the time is short...they that have wives be as though they had none
Everything in the Bible fits together and complements each other for the simple reason that God’s literal words are both exact and true. This fact becomes more and more apparent during our Bible studies as we mature: As young Christians we read the Bible a number of times and might think, “Is that it? Shouldn’t there be more?” And it’s true that the Bible is only one book, and therefore it might seem finite, which might cause the carnal mind to gradually decide it’s not worth our time after a few years.
As we grow, however, our continued time in the word combined with our life experiences as we do the word cause the Lord to deepen and broaden our understanding of and appreciation for the word. During our maturation as faithful doers, the word of God does not change. But because of our faithfulness the Word of God manifests Himself to us more and more through the word of God, and we realize those same old fishes and loaves we’ve faithfully and dutifully eaten over the years just keep on multiplying as surely as if we’re standing there 2,000 years ago as one of the 7,000 being miraculously fed by the Lord. At times of personal revelation and growth like that we witness the amazing fact that the word is an onion with many layers that – rightly divided, here a little and there a little – manifests itself to us but not to the world. And that process of manifestation deepens our belief and confidence so we can testify in ways like this:
1 John 1:1-4 That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, of the Word of life; (For the life was manifested, and we have seen it, and bear witness, and shew unto you that eternal life, which was with the Father, and was manifested unto us;) That which we have seen and heard declare we unto you, that ye also may have fellowship with us: and truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ. And these things write we unto you, that your joy may be full.
By the way, I don’t want what I just said to detract from the fact that other forms of communion besides Bible study can be used by God just as much to open our understanding. For example, many truths have manifested themselves over the years during verbal communion with my wife, written communion with you comrades, silent reflection in my inner sanctum during the night and day, and during the times I immerse myself in the word of God when writing material such as these essays. Any and all forms of communion around and interaction with the word of God is good – whether we are consciously aware of it at that moment or not.
As you know, the purpose of the War College Trumpets is to sound the alarm of war and to teach Scriptural NT tactics. In those trumpets some of our brethren may think I’m being a bit too alarmist or panicky when urging Bible believers “from such turn away” in order to reduce the chances of becoming leavened and gradually overcome by apostasy. In this trumpet I am going to show that being alarmed about the welfare of the church is the proper attitude...and has been from the very beginning of the NT era, which underscores the fact that we must utilize the Lord’s NT tactics of rearguard action not just for the good of the church, but for the survival of the church. And then I’m going to show some examples of how all the Scriptures fit together and complement each other – which helps illustrate that proper doctrine must be supported by every verse in the Bible, and which helps show why we must faithfully stay in the word even after we’ve gone through the Bible more times than we can count.
NEW TESTAMENT EXPEDIENCY IN MARRIAGE
1 Corinthians 7 says we should not marry unless we have to in order to avoid fornication. It explains why it is better to not marry:
1 Cor 7:32-35 ...He that is unmarried careth for the things that belong to the Lord, how he may please the Lord: But he that is married careth for the things that are of the world, how he may please his wife...The unmarried woman careth for the things of the Lord, that she may be holy both in body and in spirit: but she that is married careth for the things of the world, how she may please her husband. And this I speak for your own profit; not that I may cast a snare upon you, but for that which is comely, and that ye may attend upon the Lord without distraction.
OK, that all makes sense. Before I get to the “alarm of war” read this:
1 Tim 5:8 But if any provide not for his own, and specially for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel.
Now read what the Bible tells married Christian men, and note that it at first appears to contradict the above:
1 Cor 7:29 But this I say, brethren, the time is short: it remaineth, that both they that have wives be as though they had none;
It says “both” above because it then goes on to include the following:
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1 Cor 7:30,31 And they that weep, as though they wept not; and they that rejoice, as though they rejoiced not; and they that buy, as though they possessed not; And they that use [those who customarily resort to...as in, to have business or other dealings with] this world, as not abusing it [don’t overdo it by becoming dependent upon]: for the fashion of this world passeth away [the world won’t last much longer].
A careful reading of the context of the 1 Cor 7 makes it clear that this chapter is not some pipe or harp giving an uncertain sound; it is an urgently loud-and-clear trumpet calling us saints to battle by saying:
The time is short! Sound the alarm! We’re in the dark last days, and for your own profit and the survival of the church drop everything and spend your time serving God and His church. If you are a single man or woman, do not marry. If you are a married man, act as if you are not married by eschewing unnecessary, time-wasting family distractions. In fact, don’t even waste precious time weeping or rejoicing or taking care of normal worldly pursuits.
Obviously, when the Bible tells Christian men who are married to be as though they aren’t, and when it tells men and women to not even rejoice and weep, it is telling us the church is in such dire straits we need to employ the doctrine of expediency in certain situations for the good of the church. In other words, the New Testament is building upon the fact that when the Lord Jesus Christ died on the cross He replaced the OT with the New, which was a major – indeed, radical – tactical change. For example, physical patriarchs and the Old Commission are gone, and instead we’re advised not to marry; we have neither real estate nor dominion; and rather than go in among born-again brethren who are unruly or disorderly or doctrinally subverted in order to help them by arguing and convincing them to repent, we are told to “warn” and “admonish” them once or twice and then to reject them by walking away, by not eating with them or inviting them into our homes for fellowship...by shunning them! I say again, in this NT era of rampant apostasy the time is so short we are no longer told to stone fellow Christians such as incorrigible children and unrepentant members of our congregations (because that stuff is barbaric to the Enlightened society that has dominion over us, and because there are way too many subverted Christians around us), we are instead told to not even risk having wives and children, and we’re told to shun most of the rest of “Christianity” because the risk of being around them is too great. If we think about it a little it’s easy to imagine a physical church building that represents the NT body of believers...and good saints are running out of it in all directions and wisely becoming hermits in their various efforts to remain doctrinally unleavened for God’s sake and that of His church and the war.
Hermit: One who lives apart from society for religious reasons.
Because the 1 Cor 7 “time is short” verse was written at the beginning of the NT era I don’t think it was meant to make us think the Second Coming was just around the corner (although two days/two thousand years may be considered “short” compared with the previous six thousand years of this war; and even though today we believe the Second Coming is just around the corner). I believe the “time is short” phrase when put into the context of our marital duties to each other and to Christ, and when considering the obvious fact that the chapter tells us to keep expediency in mind, is intended to emphasize the fact that the advanced stage of leaven in the church has necessitated the NT’s radical changes to our Christian lives and to the way we deal with our beloved brethren – brethren who will not endure sound doctrine and will turn away their ears from the truth, and after their own lusts (Reason) they shall be turned unto fables (tradition, morality, and theology). And all of that is intended to make us reflect upon the necessity of those changes as well as the importance of the plainly-worded NT rearguard tactics that order us to “have no company with” leavened brethren if they don’t properly respond to one or two admonitions. In other words, “the time is short” phrase combined with the rest of the NT is intended to make us realize it is saying:
Situation critical: Carry out your NT rearguard tactics to avoid being leavened, and do your Christian duties...but keep expediency in mind that ye may attend upon the Lord without distraction.
The Bible makes it clear that – especially when among fellow sheep/Christians – we must be watchmen who are always doctrinally vigilant and always ready to follow the Lord away from doctrinal apostasy when Christians no longer have ears to hear our words of instruction and admonition:
Mt 10:6-38 But go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel...And into whatsoever city or town ye shall enter, inquire who in it is worthy...And if the house be worthy, let your peace come upon it: but if it be not worthy, let your peace return to you. And whosoever shall not receive you, nor hear your words, when ye depart out of that house or city, shake off the dust of your feet...Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves. But beware of men...Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword. For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter in law against her mother in law. And a man’s foes shall be they of his own household. He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. And he that taketh not his cross, and followeth after me, is not worthy of me.
When we read verses like the following we note at the end we’re told to “rejoice” and “weep”, which makes some people think it’s contradicting 1 Cor 7:30 above. But God’s word does not contradict itself, which makes us think about the other underlinings below and how they obviously rely on our Christian maturity, and on our love for God and His church so we’ll utilize discernment, wisdom, and love when weighing the time-is-short call to arms above with other more “normal” Biblical exhortations such as the one below:
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Rom 12:9-15 Let love be without dissimulation. Abhor that which is evil; cleave to that which is good. Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love; in honour preferring one another; Not slothful in business; fervent in spirit; serving the Lord; Rejoicing in hope; patient in tribulation; continuing instant in prayer; Distributing to the necessity of saints; given to hospitality. Bless them which persecute you: bless, and curse not. Rejoice with them that do rejoice, and weep with them that weep.
With all of that in mind, I’ll invent an example of a Christian husband using expediency to be as if he had no wife: A big family reunion is coming up over a long weekend 200 miles away. At the last minute something comes up with some Christian brethren that the man decides needs his attention. He talks with his wife about it and tells her to take the kids and drive to the reunion without him. As a Bible believer she understands the situation and dutifully obeys. At the reunion her parents and married siblings, upon finding out that the husband is tending to “church matters” rather than to his wife and kids, badmouth him. The wife looks at them and in no uncertain terms tells them to shut up and not mention it again. And if they do she’ll pack up the kids and leave right then. She is a good and strong Christian and has her priorities (the Lord and His church) straight. But she is extremely rare and hard to find:
Proverbs 31:10-30 Who can find a virtuous woman? for her price is far above rubies. The heart of her husband doth safely trust in her...She will do him good and not evil all the days of her life...Strength and honour are her clothing; and she shall rejoice in time to come. She openeth her mouth with wisdom; and in her tongue is the law of kindness. She looketh well to the ways of her household, and eateth not the bread of idleness. Her children arise up, and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praiseth her...Favour is deceitful, and beauty is vain: but a woman that feareth the LORD, she shall be praised.
That kind of wife/servant makes me think of the aged widower, Abraham, who had a servant so beloved, faithful, and competent that Abe knew he could rely on him for anything and everything – including finding a woman from whose loins would come many generations of Christians:
Gen 24:2 And Abraham said unto his eldest servant of his house, that ruled over all that he had...
But if the wife in the above example were a pagan or a lousy Christian (a born-again unbeliever), and – encouraged by her badmouthing relatives – she rebels against her “fanatic” husband, he’d obviously do the best he could to handle the situation. If he fails, and if the bad wife thinks he has made her life so unhappy that she decides to leave him, then the following applies:
1 Cor 7:15 But if the unbelieving depart, let him depart. A brother or a sister is not under bondage in such cases: but God hath called us to peace.
ADULTERY AND WHOREMONGERING
When the Lord in 1 Cor 7 tells Christian men that have wives [to] be as though they had none when that particular expediency is necessary for the good of the church, He is certainly aware that He is speaking to a classification of men that includes a large percentage of sex fiends – after all, most of them wouldn’t have married at all unless they thought they would commit fornication with a Christian woman if they stayed single. Therefore it is possible that some men might be tempted to think, “Hmm, if I’m to act as though I didn’t have a wife that means I can have sex with girlfriends like the bachelor Samson did, and/or consort with whores like the widower Judah did.” But read this:
Heb 13:4 Marriage is honourable in all, and the bed undefiled: [Before the colon the topic of marriage and marital sex is introduced, and it says husbands and wives may do whatever sex acts they want.]
but whoremongers and adulterers God will judge. [After the colon a qualifier is added to prevent married Christian men and women from thinking “undefiled” means they can commit adultery and/or consort with prostitutes and gigolos.]
Yes, the marital bed is undefiled – as long as your sex is with your spouse. But Heb 13:4 isn’t really necessary to show 1 Cor 7 isn’t promoting promiscuous behavior. The expediency of “being as though they have no wives” is only to be exercised in order that the man be better able to “attend upon the Lord”...and running around having sex with other women cannot be construed as attending upon the Lord.
I have been challenged about Christian bachelors being able to consort with girlfriends and whores, and the “proof” that bachelors “cannot do so” is the fact that “whoremongering” is a sin. But we’ve already learned in the Bible that fornication and adultery are not the same; one applies to unmarrieds and the other applies to marrieds. For example, if a Christian bachelor screws an unmarried pagan girlfriend, no sin has been committed. But if he screws an unmarried Christian girlfriend he has committed fornication. So we turn our attention to Thus saith the Lord to see what we learn about whoremongering, because any English dictionary will properly define whoremongering as having sex (“consorting”) with whores. We note that whoremonger appears five times in the Bible, and four of those times we learn nothing because whoremongering is merely included in lists of various sins. To understand whoremongering, therefore, we must go to Heb 13:4, which lets us learn about whoremongering and about adultery. Obviously adultery applies to married people, and obviously Heb 13:4 deals specifically with married people. Therefore in context both adultery and whoremongering are sins (“God will judge”) that God is applying to married people – not bachelors. Therefore if we want to make whoremongering a sin for bachelors and widowers we must first find a verse in the Bible that allows us to do so...and there is none. Therefore, the reason nobody condemned Samson and Judah for their activities, and the reason neither Samson nor Judah tried to hide his activities or was ashamed of them is because their activities were Scripturally lawful...and to attempt to make the sex bachelors have with consenting girlfriends and with whores (where prostitution is legal) sins is nothing but the old Mt 15:2 scam – inventing sins not in the Bible. By the way, when Bible believers carefully examine all five applicable verses and take a minute to analyze Heb 13:4, they quickly realize it was tradition that caused them to assume things about whoremongering that are not in the Bible, which also made them think the Biblical examples of Samson and Judah might be misleading at best and errors at worst...which illustrates the fact that false traditions can subvert faith in the inerrant truth and authority of the living word of our living God! Walk circumspectly, comrade, and be ever-vigilant watchmen by carefully paying attention to every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.
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WOMEN PREACHERS AND OUR CHRISTIAN DUTY
If you look in 1 Cor 7 or anywhere else in the Bible for a verse that tells Christian wives that “the time is short, so you may be as though you had no husband” you will search in vain – there is no such verse. Why?
It’s because men and women are different in God’s eyes. Men are heads/masters because they represent God; women are bodies/servants because they represent the church. The fact that God specifically gives husbands the expediency to act at times as if they have no wives, but He never even hints that women have the same prerogative gives us an indication as to how critically important women are to the war. A Christian woman – whether she has a husband who is pagan or Christian, froward or good – is never allowed to take a “break” from serving him! That’s because she represents the church, and the church is never allowed to take a “break” from serving God. In a mysterious (and to me, ominous) way, the fact that women are always supposed to be under the authority of their husbands is related to the fact that women are always supposed to have long hair:
1 Cor 11:10 For this cause ought the woman to have power on her head because of the angels.
It seems to me that just as God depends on and waits for us to be submissively obedient to Him before He wields His sword in this war, it may be that the church as a unit and husbands as individual Christians are somehow handicapped if Christian women in general and wives in particular are not properly under the authority of men (Jn 19:26,27; Isa 3:12-4:1). It is 1 Cor 7 that brings much that the Bible says and implies about women into sharper focus and tends to establish a pattern. I say plainly: Christian women have a very important role in this war. I don’t understand it clearly or fully, but what I do understand means God’s very clearly-stated orders that wives submit to their husband as if he is God Almighty – for better or for worse, good or froward – must be carried out to the letter.
All of this emphasis on the fact that Christian wives/bodies are never excused from their duty to be under the authority of their husbands/heads; and the related fact that women should never be “shorn” by not having “power on their heads” is but another proof that it is an abomination (and very bad for this cause because it somehow handicaps the church) for women to be preachers. For several reasons (some I don’t fully understand) it is harmful to the cause of Christ for women to become heads/shepherds of a church. I say again, Christian women are never granted the prerogative to rise up from servanthood to positions of authority over Christian men. All Christian women – married or single – are required to be always under authority...because all members of the church – male or female – are required to be always under God’s authority. When a husband exercises expediency by telling his wife to go to the reunion without him so he can help the church he is serving God. But when a woman decides
· to slack off on her duties to her husband for any reason,
· or when she decides to become a preacher
she is rebelling against God and helping Satan.
But doesn’t the existence of women prophets in the Bible mean women can be preachers? No. If a NT woman has a good relationship with God and He helps her learn some good stuff in the Bible, she needs to understand that’s what Christian fellowship/verbal communion is for! That’s how all of us, as different members with different talents on the same Body, help each other learn and grow. When a man hears something really good from a woman during fellowship he can then speak up in church and share it with the preacher and the congregation...and let everybody know from whom he learned it.
This discussion about women preachers is actually unnecessary because in other places the Bible plainly commands women to be silent in church. And the Bible also clearly states that any man wanting to be a bishop/preacher must be a husband who ruleth well his own house. Christian women are not allowed to act as if they are men, and they are not allowed to shirk their important womanly duties to God. One of the reasons a sister’s faithful performance of her duty is so important to the cause of Christ in this war is because of the angels. We all should understand that fact, and we should understand how difficult being Scriptural women today can be, and we should use charity (in its unselfish, loving, forgiving, helping meaning) to support and encourage them. They are precious comrades in our war.
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MEN AND WOMEN AS TYPES
Men and women are different, and they have been assigned different jobs by God. Those jobs, if properly done, help the church win the war. At Judgment God will evaluate us based on our performance of our duties. I think too many Christians think they can largely ignore/shirk their earthly duties (such as being husbands and wives, and being masters of and doers of the Bible) and instead focus on “loving” God (such as reading the Bible, saying prayers, and being “good” Christians). Sadly for them the Bible plainly says doing our jobs as defined in the Bible is loving God and loving the church; and not doing our jobs is the same as not loving God – no matter how much we “feel like we’re loving Jesus”.
I’m now going to informally look at (and speculate about) some of the differences between men and women, and at some of the reasons for those differences, and at what those differences represent.
OT MEN were told to circumcise their penises, to “uncover their heads.”
NT MEN are told to “uncover their heads” by having shortened hair. Being “uncovered” exposes men’s heads – which stands for God, and which represents the ruling authority of men.
OT WOMEN were never told to be circumcised, were never told to uncover their heads, and were never told to be rulers over men or the church – they were to represent the church by always being under the power/authority of men/God.
NT WOMEN are specifically told to be always covered, and a woman’s hair is her God-given covering – if it is long (1 Cor 11:15). And even if she does “good” things like praying (or prophesying – as in Tit 2:3-5) with shortened hair (which makes her “uncovered”), it is so shameful that she might as well be shorn. This 1 Cor 11 commandment for women to “have power on their heads”, and the fact that even hair that has been shortened a “little bit” makes it not “long” (which represents just a “little bit” Enlightened, liberated, independent, rebellious, and Satanic) stresses the “no excuses, no exceptions, no expediency” necessity/importance to the war that women be always submissive – just as does the fact that 1 Cor 7 never permits wives to be as though they were not wives, and just as the following verse says husbands can forsake their wives...but nowhere does the Bible say wives can forsake their husbands:
Mt 19:29 And every one that hath forsaken houses, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife [the Bible never says this about husbands], or children, or lands, for my name’s sake, shall receive an hundredfold, and shall inherit everlasting life.
The reason these 1 Cor 11 and 1 Cor 7 imperatives exist for women and wives to remain 100% submissive is outlined for us in 1 Cor 6, which says any Christian who sins (in this case we’re zeroing in on women) is a harlot who makes the whole body/lump of Christ a whore/leavened. This is supported by 1 Pet 3:1-7, which says twice (because it applies to both OT and NT women) that women are to be in subjection. If a wife (or husband) doesn’t do her (his) Christian duty she (he) is hindering her (his) prayers and those of her (his) husband (wife) because she and he are one flesh (1 Cor 6). Jn 14 comes into play here because it says the Comforter will only help Christians who are proper doers of the word (as opposed to improper doers like Matt Seven). By the way, 1 Pet 3 is not saying Christian wives’ good conversations (walks) might convince their hubbies to say the “sinner’s prayer”. It says if her hubby is a lousy Christian her pleasing him with her 100% submissive service might cause him to repent.
OT MEN and WOMEN were told to marry in order to have physical babies to whom the Lord would give the new birth. And if the rod of correction hadn’t driven foolishness from the heart of a child by the time he was 16 the child was to be executed for the good of the church.
NT MEN and WOMEN are advised not to marry unless as bachelors and virgins they won’t be able to keep from having sex with another Christian, which is fornication because it is a sin within (not “without” – 1 Cor 6:18) the body of Christ. Fornication hurts the church. God saw that Enlightened Reason would be so widespread in the church in the NT era that He advised us not to marry so we wouldn’t be joined to a wife-harlot who wasn’t 100% submissive or to a hubby-harlot who wasn’t 100% committed; and He advised us not to marry so we wouldn’t be jailed for properly using spanking to drive foolishness from the hearts of our children; and so massive amounts of our time wouldn’t be squandered trying to please a lousy husband (saved or unsaved), or dealing with a lousy wife (saved or unsaved), or trying to properly train up children (saved or unsaved). The Lord tried to keep us faithful men and women from all of those snares, distractions, and frustrating time-wasters.
MEN are heads/rulers and therefore tend to be more cerebral (as in intellectually detached) than women. Alas, however, men’s lives tend to revolve around their dicks, which as King David shows, can be a huge problem. That sexual desire during the OT tended to encourage saints to carry out the Old Commission’s mandate to help the church by having sexual intercourse, but it tends to be a distraction to NT saints’ Great Commission duty to help the church via verbal intercourse. Men also tend to be selfish about and during sex, and – because true love is outward directed/unselfish – that means having sex is, for men, more about having fun than it is about “making love”. And that means when men commit adultery it, in general, does not mean they do not love their wives; men “take” women because they want to be “serviced”. As types, men symbolize God’s desire that He have many wives who live to please Him. I tend to avoid using the word “selfish” when describing God because it generally has a bad connotation in Enlightened society, but it is good for God to want His will to be done by all of us – and it is also very good for us if we agree with Him. NT men need to use principled love to discern the modern importance of never marrying, but if they do marry they need to use compassionate love to be less selfish about the wants and needs of their wives. And if they marry they also need to keep principled love/discernment in mind for occasions when the needs of the church might necessitate their devoting less time to their families.
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WOMEN are bodies/servants and therefore tend to be more emotional (as in unable to keep feelings from overpowering intellectual judgment) than men. Women, in general, also tend to be less obsessed with sex than men are, and that tends to allow women to be less selfish about and during sex. To women sex is about being cared for and it is part of unselfish love, which is why women “give” themselves to men. Women being more unselfish tends to make their love (emotional, platonic, and sexual) more important and outward-directed than it is for men. Therefore, sex tends to be a way for women to attract the care, attention, and love of men. And they tend to think adultery by their husbands is because he doesn’t love them...when it’s really because the husbands don’t love God enough. NT women need to use discernment to understand the modern importance of never marrying, and if they do marry they need to learn how (by using discernment/principled love) to remain 100% submissive no matter what. Development of women’s principled love will also help them understand that men’s more-abundant principled love makes men more focused on duty and character, while men’s less-abundant compassionate love makes men less focused on human love relationships (emotion) and personality.
The NT era deemphasizes us as individuals and it deemphasizes our physical lives; the focus is on spiritual warfare and the doctrinal health and survival of the church as a whole. Therefore if we were disciplined, and if the Bible really were our sole authority in all matters of faith and practice, very few of us would be married. For most men that would mean they were not heads of households, were not husbands, and were not even men (I speak figuratively) – they would be women, the Lord’s wives. Therefore, men’s lives would (should) no longer revolve around their dicks...because the Lord would be the man/husband/head of household, and therefore as His wives (I’m now including both men and women) we’d attend upon His desire to have His children brought up right. The Lord distributes His precious life-giving seed as He sees fit (via the new birth), and we’d serve Him by having verbal intercourse in order to first, identify His children, and second, to edify and exhort them for the good of the church. That means the NT’s Great Commission is very similar to the OT’s Old Commission: the Husband still spreads His seed, and His multiple wives help Him train His offspring up in Jesus’ name to be selfless warriors whose doctrinal understanding and proper use of Biblical tactics enables them to endure to the end.
The major NT changes to our personal lives
(such as we don’t marry, don’t live in a Biblical society, and are shocked at how few are saved and at how few of those are hearers and doers)
and to our Christian fellowship
(once we see that a brother doesn’t believe in the inerrant truth, the sole authority, and the absolute necessity of the Bible, and doesn’t have the same hunger for the Bible and the same eagerness to submit to Thus saith the Lord that we do, and we can’t imagine how they can be so unmotivated – we are to walk away)
are supposed to make us aware of the critical importance and necessity of proper doctrine and rearguard tactics. We are to realize that we are no longer off-duty soldiers relaxing in a society of comrades (such as OT Jerusalem); we are embattled Bible believers who find themselves surrounded by the carnality of Reason, the mindless self-importance of democracy, and the outrageous assaults by theology on doctrine and on believing Bible study. All of that would make us realize how rare and almost alone we Bible believers are. Therefore as our doctrinal understanding matures, so does our appreciation for separation/rearguard tactics...and we find ourselves – like hermits – living quietly aloof from the mindless chaos, noise, and blasphemy of this inhospitable world.
Our doctrinal maturity also makes us men and women view ourselves more and more as Christ’s brides, His wives, His women. That makes doctrinally-mature Christian women pay more attention to their role as servants, and they quietly grow in humility, self-control, charity, forgiveness, unselfish patience, and peace. As Christian men mature in doctrine they become increasingly convinced that their passionate sermons, their brilliant arguments, and their well-intentioned “try to be a positive influence by going in among them” efforts have failed to have any measurable effect. That makes them realize God is right when He says leaven can be slowed but it can’t be stopped, and therefore He knew what He was doing when He said our enemies are they of our own household, and He was right when He used the word subverted. All of this makes the man feel very alone like Elijah (1 Kin 19:10), so he spends more quality time in the Bible and in his inner sanctum fellowshipping with his Husband. That quiet-time fellowship makes him realize – again – God’s way is right. So he whittles away at his male self-importance, realizes good Christians are few and far between, and therefore all he has left is Christ! I say again, after trying to be “busy”, to be a “leader” or “shepherd” he realizes he has been wasting precious time he could have spent attending unto the Lord without distraction.
One of the things the Comforter uses to influence other Christians is our testimony, our daily walk (see 1 Pet 3:1,2 again). Therefore when we men and women see the testimony of the doctrinally-mature woman above, the Holy Spirit helps us appreciate (as defined in Trumpet B1) the womanly humility and servanthood of being a proper Christian, and we strive to be better wives to Christ and better servants to each other. In a way, the embattled loneliness of this NT era is good for the church because it makes all of us, men and women, realize our true peace and reward comes from the satisfaction of quietly doing our jobs as the Lord’s women. The irony in that is the fact that when the Comforter sees us humbly submitting to His word and serving each other, He – as a Man – fights for His women by wielding His Sword, by being our arm of strength, by being our Saviour.
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Therefore, we Bible-believing men and women need to work on our womanly humility, self-control, charity, forgiveness, unselfish patience, and peace (to name just a few) so we can be good examples to each other and good wives who please our Husband.
Eph 5:15,16 See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise, Redeeming the time, because the days are evil.
Heb 10:23-25 Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering...And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works: Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another [today]: and so much the more, as ye see the day [the millennial reign] approaching.
The time is short.
I’ve always been a fairly conscientious guy; the kind of guy who looks into things, researches them, analyzes, compares, organizes. I’m only happy when things make sense and there are no contradictions. If something doesn’t quite fit, if there are questions I can’t answer, or if something isn’t clear to me I realize I’ve got more work/learning to do.
When the Lord saved me I had a sudden hunger for the Bible. As a Roman Catholic I’d always considered myself to be fairly serious about “God”, but as I began studying the Bible and comparing it with Catholicism and my life I realized how carnally blind I’d been. I responded to that realization with hungry enthusiasm: I wanted to be a squared-away Christian servant...and finally I was studying the Rule Book that told me how. I didn’t know my rear end from a hole in the ground yet, but everything that is me was now restlessly content in a way I’d never known before. I say restlessly because my contentment wasn’t the settle-back-and-relax kind. My contentment was that of a hungry man who finally found good food and was being nourished by it – but never got full or tired of eating...and craved more.
I attended a church that claimed the KJV to be the inspired, inerrant word of God. But the contradictions in the way they treated the KJV frustrated my penchant for order, so after I finished studying and comparing Catholic history and doctrine with the Bible, and after I finished studying creation vs. evolution (both of which interested me from the start), I began researching the Bible version issue. My studies about Catholicism and creation had made me realize how critically-fundamental the Bible is for both doctrine and world history, and the inconsistencies between what my new church said about the Bible and their actual practice made me realize I needed to find out just how sure or unsure of a foundation the Bible really is. As a black-and-white kind of guy I wanted to find out how much confidence I could put in the Bible.
The Bible version issue was an excellent foundation for my Christian growth. And I later learned from reading and conversing with non-KJVers that they lacked doctrinal consistency, mental clarity, faith in God and what He says about His Book, and therefore came across as disingenuous. It didn’t just irritate me that they said the “Bible” is inerrant one minute, and the next whipped out a Greek/Hebrew dictionary and “corrected” the very thing they just got finished saying was “inerrant”: it actually offended me. I was beginning to learn how organized, truthful, precise, and consistent God is, and the lack of respect, logic, consistency, and faith with which non-KJVers treated Him and His Book was repulsive in so many ways I can’t begin to list them. In fact, the more I conversed with Christians and non-Christians, and the more I asked simply, “Oh, that’s interesting; where did you learn that?” the more I frustratingly realized almost nobody knew his rear end from a hole in the ground! But unlike me, they didn’t care! That realization eventually led me to sum it up in this quote from the Wallpapers’ Motivational page:
“Why is it that we have a tendency to lazily assume other Christians have been
the kind of dedicated, motivated, responsible, knowledgeable experts
on Bible doctrines that we have never cared enough to become?”
Once I studied and compared and found out the KJV really doesn’t have any errors (which was so hugely amazing to me as a young Christian because that meant God really has preserved His word for us, and Biblical Christianity is reality), I was able to confidently move on and study doctrine. I say again: Because all doctrines are supposed to come from the written word of God, and because I was holding the inerrant word of God in my hand, I had not just the final authority, I was actually holding the one-and-only authority! That greatly simplified my task: I didn’t have to go to the bank and borrow a bunch of money so I could buy hundreds of books written by a bunch of theologians who all contradicted each other; I just had to sit down in faith believing the Comforter really would help me learn His word.
And that brings me to the point of this trumpet: Praising our Saviour for the Book He has given us. And now that I say that I’m overwhelmed. There is so much more to Him and His Book than I can say...but I’ll try to put a few things into words.
The inerrancy of His Book absolutely delights me – perhaps especially because we live in an age of Reason and unbelief. Non-KJVers can bluff and bluster all they want about Greek and Hebrew and italics and human failings – but the precision I’ve learned from the Comforter allows me to remind them that 1) they have brazenly cast aside God’s definition of His word by daring to foolishly redefine (!!) God’s word as a collection of human errors, and 2) they need to quit wasting time talking about differences between their error-filled versions/manuscripts and the inerrant KJV, and admit the fact that they’ve never been able to find an error in the King James Bible. No one has ever been able to handle either of those two all-important, fundamental, and revealing points.
Moving on from the inerrancy of the Bible I have to say the order, the consistency, the rightness, and the goodness of a Biblical lifestyle reaffirms for me every day – as I look at the mess that is this world – the truth of Scripture. When I say reaffirm I mean that in a way that reaches the depths of my soul and feeds and strengthens me in ways that awe and humble me. The way the Comforter brings things about His word to my remembrance, the way He gives me glimpses of the Big Picture, and the way He uses all of that to teach me, edify me, rebuke and correct me, feed me, open my eyes, increase my understanding and wisdom, and make me a better man and servant combine in ways that actually make the things I suffer in this war turn into more lessons that help me grow! Like the fishes and loaves, it just keeps multiplying and getting better.
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In fact, the more I grow the more I move beyond the basics of how true and reliable Scripture is. All of that is important and necessary to learn. But it’s really fairly shallow, fairly basic. Beyond that is the church and how its members are doing in this war. Are they mastering doctrine and growing into mature warriors? That is a necessary prerequisite if we are all going to be able to help each other in a war that, I’m sorry to say, isn’t going very well. And beyond the inerrancy of Scripture and the welfare of the church is the Lord Himself. The more I learn the more I realize how much pain, suffering, frustration, anger, and heartache He has and is going through because of us, His own children. The more I mature the more I try to comfort Him and reassure Him.
Yes, the more I mature the more I realize it’s all about Him. And I use that fact to remind myself how necessary and important it is for me to develop into the kind of humble, obedient, appreciative, and loving servant He’d enjoy having around forever.
Sometimes when all the years of my service, and all of my learning and joy and suffering and insight come together, and I compare it with the way I was before I was saved, I am able to see that all of this, all I know, and all of what I have become is because of a single Book! The things that have happened to and inside me combine to prove to me that the Lord is the Vine, I am a leaf, and His Book is the stem or branch by which I have and will continue to receive the mental and spiritual food that will help me and sustain me throughout the war. I am humbly and thankfully in awe of the undeniable fact that even though the Bible sitting on the table looks like “just a book”, that same Bible accepted and put into practice in my life manifests itself as the supernatural living word of the living God.
Thank you, Lord, for your Book. Thank you for You.
In Jesus’ name, amen.
Sometimes Christians think it’s OK to put off serving/obeying God until either after He returns or when something “big and important” comes along. There are a number of reasons that is a bad way to be; I’ll highlight three.
First, it reveals a bad attitude and a lack of love for the Lord. The attitude of a proper servant is to keep the Lord’s kingdom neat and tidy by preventing anything from making it cluttered and unsightly. An evil servant is he who allows the house to be varying degrees of messy until he thinks it should be cleaned up. A good servant serves the Lord now by doing everything, big and small. In other words, it’s wrong to think in terms of big and small because all jobs for the Lord are part of serving Him, they’re all part of our duty, and He deserves our utmost.
Second (and this is important), self-discipline and character take time to develop. Self-discipline is a learning and growth process, as demonstrated by children growing up: First they learn what is expected of them as their parents make their will known. Then, when children misbehave by acting willfully and are spanked, they gradually learn through growing self-discipline to discipline themselves so they won’t get another spanking. That fear-motivated behavior over time turns into respect as they understand more and more that their parents’ way is the best way. And over time their proper behavior becomes automatic, it becomes part of who they are, part of their character. And, of course, during that process of maturing, their fear-turned-into-respect blossoms into love for their parents. As Christians we go through that same process. So don’t put off doing the little things: Fear God enough to do them now. The understanding you’ll gain from your obedience will turn your fear into respect as you begin to actually like and appreciate the kind of Good Shepherd we have...as well as the kind of man you’re becoming. And over time your respect will blossom into proper love for the Lord.
Does this mean Christians who weren’t spanked as young children have a more difficult time when they are born again learning the Bible and correct doctrine, and then have a more difficult time getting Self under control so they can walk the walk? Yes, it does. Christianity is a learned discipline: We are expected to bring everything about us (wants, needs, prejudices, values, beliefs, thoughts, words, deeds, and emotions) under strict submission to our souls’ Bible-taught discernment. If our parents used the rod of correction to instill fear of and respect for authority in us during our easily-molded formative years (whether our parents understood how fundamentally-important submission to authority and self-discipline are or not) we got off to a better, faster start in life. That’s why willful, spoiled brats have tougher times getting through military boot camps.
The Devil has not made spanking “evil” for no reason. He knows properly-reared Christians can mature faster than undisciplined bratty Christians. The fact that spanking is “evil” today is but another attack on the church.
Does this mean unspanked Christians cannot become properly-submissive brides of Christ? No.
Does this mean when we see an incorrigible child or adult, we can say his parents didn’t bring him up properly? Not necessarily.
Look at God the Father and at Adam and Eve, for example. We know the Lord was a proper Parent, and yet Lucifer turned out to be evil. And we can assume Adam and Eve were good parents, and yet Cain turned out to be evil. That means there are thorns and temptations and pitfalls that can ensnare any of us. But the Lord ordered us to spank our kids, and He had very good and helpful reasons for doing so...and Heb 5:8 is the key to beginning to understand the importance of spanking and pain and suffering – which I don’t think I need to go into here.
Two quick summational points about the above before I move on to the third point: A) spanking is good because it is an early, foundational part of proper character development; B) there is no nobler deed than the performance of one’s duty – because all of our orders from God contribute to our glorious learning process as we prepare for our futures as ruling princes under Christ by being proper doers now.
My third point is that putting off the “little things” offends three Scriptures that come to mind:
Joshua 24:15 And if it seem evil unto you to serve the LORD, choose you this day whom ye will serve...but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.
It says this day, not some other day.
Jeremiah 12:5 If thou hast run with the footmen, and they have wearied thee, then how canst thou contend with horses? and if in the land of peace, wherein thou trustedst, they wearied thee, then how wilt thou do in the swelling of Jordan?
If we aren’t good children who do the little things now, we won’t have developed the self-discipline and character to handle the big adult things later.
Mark 15:42 ...it was the preparation, that is, the day before the sabbath,
We are sons and daughters of God. This is our childhood. Now is our day of preparation, our chance to grow.
Do it now.
A quotation commonly used in The Age of Reason is
There is no nobler deed than the performance of one’s duty.
But doesn’t the military Medal of Honor, which is awarded for deeds that are “above and beyond the call of duty” reveal an inaccuracy in that quote? No, it’s the other way around.
If the Medal of Honor’s quote, above and beyond the call of duty is true (rather than just ill-thought-out hyperbole) it suggests normal society is selfish and self-centered. For example, let’s say a squad of soldiers was pinned down in battle by an enemy machine gun nest, and Cpl. Benson finally charged and put the nest out of action – for which he was awarded the Medal of Honor. The medal’s wording suggests that silencing the enemy nest wasn’t the squad’s job; and if it was the squad’s job the other soldiers in the squad were either putting Self before country, the squad, and victory...or they were cowards.
Now let’s examine AOR’s quote. Let’s say you were hired to paint a storefront, and while you’re doing it you notice an old lady standing at the street corner, afraid to cross because of the traffic. You put down your brush, help her across, and then get back to your job of painting. Have you done anything above and beyond your duty? No, you’ve done what you’d be expected to do in a loving, unselfish society.
The same is true if you were Cpl. Benson charging the machine gun nest: you are unselfishly doing what is best for your squad, country, and victory. You are doing what – in an ideal society – everyone would do.
Last example. You and your family and about 100 other church members are at a Sunday service. A terrorist being chased by the police comes in and holds off the cops by taking all of you hostage. His negotiations don’t go well, so he decides the cops need some convincing that he’s deadly serious. He announces that he’s going to shoot and kill a church member every five minutes, starting now. He turns, his beady eyes roving the congregation, and says, “OK, who’s first?” His question is followed by dead silence.
What do we know so far? We know that, in practice, you are sitting there hoping he’ll choose your wife, or one of your kids, or one of the other church members as his first victim – anybody but you! And we know that your wife and kids and fellow church members are all, in practice, selfishly thinking the same thing.
In an ideal Christianity that is based on love for the Lord and for His church, as soon as the terrorist’s “who’s first” is uttered, you’d raise your hand and say, “Take me” – and everybody else in the congregation would simultaneously, without hesitation, be doing and saying the same thing.
The Lord Jesus Christ properly and lovingly did His duty on the cross. I say again, by dying for us He did the job He came here to do. What He did was not above and beyond His duty; it was His duty, and He based it on outward-directed love, not inward-directed selfishness. OK, we get that. But what about you, and me, and everyone in the congregation? It’s simple, if we know the Bible:
1 John 3:16 Hereby perceive we the love of God, because he laid down his life for us:
and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren.
According to that verse, telling the terrorist to “Take me” is not merely our duty, it’s a written, plainly-worded, literal commandment from God! And it’s based on love.
OK, now we know 1 John 3:16 and how to apply it. As a comrade of ours would say, “Big whoopie.” And he’d be correct because the test of our Christianity isn’t knowing the Bible, it’s doing the Bible. So we can sit there in church silently congratulating ourselves that we know 1 John 3:16 all we want, but until our hands go up and we say, “Take me”, we are not doers of the word – we are nothing but tinkling cymbals.
There is no nobler deed than the performance of one’s duty. Doing the Bible is our duty.
it’s a crummy job, but somebody’s got to do it.
I spent my first, second, and third grades as a student at St. John’s Catholic School in Hollywood, MD. Sister Anna Jean, my second-grade teacher, was popular and we all wanted to please her. Raising our hands to be called on, therefore, became very competitive: We’d all leave our desks and crowd forward in the aisles toward her waving our hands trying to be the one called on. In order to maintain some order, she instituted a rule: we had to remain in contact with our desks, and at least one foot had to be under our desks at all times. When we all competed to be called on, therefore, with our left hands we’d grab the right front corner of our desks, swing out of our seats into the aisle, and with our left foot back under the desk and our left hand back touching the desk corner, we’d stretch our right foot as far down the aisle as we could while we leaned forward frantically waving our right hand.
Often the competition would be when Sister wanted someone to run an errand for her: go borrow chalk from another classroom, go outside and dust the erasers, or wash the blackboard with a rag and water.
Well, one day yours truly was daydreaming in class instead of paying attention. And then I heard Sister saying, “...who’d like to do it for me?” Automatically I grabbed the right front corner of my desk, swung out into the aisle, stretched as far forward as I could and waved my hand at Sister...and realized I was the only one raising his hand. Something was wrong...and then I saw it: Sister was standing up at the blackboard next to a classmate...who had puked all over the wood flooring! Sister had asked the class who would clean it up for her!
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Had I been paying attention I would not have volunteered. But, hoist on my own petard, I dutifully cleaned up the stinking mess. Sister told the class that since I was the only one who volunteered, she would reward me by making me her errand boy for the rest of the year. So it turned out to be good that I volunteered.
Ignoring the fact that I wasn’t paying attention in class, and wouldn’t have volunteered if I had, the episode can be used as a lesson. If there is some distasteful job in the church that needs to be done, and your preacher asks for someone to volunteer to do it, if it is at all possible you should volunteer for five reasons. First, your love for the Lord makes you want to serve Him as often as you can in any way you can. Second, your love for the brethren makes you prefer to do the distasteful jobs so they won’t have to. Third, because of your love you like being around the church serving any way you can. Fourth, the Levitical priesthood is gone, replaced by a royal priesthood – you. So, nothing gives you more pleasure than doing your duty. Fifth, by cheerfully serving you are being a good example for young Christians who might be reluctant to humbly and lovingly volunteer to clean up someone else’s puke.
In a church full of good Christians, of course, when the preacher asks who’ll do the crummy jobs, all of you will lean forward waving your hands...in love preferring each other over self. We are in training to be the Lord’s wife-servants forever. If we love Him properly we’ll die to our selfish old man’s carnality and see how we can serve Him and His church. Doing that will shew us that charity (defined as unselfish love-based works) is an important part of our duty. It is the unselfishness of charity that puts the nobility in duty.
of our fathers, living still,
In spite of dungeon, fire and sword;
O how our hearts beat high with joy
Whenever we hear that glorious word!
Faith of our fathers, holy faith!
We will be true to thee ‘till death.
As Bible believers we take pride in our Christian heritage. It’s nice to know the faith of our fathers is living still, as we carry the torch that has been passed to us by generations of men and women for whom the Bible has always been the sole authority in all matters of faith (our beliefs and doctrines) and practice (social customs).
When our founding father, President Thomas Jefferson, was old, he decided to take time to rejoice over his part in terminating the more-than-three-thousand-year line of monarchical government that had been practiced by our forefathers going all the way back to the reigns of King Saul, King David, and King Solomon. What he discovered when he looked into it has already been covered in The Age of Reason, so we’ll examine some other facets of our “Judeo-Christian heritage”, including the way men and women in our society interact with each other. God established men as types of Him, and He established women as types of His church. Let’s keep that in mind in order to see if God’s Scripture is consistent with His types, and to see if our practices are consistent with His types.
One of our social customs is the man being the head of the household. And we take pride in showing that that custom comes from sola Scriptura:
Ephesians 5:22-24 Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body. Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing.
We find not only that our custom came from Scripture, but that both Scripture and our custom are consistent with the typology God assigned to men and women.
When we look at the Scriptural origins and consistency of our practices we’re pleased to see that we’ve been:
Standing on the promises of
Christ my King,
Through eternal ages let His praises ring.
Standing on the promises that
When the howling storms of doubt and fear assail,
By the living word of God I shall prevail,
Standing on the promises of God.
Standing, standing, standing on
the promises of God my Savior;
Standing, standing, I’m standing on the promises of God.
Another of our customs is that men rise to their feet when a woman enters the room. With full faith and confidence in the traditions handed down to us, let us examine the Scripture from which we get that custom:
Genesis 31:33-35 And Laban...entered into Rachel’s tent. Now Rachel had taken the images, and put them in the camel’s furniture, and sat upon them. And Laban searched all the tent, but found them not. And she said to her father, Let it not displease my lord that I cannot rise up before thee; for the custom of women is upon me.
1 Samuel 25:23,24 And when Abigail saw David, she hasted, and lighted off the ass, and fell before David on her face, and bowed herself to the ground, And fell at his feet, and said...let thine handmaid, I pray thee, speak in thine audience, and hear the words of thine handmaid.
1 Sam 25:40,41 And when the servants of David were come to Abigail...she arose, and bowed herself on her face to the earth, and said, Behold, let thine handmaid be a servant to wash the feet of the servants of my lord.
Oops. Well, heh, heh, obviously our custom is exactly the opposite of the one in Scripture. And while Scripture is consistent with God’s typology of men and women, our custom actually turns God’s typology upside down. Not to worry; we can probably solve the problem with theology – so let’s hang our theology degrees on the wall and proceed: Since there is no other Scripture in the Bible that overthrows these verses we turn to other possibilities. Finding none, we look for some reason the, uh, embarrassing parts in these verses are never pointed out by today’s preachers.
It is believed that the reading disorder dyslexia may affect more than 5% of people. Preachers comprise less than 5% of society, therefore we conclude our preachers have dyslexia, which hinders their reading comprehension by changing the order of letters and words in their brains. Our theological conclusion is that dyslexia causes many preachers to think Rachel entered Laban’s tent – rather than the other way around. And dyslexia makes them think Abigail didn’t bow down and prostrate herself before men...she tripped. We do not like to bring attention to people’s disabilities, so we must never mention this embarrassing subject to our preachers with reading disorders.
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Glad that the above Scriptural embarrassments are not only behind us, but already rapidly fading from our memories, we joyfully turn to more Scriptural proof that we have been obediently basing our lives on God’s Instruction Book:
We enjoy hearing women preach in church, and/or give testimonies, and/or sing solos, and/or sing in our choirs.
1 Corinthians 14:34-37 Let your women keep silence in the churches: for it is not permitted unto them to speak; but they are commanded to be under obedience, as also saith the law. And if they will learn any thing, let them ask their husbands at home: for it is a shame for women to speak in the church...If any man think himself to be a prophet, or spiritual, let him acknowledge that the things that I write unto you are the commandments of the Lord.
What are the odds!? Of all the customs we could have picked in order to examine their basis in the Bible, we happened to pick two that seem to indicate (to those who can read sentences that are neither complex nor filled with challenging vocabulary words) that the Bible is not and has not been for a long time our sole authority in all matters of faith and practice. And once again we see that while Scripture is consistent with God’s typology of men and women, our custom actually turns God’s typology upside down. But, hey, we hate people who live in the past and have negative, dogmatic, narrow-minded outlooks, so let’s not dwell on the negatives; let’s be progressively broad-minded by thankfully rejoicing that theologians have once again done a great service for mankind by concluding that these verses indicate our preachers are afflicted with, and have been for many generations, dyslexia. It was this reading disability that made them think these verses say,
“Do not let your women keep silence in the churches...for it is permitted unto them to speak.”
(See how dyslexia moved the word not from one place in the verse to another!)
“If they will learn anything, let them ask their husbands in church: for it is a shame for women to speak at home.”
(See how dyslexia swapped the locations of “at home” and “in church”!)
(Note: If a pastor decreed that the “official church service” was a distinct period of time during which he gave his sermon, and it included the time he and the men in the congregation might spend sharing or discussing various topics and doctrines, and women were not permitted to speak during those sessions I’d have no problem with that because his decree acknowledges the governing authority of God’s word. And if the pastor decreed that women (who were silent during his “church sessions”) could verbally participate and fellowship during “non-church sessions” defined as “Sunday school”, “Bible study”, announcements, fellowship, singing, etc., I’d also applaud his attempt to exalt the literal exactness of Scripture. Shepherds have the prerogative to establish Scripture-based rules like that and to require their flocks to abide by them.
I’m reminded of my earthly father when us four kids were teenagers: He used to encourage reasoned debates during our meals at the dinner table. One evening when my two sisters were going at each other by raising their voices and standing and leaning and pointing at each other across the table, my dad intervened by raising his voice and saying, “You may raise your voices as long as you maintain control of yourself, and you may point for emphasis...but you may not bang on the table, and your arse must remain in contact with your chair at all times. Is that clear?!” )
So now that we know dyslexia caused our churches to permit women to speak, we can take action: Because we theologians are here to help Christians, and we’re motivated by Christian love, and we’re willing to put feet to our faith by being doers of our love, we are going to hold meetings to discuss the possibility of holding bake sales and other fund raisers in order to contribute money to dyslexia research! And once a cure for dyslexia is found, we can reexamine our doctrines. Praise God for allowing us to focus on what’s important, on the root of the problem – dyslexia! We call on all people of compassion and baking skills to join us in fighting this good fight! Let’s all rejoice and sing hymn number 160 in our hymnals:
On Christ the solid Rock I stand;
All other ground is sinking sand.
Psalm 2:4,5 He that sitteth in the heavens shall laugh: the Lord shall have them in derision. Then shall he speak unto them in his wrath, and vex them in his sore displeasure.
Mark 7:6-9 He answered and said unto them, Well hath Esaias prophesied of you hypocrites, as it is written, This people honoureth me with their lips, but their heart is far from me...in vain do they worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men. For laying aside the commandment of God, ye hold the tradition of men... And he said unto them, Full well ye reject the commandment of God, that ye may keep your own tradition.
Luke 6:46 Why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say?
Exodus 3:4,5 And when the LORD saw that he turned aside to see, God called unto him out of the midst of the bush, and said, Moses, Moses. And he said, Here am I. And he said, Draw not nigh hither: put off thy shoes from off thy feet, for the place whereon thou standest is holy ground.
As we saw in the previous trumpet, if we were to get our social customs from the Bible, women would stand whenever a man entered the room – rather than the other way around as it is done in our secular society. And because Abigail bowed and prostrated herself not only before David but before the men who were his servants, another Bible-based social custom would be for women to, in some cases, bow and put their faces to the ground before men. Trivial matters such as arrogance and pride have nothing to do with any of this. I’m merely pointing out that we’ve gone far enough astray from the Bible that we’re actually doing the exact opposite of what God says – and as bad as that is, the fact that this stuff isn’t ever pointed out from the pulpit is worse!
This is a good example of tradition’s power to blind us to inconsistencies: Many people would react to the above suggestion that women stand when a man enters the room by saying it would be an arrogant, elitist custom that offends the notion of equality. And yet it doesn’t bother those same people in the slightest when a gentleman stands for a lady, which also offends equality. Those people are proof that tradition really does blind us to inconsistencies (including those that affect our precious equality) and it really does make the word of God of none effect.
God is the Man. We are His women, His wives, His servants. If He were to appear to me, He might have to tell me to take my shoes off because I’m not used to thinking of shoes when rendering respect. But shoes or no shoes, I certainly wouldn’t just stand there: I’d get down on my face like Abigail: me, the woman, honoring the Man.
Many of us would agree that we actually like the pomp and circumstance of saluting, bowing, marching, and prostrating ourselves before God. We know it is right and good to humble ourselves and to exalt and honor Him. But I want to focus on two things in the above Scripture that we can use in our daily service to the Lord.
The first is Moses answering God’s call by saying, “Here am I”, which is how Isaiah answered:
Isaiah 6:8 Also I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, Whom shall I send, and who will go for us? Then said I, Here am I; send me.
You and I are in the “Here am I, Lord; send me” business. And that kind of selfless service going to be our business, our duty, our satisfaction, our reward, and our privilege for eternity...starting now. We are not in the, “Hey, there’s Larry over there; why don’t You send him?” business. So the here am I needs to become the way our minds work: If there is a way we can serve God and His church, we should be ready, willing, and able – now.
We can also apply the holy ground to our daily Christian walks. If we walk after the flesh, we are carnal and unclean and we are making the ground unclean. But if we walk after the Spirit by properly serving God we are on holy ground because there is nothing more noble, more dedicated, more holy than serving God. We need to remember we are His servants, His humble wives who have taken His name upon ourselves. When we go about our daily Christian walks, we are doing so in His name. That is a holy calling. We are on holy ground.
Let’s remember to always walk circumspectly, because being in His Majesty’s service puts us on holy ground.
Sometimes in Christianity we can get a bit puffed up, self-righteous, and condemning when we hear about other Christians who commit various sins such as adultery. At times like that I think a well-placed comment about what big sins King David committed and how he remained a favorite of God’s can help make a point about forgiveness.
One of the sins in the Bible that I find especially poignant is Peter’s denying Christ three times before the cock crowed. Two things about it stand out for me. First, when Peter heard the cock crow just as he denied the Lord for the third time, the Lord heard the cock crow, too. And when He did “the Lord turned, and looked upon Peter.” Second, Peter didn’t just weep, he wept bitterly.
Luke 22:61,62 And the Lord turned, and looked upon Peter. And Peter remembered the word of the Lord, how he had said unto him, Before the cock crow, thou shalt deny me thrice. And Peter went out, and wept bitterly.
When the Lord turned and looked at Peter, it hurts me when I realize He had a betrayed-by-a-loved-one hurt and an I’m-all-alone hurt. Our Lord wasn’t just suffering from the physical beating He was taking, He was suffering the kind of aching aloneness that guts you when your heart has been ripped out when you’ve been selfishly betrayed and abandoned by loved ones.
The fact that Peter wept bitterly has caused me to reflect on some of the times I’ve betrayed the Lord. I hurt then, and I hurt now just thinking about my sins. And after I sinned, my ongoing begging, apologizing, and confessing to the Lord; and my determined repentance; and the strengthening/growth I experienced in a fairly short time as a result of my repentance have contributed to the subject of this trumpet: Sinning (in this limited application) can be a steppingstone to growth if the sorrowful pain we suffer as a result leads to genuine repentance rather than worldly repentance.
The Bible says pain and suffering are good for them that are exercised thereby. Children don’t experience this kind of character-based sorrowful pain that adults do when they are disobedient...because children’s characters haven’t yet matured. And therefore children cannot be exercised/strengthened by a type of character-based regret that they don’t have yet. That’s why the Lord commands us to substitute the physical pain of spanking until they grow out of the selfishness of childhood. The extremely-important formative years of childhood lose much of the “formative” part if spanking is absent: No pain, no gain.
Now back to us adults. We are the Lord’s children. And, just as physical children are self-centered and will sin as a result, and will need spanking to help them grow, so, too, do we need the Lord’s punishment in order to grow out of our carnal, original-sin, walk-after-the-flesh natures into spiritual adults who walk after the Spirit. Peter and David profited from their sins – only because they learned and repented. So, while I am not advocating going out and sinning, I am saying we need to respond properly to our sins because if we do we will grow into better, stronger Christians.
That’s partly why the Bible says spanking, and pain, and suffering are good. They are corrections. And if we are going to learn how to walk correctly, we are going to have to respond properly when we are corrected.
When we sin, therefore, we need to let it bother us, plague us, haunt us, and hurt us into needing to be honest about ourselves and about our selfishness when we apologize and confess to the Lord. Christianity is a fairly simple relationship with the Lord. And it is no different from human relationships. If love is present in a relationship, that love will not only give us the need/desire to be open and honest, it will give us the courage to be so.
And that same love will help us profit from our repentance when we realize the Lord loves us enough to bury His hurt by truly forgiving us. Over time we actually feel a sense of relief, thankfulness, and trust...because we realize we can rely on the Lord’s love for us – as long as we are honest with Him. David is a good example of the type of honesty with the Lord I’m talking about. David bared his soul to the Lord in the Psalms. Yes, David was a sinner. But his love for the Lord made him truly suffer by shedding Peter-like bitter tears because he honestly regretted his sins, which contributed to his genuine repentance, which led to growth.
In fifth grade we were assigned a story to read. In it a farm boy who was a star on the school basketball team was with his parents at an athletic award event. Lots of boys who played various sports were there, as were their families, coaches, teachers, etc. The crux of the story was the basketball star’s parents were older and less attractive than most of the other parents, and after a while the mother realized her son was avoiding her like the plague because he was embarrassed by her age and appearance. She was deeply hurt. I took the story to heart, and it helped me be more considerate.
One morning when I was in high school I missed the school bus. (Yes, I rode the bus.) My mother, who’d gotten up and prepared breakfast for Dad and us kids, and bagged lunches for us, said she’d drive me to school. She put a scarf over her hair curlers, and an overcoat over her nightgown and bathrobe, and we left. When we pulled up to the school entrance it was crowded with hundreds of kids waiting for the doors to open. At that age it wasn’t cool to kiss your parents in public; I was accustomed to seeing other kids get out of their parents’ car and flip the door closed without so much as a backward glance or a fare-thee-well. But, not wanting my mother to ever go through what the mother in the story did, I leaned over, kissed her goodbye, thanked her for the ride, and stepped out of the car.
It’s good to be considerate, it’s good to prefer others over self.
Romans 12:10 Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love; in honour preferring one another;
We’ve probably all been to events at which the food is provided by the wives. Each woman prepares a dish or two. And sure enough, people being what they are, everybody digs into the tasty dishes and ignores the more mundane ones. Except me. I take note of which dishes are the wallflowers and load up my plate. And if I know who prepared the dishes I make sure to say something about how good it was to the woman and her husband. All of the women hoped their choice of food and their cooking would be pleasing to people, and the women who prepared the popular dishes receive ample reward. But the women whose dishes are not as popular were just as unselfish when they prepared food for us. Therefore we can also be unselfish by making a kind gesture, saying an appreciative word, and making somebody’s day a bit brighter.
Proverbs 25:11 A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in pictures of silver.
Tell Him So
If you hear a kind word spoken
Of some worthy soul you know,
It may fill his heart with sunshine
If you only tell him so.
If a deed, however humble,
Helps you on your way to go,
Seek the one whose hand has helped you,
Seek him out and tell him so!
If your heart is touched and tender
Toward a person, lost and low,
It might help him to do better
If you’d only tell him so!
Oh, my sisters, oh, my brothers,
As o’er life’s rough path you go,
If God’s love has saved and kept you,
Do not fail to tell men so.
I don’t know what the Marriage Supper of the Lamb will be like. It’ll probably be a big, fancy affair with every kind of food on the table you can imagine. People will be telling the waiters they’ll have lobster, steak, etc. But I’ll ask for manna for several reasons.
First, it was specially prepared by the Lord for His people in the wilderness. It was good for them but, like the food of the Bible, the Lord prepared it in such a way that it would be a test – it wasn’t always appetizing. As you know, many of His people complained because they were selfish. I’ll order and eat manna because it will symbolize the fact that I want to do anything and everything the Lord wants, and I’ll do it with an appreciative, heartfelt, and determined “Aye, aye, Sir!”
Second, to me manna is cool, not just because the fame and nostalgia it has acquired from being in the Bible – it’s cool because it came directly from God. It is therefore special to me in a way that evokes love and humility: it is a reminder that I have chosen to forgo what I want; I’ll satisfy myself with whatever my King provides.
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Third, I am in training to be – forever – a servant who lives to carry out the Lord’s will. The biggest problem, the biggest obstacle to my growth is me! What I want has turned out to be a serious pain in my ass. I want to successfully die to self. And, like Esther, I want only what my King wants.
All of the above boils down to this: Having a servant’s attitude by being aware of other people and how to help them is the best course because our Creator designed us to be servants. I’ve learned that the road to dissatisfaction, shame, and regret is Self. And the road to satisfied contentment is serving Him and His church. I am, after all, a servant. And I’ve learned that I like being His servant. I’m proud to serve. And I want to please Him.
Esther 2:12-17 Now when every maid’s turn was come to go in to king Ahasuerus...Then thus came every maiden unto the king; whatsoever she desired was given her to go with her out of the house of the women unto the king’s house. In the evening she went, and on the morrow she returned into the second house of the women, to the custody of Shaashgaz, the king’s chamberlain, which kept the concubines: she came in unto the king no more, except the king delighted in her, and that she were called by name. Now when the turn of Esther, the daughter of Abihail the uncle of Mordecai, who had taken her for his daughter, was come to go in unto the king, she required nothing but what Hegai the king’s chamberlain, the keeper of the women, appointed. And Esther obtained favour in the sight of all them that looked upon her. So Esther was taken unto king Ahasuerus into his house royal...And the king loved Esther above all the women, and she obtained grace and favour in his sight more than all the virgins; so that he set the royal crown upon her head...
I recently read an article by a guy who was trying to show that the star of Bethlehem was not an angel, and I was reminded once again about the difference between belief and unbelief.
The writer doubted that the star was an angel that led the wise men to Bethlehem because: “How could the angel ‘stand over the house’ where the young Child was?” I didn’t have my Bible with me and didn’t remember the exact wording, so I didn’t realize the author was being disingenuous until I looked it up later. But as soon as I read his argument that it was unlikely that the angel “hovered in the air” above the house because most of the other angels in the Bible who reveal themselves to humans look and act like regular men – they don’t fly around – I realized he is an unbeliever.
I could see his point about the unnecessary strangeness of an angel hovering over a house rather than just pointing to it. But at the same time I could visualize (based on his incorrect wording) an angel leading the wise men to the top of one of the hills in the Bethlehem area, and while standing there looking down at one or more houses, telling the wise men “It’s that one right down there”, and then disappearing. And that made me think about one of the symptoms of unbelief.
When an unbelieving Christian reads something strange in the Bible, he looks for a way it could be wrong. But when I read something that seems strange in the Bible, I look for a way it could be right (such as in Trumpet C1). That’s because unbelievers don’t believe the word of God (as defined by God – inspired and inerrant) exists anywhere on earth...and they always take a stand against inerrancy. But I really do believe God, so I take Him at His word...and I always take a stand for inerrancy.
When I later looked up the verse I saw that it doesn’t say the angel “stood over the house” like the unbeliever claimed. It says:
Matthew 2:9-11 When they had heard the king, they departed; and, lo, the star, which they saw in the east, went before them, till it came and stood over where the young child was. When they saw the star, they rejoiced with exceeding great joy. And when they were come into the house, they saw the young child with Mary his mother, and fell down, and worshipped him: and when they had opened their treasures, they presented unto him gifts; gold, and frankincense, and myrrh.
I looked it up in several Bible versions; none says “stood over the house.” And mentioning other Bible versions reminds me of something else. If a man doesn’t use the King James Bible he is either ignorant of the Bible version issue or he is, like the above writer, an unbeliever. Why do I say he is an unbeliever? Experience.
If the KJV said, “The security camera captured the baby-killer standing over the crib with a bloody knife” the unbeliever is going to scoff: “Wow! The KJV has two errors in one verse: First, the camera didn’t apprehend the killer, the police did an hour later. And second, it’s ridiculous to think the killer was hovering in the air above the crib.”
My example is a bit too transparent but it serves to illustrate my point that unbelievers always look for ways the Bible could be wrong. And that is why they typically have a chip on their shoulders about the KJV and about KJV-onlyers: Unbelievers always take a stand against inerrancy, and the only Bible version on earth that makes them look bad is the inerrant KJV. That’s because they can sometimes appear to be intelligent and academic to young, ignorant Christians by easily (and correctly) pointing out errors in all other versions, but when they try to do that with the KJV they must stoop to the above tactics of ignoring the obvious ways the KJV could be right, and by building their case on the fact that an old, partially-discredited meaning of the Greek words for “standing over the crib” was “hovering above the crib.” They are blind, but they aren’t stupid: They know just as well as anybody else how lame their arguments are and how sensible the KJVers’ arguments are. Therefore, unlike when they felt confident, intelligent, and academic when discussing the other Bible versions, they feel insecure, doltish, and unreasonably stubborn when dealing with informed King James Bible believers. And they are perfectly aware that the tables have turned: The theologian appears contradictory and petty as he stubbornly clings to the very academics that have blinded him; and the KJVer appears confident, informed, and living by faith in Jesus alone, trusting, confiding in His great word.
In closing: If a man who is knowledgeable about the Bible version issue says the KJV has errors, he is an unbeliever. How can you know that to be true? Simple: Ask him where you can get your hands on a copy of the word of God that is, as defined by God, inspired and inerrant. It will take you a while to pin him down because he’ll throw out a bunch of trite and lame rhetoric, but eventually he’ll admit he doesn’t think the inerrant word of God exists anywhere on earth. All of his earlier rhetoric about the “Bible” and the “word of God” will be based on the theological definition of the “inspired word of God” rather than God’s definition:
· God’s definition of His inspired word is simple: “No errors.” Any book or version with errors is not His word. Accepting God’s definition requires faith in what He says, it is bolstered by the proven inerrancy of the KJV, and it survives on the trust and hope that no errors will ever be found.
· Theology’s definition of the inspired word is complex and contradictory but it will always say God’s word has errors: “We believe the old error-filled Greek and Hebrew manuscripts contain somewhere in them (we’re still searching) the inspired word of God. Yes, there are errors, but God has providentially kept those errors to a manageably-small number.” Theologians would never use my wording, but that’s exactly what they profess to “believe.” The Christians who accept theology’s definition do so because of their Reason and unbelief: They do not believe the inerrant word of God exists, and they feel safe with their definition because someday somebody might find an error in the KJV.
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The key to any discussion is to first get them to admit that God defines His word as inerrant. If you can get them to do that, ask them if they can show you a copy. If they point to a modern Bible version or an old Hebrew or Greek manuscript, walk away (Acts 17:33). Yes, you might want to get them to admit those garbage-can versions have errors so you could point out – again – that God’s word is inerrant in an effort to get them to...but no, it’s a waste of time, comrade. Walk away, and if they want to talk with you about it later they can find you (Acts 17:34).
In John 9 Christ’s disciples asked Him about a blind man as they passed by. The Lord went to the man, spat on the ground, mixed it with clay, stood, and softly spoke with him as He applied the mud to his eyes, telling him to go wash in the pool of Siloam.
Later when the Pharisees questioned the man who could now see, they rejected the man’s belief that Jesus was a prophet...so they questioned his parents. Afraid of the Pharisees, the parents referred them to their son again. The son, filled with a courage his parents did not have, boldly preached to the Pharisees, who then cast him out.
When reading this Scripture I thought about how the blind man may have reacted when Christ applied the salve to his eyes, wondering if he could feel, when the Lord touched him, virtue pass from Him. As I thought about the reality of the moment with the two men face-to-face, the Lord’s hands tenderly applying the clay to his eyes, I had an emotional reaction – like I often do when reading the word of God. And I realized when the Lord applied the salve He didn’t just touch the blind man, He touched me. I once was blind but now I see.
When we read His word, the Lord uses His Holy Spirit to commune with us. Sometimes He teaches, rebukes, edifies, affirms, amazes, and fills us with quiet wonder and awe. And sometimes He touches us. We know He is doing so because of the way we feel. When He blesses us like that, let’s be aware and considerate enough to bow our heads to worship and thank Him.
Stay in the word, comrades.
|Download all Archive Charlie trumpets in one PDF document with bookmarks
download trumpets individually.
|HE TOUCHED ME
|WHAT A BOOK!
|DON’T WAIT: GROW NOW
|NO NOBLER DEED
|DYSLEXIA AND OUR CHRISTIAN HERITAGE
|FAILING, SUFFERING...AND GROWING
|The Sound of the Trumpet: THE TIME IS SHORT
|I'LL HAVE MANNA, PLEASE
|Iron sharpeneth iron;
|so a man sharpeneth the
|countenance of his friend.