Volume XXX Number 6 JUNE 20, 2006


By the day of the deadly clash between Cain and Abel, the peoples of the world were divided in their worship. We do not know (and cannot be certain) exactly how old these twin brothers were at the time of the argument, and we may only guess what the population of the world was when Cain murdered Abel. I accept, without reservation or question, that every person in existence was a lineal descendent of Adam and Eve and the implications of the text would suggest that the number of those descendents was substantial. We should take note that the Scripture records that Cain used the phrase “every one” (implying a great number) and that his wife is introduced in such a way as to indicate that their marriage was entered well before his evil deed. Therefore, whether there were multiplied dozens, only a few hundred, or a great many thousands, the evidence is that the peoples of the earth were divided as to how to approach their Creator, whom they knew to be JEHOVAH. Some obediently followed the requirement that the LORD God had established—coming before the LORD through the blood of an atoning sacrifice—and others continued to worship the LORD, but did so in rituals, ceremonies, and rites that were acceptable in their own eyes (Proverbs 30:12) and by offering sacrifices that seemed right to them (Proverbs 16:25). The foolish substitution of idols (Isaiah 44:15-20, Romans 1:20-25) for the true and living God of Heaven was an invention that had not yet been produced by the imagination of humanity. The evolution of that degenerate evil was still generations away. On the day Cain assassinated Abel, both men apparently had returned from offering sacrifices to the LORD God. Specifically, the content of the passage leads one to believe that it may properly be understood that the first argument recorded in history was over the subject of worshipping the God of Heaven. The first blow struck in anger was a result of a religious dispute between two men who both claimed to worship the Creator and who both had a full knowledge of truth. It is clear that both men knew the word of God, understood that the proper way to approach God was through the blood of an acceptable sacrifice, and comprehended the penalty for disobedience. The discussion between the two would have centered on the appeal of Abel to Cain to repent and to return to the LORD with the acceptable sacrifice— Abel died as a martyr because of his witness to truth (Matthew 23:35, Luke 11:51, Hebrews 11:4). While both claimed to worship the God of Heaven, Cain insisted on “doing it my way.”

This exact division continues to exist. Among those claiming to be Christians are wide differences, even diametrically conflicting disagreements. A number of denominations insist that baptism is required for salvation. Others are adamant that one must be a member of a particular denomination. It is not difficult to find alleged Christians who will not affirm the deity of Jesus of Nazareth. Several groups deny the existence of the Godhead, the Trinity. Some scoff at the necessity of the blood atonement. Many denominations require specific works to obtain or to retain salvation. There are those who indeed are preaching salvation by grace through faith in the atonement provided in the shed blood of the sacrificial death of the LORD Jesus, but that figure is not the majority of those using the name Christian and those who do advocate the Biblical truth are received with the same hatred with which Cain greeted Abel.

However, the world has greater religious divisions that those within Christianity. “Christianity is but one of the three great monotheistic religions”—or so declares the American media and politicians. Beyond “the three great monotheistic religions” are numerous lesser monotheistic religions, multiplied polytheistic religions, and innumerable religions that are not built upon a premise of a personal god or gods. The world does not have a shortage of religions. The obvious truth is that the peoples of the world in 2006 are fractionalized by worship differences, and the great cry of the age is for some plan to unify religion so that the discord can be removed. The politicians and planners all recognize that religious diversity is the only issue preventing a one-world government—the current code word is “global.” government. The pressure of commercial and political forces to form an inclusive pluralistic religion continually increases. Former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, no friend to Biblical Christianity or to Branch Davidians, has written a book pleading the necessity for the governments of the world to train their representatives in the skills of religious diplomacy. (It was kind of her to release The Mighty and The Almighty while I am writing this article.) The Madame Secretary knows that the nations of this world are looking for a leader of religions; she understands, as do most of her colleagues, that the world needs a religious unity. The ultimate solution (from her and their viewpoint) will be the biblically prophesied religion of antichrist.

Abel chose (and worship is always a choice by the individual) to worship and to serve the LORD God of Heaven, the One Who created the world and his parents, and to do so following the prescribed manner and with the means established by JEHOVAH the Creator. Cain chose to worship that same God of Heaven, but to do so in the manner and with the means of his own devising. In doing so, Cain followed the guidance or suggestion of the “wicked one” (1 John 3:12) and this culminated in Cain killing his brother and continuing his arrogant egotism against his Creator and Judge. Cain was so blatant in his rebellion that he fearlessly lied, unhesitatingly and unblushingly, to the very face of the LORD concerning his knowledge and then audaciously challenged, impudently and sarcastically, the right of the LORD even to ask such a question. Notice his gross arrogance in this passage.

Genesis 4:8-9 And Cain talked with Abel his brother: and it came to pass, when they were in the field, that Cain rose up against Abel his brother, and slew him. And the LORD said unto Cain, Where is Abel thy brother? And he said, I know not: Am I my brother’s keeper?

Do you not see the haughtiness of this man? How does this mortal dare to display the pride and conceit that prompts him to presume to question the right of the Almighty to demand accountability? “Am I my brother’s keeper?”—“Who do You think You are, Creator, to meddle in my life”—that is the challenge that Cain is hurling in the face of the God of Heaven, and that is audacious in the extreme. The conversation between the LORD and Cain continues and the challenges of impenitent Cain are remarkable for their presumption.

4:10-16 And he said, What hast thou done? the voice of thy brother’s blood crieth unto me from the ground. And now art thou cursed from the earth, which hath opened her mouth to receive thy brother’s blood from thy hand; When thou tillest the ground, it shall not henceforth yield unto thee her strength; a fugitive and a vagabond shalt thou be in the earth. And Cain said unto the LORD, My punishment is greater than I can bear. 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. 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. And Cain went out from the presence of the LORD, and dwelt in the land of Nod, on the east of Eden.

Never did Cain accept any personal responsibility or liability for his actions; instead, he blamed JEHOVAH for being too harsh in His judgment! It is amazing that the Almighty God continues to accord Cain a measure of grace and mercy. Just as He had extended an opportunity for Cain to rectify the improper offering, the LORD God now extends to this wayward son of Adam “space to repent.” The response from Cain is to leave the “presence of the LORD.” This is a most intriguing phrase. Perhaps it is used merely in a figurative sense to describe Cain’s rebellion against the commandments of the LORD God; however, the description of the expulsion of Adam from the Garden opens another possibility.

Genesis 3:22-24 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: Therefore the LORD God sent him forth from the garden of Eden, to till the ground from whence he was taken. 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.

When the LORD God “drove out the man,” “He placed at the east of the garden of Eden Cherubims.” The Old Testament specifically calls our attention to the fact that the LORD God “sitteth” or “dwelleth between the cherubims” as, for example in the two following passages.

Psalms 99:1 The LORD reigneth; let the people tremble: he sitteth between the cherubims; let the earth be moved.

Isaiah 37:16 O LORD of hosts, God of Israel, that dwellest between the cherubims, thou art the God, even thou alone, of all the kingdoms of the earth: thou hast made heaven and earth.

Therefore, it may be that when the LORD God expelled Adam from the Garden that He positioned Himself to the east of Eden and that it was there that Adam and his descendents came with to present their sacrifices and to offer worship to the LORD. The Cherubims are so connected with the presence of the LORD that it seems incongruous for the Cherubims to be “at the east of the garden” and the very presence of the LORD not be there. Thus when “Cain went out from the presence of the LORD” that he was indeed turning his back on the grace and mercy of JEHOVAH. Adam had been expelled to the east from the Garden of Eden and apparently continued to dwell near Eden on that eastern side—Cain now deliberately makes his own personal residence further east still. By this intentional act, Cain is physically separating himself from the LORD and from all who would worship the LORD through the blood of a lamb. The God of mercy had given Cain “space to repent,” and Cain in response resists the grace of God, despises the mercy of God, and refuses to approach God through the blood of a sacrifice and, in a deliberate and insulting way, places more space between himself and God. It is as though Cain were saying, “I will not have this God to reign over me.” (Consider the parable of Luke 19:11-27). The land to which he moves is named “Nod,” meaning unrest or wandering—Cain was unable to stay still, but wanders up and down in a restless manner. His guilty mind and heart will not let him settle in rest, but condemns him to a nomadic restiveness that continually separates him from others. He accepts the description of the LORD for himself as “a fugitive and a vagabond.” (Genesis 4:12, 14) The word “fugitive” is used in scripture to describe deserters (2 Kings 25:11) as well as our common understanding of one fleeing from the law. Cain was both a deserter and a perambulating lawbreaker.

Surely, my readers are able quickly to recognize the resemblance between the attitude of Cain and the statements and the actions of this America in which we live. It is as though our fellow citizens have decided that the God of the Bible will have no say in their lives and that they will live as they choose, and in particular, that they desire to have no association with any who would worship the God of Heaven through the blood of the Lamb.

The passage in Genesis continues to record the actions of Cain as he chooses to plot his own ways of worship and to establish a civilization constructed upon “a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof.” It is not our purpose in this article to explore “the way of Cain” in all of its displayed features; however, one must surely be struck with the display of what can be nothing more than a surface acknowledgement of the God of Heaven in certain of the names that he and his descendents chose for their children. Therefore, we may properly understand that for some generations the religious division in the world was between those who worshipped God according to the commands of God and those who worshipped God according to the dictates of their own hearts. When men spoke of God, they were speaking of the Creator. They all “knew God”; however, that certainly does not imply that all men were worshipping God in the way that God accepted (Matthew 15:9; Mark 7:7). Men first devised their own ways of worshipping God and then later they developed their own gods. By the time of the construction of the Tower of Babel, the imagination of humanity had indeed devised full-blown idolatry and paganism had arrived. This progression is spelled out for us in Romans, chapter one.

21 Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. 22 Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools, 23 And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things. 24 Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves: 25 Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen. 26 For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature: 27 And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet. 28 And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient; 29 Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers, 30 Backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, 31 Without understanding, covenantbreakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful: 32 Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them.

These verses do not describe an evolution of religion as the anthropologists, sociologists, and philosophers do in their imaginary reconstructions, but displays the continual devolution of worship. The theory that all humanists of whatever stripe expound is that man progressed from the worship of the sun, the moon, and the stars through the worship of forces of nature as symbolized by superhuman beings until certain of humanity eventually evolved monotheism. The Biblical truth is the exact opposite: humanity “knew God,” but intentionally chose to forget God and to invent gods of individual preferences. Monotheism did not develop in a series of progressive steps until Saul of Tarsus or someone following him finally produced Christianity, which has continued to progress away from the necessity of a blood atonement. What I seek to identify by the term “Biblical Christianity”—by which I mean the true worship of the true God of Heaven in accordance with the commands of the Scriptures—was the “original religion” of humanity; everything else is a counterfeit invented by the evil imaginations of fallen humanity. Adam knew the truth and transmitted the truth to his children. Some of those descendents of Adam followed the truth, but the majority chose not to do so.

There was no pre-Adamic man, so there is nothing about him to discuss. I find a good many desiring to discover some allowance within Scripture for some sort of pre-Adam race or races of beings dwelling on the earth that were destroyed by a pre-Edenic cataclysmic judgment on a supposed kingdom ruled by Lucifer. Such cannot be. Scripture, as it stands, will not permit such an innovation. No matter how invitingly convenient pre-Adam creatures would be for attempted reconciliation with science (falsely so called) and for the use of weird doctrinal deviations, the Scriptures do not provide room for an advanced civilization of angelic beings under the kingship of Lucifer or a series of progressive evolutionary sub-human creatures. There is no room in the chronology and there is no room in the doctrinal revelation.

Genesis 1:31-2:3 And God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good. And the evening and the morning were the sixth day. Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them. And on the seventh day God ended his work which he had made; and he rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had made. And God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it: because that in it he had rested from all his work which God created and made.

It cannot be denied that as the seventh day began, the pronouncement of the sixth day that “God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good” remained true and accurate. The phrase “everything that he had made” includes all created “things”; no exceptions are granted, therefore none should be taken. Since all remains “very good,” it is evident that neither Lucifer nor Adam had fallen. All that God had created and made was still “very good.” However, from Genesis 3:6-7 onward, all was not “very good.” I accept the Scriptures as the only authority for any matter of faith or practice and, therefore, I cannot accept a pre-Adamic creation of earth-dwellers. Those who advocate a theistic evolutionist approach having humankind evolving from ape-like pre-human beings that progressively approach humanity until one day God suddenly gave one or more of those sub-humans a soul and that “it” became a human are purveyors of religious fiction. I fear they have read too much Verne, Lewis, Tolkien, Rodenberry, or Spielberg and far too little Bible.

It is also important that we are aware and fully appreciate that post-Adamic humanity was not composed of primitive scraggly, scrabbling, scrawling, half-clothed, half-witted, cave-dwelling “Alley Oops” (You will probably need to ask Grandpa about Alley Oop!), but highly skilled artisans (Genesis 4). The humanist gets history wrong every time, because the humanist refuses to consider the direct involvement of the Creator in creation. A large percentage of the intellect of those post-Adamic men and women was devoted to the purposeful corrupting of worship and eventually produced the religious fervor that constructed the Tower of Babel. The Tower was constructed to “reach unto heaven.” It was a man-devised scheme to worship the God of Heaven. It does not appear—there is certainly no mention—that idols were involved in any aspect of the worship connected with the Tower. “Bab-el” should be understood as meaning “the gate of God”; “Babel” means “confusion.” That which was designed and intended by humanity to be a gateway to God, “Bab-el” became “Babel,” confusion. That result is the outcome of all of the efforts of mankind to devise a religion.

As the languages were confounded and the nations came into being, worship was also affected. Whereas, before the confusion of tongues, some were obedient to God in worship and others worshiped God, but did so after their own hearts, after the dispersal rising from the confusion of tongues, new and diverse “faith groups” appeared. From that day until this hour there have always been three groups of humanity: (1) those who have obediently worshipped the Creator, (2) those who have chosen to worship the Creator after their own hearts, and (3) those who worship something other than the Creator. For lack of any better method of distinction, I would label these three groups as Biblical Christianity, False Christianity, and the Heathen. I understand that it is difficult to speak of Christianity before Christ came—but Scripture clearly has only one way of salvation from beginning to end. Those who were saved before the atoning blood of Christ was shed were saved on exactly the same basis as are we who are saved since the atonement has been made. I believe it is impossible to read the following passage as it stands and find Dr. C. I. Schofield’s and other dispensationalists’ teaching of “salvation by works in the Old Testament.” You will find the words “all,” “Abraham,” “David,” “us also,” and “we” referring to those who are saved by grace through faith and doing so indiscriminately as to whether Old or New Testament.

(Romans 3) 10 As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one: 11 There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God. 12 They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one. 13 Their throat is an open sepulchre; with their tongues they have used deceit; the poison of asps is under their lips: 14 Whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness: 15 Their feet are swift to shed blood: 16 Destruction and misery are in their ways: 17 And the way of peace have they not known: 18 There is no fear of God before their eyes. 19 Now we know that what things soever the law saith, it saith to them who are under the law: that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God. 20 Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin. 21 But now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets; 22 Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference: 23 For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; 24 Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: 25 Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God; 26 To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus. 27 Where is boasting then? It is excluded. By what law? of works? Nay: but by the law of faith. 28 Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law. 29 Is he the God of the Jews only? is he not also of the Gentiles? Yes, of the Gentiles also: 30 Seeing it is one God, which shall justify the circumcision by faith, and uncircumcision through faith. 31 Do we then make void the law through faith? God forbid: yea, we establish the law.

(Romans 4) 1 What shall we say then that Abraham our father, as pertaining to the flesh, hath found? 2 For if Abraham were justified by works, he hath whereof to glory; but not before God. 3 For what saith the scripture? Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness. 4 Now to him that worketh is the reward not reckoned of grace, but of debt. 5 But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness. 6 Even as David also describeth the blessedness of the man, unto whom God imputeth righteousness without works, 7 Saying, Blessed are they whose iniquities are forgiven, and whose sins are covered. 8 Blessed is the man to whom the Lord will not impute sin. 9 Cometh this blessedness then upon the circumcision only, or upon the uncircumcision also? for we say that faith was reckoned to Abraham for righteousness. 10 How was it then reckoned? when he was in circumcision, or in uncircumcision? Not in circumcision, but in uncircumcision. 11 And he received the sign of circumcision, a seal of the righteousness of the faith which he had yet being uncircumcised: that he might be the father of all them that believe, though they be not circumcised; that righteousness might be imputed unto them also: 12 And the father of circumcision to them who are not of the circumcision only, but who also walk in the steps of that faith of our father Abraham, which he had being yet uncircumcised. 13 For the promise, that he should be the heir of the world, was not to Abraham, or to his seed, through the law, but through the righteousness of faith. 14 For if they which are of the law be heirs, faith is made void, and the promise made of none effect: 15 Because the law worketh wrath: for where no law is, there is no transgression. 16 Therefore it is of faith, that it might be by grace; to the end the promise might be sure to all the seed; not to that only which is of the law, but to that also which is of the faith of Abraham; who is the father of us all, 17 (As it is written, I have made thee a father of many nations,) before him whom he believed, even God, who quickeneth the dead, and calleth those things which be not as though they were. 18 Who against hope believed in hope, that he might become the father of many nations, according to that which was spoken, So shall thy seed be. 19 And being not weak in faith, he considered not his own body now dead, when he was about an hundred years old, neither yet the deadness of Sara’s womb: 20 He staggered not at the promise of God through unbelief; but was strong in faith, giving glory to God; 21 And being fully persuaded that, what he had promised, he was able also to perform. 22 And therefore it was imputed to him for righteousness. 23 Now it was not written for his sake alone, that it was imputed to him; 24 But for us also, to whom it shall be imputed, if we believe on him that raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead; 25 Who was delivered for our offences, and was raised again for our justification.

(Romans 5) 1 Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ: 2 By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God. 3 And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience; 4 And patience, experience; and experience, hope: 5 And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us. 6 For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. 7 For scarcely for a righteous man will one die: yet peradventure for a good man some would even dare to die. 8 But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. 9 Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him. 10 For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life. 11 And not only so, but we also joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have now received the atonement. 12 Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned: 13 (For until the law sin was in the world: but sin is not imputed when there is no law. 14 Nevertheless death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over them that had not sinned after the similitude of Adam’s transgression, who is the figure of him that was to come. 15 But not as the offence, so also is the free gift. For if through the offence of one many be dead, much more the grace of God, and the gift by grace, which is by one man, Jesus Christ, hath abounded unto many. 16 And not as it was by one that sinned, so is the gift: for the judgment was by one to condemnation, but the free gift is of many offences unto justification. 17 For if by one man’s offence death reigned by one; much more they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ.) 18 Therefore as by the offence of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life. 19 For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous. 20 Moreover the law entered, that the offence might abound. But where sin abounded, grace did much more abound: 21 That as sin hath reigned unto death, even so might grace reign through righteousness unto eternal life by Jesus Christ our Lord.

In that sense of understanding that all who are saved are saved by grace through faith in the atonement of Christ Jesus, I use the term “Biblical Christianity” to describe all believers from Adam to the present and beyond until the day of grace has ended because I can find no better to use. Following the same line of reasoning, I am using the term “False Christianity” to describe all of those from Cain onward who claim to worship the God of Heaven but who refuse to worship according to the Scriptural precepts. In this second group would be orthodox Jews, Deists, liberal Christians, members of denominations that teach a works orientated salvation, and so-called Christian cults—in other words, the greatest number of professed Christians in the world.

As for the use of the word, “heathen,” Merriam-Webster defines a “heathen” as “an unconverted member of a people or nation that does not acknowledge the God of the Bible.” This is in perfect contrast to the two previous groups that I have identified. That definition indeed would cover the atheist, the Islamist, the Buddhist, a follower of Wicca, the animists, and all other forms of paganism—in all, about two-thirds of Americans. I am certain that the word “heathen” must be considered as politically incorrect in the America of 2006. However, I am not a practitioner of political correctness (“conforming to a belief that language and practices which could offend political sensibilities (as in matters of sex or race) should be eliminated”—the phrase first appeared in the Merriam-Webster Dictionary in 1936, though the majority of Americans never heard of it until 1992 approached.). Any word the Authorized Version uses 145 times is correct enough for any politics that I might have. I did not realize until I traced the word in my dictionary that “ethnic” (as an adjective) is given as the first synonym for “heathen” and vice versa. It is interesting how that the term “ethnic background” is used to subdivide Americans in recent years—America is being populated with immigrants arriving not from “Christian nations” as it had for generations but from heathen lands where this nation once sent missionaries to convert the heathen. The national trend is also a local development. Buddhist temples, Islamic mosques, and Eastern religions are commonplace, even in the heartland of the United States. The heathen are no longer “over there.”

Worldwide, the largest and fastest growing of the three groups is observably the heathen. False Christianity is in a distant and fading second-place, and Biblical Christianity is an obviously ever-decreasing minority. I cannot imagine that the percentage of the saved within the population of the community of Pensacola, the United States, or the world would be a double-digit number. If the Biblical comparison of the last days to the days of Noah should be understood as a prophetic indication, then the figure of genuine believers would barely be one whole digit. As the Ark waited for the flood waters to cover the earth, the world’s entire population of true believers waited inside that Ark, numbering only “a few,” an exact total of eight. Eight souls out of a world that statistically could have numbered in the millions were all that obediently and faithfully worshipped the Creator. The percentage of the whole was infinitesimal. By any estimate, those eight souls in the Ark were a number that was not even close to being 1% of the population. Lot, his wife, and two daughters were a tiny fraction of 1% of the population of Sodom and Gomorrah. If there are, as some estimate, seven billion souls on the earth today, one percent would be seventy million, which may seem to be a large number, but it is less than thirty percent of the alleged population of the United States. I am not attempting to establish that only 1% of the souls on earth are heaven bound; I am asserting that there are not as many Biblical Christians on the earth as we sometimes would like to think. In the late 1800’s, a common perception was that Christianity was sweeping the world into the kingdom of God; China and India were thought to be only a generation away from national conversion. After World War I, this theory was shelved; but in recent years, it has been taken down, dusted off, and reissued. Among Christendom, a new culture of millennialism is beginning to flourish—predicting a revival that “the darkness will turn to dawning, and the dawning to noon day bright, and Christ’s great Kingdom will come to earth, the Kingdom of truth and light.” However, the predictive prophecies, always inerrant and infallible, of Scripture do not accommodate that philosophy. I do not believe that the comment of the LORD Jesus, recorded in Luke 18, was only a rhetorical device.

1 And he spake a parable unto them to this end, that men ought always to pray, and not to faint; 2 Saying, There was in a city a judge, which feared not God, neither regarded man: 3 And there was a widow in that city; and she came unto him, saying, Avenge me of mine adversary. 4 And he would not for a while: but afterward he said within himself, Though I fear not God, nor regard man; 5 Yet because this widow troubleth me, I will avenge her, lest by her continual coming she weary me. 6 And the Lord said, Hear what the unjust judge saith. 7 And shall not God avenge his own elect, which cry day and night unto him, though he bear long with them? 8 I tell you that he will avenge them speedily. Nevertheless when the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth?

John Gill wrote of this question: “in the world at the last day: there will then be little of the doctrine of faith, and less of the grace of faith, and still less of the exercise of faith, particularly in prayer, and especially about the coming of Christ; it will be little thought of, and expected, or faith little exercised about it.” Dr. Gill “nailed the head” as a friend of mine would say. Those that are expecting Christianity to redeem America and through this nation to bring an enforced Christian theocracy to the world are deluded, deceived, and dangerous. The reconstructionists are reconstituted reformationists, who have misconstructed a totally fabricated theology and deconstructed Biblical Christianity. Christianity is not winning America.

I do not understand how any sincere student of the Scriptures ever arrived at the concept that believers were to be the instrument of “ushering in the kingdom.” The indisputable truth is the Scriptures teach the exact opposite. The LORD Jesus Christ did teach with parables, but he did not speak in puzzles. If the words that He used are meant to be understood as those words are used in the languages of the earth, the meaning in the following passages is too plain to be misunderstood. As they stand, these words do not permit any possibility of the prospect that Biblical Christianity will ever be the majority “faith-group,” bearing overcoming and governing influence on the entire world through the force of its message.

Matthew 7:13-29 13 Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: 14 Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.

14 Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it. 15 Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. 16 Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? 17 Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit. 18 A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. 19 Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire. 20 Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them. 21 Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. 22 Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? 23 And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity. 24 Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock: 25 And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock. 26 And every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand: 27 And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it. 28 And it came to pass, when Jesus had ended these sayings, the people were astonished at his doctrine: 29 For he taught them as one having authority, and not as the scribes.

Among the phrasings that cannot be ignored or explained away as “merely symbolism” are “few there be” and “not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord.” It is the “many” that are walking the way “that leadeth to destruction.” Of the rest (certainly, the rest must be numbered and understood as the “less than the many”)—of that rest that claim to serve the Lord, only some, termed the “few,” are genuinely saved.

One of those who heard the Lord teaching discerned exactly what the LORD Jesus said, and struggling to understand the implications, asked the most pertinent question possible.

Luke 13:23-30 23 Then said one unto him, Lord, are there few that be saved? And he said unto them, 24 Strive to enter in at the strait gate: for many, I say unto you, will seek to enter in, and shall not be able. 25 When once the master of the house is risen up, and hath shut to the door, and ye begin to stand without, and to knock at the door, saying, Lord, Lord, open unto us; and he shall answer and say unto you, I know you not whence ye are: 26 Then shall ye begin to say, We have eaten and drunk in thy presence, and thou hast taught in our streets. 27 But he shall say, I tell you, I know you not whence ye are; depart from me, all ye workers of iniquity. 28 There shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth, when ye shall see Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, and all the prophets, in the kingdom of God, and you yourselves thrust out. 29 And they shall come from the east, and from the west, and from the north, and from the south, and shall sit down in the kingdom of God. 30 And, behold, there are last which shall be first, and there are first which shall be last.

The answer of the LORD Jesus again declares that it will be the “many” that will not enter into Heaven. Only a Bible student victimized by a “system of theology” that begins with a pre-conceived false doctrine will ever misconstrue the words of the LORD Jesus and substitute the warped philosophy of “ushering in the kingdom” for the truth of Scripture. Christianity is not winning the world and was never prophesied to do so.

How many of the souls in the houses and apartments in my neighborhood or in your neighborhood are saved? In the exercise of our everyday life, we travel back and forth by house after house and business on top of business and most of the people we drive by do not know the LORD Jesus Christ as Saviour. If you still watch professional sports (I stopped that waste of time many years ago), guess how many enjoining the game with you will join you in Heaven. Were the Rapture to occur during the half-time of the Super Bowl, would anything on the program or in the second half change? Does anyone really think that the Rapture would have any effect on the crowd gathered for the Kentucky Derby or any impact on those assembled for the Indianapolis 500? Would the Mardi Gras be cancelled in New Orleans because the Rapture happened on the Monday before “Shrove Tuesday”? The Rapture will have no effect on the Hajj; it will not diminish the crowds in Varanasi on the banks of the Ganga-Ganges; it will not reduce the attendance at a Dalai Lama encounter, and I am beginning to wonder if a Sunday morning Rapture would substantially reduce the total attendance in the churches of Pensacola. In accord with the situation across the whole of the nation, the number of pulpits in this town where the unadulterated Gospel is still preached is shrinking continually and where the light of the Gospel is removed, darkness deepens.

Where you live today, do you have a larger number of neighbors that are faithful Christians than you or your parents did twenty years ago? In your town, your city, or your suburb are there more sound, solid churches than there were ten years ago? Where you live what type of church is the fastest growing? Does your area have fewer or additional Moslems than ten years ago? Look around, have the outlets for the doctrine of cults decreased or increased in your community during the last ten years? How does the number of places that the preachers of a past day called “hell-holes” open for business within ten miles of your church now compare with the number a decade ago? The magazines on the racks near the checkout in the grocery store—are they the same type and kind that were there a generation ago? A generation ago, no grocery store sold booze of any label—the majority of restaurants did not have liquor licenses. Even outlets for the sale of gasoline sell intoxicating beverages in this America—absurdity in the very act of posting the sign, “do not drink and drive.” Walk by the video or DVD rack in your local grocery store or the X-Mart and let me know if you not are as embarrassed as you or your parents would have been walking by one of those misnamed “adult bookstores” of the 1970’s. The moral tone of America is far lower in 2006 than it was only a couple of Presidents ago. The decline is exponential.

I fear that too many Baptists have accepted the demonstratively false premise that the action by the Roman emperor Constantine in creating Christendom (“the part of the world in which Christianity prevails”) was a spiritual victory for the cause of Christ. It was not; instead, that decree was a victory for “the spirit of antichrist,” which is empowered and directed by Satan. The majority of both secular and religious historians wrongly credits Constantine with the ending of the persecution of Christians and the defeat of paganism. Genuine history records that the official recognition of a form of Christianity served to focus the persecution on those who truly followed the LORD Jesus and resulted in the merger of many elements of paganism into that form of Christianity. The following twelve hundred years provide a horrible record of the vicious, unrelenting pursuit and the brutal, merciless destruction of all those who sought to follow the Bible and who chose not to obey the edicts and the traditions of Constantine’s Christendom. Today, multiple Constantines that are even more imaginative than the original are at work seeking to unite all humanity into a monolithic, but pluralistic, religious union.

There has been a tendency on the part of prophetic teachers to concentrate all emphasis on the one personage titled the "little horn," the "king of fierce countenance" (Daniel 7:8,24,25; 8:9,23-25), the "man of sin" and “that Wicked” (2 Thessalonians 2:3,4,8-10), and to the "beast from the sea" (Revelation 13:1; 17:1-18), who indeed is “that antichrist” (1 John 2:18). In doing so, the “many antichrists” presently active in this world are not deemed by many Baptists as being either present or active. In the light of the admonitions of Scripture, it would seem that we ought to reevaluate that assessment. Consider the only references where the word “antichrist” is found in the Bible.

1 John 2:18 Little children, it is the last time: and as ye have heard that antichrist shall come, even now are there many antichrists; whereby we know that it is the last time.

1 John 2:22 Who is a liar but he that denieth that Jesus is the Christ? He is antichrist, that denieth the Father and the Son.

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.

2 John 1:7 For many deceivers are entered into the world, who confess not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh. This is a deceiver and an antichrist.

There surely is a yet to be revealed antichrist, but these Scripture utter four specific warnings regarding the antichrists that are both active and present now. It is entirely to their advantage—those antichrists now active—that we focus on the future, even rejoicing that when the antichrist is revealed, we believers will have been raptured. I have offered that hope to believers; perhaps not in these words, but certainly with this intent—“Do not loose sleep looking for the antichrist. Before he appears, we will be removed from this world.” This is true, and all efforts that believers devote to identifying the antichrist are a waste of time and resources; however, the genuine danger is that we are surrounded by antichrists right now, which are functioning by the spirit of antichrist (1 John 4:3). The apostle Paul was moved by the Holy Spirit to issue the same caution:

2 Thessalonians 2:7 For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now letteth will let, until he be taken out of the way.

The work of antichrist is already underway. The only restraint to their labors is the Holy Spirit. It would be amusing, if their statements were not such a sad parody of truth, to listen to the attempts to make the restraint to be the nation of Israel or “the church.” Neither Israel nor the church is doing very much to keep the elements of antichrist restrained in their respective boundaries, let alone in the whole world. I pray for Israel; I have a burden for the scattered of the nation—but the nation of Israel is more aligned with the antichrist spirit than with the Spirit of Christ. We Biblical believers are invited to visit Israel with our tourist dollars, but church planting missionaries are not welcome and Messianic Jews are not encouraged to immigrate. Anyone who pretends to think that churches are restraining the antichrists is willingly ignorant of contemporary Christianity (not to be confused with Contemporary Christianity which is only a part of contemporary Christianity.)

The alleged Bible that is used in many churches will be one of the multiple versions that tamper with the word of God. By this accusation of tampering, I mean for you to understand that I am including any translation that is not based fully and only upon those Traditional Texts (commonly identified by the terms Received Text, Textus Receptus, the Byzantine Text, the Western Text, or the Majority Text). Instead, the rendition or paraphrase has been altered by amendment or deletion of Greek or Hebrew words or phrases (sometimes amounting to entire verses, even passages) from the actual Traditional Biblical Text. That easily fits any definition of tampering. This modification is a result of discarding the Traditional Texts and depending instead upon their replacement by ever-evolving conflated Critical Text, yet which still is generally termed by the old titles of Alexandrian, Westcott and Hort, Nestle-Aland, or the UBS,—BUT which texts are never labeled by the producers and the proponents as it is evident that they should be: THE MINORITY TEXTS. While they tout their choices as “older” or “better,” the publishers and the promoters never call attention to the fact that they are always following the minority reading when they differ from the Majority Text. In this hodgepodge of versions rests the RV, ASV, RSV, NASV, NRSV, LB, NLT, CEV, the Message, HSB, NIV—in all of its sub-versions (such as the TNIV, and the NIrV,) NKJV, 21st Century, and the new ESV—and I dare not leave out the Douay-Confraternity, the New American Bible, or the New World Translation of the Christian Greek Scriptures. (Dr. Joel Grassi identifies one hundred and two different, currently marketed, English translations. I wonder if the Cotton-Patch Version is still being sold.) Though I have diligently searched, and while I do not discount the possibility, I do not know of any available translation of the Traditional Texts of the Old and New Testaments other than the Authorized Version.

If a hymnal is actually found in a pew rack, it will have new versions of the songs altered to remove references to the blood or to sinners. (Check to see if the hymnal in your pew rack re ally has hymns or is filled with worship choruses and, while you look at the index, see if it has “God of Grace and God of Glory.” That was written by Harry Emerson Fosdick, the ultimate modernist/liberal of the last century—a man that denied every doctrine in anyway connected with the deity of Christ or the blood atonement.) The music that has replaced the hymns in such places will have the beat of the world. The evidence is overwhelming: churches are not restraining the antichrists; churches are welcoming them.

Let me say in passing that I do not believe—or, perhaps, it would be more accurate to say, I do not want to believe—that every Baptist preacher who has brought the music of the world into the church understands the irreparable damage that he has bequeathed to the succeeding generations. I do not mean to imply mental deficiency on the part of anyone involved, but I do not believe that pastors always understand the long-range implications of expedient decisions. The day that Abram offered Lot the choice of going north or south and he chose instead to go east, pitching his tent toward Sodom, I do not believe that either Abram or Lot understood the consequences of that single choice. Lot thought he was deciding employment opportunities—he made what he felt was a sound fiscal decision. In that one choice, he made several serious mistakes. Lot did not accept the directions of his uncle; he made his own rules. Rejecting the wisdom of an Abraham for the lure of Sodom is not the path to permanent success. The results of that one decision by one man contribute to the problems plaguing the world today almost four thousand years afterwards.

It is those small, insignificant decisions that we consider so simple in nature or with so little impact that we make them without consulting the scriptures that influence our lives so greatly. The Scripture abounds with examples that were written for instruction and our admonition. Remember the day when Joshua and the leaders of the children of Israel did not ask counsel of the LORD, but proceeded to trust their instincts and the images before their eyes and entered into a league with cities they had been instructed to destroy? (Judges 9) They regretted that decision in only three days. Spurgeon wrote that many a man had married in haste only to repent in leisure. Jehoshaphat joined affinity (the Hebrew word behind the translation “joined affinity” in 2 Chronicles 18:1, is elsewhere translated in the Old Testament as “marriages”) with Ahab and then sought counsel of the LORD. Spurgeon was not speaking only of a husband taking a wife. Many a car is bought, a loan is taken, a job is accepted, a letter is sent, or a statement made in a quick action that is regretted for years to follow.

Alleged good motivation is never an excuse for violating the word of God. Dr. Bob Jones SR, noted for his pithy sayings, drilled into his students that “it is never right to do wrong, even to get a chance to do right.” Bringing ungodly music into the house of God so that one might get the opportunity to preach the Gospel is never right. The end does not ever justify the means; the means may corrupt the purported “end.”

The misdirected Baptists who entered the fundamentalist movement in the 1920’s surely never thought that their choice of minimizing Baptist Distinctives to unite with those warring against the enemies of the truth who were infiltrating their mainline denominations (Presbyterian, Episcopal, Methodist, etc.) would eventually lead their descendents into non-committal, ecumenical interdenominationalism—but it did. The overwhelming majority of those using the name Baptist in 2006 have no concept of the heritage of that name or the doctrines by which it has been historically identified. In reality, whenever a Baptist stands up for those distinctives, he or she is scorned by the nominal Baptists, who are certain they are in the presence of a fanatic.

The Baptists who assisted the fledgling Youth for Christ never expected it’s blossoms to produce the fruit of today’s falsely labeled “Christian rock concerts.”

Those Baptists who trimmed their ways to follow the cooperative evangelism of the 1950’s never thought it would produce the Moral Majority. The unity of Bible-believing Christians with bible-denying “Christians” to “win the lost” in one generation produced the unification of some Baptists, with Mormons, Catholics, Jews, baptismal regenerationists, a wide variety of others, and atheists in an attempt to restore “morality” to America. The goal was no longer to compromise to preach the Gospel, but a weak-kneed, misbegotten desire to save America morally.

Those Baptists who formed the Southwide Baptist Fellowship, WBF, BBF, FBF, and a host of other “alphabet soup” Baptist spin-offs never dreamed a super Baptist Network would rise as a replacement agency. The sacrifices by multiplied Baptists that made possible the building of a large host of Baptist and fundamentalist schools were not endured so that those educational establishments could become citadels of compromise and institutions of infidelity instead of places of principle and fortresses of the faith.

Across this nation, churches that only a pastor or two ago stood tall in the defense of the faith and the practice of generations of believers are now engaged in the propagation of an insipid and thus false gospel and corrupted methods. Detroit, Cincinnati, Chattanooga, Greenville, Knoxville, Kansas City, Indianapolis, Jacksonville, Canton, Dallas, Sioux City, Denver—the list goes on and on and includes Pensacola. Here and there, a new godly church comes into being—but the ecumenical-purpose-driven-seeker-friendly-charismatic leaning-emerging-pseudo-Christianity is the dominant purveyor of Christendom in 2006. Biblical Christianity is on the numerical decline.

Few there be.

—Dr. Jerald Manley