The Divine Right of Nations
This is the second segment of the Bible Doctrine of Warfare series. The current antiwar movements that we are experiencing today must be viewed, we
indicated last time, on the background of World War II as the frame of reference. Radical student leaders notably seek to discount this as a frame
of reference, primarily because their tyranny is the same. Jerry Rubin often has remarks about not being interested in Hitler or anything about
Hitler because his tyranny is the same as Hitler's. Therefore, Hitler is not a good frame of reference for the student radical movement.
Jane Fonda tells her audience that Hitler came to power on the policy of law and order, establishing law and order in Germany, in order for her
to discredit any resistance to her own type of lawlessness.
So we have a generation of young Americans who are intimidated over devotion to their country and to the free enterprise system. This is revealed,
and it is good to pick up these key phrases when you talk to college students, when you talk to the radicals, when you talk to the hippies, when
you talk to the yippies, and when you talk to the Black Panthers. It is good to catch the phrases particularly in the sincere student who is
disoriented and reaching out and trying to find himself, and who is admittedly confused in his thinking and has some internal turmoil about how
he should feel toward his nation and the free enterprise system. One of these phases is "the good guys and the bad guys." You will notice this
phrase coming up more and more in the parlance of college students. They say that there is no such thing as good guys and bad guys, trying to
discredit the idea that communism and its point of view is bad and that they are the bad guys.
But make no mistake about it. Communists are the bad guys. And if you make that mistake you may yet live to rue the day and learn by experience
just how bad they really are. It is they who must have the secret police. It is they who must have the slave labor camps. It is they who must use
terror as an instrument of policy. It is they who must build walls, maintain guards, and use the guns in order to keep people inside the paradise
of peace, plenty, and justice that they have created and envisioned for humanity. However, Americans are brainwashed today. This generation of
Americans, the young adult generation of Americans, has been brainwashed deliberately by communist planning and by the radical students, or by
the dupes that these radical students manipulate. Most college students are just dupes when they join forces with the radical students. Their
idealism is being used. And disoriented Christians are the instruments of deliberate communist planning to brainwash Americans toward this subject
Also, don't be taken in by another phrase that you will hear: "I'm against communism. I'm opposed to all of its brutality and all that it stands
for, but I'm just against war." That's a sincere person, and remember to never trust a sincere person. He's a person who operates out of emotion.
He's not a person who's operating on facts. He's a disoriented dupe. We remind you again as we did last time that American freedoms are due to the
military establishment of this country and to the brave men who fought and died and won battles. That's why you can sit here, and the hippies can
sit here, and the yippies can sit here, and they can sound out for peace and against our free enterprise system.
National destruction historically comes to a nation when a majority of its citizens becomes defective in their values and standards in the conscience.
They then become animals. This is reflected in communal living. It's reflected in homosexuality, in drugs, in unisex, in promiscuity, in expediency
on the part of leadership, and in anti-nationalism. The age of apostasy is in the church, represented ideally by the National Council of Churches.
It purports to speak for the majority of Protestants in the country today, and is the primary instrument for action by the liberals. Apostasy in
the church has built a generation of intellectually brilliant but morally disoriented young people. Brains, I remind you again, doesn't mean
orientation to the truth. This is another expression I discover in talking to young people. They are impressed by the brilliance of the radical
leaders on the college campuses, and they equate this with an understanding of the truth. But you can have all the brains in the world and be just
as far away from God's point of view as anybody can be--as the greatest moron can be.
The Word of God tells us that there are only two systems by which humanly we can learn. That is, first of all, by rationalism. 1 Corinthians 1:20
says, "Where is the wise? Where is the scribe? Where is the disputer of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of this world? For after that,
in the wisdom of God, the world wisdom (by rationalism, by thinking, and by brain power) knew not God. It pleased God by the foolishness of
preaching (Bible exposition) to save them that believed." In 1 Corinthians 2:9, the other method of learning, empiricism, is also completely
inadequate to come to God's point of view: "But as it is written, eye has not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man,
the things which God has prepared for them that love Him." Your senses will not bring you to a knowledge of God. It is only by the faith system,
believing the authority of the Word of God, that brings you into touch with God's thinking.
Within a national entity there is a spiritual kingdom. It is this spiritual kingdom which preserves the nation and its liberties. Israel, when it
was presented with the truth concerning Christ, rejected Him. In time, its spiritual kingdom was destroyed. When that happened Israel as a nation
fell. It has fallen to this day, for what exists in Palestine is not the nation returned in belief to God, but is simply the preparation for it.
A spiritual kingdom is made up of believers who are oriented to Bible doctrine. It is the responsibility of the spiritual kingdom within a nation
to influence that national entity but never to be combined with it. It is to be separation of church and state all the way down the line.
Israel fell nationally because a majority of its citizens had fallen spiritually. A Christian can be so confused doctrinally. Please get over,
once and for all, the stupidity of equating knowing the Bible and being doctrinally oriented. There are plenty of churches in this city that teach
the Bible where the people are totally disoriented to what they really are, to seeing themselves as they are, to the Word of God and its
doctrinal aspects, and thus to have a view of the nation. I am talking about being doctrinally oriented--not simply knowing the Bible. It is
possible for a Christian to know the Bible and be so confused doctrinally that he's even more disoriented politically.
In order to understand what's happening in our day, it's necessary for us to examine the working of our thinking processes. It's the relationship
of our conscience to our thinking that enables us to understand the doctrine of warfare and our current national situation. So we begin by looking
at the conscience. The conscience is an element of the soul. The conscience is part of the soul. Very briefly, the soul, as you remember, is made up
of self-awareness. It is made up of mentality, and the conscience is in the mentality. It is made up of emotions, it is made up of will, and it is
made up of the conscience itself. This whole thing is influenced by God the Holy Spirit, or it is influenced by the old sin nature.
Thinking is the key to living. This is the soul. We also have a human spirit. The human spirit is the point of our God consciousness and our
contact with God. When God deals with you, it is through your spirit that He deals. God deals on the basis of what is in your spirit as a storage
place. A spirit that is devoid of doctrinal orientation is a spirit which cannot influence these areas of your soul so that you are completely
disoriented to God's point of view. Instead of ending up with divine viewpoint, you end up with human viewpoint. Our self-awareness enables us to
know ourselves. Our mentality enables us to think. Our emotions enable us to have a sense of appreciation. Our will, or volition, enables us to
make decisions. Our conscience is the place where our standards and values are located. The old sin nature perverts all of us.
The human spirit, we are told in the Word of God, is to receive the fullness of God. Without going into too much detail here, Ephesians 3:19 says,
"And to know the love of Christ, which passes knowledge, that you might be with all the fullness of God." The fullness of God refers to doctrinal
orientation. We Christians are to be filled with the fullness of God, doctrinal orientation. That takes place here in the soul. This is the
warehouse of doctrine. The grace system has provided a basis for you to come to understand Bible doctrine and God's point of view. It doesn't
matter what your human IQ is. Spiritual IQ is the development of how much doctrine you have in the human spirit.
Divine truth is still here as a result of your positive response to what you hear. You cannot store Bible doctrine through rationalism. You
cannot store it through empiricism. You can only store it by faith. When you hear the Word taught, when you hear a doctrine like the doctrine of
warfare taught, you are going to go negative or you're going to go positive. If you go positive toward what the Word of God says, that truth is
now placed as full knowledge into your spirit where God the Holy Spirit will use it to direct the areas of your soul. If you go negative (although
you've got the doctrine in your mind and you have Bible knowledge), it's meaningless. That's the person who knows so much and is so incompetent
when it comes to Christian living, and is so inconsistent with what he knows.
This is the way you may treat a meal. Your mother or your wife calls you to a meal, and you may look at that meal, and on the basis of your
senses, you may smell it, you may feel it, you may taste it, and you may make a decision about that meal. That's empiricism. You may do it
rationally. You may look at this meal, and you may analyze its color, analyze what it looks like, and what it's made of, and whether that should
be good or not good. Then you make a decision whether that's a good meal or not.
The other way is to accept by faith that your mother says, "Here is a good meal." You sit down, and you accept it, and eat it, and then in the
process of eating, it's confirmed. You accept her word by faith. That may not
always work. We discovered at our house that whenever we're told that we're going to have a delicious dinner, our signals go up because we know
that out in the kitchen something exotic has been going on, and we're going to come in and find something like an eggplant and calf brain succotash.
We are being prepared. Maybe you can't always accept by faith what you hear. You have to check your authority and know the pattern. Maybe at your
house, when they say it's a delicious dinner that doesn't signal anything.
Now, doctrine protects us from emotional subjectivity. When you know doctrine, you are protected from emotional subjectivity. When you have a
spirit filled with doctrine, you don't fall off into Pentecostalism and the emotional binge. You don't run around like a sincere person.
You don't run around talking about Christians loving one another when you're totally ignorant of what "agape" love is as a non-emotional
intellectual relationship. Watch out for sincere people. They're suspect to the core, and they will lead you astray every time, especially those
who speak of love. They usually are totally disoriented to the language as to what they're even talking about.
I had a youngster in the academy recently who was having some problems. So I had a talk with her, and she said. "Oh, I'm not going to have any
more difficulties." I said, "Why not?" She said, "I went to church last night and I had an experience." Right away I knew where she went to church,
what kind of church she was going to, and sure enough, she had a Pentecostal experience and they had a good emotional meeting. She came forward and
she had some kind of an experience. Now she wasn't going to have any more problems of conduct and the things that she was having troubles with
in her personal life. She was operating on emotion. This is disoriented to the way God the Spirit works. I had to sit down with her and said, "I
want to show you some things that the Bible has to say on how God works and thinks. I had to give her a little doctrine. And I said, "Now if you
will accept that, your problems will be resolved. Your experience will mean nothing. All your experience is going to tell you is that a couple of
weeks from now you have to go back for another shot of experience."
The Learning Cycle
Doctrine will also protect you from sublimation--substituting. You won't go after drugs, gangs, booze, sex, or something else in order to make up
for the lack and the disorientation in your life. Here's the learning cycle: This is the way it works. You have to understand this. Here is God.
God provides a pastor-teacher. On the basis of the exposition of the word of God, which has to be explained through a book, verse-by-verse, on
the basis of the original languages, against the historical background of the times in which it was written, the word of God is explained. Because
it's in an exact defined language, it can be exactly defined. Under the basis of the filling of the Holy Spirit, you listen to the truth, and it
enters your mind. Now your mind responds through your volition. It goes positive or it goes negative. If you go positive, this truth is now
transferred down to your human spirit. There it is placed in categories of doctrinal understanding ready for your use. Under the filling of the
Holy Spirit, this truth is cycled back up to your mind.
Let's take a look at the mind. Your mind has two sides to it. Your mind has a thinking side and it has a conscience side. This is the point of
trouble today. Your conscience is determined by what is down here in your human spirit. On the basis of what you have learned of the doctrine,
you make decisions on what is moral and what is immoral; what is right and what is wrong; and, what is the mind of God and what is the mind of man.
That sets the values and standards of your conscience. This in turn guides your thinking. The thinking side of your mind is governed by the
conscience side. If your conscience is defective in its values and standards, you will be way off base in your thinking. This is what is happening
to young people today. Because they are so pitifully ignorant of Bible doctrine in the spirit, they have no basis of establishing a set of values
and of standards in the conscience.
We are talking particularly on the set of values and standards in reference to war and that doctrine. Thus,
their thinking is totally disoriented to the mind of God, and they're operating on human viewpoint. So they resort to reason, to rationalism, or
to substitutes. You may go negative, as of this point, and then the doctrine simply stays as an intellectual thing. The truth is of no use to you.
You make up your own excuses, and you act purely on a subjective basis. The doctrine from the human spirit will cycle back to your mind and will
affect your conscience side, and thus govern your thinking. Your mind is like a computer. It's controlled by what is put into it. It is amazing
how many non-Christians who study the mind, who are experts in the field of psychology, are coming up exactly with this conclusion. It is fantastic.
They don't have the scriptural orientation to it, but they're coming up exactly with this same understanding of how the mind works in a computer-like
fashion. Its input determines its output.
Alright. Now here is the working of conscience. You have rights or wrongs based upon the doctrinal orientation that you have. This is totally
devoid of feelings. This is an objective standard. Now if sin comes into the life, then what happens is a short-circuit at this point. Here's the
problem with young people today. The involvement in sin on a broad scale has short-circuited the mind. Even among Christian kids, when sin comes
in, they are short-circuited from the spirit. The result is that the conscience side of the mind has no access to the Word of God and to God's
point of view. So the view of war is determined by the conscious side.
Solomon was a man who had an excellent set of values and standards in the conscience. This was reflected by what he was willing to choose when
God said, "Anything you want, I'll give you." And yet, Solomon wrote the book of Ecclesiastics--a book which explains all of the things that he
pursued as substitutes for his relationship to God--substitutes for a divine viewpoint, and how useless it all was. What happened to Solomon?
He became promiscuous. With all of his multiplicity of wives, and heathen wives at that, sin came in on a physical level and it destroyed the
conscience side of Solomon's brain. The result was that he became totally disoriented in his thinking. He must have come back, because he wrote
the book of Ecclesiastics which relates his experience over the years that he drifted away from God.
So your conscience is, as 1 Timothy 4:2 says, "seared." You will be reduced to an animal level, and you will be totally confused. This is what
happens. When this is seared, this is blanked out, then over here you become an animal. This again explains the animal conduct of the radical
youth of today. Their conscience is out.
Now, if you're going to understand the doctrine of warfare, we not only have to understand this thinking process and how the conscience affects
our thinking. We also have to understand that the doctrine of the divine institution of a national entity. A divine institution, you remember,
is a law from God for the orderly function and the survival of the human race. These laws protect humanity from Satan during the time when Satan
is the dominant ruler of this world. A divine institution applies equally to Christians or non-Christians. There are other divine institutions
such as the family, marriage, and so on. We are looking at the one concerning national entity. The reason God provides these divine institutions
is to preserve the ground for the proclamation of the Word of God to every generation. If it were not for the divine institutions, the Word of God
would not go from generation to generation, and evangelism and the production of divine viewpoint would not have the opportunity to express itself.
Now, we will look at the divine institution of nationalism. God himself divided people into nations. Deuteronomy 32:8: "When the most high divided
to the nations their inheritance, when He separated the sons of Adam, He set the bounds of the people according to the number of the children of
Israel." And, by the way, I heard another rebuttal this week, as you can imagine what reactions we're getting on the subject of the doctrine of
warfare and that the Bible has something to teach about the principles of warfare. One of them was, "Well, that's the Old Testament. You can't
use the Old Testament to talk about how we should feel about today." Remember that in the Old Testament, you have a way of life for the Jewish
people that applies strictly to the Jews--the sacrifices, the ritual, and so on. However, you also have, as the background of that way of life,
the principles on which God operates. These are eternal principles, and these are applicable throughout all generations. What we're going to
bring out are the principles upon which God acts.
So here we have revealed one of those principles. God Himself divided people into nations. He established human government. Right after the flood,
in Genesis 9:5, God said: "And surely your blood of your lives will I require; at the hand of every beast will I require it, and at the hand of man;
at the hand of every man's brother will I require the life of man. Whoever sheds man's blood, by man shall his blood be shed: for in the image of
God made He man." Here is the establishment of capital punishment which has never been canceled. Once this was established, this was part of that
dispensation which was never canceled. It is the right of government. Its basic authority lies in the right of capital punishment. National
entities had been established. God established governments and gave them power and authority over people. They are designed to prevent Satan from
establishing a one-world government and setting up his own dictator to control all of humanity.
Here is where you're going to have to go positive or negative first: It is the will of God for people to exist as nations in national entities.
Job 12:23 says, "He increases the nations, and he destroys them. He enlarges the nations, and leads them away." God deals in terms of nations.
Right now you're going to have to decide, "Does the Bible teach that it is the will of God that humanity exists in a group of national entities
or not?" And when we say national entities, we mean as independent sovereign nations. Independent national groupings prevent an international
dictatorship from silencing the promotion and the propagation of the Word of God. It preserves evangelism. It preserves the teaching of the Word
of God for the edifying of believers.
You know that if God's will is for nations to exist as national entities, you know that it is Satan's role
to oppose this. Isaiah 14:12 makes this very clear. Here in describing Satan as he is viewed from the end times when he is finally brought to
task, Isaiah says, "How are you fallen from heaven, Lucifer?" Now, you understand that Satan is still in heaven. He still has access to God to
accuse the brethren. He has not yet been dismissed from heaven. Revelation 12:20 tells us about that. That's still coming. But here, Isaiah looks
forward to when that's already taken place, and he says, "How are you fallen from heaven, oh Lucifer, son of the morning? How are you cut down to
the ground, you who have weakened the nations?" This is one of Satan's prime activities today--to weaken nations. Satan is constantly bringing
pressures to bear to destroy national sovereignty. If he can destroy nations, he can bring international controls over people so that the
Word of God can be stifled. There is not to be a one-world control until the time of the millennium when Jesus Christ himself rules it (Revelation
20:6). And incidentally, you will notice that at the end of the millennium, Revelation 20:7-8 indicate that when Satan is loosed, he again proceeds
to deceive the nations, the gentiles as national entities. So they still exist, even through the millennium.
Now the Tower of Babel was perhaps the first big attempt at internationalism, and God broke it out. Genesis 11:1-9 describe how they were going to
get together, and they were going to have this rallying point. The result of all this was that it brought an intense wickedness and a rejection of
divine viewpoint. The Word tells us that God said, "If We of the Trinity permit man to do this, he'll be restrained from no evil whatsoever."
Internationalism breeds the most intense kind of evil in wickedness. So God scattered the human race into national groupings on the basis of
languages, which later evolved into racial groups.
Acts 17 tells us that national entities make it possible for people to seek and define the truth about God. Acts 17:26 says, "And has made of one
blood all nations of men to dwell on the face of the earth, and has determined the times before appointed, and the bounds of their habitation;
that they should seek the Lord, if perhaps they might feel after Him and find him, though He is not far from every one of us." I don't think you
could put it any clearer than that. God has made men to dwell; He has appointed their times; and, He has appointed the boundaries of their
habitation. Why? So they could reach out for God and find Him. Once you destroy a nation's sovereignty, once the world becomes one massive beehive,
the first thing that will go is the opportunity of a person to reach out and the opportunity to find God. A national entity has been designed by
God as a system to provide law and order. Law is to be enforced objectively, not so the victims are the ones who are punished. Any opposition to
capital punishment is satanic. Under the Noahic Covenant, capital punishment was given as the supreme power of the state in order to preserve
that state. From that all other punishments stem. Anybody who opposes capital punishment is disoriented to the Word of God and is off base, and
badly needs to get straightened out.
Romans Chapter 13:4, in speaking of civil authority, says, "For he is the minister of God to you for good, but if you do that which is evil, be
afraid for he bears not the sword in vain." That's capital punishment. He bears not capital punishment in vain for he is a minister of God "and
avenger to execute wrath upon him that does evil." Don't be carried away by these rosy pictures that where capital punishment doesn't exist,
crime decreases. That's a lie. Where capital punishment does not exist, crime increases. The fear of what the results will be are removed from
those who are the most brutal. People who are disoriented to divine viewpoint oppose capital punishment. They usually parade themselves as humane,
as enlightened, as intelligent, and as loving, but they are as confused as they can be.
A national identity is not only to provide law and order, but is to protect freedom within laws--freedom to travel, freedom to work, and freedom to
reside wherever you want to. A national entity ensures privacy for the individual. There are no secret police as is essential to the communist setup.
A national entity respects private property. Please remember that there is no freedom possible unless you can own your own property. If you cannot
own your own property, if you cannot live under private ownership, there is no freedom. You are then under rules and regulations of some kind of
a bureaucracy, some kind of an authority, that's telling you where to go, what to do, and how to use the things that are provided you. Private
property ownership and human freedom always go together.
And, by the way, let's get it clear once and for all that the Bible teaches private
ownership--not communism. Sometimes we tend to get a little confused because the Christians in the early church said, "Let's put all of our things
together and help one another," in the times in which they were living under the Neronian persecutions, in which that served a purpose. But this
was a purely voluntary situation. There was no secret police running around forcing the Christians to be a part of the communal system. And some
of the Christians were in it and some of them were not, and some of them pretended to be in it when they really weren't. Ephesians 4:28
establishes the fact that Bible doctrine is on the position of private ownership. It says, "Let him that stole steal no more, but rather let him
labor with his hands the thing which is good, that he may have to give it him that needs." You can't give to somebody who's in need unless you own
what you have so that you can make a freewill decision on what to do with what you own.
In the book of Acts, this is a sharing situation. This is certainly not communism here at all in the terms of Soviet communism as we know today.
In Acts 5:3, we have the Christians sharing together. We had this case of a husband and wife, Ananias and Sapphira, who wanted to pretend that
they also wanted to share with the Christians, and they lied about how much they had for a certain piece of property. You notice it was their
property. It was their right to sell it. It was their right not to sell it. It was their right to give some of the money or to give none of the
money. None of this was criticized. This was their right because this is the way the Word of God is set up, that you own your things and you do
with them as you please. But the thing is that was their deceit was their lust for pride which was going to be fulfilled by making a good impression
on the other Christians as to how much they had given, all of what they had for their property. So Peter said, "Ananias, why has Satan filled your
heart to lie to the Holy Spirit to keep that part of the price of the land while it remained? Was it not your own? And after it was sold, was it
not in your own power? Why have you conceived this thing in your heart? You have not lied unto men but unto God." Private ownership was the pattern
even among Christians who shared in the New Testament church.
The Purpose of National Entities
A national entity is to provide law and order. It is to protect freedom within the law. It is to ensure privacy for the individual. It is to respect
the right to private property. And it is to enable free enterprise business. That's why we have the high standard of living that we have in this
country. A national entity is responsible to provide the opportunity for advancement commensurate with an individual's ability and his training. A
national entity is to keep itself separated from the church and all ecclesiastical involvements. The spiritual kingdom is to influence the state
for good, but it is not to be a part of it. The National Council of Churches is way out of line because it constantly seeks to be united in
national enterprises. Finally, a national entity is to provide external protection for the nation with military forces.
Now Satan attacks all this. Satan attacks national groupings. Why? In order to enslave humanity in spiritual darkness. Communism does this
everywhere that it controls, and it would do it every place that it could. In a publication called "Church and State," there was a very
interesting article concerning Soviet Christians today. Every now and then we have some famous evangelist that goes to Russia, and they take
him around on a setup tour, and he comes back and says what a blessed glorious time he had visiting with the Christians. So the people in this
country began to get the idea that it's not so bad really in Russia even though they do stand for atheism.
Christianity in Communist Countries
Well, here are two incidents reported in this article which reflect the status of Christians in Soviet Russia today:
The first took place in a city near Romania: "A Christian leader and his wife, tourists from the United States, visited a church. On Sunday
afternoon a number of the members met with them for a picnic in the city park. So pleased were the Russian Christians to meet with church
representatives from outside their country that they spontaneously broke into a hymn of thanksgiving. Within 20 minutes they found themselves
surrounded by police who took them to the police station and there charged them with holding an unauthorized religious meeting. Only after an
hour-and-a-half, when the authorities discovered they had inadvertently collected two American tourists in the group, were they released with a
warning not to do it anymore." This didn't happen under the Stalin era. This happened recently in Soviet Russia. This is for those of you who
are deluded about what Russia permits in religious expression.
The second incident took place in Moscow where a group of American tourists met with several professors from the University of Moscow and some
100 students, half of whom were graduate students from the United States. "Held in the Institute for Soviet American friendship, the meeting was
to discuss civil and religious liberty in the Soviet Union. 'Is it possible for any Russian citizen to purchase the works Engels, Marx, Lenin, and
other communist leaders?' an American editor asked. 'Of course,' a Russian professor replied with a quizzical look. 'And what about the Bible?' the
editor continued. 'Can Soviet citizens purchase Bibles?' 'Yes, yes' the Professor replied. The American editor who knew better reached into his
inside coat pocket and drew out a book of American travelers checks. 'I'll give 100 dollars to anyone here who can purchase a Bible anywhere in
Moscow or anywhere in the Soviet Union,' he said. The conversation was quickly switched to juvenile delinquency."
The American and British Bible Societies, the article goes on to indicate, have consistently tried to distribute Russian language Bibles in the
Soviet Union and have been forbidden to do so. Tourists who have gone to Russia carrying Bibles usually find their Bibles confiscated. Scientific
advances are used to combat spiritual ideas. When the Russian cosmonaut Titov went out into space, he made a dramatic statement, "There is no God
for I didn't see him." Radio Moscow, after it sent up the Sputniks said, "Now that the first two Sputniks have appeared in the cosmos, it is
possible to say that we have visited heaven, and we have been where the eyes of believers are directed with religious awe." Remember that the
Soviet view of religion either is that it has to be destroyed or it is an instrument to advance the cause of the state. The lot of Christians is a
hard one in Russia.
The article goes on to say that no meetings may be held outside a registered church building. No religious printed matter can be distributed.
Teaching religion to minors, like your own children, is strictly prohibited with fines and prison terms up to three years as the consequence.
Some 250 Baptists alone are presently in prison for this offense. Meetings of Christian leaders are subject to government approval. Refusal to
work on a holy day for religious reasons may mean loss of job. No Christian schools are permitted.
In 1937, the communists thought they had done
such a good job of eliminating any religious feeling on the part of a new generation and on the part of the Russian people. In the census of that
year, they included a question concerning whether a person was a believer or a non-believer. The reason for it, the article says, was to demonstrate
the triumph of atheism in the Soviet Union after almost two decades of communist rule. This question, incidentally, is illegal on the basis of the
communist constitution. Anyhow, the article says the census became an opportunity for believers of all religions to demonstrate attachment to their
faith. Even many who no longer attended church could not bring themselves to write "Unbeliever" on the census form. According to reliable
evidence, about 50 million Soviet citizens proclaim themselves as believers. The statistic caused such embarrassment to the authorities that they
scrapped the census returns and arrested the census officials. No subsequent Soviet census has ever repeated the question about whether you are a
believer or an unbeliever.
One more thing: The article closes with an incident which seems to show that the Russian Christians live under harassments that are unbelievable
and unknown to us, yet they are not intimidated by their circumstances: "An American tourist group was steered to a Moscow bookstore." This is
what they do with religious leaders from this country. "Here in this bookstore, confiscated Bibles were put on display to show that you can too
buy Bibles in the Soviet Union. But somehow the news got out, and as the American tourists were ushered in the store, a score of Russian Christians
burst by them, rushed up to the counter, and bought every Bible. The Russian government reports a Moscow Christian has not repeated the sale."
So let's get over the delusion, dear friends, once and for all, that communism is not out to destroy national entities for the purpose of destroying
access to the Word of God. And incidentally, in a previous session, we have learned how communism uses the nationalism of a people. They desire for
national entity to bring themselves to power and then to destroy that nationalism once it is in power. So don't be confused when communism speaks
about the nationalism for the people of South Vietnam and so on.
What have we said here? Beginning next time, we go to principle number one concerning warfare. We've established, as background for that, that the
disorientation toward war and toward the youth groups of the day begins because of a problem in the conscience. The thinking side of their brain
has been disoriented by the fact that the conscience side has been blanked out. The conscience is blanked out because they lack Bible doctrine. We
are going to share with you the Bible doctrine of warfare. You may blank out your spirit. You may put a short-circuit in your spirit and thus blank
out your values and standards so that you have no basis of thinking on this subject when it comes up. We have indicated that it is the will of God
that people should exist on this planet in national groups, as national entities. Now you must go positive or negative toward that because that's
at the heart of this. If you accept the Bible teaching that God has divided people into nations, and He intends them to stay within national groups,
then you will understand the Bible's doctrine of warfare. If you reject the idea that people should stay as national groups but should be under
certain international influences, then you will reject the Bible teaching on warfare.
Dr. John E. Danish, 1970
Back to the Warfare index
Back to the Bible Questions index