I have been enjoying the posts by Harvey Troyer (and right now the History Channel is covering this subject too) and wanted to comment about that basic subject with the following as a backdrop:
The other night as I sometimes will, I once again was wondering why God would have chosen me for salvation being so aware of my unworthiness. His answer came to me to read the scripture where Jesus prays to the Father and thanks Him for hiding the truth from the “wise and prudent” but revealing it unto babes. This was when I was going to sleep so the next morning I got my Bible to look up that scripture and found it in Matthew chapter 11 (included below).
I find it very significant and interesting in light of Harvey’s recent posts because of the way that Jesus describes us, His chosen ones in contrast to the ones of this world who are self-proclaimed wise and enlightened ones. I believe Jesus describes these as “children sitting in the market place and calling to their fellows etc.” These “children” are desiring to call the shots as to when it is time to dance and when it is time to mourn and they get very upset when we do not follow their directions because we do not recognize their authority over us. We know that they are but foolish children making up foolish games that have no genuine impact upon our relationship with our maker and can only serve to distract from the correct connection and relationship we desire to maintain with God through Jesus Christ. All of their rituals and symbols and beliefs and activities are so much foolishness to us whom they regard as foolish and unlearned. How ironic!
I remember an experience I had as a kid many years ago at a party I attended that may serve as a sort of example of what is going on here on a large scale. Someone’s parents were away for the weekend and their house became the location for a party and was soon filled with kids all drinking and having fun and a live band was playing in the dining room where the table and chairs would normally be. The audience was packed in from the front of the “stage” to the back of the living room and beyond. After repeated interruptions of the band’s music because the over-flowing crowd was being pushed into the band and getting in their way, the “leaders” at the party finally came up with a solution. They tied a rope across two posts just in front of the band to designate an “official boundary” between the band and the audience which they said no one was allowed to cross without their permission. Strangely enough, the formerly rowdy crowd was now respectfully recognizing the rope as a true boundary and the band was able to play uninterrupted from that point on. Everything was going fine until the police showed up as they usually did for these types of parties, and they began to break up the party and told the band to stop playing and that everyone should leave. All at once, a loud drunk individual began to get into the big cop’s face and with slurred speech began to explain to the cop that he cannot bust up this party “because we are staying behind the rope!” Everyone began to laugh at this guy the more he protested to the cop because everyone knew what he failed to realize, that the rope was our own invention and had no real authority that the police would recognize as anything of consequence. So just because we were staying peaceably behind the rope did not mean that we should be allowed to continue our party. But the drunk thought that this made perfect sense to him. I get the feeling that this is what Jesus thinks of the “elite” of this world who are following rules that are just like that rope rule. They think that their authority is real and makes them something that should be recognized and they will be surprised when the real authority shows up and doesn’t recognize their false one.
Jesus says they are like children but He does not stop there, He says children in the market place. This conjures up an image for me, first seeing it as in Jesus’ day as children playing in the kind of market place that might have been common then. But then I could just as easily see it projected forward to our day as children in the modern market place of Wall Street. The picture was one of children playing in a place where they had no business being but treating it as though they were more important than the real business going on around them. The market place, whether in Jesus day consisting of various booths and carts full of produce and foods and goods for sale, lining busy streets full of the throngs of buyers; or that of our day being Wall Street where the exchanging of stocks worldwide goes on, both examples would be places where children playing would be most out of place. I believe that the point Jesus was making was that the market place refers to that unseen arena of our world where God and Satan are both in a very heated contest over the very souls of men. Jesus preaches repentance towards Him and away from the sins and ways of this world while Satan constantly tempts us away from God and to our own way. What is more important than this “market place”? Yet in the midst of this important place of buying and selling, here come these children (world rulers and elitists) calling out their silly made-up rules of conduct whether it is piping music and calling the dance or playing a dirge and calling a time of mourning and expecting to be followed. Their games are completely made-up and of no true importance to God’s true kingdom and how to be right with God, yet they have placed them above all of God’s authority. The Pharisees were doing this in Jesus day and even used themselves and their opinion as a proof that Jesus could not be true:
47. Then answered them the Pharisees, Are ye also deceived?
48. Have any of the rulers or of the Pharisees believed on him?
49. But this people who knoweth not the law are cursed.
They were so sure of their own position and knowledge that if they agreed that Jesus was not from God then that settled it. They even called those who did believe on Jesus “cursed” because they lacked the same knowledge that they themselves possessed. Likewise these “enlightened ones” of the elite have considered their own rituals and rules to be of highest importance and call us names who do not share their beliefs (just as they did John The Baptist and Jesus).
Anyway, this for me puts Harvey’s posts and that whole subject in such a clear perspective.
21. Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened.
23. And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things.
24. Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves:
25. Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen.
26. For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature:
27. And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet.
28. And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient;
29. Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers,
30. Backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents,
31. Without understanding, covenantbreakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful:
32. Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them.
I rejoice in the wisdom of God along with our Lord for revealing His truth to us babes and hiding it from these “enlightened ones”.
1. And it came to pass, when Jesus had made an end of commanding his twelve disciples, he departed thence to teach and to preach in their cities.
2. Now when John had heard in the prison the works of Christ, he sent two of his disciples,
3. And said unto him, Art thou he that should come, or do we look for another?
4. Jesus answered and said unto them, Go and shew John again those things which ye do hear and see:
5. The blind receive their sight, and the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, and the deaf hear, the dead are raised up, and the poor have the gospel preached to them.
7. And as they departed, Jesus began to say unto the multitudes concerning John, What went ye out into the wilderness to see? A reed shaken with the wind?
8. But what went ye out for to see? A man clothed in soft raiment? behold, they that wear soft clothing are in kings' houses.
9. But what went ye out for to see? A prophet? yea, I say unto you, and more than a prophet.
10. For this is he, of whom it is written, Behold, I send my messenger before thy face, which shall prepare thy way before thee.
11. Verily I say unto you, Among them that are born of women there hath not risen a greater than John the Baptist: notwithstanding he that is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he.
12. And from the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffereth violence, and the violent take it by force.
13. For all the prophets and the law prophesied until John.
14. And if ye will receive it, this is Elias, which was for to come.
15. He that hath ears to hear, let him hear.
20. Then began he to upbraid the cities wherein most of his mighty works were done, because they repented not:
21. Woe unto thee, Chorazin! woe unto thee, Bethsaida! for if the mighty works, which were done in you, had been done in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago in sackcloth and ashes.
22. But I say unto you, It shall be more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon at the day of judgment, than for you.
23. And thou, Capernaum, which art exalted unto heaven, shalt be brought down to hell: for if the mighty works, which have been done in thee, had been done in Sodom, it would have remained until this day.
24. But I say unto you, That it shall be more tolerable for the land of Sodom in the day of judgment, than for thee.
In verses 20-24 Jesus speaks of the true judgment that is coming and who will be tolerated more than others and He then thanks the Father for revealing the understanding of these things to babes as I have said.
In verse 28 above, Jesus promises rest to whoever will come to Him. This rest that Jesus offers is to those who are laboring and heavy ladened under the power of these foolish ones of this world. These leaders on the other hand desire to keep us under their control and playing their meaningless, foolish and unprofitable games. We can wake up to the fact that we do not need them and their rules and games. We have a choice of whom to recognize as having authority over our lives; either these “children” who take their orders from cruel fallen angels, or our loving Father God our maker who through Jesus Christ promises us an easy yoke and a light burden. When we choose God, Jesus delivers us from having to bear the burdens placed upon us by these elite leaders of this world. By knowledge given of the Holy Spirit we escape the corruption that is in this world ultimately to be known at the rapture!
2 Peter 1:
3. According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue:
4. Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.