VIDEO Do not be Afraid, Stand Still

Sept 3, 2013

Do not be Afraid, Stand Still by Rich Moore

Zechariah 4:6 So he answered and said to me: “This is the word of the Lord to Zerubbabel: ‘Not by might nor by power, but by My Spirit,’ Says the Lord of hosts.

Exodus 14:13 And Moses said to the people, “Do not be afraid. Stand still, and see the salvation of the Lord, which He will accomplish for you today. For the Egyptians whom you see today, you shall see again no more forever.

John 15:9 “As the Father loved Me, I also have loved you; abide in My love. 10 If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love, just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love.

The Nature of Degeneration

Just as through one man sin entered the world, and death through sin, and thus death spread to all men, because all sinned . . . —Romans 5:12

The Bible does not say that God punished the human race for one man’s sin, but that the nature of sin, namely, my claim to my right to myself, entered into the human race through one man. But it also says that another Man took upon Himself the sin of the human race and put it away— an infinitely more profound revelation (see Hebrews 9:26). The nature of sin is not immorality and wrongdoing, but the nature of self-realization which leads us to say, “I am my own god.” This nature may exhibit itself in proper morality or in improper immorality, but it always has a common basis— my claim to my right to myself. When our Lord faced either people with all the forces of evil in them, or people who were clean-living, moral, and upright, He paid no attention to the moral degradation of one, nor any attention to the moral attainment of the other. He looked at something we do not see, namely, the nature of man (see John 2:25).

Sin is something I am born with and cannot touch— only God touches sin through redemption. It is through the Cross of Christ that God redeemed the entire human race from the possibility of damnation through the heredity of sin. God nowhere holds a person responsible for having the heredity of sin, and does not condemn anyone because of it. Condemnation comes when I realize that Jesus Christ came to deliver me from this heredity of sin, and yet I refuse to let Him do so. From that moment I begin to get the seal of damnation. “This is the condemnation [and the critical moment], that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light . . . ” (John 3:19).

by Oswald Chambers

Contending for the Faith and the Genesis Mandate

Believers are commanded to share the gospel, but they sometimes face political obstacles when they try to “earnestly contend for the faith.”1

For example, in the early 1800s missionary William Carey, the Father of Modern Missions, began evangelizing India’s prodigious population. But despite heroic efforts, his work was frustrated by colonial politics. British colonial policy forbade introducing any activity that disturbed local customs, and his translating of the Holy Bible into Hindi was already aggravating some indigenous customs. Carey’s Great Commission work was being derailed in the name of social stability.

One local Hindu convention was the horrid practice of burning widows alive—after they had been drugged and immobilized—on their husbands’ funeral pyres. This widow-killing (sati) was an unquenchable grief to William Carey and his friends, as was his frustration year after year at failing to effectively evangelize Hindu Indians.

The dreadful widow-burning custom was essentially a culturally imposed violation of the Genesis mandate. God’s command in Genesis 9:1-7 to Noah and his family after they left the Ark was a new mandate to populate the earth and to treat innocent human life as sacred. Not only was killing the widows clearly murder (or at least a form of assisted suicide), it also prevented those same widows from remarrying and obeying the post-Flood command to “be fruitful and multiply.”

Carey needed a political breakthrough, and it occurred through the hand of a government official—a Danish colonial governor named Ole Bie.

Danish civil-rights activist, Colonel Ole Bie, was an active coalition partner of England’s William Carey (and a few others), in the successful lobbying of India’s traditional (and colonial) laws, to prohibit the widow-burning practice of seti [also spelled suttee or sati], a political blessing to countless women of India, not to mention all descendants of their children born after they (as surviving widows) remarried.2

Colonial Bie was a compassionate Lutheran Christian who valued the groundbreaking evangelical work that Carey and his American Baptist allies strove to accomplish in India. How did Bie “defend the faith” and further the Great Commission?

Colonel Bie gave Carey political asylum in the Danish trade colony of Serampore. Bie even provided financial support to Carey from his governmental resources by employing him as the Danish governor’s gardener, which also gave Carey diplomat-like passport privileges. Carey’s Danish employee status protected him from British government persecutions—and this enabled Carey to complete his pioneering Bible translations, to teach native children Christianity, and even to establish Serampore College in 1818.

Finally, after many years of tireless political lobbying by Carey, Bie, and others, the British government banned the widow-burning custom of sati—a huge blessing to India’s posterity, especially for all descendants of the surviving widows who remarried!2

Is Ole Bie famous as a “big” player in world politics, as a public servant in India? No. But like Nehemiah, Colonel Bie performed an important work by defending the faith thoughtfully and persistently. Surely the archives of eternity will prove that the cause-and-effect chain of dominoes set in motion by Colonel Bie’s activism in the little Danish colony of Serampore greatly advanced both the Genesis mandate and the Great Commission.

Sometimes those who “earnestly contend for the faith” need some political help. William Carey’s and Ole Bie’s work provides a perfect example of contending earnestly for the faith while promoting Genesis mandate values.

References

Compare Matthew 28:18-20 with Jude 1:3. Consistent with Genesis 9:1-7 and Psalm 102:18, the faith can be defended by those who also defend innocent humans and their posterity.
Johnson, J. J. S. January 2006. Dominoes of Destiny: Danish Historical Impacts and Precedents. Baltic Heritage Review, 9. The British colonial government finally decreed the practice of sati (widow-burning) illegal in 1829.

This article is adapted from a lesson in the online Associate of Christian Education program of ICR’s School of Biblical Apologetics (SOBA).

* Dr. Johnson is Associate Professor of Apologetics and Chief Academic Officer at the Institute for Creation Research.

Cite this article: James J. S. Johnson, J.D., Th.D. 2014. Contending for the Faith and the Genesis Mandate. Acts & Facts. 43 (5).

First Things First

“But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.” (Matthew 6:33)

There are innumerable things to do and things to buy and things to read. How does one choose between them? An important guideline is the use of the word “first” in the New Testament. For example, consider the following priority items.

Priority in awareness: “Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers . . . saying, Where is the promise of his coming? for . . . all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation” (2 Peter 3:3-4). The primary intellectual heresy of these latter times is the anti-God philosophy of naturalistic evolutionism, as succinctly outlined in this passage.

Priority in behavior: “Cleanse first that which is within the cup and the platter, that the outside of them may be clean also” (Matthew 23:26). The thoughts of our hearts will inevitably control the words on our lips and the works of our hands.

Priority in giving: “[They] first gave their own selves to the Lord” (2 Corinthians 8:5). One’s possessions, talents, time, and all other resources belong to the Lord, but such gifts are acceptable to God only when offered by one whose heart first has been given fully to Him.

Priority in witness: “For I delivered unto you first of all . . . how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day” (1 Corinthians 15:3-4).

Priority in concern: “I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men” (1 Timothy 2:1).

Finally, as the Lord Jesus Himself has commanded, our first priority in every decision should be to do that which honors the kingdom of Christ and His righteousness. HMM

It is a good thing to give thanks unto the Lord, and to sing praises unto His name

It is a good thing to give thanks unto the Lord, and to sing praises unto Thy name, O most High: to show forth Thy loving kindness in the morning, and Thy faithfulness every night.— Psalm 92:1, 2.

PRAISE to the Holiest in the height, And in the depth be praise, In all His words most wonderful, Most sure in all His ways. JOHN HENRY NEWMAN.

IF our hearts were tuned to praise, we should see causes unnumbered, which we had never seen before, for thanking God. Thanksgiving is spoken of as a “sacrifice well pleasing unto God.” It is a far higher offering than prayer. When we pray we ask for things which we want; or we tell out our sorrows. We pray in order to bring down blessings upon ourselves; we praise, because our hearts overflow with love to God, and we must speak it out to Him. It flows out of pure love, and then the love goes back to our hearts, and warms them anew, and revives and quickens them. PRISCILLA MAURICE.

Learn the lesson of thanksgiving. It is due to God, it is due to ourselves. Thanksgiving for the past makes us trustful in the present and hopeful for the future. What He has done is the pledge of what He will do. A. C. A. HALL.

Yet a little while, (Gr. how little, how little,) and he that shall come will come, and will not tarry

Yet a little while, (Gr. how little, how little,) and he that shall come will come, and will not tarry. Hebrews 10:37

Write the vision, and make it plain upon tables, that he may run that readeth it. For the vision is yet for an appointed time, but at the end it shall speak, and not lie: though it tarry, wait for it because it will surely come, it will not tarry.

Beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentence. — Thou, O Lord, art a God full of compassion, and gracious, longsuffering and plenteous in mercy and truth. — Oh that thou wouldest rend the heavens, that thou wouldest come down. For since the beginning of the world men have not heard, nor perceived by the ear, neither hath the eye seen, O God, beside thee, what he hath prepared for him that waiteth for him.

Habakkuk 2:2,3. 2 Peter 3:8,9. Psalm 86:15. Isaiah 64:1,4.

Call upon me in the day of trouble: I will deliver thee, and thou shalt glorify me

Call upon me in the day of trouble: I will deliver thee, and thou shalt glorify me. Psalm 50:15

Why art thou cast down, O my soul? and why art thou disquieted within me? hope thou in God: for I shall yet praise him, who is the health of my countenance, and my God. — LORD, thou hast heard the desire of the humble: thou wilt prepare their heart, thou wilt cause thine ear to hear. — For thou, Lord, art good, and ready to forgive; and plenteous in mercy unto all them that call upon thee.

Jacob said unto his household, … Let us arise and go up to Bethel; and I will make there an altar unto God, who answered me in the day of my distress, and was with me in the way which I went. — Bless the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits.

I love the LORD, because he hath heard my voice and my supplications. Because he hath inclined his ear unto me, therefore will I call upon him as long as I live. The sorrows of death compassed me, and the pains of hell gat hold upon me: I found trouble and sorrow. Then called I on the name of the LORD.

Psalm 42:11. Psalm 10:17. Psalm 86:5. Genesis 35:2,3. Psalm 103:2. Psalm 116:14.