BLASPHEME, BLASPHEMY, BLASPHEMER, BLASPHEMOUS
87. Beware those who teach that the Bible encourages Christians to tell God 'exactly what we think of Him'!
Rom 2v3: And do you suppose this, O man, when you pass judgment upon those who practice such things and do the same yourself, that you will escape the judgment of God? 4 Or do you think lightly of the riches of His kindness and forbearance and patience, not knowing that the kindness of God leads you to repentance? 5 But because of your stubbornness and unrepentant heart you are storing up wrath for yourself in the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God, 6 who WILL RENDER TO EVERY MAN ACCORDING TO HIS DEEDS.
Proverbs 16v4: The LORD has made everything for its own purpose, Even the wicked for the day of evil. 5 Everyone who is proud in heart is an abomination to the LORD; Assuredly, he will not be unpunished.
Wheelhouse and Lewis think we CAN tell the potter what we think of His ways. What does Scripture say? What was the conclusion of Nebuchadnezzar the king, after God had brought a judgement against him for his arrogance and presumptuousness (Daniel 4:24-37)? Verse 34 reveals the words of the subdued king:
"But at the end of that period I, Nebuchadnezzar, raised my eyes toward heaven, and my reason returned to me, and I blessed the Most High and praised and honored Him who lives forever; For His dominion is an everlasting dominion, And His kingdom endures from generation to generation. 35 "And all the inhabitants of the earth are accounted as nothing, But He does according to His will in the host of heaven And among the inhabitants of earth; And no one can ward off His hand or say to Him, 'What hast Thou done?' 36 "At that time my reason returned to me. And my majesty and splendor were restored to me for the glory of my kingdom, and my counselors and my nobles began seeking me out; so I was reestablished in my sovereignty, and surpassing greatness was added to me. 37 "Now I Nebuchadnezzar praise, exalt, and honor the King of heaven, for all His works are true and His ways just, and He is able to humble those who walk in pride."
What is the opinion of a man brought low through judgement?: 35 "And all the inhabitants of the earth are accounted as nothing, But He does according to His will in the host of heaven And among the inhabitants of earth; And no one can ward off His hand Or say to Him, 'What hast Thou done?'
How can we possibly accept that it is alright to treat Almighty God in this way, to: "scream at him....shout blue murder at Him" to encourage a woman to tell "Jesus exactly what she thought of Him!" So, how can Richard Lewis seriously conclude that we have the right to question God?
88. Beware ecumenism which has lost the 'fear of God - which is the beginning of wisdom (knowledge)'!
Scripture makes it clear that God, as the Creator, has the perfect and complete right to do with His creation as He sees fit. This concept certainly angers many men who are unwilling to bow before their Creator. Few truths are more hated by men than the fact that God reigns over the universe and can simply do as He pleases with it. But few truths are more clearly taught in the Bible, either. For example, God is called the "King" over and over again in Scripture. He who is a king rules over his kingdom. In the same way, He who is the King of the universe rules as Sovereign over all that exists. The authors of Scripture certainly understood this:
Wherefore, David blessed the LORD before all the congregation: and David said, Blessed be thou, LORD God of Israel our father, for ever and ever. Thine, O LORD, is the greatness, and the power, and the glory, and the victory, and the majesty: for all that is in the heaven and in the earth is thine; thine is the kingdom, O LORD, and thou art exalted as head above all. (1 Chronicles 29:10-1l)
The LORD is King for ever and ever: the heathen are perished out of his land. (Psalm 10:16)
Who is this King of glory? The LORD strong and mighty, the LORD mighty in battle. . . . Who is this King of glory? The LORD of hosts, he is the King of glory. (Psalm 24:8, 10)
For God is the King of all the earth: sing ye praises with understanding. God reigneth over the heathen: God sitteth upon the throne of his holiness. (Psalm 47:7-8)
But the LORD is the true God, he is the living God, and an everlasting king: at his wrath the earth shall tremble, and the nations shall not be able to abide his indignation. (Jeremiah 10:10)
Which in his times he shall shew, who is the blessed and only Potentate, the King of kings, and Lord of lords; who only hath immortality, dwelling in the light which no man can approach unto; whom no man hath seen, nor can see: to whom be honor and power everlasting. Amen. (l Timothy 6:15-16)
The king of an ancient nation was the supreme authority. The king's word could not be challenged; his plans could not be questioned. So it is with God. While many today do not like the concept of an "ultimate authority" (preferring our own supposed "personal freedom"), the Bible is clear on the fact that God, as the Creator and King of all that exists, is sovereign over all creation. He will accomplish everything that He intends, and His purposes cannot be frustrated or deterred by anything - including the will of man! There are many passages that teach this truth. The Psalmist wrote:
But our God is in the heavens: he hath done whatsoever he hath pleased. (Psalm 115:3)
Whatsoever the LORD pleased, that did He in heaven, and in earth, in the seas, and all deep places. (Psalm 135:6)
Understanding that God is sovereign is a common theme of the "wisdom writer" of the Proverbs, as well. Note these passages:
There are many devices in a man's heart; nevertheless the counsel of the LORD, that shall stand. (Proverbs 19:21)
Man's goings are of the LORD; how can a man then understand his own way? (Proverbs 20:24)
Hopefully, Christians know exactly what that means - but we cannot hide from Scripture which declares:
I am the LORD, and there is none else, there is no God beside me. . . . I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the LORD do all these things. (Isaiah 45:5, 7)
The term evil that is used here is placed in contrast with the term peace so many people conclude that it most probably means calamity or distress, but the intention of God in uttering these things is clear: Whether it be peace and prosperity, or calamity and disaster, God is in control of what takes place. This is absolutely necessary if anything is going to have meaning and purpose, and we have already seen that all things are purposeful. God is working out His will in the world even if we are not sharp enough to figure out exactly how God will be glorified in each separate event that takes place:
Remember the former things of old: for I am God, and there is none else; I am God, and there is none like me, declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure." (Isaiah 46:9-10)
The true God is able to "declare the end from the beginning" long before the end has even come into view and to speak of that which is going to take place. How can He do this? Because His counsel shall stand, and He will do all His pleasure. He is the Sovereign King of all that is. This majestic God demands worship that is undertaken in truth. Can a person who has been taught to believe in the God of Roger Wheelhouse & Richard Lewis possibly worship the true God in truth when they agree that you don't have to be completely accurate and truthful!
While there are many who are willing to confess a kind of general sovereignty of God, few are willing to go as far as the Scriptures go in describing the control of God over one particular area - the very actions of men themselves. When the truth of God begins to impinge upon man's supposed freedom, men begin to rebel with intense hatred. The Bible, however, is clear on the subject. For example, when Abimelech took Abraham's wife at Gerar, Jehovah kept him from sinning in the matter. The Bible is clear that God said to Abimelech in a dream:
"Yes, I know that in the integrity of your heart you have done this, and I also kept you from sinning against Me; therefore I did not let you touch her. (Genesis 20:6)
89. Beware those who deny that God has this kind of power!
It is clear from Scripture that God can do whatever He wants:
"The king's heart is in the hand of the LORD, as the rivers of water: he turneth it whithersoever he will" (Proverbs 21:1)
"A man's heart deviseth his way: but the LORD directeth his steps" (Proverbs 16:9).
Here is a God who is not simply taken up with the "big things" but is involved in each and every happening on earth and in the heavens above. God is the Creator of all things, including time and all the actions therein and His providential activity in this world is the result of His eternal plan and decree. What a tremendous God! How dare we even question His ways - never mind blaspheme them?
90. Beware those who deny an expert (W.E. Vines) definition of "blasphemy"!
blasphemia (988), either from blax, "sluggish, stupid," or, probably, from blapto, "to injure," and pheme, "speech," (Eng. "blasphemy") is so translated thirteen times in the RV, but "railing" in Matt. 15:19; Mark 7:22; Eph. 4:31; Col. 3:8; 1 Tim. 6:4; Jude 9. The word "blasphemy" is practically confined to speech defamatory of the Divine Majesty. See Note, below. See EVIL SPEAKING, RAILING.B. Verb.
blasphemeo, "to blaspheme, rail at or revile," is used (a) in a general way, of any contumelious speech (contumelious speech = insulting language or treatment; disgrace), reviling, calumniating (calumniating = slander, defame, malicious, harmful intent, deliberate), railing at, etc., as of those who railed at Christ, e.g., Matt. 27:39; Mark 15:29; Luke 22:65 (RV, "reviling"); 23:39; (b) of those who speak contemptuously of God or of sacred things, e.g., Matt. 9:3; Mark 3:28; Romans 2:24; 1 Timothy 1:20; 6:1; Revelation. 13:6; 16:9, 11, 21; "hath spoken blasphemy," Matt. 26:65; "rail at," 2 Peter 2:10; Jude 8, 10; "railing," 2 Peter 2:12; "slanderously reported," Romans 3:8; "be evil spoken of," Romans 14:16; 1 Cor. 10:30; 2 Peter 2:2; "speak evil of," Titus 3:2; 1 Peter 4:4; "being defamed," 1 Cor. 4:13. The verb (in the present participal form) is translated "blasphemers" in Acts 19:37; in Mark 2:7, "blasphemeth," RV, for KJV, "speaketh blasphemies." There is no noun in the original representing the English "blasphemer." This is expressed either by the verb, or by the adjective blasphemos. See DEFAME, RAIL, REPORT, REVILE.C. Adjective.
blasphemos (989), "abusive, speaking evil," is translated "blasphemous," in Acts 6:11, 13; "a blasphemer," 1 Timothy 1:13; "railers," 2 Tim. 3:2, RV; "railing," 2 Peter 2:11. See RAIL. Note: As to Christ's teaching concerning "blasphemy" against the Holy Spirit, e.g., Matt. 12:32, that anyone, with the evidence of the Lord's power before His eyes, should declare it to be Satanic, exhibited a condition of heart beyond divine illumination and therefore hopeless. Divine forgiveness would be inconsistent with the moral nature of God. As to the Son of Man, in his state of humiliation, there might be misunderstanding, but not so with the Holy Spirit's power demonstrated.RAIL, RAILER, RAILING
blasphemeo (987), "to blaspheme, rail, revile" (for the meanings of which see BLASPHEME,), is translated "to rail at, or on," in Matt. 27:39, RV (KJV, "reviled"); Mark 15:29; Luke 23:39; 2 Peter 2:10, RV (KJV, "to speak evil of"); 2:12, RV (KJV, "speak evil of"). Cf. loidoreo, "to revile" (see REVILE), and B, No. 2 and C, No. 2. B. Nouns.
1. blasphemia (988) is translated "railings" in Matt. 15:19, RV; 1 Tim. 6:4, KJV and RV; "railing" in Mark 7:22, RV; Col. 3:8, RV; Jude 9, KJV and RV, lit., "judgment of railing"; in Eph. 4:31, RV (KJV, "evil speaking"). See BLASPHEMY. C. Adjectives.
2. loidoria (3059), "abuse, railing, reviling," is rendered "reviling" in the RV, 1 Peter 3:9 (twice); in 1 Tim. 5:14, KJV marg., "for their reviling." See REVILE, C.¶
1. blasphemos (989), akin to A, and B, No. 1; see BLASPHEME, C.
2. loidoros (3060), an adjective denoting "reviling, railing" (akin to B, No. 2), is used as a noun, "a railer," 1 Cor. 5:11. See REVILE.
Wheelhouse's sermons consistently addressed his own particular agenda and his appeal to his women supporters was shown particularly in this Easter Sunday Morning sermon from 12th April 1998, in which he built up to this address:]
"Can I just pause for minute and say how wonderful it is that Jesus goes out off His way to affirm women. Isn't it interesting how in this historical event, Jesus chooses women to be the first at the tomb? Tells the church - somewhere we've got it wrong. 'Cos it's not the Jesus way. Jesus tips the whole thing upside down - women are the important people here. Women are the people who are given the job of saying that the stone had been rolled away - that the body had gone. It was women who the angels met and said, 'Why do you look for the living among the dead? He's not here, He is risen.' And so there's hope from despair......"
[During this sermon, Roger continually attacked the male disciples for not believing Christ Jesus had been resurrected as he promised, without attempting to get a balance between their faith and fear. Perhaps if he had lived in those times, and been in fear for his life as the male disciples of Jesus would have been (being the first obvious follow-up targets for the Sanhedrin), then he might have a better appreciation for the facts and the situation! But it is sad to acknowledge that Roger wasn't even capable of risking his own skin in the company of an old, inebriated, down-and-out, as his own actions testified. A knowledge of midrash on the importance of the garden/tomb appearances would also have let him realise why Jesus appeared to the women in the garden. However, Roger drew this conclusion to his sermon]:
"Christianity isn't to do with the rules and regulations of a church, it isn't to do with church constitutions, it isn't to do with TEN commandments that the church make out that we should do in order to be members of the church or anything else. Christianity isn't to do with a load of rules and regulations of "thou shalt not" - whatever! Christianity is a relationship to one who is alive and Jesus is saying 'Touch Me and see'. Enter into a relationship with Me. Don't get stuck in the head with the knowledge - you've had the knowledge. There are young people here this morning - I don't often get the chance to talk to, and I want to say 'you've got knowledge till it's sticking out of your ears. You've been to more TNG [The Next Generation] meetings & Sunday school classes than I've had hot dinners, maybe."
[According to Roger it is the church which preaches keeping the Ten Commandments 'in order to be members of the church or anything else. Christianity isn't to do with a load of rules and regulations of "thou shalt not" - whatever!' So, clearly, if you want to be a disciple of Christ, it is not a matter of keeping these commandments, according to Roger Wheelhouse. He makes it clear that he does not believe keeping the commandments has anything 'whatever' to do with the church. He swings from an Antinomian bias at one moment when accusing others in the church which, certainly in South Wales, has never emphasised keeping the commandments to be saved, to a Nomian emphasis on another occasion. Wheelhouse's morals are certainly based on Antinomianism - a contempt towards God and His people.
Shortly afterwards, in the same sermon, Roger employed one of his typical jokey speeches where he put himself in God's shoes, in Word-Faith style, in order to appeal to the youth and declared (speaking for God!)]:
"I couldn't let you have a bicycle then because, for one thing, I [GOD!] couldn't have coped with your Mother worrying every day when you went out on it!"
[Is this your God? His supporters will argue that Roger was not trying to speak for God - that he was trying to make a point in a humorous manner. Do you want your God spoken about in this 'light' and blasphemous way?
He continued with sermon with this view of how we should talk with Jesus]:
"I'm not sure if these two disciples - these two followers of Jesus - actually were at the point of giving up, disillusioned. Oh, isn't it wonderful, that at the point when they're disillusioned, thinking the whole thing is a waste of time - Jesus pops up. I love this Jesus - He never somehow seems to let go. He seems to come just at the right time - He must have known how they felt...be real with Jesus...and tell him when you don't think He's come up with the goods...."
He then gave this account of the unfortunate woman who married late, in her forties, and who thought that this was her final hope of having a baby. She became pregnant & was looking forward to having the baby but had an early miscarriage. Then Roger went to see her:
".....she was such an angry lady. And I said 'Tell Him.' She said, 'I can't - I can't tell him how I feel' - He's not come up with the goods' - you know she didn't say that! I said, 'Tell him!' She said, 'but I shall scream at him, I shall shout blue murder at Him.' 'Well tell Him - He knows what's going on in your heart so you might as well tell him.' Why do we try to pray church (sic), why do we try to pray religious, why do we try and not be normal? You know, Jesus is quite thick-skinned and quite used to it - well He must be because He's got me as one of His disciples and I'm always complaining to him - and He hasn't spat me out yet. He hasn't let go yet! Yeah - so she was able to scream out - this lady was able to scream out - and, do you know, in that there was tremendous healing. I saw that lady transformed because she'd got it off her chest. She told Jesus exactly what she thought of Him - and then she carried on with her Christian life - and as far as I know is still going on with Christ. You know - don't worry so much about saying - He wants to hear - He's probably crying out and saying, 'Tell Me how you really feel - come on, stop playing religious games, stop putting this nice smile on your face. Stop coming to church intending to show everybody in Calvary that you're quite alright. Why don't you come out with it and say - No, you're not. And say it - because there is healing in there.'"
[This is Roger's encouragement of "normal" prayer - not sinful prayer! Claiming that we should tell Almighty God, the Lord Jesus Christ, what we think of Him when we haven't got what we wanted and when we wanted it? This is what rubbing shoulders with the Word-Faith heretics will do for your supposedly sanctified mind - mess it up badly! Did she ask God for a baby and receive confirmation that she would have one? Did she even ask if marrying this man was the right thing to do? What we want is not always what God knows is good for us! There are an abundance of Scriptural examples of people trying to manoeuvre God and put him in a box! If she had received a promise from God that she would have a baby - and we have no indication that she did - was this necessarily the baby? Is it possible that God knew about the well-being of the child better than doctors could? Too many Christians don't consider these other factors for a second - and readily discard such Scriptural examples as Michal who despised David's celebration of the Ark coming into Jerusalem and remained barren for the rest of her life because of this sin! When David sinned with Bathsheba the baby who was born as a result of this illicit union was taken to heaven in God's timing (2 Samuel 12) and David, a sinner but a man of faith, recognised this fact! (12:23). Solomon was born latter to this union, although it had started sinfully!
The Wheelhouse's of the world would rather rail against God than consider other aspects of tragedies in life, and thus they teach a believer to tell: "Jesus exactly what she thought of Him - and then she carried on with her Christian life." If she did, then she had a very incorrect view of the God of the Universe! I would refer Richard Lewis, or anyone thinking that Wheelhouse's view is correct, to the words of our Lord Jesus Christ in Matthew 22v29:
But Jesus answered (the Sadducees) and said to them, "You are mistaken, not understanding the Scriptures, or the power of God.
The Pharisees and Sadducees shared the same problem that raises its ugly head again today--they had separated the Spirit from the Law and were teaching the errors of men instead of God's truth!]