Palestinian or Israel?


How should a Christian see current events in Israel? Who should they support, the Palestinian Cause, or the Israeli cause?

In a book I have from Logos, a woman discusses a Bible study she was at…

Scripture’s ability to help people understand modern-day circumstances was evident at a recent prayer gathering where Kay Arthur spoke. A woman came up to her afterwards to discuss some insights she had gotten while Arthur was reading from the book of Ezekiel. “She said, ‘when we were reading Ezekiel today, I noticed that it kept talking about the land, the land, the land.’ And I said, ‘you’re right. That’s a very good observation.’ We were reading it aloud, marking the text, and when you go through the Bible, starting in Genesis, and you mark every reference to the land of Israel (the land that God plans to give to Abraham as a covenant, as an everlasting possession) suddenly the Middle East situation and the idea of Israel giving away part of their land seems wrong, because they’re going against the Word of God.”

Christy Tennant, “Kay Arthur: Inductive Bible Study: Observation, Interpretation & Application,” in Study the Word: 12 Christian Leaders on Bible Study, ed. John D. Barry, Rebecca Van Noord, and Jessi Strong, Bible Study Magazine (Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press, 2014).

What utterly astounds me is that many Christians reject the word of God, and instead follow the media and the skewed presentation of the facts they force upon the public. Everyone’s been in an uproar about whether there’s fake news or not – I can honestly tell you that – oh, yeah… there’s fake news. Almost all of it. You’re certainly not being told any truth on the TV at ALL.

Simple facts. God promised Abraham all the land he could see, and God even specified the limits of it. It certainly went much farther than what Abraham could see, as Abraham’s line of sight was limited to 17 miles.

“In the same day the LORD made a covenant with Abram, saying, Unto thy seed have I given this land, from the river of Egypt unto the great river, the river Euphrates: The Kenites, and the Kenizzites, and the Kadmonites, And the Hittites, and the Perizzites, and the Rephaims, And the Amorites, and the Canaanites, and the Girgashites, and the Jebusites.” (Genesis 15:18–21, KJV)

That’s a big chunk of land, and Israel does not possess all of that yet. That means Syria, Lebanon, part of Iraq, and part of Egypt all belong to Israel.

God promised it.

So, what about the Palestinians?

Let me very briefly explain that. The Media shows you the Palestinians, and then they start talking about those people who owned the land before the Jews were brought in en masse by England and given the land.

That’s like showing you a tiger and talking about an ostrich.

Previous to World War II, Israel was sparsely settled, by a mixed population of Jews and Arabs. Many of the houses we’re shown on TV that the media references as having belonged to “Palestinians” actually belonged to Jews. Many of these Arabs who lived in Israel when the larger waves of emigrants from Europe came in packed up and… left. Like Benny Hinn. Whose father, by the way, was NEVER mayor of Jaffa.

So… who are these Palestinians? The day that Israel declared itself a nation – and the President of the United States, against all recommendations recognized it, because he’d read in his Bible the passage above. So, Syria, Lebanon, Egypt, and a couple of other countries massed their armies. They swore to their troops, “What you conquer, you will keep.” The troops gave away everything they owned, houses, property, land. And their families came behind the armies, prepared to take whatever they could grasp, after they murdered all the Jews in Israel.

They attacked without warning – kind of like 9-11. The declaration of war was in the form of artillery fire, as the troops poured over the border.

Israel fought back, and drove the attackers right back to the borders of their countries. In the case of Egyptian troops, they were driven back all the way across the Sinai far into Egypt.

And the attackers found the borders locked. They literally were locked out of their countries. “Sorry, you gave your stuff away. Good luck.”

So Israel did something no other nation has ever done to an invading army. They allowed them to put down their weapons and return to Israel, to live in refugee camps until the Israeli government could figure out what to do with them.

That’s the Palestinians. An invading army who was defeated and given aide by the very nation they invaded. The modern Palestinians are the descendants of those invading soldiers.

The Palestinians constantly speak of Israel as their land. it is their land only in the sense that their grandparents were promised they could keep what they took in warfare. They lost. It would be like Germany suddenly rioting and blowing themselves up in Paris, because they invaded years ago and had conquered France, so that’s their “homeland”.

The Palestinians want a homeland? They had one. Syria. Egypt. Lebanon. Massive invading forces were wiped out, and beaten. Is it Israel’s fault that all their countries got mad and locked the doors? Whose fault is it? Is it Israel’s fault that Syria, Lebanon and Egypt locked the borders and would not allow their own soldiers to return in disgrace, and uproot all the people the soldiers had given their land to?

Why did these countries do this? The orders literally were, “Conquer Israel and massacre all the Jews, or let no one come back alive.” The soldiers disobeyed the orders, and refused to be wiped out to the last man. So, those countries locked the borders.

And according to the media, it’s Israel’s fault.

Before anyone begins complaining and asking where I got my facts from, that’s your hint. It’s contained in news broadcasts of the 1948 war. It’s contained in the Encyclopedia Britannica. And you can find all the details in factsandlogic.org.

And if you’re a Christian, your mind on who you should support should have been made up once you read Genesis 15.

Use of the word Pharisee


I constantly encounter the word Pharisee by Christians, mostly Evangelicals. Recently, I encountered a hyper-grace believer on this blog, who was quick to try to subtly worm her way in by asking questions, subtly finding a way to slam Fundamentalists, and seized on that as a chance to argue with me that I was a Pharisee, full of works, because I wrote about… repentance and prayer.

Okay, Let me translate the word Pharisee for my Gentile readers, and let’s see if you understand how that word sits in my ears.

“Fundamentalist narrow minded Pharisee!”

In my ears means, “You Bible believing Jew!”

Jew.

You know, It’s been many years since I was called “Jew Boy” in school. Anti-Semitism still reigns in today’s society. Obama’s America in the last years of the reign of his regime had institutionalized Jew Hating. Schools of higher education were encouraged to be racist – against Jews. They used phrases to disguise it – “Divestiture”, “Censure”, “Israel”.

What it amounted to is that America has become increasingly intolerant, in the name of tolerance.

It’s bad enough I have to endure that from the unsaved, but to have my Christian brothers and sisters routinely engage in antisemitism is too much.

When you call someone Pharisee, understand this – you are being a racist. You are being a bigot. You are being an anti-Semite. You’re being a Jew Hater.

in 2008, one night late at night, while reading a book by John MacArthur and searching for the truth, I broke under the weight of my guilt over sin, and I cried out to God to save me from Hell. I called upon Jesus Christ in desperate need, and He answered. At that moment, my heritage ceased to be of importance. yet it’s thrown in my face over and over again.

We as Christians should not be racist. You should not say hurtful words. Don’t you think, if you call someone a Pharisee, you might have to explain that to Jesus Christ? When God says Israel is the apple of His eye, don’t you think you might want to be cautious about that?

When God says those who bless the seed of Abraham shall be blessed and those who curse Abraham’s seed will be cursed… you might want to be more careful?

You Gentiles reading this, understand this – you are a wild olive branch, grafted onto the vine of Israel. You’re joined into the vine along with me. We’re together. You have to live in the same place I do – forever, and ever, and ever.

Christians as a whole have examined their racism, realized its a sin, and repented of it. Except where the Jew is concerned. You look at someone who embraces the Bible as God’s instructions, and you snarl, “Jew!”

You say “Pharisee”, but I hear “Jew.” And it’s right back to 6th grade, and people shouting Jew Boy, and doing the Sieg Heil salute in my face, and shouting “Heil Hitler” as they spit on me.

I’ve gotten over that – certainly 6th Grade was a long time ago. But that feeling comes back when I hear Christians say, “Pharisee”.

To explain it, the Sadducee party disappeared in AD 70 with the destruction of the Temple. The only group to survive was the Pharisees. Jews today are the heirs of the Pharisees, and certainly it took a long time to break free of the mindset of the Chassidic teachings I’d learned, the Orthodox lifestyle. Seriously, it took a long time for me to be able to cut my fingernails without water nearby (if you don’t understand that, it’ll take too long to explain).

If you want to call me Fundamentalist, that’s fine. If you want to call me a literalist, someone who believes the Bible literally, that’s great! If you think I’m self-righteous, say that!

But anti-Semitism should NEVER be in the mouths of Christians. NEVER. If you harbor any anti-Semitic thoughts, pray about them. It’s like all sins we struggle with.

Don’t ever call anyone a Pharisee ever again.

Those Fundamentalist Pharisees by David Cloud


Updated September 24 2014 (first published August 2, 1996)(David Cloud, Fundamental Baptist Information Service, P.O. Box 610368, Port Huron, MI 48061, 866-295-4143, fbns@wayoflife.org)

Christians who have strong biblical convictions are often labeled “Pharisees.”

The following are a few examples of the probably hundreds of times people have written to called me a Pharisee.

“I wonder what makes Mr. Cloud so sure he’s right and everybody else is wrong? Look at the Pharisees, Mr. Cloud, and then look in the mirror!”

“You’re the best example I think I’ve ever seen of the Pharisee who sits at the front of the synagogue giving thanks for not being a sinner like everyone else.”

“I figured you were a Baptist organization. You are nothing more than modern day Pharisees! Judgmental ignorant people. Get a grip.”

To label a Bible-believing Christian who is passionate to honor Christ and to obey God’s Word a Pharisee is a slander, because the error of Phariseeism was not their zeal to obey the Scripture. They had no such zeal. They were zealous, rather, to create their own religious system and to exalt their own self-righteousness.

A biblical definition of Phariseeism is as follows:

1. Phariseeism is supplanting the Word of God with man-made tradition and thereby making the Word of God of none effect. “Ye hypocrites, well did Esaias prophesy of you, saying, This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoureth me with their lips; but their heart is far from me. But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men” (Mat. 15:7-9).

2. Phariseeism is rejecting Jesus Christ. “Then was brought unto him one possessed with a devil, blind, and dumb: and he healed him, insomuch that the blind and dumb both spake and saw. And all the people were amazed, and said, Is not this the son of David? But when the Pharisees heard it, they said, This fellow doth not cast out devils, but by Beelzebub the prince of the devils” (Mat. 12:22-24).

3. Phariseeism is perverting the Gospel of the free grace of Christ into a work’s salvation. “Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye compass sea and land to make one proselyte, and when he is made, ye make him twofold more the child of hell than yourselves” (Mat. 23:15).

4. Phariseeism is self-righteousness. “And he spake this parable unto certain which trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and despised others: Two men went up into the temple to pray; the one a Pharisee, and the other a publican. The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, God, I thank thee, that I am not as other men are, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this publican. I fast twice in the week, I give tithes of all that I possess” (Lk. 18:9-12).

5. Phariseeism is the practice of religious hypocrisy. “In the mean time, when there were gathered together an innumerable multitude of people, insomuch that they trode one upon another, he began to say unto his disciples first of all, Beware ye of the leaven of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisy” (Lk. 12:1).

The Pharisees were at the forefront of the crucifixion of Jesus Christ and of the persecution of the early Christians.

It is a great error to label a Christ-loving, Bible-honoring, grace-preaching, self-debasing, peace-loving Christian a Pharisee.

Jesus did not reject the Pharisees because they loved God’s Word and took it too seriously.

Jesus did not reject the Pharisees because they were careful to honor the details of God’s Word. Never did Jesus reprove them for such a thing.

Jesus did not reject the Pharisees because they judged by God’s Word. They didn’t judge by God’s Word; they judged by their own vain tradition. Jesus warned against hypocritical judgment, but He encouraged judgment based on truth.

Jesus did not reject the Pharisees because they marked and avoided false teachers. Jesus Himself warned about false teachers and instructed His people to beware of them (Matthew 7:15-23). Jesus commended the church at Ephesus because they had “tried them which say they are apostles, and are not, and hast found them liars” and for hating the deeds of the Nicolaitans (Revelation 2:2, 6). Imagine that! Jesus commended the church for hating the deeds of false teachers. Obviously, that type of thing is not Phariseeism.

Zeal for God’s Word is right and godly. The following testimony expresses the very essence of true spirituality and godliness:

“Therefore I esteem all thy precepts concerning all things to be right; and I hate every false way” (Psalms 119:128).

Was the Psalmist speaking here as a Pharisee? Of course not. It is spiritual to esteem all of God’s precepts concerning all things to be right and to hate everything that is contrary to God’s precepts. Note the emphasis on ALL precepts and ALL things and EVERY false way. This is the very strictest sort of Biblicist mindset, and it is encouraged in the pages of God’s Word as the correct mindset and attitude of the man who loves God passionately.

Jesus reproved the Pharisees for turning the law of Moses into a way of salvation, which it was never intended to be, and for their hypocrisy and for their lack of love and grace and compassion. Consider the following reproof:

“Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin, and have omitted the weightier matters of the law, judgment, mercy, and faith: these ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone” (Matthew 23:23).

Jesus didn’t say, “You Pharisees make far too much of tithing and other such things in God’s law. You are much too zealous for God’s Word. Don’t you know that God never intended you to take everything so strictly. Why don’t you lighten up?”

No, Jesus said they did well to take God’s Word strictly by honoring even the details of tithing. What He hated was that they had missed the heart and soul of the law of God, which was judgment, mercy, and faith. Observe that “judgment” is commended by Jesus!

The law was not given as a means to obtain righteousness; rather, it revealed God’s extreme holiness and man’s fallenness and pointed to Christ as the believing sinner’s justification (Rom. 3:19-24; Gal. 3:10-13, 24-25). The Pharisees missed the heart of the law which is to love God with all one’s heart and to love one’s neighbor as oneself. The fact that they were complicit in the death of the Son of God is clear evidence that they did not love God.

Candidly, there are a lot of fundamental Baptist preachers that I have little respect for, but I don’t know of any full-blown fundamentalist Pharisees. In my experience, every fundamental Baptist preacher believes too much in grace and delights too much in God’s free righteousness to be a Pharisee. There has been a lot of hypocrisy, though, and there is an element of true legalism within some aspects of the fundamental Baptist movement. I have warned about this often. (See, for example, my free eBook THE HYLES EFFECT, which is available at http://www.wayoflife.org.)

While I can’t speak for everyone, I can speak for myself. And I don’t preach works for salvation and I don’t preach works for sanctification. Everything is by God’s grace and His grace alone. Everything is Christ in me the hope of glory. The essence of the Christian life is not me doing something for God. It was described by Paul as follows: “I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me” (Gal. 2:20).

This might not come across in every single sermon, but it is clear in my thinking and in my personal life and in the overall perspective of my ministry.

As for hypocrisy, I don’t always live up to what I preach. Far from it, but I confess my sins to God (and to man when the situation necessitates) and don’t pretend to any self-righteousness. I know at every moment that the only righteousness I have that is acceptable to God is in Christ and in Christ alone. That is not the thinking of a Pharisee.

We see in Matthew 23:23 that Christ did not rebuke the Pharisees for paying attention to the less weighty things in the law. He rebuked them for focusing on the lesser matters to the neglect of the weightier ones.

The Bible-believing “fundamentalists” that I know do not neglect the weightier matters of the New Testament faith. They aim, rather, to follow Paul’s example and to give heed to “the whole counsel of God” (Acts 20:27). They preach Christ’s virgin birth, blood atonement, resurrection, and ascension. They preach justification by grace alone and the Trinity and the personality of the Holy Spirit and the other “weightier” matters of the faith. They also preach church discipline (1 Cor. 5) and the divine restrictions upon the woman’s ministry (1 Tim. 2:12; 1 Cor. 14:34) and other things that are less weighty.

When a Christian today preaches against pop music and Hollywood’s moral filth and calls for modest dress, he is called a Pharisee, but the Bible demands a very strict separation from the world, and this is not Phariseeism; it is New Testament Christianity.

Following are just some of the commandments on this issue, and they are indeed commandments and not suggestions.

“And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God” (Romans 12:2).

“Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God” (2 Corinthians 7:1).

“But God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world” (Galatians 6:14).

“And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them” (Ephesians 5:11).

“For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world” (Titus 2:11-12).

“Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world” (James 1:27).

“Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God” (James 4:4).

“Dearly beloved, I beseech you as strangers and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts, which war against the soul” (1 Peter 2:11).

“Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever” (1 John 2:15-17).

“And we know that we are of God, and the whole world lieth in wickedness” (1 John 5:19).

Separation from the world by a born again, blood-washed, saved-by-grace-alone believer is not Phariseeism. It is obedience to God and conformity to His character and will.

The Pharisees were at the forefront of the crucifixion of Jesus Christ and of the persecution of the early Christians.

It is a great slander to label a Christ-loving, Bible-honoring, grace-gospel-preaching, self-debasing, peace-loving Christian a Pharisee.

The modern Pharisee would be more akin to the Roman Catholic priest with his sacramental gospel and his traditions exalted to the place of Scripture and his long history of persecuting the saints. The ecumenical crowd doesn’t call Catholic priests Pharisees, though. They don’t seem to be concerned about all of the souls who have been led astray by these contemporary Pharisees.

The only men they seem to be concerned about are those dreadful old “fundamentalists” with their strong Bible convictions and their refusal to smile at error.

Oh, those dreadful fundamentalist Pharisees!

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Those Fundamentalist Pharisees by David Cloud


Updated September 24 2014 (first published August 2, 1996)(David Cloud, Fundamental Baptist Information Service, P.O. Box 610368, Port Huron, MI 48061, 866-295-4143, fbns@wayoflife.org)

Christians who have strong biblical convictions are often labeled “Pharisees.”

The following are a few examples of the probably hundreds of times people have written to called me a Pharisee.

“I wonder what makes Mr. Cloud so sure he’s right and everybody else is wrong? Look at the Pharisees, Mr. Cloud, and then look in the mirror!”

“You’re the best example I think I’ve ever seen of the Pharisee who sits at the front of the synagogue giving thanks for not being a sinner like everyone else.”

“I figured you were a Baptist organization. You are nothing more than modern day Pharisees! Judgmental ignorant people. Get a grip.”

To label a Bible-believing Christian who is passionate to honor Christ and to obey God’s Word a Pharisee is a slander, because the error of Phariseeism was not their zeal to obey the Scripture. They had no such zeal. They were zealous, rather, to create their own religious system and to exalt their own self-righteousness.

A biblical definition of Phariseeism is as follows:

1. Phariseeism is supplanting the Word of God with man-made tradition and thereby making the Word of God of none effect. “Ye hypocrites, well did Esaias prophesy of you, saying, This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoureth me with their lips; but their heart is far from me. But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men” (Mat. 15:7-9).

2. Phariseeism is rejecting Jesus Christ. “Then was brought unto him one possessed with a devil, blind, and dumb: and he healed him, insomuch that the blind and dumb both spake and saw. And all the people were amazed, and said, Is not this the son of David? But when the Pharisees heard it, they said, This fellow doth not cast out devils, but by Beelzebub the prince of the devils” (Mat. 12:22-24).

3. Phariseeism is perverting the Gospel of the free grace of Christ into a work’s salvation. “Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye compass sea and land to make one proselyte, and when he is made, ye make him twofold more the child of hell than yourselves” (Mat. 23:15).

4. Phariseeism is self-righteousness. “And he spake this parable unto certain which trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and despised others: Two men went up into the temple to pray; the one a Pharisee, and the other a publican. The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, God, I thank thee, that I am not as other men are, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this publican. I fast twice in the week, I give tithes of all that I possess” (Lk. 18:9-12).

5. Phariseeism is the practice of religious hypocrisy. “In the mean time, when there were gathered together an innumerable multitude of people, insomuch that they trode one upon another, he began to say unto his disciples first of all, Beware ye of the leaven of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisy” (Lk. 12:1).

The Pharisees were at the forefront of the crucifixion of Jesus Christ and of the persecution of the early Christians.

It is a great error to label a Christ-loving, Bible-honoring, grace-preaching, self-debasing, peace-loving Christian a Pharisee.

Jesus did not reject the Pharisees because they loved God’s Word and took it too seriously.

Jesus did not reject the Pharisees because they were careful to honor the details of God’s Word. Never did Jesus reprove them for such a thing.

Jesus did not reject the Pharisees because they judged by God’s Word. They didn’t judge by God’s Word; they judged by their own vain tradition. Jesus warned against hypocritical judgment, but He encouraged judgment based on truth.

Jesus did not reject the Pharisees because they marked and avoided false teachers. Jesus Himself warned about false teachers and instructed His people to beware of them (Matthew 7:15-23). Jesus commended the church at Ephesus because they had “tried them which say they are apostles, and are not, and hast found them liars” and for hating the deeds of the Nicolaitans (Revelation 2:2, 6). Imagine that! Jesus commended the church for hating the deeds of false teachers. Obviously, that type of thing is not Phariseeism.

Zeal for God’s Word is right and godly. The following testimony expresses the very essence of true spirituality and godliness:

“Therefore I esteem all thy precepts concerning all things to be right; and I hate every false way” (Psalms 119:128).

Was the Psalmist speaking here as a Pharisee? Of course not. It is spiritual to esteem all of God’s precepts concerning all things to be right and to hate everything that is contrary to God’s precepts. Note the emphasis on ALL precepts and ALL things and EVERY false way. This is the very strictest sort of Biblicist mindset, and it is encouraged in the pages of God’s Word as the correct mindset and attitude of the man who loves God passionately.

Jesus reproved the Pharisees for turning the law of Moses into a way of salvation, which it was never intended to be, and for their hypocrisy and for their lack of love and grace and compassion. Consider the following reproof:

“Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin, and have omitted the weightier matters of the law, judgment, mercy, and faith: these ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone” (Matthew 23:23).

Jesus didn’t say, “You Pharisees make far too much of tithing and other such things in God’s law. You are much too zealous for God’s Word. Don’t you know that God never intended you to take everything so strictly. Why don’t you lighten up?”

No, Jesus said they did well to take God’s Word strictly by honoring even the details of tithing. What He hated was that they had missed the heart and soul of the law of God, which was judgment, mercy, and faith. Observe that “judgment” is commended by Jesus!

The law was not given as a means to obtain righteousness; rather, it revealed God’s extreme holiness and man’s fallenness and pointed to Christ as the believing sinner’s justification (Rom. 3:19-24; Gal. 3:10-13, 24-25). The Pharisees missed the heart of the law which is to love God with all one’s heart and to love one’s neighbor as oneself. The fact that they were complicit in the death of the Son of God is clear evidence that they did not love God.

Candidly, there are a lot of fundamental Baptist preachers that I have little respect for, but I don’t know of any full-blown fundamentalist Pharisees. In my experience, every fundamental Baptist preacher believes too much in grace and delights too much in God’s free righteousness to be a Pharisee. There has been a lot of hypocrisy, though, and there is an element of true legalism within some aspects of the fundamental Baptist movement. I have warned about this often. (See, for example, my free eBook THE HYLES EFFECT, which is available at http://www.wayoflife.org.)

While I can’t speak for everyone, I can speak for myself. And I don’t preach works for salvation and I don’t preach works for sanctification. Everything is by God’s grace and His grace alone. Everything is Christ in me the hope of glory. The essence of the Christian life is not me doing something for God. It was described by Paul as follows: “I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me” (Gal. 2:20).

This might not come across in every single sermon, but it is clear in my thinking and in my personal life and in the overall perspective of my ministry.

As for hypocrisy, I don’t always live up to what I preach. Far from it, but I confess my sins to God (and to man when the situation necessitates) and don’t pretend to any self-righteousness. I know at every moment that the only righteousness I have that is acceptable to God is in Christ and in Christ alone. That is not the thinking of a Pharisee.

We see in Matthew 23:23 that Christ did not rebuke the Pharisees for paying attention to the less weighty things in the law. He rebuked them for focusing on the lesser matters to the neglect of the weightier ones.

The Bible-believing “fundamentalists” that I know do not neglect the weightier matters of the New Testament faith. They aim, rather, to follow Paul’s example and to give heed to “the whole counsel of God” (Acts 20:27). They preach Christ’s virgin birth, blood atonement, resurrection, and ascension. They preach justification by grace alone and the Trinity and the personality of the Holy Spirit and the other “weightier” matters of the faith. They also preach church discipline (1 Cor. 5) and the divine restrictions upon the woman’s ministry (1 Tim. 2:12; 1 Cor. 14:34) and other things that are less weighty.

When a Christian today preaches against pop music and Hollywood’s moral filth and calls for modest dress, he is called a Pharisee, but the Bible demands a very strict separation from the world, and this is not Phariseeism; it is New Testament Christianity.

Following are just some of the commandments on this issue, and they are indeed commandments and not suggestions.

“And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God” (Romans 12:2).

“Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God” (2 Corinthians 7:1).

“But God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world” (Galatians 6:14).

“And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them” (Ephesians 5:11).

“For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world” (Titus 2:11-12).

“Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world” (James 1:27).

“Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God” (James 4:4).

“Dearly beloved, I beseech you as strangers and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts, which war against the soul” (1 Peter 2:11).

“Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever” (1 John 2:15-17).

“And we know that we are of God, and the whole world lieth in wickedness” (1 John 5:19).

Separation from the world by a born again, blood-washed, saved-by-grace-alone believer is not Phariseeism. It is obedience to God and conformity to His character and will.

The Pharisees were at the forefront of the crucifixion of Jesus Christ and of the persecution of the early Christians.

It is a great slander to label a Christ-loving, Bible-honoring, grace-gospel-preaching, self-debasing, peace-loving Christian a Pharisee.

The modern Pharisee would be more akin to the Roman Catholic priest with his sacramental gospel and his traditions exalted to the place of Scripture and his long history of persecuting the saints. The ecumenical crowd doesn’t call Catholic priests Pharisees, though. They don’t seem to be concerned about all of the souls who have been led astray by these contemporary Pharisees.

The only men they seem to be concerned about are those dreadful old “fundamentalists” with their strong Bible convictions and their refusal to smile at error.

Oh, those dreadful fundamentalist Pharisees!

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“About” David Cloud
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Canaries


150 years ago, coal miners in the UK and US used to carry Canaries with them into the mines. One person held the lamp  and also watched the canaries. If they broke through a vein to an area with radon gas or other dangerous gases that could kill the miners, the canaries would drop first. The minute they saw the canaries in distress, the man with the light sounded the alarm. The Canaries’ tolerance to the gas was so much less, that even if they showed any signs of lethargy the miners escaped the mines.

There’s one major doctrine that I liken to the canary. If your doctrine is suffering, this is where it shows up first.

The Rapture.

The minute Christians begin to worry that they might have to go through part of or all of the Tribulation, you should be fleeing to your Bible.

I’ve recounted many times on this blog numerous proofs for the Pre-trib rapture. The proofs are Scriptural, numerous, and uncontestable. I liken most of the rebuttals to one of several usual problems – replacement theology, anti-semitism (that’s Jew-hating, for those of you who wish to be contentious), or a complete misunderstanding of foundational doctrinal understandings. You pick.

When I mention that the word “Church” cannot be found between Revelation 4-20 (in other words, during the Tribulation) someone always answers “But it mentions saints.”

Okay, … that’s Revelation chapter 8. Who is it talking about in Revelation 7?

1 And after these things I saw four angels standing on the four corners of the earth, holding the four winds of the earth, that the wind should not blow on the earth, nor on the sea, nor on any tree. 2 And I saw another angel ascending from the east, having the seal of the living God: and he cried with a loud voice to the four angels, to whom it was given to hurt the earth and the sea, 3 Saying, Hurt not the earth, neither the sea, nor the trees, till we have sealed the servants of our God in their foreheads. 4 And I heard the number of them which were sealed: and there were sealed an hundred and forty and four thousand of all the tribes of the children of Israel. Revelation 7:1-4 (KJV)

The children of Israel. Those are Jews.

Every once in a while, I see people suddenly start talking at this point about the Khazars, and Ashkenazi Jews.

If you just went there, you’re a Jew-hater. Or Anti-Semite, if that sounds too bold for you.

usually about fifth or sixth down on the list of Christian doctrinal health is your position on Jews. If you hate Jews, you really need to carefully read Matthew 24. It’s um… talking about them. If the judgment of the righteous nations at the end of the Tribulation is based partly on how the Gentiles treat the Jews… don’t you think you may have to answer to the King of the Jews about your hatred of them?

I bring this up often because… people search often to see what Franklin Graham thinks of the Rapture. Hopefully, you’re all just looking for a quote to use in some kind of thesis or something. I’d hate to think some of you are looking to see what some man believes, so you know what to believe!

Since I put up a link to that news story, I’ve had at least two to three searches a week for “Franklin Graham on the Rapture”. It’s one of the top searches leading people to my blog.

if you’re one of them, I have a LOT of material on the Pre-trib rapture, and why it’s the ONLY BIBLICAL position you can take on the End times. Please – take the time to open your Bible, and look for yourself.

About the Rapture…


I’ve noticed that one of the search terms that I see the most, is “Franklin Graham on the Rapture.”

I suspect that most of the people are searching for two reasons…

  1. They’re looking to see what he believes about the Rapture, to know how they should believe OR
  2. They’re looking to see what he believes about the Rapture because they’re Pre-Wrath, mid-Trib or Post-Trib and they’re looking for an axe to grind.

For the first group, I’ll let Scripture speak for itself…

29 Jesus answered and said unto them, Ye do err, not knowing the scriptures, nor the power of God. Matthew 22:29 (KJV)
24 And Jesus answering said unto them, Do ye not therefore err, because ye know not the scriptures, neither the power of God? Mark 12:24 (KJV)
15 Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. 2 Timothy 2:15 (KJV)
Read your Bibles for yourself. If I pick a famous Bible teacher to follow and let him decide for me what’s Biblical, that’s alarmingly bad. Don’t blindly follow any human being, whether it’s Billy Graham, Franklin Graham, David Cloud, or that blog guy Philip Dean! Probably especially the last one.
The Lord Jesus Christ requires you to read your Bible, and to know what’s written in it. He asked uncomfortable questions about the Bible, and strongly declared a literal reading of the verses, and denounced allegory except where Scripture comes right out and says, “This is an allegory.”
Let’s move on to the second group.
The word “church can be found 18 times in Revelation 1-3.
It can be found in Rev. 22 only once.
For some 19 chapters, it is mentioned zero times.
So, why is the most commonly used word in the first part of Revelation used prior to the Tribulation, and then not again until after Jesus Christ returns to Earth?
uh… the churches all go somewhere.
Because the Bible suddenly starts speaking about Jews.
1 And after these things I saw four angels standing on the four corners of the earth, holding the four winds of the earth, that the wind should not blow on the earth, nor on the sea, nor on any tree. 2 And I saw another angel ascending from the east, having the seal of the living God: and he cried with a loud voice to the four angels, to whom it was given to hurt the earth and the sea, 3 Saying, Hurt not the earth, neither the sea, nor the trees, till we have sealed the servants of our God in their foreheads. 4 And I heard the number of them which were sealed: and there were sealed an hundred and forty and four thousand of all the tribes of the children of Israel. Revelation 7:1-4 (KJV)
“Tribes of Israel.” This doesn’t mean denominations of Christianity. This means Jews. You know, my people. Y’hudim. Vos mach stu, Yidh? You know, those people the Nazi’s tried to kill. Those people that are so hated in almost every country on earth.
What do we derive from this?
Moses and Elijah return to earth. Meaning someone brings them. That same someone takes all the Christians off the earth, and God at last returns His attention to His chosen people, whom He has promised not to forsake.
35 Thus saith the LORD, which giveth the sun for a light by day, and the ordinances of the moon and of the stars for a light by night, which divideth the sea when the waves thereof roar; The LORD of hosts is his name: 36 If those ordinances depart from before me, saith the LORD, then the seed of Israel also shall cease from being a nation before me for ever. 37 Thus saith the LORD; If heaven above can be measured, and the foundations of the earth searched out beneath, I will also cast off all the seed of Israel for all that they have done, saith the LORD. Jeremiah 31:35-37 (KJV)
1 I say then, Hath God cast away his people? God forbid. For I also am an Israelite, of the seed of Abraham, of the tribe of Benjamin. 2 God hath not cast away his people which he foreknew. Wot ye not what the scripture saith of Elias? how he maketh intercession to God against Israel, saying, 3 Lord, they have killed thy prophets, and digged down thine altars; and I am left alone, and they seek my life. 4 But what saith the answer of God unto him? I have reserved to myself seven thousand men, who have not bowed the knee to the image of Baal. 5 Even so then at this present time also there is a remnant according to the election of grace. Romans 11:1-5 (KJV)
I have a lot of writings on the subject of the Rapture, and I do recommend you take the time to read them, with your King James Bible open and look up what I refer to.
Here’s one of the crowning (hint) proofs that the Rapture is in Rev. 4:1…
10 The four and twenty elders fall down before him that sat on the throne, and worship him that liveth for ever and ever, and cast their crowns before the throne, saying, 11 Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created. Revelation 4:10-11 (KJV)
When do you get your crown? The believer’s Judgment. When is that?
1 The elders which are among you I exhort, who am also an elder, and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, and also a partaker of the glory that shall be revealed: 2 Feed the flock of God which is among you, taking the oversight thereof, not by constraint, but willingly; not for filthy lucre, but of a ready mind; 3 Neither as being lords over God’s heritage, but being ensamples to the flock. 4 And when the chief Shepherd shall appear, ye shall receive a crown of glory that fadeth not away. 1 Peter 5:1-4 (KJV)
When the Chief Shepherd appear. The believers get their rewards when Christ returns. But… Christ hasn’t returned to the earth until Revelation 19, right?
Oh.
The Rapture.
The Rapture, according to Revelation has to happen between Rev. 4:1 and Rev. 4:10. So, somewhere in those verses we should see the door of Heaven opened (hint), right?
1 After this I looked, and, behold, a door was opened in heaven: and the first voice which I heard was as it were of a trumpet talking with me; which said, Come up hither, and I will shew thee things which must be hereafter. Revelation 4:1 (KJV)
The Rapture.
11 And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war. Revelation 19:11 (KJV)
the second coming. The door in Heaven opens twice. The Rapture, the Return.
Case closed. Go read my other articles on the Rapture.

Messianic Judaism 48


Under redundant, see redundant.

The redundancy argument is also known as arguing in circles. If you are supposed to pick me up for a ride at 8:00 and show up at 8:40, and I tell you, “you’re late…”

The correct answer IS NOT a blank stare and… “No I’m not!”

This is a direct quote from a Messianic website – it will absolutely blow your mind.

“Did you know, for instance, that obedience to Torah has nothing,  whatsoever to do with “works” or being “under the law?” Works is being an elder at your church, or driving the church bus, or being part of some church ministry…”

Uh…. under “redundant…” if this was a Hovind seminar, he’d probably tell you the “jump frog!” joke at this point, repeat the quote from the Messianics, and would repeat “jump, frog!” at the end of it.

I’m not as polite. This is as skewered an argument as I can find.

Let me define works for you – because apparently the person writing this has no idea what works is, or is deliberately arguing something false for the purpose of getting you to believe what he’s telling you is true.

Works is defined in relation to Salvation, Biblically. Driving the church bus will not save you.

Messianics believe that “you have to be saved by Jesus Christ, but if you don’t keep the Torah, you won’t be saved.”

uh… THAT’S works.

16 Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified. Galatians 2:16 (KJV)
 Ergon Nomou… works of the law. Blows that whole argument out of the water!

Works are defined not as good deeds, but rather, the attempt to earn or maintain your salvation.

How are you saved? I’m going to deal with this in detail very soon. Suffice it to say the Messianic way is a complete contradiction.

If Jesus Christ saves you, how saved are you? The Messianic maintians, “not very”. you have to keep doing it.

Wait. How can I possibly be at all involved in my salvation? It’s a gift – all I have to do is accept it.

If I have ANY power whatsoever to have ANYTHING to do with my salvation, it becomes MY salvation, not the Lord’s.

That’s not the Jesus Christ of the Bible – that’s a different Jesus.

“How is keeping His commanded Seventh Day Sabbath “works” or “being under the law?” … How is keeping His commanded seven Feasts “works” or “being under the law?” There’s a valid reason to keep each one: They are our “dates” with God!”

Well, first, the Sabbath was never commanded to Gentiles. The sabbath was binding on Jews only.  The law was binding until you are born again. To be born again means you have died. Once you’re died to the law, it becomes works to resume doing it again, if you at any time think it keeps your salvation, maintains it, or keeps you from losing it.

Your welcome. glad I could explain it.

Over the next few days, I’ll detail more on WHAT salvation is, how it happens, and warning signs if you are not saved (hint – if you’re trusting in anything other than Jesus Christ, big time warning…)