Homeschool News 'n Views

Issue 160, August 30, 2010 By Dan L. White Subscribe to this free e-newsletter You will often hear conservatives talk about how bad it was to take God and prayer out of the public schools, and how America needs to take back those schools for God. The big problem with that? God is not a left wing socialist. Micah 4:1-4 (1) But in the latter days, it will happen that the mountain of Yahweh's temple will be established on the top of the mountains, and it will be exalted above the hills; and peoples will stream to it. (2) Many nations will go and say, "Come, and let us go up to the mountain of Yahweh, and to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths." For out of Zion will go forth the law, and the word of Yahweh from Jerusalem; (3) and he will judge between many peoples, and will decide concerning strong nations afar off. They will beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks. Nation will not lift up sword against nation, neither will they learn war any more. (4) But they will sit every man under his vine and under his fig tree; and no one will make them afraid: For the mouth of Yahweh of Armies has spoken. What a beautiful picture that is. Swords will turn dirt. Spears will trim fruit trees. And each man will sit peacefully under his vine and under his fig tree. Both the vine and the fig tree give shade in the hot climate of Israel. The vine is woven in a trellis, to make a cool, shading arbor. We built our house in the Ozarks in the woods, as much as we could, cutting down as few trees as possible to fit the house in. About ten feet east of our house is a persimmon tree. It’s not that big, as persimmon trees don’t get very large, and of itself does not give much shade. But woven through that persimmon tree is a wild grapevine. It winds up and around and all over the tree, and then laps over into an elm tree a few feet away. The leaves of that grapevine are wide and many, and during the hot summer, that grapevine gives us a wonderful, thick shade on the east side of the house. The vine even produces small fox grapes that are fine to eat, although most of them are way too high to get at. In a hot summer as we have just had, we really appreciate our shady vine. One of Christ’s disciples was resting under a fig tree when he was called to follow the Messiah.

John 1:45-50 (45) Philip found Nathanael, and said to him, "We have found him, of whom Moses in the law, and the prophets, wrote: Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph." (46) Nathanael said to him, "Can any good thing come out of Nazareth?" Philip said to him, "Come and see." (47) Jesus saw Nathanael coming to him, and said about him, "Behold, an Israelite indeed, in whom is no deceit!" (48) Nathanael said to him, "How do you know me?" Jesus answered him, "Before Philip called you, when you were under the fig tree, I saw you." (49) Nathanael answered him, "Rabbi, you are the Son of God! You are King of Israel!" (50) Jesus answered him, "Because I told you, 'I saw you underneath the fig tree,' do you believe? You will see greater things than these!" Here is a picture of a fig tree in California. It’s about eighty feet tall and has a spread of about 180 feet.

Can you imagine reposing in your yard under such a fig tree, out of the heat of the sun in the super shade of its dense foliage, being cooled by the respiration of the breathing of the dark green leaves? Not a bad scene. In God’s perfect kingdom, every man has his own vine and fig tree. That’s the opposite of left wing socialism. On the other hand, look at this picture.

Rev 13:11-17 (11) And I saw another beast coming up out of the earth. And it had two horns like a lamb, and he spoke like a dragon. (12) And it exercises all the authority of the first beast before him, and causes the earth and those dwelling in it to worship the first beast, whose deadly wound was healed. (13) And it does great wonders, so that it makes fire come down from the heaven onto the earth in the sight of men. (14) And it deceives those dwelling on the earth, because of the miracles which were given to it to do before the beast, saying to those dwelling on the earth that they should make an image to the beast who had the wound by a sword and lived. (15) And there was given to it to give a spirit to the image of the beast, so that the image of the beast might both speak, and might cause as many as would not worship the image of the beast to be killed. (16) And it causes all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark on their right hand, or in their foreheads, (17) even that not any might buy or sell except those having the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of its name. Now that’s a pretty good example of a socialist monopoly. You can’t buy or sell anything without the interference, oversight and approval of the government bureaucrats. That’s the complete socialist institution. The public schools are a centralized socialist monopoly. That’s not how God works. Why didn’t God make Noah king right after the great flood? It was the logical thing to do, it seems. All the people were from Noah’s family, so God could have naturally set Noah up as a king, to rule over a tightly centralized government. But Yahweh did not do that. Noah was a farmer, who had his own vine, and sometimes a little too much vino. Yahweh rescued Israel from Egypt at the time of the Exodus. Egypt was the great empire on the face of the earth at that time, and they were led by Pharaoh, the most powerful man on earth. When God brought Israel out of Egypt, led them through the wilderness for forty years, then set them up in the Promised Land, what type of government did He give them? Judges, to teach them His laws and to lead them toward Him. He did not give them a Pharaoh. The contrast there is so enormously strong that it must not be missed. God rescued Israel from Pharaoh, then purposely did not give them another Pharaoh to rule over them. Actually, Yahweh Himself was their king. The government was humanly decentralized but centralized on God. Finally Israel demanded a human king and a centralized government, so God then gave them that.

In the New Testament, after Christ ascended into heaven, who was the one chief apostle who ruled over the others? One church claims that Peter was and they are his successors, so that put’s them in charge. But the apostle Paul flat out told Peter where to get off and where he was wrong. Yet Paul himself checked with the apostles at Jerusalem, where James the brother of Christ was the main spokesman in the circumcision conference of Acts 15. So who was the chief apostle, Peter, Paul or James? Neither. There wasn’t one. Christ is the head of the body of believers, and God did not set up a monopolistic institution among men to rule over His people. God did not support the Spanish Inquisition, or the other thousand years of Inquisition, either. God is the vine and fig tree type, not the socialist monopolistic type. Conservatives often talk about taking back the public schools. The public schools are a socialist monopoly whose purpose is to control the thinking of all who participate. That’s not God’s way. That’s Satan’s way. Conservatives do not need to take back a socialist institution. They need to get rid of that socialist institution.

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