Friday, March 25, 2011


From the time that he challenged and defeated Goliath, until the hour of his death at age 70, King David was known as a leader of men, a soldier of soldiers, and a man after God's own heart.

As the great King came to the hour of his death he honored the men that stood with him in battle. These were soldiers who had not flinched in the heat of the battle. They were men who refused to surrender. They were men who would not give up, give in, or give out.

Adino was an Eznite. In an incredible display of strength and prowess he lifted up his spear and killed 800 men in one battle.

Shammah, the son of Agee, stood his ground even though all the other Israeli soldiers deserted him. The Bible tells us that he stood in a field of lentils and slew all the Philistines so that "The Lord wrought a great victory."

Eleazar also stood and fought against the Philistines when his fellow soldiers cowardly ran away. The Scriptures tell us, "He arose and smote the Philistines until his hand was weary, and his hand cleave unto the sword: and the Lord wrought a great victory that day; and the people returend after him only to spoil." (2 Samuel 23:9ff)

These great victories were won by great soldiers--soldiers that fought with COURAGE, with TENACITY, and TO THE BITTER END! They refused to accept defeat. They fought valiently, and they won the victory!

As surely as great victories on the battlefields of Israel were fought and won by men of courage, of tenacity, and determination, so today GREAT SPIRITUAL VICTORIES ARE WON BY MEN OF COURAGE, MEN WITH CONFIDENCE, AND MEN WHO REFUSE TO LET GO OF THEIR SWORDS UNTIL THERE IS VICTORY!

The songwriter had it right!

The fight is on, O Christian soldier,
And face to face in stern array,
With armor gleaming, and colors streaming,
The right and wrong engage today.

The fight is on, but be not weary,
Be strong and in His might hold fast;
If God be for us, His banner o'er us,
We'll sing the victor's song at last.

The Apostle Paul knew that ours was a spiritual fight. "We wrestle 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."

He urged God's people to put on the whole armor of God--a belt of TRUTH, a breastplate of RIGHTEOUSNESS, shoes of THE GOSPEL OF PEACE, a shield of FAITH, the helmet of SALVATION, and the sword of the Spirit which is THE WORD OF GOD! (Ephesians 6:10-18).

Today we need people with COURAGE! Godly men and women who recognize the danger posed by the enemy of man's soul and who will press forward in the conflict!

The spirit of the courageous is wonderfully captured by Charles Wesley:
Faith, mighty faith, the promise sees,
And looks to that alone!
Laughs at impossibilities,
And cries it shall be done!

We need men and women with CONFIDENCE! From the beginning of human history the enemy has tried to undermine the confidence of God's people. Too often our lack of confidence defeats us on the spiritual battlefields. Churches lose their raison d'etre, Pastors lose their flocks, parents lose their children, Individuals lose their way, simply because they lose their confidence in the Christ of the Gospel.

Today we witness a serious lack of confidence in our cause? "Should we be so sure of our Church?" Too many lack confidence in the Scriptures? "Should we be so sure of God's infallible and unfailing Word?" And a growing number in our nation lack confidence in our Christ. "Should we believe that He is 'the way, the truth, and the life.'?" (John 14:6)

Great victories are never won with a weak grip. PERSEVERENCE IS ESSENTIAL TO VICTORY!

The Apostle Paul does not say, "I'm pretty sure I know whom I've believed." He declares, "I know whom I have believed and am persuaded that He is able to keep that which I have committed unto Him against that day." (2 Timothy 1:12).

You never read the Apostle confessing, "I'm not too ashamed of the Gospel of Christ." He said, "I am not ashamed of the Gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God unto salvation to everyone that believeth." (Romans 1:16).

He never writes, "I determined to know nothing..." But he did write, "I determined not to know anything among you, save Jesus Christ and Him crucified." (1 Corinthians 2:2).

So today we would urge God's people who are in the midst of the great spiritual conflict of ages, CLEAVE TO THE SWORD like Eleazar.

GRIP IT until your knuckles are white and your fingers are glued to the handle.


Grip it when the enemy says "give up!"
Grip it when the enemy says "you'll never win!"
Grip it when the enemy says "there's no hope"
Grip it when the enemy says, "you're going crazy."

Grip it when the enemy says, "your side is too small to prevail."
Grip it when the enemy says, "let's be reasonable here."
Grip it when the enemy says, "don't be too radical."
Grip it when the enemy says, "stay away from God's house and God's people."

Grip it when the enemy says, "you could win more if you weren't so separated from the world."
Grip it when the enemy says, "do what feels good."
Grip it when the enemy says, "holiness is optional."
Grip it when the enemy says, "a little sin is nothing."

Grip it when the enemy says, "you've messed up this far, you might as well go all the way."
Grip it when the enemy says, "leave your husband, or divorce your wife."
Grip it when the enemy says, "blend the genders and mix their roles."
Grip it when the enemy says, "perversion is straight and straight is perverse."

Grip it when the enemy says, "fit in, don't stand out."

And grip it until you cross from the battlefields of this life into the splendid streets of glory! It will be worth it all when we see Christ.

Oft times the day seems long, our trials hard to bear,
We're tempted to complain, to murmur and despair,
But Christ will soon appear, to catch His bride away,
All tears forever over, in God's eternal day.

It will be worth it all, when we see Jesus.
Life's trials will seem so small, when we see Christ!
One glimpse of His dear face, all sorrow will erase,
So bravely run the race, till we see Christ! By Esther Rusthoi

Wednesday, March 23, 2011


In Sevres, France the International Bureau of Weights and Measures guards "the only remaining international standard in the metric system that is still a man-made object." (The New York Times). That 130 year old object is a cylinder of platinum and iridium precisely honed to equal one standard kilogram. It is kept under three glass domes, accessible by three separate keys. The problem: It has been losing mass. The constant is no longer constant. (Imprimis, February 2011).

Some are recommending that since the standard has been degraded, we should change our definition of a kilogram to match the diminishing mass of the corroded cylinder. Change is inevitable they argue.

Others are proposing that we introduce a "floating standard" of the kilogram. They suggest that the measure of a kilogram should be "floated" over time to reflect the expectations of consumers, the preferences of producers, and the needs of the scientific community. Definitions are relative they urge.

And then there are those who maintain that under no circumstances should we alter our definition of a kilogram. They point to the fact that since we have an historic record of the standard, it would be improper and imprudent to redefine the kilogram. For them the standard is neither mutable nor relative. It is objective, unchanging, and definite.

Redefining the weight of a kilogram simply because one particular cylinder, albeit a very important cylinder, is no longer measuring up to the historic standard would be the height of folly.

But a greater folly, or travesty, is promoted by those who insist that we should revise the definition of a Christian or of Christianity, simply because some particular professing Christians are no longer measuring up to the standard so clearly spelled out in God's Word, and faithfully practiced by the faithful over the past twenty one centuries.

Those who suppose that "change is inevitable," believe that accomondation with the world is not only expected but expedient. "Relevance" is their mantra. Like those who are calling for the redefinition of the kilogram based on the diminishing standard cylinder in France, they seem oblivious to the immediate and future consequences of accepting and promoting this falacious standard.

The danger inherit in this "change mentality," was dramatically illustrated this week when one Houston, Texas group advertised "Christian Pole Dancing" classes with discounts for those who bring Church bulletins to class. Then there is the specter of "Christian gangsta rap," "Christian night clubs," and "Christian pool parties." It all sounds so outlandish. Yet it is inevitable when change is considered progressive and consistency is thought to be regressive.

Nowhere is this more plainly and painfully evident than in our teaching regarding marriage. In our effort to be charitable to those who find themselves unhappily married we have attempted to redefine what our Lord defines in no uncertain terms: "But from the beginning of the creation God made them male and female. For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother and cleave to his wife, and they two shall be one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together let not man put asunder." (Mark 10:6-10). It is amazing to see how many Christians who stridently insist on the separation of Church and State are perfectly willing to allow the state ot dissolve what God has called "one flesh."

Once we have rejected the Lord's instruction regarding the duration of marriage, every other aspect of marriage is open for redefinition. "What constitutes a marriage?" "Who is qualified or allowed to be married?"And even, "What is the purpose of marriage?" These questions are no longer answered by "What does the Bible say?" Instead, convenience, expedience, and lenience dictate our answers.

Those who suggest that a "relative standard"should apply to our definition of Christian are certainly in the majority. But as is often the case, the majority is wrong. "Wide is the gate, and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and many there be that go in thereat." (Matthew 7:13).

Rather than contending for a Christian culture that stands above all other cultures, they create a mutant form of the faith that inculcates the mores and customs of their culture into their version of Christianity. This explains the sorry statistics compiled by George Barna on the non existent differences between professing Christians and non-Christians when it comes to personal and public morality. It also explains why the teachings regarding gender, modesty, and separation from the world are most notable for their absence.

The faithful few who "contend for the faith once delivered unto the saints,"(Jude 3) and lift high the standard, are those who know that man cannot alter God's Word.

God says, "Be ye holy," (Leviticus 20:7, 1 Peter 1:15,16), so they "Pursue peace with all men and holiness without which no man shall see the Lord." (Hebrews 12:14).

They are more interested in bringing themselves into conformity with God's Word, than they are in adapting God's Word to conform with their lives. "Holiness unto the Lord!" is their watchword and song.

Messing with man's standard of weights and measurements will have no eternal consequence. But messing with God's standard of righteousness and holiness will undoubtedly deceive and damn multitudes.

"From this standard we will not depart, Holiness forevermore!
'Tis the song of the purified in heart, Holiness forevermore!
Holiness forevermore! Holiness forevermore!
We will sing it, shout it, preach it, and live it!
Holiness forevermore!
Haldor Lillenas 1885-1959

Saturday, March 12, 2011


Daniel Hannan, a member of the European Parliament from Great Britain, plainly warns America of the dangers in following in the footsteps of Europe. Writing in today's Wall Street Journal (Saturday, March 12, 2011), Hannan asserts that our President is determined to fundamentally change our nation into "a fairer America, a more tolerant America, a less arrogant America, and a more engaged America." We have only begun to reap the sorry harvest of his virulent initiative.

As a spiritual watchman, I am continually impressed with the amazing correspondence we find between the world politic and the world of Christendom. It is as though the enemy of mankind is as intent on destroying social progress and political freedom, as he is in demoralizing and defeating the Cause of Christ.

Too often Bible believers have been cowtowed into submission by a culture that insists Christian be more "fair." We are labeled bigots for our uncompromising stand with the Word of God.

The "Tolerance" agenda has wreaked havoc within our ranks. We are considered "close-minded" and "out of step" for standing with the Lord against sin and unrighteousness.

We are berated for our absolute confidence in God's Word and charged with "arrogance" when we stand unashamedly and confess, "All Scripture is given by inspiration of God," and Jesus is "the way, the truth, and the life."

And, just as America's leadership today values the opinion of the world community more than the virtue of right thinking and moral action, so within the Church those who dare to stand up and stand alone, are mocked as "lone-rangers" and "uncooperative." Hear the Word of God, "Come out from among them and be ye separate, and touch not the unclean thing." Rather than looking around, those of us who are Christ's look up for our directions. The Scriptures are replete with the examples of those who failed because they looked around and went along with the crowd (i.e. Lot's wife, The 10 Spies, Saul, and backslidden Israel) and those who were blessed because they looked up and stood alone (i.e. Abraham, The 2 spies, David, and Daniel).

It is assumed that the impetus for a compromised church rests within the mores and convictions of an increasingly godless culture--a culture that in Justice Robert Bork' view is "slouching towards Gomorrah." BUT IT IS OUR CONVICTION THAT THE POLITICAL AND CULTURAL AND SOCIAL DECAY WE ARE WITNESSING, IS AT IT'S ROOT A SPIRITUAL PROBLEM.

We are praying that God's Church will,
1. Reclaim her uncompromising allegiance to the infallible Word,
2. Renew her commitment to Christ--crucified, risen, and coming again, and
3. Experience Revival that is Spirit-driven (not worked up by crowd psychology, slick technology, or feel-good-without-being good theology)

Our enemy is real and he is powerful. But our Christ is real, our cause is right, and the "gates of hell will not prevail against" His confessing Church.