Being Perfect - RR187AE58

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Professor: Rushdoony, Dr. R. J.
Title: Being Perfect
Course: Course - Deuteronomy
Subject: Subject:Pentateuch
Lesson#: 58
Length: 0:35:10
TapeCode: RR187AE58
Audio: Chalcedon Archive
Transcript: .docx Format

This transcript is unedited. It was:
Archived by the Mt. Olive Tape Library
Digitized, transcribed, and published by Christ Rules
Posted by with permission

Let us worship God. Give unto the Lord oh ye kindreds of the people, give unto the Lord glory and strength. Give unto the Lord the glory due unto His name, bring an offering and come into His courts. Oh worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness, fear before Him all the earth. Let us pray.

Almighty God our Heavenly Father we thank Thee for all Thy mercies. We know our Father that our times are in Thy hands who doest all things well. Take away from us any impatience, fretfulness or unwillingness to receive that which Thou hast ordained. Give us grace to know that Thou art Thee who dost make all things work together for good to them that love Thee, to them that are the called according to Thy purpose. Grant therefore that we walk in a troubled time in the light of Thy grace and in the confidence of Thy government. In Christ’s name, Amen.

Our scripture this morning is Deuteronomy 18:9-14 and our subject: Being Perfect. Deuteronomy 18:9-14.

“When thou art come into the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee, thou shalt not learn to do after the abominations of those nations.

10 There shall not be found among you any one that maketh his son or his daughter to pass through the fire, or that useth divination, or an observer of times, or an enchanter, or a witch.

11 Or a charmer, or a consulter with familiar spirits, or a wizard, or a necromancer.

12 For all that do these things are an abomination unto the Lord: and because of these abominations the Lord thy God doth drive them out from before thee.

13 Thou shalt be perfect with the Lord thy God.

14 For these nations, which thou shalt possess, hearkened unto observers of times, and unto diviners: but as for thee, the Lord thy God hath not suffered thee so to do.”


This text is usually passed over as basically as antiquarian

This text is usually passed over as basically as antiquarian interest. All that shows is how superficial our thinking is today. This text is of profoundly important consequences for our time. It is both law and a warning. Israel is about to enter Canaan and God tells them why the Canaanites are being dispossessed by God. Israel will fight the battles but God has determined the outcomes. Verse twelve says because of these abominations the Lord Thy God doth drive them out from before thee. Again we have this word abomination. In the Hebrew it means something physically and religiously disgusting and morally repulsive to summarize its meaning briefly. Twenty years or so ago it was still possible for landlords to evict tenants for moral cause. When landlords learned of a practice of various perversions of various tenants they would evict them. On occasions they would, and I’m thinking of a specific case, fumigate, spray, and repaint the apartment or house to rid of its polluting past. Well in effect this is what God is here saying. All men and nations are tenants under God and their occupancy is terminated in time by God when He holds them to be an abomination. This possession then follows. God here tells Israel that He is dispossessing the current evil tenants of Canaan. He had given them a few centuries to repent but now He had His new tenants and the Canaanites were finished. God waits again and again in history until those who are to possess what the dispossessed leave are ready. This text is God’s warning to the new tenants. Being God’s chosen people gives them no privileges and no exemptions where God’s occupancy rules, his law, are concerned. The offense are by no means a full list. [00:06:43]

Those cited here are mainly concerned with gaining

Those cited here are mainly concerned with gaining power or control illegitimately and not morally. They are Moloch worship, divination, a sooth sayer or observer of times or enchanter or [unknown], a witch or poisoner, a charmer, a consulter with familiar spirits, a medium, a wizard or a necromancer who is one who claims to reveal the future by communicating with the dead. Look at these one by one. Moloch worship was simply state worship. Moloch or Maloch or Milcolm which we have in the English or Scottish name Malcolm means king. Moloch worship required the dedication of all children to the state by being passed over the altar fire before emblems of the state. They were not killed they were just waived over the burning coals. This was to signify that their lives belonged to the state and could be taken by the state, used in any way, they and their possessions, everything they had. On occasion of course actual human sacrifice took place in Moloch worship. The life of all children was made state property soon after birth and their properties. This practice could be called analogous to circumcision or baptism; it placed the child in covenant with the state. It made him the property of the state. But you see the relevancy of this without going through the actual initiation process of passing them over the burning coals but by requiring they register with social security by age two what we have said is that every child born now and every adult therefore is the property of the state and his property is the property of the state! God calls this an abomination! Divination is the attempt to gain knowledge of the future apart from God. The diviner assumed there were power that could assist him in the quest for such knowledge, and he claimed some control over these powers. [00:10:17]

Fortune tellers are poor relations to ancient diviners

Fortune tellers are poor relations to ancient diviners. Rulers often had official diviners for consultation. A variety of means were used to make predictions, among them being astrology. A common assumption was that a universe was an area of conflicting trends, a conflict of interest universe, not a harmony of interests under one God. So that no divine decree of predestination controlled reality. The minute you abandon the doctrine of predestination the universe is up for grabs. Who’s going to control it. Divination was an effort to read trends and directions. Forecasting was seen of a necessity of state because states from antiquity have been given as a result of their unbelief to attempting to predestine everything to control with full planning and control to govern every aspect of men’s life. The assumption was that this was absolutely necessary because it was not God and His moral law that governed the cosmos but random trends and forces. Divination was thus a logical consequence of disbelief in the God of scripture. You have one variation of this belief in china but in some form or other it prevailed everywhere and still does. The yin and yang thinking. You had to determine which was at present the governing force, the yin or yang because the universe has conflicting trends so divination was an attempt to understand what these conflicting trends are and which is likely at the moment to prevail. Then you have soothsayers or observers of times who are condemned also in Leviticus 26. The rabbis saw this as referring also to astrology because astrology makes judgments in terms of the planetary positions. We see today horoscopes in newspapers telling people the implications of each day in terms of one’s birthdate. This is observing times. It means that God does not determine His creation, the planet and stars supposedly do. [00:13:59]

Its appeal is again the same, a quest for determination

Its appeal is again the same, a quest for determination outside of God. Then [unknown] , read the future in terms of unexpected events and omens. A flight of large numbers of birds overhead suddenly, an unusual event, or a strange coincidence, all such things and more were held to be important. [unknown] held a high place in Rome and were officers of state. A dislike for the strange and the unforeseen led men to see a special meaning in such events. They were portents of coming events. This meant that not moral conduct but a knowledge of [unknown] was most important. It wasn’t your behavior that determined your behavior it was something outside of you. Wasn’t that our psychology and psychiatry is all about or sociology? Determination was not from God but in the conflicting events of nature. And it was held that there was no sure prediction because these various forms of forecasting the future indicated trends rather than sure predictions. Well the witch also mentioned was someone who determined events as a dealer in drugs because in the Septuagint version the word is [unknown] a dealer in drugs, we have it in the word pharmacy. And the witch dealt especially in poisons. These were used to control or eliminate people. And this law is a routine practice in antiquity and it was revived in the Renaissance. Czar [unknown] used poisons to achieve a variety of desired ends. It has been pointed out by one or two scholars the Soviet Union used this against many persons in the western world. In our time there is much confusion about the meaning of witches but the fact is they were drug dealers who sold their services to those who could pay. The charmer offered protection and power by means of a secret knowledge and the supposed power to impart healing or protecting power to amulets and the like. [00:17:40]

Those who go to a charmer gain supposed powers or powerful

Those who go to a charmer gain supposed powers or powerful trinkets that ward off evil. The idea is that protection can be purchased and the wearer can ward off evil by these charms. Again the trust is in something can buy or control. The charm is a pagan substitute for prayer. Mediums or persons who supposedly establish communications with the dead are regarded as a means of information. Supposedly the dead know things we do not know and contact with them can be sought as a comfort by bereaved persons. In any case the resort is something other than God the Lord. The necromancer is similar to the medium but the necromancer seeks knowledge about the future in terms of the country or work or something like that. Well, it can be seen that these various practices interlock. In our time especially the overlap is great. These practices are common to a dying age because they presuppose a loss of true faith, a radical moral decline and a desire not to change the future by moral and religious reformation but by knowledge of it. Knowledge is seen as the saving power, not God the Lord. All these forbidden practices stress either power or knowledge or both. They are aspects of man’s will to be his own god and to determine his life on his own terms. Where God’s word and power are obviously in control these practices to the contrary assume that man can prevail. Because of these practices the Canaanites were being set aside, God says, and Israel would replace them. But Israel would face a like judgment if it sinned in the same way. Verse thirteen declares: thou shalt be perfect with the Lord thy God. We have the same commandment in the Sermon on the Mount, Matthew 5:48. It means mature in the Greek, in the Hebrew complete, come to the full, accomplished, substantially the same meaning. We are to be mature and complete in our trust in God. We are not our own, we are God’s creation and His tenants on earth. A culture that transfers the power to make moral decisions and moral law from God to man is doomed. It has assumed law making powers and it will therefore meet the judgment of God’s law. [00:21:40]

All these ancient practices together with modern statist

All these ancient practices together with modern statist controls are saying in essence that the determinative powers in the universe are in nature or man, not God. This is why this text is relevant to our time. To say that this is where the determinative powers are is the declaration of moral and legal anarchism. It is the prevailing doctrine in law today what is taught and practiced is known in law as positivism because it denies all validity to all absolute and eternal truth and law. It affirms man’s changing will as law. At one time when the state was still Christian, all such practices from simple palmistry on up were illegal because they were an affront to the doctrine of law. It was because they undermined man’s trust in God’s law and in God’s laws men sought to implement it in the state. Such practices promoted a concept of a law-free, morality-free universe in which chance prevailed rather than God. The ban on such practices rested on the premise that it is immoral and dangerous to a society to encourage disbelief in the ultimate power of God and His law. Their legal status is now secure. All these practices are now gaining a better status in homeschools and Christian schools and even churches. Animals now can be killed to determine or forecast someone’s future. This legalization was done recently in the pretense of religious freedom under the guise of permitting religious sacrifices but the practice is a form of a humanistic attempted control over destiny. If law does not reflect the fact that God is the Lord and sovereign it will reveal the premise that man and the state are the true gods. No more dangerous gods then man and the state have ever been affirmed by man. Let us pray. [00:25:17]

Our Father we thank Thee for Thy word

Our Father we thank Thee for Thy word. We thank Thee for its plain speaking and its warning. Oh Lord God make us again a godly people, a godly nation that we may not be displaced by Thy judgment. That we may again be a people rejoicing in Thee and in Thy government and in Thy word. Grant us this we beseech Thee in Christ’s name, Amen.

Are there any questions now about our lesson? Yes

[Question] Well to foresee the future argues that the future is fixed. So it’s a perversion of the idea of predestination.

[Rushdoony] Yes, uh, logically they would have to say that they cannot predict the future if there was no God. What they do to get around that is to say that they are predicting trends, there is no absolute certainty because while they will not come out baldly and say so, they are assuming the ultimacy of chance. Therefore anything goes and anything can happen. That’s the universe of modern man. Any other questions or comments?

[Question] How can we restore the presence of the godly authority?

[Rushdoony] Well it has to begin with being restored in the church. And since Matthew Arnold’s time about a hundred and fifty years ago the world has proclaimed what he believed was the true gospel, sweetness and light. Both in the church and out of the church that’s the gospel, sweetness and light. And that’s a false faith; we need a return by the church to a biblical position. Now the sad fact is that the church is alien to that kind of position but the marvelous fact is is that it doesn’t take many to turn a country around. I’ve often pointed out what several scholars have, Cromwell’s years and the Puritan regime in England have pointed out, that only four percent of the population were Puritans. And they commanded England, why? Because most of the people, most of the time, are ready to go with whichever side wins. The crown, Charles the First, fought these Puritans and some of its troops and leaders were borrowed, they were not entirely English. Most people were not ready to do anything but to play ball with the winner and that’s the way things usually are. So it would not take more than a dedicated minority to turn things around. [00:30:11]

One attempt has been to turn things around by creating

One attempt has been to turn things around by creating a different kind of law school. And that’s why the American bar association has fought tooth and nail to keep a Christian law school from coming into existence unless it first of all sacrifices its Christian distinctives and does not affirm biblical law. IT’s one reason why Dr. Titus is now in trouble. Well, another means of changing things is to have enough people believe in the whole word of God, theonomy, which is what we’re trying to do. We’re a very small group but think of the vast worldwide hostility we’ve created because they understand better than most church people what the implications are of challenging the whole premise of the modern legal system in the name of God’s law. This is why the doctrine of predestination is treated with such hatred. The alternatives are predestination or chance. If you have chance universal chance you have no science. But they won’t present you logically with the alternatives, they want to disguise the issue and turn this into an ugly nasty doctrine that somehow is anti-human. So everything is done to confuse the issue because they are afraid, they understand better than most people how it is knowledgeable, dedicated minorities that have over the centuries commanded history. Are there any other questions or comments?

[Question unintelligible]

[Rushdoony] Well more and more reconstructionist churches are coming into existence. I just returned from Ohio where I was for four or five days and they have a society of Christian reconstructionists there and a number of churches, Christian schools and many of them are homeschooling as well. So things are beginning to happen there and this is very encouraging. And I can appreciate why whether it’s in Ohio or elsewhere this is very upsetting to many people to see this kind of thing happening. Any other questions or comments? Well if not let us conclude with prayer. [00:33:58]

Our Father, it is good for us to be here, for Thy word

Our Father, it is good for us to be here, for Thy word is truth and Thy word is indeed a light upon our way. Grant that the light of Thy word by Thy spirit may again bring light to the darkness of our world. So that we may come out of this dark age into the light of Thy kingdom. And now go in peace, God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Ghost, bless you and keep you, guide and protect you, this day and always, Amen.

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