An Inspiration: Pentecost

Where did Pentecost go? - The Catholic Miscellany

It’s now May, the days are getting warmer, and I want to start writing the next Bell Mountain book.

So I’m sitting outside, re-reading Behold! to jog my memory and waiting for an inspiration. And as I was doing that today, Pentacost came to mind.

Suddenly I saw it in a new light. At the tower of Babel, God confused humanity’s language so that they couldn’t understand each other: suddenly there were a hundred different languages, mutually unintelligible. That was the end of that project; the tower couldn’t be finished.

But what did He do on the day of Pentacost, centuries later?

He did the reverse of what He did at Babel.

Suddenly all these people, in all their different languages, could understand what Christ’s disciples said. It’s important to bear in mind that all those languages which the disciples seemed to be speaking were real languages. Each person there thought he was hearing his own native language spoken.

“Now… the multitude came together, and were confounded, because that every man heard them speak in his own language. And they were all amazed and marvelled, saying one to another, Behold, are not all these which speak Galilaeans? And how hear we every man in our own tongues, wherein we were born? Parthians, and Medes, and Elamites, and the dwellers in Mesopotamia, and in Judaea, and Cappadocia, in Pontus, and Asia… we do hear them speak in our tongues the wonderful works of God. And they were all amazed and were in doubt, saying one to another, What meaneth this?” (Acts 2: 6-12)

The exact opposite of what God had done at Babel.

We can see this miracle as a down payment, as it were, on a future in which God will restore, through the Holy Spirit, the unity of the human race. Not by government programs, not by “education,” not by coercion and force, but by the power of the Holy Spirit. By God Himself.

It’s this unity that we look forward to, and not any of the counterfeits proposed by the world government crowd. The unity that can only be found in Jesus Christ, our Savior and our Lord.

I’ve Lost 3,000 Views

Psalm 119 Inspirational Images

Yeah, for this blog, April was a rotter–3,000 views less than I had last April. If I was a business, I’d be out of business. It’s all very discouraging. And there seems to be no remedy. Whatever they’ve done to my search engine ranking has truly clobbered me.

It is an affliction. Maybe not much, as afflictions go; but it’s my affliction, and I tend to take it personally.

But my Bible-reading this morning brought me to Psalm 119 (by far the longest chapter in the Bible: 176 verses); and by the time I was done reading it, I couldn’t wait to get back to work.

If the affliction comes from God, then He has a good reason for it that will ultimately do me good, even if I can’t understand it. When He afflicts us, it’s to deepen our understanding, and to test our faithfulness. And to deepen our strength.

If the affliction comes from some censorship johnny in Big Tech, the Lord will know how to judge it. Eventually the wicked fall into the pits they dig for others. The higher they rise, the farther they fall.

So what do I do? I’ll just keep going, keep on doing my best, and not give in. Let it be in God’s hands. And meanwhile I can post all the hymns I please.

If they’re holding me down, it means one of my fellow servants will be free to rise.

Let’s drive the Enemy crazy with a Whack-a-Mole game he cannot win.

Solar's Seemingly Endless Game of Whack-A-Mole – Standard Solar Blog

Love vs. Law

Daniel in the Lions' Den Bible Story and Lessons

If you’re studying Daniel along with me, what do you think of this? It comes from Rushdoony’s analysis of Daniel and Revelation, Thy Kingdom Come.

Darius the Mede, King of Babylon under the Persian Empire, loved and trusted Daniel and most emphatically did not want him thrown into the lions’ den. But he was trapped by the law which he himself had been manipulated, by Daniel’s enemies, into enacting. He had no choice but to throw Daniel to the lions–which, because God protected him, did Daniel no harm.

Rushdoony: “Let law triumph, and its harshness turns it ultimately into a cold scheme of organized injustice. Let love triumph over law, and again injustice holds sway as antinomianism [lawlessness] infects every bulwark of order. The tension between law and love is thus a continuing tension that works to the dissolution of one civilization after another… Love or forgiveness which is unable to regenerate man becomes only a license to and subsidy of evil, and law itself is equally incapable of any creative role or regenerating function” (pg. 43). Julius Caesar, in forgiving his enemies, failed to change or regenerate their hearts–and they killed him for it. And in our own here and now, letting felons out of prison doesn’t turn them into saints: most of them go right back to committing crimes.

The tension between love and law is only resolved in Jesus Christ, who perfectly fulfills the demands of both. It was a problem which no pagan religion was able to solve; but Christ’s atoning death fulfills the law and allows God’s love to cleanse us of our sins. And how many human souls have been regenerated by that?

Creator or Creature?

In discussing Nebuchadnezzar’s dream in Daniel 2, and “the terror of dreams” in general, R.J. Rushdoony said we don’t like dreams because they have a way of reminding us that we are not in control. Just like happens in real life every day, dreams feature events we can’t control–often bizarre and terrifying events that can’t be ignored.

Modern hyper-humanists prefer a universe governed by pure chance–that is to say, not governed at all. If there’s no God–they so want there to be no God–that leaves a power vacuum which they, The Smartest People In The World, can fill. But of course they can’t do that if they’re merely creatures subject to an all-powerful, all-knowing, all-righteous Creator.

Today’s global elites and Big Tech oligarchs have power, surely more power than is good for them; and in their own eyes they’re already fantastically wise and always growing wiser, and as righteous as it’s possible to be. They’ve already qualified for godhood–so why aren’t we bowing down to them? Ungrateful peasants!

Once they learn how to download themselves into computers, these big cheeses will be functionally immortal, barring tiny, unforeseen computer glitches. Nebuchadnezzar never had it so good, even though the normal salutation was “O king, live forever!” We are at liberty to see some insincerity in that.

Reject God, and to what end does that take us?

Think about it.

Daniel’s Offense

Daniel Chapter. 5 The Writing on the Wall ( You definitely need to read it)  | Bible art, Bible pictures, Bible illustrations

Thy Kingdom Come: Studies in Daniel and Revelation by R.J. Rushdoony–I wasn’t ready for this book when I first read it almost 20 years ago; but much water has flowed under the bridge since then, and I think I’m less unready now.

Check out Reputable Bible Scholars Inc. on Daniel–they so want this not to be true! So they insist it isn’t. Exiled Jewish priests made it all up, hundreds of years after the events Daniel supposedly prophesied.

This is what Rushdoony called “the offense of Daniel.” Daniel offends modern, humanistic sensibilities. Rushdoony divides the great offense into four elements:

*”It manifests in unavoidable terms the biblical concept of God.” A God-centered universe, in which man is a created being subject to his Creator, really cheeses off the Bible Scholars. They want to be the center of the universe. With tenure.

*It’s prophecy. Modernism totally rules out prophesy from the get-go. If it’s prophetic, it can’t be true. And then they all run out and prophecy about Climbit Change.

*It has miracles in it. Again, something the scholars rule out: no miracles allowed. This from the same people who believe socialism will really work, just give it a chance.

*It’s offensive because it teaches that God controls history. We don’t want to hear that! We want government control of history! Mandates! Blah-blah.

I’m expecting Thy Kingdom Come to give me insights into Daniel and Revelation, and into today’s events. Why is our culture deteriorating so rapidly, and in such bizarre form? What can we do about it?

There’s understanding available, to be harvested by study, prayer, and exchange of ideas.

Just stay away from Scholars.

Study Along with Me

I’ve been trying, really trying, to understand the insanity our country and the world are living through, these days. So far, it eludes me.

Lately I’d been wondering if it was time I revisited some of the books by R.J. Rushdoony that I read when I first joined the Chalcedon Foundation, going on 20 years ago (longest job I’ve ever had!); and that thought jelled yesterday when my daily Bible reading brought me to Daniel 10. At about the same time, “Unknowable” made a thought-provoking comment about an incident in that same chapter, verses 9-14: the angel’s struggle with a spiritual “prince of Persia.”

I want to know more. Some instinct is telling me that this has become a key Bible chapter for understanding the realities of our own time, here and now.

I know I’ll find insights in Rushdoony’s Thy Kingdom Come: Studies in Daniel and Revelation. I have to make time to re-read it.  Revelation echoes the Old Testament prophets–Daniel, Ezekiel, and Isaiah, to name just three.

I hope some of you will decide to study along with me and share your insights here.

Is there a spiritual realm that impinges on our world and can make its effects felt in it? Are those worlds less radically separated than we thought? After all, God inhabits both of them. Are the events described in the prophecies already taking place? What do we need to know from the Bible to make this present point in history intelligible–and navigable–to us?

I think of it as providing guidance for my prayers.

Heroes… By Faith

Heroes have been much on my mind today; maybe because yesterday I read Hebrews 11, “the faith chapter.” This discusses some of the heroes of the Bible–Abel, Noah, Abraham, Moses, and many more. Their heroic actions, famous and well-remembered, were of all different kinds. But they had one thing in common: they were all done “by faith.”

I keep this in mind when I write my books. The plot calls for many heroic acts, to be performed by many characters. And they are all performed “by faith.” Because these are not superhuman, not silly superheroes: but ordinary people, men and women, boys and girls, who do what must be done because they believe God’s word and try their best to obey. Without faith, they couldn’t do these things.

But there is another kind of heroism, also by faith, but not very often recognized. Writers especially almost never get to know how readers are affected by their writings; but then that’s true for all of us. You may have done something that produced great good for someone else without your knowing it; even without that other person realizing it was you. Our actions and our words spread out like ripples on a pond, and we have no way of knowing whom or what those ripples touch, with what effect.

So we carry on by faith. We try to do what’s right. We try to please God. There are acts of goodness that we do on purpose, but also acts we don’t do with any expectation of good. God can use our actions and our words in unexpected ways, ways that would surprise us if we ever saw the result.

It would be good for us to keep this in mind. We might never have an opportunity to save a life, but we can touch a life. Only God sees everything. We can’t; we have to proceed by faith–“the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen” (Verse 1).

When the Book of Life is opened, there will be surprises in it.

“No Weapon That Is Formed Against Thee Shall Prosper”

This Is My Father's World - with Lyrics - YouTube

This little essay (in 2019) by Mark Rushdoony is as good as a sermon–especially now, when it looks like the ungodly own all the reins of power and can no more be restrained.

https://chalcedon.edu/blog/no-weapon-that-is-formed-against-thee-shall-prosper

It brings to my mind these lines from a hymn, This Is My Father’s World:

“This is my Father’s world, and let me ne’er forget/ That tho’ the wrong seems oft so strong,/ God is the ruler yet.”

Mark launches his text from the book of Esther: “The story of Esther is not primarily about the salvation of God but of His government, particularly as it works through unbelievers.”

Through unbelievers? Yes! When there are no good guys around to stop the bad guys, God will use other bad guys against them–or even, as He did to Pharaoh in the days of Moses, against themselves. But yes, He will work through unbelievers… whether they like it or not.

There is no corner in Heaven or on earth where God is not the sovereign Lord of All.

 

A Cry to God

Dagon, Baal, Astarte, and other Modern Idols - The Harvard Ichthus

Make the idols fall, O Lord!

Here are some words from Psalm 79, by Asaph, that jumped out at me this morning.

“Help us, O God of our salvation, for the glory of thy name: and deliver us, and purge away our sins, for thy name’s sake.”  —Psalm 79:9

Let it serve us as a prayer. Our country has been sold into the hands of evil and ungodly persons.

“Wherefore should the heathen say, Where is their God? let Him be known among the heathen in our sight by the revenging of the blood of thy servants…” (v. 10)

Not for our sake, Lord–we need your forgiveness!–but for your own great name’s sake, for your honor and glory’s sake, overthrow the heathen and destroy their enterprise.

In Jesus’ name, Amen.

All of These Are Gone…

TIMELINE AND HISTORY OF ASIA MINOR (ANATOLIA)

What do all these nations have in common?

Edomites, Elamites, Philistines, Lydians, Phrygians, Lycaonians, Bithynians, Seleucid Empire, Ptolemaic Empire,  Sabaeans, Carthaginians, Carians, Lycians, Phoenicians… and believe me, the list could be three or four times longer.

But what do they all have in common?

They were all contemporaneous with Israel/Judah–enemies, allies, competitors.

And today they’re all gone. Wiped off the map. Their DNA is still floating around, but their cultures, their languages, their traditions, have vanished.

But Israel is still here. Most of those nations, at one time or another, were much richer, much stronger, than Israel or Judah. Some of them created empires. But they’re all gone.

Did God say He would preserve a remnant of Israel?

Did God say He would plant them back in the land that He had given them?

Cimmerians, Mysians, Moabites, Chittim, Perizzites, Dardanians…