Sunday, February 24, 2019 0 comments

The Lunatic Child

14 And when they were come to the multitude, there came to him a certain man, kneeling down to him, and saying,
15 Lord, have mercy on my son: for he is lunatic, and sore vexed: for ofttimes he falleth into the fire, and oft into the water.
16 And I brought him to thy disciples, and they could not cure him.
17 Then Jesus answered and said, O faithless and perverse generation, how long shall I be with you? how long shall I suffer you? bring him hither to me.
18 And Jesus rebuked the devil; and he departed out of him: and the child was cured from that very hour. (Matt. 17:14-18)

It struck me as I was reading this how odd it was that the child often fell into the fire or the water. A footnote on the “falling” says the Greek means “throws himself” instead of falling. So this child is actually trying to destroy himself, not falling accidentally. The child was vexed and suffering mentally-emotionally to such an extent that the only way he could think of to end it was to try to kill himself.

And actually, Jesus seems to have understood this. His statement, “how long shall I be with you? How long shall I suffer you?” shows that Jesus knew what it felt like to suffer at length and wonder how long it would go on and when it would all be over.  His description of “faithless and perverse” shows that He knew a lack of faith and perverse tendencies contributed to the suffering the child was going through.  The fact that He rebuked shows that the child needed to learn some principles and the fact that He cast out a devil shows that there was a devil that was involved in the child’s suffering, making it worse.

If we ever feel like we can’t go on through our suffering, we need to fast and pray and exert our faith. We can get through it. Christ can help us get through it. Take it moment by moment, day by day.
Thursday, February 21, 2019 0 comments

Three Different Places Christ Was to Come From

4 And when he had gathered all the chief priests and scribes of the people together, he demanded of them where Christ should be born.
5 And they said unto him, In Bethlehem of Judæa: for thus it is written by the prophet,
6 And thou Bethlehem, in the land of Juda, art not the least among the princes of Juda: for out of thee shall come a Governor, that shall rule my people Israel. (Matthew 2:4-6, emphasis added)
And was there until the death of Herod: that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying, Out of Egypt have I called my son. (Matthew 2:15, emphasis added)

And he came and dwelt in a city called Nazareth: that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophets, He shall be called a Nazarene. (Matthew 2:23, emphasis added)

In these verses are recorded three different prophecies about where Christ was to come from: born in Bethlehem, called out of Egypt, called a Nazarene.  If we didn’t know the circumstances of Christ’s birth and youngest years, we might be inclined to say these were seriously contradictory and mutually exclusive. But Matthew’s record shows how all of them were fulfilled in their way: by movements because of universal taxation, by threat requiring flight, and by strategic settlement ostensibly out of reach of a different danger.

This shows us that the Lord knows the unusual circumstances that will occur, even hundreds of years in the future. (I wonder if the Lord decided to give those prophecies in such a way as to make them sound mutually exclusive so that He could underline His ability to carry His plans out.)

This is another one of those things that shows we can trust the Lord will do His own work and fulfill His covenants.

Monday, February 4, 2019 2 comments

Thoughts about Alternatives if Buying and Selling is Prohibited

Remember these verses?

16 And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads:
17 And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name. (Revelation 13:16-17)

If you’re like me, you may have read these verses and wondered how one might survive if you are prohibited from buying and selling. What alternatives can we imagine?

One alternative that comes to mind immediately is the formation of a black market (or in this case, it would be a white market that is officially deemed “black” by the powers that be.) However, black markets are demoralizing inasmuch as it forces one to live outside the law. Living in fear of discovery like that is no way to live for faithful people who are commanded not to fear but be of good cheer.

This brings us to the other alternative. An alternative economy must be formed on a legal basis, and that alternative economy must operate on principles other than buying and selling. This is hard to imagine, but what it amounts to is that of volunteering, giving and sharing. Charity becomes the legal basis by which the Zion economy must be run at this time. Workers must give their labor to the Lord, and producers must give their production to the Lord and thereby make Zion the clearinghouse for where the labor is to be bestowed and where the goods to be produced must be sent.

This will take a lot of trust, and will likely not be perfect, but it will be a better alternative than taking the mark to be part of a corrupt network or living in fear as part of a black market.

Consecration will be Zion’s protection.