As we go into the weekend, I decided to post an assortment of unconnected thoughts that may be worth pondering at this time.
The great opposition to installing an originalist judge on the Bench of the United States Supreme Court assures me of one thing: the Devil is determined to resist the Kingdom of Heaven. At this time of crisis for America the clash between the Kingdom of Light and the Kingdom of Darkness is great; but God will have the victory. The battle is the LORD’s and no one can conquer Him. God works through spirits and through humans; we can give political and tactical reasons why the Republicans are pulling together to put this man on the Bench, but these reasons are not the whole story. The Kingdom of Darkness will not rule on this earth forever; we are approaching the time when the Saints and the angels of heaven will cry, “The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of his Christ, and he shall reign forever and ever!” (Revelation 11:15). Things look precarious now; the battle is not over. Nevertheless, we must have faith the God will prevail.
The Law and Toleration
Righteousness is the true basis of law, and righteousness is of God. No man has the right to do what is evil and be free of the consequences. Man has the right to choose, but he must live with his choice. In appealing to God as the source of our laws, we must acknowledge His righteousness, for righteousness cannot be separated from God. The United States of America and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland have drifted from God’s righteousness – we have all fallen short of the glory of God. Our societies have gone from tolerating things that are wrong to calling what is wrong right and accepting a plurality of choices as equally valid when reason, conscience, and revelation tell us that they are not.
To use an example from John Locke, the father of classical liberalism, he believed that Roman Catholicism should be tolerated not because it is right, but because it is a matter of conscience, and to prosecute a man for following his conscience when he has not committed a significant offence would be disproportionate. I make no comment about Roman Catholicism itself, except to say that I believe a man’s religious choice is, among other things, a matter of conscience. But I would like to take Locke’s principle in the context of sexual morality and sexual ethics. It was right for us to tolerate certain behaviours and beliefs under law because prosecuting them would be disproportionate and hypocritical. Toleration allows citizens to stand on an equal footing before the law. But declaring things to be right that are demonstrably wrong goes beyond toleration and is an affront to God. When we do this, we lose the link between our laws and their foundation in God’s righteousness. To then appeal to God for deliverance, though in true repentance, is not to exercise a right – for such rights were forfeited when we departed from the law of God. That God should choose to restore us is a sign of His grace, not of our worthiness. For God to produce lasting prosperity with us, we must be humble first – else in our exercise of free will, we shall waste His good efforts. “God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble” (James 4:6).
The turn in fortunes in America and the UK, resisted by the Devil and his followers, is a sign of God’s grace and humility and penitence among those who love God. Through God all things are possible: He can work through His believers to bring cultures of righteousness to the nations. When men are righteous, they have little need of laws, because the laws of God are written on their hearts.
Holiness and righteousness, though overlapping, were distinct concepts in the mind of Old Testament believers. The Levitical sacrifices dealt with purity, a holiness issue, while the “secular” laws guided men on how they should think and behave. Animal sacrifices could not take a man’s sins away: only the blood of Christ could do that. They were there to grant a limited ritual purity, so that man, in the form of the High Priest, could enter the presence of God. Jesus’ blood also dealt with this issue: through His blood, the Holy Spirit, God’s presence, can live in man. The presence of the Holy Spirit, is a promise of the resurrection: cleansed from our sins (immorality) and from our impurity (death, transience, and decay) by the blood of Jesus, we will enter eternity to live with God as He desires – but we must first believe in Jesus.
The miracles of Christ’s day and in the time of the Apostles were a demonstration of what life in the Millennium and eternity is like. In those days there will be life and not death, health and not decay, joy and not sorrow, wholeness and not brokenness. There is a life to come beyond judgment day, and it is the task of Christ’s followers to invite the rest of humanity to partake of the good things that God wills to give us. We must humble ourselves to enter into life, but God will welcome us as a father his children, and we will have peace and joy.
The Word and the Spirit
Smith Wigglesworth prophesied of a time when those of the Word and those of the Spirit would come together and God would bring revival to the UK. Both the Word and the Spirit require humility and holiness from us, and the coming together of both also requires as much. The Word shines a light on our motives and on our deeds. The Spirit gives us light and life and power to do the will of God. The Spirit is present when miracles of the Kingdom of Heaven are performed. He testifies to the truth of the Gospel message.
“Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God. He was crucified under Pontius Pilate to take away our impurity and our guilt. He rose again the third day, glorified, the firstfruits of the resurrection. He ascended to the Father and will come again to judge the living and the dead. Those who put their faith in Him will by no means be put to shame. God is love.”