Bible Believers' Newsletter 964
"We focus on the present Truth – what Jesus is doing now. . ."
It is a great privilege to fellowship around God's unchanging Word with God-blessed saints like you.
Our main article is drawn from Alexander MacLaren's exposition on Joshua chapter 5. Brother MacLaren (1826 – 1910) was a Baptist preacher and expositor of Scottish origin. He lived more than almost any of the great preachers of his time between his study, his pulpit and his pen. He subdued action to thought, thought to utterance and utterance to the Gospel. His life was his ministry; his ministry was his life. He loved Jesus Christ with a reverent, holy love and lived to make Him known. In his farewell sermon at Union Chapel, Fallowfield, Manchester he said: "To efface oneself is one of a preacher's first duties."
Brother MacLaren's article closes our series demonstrating that our authority in God's unfailing Word is dependent upon our separation from the world to the Word by manifested faith in the living Word of the hour. It demonstrates that God is One Person unfolding Himself or changing His form from the eternal Spirit alone with His thoughts through individual faith to their manifestation in the flesh of His glorified family. The first-born of this NEW CREATION of God-man is the supreme deity, our Lord Jesus Christ (Revelation 1:8; 3:14; 15:3). "Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation: the old has passed away [or changed]; behold, the new has come. And all things come from God, who has reconciled us to Himself through Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation . . . For our sake He made Him who knew no sin to be made sin for us, so that in Him we might become the righteousness of God" (II Corinthians 5:17-18, 21).
This Newsletter serves those of like precious faith. Whoever will receive the truth is welcome to feed their soul from the waters of the River of Life. Everything here presented should be confirmed personally in your own Bible.
'Counter-terrorism' Campaign in Syria is Fake. 'Dark State' Manipulations
February 19, 2017 — The 'West' and its allies are not leading a 'counter-terrorism' campaign in Syria. Publicly–disclosed, previously-planned Government-change war against non-belligerent, democratic, pluralist, secular Syria, is a terrorist campaign. Known, documented, and amply proven, the West is using organizations, including ISIS and al Qaeda, in its attempts to destroy Syria . . . the West used—and likely continues to use—depleted uranium ordnances throughout its illegal invasion and occupation of Iraq. DU ordnances are WMD that continue to kill innocent Iraqis, and will do so for many years to come. But the recently-disclosed story about the US using DU ordnances in Syria is suspect . . . because the story is being conflated in Western media with the notion that the weapons were used against ISIS.
While the West sometimes attacks 'both sides' to prolong the destruction and warfare, and/or to create intra-Syrian conflict, the notion that the weapons were used against ISIS infrastructure is (intentionally) misleading in the sense that it creates the false perception that the West is trying to destroy ISIS (despite on-the ground evidence to the contrary). Prior to Russia's legal intervention in Syria, ISIS territory expanded beneath the illegal western bombardments.
The news story also ties in with the resignation of General Flynn, which appears to be the result of deep/dark state interventions that aim to upend President Trump and advance the causes of global war and poverty. Consider, for example, that it was General Flynn who publicly confirmed that the West's support for ISIS and other terrorist groups was a 'willful decision.' Consider also Robert Perry's assessment at Consortium News:
Flynn's real 'offense' appears to be that he favors détente with Russia rather than escalation of a new and dangerous Cold War. Trump's idea of a rapprochement with Moscow—and a search for areas of cooperation and compromise—has been driving Official Washington's foreign policy establishment crazy for months and the neocons, in particular, have been determined to block it . . . Full story: globalresearch.ca
Nato suspends its Operations in Syria
February 16, 2017 — On 15 February, the Alliance's Ministers of Defense assembled at the Nato headquarters in Brussels, in the presence of General James Mattis, Secretary of Defence in the Trump administration. At this meeting the ministers decided to establish a South Hub and gave it the mandate of controlling Africa and the Middle East. It was also resolved to suspend spying flights in Syria.
Right from the start of the war launched by Washington, London and Paris against Syria, Nato has been responsible for the surveillance of the battlefield through its AWACS and its members' satellites. The intelligence gathered was immediately filtered and some was transmitted to jihadist groups, thus allowing them escape the Syrian Arab Army. On withdrawing its AWACS, the Organization made it clear that it is not taking a position in the conflict, which currently pits against one and other the Kurds, among others. Full story: voltairenet.org
Trump – Business against War
February 14, 2017 — Thierry Meyssan invites us to observe Donald Trump without judging him by the same criteria as his predecessors, but by trying to understand his own logic. He notes that the President of the United States is trying to restore peace and relaunch world commerce, but on new foundations, completely different from the current system of globalisation. Seeking to overthrow the [war] Power that preceded him, which is still trying hang on despite him, President Trump cannot compose his administration by relying on the political class or on senior civil servants. He has therefore solicited new collaborators, entrepreneurs like himself, despite the risk that this confusion of rôle categories may entail.
According to the Puritan ideology, which has been in fashion since the dissolution of the Soviet Union, mixing state policy with one's own private affairs is a crime—one of the reasons for which a strict separation has been installed between these two worlds. On the contrary, though, during the last few centuries, politics was not regarded from a moral standpoint, but from that of efficiency. It was therefore considered normal to associate entrepreneurs with politics. Their own personal enrichment was not considered 'corruption' unless they grew fat on the proceeds of the Nation, but not when they developed it on their own.
Concerning his relations with the Great Powers, President Trump approaches Russia on the political level, and China on the commercial level. He is relying on Rex Tillerson (ex-head of Exxon-Mobil), a personal friend of Vladimir Putin, as his Secretary of State—and on Stephen Schwarzman (the boss of the capital-investment company Blackstone), a personal friend of President Xi Jinping, as President of a new consultative organisation tasked with proposing the new commercial policy—the Strategy and Policy Forum, inaugurated by President Trump on 3 February at the White House. The meeting brought together 19 top-level entrepreneurs. Contrary to previous practises, his advisors were not chosen according to whether or not they had supported the President during his electoral campaign, nor in terms of the size and influence of the businesses they managed, but rather in terms of their personal capacity as managers . . . Full story: IMPORTANT story, please follow this link.
Trump declares War on Russia, Cold War will continue until Moscow Complies
February 14, 2017 — US President Donald Trump made unequivocally clear, on February 14th, that the new Cold War between the US and Russia will continue until Russia complies with two conditions that would not only be humiliating to Russia (and to the vast majority of its citizens), but that would also be profoundly immoral . . .
TRUMP'S DEMAND #1: "RETURN CRIMEA" . . .
TRUMP'S DEMAND #2: END THE UKRAINE-v-DONBASS WAR . . . The American aristocracy are. It's an oligarchy gone mad. Trump promised to 'drain the swamp.' Instead, he's feeding the alligators. Full story: globalresearch.ca
Comment: Beware the ides of Nisan. They bode soon defeat for Israel and the USA.
The Image of the Beast 'speaks as a Dragon'
January 4, 2013 — Western support for creation of Kosovo and hostility against Serbia may seem completely inexplicable. Yet from 1991 to 2008, US strategists have been led by a single logic: the destruction of Serbia, to debilitate her as much as possible for the inevitable historical moment in the future when she would again turn to Russia (Daniel 2:42; Revelation 17:11-18).
Of course, it was necessary at the same time to also devitalize Russia. If, from 1991 to 2000, a military and media war was waged against Milosevic's Serbia with the aim of annihilating it, an economic and moral war was being unleashed against Yeltsin's Russia. The crusade against the communist world has turned into a crusade against the Orthodox world, and essentially against its most sovereign political nerve center: Russia.
The theoretician of Russia's containment in Eurasia, Zbigniew Brzezinski, said himself in 2007 that "After the collapse of the USSR, the main enemy of the USA will be the Russian Orthodox Church." The creation of Greater Albania can probably be seen in this historical and geostrategic light. It is like tossing a new match, one that could create a spark and start a new fire in the Balkan inferno. This fire would result in the further weakening of Europe, but also deepen the destabilization of the Orthodox world (Macedonia, Greece, Montenegro, Serbia . . .) and curb its rapprochement with Russia. Indirectly, it is Russia's influence in Eastern Europe that would be challenged, and therefore its rapprochement with Western Europe. In doing so the US would once again achieve her primary objective: to prevent a rapprochement between continental Europe and the Catholic and Orthodox worlds (voltairenet.org).
February 16, 2017 — NATO "most successful military alliance in history" . . . Mattis himself . . . the highest military authority in Nato . . . it has swallowed up every single country of the former Warsaw Pact, three from the former USSR and three from the former Yugoslavia. Yet "it must continue to keep reinventing itself to accommodate the events of 2014 . . . when it became clear that our hopes of some sort of partnership with Russia would yield no fruit" . . . "US troops and equipment are arriving in Poland and the Baltic states, a clear indication that the United States is determined to stand side by side Europe in these troubled times" . . . increasing military expenditure in 2015-2016 by 3.8% in real terms, that is, around 10 billion dollars (voltairenet.org).
Comment: Do you see the covenant that exists between the Jews' sovereign City State of London and the Judaeo-Roman sovereign Vatican City State unfolding Daniel 9:27 through nascent US military aggression of their sovereign City State of Washington DC over the past 150 years to Revelation 13:11-18? Or was the ministry of William Branham, His last Prophet to us Gentiles of none effect to you and is God's Bible a mystery sealed from your understanding?
The spirit of Laodicea (i.e. rights of the people/communism/egalitarianism) has almost reached its climax: that must wait for the universal revolution after the midst of Daniel's Seventieth Week.
Recognising Palestine is 'least we can do' [Jew PM] Hawke: [Jew PM] Turnbull
February 14, 2017 — The Turnbull government should grant diplomatic recognition to the state of Palestine ahead of an historic visit by Israeli prime minister, Bob Hawke believes. The former Labor prime minister—a long-time supporter of Israel—has criticised the Israeli parliament's decision to approve a law retrospectively legalising 4,000 settler homes built on privately-owned Palestinian land. "The least we can do now, in these most challenging of times, is to do what 137 other nations have already done—grant diplomatic recognition to the State of Palestine," Mr Hawke wrote in the Australian Financial Review on Tuesday. Full story: sbs.com.au
Comment: A building in the West Bank settlement of Beit El dedicated by the US ambassador-designate to Israel, David Friedman, was constructed illegally on privately owned Palestinian land . . . "that was never purchased and it never received approval" (haaretz.com).
GOP leaders in New Climate Leadership Council want to create a Carbon Tax
February 22, 2017 — President Donald Trump's new head of the Environmental Protection Agency, Scott Pruitt, isn't an environmentalist lackey. Nor is he stupid . . . Pruitt knows that the data harvested from NASA's Global Surveyor and Odyssey in 2007 recorded that the carbon dioxide "ice caps" near Mars' south pole had been melting for three consecutive summers. They also noted that summer temperatures on Venus had risen from an average of 470° to 513°.
I don't profess to know what the scientists at NASA think, but I doubt the melting ice caps on Mars and the temperature spikes on Venus are caused by too many sweating people, or too many flatulent cows, on Earth . . .
Full story: jonchristianryter.com
Reproach the Living God
Deuteronomy 22:5, "The woman shall not wear that which pertains unto a man, neither shall a man put on a woman's garment: for all that do so are abomination to the Lord your God".
wear—Strong's 1961 (Heb.) to happen, become, appear, be done, continue, remain.
pertains—Strong's 3627 (Heb.) something prepared or made, vessel, implement, utensil, implement of hunting, or war, or music, or tool of labour, or equipment, not only clothing.
put—[on] Strong's 3847 (Heb.) dress, wear, clothe, put on clothing, be clothed, array.
abomination—Strong's 8441 (Heb.):
1) a disgusting thing, abomination, abominable.
2) in ritual sense (of unclean food, idols, mixed marriages).
3) in ethical sense (of wickedness etc).
Every invasion of the natural peculiarities of the sexes, every mingling of sexual differences is to be seen as a reproach to the Lord. The distinction between the sexes is natural and established by God in creation, and any neglect or violation of that distinction, even only in externals, not only leads to impurity, but involves the infraction of the laws of God.
The fundamental error of the manifestation of the primitive unnaturalness and opposition to God wherein man, the husband, as the original human being should obey the voice of his wife, the by-product (Genesis 2:21-25), whence arose the original sin, will be multiplied in the measure by which man persists in his estrangement from God (Genesis 3:16, 22; I Timothy 1:11-15; Ephesians 5:24); Corinthians 11:7-9). It is unfit that a man should imitate the ornaments and dress of a woman. The adoption of the garments of the one sex by the other is an outrage on decency, obliterates the distinctions of nature by fostering softness and effeminacy in the man, impudence and boldness in the woman as well as levity and hypocrisy in both; and, in short, it opens the door to an influx of so many evils that all who wear the dress of another sex are pronounced "an abomination to the Lord".
Romans 1:26-27, "For this cause God gave them up to vile affections: for even their women changed the natural use into that which is against nature: and likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves the due penalty of their error".
Now you had better establish revelation whether or not Brother Branham was the vindicated covenant prophet promised in both Testaments. If he was that Prophet then Paul's challenge applies equally to Brother Branham as it does to himself. Every pronouncement of a vindicated prophet will agree with the prophecies of all preceding prophets. Here are a few references from Brother Branham on the subject we are discussing.
I Corinthians 14:36-38, "What came the Word of God out from you, or came it unto you only? If any man thinks himself to be a prophet, or spiritual, let him acknowledge that the things that I write unto you are the commandments of the Lord. But if any man be ignorant, let him be ignorant".
"Now, a man, the first place, a man's body is not a temptation like a woman. Now, man, he's big, old, hairy legs, knock-kneed, pot-tummied, and everything; he's a horrible looking mess; and there's nothing about him for temptation. And I think he looks the "gaumiest" looking sight to see these men come down the road, young or old, with a pair of these bikinis on, ever what it is, you know, walking down the road. I think that's the dirtiest looking sight I ever looked at. That's right. I think he don't know what side of the race he belongs on (See? That's right.), a man that'd do a thing like that.
And you know what? I just heard a few months ago, the American Army's going to dress that way. Yep. The Army's coming out next year, or year after next, all in shorts. How big a bunch of sissies can we get?
God made a man to look like a man, and act like a man, and dress like a man. He made a woman to do the same, dress like a woman, act like a woman, and be like a woman . . ." (COD, p. 1,168:109-111).
". . . You know, we find more of our sisters wearing shorts up here in this cold country than you find out there in that hot country. See? It's true. Out there where it's really hot there's not too many of them that wear them. But here where it's cold they do it. See, it's . . . They don't realize it's the Devil doing that. See? Now, if it was to be comfortable, if it was to help yourself, it'd be different. Be men. I think it looks sickly on a man. You'd wouldn't pay no attention to a man. But the lady, her body is sacred, and she must keep it that way" (Man Running from the Presence of the Lord, p. 22:118).
"Can't you feel the Holy Spirit screaming out from you? Oh, United States and the world, how oft I would've gathered you, but you would not. Now, your hour has come. Your god of pleasure, your god of filth, your Sodom and Gomorrah god, that's come among you . . ." Even our little kids, beatle haircuts and bangs across their faces, little perverts starting out. Our women is gone, beyond redemption. Our men has become big sissies, walking around with little short pants on and acting like a girl, and hair hanging down their necks, and. . . We're Sodomites, and the fire and the wrath of God waits for us.
You know how He'll kill, how He'll destroy it? The way He always did. When a prostitute did anything wrong, she was stoned to death. They picked up stones to kill the woman that was a prostitute. That's how He'll kill the church. The Bible said He'll rain hailstones out of the heavens, will weigh a hundred pounds apiece, and He'll stone them [Revelation 11:19; 16:21]. Who's going to stop Him? What science is going to say it can't be done? He'll do it the same as He made a ark and floated Noah to safety; He'll do it again for His church. And by His own laws and His own way, He'll stone that prostitute who's committed adultery with the kings and captains of hundreds and thousands. He'll stone her to death by His own laws that He set in order. Who's going to tell Him He can't make a hailstone" (Trying to do God a Service without it being His Will, p. 24:142)?
"Notice, it was Eve that Satan used to make Adam sin by her power of lust. Now, the same, doing the same thing today . . . She causes her Adam to lust for her. She took off the clothes that God dressed her in back in Eden for her journey through this wilderness; she took them off. She stripped herself down, when God had her wrapped all over in skins; she's begin to shave a little off each time. Now, she's back to where she was at the beginning. Now, she's got her Adam to wearing her underneath clothes.
A man, put on them little old sissy looking shorts, and get out here. He . . . I don't think there is much man to him. He is the biggest sissy I know of. See, she's got her perverted Adam to act like she (See?), wearing her underneath clothes. She seen what she could do out yonder when she took off all her clothes, but her underneath ones; that's the shorts, of course that's a woman's underneath clothes.
And here her Adam is wearing them now, which according to God's original Word is an abomination for a woman to put on a garment that pertains to a man, and a man put on a garment pertains to a woman: from the original Word. Think of it [Deuteronomy 22:5; Zephaniah 1:7-9 (Revelation 19:17-21)].
Now he now wears her bangs also. He combs them down, puts a curler in them. Some of the most sickly sights I've ever seen in my life is some of those kids out here today with their bangs combed down like this, and coloured bleached hair with some kind of peroxide something and bleach in it, and roll it in curlers making bangs. You big sissy. That's a horrible thing to say from a pulpit, but judgment begins at the house of God. You don't even know whether you're a man or woman. And I understand that our United States Army is coming out next in shorts. That's right. See what the perversion is? It is a woman's clothes, wears her bangs" (Satan's Eden, p. 19:139-142).
"I like to see a man when he's a man. I hate to see one with his wife's underclothes on out here, and slicked up along the side; and a roller hanging down here in front, and two cones of hair hanging down like bangs cut in front. That, I couldn't call that a man. He don't know what side of the race he belongs on. See? That's right. You see, the woman, look, the woman is trying to cut her, make her hair like the man; the man's trying to make his hair, bangs, like the woman. The man is wearing his wife's underneath clothes; she's wearing his overalls (See?), just a perversion, right around" (Thirst, p. 28:189).
Authority in Christ is granted by our separation from the lusts of the ten senses of our body: sight, touch, hearing, smell and taste, and our mortal spirit: reasoning, memory, conscience, imagination and affection according to faith in the revealed Word. Faith is relationship in mutual communion with Jesus in obedience to which we bring these earthy senses under submission to the Word in our soul. "The first man is of the earth, earthy: the second man is the Lord from heaven. As is the earthy, such are they also that are earthy: and as is the heavenly, such are they also that are heavenly. And as we have borne the image of the earthy, we shall [if we are elect] also bear the image of the heavenly. Now flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, nor does corruption inherit incorruption" (I Corinthians 15:47-50).
If we, our soul is to "bear the image of the heavenly One" we must contact and engage in communion with Him by three steps of grace: Justification by grace [His unmerited favour toward us] through faith which is the clear understanding He is the sole Person of God manifest in virgin-born flesh to pay sin's price as KINSMAN Redeemer for Adam's race. With this understanding we recognize our sorry state, repent, accept His proposal of marriage and are baptised in His compound redemptive Name, Lord Jesus Christ for the remission of past unbelief (Acts 2:38-39; 4:12).
The serious battle begins in our second step where the ten worldly senses of our body and mind must be brought under submission to God's revealed Word, and every one. Therefore we, our soul, must die daily to the demands of those senses that have ruled our soul from our first birth and take mastery to bring our mind to sanctification. This requires changing our pattern of life, separating from friends, and activities associated with our past, worldly walk, and beginning a lone walk with Jesus whom multitudes love but cannot know by faith (John 15:16; II Thessalonians 2:10).
The third step occurs when we, our soul, is victorious in the greatest battle ever fought which is the contest between faith in the "present Truth" over doubt and unbelief occasioned by having far too much to think as a cocktail with reasoning, memory, conscience, imagination and affection. Victory will bring you into oneness with the mind of Christ which is your spiritual marriage, or new birth with the Token of the Life of Christ on display.
Authority by Separation – Part V
By Alexander MacLaren
The army of Israel was just beginning a hard conflict under an untried leader. Behind them the Jordan barred their retreat, in front of them Jericho forbade their advance. Most of them had never seen a fortified city, and had no experience or engines for a siege. So we may well suppose that many doubts and fears shook the courage of the host, as it drew around the doomed city. Their chief had his own heavy burden. He seems to have gone apart to meditate on what his next step was to be. Absorbed in thought, he lifts up his eyes mechanically, as brooding men will, not expecting to see anything, and is startled by the silent figure of "a Man with his sword drawn" in his hand, close beside him. There is nothing supernatural in his appearance; and the immediate thought of the leader is, 'Is this one of the enemy that has stolen on my solitude?' So, promptly and boldly, he strides up to him with the quick challenge: "Whose side are you on? Are you one of us, or from the enemy's camp?" And then the silent lips open. "Upon neither the one nor the other;. I am not on your side, you are on mine, for as Captain of the Lord's host, am I come up." And then Joshua falls on his face, recognises his Commander-in-Chief, owns himself a subordinate, and asks for orders. "What saith my Lord unto His servant?"
Now let us try to gather the meaning and the lessons of this striking incident.
I. I see in it a transient revelation of an eternal truth.
I believe, as the vast majority of careful students of the course of Old Testament revelation and its relation to the New Testament completion believe, that we have here not a record of the appearance of a created superhuman person, but that of a preliminary manifestation of the Eternal Word of God, who, in the fulness of time, became flesh and dwelt among us".
You will observe that there run throughout the whole of the Old Testament notices of the occasional manifestation of a mysterious person who is named "the Angel," "the Angel of the Lord." For instance, in the great scene in the wilderness, where the bush burned and was not consumed, He who appeared is named "the Angel of the Lord"; and His lips declare "I am that I am." In like manner, soon after, the divine voice speaks to Moses of "the Angel in whom is My Name".
When Balaam had his path blocked amongst the vineyards, it was a replica of the figure of my text that stayed his way, a man with a drawn sword in His hand, who spoke in autocratic and divine fashion. When the parents of Samson were apprised of the coming birth of the hero, it was "the Angel of the Lord" that appeared to them, accepted their sacrifice, declared the divine will, and disappeared in a flame of fire from the altar. A Psalm speaks of "the Angel of the Lord" as encamping round about them that fear Him, and delivering them. Isaiah tells us of the "Angel of His face," who was "afflicted in all Israel's afflictions, and saved them." And the last prophetic utterance of the Old Testament is most distinct and remarkable in its strange identification and separation of Jehovah and the Angel, when it says, "the Lord shall suddenly come to His Temple, even the Angel of the Covenant." Now, if we put all these passages—and they are but select instances—if we put all these passages together, I think we cannot help seeing that there runs, as I said, throughout the whole of the Old Testament a singular strain of revelation in regard to a Person who, in a remarkable manner, is distinguished from the created hosts of angel beings, and also is distinguished from, and yet in Name, attributes, and worship all but identified with, the Lord Himself.
If we turn to the narrative before us, we find there similar phenomena marked out. For this mysterious "Man with the sword drawn" in His hand, quotes the very words which were spoken at the bush, when He says, "Loose your shoes from off your feet, for the place wher eon you stand is holy." And by fair implication, He would have us to identify the persons in these two great theophanies. He ascribes to Himself, in the further conversation in the next chapter, directly divine attributes, and is named by the sacred name; "The Lord said unto Joshua, see I have given into your hand Jericho and its king".
If we turn to the New Testament, we find that there under another image the same strain of thought is presented. The Word of God, who from everlasting "was with God, and was God" (John 1:1) is represented as being the Agent of Creation, the Source of all human illumination, the Director of Providence, the Lord of the Universe. "By Him were all things, and in Him all things consist" (Colossians 1:17). So, surely, these two halves make a whole; and the Angel of the Lord, separate and yet so strangely identified with Jehovah, who at the crises of the nation's history, and stages of the development of the process of Revelation, is manifested, and the Eternal Word of God, whom the New Testament reveals to us, are one and the same.
This truth was transiently manifested in our text. The vision passed, the ground hallowed by His foot is undistinguished now in the sweltering plain round the mound that once was Jericho. But the fact remains, the humanity, that was only in appearance, and for a few minutes, assumed then, has now been taken up into everlasting union with the divine nature, and a Man reigns on the Throne, and is Commander of all who battle for the truth and the right. The eternal order of the universe is before us here.
It only remains to say a word in reference to the sweep of the command which our vision assigns to the Angel of the Lord. "Captain of the Lord's host" means a great deal more than the true General of Israel's little army. It does mean that, or the words and the vision would cease to have relevance and bearing on the moment's circumstances and need. But it includes also, as the usage of Scripture would sufficiently show, if it were needful to adduce instances of it, all the ordered ranks of loftier intelligent beings, and all the powers and forces of the universe. These are conceived of as an embattled host, comparable to an army in the strictness of their discipline and their obedience to a single will. It is the modern thought that the universe is a Cosmos and not a Chaos, an ordered unit, with the addition of the truth beyond the reach and range of science, that its unity is the expression of a personal will. It is the same thought which the centurion had, to Christ's wonder, when he compared his own power as an officer in a legion, where his will was implicitly obeyed, to the power of Christ over diseases and sorrows and miseries and death, and recognised that all these were His servants, to whom, if His autocratic lips chose to say "Go," they went, and if He said, "Do this," they did it.
So the Lord of the universe and its ordered ranks is Jesus Christ. That is the truth which was flashed from the unknown, like a vanishing meteor in the midnight, before the face of Joshua, and which stands like the noonday sun, unsetting and irradiating for us who live under the Gospel.
II. I see here the Leader of all the warfare against the world's evil.
"The Captain of the Lord's host," He Himself takes part in the fight. He is not like a general who, on some safe knoll behind the army, sends his soldiers to death, and keeps his own skin whole. But He has fought, and He is fighting. Do you remember that wonderful picture in two halves, at the end of one of the Gospels, "the Lord went up into Heaven and sat at the right hand of God . . . they went forth everywhere preaching the Word?" Strange contrast between the repose of the seated Christ and the toils of His peripatetic servants! Yes, strange contrast; but the next words harmonise the two halves of it; "the Lord also working with them, and confirming the word with signs following" [Mark 16:19-20). The Leader does not so rest as that He does not fight; and the servants do not need so to fight, as that they cannot rest. Thus the old legends of many a land and tongue have a glorious truth in them to the eye of faith, and at the head of all the armies that are charging against any form of the world's misery and sin, there moves the form of the Son of Man, whose aid we have to invoke, even from His crowned repose at the right hand of God. "Gird thy sword upon Thy thigh, O Most Mighty, and in Thy majesty ride forth prosperously, and Thy right hand shall teach Thee terrible things".
If this, then, be for us, as truly as for Joshua and his host, a revelation of who is our true leader, surely all of us in our various degrees, and especially any of us who have any 'Quixotic crusade' for the world's good on our consciences and on our hands, may take the lessons and the encouragements that are here. Own your Leader; that is one plain duty. And recognise this fact, that by no other power than by His, and with no other weapons than those which He puts into our hands, in His Cross and meekness, can a world's evils be overcome, and the victory be won for the right and the truth. I have no faith in crusades which are not under the Captain of our salvation. And I would that the earnest men, and there are many of them, the laborious and the self-sacrificing men in many departments of philanthropy and benevolence and social reformation—who labour unaware of who is their Leader, and not dependent upon His help, nor trusting in His strength—would take to heart this vision of my text, and see beside them the "man with the drawn sword in his hand," the Christ with the "sharp two-edged sword going out of his mouth," by whom, and by whom alone, the world's evil can be overcome and slain (Revelation 19:21).
Own your General; submit to His authority; pick the weapons that He can bless; trust absolutely in His help. We may have, we shall have, in all enterprises for God and man that are worth doing, "need of patience," just as the army of Israel had to parade for six weary days round Jericho blowing their useless trumpets, whilst the impregnable walls stood firm, and the defenders flouted and jeered their aimless procession. But the seventh day will come, and at the trumpet blast down will go the loftiest ramparts of the cities that are "walled up to heaven" with a rush and a crash, and through the dust and over the ruined rubbish Christ's soldiers will march and take possession. So trust in your Leader, and be sure of the victory, and have patience and keep on at your work.
Do not make Joshua's mistake. "Art Thou for us?"—"Nay! Thou art for me." That is a very different thing. We have the right to be sure that God is on our side, when we have made sure that we are on God's. So take care of self-will and self-regard, and human passions, and all the other parasitical insects that creep round philanthropic religious work, lest they spoil your service. There is a great deal that calls itself after Jehu's fashion, "My zeal for the Lord," which is nothing better than zeal for my own notions and their preponderance. Therefore we must strip ourselves of all that, and not fancy that the cause is ours, and then graciously admit Christ to help us, but recognise that it is His, and lowly submit ourselves to His direction, and what we do, do, and when we fight, fight, in His Name and for His sake.
III. Here is the Ally in all our warfare with ourselves.
That is the worst fight. Far worse than all these Hittites and Hivites, and the other tribes with their barbarous names, far worse than all external foes, are the foes that each man carries about in his own heart. In that slow hand-to-hand and foot-to-foot struggle I do not believe that there is any conquering power available for a man that can for a moment be compared with the power that comes through submission to Christ's command and acceptance of Christ's help. He has fought every foot of the ground before us. We have to "run the race"—to take another metaphor—"that is set before us, looking unto Jesus," the great Leader, and in His own self the Perfector of the faith which conquers. In Him, His example, the actual communication of His divine Spirit, and in the motives for brave and persistent conflict which flow from His Cross and Passion, we shall find that which alone will make us the victors in this internecine warfare. There can be no better directory given to any man than to tread in Christ's footsteps, and learn how to fight, from Him who in the wilderness repelled the triple assault with the single "It is written;" thus recognising the word and will of God as the only directory and defence.
Thus, brethren, if we humbly take service in His ranks, and ask Him to show us where our foes within are, and to give us the grace to grapple with them, and cast them out, anything is possible rather than ultimate defeat, and however long and sore the struggle may be, its length and its severity are precious parts of the discipline that makes us strong, and we shall at last be more than conquerors through Him that loves us.
IV. Lastly, I see here the Power which it is madness to resist.
Think of this vision. Think of the deep truths, partially shadowed and symbolised by it. Think of Christ, what He is, and what resources He has at His back, of what are His claims for our service, and our loyal, militant obedience. Think of the certain victory of all who follow Him amongst "the armies of Heaven, clad in fine linen, clean and white." Think of the crown and the throne for "him that overcomes".
Remember the destructive powers that sleep in Him: the "drawn sword in His hand," the "two-edged sword out of His mouth" the "wrath of the Lamb." Think of the ultimate certain defeat of all antagonisms; of that last campaign when He goes forth with the "Name written on His vesture and on His thigh KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS." Think of how He "strikes through kings in the day of His wrath, and fills the place with the bodies of the dead;" and how His "enemies become His footstool".
Ponder His own solemn word, "He that is not with Me, is against Me." There is no neutrality in this warfare. Either we are for Him or we are for His adversary. "Under which King? Speak or die!" As sensible men, not indifferent to your highest and lasting well-being, ask yourselves, "Can I, with my ten thousand, meet Him with His twenty thousand?" Put yourselves under His orders, and He will be on your side. He will teach your hands to war, and your fingers to fight; will cover your heads in the day of battle, and bring you at last, palm-bearing and laurel-crowned, to that blissful state where there will still be service, and He still be the "Captain of the Lord's host," but where "swords will be beaten into ploughshares" and the victors shall need to "learn war no more".
Deuteronomy 4:35, 39, "All this was given unto you that you might know that the Lord is God; there is no other beside Him . . . Know therefore this day, and consider it in your heart, that the Lord He is God in the heavens above and on the earth beneath: there is no other." In all the pages of God's Holy Bible there is not one mention of a trinity but among the pagans. As Jesus told the woman at the well, "We Judahites know WHAT we worship: the unchanging God is one Spirit. [I am that Spirit manifest in virgin-born flesh]" (John 4:24; I Timothy 3:16). nl964.htm
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Brother Grigor-Scott is a non-denominational minister who has ministered full-time since 1981, primarily to other ministers and their congregations overseas. He pastors Bible Believers' tiny congregation, and is available to teach in your church.