80. Beware those who follow the Wheelhouse method and refer to an occult experience to try to gain credence
In verse 12, Eliphaz even resorts to an age-old method of referring to an occult experience in order to impress others with his religious authority. Does this sound familiar? Read Wheelhouse's instructions to the church on how to 'divine' an occultic connection by closing one's eyes to see the 'red mist' while sneering at those who pray with closed eyes on another occasion! Eliphaz says: Now a thing was secretly brought to me, and mine ear received a little thereof. In thoughts from the visions of the night, when deep sleep falleth on men, Fear came upon me, and trembling, which made all my bones to shake. Then a spirit passed before my face, the hair of my flesh stood up: It stood still, but I could not discern the form thereof - an image was before mine eyes, there was silence, and I heard a voice, saying, Shall mortal man be more just than God? shall a man be more pure than his maker? With this story of an occult, spiritist experience, Eliphaz attempted to justify his argument and add validity to his claim. His accusations continued in chapter 5. Verse 17: 'Happy is the man whom God correcteth: therefore despise not the chastening of the Almighty.' Verse 27: 'We have searched it, so it is, hear it, and know thou it for thy good.' In other words, we have checked it out, Job, listen to us for we are your authority, not God and His Word. Just as Wheelhouse or Lewis become the authority for their flocks, handling the Word of God with laxity if it suits, so these men tried to overturn Job's stand on the faithfulness and omnipotence of God. In chapter 6 Job was not so much answering Eliphaz as venting his anguish and remorse over the current situation. Then, beginning in 7:11, he unleashed a series of rhetorical questions, complaining with all the bitterness of his soul. In chapter 8, Bilded picked up the dialogue and accused Job of producing nothing but a big wind. Verses 2 and 20 sum up his argument: How long wilt thou speak these things? and how long shall the words of thy mouth be like a strong wind? ... Behold, God will not cast away a perfect man, neither will he help the evildoers. Job's retort to Bilded in chapter 9 is sarcastic agreement. Finally, in 10:1 he mourned, 'My soul is weary of my life,' and continued to express the depths of his depression. In chapter 11, Zophar took up the challenge by accusing Job of talking too much. 'Should not the multitude of words be answered? and should a man full of talk be justified?' (v2). Verses 13-15 sum up his argument. If thou prepare thine heart, and stretch out thine hands toward him; if iniquity be in thine hand, put it far away, and let not wickedness dwell in thy tabernacles. For then shalt thou lift up thy face without spot, yea, thou shalt be steadfast and shalt not fear. Job's lament and response to that statement continues through chapter 14. Then in chapter 15, Eliphaz began the second cycle of speeches. He no longer showed the courtesy of his first speech but accused Job of being full of hot air saying in verse 2, 'Should a wise man utter vain knowledge, and fill his belly with the east wind?' He has now joined the others in his disdain of Job. He asked, 'What knowest thou, that we know not? What understandest thou, which is not in us?' (v9). In other words: 'You do not have all the answers, Job.' And he went on to rebuke him even more severely.
81. Beware 'useless talk' - as practiced by the Baptist Union
Job's reply in chapter 16 was that he was sick of their useless talk. Shall vain words have an end? or what emboldeneth thee that thou answerest? I also could speak as ye do: if your soul were in my soul's stead, I could heap up words against you, and shake mine head at you. Job wished they could exchange places and that he could be the one to speak to them. They were not helping him with their words. After a few speeches that contained high thoughts and elevated ideas, Job had begun to sink back into despair. In 17:1 he complained: 'My breath is corrupt, my days are extinct, the graves are ready for me.' He was ready to die. Bildad's next speech is recorded in chapter 18, and in it he showed no patience with Job. Beginning in verse 5, he discussed the horrible fate of the wicked. Then Job responded in chapter 19 and, after the crushing burden of the heavy words of his friends, he begged for pity, saying, 'How long will ye vex my soul, and break me in pieces with words? ... And be it indeed that I have erred, mine error remaineth with myself.' 'Help me', he begged. Finding no pity, he cried out in verses 25 and 26: 'I know that my redeemer liveth, and that he shall stand at the latter day upon the earth: And though after my skin worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God.' What a tremendous prophecy of the coming Redeemer! The Hebrew word is the same used in the book of Ruth, goel. It can be translated redeemer, avenger, vindicator or defender. Job was trusting in his God alone for salvation and it was only the 'comfort' of his Wheelhouse-type friends that he wished to rid himself of!
Zophar's reply in chapter 20 was one of uncontrollable anger and Job responded to him by declaring them all wrong. In chapter 21, he defended his philosophy and theology. The third cycle of speeches begins in chapter 22 with Eliphaz unleashing a scathing accusation. In verses 4-9, he gives a detailed catalogue of sins which he believed Job had committed, and summarized his argument in verse 29. Job's response is recorded in chapters 23 and 24.
82. Beware those who deny Job's example of praising and not berating God!
In chapter 25, Bilded speaks briefly. Communication among the group had broken down and deteriorated into ad hominem arguments, with accusations and slanderous remarks. Job responded in chapter 26, then paused as if waiting for Zophar to speak. Eliphaz has had three speeches, Bilded has had three speeches, but Zophar has had only two. When Zophar did not respond, Job began again in chapter 27. Unable to reconcile his suffering with his integrity, Job (chapter 29) turned his mind to the wisdom of God. Although he seemed to be at the end of his tether, he burst forth with a beautiful poem in chapter 29: 'Oh that I were as in months past, as in the days when God preserved me. ' How Job longed for the time when his children were around him, when his servants met his needs, and he had food and good health. But those days were gone, he was out on the ashes, and his friends were reviling him. He lamented, 'I cry unto thee, and thou dost not hear me' (30:20). Finally, in chapter 31, Job initiated the ancient oriental 'final proof of honesty' by calling down a curse on himself from Heaven if he is guilty. This method of self-incrimination, or self-exoneration, in Job's culture was more meaningful than swearing before a jury. The punishment for perjury against God held more terrifying consequences than perjury before a human jury. As he categorized the different activities for which he wished judgment if he were guilty, they were in specific answer to the listing by Eliphaz (chapter 22) of which he believed Job to be guilty. The seriousness of Job's oath in chapter 31 cannot be overestimated. He enumerated a series of 'ifs' and following each 'if', he pronounced a curse on himself if he were guilty of the thing he mentioned:
Verse 5: If I have walked with vanity
6: Let me be weighed in an even balance.
7: If my step hath turned out of the way
8: Then let me sow and another eat.
9: If mine heart have been deceived by a woman
10: Then let my wife grind unto another.
13: If I did despise the cause of my manservant
16: If I have withheld the poor from their desire
19: If I have seen any perish for want of clothing
20: If I have lifted up my hand against the fatherless
22: Let mine arm fall from my shoulder blade.
Job, fully confident of his innocence, finally declared (31:40): 'The words of Job are ended.' He closed the argument. He must either suffer the sanctions he had called down upon himself or else be acquitted. In chapter 32, we are introduced to Elihu, a fourth individual who was present, evidently listening from the sidelines. Chapter 32 begins by saying: So these three men ceased to answer Job, because he was righteous in his own eyes. Then was kindled the wrath of Elihu ... against Job was his wrath kindled, because he justified himself rather than God.
83. Beware those who deny that Job was not the one rebuked
Elihu began to speak out self-righteously, making four speeches between Job 32:1 and 37:24. His first speech lasted through chapter 33. His second takes all of chapter 34, and the third all of chapter 35. The fourth is chapters 36 and 37. Elihu forms a transition between the speeches of Job, his friends, and the Theophany of God when He answered Job out of the whirlwind. Notice the important difference here - God did not rebuke Elihu, as we will read in chapter 42.
The Lord began in 38:3 by demanding, 'Gird up now thy loins like a man.' This was the challenge of an ancient belt wrestler and another way of saying, 'It is time to get down to business, Job!' With that introduction, God enumerated His wonders to Job. In chapter 39, He described how His creation scorned man. In chapters 40 and 41 He question: 'How can you contend with God when you cannot even match the creatures I have made?'
Chapter 42 is the epilogue where Job confessed to the Lord, 'I know that thou canst do every thing.' Having come face to face with God, Job's response is like that of Moses, Joshua, and Isaiah centuries later. In 42:5, Job said, 'I have heard of thee by the hearing of the ear. but now mine eye seeth thee. Wherefore I abhor myself, and repent in dust and ashes.' After that repenting and confession, the Lord rebuked Eliphaz, Bilded, and Zophar, but not Elihu. He commanded them to offer sacrifices, ' and my servant Job shall pray for you: for him I will accept. Lest I deal with you after your folly, in that ye have not spoken of me the thing which is right, like my servant Job ' (v8). Verse 10 says, 'The Lord turned the captivity of Job, when he prayed for his friends. '
Why did God commend Job for 'speaking of him what is right' and condemn the counselors who had always taken God's side, often with beautiful creedal hymns (v7)? Some interpreters have taken this apparent incongruity as proof that the writer has in mind only the Job of the Prologue and that part of the story is lost where the counselors give advice similar to that of Job's wife. Such a view simplifies God's rebuke. Fortunately this approach to the book has been largely abandoned, but the question is still raised by some commentators. If God rebuked Job for many wrong words during his dispute with the counsellors then, in what sense, was he here commended for saying what was right? Some argue that it is not possible to take the word nekonah ('right') to mean 'sincerity' since the meaning cannot be sustained from usage. Nekonah is based on the root kun ('be established, made firm'), which has an adjectival derivative: ken, meaning 'upright' or 'honest' (Gen 42:11, 19 et al.). That meaning fits the claim that Job felt a moral duty to speak honestly before God. But the derivative ken is not used here. The psalmist says of the wicked: 'No truth [nekonah] is in their mouth' (Psalms 5:9, lit. tr.). In 1 Samuel 23:23 the word means 'reliable information.' The friends of Job certainly lacked the right information about why Job was suffering and Job often spoke without understanding (v3) and was often fiery and emotional in his remarks (15:12-13; 18:4). His opinions and feelings were often wrong, but his facts were right. He was not being punished for sins he had committed but the friends were claiming to know for a certainty things they did not know and so falsely accused Job while mouthing beautiful words about God. Job rightly accused them of lying about him and trying to flatter God (13:4, 7-11). I find this no different from deceivers like Wheelhouse who show the same attitude in paying lip-service to God while encouraging and promoting Christians to treat God lightly - to blaspheme!
84. Beware those who deny that Job did not follow Satanic Wheelhouse advice and, rather, was vindicated by God!
However you view this conclusion, it is an inescapable fact that v7 is a vindication as Job, proving that God values the integrity of the impatient protester, who never blasphemes or 'tells Jesus (God) exactly what he thinks of Him,' but He abhors pious hypocrites who would allow accusations to be made against the Creator of the Universe from a tormented soul just to uphold their theological position! In v8 the 'Wheelhouse counselors' [Job's Comforters!], who are no longer with Job, are ordered by God to go back to Job with sacrificial animals sufficient to atone for their transgressions. The sacrifice performed by Job was an integral part of the worship in which Job prayed for them. Praying for your enemy (Matthew 5:43-44; Luke 6:27-28) was already taught and practiced in the Old Testament (Psalms 35:12-14; 109:4-5) and showing mercy to one's enemies was a faith principle clearly required in Exodus 23:4-5. In the Wisdom Literature such behavior was considered a mark of godliness (Proverbs 25:21-22). The psalmist believed that those who repaid him 'evil for good, and hatred for ... friendship' (Psalms 109:5) were opposing God, so he uttered imprecations against them (Psalms 109:6-20; cf. Job 27:7; Matt 23:13-36). The two patterns of behavior are considered a problem only by those who, like Wheelhouse and Lewis, do not think rebellion against God is very serious. Since God had a high purpose for Job's suffering, the counselors made themselves enemies of God by accusing Job. How much more does this make a man who claims to be a shepherd of God into an enemy of God when he encourages his flock to accuse the Saviour? The large sacrifice (v8) shows how grave the Lord considered their sin but, despite the gravity, he accepted Job's intercession (lit., 'lifted up Job's face').
85. Beware the Word-Faith heretics exposed by the Book of Job
Job, who might have been expected to hold a grudge, did not fail to love those who had spitefully abused him when he was most helpless. Job was a gracious man considering how much he had suffered from the comments and dagger-like remarks of his three 'friends.' 'So the Lord blessed the latter end of Job more than his beginning' (v12). Notice that he ended with twice as much as he had at the start. 'So Job died, being old and full of days' (v17). In the book of Job, we have the answer as to why the righteous suffer. But Job never knew why he suffered, just as Wheelhouse's unfortunate victim never knew why she had a miscarriage, but was still encouraged to blaspheme her God by an idiotic 'pastor.' In effect, what God had said to Job was, 'You will just have to trust Me,' but why couldn't Wheelhouse give this advice? There is no room in the full Canon of Scripture for a Christian to be given leave to behave in this manner.
But, from the context of this ancient Old Testament book, how on earth could Roger Wheelhouse conclude that a member of his flock could gain 'healing' by ranting and raving at her Creator? In the light of the whole Bible, how does anyone seriously think they would gain healing from behaving in this manner? The notably ignorant men who treat God in this way, while masquerading as Christians, are the Word-Faith heretics, who Wheelhouse rubs shoulders with when he commends such blasphemous deceptions as the Toronto, Pensacola, Brownsville and Sunderland 'Revivals.' If you read our expose of the Word-Faith heretics you find this quote (concerning the statement of Job 1:21: 'The Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away') from Word-Faith 'teacher' Charles Capps:
'Job did say it, but it is not a true statement. It is a lie. ... Job sure was not under the anointing when he made that statement' (The Tongue - A Creative Force, pp. 8-9).
The whole Book of Job is a witness against the Word-Faith errors. While their false teachings would have Job commanding God, the Book teaches us that God allowed Satan to inflict him, while they would have joined in with 'the Comforters' in rebuking Job for sin or lack of faith - just as they have done with the many victims who have lost loved ones at their hands, as Calvary Baptist Church lost Ted Morgan because of the false beliefs of Wheelhouse!]
86. Beware those who deny the meaning of Job in the culture it which it was written?
Richard Lewis : It's quite clear from the Scripture. Some of the illustrations you used in your letter I found difficult. I've bided my time until now, but er, because it is written to a particular culture, at a particular time, and it has a word for them, and it still has a word for us. But we must understand it in the culture in which it is written. And that is clearly what Roger did in the sermon - in the first sermon that is quoted by you in the context of the letter. Now David, if you have anything else to say, say it, if not sit down please!
[It is 'quite clear' the Lewis misunderstood the point I was making or he does not have a clear grasp of the book of Job. As I have stated more clearly here, the book is a good example of apparently sincere men being rebuked by God for their advice which is contrary to the nature of God and his real and historical dealings with men even in Job's era! Lewis' claim about the 'culture' in which it was written, falls flat when we consider the much greater knowledge we should have of God's dealings with us in the full Canon of Scripture. How Lewis can refer to the 'first sermon' as evidence that 'we must understand it in the culture in which it is written' in the context of the Book of Job, while ignoring the fact that Job's experience shows that we are utterly foolish to question God, is quite staggering. But then again, the Baptist Union, and many other Christian denominations, have clearly lost the 'fear of the Lord - which is the beginning of wisdom (knowledge)' (Job 28:28), and instead adhere to the philosophies and vain teachings of men such as Bertrand Russell who wrote, 'To conquer fear is the beginning of wisdom.' This is akin to Satan's lie that the loss of fear of God and His instruction is the beginning of the knowledge that 'you shall be as gods' (Genesis 3:4-5) - a philosophy that is increasing as the End Times approach.
We have the clear evidence that Job was such a spiritual father that he (Job 1v5):
'Offered burnt offerings according to the number of them all: for Job said, It may be that my sons have sinned, and cursed God in their hearts. Thus did Job continually.'
Recognizing the internal nature of sin, his concern was not that his children might have committed one of the more common sins of the flesh, but the internal, motivational, sins of mind, heart, or attitude. In this case he feared that during the feast they may have 'cursed' (Hebrew: barak) God in their hearts. Perhaps the main emphasis in verses 4 and 5 is not on Job's wealth or how well his children got along together, but on the seriousness with which he approached his duties as head of the family, as priest, as well as father, before God for his sons. He was obviously concerned for the spiritual welfare of his children. For some reason there is no mention of offering sacrifices for his daughters, his wife, or himself. His greatest fear seems to be that his sons would sin (miss the mark) and Smith points out:
'It is interesting that the sin of cursing God was the one which Job feared in his children; the one which Satan said Job would commit; and the one Job almost committed, not through the work of Satan, but through the comfort of his friends!' (Smith, Ralph L. Job: A Study in Providence and Faith. Nashville: Convention Press, 1971).
What a pity that Lewis missed this obvious point--the woman who miscarried may never have sinned without the encouragement of Wheelhouse! This 'pastor' is, at best, an ignorant and sinful Job's comforter but, unlike those foolish men, was never called to repent (Job 42:7-9):
7 And it came about after the LORD had spoken these words to Job, that the LORD said to Eliphaz the Temanite, 'My wrath is kindled against you and against your two friends, because you have not spoken of Me what is right as My servant Job has. 8 'Now therefore, take for yourselves seven bulls and seven rams, and go to My servant Job, and offer up a burnt offering for yourselves, and My servant Job will pray for you. For I will accept him so that I may not do with you according to your folly, because you have not spoken of Me what is right, as My servant Job has.' 9 'So Eliphaz the Temanite and Bildad the Shuhite and Zophar the Naamathite went and did as the LORD told them; and the LORD accepted Job. 10 And the LORD restored the fortunes of Job when he prayed for his friends, and the LORD increased all that Job had twofold.
Little time was given to me to close so a few quotes would have to suffice.]
David Williams: I'd just like to quote from:
Job 33v13:12 'Behold, let me tell you, you are not right in this, For God is greater than man. 13 'Why do you complain against Him, That He does not give an account of all His doings?' 14 'Indeed God speaks once, Or twice, yet no one notices.'
Job 40v1: Then the LORD said to Job, 2 'Will the faultfinder contend with the Almighty? Let him who reproves God answer it.' 3 Then Job answered the LORD and said, 4 'Behold, I am insignificant; what can I reply to Thee? I lay my hand on my mouth.
Job 42:1 Then Job answered the LORD, and said, 2 'I know that Thou canst do all things, And that no purpose of Thine can be thwarted. 3 'Who is this that hides counsel without knowledge?' 'Therefore I have declared that which I did not understand, Things too wonderful for me, which I did not know.' 4 'Hear, now, and I will speak; I will ask Thee, and do Thou instruct me.' 5 'I have heard of Thee by the hearing of the ear; But now my eye sees Thee; 6 Therefore I retract, And I repent in dust and ashes.' 7 And it came about after the LORD had spoken these words to Job, that the LORD said to Eliphaz the Temanite, 'My wrath is kindled against you and against your two friends, because you have not spoken of Me what is right as My servant Job has.
Roms 9v18 So then He has mercy on whom He desires, and He hardens whom He desires. 19 You will say to me then, 'Why does He still find fault? For who resists His will?' 20 On the contrary, who are you, O man, who answers back to God? The thing molded will not say to the molder, 'Why did you make me like this,' will it? 21 Or does not the potter have a right over the clay, to make from the same lump one vessel for honorable use, and another for common use?
[here I was interrupted by Richard Lewis again - otherwise I would have quoted the following, too:
Isaiah 29v16: You turn things around! Shall the potter be considered as equal with the clay, That what is made should say to its maker, "He did not make me"; Or what is formed say to him who formed it, "He has no understanding"?
Isaiah 45v9-10 : "Woe to the one who quarrels with his Maker--An earthenware vessel among the vessels of earth! Will the clay say to the potter, 'What are you doing?' Or the thing you are making say, 'He has no hands'? 10 "Woe to him who says to a father, 'What are you begetting?' Or to a woman, 'To what are you giving birth?'"
Wouldn't this be perfectly clear to the woman who suffered a miscarriage?
Jeremiah 18v6: "Can I not, O house of Israel, deal with you as this potter does?" declares the LORD. "Behold, like the clay in the potter's hand, so are you in My hand, O house of Israel. 7 "At one moment I might speak concerning a nation or concerning a kingdom to uproot, to pull down, or to destroy it; 8 if that nation against which I have spoken turns from its evil, I will relent concerning the calamity I planned to bring on it. 9 "Or at another moment I might speak concerning a nation or concerning a kingdom to build up or to plant it; 10 if it does evil in My sight by not obeying My voice, then I will think better of the good with which I had promised to bless it.
Jeremiah 20v7: O LORD, Thou hast deceived me and I was deceived; Thou hast overcome me and prevailed. I have become a laughingstock all day long; Everyone mocks me. 8 For each time I speak, I cry aloud; I proclaim violence and destruction, Because for me the word of the LORD has resulted In reproach and derision all day long. 9 But if I say, "I will not remember Him Or speak anymore in His name," Then in my heart it becomes like a burning fire Shut up in my bones; And I am weary of holding it in, And I cannot endure it. 10 For I have heard the whispering of many, "Terror on every side! Denounce him; yes, let us denounce him!" All my trusted friends, Watching for my fall, say: "Perhaps he will be deceived, so that we may prevail against him And take our revenge on him." 11 But the LORD is with me like a dread champion; Therefore my persecutors will stumble and not prevail. They will be utterly ashamed, because they have failed, With an everlasting disgrace that will not be forgotten. 12 Yet, O LORD of hosts, Thou who dost test the righteous, Who seest the mind and the heart; Let me see Thy vengeance on them; For to Thee I have set forth my cause. 13 Sing to the LORD, praise the LORD! For He has delivered the soul of the needy one From the hand of evildoers. 14 Cursed be the day when I was born; Let the day not be blessed when my mother bore me! 15 Cursed be the man who brought the news To my father, saying, "A baby boy has been born to you!" And made him very happy. 16 But let that man be like the cities Which the LORD overthrew without relenting, And let him hear an outcry in the morning And a shout of alarm at noon; 17 Because he did not kill me before birth, So that my mother would have been my grave, And her womb ever pregnant. 18 Why did I ever come forth from the womb To look on trouble and sorrow, So that my days have been spent in shame?
Jeremiah reveals how it hurts to be hated and ridiculed (v7-8), yet still he is driven by an inner compulsion to make God's word known (v9). Because his role as a prophet put him under tremendous pressure his mood fluctuates between confident faith (v11-13) and utter misery (v14-18) - yet still he continues to (v13) "Sing to the LORD, [to] praise the LORD!"