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]

Notes on John, Chapter Five, Part Five

BY PGF
9 months ago

Part One – Introduction and Background
Part Two – Resurrection
Part Three – Life Everlasting
Part Four – Judgment

In John 5:21-40, Christ preached this section exactly as it should be. Though combined for effect by our Lord, writing for instruction here and admitting much overlap and repetition in Christ’s discussion as presented, we’ll examine, in turn, the four topics shown in verses 21 through 40: resurrection, life everlasting, judgment, and the witnesses of this first-century judgment. It’s presented in six parts, none long, for ease of reading. Read the entire chapter first.

Lesson 5, Witnesses

The Jews were having their conditional covenant terminated for violation (Isaiah 61:1-2, Daniel 9:24-27, Micah 7:13, Matthew 23:13-24:35, Matthew 24, Revelation 4-19. The Old Covenant and the temple system are being put to death, “At the mouth of two witnesses, or three witnesses, shall he that is worthy of death be put to death; but at the mouth of one witness he shall not be put to death.” – Deuteronomy 17:6. This verse does not apply directly to the end of the Old Covenant but shows an aspect of God’s nature in judicial dealings with men under His rule. But we are not without hope; the promise (covenant) of a seed (Galatians 3:16) to Abram was fulfilled two thousand years ago and remains, the Church being added to daily.

In verse 30, we learn what Christ repeatedly states about His mission on earth. He does all things by the will of the Father, only seeking to please Him. His judgment is just because He does this in the will of His Father, who sent Him.

“30 I can of mine own self do nothing: as I hear, I judge: and my judgment is just; because I seek not mine own will, but the will of the Father which hath sent me. 31 If I bear witness of myself, my witness is not true.”

Jesus claims the Father again (For personal application, see John 6:44). In verse 31, Jesus begins to offer the empirical observable truths from several witnesses about who He is. But more importantly, under the covenant nature of our God and demands in the law for more than one witness to establish criminal conviction, Jesus indicates that His testimony, though He is God the Son, will not be the lone voice. Jesus fulfilled the law perfectly, never sinning against it in the will of the Father. Christ sets forth proof under the law of God that He, Jesus of Nazareth, is the Christ of God. Remember to whom He’s speaking (verses 16-19); if He bears witness of Himself as the lone testimony, under the law, it’s insufficient.

In verse 32, Christ starts to list the witnesses and their proofs. We’ll note the witnesses and make a select point or two.

-First witness, John Baptist. See John 1:26-27, 29-30.

“32 There is another that beareth witness of me; and I know that the witness which he witnesseth of me is true.”

John Baptist told the Jews that the Christ of God Almighty was among them (John 1:26-27), soon to be revealed. The whole witness (John 1:15) and record (John 1:19) that John Baptist gives is well worth examination: John 1:15-37. It’s preached too little and examined too lightly today.

“33 Ye sent unto John, and he bare witness unto the truth. 34 But I receive not testimony from man: but these things I say, that ye might be saved. 35 He was a burning and a shining light: and ye were willing for a season to rejoice in his light.”

In verse 33, Jesus addresses the Pharisees directly about sending the priests and Levites to ask John who he was (John 1:19, 22). In verse 35, He broadens the conversation to all those listening, for all men in Judea went out to John to hear him preach and get baptized in Jordan (Mark 1:5,7-8). And as stated, verse 34 is the sermon’s purpose: that ye might be saved! Also see Isaiah 40:3-5, Malachi 4:5, and John 1:23. This witness is valid.

-Second witness, the miracles done by Christ.

“36 But I have greater witness than that of John: for the works which the Father hath given me to finish, the same works that I do, bear witness of me, that the Father hath sent me.”

Verse 36 was already set up by verse 20 to indicate that He would examine this topic. Also, see John 14:11. Of course, there are too many miracles to list here, but remember that this whole exchange started over the miracle of healing the lame man by the pool of Bethesda (John 5:1-9). In verse 36, by repetition, Christ is re-establishing context for the maintenance of His exposition; the word of God is never without scope of purpose.

Nicodemus, among others, admitted that Christ’s power had to be from God (John 3:2). Nicodemus also perceives Jesus to be a teacher, which, being interpreted, would be a prophet sent from God (John 3:2). In verse 11 of John 3, a verse often misunderstood, Christ explains that He is indeed a prophet by citing the testimony (another judicial term) of all the prophets before Him. But we know Jesus isn’t only a prophet but also the High Priest, Saviour, Lord, and King, being all things to every man in faith.

“And there are also many other things which Jesus did, the which, if they should be written every one, I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that should be written. Amen.” – John 21:25. Therefore, the witness of His works and all that He did are well established in the ear of God’s high court.

-Third witness, the Father.

“37 And the Father himself, which hath sent me, hath borne witness of me. Ye have neither heard his voice at any time, nor seen his shape.”

Father God, speaking through the prophets, Moses, and David, showed the coming of Christ throughout the Old Testament. God predicts the virgin birth in Isaiah 7:14, but in John 8:41, the Jews accuse Jesus of being born of fornication. Though this verse is abused by many denominations, sects, and cults today, one thing is clear: the coming Christ is spoken of in Genesis chapter 3:15. See Micah 5:2, and in Psalm 22, there are many messianic verses about the crucifixion of Christ. Also, see Isaiah 53. Many other examples exist for our edification.

Verses 36 through 38 should be examined together. The works Jesus was given to fulfill were from the Father. The Father Himself is a witness in the Law and Prophets, by which we take Jesus to mean the entire Old Testament (Luke 16:16). Jesus, once again, broadens the conversation to include all the prophets and Moses. See Matthew 23:29-31, John 5:39, 46-47.

“Wherefore, behold, I send unto you prophets, and wise men, and scribes: and some of them ye shall kill and crucify; and some of them shall ye scourge in your synagogues, and persecute them from city to city:” – Matthew 23:34. As Jesus pronounces the judgment upon that generation, He tells the Jews that not only have they rejected God’s witness in our text, but will reject and persecute the Apostolic Era prophets, witnesses, and teachers/evangelists.

As any good ruler would (Exodus 17:14), the Father keeps a book of remembrance: Malachi 3:16, Revelation 20:12. Remembrance is an imperfect term and merely a word picture for us. God knows all things from the beginning to the end. More so, He orders all these things for they are His works (Isaiah 46:10). All is to the glory of God through Jesus Christ (Romans 11:36). God knows those that are His (2 Timothy 2:19), and He forgets not your deeds serving Christ in the truth (Hebrews 6:10), and He knows who is appointed to the second death (Revelation 20:15) except they repent. The witness of the Father cannot be denied except by the self-willed and self-righteous man, even today.

-Fourth witness, Scripture.

“39 Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me.”

Having alluded to the Law and Prophets in the immediately preceding verses, Christ specifically cites the Scriptures as a witness. As mentioned, the verses are very tightly wound together. Since the witness of the Father is predicated on Scripture, if one concludes that verse 38 flows into 39 and there are but three witnesses, that’s probably correct, and you’ll get no argument here. For purposes of examining this section, it’s listed separately.

The Father and His will are found in Scripture. Jesus is the Word made flesh; He does always do the will of the Father, and the Holy Spirit is with them; these three are One and never in disagreement. “For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one.” – 1 John 5:7.

Christ has established the law, and the witnesses are found faithful. Having chosen to live by the law and therefore die in the law (Romans 2:12), the Jews are guilty in the very least of violating the Ninth Commandment (Exodus 20:16) and are antichrist (1 John 2:22). Having further denied the witness of the Father, they are outside the First Commandment (Exodus 20:3) as well and in grave peril of their life. They are guilty as charged, denying that Jesus of Nazareth is the Christ and Son of God; though offered salvation (verse 34), they will not be saved.

“For ye see your calling, brethren, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called” – 1 Corinthians 1:26.

God have mercy on us all.

Notes on John, Chapter Five, Part Four

BY PGF
9 months ago

Part One – Introduction and Background
Part Two – Resurrection
Part Three – Life Everlasting

This is Part Four – Judgment

In John 5:21-40, Christ preached this section exactly as it should be. Though combined for effect by our Lord, writing for instruction here and admitting much overlap and repetition in Christ’s discussion as presented, we’ll examine, in turn, the four topics shown in verses 21 through 40: resurrection, life everlasting, judgment, and the witnesses of this first-century judgment. It’s presented in six parts, none long, for ease of reading. Read the entire chapter first.

Lesson 4, Judgment.

Part two is required before proceeding. All men everywhere are born damned to hell because they are sinners (Romans 5:12, 6:23). I don’t like this, and you don’t like this, but only a preeminently foolish man would seek to set God’s terms for Him, but that’s precisely what lost sinners do instead of submitting. We are condemned for this inherited sin condition (John 3:18), for which Jesus died in payment for you personally if you believe (Romans 5:8). That’s the necessary basics.

Nothing causes a more significant and sure consternation, railing, and vehement refusal to obey the word of God than Christ setting down His authority over the soul and duties of a man in sin. But Jesus is a good and just Judge, no spite or envy control His being, for He is God and only seeketh all men everywhere to come unto Him by faith (Acts 17:30, Romans 10:13, 1 Timothy 2:4). Christ is the Judge of your heart toward the peace offer from the Father to all men if only you would hear. It’s better to accept an accord from God, entering into a treaty by your surrender, than to remain belligerent, at enmity, and burn for eternity.

Read verses 26 through 30. The resurrection and judgment of all men are necessarily linked as an historical event to come. See verse 21 which was discussed in Part Two and compare verses 22 and 27, “22 For the Father judgeth no man, but hath committed all judgment unto the Son:” & “27 And hath given him authority to execute judgment also, because he is the Son of man.” Also see 1 Samuel 2:6, Psalm 68:20, and Romans 4:17. “I am he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death.” – Revelation 1:18. Christ died and rose bodily, the power of life or death is His.

Jesus, being God, is the master instructor in all things, and this topic is no different. He makes mention of the resurrection in verse 21 and judgment in verse 22, including by whose authority. He provides the critical detail in verse 27 as to why the Father has committed all judgment to Him in the matter of men’s souls because He is the Son of man.

Further details were covered here about this authority of Christ and its founding upon His twofold nature, being both fully God and fully Man, He is solely and eminently qualified to judge us for sins, “17 Wherefore in all things it behoved him to be made like unto his brethren, that he might be a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people. 18 For in that he himself hath suffered being tempted, he is able to succour them that are tempted.” – Hebrews 2:17-18.

“28 Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice”

Verses 26 through 30 speak of the spiritual resurrection of the soul to eternal life, living for God now. This is a judgment to which all men are guilty of sin, yet the pardon of grace is offered by Christ. As absurd as that sounds to a lost man, there is also the resurrection of dead men’s bodies at the end of history to be judged by Christ. These verses speak of the resurrection of all men, some unto eternal damnation and some unto life everlasting with the Father. When Christ returns, all men will be called forth from the graves. These facts are only contended among some minority of evangelicals and orthodox believers.

There is some dispute about whether a single judgment will occur or two separate. I do think it’s one resurrection and judgment of all, yet those condemned will be judged as damned, and those forgiven will are judged as sons already in the household of God Almighty. Revelation Chapter 20:10-15 details the treatment of the kingdom of Death and Hell and all those who’ve rejected Christ and is not necessarily a different judgment event from those belonging to Christ. There are other perspectives, but all honest men advise being personally ready.

“29 And shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation.”

One can read verse 29 either way. Those already appointed unto life or those set unto damnation are judged together though reckoned under respective accounts of their works. Those unto life (Resurrection of the just, Luke 14:14), having their sins already abolished in the person of Jesus Christ, will be judged according to their service and failures in the Kingdom of God, but are blessed (Revelation 21:4). Those resurrected unto damnation will be reckoned to the lake of fire (Revelation 21:8).

Dispensationalists take a two separate judgments view. Amillennialists take an ongoing, person-by-person upon-their-death view. Most others take a future single-judgment view. One thing is sure, you will see Christ if you are able to do anything other than tremble prostrate before His majesty; either way, you will be there.

Some also say the instances in Scripture where the resurrection sounds physical are only symbolic of a spiritual resurrection; they contend there is no physical resurrection, but I disagree. Christ physically rose. The restitution of all things is coming, and Father God will leave no ledger unattended. You’ll be eternally satisfied in Christ as to how He does all things well; don’t let doubt of a physical resurrection hold you back from the first thing, which is salvation by faith in Jesus Christ. Above all else, as Christ teaches, you must see this spiritual new birth into the Kingdom of God by faith (John 3:3); don’t be found appointed unto everlasting destruction (1 Peter 2:8).

The flood in the time of Noah (or a flood) is often cited in Scripture as a warning that judgment is to all men, Psalm 90:5, Isaiah 59:19, Jeremiah 46:7, Amos 8:8, 9:5, 2 Peter 2:5. There is likely no adequate way to fully express to the mind of man what the day of judgment will look like; Christ gives several warnings in Scripture, some by parable. One example is found in Matthew 25:31-46.

You will not see any notion of uncertainty here at TCJ as though a man will be finding out his eternal station on that day. You can and must know now (1 John 5:13) your eternal soul’s condition before you die. There will be no bargaining or pleading on that day, nor bragging about the works you’ve done (Matthew 7:21-23). Most who tell people that they’ll find out on that day want something from you, often its money but also manipulative power over; beware. On that day, God shall judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ.

Christ is the Judge and will judge the quick and the dead; the only disputation about this is from men dead in their trespasses and sins.

“And he commanded us to preach unto the people, and to testify that it is he which was ordained of God to be the Judge of quick and dead.” – Acts 10:42

Notes on John, Chapter Five, Part Three

BY PGF
9 months ago

Part One – Introduction and Background
Part Two – Resurrection

This is Part Three – Life Everlasting.

In John 5:21-40, Christ preached this section exactly as it should be. Though combined for effect by our Lord, writing for instruction here and admitting much overlap and repetition in Christ’s discussion as presented, we’ll examine, in turn, the four topics shown in verses 21 through 40: resurrection, life everlasting, judgment, and the witnesses of this first-century judgment. It’s presented in six parts, none long, for ease of reading. Read the entire chapter first.

Lesson 3, Life Everlasting

Though God provides sustenance for your body as He chooses, the life He offers is by the Spirit of God. The idea that you can get to God through your occasional human efforts is imperial heresy promoted by the evil one and blasphemer, that false king who desires your mutual death with him in hell. You are not God, and neither is he; It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God. Judgment is by Jesus Christ, “According to their deeds, accordingly he will repay, fury to his adversaries, recompence to his enemies; to the islands he will repay recompence.” – Isaiah 59:18. (Revelation 20:13).

Men everywhere are stubborn, obstinate, and hard-headed. There is an explosion in depravity. As it was, so is it today, “And GOD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.” – Genesis 6:5. Sin and evil thereby abounds in every quarter, depending upon the same vile system that not only condones but sanctions this evil, men still, strangely, consider themselves above it.

You need the functioning sense of what is holy, what is above, where the hope of a life with worth and purpose resides; that is, from the Almighty. All men’s minds are continually evil, but Jesus Christ is the life sanctified unto well doing in His name.

Jesus Christ is the way and truth of life (John 14:6) in verses 24 and 25. He did not end the covenant of the temple and leave the world yet without hope for the future. The day of salvation is at hand for you in the New Covenant now extended to all men. There is a new and better way in Christ Jesus.

By these next two verses in a row, Jesus emphatically declares the necessity of faith founded solely upon Him. Repent ye sinners. The magnitude and import of what’s about to be said can send you to Christ for the salvation of your eternal soul or damn you to hell. Pay close heed, give all attention, remove distractions from your mind, behold, hear Christ, and live!

“24 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life. 25 Verily, verily, I say unto you, The hour is coming, and now is, when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God: and they that hear shall live.”

Jesus speaks of spiritual life by a new birth and life after resurrection to judgment. There may be opinions on this, but verse 40 makes clear you must come only unto Christ to have both, and there is not an either–or about it. Both are small things to God, for He spoke the worlds into being and breathed the breath of life into the soul of man, making you a living spirit. God divided the light from the darkness and will place you in the light of Christ, the torment of sin gone. Holy Father God is not uncharitable to those who truly submit to His divine revelation of salvation through faith in Christ upon hearing the Gospel.

Men must honor Christ as they do the Father (Verse 23, 1 John 2:22) because Christ is all things to the man in faith. He is the sacrifice for sin, payment to God for the hell due for your sins, and He is the Judge who can forgive all sin, bringing the lost man into the love of the great and eternal God; the Son quickeneth whom He will and won’t cast you out.

“All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out.” – John 6:37.

“No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day.” – John 6:44.

Holy Almighty God draws as many as He will to the Son. If your soul hears Christ, calling and drawing, giving you interest in things eternal and hope beyond this world, believe on the God of that calling who sent Jesus; be no more subject to the bondage of death. It’s Jesus who died to pay your sin debt on the cross and rose again as the intercessor, the One who can reconcile you to God.

Life and judgment are given to the Son of God; throw yourself upon the compassion of Christ for the lenity of salvation. Believe in Jesus Christ, for the man who does is no longer condemned but has everlasting life. Being passed from death unto life, no longer having the weight of hell but a light yoke of serving the God of goodwill toward men; death’s stranglehold loosed, and the calling of Christ placed on you, being born again into a new and eternal life. Be dead no more, but live ye unto Christ!

“I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live:” – Jesus Christ.

Notes on John, Chapter Five, Part One

BY PGF
9 months, 1 week ago

Part One – Introduction and Background

In John 5:21-40, Christ preached this section exactly as it should be. Though combined for effect by our Lord, writing for instruction here and admitting much overlap and repetition in Christ’s discussion as presented, we’ll examine, in turn, the four topics shown in verses 21 through 40: resurrection, life everlasting, judgment, and the witnesses of this first-century judgment. It’s presented in six parts, none long, for ease of reading. Read the entire chapter first.

Lesson 1, Introduction and Background

John 5:1-9. Jesus healed a man who had been lame for Thirty-Eight years by the pool of Bethesda. There, an angel would go in and trouble the water, permitting the first man after who entered the pool to be healed. These verses conclude, “8 Jesus saith unto him, Rise, take up thy bed, and walk. 9 And immediately the man was made whole, and took up his bed, and walked: and on the same day was the sabbath.” – John 5:8-9

John 5:10-16. The Jews see the healed man carrying his bedroll and accuse him of violating the law by working on the Sabbath. The Jews discovered that Jesus had healed him and told him he could take up his bed. The section concludes, “And therefore did the Jews persecute Jesus, and sought to slay him, because he had done these things on the sabbath day.” – John 5:16

“17 But Jesus answered them, My Father worketh hitherto, and I work. 18 Therefore the Jews sought the more to kill him, because he not only had broken the sabbath, but said also that God was his Father, making himself equal with God.” – John 5:17-18. See Philippians 2:6.

In Verse 17, Jesus begins a range of topics that runs through the end of the chapter. Having been presumably interrupted by the Jews in verse 18, He continues without disruption to the end. It’s not until verse 34 that we find Christ’s purpose in this discussion: that ye might be saved. Ever the evangelistic Christ of God, full of grace and truth, the Word made flesh dwelling among men, He offers salvation over and over again that they, and you, not perish but have life, and still, too many in that day and now will not obey the truth.

We’ll look at this section of Scripture, seeing several aspects of Christ’s teaching, making some contextual notes, and further application. The section includes a critical salvation message about everlasting life blended, rightly, into a discussion of the final resurrection and judgment being brought to fruition by the power of God (Verses 21-29).

Christ pivots in verses 30 and 31 from judgment to the many proofs that He is the Christ of God, showing that, indeed, all these things must come to pass. Verse 40 is a key summation before the last several verses to which we’ll only refer but not examine in detail. Verses 39 and 40 are the impetus for this writing.

——-

Background.

Without teaching the covenant nature of God in American churches, a critical aspect of Biblical understanding goes missing. God makes covenants with men and nations; the Church of Jesus Christ is worse off for neglecting this teaching.

Judicial terminology and word pictures are used throughout the Scriptures, including the New Testament. God presents His word this way in general because He makes contracts. Like it or not, your salvation is one such covenant; you must serve Him to bring Him glory, becoming His bride.

Neither is the legal sense of the term witness to be overlooked. In this covenant you made with Christ, you are a witness of Christ before sinners (Acts 1:8), as a legal matter in the courts of heaven, that those at enmity with God may face trial for their crimes (sin) against Him. Primarily, just as Christ did, we offer to show all men sin and hell that they would believe in Christ crucified, repent, and be saved by God’s grace through faith in Christ’s atonement.

Witness as a legal term derives from the law of God “One witness shall not rise up against a man for any iniquity, or for any sin, in any sin that he sinneth: at the mouth of two witnesses, or at the mouth of three witnesses, shall the matter be established.” – Deuteronomy 19:15. The concept is brought into the New Covenant by way of similar application, establishing evidentiary proof of sin, conversion, and good works toward God. See 2 Corinthians 13:1.

In John Chapter Five, Christ establishes several witnesses as though a courtroom scene is taking place. Remember that the Pharisees are lawyers and scholars of the Old Testament law; they were being warned because they knew these things.

There are many witnesses of Jesus Christ even today. Still, there are indeed three who witness of Christ: our word, the witness of the apostles, prophets, and disciples, including every book in the canon, which is the word of God, and the power of conviction by the witness of the Holy Spirit upon the heart of the lost sinner who hears from God as we share Scripture, tell our own story, and show them about Christ crucified. Though we pray for later realization of their offense against the Almighty, if the hearer rejects this threefold witness, they are condemned to eternal death (John 3:18). A very similar situation is presented in John Chapter Five for us today.

In this chapter, Jesus relies on the witness of others. Today’s modern Pharisees are also a pack of lawyers using lawfare for their gain to manipulate and ensnare men, as it was two thousand years ago.

——-

Fight the Good Fight of Faith

BY PGF
9 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
9 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
10 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

Due Reward

BY PGF
10 months, 1 week ago

“39 And one of the malefactors which were hanged railed on him, saying, If thou be Christ, save thyself and us. 40 But the other answering rebuked him, saying, Dost not thou fear God, seeing thou art in the same condemnation? 41 And we indeed justly; for we receive the due reward of our deeds: but this man hath done nothing amiss. 42 And he said unto Jesus, Lord, remember me when thou comest into thy kingdom.43 And Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, To day shalt thou be with me in paradise.” – Luke 23:39-43

Three men were crucified that day: Jesus in the middle. The other two were criminal men, malefactors, wicked workers of inequity. “Then were there two thieves crucified with him, one on the right hand, and another on the left.” – Matthew 27:38. These two are serious criminals. Crucifixion was not a sentence given for any light offense; they were thieves; these two men were sinners.

One of the men understood, professed, and spoke with the Lord Jesus Christ, the other did not. It’s a simple message with a simple choice every man must make. One man accepted Jesus, and the other rejected Christ’s power and authority, including God’s particular way of salvation through faith in Jesus Christ to come into His Kingdom.

Many denounce Jesus Christ, even cursing God with rantings and ravings, while others don’t think there is a God at all. Some make very astute-sounding objections to God and Christ while remaining illogical in their assumptions of the design and its Creator. God, to some men, is a myth or a religious crutch for the weak, they say. Even some believers treat God as a spare tire only to be used in an emergency but otherwise forgotten.

Though the historical events are accurate, the picture drawn by Scripture in the last hours of Christ upon the cross illustrates God’s great and final judgment of all men. As these men did, your eternity will be decided before that great day; you will either be on Christ’s left hand or His right. The rulers, priests, scribes, Pharisees, and many of the attending soldiers mocked Jesus Christ, even saying, “Save thyself, and come down from the cross.” – Mark 15:30

This first man told Jesus to save himself and the other:

“39 And one of the malefactors which were hanged railed on him, saying, If thou be Christ, save thyself and us.”

Yet Christ would die that day and commit His own spirit into the hands of Father God. A malefactor is a man who bestows evildoing on other men. In contrast, a benefactor profits a man, and in the case of Christ, benefits all mankind, even eternally, to those who believe. Notably, many would be saved, but not by God’s ordained means of salvation through Christ. If Christ climbs down from that cross, as the man asked, none are saved. God has made one way: faith in Jesus Christ as payment through giving himself as the final sin sacrifice for all men that believe by faith.

The books of the law and the prophets all point to this moment; this is the most pivotal juncture in all of Scripture: the Son of God, holding the future of mankind in His power, is hanging on a cross, being tortured to death, yet without sin, treated as a criminal. This is it! This is the way to holy God, the very day God offered eternal soul salvation to all men everywhere. Jesus loves us enough to stay on that cross for those who know deep in the corners of their heart that they can’t live unto God without Him, let alone see heaven’s glory.

Centuries beforehand, the profit tells of the coming Christ: “Yet it pleased the LORD to bruise him; he hath put him to grief: when thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin, he shall see his seed, he shall prolong his days, and the pleasure of the LORD shall prosper in his hand.” – Isaiah 53:10

In offering His own soul for yours, accepting the condemnation for your sins, the sons of God, Christ’s seed by faith, could be birthed anew by the Spirit of God. Christ is the seed of the promise to Abram, and those that are Christ’s are the blessed of all nations according to the prophecy. Upon the cross, Jesus looked out through time and saw His seed, all those who would be His.

And God certainly did fulfill the prophecy and Jesus’ time of the resurrection three days later, for Christ is eternal: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” – John 1:1. All things were made by Him and for Him. Jesus rose from the grave three days later; death could have no hold on Him.

We never hear from the first man again, and Jesus did not reply. Gone from the pages of history, this first man died eternal death, receiving his due reward. The horror is incalculable, being right next to Jesus on the cross and assuming God should have made some other way to be saved: “If thou be Christ, save thyself and us.” Imagine the pride. Imagine the arrogance of presuming how God should order His domain and make way for eternal life. The man practically says: No, I won’t be saved except God do things my way. How many millions have suffered this exact same end? And what of you, dear reader? If you claim any other way to Father God, you have called Christ a liar.

Now, we see the second man:

“40 But the other answering rebuked him, saying, Dost not thou fear God, seeing thou art in the same condemnation?”

He is no less a criminal, lying and thieving. Only the Gospel according to Saint Luke, records this precious exchange, in verses forty through forty-three. It’s the moment of faith between a sinner and his Saviour.

This second man, on the other side of Jesus, professed at least cursory acceptance of the existence of God, for he rebuked the first man for his railings. Having believed and thought it wise to fear God, he departs from the evil of the first man, differentiating himself by accepting who Christ is.

This man had a reverence for God. “And unto man he said, Behold, the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom; and to depart from evil is understanding.” – Job 28:28. No man can depart from evil in this life or eternity, but through the clemency and power of God Almighty.

The second man believed in more than just the existence of God and a degree of respect for God. He had the mental wherewithal to realize he would die either way, regardless of God’s plan for salvation as written according to Scripture. His eternal soul was on the line; his life would soon end. It would seem that he realized even if Jesus had done some miracle by removing them all from the cross, he was a wanted man, being condemned already; he was nonetheless guilty of sin against God. And before God’s holy throne, all men stand guilty of sin; we’re all guilty under the law of God.

You may not be an evildoer, but all men everywhere are condemned already by their sin. Jesus suffered the cross because it was necessary payment for sin as God fulfills His promise to make a way of forgiveness from the curse of sin that all men carry. The curse of sin is in your being; a sinner is who and what you are. “He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.” – John 3:18. You’re going to die, condemned by God already for your crimes; God is holy, somebody has to pay.

The second man continues:

“41 And we indeed justly; for we receive the due reward of our deeds: but this man hath done nothing amiss.”

The thief admitted not only his sin but that his due reward was wrath in the judgment of God. All men are under the verdict of God. All things are His, and every man is judged by His standard. He will heap appropriate consequences upon all men for their deeds. So few hear this profound truth; hell is what you’d undoubtedly get if justice is served. You don’t want justice from God; what you need is mercy. For a criminal, the second man on the cross was at least aware.

The due reward of Christ is His Church. Jesus never sinned. He is the perfect, holy sacrifice to God, once for all, paying for the sins of the world to save the body of Christ, who are His. Nobody has a right by their actions to claim Christ; the Church is His by faith. All those who believe in the hope of forgiveness of sin, seeking heaven instead, belong to Christ the King.

Speaking of Jesus Christ: “22 Who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth: 23 Who, when he was reviled, reviled not again; when he suffered, he threatened not; but committed himself  to him that judgeth righteously: 24 Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed.” – 1 Peter 2:22-24.

Jesus didn’t climb down off the cross, and though they reviled Him, didn’t argue with His accusers, even praying, “Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do.” He held His peace knowing the God who judgeth righteously. Jesus bore our sins, suffering the torment, scourged, beaten, and bloodied; by His stripes, can a man be healed anew.

The second man sought his only hope:

“42 And he said unto Jesus, Lord, remember me when thou comest into thy kingdom.”

The man believed Jesus is Lord; He’s who and what He says is, the holy Christ, Redeemer of sinners, Sovereign over the Kingdom of God. He called Jesus Lord, admitting His power over him and authority over life and death itself; Christ alone determines the eternal state of a man’s soul. All men die, and all men are judged.

So the second thief called upon Jesus as Lord and Saviour, having surrendered to Jesus and to the will of God that in death he would be forgiven from hell so that he could be partaker of the everlasting Kingdom of God with Christ. What a simple and lovely prayer in faith; “Remember me when thou comest into thy kingdom.”

“43 And Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, To day shalt thou be with me in paradise.”

God doesn’t owe us anything, yet proving His love, Christ took the vile evildoer to be His own by accepting that man’s simple faith. This man on the cross could perform no good deed of repentance toward God or make amends. He could perform no religious ceremony or rite, nailed there to a cross with the Son of God; all he could do was ask for mercy. The man could make no restitution, which is the law of God; remaining a criminal under the ordinance of God up to his last breath, by simple faith alone, Christ took the man into His everlasting. We don’t even know his name, but God loved him and saved him. “To day shalt thou be with me in paradise.”

The first man who railed against Christ, as far as the Scripture record indicates, never had faith to be saved. The second man came to the realization of God at the very last moments of life. Had Christ’s crucifixion been any other day, would he have believed in time to be born again?

Appointed by God, no man knows the number of his days on earth or upon what date his body will expire. All men everywhere face the same choice those two sinners met that day: guilty of sin, impending death; one man to eternal damnation, the other by faith to life everlasting with Holy Father God. The difference between a repentant sinner and a man lost to hell is that the sinner admits what he’s done is wrong, and the due reward of punishment by God’s authority is fitting.

At Christ’s great judgment of all men, which side will you be on? Are you the man on Christ’s left hand rejecting God, cursed to hell for all eternity, refusing to admit your sin? “Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels” – Matthew 25:41

Or, are you the man on the right who believes Christ is Lord? “Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world” – Matthew 25:34

Dear Lord, have mercy on me a poor sinner.

Led by Light and Truth

BY PGF
10 months, 2 weeks ago

Psalm 43

God is our judge, advocate, and deliverer. The joy of the Lord exceeds any trial, any wicked worker’s efforts. We are God’s, and He is our praise and resolution when you finally offer yourself to do with as He will. Through Christ, entrance is made unto the altar, be not downtrodden; look up, for there is our hope.

“1 Judge me, O God, and plead my cause against an ungodly nation: O deliver me from the deceitful and unjust man.”

Judge me, plead my cause, and deliver me. It might seem like a fool’s errand asking God to judge you, for all are sinners; “…They are corrupt, they have done abominable works, there is none that doeth good.” – Psalm 14:1. No man is truly righteous.

Foremost, God is the judge, but Christ, seated at the Father’s right hand, has satisfied God’s justice for every sinner. Having suffered the cross for you, making payment for your sin, and risen again in the power and light of the truth of eternal life, show your cause, therefore, to Jesus Christ that He might stand good before the throne, by faith, for you.

Bought by Christ, sealed by the Holy Spirit of promise as the day of redemption approaches, having faith in Jesus up until the last, you are no fool. The religion of the saints to the world is foolishness; the lost are self-assured, having found the Rock, but of offense and stumbled at the word; disobedient to the truth; the fool hath said in his heart, There is no God. But at that particular marker, the head of the corner tried and true who is Christ Jesus upon which God’s men stand, we know our judgment is not of an end but looking for, by His good graces, and receiving daily by His mercies, refreshing anew; we are made free from the law of sin and death. We walk in the glorious forgiveness of deliverance.

And what a poignant prayer we find in Psalm the Forty Third; for what Christian doesn’t face an abundance of sin without, wickedness at every turn, and devils in every corner? Our cause is just. Our nation has turned into a rotting carcass hung out festering, and flies are circling every enterprise of society; ravenous jackals are looting the treasury. But it’s at every level; sin is so pervasive making contact with any aspect of culture seems like an exercise in which being drenched in filth is the primary purpose. Do all of Christ’s men see? Will they stand by? We need a judge, but we are indeed at the hands of the Just One.

Babylon, spiritual Egypt, and Sodom is no place for the weak of faith; viewing in any direction, we see judgment, which will worsen. There’s no escape but into the arms, by our prayer, of a loving, holy God who is full of tender mercies. The godless will pay for what they’ve done, but the millstone of God’s justice grinds at a cosmic pace that no man can affect. Sometimes, it’s generations in the making before rectitude is served.

Deceit and injustice go together; hateful children of wrath and disobedience have chosen darkness, thinking it a game; these two are their bread and butter of sin. Repayment will come. Most look for an earthbound solution, and perhaps God will still show His unmerited favor toward us. But it’s a silly attempt to grab a dustpan of one sort or another as the West disintegrates, hoping to clean up the ash heap. No, deliverance for the saint residing in the perseverance of the faith is in the Father’s strength, looking toward the throne of God and of the Lamb; a cleansing fire is coming, even as with David, a man says, “teacheth my hands to war, and my fingers to fight.”

For the young in faith asking of our Creator to both be our representative pleading of your cause and the judge to hear your case may seem, without prayerful consideration, to be somewhat irrational. But, “The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God.” – Romans 8:16. Therefore, God is our mediator and chief justice, the highest Judge of all His creation in every domain. “…for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.” – Romans 8:26

“…plead my cause against an ungodly nation.” Even in the frustrations of a sin-cursed dying republic, God knows our case and cause. He hears our prayers even when it’s no more than a perturbed exclamation of disgust at the evil all around. And take heart, any injustice to God’s people is an injustice to Him; “Seeing it is a righteous thing with God to recompense tribulation to them that trouble you” – 1 Thessalonians 1:6. Maintain your ways for you are His; the Lord loves the upright and righteous man; He delivers from the unjust.

“2 For thou art the God of my strength: why dost thou cast me off? why go I mourning because of the oppression of the enemy?”

The questions are rhetorical, for we belong to Christ. Be not forgetful of where our strength comes, tested by the law and found guilty, pushed by the world yet found a man changed by Christ, strained by the flesh and the devil and seeing it all repugnant, being a son in the Kingdom of God, chosen in Him, fear not, He will strengthen you, be not dismayed for He is God and will help you. By upholding you with the right hand of His righteousness, held close by Him to the fortress of faith, believe in the Lord.

Christ declares, for without me ye can do nothing. Though seemingly cast off by God for a season, that most pleasant of warm spring breezes, full of sweetness, the Holy Spirit of God arrives right on time when we finally offer ourselves in service. For that’s what God wants, all of you, for His will and great purposes in heaven and earth to bring Him acclaim. Worldly Christians confuse the Kingdom as outer darkness with trouble and toil but the world as happiness; this ought not to be so. God is getting His glory; that’s the judgment of a people, and though they rage, the heathen will know that Christ is Lord. Though you may sometimes feel like the outcast as God cleanses, His people stand the test; if you are steadfast, you, a child of the mighty King, will not be moved.

Sieged by enemies on all sides, Christian oppression and persecution are at the doorstep, but there’s good news. You can’t say the name of Christ without hitting a sinner right between the eyes. Our state today is enough to make one mourn as a funeral dirge sung low for damned souls, but why? We are not damned. The Gospel is in us; the Truth both knows us and we know Him. Tell somebody the truth of Jesus Christ, which is your primary duty in the Kingdom of God. We were all enemies of God at one time, and many believers were the mortal enemy of the brethren who are now his fellows. Tell your enemy of the victory our King has brought to those who fear by faith.

“3 O send out thy light and thy truth: let them lead me; let them bring me unto thy holy hill, and to thy tabernacles.”

The world is desperately in need of God’s light and truth. The blinded man sees the darkness as light, hoping in the things of this world: “And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light.” – 2 Corinthians 11:14. But the serpent is a defeated foe; have no part with him. “Ye are all the children of light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness.” – 1 Thessalonians 5:5. Jesus loves you, fear not.

On the very first day, the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters, and God brought forth light. And He divided the light from the darkness. And again, at the arrival of God’s sacrifice, His Lamb, at the advent of the New Covenant, this same light was made manifest and shined in darkness, but the darkness comprehended it not. To say the dark rejects the light is true, though, in the end, it can’t resist.

For millions, the light of God and Jesus Christ our Lord disrupts their spirit, for if it’s all true, their entire world-life view and everything they’ve been taught and everything they thought they knew comes crashing down around them. If Christ be raised from the dead, suddenly, the mortal soul is at once both imperiled but offered to be partaker of the light in the glorious Kingdom of God; every soul must choose: heaven or hell. Jesus is the way; no man cometh unto the Father but by Christ. And Christ is the true Light which lights every man’s soul. “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.” – James 1:17

What more excellent a gift than that of eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord? Continuing in the light of divine favor and boundless grace will lead a man to the center of God’s desire for him, up the holy hill before the throne of the Almighty in praise and worship to bring Him glory and honor. “And the temple of God was opened in heaven, and there was seen in his temple the ark of his testament: and there were lightnings, and voices, and thunderings, and an earthquake, and great hail.” – Revelation 11:19

Put off thy shoes, for this is sacred ground, yet in your mortal body, it’s a fearful moment to come near to the throne. Here is truth: God is perfect, holy, and just. All things are His, made by Him and for Him. Let the light and the truth of God lead you to His tabernacles; come into the love of Christ Jesus, cry unto Him, “Let my supplication come before thee: deliver me according to thy word.” –  Psalm 119:170

“4 Then will I go unto the altar of God, unto God my exceeding joy: yea, upon the harp will I praise thee, O God my God.”

Make your offerings there at the altar; the veil is rent in two making the way, the Kingdom of God and of His Christ is at hand; with His own blood, he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal mercy for us. “Which hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast, and which entereth into that within the veil” – Hebrews 6:19. The approach is now open; Jesus Christ has made the way to the altar in heaven. For the once offering of Christ is sufficient for all creatures to seek redemption, to be filled to overflowing abundance with joy and praise and upon instruments, singing and shouting; worthy is the Lamb. Praise ye the Lord.

“5 Why art thou cast down, O my soul? and why art thou disquieted within me? hope in God: for I shall yet praise him, who is the health of my countenance, and my God.”

The downcast soul is profoundly saddening, like a lion who’s lost his roar. But the valley of the shadow of death is also where Christ may be found; “…for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.” – Psalm 23:4. All men have the right of petition unto God for His mercy in salvation. But the suffering saint has an inner chamber of approach unto the holiest of all before the everlasting Father, for rights of imprecatory prayer against the oppressor and the privilege of drawing ever closer to God for the comfort of His guiding hand. The man that touches the saint touches the apple of God’s eye; woe to the man.

The terror of God is the enemy of all wickedness; nothing can stand in the day of God’s wrath. Every injury to His Church is another flaming coal of brimstone heaped upon the head of the ungodly. Why seek the adoration of men instead of the praises of God, for in service of Him, works of faith and labor of love, is the patience of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ, in the sight of God the Father.

The ungrateful heart is ugly. Why, indeed, knowing all things by His word and living in a better covenant with Christ, are we cast down and disquieted? Keep your eye on the Saviour, for He is our hope. Hope is intricate and demanding; it requires constant prayer, reading of the word, and gathering with other saints; hope without faith is no hope at all. “For we are saved by hope: but hope that is seen is not hope: for what a man seeth, why doth he yet hope for?” – Romans 8:24. Hope in Christ, though now unseen, He is never far off.

Nobody wants to praise God when their soul is disquieted, but in the praises themselves come the realization of hope, and from hope, a glimmer of light, then Light. “Praise ye the LORD. Praise God in his sanctuary: praise him in the firmament of his power.” – Psalm 15:1. God inhabits the praises of His people.

Worry and prayer are not the same thing; to go from one to the other, ask simply who is Jesus Christ, in whom all praises of gladness are found. The countenance of a man is changed by honor before God, upheld by His power, and uplifted to fight another day. Judged of God, yet pardoned, and further offered life in the glorious presence of our Saviour, we hope in the appearing of the Lord for He soon comes for everyone that is His. “Thanks be unto God for his unspeakable gift.” – 2 Corinthians 9:15

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Lessons Learned

BY PGF
10 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


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