A Scriptural Study Newsletter edited by Elder Vernon Johnson

How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!

 

 

 

Four Chariots in Zechariah

We continue our series of essays on the relationship of the number four and the subject of the work of the Holy Spirit as found in the scriptures.

 Zec. 6:1 “And I turned, and lifted up mine eyes, and looked, and, behold, there came four chariots out from between two mountains; and the mountains were mountains of brass. 2 In the first chariot were red horses; and in the second chariot black horses; 3 And in the third chariot white horses; and in the fourth chariot grisled and bay horses. 4 Then I answered and said unto the angel that talked with me, What are these, my lord? 5 And the angel answered and said unto me, These are the four spirits of the heavens, which go forth from standing before the Lord of all the earth. 6 The black horses which are therein go forth into the north country; and the white go forth after them; and the grisled go forth toward the south country. 7 And the bay went forth, and sought to go that they might walk to and fro through the earth: and he said, Get you hence, walk to and fro through the earth. So they walked to and fro through the earth. 8 Then cried he upon me, and spake unto me, saying, Behold, these that go toward the north country have quieted my spirit in the north country."

It will be noted that the horses in this passage are somewhat different from the horses in Revelation.  First the order of the horses are different.  In Revelations the horses are in order, white, red, black, and pale.  In Zechariah the horses are in order, red, black, white, and grisled and bay.  Second, there is no pale horse in Zechariah, but rather grisled and bay horses.  In studying the horses in Revelation we noticed that only the Lord could successfully ride the horses there.  In Zechariah there are multiple horses in each chariot, suggesting that many people could ride the horses.

The four chariots came out from between two mountains of brass.  Brass is indicative of affliction and suffering.  When God’s people in their experiences first get a glimpse of God’s holy law they see themselves under the affliction and suffering of the commandments contained in that law.  The two mountains of brass would be typical of the law and the prophets. 

Red is used in the scriptures to represent the shedding of blood in warfare.  After that a child of God is born of the Spirit of God he begins to encounter a warfare, whereby the flesh lust against the spirit and the spirit the flesh.  Paul described the warfare this way in Rom. 7:15 “For that which I do I allow not: for what I would, that do I not; but what I hate, that do I. 16 If then I do that which I would not, I consent unto the law that it is good. 17 Now then it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me. 18 For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not. 19 For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do. 20 Now if I do that I would not, it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me. 21  I find then a law, that, when I would do good, evil is present with me.”

This warfare takes place because of the two-fold nature of a born-again child of God.  He has a carnal nature that Paul says “dwelleth no good thing.”  He also has a spiritual nature that John says “whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin, for his seed remaineth in him and he cannot sin because he is born of God.”  Thus these two natures are at war within the child of God.  There is an inward longing within the child of God to get right with God.  But with all of his efforts to do so, sin keeps dragging him down and showing him that he has failed to satisfy the laws demands. 

This leads to the second chariot in which there are black horses.  Black is used in the scriptures to represent sin. The more we fight to get right with God, the more that we see our sins under God’s just and holy laws keeping us from accomplishing our goal.  We end up saying as Isaiah said, “Woe is me! for I am undone; because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips: for mine eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts.”  We are as the publican who came to the temple to pray and said, “God be merciful to me a sinner.”  As we engage in this warfare we become more and more aware that we are sinners under the law.  Paul wrote in Rom. 3:19 “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.”  This knowledge of sin and the exceeding sinfulness of sin, eventually leads us to the third chariot.

In the third chariot are white horses.  White is used in the scriptures to represent righteousness.  In the second chariot as the publican we have concluded ourselves to be devoid of any righteousness of our own, and thus cry out for God’s mercy.  It is when we are deeply convicted of our sins that we begin to see the need of a Saviour.  The scriptures tell us that Jesus came to save sinners from their sin.  But to be able to save sinners from their sin, it was necessary that he be without sin.  As he was born of a virgin by the overshadowing of the Holy Ghost, he was holy, harmless, undefiled and separate from sinners.  It was also necessary that he keep the law that we could not keep.  He said in Matt. 5:18 “For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.”  Thus Jesus fulfilled the law to the very jot and tittle.  Next, it was necessary that he make an atoning sacrifice for the sins of his people in order to deliver them out from under God’s wrathful judgment of sin.  This he did on the tree of the cross.  He suffered the just for the unjust.  As it is written in 2 Cor. 5:21 “For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.”  Thus all for whom Christ died are made to ride in the third chariot of white horses.

The fourth chariot had grisled and bay horses.  The word grisled means spotted and the word bay means deep red.  The word spot in the scriptures is associated with sin.  However, we have been redeemed from our sins as stated in 1 Pet. 1:18 “Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers; 19 But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot.”  While we walk in this life we know that we are sinners still, but we also know that we have been sprinkled by the blood of Christ in the new birth as the following verses show:

            1.  Heb. 10:22 “Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water.”

            2.  1 Pet. 1:2 “Elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through sanctification of the Spirit, unto obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ: Grace unto you, and peace, be multiplied.”

Thus we go forth in this life with the knowledge that we are sinners (spotted) and that we are cleansed by the sprinkled blood (bay) of Christ.

Next , look to the essay “four winds.”

Elder Vernon Johnson


Evolution, a Matter of Faith?

“Part 1”

There have been a whole lot of things said concerning the theory of the beginnings of the world; the earth, sun, moon, and the stars, yes, the entire universe that we experience. The question being, “where did it all start?” “Where do we come from?” And, “why are we here?”  And where will it all lead? And why is it important for us as God’s people to know the truth about it?

I would like to address the last question first. To start out let me ask you a question…have you noticed that we, as a nation, that is in the United States, have rapidly moved as a society from a people who basically held life to be sacred to a nation, who for all appearances seems to have devalued that same life? You might say, “well that’s because of “Roe verses Wade, back in the early 1970’s, when abortion was declared by our Supreme Court to be a basic civil right that is protected by the Constitution. But I would like to submit to you that the problem goes much further back than that, it goes back to Charles Darwin, who devised a theory called “natural selection, or survival of the fittest, which is better known today as “EVOLUTION.” Simply stated EVOLUTION is that theory that all life “evolved” from a lower form of life, and the forms that best adapted to their environment flourished (i.e. man), while those less adapted died off and became extinct. The result being that man was no better than any other animal on the earth, yes is only one mammal among many, many others. The only difference was that he was more intelligent. And that if he had not succeeded then “natural selection, would have placed another “animal” in our place. The message is that you, as a human being are no better than a snake or dog.

With this concept in mind, we find that people are lead to doubt the existence of God, and to devalue life, ESPECIALLY HUMAN LIFE! If I were to ask you where the most dangerous place on earth is for little babies, what would you say? Maybe in big cities? Maybe in automobiles? No, would you be surprised if I told you that today, here in America, the most dangerous place for little babies is inside their mother’s womb? It’s true more babies are aborted while inside their mother’s womb, than all other causes combined!   

Are we, the people who live here on this Earth, the product of “chance+time+nobody=everything that is knowable. Or, are we the product of a special and Divine creation? I find it to be a wonderful thing that God has brought this universe into existence in such a way so that both Creation and Evolution theory models that are confessed out in the realm of science are both matters of faith. What’s that you say brother McDonald? Did you say that both Creation and Evolution are subjects of FAITH? Yes, you heard me right. I said that both of these positions are completely beyond the realm of science, and are therefore both matters of faith. Think about it for a minute, God has designed His creation so that no matter which position that you take, whether creation or evolution, you will come face to face with God. You may be wondering why I would make such a statement, and I would say to you that that would be a fair question to ask. Why I have no doubt that you have heard over and over from the worlds top (so-called) scientist who are attempting to drum and trumpet to you, and your children that evolution is a scientific fact. And, as they say, “no serious person would even seriously consider believing in an All Powerful God, who by an act of divine will brought the entire universe into existence;” and to this I would add that at this very minute HE still holds it all together by that very same power.

But I did say that both creation (theory) and evolution (theory) are matters of faith, and NOT science. Lets start right here by taking’ out some time to make a few definitions of terms. The first definition that we want to look at is the term “theory.” And theory is defined by our Webster’s Dictionary as “a general principle or set of principles that explain unproven facts or events of the natural world, as an idea that is the STARTING POINT at or considering of facts. In other words a theory is a speculation, thoughts or guesses about something that tends to explain observed or unobserved natural events, until facts can be proven that will either prove or disprove the theory.

Next lets define what science is. Again lets go to Webster, “science is that knowledge covering general truths or the operation of general laws especially as obtained and tested through the scientific method.” Okay then, in order for something to be a science, it must fit into the process of the scientific method. But what exactly is the scientific method? Mr. Webster goes on to tell us that the scientific method is the “pursuit of knowledge involving the finding and stating of a problem, the collection of facts through OBSERVATION and EXPERIMENT, and the MAKING and TESTING of IDEAS that need to be proven right or wrong.” Now stop and think about this just a minute. In order for evolution to be a science it must fall within the scientific method of OBSERVATION and EXPERIMENT, and the MAKING and TESTING of IDEAS that need to be proven right or wrong. Now to my knowledge no man was there at the creation to OBSERVE or EXPERIMENT or TEST. And so this being the case, evolution is a matter of the faith of the evolutionist. Do you see what I’m sayin’ here? I will go one step farther and state that “EVOULTION” is a religion in which man and nature are worshiped. The Apostle Paul speaks of such ones in Romans 1:25, he writes saying that they “changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen.”

We see that the creationist never claims that his belief in the facts set before him are anything else but faith. Why? Because he’s relying on the One and only eyewitness account! Who? Why, God the Creator of course! The scriptures tell us that our world came into being, not by chance, but by special creation with a unique purpose. God brought it into being for the purpose of bringing Him glory, and so that we; His spiritual creation would worship and have fellowship with Him. Let me affirm something to you, true science ALWAYS confirms scripture. We ought NEVER to get caught up in the thought that scriptures need to be subject to science, we must always subject science to the scripture, not the other way around, otherwise we will end up in confusion.

Who are we to believe: Fallible man or the All-powerful God who creates with the power of His Word? For instance the Bible tells us in Genesis 1, that God is the Creator of all things. Evolution, i.e., fallible man, says that natural chance processes account for the existence of all things. The Bible tells us   that God created the world in six literal days, while evolution says that it evolved over billions and billions of years. 

Okay now, let's take out some time to consider the pet theory of evolutionist, “The Big Bang.” This theory is a belief that the universe and all that’s in it, is the direct result of matter, so dense that the matter was invisible, suddenly exploding in chaos and forming order. Let me ask you, have you ever been witness to an explosion, which brought about order? That would be like going into a junkyard and setting off a bomb, and the resulting debris would come together to make a fully formed 747…Yeah right?

And since there is no possible way to test this theory the evolutionists is forced to believe by faith, and assume first of all, that matter and energy are eternal. The Big Bang theory only attempts to explain the ordering of matter and energy, but not their origin. And so don’t let an evolutionist try to belittle you for your faith little Child of God! It’s perfectly clear that evolution is a matter of faith?

Now if anyone takes the position that matter and energy are eternal. And lets say that we allow for the time, say billions of years, that is suggested to have past, then we would find that by that the time of the “Big Bang” is theorized to have occurred – we would find that the matter and energy under consideration it would be in a state of equilibrium, which means that everything would be equal and non-reactive. That’s what my son-in-law physicist has told me.  That would be like your car that is sittin’ in your drive way in neutral, which doesn’t do anything unless or until it is turned on. As soon as YOU or SOMEONE ELSE acts on the car to start up the engine, then, and only then can the gasoline move into the intake manifold and then be exploded by the action of the spark plugs to give the power that is necessary to move the car. You see a little common sense goes a long way. I am not a scientist, but I can read, and I have read that when matter is settin’ somewhere for a very long time, say for instance, in eternity past, it will eventually stop doing anything at all and just sit there just like your car in the driveway. As I have been given to understand this is the second law of thermodynamics, and is called the “Law of Entropy.” Before the “Big Bang,” we are told that all matter and energy exploded, if it’s been settin’ there for eternity past, it should have been in neutral. Just like your parked car when it’s turned off and is in parked in that driveway.

Well here’s a fact, evolution is a theory, but it’s taught in our public schools as a fact. In the United States our supreme court has decided that there is a “Separation of Church and State” put in place by our founding fathers in the constitution, up to and including forbidding any person to be able to pray in a public school setting. Let me say right here and now that no one can ever stop God’s children from praying to Him in their hearts, but I will say this about it. When I was a child in school about the worst problems that we encountered prier to the removal of “public school prayer” was chewing gum in elementary schools or maybe smoking in the rest rooms in high schools. Not drugs, firearms and free sex. But that’s another story. Right here would be a good time to go into your Bibles and read about what was done to Daniel, in Daniel chapter six.

Mr. Philip E. Johnson, a first Amendment lawyer who teaches at the University of California, Berkeley, says that the media today often present anyone who believes in creation as if they don’t use or even understand science. He writes: “In fact, there is a great deal more to the creation/evolution controversy than meets the eye, or rather than meets the carefully cultivated media stereotype of “creationists” as Bible-quoting know-nothings who refuse to face up to the scientific evidence. The creationists may be wrong about many things, but they have at least one very important point to argue, a point that has been thoroughly obscured by all the attention paid to Noah’s flood and other side issues. What science educators propose to teach as “evolution,” and label as fact, is based not upon any incontrovertible empirical evidence’ (scientifically proven facts, T.M.), ‘but upon a highly controversial philosophical presupposition. The controversy over evolution is therefore not going to go away as people become better educated on these as well as other issues that we come up against us in this world. 

As a matter of fact, the more people learn about the philosophical content of what scientists are calling the “fact of evolution,” the less we are going to like it.” (Quote from Philip E. Johnson, Evolution as Dogma: The Establishment of Naturalism, Dallas Texas: Haughton Publishing Company, 1990, pp. 1, 2.)

We, as the people of God, must be ready to counter these Godless ideas, being ready at all times “to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear (see 1 Pet 3:15). God is our Creator, but this thought is outside of the realm of worldly thought. We need to take  the time to educate ourselves and to instruct our children, to counter these false teachings that are being feed to them by the people that are supposed to be there to better educate them. These things are nothing new to us, no, and as a matter of fact the Apostle Paul says to the Church in Rome, “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. Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools, 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” (Rom. 1:21-23). We understand, and need to teach what the scriptures reveal to us, how that it was the eternal God who created the universe, and that He did so by and through and for His only eternal Son, our Lord Jesus Christ (Col 1:17). It was the very eternal Son who from the beginning of creation and can be seen in the plural pronouns speaking to the eternal Father and Holy Ghost in Genesis 1:26, “And God said, Let Us make man in Our image, after Our likeness.” That He, the Son, is the instrument in the creation of all things is clearly taught in the Gospel of John: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by Him; and without Him was not any thing made that was made. In Him was life; and the life was the light of men” (John 1:1-4).

 Jesus Christ is the Creator, and all things were made by Him. Look at the book of Hebrews, “God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, Hath in these last days spoken unto us by His Son, whom He hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also He made the worlds…” (Heb. 1:1-2). And Colossians 1:15-17, we find that this same Jesus is the One “Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature: For by Him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by Him, and for Him: And He is before all things, and by Him all things consist.” Jesus is the power that holds everything together!

I’m going to stop here for now, and I hope that I can come back and we can look at other things regarding the “theory of Evolution” that we as Old Baptists need to understand. Next time I will try to look at “The Six Days of Creation.” In parting listen to the words of the prophet Hosea who wrote, “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge.” (Hosea 4:6). May God grant that this be not our lot. May God bless you and guide your hearts and minds.

In the next article I hope to be able to look at the assumptions that are made by those who espouse the religion of “Evolution.” 

Elder Thomas McDonald

Evolution, False Assumptions?  Part 2
 

Primitive Baptist