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Home Church Planting/Missional Insight: Move over Isis we've got a theology of resistance too - audio & Text

Insight: Move over Isis we've got a theology of resistance too - audio & Text

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Insight: Move over Isis we've got a theology of resistance too - audio

A Theology of resistance and victory - audio

J Rushdooney


 Will you a part of the victory? Or the defeat?

(Dr. Rushdoony)

An edited transcipt - deleted speaker being introduced and question time - Editor

I plan to begin and end these meetings with a devotional talk, which will be related to our subject. What I want to do, today and tomorrow, is to develop for you a theology of resistance and victory. In this decade, (1980s)  we are in a mortal battle with the powers of darkness, with the forces of humanism. They are determined to obliterate Christianity from the face of the earth. I shall be telling you in the hours ahead, especially this afternoon, and tomorrow, of some of the things that are being done. Christians are on trial, Christians are being sent to prison, churches are being seized to be sold off by the State. In California alone we have ten churches that have been seized, and a total of seventy-five that are going to be seized to be sold for taxes. Why? Because they spoke out against homosexuality. The same thing that had James Robinsons morning services taken off of television, in Fort Worth Texas. These things are happening. None of us are going to be in a corner. There are no neutrals in this war. And so it is important for us to know the ground on which we stand.

Little faith

But first of all, this morning let us turn to Matthew six, twenty-five through thirty. What I have to say this morning is very much like all the preaching I do, when I preach I preach in terms of what I need to be disciplined by the Word of God, and what I need to grow. My emphasis in this text is going to be on one word. But first the text. Matthew six, twenty-five through thirty.

Matthew 6:25-30 “25Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment?

26Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they?

27Which of you by taking thought can add one cubit unto his stature?

28And why take ye thought for raiment? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin:

29And yet I say unto you, That even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.

30Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which to day is, and to morrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith?”

About a month ago I was rather ill, in fact I had a touch of pneumonia, and I’m not entirely recovered yet. And when we are physically ill, sometimes we get mentally depressed as well. And so I was beginning to feel a bit sorry for myself, and a bit disgruntled. I’d been to a trial where the high point of the trial was two Baptists and one Methodist preacher, getting up to testify against a brother in the faith. That hurts, every time I see it, it hurts. And I came home, and usually I just throw these things in the waste basket, and found a letter or two that, of course unsigned, telling me what a horrible perverter of the faith I was, for teaching the Law of God. And for about three or four days it seemed as though suddenly everybody in the world had forgotten us, and not a penny came in the mail. And we’re dependent on the mails for our support.

Feeling rather sorry for yourself is a dangerous thing

So I was feeling rather sorry for myself, a dangerous thing. There is no more deadly cancer than self-pity. It’s the most destructive thing anyone can allow to enter into their life. Well, I’m blessed with a very, very godly wife. She knows how to cuss me out using Scripture. Now that’s one of the beauties of marriage, that you can tick each other off in term of the Word of God. And after she was through and I knew I needed it, and I thought, well, I wonder what the Lord would have said, how He would have cussed me out. Because I did need it. So I did a little reading in Scripture. Did the Lord cuss out his disciples, and if he did what did he say? I very quickly found the answer. In the Greek it’s one word. In the English, it’s two words. Little faith. Little faith. Oh ye of little faith. We encounter it several times in Scripture, applied to the disciples. “And he said unto them, why are ye so fearful? Oh ye of little faith.” And to Peter, “oh thou of little faith. Wherefore didst thou doubt?” And to the disciples, who after all they had seen, wondered how he was going to feed the multitude. Oh ye of little faith. The word in Greek is a combination of two words, like our word understand. Stand, and under. When we understand something it is that in terms of which we live. Who are under the authority of that which we accept. When we accept the Lord’s word, when we understand and believe it, we now are under its authority. That’s the premise that governs us. And the word little faith in the Greek is oligo and pistos. Pistos, faith. Oligo, which means little, or all most, or brief and flickering. What was our Lord saying to the disciples, oh ye of almost faith. Or of flickering faith. My reading lamp, a few days ago, started to flicker. It wasn’t worth much. I’d start reading and the light would dim out. I’d start again, and it would dim out again. Now, that’s what this word means. It’s an almost faith. It’s a brief, a flickering faith. It’s here now, and then it isn’t.

And that our Lord says, is our problem. It was the problem of the disciples, and it is too often ours. On the other hand, the greatest praise He had to offer was, oh woman, great is thy faith. I have found not such great faith, no not in all Israel. Thy faith hath saved thee. Go in peace.

Again and again our Lord commends people for their faith, even as He reproaches disciples for being of little faith.

Stepping out on the ice

Some years ago, about forty years ago when I was on the Indian reservation, I went up into the mountains, the valley was at five thousand four hundred feet so the mountains were well up there with one of the Indian elders. And it was early in the fall. So we came to a stream to cross and it was frozen over, but I was hesitant about stepping out onto the ice that early in the fall. Later in the winter, that ice would be a foot or more thick. But the old man said, no, with the kind of temperature we’ve had the last couple of nights, down below zero, that ice will support us. Now if we had broken through that ice, we were miles from home. We would have frozen before we got back there. I could have said I believe you, but I’m not crossing. That would not have been faith. But I stepped out on that ice; I put my life on that ice. Now that’s what faith is about. We step out in terms of the Lord’s Word. We put our life on the line, on the ice, in confidence that His Word is true.

Nothing else is faith. To say that we believe and not to make that full commitment, is to have little faith, an almost faith. An almost faith. But it’s not enough. We are at war. The powers of darkness are arrayed against the Church of Christ. They are determined to obliterate it. This decade may well end with the Church virtually an illegal organization in the United States and all over the world. As one Baptist pastor in Michigan recently, who has been through the mill, who’s been there in the courts, said recently, they’re coming up the stairs after us. And they have chains for us in their hands. And he was not exaggerating. The humanists are full of evangelical zeal for their faith. They believe it passionately. They are committed to a plan of salvation. And their child control plan, which is now being worked out in every state of the union, under Federal Mandate, a child control program, the purpose of which is to separate the children from their families in the Christian faith. And I mean this literally. They talk about creating a new generation. How? By separating it from a corrupt old generation which is us. From the corruption of the faith. From the corruption of the Christian home, into what they call, help homes. Your home and mine are unhealthy, you see. They’re planning this. In all fifty states, the pilot project was in North Carolina. And the Blue Book from North Carolina’s gone into every state in the union, with the blessing of Hugh, to be the pilot plan for all fifty states. And they’re working out an adult control plan. We know because one of the pastors who was going from office to office, knocking on doors, in the state capital, to try to promote a bill which would give freedom to the Church, sat down wearily in a conference room to rest his feet, and men filed in, and he saw that he was in a conference that was part of a Federal Adult Control program. How’re we going to face this? With oligospistos, with little faith?

Are we going to be reproached as were the disciples by the Lord?  There are men doing battle. Not many. Not many. Only a handful in each state, were ready to say, and are saying, if I can do nothing else I will go jail for Jesus Christ. My son in law sent out twenty-five thousand appeals to pastors, at his own expense, and Christian laymen. This is what’s happening in the country, are you ready to make a stand. Do you want information to pass on to other Christians? Anything you can do to help in this battle.

Out of twenty-five thousand he got fifteen responses. Fifteen. But I’ll tell you something, the power of God is with those. Because they are not marked by little faith, but by faith. And this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith. And those men, they’ll never break. November I was in Austin Texas, for Lester Roloff’s trial. The seventh that man has been in and out of the courts. Seven years, three times sentenced to jail, twice he’s served his terms, paid a total of fifty-five thousand in fines, plus all the legal expenses. He will not surrender. He’s a man of faith. In the days ahead, we shall see a division. There will be no neutrals in this battle. It will be men of faith, and men of no faith. And if ours is a brief and almost faith, a flickering one, will we not be reproached by the Lord?

Who said to those who believed they were of the faith, I was sick, I was in prison, I was on trial, and ye knew me not. As Lester Roloff has said with grief, my fellow Baptist pastors, in Texas, refuse to know me.

In view of God’s omnipotence, Christ’s incarnation, death and resurrection, to have little or no faith is indeed the great reproach that Christ can level against us. And it behooves us as we face the battle of the years ahead, to pray, Lord I believe. Help Thou my unbelief. To deepen our faith, through the Word and prayer. And if we are not on the front line, to be like Aaron and Hur, to bear up the arms of those who are in the battle. Because the battle will not go away. It is going to be fought to victory. The only question is, will you a part of the victory? Or the defeat?

Let us pray.

Oh Lord our God, Thy reproach to the disciples of old is Thy reproach unto us. That we are too often of little faith. Of an almost faith, a brief, a flickering faith. Oh Lord our God forgive us for this our sin. Make us strong in Thy Word and by Thy Spirit. That in Jesus Christ we may be more than conquerors. That in Him and by Him we may occupy till he come. That we may bring every area of life and though into captivity to Jesus Christ as Lord and King.

We thank Thee for these Thy saints. For their love of Thy word, and their readiness to serve Thee. Give them a good witness in the day of trial, and make them ever valiant for truth. In Jesus name, Amen

The Doctrine of the Covenant

Now I’d like to proceed, unless you have something by way of intermission, to the first of our studies, because what I want to do is to go into some of the basic positions. These will be partly doctrinal, partly practical, and we’ll begin with something that will be to a degree, doctrinal. The doctrine of the covenant. The doctrine of the covenant is one of the most important things for us to understand by way of introduction to the whole question of theology. Of faith for action. One of our problems in the Church is that we fall readily into the habit of limited definitions. A digested definition. For example, one of the most common of these digested, abbreviated definitions is of gospel. Good news. But is that all it is? Those of you who get the Chalcedon Report, saw in a recent issue, my son Mark’s paper on the original meaning of the word gospel. The word gospel was a technical term in the Roman Empire and elsewhere. And it meant the good news that the King or the Emperor has come to the throne and assumed power. So when you proclaim the gospel, you said, the anarchy is over. The time of trouble is over. The King has come and ascended to the throne of power, and rules. So the gospel was that good news. It was a formal proclamation that our problems are over. The King is on the throne. Now that’s what the Gospel should be today. The good news, Jesus Christ is King of kings and Lord of lords. He has ascended to the throne of power and he rules. And he is ruling today. If you want to know if he’s ruling, take a look at the weather. The whole world is in the throes of bad weather, of drought. The food shortage in the Soviet Union is acute. It is acute in Africa. It is acute all over the world, and people are fearful that the whole world may be in the grips of a famine if more rains don’t fall everywhere soon. We are in a time of judgment. And they are predicting more earthquakes all over the world, volcanic action, all kinds of natural disasters. [34:36]

It is a time of judgment and evidence that the King is on His throne, and He does not take lightly the apostasy of our time. Now, as we go to the doctrine of the covenant, what is a covenant? Well a covenant is a treaty. But it’s much more. There are two kinds of covenants, the ancient world was familiar with them. The first kind of covenant was between two relative equals, on more or less the same level. Comparable. Two men. Or a man and a woman. Marriage is a covenant. And the old covenant vows read, I do vow and covenant and these witnesses to be thy loving and faithful husband or wife, and so on. So, a covenant was between relative equals or powers, Jonathan and David made a covenant, you remember. It was a blood brotherhood. In a covenant, the two parties would very often cut their wrist and mingle their blood like this, to say that we are now one blood. And we establish this, this and that, as the law of the covenant. And we will be faithful to one another until death. And if either of us breaks the law of the covenant, we die. Now, the other kind of covenant was between unequal powers, and that’s the covenant we have in the Bible. Between a greater, and a lesser. It was the covenant of law, the greater gave his law to the lesser, and said, I of my grace enter into a relationship with you. It would like the United States saying to Liechtenstein, which is, what is it, a few acres square, we’re going to enter into covenant with you.

You will abide by our law, and we will be faithful to you until death. And no man will lay a hand upon you without answering to us.

Now this is God’s covenant. For a greater to enter into a covenant with a lesser, was a covenant of grace. But it was also a covenant of law. Because the greater gave his law to the lesser, as a sign of his grace. So, the covenant is at one and the same time of grace and of law. The two cannot be opposed the one to the other. They are inseparable. This is the covenant book. It is given to us by God who in his grace enters into a relationship to us. And he says, this how you live. This is the way, walk ye in it. The covenant way. And in the covenant relationship, each agrees to die for the other, to rescue him. And to be faithful unto death. And this is why Abraham had to divide the animals when he made the covenant with God, and walk between them. To signify: ‘so be it unto me if I am faithless to the covenant. May I too be slain and torn asunder.’ It required a mutual adherence. Now there’s another aspect to a covenant. A covenant between un-equals. As between an Emperor and a Knight. Or between God and man. Not only involves the greater giving his law to the lesser, but the greater giving land to the lesser, as a mark of his favor. And so what happens when God makes his covenant with Adam. He gives him the garden of Eden. And tells him what to do there. And says, that you are to exercise dominion and subdue the earth. And here up in this pilot project, you do that which I command you to, in time the whole earth, the whole earth will be yours. And in the covenant with Israel, what did God given them? Going back to Abraham’s time. A land. The promised land. The land of Canaan.

The great commission

And what does our Lord, when he renews this covenant, do? As the second Adam, like the first Adam, the whole earth is to be His. And so He sends forth His disciples and says, go ye therefore and make disciples of all nations. Teaching them all things that I have commanded you. Why? Because all power, all authority in heaven and in earth is given unto me. I am the possessor of all heaven and earth. Now, you my covenant people, I command you, go forth and possess it. Take it in My Name. The great commission is called Great, in terms of another commission. Does anyone recall what that commission was? To Joshua. Joshua one verses two to nine. When God says to him, and, the Great Commission is really an abbreviation by our Lord, the same but with an expansion, every place that the sole of your foot shall tread upon, that have I given unto you as I said unto Moses. There shall not any man be able to stand before thee all the days of thy life. As I was with Moses, so I shall be with thee. I will not fail thee nor forsake thee. I will never leave thee nor forsake thee, Hebrews says, is God’s promise so that we may boldly say the Lord is my helper, I shall not fear what man do unto me. Be strong and of a good courage, for unto this people shalt thou divide for an inheritance the land which I swear unto their fathers to give them, only be thou strong and very courageous, that thou mayest observe to do according unto all the law, which Moses my servant commanded thee. Turn not from it, to the right hand or to the left. That thou mayest prosper wither so ever thou goest. This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth, that thou shalt meditate therein day and night. That thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein. For then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success. [43:25]

This is an aspect of the covenant, the promise of land. The promise of land. Now so much, by the way, in feudalism is derived from the doctrine of the covenant. Now we can’t agree with feudalism as a whole, but the whole idea of feudalism was borrowed from the idea of a covenant. It relates also, by the way, to a very good word in the Bible, blessed. Blessed. Do you know what blessed means, really? It means to kneel. To knee. To submit. So when we say, bless the Lord oh my soul and all that is within me bless His Holy Name, what are we saying? We kneel before Thee oh Lord and as Thy servant we submit to Thy government, to Thy Word, to Thy law, to Thy Spirit, we are Your man. To be commanded of You. What does it mean when God blesses us? Why, it means that He, the sovereign Lord of all the universe, kneels down to pick us up, and to enter into a relationship to us. With us. In covenant with us. We kneel before God in submission and say, we are His, totally His. This is what it means to bless the Lord. And when God blesses us, He kneels down and picks us up and enters into covenant with us. It’s a blessed word.

A treaty or a covenant involves a grant of land, and Christ says, the world is His. We are to possess it. ‘Occupy till I come. Occupy in terms of my Word. Blessed are ye when you all these things that I command you.’

The covenant law is of grace

Deuteronomy twenty eight says, if you obey me, these blessings shall come upon thee and pursue thee, and overtake thee, irresistible blessings and irresistible curses if you disobey. The covenant law therefore is the personal demands of the sovereign, of the Lord that we be conformed unto Him. The covenant law makes clear salvation is by grace, the law is the way of covenant faithfulness. Covenant law is total because the life of grace is total. Grace does not cover a limited area, grace reaches out to the totality of our lives. And the covenant law does the same. The covenant law is of grace, and hence obedience is not works, it is set in the context. It is a covenant nation because it has something in the constitution which irrevocably binds us to God, and nobody even remembers what it means, it’s just a formality today. An oath of office, taken on the Bible. Originally of Deuteronomy twenty-eight. Now an oath has only one meaning. It’s an affirmation of the covenant, and of the covenant of God. Anyone who takes an oath of office thereby invokes upon himself all the blessings of God if he is faithful, and all the curses of God if he is disobedient. And that’s what we’ve been invoking upon our country every four years. That’s why we’re in trouble. We have invoked God’s curse upon us, from day one of the Constitution, if we are faithless to Him. A covenant establishes a permanent tie of blood and 2 Samuel 7:8 following, with respect to the divinic covenant we read, “I will be his father, and he shall be my son.” That’s in verse fourteen, the passage begins at verse eight.

Psalm 138

The covenant more-over, is very important to God. And I want to make this final point and then I do want to open up the floor to questions. A week ago today, I was reading again one of my favorite Psalms. Let’s turn to it. Psalm one thirty-eight. One of the most beautiful Psalms and it’s been one of those that have been most important to me over the years. I’ve read and reread that year in and year out. And usually started at the New Year with it, as a kind of personal and private ceremony. And yet you know, it was not until Tuesday night that the meaning of one verse sudden struck me with an especial force. This is the Psalm of David. David is here rejoicing in the fact of God’s covenant with him. He is also sorrowful that he at times is not faithful as he should be to that covenant, but his joy and his confidence is in God’s faithfulness. Now let’s hear the Psalm. Psalm 138 .

That sentence, “the Lord will perfect that which concerneth me” has always been a favorite of mine.

Is there anything greater than the name of God?

But last week Tuesday night when I was reading this in bed, something struck me, I thought, how could I have read that hundreds of times, and missed that point? The latter part of verse two, “for Thou hast magnified Thy Word above all Thy Name.” Is there anything greater than the name of God? The name stands for His person, and what does God here say? His Word, and David is here speaking of his covenant word, he has promised to us in this book, His promise to us that He will be our God, and we shall be His people. That I will never leave nor forsake thee. Peace I leave with you, My peace I give unto you, not as the world giveth give I unto you, let not  your heart be troubled neither let it be afraid. In the world ye shall have tribulation, but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world. God says, My word to you, My covenant promise, my covenant pledge, I Myself, then to whom nothing is greater, I magnify My Word to above My very Name. in some respects that’s the most amazing sentence in all of Scripture.

That’s how God regards His covenant. And he summons us to be faithful to that covenant. And to every word thereof. Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God. And who so ever teaches men to set aside the least of these commandments, he’s not talking about someone who says I don’t believe in the Law of God, but someone who says, well, this one is not particularly important, you know, we’ll live by most of this, but this and that law is not very important.


Suggested further Reading

The greatness of the great commission - Kenneth Gentry - Free PDF Book


Last Updated on Friday, 29 May 2015 18:57  

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