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Covenantal Families


†††††† The following is a compilation of three sermons that I preached to our church body two months ago, but which was in fact written by both Candy and I for all CHEF fathers. Therefore, we encourage all our fathers to read this lesson with the utmost solemnity. This is one of the most important messages that God has ever directed us to compose.

Quit Ye Like Men—A Solemn Resolve for Faithful Men to Join Together to Prepare a People for the Lord

††††† As the approaching New Year commences, I propose that our fathers join together to solemnly resolve to faithfully disciple their families according to God’s command, by carefully instructing their children in scripture and His story and to faithfully impress this duty upon their sons so as to secure the blessings of our heavenly Father. 1 Corinthians 16:13
“Watch ye, stand fast in the faith, quit you like men, be strong.”

Our Present Plight

††††† Clearly America is in the midst of a horrific crisis the likes of which none of us has ever witnessed, as the onslaught on our liberty escalates to an unprecedented pitch, seemingly brought about by bureaucrats’ relentless labor to impose their diabolical agenda upon us. This ravenous, greedy, insatiable state is attacking on all fronts, leaving many to wonder, not if the enemy will succeed, but how soon our utter ruin will be complete through the following:

1.††††† Government’s spending panacea through multibillion dollar bailouts, bringing our national debt to $12 trillion, but which is growing every minute due to compounded interest, while our President steamrolls the nationalization of health care through Congress, projected to add another 1 trillion dollars to our debt over the next 10 years. And who is paying for the destruction of our freedom? You and I, the working class. Yet consider that 3.5 million jobs were terminated just in the past 9 months, that unemployment is up to 17Ĺ% with a projection of 22% in a short time, and that according to economist Gary Shilling, 58% of our population is dependent on the government for “major parts of their income,” while Social Security recipients will escalate to 27% of our population by 2018. He predicts that all of this will cause 25
million additional Americans to be employed by the government as a result of more governmental intervention. We, too, can see the inevitability of analysts’ predictions of another Great Depression, one far worse than what our parents experienced.
2.††††† Destruction of free enterprise and the private sector with the nationalization of banks, businesses, and health care while breaking the backbone of our economy through the imposition of burdensome taxes and extreme environmental restrictions.
3.††††† Destruction of our health care through nationalization, forcibly requiring tax-supported abortions and euthanasia, while rationing care according to the dictates of bureaucrats.
4.††††† Implementation of radical environmentalist policies planned to transform our way of life by controlling our government, our economy, and our justice system.
5.††††† Destruction of our national sovereignty and human rights by the adoption of United Nation policies to tax U.S. citizens to support their world power agenda through elimination of parental authority, private property, free enterprise, guns…
6.††††† Destruction of marriage.
7.††††† The promotion of homosexuality.
8.††††† Elimination of freedom of speech through hate crime bills and attempts to censor Christian and conservative programming, which comes as no surprise when we learn of our President’s statement: “We do not consider ourselves a Christian nation.” And to the Muslims, “We will convey our deep appreciation for the Islamic faith, which has done so much over the centuries to shape the world.”

††††† Horrified by this aggressive administration’s tyrannical policies, many Christians are scrambling to stop the breach in the dike, as others wring their hands in despair while offering conjectures that the end nears. Yet before commencing a counterattack or speculating as to its outcome, our duty as Christians requires us to form our judgments on conclusive evidence provided in God’s Word. Therefore, we must stop and ask ourselves, are the bureaucrats the culprits? In other words, are they the source of the problem and the ones to blame for this departure from our Constitution and ultimately from God’s Word?
††††† If we look at 2 Chronicles 7:14, we realize that the answer to this question is no, for God says, “If My people who are called by My name humble themselves and pray and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, will forgive their sin and will heal their land.” Actually, we are the root of this crisis—not the bureaucrats, not the world, but “My people,” and in particular, God’s fathers.
††††† Are we His people? If we concur that we are His, then we had better look deep within ourselves to see what lies there, whether it be loyalty or treason. For what we are presently witnessing is not the cause of anarchy, but the consequence of anarchy against God’s Law. Based then on many scriptures pertaining to rebellion, what we are actually witnessing is God’s punishment on an apostate people, which only God’s people can reverse through repentance—a complete turning from our sins back to God and His way.

Grieving Over Our Present Condition? God Provides Hope, For Although Tyranny is Here, God’s Triumph is Here as Well

†††††† In years past, when we have reflected upon the lawlessness of professing Christians—fathers’ abdication of leadership, mothers’ abandonment of their duty at home, rebellious children, the apostasy of America’s churches, and the despotism of our civil magistrates, our hearts have grieved so much that we often cried, not only over the corruption of what we saw around us, but more importantly for the sinfulness that still remained in our own flesh. In response to the immensity of this rebellion, we often prostrated ourselves before the Lord, pleading for the forgiveness of God’s people in America of the wretched sin that still remained in our own hearts and for the lack of conviction that we often witnessed among our families within the homeschooling community. Consequently, what we have sown in this homeschooling community has been watered with our tears; yet with each incident of intense sorrow came hope because God helped us to clarify our purpose as He:

1.††††† Instructed us to look back over His magnificent works throughout history, so that we would be reminded of His Providential plan that no man destroys.
2.††††† Reproved us to remember His providential creation of us for such a time as this so that we would remember our present duty to Him and His church.
3.††††† Exhorted us to look ahead to the glorious fulfillment of His promises to our offspring for our faithfulness.
††††††† If there is anything that we have learned from our study of the scriptures, historical writings, and theological books, it is that God is Sovereign over all. The writing of His will was written long ago and will come to pass regardless of man’s attempts to the contrary, which at this critical juncture, keeps us from speculating and trembling, for our obligation to our Father requires nothing less than a continuation of the race; in other words, a pressing on towards the victory as God’s will be done. Hebrews 12:1 “…let us run with endurance the race that is set before us.” Philippians 3:14 “…press on toward the goal…” With that said, let us now examine God’s three admonitions.

I. LOOK AT HIS STORY TO BE REMINDED OF GOD’S PROVIDENTIAL PLAN

††††† Let us look back at what the world was like, specifically concentrating on the one world government of Rome when God sent His Son to reconcile the world to Him. In doing so it is vitally important that we consider God’s plan for reconciliation—His strategy through His mandate for victory, which subsequently brought the magnificent growth of the early Church in spite of tremendous persecution, along with the destruction of the mighty Roman Empire. As we consider the state of the Roman Empire , reflect upon the similarities to our own country.
††††† Economically, Rome ’s burgeoning state engulfed its citizens with heavy taxes and rampant inflation. For instance, in 56 AD one denarius could purchase a loaf of bread, while the same loaf of bread cost hundreds of denarius in 268 AD.
††††† Although an Italian philosopher in the late 1400s and early 1500s, Machiavelli’s advice to despotic rulers was practiced nonetheless even in ancient Rome , as they cloaked their ruthless lust for power with charitable acts of public service, enslaving their citizens to the state. Thus Rome’s welfare, public projects, and public ceremonies—circuses, athletic competitions, and plays—coupled with supporting the necessity of keeping a massive army to keeps its citizens in tow, required enormous resources the likes of which the Roman government did not possess. Therefore, the government’s spending panacea continually necessitated heavier and heavier taxes. However, when this proved to be deficient, in fear that the working class would revolt or that the politicians would no longer remain popular, the government resorted to counterfeiting coins.
††††† Compare their practice with today. In 54 AD a denarius contained 94% silver. In 218 AD it contained 43%; in 268, less than 1%. In 1964, American half dollars contained 94% silver, while five years later in 1969, it contained less than 40%. Today our coins contain none.
††††† Deeply entrenched in moral depravity, unbridled immorality prevailed throughout the Empire with rampant immodesty, fornication, adultery, divorce, birth control, infanticide, and homosexuality, which all led to the decline of births. To add to the decline of Roman citizens’ repopulation, by the first century, slaves made up one-third of the populace.
††††† Compare this to our country’s own unbridled immorality and the fact that for the past 30 years, America’s birthrates dropped to levels that would eventually lead to our extinction, yet for these same 30 years, we have heard nothing but propaganda to the contrary, warning us of a population explosion. Sadly, 40% of the births here in America are to unwed mothers, further evidence of our apostasy. To add to American citizens’ decline, consider the number of foreigners that continue to pour over our borders at the alarming rate of one million per year. Just recently, the Census Bureau projected that if our present decline in births coupled with our immigration leniency continues, by the year 2042, Caucasians (and
in particular, Protestant Christians) will no longer be the majority in America.
††††† Often glorified by historians and lay people alike, Rome , in all its pagan splendor, was anything but commendatory as slavery, torture, and human sacrifice permeated their pagan culture of death. Many even claim that our American liberties were founded on Roman philosophy and principles, but a thorough study of Rome clearly displays the deficiency of human rights and true liberty as tyrannical leaders such as Julius Caesar, Augustus, Nero, Caligula, Commodus, Aurelius and onward till Constantine ordered human sacrifice, including that of our Lord Jesus Christ’s crucifixion. And as the Word states, no society can be called civilized or should be hailed as a beacon of liberty unless it rests on Christ. 2
Corinthians 3:17 “Now the Lord is the Spirit and where the Spirit of the Lord is there is liberty.”
††††† Luther in his third manifesto on liberty rightly says, “A man firm in his faith in the divinity and redeeming sacrifices of Christ enjoys not freedom of will, but the profoundest freedom of all, freedom from his own carnal nature, from all evil powers, from domination, even from law; for the man whose virtue flows spontaneously from his faith needs no commands to righteousness.”
††††† When one understands the truth that nations rise and fall on their theology, after considering the multiplicity of gods the Romans ardently worshipped, such as Jupiter the supreme power; “goddess Agenoria to arouse to action; goddess Stimula, to stimulate to extraordinary action; goddess Murcia to make a man extraordinarily inactive; goddess Strenia to make man strenuous; Fructesa, for fruitful harvest; Mars and Bellona for courage in war; to goddess Victory that they might be victorious; to Honour that honours might come to them; Pecunia to ensure plenty of money; Aesculanus and this son
Argentinus for coins of brass and silver; goddess Felicitas and Fortuna; Fessona for the exhausted; Pellonia to drive off the enemy; Apollo or Aesculapius for their sick; Spiniensis to root out thorns from the fields; Robigo to keep blight away; Opis for the newly born; Vaticanus for wailing infants; Cunina for infants in their cots; Rumina for children at the breast; Statilinus when standing; Adeona when coming; Abeona when going; Mens for mental development; Volumnus and Volumna
for a right volition” (from The City of God), we better understand the reason for their downfall.
††††† In response to Rome ’s corruption and inevitable collapse, Augustine addressed the very issues that we are facing today in The City of God. He put it this way: “…there can be no ‘people’ but only a mob where there is no ‘association by a common sense of right’ and no ‘justice.’ Because God does not rule there the general characteristic of that city where God’s law is broken is that it is devoid of true justice. Political authority…is necessary only in a world where men and women are enslaved by sin and where there needs to be firm protections against the more powerful injuring the weaker. But
where all the citizens work and live together in harmony there is no need for force and sanctions…what God intends…on an infinitely grander scale, like the ordered harmony about giving and obeying orders among those who live in the same house.”
††††† “…There would have been no politics, indeed no need for politics, without the Fall…Those who choose the wrong way do so because they have ‘delighted’ in their own power and made themselves their ‘own God.’”
††††† Sacrifices to their pagan deities preceded all their festivals—theatrical displays, circuses, athletic competitions—where the entertainment for the day was nothing less than an unleashing of cruelty, the like ferocity that we have yet to see in our arenas, but which exists nonetheless, and actually in a far greater degree, as these virtual acts of cruelty are brought into millions of America’s homes via cable television.
††††† In an arena filled with 45,000 bloodthirsty Romans, spectators lustfully cheered to the brutality of gladiatorial mortal combats and horrific brutality that engulfed Christians as they were torn to pieces by wild beasts, beheaded, crucified, burned at the stake and set on fire to illuminate the festivities. The insatiable thirst for more brutality demanded ever more ways to shed the blood of those who possessed intolerant principles. Yet in all its horror, it was through this persecution that the Church was crafted as Tertullian states: “The blood of the martyrs is the seed of the church.”
††††† Otto Scott in The Great Christian Revolution states that “if the early church had accepted toleration which was proposed to it by the Roman authorities from the start, Rome would have remained…pagan. Infanticide and human sacrifice would have existed alongside Christianity. The depravity of Rome would have been allowed to mock and subvert the austerity of Christian congregations. Such a state of affairs was clearly impossible; it was never seriously regarded by the church fathers, let alone accepted as a moral and permanent solution.”
††††† Reflect for a moment on the import of that truth that if the church had accepted toleration, the empire would have remained pagan. Now let us look to America , which was founded on those intolerant principles, but which has since degenerated into a pagan culture due to its toleration. Can we expect anything less than what Israel reaped for her apostasy?
††††† In 155, a disciple of the Apostle John and leading pastor in the church at Smyrna , the elderly Polycarp, was martyred for his firm conviction that he could not venerate Caesar as divine. The following is the dialogue that occurred between the Roman consul and Polycarp before his death.
††††† After threatening Polycarp that they would throw him to the wild beasts, Polycarp bravely replied, “Send for them.” Next they threatened him with fire, but offered him release if he would curse Christ. He replied, “Eighty and six years have I served Christ and he has done me no wrong; how then can I blaspheme my King who has saved me? You threaten the fire that burns for an hour and then is quenched; but you know not of the fire of the judgment to come, and the fire of the eternal punishment. Bring what you will.”
††††† As the flames consumed his flesh, he courageously prayed, “Lord God, Father of our blessed Savior, I thank thee that I have been deemed worthy to receive the crown of martyrdom, and that I may die for thee and for thy cause.”
††††† Do you, like Polycarp, desire the crown of life? Consider now the more significant question. Are you prepared to suffer and die for Christ? For God tells us in Revelation 2:10 “…Be thou faithful unto death and I will give thee a crown of life.”
††††† The widespread devastation that resulted from the fearful calamities that God brought upon Rome—earthquakes, epidemics of persons and animals, unprecedented flooding, disastrous fires, and destructive civil war—reminded us of the plagues God brought upon the Egyptians, yet for all God’s curses, the Roman Empire continued in its anarchy to Him while the Church grew most abundantly. So obstinate were they, that even after its demise, the city of Rome continued in its corruption so that at the time of Luther, he stated that “everything is permitted in Rome except to be an honest man.”

God’s Strategy for Victory

††††† It was in this very wicked, worldwide dominated setting that God sent His Son to reconcile the world to Himself. Yet how did He purpose to do it? Interestingly, He reiterated His plan for fulfilling His cultural mandate in His last words to His people before the coming of Christ, proclaimed in Malachi 4:5,6: “Behold, I am going to send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and terrible day of the LORD. He will restore the hearts of the fathers to their children and the hearts of the children to their fathers, so that I will not come and smite the land with a curse.”
††††† Then as promised, God sent John the Baptist as the forerunner to the One who would turn the hearts of the fathers back to their children and the children back to their fathers. The foretelling of John the Baptist’s birth reiterated God’s methodology for victory. Luke 1:17 “It is he who will go as a forerunner before Him in the spirit and power of Elijah, to turn the hearts of the fathers back to the children, and the disobedient to the attitude of the righteous, so as to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.”
††††† This mandate of discipleship then is God’s plan for victory, the very heart and soul of His covenant, the key to life, and the core to the Gospel, for the Father-Son relationship exemplified the principle of discipleship.
††††† John 4:34 “Jesus said to them, ‘My food is to do the will of Him who sent Me and to accomplish His work.’” John 5:19,20,30,36 “Therefore Jesus answered and was saying to them, ‘Truly, truly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of Himself, unless it is something He sees the Father doing; for whatever the Father does, these things the Son also does in like manner. For the Father loves the Son, and shows Him all things that He Himself is doing…I can do nothing on My own initiative. As I hear, I judge; and My judgment is just, because I do not seek My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me…But the testimony which I have is greater than the testimony of John; for the works which the Father has given Me to accomplish—the very works that I do—testify about Me, that the Father has sent Me.” John 8:28,38 “So Jesus said, ‘When you lift up the Son of Man, then you will know that I am He, and I do nothing on My own initiative, but I speak these things as the Father taught Me….I speak the things which I have seen with My Father; therefore you also do the things which you heard from your father.’” John 10:25,38 “Jesus answered them, ‘I told you, and you do not believe; the works that I do in My Father’s name, these testify of Me.…but if I do them, though you do not believe Me, believe the works, so that you may
know and understand the Father is in Me, and I in the Father.’” John 14:6 “Jesus said to him, ‘I am the way, and the truth,and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.”
††††† Deuteronomy 6:1-9 “Now this is the commandment, the statutes and the judgments which the LORD your God has commanded me to teach you, that you might do them in the land where you are going over to possess it, so that you and your son and your grandson might fear the LORD your God, to keep all His statutes and His commandments which I command you, all the days of your life, and that your days may be prolonged. O Israel, you should listen and be careful to do it, that it may be well with you and that you may multiply greatly, just as the LORD, the God of your fathers, has promised you, in a land
flowing with milk and honey. Hear, O Israel ! The LORD is our God, the LORD is one! You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. These words, which I am commanding you today, shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your sons and shall talk of them when you sit in your house and when you walk by the way and when you lie down and when you rise up. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand and they shall be as frontals on your forehead. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.”
††††† Psalm 78:1-8 “Listen, O my people, to my instruction; incline your ears to the words of my mouth. I will open my mouth in a parable; I will utter dark sayings of old, which we have heard and known, and our fathers have told us. We will not conceal them from their children, but tell to the generation to come the praises of the LORD, and His strength and His wondrous works that He has done. For He established a testimony in Jacob and appointed a law in Israel, which He commanded our fathers that they should teach them to their children, that the generation to come might know, even the children yet to be born, that they may arise and tell them to their children, that they should put their confidence in God and not
forget the works of God, but keep His commandments, and not be like their fathers, a stubborn and rebellious generation, a generation that did not prepare its heart and whose spirit was not faithful.”
††††† The key to God’s strategy for victory is clearly discipleship, and if we miss that point, we have most definitely missed the mark. By and large, America ’s fathers abandoned their role to the state, which happily turned their children into socialist elites. Subsequently, churches attempted taking over that authority that was never given to them by God, and so totally missing the point, abetted the enemy by leaving dead dogs lay while the humanists educated their members’ children. The church commended mothers who worked outside the home, divided the family into age-segregated groups, while delegating evangelism to a whole new group within the church, elevating individuals to the task of saving the world when God clearly commanded families to do the job.
††††† The root of America ’s problems then is not Barak Obama and his liberal cohorts but America ’s fathers’ lawless hearts. Indeed, it is fathers’ failure to disciple their sons that leads to humanists’ control of the people through the state because as fathers abandon God, their sons take on a new one—the state—that gladly disciples them to secure allegiance to their burgeoning control through provision of education, employment, childcare, healthcare, and social security.
††††† Where are we, men? How long have we been professing Christianity? If we are truly devoted to Christ, then our family should be seeing a maturity and sanctification in our lives, for as Voddie Baucham states, “A tree is known by its fruit, not by how long it has been in the yard. Fruit is evidence of our sanctification, which is evidence of our justification.”
††††† To ascertain your fruit, multiply 365 days times the years you have been a father, and then calculate how much of that time has been spent in discipling your children in God’s Word and His story. This is serious, men, so please solemnly reflect upon your duty. How are you doing?
††††† Voddie Baucham goes on to say that “14,000 hours instruction takes place at school. If you only spent 4 hours a week in church, it would take you 70 years to get 14,000 instructional hours. If you only spent 2 hours a week in church, it would take you 140 years to get 14,000 instructional hours. And we treat church like it’s the only place to combat the secular teaching in our schools. Give me the 14,000 hours! I want the 14,000 hours! That’s where the discipleship is taking place.”
††††† “The home is the place where God forges leaders for the church. The home is the place that fortifies, carries on, undergirds, and pushes even further what is being taught in church. Home is the place that has more time, more opportunity, more relational clout, as it relates to the discipleship of the next generation.”

God Directs Us to Study History and Remember His Divine Providence

††††† Unlike most of my playmates, although I loved the outdoors, I possessed such a deep love for reading history that much of my time was spent between the covers of books. At the time, I certainly did not understand God’s Providential Hand upon all of history, but when I look back now, I realize that God was preparing me for the work ahead. I also realize how He prepared my bride by giving her a passion for history and scholarship as well, so as a young woman, Candy too, spent much time studying history, and in her case, theology, as well. Ephesians 2:10 “For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.”
††††† This revelation is so magnificent! For in spite of our lack of biblical instruction from our own families, God personally attended our discipleship so that we would know truth through His story so as to equip us for leadership in preparing a people for the Lord. For “His story” elevates our vision of God and instructs us in His ways, as it sets the standard for true faithfulness to Him and His Word. Consequently, it is impossible for us to convey the depth of our gratitude as we look back over the marvelous historians, theologians, and men of law that God has led us to for our conferences so as to enlighten, instruct, and equip all of us.

A Righteous Perspective of History Provides the Only Firm Foundation

††††† History has no meaning if we don’t see it providentially; therefore, it is important to heed His constant commands to See, Observe, Hear, Fix in your hearts and minds, Remember, Rejoice, and Celebrate. The vicissitudes of history do not come about because of Satan’s opposition to God. Indeed, they do not run counter to God’s will at all, but in fact come about because of God’s will, for Christ is King of heaven and earth. John 18:37 “…I am a king. To this end was I born, and for this cause came I into the world, that I should bear witness unto the truth.” Romans 14:9 “…Christ is the Lord of both the dead and the living.”
††††† Perceiving, then, His Providence, it becomes quite apparent that His story is just one continuous strand of His faithfulness to His Church. Never severed but constantly working to advance His glory for His kingdom, it is our source of assurance that God controls the future of our lives, our families, and His church. The battle has already been fought and won. The victory is ours, for He quite plainly states that the gates of hell shall not prevail against us, further evidenced in the great cloud of witnesses that preceded us on this earth. It’s not that God is going to be triumphant, but that He is triumphant throughout history regardless of our faithfulness or apostasy.
††††† This is a great comfort right now, since there is no doubt in most leaders’ minds that, barring unprecedented mercy to an apostate people, we will soon be entering into a time of great persecution, concurring that we have not seen the worst of God’s judgment by any measure of scripture. Yet again, we must remember that our hope lies in the fact that God’s victory is present in every age.
††††† If you listened carefully to both Doug Phillips and Voddie Baucham at the conference this past year, you would have caught their words of exhortation to press on regardless of impending persecution or captivity—continue to build houses, plant vineyards, have babies, and work for advancing His kingdom. Jeremiah 29:4-7 “Thus says the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel, to all the exiles whom I have sent into exile from Jerusalem to Babylon, build houses and live in them; and plant gardens, and eat their produce. Take wives and become the fathers of sons and daughters, and take wives for your sons and
give your daughters to husbands, that they may bear sons and daughters; and multiply there and do not decrease. And seek the welfare of the city where I have sent you into exile, and pray to the LORD on its behalf; for in its welfare you will have welfare.”
††††† In other words, regardless of our circumstances, we are not to deviate from the dominion mandate to be fruitful and multiply and to take dominion over all things for God’s glory. That is to say, we should continue God’s way of life for our families so that we do not fail to prepare our offspring, and subsequently future descendants, for victory!

A Steadfast Few

king ††††† As evidenced throughout scripture and the rest of history, God’s plan of reconciliation has been implemented by a devoted, steadfast, unswerving, faithful, committed few. Devoted, steadfast, unswerving, faithful, committed few! This reminds me of St. Crispin’s Day Speech, which Shakespeare created to display the heroic leadership of Henry V just prior to the Battle of Agincourt in 1415.
††††† Dwindled down to a small band of men, weakened by battle and dysentery, now facing a formidable force of enemies, Henry knew the visible odds favored their defeat, yet the strength of his convictions prevailed to carry his men to victory. The following is that evocative speech that sped his faithful few to victory over their enemies.

WESTMORELAND. O that we now had here
††††† But one ten thousand of those men in England
††††† That do no work to-day!

KING. What’s he that wishes so?
††††† My cousin Westmoreland? No, my fair cousin;
††††† If we are mark’d to die, we are enow
††††† To do our country loss; and if to live,
††††† The fewer men, the greater share of honour.
††††† God’s will! I pray thee, wish not one man more.
††††† By Jove, I am not covetous for gold,
††††† Nor care I who doth feed upon my cost;
††††† It yearns me not if men my garments wear;
††††† Such outward things dwell not in my desires.
††††† But if it be a sin to covet honour,
††††† I am the most offending soul alive.
††††† No, faith, my coz, wish not a man from England .
††††† God’s peace! I would not lose so great an honour
††††† As one man more methinks would share from me
††††† For the best hope I have. O, do not wish one more!
††††† Rather proclaim it, Westmoreland, through my host,
††††† That he which hath no stomach to this fight,
††††† Let him depart; his passport shall be made,
††††† And crowns for convoy put into his purse;
††††† We would not die in that man’s company
††††† That fears his fellowship to die with us.
††††† This day is call’d the feast of Crispian.
††††† He that outlives this day, and comes safe home,
††††† Will stand a tip-toe when this day is nam’d,
††††† And rouse him at the name of Crispian.
††††† He that shall live this day, and see old age,
††††† Will yearly on the vigil feast his neighbours,
††††† And say ‘To-morrow is Saint Crispian.’
††††† Then will he strip his sleeve and show his scars,
††††† And say ‘These wounds I had on Crispian’s day.’
††††† Old men forget; yet all shall be forgot,
††††† But he’ll remember, with advantages,
††††† What feats he did that day. Then shall our names,
††††† Familiar in his mouth as household words-
††††† Harry the King, Bedford and Exeter ,
††††† Warwick and Talbot, Salisbury and Gloucester-
††††† Be in their flowing cups freshly rememb’red.
††††† This story shall the good man teach his son;
††††† And Crispin Crispian shall ne’er go by,
††††† From this day to the ending of the world,
††††† But we in it shall be remembered-
††††† We few, we happy few, we band of brothers;
††††† For he to-day that sheds his blood with me
††††† Shall be my brother; be he ne’er so vile,
††††† This day shall gentle his condition;
††††† And gentlemen in England now-a-bed
††††† Shall think themselves accurs’d they were not here,
††††† And hold their manhoods cheap whiles any speaks
††††† That fought with us upon Saint Crispin’s day.

††††† Men, the time has come to examine our hearts to determine if we have what it takes to remain steadfast, unswerving, faithful, and committed to God’s cultural mandate. In other words, are our core beliefs of God or man, for this determines whether we stand upon the shifting sand of human reasoning or the solid rock of Christ, both personally and civically, for men and nations both rise and fall on their theology.
††††† Today, we must identify if we are willing to die for our beliefs so that we may know if our beliefs are just a matter of convenience or whether they are firmly held convictions which we will take to our graves. The time has come for us to “quit ye like men,” for the hearts of the honored few must be stout—unyielding in convictions, determined in purpose, definite in course, tenacious in purpose, persevering against all odds. To serve the Lord, we must be willing to sacrifice ourselves for our wives, our children, our brothers, and our liberties that were won with the blood of our forefathers, upon whose shoulders we now stand.
††††† This is my charge, men, that we hold each other accountable to continue in the faith, firmly established and steadfast, and not moved away from the hope of the gospel!
††††† Colossians 1:19-23 “For it was the Father’s good pleasure for all the fullness to dwell in Him, and through Him to reconcile all things to Himself, having made peace through the blood of His cross; through Him, I say, whether things on earth or things in heaven. And although you were formerly alienated and hostile in mind, engaged in evil deeds, yet He has now reconciled you in His fleshly body through death, in order to present you before Him holy and blameless and beyond reproach—if indeed you continue in the faith firmly established and steadfast, and not moved away from the hope of the
gospel that you have heard, which was proclaimed in all creation under heaven, and of which I, Paul, was made a minister.”

The Blessing of God’s Divine Providence Through That Great Cloud of Witnesses Raised up for Such a Time

††††† We must look to our great cloud of witnesses that were raised up for such a time—men who sacrificed their own comfort and suffered great hardship to give us the Word of God and the liberty that ensued: men such as Alfred the Great, who spent the first 20 years of his reign fighting the fierce Vikings to bring a pagan land under Christ’s lordship, consequently uniting all of England for the first time in history (ruling Wessex from 871-899). Knowing full well his duty to take dominion for the Christian faith, Alfred engaged in the translation of Bedes history into Anglo-Saxon and many of the Psalms and instructed his subjects in the Christian faith. Marshall Foster shares the preface for his translations as: “These are the waters which the Lord of hosts promised for our comfort, and His will is that these ever-living waters
should flow into all the world for all who truly believe in Him; and their well-spring is the Holy Spirit.”
††††† What followed his own study of scripture led him to pattern his government after the Hebrew republic and so instituted the Ten Commandments as the basis for England ’s law, thus setting the course for common law in Europe . The efficacy of his plan was based on his motto, “Give me men who can pray, men who can fight, and men who can build, and I can build a lasting civilization.” This is what we need today!
††††† Conversely, the abuses of King John led to the Magna Charta in 1215, which in part stated: “It is accordingly our wish and command that the English Church shall be free and that men in our kingdom shall have and keep all these liberties, rights, and concessions well and peaceably in their fullness and entirety for them and their heirs in all things and in all places forever.”
††††† It took great courage and prowess to draft such a document at this time, but it was with their heirs in view, that multigenerational vision, that led them to stand firm against their king and that in the long run became the foundation of limited government and constitutional law.
††††† According to God’s plan, three attempts on John Wycliffe’s life failed, enabling him to complete his translation of the Latin Bible into English by 1382. Of his English Bible he said, “This Bible is for the government of the people, by the people, and for the people.”
††††† It is said of this “Morning Star of Reformation” that “the first rays of the light of God’s Word began to shine forth in the darkness,” so that within 30-40 years, nearly half of England’s population had become Christian, with Holland, France, and Germany closely following by becoming a majority of Christians as well. So hated was he by those who desired to stamp out the Word of God that in 1415 at the Council of Constance, it was ordered that his bones be exhumed, burned, and cast upon the river, from which is said flowed the truth throughout the land of England and beyond to distant shores.
††††† The first book ever to be printed from moveable type was the Bible sometime between 1455 and 1460. This was made possible by Johannes Gutenberg’s invention of the printing press. It is of inestimable importance because it made the Bible available to the common man.
††††† Marshall Foster quotes Gutenberg: “Yes it is a press certainly but a press from which shall flow in inexhaustible streams, the most abundant, the most marvelous liqueur that has ever flowed to relieve the thirst of men. Through it, God will spread His Word, a spring of pure truth shall flow from it. Like a new star, it shall scatter the darkness of ignorance and cause a light hither fore unknown to shine among men.”
††††† Most of us remember from childhood that in 1492 Christopher Columbus sailed the ocean blue, but it is unlikely that any of us were taught Columbus ’ impetus for crossing that vast sea. He writes: “It was the Lord who put it into my mind…I could feel His hand upon me…the fact that it would be possible to sail from here to the Indies…All who hear of my project rejected it with laughter, ridiculing me…There is no question that the inspiration was from the Holy Spirit, because He comforted me with rays of marvelous illumination from the Holy Scriptures…For the execution of the journey to the Indies, I did not make use of intelligence, mathematics, or maps. It is simply the fulfillment of what Isaiah had prophesied…No
one should fear to undertake a task in the name of our Savior, if it is just and if the intention is purely for His Service…this is what convinces me.”
††††† A condemned heretic and outlaw, Martin Luther was taken to Wartburg Castle for safety. Yet it was this seclusion from persecution that allowed him to translate the New Testament into German and produce many important doctrinal and polemic works. Luther’s works were sold in England , France , the Netherlands , Switzerland , and even Spain and Italy. As a matter of fact, Luther’s popularity in Europe displaced the chief center of publishing from Italy to northern Europe.
††††† Among many other things, Luther is known for his stand on justification by faith and the sufficiency of scripture—Sola Scriptura—Scripture alone.
††††† After 8 years of extensive research through over 200 of our own books on the Reformation and America’s history, we have ascertained that though often misunderstood and slandered, John Calvin is attributed by most Christian historians (and the vast majority of our prior conference speakers) to be the most influential leader of the Reformation, influencing not only France, Germany, Scotland, Holland, Hungary, and England, but also the man most responsible for America’s liberties, whose works contributed more toward our liberty than any other book except the Bible.
††††† Those massive works of inspired genius were often crafted while sick, yet Calvin’s relentless desire to know God more fully and make Him known more fully caused the greatest transformation in men’s hearts and government the world has known since the apostles. George Bancroft states: “He that will not honor the memory and respect the influence of Calvin knows but little of the origin of American liberty.”
††††† In fact, as persecuted reformers fled their countries for the safety of Geneva , more Protestant leaders were taught by Calvin than any other man. Due to his training, one-third of France became Protestant. In Paris a synod convened and made the reading of the Bible illegal. However, three years after this order, the Church grew from 300 to 2000 in spite of severe persecution. In 1572 on St. Bartholomew’s Day, 30,000 Protestants were ruthlessly butchered. This caused the remaining Huguenots to draft “A Defense of Liberty Against Tyrants,” which set a standard for our own War for Independence.
††††† During twelve years of exile, William Tyndale translated the Bible into English, and it was his accurate translation that gave us the Geneva Bible. Let me stop for a minute to give a historical perspective of this great work from Wikipedia.
††††† “The Geneva Bible is one of the most historically significant translations of the Bible in the English language, preceding the King James translation by 51 years. It was the primary Bible of the 16th century Protestant movement and was the Bible used by William Shakespeare, John Knox, John Donne, and John Bunyan, author of Pilgrim’s Progress. It was one of the Bibles taken to America on the Mayflower, it was used by many English Dissenters, and it was still respected by Oliver Cromwell’s soldiers at the time of the English Civil War.
††††† What makes this version of the Holy Bible singularly unique in world history is that, for the very first time, a mechanically-printed, mass-produced Bible was made available directly to the general public which came with a variety of scriptural study guides and aids (collectively called an apparatus), which included verse citations which allow the reader to cross-reference one verse with numerous relevant verses in the rest of the Bible, introductions to each book of the Bible which acted to summarize all of the material that each book would cover, maps, tables, woodcut illustrations, indexes, as well as other included features—all of which would eventually lead to the reputation of the Geneva Bible as history’s very first study Bible.
††††† Because the language of the Geneva Bible was more forceful and vigorous, most readers preferred this version strongly over the Bishops’ Bible, the translation authorized by the Church of England under Elizabeth I. In the words of Cleland Boyd McAfee, ‘it drove the Great Bible off the field by sheer power of excellence.’
††††† During the reign of Queen Mary I of England (1553-1558), a number of Protestant scholars fled from England to Geneva in Switzerland , which was then ruled as a republic in which John Calvin and Theodore Beza provided the primary spiritual and theological leadership. Among these scholars was William Whittingham, who would come to supervise what would become the effort to create the translation now known as the Geneva Bible, in collaboration with Myles Coverdale, Christopher Goodman, Anthony Gilby, Thomas Sampson, and William Cole—several of whom became prominent figures in the proto-Puritan
Nonconformist faction of the Vestments controversy…
††††† The first full edition of this Bible, with a further revised New Testament, appeared in 1560, but it was not printed in England until 1575 (New Testament) and 1576 (complete Bible). Over 150 editions were issued; the last probably in 1644. The very first Bible printed in Scotland was a Geneva Bible, which was first issued in 1579. In fact, the involvement of Knox and Calvin in the creation of the Geneva Bible made it especially appealing in Scotland , where a law was passed in 1579 requiring every household of sufficient means to buy a copy.
††††† Like most English translations of the time, the Geneva Bible was translated from scholarly editions of the Greek New Testament and the Hebrew Scriptures that comprise the Christian Old Testament. The English rendering was substantially based on the earlier translations by William Tyndale and Myles Coverdale (80-90% of the language in the Genevan New Testament is from Tyndale). However, the Geneva Bible was the first English version in which all of the Old Testament was translated directly from the Hebrew.”
††††† In 1536, Tyndale’s final words before strangulation and burning at the stake were, “Lord, open the king of England’s eyes!” Prophetically uttered, these words were soon fulfilled through a string of miraculous events in which Henry the VIII, though a vehement opponent of the Reformation, officially called for the distribution and reading of the Bible throughout his kingdom.
††††† Henry VIII’s son, Edward the VI, became England ’s only Reformed king. Although Edward only ruled for six years, he lived long enough to bring about reform. It was also during his reign that the Puritan movement began.
††††† Most of us remember Bloody Mary I who married Phillip of Spain, but do we remember that it was her hatred for the Christian faith that drove thousands of Puritans to flee to Geneva where they were taught by Calvin the biblical principles of civil liberty, which laid the foundation for our Bill of Rights and Constitution? Instructed under Calvin, they returned home to lead the Puritan opposition to Elizabeth ’s establishment of episcopacy.
††††† Following Bloody Mary, Queen Elizabeth’s opposition to the Reformation set the stage for the Separatists in 1580, which eventually led to the Pilgrims landing in America in 1620.
††††† Although the Spanish Inquisition, which began in 1478, had destroyed all the Protestants in Spain by 1558, King Phillip’s hatred for the Christian faith caused him to plan the destruction of Protestants in England . To do this, he amassed the largest armada ever assembled for battle. So in 1588, 130 massive vessels manned by 30,000 men and soldiers, known for their ruthless cruelty, entered the English Channel with the purpose to destroy the Protestant faith.
††††† England had but 38 small ships with which to meet this formidable force, and as if that was not bad enough, they were about to run out of gunpowder when suddenly a great storm rose up and sunk two-thirds of Spain’s Armada—enough to destroy their plans while also sending an envoy home to proclaim the act of God that sunk them.
††††† Stephen McDowell quotes a historian of the period, Richard Hakluyt, as he accounts the event: “It is most apparent, that God miraculously preserved the English nation. For the L. Admiral wrote unto her Majestie that in all humane reason, and according to the judgment of all men (every circumstance being duly considered) the English men were not of any such force, whereby they might, without a miracle dare once to approach within sight of the Spanish Fleet: insomuch that they freely ascribed all the honour of their victory unto God, who had confounded the enemy, and had brought his counsels to none effect…While this wonderful and puissant navy was sailing along the English coasts…all people throughout England prostrated themselves with humble prayers and supplications unto God: but especially the outlandish churches (who had greatest cause to fear, and against whom by name the Spaniards had threatened most grievous torments) enjoyned to their people continual fastings and supplication…knowing right well, that prayer was the only refuge against all enemies, calamities, and necessities, and that it was the only solace and relief for mankind, being visited with affliction and misery…”
††††† Miraculously, the smaller English ships did not sink. In honor to God for His extraordinary preservation, Holland minted a coin that depicted the sinking of the Spanish Armada on one side, and men on their knees in prayer on the other, with these words: “Man Proposeth, God Disposeth” 1588.
††††† The death of Queen Elizabeth brought much greater persecution to the Protestants through James I, which caused them to flee to Holland . Their opposition to his promotion of Sunday Sports and Arminianism prepared them for their departure to America .
††††† Pastor John Robinson’s dismissal from his church for failing to conform to the Church of England’s unscriptural practices led him to join the Separatist congregation where he became the Pilgrims’ pastor. Stephen McDowell quotes Robinson: “…had not the truth been in my heart as a burning fire shut up in my bones, Jer.XX9, I had never broken those bonds…wherein I was so straightly tied, but had suffered the light of God to have been put out in mine own unthankful heart by other men’s darkness.”
††††† It was Robinson’s teaching that prepared the Pilgrims for their work in America . Marshall Foster says that Robinson was “one of the great Christian philosophers who propounded … representative government in an age of absolute monarchy. For twenty years, he taught these principles in depth to his persecuted and beloved Pilgrim church. More than any other man, John Robinson prepared a people to take dominion over the wilderness to the glory of God. Through his godly wisdom, he taught the Pilgrims individual Christian unity.”
††††† Marshall Foster also quotes Robinson’s last charge to his beloved church members before their departure to America: “Thus, this holy army of saints is martialed here on earth by these officers under the conduct of their glorious emperor Christ. Thus it marches in its most heavenly order and gracious array against all enemies, both bodily and ghastly, peaceable in itself as Jerusalem , terrible to the enemy as an army with banners triumphing over their tyranny with patience, their cruelty with meekness and over death itself with dying. Thus through the blood of that spotless Lamb, the Word of their testimony, they are more than conquerors, bruising the head of the serpent, yea through the power of His Word they have power to cast down strongholds and everything that exalteth itself against God. The gates of hell shall not prevail against His Church!”
††††† William Bradford became so ill that he was kept in bed for a long time, yet God used this time to equip him for his 33 year service as governor of Plymouth , by compelling him to read his Bible over and over again.
††††† Although greatly pressured by his friends to remain with the Church of England, Bradford maintained his belief that he must walk according to scripture instead of according to the traditions of the church and man.
††††† In answer to the many objections that could be raised against the Pilgrims’ departure to an uninhabited land, indeed, things that they actually faced such as famine, nakedness, bitter cold, great sickness, death, savages, beasts, the absence of homes and the assistance of countrymen, William Bradford replied: “It was answered, that all great and honorable actions are accompanied with great difficulties, and must be both enterprised and overcome with answerable courages. It was granted
ye dangers were great, but not desperate; the difficulties were many, but not invincible…and all of them, through ye help of God, by fortitude and patience, might either be borne or overcome…”
††††† Stephen McDowell in America’s Providential History quotes Rosalie Slater: “American Christian education was the foundation of our nation’s great growth, progress, and success…The colonists brought with them a tradition of biblical scholarship and the fruition of the Reformation …the Scriptures in English. And with their Bibles they brought a determination to continue the individual study and practice of the Christian verities contained therein.”
††††† “The Pilgrims learned Biblical reasoning from Pastor John Robinson during their twelve years in Holland . Thus they were prepared to extend Christian principles into civil government and to deal with the problems that confronted them in the New World . Challenged on the Mayflower by rebellious ‘strangers,’ they wrote the Mayflower Compact, so that every man might voluntarily share in making and keeping the laws. Confronted with distrustful Indians, they made a mutual pact and maintained a long-lasting peace. Faced with starvation, William Bradford, Governor of Plymouth Plantation, ‘had the courage and wisdom’ to shift from the ‘labor in common’ to the responsibility of individual enterprise and private property. For more than twenty years, the Pilgrims labored to repay their original debt to venture capitalists in England who had financed the voyage of the Mayflower. There were many opportunities to escape from this responsibility but they held to the obligation as a matter of Christian conscience. The Pilgrims were consistent because of their application of Christian truths or principles. The ability to reason from the Word of God and to relate its principles to every area of life was characteristic of the American clergy prior to the American Revolution…Their election and artillery sermons identified ‘the principles of civil government with the principles of Christianity.’”
††††† “Dr. Lawrence A. Cremin in his study of American education from 1607 to 1789 credits the high quality of American education to the Bible, ‘the single most important cultural influence in the lives of Anglo-Americans.’”
††††† Indeed, Christian parents taught their children to read so that they could read the Word of God.
††††† Benjamin Franklin said, “A nation of well informed men who have been taught to know and prize the rights which God has given them cannot be enslaved. It is in the region of ignorance that tyranny begins.”
††††† Consider the odds of victory against all of Europe ’s tyrannical monarchies, yet the divine right of kings tumbled by the work and steadfast stand of the honored few. With His small band of faithful warriors, God laid the foundation for the first and only Christian republic in the history of the world.

Sharper Than a Two-Edged Sword

sword††††† So what was their greatest weapon? Mightier and sharper than a two-edged sword, the Word of God transformed the darkness of paganism and despotism into a land of Christianity and liberty, which became a beacon of light for all nations. In fact, Marshall Foster states that after the Bible was placed in the hands of the people, due to its transforming principles, the standard of living rose 900% in America .
††††† Hebrews 4:12 “For the Word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart.” Romans 1:16 “…the gospel…is the power of God for salvation…”
††††† The Word of God conquered those vast and mighty empires through a committed few who lived their lives in obedience to His entire counsel. So what legacy will you leave for your descendants, and how will you use what little time you have left?

II. LOOK TO THE PRESENT TO KNOW THAT WE ALSO HAVE BEEN RAISED FOR SUCH A TIME AS THIS

††††† Actually, we face the same battle today that men have been fighting throughout the ages. Washington D.C. is not the problem, any more than the kings were in former times. The root of the problem, then and now, is man’s lawless heart that first corrupts the home, then the church, which then sets the course for a despotic government. In truth, let us reiterate that it is fathers’ failure to disciple their sons that leads to humanists’ control of the people through the state.
††††† At the leadership conference my sons and I attended last spring, Voddie Baucham addressed the consequences of apostasy and the solution to apostasy in his workshop: The Battle for Faith and Family. The following are excerpts from that presentation; however, please keep in mind that a verbal presentation is far different than how it would appear if committed to paper. Candy has diligently worked at maintaining Baucham’s own words in addressing the men at that conference, thus it will not flow as smoothly on paper as it did when Baucham eloquently articulated his message. He states:
††††† “We are in the midst of a most significant crisis. Less than 10% of American Christians possess a biblical worldview. Of professing Christians, two-thirds assert no absolute truth. Eighty-five percent of church youth believe that what is right for one person may not be right for another in the same situation, which is situational ethics or relativism.”
††††† “Less than 5% of Christian teens are theologically literate enough to be called Christian. Sixty-two percent believe that nothing can be known for certain. The majority of teens believe Jesus sinned during His earthly ministry. Seventy to eighty-eight percent deny Christianity their freshman year in college. This is a major crisis!”
††††† He then identifies the root of this problem as parental impotence, multigenerational failure, and pastoral laxity. He then addresses this pastoral laxity as follows.
††††† After reading Titus 1:5-11, Baucham states: “Elders are to model family life both in marriage and parenting; to be a biblical husband and a biblical father who functions as a biblical shepherd. All children are born in sin and shaped in iniquity. So elders are to mange their house well and keep children in subjection. It is a continuous process—constant parenting. Most churches never look at marriage and parenting.”
††††† “Most pastors look at homeschooling as divisive because they are convicted about their investment in their own children. They do not let children disturb the sanctity of the worship service. They look at homeschoolers as being too good for the schools we send our children to. They think, ‘All this “no, sir” and “yes, sir” makes me sick.’”
††††† “Elders are to be above reproach, upright, holy, disciplined…They are to teach the Word, hold firm to the trustworthy Word, instruct in sound doctrine and solid theology. (Yet) most pastors never have to answer about their theology.”
††††† “Most believe that doctrine divides; theology is boring. We need to be relevant and meet people at the point of their felt needs. (Yet again an) elder is to rebuke those that contradict sound doctrine. The world says that this is unkind and unchristian, but it is to protect the flock from heresy. Verse 10,11 For there are many who are insubordinate, empty talkers, deceivers, they must be silenced because they are upsetting whole families.”
††††† “The primary teaching unit is the family. The shepherd is called to protect and equip families. 1 Peter 5:3 says to be an example to the flock, (to) model what we are all supposed to be doing in our homes so clearly expressed in Deuteronomy 6:6,7 and Ephesians 6:4,5.”
††††† “Whose responsibility is it to raise and train and disciple your children? Fathers! Elders are to teach, encourage and equip and not to usurp authority and responsibility of parents and not to set up structures to alleviate that responsibility.”
††††† 2 Timothy 4 “Successful parenting today means to give your kids more than your parents gave you. To give them an education that will enable them to give your grandkids more than you gave them. The result is a generation without direction.”
††††† Psalm 78:1-8 says: “Listen, O my people, to my instruction; incline your ears to the words of my mouth. I will open my mouth in a parable; I will utter dark sayings of old, which we have heard and known, and our fathers have told us. We will not conceal them from their children, but tell to the generation to come the praises of the LORD, and His strength and His wondrous works that He has done. For He established a testimony in Jacob and appointed a law in Israel, which He commanded our fathers that they should teach them to their children, that the generation to come might know, even the children yet to be born, that they may arise and tell them to their children, that they should put their confidence in God and not forget the works of God, but keep His commandments, and not be like their fathers, a stubborn and rebellious generation, a generation that did not prepare its heart and whose spirit was not faithful.”
††††† George Whitefield says, “Persons are very liberal in their invictives against the clergy and think they justly blame the conduct of that minister who does not heed to and watch over the flock of which the Holy Ghost has made him oversee. But may not every governor of a family be in a lower degree liable to the same censure who takes no thought for those souls who are committed to his charge. For every house is as it were a little parish. Every governor a priest. Every family a flock and if any of them perish through the governor’s neglect, their blood will God require at their hands.”
††††† “Every one of us is a shepherd of a flock.”
††††† He goes on to explain the consequences of the system designed to remove responsibility. “A generation educated by Marxist secularists, (a) humanist system, (a) generation learned to depend on the government for everything, (a) generation waiting for certification, permission, and instruction for everything.”
††††† “So those who ask, ‘Is it legal?’ ‘Where (do you) get (your) curriculum?’ ‘(Are your children) tested regularly?’ ‘Who do you report to?’ ‘What about your children’s socialization?’ are nothing more than Marxist, secularist, humanists disguised as Christians who see the school system (as) responsible for discipling your children. How are you getting away with discipling your children?”
††††† Voddie Baucham then hits the problem right on the head! “Here’s what we have a lot of in the homeschooling community: parents who do not know their roles, parents who do not have a vision for their families, and parents who are afraid to lead. What we have is parental impotence. (There is) no sense of the priesthood of the believer. Absolutely impotent! That’s what we are facing, and if the cycle doesn’t change, the movement will transform into something that is not healthy or helpful
for kingdom purposes.”
††††† “We’ve got to recognize that we have all been brainwashed…holding us back from being obedient, trusting in God and following God in our families and our churches. It is the same battle. Do we believe in the sufficiency of scripture or not? How about doing what the Bible tells you to do! How big is your God? In six days He can create the universe, but you try to disciple your family with the Bible, and He cannot handle that?”
††††† “How do we reclaim what was lost? I didn’t have parents who raised me that way. God left us biblically qualified elders who model and teach what I have called you to do and how to teach sound doctrine.”
††††† “He has given us mature brothers and sisters in the faith who teach what is in accord with sound doctrine. God has forged something in them over time. Look into their lives and see the result of walking with God over time. You see maturity and sanctification in the lives of these people—the maturity that comes from devotion to God over time. We surround ourselves with godly men and women of character.”
††††† “Titus 2:1-8 focuses on practical application of godliness in the home. Modeling is directed in the home. In Titus 2, older women teach younger women. The primary place of discipleship and the most vital teaching unit in the church is the home.”
††††† “Older women teach younger women…likewise teach younger men self-control. There is no list for men in chapter 2 because He already gave it in chapter 1. No, wait a minute, that’s for elders. Let’s go through the list and tell me which ones you do not want for your sons. Above reproach, husband of one wife…”
††††† “Not one of us is able to give up on one of those things for all of our sons. Don’t fool yourselves. Elders are not a separate category of persons; they are chosen based on being examples of what all of us are called to be. And I think the professionalism of modern American ministry has caused us to lose sight of that.”
††††† “(The list is) based on their ability to do in their homes what all of us are called to do and to model it for the rest of us as we all do it together. That’s why there is no list for what older men are to teach younger men in chapter 2 like what older women are to teach younger women. It’s already been covered in chapter 1.”
††††† “We are in the midst of crises for faith and family. This crisis has manifested itself in both church and the home. But ironically both of these things have undermined the home. Why? The home is the place where God forges leaders for the church. The home is the place that fortifies, carries on, undergirds, and pushes even further what is being taught in church. Home is the place that has more time, more opportunity, and more relational clout as it relates to the discipleship of the next generation. So what the enemy has done is quite skillfully taken his scalpel and drawn a line of separation between these two entities and as a result has weakened them both.”
††††† “Our churches are not as strong because we are not calling elders based upon the qualification we see in their homes. Homes are not as strong because we are not part of churches that have elders who are modeling for us what we ought to be and to do and to teach.”
††††† “There’s a generation who has dropped the ball, but the good news is God has provision for us so that another generation can pick it up again. My prayer is that we will be that generation.”

It Is Not Enough to Disciple Our Own Children—We Must Challenge Others to Disciple Their Children as Well

†††††† Horrific times in history have always provided the faithful with tremendous opportunities to witness to a desperate people. A firm reliance on Divine Providence is the only firm foundation that stands the test of time, for security comes only through our living savior Jesus Christ. God, therefore, commands us to be prepared for such a time.
††††† 2 Timothy 4:1,2 “I solemnly charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by His appearing and His kingdom: preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort, with great patience and instruction.”
††††† Whom do you really serve? The way you spend your time and money will answer that question, whether you serve the kingdom of God or the kingdom of man. History is always made through a committed few. Here is the question you must ask yourself: “Am I one of them?”
††††† Contrary to the world’s reasoning, God did not place us here this day for us to pursue our dreams of pleasure and comfort, those things that are perishable and impermanent, but to work to attain that which is imperishable and permanent. No, the purpose of man is to glorify Him all the days of our lives by taking dominion in His stead by making disciples and teaching them ALL He commanded us.
††††† From The City of God by Augustine: “Orosius, in the same generation, was also much under Augustine’s influence. Orosius begins his book Against the Pagans with an address to Augustine. ‘I have obeyed your instructions,’ he writes. ‘You told me to write against those whose ‘vain-speaking wickedness’ is leading the Roman world to forget its history. They are not interested in the future; they either forget or know nothing of the past’ and they misrepresent the present. So he is composing a ‘history’ book because he believes it is important for people to be aware of their own history.’”
††††† Augustine writes: “For God’s providence constantly uses war to correct and chastens the corrupt morals of mankind, as it also uses such afflictions to train men to a righteous and laudable way of life, removing to a better state those whose life is approved, or else keeping them in this world for further service…The good man is not exalted by this world’s goods; nor is he overwhelmed by this world’s ills…the good and the wicked suffer alike, the identity of their sufferings does not mean that there is no difference between them. Though the sufferings are the same, the sufferers remain different. ..The fire which makes gold shine makes chaff smoke…the violence which assails good men to test them, to cleanse and purify them, effects in the wicked their condemnation, ruin, and annihilation. Thus the wicked, under pressure of affliction, execrate God and blaspheme; the good, in the same affliction, offer up prayers and praises. This shows that what matters is the nature of the sufferer, not the nature of the sufferings.”
††††† “Thus, in this universal catastrophe, the sufferings of Christians have tended to their moral improvement, because they viewed them with the eyes of faith. First they consider in humility the sins which have moved God’s indignation so that He has filled the world with dire calamities. And although they are free from criminal and godless wickedness, still they do not regard themselves as so far removed from such wrongdoing as not to deserve to suffer the temporal ills which are the recompense of sin…Apart from this, it is not easy to find anyone who, when confronted with those whose fearful arrogance, lust, and greed, whose detestable wickedness and impiety, have caused God to give effect to his threats and warnings by bringing destruction on the earth—it is not, I say, easy to find anyone who regards such men as they should be regarded—who, when he meets them, treats them as they should be treated.”
††††† “We tend culpably to evade our responsibility when we ought to instruct and admonish them, sometimes even with sharp reproof and censure, either because the task is irksome, or because we are afraid of giving offence; or it may be that we shrink from incurring their enmity, for fear that they may hinder and harm us in worldly matters, in respect either of what we eagerly seek to attain, or of what we weakly dread to lose. And so, although the good dislike the way of life of the wicked, and therefore do not fall into the condemnation which is in store for the wicked after this life, nevertheless, because they are tender towards damnable sins of the wicked, and thus fall into sin through fear of such people (pardonable and comparatively trivial though those sins may be), they are justly chastised with afflictions in the world, although they are spared eternal punishment; and they rightly feel this life to be bitter when they are associated with the wicked in the afflictions sent by God.”
††††† “Even those who have a higher standard of life…are often fearful of attacks by the wicked upon their reputation and their safety, and so refrain from reproaches….and this is not due to prudence, nor is it because they see their reputation and safety as essential means whereby mankind may receive the benefit of instruction; it is rather due to weakness—because they delight in flattery and popularity and because they dread the judgment of the mob, and the torture of death of the body. In fact, they are constrained by self-interest, not by the obligations of charity.”
††††† “‘He indeed will die in his sin, but I will require his blood at the hand of the watchman.’ Ezekiel 33:6 If he evades this duty for fear of offending them, because he is concerned for those worldly advantages…which he is unduly attached. There is a further reason for the infliction of temporal suffering on the good, as is seen in the case of Job—that the spirit of man may be tested, that he may learn for himself what is the degree of disinterested devotion that he offers to God.”
††††† Really, failure to challenge others with the entire counsel of God’s revelation to man is a rejection of God Himself and a signing of men’s death warrants by our very hand. The battle between truth and heresy is a life and death struggle for the souls of those around us. With that said, we can understand that nothing short of a return to discipleship as ordained by God will save this country.
††††† Men, we must cast that vision to those men in our sphere of influence through both actions and conversations for “where there is no vision, the people perish, but he that keepeth the law, happy is he” (Proverbs 29:18).
††††† Kirk Cameron in a series “The Way of the Master” described this duty quite clearly. If you noticed an elevator quickly descending upon a group of children who are happily playing under the elevator’s shaft, would you try to snatch them before it destroyed them or would you reason to yourself that you should leave them alone because you really did not know them, besides the fact that they look so happy and content there?
††††† Or if in the middle of the night, you noticed that your neighbor’s house was burning while they were asleep, would you ignore it because you did not really know them or because you did not want to disturb their sleep? How much more should we be working to preach the Word of God, which is the power unto salvation, so as to save the doomed from the eternal death in the lake of fire? When we understand the full import of discipleship, our duty must be nothing less than to disciple all within our reach.

Engaged in a Life and Death Struggle for the Souls of Men

††††† We are engaged in a life and death struggle for the souls of those around us, so we must prepare for the battle. That is why Candy and I continually teach through newsletters, the conferences, the God and Government/Covenantal Families family classes, and frankly why I began this church, and why we are now furthering the preparation of our body of children for the battle.
††††† Opposition will arise, “for the desire of the flesh opposes the spirit” (Galatians 5:17), but sadly from where you might least expect it. Unfortunately, hostility to God’s precepts (instruction, rule, and principle) most often comes from within the “church.” So do not be caught off guard by the censure of the devil’s advocates. If you follow God’s Word, you will most certainly be accused of being legalistic and controlling, with contemptuous remarks following such as, “How dare you attempt to impose your belief system on me, you Pharisee!”
††††† Let us evaluate these remarks so that you have time to compose your defense for the hope that you possess. 2 Corinthians 10:4,5 “For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh, but divinely powerful for the destruction of fortresses. We are destroying speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God, and we are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ.” Acts 26:18 “To open their eyes so that they may turn from darkness to light and from the dominion of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins and an inheritance among those who have been sanctified by faith in Me.”
††††† Is it legalistic and controlling to define homeschooling as discipleship according to God’s Word so as to equip parents to fulfill their command to disciple their children? Since the answer to this question depends on the standard that one uses to govern his life, we must ask questions to help the deceived define their presuppositions.
††††† Is God sovereign or is man? Do you govern your life by God’s revelation or by man’s reasoning? What is your reference point?
††††† If they say it depends on the situation, then you must point out that they believe in situational ethics, whereby they become god by using their reasoning to determine what is right for them at any given time.
††††† Jesus called the Pharisees vipers because instead of following God’s Word, they became their own gods, creating their own laws based on their own autonomous reasoning, which they then imposed on others. 1 John 5:3 “For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments; and His commandments are not burdensome.”
††††† Carefully consider the import of the following verse in Proverbs 14:8,12 “The wisdom of the sensible is to understand his way, but the foolishness of fools is deceit….There is a way which seems right to a man, but its end is the way of death.”
††††† If they state that they believe Scripture to be the ultimate authority over all areas of life, then the answer to the question becomes crystal clear because from cover to cover the Bible conveys God’s plan for victory through discipleship, which He implemented through faithful fathers first with Adam, then with Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph…David…and finally His relationship with His Son.
††††† Point out the following scriptures to substantiate this foundational principle: Genesis 18:19; Deuteronomy 6:1-9; Psalm 78:1-8; Deuteronomy 4:9; Deuteronomy 11:19; Proverbs 1; Proverbs 2:1-13; Proverbs 3; Proverbs 4; Proverbs 5; Proverbs 6; Proverbs 7; Proverbs 8:32; Proverbs 10:1; Proverbs 13:1; Proverbs 14:26,27; Proverbs 15:5,20; Proverbs 17:25; Proverbs 18:24; Proverbs 19:13,18,20,27; Proverbs 22:15; Proverbs 23:15,16,19,22,24-26; Proverbs 28:7; Judges 2:10; Jeremiah 35; 2 Samuel 7:14; Luke 6:40; John 5:19,20,30,36; John 8:28,38; John 14; John 15; John 17; and Malachi 4:6 and Luke 1:17 (turning hearts of fathers).
††††† And then relate all the other scriptures and historical evidence that we printed in prior covenantal lessons (posted on our website www.theresnoplacelikehome-summer.com) from the Hebrews to the Greeks, early Christians, Reformers, Puritans,colonists, and early Americans.
††††† If you do not study the Word nor God’s providential history, this concept will be totally foreign to you because without a clear understanding of our ancestry, we become totally rudderless in an ever changing world. The great heresy of the day is that professing Christians make their human autonomy the final reference point, instead of God and His revealed Word.

A Manifestation of Antinomianism (reprinted from one of our earlier Covenantal lessons)

††††† What causes men’s conclusions to differ so drastically with one another? Well, to adequately assess the reasoning behind one’s thoughts, we must examine their presuppositions, or in other words, their foundational beliefs. Cornelius Van Til best defines presupposition as “an elementary assumption in one’s reasoning or in the process by which opinions are formed…a personal commitment…of beliefs. Presuppositions form…perspective in terms of which everything else is interpreted and evaluated…having the greatest authority in one’s thinking…”
††††† Observably different conclusions, then, reveal dissimilar presuppositions, and since God is truth and since He will not allow any rivals, by its very nature, truth is always in opposition to any other position….as Christians, we must compare all views with scripture to ascertain whether it supports or denies the validity thereof, because every thought must bear truth and thus be substantiated with scriptural and historical fact.
††††† Our response to an opposing view would include such points as follow. First and foremost, God is Sovereign over all areas of life and governs all the affairs of men. Thus God blesses and curses, rewards or punishes according to our obedience to Him, and specifically in this present crisis, according to our nation’s obedience as revealed in Deuteronomy
28. Therefore, America ’s success will not stand on brilliancy or hard work or the government’s plan of salvation or a conservative President, but on its obedience to God’s standard expressed in His righteous Law. In fact, God most emphatically states that “righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a disgrace to any people” (Proverbs 14:34), thus making holiness and blessings inseparable for any people or any nation.
††††† Whereas most people believe in the inherit goodness of man, since the Fall all have sinned, and all men’s hearts are depraved prior to regeneration, making none righteous apart from God’s indwelling Holy Spirit. Furthermore, Christ states in Luke 11:23 that “He who is not with Me is against Me; and he who does not gather with Me, scatters.” Therefore, those who are not Christians are at enmity with Him and with His people. And since civil magistrates serve as God’s sword against evildoers to maintain peace and safety for those who are His, then it stands to reason that we do not want those opposed to His Laws.
††††† Whereas many do not believe that God’s Law applies to all men and certainly not to nations because we are no longer under the Law but under grace, the Bible from front to back explicitly states that all men and all nations are governed and judged by God’s Law—the only standard of righteousness. If this were not so, then God would be unjust in His condemnation of those who oppose Him. Consequently, since Romans 1 verifies the fact that all men are culpable before God and that all will be judged according to His standard of righteousness, then it stands to reason that God requires obedience of all men, which indeed He commands in Acts 17:30,31: “…He admonishes all men everywhere to repent, because He has fixed a day in which He will judge the world in righteousness…” Furthermore, if men are not under God’s Law, then why does He command us to disciple all nations, teaching all that He commanded?
††††† Retreat actually best describes the cause of our dilemma, for when apostate churches aborted truth for antinomianism [in Christian doctrine, the belief that Christians are not bound by established moral laws, but should rely on faith and divine grace for salvation. The belief that it is impossible to apply a universal moral code because it will have a different meaning for different people (Encarta Dictionary, the English North America)], God abandoned them. So when the Church dropped her weapon, the sword of the Spirit, she had no means by which to overcome paganism and thereby surrendered all structures of society including theology, education, communication, science, industry, commerce, arts, and politics… to godless, lawless men.

Educational Antinomianism

††††† Let’s look at what Dr. Baucham says about educational antinomianism. He states that he “does not ascribe to educational antinomianism—the sentiments of the modern American Church—that whatever choice you ‘feel’ is appropriate; that the Bible is silent on the issue of education and the training of the child’s mind; there is no law of God in this area; whatever choice you ‘feel’ is appropriate for your family. We are relativists when it comes to education. You cannot talk to someone else about your choice to influence them. ‘My choice is my choice. Don’t talk to me about my choice.’ To talk about your choice is divisive.”
††††† In True for You, But Not for Me, Paul Copan states: “Relativism claims that what we think is knowledge—what we think is a firm grasp of truth and reality—is really only an opinion. A fact—or a value, moral precept or outlook on life—can be ‘true for you’ and at the same time ‘not true for me.’ Yet it contradicts itself by claiming nothing is really true or false.”
††††† “To imply that someone is wrong is terribly intolerant; (however) this self-contradictory philosophy is far more dogmatic and narrow-minded than Christianity is. It is strangely ironic that despite allegations that Christians are bigoted and narrow, the Christian’s absolutist position is not only true but consistent and compassionate.”
††††† Voddie Baucham continues: “As Christians we must bring God’s Word to bear. The fool says in his heart there is no God; they are corrupt …Everyone who is fully trained will be like his teachers.”
††††† He then goes on to quote these verses: Romans 12:2 “And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.” 2 Corinthians 10:5 “We are destroying speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God, and we are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ.” Colossians 2:8 “See to it that no one takes you captive through philosophy and empty deception, according to the tradition of men, according to the elementary principles of the world, rather than according to Christ.” Matthew 18:7 “…woe to the one by whom the temptation comes!” Proverbs 13:20 “…the companion of fools will suffer harm.”

Exhort All to Keep God’s Commandments

††††† Greg Bahnsen writes in By This Standard “Obedience—if it is genuine biblical obedience—cannot be restricted to a concern for our own personal conduct. Full obedience embraces an interest in the obedience of those around me to the laws of God. The Christian must assume the responsibility to exhort those in his home, church, society, etc. to keep the commandments of the Lord. David wrote, ‘Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation, and uphold me with thy free spirit. Then will I teach
transgressors thy ways, and sinners will be converted unto thee’ (Psalm 51:12,13)…Anything less than this concern for the obedience of those around us is disloyalty to the Lord and fails to qualify as true obedience to His law. John Murray wrote: 'The least of God’s commandments, if they bind us, bind others. We must resist the virulent poison of individualism which tolerates in others the indifference and disobedience which we cannot justify in ourselves. The moment we become complacent to the sins of others then we have begun to relax our own grip on the sanctity of the commandments of God. And we are on the way to condoning the same sins in ourselves.’”
††††† Here are a few more scriptures for us to contemplate. Psalm 119:103-106 “How sweet are Your words to my taste! Yes, sweeter than honey to my mouth! From Your precepts I get understanding; therefore I hate every false way. Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path. I have sworn and I will confirm it, that I will keep Your righteous ordinances.” Exodus 20:6 “Showing lovingkindness to thousands, to those who love Me and keep my commandments.” John 8:51 “Truly, truly, I say to you, if anyone keeps My word he will never see death.” John 14:24 “He who does not love Me does not keep My words…” John 15:10 “If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love, just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love.” Proverbs 13:13 “The one who despises the word will be in debt to it, but the one who fears the commandment will be rewarded.” Proverbs 15:8,9,29 “The sacrifice of the wicked is an abomination to the LORD, but the prayer of the upright is His delight. The way of the wicked is an abomination to the LORD, but He loves one who pursues righteousness.… The LORD is far from the wicked, but He hears the prayer of the righteous.” Colossians 1:3-12 “We give thanks to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, praying always for you, since we heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and the love which you have for all the saints; because of the hope laid up for you in heaven, of which you previously heard in the word of truth, the gospel which has come to you, just as in all the world also it is constantly bearing fruit and increasing, even as it has been doing in you also since the day you heard of it and understood the grace of God in truth...For this reason also, since the day we heard of it, we have not ceased to pray for you and to ask that you may be filled with the knowledge
of His will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, so that you will walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, to please Him in all respects, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God; strengthened with all power, according to His glorious might, for the attaining of all steadfastness and patience; joyously giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified us to share in the inheritance of the saints in Light.” Revelation 14:12 “Here is the perseverance of the saints who keep the commandments of God and their faith in Jesus.”
††††† In Political Sermons of the Founding Era, John Witherspoon states: “Nothing is more certain than that a general profligacy and corruption of manners make a people ripe for destruction. A good form of government may hold the rotten materials together for some time, but beyond a certain pitch, even the best constitution will be ineffectual, and slavery must ensue. On the other hand, when the manners of a nation are pure, when true religion and internal principles maintain their vigor, the attempts of the most powerful enemies to oppress them are commonly baffled and disappointed. This will be found equally
certain, whether we consider the great principles of God’s moral government, or the operation and influence of natural causes.”
††††† “What follows from this? That he is the best friend to American liberty, who is most sincere and active in promoting true and undefiled religion, and who sets himself with the greatest firmness to bear down profanity and immorality of every kind… It is therefore your duty…to promote the knowledge of God, the reverence of his name and worship, and obedience to his laws… what a weakness and meanness of spirit does it discover, for a man to be ashamed in the presence of his fellow sinners, to profess that reverence to almighty God which he inwardly feels…The usefulness of a strictly holy and conscientious deportment is not confined to the possessor, but spreads its happy influence to all that are within its reach.”
††††† “It is the duty of a good man, by open reproof and opposition, to wage war with profaneness…. ‘Thou shalt not hate thy brother in thy heart, but shalt in any wise rebuke him, and not suffer sin upon him.’ How prone are many to represent reproof as flowing from ill nature and surliness of temper? The spirit of God, on the contrary, considers it as the effect of inward hatred, or want of genuine love, to forbear reproof, when it is necessary or may be useful….by speedy departure from such society, we ought to guard against being partakers of other men’s sins…Magistrates, ministers, parents, heads of families, and those whom age has rendered venerable, are called to use their authority and influence for the glory of God and the good of others.”

The Opposite of Antinomianism (Anti Law) Is Theonomy (God’s Law)

††††† Sir William Blackstone said, “A law is a rule of action dictated by a superior Being.”
††††† Doug Phillips states: “The standard is the cannon of scripture. Jesus used it, told us to use it and the apostles told us to use it.”
††††† Blackstone was the most widely read of the founding era next to the Bible. He said, “The doctrines thus delivered we call revealed or divine, and they’re only to be found in the Holy Scriptures. Upon these two foundations, the law of nature and the law of revelation depend all human laws; that is to say, no human laws should be suffered to contradict these.”
††††† Blackstone went on to say, “When the Supreme Being formed the universe and made matter out of nothing, He impressed certain principles upon the matter, from which it can never depart, and without which it would cease to be…If our reason were always as in our first ancestor before his transgression, the fall, clear and perfect, unruffled by passion, unclouded by prejudice, unimpaired… by disease or intemperance, the task would be pleasant and easy…every man now finds the contrary in his own experience; that his reason is corrupt, and his understanding full of ignorance and error. This has given manifold occasion for the benign interposition of …Divine Providence which, in compassion to the frailty, the imperfection, the blindness of human reason, hath been pleased at sundry times in diverse manners, to discover and enforce its laws by an immediate and direct revelation.”
††††† Doug Phillips states, “Holy Scripture is our ultimate guide. The Law has as its purpose and direction in the restitution of God’s order.”
††††† From page 11 of Rousas John Rushdoony’s The Institutes of Biblical Law: “The commandments thus establish and protect a basic area of life. But even more important, this establishment…is not from the state or man but from the sovereign and omnipotent God. The commandments all have their origin in God, who, as the sovereign Lord, issues the law to govern His realm. Further, it follows, since God issues the law, that any offense against the law is an offense against God. Whether the law has reference to property, person, family, labor, capital, church, state, or anything else, its first frame of reference is to God. In essence, law-breaking is entirely against God, since everything and every person is His creation.
But, David declared, with reference to his acts of adultery and murder, ‘Against thee, thee only, have I sinned and done this evil in thy sight.’ Psalm 51:4 This means then, that lawlessness is also sin, that any civil, familial, ecclesiastical, or other social act of disobedience is also a religious offense unless the disobedience is required by the prior obedience to God.”
††††† Rushdoony goes on to define the validity of biblical law on pages 2 and 3: “It is modern heresy that holds that the law of God has no meaning nor any binding force for man today. It is an aspect of the influence of humanistic and evolutionary thought on the church, and it posits an evolving, developing god. This ‘dispensational’ god expressed himself in law in an earlier age, then later expressed himself by grace alone, and is now perhaps to express himself in still another way. But this is not the God of Scripture, whose grace and law remain the same in every age, because He, as the sovereign and absolute Lord, changes not, nor does He need to change. The strength of man is the absoluteness of his God.”
††††† Doug Phillips states: “To say that the God of the Old Testament is different than the God of the New Testament is a denial of God Himself that He does not change.”
††††† Rushdoony continues, “To attempt to study Scripture without studying its law is to deny it. To attempt to understand Western civilization apart from the impact of Biblical law within it and upon it is to seek a fictitious history and to reject twenty centuries and their progress.”
††††† “A central characteristic of the churches and of modern preaching and Biblical teaching is antinomianism, an anti-law position. The antinomian believes that faith frees the Christian from the law, so that he is not outside the law but is rather dead to the law. There is not warrant whatsoever in Scripture for antinomianism. The expression, “dead to the law,” is indeed in Scripture but it has reference to the believer in relationship to the atoning work of Christ as the believer’s representative and substitute; the believer is dead to the law as an indictment, a legal sentence of death against him, Christ having died for him, but the believer is alive to the law as the righteousness of God. The purpose of Christ’s atoning work was to restore man to a position of covenant-keeping instead of covenant-breaking, to enable man to keep the law by freeing man ‘from the law of sin and death’ Romans 8:2, ‘that the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us’ Romans 8:4. Man is restored to a position of law-keeping. The law thus has a position of centrality in man’s indictment (as a sentence of death against man the sinner), in man’s redemption (in that Christ died, who although the perfect law-keeper
as the new Adam, died as man’s substitute), and in man’s sanctification (in that man grows in grace as he grows in law-keeping, for the law is the way of sanctification).”
††††† “Man as a covenant-breaker is in ‘enmity against God’ Romans 8:7 and is subject to ‘the law of sin and death’ Romans 8:2, whereas the believer is under ‘the law of the Spirit of life in Christ’ Romans 8:2. The law is one law, the law of God. To the man on death row in a prison, the law is death; to the godly man, the same law which places another on death row is life, in that it protects him and his property from criminals. Without law, society would collapse into anarchy and fall into the hands of hoodlums…”
††††† “God, in creating man, ordered him to subdue the earth and to exercise dominion over the earth, Genesis 1:28. Man, in attempting to establish separate dominion and autonomous jurisdiction over the earth Genesis 3:5, fell into sin and death. God, in order to re-establish the Kingdom of God, called Abraham, and then Israel, to be His people, to subdue the earth, and to exercise dominion under God. The law, as given through Moses, established the laws of godly society, of true development for man under God, and the prophets repeatedly recalled Israel to this purpose.”
††††† “The purpose of Christ’s coming was in terms of this same creation mandate. Christ as the new Adam, 1 Corinthians 15:45 kept the law perfectly. As the sin-bearer of the elect, Christ died to make atonement for their sins, to restore them to their position of righteousness under God. The redeemed are recalled to the original purpose of man, to exercise dominion under God, to be covenant-keepers, and to fulfill ‘the righteousness of the law’ Romans 8:4. The law remains central to God’s purpose. Man has been re-established into God’s original purpose and calling. Man’s justification is by the grace of God in Jesus Christ; man’s sanctification is by means of the law of God…”
††††† “Lawless Christianity is a contradiction in terms: it is anti-Christian. The purpose of grace is not to set aside the law but to fulfill the law and to enable man to keep the law. If the law was so serious in the sight of God that it would require the death of Jesus Christ, the only-begotten Son of God, to make atonement for man’s sin, it seems strange for God then to proceed to abandon the law! The goal of the law is not lawlessness, nor the purpose of grace a lawless contempt to the giver of grace.”
††††† “Law is in every culture religious in origin…In any culture the source of law is the god of that society…In Western culture, law has steadily moved away from God to the people or the state as its source.”
††††† “In any society, any change of law is an explicit or implicit change of religion. Nothing more clearly reveals, in fact, the religious change in a society than a legal revolution. When the legal foundations shift from Biblical law to humanism, it means that the society now draws its vitality and power from humanism, not from Christian theism…”
††††† “Since the foundations of law are inescapably religious, no society exists without a religious foundation or without a law-system which codifies the morality of its religion.”
††††† “There can be no tolerance in a law-system for another religion. Toleration is a device used to introduce a new law-system as a prelude to a new intolerance.”

Where Compromise Leads

††††† Case in point, just recently while dining with another pastor’s family, the pastor shared with us that the denomination’s governing body recently took him to lunch to express their concern over his radical ideas of God’s opposition to homosexuality and His command that women be submissive to their husbands. They then told him that no one has a right to tell another person exactly how to live. Just because God is telling him something does not mean that He is telling everyone. What’s right for him might not be right for someone else. Sounds rather like the statements many churches place on their marquees: “Don’t put a period where God put a comma. God is still speaking.”
††††† See where compromise leads? When we compromise God’s laws, we become lawless, which leads to disorder, chaos, anarchy, and revolution. What did Doug Phillips say about Law? “The Law has as its purpose and direction in the restitution of God’s order.” Again it boils down to the question, “By whose standard—God’s or man’s?”
††††† So did God really command us to teach our own children, or do we, as parents, have the right to choose what form of education we provide for our children? It is this same deviation from God’s law that legalized abortion, for after all, a woman has the right to an abortion because it is her body. Where does the perversion and descent from God’s purpose stop?

††††† Compromise means to negotiate, concede, conciliate, give and take, cooperate, do a deal, find the middle ground…

††††† In the introduction to Greg L. Bahnsen’s Theonomy in Christian Ethics, Rushdoony states: “If law be separated from grace, then grace also disappears, for the Bible knows no antinomian grace. The redeeming work of Jesus Christ, and the necessity of His atoning death on the cross, attest to the absoluteness of God’s law: it could not be set aside. The redemptive work of Christ did not end the function of the law but rather re-established man in obedience to the law. We are redeemed, St. Paul made clear, ‘that the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us’ Romans 8:4.”
††††† “Adam was created in the image of God to exercise dominion over the earth and to subdue it to God’s purposes through man as God’s priest, prophet, and king. As priest, man was ordained to dedicate himself and his activities to the triune God. As king, man was to rule the earth as God’s vicegerent, and as prophet, to interpret all things in terms of God’s sovereign word. By his fall, man’s calling was deflected and perverted, and instead of the Kingdom of God , the Kingdom of man became his goal, and towers of Babel have, in one form or another, consistently occupied his energies.”
††††† “By redeeming and restoring man in God’s image, Jesus Christ restored man to his creation mandate, to subdue the earth by means of science, agriculture, the arts, commerce and industry, education, and every other legitimate human pursuit, and to exercise dominion over all things under God. The purpose of the law has from the beginning been this task. Salvation is by the grace of God through faith, and sanctification is by law. Because God’s law has been abandoned by the modern church, both evangelical and reformed, it has first restricted holiness to things personal; clearly, sanctification inescapably begins in the heart of man, but it cannot rest there. The man who is being progressively sanctified will inescapably sanctify his home…politics, economics…all things else by understanding and interpreting all things in terms of the Word of God, and by bringing all things under the dominion of Christ the King.”
††††† “Where God’s law is honored, no man can regard himself as meeting God’s requirements of holiness who give his children to a godless school system to educate…God’s law requires obedience by all men…”
††††† “The history of Puritanism in America is very telling at this point. Law, an optimistic, biblical eschatology, and social power went hand in hand. The decline of one was the decline of all. The word of God is a seamless garment, and men who deny its law deny its eschatology also, and are deprived of God’s power. It is not surprising, therefore, that this is an era of impotence in the church. That impotence will no more be cured by frantic and earnest prayer meetings than was the problem of Baal’s prophets by their shouts, ‘O Baal, hear us’ 1 Kings 18:26.” (And as Jedidiah always quotes Proverbs 28:9,
“He who does not listen to the law, even his prayers are an abomination.”)
††††† “True faith means law-obedience and obedience spells power and blessing. Deuteronomy 28 tells us precisely, and for all time, how prayers are answered and a people blessed. There was a time when civil magistrates in the United States, from the president down, took their oath of office with the Bible opened to this chapter, because they knew what the law of God meant. Holiness and blessing are tied to the law, not to religious exercises (Deut. 28:8,9) which substitute religiosity for faith in the Lord and obedience to His sovereign word.”
††††† “The issue, as Bahnsen so tellingly states it, is between theonomy (God’s law) and autonomy (self-law). Modern autonomous man is aided and abetted in his apostasy from God by the antinomianism of the church, while, by denying God’s law, has, in theology, politics, education, industry, and all things else, surrendered the field to the law of the fallen and godless self, to autonomy. Answers to the crisis of the modern age are futile if they refer Scripture only to matters of faith and then look to the constructs of autonomous man for answers. Too many church-men have been less honest than
modern unbelievers, because they have restricted Scripture to matters of faith; and created a mythical world of common grace where autonomous man and his anti-theistic law principles prevail. Against such unbelief and heresy, this study is an important and major defense of the faith and an extension to its full force of the crown rights of King Jesus.”
††††† Kenneth Gentry, Jr., Th.D. in the preface to Bahnsen’s book states: “Unfortunately though, theonomic ethics does not sit well with the modern values of personal peace and affluence. Its absolutistic character stands like the Rock of Gibraltar against the relentless, ever changing waves of the do-your-own-thing approach to life.”
††††† In conclusion to these antithetical philosophies, Rushdoony states from his Institutes of Biblical Law: “Revealed law…is the only means whereby man can fulfill his creation mandate of exercising dominion under God. Apart from revealed law, man cannot claim to be under God but only in rebellion against God.”
††††† This brings us to a very important article that Bob Wells wrote for our CHEF families many years ago. Although you may have read this in years past, we want you to bear with us, please, and read it again so that you grasp the immense significance of preference versus conviction.

Homeschooling: Preference or Conviction?

[Although this was written many years ago during a time when Bob Wells represented CHEF at a hearing in our state capitol, it is really more essential today for convincing homeschoolers of God’s mandate to educate their own children than it was to convince the legislators at that time. Sad but true, for many have lost their way. So, please carefully consider the import of the court’s criteria for determination of which beliefs would be legitimately protected under the Constitution. Then share this lesson with your children, so they, too, understand the importance of convictions.]

††††† Homeschooling has become one of the fastest growing and more popular educational phenomena in America . But the reasons for this switch from traditional education are as varied as the children who are experiencing it. Some popular reasons include the concern for academic deterioration of the government (public) school systems; resistance to the “social-engineering” agenda of these schools; and fear of the violence, social pressure, drug-culture, sexual promiscuity, gangs, etc. so predominant in many of our schools across the country.
††††† But why should the reason that we homeschool even be considered important? It would appear that any reason should be sufficient to allow us to continue to exercise this privilege and responsibility, but this is simply not the case. There are movements afoot in this country to severely control, if not eliminate entirely, homeschooling as a legal alternative to educating our children.
††††† Recent legislative efforts in Missouri such as HB 540 and more local government efforts such as the one in Pike County point clearly to the fact that state agencies, school boards, and law enforcement agencies desire to identify and single out homeschoolers for the purpose of control and harassment.
††††† One must understand that the agenda of the academic elite in this nation mandates that the largest body of children as possible be included in the educational “brain-washing” scheme of government schooling in order for their social agenda to be effective. Homeschooling represents a growing and effective threat to that agenda which must be controlled or eliminated! So what does this mean to us as homeschoolers? Simply this: In order for us to be able to withstand the increasing pressures which will come to bear on homeschooling in America , we must have a foundation of strength upon which we base
our reasons for homeschooling. If we do not, we will ultimately lack the diligence, courage and endurance necessary to maintain that right and simply allow this privilege to be gradually stolen by the state bureaucracy.
††††† Then the question becomes: On what ground should we homeschool? Many of us a God-fearing Christian have a long held that is a religious belief which causes us to undertake this challenging and arduous task rather that opting for an easier traditional method of schooling. In fact, there have been challenges throughout homeschooling’s tenure under which homeschoolers have sought the protection of the First Amendment to the Constitution (the free exercise of religion) as legal grounds for this right. As a result the Supreme Court has deemed it necessary to find a way to determine which “beliefs” would be legitimately protected under this provision of the Constitution.
††††† The Court noticed in this search for a conclusive test that some beliefs, though they were strongly resolved and vocally confessed, are often based on subjective understanding and feelings and not on a specific doctrine. Therefore the Court made a declaration that you must be able to do two things to prove your belief as valid and binding in lawful decision making: (1) You must know the basis of your belief (be aware of specific church doctrines supporting the belief), and (2) You must be able to vocalize or express your belief.
††††† The specific precedent behind the development of this test was the 1972 Supreme Court case Yoder vs. The State of Wisconsin. Mr. Yoder was an Amish gentleman who like most Amish knew that the protection and promulgation of the Amish faith in his children mandated his taking their education into his own family’s hands. One day the State of Wisconsin decided to challenge Mr. Yoder and demand that he put his children into the Wisconsin public school system. Mr. Yoder stubbornly refused and after several subsequent lower court challenges, he found himself before the Supreme Court of the United States .
††††† In this case the Supreme Court established that every belief that a person holds will fall into one of two categories: Preference or Conviction. The distinction drawn here is of critical importance to us because this court determined that only convictions would be protected under the First Amendment. All other beliefs would be dismissed as superficial beliefs.

What is a Preference?

††††† The Court gave the following descriptions of a preference: It may be a strongly held belief. It may invoke you into full-time service. It may cause you to be willing to spend all your financial resources. It may make you willing to actively proselytize (seek to recruit others). It may give you the desire to teach the belief to your children.
††††† All these things can be true, and yet the Court said that this belief is still a preference. The determining factor which the Court found to distinguish a preference is that if you would change that belief under certain circumstances, it is a preference which is not protected by the First Amendment. The type of circumstances the Court cited for causing a person to change his or her beliefs were:

∑†††† Peer Pressure: Neighbors who will criticize and question your desire to homeschool.
∑†††† Family pressure: Moms, dads, aunts and uncles who will cajole and confront you not to “ruin” your children’s lives by subjecting them to this “inferior” and “socially-limiting” form of education.
∑†††† Legal pressure (lawsuits): The threat of lawsuits by local school boards and even from within families themselves.
∑†††† Jail: The fear of going to jail for your belief as a result of your refusal to comply with state and local mandates. This can be a tremendous pressure because of the potential of leaving your children vulnerable without your direct influence and presence if you and your wife were to be incarcerated even for a short period of time.
∑†††† Death: The fear of losing one’s life is obviously a rare and unusual consequence, but nonetheless possible whenever resistance to state encroachment is undertaken.

††††† The above are all formidable pressures which can certainly influence the strongest of Christians. How many of us can truthfully say that we hold beliefs that we would not be tempted to change if faced with these kinds of pressures, and yet the Court held firm that these would not be protected.
††††† We must be clear in this discussion of changes in beliefs that we are not speaking of changes that are based on a new revelation from the Word of God! If someone can show you from the Bible that your beliefs are errant, you must change. This is not the kind of change we are talking about. The changes to which this Court referred are changes based on a circumstance, not a biblical principle.

What is a Conviction?

††††† What then makes a belief a conviction, protected by the First Amendment? The court stated that the only thing that makes a belief a conviction is when you believe it is something required of you by your God! Only a conviction required by your God will allow you to withstand all the pressures we have discussed above and hold fast to your belief unswervingly.
††††† The Court imposed the following requirements for a conviction:

∑†††† You must have purposed in your heart beforehand about your conviction. Bob Jones, founder of Bob Jones University, said, “A crisis never determines a man. The crisis only exposes the man for what he already is.” In Daniel 2 and 3, we see the story of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego who had purposed in their hearts not to defile themselves once in captivity. When the music played, the people were required to bow to the idols. Only Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego stood erect. Where were all the other God-fearing Hebrews? They were kissing the dirt!
∑†††† You must not require others to stand with you before you will stand. You must be willing to stand alone.
∑†††† You must not require the assurance of victory before you will stand. We in the Christian world have become disturbingly results-oriented. We are often more concerned with the outcome than the rightness of the issue. We are more concerned with winning rather than standing for righteousness. In the Christian faith, however, we have not been called to fight for victory, but to fight in the victory that has already been secured. The results of our fight do not determine the rightness of our stand. WE are right whether we win or (apparently) lose!
∑†††† You must believe that not to do this thing would be a sin before your God. The Court said that if you had a true belief, it was required by your God. If we say that something is a conviction, from where do our convictions come? They come from the Bible. We teach that if God requires something from His word and we disobey that, it is called sin. The Court therefore held that we must be prepared to say that the opposite of that conviction is a sin. If we say, for example, that we hold Christian education as a conviction, are we prepared to say that not giving children a Christian education is a sin?
∑†††† You must have evidence of your convictions in your lifestyle. This is often where the rubber meets the road. Do your lifestyle choices ring true to what you say are your “religious” convictions? The Court will question whether there are any obvious and continual inconsistencies with your beliefs and your daily habits: television programs, entertainment, money spent, vices, language, etc. Any of these may prove that your beliefs are preferences and not convictions.
††††† By now, you may still be asking: But why is this important to me as a homeschooler? Let me give you a few practical implications of this conviction-based foundation. First, it will affect how you homeschool. Will your curriculum be truly God-centered or will it instead be simply “baptized humanism” (man-centered)? God has given fathers the role of priests of their homes. As priests, are you actively reviewing, testing and carefully guarding your curriculum and circumstances of your school with your wife?
††††† Second, it will affect how long you homeschool. Will this be a short-term proposition lasting only as long as it is convenient, financially viable or academically comfortable for you, or will this conviction prompt you to continue even when the pressures get unbearable and the temptation to quit is great?
††††† Finally, it will affect how fervently you defend your homeschooling rights/responsibilities. Never underestimate the threat that you pose to secular humanists who have systematically and deliberately dumbed-down the government schools with programs like Outcome Based Education, Goals 2000, School to Work, etc. They do not like the idea of allowing some of their “subjects” to “slip through the cracks” of their social safety net.
††††† For a long time, many homeschoolers have believed that they were immune to state attacks because of the ability to protect our curriculum and practices without state intervention. But now with the advent of School to Work, they’ve got us through the “back door” – the job market. If we cannot prove through certification that we have been indoctrinated into their politically correct ideology, they will deny us the opportunity to work in the participating job market.
††††† It is time now more that ever to be vigilant in our defense of this right to homeschool. You must be politically as well as religiously active. Call your legislators, write letters, and visit your state capitol to let them know how important this responsibility is.
††††† In summation, to be able to continue in your right to train your children, you must understand the basis of this right: It is not state-granted, but God-given. As a Christian you must believe that it is a requirement of your God to train your children up in the “fear and the admonition of the Lord,” and this includes all areas of academic and social disciplines.
††††† We also must understand the legal implications of this right. Many courts in America today do not support protections under the First Amendment unless they can be shown to be convictions and not preferences. Herb Titus, constitutional attorney and Christian educator, stated that although this standard may not be stringently applied in all homeschooling court challenges, the concepts of conviction vs. preference are continually being upheld as “tests” regarding homeschooler’s defense on religious grounds. Titus says that the courts are not the least bit swayed by “foxhole” conversations. If you
cannot show some historic or traditional religious objections to public schooling or show a consistency and pattern in lifestyle with your belief, it is unlikely that the court will accept your defense.
††††† Consider all the reasons that you are homeschooling and determine which ones will indeed allow you to stand in the face of whatever pressure might come your way.

Bob Wells and his wife Kim are homeschooling parents of eight children. Bob is a former chairman of the U.S. Taxpayers Party of Missouri and serves on the National Committee of the current Constitution Party. He has testified on behalf of Christian Home Educators Fellowship against legislative efforts against homeschooling in Missouri.

Evidence of Your Convictions

††††† In the preceding article, did you note the following point? “You must have evidence of your convictions in your lifestyle. This is often where the rubber meets the road. Do your lifestyle choices ring true to what you say are your ‘religious’ convictions?”
††††† To win in court, your professed convictions must be consistent with your actions, or in other words, visible evidence of your profession must be witnessed in your lifestyle to substantiate what you state that God requires of you. We judge a tree by its fruit and a man by his actions. If you say that you homeschool for religious convictions, then you had better be at homeschooling your children if you want the court to believe that you are doing it because God requires it of you—the parent. If you say that you believe that God has called you to homeschool your children, then you better not have others teaching your children because if homeschooling becomes illegal in the future, your actions will either prove or disprove your professed beliefs.
††††† Think about it. If you believe that God has called you to homeschool/disciple your children, but you allow your children to take classes from other teachers at learning centers, then why would sending them to school be against your beliefs? Since our actions speak louder than our words, as Christians, our actions should be consistent with scripture.

III. LOOK AHEAD TO THE GLORIOUS FULFILLMENT OF HIS PROMISES TO OUR OFFSPRING FOR OUR FAITHFULNESS

††††† Finally, let us return to the last point of how God directs us when we are cast down by present circumstances by exhorting us to look ahead to the glorious fulfillment of His promises to our offspring for our faithfulness. And let us take courage by this verse that Marshall Foster shares from a Huguenot song: “Spirit who made them live, awaken their children, so that they will know how to follow them.”
††††† Exodus 20:5,6 “You shall not worship them or serve them; for I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children, on the third and the fourth generations of those who hate Me, but showing lovingkindness to thousands, to those who love Me and keep My commandments.”
††††† Deuteronomy 7:9,10 “Know therefore that the LORD your God, He is God, the faithful God, who keeps His covenant and His lovingkindness to a thousandth generation with those who love Him and keep His commandments; but repays those who hate Him to their faces, to destroy them; He will not delay with him who hates Him, He will repay him to his face.”
††††† What a magnificent hope that a holy God took me, a fatherless boy, a rebellious, lawless young man whose family’s history is steeped in rebellion and divorce who lived his first 29 years in utter rebellion to God, yet in His infinite mercy and love drew me, rebuked me, reproved me, instructed me, trained me, exhorted me and in general equipped me for the task of discipling my own children so that 1,000 years from now, I can know that I will have offspring serving in His kingdom.

††††† That is our hope, brothers! That is our inheritance! That is our legacy!

††††† So, brothers, I end with this charge. “So then my beloved, just as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your salvation with fear and trembling; for it is God who is at work in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure. Do all things without grumbling or disputing; so that you will prove yourselves to be blameless and innocent, children of God above reproach in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you appear as lights in the world, holding fast the word of life, so that in the day of Christ I will have reason to glory because I did not run in vain nor toil in vain.” Philippians 2:12-16

Christ the Conqueror

††††† From The Political Sermons of the Founding Era, Samuel Davies’s sermon entitled The Mediatorial Kingdom and Glories of Jesus Christ: “Other conquerors march at the head of their troops, with all the consigns of power and grandeur, and their forces numerous, inured to war, and well armed: and from such appearances and preparations who is there but what expects victory? But see the despised Nazarene, without riches, without arms, without forces, conflicting with the untied powers of earth and hell; or see a company of poor fishermen and tent-maker, with no other powers but those of doing good,
with no other arms but those of reason, and the strange unpopular doctrines of a crucified Christ! See the professed followers of a master that was hung like a malefactor and a slave, see these men marching out to encounter the powers of darkness, the whole strength of the Roman empire, the lusts, prejudices, and interests of all nations, and traveling from country to country, without guards, without friends, exposed to insult and contempt, to the rage of persecution, to all manner of tormented deaths which earth or hell could invent: see this little army marching into the wide world, in these circumstances, and can you expect they will have any success? Does this appear a promising expedition? No; human reason would forebode they will soon be cut in pieces, and the Christian cause buried with them. But these unpromising champions, with the aid of the Holy Spirit, conquered the world, and spread the religion of the crucified Jesus among all nations. It is true they lost their lives in the cause, like brave soldiers; but the cause did not die with them. Their blood proved the seed of the church. Their cause is immortal and invincible. Let devils in hell, let heathens… let atheists, free-thinkers… and persecutors of every character, do their worst, still this cause will live in spirit of them. All the enemies of Christ will be obliged to confess at last, with Julian the apostate Roman emperor, who exerted all his art to abolish Christianity; but, when mortally wounded in battle, outrageously sprinkled his blood towards heaven, and cried out, Vicisti, O Galilee! ‘Thou hast conquered, O Galilean!’ Yes, my brethren, Jesus, the Prophet of Galilee, will push his conquests from country to country, until all nations submit to him….thus, blessed Jesus! Thus go on conquering, and to conquer. Gird thy sword upon thy thigh, O most mighty! And in thy glory and majesty ride prosperously through our land, and make this country a dutiful province of the dominion of thy grace. My brethren, should we all become his willing subjects, he would not longer suffer the perfidious slave… and their savage allies, to chastise and punish us for our rebellion against him; but peace should again run down like a river, and righteousness like a mighty stream.”
††††† “The kingdoms of the world have their rise, their progress, perfection, declension, and ruin. And in these things, the kingdom of Christ bears some resemblance to them, excepting that it shall never have an end.”
††††† Romans 8:35-37 In tribulation, in distress, in persecution, in nakedness, in peril and sword, we are conquerors, we are more than conquerors, through Him that loves us. 2 Corinthians 2:14 “Thanks be to God who always causeth us to triumph in Christ…” 1 John 5:4 “Whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world…” Revelation 12:11 “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.” 2 Corinthians 4:17 Their light afflictions, which were but for a moment, wrought out for them a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory.
1 Timothy 6:12 “Fight the good fight of faith…” 2 Timothy 2:3 “Suffer hardship with me, as a good soldier of Christ Jesus.” Hebrews 1:14 “Are they [angels] not all ministering spirits, sent out to render service for the sake of those who will inherit salvation?”
††††† Finally, fathers, “Be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might. Put on the full armor of God, so that you will be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places. Therefore, take up the full armor of God, so that you will be able to resist in the evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm. Stand firm therefore, having girded your loins with truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; in addition to all, taking up the shield of faith with which you will be able to extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. And take
the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. With all prayer and petition pray at all times in the Spirit, and with this in view, be on the alert with all perseverance and petition for all the saints.” Ephesians 6:10-18