God desires those who are His to know there is nothing we will do that can ever effect change in our acceptance of Him in His Son. He knows our ever-constant primary goal is to “please” Him, and this goal is the most manifesting issue concerning our faith, and sums up all in our fellowship with Him. I say “will do,” not could do, because those who could will to do otherwise have not been under the “work” of His hands (Phl 213). He knows where we will error, but the issue lies not in all that we do, but rather in the fact that it’s never our will to displease Him, for we always will to “please” Him—whether success or failure (though our walk ever progresses “in the Spirit”).
The Why Of It All
Do you know the Lord Jesus as your Savior? Not only your Savior from the wrath to come, and from Satan and the world (unbelievers, whom has always made up the majority of earth’s populous, hence the term “world”—NC), but from self? Many a one needs to have that driven home. What characterized the Lord Jesus when here? All that Satan could do, he could get nothing out of the Lord. When He was here, He was always master of Himself, and He undertakes to save us from ourselves (our sin-source, the “old man.” It’s been said that the lost need saved and the saved needs delivered, i.e. Holy Spirit “mortification” in our walk—NC). When He presents us to the Father, we shall be in glorious bodies, delivered from humiliation, “made like unto His own glorious body” (Phl 3:21). Then we shall be perfectly and eternally delivered from everything not of Him. Can you say to the Father, I am a poor, simple and foolish thing, but I see that Thou hast said, and written down, that I have been crucified together with Christ? Thou lookest on me, having faith in the love that gave Thy Son; Thou lookest on me as crucified together with Him who was put to open shame.
A second thing comes out—dead together with Him! He “gave Himself a ransom” for us, and the eternal life with which He quicken us is the eternal life which He had “before the world was” (Jhn 17:5). There can be no mistake as to what that quickening is. Dead, buried; ah, do all believers know what it is to reckon themselves buried together with Christ? When I think of the grace of the Lord Jesus, I say there was the end of myself in Adam (1Co 15:48, 49). God put me away on the Cross.
Now as to the power of this practically: if you have got any gospel at all, what is your gospel? Is it the Gospel of eternal life? If so, I expect you to be doers, not hearers only (hearers only are absent of faith, for faith always brings forth the works or “fruit” of the Spirit – Jam 2:18, 20—NC). You cannot have life, and not be a doer. The Father has met everything against me in His Son. What is the grace mark of that given to us here? “Reckon yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin (not to die but manifest in our walk we are dead—NC), but alive unto God.” Do you count yourselves to have died unto sin? Do you know what it is to be in the presence of the Father and in fellowship with Him and His Son? That He is a living Person, whose glory we can have little idea about? The Lord Jesus Christ is the image of the invisible God; and do you and I know what it is to say of everything connected with the first Adam, Thou sayest of me that I have been crucified together with Christ, dead together, buried together, raised and ascended together with Him (ascended with Him in position, and though not yet physically, it is certain as if presently so because it is inevitable—NC)?
If you say that I can reckon myself to be dead indeed unto sin, and alive unto God, I believe. Yes, you say; but do you see that I do not feel it? He never said that you would feel it! Abraham was given certain promises, and God took special care to let everything in nature get the sentence of God against it. You see how faith versus feeling was tried in Abraham. “A father of many nations have I made thee.” I can quite suppose the people around him saying, “Where are all these nations?” You have no child even, only Ishmael, who was not born in thy house. Where are all these nations? What did Abraham say? Just leave all alone. God has committed Himself by promise, and He is able to perform—leave it all alone.
Abraham took the truth of God just as the thing in which he could rest (faith is always about unceasing trust in God for all things—NC), and would rest, and did rest. I do wish to press that side of the truth. The heart having been found in the humiliation of the Lord Jesus that which enables it to look ruin in the face and say, I am not afraid to see the place Adam got me into, not afraid of the flesh or of the world. Why? Because there is my Savior! “Know ye not that as many as were baptized into Jesus Christ, were baptized into His death?” We have been crucified together with Him. There is where the saint gets rest. My Father said it, my Father has written it. We have just a little bit of the blessedness of the humiliation and the glorification of the Lord Jesus, if we have faith in the facts; but the Father knows the fullness of it all, and He will give us perfect blessing in His own time and way.
I believe that this civilization will last for a long time, I believe that love is the force that will make humanity to return to primordial beginning, to return to the soul. I believe that the love that Jesus has given us is able to change the world so much that people will be appalled by the harsh word, let alone over some serious sin. I believe in the one who was born in a manger, crucified, resurrected, and living Jesus Christ. I believe in his pure love that will change mocking, violent and evil people, (I was once like that, too), into a very good people. I believe it will be with that love that World wealth finally gets distributed fairly and that rich countries will stop exploiting the poor. I believe that the love of Christ will turn greedy people into generous who will share their wealth with the poorest. I believe that we, all together can stop hunger, thirst and diseases in third world countries. I believe that the day will come when, for the first time in history, at least in one part of the Earth there will be no war. I believe in Christ's promise of the New Heaven and the New Earth which He will give us one day, but I believe the time has come to create something new. The time has come for a civilization of love, a civilization that will live in this world, but in the Kingdom of God! Jesus, bless us and give us love to illuminate this dark world. Give us love to encourage people who are afraid of the future, give us love so that we can love others the way you have loved us. And now, you who are reading this, ask yourselves who am I talking to, brother, sister, I'm talking to you. If you are wondering where to begin building the Civilization of Love, from where if not from ourselves, if you're wondering when this could be achieved, when if not now because this is the time of grace, this is the time of salvation!
This story is Fan Fiction, based on the former TV Series: Joan of Arcadia, involving the Culture Wars; in which Joan gets suspended from school, for bringing a Bible to class.
I do not own any of the characters in this story. All of them, except for God, belong to the Producers of the TV Series “Joan of Arcadia”.
God is in Public Domain.
Power in the Word
By William D'Andrea
Inside Arcadia High School, the bell rang in Ms. Morris’ 3rd Period History Class. Her Students were in their seats. Joan Girardi and Adam Rove sat beside each other. Their Teacher, Ms. Morris stood at the blackboard, writing.
Adam looked at Joan’s books.
He said, “You’ve brought a Bible with you to Class?”
She told him, “Somebody I keep running into, told me to ‘Let the light that is in me shine forth.’ Do you have any objections?”
“No. Not really.”
Ms. Morris stood beside Joan’s desk.
She said, “The Supreme Court has objections, even if Mr. Rove doesn’t. Having this book in School, is a violation of the Constitutionally mandated separation of Church and State.”
Joan told her, “That’s not what the Constitution says Ms. Morris. What it actually says is: ‘Congress shall make no Law, respecting the establishment of religion, nor prohibiting the free practice thereof.’ Banning the Bible from school isn’t ‘mandated’ by the Constitution. It’s prohibited.”
Ms. Morris picked up the Bible saying, “Well I’m mandating it here. This Book promotes fundamentalist religious bigotry and insensitivity to other beliefs, and I won’t have any of that in my Class.”
“That isn’t true.” Joan told her “It tells us how to do good to others.”
Ms. Morris walked to her desk and held the Bible over the waste basket.
Joan was horrified.
“Don’t do that Ms. Morris!” She warned, “There’s gonna be more trouble than you can imagine!”
Her teacher said, “Be quiet Ms. Girardi!”
Ms. Morris dropped the Bible into the wastebasket.
Joan covered her eyes and braced herself.
The entire classroom began to shake.
Adam shouted, “Earthquake!”
The terrified students ducked under their desks.
The shaking stopped.
Ms. Morris spoke. “You can return to your seats everyone. It’s over.”
The students got out from under their desks and returned to their seats.
“It’s not the wrath of God.” Ms. Morris assured them. “Just a frequently occurring natural phenomenon, here in California. Isn’t that right, Ms. Girardi?
“I don’t think so Ms. Morris.” Joan told her, “This might be just the beginning.”
Third Period ended. Students moved along the corridors, changing classes.
Joan stood beside her locker. The “Dreamiest looking Guy in school” came up beside her. She recognized Him. He was God in disguise; and she was peeved with Him.
He said, “I like the way you handled that Joan. You let the light that is in you shine forth.”
“Well I don’t like the way you handled it. Things are gonna get really bad for Ms. Morris; aren’t they?”
“Like you said, this is just the beginning.”
Her voice was worried. “You’re not gonna send Ms. Morris to Hell, are you?”
“That’s up to her.” He said, “I’m never the one who makes that decision. ‘It is by your words you are justified, and by your words you are condemned.’”
She asked, “What words do you want Ms. Morris to say?”
“That my Word is a lamp unto her feet, and a light unto her path to Salvation.”
“You want Ms. Morris to read the Bible? For guidance in life?”
“Like you said, this is only the beginning. I want you to give her the Bible you brought to Class.”
“The one in the wastebasket?” She protested. “You don’t want me to go back in and fish it out, do you? It’s gonna be all gross and stinky.”
“There are only papers in that wastebasket. It has no stench. My Word doesn’t stink.”
During 1st Lunch Period, Ms. Morris’ classroom was unoccupied. Joan entered, and went over to the Teacher’s desk. She reached into the wastebasket and removed the Bible.
Ms. Morris entered the room.
“Ms. Girardi!” She said, “I dropped that in there, so it would be thrown out with the trash, where it belongs.”
“You have no right to do that Ms. Morris.” Joan told her, “You’re violating my Constitutional Rights; and you’re committing sacrilege and desecration; and you’re in danger of going to Hell.
“Ms. Girardi. Going to Hell, is not just an antiquated notion, based on ignorance and superstition. It’s also hate speech and a threat, which will lead to your suspension. Come with me.”
Ms. Morris took the Bible away from Joan and escorted her out of the Classroom.
Several minutes later, they were both in the Office of Mr. Price, the Principal. Joan’s mother Helen Girardi, who worked in the School Office, was also with them.
She asked, “So what did my daughter do Ms. Morris?”
“She brought this into my classroom.”
Ms. Morris held up the Bible.
Helen said, “A Bible?”
The teacher said, “Every educator in this district has been instructed by the School Board, to hunt down and dispose of all hate literature.”
Helen Girardi laughed. “Hate literature? A Bible? You can’t be serious.”
“She also threatened me.”
Helen Girardi looked at her daughter. “Joan threatened you?”
“It wasn’t a threat Mom. It was a warning. She threw my Bible in the garbage. That was just before the earthquake happened. That’s when I told her, that she’s in danger of going to Hell.”
Now the Principal asked, “You said that Ms. Morris was in danger of going to Hell?”
The girl’s mother said, “It sounds to me like a warning that Ms. Morris should definitely heed.”
Ms. Morris told her, “It sounded to me like hate speech, and a threat, for which I’m asking that Joan Girardi be suspended.”
Joan spoke sharply. “Which might lead to you getting attacked by a plague of locusts, Ms. Morris.”
The woman said, “You heard that. More hate speech, and another threat.”
Helen said, “A ‘threat’? Are you serious? Does Joan have the ability to send anyone to Hell, or to have you attacked by locusts?”
Mr. Price now spoke. “Unfortunately, Helen, she has the ability to influence other students to believe and behave as she does.”
“Then she’d be a good influence.”
He told her, “Good or bad doesn’t matter.”
“The facts are that Joan Girardi brought hate literature to school. Then she threatened a faculty member.”
Joan’s mother said, “I think that anyone who tells High School Students, that the Bible is hate literature, is an ignorant bigot, and attempting to corrupt their morals.”
“What Ms. Morris or I believe isn’t in question. I’m suspending Joan for three days, beginning now.”
Joan said, “Mom?”
The Principal went on. “She will not be allowed to return to class, until after I’ve had a conference with you and her father.”
Helen answered, “If good or bad doesn’t matter now, it will; when we’ve had that conference, which will be attended by our lawyer.”
Joan added, “Then you’ll prefer locusts.”
An hour later, Joan was heading home on a bus, seated behind the rear exit. Her books, including her Bible, were on her lap, and she was very dejected.
A Man in his mid forties sat in the seat behind her.
He asked, “Why is your heart downcast Joan?”
She knew He was God, in one of His many disguises.
“Why?” She told him, “I’ve just been suspended for three days, because I did what you said. I didn’t ask to be made a martyr.”
“Open that Bible Joan.” He told her, “Read Matthew Chapter 5, verses 10, 11 and 12.”
Joan searched through the Bible and found the place.
She read, “’Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.’”
God and Joan read together, “Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake.’”
Then God quoted the Scripture alone. “’Rejoice and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.’”
Joan grouched, “Well whoop-dee-do. I still didn’t ask to be made a martyr.”
He asked, “So what do you think I should do about Ms. Morris? Do you really want me to send locusts? How about hale that burns with fire? Darkness that can be felt? How about boils?”
“How about all of them?”
“Never! I repeat never, ask me to harm anybody!”
“Hey. You know I didn’t really mean that.”
“I forgive you. Now how about you, going a little further in Matthew? Verses 44 and 45.”
Joan found the place and read, “’But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;’”
God quoted the next verse. “’That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.”
She asked, “You want me to love Ms. Morris?”
“I don’t expect you to develop any strong feelings of affection. I mean you should bless her, pray for her, and do good to her.”
“After she’s had me suspended? You’re asking too much.”
“Joan.” He told her, “As I have forgiven you, you should also forgive Ms. Morris.”
“I know. This is all about keeping Ms. Morris out of Hell.”
He said, “You may never have feelings of love for her Joan, but I always will.”
The following morning, Ms. Morris was seated at her desk. The bell rang while Students entered the classroom.
Adam Rove entered. He came over to Ms. Morris, and placed an apple, along with a package in a plain brown wrapper, on the teacher’s desk.
He said, “Good morning Ms. Morris. This is for you, from Joan Girardi. She asked me to bring her all her homework assignments, while she’s suspended.
Ms. Morris spoke with amusement. “Is it a bomb?”
Adam told her, “She didn’t say.”
Ms. Morris opened the package. She found a Bible with a handwritten note, taped to the cover.
The note said, “God loves you Ms. Morris!”
It was signed, “Joan Girardi”.
Ms. Morris was not amused.
“Mr. Rove.” She said, “Tell Ms. Girardi, that I do not appreciate this sarcasm. Along with her regular assignments, she is to also write: ‘There is no place for God in School.’ She is to write that 100 times.”
After classes ended that day, students were leaving Arcadia High, and boarding the School Buses, to go home.
Joan and Adam stood across the street from the School. He held the Bible with the note taped to the cover and handed it back to Joan.
He said, “At least she didn’t throw it in the garbage this time.”
“I suppose that’s some kind of progress.”
Adam stepped away from her and headed for the Buses.
God disguised as the “Dreamy Guy” stood beside Joan.
He said, “So Ms. Morris didn’t appreciate the peace offering you sent her in my Name?”
“No. According to Adam, I now have to write 100 times, ‘There is no place for God in School’.”
“Then you should get on with it.” He told her, “And after you’ve written that 100 times, I want you to add: ‘Wherever God isn’t welcomed, the Devil rushes in, and brings all the evil he can along with him. Look at the conditions of American Schools, for proof.’”
“You want me to do extra work, on top of the extra work?”
“Rejoice and be exceeding glad. Great is your reward in heaven.”
“Well I’m not in heaven yet, and with all this extra work, I don’t have time to party!”
He told her, “This is about more than you and Ms. Morris Joan. Our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.”
“I’m involved in genuine spiritual warfare?”
“I am your strength, your shield and your fortress.”
“No.” She told Him, “No. I’m too young to be drafted.”
“Joan. Draw near to me, and I will draw near to you. Resist the Devil, and he will flee from you. Put on the full armor of God, to resist all the attacks of the evil one.”
“That’s what Joan of Arc did, and I know what happened to her; and I’m thinking, ‘Fire hurts’.”
“She took up a sword of steel.” God told Joan, “I want you to take up the sword of the Spirit,”
God touched the Bible in Joan’s hand.
“which is the Word of God and trust me.”
Then God the “Dreamy Guy” was gone from her view.
She thought. The sword of the Spirit, is the Word of God? God’s Power is in His Word!
Joan opened the Bible and began to read.
That evening in the Girardi house, Joan sat with her parents in the living room.
Her father Will Girardi said, “Who is this Ms. Morris anyway? She sounds like a former Campus Radical from the sixties. They’ve all become Commissars of Political Correctness.”
“Oh, Will please.” His wife said, “You’re not gonna get started on that again?”
“Why not? She got my daughter suspended, so I am gonna get started on it. She probably belonged to one of those Subversive Organizations, who taught that a Communist revolution was inevitable, and it was her generation’s duty to help bring down the Country.
Joan asked, “But Dad, Communism collapsed around 1990, didn’t it?”
“Yeah. Officially, but people like this Ms. Morris don’t know how to stop. They’re continuing to be subversive, just out of habit. Why do you think that our educational system is in such a bad shape?”
His daughter said, “Because they’ve taken God out of the Schools; and wherever God isn’t welcomed...”
On her first day back in school, Joan was in Ms. Morris’ Class. The other students were in their seats. Joan stood before Ms. Morris, who was seated at her desk, reading Joan’s extra work assignment. Joan held her Bible.
Ms. Morris read aloud, for the entire Class to hear, “Wherever God isn’t welcomed, the Devil rushes in, and brings all the evil that he can along with him. Look at the conditions of American Public Schools, for proof.”
Then she said, “Ms. Girardi. If you say that I’m in league with the Devil, it’s just another form of hate speech.”
The girl told her, “You threw my Bible in the garbage. If that’s not working for the Devil, what is? ‘If the light that is in you be darkness, how great that darkness is.’”
Joan stepped up to Ms. Morris. She placed her Bible on the teacher’s desk.
“Let it be a lamp unto your feet, and a light unto your path to Salvation.”
“Why did you do that Ms. Girardi,” the woman asked, “when you know it’s going straight in the garbage again?”
“’God makes his sun to rise on the evil and on the good and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. I’m doing all I can, to keep you out of Hell, Ms. Morris.”
Ms. Morris addressed the entire class. “Everyone. Tell me. Are there any among you, who also believe, as Ms. Girardi does, that I’m in league with the Devil?”
The students looked at each other uneasily.
Joan told her quietly, “I know I’ll never love you, but God always will.”
Ms. Morris looked troubled by Joan’s words.
She said, “Please return to your seat Ms. Girardi.”
Joan went back to her desk and sat beside Adam.
Ms. Morris spoke. “Now everyone, your essay assignment for last night was; ‘In what ways is the Constitutionally mandated separation of Church and State, being violated, in the United States today?’ I think we’re all anxious to hear what you have to say about that, Ms. Girardi.”
Eid Al adha | happy eid ul adha 2019
June 16, 2019 eid al adha
Eid Al adha | happy eid ul adha 2019
Eid Al Adha: Eid al-Adha (Arabic: عيد الأضحى, romanized: ʿīd al-ʾaḍḥā, lit. 'Feast of the Sacrifice', also called the "Festival of the Sacrifice", is the second of two Islamic holidays celebrated worldwide each year (the other being Eid al-Fitr), and considered the holier of the two. It honors the willingness of Ibrahim (Abraham) to sacrifice his son as an act of obedience to God's command. But, before Abraham could sacrifice his son, God provided a lamb to sacrifice instead. In commemoration of this, an animal is sacrificed and divided into three parts: one part of the share is given to the poor and needy; second part is for the home, third is given to relatives.
In the Islamic lunar calendar, Eid al-Adha falls on the 10th day of Dhu al-Hijjah. In the international (Gregorian) calendar, the dates vary from year to year shifting approximately 11 days earlier each year.
Eid ul adha:
What Do People Do?
At Eid al-Adha, many Muslims make a special effort to pray and listen to a sermon at a mosque. They also wear new clothes, visit family members and friends and may symbolically sacrifice an animal in an act known as qurbani. This represents the animal that Ibrahim sacrificed in the place of his son.
In some traditionally Muslim countries, families or groups of families may purchase an animal known as udhiya, usually a goat or sheep, to sacrifice, but this is not common or legal in many parts of Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, the United States or many other countries. In these countries, groups of people may purchase a whole carcass from a butcher or slaughterhouse and divide it amongst themselves or just buy generous portions of meat for a communal meal on Eid-al-Adha. People also give money to enable poorer members of their local community and around the world to eat a meat-based meal.
In the period around Eid al-Adha, many Muslims travel to Mecca and the surrounding area in Saudi Arabia to perform the Hajj pilgrimage. Package holidays are organized from many countries. Muslims may plan and save for many years to enable them to take part in this event, which is one of the five pillars of Islam.
Eid al Adha 2019
Special Islamic Days
Eid al Adha 2019
Eid al Adha 2019
Estimated: Monday, August 12, 2019
Eid al Adha 2019 or Qurbani 2019 will be celebrated on Monday, 12th of August 2019. This is the tentative date as the actual date is contingent on the sighting of the moon of Dhul Hijjah.
Eid ul Adha is a festival celebrated among Muslims all over the world in remembrance of the sacrifice that Prophet Ibrahim (AS) made out of his strong faith in Allah (SWT). Ibrahim (AS) showed a willingness to sacrifice his son Ismail (AS) but his son was replaced with a lamb by Allah (SWT). Allah (SWT) was so pleased with Ibrahim’s (AS) submission to Him that He made this demonstration of sacrifice and faith a permanent part of a Muslim’s life.
Hence, every year on the 10th of Dhul Hijjah, Muslims all over the world celebrate Eid ul Azha. On this day, Muslims slaughter a lamb, sheep, goat or a camel to honor the sacrifice of Ibrahim (AS). A sense of generosity and gratitude colors this festival.
This festival is meant to make a Muslim more virtuous in his or her deeds. It should not be meant only to offer sacrifices; rather it is meant to learn hidden lessons of freedom from selfish desires and to elevate a Muslim from anything that hinders his ability to fulfill his responsibilities as a Muslim. Allah says in the Quran:
“Their meat will not reach Allah, nor will their blood, but what reaches Him is piety from you. Thus have We subjected them to you that you may glorify Allah for that [to] which He has guided you; and give good tidings to the doers of good.” (Surah Hajj:37)
This article may not necessarily be presently useful but may merely be thought-provoking for possible future use due to the subject (Israel Eschatology) often seemingly to be unclear in Scripture, thus in my estimation not all questions or comments here can be sufficiently addressed. Thankfully, like most spiritual growth truths in the NT, these issues do not affect the essentials in the Gospel of redemption, but can affect, as all growth truths do, spiritual growth in the faith. The basis of the information related to Israel‘s end times within dispensationalism is premised on what I think is the concept that Israel (Jewish believers in God. esp. those alive at His coming – Jhn 14:1) will finally believe in the Lord Jesus after seeing Him at the beginning of the millennium period (Rev 20:4), resulting in Israel (esp. those alive at His coming) inheriting the New Earth, but is a lessor “blessing” (Jhn 20:29) than the New Heaven for believers in Christ before seeing Him (my personal opinion).
It is obviously seen that many yet fully understand God’s Covenant with His people of Israel by not only attempting to commingle the two systems of Judaism and Christianity in desiring a Judeo-Christian system, but also that Judaism (Covenant of Law) itself, even for the Jew, has been “taken away” (Heb 10:9: also 7:11, 12, 18, 19; 8:7; 12:27). Nowhere is it written supporting the admixture of these two Covenants.
The time was when God said to the children of Israel, “Let them make Me a sanctuary, that I may dwell among them.” This was a “worldly sanctuary” (Heb 9:1), a sanctuary suited for God’s dwelling place in the world, and suitable also for the worship for people in the world. God had constituted Israel to be His worldly people. He had fenced them off from the nations round about them by statutes, judgments and ordinances; and He had prescribed likewise “ordinances of divine service,” adapted to their sanctuary and to their standing. All here was consistent—all was worldly (“earthy” representation of God, as those who are “heavenly” are heavenly representations of God - 1Co 15:48—NC).
Worldly worship, therefore, was then a holy thing in itself, for God had them appointed it to. It would be so now also, if God had a worldly people and a worldly sanctuary (presently God has only those who are heavenly in Christ—NC); but seeing He now has neither the one nor the other, the attempt to approach Him even by ordinances of divine service which He Himself originally prescribed is most sinful (though ignorantly so—NC). “He that killeth an ox is as if he slew a man; he that offereth a lamb, as if he cut off a dog’s neck; he that offereth an olblation, as if he offered swine’s blood; he that burneth incense, as if he blessed an idol” (which all are done by those who “have chosen their own ways” - Isa 66:3 – e.g. attempting to live by a nonexistent Covenant—NC).
Now if such was God’s estimate of His own ordinances of worldly worship, when those to whom they were given used them corruptly and willfully, what must be the iniquity of introducing an order of worship which God has distinctly set aside? But has not this been done in the history of the church? Is it not with renewed zeal being attempted in our own day? Forms and rituals of worship suited only to a worldly sanctuary and a worldly people are now sanctioned and established on every hand.
The prophet of old was commissioned to rebuke Israel for their corruption and abuse of the worldly sanctuary and its worldly ordinances; but the Apostle Paul rebukes the saints of God when tending to turn back to worldly “elements” (Rom 8:3; Gal 4:9). God was dishonored of old by any neglect of the worldly sanctuary; He is dishonored now by any attempts to copy or reestablish it.
This enables us to determine the character of things now done by the professing church—such things, for example, as an alter on earth, repeated sacrifice, the burning of incense, the consecration of building and of ground, and of persons also, by an outward ceremonial. Such like rites and ceremonies were so early borrowed from the Jewish worldly ritual, and transferred into the Christian church, as to have become almost universal shortly after the Apostles days. But where is their warrant in the New Testament epistles? How can one read therein and not see the introduction of such things prophesied of and solemnly warned against?
How searching then is such a word as this: “I also will choose their delusions, and will bring their fears upon them; because when I called, none did answer (Isa 66:4)!” How needful is that to recall the only source of authority found in the Word. “He that hath an ear let him hear what the Spirit saith to the churches.” This marks at once the place from whence our wisdom and guidance must be sought—not in antiquity, or in the examples of Judaized churches, but in the unquestionable teaching of the Holy Spirit Himself to the churches.
This leads us away from all whose wisdom or authority can be questioned; it places the Word of God itself before the conscience of every saint. Errors, however ancient, or venerable, or attractive, are thus detected, and the child of faith is forbidden to countenance them. This makes the path of faith at all times sure, though oftentimes difficult.
Nothing can be more sure than the steps of one guided by the Spirit of God and His Word of God, and yet nothing more difficult than to have to walk in separation from all that exists around. It is indeed difficult to have to wind one’s way through things so perplexing and so different as the religious systems of our day. We have to allow that such things were given by God, and that they will yet again be introduced by Him (Jer 31:31-34; Eze 36:27—NC), while invariably contending that they are positively opposed to His present working by the Holy Spirit sent down from heaven.
There was a worldly sanctuary; there is yet, in the coming dispensation (millennium), to be a worldly sanctuary; but now there is none (Christ moved the sanctuary to heaven – Heb 8:1, 2—NC). Existing systems are variously compounded of things proper to three periods. Some have drawn most from the past, some from the future, while some it may be, from the present; but all involve sad confusion in the things of God. How many, who may in some measure have been emancipated from the ordinances of the ancient worldly sanctuary of the past dispensation, do not allow that there is a worldly sanctuary to come, and have consequently chosen and instituted that in which God delights not, as much as others who are professedly imitating the ancient ordinances (e.g. repeated sacrificing of Christ via supposing His literal presence in the bread and wine during communion—NC)!
Thus while denouncing worldly elements they really have invested themselves with that which can only properly belong to a worldly part of the dispensation to come. Thus they are involved in the sin of mingling things heavenly and things earthly. Is not all this a work of the flesh? Is it not an admission of worldly principles in the Church of God? Do we not see this in the fond desire for official distinction, dedicated buildings, permanent institutions and ordinances, and attempts to attract worldly repute, so common in systems around? For all this is not confined to the church of Rome by any means.
Surly all these things, under whatever form seen, must be alike offensive to God. We may go back to some ancient institutions of God, or forward to something He intends yet to introduce, or we may assert our own right to worship according to a pattern of our own devising; but in each and all these cases we subject ourselves to that word, “When I spoke they did not hear” (Isa 66:4).
It is important therefore to show that there yet will be a worldly sanctuary and worldly worship (with “statues” and “judgments” - Eze 36:27 - which will be “unlike” the Old Covenant – Jer 31:32—NC). This is very largely revealed in the prophets. Their subject of hope is the restored nation, restored polity, and restored worship of Israel; but all, when so restored, under and in connection (leadership—NC) of the Lord Jesus Christ. Now the Christian church has in a great measure applied these predictions to itself; and hence we have the thought of Christian nations, instead of the holy nation soon to be gathered from out of all nations. Hence too the (erroneous—NC) thought of the union of the church and the state—a thought to be most blessedly fulfilled when Christ as King and Priest shall sit upon His millennial throne (all of which are mistaken concepts—NC).
All attempts to establish a worldly sanctuary now are therefore in direct opposition to the present testimony of the Holy Spirit. He by His coming was the conviction of the world’s sin in having rejected the Savior, because testifying that God had exalted Him; but that blessed Spirit is also, by His very presence in the Church, the conviction of sin of every attempt to set up a worldly sanctuary. He has to testify only of a High Priest now ministering in the heavens, “Jesus the Son of God, who is passed through the heavens”; and consequently, He can only lead the soul to Him He glorifies. All who worship “in Spirit” must therefore worship in the heavenly sanctuary, the Holiest of All; for there alone does the Spirit lead.