Pronouncement of Judgment, No. 1

BD19-01

We are here this morning to share in the study and the explaining of the Word of truth, the Word of God. We welcome those of you who are visitors in our service, and we trust that the Word of God will prove to be a significant element in your life. A lady last Sunday morning after the service came up and said she was going to start attending the services regularly (she was a visitor) so that she could understand what I was talking about. She isn’t the only one who needs to do that.

But she said a very perceptive thing. The Word of God reveals to us certain things about ourselves. We have a body, which is self-evident, but we also have an immaterial part of our being which has a two-fold part to it—a human soul and a human spirit. God has set up this system for you to be able to come into a relationship with the living God so that you may function the way He designed you to function. You have divine viewpoint which is developed as a result of your understanding of the Word of God. You have frame of reference, and this is what our visitor was talking about. She was saying, “I can’t understand some of the things that I hear.” She didn’t know this, but this was because she didn’t have a frame of reference. It takes time to develop a frame of reference. It takes years under a program of Bible doctrine teaching under a pastor-teacher before you can even begin to get off the ground from the point of your salvation, in an understanding of God’s plan and your involvement with it.

We have seen that Satan was an angel, he rebelled against God, and he fell into sin. In time, he came onto the earth’s scene in the Garden of Eden, and he led mankind into the only sin that a person could commit in the Garden of Eden, which was negative volition toward the will of God. So Adam and Eve sinned, and we discovered that they now possessed an old sin nature. Their human spirits are now dead. What happened to them is that into their souls came this old sin nature. Consequently, this part of them died, so they are spiritually dead. They no longer have a point of contact with God. The old sin nature is now upon the throne of their lives, and it is dominating all facets of their being. Consequently, they can’t do it a thing about it. By rationalism, they cannot approach God through their reasoning. By empiricism, through their senses, they cannot approach God. It was the act of grace when the Lord Jesus Christ (Jehovah Elohim) walked into the garden and called Adam and said, “Why are you hiding where you’re hiding?” And their sin was exposed.

Human good was the first thing they produced, in the form of their fig leaf loin cloths, in order to cover up the evidences of their sin. They had lost their covering of light which they apparently had once possessed before that. Now they were aware of their nakedness, and before facing God, they proceeded to provide a human good covering. This is from the old sin nature, it’s a satanic production, and it is constantly rejected in the Word of God.

This seems to be a very difficult point. I find a little negative reaction upon this. People have a little difficulty getting it through their understanding that Satan is not running around trying to turn all hell lose upon the earth. What he is trying to do is to create as much good and as much orderliness as possible, which is why he is interested in socialism and communism, which is trying to create a forceful right relationship between human beings in a perfect environment. Satan is interested in producing good, so he goes about producing human good. And God rejects this just as much as he rejects the sins that come from our old sin nature. God will not permit an unbeliever to be saved by human good, nor will he permit a believer to be rewarded for his human good.

God entered into the Garden of Eden. He investigated the human sin, and we saw that everybody passed the blame on down the line—Adam to Eve, and Eve to the serpent. The scene is not set for the pronouncement of divine judgment on man’s sin.

First of all, in the orders of pronouncement, God began with man when he asked, “Guilty or not guilty?” He went from the woman to the serpent. Now he goes first to the serpent and then on up. So, first we have the serpent and the judgment which is placed upon him. A curse is declared.

We’ll start at Genesis 3:14, “And the Lord God said unto the serpent, ‘because thou hast done this, thou art cursed above all cattle and above every beast of the field. Upon thy belly shalt thou go, and dust shalt thou eat all the days of thy life.” The serpent, as an animal, is going to suffer the consequences of being used as a tool of Satan. Animal creation, we read in the Word of God, has been made subject to man (Genesis 1:26). It was to be for man’s blessing, and he was to control it. Animals however were not made to be instruments of sin. Leviticus 20:15-16 declares that an animal used in sexual sin is to be destroyed. So that animals, though not accountable, suffer the consequences of being instruments of man’s sin. The serpent, of course, was not accountable as a creature, was not accountable as a creature, but anything that acts as an agent of Satan, willfully or ignorantly, is going to come under divine judgment.

Romans 8:20-22 indicates that all of creation is suffering as the result of the contamination of sin. Also Isaiah 11:6-9. However, there is upon the serpent, not only this general condemnation that comes from sin, the general contamination, but a special judgment. He is to be different from all the cattle of the field. The Hebrew word is “behemah.” The word “behemah” means domestic animals. So, there is to be over the serpent a certain loathing. Remember that the serpent was a very beautiful animal, and very clever, and he apparently moved in an upright position. Because he was called the bright and shining one, he apparently had a quality about him of being very attractive.

But then there is another animal that he is condemned above. We read that he is also to be above all the beasts of the field. These beasts are wild animals. The animals mentioned previously are domestic animals. So, above all animals, Satan suddenly was going to become a very loathsome creature. He was to be despised. There is upon him a curse. The Bible calls it an “arar,” a detesting and abhorring quality which is place toward the snake.

So, the serpent who was originally the most beautiful of animals is now made the most repulsive. And you’ll notice in your English Bible that there’s no verb here, so it’s an elliptical expression. In order to make it pungent, it says, “Thou cursed.” He was to be cursed above all domestic animals and above every wild animal.

Here’s the mark of the curse. The serpent henceforth is to crawl upon the ground. He has had upright locomotion, but now he is to be on the ground. In the process of his movement, he is to eat dirt. He has no hands or legs. Every time he picks up a piece of food, it’s going to be something that has been lying in the filth and the dirt. This is a sign of what has happened to Satan. Satan, after all, is in the serpent, and the judgment upon the serpent reflect the position into which Satan has fallen. He has bitten the dust—not yet, but he will in the future at the point of the cross.

The serpent as such is limited in its attack upon its victims at the foot level. It can strike the legs. However, being on the ground, its head is thoroughly exposed in a vulnerable position to a fatal blow.

Genesis 3:15

This is going to be the background of the next verse, Genesis 3:15. Satan, who used the serpent, is not judged in this curse because he has already been judged at the time of his revolt against God (Matthew 25:41). The snake’s position today (every time you see a snake, remember) is a reminder of the defeat that God has imposed upon Satan. He gave him a mouthful of dust.

Then comes the next verse with this pronouncement upon Satan. You would think now the serpent has been judged. You would think that the next thing should be the woman because God is going in inverse order, and the next thing would be Adam, and judgments would be pronounced. But right at this point, God stops and interjects a very important thing. Genesis 3:15 is one of the most dramatic verses of the Bible. This is the first promise of salvation. It comes after Satan and the serpent have been dealt with because they are not included in this salvation. But it is the principal of God that He does not bring judgment until He has given opportunity for you to enter grace. He exercises grace before He pronounces judgment. This is the first biblical presentation, and it is the promise of a Savior.

Verse 15 says, “And I…” This is Jehovah Elohim speaking. It’s actually the pre-incarnate Jesus Christ here, who is the manifest member of the trinity. Whenever we deal with the Trinity where people speak to Him or see Him, Christ is the representative. “I Jehovah, will put enmity.” In the Hebrew, this is “avah,” and enmity here means a hostile mind—total enemies. “… between God and…” something else—Satan. There is going to be complete and total enmity. “I will put enmity between thee (Satan) and the woman.” Between Satan and humanity there is going to be a condition of enmity. The woman is, of course, Eve, who is the mother of humanity.

Then He announces two seeds. One is that this enmity, this loathing spirit of hostility, is going to exist between “thy seed and her seed.” Let’s look first of all to “thy seed.” Who is “thy seed?” This refers to Satan. Who are Satan’s seed? All unbelievers. Satan has a family. John 8:44 calls him the father of this family. It refers to everyone who is born into the human race, because we are born unsaved. It refers to those who have an old sin nature, and the imputation of Adams sins, so that we are in the slave market of sin, under Satan’s control. Everyone who is born into the human race is born into Satan’s family, because we’re born with an old sin nature, so we’re born spiritually dead.

From this old sin nature, we’re capable of sins and of human good, and Satan is the promoter of both. A slave cannot free another slave. He hasn’t got the price to pay for the redemption of anyone else. So mankind, as Satan’s seed, is tied up hopelessly in this slave market of sin, and there is no way out it for a human being. The moment you take a breath of life, you’re in that market.

There is another seed. That is “her seed.” Whose is that? The woman’s seed. This has a specific reference. The only hope for us in this slave market of sin is for someone who is outside of this slave market to come in and redeem us. (It must be) someone who has the qualifications. The woman’s seed refers to this someone who is the Lord Jesus Christ. Satan’s seed are all of unsaved humanity who are trapped in the slave market of sin. Her seed is the Lord Jesus Christ who was not in the slave market of sin because He was born outside of the line of contamination of the human race. Therefore, He did not have an old sin nature and He did not have the imputation of Adam’s sin to Him.

The Virgin Birth

This gospel announcement stresses what? What’s the first thing when God announces to this man and woman before He brings judgment upon them, God is going to exercise grace, what’s the first thing He stresses that is of crucial importance. You would say, if you stopped to think about it, the blood of Christ, His death, His substitutionary death. Wrong! The first thing you find emphasized is the virgin birth. This is the crucial thing. Man’s seed is not involved in the incarnation of Jesus Christ because Adam sinned deliberately, and so Adam is the means of transmitting the old sin nature. We’ve already gone over Romans 5:12 that tells us how, by this one man, the old sin nature entered into the human race. 1 Timothy 2:13-15 explains to us how the woman’s sin was not deliberate. She was deceived. She, herself, was going to be saved through childbearing. That is, bearing this particular child as the seed of the woman, the Lord Jesus Christ.

So, what we need is someone to be born into the human race to solve this problem of the sin market. We have to have someone to be born in the human race without a human father so that he is born without an old sin nature and the imputation of Adam’s sin. So, there can be no salvation without the virgin birth. “Her seed” is the first title given to the incarnate Jesus Christ.

When Adam began reproducing, we read in Genesis 5, verse 3 says, “And he begat a son in his own likeness and after his image.” Natural procreation is a barrier to salvation. Adam had two sons. The first one was named Cain, and the second one was named Abel. They were both born in his image and likeness. Both were in the image of Adam in that they had his soul. They had his likeness in that they had the old sin nature. Both were spiritually dead, so they were the seed of Satan. With the old sin nature, these sons began producing human good and their personal sins. Neither one of them had a human spirit. It was dead in both of those sons.

One day, Abel, upon receiving information from his father concerning the gospel, believed, and Abel was born again, and he came alive spiritually. He received a live human spirit. Now he had a point of contact with God. His brother Cain rejected his father’s explanation, and he remained spiritually dead. Both of these sons came one day to bring an offering. Abel, because he was spiritually alive, brought a proper blood offering, from his new spiritual nature, although he still had an old sin nature. Cain, however, brought an offering of vegetation because he didn’t have a human spirit. So he brought from his old sin nature, and this was human good. This man could not have brought anything that would have been acceptable to God, even If he had brought a blood sacrifice, until he had believed the gospel and been born again. Up to that point, it was simply religion, and God rejects religion because religion is man trying to get God’s favor and please Him.

This pattern continued in the human race, all the way down, until we come to the Lord Jesus Christ. Then, but the supernatural work of God, Jesus Christ was born outside of that slave market. He did not have a human father. As the seed of the woman born outside of the stream of contamination of the human race, He was qualified to die on the cross. But, He could not die for us as our substitute, in His deity, for obviously sovereignty cannot be subject to death. Eternal life cannot die. Omnipresence cannot be in one place to die. Omnipotence cannot be conquered by death. He is immutable, and therefore He cannot change from life to death.

Therefore, when Genesis 3:15 makes a declaration concerning the enmity between Satan and the woman’s descendants, and between his seed of unbelievers and her seed, it is referring to this one person Jesus Christ, but in His humanity. It is the humanity of Jesus Christ which is being stressed here, and that humanity was achieved through the virgin birth. That was the only way we go someone outside of the slave market of sin.

Years ago when I was a teenager, visiting one Sunday afternoon, calling on people and sharing the gospel with them in the neighborhood, one man opened the door and we talked a while, and he said, “Well I’ll tell you son. I can go along with a lot of what you’re saying, but I just can’t go along with this idea that someone could have a baby without a human father. I don’t see any point in that at all.” Unfortunately, I wasn’t informed to know what to say. As I go to thinking about it, and as I look back on it now, the virgin birth is something you associate with Christmas, and it’s kind of the magic of Christmas. It’s one of the magical things that happen that makes Christmas special. Most Christians don’t seem to understand the central position that the virgin birth holds in our salvation. It’s crucial. Without it, there’s nothing, for this is the only way for God to bring a human being into the human race who was sinless, and therefore qualified to die for us.

Now Satan understood this. He caught it right off the bat. So, he made the first of many moves to frustrate. This is why he led Cain to kill Abel. This is why Satan is called a murderer in John 8:44 from the beginning. Throughout the history of the human race, Satan has been trying to bring death to the line through which the humanity of Christ was to come. Satan has constantly been trying to eliminate that line, and it began with Abel.

Fundamentalism

I want to observe that I think you should have a little understanding toward the fundamentalist preacher. I hear these snide remarks toward fundamentalist preachers who take seriously the virgin birth of Jesus Christ, and therefore they feel certain restrictions in such things as evangelistic campaigns in which people who die the virgin birth of Christ and His deity are involved as sponsoring members. I hear these little remarks about the fundamentalist preachers who have reservations about cooperating with such things as Billy Graham campaigns, which notoriously include unbelievers without any apology, on the platform, in prayer, and on the sponsoring committee.

Now whether you agree with them or not, you should at least have an understanding of what their position is. I realize that fundamentalists do not always make their legitimate point of truth on good scholarly biblical ground. They make a poor case. I also want to make it clear that I am a fundamentalist. I believe that the Bible is the Word of God. I believe it is inerrant. It is without mistakes, in its original writings. I believe that Jesus Christ was virgin born, and that the spiritual death of Christ was essential for our salvation. I believe He’s coming again. I believe there’s a heaven and there’s a hell. I believe all of the fundamentals that God puts forth, and I believe them as literally true.

But I must admit that the fundamentalists sometimes are poor presenters of their case for the truth. The reason for this is that they have fallen into the habit of preaching to people’s emotions. The average fundamentalist preacher is preaching to people’s emotions, and when you preach to people’s emotions, you invite two bad results. The first one is that the preacher tends to become a poor expositor of the Bible on the basis of Greek and Hebrew, because he resorts to devotional talks. He just turns into a little devotional talks, to little inspirational discourses, to illustrations, to jokes, and to cliché’s because he’s trying to kick people’s emotions into saying the right things—enough “Praise the Lord” and enough “Hallelujahs.” He is preaching to people’s emotions.

It’s easy to preach to people’s emotions. All you have to do is keep track of Reader’s Digest, and you’ll be able to get people to feeling just great. You can get all kinds of illustrations. We used to run the clubs here, out of some original heritage that we had, and our stories were coming out of Reader’s Digest … little illustrations and little emotions talks until we kicked that out and got ourselves down to hardcore Bible doctrine instruction which is the only thing that a human life can sustain itself upon.

Well this has a second bad effect. It makes bad preparation for the preacher because he falls to devotional preaching. Secondly, it leads to believers thinking with their emotions. This is very bad. When a believer starts thinking with his emotions, here’s what happens: Here are his emotions which are to be governed by the directive side of his mind as his will is to be governed, and his emotions are to be governed. What does he do? He blanks out this part of his mind, and his emotions move up and take over, and they start kicking into action. And anytime a believer works on the basis of emotions, he is a sincere person, and you had better steer clear from him because sincere people are not operating and functioning on doctrinal principals. They’re moving on emotions.

The result is that the fundamentalist preacher often exposes his congregation to human viewpoint, and to false doctrine that he draws into his soul. One of the biggest things he exposes them to is the tongues movement because the tongues movement is based entirely on people who have blanked out the directive side of their minds, and they are operating and functioning on the control of emotions. Consequently, the majority of fundamental preachers end up making their church service an evangelist coming-forward meeting—something for somebody to make some kind of a public move. It’s not a time for feeding the flock upon the Word of God, upon the doctrinal principals of the Word of God. He’s kicking their emotions around in order to get them to the end of the service where he can start singing the invitation hymn and get people running forward.

Now Christendom and Bible churches (Bible believing people) are psyched to this. I’ve had more people come to me and say, “Well, I just wish you’d give an invitation at Berean.” We give invitations all the time. I know what the mean. They want to be able to raise their hand for something. All we do is say, “You’re your own priest. We give you the information. You face God, and you act upon it.” Then it’s going to be right. It’s going to be workable in your life. We’re not going to give you some opportunity to let your emotions kick you up to some public move so that you can make a spectacle and demonstration of yourself, so that you’ll go home and feel that you have really gotten yourself right with God.

(That’s what happens at) these big youth rallies that get everybody zapped up and kicked up, and then everybody goes home and nothing is left. When was the last time you were involved in a great big glamorous operation? How much is left from that great big glamorous operation and the high-powered advertising and coverage? How much is really left that you know of, or what you think is left? After all the glamour has drifted back out of town, what is left? You have preachers who are preaching the Word of God, and expositing the doctrines of the Word, and feeding the people of God. Or you have liberals who are moving in darkness, the blind leading the blind, and feeding garbage to people, and that’s still what you have left. They’re the people who are carrying the ball before, during, and after.

So I’m sympathetic if you say, “Well, the fundamentalist doesn’t’ make a very good case for not cooperating with certain enterprises that seem to be having a desirable goal like the winning of souls.” But when a preacher preaches to emotions, this is murder on the congregation. If you haven’t had that experience, you are fortunate because you have been freed from listening to that sort of thing. The reason they can then resort to legalism and to their taboos is because they can preach to people’s emotions. So they’re going to give all kinds of taboos, and how people should act nice. And pretty soon the people have picked up the idea that you know what’s important. The thing that’s important is what you do, and what you’re about, rather than who and what God is.

So the fundamentalist is to be faulted. Nevertheless, they have a good biblical ground, and I don’t appreciate these snide remarks against fundamentalist preachers because they take a position against religious leaders who reject the virgin birth of the Lord Jesus Christ. We are talking about real live breathing human beings who speak and make declarations. For example, one of the most famous was a man named Bishop Kennedy who was a bishop of the Methodist church on the west coast who stated, “I’m for Bishop Pike about 99% of the time, I don’t think such theological issues such as the virgin birth of Christ are the central important things.”

Now if you know Bishop Pike, who is quite notorious in his own right as an Episcopal Church leader, he went down so far that his own church had to put him on trial several times for heresy. You know that this was the same Bishop Pike who got into spiritism and into seeking to communicate through mediums with dead son, which the Word of God stringently forbids because it’s contact with the demonic world, and he got communications back. He died on an expedition in the Holy Land.

But this Bishop Pike, if you’ve ever heard him on TV as he would say, “I just jettison the deity of Christ and the virgin birth as just excess baggage on Christians. It is this same Bishop Kennedy who is the chairman of Mr. Graham’s San Francisco campaign. Now it’s pretty hard when the fellow who’s running the whole evangelistic campaign says, “I agree that the virgin birth of Christ and deity are not important issues.”

This Bishop Gerald Kennedy wrote on the flyleaf of a book written by a man named Nels Ferre. This author said that to call Jesus God is to substitute an idol for incarnation. “Jesus never was God.” On page 40 of his book, The Sun and the Umbrella, Dr. Ferre said, “Jesus seemed to have lived a great deal with the Scriptures. Possibly this fact became a real problem to him and his followers.” The Bible becomes a problem, to a believer.

In another place, Dr. Ferre said, “It cannot be denied that Jesus’ father was a blond German soldier.” Now on the flyleaf of this book you may read the commendation by no other than the man who headed up the San Francisco Billy Graham campaign, Bishop Kennedy, where he said, “Concerning this book by Nels Ferre, a modern parable written in the power and spirit of the New Testament. It cuts right to the heart of our muddled theology. We have stood in need of this clarification of the person of Jesus. If it shocks certain traditionalists …” (that’s one of the dirty words for fundamentalists), “… it will thrill sincere world-minded Christians.” This was a clarification of our Savior.

Lesley Weatherhead is a preacher and psychiatrist from City Temple, London, England. He was invited to sit on the platform with Dr. Graham in his meetings in Great Britain, and was one of the sponsors of the London Crusade. He wrote a book called the Christian agnostic in which he says that Jesus is the son of a temple prostitute named Mary, and Zacharias the priest was the father.

Now I’m not talking about somebody that you don’t know—somebody that’s way off some place. When the fundamentalist preacher says, “I have a problem in cooperation in standing on the platform where I see an unbeliever who makes remarks that my Savior is the illegitimate son of his prostitute mother and Zacharias the temple priest,” maybe you can get the feel that the fundamentalist maybe has a problem. At least, you must admit that he has a problem for himself whether it should be a problem or not. And snide remarks are directed toward him as though he were some obscurantist, uncooperative, contemptuous, and contentious ignoramus is not in order. But how are you going to contend with this glamour. How are you going to stand up against this kind of glamour, a glamour of a stadium rally, a glamour of big-named personalities, the appearance of presidents and their honors, TV coverage, and famous entertainers? Dr. Graham ran his congress on evangelism in Minnesota, one of the featured speakers was Pat Boone. Pat Boone, if you’ve been following the news reports, has now been excommunicated from the Church of Christ in which he was reared, for heresy, for he has gone full-blown into the tongues movement. He and his wife Shirley are now tongue speakers—the whole bit. Why?

Well, I got a little suspicion when I heard him on TV and he said, “For years my family and I went to church and Sunday school, and that’s alright.” And when somebody says, “Well, that’s alright,” they mean it’s a bunch of junk but (they) don’t want to offend anybody. But just the fact that he said, “Well, that’s alright … we went to church,” instead of the fact that he was getting crucial doctrinal insights, I can suspect that this poor man has been reared without crucial Bible doctrine insights, so consequently he finally came to the point where his emotions took over. And it’s the easiest (thing) in the world, from there, to feel that you’ve got something real.

Every now and then somebody writes to me or calls my attention to somebody who was a dud spiritually, and along comes the Pentecostal movement, and members of their family get on fire for the Lord. And it’s very confusing to (real) sincere Christians to say, “Boy, I couldn’t get this guy to go out to church. Now he goes to church all the time. He’s in activity. He’s there.” Don’t you kid you kid yourself. Being active, being there, and being in church is nothing. It’s meaningless, because the old sin nature, when it’s functioning on the mentality of the emotions, will lead you right into Satan’s hand every time.

So, Pat Boone was a featured speaker. Here’s what he said. He got up before this magnificent assembly of people interested in evangelism—spiritual leaders. He said, “I’ve just finished appearing in Las Vegas at the Flamingo. I followed Tom Jones in. I saw his show the closing night, and I’m going to tell you that it’s not only illegal, but it makes Elvis Presley look arthritic.” There was great applause and great laughter.

Now you spiritual people don’t know anything about that, and that’s why you didn’t laugh, you see. You don’t know anything about Elvis Presley and hips and motion, but that was pretty funny. Then he said, “Now I’m not going to try to do that, but I did ask Al Werner by conductor to steal one of his arrangements (sort of copy it), and see if we can do some of my songs with that kind of feel or something like it, so Al, let’s give it a whack.” Boone’s opening song was I’ve Got That Feeling Called Love. Following which he said (that) he thought “… the words of that song were appropriate tonight because we’re here to talk about a feeling. See? Feelings? Thinking with your feelings? Pentecostalism? It’s OK to go to church. But what he got was hay, wood, and stubble every time he walked into the church, I suppose.

“We’re here to talk about a feeling.” He continued, “The name of this thing is called ‘turn on,’ and … when you talk about turning on, you’re talking about a feeling, aren’t you. But we’re talking about a great feeling tonight, and one that doesn’t wear off. It just sort of stays with you. It just gets better and better as you go along.”

No, we’re not talking about a feeling. We’re talking about divine insights. We’re talking about thinking with a mentality that God the Holy Spirit has filled with truth.

Just to give you a little (idea) of the problem that fundamentalist preachers face: Going back to Bishop Pike, in a news report (we were told) that Dr. Billy Graham spoke from a pulpit at Grace Cathedral on Knob Hill to a standing-room only Christian men’s assembly. This was Bishop Pike’s church. The meeting was sponsored by United Church Men, the Layman’s Unit of the National Council of Churches, which (as we’ve already covered) is a liberal expression.

(It was said,) “In his closing prayer, Dr. Graham offered a special petition for the success of the current assembly of the National Council of Churches, and prayed that out of this meeting there would come a great message to the Christian world. The prayer at the service was offered by the Reverend Dr. Edwin T. Dalberg of St. Louis, President of the National Council of Churches. The Reverend James Pike, Bishop of the Diocese of California, pronounced the benediction.” This was the same Bishop Pike who led in the attacks on the House Committee on Un-American Activities on our Congress, and who declared, “I do not believe that Christ sitteth on the right hand of the Father. I feel the same about ‘ascended into heaven,’ the same about ‘conceived of the Holy Spirit,’ and ‘born of the virgin Mary.’”

Put yourself in the poor fundamentalist preacher’s place. Here he is, bringing his flock into a meeting where he sees preachers on the platform. They both have Bibles. They’re both dressed (up). Some have collars turned around to really identify them. What do they know of the difference? Yet, Dr. Graham had no difficulty in being present and participating in the installation of this same Bishop Pike into his diocese in California. The poor fundamentalist preacher looks at that and he says, “Now this is something akin to the apostle Paul when he spent those three years in Ephesus and participating in the installation of the prostitute priestesses in the temple of Diana of the Ephesians. Because the Bible says that when you deal with heresy, it is spiritual adultery. It is contamination of the truth.

And when you get through (as has been the experience of some of us), we have the hard problem of saying, “Here I speak to this person.” You know, we can get glowing about how many people we speak to at a meeting in a campaign such as that. But the thing we don’t say is, “I sent this fellow to the Roman Catholic church. I sent this one to the darkness of the cults. The Jehovah Witnesses got this one. I sent this one back to Christian Science because that’s where he came from. I sent this one back to the synagogue. I sent all these others back to the darkness where the blind can lead the blind.

Now whether you agree or not, I just want you to understand what is behind the problem of the genuine, knowledgeable, honest fundamentalist preacher. He has a point, and you (may) think it should not be his point. Now certainly it’s exciting to be in on that glamour. A lot of people get in on that sort of glamour just because it’s exciting. They feel they can get lost in the crowd. The Lord can’t see them. If the TV cameras come by, they hold a book up so they can’t notice them. And they feel kind of at ease just to go ahead and play the ball. (Why?)

Well, “We’re going to win souls.” It’s sort of like Moses striking that rock when the Lord said, “Moses, speak.” And he did that hideous desecration to the image of Christ. Well God is true to His Word. He comes through. Sure, souls are saved. They would have been saved anyhow, and probably in better effective order, if the surroundings had been right. But we seem to feel that we can justify it. And the fundamentalist preacher says, “Well, I don’t feel you can.”

And in the follow-up, what are you going to do with these converts. You should follow them up. “Oh,” you say, “we do follow them up. We follow them up great. Sure, we send them back to these (same) churches, but we follow them up.” They fill out a couple of books and get a few inspirational talks. It takes you two years of solid Bible doctrine to even get off the ground. Don’t kid me about following up (with) people. I know what happens to people who start thinking with their emotions and who become enthusiastic and diluted because they have no truth.

It is Dr. Graham’s right, or course, to exercise his priesthood, but it is also the right of the fundamentalist preacher not to be an object of ridicule, and I don’t appreciate the remarks directed toward the sincere fundamentalist who may not express himself and make as good a case as he should, but who does have a point from his point of view. It’s an insult to the Lord Jesus Christ, and it strains the ground of his Christian fellowship very understandably.

There is no problem maintaining comradery with people who are unbelievers. I have some very good friends who are not believers. Sure, we can do things together. We can go flying (providing he has an airplane). I notice when I look at my flight log, that my hours of flying time go up and down dependent upon whether or not I have a friend who owns a plane. But we can have a great time just flying together with no problem at all.

I have no problem asking Ron Blue to come up here and bring you greetings from the Lord, and look forward to getting together again. But I would have some hesitation, I must admit, in having a fellow who says that my Savior is a prostitute’s son to stand up here and share with you his insights. And I would have little problem asking him to lead you in prayer. I wouldn’t have any problem to think that it’s his right to think that and to exercise his priesthood. But I would have a problem (in) thinking we should join forces to carry on the Lord’s work.

We have to agree in these meetings to send these people back to whatever benighted situation they express that they have come from. Unless you make that deal, and if you do anything else… I heard of a fellow who tore up the cards so that these organizations couldn’t follow them up, and of course that was not ethical for him to do that. If you’re going to be ethical, you have to play ball with the team, and so you have to make your choice as to whether it’s alright for the Savior to be labeled as illegitimate or not.

This is follow-through in the Word of God in a considerable degree. I want to dignify the virgin birth for you, and I want to dignify it where you live, so that you can apply it where these issues are active. Just a couple of verses: 2 John 10-11 says, “For if there come any unto you and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into your house, neither bid him Godspeed. For he that biddeth him Godspeed is partaker of his evil deeds.” 1 Timothy 6:5 says, “Perverse disputings of men of corrupt minds, and destitute of the truth, supposing that gain is godliness. From such, withdraw thyself.” 2 Timothy 2:21 says, “If a man therefore purge himself from these, he shall be a vessel unto honor, sanctified and fit for the Master’s use, and prepared unto every good work.” Chapter 3, verse 5 says, “Having a form of godliness, but denying the power of it, from such turn away.” Then that dramatic verse in Ephesians 5:11 where the apostle Paul says, “And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them.” Not commend them, but reprove them.

Now Paul was sensitive. In the book of Acts chapter 20, he warned the elders, the leadership of the church at Ephesus of what was going to happen. He was very much concerned that after his departure he know that there were going to rise within the church religious leaders who were going to be wolves in sheep’s clothing. In Acts 20:28, the apostle Paul says, “Take heed therefore unto yourselves and to all the flock over which the Holy Spirit has made you…” These are the pastor-teachers. “… to feed the church of God which He hath purchased with His own blood. For I know this. After my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock.” And then this unbelievable verse 30, “And of your own selves shall men arise speaking perverse things to draw away disciples after them.”

When we get to Genesis 3:15, and next Sunday morning we’re going to pick up the story here in the expansion of this by Isaiah, (the) very dramatic exciting expansion by Isaiah on what Genesis 3:15 means. But the first thing, the first presentation of the gospel says, number one, the virgin birth. Because without this sinless Savior, without this virgin birth that produced this sinless Savior, there could be no hope for you and me to be taken out of that slave market of sin. He was qualified to die because He was qualified in His sinless humanity.

I can understand the fundamentalist preacher. Now I will not fault him, as poor as his presentation may be, for a very legitimate point. There is nothing more important. Salvation begins with the fact of the virgin birth.

Dr. John E. Danish

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