“Oh, the unspeakable greatness of that exchange,—the Sinless One is condemned, and he who is guilty goes free; the Blessing bears the curse, and the cursed is brought into blessing; the Life dies, and the dead live; the Glory is whelmed in darkness, and he who knew nothing but confusion of face is clothed with glory.” Trailady

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A person God turned around many times.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

The fourth example

The fourth example and unfortunate mistake comes from Dietrich Bonheoffer. Of powerful intellect and allegiance to right, he stood up against Hitler’s Nazi regime in Germany with all the weight and machinery and wealth of Rome behind the dictator. Bonheoffer wrote pamphlets and books that should dissuade the honest followers of truth in Germany from joining the multitudes that were haling the Fuehrer for fear of his brutality.

During the pivotal years of Hitler’s rise, when the National Socialist (German: Nazionalsozialist) Workers’ party could have been prevented using peaceful, civil means, Hitler’s greatest opponent was found in this humble man. Politically, Communism presented the fiercest obstacle; but popularly, in the hearts of men, where the real battle lies for every dictator, the Protestant pastor swayed the people.

In Bonheoffer the principles of the Reformation and the original gospel bloomed in splendor, and perfumed every soul that received them. His exposé of the true meaning of carrying the cross of Christ and laying down the life for truth in the earth, still ring of purity and true Christianity.

But Bonheoffer decided upon a plan of action that controverted his teachings of self-sacrifice. For some reason he imbibed the idea that he needed to assist God in the overthrow of His earthly enemy. Bonheoffer masterminded an assassination of Adolf Hitler.

While he had preached, Hitler left him alone. He belonged to one of the elite families of Germany which afforded some protection for the reformer. And had he remained true to his work as teacher and exposer of the wicked regime that was sweeping upon the minds of his beloved German people, he would have exemplified just what he was bringing to the people from the word of God.

But Dietrich’s assassination attempt failed, and Hitler tried and hung him. Blood on Bonheoffer’s reputation soiled his great work for truth and the God of truth. This failed attempt to kill Hitler only added new life to the dictator’s extraordinary effort to take over the world for the Vatican, the Third Reich of Christendom. Eventually the Lord raised up the rough and tumble, unstoppable General George Patton to cease Hitler’s progress of preempting Satan’s domination of Earth before the Law of God could be sealed in the 144,000.

Today, in the shadow of 9/11 and the encroaching work of the last final dictatorship in America and of its oppressive imperialism around the world, the work of God’s people must entail and be limited to preaching of the gospel principles. Yes, in mercy to the world it needs to be warned of the coming great tribulation in the Vatican’s fourth attempt at world “Reich” under the guise and the power of post-Protestant, but now Christian America; yet the grace of Christ and His sacrifice must get priority billing.

That Christ never attacked the ruthless Roman government militarily or politically, nor Herod’s, gives us clear guidelines and direction for the work of the church today. When He was almost taken to fill the role as king of Israel’s armies, He forcibly disbanded the power-thirsty multitudes and separated even from His closest disciples for a night. In the meantime, He went up into a mountain to pour out His soul to God to help Him get through to them that His true mission was to conquer the hearts of mankind through His grace and love.

During that dark night He did not pray His Father to remove them from the stern discipline of being lost in a midnight storm at sea. Then, after sufficient labor and fear was instilled in those fishermen, He went to them to seal His lesson deeply within their psyches and hearts, that His kingdom was not of this world and that it would operate free of ambition, intrigue, and self-exaltation. He also taught them anew their own humiliation and their constant need to rely on Him for the successful navigation of the church, as His chosen leaders.

Christ selected for His closest circle of friends men of every background and makeup. Simon, the Canaanite, was an avowed zealot, a “Neo-con” by today’s colloquialism. Judas Iscariot has been thought to subscribe to the zealot mindset, since his name, Iscariot, may refer to a scarab or a dagger. Many Jews followed the rabbinical false interpretations of the Messianic promises to Israel, which described great victories to the nation and world dominion when Messiach would come. Yet, their proud hearts caused them to overlook that those promises were only effective if “their uncircumcised hearts be humbled, and they then accept of the punishment of their iniquity.” (Lev. 26:41).

Only Jesus knew that those promises, which He had inspired the prophets to write, could only be fulfilled when His people were sufficiently humbled by the pagan empires’ captivity which His providence had brought against them.

“If they shall confess their iniquity, and the iniquity of their fathers, with their trespass which they trespassed against Me, and that also they have walked contrary unto Me;
And that I also have walked contrary unto them, and have brought them into the land of their enemies; if then their uncircumcised hearts be humbled, and they then accept of the punishment of their iniquity: then will I remember My covenant with Jacob, and also My covenant with Isaac, and also My covenant with Abraham will I remember; and I will remember the land.” (Lev. 26:40-42).

“Then shall ye call upon Me, and ye shall go and pray unto Me, and I will hearken unto you.
And ye shall seek Me, and find Me, when ye shall search for Me with all your heart.
And I will be found of you, saith the Lord: and I will turn away your captivity, and I will gather you from all the nations, and from all the places whither I have driven you, saith the Lord; and I will bring you again into the place whence I caused you to be carried away captive.” (Jer. 29:12-14).

“If My people, which are called by My name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.” (2Chron. 7:14).

Yet the nation had not wholeheartedly received the message of John the Baptist, and God would not fight for them. As were the Maccabees, the Jewish people were operating on their own wisdom and righteousness, totally apart from God, especially when they fully and wholeheartedly rejected and killed their Messiah, the Son of God. But His chosen disciples led forth His people to the victory of the truth of God.

Nary a sword did the apostles carry, except for the word of God which is “sharper than any twoedged sword.” (Heb. 4:12). The law, sealed in their soul and expressed in every word and deed, struck fear in the consciences of the wicked everywhere they turned. The prophecy of them was, “If any man will hurt them, fire proceedeth out of their mouth, and devoureth their enemies: and if any man will hurt them, he must in this manner be killed.” (Rev. 11:5). The Lord was their “shield, and…exceeding great reward.” (Gen. 15:1).

Their watchwords were, “The wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be intreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy. And the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace of them that make peace.” (Jas. 3:17,18). “Lay hands suddenly on no man, neither be partaker of other men’s sins: keep thyself pure.” (1Tim. 5:22). “We will give ourselves continually to prayer, and to the ministry of the word.” (Act 6:4).

The apostles were the New Testament earthly high priests of the church. And “every high priest taken from among men is ordained for men in things pertaining to God…who can have compassion on the ignorant, and on them that are out of the way; for that he himself also is compassed with infirmity.” (Heb. 5:1,2). They followed Christ, who “though He were a Son, yet learned He obedience by the things which He suffered; and being made perfect, He became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey Him.” (Heb. 5:8,9).

As fathers, they restored the Hebrew faith of Abraham and the leadership of the twelve elders of ancient Israel. They were never to join with other unmerciful Jehu’s and Elijah’s—(that is, before Elijah learned the lesson of the gentle voice of the Holy Spirit); nor did they partner up with violent belligerents like Barabbas and Theudas. They understood that “the wrath of man worketh not the righteousness of God.” (Jas. 1:20). They remembered the night before their Master’s sacrifice, when they were still in the old mindset of fighting among themselves and fighting against their enemies. “They said, Lord, behold, here are two swords. And He said unto them, It is enough.” (Lk 22:38). (Which was to say, Don’t think to trust in swords.) For “except the Lord build the house, they labour in vain that build it: except the Lord keep the city, the watchman waketh but in vain. It is vain for you to rise up early, to sit up late, to eat the bread of sorrows: for so He giveth His beloved sleep.” (Ps. 127:1,2).

Let the crude, faithless world do as the work of providence leads them in the way of militant national defense. But His church must have no part in that, not even remotely. “Abstain from all appearance of evil. And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.” (1Thess. 5:22,23). And let the Church of Rome be sufficiently humbled for all their intrigue and forcing the hand of God in Satan’s work on earth. Let the word of God stop them in their blood drenched path, “that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God.” (Rom. 3:19).


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