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From Traitor To Hero?

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Headlines around the world are announcing the publication of a "long lost"
and "suppressed" ancient document, known as The Gospel of Judas. The
National Geographic Society announced the publication at a major media event
on Thursday, just in time to boost publicity for its Sunday night special on
the National Geographic Channel.

Indeed, those Gnostic ideas did become popular later, and they are becoming
increasingly popular now. The truth of the Gospel stands, and Christians
will retain firm confidence in the authenticity of the New Testament and, in
particular, of the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. Nevertheless,
old Gnosticisms are continually repackaged and "rediscovered" even as new
forms of Gnostic thought emerge in our postmodern culture.


Hallmark/ABC To Air The Ten Commandments April 9-10
American Family Association asked Dr. John Oswalt, Old Testament professor at Wesley Biblical Seminary in Jackson, Mississippi, to review the new Hallmark/ABC version of The Ten Commandments scheduled to air on April 9-10 on ABC.

If you are wanting to see a movie which is true to Scripture, then forget this version of The Ten Commandments.

Below are Dr. Oswalt's comments. We felt his review might be of help in making your decision to view or not to view the program.

Donald E. Wildmon, Founder and Chairman
American Family Association

P.S. Please forward this to your family and friends.

A review of Hallmark/ABC's The Ten Commandments
by John N. Oswalt
Research Professor of Old Testament
Wesley Biblical Seminary
Jackson, Mississippi

There is a lot to like about the movie.

In many cases, such as the healing of the water at Marah, or the giving of the manna, or the triumphing over the Egyptian diviners, the movie seems to follow the Bible text closely and presents good visual images of these.
The self-doubt of Moses and his inner struggles, especially in the early going, are probably accurate.
The rag-tag nature of the people and the vicious nature of Moses' opponents is well portrayed. There is no attempt to downplay the miraculous (in most cases).
That being said, I think the movie has a lot of problems.

The unnecessary departures from the Biblical story line:

The Pharaoh did not make a one-time attempt to kill the boy babies because of some silly prophecy. It was his settled policy that the mid-wives should conduct post-birth abortions in order to destroy the Israelites as a people. Aaron came out to meet Moses as directed by God and in confirmation of God's word to Moses. There was no hocus-pocus about Joseph giving them the "I AM" name in advance so that they could identify the deliverer.
Moses knew that he was to take them to Sinai where they would worship God; and they all knew where the Promised Land was.
The Golden Calf is expressly said to have been a molded image which Aaron cast from molten gold. They missed one of the best pieces of ironic humor in the Bible when Aaron whines to Moses, "I put the gold in the fire, and out came this calf!"
The additions to the story (all of which are designed to make the Lord [and Moses] look bad). Menrith, Zipporah’s rejection (which is not what the story implies), and the Hur incident are all used to say that God is harsh and demanding and really doesn’t care what he takes from us.
The omissions (which bother me most of all).

The conflict of the plagues was not between Moses and Pharaoh; it was between God and Pharaoh. This is lost by leaving out God's commands to Moses regarding each of the plagues.
The celebration by the sea recorded in Exodus 15. Moses was not weeping over some half-brother. He was leading the Israelites in exultant praise of God in one of the great hymns in all human history.
The whole point of the Exodus is the Covenant. This was not a "bargain" (the making of which takes about 4 minutes of the 180). The Covenant is a detailed revelation of the character of God, of which the 10 Commandments are a very brief summary. The people were carefully briefed on the nature of what was expected of them, both verbally and in writing. And when they agreed (Exodus 24) it was a very solemn ceremony, where they swore their obedience in blood, calling down curses on themselves if they failed, and culminating with Moses, Aaron, Joshua, and the 70 elders having a meal in the presence of God. Thus, the Golden Calf incident was done in the full knowledge of just what it was they were rejecting.
The conversations between Moses and God in both Exodus 32 and 34, both of which show God's compassion and his willingness to forgive and restore the relationship.
The Tabernacle (!!!), which is the climax of it all – God coming to take up residence in their midst, not in curse, but in blessing.
Probably the reason the Covenant and the Tabernacle are left out is because of the "scholars" the producers say they consulted with. Many scholars today insist that the covenant and Tabernacle are much later additions to the story. But, good grief, if they are going to go part way, why not go all the way? Most OT scholars today, sad to say, not only deny those things, they also deny that there was a Moses or an Exodus. So if you are going to do the story, do it all the way or not at all.

The distortions

The Amalekites were raiders from the far north of the Sinai peninsula. They had no settlements south of Mt. Sinai. Their presence that far south in the peninsula was simply a sign that they saw the rag-tag crowd as "easy pickings" for a lightning aggressive attack. This is why the Bible pronounced a curse on them. They were not protecting their territory; they were slaughtering people they (wrongly) believed were helpless.

It was the Levites who stood with Moses after the Golden Calf incident and they went through their own tribe picking out those who had led the false worship. The total killed (out of the huge group of people) was 3000. There was nothing like the wholesale slaughter depicted in the movie. The incident is only 3 verses long!


The Ten Commandments
Original movie in DVD.
Starring: Charlton Heston
Runtime: 219 minutes

Order your copy today from the American Family Superstore!


PO Box 640

Russellville AR 72811
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* * * Four Important Things To KNOW: #1) For ALL (Americans, Muslims, Jews, Catholics, Hindus, Buddhist, Asians, Presbyterians, Europeans, Baptist, Brazilians, Mormons, Methodist, French, etc.) have sinned & fall short of the glory of God. #2) For the wages of above (see #1) are DEATH (Hell, eternal separation from God, & damnation) but the Gift (free & at no charge to you) of God (Creator, Jehovah, & Trinity) is Eternal Life (Heaven) through (in union with) Jesus Christ (God, Lord, 2nd Person of The Trinity, Messiah, Prince of Peace & Savior of the World). #3) For God so greatly loved & dearly prized the world (Americans, Muslims, Jews, Catholics, Hindus, Buddhist, Asians, Presbyterians, Europeans, Baptist, Brazilians, Mormons, Methodist, French, etc.) that He even gave up His only begotten (unique) Son, that whosoever (anyone, anywhere, anytime - while still living) believes (trust in, relies on, clings to, depends completely on) Him shall have eternal (everlasting) life (heaven). #4) Jesus said: "I am THE WAY, THE TRUTH, & THE LIFE. No one (male/female - American, Muslim, Jew, Catholic, Hindu, Buddhist, Asian, Presbyterian, European, Baptist, Brazilian, Mormons, Methodist, French, etc. ) comes (arrives) to the Father (with GOD in Heaven) EXCEPT BY (through) ME (no other name). *** This wonderful loving GOD gives you the choice - - - (Rev. 3:20) {Please note that church membership, baptism, doing good things, etc. are not requirements for becoming a Christian - however they are great afterwards!!!} *** Jesus said, "Wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction (Hell, damnation, eternal punishment), and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life (Heaven, eternal happiness, forever with God), and only a few find it.

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But these are written so that you may
believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the
Son of God, and that by believing in
Him you will have life. Jn 20:31

Seek the Lord while He may be found;
call on Him while He is near. Let the
wicked forsake his way and the evil
man his thoughts. Let him turn to the
Lord, and He will have mercy on him,
and to our God, for He will freely
pardon. "For My thoughts are not
your thoughts, neither are your ways
My ways," declares the Lord. "As the
heavens are higher than the earth, so
are My ways higher than your ways
and My thoughts than your thoughts.
As the rain and the snow come down
from heaven, and do not return to it
without watering the earth and making
it bud and flourish, so that it yields seed
for the sower and bread for the eater,
so is My word that goes out from My
mouth: It will not return to Me empty,
but will accomplish what I desire and
achieve the purpose for which I sent it.
You will go out in joy and be led forth
in peace; the mountains and hills will
burst into song before you, and all the
trees of the field will clap their hands.
Instead of the thornbush will grow the
pine tree, and instead of briers the myrtle
will grow. This will be for the Lord's
renown, for an everlasting sign, which
will not be destroyed." Is 55

O Lord, you have searched me and you
know me. You know when I sit and when
I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar.
You discern my going out and my lying
down; you are familiar with all my ways.
Before a word is on my tongue you know
it completely, O Lord. You hem me in -
behind and before; you have laid your
hand upon me. Such knowledge is too
wonderful for me, too lofty for me to attain.

Where can I go from your Spirit? Where
can I flee from your presence? If I go up
to the heavens, you are there; if I make
my bed in the depths, you are there.

If I rise on the wings of the dawn,
if I settle on the far side of the sea,
even there your hand will guide me,
your right hand will hold me fast.

If I say, "Surely the darkness will hide
me and the light become night around
me," even the darkness will not be dark
to you; the night will shine like the day,
for darkness is as light to you. For you
created my inmost being; you knit me
together in my mother's womb. I praise
you because I am fearfully and wonderfully
made; your works are wonderful, I know
that full well. My frame was not hidden
from you when I was made in the secret
place. When I was woven together in the
depths of the earth, your eyes saw my
unformed body. All the days ordained
for me were written in your book before
one of them came to be.

How precious to me are your thoughts,
O God! How vast is the sum of them!
Were I to count them, they would
outnumber the grains of sand. When
I awake, I am still with you. Search me,
O God, and know my heart; test me
and know my anxious thoughts. See
if there is any offensive way in me,
and lead me in the way everlasting.
Ps 139

But indeed for this purpose I have raised you up,
that I may show My power in you, and that My
Name may be declared in all the earth. Ex 9:16

When I survey the wondrous cross
On which the Prince of Glory died,
My richest gain I count but loss,
And pour contempt on all my pride.

Were the whole realm of nature mine,
That were a present far too small:
Love so amazing, so divine,
Demands my soul, my life, my all.
- - Isaac Watts

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