EXAMINATION OF AN OLD TRUSTED WORK
By Steve Van Nattan
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Light on the Daily Path:
A Devotional Text Book
for Every Day of the Year,
in the Very Words of Scripture
Samuel Bagster & Sons
First Pub. 1794
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This work is a classic daily devotional. It has gone right around the world, especially throughout the British Commonwealth. It is also found in all Christian bookstores in the USA and Canada.
Daily Light is so popular for one main reason-- It is the Word of God-- KJV only, with no commentary. This has made it seem safe over the years. One would never suspect that the Word of God could be arranged in some way which would teach heresy. The daily readings are made up of an average of six Bible texts arranged in order to build a theme for each day.
Many of the selections are orderly and one cannot find fault with them. But, for some time now I have been getting angry at the selection process used to group Bible texts together as if they taught one theme. What is done in the Daily Light is absolutely based on Reformed theology. Perhaps what is most grievous is what is missing, or NOT taught. And, as you will see, there are some plain dumb selections made.
But, let me show you several daily selections which are in great error, that is, as to the grouping of the texts. The following readings are only a few of the pages that have problems. Others could well be found I am sure.
January 24-- MORNING
The Lord is at hand.
THE Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: then we which are alive and remain, shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. Wherefore comfort one another with these words.-- He which testifieth these things saith, Surely I come quickly. Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus.
Wherefore, beloved, seeing that ye look for such things, be diligent that ye may be found by him in peace, without spot, and blameless.-- Abstain from all appearance of evil. And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body may be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. Faithful is he that calleth you, who also will do it.
Be ye also patient; stablish your hearts: for the coming of the Lord draweth nigh.
PHI. 4. 5. 1 Th. 4. 16-18.--Re. 22. 20. 2 Pe. 3. 14.--1 Th. 5. 22-24. Ja. 5. 8.
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Editor: The theme is to show the hope of the believer in the End Times, but it is an uncertain sound.
is a gross mixing of Bible texts on the Rapture of the Lord's church with Second
Advent promises to Israel. I shall show you the errors with colored text:
RED TEXT-- Rapture teaching to the Church
BLUE TEXT-- Second Advent teaching to Israel or the Tribulation saints.
how the Second Advent text is nestled amongst the Rapture texts so as to make
all the passages follow the lead of Revelation 22 where Jesus is talking about
the Kingdom coming and the end of all things just before eternity begins. This
is classic British arrogance. The vast majority of British Bible teachers mock
and ridicule anyone who teaches a Rapture doctrine. This is because virtually
ALL of the Reformed theologians did not HAVE a well developed End Times doctrine,
and they attacked those who did. Reformed theologians all think the sun rises
every morning, circles three times around their shoulders, and sets, and that
is a good day in Christendom.
March 28-- EVENING
Our friend sleepeth.
I WOULD not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him.
If the dead rise not, then is not Christ raised: and if Christ be not raised, your faith is vain; ye are yet in your sins. Then they also which are fallen asleep in Christ are perished.--Now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that slept.
It came to pass, when all the people were clean passed over Jordan, that the LORD spake unto Joshua, saying, Take you hence out of the midst of Jordan, out of the place where the priests' feet stood firm, twelve stones, . . . and these stones shall be for a memorial unto the children of Israel for ever.--This Jesus hath God raised up, whereof we all are witnesses.--Witnesses chosen before of God, . . . who did eat and drink with him after he rose from the dead.
JOHN 11. 11. 1 Th. 4. 13, 14. 1 Co. 15. 16-18, 20. Jos. 4. 1, 3, 7.-- Ac. 2. 32.--Ac. 10. 41.
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Editor: The theme here is meant to encourage us when some saint dies. The deadly thing here thought is that the Rapture texts are not complete, and they are relegated, via the Old Testament, into generality. The Jew went to the bosom of Abraham, so the Church Age believer just goes somewhere until everything ends, and God will somehow not forget him. NO hope of the Rapture appearance of Jesus is given. This is deficient at best and misleading.
March 29-- EVENING
Riches are not for ever: and doth the crown endure to every generation?
SURELY every man walketh in a vain shew: surely they are disquieted in vain: he heapeth up riches, and knoweth not who shall gather them.-- Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth.-- Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven. For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.
do it to obtain a corruptible crown; but we an incorruptible.-- We look
not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen.-- To him
that soweth righteousness shall be a sure reward.-- There is laid up for
me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me
at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing.--
A crown of glory that fadeth not away.
PRO. 27. 24. Ps. 39. 6. Col. 3. 2.-- Mat 6. 19-21. 1 Co. 9. 25.--2 Co. 4. 18.-- Pr. 11. 18.--2 Ti. 4. 8.--1 Pe. 5. 4.
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Editor: Here is the Covenant Theology of the Reformed Movement in a classic trick to lead you into error. We believe that the covenants to Israel, while set aside during the Church Age, are to be fulfilled to Israel, or else God is a liar. Reformed theologians believe that Israel was trashed by God, and the Church receives all the unfinished covenants of Israel. Nutty as a fruitcake.
Even at this moment, agnostic Jews have the Promised Land back, though in unbelief. After the Great Tribulation, the Jews who believe in Christ and are preserved will receive the Promised Land. The Church will NOT receive these physical Covenanted lands.
So, the leading text sets the question up? The implication is that one can lose a covenant, that is after we read the following texts. The text from Psalms reinforces the teaching that Covenants can be lost.
The Colossians text then sets the context as the "corruptible" crown of real estate promised to Israel by God, and the "incorruptible" as the spiritual fulfillment of the Covenant to the Church.
The Matthew text then picks up Messianic teaching TO THE JEWS by Jesus before the transition to the crucifixion days much later. The Covenanted people are now in line to lose their promises, as was taught above. This theme is reinforced for a couple of verses more.
The Proverbs text is grabbed next and used to again give the reward of the Old Testament promise to the Church. The last two texts used then turns the Covenants of God to Israel into the reward of the hope of eternal life in heaven where the saints are rewarded. Good-bye promises to Israel.
You need to understand that British theologians have ALWAYS spiritualized everything. They can take any warm fuzzie notion and give it what seems like rock hard proof texting. How? They are masters of twisting the Word of God around to make it defend their errors and presuppositions.
May 7-- MORNINGYe shall hear of wars and rumours of wars: see that ye be not troubled.
GOD is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore will not we fear, though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea; though the waters thereof roar and be troubled, though the mountains shake with the swelling thereof.-- Come, my people, enter thou into thy chambers, and shut thy doors about thee: hide thyself as it were for a little moment, until the indignation be overpast. For, behold, the LORD cometh out of his place to punish the inhabitants of the earth for their iniquity.-- In the shadow of thy wings will I make my refuge, until these calamities be overpast.-- Your life is hid with Christ in God.
He shall not be afraid of evil tidings: his heart is fixed, trusting in the LORD.
These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.
MAT. 24. 6. Ps. 46. 1-3.--Is. 26. 20, 21.-- Ps. 57. 1.--Col. 3. 3. Ps. 112. 7. John 16. 33.
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Editor: What a wicked trick Satan arranged here!
to my color code method again so you can see the trick easily.
RED TEXT-- Prophetic and Rapture teaching to the Church Age.
BLUE TEXT-- Hope of Israel prophetic and Second Advent teaching in the Post-Church Age.
Many believers today use this theme verse about wars to apply to the end of the Church Age. Matthew 24 has nothing to do with the Church. It is all directed to the Jews and Israel, and Jesus is describing the era of Antichrist and just before the Second Advent. The imagery is very different from Rapture texts.
The Old Testament texts which follow, while they can be used to show the character of God, are to the nation of Israel, so they fit well with the future Covenant to Israel. The compiler of this devotional book next dropped the Colossians text in "Your life is hid with Christ in God." The whole Old Testament compilation is given a Church Age application. Then the Psalms 112 text draws the whole thing together in heretical unity.
Finally, as if to compound their offenses, the compiler added the John text where the Lord Jesus was preparing the Disciples for their days of Church Age ministry after the ascension of Christ into the Glory. This is how the Word of God can be used to teach the personal doctrines of men who have no respect for context-- Beware!
June 16-- EVENING
Hold that fast which thou hast, that no man take thy crown.
IF I may but touch his garment, I shall be whole.--Lord, if thou wilt, thou canst make me clean. I will; be thou clean.--Faith as a grain of mustard seed.
Cast not away . . . your confidence, which hath great recompence of reward.-- Work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.
First the blade, then the ear, after that the full corn in the ear.-- Then shall we know, if we follow on to know the LORD.-- The kingdom of heaven suffereth violence, and the violent take it by force.-- So run, that ye may obtain.
I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith: henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day.
REV. 3. 11. Mat. 9. 21.--Mat. 8. 2, 3.-- Mat. 17. 20. He. 10. 35. Phi. 2. 12,
13. Mar. 4. 28.--Ho. 6. 3.--Mat. 11. 12.--
1 Co. 9. 24. 2 Ti. 4. 7, 8.
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Editor: We will leave the End Times questions alone here. I only want you to see the gross interpretation of the Word of God by this grouping principle. The two texts in green are heretical in this use. The Bible is not heretical, but the compiler of this work used them in a way that does great violence to the Lord Jesus. Look at the Matthew text in context.
Matthew 11:11 Verily I say unto you, Among them that
are born of women there hath not risen a greater than John the Baptist: notwithstanding
he that is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he.
12 And from the days of John the Baptist until now The kingdom of heaven suffereth violence, and the violent take it by force.
13 For all the prophets and the law prophesied until John.
Jesus was clearly not suggesting that He used violence to do the Father's work for Him. He was speaking of those who did violence to Israel during his time on earth. So, to add, So run, that ye may obtain from 1 Corinthians is wicked, for this suggests that the preaching of the Gospel is to be done by force, as in Islamic Jihad or the Catholic Crusades.
August 30-- MORNINGThe king held out . . . the golden sceptre that was in his hand. So Esther drew near, and touched the top of the sceptre.
IT shall come to pass, when he crieth unto me, that I will hear; for I am gracious.
We have known and believed the love that God hath to us. God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him. Herein is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment: because as he is, so are we in this world. There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love. We love him, because he first loved us.
Let us draw near with a true heart, in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water.-- For through him we . . . have access by one Spirit unto the Father.-- We have boldness and access with confidence by the faith of him.-- Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.
EST. 5. 2. Ex. 22. 27. 1 John 4. 16-19. He. 10. 22.--Ep. 2. 18.--Ep. 3. 12.-- He. 4. 16.
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Editor: The theme text at the top shows how shallow the snobs of British theology truly are. Ian Thomas used to preach on Esther, and he spiritualized it beyond belief. Each character was some member of the godhead of Satan etc. As a matter of fact, God did NOT allow His Name in the book of Esther. Why? Answer: Esther, Mordichai, and everyone else in the book was not doing God's will. In spite of that, God shows us He is sovereign in the matters of men, and He will have the final Glory and save his people, even when the ones He uses do not live right.
The text used is perfect to show this. Esther was before the king to ask a request. How did she get this standing? Answer: Esther presented herself to be a member of the king's harem as an act of her will. She had to please him in a test which would have doubtless included his use of her sexually, according to the history of that era. She also willfully became the wife of a heathen king. All of this was NOT God's divine ideal.
The compiler of this devotional book ran fast and loose with the Word of God to build his logic. What follows is a collection which then builds a picture of God responding to His children in the model of a pagan king. How utterly gross.
I now show you the worst confounding of eschatology in the book. This passage is clearly designed to exalt the Covenant doctrine that the Church inherits all the promises to Israel. The order could not have been better if one wanted to trash Israel's historic future with Messiah. Thus:
October 22-- EVENINGThe LORD hath prepared his throne in the heavens; and his kingdom ruleth over all.
THE lot is cast into the lap; but the whole disposing thereof is of the LORD.-- Shall there be evil in a city, and the LORD hath not done it?
I am the LORD, and there is none else, there is no God beside me: I girded thee, though thou hast not known me: that they may know from the rising of the sun, and from the west, that there is none beside me. I am the LORD, and there is none else. I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the LORD do all these things.
He doeth according to his will in the army of heaven, and among the inhabitants of the earth: and none can stay his hand, or say unto him, What doest thou?-- If God be for us, who can be against us?
He must reign, till he hath put all enemies under his feet.-- Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom.
PSA. 103. 19. Pr. 16. 33.--Am. 3. 6. Is. 45. 5-7. Da. 4. 35.--Ro. 8. 31. 1 Co. 15. 25.--Lu. 12. 32.
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Editor: The theme text is looking into heaven, and it is inclusive of all dispensations. This sets the groundwork for running the old Covenant and new Covenant into one process ending in the Church Age. Again, I will use the color code to show how the texts are confounded.
TEXT-- Prophetic and Rapture teaching to the Church Age.
BLUE TEXT-- Hope of Israel prophetic and Second Advent teaching in the Post-Church Age or Kingdom.
The idea of "the lot" text and of god doing evil then adds the idea that God can do evil to Israel. The "I am the LORD" text then reinforces the idea that God can do anything. This is because the compiler, and his Reformed friends, are about to make God break His promised to Israel. God should sue for defamation!
"He doeth according to..." This is the Charismatic notion, "God can use anything to win souls." The twist here if that God can lie, break His Covenant to Israel, and give the Covenant to the Church.
Now, Israel is trashed, and "If God be for us, who can be against us?" now is used to imply that God WANTS the Church to displace Israel in receiving the Covenants.
In the "He must reign..." paragraph, we are set up for the convincing ending. Jesus Christ is seen as reigning in His kingdom, and this is applied to the Church Age, as the Reformed boys believe that we will bring in the Kingdom of Messiah. It is not working our too well, but they will always ask for a couple hundred more years to get the show together. Gary North and Rushdoony have promoted this heresy.
Finally, Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom. is added. To the casual reader, this looks like good New Testament Covenant teaching, AND it is. But Jesus is NOT talking to the Church, nor is He preparing the Disciples to be the Church leaders, as He did at the end of the various Gospels. He is talking to Israel, and the kingdom He is talking about is the future Kingdom in Israel. He WILL give the Kingdom to the Jews who are preserved and brought through the Great Tribulation to populate His Kingdom.
The compiler wants you, the reader, to think that you are the "little flock." Blasphemy! Heresy!
This last reading shows that Mr. Bagster was a mental midget as far as Bible study was concerned. He does what shallow dead beats in Liberal and Evangelical churches do all the time. Watch this:
December 3-- MORNINGI would seek unto God, and unto God would I commit my cause.
IS any thing too hard for the LORD?-- Commit thy way unto the LORD; trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass.--Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.-- Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.
Hezekiah received the letter from the hand of the messengers, and read it: and Hezekiah went up unto the house of the LORD, and spread it before the LORD. And Hezekiah prayed unto the LORD.
It shall come to pass, that before they call, I will answer; and while they are yet speaking, I will hear.--The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.
I love the LORD, because he hath heard my voice and my supplications. Because he hath inclined his ear unto me, therefore will I call upon him as long as I live.
JOB 5. 8. Ge. 18. 14.--Ps. 37. 5.--Phi. 4. 6.-- 1 Pe. 5. 7. Is. 37. 14, 15. Is. 65. 24.-- Ja. 5. 16. Ps. 116. 1, 2.
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Editor: Oh, how pious that theme text sounds, right? What a grand text on which to build deep doctrinal thoughts. You know, the rest of the texts do hang together real well as to context, and I am blessed to read them. But, there is just one wee problem.
"I would seek unto God, and unto God would I commit my cause." is the teaching of a heretic. Before you get your nose out of joint, let me explain. This verse was taken from the book of Job, and it is from the long section of the book where Job's three friends were blasting Job and finding all manner of fault with him. All three friends also spent lots of time extolling God's holiness and talking about how they trusted him and how Job didn't. This text is from a dissertation by Eliphaz. Now, let me show you what God said about this alleged theological genius after God had had enough of listening to him:
Job 42:7 And it was so, that after the
LORD had spoken these words unto Job, the LORD said to Eliphaz the Temanite, My
wrath is kindled against thee, and against thy two friends: for ye have not spoken
of me the thing that is right, as my servant Job hath.
8 Therefore take unto you now seven bullocks and seven rams, and go to my servant Job, and offer up for yourselves a burnt offering; and my servant Job shall pray for you: for him will I 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.
9 So Eliphaz the Temanite and Bildad the Shuhite and Zophar the Naamathite went, and did according as the LORD commanded them: the LORD also accepted Job.
In verse 7, God makes it clear that Eliphaz did NOT speak the right things about God. So, virtually everything in the dissertations of all three of Job's friends was rubbish! If you quote it, you are quoting filth, not truth. We need to learn that the words of some men sound very holy and true. They seem to line up with the Word of God. But, if they are not talking for God and in God's will, then their words are false and unsafe.
Read Job soon, and you will see that Job's three friends sound really good. Do you believe that the words of a men out of God's will are not safe?
A pastor in southern Michigan was caught in adultery with six women in his church some years ago. On the Sunday when he explained (he did not confess) his conduct, he ended by assuring the congregation that, though he was in adultery for most of his tenure in their assembly, his sermons were trustworthy. Now, the worst part of this was not that he had the nerve to make such a claim. The weird part was that the leading men did not burn all the tapes of this twink's preaching. They are still there I suppose, and that church today is dead and dull.
If you want to quote a man in Job, quote either Job or Elihu. Elihu was not rebuked by God, so his words are safe.
LESSON ONE: The Word of God can be twisted to make it say heretical things if it is used out of context. Try this-- "Judas went and hanged himself" "Go thou, and do likewise" "And what thou doest do quickly." Any text, out of context, is a pretext.
LESSON TWO: The best way to read the Bible is from a Bible, NOT a devotional book. The safest Bible is one with no notes. The more a publisher meddles with the Word of God, the more chance you will be lead astray.
LESSON THREE: Error can be made to sound very convincing if it is packaged in pious lingo.
LESSON FOUR: Abbreviation and condensation of the Word of God is deadly. It is much safer to read a whole passage or chapter to get the context. Any text taken out of context is a pretext, even if it is the Word of God itself.
BEWARE OF "DAILY LIGHT"
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