Demolishing Arguments

This video is an introduction to coming videos and a reference to previous, that cast down arguments and reasonings that exalt themselves against the knowledge of God, such as the secret rapture theory, the scamdemic, the seven mountains mandate, the Trump delusion, and others.

http://buildinghishouse.org/…/future/demolisharguments.mp4

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Divine Image Destroyed – Christine Beadsworth (S. Africa) May 5, 2021

They have profaned the dwelling place of Your Name’ — there is no better description of what is happening worldwide in the human body than these words. And in every nation Believers are being coerced into taking the supposed health inducing jab. Is this not causing the ‘great falling away’ described in 2 Thessalonians 2:3? The totality of the scheme is to leave the 3rd temple desolate, destroyed, overtaken and subjugated to an ancient enemy who always coveted God’s throne and the worship of God’s Bride. Apostasia, the Greek for ‘falling away’, means ‘defection from truth’ and comes from Strongs G647, which means ‘to separate, the writing of divorcement’. How significant that a fragment of DNA writing is what separates or breaks asunder the record of God’s Name in the human DNA!

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Who is the Bride of Christ, what is Mystery Babylon, and what about the rapture?

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A Short Clip of an Interview With Two Doctors Regarding the Shot

http://buildinghishouse.org/videos/pandemic/2doctorinterview.mp4

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The Pandemic and Daniel’s Ten Toes

What is in back of the SARS CoV2 Pandemic, and how does it relate to the ten toes of Daniel chapter two? The Pandemic is a part of a global agenda and the “vaccine” is meant to condition the behavior of the world population to cooperate with that agenda, which is trans-humanism. The ten toes of Daniel’s image, that are partly of iron and partly of clay, speak of the union of the human body with the machinery by which human governments rule.
Click to view.

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Today’s Civics Lesson

Romans 13:1-5 adjures us to subject ourselves to the governing authorities, both out of fear for the God who instituted them as His servants as well as for conscience sake.  Let us also not forget the commandments, not only to honor the king (1 Peter 2:17), but to “be in obedience to every ordinance of men, because of the Lord, whether to a king as supreme, or to governors as sent by Him for vengeance on evildoers, but for praise on well-doers.” 1Pe 2:13-14 

With that in mind, let me be crystal clear that in our representative republic, we the people ARE the governing authority, and men and women that we elect as our representatives, including Governors, are to do our will as our servants, and not their will as our masters!  In fact, the Colorado state constitution says the following: “All political power is vested in and derived from the people; all government, of right, originates from the people, is founded upon their will only, and is instituted solely for the good of the whole.”

Samuel Ruthorford authored a book entitled Lex Rex, which is Latin for “law over kings.”  The founding principle that he left to us and that became a founding principle of the English Common Law, and of our constitutional republic is that, in the USA, the only sovereign or king is the law, and the highest law of our land is our Constitution.  Thomas Pain wrote, “…so far as we approve of monarchy, that in America, the law is king.  For as in absolute governments the King is law, so in free countries  the law ought to be king.”  Paine truly believed that our “governing authority” was instituted by God, for it was directly founded upon God’s law, and that our “governing authority”, our sovereign to which we are to submit is the constitution of the United States of America, as well as God’s law as written in the Bible, the source and foundation of our law.

I would contend that our founding fathers would insist that we are not only allowed to disobey our governor, when he violates our constitution with unlawful orders, but that we are, for conscience sake, and as stewards of the liberty entrusted to us, obligated to do so.  Any elected official who violates our Constitution with illegal mandates is a law-breaker and is the “wrongdoer” that will face the wrath of God and who should be held accountable by the true governing authority, which is “We The People” who live in good standing with the law, the highest law of our land, our Constitution.  No, I’m not calling for armed revolt, but peaceful non-compliance with unconstitutional mandates.  Nor am I calling for “civil disobedience”, for we are not the one’s who are disobeying the law – they are!

Nehemiah was a shining example of a governor who gave of himself with a strong sense of civic virtue by being a true servant to the people entrusted to his care.  Would to God that we had true civil servants today who would make Nehemiah 5:14-15 their statement of their political platform and their guiding principle and greatest ambition!

“And from the time that I was chosen to be their governor in the land of Judah, from the twentieth year even to the thirty-second year of Artaxerxes the king, twelve years, I and my brothers have not eaten the bread of the governor. But the former governors that had been before me were too heavy upon the people, and had taken bread and wine from them, besides forty shekels of silver. Yes, even their servants bore rule over the people. But I did not do this, because of the fear of God.” Neh 5:14-15

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Systematic Theology Versus Biblical Theology

I think our Anabaptist brethren have been truly led of the Spirit in their historic approach to the scriptures, holding to a biblical theology, rather than a systematic theology.  Systematic theology is but man’s feeble attempt to embalm that which is still living; the word of God.  When man begins formulating his creed, truth slips through his fingers, escaping the clutch of death.  The holy scriptures are a new wineskin that expands with the revelation of the Spirit that reveals endless truth from the scriptures, whereas systematic theology is the old dry wineskin that is only threatened by the pressure of any expanding revelation.

Systematic theology is far too restrictive and limiting for God to operate within its prison walls, so He politely excuses Himself from the penal institution of religious dogma.  Systematic Theology is a lens through which the scripture is read, obscuring certain truths, while enhancing others, and thereby creating half-truths that become lies, and partial truths that exaggerate some truths and minimize others, thereby making a caricature of the God of the Bible.

Though it is certainly not the only example, the clearest example of this, to me, is Reformed Theology, and more specifically, Calvinism.  Calvinism is perhaps the most accurate of all the systems of theology, and by its accuracy, it has made a caricature of God and His nature with the clear truths of soteriology, the exaggerated or misunderstood, and therefore misapplied doctrines of sovereignty and election, and the minimized or overlooked passages that do not comport with the tiny box of theology created primarily from its grand overemphasis of a single chapter of a single book of the Bible: Romans chapter nine.

Biblical theology allows the scripture itself to state its own creed.  It doesn’t make a statement of faith or doctrine (dry wineskin) and then cherry-pick scriptures to buttress a perspective so highly engineered that it cannot expand without threat to its structural integrity from the life of God that ever moves and expands, ever conquers and deepens, yet without change or variation.  The mustard seed of scriptural truth contains the DNA of the fully grown and developed that is in essence consistent, but in personal revelation, always growing and expanding, bringing the leaven and the light of the kingdom into the heart and mind of the individual who, having been divinely instructed, rather than instructed of man, never has to forsake “old truths” in order to grow in the knowledge of God (1 Jo. 2:27).

When Paul had penned some of the deepest truths of scripture in the most systematic development of truth ever laid before the eyes of man, because he wanted his brethren to “understand this mystery” (Rom. 11:25), he then gave the key to theology – “O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! how unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past finding out!”  There are some things that we cannot know while we know in part.  Some of the mysteries of the Kingdom are given to us to know, but others are given, if you will, in parables that may tend to obscure the truth that is too wild to be tamed by the theologian’s whip or chain.

Systematic theology is man’s creation, and though it may contain truth, it can never BE truth.  In fact, ultimately, it can only limit a man’s view of the truth.  A person that submits themselves to a man’s theology allows that man, as a mediator, to seal him in the forehead, and that seal often allows no entrance to greater or divergent truth, even, tragically, truth directly expressed by the Spirit of Truth.  Biblical theology allows the living and organic eye of man’s spirit to view far and near with the oversight of spiritual maturity, but the monofocal, or bifocal lens of systematic theology will blur as well as it clarifies, and obscure as well as it reveals, leaving the picture grossly distorted or lacking, and leaving the student blinded to the grand vista of truth in all its polychromatic grandeur.

Systematic Theology is man breathed, but all scripture is God breathed, and profitable and able, and the sum of His word is truth (Ps. 119:160 ASV), not the isolated addends, in that some of these addends, standing on their own, do not express or represent the sum.  The word of God is living and active, and to divide something living is to kill it.  Systematic Theology, by its nature, carves off some and preserves other truths, making a dead thing from that which is living; the word of God.  Biblical theology recognizes that some things we don’t know, for we know in part, and it allows the living word of God to speak for itself, even in realms where we have not ventured in practical experience or personal understanding.  So, I believe that, as I have used the term here, biblical theology is the theology of more noble men than those who hold to a systematic theology.

Further reading on biblical interpretation: http://buildinghishouse.org/believe/interpretation.shtml

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The Controversy of Anne Hutchinson

Anne Hutchinson was educated by her English father, and was a devout and intelligent wife and mother who left the church of England and, along with her husband William, followed their minister, John Cotton, to the Massachusetts Bay Colony in 1634. In the infant colony of The New World, her outspokenness about her personal revelations and interpretations of the Bible put her at odds with the Puritan ministers of the colony, and eventually with the Governor, John Winthrop, who, acting as her judge and interrogator, banished her from the colony, along with her brother-in-law, the minister John Wheelwright, and Mrs. Hutchinson was later excommunicated from the church of Boston under the direction of the minister John Wilson. Mrs. Hutchinson was killed by Indians in 1643, and she is known for sparking the Antinomian Controversy of the Massachusetts Bay Colony. Today, her life and death still spark controversy, as we attempt to interpret her place in history, and her relationship to the truth of scripture and the authority of the church.

In the controversy of Anne Hutchison, I find two polar opposite positions regarding her plight, excluding, of course, the false notion that hers was feminism struggling against an oppressive patriarchy, a banner the modern feminist would unreasonably attempt to fly over the life and death of Anne Hutchinson. The two more reasonable, yet opposing positions are the one, that she was clearly a heretic and subversive to the Christian community, and the other, that she was a persecuted Christian who followed the dictates of her own conscience in obedience to the Spirit and the scripture. I find this unsettled controversy to be a profoundly significant controversy, for it represents to me something of personal, as well as universal significance to the church of Jesus Christ.

There seems to me to be no clear record of Anne Hutchinson’s beliefs, except that of her trial, for no one quotes either statements or journal entries, or written records of her personal beliefs, other than her statements, and those of her accuser’s, as well as defenders, recorded in her trial transcript. I suppose it would be necessary for me to learn more about Wheelwright’s beliefs, for that might cast light on Hutchinson’s, but not necessarily so. However, since Governor Winthrop ties Anne Hutchinson’s sedition to that of Wheelwright’s, it is clear to me that she found herself on trial, less for heretical beliefs, and more for political reasons, as did John Wheelwright, for that is mentioned as the basis for her guilt in the Governor’s opening statement at her trial, and Wheelwright was convicted, not of heresy, but of “contempt & sedition” for having “purposely set himself to kindle and increase” bitterness within the colony.

Although Governor Winthrop “thought reverendly” of Wheelwright’s talents and piety, he felt that he was “apt to raise doubtful disputations…” In his journal, Governor Winthrop criticized, as dangerous errors, Anne Hutchison’s beliefs “that the person of the Holy Ghost dwells in a justified person, and that no sanctification can help to evidence to us our justification.” Neither of these could be considered error, so long as Mrs. Hutchinson believed that, regarding sanctification, the common notion in the colony at that time was outward and legalistic in nature, rather than inward and spiritual, which she certainly did.

Since Wheelwright was convicted, not of heresy, but of political sedition, it seems reasonable to me that Anne Hutchinson’s beliefs were far more orthodox than some have been willing to concede, and that she was seen as a political threat, perhaps even more so than a spiritual one, since, as was the case in the colony’s coordinated power of church and state, the establishment of religion is often married to the politics of man’s hunger for power and control. This is further borne out by the fact that, because of concern over her heterodox beliefs, she was examined by a conference of ministers when she first arrived at the colony, and was deemed by them to be suitable for church membership.

At any rate, I find two key defenses for Anne Hutchinson’s orthodoxy in her trial, as well as a few profound issues raised by her trial in regard to positional authority, as opposed to spiritual authority that is based upon the life and light of Christ within by His indwelling Spirit. As to the two key statements in her defense, they are as follows:

Mr. Leveret: To my best remembrance when the elders did send for her, Mr. Peters did with much vehemency and intreaty urge her to tell what difference there was between Mr. Cotton and them, and upon his urging of her she said “The fear of man is a snare, but they that trust upon the Lord shall be safe.” And being asked wherein the difference was, she answered that they did not preach a covenant of grace so clearly as Mr. Cotton did, and she gave this reason of it: because that as the apostles were for a time without the spirit so until they had received the witness of the spirit they could not preach a covenant of grace so clearly.

Mr. Cotton: I did not think I should be called to bear witness in this cause and therefore did not labor to call to remembrance what was done; but the greatest passage that took impression upon me was to this purpose. The elders spake that they had heard that she had spoken some condemning words of their ministry, and among other things they did first pray her to answer wherein she thought their ministry did differ from mine. How the comparison sprang I am ignorant, but sorry I was that any comparison should be between me and my brethren and uncomfortable it was. She told them to this purpose that they did not hold forth a covenant of grace as I did. But wherein did we differ? Why she said that they did not hold forth the seal of the spirit as he doth. Where is the difference there? Say they, why saith she, speaking to one or other of them, I know not to whom. You preach of the seal of the spirit upon a work and he upon free grace without a work or without respect to a work; he preaches the seal of the spirit upon free grace and you upon a work. I told her I was very sorry that she put comparisons between my ministry and theirs, for she had said more than I could myself, and rather I had that she had put us in fellowship with them and not have made that discrepancy. She said, she found the difference….

This was the sum of the difference, nor did it seem to be so ill taken as it is and our brethren did say also that they would not so easily believe reports as they had done and withal mentioned that they would speak no more of it, some of them did; and afterwards some of them did say they were less satisfied than before. And I must say that I did not find her saying that they were under a covenant of works, nor that she said they did preach a covenant of works.

I think the above clearly defends Mrs. Hutchinson against the accusations of the court. However, the following quote, while it most clearly states her beliefs, and the reason for them, and so profoundly declares the heart of the entire controversy, also, indefensibly declares the grounds by which the court condemned her, and by which religious spirits have condemned those of personal spirituality throughout church history. She eloquently states the Spirit’s revelation to her in the following:

Mrs. H.: If you please to give me leave I shall give you the ground of what I know to be true. Being much troubled to see the falseness of the constitution of the Church of England, I had like to have turned Separatist. Whereupon I kept a day of solemn humiliation and pondering of the thing; this scripture was brought unto me–he that denies Jesus Christ to be come in the flesh is antichrist. This I considered of and in considering found that the papists did not deny him to be come in the flesh, nor we did not deny him–who then was antichrist? Was the Turk antichrist only? The Lord knows that I could not open scripture; he must by his prophetical office open it unto me. So after that being unsatisfied in the thing, the Lord was pleased to bring this scripture out of the Hebrews. he that denies the testament denies the testator, and in this did open unto me and give me to see that those which did not teach the new covenant had the spirit of antichrist, and upon this he did discover the ministry unto me; and ever since, I bless the Lord, he hath let me see which was the clear ministry and which the wrong. Since that time I confess I have been more choice and he hath left me to distinguish between the voice of my beloved and the voice of Moses, the voice of John the Baptist and the voice of antichrist, for all those voices are spoken of in scripture. Now if you do condemn me for speaking what in my conscience I know to be truth I must commit myself unto the Lord.
Mr. Nowel [assistant to the Court]: How do you know that was the spirit?

Mrs. H.: How did Abraham know that it was God that bid him offer his son, being a breach of the sixth commandment?

Dep. Gov.: By an immediate voice.

Mrs. H.: So to me by an immediate revelation.

Dep. Gov.: How! an immediate revelation.

Mrs. H.: By the voice of his own spirit to my soul. I will give you another scripture, [Jeremiah] 46: 27-28–out of which the Lord showed me what he would do for me and the rest of his servants. But after he was pleased to reveal himself to me I did presently, like Abraham, run to Hagar. And after that he did let me see the atheism of my own heart, for which I begged of the Lord that it might not remain in my heart, and being thus, he did show me this (a twelvemonth after) which I told you of before…. Therefore, I desire you to look to it, for you see this scripture fulfilled this day and therefore I desire you as you tender the Lord and the church and commonwealth to consider and look what you do. You have power over my body but the Lord Jesus hath power over my body and soul; and assure yourselves thus much, you do as much as in you lies to put the Lord Jesus Christ from you, and if you go on in this course you begin, you will bring a curse upon you and your posterity, and the mouth of the Lord hath spoken it.

The court then found her guilty of all accusations based upon this one revelation, as we see in the court’s judgment:

Gov.: I am persuaded that the revelation she brings forth is delusion.
[The trial text here reads:] All the court but some two or three ministers cry out, we all believe it–we all believe it. [Mrs. Hutchinson was found guilty]

Gov.: The court hath already declared themselves satisfied concerning the things you hear, and concerning the troublesomeness of her spirit and the danger of her course amongst us, which is not to be suffered. Therefore if it be the mind of the court that Mrs. Hutchinson for these things that appear before us is unfit for our society, and if it be the mind of the court that she shall be banished out of our liberties and imprisoned till she be sent away, let them hold up their hands.

She was banished from the colony based upon her personal revelation from God and their opinion that it was delusional. She prophesied, not the failure of the colony, as some have said, but of a curse upon those of them who would “put the Lord Jesus Christ from you” by doing it to the least of His brethren, and that curse would be upon them and their posterity.

Her prophecy may well have been fulfilled, for one of her greatest detractors, the minister John Wilson, perhaps in order to boost declining membership in the Boston church, supported the church synod’s Half-Way Covenant, which allowed members to be received into the church without having testified to a conversion experience, but who appeared to live moral lives. Wilson, who oversaw Mrs. Hutchinson’s excommunication, would eventually oversee the execution of two Quakers, whose only crimes were their Quaker evangelism. Charles Chauncy, a minister of the Boston church for sixty years, opposed the Great Awakening under Whitfield, and today, the First Church of Boston has fallen to the very pit of apostasy, as it is now a Unitarian Universalist “church”; a church that could in no wise even be considered a Christian church. How great was her fall!

Many have accused Mrs. Hutchison of many wild and heretical beliefs. I suppose that if the minister Mr. Wheelwright believed and preached these heresies, one might well surmise that she held to them as well, but that cannot be proven, and he was neither accused nor convicted of either. However, based solely upon Mrs. Hutchinson’s own testimony and that of her defenders, as well as accusers and judges (who were one and the same), at the trial, I tend to reject all such claims of her heresies. I believe the entire controversy is that of the controversy over those who still labor under the law, and therefore as ministers of the law preach death, and those who have been freed from the law of sin and death, and who are no longer under the tutelage of the law, having been born of God, and therefore brought into grace by which they now stand, as able ministers of the New Covenant of grace, now preach life.

For the Puritans of the new colony, salvation was not an event, but a lifelong struggle, and this lifelong struggle, for the individual was, in the words of Stephen Marini, Historian of Religion at Wellesley College, “relentless, difficult, arduous, but fantastic social glue,” that served Winthrop’s interest in holding together a fragile fledgling colony. The Puritans of the new colony believed, and Winthrop needed them to believe, that it was pride alone that could embolden someone to declare their justification before a holy God.

I believe that the heart of the matter is that Mrs. Hutchinson knew, as does anyone truly born of God, that those who do not know, through personal experience, that they have been born of God and translated from darkness into the kingdom of His dear Son, have certainly never been so. If one doesn’t know that they have been born of God and justified by His grace, then they haven’t been, and they can no more be able ministers of a New Covenant that they themselves are excluded from, than they could be considered sealed by the Holy Spirit as children of God, and therefore heirs of that Testament, if they can point to no definite experience whereby they were sealed.

This also strikes at the heart of organized religion, whose hierarchy of positional authority is based upon a man-made institution, and not upon the indwelling Christ that writes the laws of God upon the human heart and mind, which is the essence of the New Testament. It strikes at the spirit of antichrist which stands in the temple of God (His people now being His temple) declaring himself to be God, and which subverts the authority of the indwelling Spirit of God, which is Christ come in the flesh of His body on Earth, His own blood-bought people, who, as mature believers, or adult sons of God (huiothesia) that are led of the Spirit, need not that any man teach them, but are taught of God, and who have access to all truth by the indwelling Spirit of Truth and the Bible in their own language. They, as a kingdom of priests, have direct access to God by their High Priest, Christ Jesus, by a new and living way, and they find revelation by the inward light of the candlestick, in the Holy Place of their intimate fellowship with their Forerunner, who leads them beyond the veil that remains and separates those who are still under the law from the living God.

To me, Anne Hutchison represents, not modern or even ancient feminism, nor the common religious heretic, but the bride of Christ whose intimate and personal relationship with her “Beloved” has always, and will always, put her at odds with the religious establishment, and who’s life and beliefs threaten the control spirit that preserves “the community”; a city set upon a hill (as they claim), but which in actuality stands as Babylon, in opposition to, and distinction from, the city of God.

Anne Hutchison represents this to me, not, perhaps, because I have accurately interpreted her life or beliefs from history’s record, though I believe that I have, but more so because I can personally relate to the plight that she represents to me, and that is as one who has trod a similar path in regard to the institutional church, as distinct from the mystical church, and as one who, because of my personal experience with Christ, has found himself at odds with those ministers of the institutional church, and as one who has, to a large degree, rejected their authority as flowing from man and not from God.

I see them, by and large, as money changers in the house of God who will one day face the angry whip of Christ’s cleansing stroke against those who have made merchandise of the things of God and made a mart of the temple of God, which is His church, His people. I, like Anne Hutchinson, may have at times been too critical of ministers or too extreme in my own zeal for truth. I, like Anne Hutchinson, may have been subversive to the establishment, as one whose citizenship in another kingdom has made me a poor citizen of what I have come to believe is a manmade kingdom whose ruling city is Babylon, the great harlot, who’s guiding principles are papal, though cloaked in Reformation rhetoric, and whose voice is that of antichrist.

I relate to Anne Hutchinson, and look to her as history’s representative of my plight, and the plight of other true Christians throughout history who, for political expediency, found themselves exiled from the visible institutional church, from Wesley, who was banished as a heretic from England’s pulpits, to Whitfield who was forced into the streets and fields by the Anglican Church, to myriads of other dear saints whose names we don’t know, but are written in that great book that will one day be opened by the One who will sit as Judge of all. Christ has established Himself as Head of His body throughout church history, as the ark of God has constantly moved from the new cart of organized religion to the shoulders of individual priests who have followed their Beloved outside the camp, bearing His reproach.

In that day, when the books are opened and men are judged by their hidden motives, as well as outward actions, we will know for sure who was right and who was wrong, and who will be condemned and who justified… Governor John Winthrop, and her other accusers and judges, or Anne Hutchinson, and those of like spirit, who have run “afoul of a religious authority that distrusts any message that gave an individual power over their own religious experience.”[1] Only then, I suppose, when the books are opened, will the controversy be settled forever.

In the spring of 1638, and in the “spring” of our nation’s history, as Anne Hutchinson trudged through snow fields in bitter cold, fearing for her life, and for the little lives entrusted to her, I don’t doubt that many a time she flogged herself mentally for casting the rare and precious pearl of her revelation before the swine of unredeemed man, who would trample truth beneath their feet, as they pursued their earthly endeavors, all in the name of God. However, with John Winthrop as an unwitting accomplice, centuries of American history have somehow preserved, as a valuable pearl, the words of a simple follower of Jesus, that those who search for the riches of the glory of this mystery, might take her words as clues to unravel this mystery… this mystery, which is, Christ in you, the hope of Glory.

[1]Quote from PBS’s series entitled God In America, Part 1 A New Adam (42 minute mark) © WGBH Educational Foundation

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What Is the Theology of The Shack?

The author of The Shack described his best seller as “theology wrapped in a story.” Ever wonder what the theology of The Shack is? It’s spelled out in Young’s theological book Lies We Believe About God. Here’s an article that gives some of the highlights.

https://www.challies.com/what-does-the-shack-really-teach-…/

While this article brands Young a universalist, that is a label he would refuse to wear, for he technically believes that Christ is the only way to salvation. Young is a universal or ultimate reconciliationist. He believes that through Christ alone, all men will be saved, including Judas Iscariot, Hitler, and unrepentant child molesters who use and then murder their innocent victims, and then live and die without remorse. That’s Young’s god- the god of The Shack.

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What Is a True Prophet? A True Prophet Is a Human Sign

I am the man who has seen affliction under the rod of his wrath; (Lam. 3:1 ESV).

When God takes in hand to make a prophet from common clay, His first order of business is to make the man the message.  God told Ezekiel, “I have made you a sign for the house of Israel”, not “Go hold up a sign to the house of Israel.”  He first makes the man the message.  God told Isaiah, “Tell Egypt and Cush that they will go naked and barefoot in a foreign land, and oh, by the way, Isaiah, you’re going to go naked, as well.”

When God gently and wonderfully stretches forth his fingers to the lips of a man, and puts His words in the mouth of the prophet, those words are to the prophet’s palate as sweet as honey.  The prophet assumes from this experience that God’s intentions are for him to preach those wonderful words from the highest roof-tops, not pray them in the lowest pit.  But, the process of assimilation, where the word goes down into the inward parts of the belly, where the man becomes the message, is a terribly bitter process.  The words that were once as sweet as honey in the mouth, become as bitter as gall in the depths of the man, where the word becomes wordless groans of intercession, as deep calls to deep.

He bent his bow and set me as a target for his arrow.  He drove into my kidneys the  arrows of his quiver;  He has filled me with bitterness; he has sated me with wormwood (Lam. 3:12, 13, 15 ESV).

The billows and waves of God’s bitter process overwhelm the man, as the word of the Lord transforms him from within, into the message, and when whelmed in the pain, weakness, confusion, and brokenness of those waves, the man finds no outlet, no receptive ear, no hungry longing in God’s people for a word that burns like a fire and that breaks the rock in pieces.  The word that was once so sweet to the prophet’s palate, is now a bitter churning in the depths of his weak humanity, and he finds no joy in musing over the words that once brought such sweet pleasure.  He grips his stomach, and rolls and writhes in pain and weakness while the word works in the secret place where Christ is enshrined – that place that is hidden from the eyes of all but God.

Paul said, “You all may prophecy.”  However, not all who prophecy are prophets.  There is a world of difference between the gift that edifies, exhorts, and comforts, and the word of the Lord that breaks the rock in pieces, confronts God’s people with a Holy God and their own sinful corruption, and turns men from their corrupt way, or mode of life, to His way.  The prophet stands at the crossroads of men’s hearts and lives, and at the crossroads of human history, casting up a toll gate, pointing men to the ancient way, the costly way – the way of the cross.

A thousand how-to-self-help books litter the shelves of Christendom’s bookstore, and a thousand “prophets” lead God’s people astray with their lies and their lightness.  The true prophet stands outside, as always.  He slips from the isles of Super God Mart as he senses the Lord Jesus approaching His house, scourge in hand, to cleanse it of those who merchandize truth (“ministry”) and profit from party membership dues (“tithes”).  He offends men by calling their god a golden calf, by calling their self-improvement Christianity a sham, and by treating as a profane thing, that which they call holy.  Seven Mountain Mandates, Purpose Driven Lives and Churches, Wild Hearts, Shacks, and a thousand others… he mocks at their Baals, and rebuilds the altar of God, pointing men back to the cross, God’s only method and means.  He stands at a crossroads that men don’t recognize that they must negotiate, and he points them to the ancient path and the narrow gate.

Like Bunyon’s character Christian, when the true prophet meets other pilgrims on the path, he is supremely interested in how they came to enter the path.  Christian’s question was, “Why did you not enter at the Wicket-gate which is located at the beginning of this way?”  What does it matter, as long as they are on the path?  The true prophet understands that the nature of a gate is to latch securely closed, as well as to swing wide.  That’s what makes it a gate and not a freeway.  He has beheld the goodness and severity of Him who is the gate into the sheepfold, and his question is, “Did you enter by yonder Wicket-gate, or are you a thief and a robber (those who feel entitled to that which does not rightfully belong to them) who climbed up some other way?”  The true prophet is very severe in his insistence upon a true conversion that saves form sin, rather than the false conversion of the wide gate and the broad way worn thin by the sin-enslaved masses.

I have become the laughingstock of all peoples, the object of their taunts all day long (Lam. 3:14 ESV).

I have often cringed at the sight of some poor soul wearing a silly suit, pointing passing motorists to the business establishment that employs them as a human sign.  The whole thing strikes me as degrading, as the business sets a human being before the eyes of his or her community as nothing but an object, stripping them of their human dignity and individual identity, using them as a sign animated with human life, all to arrest human attention for the purpose of casting their gaze upon, and turning their thoughts to the business and the chicken, or pizza, or insurance, or tires that they sell.  The employee surrenders his or her individual identity and dignity for the identity and success of the establishment.  The same is true of the prophet.  The prophet is made a spectacle before men and angels, as his individuality and his dignity are stripped before his community to point men to another.  However, the single and striking difference is that this human sign represents and points men to Christ alone, and never to the establishment of “Christian Religion” or the merchandise that she peddles.

This is a bitter process for the man who has stood in God’s council and heard His words.  This type of prophet sells no books or DVDs, for his life and his message cause men to recoil in horror from the means that God employs and promotes through his life experience.  The cross is still an offence and foolishness to those masses thronging the isles of Super God Mart, so they naturally turn from his thoroughfare to the wide freeway of destruction, as they race to their end, following the flashy sports cars of false prophets who run, having never been sent of God, and who prophecy, having never heard God’s word, and who, in the end, will not profit God’s people at all.  These blind leaders of the blind race headlong into a ditch wide and deep enough for the masses that follow.

This whole shameful degeneration, as the bad figs become completely rotten and useless, breaks the prophet’s heart, as he is allowed the great privilege of entering into Christ’s ministry of intercession for His people who love to be led by prophets who prophecy lies, and by shepherds who bear rule by their means.

The sweet words that the years and the dealings of God have turned bitter, deep within the bowels of the man-message, are now kindling for the fires of intercession that burn deep within Christ and within the man who is allowed to be one with Christ in His ministry of intercession.  His bitterness has become his joy, as he finds deep calling to deep, and as he senses a power with God on behalf of men that preaching sweet words could never approach.  His bitterness is turned to sweetness as he now speaks to God on behalf of men more than to men on behalf of God.  This is the secret passion and pleasure of the true prophet.

Between the time the Lord called Isaiah a prophet and then actually sent him to speak, was perhaps sixteen years.  I suspect this interim period was a baptism in the bitter process that all men or women of God must endure: that of God making the man the message.  Ministry schools and seminaries put men in hoppers and crank out preachers, but all true ministers, or servants, or signs, as with Paul, Peter, Jeremiah, and other true messengers, go through the school of Christ where they learn Christ.  They go from doing, to being, as the death of Christ works in them, so that life might work in others (the essence of true ministry).  The true prophet eats the roll before he speaks, therefore, he becomes the message before he becomes a messenger.  This is God’s way… the way of the prophet, as God makes the man the message – as God makes the man a sign.

But this I call to mind, and therefore I have hope: The steadfast love of the LORD never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.  “The LORD is my portion,” says my soul, “therefore I will hope in him.” The LORD is good to those who wait for him, to the soul who seeks him.  It is good that one should wait quietly for the salvation of the LORD.  It is good for a man that he bear the yoke in his youth.  Let him sit alone in silence when it is laid on him; let him put his mouth in the dust– there may yet be hope; (Lam. 3:21-29 ESV)

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