The Paradox and Absurdities of Carbon-Fretting and Rewilding

Herschel Smith · 28 Jan 2024 · 4 Comments

The Bureau of Land Management is planning a truly boneheaded move, angering some conservationists over the affects to herd populations and migration routes.  From Field & Stream. The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) recently released a draft plan outlining potential solar energy development in the West. The proposal is an update of the BLM’s 2012 Western Solar Plan. It adds five new states—Idaho, Montana, Oregon, Washington, and Wyoming—to a list of 11 western states already earmarked…… [read more]

Fight the Good Fight of Faith

BY PGF
6 months, 2 weeks ago

Don’t make Christ wrench your soul away. With seriousness of mind and patience of heart, you ought to practice death each day and record it so. Crucify yourself daily and more so as we see the day approaching, always seeking the putting off of this tabernacle that on the final day appointed you simply as possible step out of your body to Christ who does take your soul straight to Him. We ought to meet Christ in the air, caught up to heaven. Pray with gravity that your spirit in Christ should reign in your mind, fearing not the death of the body that will come but seeking things above for the day of complete translation into grace ever more; be drawn unto the presence of things unimaginable, to terrible to speak of on earth, called directly before the throne of the Almighty. Put away all corruption, vice upon vice.

The disconnect between modern church teaching and the saints of old is that today, they teach a willful weakness because they do not demand the men of the church be holy. Christian discipline is thus the spiritual war we are to fight to purify the soul, killing the control the flesh has, arresting our minds to take complete governance of the attributes we must allow Christ to use in piety for waring in His Kingdom. This will make you a hard man, not a soft man. It will make you a roaring lion and menace to the kingdoms of the earth and their phony fallen devil.

There is no more significant threat than the Christian who has so thoroughly expunged all vice and lasciviousness, in control of his desires, that he becomes as a living image of Christ, a little Christ, Christian indeed, dividing souls asunder at the speaking of the word of God, denouncing sin, confounding putridly wicked men bound to hell, demanding virtue at every turn with Christ risen in his heart to take the Kingdom of heaven by force that Christ be seated on the throne of his family, church, town, and country. Jesus always did the will of His Father, and whosoever does the will of the Father, that man is Christ’s brother, a son of God.

Today’s churches make men weaklings and cowards, compliant in sin, comfortable, and unrepentant. What is the man who claims Christ but is unashamed at his inability to subjugate himself? If the Christian man cannot conquer himself, he will not have the dominion God would offer, and he will control nothing whatsoever. Ruled by women and children, too scared to answer any man, too frightened to rebuke and humiliate evil spirits in men, constantly shoved around by the system of Babylon, living in dismay and wonder at the power of the Beast who serves the devil. Those in the wonder of the Beast, in awe of his power, in fear of war with him are not Christian (Revelation 13:4)!

Why are Christians as chaff before the wind when it should be Christ’s enemies that are on the run? Who is your king? It’s war, the spoils of which are life, liberty, light, and the adoption of high and holy heaven having inheritance with Christ to those that are His. Or outer darkness now soon followed by the lake of fire; which shall it be?

“Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us.” – Romans 8:37

What are these things referred to in the verse? Being killed all the day long for the name of Christ, like lambs to the slaughter, put to the sword, perils, nakedness, famine, persecution, tribulation. But the churches today would have you in silence about our Christ, going along with the world system, being obedient to evil princes ruled by dark spirits. These churches and the people in them are phony; they are not disciples of Christ Jesus, purpose-built for assaulting the gates of hell that our great King may reign in righteousness on earth as it is in heaven.

Christ made teachers, evangelists, witnesses, and preachers. If you can find a man to help teach you in this today, lay hold on him and be made the Son of God the angels of heaven desire to see; otherwise, you will have to do it on your own. Seek ye first the kingdom of God and his righteousness; we are all, at the very least, a witness for Jesus Christ. Fill yourself so thoroughly with the word of God that you begin to think like God, and then your actions will very soon follow, perceiving which way in service the Father would have you to go.

A Christian Soldier must purge himself of all that is dishonorable to be made a fit vessel, sanctified, and meet for the Master’s use (2 Timothy 2:21). We must not do even as our Lord says of the Pharisees who are called a whited sepulcher and beautified on the outside yet full of dead men’s bones and uncleanness (Matthew 23:27), and of a cup clean on the outside yet filthy ravening wickedness remains on the inside (Luke 11:39). “For I say unto you, That except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven.” – Matthew 5:20

Your sins of the heart will leak out; they always do when you have not the mind of Christ in you. Jesus speaking, “And he said, That which cometh out of the man, that defileth the man.” – Mark 7:20. Sin begins in the desires of a man; the devil cannot tempt to that which you are not already prone!

James 1:15 relates, “Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death.” Lust means any desire that is in the man but is conceived, birthed, and acted upon when he is tempted and drawn away from the purity that is in Christ. For the wages of sin is death (Romans 6:23)!

A Christian man must first conquer himself above anything, or he will never attain the duty of priest or king that God has ordained for him to serve therein. Christians say they’ll fight for a place in the world but haven’t even put down their own childish pleasures of offense to God; they remain unprofitable to the Kingdom. No soldier can war for the King who has not first attained to battlefield discipline readiness over his mind, habits, family, his people, and the local church. Indeed, everything God has blessed to the soldier’s charge must be put in subjection to the high calling of Christ Jesus.

Why do they bother teaching about the armor of God in churches today (Ephesians 6:11)? Being a victim of the devil and making war on the kingdom of Death and Hell for King Jesus is not the same thing. I’ve got as much work to do in these regards as any man, but be ye well warned; God doesn’t compare us one to the other but demands that we be sanctified for His glory, bringing all honor upon the name of Christ. May the love and mercy of God be with you all.

An imprecatory prayer of the Christian Soldier here seems fitting.

“Plead my cause, O LORD, with them that strive with me: fight against them that fight against me. 2 Take hold of shield and buckler, and stand up for mine help. 3 Draw out also the spear, and stop the way against them that persecute me: say unto my soul, I am thy salvation. 4 Let them be confounded and put to shame that seek after my soul: let them be turned back and brought to confusion that devise my hurt. 5 Let them be as chaff before the wind: and let the angel of the LORD chase them. 6 Let their way be dark and slippery: and let the angel of the LORD persecute them. 7 For without cause have they hid for me their net in a pit, which without cause they have digged for my soul. 8 Let destruction come upon him at unawares; and let his net that he hath hid catch himself: into that very destruction let him fall. 9 And my soul shall be joyful in the LORD: it shall rejoice in his salvation.” – Psalm 35:1-9

Be sanctified by Christ that you might sanctify all that is put before you.

“Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, whereunto thou art also called, and hast professed a good profession before many witnesses.” – 1 Timothy 6:12

The Great Omission

BY PGF
6 months, 3 weeks ago

Found at Postmillennial Worldview from One More Hope. The latter I know nothing about, but Postmillennial Worldview is well worth a stop each week. I don’t know anything about Pastor Sumpter or his ministry.

Idahoan Pastor Toby J. Sumpter recently tweeted what he deems is the newly edited version of the Great Commission for modern evangelicals:

“A moderate amount of power has been given to Me — mostly in Heaven and a little on earth, therefore try your best to make disciples, maybe a few from every nation? — baptize them and teach them only your favorite parts of the New Testament.”

The quote makes some chuckle, but to a large part of the evangelical world it is a sad, but true reality: Welcome to the great omission! In 2018 Barna Group [1], a Christian research organization, released the results of a study conducted on pastors, churchgoers, and U.S. adults which demonstrated that 51% of those surveyed did not know what the Great Commission was! If 51% of the surveyors had never even heard of the Great Commission (this included pastors mind you), I wonder out of those who have heard of the Great Commission, how many actually understand and are actively obeying this great command?

The survey and quote demonstrate a catastrophic failure of the Church to understand what she is for and why on Earth (literally) are we here. It’s like we have embarked upon a ship not knowing where we are going, why we are getting on a ship, or what the purpose of the trip is. I once heard Pastor Jeff Durbin say that “culture is the report card of the Church” and if that’s the case we are failing tremendously. The Church’s disobedience to know, comprehend, and obey the Great Commission is the direct result of the darkness and sin encroaching upon the bride of Christ. Think about it, God’s solution to save, redeem, and restore the world from its cursed state (Gen. 3:15), is the Great Commission implemented and obeyed. It is not plan A or B or C, it is THE plan and for too long we have engaged in the great omission. It’s time for the bride of Christ to repent of her disobedience and be awakened to the inheritance that already belongs to her (Ps. 2:7-8), purchased by Christ’s blood-bought payment for the world (Matt. 28:18-20;Jn. 3:16-17; 19:30).

Amen.

Let us compare and contrast Pastor Sumpter’s satirical formulation of the Great Commission with the actual passage from Matthew 28:18-20. First he says: “A moderate amount of power has been given to Me — mostly in Heaven and a little on earth”. Now it’s probable that most Christians would not actually profess this with their mouths, yet we do confess it by the way we live. The misconception comes when trying to understand the idea of Christ’s Lordship. Scripture says:

“All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.” Jesus having all authority in heaven and on earth often means to Christians that He is supreme Lord in the heavenlies, in some other dimension way-out “there”. He is Lord over all of the angels, over all of the deceased saints that are now in heaven, or Lord over the Church, but when it comes to His full authority, kingship, power, and sovereignty over all his earthly creation, we have a hard time not limiting His authority because we are under the guise that “this world is not our home”, we’re just “passing through” and that the earthly world actually belongs to Satan. Yet Jesus is saying the exact opposite! At his ascension, Jesus was attending his coronation session. The Father gave Him all authority and made a regal pronouncement to the world, to every individual, every family, every city, every nation, every president, every political authority, every business, every educational system, that everything must be submitted under the Lordship of Christ because He has been crowned as King over all kings and Lord over all lords (Rev. 1:5). Universal dominion belongs to Christ (Ps. 2, 72; Matt. 28:18-20; Eph. 1:18-22; Col. 1:15-20). This scene is the capstone moment of God’s great story of covenantal and redemptive work throughout the world. Therefore, Christians are commanded to press the Crown rights of King Jesus in every area of life and thought. Hallelujah, truly “all authority” has (past-tense) been given to the King.

Read the rest here.

It’s one thing to send the tweet and write this article; it’s another to teach anyone who would listen about the foundations of not just why we tell folks about Christ but how to deliver a clear and straightforward salvation testimony. If you read the whole article and come away thinking, it doesn’t tell how to prepare and do it, you’ve found the real problem.

The Great Commission isn’t only about teaching those who wander into your church building, but as Mark relates the words of Christ, “Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.” (Prepare: here, here, here, here, and doing it here.) Christ made His men into teachers, evangelists, witnesses, and preachers. Todays leaders make their men comfortable by tickling their itching ears.

I wonder how many doors Pastor Sumpter’s church knocked on this summer and how many of his men stand on public streets with their Bible offering to show lost sinners what Jesus was doing two thousand years ago and why they need Him this very moment. I hope for their zeal and my total embarrassment that their works put me to shame for even asking.

The trenches are where Christian Soldiers win the war, one soul at a time. Personal witnessing is as much about seeking the lost as it is about asking those who claim Christ if they’ve told somebody how they got saved and how Christ can save them also. Challenging milk-takers to grow by publicly sharing their testimony with lost sinners is a key beginning of growth in the believer. Every Christian must tell lost souls how to be saved; that’s the power of the multiplier, as the Holy Spirit works through us.

The Gospel of Christ doesn’t need a bunch of fancy university degrees; it needs sergeants, soldiers, and grunts who know how to fight and win. Professional Christianity has wrecked the Church in the West. Take your fancy titles and throw them in the trash, grab your Holy Bible, and go show folks how to be saved from the book of Romans, compelling them to come into the wedding supper of the Lamb.

Stablished In The Faith

BY PGF
7 months ago

Colossians 2:1-15

“6 As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in him: 7 Rooted and built up in him, and stablished in the faith, as ye have been taught, abounding therein with thanksgiving. 8 Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ. 9 For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily. 10 And ye are complete in him, which is the head of all principality and power” – Colossians 2:6-10

Longing for the day of Jesus Christ and the restitution of all things; sometimes, the Christian walk is lonely. We question if others understand the full import of what occurred two thousand years ago and how Christ works through the ages and in our time. There certainly is a light, airy, creamy, and soft strain of Christianity today, but I’m beginning to get the sense that Christians are having enough of Weimar 2.0. The Holy Bible provides every solution to men regardless of their times or station.

As ye therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, continue in the faith. Were you saved by fear, trembling over the abyss of eternal damnation, or in sheer relief at the reprieve from God for your sins of transgression, or were one thousand tons of conviction by the Holy Spirit lifted from you? Did you see afar off the wreckage of humanity and despair of your own making in the senselessness of sin, turning your hope to God in faith?

But wherever the Lord found you, stand right there; having believed in your heart, this is your testimony that no man can take, so therein walk in the mercy of God forever more, growing in the faith and knowledge of our Lord, yet, never allow it be said about you in heaven as it was of Ephesus that you didn’t hold fast to your first love (Revelation 2:4). Often call to mind where you could have been yet Christ forbid your eternal damnation.

Rooted and built up in him, and stablished in the faith of Jesus our King. Christ is the Root of Jesse (Romans 15:12, Isaiah 11:1-5) from which the mustard tree of the Kingdom (Luke 13:18-19), though seemingly for now badly battered by storms, and being trimmed for soon resurgence of new growth (amen). The Kingdom of God regardless of the headlines remains on the march Souls being won, the conquering of the Gospel landing on fearful and frightened ears, weeping and repentance toward God still exists.

Some never get roots down into the fertile soil of the faith (Matthew 13:20-21). One must pray, and that fervently and without ceasing being instant in prayer with a mind and heart always toward that heavenly Jerusalem. And no wonder they are never built upon Him; not reading the word and studying, hiding Scripture in their heart that they might not sin against God but are tossed with every wave to and fro blown by every wind they are never settled in the true faith chasing after every strange doctrine and some new way forsaking Christ who is the only way. Never being taught the simple yet profound elements of the core faith or worse, never seeking to learn to themselves from Scripture what is our New Covenant in Christ Jesus. Therefore, they never abound with praise and worship and tears of thanksgiving for the gift that is in Christ. As the prophet relays God’s words, “I, even I, am he that blotteth out thy transgressions for mine own sake, and will not remember thy sins.” – Isaiah 43:25.

Knowing the depth of the mercy God has shown in this gift, the remission of sins, the Father, for His own sake, has awakened your heart to the glorious gospel while billions remain in darkness. God could have never considered you or handed you down to the New Order global depopulation death cult. God could have ignored you on your way to the hell you undoubtedly deserve, and even if you had cried out for mercy, said No, I will not hear your plea; I will judge you according to my wrath. Do you understand the gift of salvation, that for His own desire in the depths of His unknowable purposes made you His people? Why will you not do, well, everything and anything whatsoever that the Holy Bible tells which God has ordained for you to walk therein? Why do you yet refuse Him?

“Rooted and built up in him, and stablished in the faith, as ye have been taught, abounding therein with thanksgiving.” Verse seven is a prayer verse for the Christian man, a warrior for God, and a soldier in Christ’s army that he be trained for the battle. Here’s some instruction: be wise and hear. This is “prayer in the Scripture” to beseech God upon His mercy that He affirms the Root of Jesse who is Christ, in your heart, and to build you up in Him, that you be proved in the faith, on sure and firm ground, being taught by Christ who is the master and wise craftsman of His Church, that you might praise God continually with fear and thanksgiving always for allowing you to serve Him!

Give yourself to God for His service, get up off your knees, crack open His holy word, and be made a disciple of Christ, abandoning your fears to do only the will of Him that let you into the light, and love, and truth of the Kingdom of God. He did all these things for Himself, for His own good pleasure; you are not your own but bought with a price! Follow Jesus Christ!

Christianity isn’t about satisfying the desires of your own soul but about serving Christ, from which comes the ultimate satisfaction, a soul fulfilled knowing you’ve been a good and profitable servant. Why do you not fight for the name of Christ that it be ever on all men’s lips everywhere?

But what of your eternal soul? Are you converted? Jesus Christ died in payment for your transgressions, rising in power; He will, by faith, rebirth your sin-stained soul into the glorious Kingdom of God; believe and call upon Jesus Christ that God would not remember your sins; Christ can justify you. God saves souls for His own sake; declare your desire to serve Him, the King, eternal, immortal, invisible, the blessed and only Potentate. Amen.

Both the lost and those who’ve wandered away are returning to our roots, who is Christ. The Root is the sure foundation, the Rock, our Christ, in whom those under the new birth are built up, established in the faith on the cornerstone, constructed by the master builders of our faith (1 Corinthians 3:10), the chief of our salvation has given the perfect gift from the Father of Lights above with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning (James 1:17). Thanksgiving in darkness and hardship is a sweet odor of prayer before the immutable throne in heaven. The West has lost its way for the failure to abound with thanksgiving.

“Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.” This was a significant problem in the first century as the Greek philosophy and hapless pursuit of ever more new knowledge of the world pervaded most of the Roman Empire. Some things never change, “and there is no new thing under the sun.” There was a god for every possibility, even an unknown god for when they did not know what to do. But this, our God by faith in Jesus Christ, is not strange (Acts 17:21-25).

And today, many denominations and sects have left Christ to chase after the vanity of the world. They started with eisegesis in the realm of study and now apply it in remaking a false church chasing after sinners not to convert them but to be converted by them in a false love of inclusiveness. But, child of God, look up; many are turning around; His true Church is deeply dismayed, the Spirit in them searching each other out for who is of the Root, undoubtedly in the Kingdom.

The rudiments and traditions of your fathers matter not one whit without the Spirit of God that brings the knowledge of sin, faith, and salvation in the continuance of edifying the brethren. Traditions are good but turn to vanity without Christ as the cause and then soon degrade into mindless doing. The day of Thanksgiving in America, a fall harvest family feast, is the perfect example. Millions gather to overeat while ignoring old family grudges, having no idea to whom they should be thankful or why they bother. And in the churches, rely solely on Jesus and fight for Christ’s Kingdom among the heathen and let not the darkness take us. Don’t let the vain things of outward appearance in religion allow the brethren to be crushed under the closing sin on all sides.

People are asking the right questions: how can I show Christ to my lost friends and those around me? How can I tear down the idols, destroy their altars, break their images, and cut down their groves to reestablish faith in our God upon the land again? How can I save my people? Some say, as our verses warn somewhat against, return to the traditions of men, not all of which are bad, but none shall save. Some say the rudiments of the world, the baser things shall help, but our God, in the blessings of His provision, says none but Christ!

Why Jesus Christ? “For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily.” Jesus thought it not robbery to be equal with God (Philippians 2:6). What is the Holy Trinity but the fullness of the Godhead: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit; these three are one (In Matthew 3:16-17 we see the Son of God baptized, the Holy Ghost descend upon Him, and the Father’s declaration; all three persons of the Godhead separate and distinct. But see where they are One in 1 John 5:7). In Christ dwells the fullness of God, Christ declaring many times I and my Father are one. That’s why it’s only Jesus Christ; He’s God the Son, the only way, in whom you must be completed by faith, for He is the head of all things, declaring the end from the beginning, Alpha and Omega (Isaiah 46:10, Revelation 1:8) having defeated the kings, principalities, spiritual realms and earthly masters (Colossians 2:15), Christ has conquered hell, and the last domain which is death, all things are subject to Him. Everything has its season (Ecclesiastes 3), but not Christ; eternal, risen to offer of life everlasting, seated in just rule upon the right hand of Power for those that are His in trust.

“19 Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord; 20 And he shall send Jesus Christ, which before was preached unto you: 21 Whom the heaven must receive until the times of restitution of all things, which God hath spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets since the world began.” – Acts 2:19-21

He’s coming back, and what will He find you doing? Even so, in heaven, what will be your testimony? Many will say it appears to be the end, however, Jesus has said, But of that day and that hour knoweth no man, but the Father (Mark 13:32-33), which art in heaven. Many acknowledge the sin and judgment of God upon us, but this is not a reason to give up but to fight for our King, occupying, taking ground, converting the nations to Christ until the restitution of all things; “Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.” Nothing in heaven disobeys Holy God, for there is no sin in heaven; therefore, we, brothers, ought to bring the earth under subjection, as it is in heaven.

“9 Hide thy face from my sins, and blot out all mine iniquities. 10 Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me. 11 Cast me not away from thy presence; and take not thy holy spirit from me. 12 Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation; and uphold me with thy free spirit. 13 Then will I teach transgressors thy ways; and sinners shall be converted unto thee.” – Psalm 51:9-13

Then can you teach the transgressors! Return to God and Christ; it’s time to get serious about who and what God is, what we owe Christ for His sacrifice, and the civilization He blessed us to have. Then, we will teach the transgressors God’s ways! We have not held the domain He gave nor the dominion over His creation that is ours as His priests and kings to bring Him glory. Might is only practical if used rightly to preserve the holy and upright, to reject sins and wickedness (Romans 13:3). Our children’s future depends upon the God of their fathers. If their god be of death and hell, how shall the one true God, ruling and reigning Jesus Christ, save our generations? Return to God and Christ; be renewed!

“I have blotted out, as a thick cloud, thy transgressions, and, as a cloud, thy sins: return unto me; for I have redeemed thee.” – Isaiah 44:22

Lessons Learned

BY PGF
7 months, 3 weeks ago

One year ago.

Those known of God should be serious, cataloging what they’ve learned about how the spirit of antichrist moves among the Godless, affecting their minds and every action. Although that lab-created virus was unpleasant and killed like a tough flu strain, even most of those who knew the whole thing was bunk succumbed to the spirit of fear, in one form or another, through adapting to the new normal as evil attempted to impose its will. Make note of it all.

We tend to focus on the people who brought the new normal, but we, born again by the Spirit of God, know they are merely agents. You got to witness firsthand something westerners have not seen since perhaps the Middle Ages; God allowing a grave evil to sweep through the land. You should pray to the Almighty and consider what you’ve seen; moreover, consider your ways in light of what you now know.

Secularists will use the term mass psychosis, but what we saw was that spirit of fear by the devil as the blessings of God are being withdrawn. You witnessed the power of evil through men to affect whole masses to do their bidding. You should now know what it is and how to recognize it.

Sin, and evil thereby, are very real, tangible. These are not philosophical conceptualizations to be pondered in a mountaintop monastery, nor are they ancient lore to be dismissed as the superstitions of our ancestors. You’ve now witnessed it, don’t deny it again.

You, too, should thank God, for that was quite a treat. The enemy gave away battle plans, means, motives, personnel positions and movements, tools, and sources and methods. Yes, it’s a war, and you should understand it as such. The enemy revealed many battlefield tactics. It would be wise to understand what you saw over the last two years in the context of war. God is merciful even in His judgments.

The “supply chain disruptions” should have made you serious about doing things yourself, the local way, among the trusted, moving closer to self-sufficiency. Again, thank God for the warnings, repent and act upon your new knowledge of the enemy.

And it isn’t over. If we read our Bible correctly, the last two years were just a remote storm cloud on the horizon of what’s likely coming. The explosion in depravity is not a sign of God’s judgment; it is God’s judgment. The horrendous and even audaciously flagrant wickedness of governments is not a sign of the judicial determination of God; it’s the result.

Christians Soldiers must know the Word of God. Your life depends upon it, or you will be led astray. If you got taken up in fear or have submitted to evil the last two years, that’s a good thing. Praise the Lord for this also; it’s why God sends warnings to His people in the mercy of His grace by longsuffering. Don’t lament but repent and make ready.

You should know by now where you are supposed to be, with what group of people in common you are to serve God while seeking to make yourself both versed and experienced in hard skills and hands-on doing. Pray for God to raise up a just leader, but you train the next generation, teaching them to be just men and women, righteous in Christ, forsaking all evil. Virtuous women and skilled men will matter most. It’s a separate post perhaps but we’ll mention that men will fight for a civilization populated by virtuous women.

Contact with the enemy has arrived. Please, I beseech you by the blood of Jesus Christ to hear and heed the warnings. Fear not for these two reasons: God is in control, and you were born for this very moment. God is sovereign, all is ordained, and you are here now for a reason. Be the light of Christ to those around you. Shed truth with all those you know. Spread the hope of coming victory for those that are righteous. And train for the other side of the coming conflagration(s). Dear Christian Brothers and Sisters, welcome to the war; it’s a pleasure to serve with you, repent toward God and prepare for the next battle. Pray that you not be deceived again.

It’s a spiritual conflict waged in the heavens played out among nations and men. Seek ye the Lord.

“Evil men understand not judgment: but they that seek the LORD understand all things.” – Proverbs 28:5

If your church leadership tries to shutdown services again, they must be fired immediately. Period. And any other leaders in support should be run off with a cane against their back! Otherwise, you must find a suitable congregation, which you should have already done.

In Chapter 13 of John, our Lord begins discussing how He will depart without mentioning the specifics. This discourse spans John 14, 15, and into chapter 16, with several asides and one possible change of location. It’s instruction to His disciples before His soon passion, resurrection, and ascension.

The notable side points of instruction help illustrate to the disciples Christ’s purposes for this instruction: His departure and the coming of the Holy Spirit. These asides include the Vine and Branch parable (John 15:1-10), an explanation of the unity of the Father and the Son (John 14:10-11), and the indwelling of the Holy Spirit (John 14:16-17). This instruction to His men continues into chapter 16 with the specific functions of the Holy Spirit (John 16:8-11) as we witness for Christ with Him.

Reading this section attentively, one understands what it means to be “in Christ.” We see only partially what the day of restitution of all things will be. When this sinful flesh is entirely and finally put off, we shall fully join this holy communion without that static interference.

There’s more, but those are topics for another day.

Repeatedly, Christ mentions the coming of the Comforter in these chapters; why Jesus calls the Holy Spirit the Comforter is critical instruction. At the outset, plainly, the Holy Spirit is not for your comfort and ease, health and wealth, or to provide emotionally driven fits of excitement and unintelligible babbling. God may bless you, but those blessings serve His purposes; He does not serve you. The Comforter equips men for God’s specific purposes in support of service to glorify Him alone.

Read John 14:16-18, 26, 15:26-27, and 16:13 about the Comforter who is the Spirit of truth. The disciples are troubled by Christ’s leaving. Understandable, for the absence of God is darkness only. These are, generally, the purposes of the Holy Spirit as given here by Christ: to abide with us and in us, to teach and remind us of all things, to testify of Christ as we witness for Christ together with Him, remind us of all things, and guide us into all truth (anything untrue is not of God, but from the father of lies, John 8:44) and for showing things to come.

Read John 13:31 through John 16:16, paying particular attention to the complete sentences that include the cited verses about the Holy Spirit. It’s an extensive study; several key points will draw out the text to guide our understanding. But, we should view it as Christ delivered it, a single focused discussion with several supporting points of instruction that we must act upon. God is the ultimate instructor; the repetition with some variation is masterful indeed.

As a side note, if you won’t study your Bible, there’s nothing for the Holy Spirit to teach and remind you about. What if, and call me a radical, Christians actually did what the Bible says? These four duties in five short posts are the preparatory essential elements of the Christian faith in service of Christ.

This post is going somewhere, but context matters; instruction is fundamental. Christ spent three years teaching His men. Doing what Christ taught is where we fail today.

John 15:16 is the ordination of the disciples to bear fruit (also John 15:8). In verse 17, He immediately says to love one another; this is the first prominent point of this post. In verses 18 through 20, Christ tells them they will be hated and persecuted. Next, we arrive at the second main point: the Holy Spirit testifies of Christ, but not alone, as we also bear witness (John 15:26-27).

If you read the Bible carefully, you’ll note that when Christ speaks of bearing fruit, it’s in the context of establishing His Church by the spread of the Gospel. Notably, to love one another (John 15:17) is often a subtext of bearing fruit. So, bearing fruit is to love the brethren and make more brethren; this conforms precisely with our interim commission (Matthew 28:18-20) to serve in anticipation of His return.

In John 15:26-27, Christ is driving at the purpose of ordaining the disciples and the coming of the Holy Spirit. We must care for one another and make ourselves better Christian soldiers (Hebrews 10:24) because we need each other, not for nothing, but because we are to evangelize the whole world, converting the nations; this will draw persecution. Jesus, in foresight sublime, tells us to stick together and provides the Comforter to witness for Christ through us, even as we also serve and testify about Christ’s Gospel and the mercy God has shown us to all the nations.

Continuing into chapter 16, in verse 1, Christ, citing the things spoken so far, advises them not to be offended by the world rejecting them. How many Christians receive the offense of the world and modify their behavior to fit into the world? This is a major problem in the American church. There’s no way to pretty this up by slapping lipstick on it; it’s disobedience to God and Christ to please men above serving in the love and knowledge of the God who saved you; it’s sin.

For what else is disobedience to Christ by refusing His commandments (John 14:15)? Christ is the Lord our Righteousness, and we are to be priests and kings, but only by submission to His word; otherwise, the kings of this world rule us and look what fruit that’s wrought.

Then, in John 16, verses 2 and 3, he conveys to the disciples specifics about the persecution they would suffer (verse 2) and why (Verse 3). There’s also an important point here. Many claim the Father but not the Son, even today. God goes so far as to call those who deny the Father and the Son an antichrist (John 15:23, 16:3, 1 John 2:22). Reaching these folks with the truth of the Gospel of Jesus Christ should be a priority, for they acknowledge there’s a God without which faith can never come.

Finally, arriving at the point here. The churches failed and accepted the shutdowns because they were not doing as Christ commands. In doing what Jesus says, pressing into the brethren in love and fellowship, and seeking the lost regardless of the hurt that may come, the Comforter is with you. We are to build His Church. Not doing as Christ commands allows a spirit of fear, which is not of God (2 Timothy 1:7), to enter among the brethren and even to cause antichristian behavior.

How often have you heard church teaching about the disciples fleeing (Mark 14:50) with only John and the women at the cross, yet the American church withdrew at the mere whiff of persecution? The whole point of Christianity is to convert the Nations, making them Christian. In America, the churches utterly failed the first test, and it’s not over; more trouble is brewing, even now.

It’s unnatural to forsake your own safety, but serving Christ is as normal as can be because you love Him and keep His commandments, regardless of the consequences. Genuine Christian fellowship and support, coupled with the indwelling Comforter in service of our great King, is how you will not falter again. Peace is not an outward state of men; with God, it’s inward. Peace is in Christ Jesus by the indwelling Holy Spirit. Together, read John 14:10-11, and 14:16-17, and John 15:1-10. Here, we have a clear picture of the operation of God in us and through us for the purpose of bearing much fruit. Without Christ, ye can do nothing (John 15:5).

It seems that Christ has so few true friends (John 15:14). The people in American churches don’t genuinely believe in God. At least not how Christ described and the apostles carried it into the world. The people of God are fractured into single units, but according to Christ, it ought not to be this way. Upon being ordered to cease gathering, your church should have rallied around each other, rejected the kings of this world, and served in the hope of a better home with Him.

In American churches, the folks see each other occasionally; they’re not bonded in the unity of service if they benefit Christ at all. The American church looks like any other organization of common interest instead of an army organized for battle to wield the word. Most of church life is centered on the worldly pursuits of men instead of training men to take Christ’s domains. For these reasons, the church is generally failing, and particularly under the recent persecution. The Church in Europe, if it exists at all, is useless.

Americans must stop intellectualizing the Bible and instead put the instruction into action. Imagine if the apostles, after the ascension (Acts 1:8-9), had said, Well, that was an interesting three years; guess I’ll merely personalize it, internalize it, intellectualize it, and go back to my life and do nothing for God. You know what? One of them did, but Christ came and got him (John 21). How often has Jesus tried to tell you to follow Him in service?

The Church of Jesus Christ should have grown during the shutdowns; that’s what persecution does to Christ’s body: makes it more robust and extensive (Acts, entire book). Until His return, there will be tribulation; even as the Kingdom of God has its historical setbacks, it will continue to grow, but the kings of this world will not go quietly.

Complete peace on earth is a distant dream. The Kingdom of God is designed for spiritual warfare. And by the Comforter coupled with mutual support in fellowship and love with the brethren is the peace of God to attack the darkness, even to assault the very gates of hell (Matthew 16:18) with the truth of the Gospel. In Christ, we overcome the world and the devil; without Him, we fall. Fear not; keep His commandments and be of good cheer; Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

“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.” – John 16:33

“And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death.” – Revelation 12:11

To Depart From Evil

BY PGF
9 months, 1 week ago

Psalm 15

The context of Psalm 15, with the application, is in verse 1. It’s about the man who is worthy to live in the Lord’s house, to dwell in heaven with Him, for His dwelling place has always been His throne on high.

“In whose eyes a vile person is contemned; but he honoureth them that fear the LORD. He that sweareth to his own hurt, and changeth not.” – Psalm 15:4

Something stands out in verse four. It’s an odd statement, seemingly unfit for a Christian to accept. “He that sweareth to his own hurt, and changeth not.” A man who is suited for heaven’s holy hill in the presence of God as His train fills the throneroom is a man who makes his covenant and keeps it, even if it hurts. God’s men don’t choose the comfort of sin in the world, knowing the eternity that awaits.

The notion behind that statement in the Psalm is entirely foreign to modern Christianity in the West. The easy path is that of least resistance and is most often chosen. But what is the covenant, and what does it mean that we ought to do?

The covenant is that which is in the blood of Christ who died for your sins and called you to serve Him. Christ found you as a bondslave on the auction block caught between two masters, and Jesus Christ won the war, making you His purchased possession through love. Indeed you are freed if you are His, and though His burden light and yoke easy, especially by comparison to the sin and death that ruled over you, you remain a bondslave nonetheless, and that to Holy God, through Jesus Christ our Lord.

You’re on the right side, but it’s no playground. The war between good and evil rages, and as the ever-accelerating arrival of the judgment of God upon Western Civilization arrives, Psalm 15 has some straightforward questions as to who is God’s anointed people. As we’ve said several times: simple doesn’t mean something that’s necessarily easy. The choices coming are immense; war or peace; famine, pestilence, and death loom.

The information war is becoming intense. With AI-driven narratives and false news, it’s become impossible to know for sure what’s real; this is not a mistake. Our God is not the author of confusion (1 Corinthians 14:33). That old liar and a murderer from the start, the serpent himself, the devil, will take you captive at his will if he gets the chance. Boundaries here are critical. If you belong to Christ, birthed anew, secure in the power of His resurrection unto life eternal, in Him your final destination is set, but here we are, trouble brewing on every side.

Keeping that last sentence from Psalm 15:4 in mind, another verse that’s worth examination comes to mind. This is a favorite about wisdom.

“And unto man he said, Behold, the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom; and to depart from evil is understanding.” – Job 28:28

When you see Behold in the KJV Bible, as in this verse, or verily (sometimes emphatically, twice – see John 3:3, 6:47), it means to pay attention and get this right.

But what does God say of wisdom herself? It is fear of the Lord: reverence, love, and obedience.

It’s always interesting to see a concept struggled with and defined by the godless. Some definitions of wisdom at Webster’s are the exact opposite of what wisdom truly is. But, as every Christian ought, we take our world-life view not from men or the world’s understanding but from the Almighty. Wisdom is the fear of the Lord, and when rightly applied and acted upon, a man will flee the evil that is without and purge that evil which is within. Note the action in the last clause; just like faith, wisdom is nothing, useless, if it’s not applied. And what does God say is the right action in wisdom? Departing from evil shows our understanding of the wisdom reached through fear of the Lord.

Behold, fear God; get away from evil and purify yourself within, removing corruption so that you might not sin against Him. We have a covenant in Christ’s blood and the commandments to live without sin (1 Peter 1:16). And there is the duty to fear God, keeping His commandments (Ecclesiastes 12:13), and the charge in Psalm 15:4 to keep your covenant even to your own hurt: not submitting to evil, standing for Christ, by His power, we must possess our bond to God.

Being a public Christian is critical before persecution ramps up. As things get worse, it will seem necessary to do evil in the sight of the Lord. You can get all the money you want if you’re willing to sin a little on the job. You can cut a thousand corners in life thinking you’re better off, but God’s line measures by another standard. In every area, challenges are coming. Sin is easy, even fun for a time, but Moses chose not to belong to the empire enjoying the pleasures of sin for a season (Hebrews 11:24-25), but rightly regarded his future and that of his people as more consequential.

Steady in the face of the fight. Jesus doesn’t call the strong but strengthens the weak and weakens the strong so that He might be our power, persevering until the end in reliance upon Him.

If you’re not a public Christian, the likelihood that you will deny Christ at a pressing juncture of testing increases significantly. When you swore your covenant to Christ, you made your place with Him as His bride; for better or for worse, changeth not. Should evil or blessings reign down, even to your own hurt, depart from evil, for in this is the fear of the Lord brought to bear through a man who belongs by faith to Christ Jesus.

Compromise with evil is a killer, but the way of Psalm 15 is that of life for God’s glory. In times of arriving adversity, you can be numbered among those that changed not, set upon the infallible foundation which is the Rock our King; the man that does these things shall never be moved.

“LORD, who shall abide in thy tabernacle? who shall dwell in thy holy hill? 2 He that walketh uprightly, and worketh righteousness, and speaketh the truth in his heart. 3 He that backbiteth not with his tongue, nor doeth evil to his neighbour, nor taketh up a reproach against his neighbour. 4 In whose eyes a vile person is contemned; but he honoureth them that fear the LORD. He that sweareth to his own hurt, and changeth not. 5 He that putteth not out his money to usury, nor taketh reward against the innocent. He that doeth these things shall never be moved.” – Psalm 15

Bringing Glory to God

BY PGF
9 months, 2 weeks ago

John 17

What a divinely beautiful prayer from our Lord in this chapter. None of us will ever pray with such a lovely heart toward Holy Father God, but we must try to attain the same purposes.

John 17 is a righteous prayer in the will of God, evidence of a life dedicated to the mission that Christ Jesus completed in service of the Father to bring glory to Him as His Son. There’s no better example than Jesus of obedience for a young man today toward his father or for a disciple toward his heavenly Father; the latter will be addressed.

Some of the things Jesus speaks to the Father about in this chapter are unique to Him and their specific relationship. But we’re also heirs, left with this prayer that we might know Christ, His purposes, and His mind toward us; we can draw many direct applications for us today and should.

Jesus, in verses one and two, knows His purpose, so He starts in prayer to the Father, seeking to fulfill that purpose in the will of the Father, asking above all for Father to be glorified, that He would receive glory in the Son. Through Christ’s example, we ought to pray both in the will of the Father and to fulfill the will of the Father. You can pray for your own choices and be perpetually unhappy for your lack of worldly goods. Or, you can pray for the Father’s will above all and be blessed with the measure of fullness just by knowing Him.

“As thou hast given him power over all flesh, that he should give eternal life to as many as thou hast given him.” – John 17:2

Jesus came to give eternal life to as many as the Father has given Him, but for an express purpose; to bring glory to the Almighty. This is an unspeakable gift. We oughtn’t to be puffed up as though any deserve it; selfish-mindedness about this purpose of Christ is misplaced. Jesus came to make for Himself the inheritance that Holy Father God promised Him before eternity began. “…ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.” – 1 Corinthians 6:19-20. Jesus did all things well so that His heavenly Father might be sufficiently pleased with Him, receiving glory and honor and blessings.

“And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together.” – Romans 8:17

Even every one that is called by my name: for I have created him for my glory, I have formed him; yea, I have made him.” – Isaiah 43:7

Having been formed by God from the dust of the earth, raised to an age of understanding, and if you would by faith in Christ, reformed by a new birth through the Holy Spirit, in Christ, called by His name, God has made you for His own glory.

“And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.” – John 17:3

There is no more a submissive act than to hand your life and will to God and ask that He do with you what He desires. For He made you from the start and remade you anew, and His Son bought you with a terrible price in blood to be His own; you are not your own, therefore bring glory to God through faithful doing of the word.

If the thought scares you some, good, you know there is a will of God for you and that you have already accepted His station far above you, but coming to grips with our place in the Kingdom of God is a lofty height of thin air indeed. It’s an unknown, unpredictable, and that’s why it’s called walking by faith.

And the greatest of unknowns could be your end, for you could be martyred, or destitute, or lead a congregation to which you’re wholly unfit (hint: none are), or called before the courts of magistrates to account for your faith having been charged as a criminal. God could bring you into dangerous and remote territory, the name of which you can’t pronounce. You might have to push yourself forward, Bible in hand, to confront your enemies with the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Or, although entirely within your rights not to, reconcile your broken family.

It’s a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God; being Christian, and living in the Kingdom of God, serving our King to bring Him all honor and glory isn’t for the weak of faith. Jesus said, concluding a short parable of a servant and his master: “So likewise ye, when ye shall have done all those things which are commanded you, say, We are unprofitable servants: we have done that which was our duty to do.” – Luke 17:10

Pitiful are the churches today that don’t lay out the mission of a disciple plainly by showing Christ’s commands, pointing to no other purpose but the duty to our Master, and declaring, go ye now and do it! Jesus, in John 17, shows singleness of mind to fulfill His mission to the Master, and He prays that His disciples meet their duty likewise.

Today there is one problem in the Kingdom, and it is just one fundamental problem at the root of all; the modern American church simply will not do what the Bible says. There are many reasons for this, some of which we’ve lamented over these pages, but they are all excuses at the individual level in the sight of God. To say nobody else was serving will not pass muster on the great and notable day of the Lord. To say nobody told you will not fly, for He left us His holy word with thorough instructions.

One cannot be Christian and a herd follower; it’s, as plainly as we can say, not possible. You must turn and confront the King on your knees and be anointed for the fight in righteousness, equipped also with a sword, helmet, shoes, and shield, and sent into battle against impossible odds. Christians, genuine converts, are outnumbered what, twenty, thirty, forty, fifty to one on this planet? Yet, there is no service that is not reasonable to accomplish for our Lord.

God will put you out there, hanging by one thin thread to test your faith, and regardless of the results, He’ll get the glory; look to Christ. But you see, if you won’t serve in faith, there’s nothing to test. And I’ll tell you, brethren, a little secret of those who seek the will of God, He’ll find your point where you turn back, He’ll see your limit, and you will know, in that day, He is God, and you are but sinful man, weak in the flesh. But, perhaps this is wrong; just maybe, you would go all the way to an actual cross.

A wise man once related something so simple yet profound God often brings it to mind. A worker of wickedness was testing college students at gunpoint, letting those go who denied Christ. I was discussing the faith of those young men and women who wouldn’t deny Christ and died for Him, taking a bullet to the head in front of their classmates. But this gentleman asked me, sure, you may be prepared to die for Christ in the moment, but are you willing to live your life for Him now?

Selected Notes.

“3 And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent. 4 I have glorified thee on the earth: I have finished the work which thou gavest me to do.”

What better thing in all of history for any man than that you might have occasion to eternal life and to know the one true God through Jesus Christ? There is no rational explanation that God would speak out of eternity, His Spirit moving upon the face of darkness surrounding your sin-stained mortal soul, pointing you to His Son. There is no answer but the love of God that He shined the glorious Gospel of Jesus Christ into your heart, for no man ever deserved anything but the torment of hell. And sadly, if you do nothing of usefulness, you perpetuate the dead condition in which God found you, visiting a profound injustice upon Jesus; having received the truth, accepted it, and called upon Christ unto life and life eternal, not man ought to remain idle. Bring glory, therefore, to God.

What did Christ do? He did the will of the Father always, finishing the work that God gave Him to accomplish (John 6:38). No disciple is like his master except He does as his Master instructs (Luke 6:40). Finish the work ever keeping your eye on the One who is prized above all (Philippians 3:14). And if you haven’t started, well, begin today or begin anew, as Christ our Saviour has shown, in prayer, laying up before the throne your hunger to do as the Father would have, forsaking your life and the desires of the flesh for no other reason than to bring to Him the glory that is His. It’s His glory; why do you withhold it, robbing God through sloth or disobedience?

“10 And all mine are thine, and thine are mine; and I am glorified in them.”

Christ did that which satisfied God’s purposes. We see men who took the ministry given to them and followed after Christ to the glory of God the Father (2 Timothy 4:7, 2 Peter 1:14-15); faithful servants to the end, knowing their time had come, they did not boast, but knew they had done what their Master had asked. In faith, steadfast, by the will of the Father, they, belonging to no man, didn’t follow the herd. All belonging to Christ are the Fathers, and we are one in Christ Jesus to the glory of God.

Eternal life is a gift. Men ought not to shrink from the war for His Kingdom. If you knew the half of some men’s story, tried seven times, purified through fire, made a suitable vessel, sanctified by the Spirit; spiritual tests and earthly battles and battles against the lust-filled flesh, contesting with evil spirits, constantly warring that they might fulfill the call. Having endured many a hardship of every nature, for the express purpose of pleasing our Lord and in humility still, offering no other explanation but that they remain unprofitable servants. You can be humble or uselessly unprofitable, but you can’t be both.

What need has the Captain of our salvation for soldiers who will not fight? The more challenging the battle, the more we need His command, lending yet more glory to Him from us through our dependence upon Him alone; the more satisfying will be the final day of approaching union in Him.

“17 Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth. 18 As thou hast sent me into the world, even so have I also sent them into the world.”

All those in Christ are His. God has sanctified you in the faith by His word; read it, study it, learn the truth, and do it. You ought to approach this with fear and sound purpose of heart, for you were made for God and are given to Christ for carrying out the will of God, having been rebirthed and sent into the world to bring glory to the Father as did Christ.

The young must be instructed daily, and the young in Christ must be trained with the express intent to grow them all in the confidence, fear, and admonition of the Lord Jesus Christ to trust and obey Him. His word, as a sword, is the tool for this self-same purpose to bring all men to trust Christ, setting them apart for God, training and encouraging them to be sent by God also into the field, some near and some far, some unto significant burdens lifted, some unto splendid duties added, but all to bring honor publicly to our Father God through Jesus Christ our Lord.

“20 Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word.”

Jesus prayed to do that which He was commanded. That’s plain to say, sometimes tough for us to do, but what of Christ? He gave Himself to the cross with the express purpose of doing the will of the Father. Where has any Christian man found an excuse that doesn’t point directly to Calvary’s hill, leaving him bereft of options but to follow Christ?

Jesus saw His seed on the cross (Isaiah 53:10), those who would be born again, and having endured unto the end, He glimpsed His faithful bride-to-be, knowing He alone could pay the redemption price upon your head. He prayed for you, knowing you would be His own into eternity. Through the ages, disciples have shared the Gospel, doing as Christ did, to seek and to save that which was lost (Luke 19:10) so you might believe through the word and be saved. And you owe them also, your forebearers in the faith.

We should never leave Jesus as a type of widower by our faithlessness to follow after. Thousands of years ago, Jesus prayed for you that you would receive and accept the report given by the word of his disciples. Read John 17, understand it, pray, believe, and follow after Christ in faith.

A Brief Case Study in Discipleship

BY PGF
10 months ago

“24 And a certain Jew named Apollos, born at Alexandria, an eloquent man, and mighty in the scriptures, came to Ephesus. 25 This man was instructed in the way of the Lord; and being fervent in the spirit, he spake and taught diligently the things of the Lord, knowing only the baptism of John. 26 And he began to speak boldly in the synagogue: whom when Aquila and Priscilla had heard, they took him unto them, and expounded unto him the way of God more perfectly. 27 And when he was disposed to pass into Achaia, the brethren wrote, exhorting the disciples to receive him: who, when he was come, helped them much which had believed through grace: 28 For he mightily convinced the Jews, and that publickly, shewing by the scriptures that Jesus was Christ.” – Acts 18:24-28

This section of Acts is a tightly-knit example of discipleship to us today. View it in this context and not merely as a historical aside.

Introduction.

Not necessarily enjoying character studies from the Bible; nonetheless, we find several important markers in Apollos of a man willing to mature in his faith and serve Jesus Christ. Some folks suspect Apollos wrote the New Testament book of Hebrews. But in any case, he received instruction, verified what he was shown by searching the Scripture, grew thereby, and preached Jesus Christ whithersoever the Lord sent him. That, brethren, is Christianity in a nutshell, as God would lead and have us serve; yield yourself unto God as one who has been made alive from the dead, making yourself an instrument of Christ.

Many are willing to be taught but never verify, with God, the integrity of the instruction. That’s how they end up in Christian-sounding cults. Many are eager to be instructed and do absolutely nothing with what they’ve been taught except enjoy a good feeling. They also err. Worst of all, some folks claim to know all they need, rejecting a love for God’s holy word when they should take it upon their honor to become a lifelong student of the sacred writ.

These few verses from Acts teach us exactly how to grow and serve. You might object, saying that you’re not called to preach, but we are all witnesses for Jesus Christ (Mark 16:15), and how shall you answer the man seeking God except you know His holy word to expound the truth to them more perfectly, as Aquila and his wife did with Apollos? Your faithful service may be the spark by which Holy God raises another Spurgeon, Whitefield, or Edwards! Look at what mighty work Aquila and Priscilla did by spreading the truth of Jesus Christ.

Points of instruction.

First, learn by personal study and seeking sound preaching for the purposes of growing in the faith. Growth is sometimes uncomfortable; get over it; God desires your service, having saved you to walk in the works He has foreordained for you to accomplish, and the kingdom needs you, for what kingdom can flourish with ignorant and slack citizens?

Second, verify in Scripture the accuracy of all teaching, taking no man’s word it, but praying for understanding from holy God alone, searching the Scriptures for yourself. Apollos did, so should you search the Scriptures daily (Acts 17:11); are these things so? He took seriously the public responsibility of carrying the marker Christian with his name.

Thirdly, be a life-long learner of the word of God. Please don’t allow the understanding that you will never comprehend the entire Bible to discourage you. But apprehending the walk of faith rightly, you are blessed never to stop learning, growing, drawing nigh to the throne of God, bringing glory to Christ, and being sanctified for Father God’s great purposes, which we can only see half darkly now, but knowing all will soon be revealed. Apollos learned (Verse 25), and continued to be instructed (Verse 26).

If we knew all the answers, it wouldn’t be faith! It’s an honor to be born again; look at the gift you’ve received, and pray to the Giver that you will walk worthy of your calling in Christ.

Notes from the text.

In verse 24, we find that Apollos is a student of the word of God, mighty in the scriptures. Believing firmly in the providence of Holy God, it seems to us that Apollos was sent to Ephesus for this very reason; to meet and be further trained by Aquila and his wife. The Christian ought to see life as something other than random chance but readily accept the fortuitous meetings that the Lord appoints. And the Lord may also present a negative contact from which to learn. In all these, give thanks unto the Father because He loves you enough to continue enlightening you in the faith. Also, by the foreordination of God, for whatever practical reason Apollos may have perceived he was traveling, the Lord was already making him an evangelist by practice.

Doing what the Lord says is critical for the life of the believer to continue to walk in faith. The whole object of this life in Christ is to live by faith, from initial salvation to serving Him in love and truth, up to the end, in reliance on Him to take us into heaven. Your faith brings glory to the Father through Christ, our Saviour. And your failures prove His will; we often say the will of God is found in the Holy Bible. If you think you’ve heard from God, yet it doesn’t align with Scripture, then be cautious. For Apollos, he was a man of the book.

In verse 25, Apollos is shown as having been instructed yet willing to be further advised and also to teach. Though, being a student of the Old Testament and a disciple of John, he knew that Christ must come, but he lacked complete knowledge of the New Covenant. Sound encouragement for us on this point is found in the duty Apollos took upon himself, and Acts 17:11 also applies.

He had received some formal training, it appears, but as Mark Twain may have said, don’t let your schooling get in the way of your education. Apollos continued to pursue the truth of God’s word, adding more completely to what he had been taught.

Life for the believer is much different on this side of the cross for us, than for the Old Testament saints. We have the historical record of Christ’s death, burial, resurrection, and the gift of the Holy Spirit. And for Apollos, a firm foundation in the Old Testament; though he didn’t have the New Testament, it was being written upon his heart as he received the truth of Jesus Christ from the disciples and apostles. What more excellent advantage have we also to have the New Testament record, yet we do less with it?

We are supposed to share the Gospel with the lost and encourage the saints. Hide the word in your heart that you might not sin against God, but then share it with others that in so doing iron would sharpen iron among the brethren, and sow the seeds of faith by His word among lost souls for they must all hear of Christ our King.

In verse 26, we see again that Apollos is willing to be instructed further, and beyond doubt if he hadn’t heard, Aquila told him that one Jesus of Nazareth was the Christ (1 Corinthians 15:3-4), and the New Covenant had arrived. John 14:1 comes to mind.

These few verses are as much about Aquila and Priscilla as Apollos. They found a man of good faith and taught him in the way of a disciple of Jesus Christ. They did it on purpose with a goal in mind; they took him and expounded unto him the way of God by intentionally training him. It may be that nobody sets about to teach you how to grow in the Lord, but in either case, you must, as Apollos and Aquila did, prepare yourself from Scripture, seek faithful saints from which to learn, and also teach. This section of Acts is a tightly-knit example of discipleship to us today.

Aquila didn’t pursue unwilling subjects to conform them into good little cultural Christians. Sent by God, he found a man, able, willing, and seeking.

In verses 27 and 28, having been converted by grace, Apollos taught and preached with all the more boldness. Even if you only teach a man for a brief season, as Aquila did, or in just a few points of doctrine, you may be setting firm foundations in a future preacher or teacher, missionary, or evangelist. This is serious stuff and oughtn’t to be viewed lightly or pursued haphazardly. All of Heaven desires these things from you, and God will prepare and equip you if, and only if, you will walk by faith, learning from failures as much as from successes, relying on the word of God as your preeminent source and guide.

Conclusion.

Apollos showed publicly, from the Scripture to the lost, that Jesus was the Christ. This requires some things; prayer, knowing the Scripture (study/reading) to present, carrying your bible, and expounding on it to lost souls. Also important is being strengthened and encouraged in the religion by assembling together with other believers. None of this is difficult, but it will take time, commitment, and, most of all, faith.

And so we see the confidence of Aquila, his faithful wife by his side, and Apollos to go where God leads, be taught by others, study the word, and then to go make more disciples of all the nations (Matthew 28:18-20).

A Covenant Rejected – Standing the Test, Parts One and Two

BY PGF
10 months, 1 week ago

Part One

“7 If thou doest well, shalt thou not be accepted? and if thou doest not well, sin lieth at the door. And unto thee shall be his desire, and thou shalt rule over him. 8 And Cain talked with Abel his brother: and it came to pass, when they were in the field, that Cain rose up against Abel his brother, and slew him. 9 And the LORD said unto Cain, Where is Abel thy brother? And he said, I know not: Am I my brother’s keeper?” – Genesis 4:7-9

We know the story of Cain and his brother Able, the first sons of Adam. God had respect for Able and his sacrificial offering and not for Cain. Cain became jealous and killed his brother, for which Cain was cursed, yet received mercy; God spared his life. Cain missed the covenant offer of God, as has, seemingly, every modern Christian who speaks of this passage.

There’s more to the simple story than those things the New Religion has taught us. And modernity, at the hand of its leaders, has done a very effective work of evil to purposefully destroy the family tribal unit. Look carefully at verse seven; there are three phrases. The first is straightforward: “If thou doest well, shalt thou not be accepted?” When not distracted by the second, within the third, we find an incredible covenant offer from the Almighty to Cain, that of the elder brother toward his younger, pointing to the Fifth Commandment (Exodus 20:12) to come and ultimately to Christ. “And unto thee shall be his desire, and thou shalt rule over him.”

The older brother’s responsibility is set forth; an immutable truth of our nature made in God’s own image is evident. The younger brother’s desire is toward his older brother, and so rule by authority is indicated, informal in the family structure but quite evident in nature, that older brothers have a serious responsibility. (So, too, do men and women more mature in their faith have duties toward the babe in Christ.) Their preferred inheritance position, the right of the firstborn (Deuteronomy 21:15-17), is not only grace from God but appears contingent upon doing rightly toward God that not only the father and mother may well train the younger brother and all children.

It’s a blessing to see a family well raised, whose children are toward the first male, accepting his station over them in prayer and support that as the parents age, he may be the head, well pleasing in God’s sight. There are several examples in Scripture where the older son is unrighteous, and the younger gets the blessings. These are set forth, in part, as instruction by exception, a warning against disobedience to God’s design purposes for the family. The Left has so demolished the family design of God that these assertions may sound odd to the American ear.

The first two phrases in verse seven are the covenant blessings and curses. “If thou doest well, shalt thou not be accepted? and if thou doest not well, sin lieth at the door.”

Within each covenant of God are blessings offered for well-doing and curses forwarned for sin against Him, a little instructed fact in the modern American churches that you would be well to heed and obey; study and teach your church and young.

Even as parents age, the eldest brother, if he is right with God and in good standing among men, shall hold the leadership role and dominant position, which extends to all the families that each sibling will birth. If taught, understood, and accepted, this simple fact of God’s created order will permanently bind the more extensive family into a tribe. Don’t allow children to marry somebody that doesn’t love God, obey Him, and like their siblings! The more we study the Scriptures, the more we learn that modernity has many subtly crafted deceptions pointing men to “go their own way” and “do their own thing.”

In many sections and demonstrations, the Bible shows the truth of God’s desire for tribal blood unity. There is no replacement for the family.

The common application is not to let the sun go down when in conflict with your brother. Be the bigger man, even if you are justified, and seek reconciliation, knowing that the object is for Christ to be glorified whether your brother receives you again unto himself or not. Christ said; forgive seven times seventy. The New Religion would say forgive them in your heart and be done with it, but that’s not what the Bible says; go to your brother and by much prayer seek in earnest, true communion in Christ one with another again. (Matthew 5:23-24, 18:22, etc.) The context of this post is family, sin in the church among the brethren (Matthew 18:15-17) is a somewhat different aspect. Still, it may well apply, the end of which may be deep regret, for sin can surely destroy a family, church, tribe, or nation, and has by many examples in the holy Bible, history, and today as witnessed by our own eyes.

To extrapolate the covenant offer, we’re on firm Scriptural authority as evident in nature. The older brother has duties from birth. This God calls blessings. But the poorly trained, woefully, and even negligently prepared Christian older brother today may consider the benefit of ruling over his younger brother a burden. The younger’s heart desires to be loved, taught, and led by his older brother; he seeks his older brother’s approval. When young and old alike are inadequately trained, the family-tribe structure is broken for generations to come setting the younger siblings, men and women, adrift.

Remember that the trouble started over faithful service to God and obedience to His law-word. So what of Cain? His younger brother did well, so Cain became wroth with anger, killing his own brother and committing the first murder. Cain should have been filled with joy at the faith of Able. The Fifth Commandment, as with all the commandments of God, do not present in a vacuum. Many instances highlight it in the law and prophets and even by Christ, which we’ll see.

In verse nine, Cain uttered the famous and oft-debated question to God: Am I my brother’s keeper? The debate went on in the Old Testament days and is ongoing today as to how this applies, but the context of the discussion needs to be understood. Christ, having fulfilled the law of the Fifth Commandment, we now salute each other as brothers and sisters in Christ for this reason.

——-

Part Two

“33 And he answered them, saying, Who is my mother, or my brethren? 34 And he looked round about on them which sat about him, and said, Behold my mother and my brethren! 35 For whosoever shall do the will of God, the same is my brother, and my sister, and mother.” – Mark 3:33-35

If you study this section but leave out verse 35, you err. Jesus’ family came seeking to speak with Him. Far from rejecting his mother and siblings, Christ welcomes the brethren by obedience to the faith which is belief in the Father of all.

First, Jesus did not reject his family! If you’ve been taught this, as plainly as possible, we say flatly, that’s wrong. James (not the brother of John), also the son of Mary, became what would be the head of the church in Jerusalem by obedience to God through faith in Christ, his eldest brother. This would not have happened except with Christ’s blessing. Connect the dots to Cain and Able, for that was a point of Christ’s statement to the crowd who had been taught for dozens of generations about Cain’s transgression.

Secondly, God’s covenant purposes shown in Genesis four and Exodus 20 are not ended in the New Covenant but are being fulfilled in Christ Jesus. Of course, blood kin remains essential; Jesus in no way whatsoever ended the family but demands, by divine right, as the firstborn Son of God who is the faithful witness, and the first begotten of the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth (Revelation 1:5) that He be obeyed not only by bloodline but by faith in our one heavenly Father. Jesus is the first raised from the dead, and so too, those birthed anew by the Spirit (Romans 6) are born again to follow Christ now and also resurrected from the dead at His return.

Christ’s role as the eldest heir, with us brethren, requires our acceptance, according to His preeminent power. The mind of the older brother is that we are taught well in all things that pertain to life and godliness (2 Peter 1:3). The good news is that Jesus isn’t Cain; the better you do in the faith, the more well-pleased He becomes; Cain’s error unto death becomes our benefit unto eternal life in Jesus Christ. Let the heart of the older siblings be likewise. By position, Christ is the firstborn Son, rightful heir to the throne, we being joint kingdom heirs with Him. Jesus Christ is the ultimate example that we should follow Him in faith.

Christianity is dependent on the person of Jesus Christ, and we should here insert, lest we fall into the New Religion ourselves or backtrack into the last century’s liberalism, that in no way is Jesus like unto sinful man. Quite the opposite; anything good in us is solely due to Christ’s sinlessness. He washed us from our sins so that one day, in eternity, we will be perfected, but unlike Jesus, we will always retain a moment of cleansing by faith in His power to save us from our sins. Though He is our eldest brother and Jesus calls us friends (if you keep His commandments), it’s not because He is like us, but because we are being remade into a son of God, yet only Jesus is holy and perfect without sin. We mustn’t regard Jesus as merely an example of a good man who pointed the way to have faith in God, but Jesus is the very object of the Christian faith, our Saviour and Redeemer.

We could note that Joseph, the husband of Mary and likely much older than her, though it’s not mentioned in Scripture, is likely dead by the time Jesus attains thirty years. But in any case, Jesus has no father but that which is above! Read what He said in Mark again; who is our father, the man who is from God by obedience to Christ! We know Jesus is God, but from the standpoint of His statement is speaking in the authority of the eldest Son.

The New Religion would state mealy-mouthed platitudes about how the Church can replace the family, but this is a lie straight from the pits of hell. (Neither can the State replace family.) Yes, faith in Christ may divide the unfit from the faithful; train your children with all seriousness, straight from the text of the Holy Bible, show the covenant foundation of the family and how sin, the greatest of which is a rejection of Christ, separates men from Father God and separates us from otherwise lost, yet beloved blood kin as well.

Fathers must take their role seriously as subordinate to the living God yet head of the family as its priest; without hyperbole, we contend that all civilization hangs in the balance. Open your holy Bible, get down on your knees, and implore the God of glory upon His throne, by the mercies of Christ Jesus, that He teaches you to do these things, to be steadfast day after day in training the generations to bring Him the glory.

Am I my brother’s keeper?

Third, the sons of perdition are not, emphatically and without backtracking, our brother. The workers of wickedness living in sin, though you might do good unto them from time to time as you ought, are not in the family of God, are not the sons of God, and are not the brothers of Christ; have ye no part whatsoever with them! “For whosoever shall do the will of God, the same is my brother.” Your duty to them is to show them the Scripture, how that Christ died for their sins and was buried, and how He rose again on the third day from the grave according to Scripture; that if they have faith in His payment to God for their sin, and would be converted by Christ, God will save them from the wrath of hell. If your church is full of unrepentant sinners, throw them out, or go find a real church. Again, do good to lost man as you will, especially if called by God for the purpose of assisting the broken so that they may hear of Christ.

You are, without doubt, the keeper of your brother in the faith and those by the blood that they too may be of one faith with all the saints of God.

Therefore, examine the perils of a flippant attitude toward God’s law word or misunderstanding God’s covenant nature, and know that only through faith can your family, local church, and nation be saved. God’s indelible covenant impressions shown in Scripture by offering blessings and curses abound in all we do, and none can fare well in violating the New Covenant in Christ’s blood.

The life of the Christian is not about what you can get from God but what you can give. You can have the cross of the blood covenant in Christ, as seen from heaven’s holy hill, affixed to your family crest, the power of the resurrected Christ through the sword of God, which is His word emanating from all that your tribe says and does that when the sons of men look upon your family line they would know there is a righteous, just, Holy Spirit filled people, seeing that God is real, His power emanating from the men and women who walk according to the potency of the mandate of heaven. A mighty generational work will be done in those that pray rightly – calling down the power of heaven that Holy God would fill them with all that honors His exalted name – that they might walk in the truth and not depart from it.

This is one of those posts that could go much longer, and the topic is by no means exhausted but thus ends our writing here. Though God appears to judge America now, do a multi-generational work of righteousness in faith that the Kingdom of God, which now is, may stand the test through your family.

——-

Prior Notes to the Rebuilders: Warnings From The Wall, Every Christian is a Christian Nationalist, Restitution is the Law of God, Reaping the Whirlwind, The Effect of Righteousness.

The Purpose of the Law in the New Covenant and Other Notes

BY PGF
10 months, 3 weeks ago

Some reminders, foundational instruction for us, and a few points of core importance to the Christian faith are set forth. Parts of this may appear as a simple Sunday School lesson to some, but we often meet folks who lack these baseline principles of the workings of God. As you read, some meat may be found in opening the Scripture and examining the context surrounding the cited verses.

Where Deuteronomy in the Old Testament is the foremost book of the law doctrine given to Moses, the book of Romans is the primary book on the New Covenant doctrine of grace by faith in Christ. Hebrews has much weight to lend to these foundational principles by showing how the Old Testament law of sacrifice was fulfilled in Christ, but it’s Romans to the mind of the man in the new birth through faith in Christ Jesus, that must be studied and understood to know the full import of faith by grace in Christ’s atoning death, burial, and resurrection.

We’ll look at several sections in Romans bringing three vital truths.

The Reward of Debt or of Grace.

“4 Now to him that worketh is the reward not reckoned of grace, but of debt. 5 But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness.” – Romans 4:4-5

The reward is the consideration in repayment, but Christ is the final and full payment to Holy God for your sin. To those who seek or attempt to maintain soul salvation by works of their own doing, they are not under grace but debt. You could read this burden as debt after faith because you love God for saving your soul by faith, but though we commend the believer’s service, that’s not what is meant in verse 4. Verse five is included for context.

The debt spoken of is sin debt to God, as though a man were worthy to offer up to God anything to repay God for violation of His holy law. (See Romans 11:6.) If you try to work your way into heaven, you make the grace of God through the offering of His own Son of no effect, having rejected Christ’s humiliation in offering Himself on your behalf. I greatly fear the end of these men.

Works salvation is an impossibility in the first place because God already owns you (Ezekiel 18:4), and all things you have or could ever give are His granted to you. A man has nothing to give because all of creation is God’s! That’s why the blood of bulls or goats could never fully satisfy God’s wrath for sin but only put it off temporarily (Hebrews 10:4). Though you kill a thousand fine heifers, the justification for sin was always through faith.

But most importantly, and the doctrinal point of Romans chapter 4, is that no man shall be justified except by faith in Jesus Christ. It’s Christ’s work, His atonement fulfilling the promise of faith given to Abraham, the father of our faith. The assurance was not given for creating heirs through the law of Moses (Deuteronomy) by works but through the righteousness of faith. If the heirs of the kingdom were by the law, then the law of grace is void and of no effect, and you remain lost to burn for eternity.

“13 For the promise, that he should be the heir of the world, was not to Abraham, or to his seed, through the law, but through the righteousness of faith. 14 For if they which are of the law be heirs, faith is made void, and the promise made of none effect” – Romans 4:13-14

But righteousness was not imputed to Abraham alone. It is written to us in the Old Testament and New Testament that by faith alone, those who would come to Christ, who is the justifier of all, shall be justified; for none other, including any works of our own at all, can justify.

How is a man justified? Speaking of Abraham: “23 Now it was not written for his sake alone, that it was imputed to him; 24 But for us also, to whom it shall be imputed, if we believe on him that raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead; 25 Who was delivered for our offences, and was raised again for our justification.” – Romans 4:23-25

There is a chapter break after Romans 4 and verse 25, but the rounding out and summarizing statement of Chapter 4 is in verse 1 of Chapter five, and we’ll include verse two for context: “1 Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ: 2 By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.” – Romans 5:1-2

Therefore, since the justification of the ungodly (sinner) is by faith and not repayment through works or human activity of any kind, we stand fast in the grace of God through the blood of Jesus Christ. We pray you never lose sight of the simplicity that is in Christ Jesus.

Sin By One and Atonement By One

Next, Romans 5:12 is a verse we often cite in many circumstances. It points back to the fall, where sin entered into the world, and evil becomes inherited by all men, for all men sin and die.

Adam is a figure of Jesus but only in federal headship over all men. We understand that you didn’t make Adam your federal head, but that’s just tough; the sooner you get over the fact that you’re not God and He is, the better everything will become for you and your civilization. The number of humanist Christians is alarming, if they’re actually converted by Christ, which we doubt.

In the single offense of unrighteousness, Adam, in violation of God’s holy ordinance in the covenant He made, came sin and death, both of which passed to all men. But, the figure of Adam is only in that universal imputation; through one (Adam) was sin ascribed to all, and therefore death passes upon all men.

In Christ is the perfect fulfillment of the covenant of God, that forgiveness by the grace of God might pass to all men by faith in Christ, who gave himself a ransom for all, fulfilling God’s plan according to the many prophecies of Scripture, and testified of today by those who know Him as the true and living King. Christ alone is the federal head of salvation from the sin you inherited. There are two inheritances; eternal life or eternal damnation.

“15 But not as the offence, so also is the free gift. For if through the offence of one many be dead, much more the grace of God, and the gift by grace, which is by one man, Jesus Christ, hath abounded unto many. 16 And not as it was by one that sinned, so is the gift: for the judgment was by one to condemnation, but the free gift is of many offences unto justification.” – Romans 5:15-16

The purpose of the law in the New Covenant

Another concept of Romans is essential and often misunderstood by modern evangelicals, believers of many stripes, and unbelievers. The notion that the law is of no use today and contrary to the purposes of the Christian in service to our Lord, drawing his family nigh to the throne of God, is wrong. Also, the law of God must serve as societal and governmental boundaries for the man, the body of Christ, the family, and the entire nation.

“11 For sin, taking occasion by the commandment, deceived me, and by it slew me. 12 Wherefore the law is holy, and the commandment holy, and just, and good.” – Romans 7:11-12

Sin, when seen in the light of the law in the word of God, makes our sinful condition apparent. It’s not the law that causes death but the sin that the law reveals. The law of God is still perfect, holy, and just. Sin deceives us, and we deceive ourselves in sin, attempting to blame God for the perfection of His commands. And often, we are brought into thinking we’re not sinful, it doesn’t matter, or that somehow we are self-justified in our words or deeds. We also point out that the grace of God found in Christ is not license to sin.

When a man says he hates God’s law or even simply rejects it, he is, in fact, saying that the Holy Bible has revealed his sin, and he doesn’t know how to deal with that knowledge. This is an opportunity to understand the grace of God in the New Covenant; it was never the law that saved, but only faith. If you’re reading this and struggle with faith in God, understand that the rules outlined in the Holy Bible are not, and never were, designed to free you or put you in a forgiven position with God. Yes, indeed, the law of God is binding, and that’s the point; you need the grace of God to bring forgiveness for your inability to keep any set of rules, let alone the perfect letter of the highest and holy law in creation set forth by our heavenly Creator.

You need Jesus Christ, for He paid through obedience where you never could or ever will. Have the faith that Christ’s obedience today stands good for you before Holy God; make your covenant with Jesus to belong to Him. No amount of religious law or ceremony will save your soul; you must be Christ’s.

It’s by the ordinance that we know sin even today. When the Spirit of God convicts a sinner, be it unto initial salvation or working in the soul unto consecration, all instances have a related section of the law that has been trampled.

Again, by the law is the knowledge of sin (Romans 3:20). No man is justified in keeping the law, for he cannot maintain the whole, but justification comes only by faith in Christ and Him crucified.

Verse 7 of Romans seven offers the example; thou shalt not covet. The cravings men claim in their desires they self-justify as requirements all day long, seeking that which is not only unnecessary but sinful or wicked. In our nature, we sin, having no knowledge that these lusts are wrong until the law is revealed by Scripture or Spirit. God’s holy law is good and does not kill. But the sin that the law reveals in us shows the end in us, which is death (Romans 6:23). Perfect obedience is not the point, but the fear of God by awareness of sin through knowledge of the law brings us to function in the service of Christ.

Believers today also fail God when they reject the law because they don’t allow it to convict them that they might purge their sins, one by one, being set apart now, drawing ever closer to the Holy One. Having first received the law of grace, the law in ordinances is an aid in refining the man that he be made worthy to carry the title of Christian, by faith, belonging to Christ as his King, and having no other.

Where the law of commandments is the conviction for sin, the law of grace is not allowance of sin, but forgiveness from sin. The law of God is the conviction of sin unto death; the law of grace is the mercy of God unto eternal life.

The maturing Christian comes to love the law of God, for it points out our weakness, enlightening the eyes to just how holy our Creator and Redeemer truly is; the judgments of the Lord are true and righteous by any measure of depth or breadth. The law points us to our need for Christ to grow ever closer to Him. The law directs us to understand our wicked ways so that we might be active participants in the purging of our sins, for it’s sin that separates the man from his God. And the law of the Lord is perfect to convert the sinner to walk in the love and light of Jesus Christ our Lord by faith alone. The law only ever pointed to the grace of Christ by faith in Him.

Are Images of Jesus Idolatry?

BY PGF
11 months ago

We’ve already explored why you are made in the Image and Likeness of God in three parts; OneTwo, and Three. Those posts, starting from Genesis, regard what our final estate will be. And we previously posted on this very topic discussing The Image of Christ.

Humans are visual creatures. It’s the most prevalent of our five senses. We have 3d depth perception in one of the broadest color spectrums of any creature on earth. Humans become enamored with beauty for a season. Some men appreciate specific facial structures and adornments given by God, while other men may respect different ones.

We’ve seen folks enamored with the appearance of somebody to the point of refusing to acknowledge that soul’s inward condition and ugliness. And conversely, if Christ had been attractive, could any have heard His great word and the offer of the Kingdom? The Father, through Christ, was and is seeking a people to worship Him in spirit and in truth (John 4:24), not in outward impression.

Lovely, however, is the notion that He grew before God as a tender shoot [Isaiah 53], indeed, born of a virgin, God in a helpless child nurtured into manhood. So too that He grew from dry ground, an infertile hard pack where no life of the Spirit would grow; all Israel hadn’t heard from God in 400 years and was far astray from the Holy Creator of heaven and earth when John Baptist came preaching repentance toward God making way for the Holy One. Jesus arrived right on time, according to the prophet Daniel. But, praise God, not all were in darkness; some waited for the consolation of Israel and the Kingdom of God at His appearing. Simeon in the temple – Luke 2:25 and Joseph of Arimathea, who buried Christ’s body – Mark 15:43, are two examples.

The Stoic Christian, who I’m not very familiar with but seems solid in doctrine from what I’ve read, has a succinct article about artwork depicting Jesus, wherein this question is raised based on the Second Commandment. This is a consideration we’d not made previously.

Theologians often grapple with the question of visual representations of God and the incarnation of Christ. This document explores the four main objections raised by the Orthodox and Reformed traditions regarding visual representations of God and provides insights into the theological discourse surrounding this topic.

1. Violation of the second commandment

Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth: [Exodus 20:4 KJV]

The objection stems from the belief that creating pictures of Jesus or God goes against the second commandment, which prohibits making idols. Critics argue that visual depictions of God, made by human hands, can lead to idolatry. They refer to Old Testament descriptions of pagan idols made of earthly materials, incapable of hearing, seeing, or acting.

The question arises: Do visual representations of Jesus, whether in Sunday School books, galleries, or places of worship, amount to idolatry? Furthermore, how should we understand the relationship between the unique revelation of God in the incarnation and visual depictions of that Word?

The other three concise objections are at the link.

It has occurred to me that many problems in some churches and church groups have arisen from idolatry, which is not a stretch since the word of God is replete with warnings. A question was asked, why is sodomy rampant in certain churches, sects, and denominations? God warns us in Romans 1 of this path when making idols of creatures.

“23 And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things. 24 Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves: 25 Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen.”

Now, doubtless, Christ is not a creature but the Creator (Colossians 1:16); nonetheless, He is the image of God not in appearance but in manifest power, grace, truth, and by instruction in righteousness (John 1:14). Images of an effeminate or beautiful Jesus have their own disrespectful effect on the senses. The Image of Christ is His holy word (the Holy Bible); after all, He is the word made Flesh (again John 1:14). He is the Son of God and having been raised from the dead: “And declared to be the Son of God with power, according to the spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead:” – Romans 1:4. Context is critical, this declaration is near the outset of the entire Romans thesis on New Covenant doctrine, and before verses 23 through 25 above. Having risen from the dead, all power also given Him (Matthew 28:18), He is The Word of God (Revelation 19:13) coming to destroy His enemies and bringing in His kingdom.


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