Friday, August 28, 2020

Solomon’s Portico - A Thin Place (Portal)

 
What is the Eternal and Perpetual Significance of Solomon’s Portico and Its Twin Pillars?

There are only two objects in the construction of the First or Solomon’s Temple that received names.  In effect they are anthropomorphic (a non-human object given human characteristics). 

“He cast two bronze pillars, each eighteen cubits high and twelve cubits in circumference. He erected the pillars at the portico of the temple. The pillar to the south he named Jakin and the one to the north Boaz.” 1 Kings 7:15, 21

the balance of evidence appears to favour the view that Jachin and Boaz were monuments erected in the porch, to dignify the sanctuary, and to symbolize the power and eternity of the Being to whom it was dedicated P.C. (Pulpit Commentary)


Righteousness and Justice 

Jakin was a priest - he shall establish - righteousness “Let Your priests be clothed with righteousness, And let Your godly ones sing for joy.” Psalm 132:9 

Boaz was a prince - in it (Him) is strength - justice “The strength of the King loves justice;” Psalm 99:4

These two pillars supported the roof of Solomon’s portico - porch.  “Righteousness and justice are the foundation of Your throne; Lovingkindness and truth go before You.” Psalm 89:14 

Primarily in Scripture we see the king as God’s chosen instrument of justice - while His chosen instrument of righteousness is the priest. 


New Testament Times

“it was winter, and Jesus was walking in the temple in the portico of Solomon.” John 10:23  It was on the Eastern side of the temple. The warmth and glow of the sun arises in the east as does its herald the Morning Star. “I am the Root and the Offspring of David, and the bright Morning Star." Revelation 22:16 

At the hands of the apostles many signs and wonders were taking place among the people; and they were all with one accord in Solomon's portico. Acts 5:12

In the days of Christ and His Apostles all that remained of the First Temple where the Glory of God dwelt was Solomon’s Portico. In the Fulness of Christ the Glory of God once again came to the Temple - to the only part that remained from the First. Yet, now it is no longer confined to the inner sanctuary to beheld by only a few - it is now to beheld by all, even the Gentiles. 

The Portico of Solomon led the way into the Court of the Gentiles.  All worshipers must pass between Jakin (righteousness) and Boaz (justice) to enter the Temple Courts.  

When Jesus cleansed the Temple it was the Court of the Gentiles that was cleansed.  He passed through Solomon’s Portico to get there.  ‘“The Jews hoped that the Messiah would cleanse the temple of Gentiles, but Jesus cleansed the temple for the Gentiles.” Christ judged the wicked and showed grace to His chosen in the very same act. God always shows mercy in the midst of judgment, but only those who trust in Him receive that grace.’  R.C. Sproul 

The roof was supported by the two pillars or columns thus it is often referred to as Solomon’s Colonnade. 


Signs And Wonders

While he clung to Peter and John, all the people, utterly astounded, ran together to them in the portico called Solomon’s. And when Peter saw it he addressed the people: “Men of Israel, why do you wonder at this, or why do you stare at us, as though by our own power or piety we have made him walk? The God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, the God of our fathers, glorified his servant Jesus,” Acts 3:11-13 

Flavius Josephus writes of it: “the work of king Solomon, who first founded the whole temple.''  The historic writings of Josephus give an eyewitness account to the First and Second Temples, as well as Herod's Temple, all shared the same fore-mentioned east wall of the Temple complex. The east boundary line of the Temple complex never changed. Josephus was clear that Herod refused to let his builders make any changes in the ancient works of the east wall because of the great expense. Herod allowed the construction of new courts on the north, west and south sides of the Temple but the east wall remained intact and undisturbed.

Although it was completely destroyed in 70AD by the Romans (They will not leave one stone on another, because you did not recognize the time of your visitation from God.") the foundation on which the pillars rested remains - longingly.   

So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints, and are of God’s household,  having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus Himself being the corner stone, Ephesians 2:19 -20 

"I also say to you that you are Peter, and upon this rock (foundation stone) I will build My church; and the gates of Hades will not overpower it.” Matthew 16:18 


This is where Jesus walks!  

The porch of Solomon was no doubt a special place for Jesus. It was here that Jesus was seen often, speaking and teaching the people or just walking, as in John 10 during the festival of "lamps" or chanukkah, which commemorates the re-dedication of the temple and of God to His people. Later, after His death his disciples gathered here often.

All have access!  Just as they did at the tabernacle of David.  The portico was named after David’s son - but it would represent the Presence of great David’s Greater Son.  Solomon’s throne would come down while the Throne of the Messiah would endure forever.  “Behold, the days are coming, declares the LORD, when I will raise up for David a righteous Branch, and he shall reign as king and deal wisely, and shall execute justice and righteousness in the land.”  Jeremiah 23:5 

“Clouds and thick darkness surround Him; Righteousness and justice are the foundation of His throne.”  Psalm 97:2


A Spiritual Reality - A Portal 

Let the reader understand that I am not talking about rebuilding another physical building for God destroyed the first and successive ones for a reason.  To attempt to do so would be akin to the building of the tower of Babel.  “But I saw no temple in the city, because the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are its temple.” Revelation 21:22 

For Solomon’s Portico was not only a porch - it was a portal.  The Celts would call it a “thin place” or a horizon - where heaven and earth come close.  The only portico that will be re-built is the one built by Christ Himself. “I will build my church...” I believe I heard Him say that it would be His - thus it would go by no other name. 

The twin pillars represented an opening - door-way - through which the King of Glory Himself would enter. “Lift up your heads, O gates (opening), And be lifted up, O ancient doors (entrance way), That the King of glory may come in!” Psalm 24:7  

As with the rest of the temple it was built true - level and plumb.  “I will make justice the measuring (level) line and righteousness the plumb line;” Isaiah 28:17a NIV  

But the LORD of Hosts will be exalted by His justice, and the holy God will show Himself holy in righteousness. Isaiah 5:16 


The Latter Glory

'The latter glory of this house will be greater than the former,' says the LORD of hosts (Heaven’s Armies), 'and in this place I will give peace,' declares the LORD of hosts." Haggai 2:9  Although there is a warfare motif here, the word peace doesn’t just mean the absence of war.  We transliterate it as “shalom” which means welfare, health, prosperity. 

These words of the prophet reference the building of the Second Temple under Zerubbabel (prince) and Joshua (priest).  “But the promise is not fulfilled by this; the peace promised to the spiritual temple is that peace of heart and conscience which is given by him who is the Prince of Peace (Isaiah 9:6), and which includes all the graces of the Christian covenant.”  "This house" means the temple at Jerusalem, regard not being paid to the special building, whether of Solomon, or Zerubbabel, or Herod. To us it speaks of the promise of Christ, God incarnate, in the holy city and in the temple itself, and of his presence in the Church, wherein he abides forever. P.C. 

The first temple was built by the king (Solomon) whose name is "Peaceful;" the second is glorified by the presence of the "Peace bringer.”  P.C.  "The scepter shall not depart from Judah, Nor the ruler's staff from between his feet, Until Shiloh (Peace-maker) comes, And to him shall be the obedience of the peoples.” Genesis 49:10  Shiloh can also mean “he whose right it is.”

I will establish your royal throne over Israel forever, as I promised David your father when I said, ‘You shall never fail to have a successor on the throne of Israel.’ 1 Kings 9:5 


Priests and Kings 

Thus when Shiloh came - He walked in what had prefigured His coming - Solomon’s Portico. “He was in the Temple, walking through the section known as Solomon’s Colonnade.” John 10:23  Whose supporting columns are those of righteousness and justice - priests and kings.  “and has made us kings and priests to His God and Father, to Him be glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.” Revelation 1:6  

Solomon was a type of priest-king for the Queen of Sheba said to him: "Blessed be the LORD your God who delighted in you, setting you on His throne as king for the LORD your God; because your God loved Israel establishing them forever, therefore He made you king over them, to do justice and righteousness."  2 Chronicles 9:8


The Regeneration

At the consummation - regeneration - Christ will return through the Portico of Solomon - between Jakin and Boaz. This temple will be a spiritual one - impervious to destruction by the hands of men - eternal in the heavenlies. “But when Christ appeared as a high priest of the good things to come, He entered through the greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say, not of this creation;” Hebrews 9:11


 Epilogue

Enter His gates with thanksgiving And His courts with praise. Give thanks to Him, bless His name. Psalm 100:4





Saturday, June 13, 2020

The Shedding of Innocent Blood - A Landed Sin

Surely at the command of the LORD it came upon Judah, to remove them from His sight because of the sins of Manasseh, according to all that he had done, and also for the innocent blood which he shed, for he filled Jerusalem with innocent blood; and the LORD would not forgive.  2 Kings 24:3-4

How did Manasseh shed innocent blood?  “Also he made his son pass through the fire, practiced soothsaying, used witchcraft, and consulted spiritists and mediums. He did much evil in the sight of the LORD, to provoke Him to anger.”  2 Kings 21:6

Not Like Other Sins

The slaughter of innocent blood is not just like other sins for it is unique in its gravity. If the shedding of innocent blood is just like other sins then why was Manasseh forgiven yet judgement still came upon Judah as a nation?

"They have built the high places of Topheth, which is in the valley of the son of Hinnom, to burn their sons and their daughters in the fire, which I did not command, and it did not come into My mind.” Jeremiah 7:31  

“You must not give any of your children to be sacrificed to Molech, for you must not profane the name of your God. I am the LORD.”  Leviticus 18:21

Profanes the Name of the Lord

The shedding of innocent blood is such a grievous sin for it profanes the Name of the Lord.  Why?  For it is a mockery of the all atoning sacrifice of the Lamb of God and treads underfoot the blood of the covenant. There remains “but a fearful expectation of judgment, and a fury of fire that will consume the adversaries of God.” 

They shed innocent blood--the blood of their sons and daughters, whom they sacrificed to the idols of Canaan, and the land was polluted with blood. Psalm 106:38 

Pollutes The Land

This is the only sin of which it says it has polluted the land - making it infertile. Even though Manasseh repented, the judgement of God was still upon the land.  As a result Judah was carried away into captivity even as her sister Israel also had been.

Innocent blood cries out from the ground (land) and its cry will not go unrequited. It is a national sin. Thus God could pardon Manasseh an individual - but He could not pardon the nation unless the nation repented. 

It is a landed sin - thus it is like no other. “Do not pollute the land where you live, for bloodshed pollutes the land, and no atonement can be made for the land on which the blood is shed, except by the blood of the one who shed it.” Numbers 35:23 

Its Voice Cries Out

He said, "What have you done? The voice of your brother's blood is crying to Me from the ground.”  Genesis 4:10 “so that on you may come all the righteous blood shed on earth, from the blood of righteous Abel...”  Matthew 23:35

There is nothing more righteousness than innocent blood for it has not yet been tainted.

A nation or a people that will not defend the rights of the most innocent - the children in the womb - lies under a curse and it or they cannot prosper for their righteous blood cries out as a witness against them.

Then He Will Hear

As we call out in repentance for the shedding of the innocent blood of our children may we hope that it is not too late for our land - nation - to be healed.  “then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.”

Authentic repentance is much more than just saying “I am sorry” with no change of behavior.  “Repent, therefore, and turn again, for the blotting out of your sins,” Acts 3:19 Repentance must come full circle or it is only remorse - I am sorry I got caught. The mere assuagement of guilt feelings is not repentance. It might make one feel better for awhile - but it will produce no lasting fruit of repentance. 

For a nation (ethnos) to repent there must be a change of behavior. If we continue in our same patterns we need not expect times of refreshing from the presence of the Lord.  All that remains is to be carried off into captivity as the nation of Judah was.

“It was because of the LORD's anger that all this happened to Jerusalem and Judah, and in the end he thrust them from his presence.” 2 Kings 24:20 

Friday, April 3, 2020

Disillusionment or Disenchantment

“One thing I know: that though I was blind, now I see.” John 9:25

Do not let the mission get ahead - eclipse - the vision or we will lose our way.

There may be light, but it will be pseudo - a phantasm - nothing more than a will-o’-the-wisp that will only lead astray.  

The vision determines the mission - not the other way around. The mission is unsustainable without the vision.  The vision is unattainable without the mission. Vision shows the way - mission makes the way. 

Democratic or Republican 

A democracy is mission oriented - focusing on the immediate only promising quick fixes while doomed to exhaustion and failure. Her call is that of the siren’s song. She squanders the legacy of future generations leaving them bankrupt. Illusionary... It will only produce the bitter fruit of disappointment.  As to stewardship it is prodigal - creating insecurity. It is lethargic.1

A republic is vision oriented - harnessing the required resources toward the goal and is thus self-rejuvenating for it always sows back creating a return on investment.  It guarantees a legacy for future generations to build upon - a firm foundation.  Substantive...  It produces the luscious fruit of hope - which will not disappoint. As to stewardship it is faithful - creating security.  It is vigorous.  

That is why the Republic of the United State of America has survived as long as it has. But we are now facing a crux - will we head off into oblivion or will we fulfill to the utmost quota our destiny? 

Disillusionment or Disenchantment 

If we are disillusioned the illusion remains, but if we are disenchanted the spell is broken. Disillusionment produces disappointment - disenchantment leads to hope.

“Disillusionment keeps us inside the paradigm, trying to fix the broken thing, and disenchantment, moves us outside the box, and that is when real change and transition take place.” William Bridges via Doug Small 

Are we persuaded - or are we deluded?

“because I know whom I have believed and am persuaded that he is able to guard what has been entrusted to me until that day.” 2 Timothy 1:12

“T'was blind but now I see...”  John Newton 

If we are sitting around trying to figure out what to do next that is ample evidence that we have succumbed to the illusion.


Sunday, March 22, 2020

The Power of Covenant Love

We are longer the outcasts of fear - we are seated at the covenant table of God the Father who has accepted us in His Beloved Son. 

“So the two of them made a covenant before the LORD; and David stayed at Horesh while Jonathan went to his house.”  1 Samuel 23:18

Although Jonathan along with his father Saul were now dead - the covenant was still in effect. Jonathan’s covenant brother was now David the King - no longer an outcast. So the survivor implored...

A Remnant

David asked, “Is there anyone still left of the house of Saul to whom I can show kindness for Jonathan’s sake?” 2 Samuel 9:1 God always has a covenant remnant - ‘Isaiah cries out concerning Israel: "Though the number of the Israelites be like the sand by the sea, only the remnant will be saved.”’ Romans 9:27 

Ziba answered the king, “There is still a son of Jonathan; he is lame in both feet.” 2 Samuel 9:3b  (Jonathan, the son of Saul, had a son who was crippled in his feet. He was five years old when the news about Saul and Jonathan came from Jezreel, and his nurse took him up and fled, and as she fled in her haste, he fell and became lame. And his name was Mephibosheth. 2 Samuel 4:4)

We are lame (with fear) in our feet - we are unable to come to Him - He must come to us. 'This is what the Sovereign LORD says: “Come, breath, from the four winds and breathe into these slain, that they may live.'" Ezekiel 37:9 

He Bids

When He bids us come He also provides the means to come.  Mephibosheth was not the only son of Saul remaining - but he was the one chosen.  “We are not chosen because we are choice - we become choice as a result of being chosen.” D.A. Carson 

“So King David had him brought from Lo Debar, from the house of Makir son of Ammiel.” 2 Samuel 9:5

“Oh God, grant what Thou commandest, and command what Thou dost desire,” St. Augustine  What the King commands He provides the will to do and the corresponding strength. For we are born again not by the exercise of our “free-will” but by the will of God. 

"All that the Father gives Me will come to Me, and the one who comes to Me I will certainly not cast out.” John 6:37

Love Conquers

For love conquers fear every time.  “There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love.” 1 John 4:18 

“Don’t be afraid,” David said to him, “for I will surely show you kindness for the sake of your father Jonathan. I will restore to you all the land that belonged to your grandfather Saul, and you will always eat at my table.” 2 Samuel 9:7

Later when vengeance was exacted on the remaining sons of Saul for what he had done to the Gibeonites there was one who was spared.  “But the king spared Mephibosheth, the son of Saul’s son Jonathan, because of the oath of the LORD that was between them, between David and Jonathan the son of Saul.”  

A Seed 

So that a seed may sprout it is the chosen ones who remain as it was with Mephibosheth who was a son of covenant. In the Biblical narrative the ones that are taken are the ones that are destroyed. “Having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end.” John 13:1 

Chosen ones - you are children of the Covenant cut on your behalf by Great David’s Greater Son.  And He decrees to you - ‘This was to fulfill the word that he had spoken: “Of those whom you gave me I have lost not one.”’ John 18:9  

As for Me,” says the LORD, “this is My covenant with them: My Spirit who is upon you, and My words which I have put in your mouth, shall not depart from your mouth, nor from the mouth of your descendants, nor from the mouth of your descendants’ descendants,” says the LORD, “from this time and forevermore.” Isaiah 59:21 

Solus Christus 


Thursday, March 19, 2020

Who are the sons of God? And what is their purpose?

“For the anxious longing of the creation waits eagerly for the revealing of the sons of God.” Romans 8:19  The longing of creation is for its regeneration. The chosen instrumentality of God for this purpose is a royal priesthood - that is kings and priests.

Then he said, "These are the two anointed ones (sons of the oil) who are standing by the Lord of the whole earth." Zechariah 4:14 Literally they are Joshua the Priest and  Zerubbabel the Prince.  It is not so much who they were, but what they are. They are the implements of God to establish the place of His Presence in the earth with a view to the regeneration of all things - both in the heavens and on the earth.  

Shekinah 

Of course it was under them that the Second Temple was built - but it had not the Presence of God as the First Temple had under Solomon. Yet it was a harbinger of the day when the Shekinah of God would enter its chambers in the Person of the Son of God.  Still in the purpose of God it had to be laid low as it was in 70AD so that the people of God would no longer mistake a building for the true residence of His Presence which was to be His people - “But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.” 1 Peter 2:9  

Jesus said to them, "Truly I tell you, at the renewal of all things [regeneration], when the Son of Man sits on his glorious throne, you who have followed me will also sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.” Matthew 19:28

There was a brief glimpse of this 160 years before Christ under the Maccabean dynasty who served both as priests and kings - but it was only a foreshadow of what was to come. “The hundred-year reign of the Maccabean priest-kings may be seen as a distant cousin of the thousand-year reign of the Messiah’s people, the “reigning priesthood,” in Revelation 20:6.” Wright, N. T.. The Day the Revolution Began (p. 128). HarperOne. Kindle Edition. 

Please understand that this reference is not about a futuristic period of time - but about the present reality of the Messiah’s current reign.  The number 1000 signifies infinity - a rule without end. As to the Book of the Revelation it is a benediction - the bestowing of a blessing.  "The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of His Christ; and He will reign forever and ever." Revelation 11:15  

(This was a kind of John the Baptist era (intertestamental) - preparing the way for the ‘Millennial’ Kingdom.  For his father was a priest and his mother was of the Davidic line - a king.)  

Reign 

“and made us kings and priests to our God, and we will reign on earth."  Revelation 5:10 “the future of redeemed mankind is not one in which the earth is discarded or eliminated. As the earth is an integral part of God’s creation, the renewal of creation includes the new earth as well as the new heaven.”  Philip E. Hughes

The Reign of Christ is authenticated by Kings and Priests.  They represent its present reality.  This is just not about restoration which is looking back to the way things used to be - but about regeneration, looking forward to the way things will become. “But in keeping with his promise we are looking forward to a new heaven and a new earth, where righteousness dwells.” 2 Peter 3:13 

“In the exercise of His will He brought us forth by the word of truth, so that we would be a kind of first fruits among His creatures.” James 1:18

There is no greater witness to God's goodness than that which is written upon the dome of heaven, even the regeneration of man. As the old creation was "by the Word" (John 1:3; John 1:10, et seq.), the new is by Him also, the Logos, the Word of Truth, and that by means of His everlasting gospel, delivered in the power of the Holy Ghost. So tenderly is this declared, that a maternal phrase is used--God brought us forth in the new birth; and though "a woman" may forget "the son of her womb" (Isaiah 49:15), yet will He "never leave, nor forsake" (Hebrews 13:5).  Charles Ellicott 

Oneness

The two - sons of the oil - must work hand in hand for they are one in purpose.  “to the building up of the body of Christ; until we all attain to the unity (oneness) of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a mature man, to the measure of the stature which belongs to the fullness of Christ.” 

As Christ prepared to arise from the Covenant Table of Blessing this petition burst forth from His soon to be wounded heart to the Ancient of Days. “I do not ask for these only, but also for those who will believe in me through their word,  that they may all be one, just as you, Father, are in me, and I in you, that they also may be in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me. The glory that you have given me I have given to them, that they may be one even as we are one,  I in them and you in me, that they may become perfectly one, so that the world may know that you sent me and loved them even as you loved me.” John 17:20-23

Oneness is a function - not just a demonstration.  It is organic - not organizational.  It is of the heart - not of the head.

Our purpose is singular - one!  That is to be image-bearers of the First Born of all creation. “For those whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son, so that He would be the firstborn among many brethren;” Romans 8:29 

“the reign of the infinitely gracious Jehovah is the hope of mankind, and when they all yield to it the race will have its paradise restored. The very globe itself may well be glad that its Maker and liege Lord has come to his own, and the whole race of man may also be glad, since to every willing subject Jesus brings untold blessings.” The Treasury Of David - C.H. Spurgeon

Soli Deo Gloria! 


Tuesday, March 10, 2020

The Frog In The Kettle...”And To The Republic!”

“The United States shall guarantee to every State in this Union a Republican Form of government … ” Article IV Section 4, of the Constitution

We are slowly being boiled to death and we don’t even realize it.  Several of our current slate of presidential candidates have announced their intention to abolish the Electoral College if elected.  Since this is a foundational tenant of our Republic this is nothing less than an intention to dismantle that which has stood in good stead for well over two centuries. In effect they are announcing an attempt at a coup. 

THE IDEA

Eric Metaxes writes - “For such a thing to happen is typical of ideas in history. Once they become settled or codified into institutions, the temptation is to look to the institution that was created by the idea and eventually to forget the idea and mistake the institution for the idea.”  If You Can Keep It - The Forgotten Promise Of American Liberty - p. 183 

We have lost sight of the grand idea - vision - of a Republican Form of government that was birthed into reality by our Founding Fathers.  A Republic is the only guarantor of a government of “We the people...” for it protects the rights of each individual.  A democracy gives sway for the rights of the few to be trampled under the feet of the majority. This results in the usurpation of the grand organic idea for the doddering bureaucracy of an all encompassing institution.  In short the Grand Republican Idea lies prostrate beneath the jackboot heel of suffocating grinding institutional “democratic” socialism.

“I predict future happiness for Americans, if they can prevent the government from wasting the labors of the people under the pretense of taking care of them.”
― Thomas Jefferson 

INJUSTICE

I could never quail to note that the first ones to suffer injustice under such a regime would be the most vulnerable - the unborn person.  For the devotees of “democratic socialism” maintain they have no rights - that is the right to life.  This is a travesty of unimaginable proportions. 

In a furious attempt to build a better furnace the fire on the inside has gone out and no one notices. There is no longer any heat or light but we continue on our way beguiling unaware of what has transpired. By giving heed to the alluring siren call of free this and free that our Republican Liberty has been dashed upon the treacherous rocks of enslavement.  The debris of the idea lies awash - being tossed to and fro by the unrelenting waves of deception.  

REAL LIBERTY 

Alexander Hamilton asserted that "We are now forming a Republican form of government. Real liberty is not found in the extremes of democracy, but in moderate governments. If we incline too much to democracy we shall soon shoot into a monarchy, or some other form of a dictatorship."  Hamilton, in the last letter he ever wrote, warned that "our real disease…is DEMOCRACY." 

Even Fox News has fallen into this pitcher plant of malaise for they are calling their election coverage “Democracy 2020.” 

“I am a Republican, a black, dyed in the wool Republican, and I never intend to belong to any other party than the party of freedom and progress.”  Frederick Douglass

Sunday, March 1, 2020

Social Justice and Socialism are not the same thing!

“Righteousness and justice are the foundation of Your throne; Lovingkindness and truth go before You.”  Psalm 89:14  “Now this was the sin of your sister Sodom: She and her daughters were arrogant, overfed and unconcerned; they did not help the poor and needy.” Ezekiel 16:49 

“Social” Justice is a hand up. It is liberation.  It allows you to dream your dream.  “I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.” (Social justice is a commonly accepted term but it is non-Biblical.  In the Bible it is just justice.)

True freedom comes through earning your stuff.  “Owe nothing to anyone except to love one another; for he who loves his neighbor has fulfilled the law.” Romans 13:8

Justice causes one to turn toward God as Provider who will supply all of our needs according to His riches in Glory - and for His purpose. .

It engenders the worship of the One True God.

And He never did say that His provision would not be spelled w.o.r.k.  “...but those who work hard will prosper.” Proverbs 13:4 NLT 

In a Republic freedom is guaranteed and initiative is encouraged. Our Founding Fathers who formed our Republican form of government had the foresight to see what would make this nation a great bastion of free-enterprise.  

Contrary to what socialist would say this nation along with its plethora of humanitarian enterprises is the greatest benefactor this world has ever seen.   

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Socialism is a hand-out - or a hand down.  It is oppressive - bondage - enslavement.  It steals your dream. "The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy;...”  It creates despondent dependency from which there seems to be no escape. 

Free stuff is not freedom.  It creates a form of serfdom to the supposed benefactor from which true freedom can never be attained. 

Socialism is ‘a turning away from the living God to worship idols; that this results in giving to the idols—“forces” within the creation—a power over humans and the world that was rightfully that of genuine humans; and that this leads to a slavery, which is ultimately the rule of death itself, the corruption and destruction of the good world made by the Creator.’  Wright, N. T.. The Day the Revolution Began (p. 86). HarperOne. Kindle Edition. 
It is the worship of the creature (idolatry) rather than the Creator Who is Blessed forever. 

“Now such persons we command and exhort in the Lord Jesus Christ to work in quiet fashion and eat their own bread.”  2 Thessalonians 3:2 

In a democracy freedom is forfeited and enterprise is quashed.  Thus we have “democratic socialism.” For democracy is the breeding ground of socialism - it was abhorred by our Founding Fathers. 

Socialism is a facade - hiding the true intent of its supposed adherents. “Why wasn’t this perfume sold and the money given to the poor? It was worth a year’s wages.”  He did not say this because he cared about the poor but because he was a thief; John 12:5-6

Wednesday, February 26, 2020

A Change of Address or a Change of Vocation?

An abdication of responsibility or a revolution of purpose!  

As evangelicals might we no longer determine our success - or worse yet, our worth - by how many souls are saved to go to heaven when they die or how many exhilarating services we have within the confines of the “church house” - but rather how many beings are called and commissioned to make a difference where they live right now with a vision toward the new heavens and a new earth.  This vision if fully embraced will lead to a drastic change in our mission for vision determines mission.  And to authentic discipleship. 

DELIVERED

What does it really mean to be delivered from the domain of darkness and to be translated into the Kingdom of His Dear Son?  It has to mean more than just to have a change of address from hell to heaven. After all the Son in His instructions on prayer urged that our entreaty to the Father would be that His will be done on the earth as it is being done right now in the heavenly realm.

"The New Testament, with the story of Jesus’s crucifixion at its center, is about God’s kingdom coming on earth as in heaven. This is, after all, what Jesus taught his followers to pray. That is a rather obvious piece of evidence, though people regularly ignore it in practice."  Wright, N. T., The Day the Revolution Began (p. 40). HarperOne. Kindle Edition.

HIDDEN JEWEL

Possibly the most hidden jewel of the Reformation is Luther’s Doctrine of Vocation.  To say again: “The doctrine of vocation is one of the greatest—though strangely neglected and forgotten—teachings of the Reformation.”  It is most certainly no avocation. 

“Vocation, says Luther, is a “mask” of God: We see only the human face, performing ordinary tasks in everyday life, but behind that calling, through which we are blessed, God himself is hidden, giving his gifts.”  Gene Veith - The Gospel Coalition 

May we no longer ascribe to the erroneous concept of being bi-vocational.  It is all God!  I refer to myself as being omni-vocational.  “For in Him all things were created, things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities. All things were created through Him and for Him.” Colossians 1:16  There are no exceptions!  

“PARA-CHURCH”

May we with one voice sound the death knell of “para-church” for church is not something we go to - it is where and who we are in Him. “And He put all things in subjection under His feet, and gave Him as head over all things to the church, which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills all in all.” Ephesians 1:22-23 The church is not a place - it is His Presence. 

In Him every day is sacred - a Sabbath.  In Him every place is consecrated  - holy unto the LORD, as a field devoted - an Ebenezer.  In Him every believer is sanctified - a Royal Priesthood.  The voice spoke to him a second time: "Do not call anything impure that God has made clean." Acts 10:15 

ASSIGNMENT

“Only let each person lead the life that the Lord has assigned to him, and to which God has called him. This is my rule in all the churches.” 1 Corinthians 7:17  Each of us has an assignment in this current life to which the Lord has called us.  Paul had an assignment in his life that was more important than going to heaven until his course had been fully run.  Each one of us also has a foreordained call from our Faithful Father that we must not neglect.  “For we are His workmanship (masterpiece), created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.” Ephesians 2:10 

We are not called to escapism - we are called to stewardship.  If we are looking forward to the return of Christ as we should, it must not be enshrouded in a false concept of rapturism - but at the joyous prospect of the regeneration of all things.

REGENERATION 

Where did He say He was going to take His disciples and us (John 14:2)?  The Fatherhood of God which is where He came from and to which He was returning.  This place of abiding was going to come to them as a present reality - not an ethereal existence in the bye and bye (John 14:23). In this present age we are His image-bearers that He might be the First of a great company.

“I am suggesting that in the Bible humans are created in order to live as worshipping stewards within God’s heaven-and-earth reality, rather than as beings who, by moral perfection, qualify to leave “earth” and go to “heaven” instead.”  Wright, N. T.. The Day the Revolution Began (pp. 77-78). HarperOne. Kindle Edition. 

And Jesus said to them, "Truly I say to you, that you who have followed Me, in the regeneration (renewal of all things) when the Son of Man will sit on His glorious throne, you also shall sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.”  Matthew 19:28



Sunday, February 16, 2020

Who are the ones that are left behind? An eschatological conundrum - maybe not.


Why is this important? Because it determines our vision which in turn defines our mission.

The Promise

The ones that are left behind remain for they are the children of the Promise. “If you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise.” Galatians 3:29 This promise is emblazoned on their hearts longing for fulfillment. For they are the first fruits of the Father's eternal purpose - hidden in Christ from before the foundation of the earth.

They are the seed of the regeneration.  And Jesus said to them, "Truly I say to you, that you who have followed Me, in the regeneration when the Son of Man will sit on His glorious throne,...: Matthew 19:28 That is as the First Born, when He puts all things to rights they will belong to the Company of the First Born. 

Days Of Noah

As it was in the days of Noah, so will it be at the coming of the Son of Man. Matthew 24:37  This verse and those around it could be said to represent an eschatological pattern. 

In the days of Noah it was the wicked that were taken away while the elect were kept safe in the security of the Lord - an ark. Their purpose was to populate the newly cleansed earth.

Lot and his daughters were kept safe at the destruction of Sodom - but they were not caught away. They were the ones that were left behind after the conflagration of divine judgement.

At the Passover the first-born of the Hebrew nation were protected from the Death Angel by the innocent blood on the doorpost and lintel while the first-born of Egypt who were not protected were taken away in judgement.  There was a promise in the bosom of Israel of a land that they were yet to inhabit. 

The New Covenant

In 70AD - the complete destruction of Jerusalem and its form of Temple (place) worship - again it was the wicked that were taken in a great purging while the elect were kept safe in the surrounding hills. This fire was a cleansing fire to remove the last vestiges of the Old Covenant that as it passed away the New might fully supercede it. "Truly I tell you, not one stone here will be left on another; every one will be thrown down." Matthew 24:2 This was the end of an age. As one age ends it makes way for a new one - until the final consummation.  It is only the chrysalis which must be discarded that the winged beauty may take flight.  

“The words of the blessing of Enoch, wherewith he blessed the elect and⌉righteous, who will be living in the day of tribulation, when all the wicked and godless⌉are to be removed.” Enoch 1:1 The elect remain while the godless are taken away. This book although apocryphal was relied on extensively by the early church fathers. It was also quoted by Jude in his canonical epistle.

A Great Company

We stand on the shoulders of a great company of martyrs who would consider it spurious to tell them they would not have to go through tribulation. I was in a meeting once with Richard Wurmbrand - Tortured For Christ - when he was asked if believers would have to go through tribulation. To him this was nonsensical - for the scars on his back were the mute answer to this question.  

And behold! He cometh with ten thousands of ⌈His⌉ holy ones
To execute judgement upon all,
And to destroy ⌈all⌉ the ungodly:
Enoch 1:9

Refiner’s Fire 

The fire of God is not a fire of annihilation but a fire of transformation. It is a refiner’s fire. The dross (impurities) arises to the top that it might be scooped away leaving only the unalloyed precious metal. Those who remain will populate the new heavens and the new earth wherein righteousness dwells. If all things were created by Him and for Him can we expect a created being - man - to frustrate His ultimate promise?  “-- all things have been created through Him and for Him.” Colossians 1:16 

“For God to disregard or annihilate the present creation would testify to the failure of his purpose in bringing it into being, and this in turn would contradict the doctrine of the being of God, whose purpose, by definition, is incapable of meeting with failure.” Philip E. Hughes  

“You’re the Word of God the Father
From before the world began.
Ev’ry star and ev’ry planet
Has been fashioned by Your hand.

All creation holds together
By the power of Your voice.
Let the skies declare Your glory;
Let the land and seas rejoice!

“It may be that, as the water of the Deluge was the baptism of the ancient world into a new life, so the fire of the great day will be the means of purifying and refining the universe, transforming it into new heavens and a new earth, making all things new.” Pulpit Commentary 

“But we are looking forward to the new heavens and new earth he has promised, a world filled with God’s righteousness.”  2 Peter 3:13 A cleansing or purging must first come.

Stewardship

With such a hopeful expectation we are encouraged to live the life of the stewardship of His eternal purpose.  “It is like a man going on a journey, when he leaves home and puts his servants in charge, each with his work, and commands the doorkeeper to stay awake.” Mark 13:34  

Escapism is not an acceptable alternative.  A catching away that abdicates responsibility has no place in the grand panoramic schema of God.

This is my Father's world:
O let me ne'er forget
That though the wrong seems oft so strong,
God is the Ruler yet.
This is my Father's world:
Why should my heart be sad?
The Lord is King: let the heavens ring!
God reigns; let earth be glad! 

Soli Deo Gloria! 

Friday, February 14, 2020

A Republican Form of Government

“The United States shall guarantee to every State in this Union a Republican Form of government … ” Article IV Section 4, of the Constitution

Many are bemoaning the loss of democracy or are alarmed at the attacks on it.  This is nothing more than Don Quixote tilting at windmills. Even Fox News is calling their election coverage Democracy 2020.

Founding Fathers

Our Founding Fathers never intended for our national government to be a democracy.  That word is not used in the Declaration of Independence nor the Constitution.  

“Democracy never lasts long. It soon wastes, exhausts and murders itself. There was never a democracy that did not commit suicide.”  John Adams 

Our Founding Fathers were men who had a far-reaching vision.  The Republic that resulted was designed to remain for it was strategic in nature.  It had long-ranging goals and its effectiveness is a testimony to the divine wisdom granted to those men.

No Quick-Fix

Democracies by their very nature are short-sighted.  They offer immediate results with no hope of sustain-ability.  They proffer the illusion of a quick-fix with no idea of how they will produce fruit that will remain.

A sugar tit - nothing more than a pacifier - is what is being tantalizingly offered by many of our current slate of candidates for the presidency. They believe that by throwing money at  problems they can assuage their own guilt.

Electoral College 

By their attacks on the Electoral College - a central tenant of the Republic - they are revealing their true nature. They are nothing  more than demagogues.  “Demagogues have appeared in democracies since ancient Athens. They exploit a fundamental weakness in democracy: because ultimate power is held by the people. Demagogues usually advocate immediate, forceful action to address a crisis while accusing moderate and thoughtful opponents of weakness or disloyalty.”  

A tragic example of this is when an idolatrous union results in the conception of a human life the quick-fix - with no heedance to its long-range viability - is to destroy it while it is yet in the security of the womb.

Incompatible

The basic tenants of a republic and a democracy are fundamentally incompatible. 

U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice John Marshall observed, “Between a balanced republic and a democracy, the difference is like that between order and chaos.”

A Testing

To borrow from some famous words of a great champion of the Republic, we are currently involved in a “testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure.”  Our adjuration must be that this nation was so conceived and dedicated as a Republic - and it shall long endure.  

He has sounded forth the trumpet that shall never call retreat
He is sifting out the hearts of men before His judgment-seat
Oh, be swift, my soul, to answer Him! Be jubilant, my feet!
Our God is marching on...   
The Battle Hymn of the Republic 



Monday, January 27, 2020

A Republic, Madam, If You Can Keep It! - The Spirit of Absalom - Childishness

For you know that we dealt with each of you as a father deals with his own children, 1 Thessalonians 2:11 

Democracy arises out of the worship of the creature rather than the Creator and can only lead to immorality.  “I am the master of my fate, I am the captain of my soul.”  This is the exchange of the truth of God for a lie. There is nothing more immoral than the destruction of the innocent human life while yet in the nourishing security of its mother’s womb - unless as a result of such an intrusion she or he is born alive and then allowed to perish while its perpetrators stand by violating their own oath - “Above all, I must not play at God.”

Children - Not Slaves

A democracy does not create children, but slaves. It is only the republic that begets sons and daughters.

The presidency is a threat to democracy. The office of the president is not one of the autocrat - but the one of the father.  Peggy Noonan was a speech writer for President Reagan. She said that when he had been away and then returned the staff would exclaim, “Daddy’s home!”

This is why we are seeing the current attempt at insurrection. Our republic has withstood the tests of time - enduring much suffering - such as a horrific Civil War. The victorious forces were known as the Grand Army of the Republic.  Yet these trials have only served to perfect her. Once again there is an insidious threat rising from within that seeks to bring her low.  Their fate is to be entrapped in their own snare.

Spirit Of Absalom

The spirit of Absalom is at work. “In this manner Absalom dealt with all Israel who came to the king for judgment; so Absalom stole away the hearts of the men of Israel.”  2  Samuel 15:6  Absalom was selected by a plurality of the people albeit by false promises, intrigue and innuendo. His ultimate aim was patricide. David was anointed as King by God. He mourned at the news of the death of his treacherous son. The demise that the spirit of Absalom has planned will become his own.

"Woe to the rebellious children," declares the LORD, "Who execute a plan, but not Mine, And make an alliance, but not of My Spirit, In order to add sin to sin;” Isaiah 30:1

The role of the father is one of benevolence. His function is that of a provider and protector - and yes, a loving disciplinarian. The most innocent and vulnerable will find security in his care. According to its most vociferous adherents under a democratic government an unborn person has no right to live.  Under a republican government the most precious will be guaranteed the right of life.

The government of these United States is that of a Constitutional Republic. 

Two Wolves and A Lamb

Benjamin Franklin said, “Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch.”  I would suggest to you that the two wolves are the northeast and west coasts while the lamb is the rest of us in the middle. We will not allow ourselves to be the main course. It should then come as no surprise that the chief conspirators of this plot represent these two geographical regions. 

“Montani Semper Liberi” 

From a Virginia State Senator - “There is an all out war on the Constitution. It is beginning in Virginia as it is the oldest legislative body in our nation and the birthplace of eight presidents.”  Including the Father of our nation. We in West Virginia share in this heritage - and in the struggle. “Montani Semper Liberi”  We are bondsmen to no one but God - and to Him we are also sons and daughters.

Monday, January 20, 2020

“And to the Republic for which it stands...” The Divine Will

“And to the Republic for which it stands...” 

Just watched an interview with one of the most conservative members of the U.S. Senate.  He continually used the term “western democracies” and referred to our government as a “constitutional democracy.”  This woeful misunderstanding is across the board. A state of confusion and ineptness can be the only result. 

It is a republic that truly protects minority interests and safeguards them from the tyranny of the majority - democracy.  In a true democracy small states would have no voice in the national government. 

DIVINE WILL

The Republic recognizes the Divine Will as the source of its origin. The democracy sees its right to rule in the will of the people. A Republic is a manifestation of the will of God being done on the earth. “In the exercise of His will He brought us forth by the word of truth, so that we would be a kind of first fruits among His creatures.” James 1:18  Feigning pious prayerfulness while denying the right to life of our most vulnerable citizens is evidence of nothing more than a deceptive “angel of light.” 

From a young Ethiopian woman now a citizen of this Republic: “This country was founded upon the Constitution, was built on Godly principles and we’re gonna fight for that...And I just want to encourage you guys to pray every day for this nation.” She was addressing a meeting called by our Chief Executive. And then she began to pray...”Jesus I ask you to protect us and walk with us and in Jesus’ name the enemy tries to attack us every single day, He tries to discourage us but he has no room.  He has no room, no more, and that’s all I have to say.”

SECURITY

A republic provides security - a democracy breeds insecurity.  A republic will tolerate - even appreciate the democratic; but the democratic will seek to destroy the republic for it sees her as a threat. Initiative is encouraged in a republic while it is suppressed in a democracy. It is a republican form of government that has made this nation great through the release of innovation/invention/creativity - entrepreneurship. 

COUNTERFEIT 

As 1787 heralded the birth of a New Republic, 1789 witnessed the fore-shrouding of the democratic tragedy known as the French Revolution. A counterfeit only exists as a result of the genuine - and is parasitic. It will attempt to suck the lifeblood out of the living organism. 

‘Voltaire’s mad cry, “Down with the scoundrel,” was aimed at Christ himself, but this cry was merely the expression of the most hidden thought from which the French Revolution sprang. The fanatic outcry of another philosopher, “We no more need a God,” and the odious shibboleth, “No God, no Master,” of the Convention; —these were the sacrilegious watchwords which at that time heralded the liberation of man as an emancipation from all Divine Authority.’ [Abraham Kuyper. Lectures on Calvinism - Prime Minister of the Netherlands - 1901-05]

France which can be said to be one of the most secular - God-less - nations still celebrates July 14, 1789 - Bastille Day - as its primary national holiday. Yet, an impotent democracy had to rely of the might of a Republic to rescue it from oblivion in 1917 and then again in 1944. 

“one nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.” 

Sunday, January 5, 2020

and to the Republic for which it stands, one Nation under God...

“Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God.”  Romans 13:1

"I pledge allegiance to the Flag of the United States of America, and to the Republic for which it stands, one Nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all."

The Flag of the United States of America stands for the Republic. It does not stand for a democracy.

An Unalienable Right

I noticed that many of those that replied to my recent post that the United States is a Republic and not a democracy were ex-military - as I am also. 

The phrase “under God” in the Pledge of Allegiance was added by General Dwight David Eisenhower = then President - to counter the encroaching threat of God-less socialism (communism).

We took an oath to protect and defend the rights of the people of this nation via fidelity to our Constitution. We are a Constitutional Republic. A constitution is superfluous in a democracy.  

I, do solemnly swear that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; and that I will obey the orders of the President of the United States and the orders of the officers appointed over me, according to regulations and the Uniform Code of Military Justice. So help me God.

The first unalienable right in the Declaration of Independence is the Right to Life.

No Rights!?

Yet many of our current presidential candidates would deny this right to the most vulnerable of our society - the unborn person. To quote one of the most prominent, “An unborn person has no rights.” These are the same ones who consistently refer to our system of government as a democracy. In a democracy if your rights are inconvenient to the majority you are discarded. 

James Madison, often called “the father of the Constitution” wrote, “Democracies have ever been spectacles of turbulence and contention; have ever been found incompatible with personal security or the rights of property; and have, in general, been as short in their lives as they are violent in their deaths.”  

In the early 1800s, John Marshall, the chief justice of the U.S. Supreme Court wrote, “Between a balanced republic and a democracy, the difference is like that between order and chaos.” 

“Democracy?” 

You won’t find the word “democracy” in either the Declaration of Independence or the U.S. Constitution. The United States of America was established as a Republic — period.

“A republic is guided by an overarching set of laws — a charter or constitution — which, in our country’s case, explicitly guarantees the individual’s rights against the desires of the majority. Each of us has the indisputable right to think, worship and vote anyway we want.” Diane Dimond 

It is the right of the unborn person to live that can only be protected and preserved under a Republican form of government.
  
“For rulers hold no terror for those who do right, but for those who do wrong. Do you want to be free from fear of the one in authority? Then do what is right and you will be commended.”  Romans 13:3