brings no tangible benefits but pains to one party.

The positive aspect of yoking is to become engaged with like-minded brethren in the gospel work. This kind of yoking the Lord is obviously well pleased.

Philippians 4:3: And I intreat thee also, true yokefellow, help those women which laboured with me in the gospel, with Clement also, and with other my fellowlabourers, whose names are in the book of life.

Living in this fallen world, it is unavoidable that there would be a master and servant relationship. Salvation of a sinner does not abolish the present world system for the child of God. Such a Christian is encouraged to serve his master faithfully where the yoke is regarded as part of the Lord’s service.

1 Timothy 6:1: Let as many servants as are under the yoke count their own masters worthy of all honour, that the name of God and his doctrine be not blasphemed.

So becoming a Christian does not exempt the child of God from yoking. He is encouraged to yoke positively in the Lord’s work. He is also required to serve his master under the yoke as a form of service to the Lord to ensure the Lord’s name not be blasphemed. Of course, the child of God has to be careful not to become unequally yoked with unbelievers in all aspect of his life for his own safety and comfort as well as blessings from the Lord.

The Chinese has a saying.

吃 得 苦 中 苦 方 為 人 上 人

A person who can endure hardship is a superior man.

Hence, according to the scripture as written by Jeremiah: It is good for a man that he bear the yoke in his youth. (Lamentations 3:27)

The apostle Paul also exhorts Christians to be a good soldier for the Lord by enduring hardness.

2 Timothy 2:3: Thou therefore endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ.

Those who have gone through some form of military service would understand the challenges and the toughness require from a soldier.

It is good training to prepare for adversities in the youth. He will stand a greater chance of survival in this spiritual warfare that is waged against him by the flesh, world and the devil. How many Christians have fallen in the battlefields and the scars are too numerous to document because they have failed to heed Lamentations 3:27: It is good for a man that he bear the yoke in his youth.

As such, Christians are exhorted to be strong to take the yoke of the Lord which is easy and the burden light. The yoke of man is truly miserable.

1 Corinthians 16:13: Watch ye, stand fast in the faith, quit you like men, be strong.

Ephesians 6:10: Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might.

2 Timothy 2:1: Thou therefore, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus.


Costly Affair for Chinese New Year Celebration

Lunar New Year is here again. Chinese all over the world are celebrating this occasion. Prior to the very day of the new year, reunion dinner is a tradition to be observed where family members gather to have a great meal and a good time enjoying one another’s company. This tradition has been passed down through generations and is still being kept by Chinese everywhere.

This is an important event especially for Chinese in China where they work in cities far away from home and they only get to go home once a year to be with their family. This home coming puts China’s transport infrastructure into great strain with the legendary exodus of hundreds of millions of Chinese returning to their home town. Sometimes, the high way would look like an open air carpark during horrible traffic jams due to traffic accidents or inclement weather conditions.

Nevertheless, reunion dinner is a gathering Chinese will not want to miss longing to see their parents and siblings after months of separation due to work or business or even schooling. However, for Chinese living in small cities where there are constant interaction and regular meals together with family members, this reunion dinner, though a Chinese tradition, has lost some of its meanings. It becomes a chore and a burden for those living in fast pace city lives, hardly have the time to cook at home, let alone prepare dinner for big family gathering.

Besides reunion dinner, preparation for Chinese New Year cost a lot of money. Chinese will want to buy new clothes, new shoes, new bags and if possible even a new car. This is in addition to food and snacks to be purchased to entertain relatives during visits and of course decking up the home after an exhaustive spring cleaning and all these add to the cost of the celebration. Another very costly aspect of the celebration is giving out red packets with cash inserted inside to be given to children once they are married.

So this is the time of the year small kids are taught about receiving red packets containing cash inside. This is supposedly to make them happy with blessings but in reality teaches them covetousness, a time of exploitation and extortion. They would some day grow up having to be givers so might just as well collect as much while they are still eligible, especially to help parents recoup the cash they have to give out to other people’s kids.

Hence, it is so common to hear Chinese bellyaching about having to find money to go through Chinese New Year. On the social media, one guy was complaining about having given his dad who is retired several hundred dollars for red packets to be given out during Chinese New Year, his dad spent them all in a week. Another woman was complaining about the restaurant she works at promised to give employees bonus but failed to materialized in the very last minute. She was given an advance half a month salary a week ago and she had already spent them all on stuff for the new year. She was lamenting where she might find money for expenses for the next few weeks having to pay school fees for children and transportation expenses at the very last moment just before Chinese New Year.

Chinese New Year indeed comes with terrible burdens. Some people have been retrenched recently. How are they going to face their family members and relatives during this festive season? There is no end to trouble for those who are in financial difficulty. The article here summarizes services available to make Chinese New Year less stressful for busy city folks.

Four Services Available to Make Chinese New Year Less Stressful

Of course if you have an entrepreneurial spirit, Chinese New Year offers great business opportunity too. The Rent-A-Girlfriend Apps becomes an instant sensation because during Chinese New Year gatherings, instead of genuinely concern about each others welfare, it usually turns into a show-off convention with busy bodies asking personal questions causing embarrassment to some young people.

Girlfriend Rental App

Besides questions about marriage prospects, relatives also take the opportunity to compare occupations, wealth, children’s academic performance and many other vanities in this life. Unless you have money, Chinese New Year is not fun at all. Chinese New Year is all about wealth and getting more wealth.

As Christians, we see through all these vanities of life what the scriptures warn as worldliness and worldly lust. The Psalmists aptly exclaimed:

Psalms 39:5: Behold, thou hast made my days as an handbreadth; and mine age is as nothing before thee: verily every man at his best state is altogether vanity. Selah.

Psalms 39:6: Surely every man walketh in a vain shew: surely they are disquieted in vain: he heapeth up riches, and knoweth not who shall gather them.

Nevertheless, many Chinese Christians still celebrate Chinese New Year. Some no doubt have to suffer the burdens associated with all the encumbrances during this festive season if they are unable to disengage themselves from pesky relatives and all other vain and superstitious practice.

Actually, as Christians, we cannot blame the Chinese for going after all the material things in this life because they don’t know God and don’t have God’s promise to provide for them and take care of them.

Matthew 6:28: And why take ye thought for raiment? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin:

Matthew 6:29: And yet I say unto you, That even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.

Matthew 6:30: Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which to day is, and to morrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith?

Matthew 6:31: Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed?

Matthew 6:32: (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things.

Matthew 6:33: But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.

So Christians should not condemn or despise the Chinese for all this pursuit of wealth to impress relatives that they don’t like with the money that they have during this time. We should pity them for the burden they have to go through during this time. Some would no doubt end up with substantial debts to clear once the celebration is over. Of course there is nothing wrong wishing everyone well during Chinese New Year, especially wishing peace and blessings from the Lord.

As Christians, whatever calendar we observe, it is another year closer to the Lord’s glorious coming for us. It is a time to give thanks for God’s goodness for the past years and the rich blessings the Lord bestows upon us that we least deserve. May all Chinese Christian the world over rejoice in the Lord during this Chinese New Year.

Wishing all Chinese brethren God’s peace and blessings from above during this festive season.