Your Almighty Friend! – Octavius Winslow


Your Almighty Friend!

(From Octavius Winslow’s, “Christ, the Mighty God”)

Because Jesus is the Almighty God, His
people have an Almighty Burden Bearer.

We are a burdened people.

Every believer carries a burden peculiar to himself.

What is your burden, O believer?
Is it indwelling sin?
Is it some natural infirmity of the flesh?
Is it a constitutional weakness?
Is it some domestic trial?
Is it a personal or relative trial?
Is it the loss of property?
Is it the decay of health?
Is it soul anxiety?
Is it mental despondency?

Come, oppressed and burdened believer,
ready to give up all and sink! Behold Jesus,
the Almighty God, omnipotent to transfer
your burden to Himself, and give you rest!

It is well that you are sensible of the pressure,
that you feel your weakness and insufficiency,
and that you are brought to the end of all your
own power.

Now turn to your Almighty Friend, who is
the Creator of the ends of the earth, even
the everlasting God, who does not faint,
neither is weary.

How precious is the promise addressed to you!
“He gives power to those who are tired and worn
out; he offers strength to the weak. Even youths
will become exhausted, and young men will give up.
But those who wait on the Lord will find new strength.
They will fly high on wings like eagles. They will run
and not grow weary. They will walk and not faint.”

Oh, what strength there is in Jesus for the
weak, and faint, and drooping of His flock!

You are ready to succumb to your foes,
and you think the battle of faith is lost.

Cheer up! Jesus, your Savior, friend, and brother,
is “the Almighty God,” and will perfect His strength
in your weakness. The battle is not yours but His!

Jesus sustains our infirmities, bears our
burdens, supplies our needs, and encircles
us with the shield of His Almightiness!

What a Divine spring of consolation and strength
to the tired and afflicted saint is the Almightiness
of Jesus. Your sorrow is too deep, your affliction
too heavy, your difficulty too great for any human
to resolve. It distances in its intensity and magnitude
the sympathy and the power of man.

Come, you tossed with tempest and not comforted;
come, you whose spirit is wounded, whose heart is
broken, whose mind is bowed down to the dust, and
hide for a little while within Christ’s sheltering

Jesus is equal to your condition.

His strength is almighty!
His love is almighty!
His grace is almighty!
His sympathy is almighty!
His arm is almighty!
His resources are infinite, fathomless, measureless!

And all this Almightiness is on your side, and will
bring you through the fire and through the water.

Almighty to rescue, He is also your Brother and Friend
to sympathize. And while His Divine arm encircles,
upholds, and keeps you; His human soul, touched
with the feeling of your infirmities, yearns over
you with all the deep intensity of its compassionate

Posted in Encouragement/Scripture | Tagged , | 8 Comments

The Oppression of Youth And Dominionism

From Blogger Galations 4

One caveat before I begin this one, this post is not about all parents that happen to go to Dominionist focused churches, there are people even within those churches who dearly love their children and treat them right but trends that are happening with different areas and with some teachers. I am going to be taking on multiple trends, they all come out of circles of Dominionist influenced “Christianity” and to me show how the totalitarianism of Dominionism is not just intended for the political order but the family as well.

More and more you see abuse out there put under false “Christian” guises. That is a major problem but in Dominionism, there is definitely an emphasis on extreme authoritarian parenting that is growing. One thing about young people, too many Christian parents think they can *make* them be Christian and *force* them to be good people. It’s not going to happen. Only God can truly convict hearts and every individual’s faith must be personal, it does not come about via Mom or Dad. It doesn’t happen that way. A grown child or child needs to be born again themselves, and in freedom, train a child in the way they should go as the Bible states but the Bible also states this:

Eph 6:4 And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.
Notice one of the words NURTURE??

One of the most evil two words together I have always seen is the misnomer known as TOUGH LOVE. You wonder who came up with that one? While I can understand parents not giving into to their drug addicted grown-child’s demands, much of tough love was forwarded for the younger set. As if this world isn’t tough enough, in pummeling the young person with unemployment, coldness, and endless competition just to survive, instead of parents being told comfort and help their children, they are told to be tougher, and hard. While children should be brought up with some responsibility, and self reliance, things really got out of whack here. How much of this was used to undermine natural family ties of love and affection?

While decent parents may face times when it is necessary to let an older grown child go in making their own decisions that are ungodly, and deal with children who are facing other problems, there is something seriously wrong out there, in that too many parents think they can CONTROL their children and even grown children and force them into submission.Too many are making it about breaking the child’s will in fact that is the focus, to break the will of the child, so they become a broken person, to submit and bring total unthinking blind obedience. The seeds of Dominionism, are not just for the government and politicians, they are working on the social order, the families and have for decades.

I have talked about how in Vision Forum and patriarchy has been advanced where obedience to one’s father [not the Heavenly Father] is put at the top of the list even for grown women and adult sons. Actually few realize all this total obedience is just how Islam does it in their fundamentalist circles for women, where even a widow must obey her grown son. Vision Forum advances total patriarchal obedience this is sold to well meaning people under the guise of ‘protection’. Of course Vision Forum never addresses the problems of abusive fathers, or ones who may not even be Christian, or the oddness in a grown woman never becoming her own person. The reality is that if you remain unmarried and at home “obeying”, that one day, your parents will die from old age and when people hit their middle years, this is more common then not. This website is right about this aspect of Vision Forum:

Young women will be protected from the debauchery of college men, Vision Forum promises – if they stay home and obey their fathers. Middle aged women will be free from the pressure to conform to an idealized image of sexy, Vision Forum asserts – if they stay home and obey their husbands. What is this? You will be valued and protected if you surrender all your rights and obey your male authority? THIS is the solution Vision Forum offers!

This doesn’t sound so bad to a point, who doesn’t want a child to learn to be able to sit still, and listen to their teacher or to their parents or not spending hours bickering…But few have heard of something called “blanket training” and this is something the Duggars have used [I do not know if the Duggars use any of the physical punishments or not spoken of below]

One lady with seven children describes how to blanket train on her website, while some of her ideas are good like keeping children busy during long sermons looking for certain words, the blanket training methods seem pretty worrisome. Do not forget a child’s natural inclination is to explore the world around them, and this definitely puts a stop to that.

Blanket training” has been one of the most helpful tools for me! I only wish that I had heard about it before my 7th child came along!! The sweet lady who explained blanket training to me called it her “playpen in a purse”! This concept involves placing your baby or toddler on his/her favorite blanket, explaining to the best of their understanding that they must stay on their blanket, and then demonstrating the consequences of getting off the blanket with a small rod or switch. Simply switch the floor or carpet all around the outside edges of the blanket and firmly but sweetly say, “No, No! Don’t touch!” Give your child few favorite toys to keep his attention, and switch the toys out every little bit, and that child will learn to stay on his blanket for quite a long period of time. Begin with just 3 – 5 minutes with very young children, and after practicing every day for several weeks, he will build up his time to play happily on that blanket until he can stay there for an hour or more! What a joy and a help this was to me when I had the older 6 children in school and needed to spend time with them! The joy of this training is that you can fold that blanket up, put it in the diaper bag, and take it easily to a friend’s house, or visiting new church members, and your child will sit quietly without disrupting the visit! One of my pet peeves is when folks come to visit and just “unleash” their children to invade every room of your home! What chaos! This blanket training is easily converted to “church training” when you begin taking your young child into the services. Simply fold the blanket and put it on the pew and your child will already understand the limitations and rules!

Another website, describes blanket training more.

1: STAY ON THE BLANKET! Place the baby or small child on the blanket with a basket or Rubbermaid container full of items that are only taken out when blanket time is in session. Explain, even to babies, that they are to stay on the blanket and not get off or they will receive a small swat on the diaper. This may seem harsh, but the Bible clearly teaches that rods of discipline are to be used for training and discipline. With consistency your child will only require a few swats, at best. As soon as your baby or small child leaves the confines of the blanket, swat first and then explain gently as to why he or she was reprimanded. Place the child back on the blanket and repeat, as needed.

She writes on the website, the “swats” are to be light taps, I think it’s scary for someone to spank babies too young to know what is going on, and it’s very worrisome, notice the focus on CONTROL. Is doing what is easiest for parents, always best for the children? What about the child’s natural inclination to explore. What about natural interaction between mother and child, where the mother does not become a prison warden? Is that what these “Christian” parents want to be prison wardens of perfect little robotic step-ford children? Some of the rules are odd, in telling the other children not to talk to the “baby” being blanket trained. Many of this “training” is not starting at one year or two years, but for babies who are just starting to crawl.

While the Bible speaks of training [disciplining not training like a pet] a child, this definitely takes things way too far. Now the Duggars do seem to love their children, but one wonders how things will be for them as they grow up where so much of their lives have been directed and seemingly from a young age. One can see the blanket training still in operation. Are personalities of total obedience and repression healthy ones? That is something to think about.

To me it sums up some really weird attitudes out there in some areas of the “Christian” world about young people. Do some of these people even see children as unique human beings who have the same dignity in God’s eyes as themselves but happen to be younger ages? Do they see them as one day future adults who will have to stand on their own two feet? What is very odd to me, and I am thinking back to college psychology classes here, is that a lot of the “training” not just the blanket training seems to remind me of extreme godless psychology, especially from the branch called “Behaviorism” made famous by B.F.Skinner. He operated via Operant conditioning principles, the blanket training doesn’t seem to far off, to tell you the truth:

B. F. Skinner’s entire system is based on operant conditioning. The organism is in the process of “operating” on the environment, which in ordinary terms means it is bouncing around its world, doing what it does. During this “operating,” the organism encounters a special kind of stimulus, called a reinforcing stimulus, or simply a reinforcer. This special stimulus has the effect of increasing the operant — that is, the behavior occurring just before the reinforcer. This is operant conditioning: “the behavior is followed by a consequence, and the nature of the consequence modifies the organisms tendency to repeat the behavior in the future.”

His Skinner boxes used rats, but he wanted these things used on human beings, where reward and punishment would direct all behavior. I saw the use of such things even in a R.E.T. [Rational Emotive Therapy] System popularized by a different psychologist that was used in a secular school I worked in to the point that reward, demand and points were all scripted, and children not treated as individuals but had points mechanically assigned for good behavior and reduced for bad. If any of the staff deviated from the scripts [we had scripts we had to follow even during their misbehavior], we were to be reprimanded. In high school I remember reading Walden II where Skinner imagined a “new Utopian society” with use of his behaviorism. I have even known of schools of psychology where behaviorism was idealized and promoted at least 25 years ago. Hate to say it, but I see it’s tendrils having entered in all over the place with these youth schools, “Christian” child training programs and the rest.

When I read about some of the child training, nothing about it seems biblical, they throw out a few verses but who ever heard of blanket training for babies in the 1890s the period of time they love to invoke? Even the Pearls seem to use a few of these “behaviorist methods” where “negative stimuli is supposed to invoke desired behavior”…This one is pretty scary:

A tiny stimulus to direct the child when they are small is enough. For example, if a 3 month-old nursing baby bites, don’t spank. She does not know she did bad. Just gently pull a hair on her head. She will startle back in momentary discomfort and immediately start nursing again. The tiny bit of discomfort makes the baby relate the biting down with the gentle pulling of the hair. You have not made her obey, you have only conditioned her to respond differently. That is training.

and here too…

But they cannot be absolutely trained. Proper application of the rod is indispensable to communicating the divine principle of retributive justice, but any child, military man, employee, the neighbor’s kid, your dog, cat, or the birds in your yard can be trained through manipulating their relationship to their environment. Any creature that is self-motivated and has likes and dislikes can be trained if you are in a position to reward or deny any pleasure or need. Where humans are concerned you have the added tools of reason, moral persuasion, social persuasion, and conscience. Where it concerns those that are close to you, that is, they depend upon your fellowship for their mental satisfaction, you have the additional tools of persuasion and example.

Are parents supposed to “CONDITION” children or are they supposed to teach them in a loving fashion? How much of these teachings are based on CONDITIONING and inherited from the psychology world, where ‘conditioning” was used to ensure desired behaviors from animals and then translated onto children? The Pearls themselves even connect their methods to animal training and you can see multiple examples on the first page of their book “To Train Up a Child”.

Here we see the promotion of things, that lead to more disconnection between humans. One part of human growth is learning to be connected and loved by their first care givers. It is supposed to be about a relationship not about control and a long list of rules. Even thinking regarding one’s relationship with God and what that is to entail, you wonder how these people went this way.

Where is the humanity in all of this stuff? Why have parents be ‘drill sergeants” instead of loving, teaching, providing care or preparing young people for an independent adult life. While parents do have to put down some consequences for bad behavior and teach children right from wrong, total control is wrong. A true Christian adult life, should be directed at the Lord’s behest, conviction via the Holy Spirit, not just following a long series of rules, that others have set up for you or via CONDITIONING that started in infancy to keep you compliant. It shouldn’t be about not allowing you to grow up.

There is some natural separating from children and their parents as they grow into adulthood, seeing this suppressed so adamantly is scary. If you want your child to be a Christian telling them, you better be a Christian [or else!] isn’t going to cut it. Telling them follow these rules with no rhyme or reason, will not lead to a life where they are directed by God. Thinking that over-controlling them will keep them from sin is wrong, in fact it will actually open many of them to more open rebellion. You must lead by example and with love. Once your child is of age, while you may seek to instruct and influence, their decisions are to be their own.

What happens when all life life long conditioning takes precedent, and extreme sheltering and dependence come out in wash? One odd aspect of these movements seems to take sheltering the young people blocking their eyes, or ears, or brains from even knowing anything that happens in the outside world. Here is an example of a book written for Dominionist parents.

8 The Concept of Sheltering 103
9 The Biblical Basis of Sheltering 115
10 Our Example and Instruction
As Parents 129
11 Sheltering from the Negative Influences of Things 139
12 Sheltering from Negative Influences of People 151
13 Sheltering from Other
Negative Influences 169
14 The Reality of Our
Sheltering Choices 187

Do they really expect their children to be able to cope with the world, hiding them from everything. I can understand guarding your child’s eyes and ears from things they are not ready for, violence, sex on TV and movies, and protecting them from things that would harm them even physically AND emotionally, but there is a line where over-protection gets carried away and where it becomes about locking that child’s mind up. Untested “Christianity” remains facile, if they do not even know the existence of other religions or the deceptions people can fall into, if they are left ignorant on purpose. What happens to a Christian child who has never encountered or learned about the “outside” world at all even to be ready for it? It’s like the Christian Dominionist world took secular helicopter parenting and raised it a few notches.

One thing I want to inform here, does Jesus Christ teach total obedience to parents or sheltering by parents when he states this?

Mat 10:35 For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter in law against her mother in law.

Many out there will be at variance with relatives, parents, fathers, in obeying Jesus Christ. I dare say that will apply to the Dominionist and Patriarchy strands of false religion as well as leaving any other cult a grown child may have been raised in.

As I have written The Patriarchy movement with its extreme authoritarianism is an extreme example of this, where even a “Stay At Home Daughter” 30 year old daughter is taught she has to have every move approved of by the father she still lives with and where she must obey like a 10 year old.


You also see the weird Purity Balls, where daughters are instructed to swear their virginity to their fathers. To be frank while parents should teach their daughters to save sex for marriage and keep themselves pure, this all smacks of severe unnecessary regulation and distrust of those same daughters to make the right decision. It also crosses boundaries that should not be crossed. That should be between them and God when they are adults, and hopefully they will make the right biblical decisions. Why is there a trend in some circles of “Dominionist Christianity” where fathers will be choosing or at least having to approve these girl’s future husbands? How come purity is never spoken of regarding the young men? One odd trend in purity circles and one saw it with the Duggars oldest son and wife to be, is the extreme of teaching daughters they cannot even kiss a fiance’ and must wait til the wedding day. Years ago when I was a liberal UU, while the Handmaiden’s Tale was a wicked book, that promoted abortion in inverse, this set up seems to follow the story line of an extreme patriarchial theocratic society.

Do these “Christians” even realize they are following in fundamentalist Islam’s footsteps. What next a bride price and negotiating between fathers for each marriage? What about having the teachings of Christianity where the Holy Spirit leads a daughter to make the right decisions instead of having it forced upon them via supervision by her father? Again it makes everything about authority. Even if society is disgustingly debauched and you fear for your daughter, you do not impose such things upon then. The odd statement within the video, “The father is everything” is just more of that backwards promotion of patriarchy. Sadly people who have rightly tired of the moral decay of society are being seduced into these programs.

But then you see the popularity of the Pearls whose program focuses on training children to submit to authority [or else! in many cases] and it really makes you start to wonder. The Pearls whose writings are used in many conservative and fundametnalist Christian circles, do advocate ‘training”, and “harsh punishment” for children. Bill Gothard as well focuses on ‘character training” and “obedience drills” where children sing the praises of obedience and to announce they are grateful for the opportunity to follow orders:

Gothard teaches in his seminars that obedience brings godliness. Authority figures – the father, the politician, the minister, and the boss – are to be obeyed as if Christ were giving the orders. Gothard’s ideas of family life are rigid, as wives are taught to be submissive and men are encouraged to be the absolute head of the household. Quotes from the Bible are used as backup to his assertions. The biblical justification for always being subservient to the boss comes from 1 Peter 2:18: “Servants, be subject to your masters with all fear.”

Authority figures, according to Gothard, are on a higher spiritual plain than ordinary folk, and obeying them will help one get closer to God. He tells his followers that they are to obey everything, except orders to do “evil.” If your boss is dead wrong, Gothard says it’s OK to make a “Godly appeal” to him, but if the appeal is refused, the worker must live with it.

Blind obedience to authority figures is never a good thing. It is scary to me that Gothard teaches that authority figures have more moral claim and are on a higher level, it reminds me of Catholicism where we were taught that clergy and the “religious” were better people and we were to obey them. Even the extreme emphasis on “virginity” and “purity” is nothing new to me since even in the Catholic church, as I was educated by nuns, this was a constant theme. These are good things in themselves but can be abused. Now blind obedience has infested the evangelical world. This isn’t the only Catholic saint, who demanded blind obedience to religious authority. It is a theme of every cult out there.

Obey blindly , that is, without asking reasons. Be careful, then, never to examine the directions of your confessor….In a word, keep before your eyes this great rule, that in obeying your confessor you obey God. Force yourself then, to obey him in spite of all fears. And be persuaded that if you are not obedient to him it will be impossible for you to go on well; but if you obey him you are secure. But you say, if I am damned in consequence of obeying my confessor, who will rescue me from hell? What you say is impossible.” St. Alphonsus De Liguori, True Spouse of Christ, p 352, Benziger Brothers, NY.

See how that works? One thing with all this blind obedience that is advocated, is the authority of priests, popes, well in this case evangelical preachers, and teachers and religious figures, and even your own biological father in the case of patriarchy is elevated to the extreme. This would include the politicians and other “leaders” of the world too. What better way to keep people unquestioning sheeple, then by training them from childhood to always obey and if they don’t or they dare to question, that the punishment will be swift, sure and severe?

There is something being advanced in many Dominionist “Christian circles”, where all the NUTURE has been taken out of child-rearing, all the comfort and more. Is there a sociological reason for all the extreme hyper-authoritarian parenting that has taken hold among Dominionism and related partriarchy groups? I realize some are well meaning people who are getting sucked into this stuff, the changes in this world are scary, the moral decay the rot, they know too many young adults falling into the abyss of drugs, sexual debauchery, and rejecting moral values, but squeezing the hand of parental control to super-rigid extents is no answer too. It makes one wonder. I remember reading books on German history that spoke of the years before Hitler, where authoritarian parenting was cultural and it makes one wonder how it could be used to make for a passive populace. As I have written on this blog, some do not see the luciferian big picture, but for this “child-rearing” changes, to me there is one. It is about CONTROL and about the waxing cold of the last days, where natural affection and love, are canceled out.

Rom 1:31 Without understanding, covenantbreakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful:

Most of the “Christians” being led into these child-rearing methods are unknowing people, they want to do the “right thing” they want to protect their children from harm, drugs, teen pregnancy, witchcraft, alcoholism, but sadly they are being led down yet another false rabbit trail, and it is not just the very extremes of the Dominionist Quiverful Patriarchy crowd, it’s infested itself everywhere into American society from James Dobson to the high schools with their guards at the front door.

One sees the “tough love”, “keep the young people under control” ethos all over the place, there are ‘fundamentalist” colleges that treat 20 year old young adults like children, and ‘ground’ them or what they call “campus” them for a variety of offenses, some rather small. Some have rules where no young woman can leave the campus without chaperones or permission. What is astonishing about this, is how will such a young woman learn to survive in today’s world when she is graduated from that college? Husbands work and cannot accompany them everywhere they go in the future. If behavior is not self-directed from the inside, but only imposed by strict forces from the outside, a child or teen does not mature and grow normally.

Rome had its schools of evil where children were beaten, abused and even put to work such as in the Magdalene laundries, but it’s scary when you see in the news so many evangelical and fundamentalist Christians schools seeming to go that way. I ran across this recently and was horrified.

Anyone who runs a school like this is a definite wolf. There is no Christian love in beating, abusing and humiliating children to submit to your will. Those who think they can turn their children into loving, obedient Christians via FORCE have already lost the plot. Ever wonder why so many of these schools keep popping up? Why do they all seem run by fanatical mad tyrants? One can see the endless lists, Hephzibah House the Roloff Homes and many more. Why is so much of this happening?

A very likely spiritual outcome is they could turn those children into die-hard atheists for life, as the main example of “Christianity” they see includes beatings, abuse and an endless list of draconian rules even for the ones who are not out and out physically abused.

Some years ago, on a message board, I even saw a couple of “Christians” defend this story where a girl was tied to a truck at a boot camp and dragged. They acted like she deserved what happened to her. No Christian love there. That is one of the times I have been most upset dealing with false Christians online. To defend such a thing was sickening. This girl could have been killed.

A teenage girl attending a Christian “boot camp” in Texas was allegedly tied to a van and dragged along the ground after falling behind during a morning run.

Police said yesterday that a pastor and camp counsellor [sic] were arrested on aggravated assault charges after the 15-year-old girl suffered injuries at the Faith Outreach Centre in a suburb of San Antonio.

A police spokesman said the incident took place in June and was reported to police by the mother of the girl after she was hospitalised for unspecified injuries.

Charles Flowers, a senior pastor, and Stephanie Bassitt, a counsellor, were arrested on Friday.

The girl, who has not been named, was apparently participating in a running exercise at the military-style Love Demonstrated Ministries camp when she became tired.

Why are “Christians” running schools that are like military camps and treating young girls the same like young men? Of course even the regular military has laws against what happened to that girl. Isn’t it ironic that those who claim to care about biblical femininity and promote “patriarchy” set up schools and institutions that hold expectations for young women that match those for the most hard core Marine?

Many do not know about the whole “troubled teen” industry where wealthy parents send supposedly out of control teens to out of country or out of state wilderness and other schools where boot camp and austere living are promoted and extreme punishments for the smallest infractions are given. Many of these schools claim they are “Christian”. One wonders how much deep “mind control” and other evil agendas are tied to these places given their sometimes out and out torture of young people. How much of this is about experiments for control of the populace and the planned totalitarianism? After all if you break down the young people under extreme oppressive authority what will they become? Even the public schools have rapidly changed to this sort of thing: “Life in US Public Schools is Just Like Prison”.

See here

The school has a current enrollment of 63 children, placed in the school by parents in an effort to remedy behavior problems. New Horizon uses a boot-camp atmosphere to place children onto what school officials believe to be the right road for life.

A handful of protesters showed at a Founder’s Day celebration this month at the Marion campus.

“We want people to ask us about our experiences in the program, educate those who didn’t know about the program and let students see that we are rooting for them,” said Lisa Brown Wilbur of New Castle as she held a sign reading “Stop the Abuse.”

The protesters painted a picture of complete dictation, a life completely monitored by counselors.

And yes in those places their lives are totally controlled and monitored. Many of these schools including secular ones, are full of human rights violations, extreme punishments, like withholding food and sleep and hours of hard labor, and oppressive behavior modification methods.

This is just one of the many examples among many. Some young people have lost their lives in the worse places. These schools grew numerous in the 80s but kept expanding in the 90s. Many parents were told this was the best way to deal with their troubled teens. In some circles, harsh punishment was promoted for every problem a young person was to face, strip their room clean of every item except the mattress, send them off to “wilderness camps” or “bootcamps” where intense physical exercise and brutality ruled. Young adults who encountered health problems or could not take the strain, have died at these places.

The “or else” reached an alarming level in the wilderness programs where kids have actually died as a result of untrained staff taking them to potentially dangerous wilderness areas. The most notorious case was that of Aaron Bacon. As a small child, Aaron was the kind of boy who brought food to the homeless and let them take showers in the guesthouse. “II sat him down and said, ‘Look, you can’t do that,'” his mother,Sally recalls. “‘We don’t know if these people will harm you.’ And he looked at me and said, ‘Mom, we have a house. We have love. We have each other. They don’t have anything and I won’t stop.'”7

In high school, Aaron began taking drugs. His mother put him in North Star Expeditions. She expected him to be “out there with God and Nature and himself writing.” The program gave Aaron a pair of cheap boots that were too small, a sleeping bag and a backpack. He was never given warm enough clothing. A few days later, he developed the first symptoms of intestinal problams. The staff told Aaron that “all counselors, therapists, psychologists and psychiatrists are quacks.8 The campers had to learn how to make a fire with a native bow drill technique and were not allowed to cook their food until they learned. Already hungry because most of the food, such as lentils and rice, was inedible if it wasn’t cooked, they were put on a two-day fast. He had trouble from the very start, developing blisters in his too-tight boots, staggering and falling from the combined weight of his backpack and lack of food. The worst thing was the ulcer that began on the first day and developed until it became perforated (intestinal fluids leaking into his abdominal cavity, causing peritoritus).

Often desperate parents with drug addicted children with nowhere else to turn, sadly are exploited by such places.

Years ago I read a book called Jesus Land.
It’s a autobiography by a woman who had abusive parents who sent her to one of these schools. They put forth themselves as Christians, but seem to be psychopaths, the father even breaks one of her adopted brothers arms in a fit of anger. In this case they attend an ultra-strict Calvinist church, but the story of how they are sent to this school overseas that is so strict, they enforce endless stupid rules, force them to live a dangerous third world lifestyle, with starvation and over-work included. They also prevent the sister and brother from having contact with each other. The school is the zenith of totalitarian rule, and control. Thankfully they both escape, but barely.

“For Julia Scheeres and her adopted brother David, “Jesus Land” stretched from their parents’ fundamentalist home, past the hostilities of high school, and deep into a Christian reform school in the Dominican Republic. For these two teenagers – brother and sister, black and white – the 1980’s were a trial by fire.” “In this memoir, Scheeres takes us from the familiar Midwest, a land of cottonwood trees and trailer parks, to a place beyond her imagining. At home, the Scheeres kids must endure the usual trials of adolescence – high-school hormones, incessant bullying, and the deep-seated restlessness of social misfits everywhere – under the shadow of virulent racism neither knows how to contend with. When they start to crack (or fight back), they are packed off to Escuela Caribe.” This brutal, prison-like “Christian boot camp” demands that its inhabitants repent for their sins – sins that few of them are aware of having committed”

Things are getting rather bad out there.

I believe the oppression of youth, comes as a natural outcome of the false DOMINIONIST teachings, they are definitely connected. if everything is about control, authority, oppression, coloring in between the lines for society, wouldn’t it influence the families who are in these churches? Wouldn’t it influence the nature of these so called “Christian” schools for troubled youth? In a burgeoning police state, the heavy hand of authority on all levels is emphasized more and more. Children are raised with submission to authority as the first thing. Fascism married to a false “Christianity” that emphasizes extreme authoritarianism and here you see the evil fruits for the young people.

Posted in Dominionism/Reconstructionism/Theonomy | Tagged , , , | 17 Comments

The Virgin Daughters Documentary

Oh my.  I came out of extreme pentecostalism and it’s horrifying view of Dominionism, only to be smacked on the other cheek with Dominionism coming straight out of the New Calvinist/Gospel Coalition/Integrated Church Movement.  All of these groups seem to be merging into this purity, live in the past, Calvin’s Geneva Part 2 soup that has me wanting to run and hide from every Church in America.  It was preachers like Paul Washer and John MacArthur who helped me understand the Truth of the Scriptures in light of anything goes Pentecostalism.  Unfortunately, these very same teachers that claim to teach strictly from the Scriptures, are producing the same rotten, unbiblical fruit that I had once plucked from the koo-koo tree.  Only now they wrap themselves in the cloak of “Modern Day Reformers”. 

I have been there.  I see where this crazy train is going.  Just as I used to get freaked out in the pews when I heard mention of “Gifts of the Spirit, as evidenced by speaking in tongues”, I now cringe when I hear the words “Wives be Intimate, Daughters pledge to your Fathers…”  It’s just creepy.  It’s not Biblical.  Guess what Calvinista Popes?  Let the Holy Spirit guide the bedrooms of the Christian households.  That’s right, the Holy Spirit still teaches in all things, we don’t need your “holy” interpretations or additional Reformed Papal decrees.  Thank you.

If I sound angry it’s because I am.  I went from one extreme of the Christian faith to the other, only to find myself caught up in a web of deceit by power hungry wolves.  I will start with this documentary called, “The Virgin Daughters” and we will move on into the topic of Dominionism in my next post.  If it feels creepy, that’s because it is.  It’s called emotional incest.

Posted in Charismatic Chaos, Dominionism/Reconstructionism/Theonomy | 1 Comment

Let Him Hear

I am reposting this article that I had originally posted in October of 2010 in light of the vitriolic debates I am hearing in Christian circles over the current election. 

Patriotism: An Anabaptist Perspective

By Frank L. Reed

Note from Kari:  Whether we agree or disagree with everything Elder Reed has written in this article, I found some very profound insights on the Anabaptist position on our role as “citizens” in light of the Word of God.    Just some things to ponder.

The United States of America is the greatest nation in the world. It is likely the greatest nation that will ever be in the world. The United States of America has provided more freedom and more opportunity for more people–than any nation ever has. Untold millions of people of all races and religions have found refuge at these “golden shores.” America has fulfilled the dreams of millions of individuals. In America, as nowhere else…

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Posted in For Women Only | Leave a comment

Beverley Anne McGuyer Moore 03/24/1948 – 04/18/2012


Momma and Daddy, Portland, Maine, Sept 2011


Momma passed away on April 18, 2012, less than 3 months from her initial diagnosis.  I just wanted to thank each and every one of you for your prayers and support.  You held me up in prayer, when I was broken, merely functioning on a spiritual autopilot if you will.  The Lord, Our God, is good! 

I know that God took Momma for His own glory, but I miss her.  I miss her terribly.  I miss our fieldtrips that we took every few months.  She was honestly my best friend.  From her death  until August 8th, I was unable to cry.  I was still pretty much shocked over the whole thing.   August 8th was my 41st birthday and I started to cry.  I cried nonstop for 2 weeks.  The tears are beginning to dry up now and wonderful memories are beginning to erase the horror of watching Momma suffer from such an awful disease. 

When Momma found out she was dying, all she would talk about was how she didn’t do enough to please God.  He was never going to accept her because of the things that she had done in her past.  That is exactly what she was taught.  That is what I was taught.  Faith plus works.  You have to earn your salvation.  Christ is not sufficient.  He is not enough to save. 

All of momma’s “Christian” brothers and sisters stopped by with prayer cloths, annoiting oils and constantly chirpped away about how “Sister B is faithful, God has to heal her because of all of the good works that she does for Him.”  When they saw that she wasn’t getting better, they would insist on calling in this healer or that to annoint her and pray over her. They believed certain men could save her.  They thought maybe she had unconfessed sin in her life.  She was causing God not to heal her.  It is the worst kind of bondage.  In the last 2 weeks of her life, she no longer wanted to hear God’s Word.  No hymns, no sermons, no Bible. 

You have to understand, Momma devoted her life to pleasing the Lord.  She had entire neighborhoods that she ministered to.  To go from every breath being about Jesus, to pushing Him out was devestating.  Instead, she was constantly making us bring her her jewelry, looking it up on the internet to see it’s worth, materialism of the worst kind.  She would remind my sister and I constantly that we were not in her will.  It was all about money.  She was cruel and told us that she never loved us.  I pray it was just the cancer in her brain.  Daddy thinks that she lost her faith.  I think that she never had saving faith. 

In her last week, she became unable to talk.  She could only mumble and went in and out of consiousness.  My Sister and I picked up her Bible, stayed by her side in 12 hour shifts and we read her Romans and John day and night.  There was clearly a spiritual battle raging for her soul.  She would at times act as if she were seeing things in the room that terrified her and things that made her peaceful.  She went 7 days with no food or water.  The Lord had a work to do with her.  I believe that He revealed Himself to her in all of His glory in those last days.  She had always loved the Lord, she just had never been preached the Gospel before.  She was taught another Jesus and another Gospel.  I believe that in her last days God’s Word pierced her soul.  I believe that she is serving Our King right now, in the way that she had always wanted to.

We were blessed in that the Lord provided us time to share His Word with Momma.  Many others that we know or love, may die without any warning.  Have we shared our faith with them?  Please think on those you know today who have a heart for Jesus, but are lost in the maze of desperately trying to earn their salvation.  There are well over 1 billion catholics and almost 300 million  pentecostals in this world trying to work their way into Heaven.  Share the Gospel with them and allow them to enter into His rest.  The work is complete.  It was done 2012 years ago on an old rugged cross. 

May our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ bless you and your households today and everyday.  Amen.

Posted in Charismatic Chaos, For Women Only | 12 Comments

When Christian Music is Beautiful

I have been so lost for so long.  I didn’t know how to deal with some of my favorite pastors being exposed as legalists, patriarchal, thieves and wolves.  It’s OK, I’ve been there before and I learned to trust in Jesus Christ, the One who cannot lie, alone.  I had blog block, didn’t have a clue what to post.  Then bam, on January 24th, my momma calls me from her MRI and says, “Kari, the neurologist just told me I have cancer all over my brain” and my world turned upside down.  Not that I struggled with God over this.  In fact, the first thing I did, as I always do when something dramatic happens, was go to my knees and gave my Precious Savior thanks for momma’s brain cancer.  I trust in Him.  I know, without a shadow of doubt, that He does not allow anything to happen to any of His children, without His purpose and Glory in it.

Mom is on Hospice now, had a week of extreme whole brain radiation and also on some of the tumors in her spine.  The radiation pretty much wiped her brain out, so she is really just a shell.  They say, she may return clear headed to say goodbye right before she goes.  All in God’s time, though.

Anyways, I have been finding comfort in music lately.  I mean, I can’t stand most CCM and don’t even get me started on how every other song is by that Catholic, Matt Maher.  I have even read that he tours with Michael W. Smith and for last half hour of the show, they invite the crowd to worship the eucharist.  I digress, that is a topic for another day.  Anyhoo, I love to sing to Jesus and I was knocked out by the solid theology in the lyrics of Third Day songs.  Especially their new song, Trust in Jesus.  They are listed below.  I pray for them, because millions of Christians get their theology from the less than theologically accurate CCM.  I consider them CCM Missionaries and the Lord will bless them abundantly.  Anyway, I just love this song, Thief, and thought you might want to sing it with me.

May the Grace, Joy and Peace of Our Lord and Savior, Jesus the Christ, be with you always, my beautiful friends.

Posted in Encouragement/Scripture, Hymn | Tagged , , , , | 9 Comments

Psalm 16 With Commentary from Charles Spurgeon

Psalm 16 (KJV)

1Preserve me, O God: for in thee do I put my trust.

2O my soul, thou hast said unto the LORD, Thou art my Lord: my goodness extendeth not to thee;

3But to the saints that are in the earth, and to the excellent, in whom is all my delight.

4Their sorrows shall be multiplied that hasten after another god: their drink offerings of blood will I not offer, nor take up their names into my lips.

5The LORD is the portion of mine inheritance and of my cup: thou maintainest my lot.

6The lines are fallen unto me in pleasant places; yea, I have a goodly heritage.

7I will bless the LORD, who hath given me counsel: my reins also instruct me in the night seasons.

8I have set the LORD always before me: because he is at my right hand, I shall not be moved.

9Therefore my heart is glad, and my glory rejoiceth: my flesh also shall rest in hope.

10For thou wilt not leave my soul in hell; neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption.

11Thou wilt shew me the path of life: in thy presence is fulness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore.

TITLE. MICHTAM OF DAVID. This is usually understood to mean
THE GOLDEN PSALM, and such a title is most appropriate, for the matter is as
the most fine gold. Ainsworth calls it “David’s jewel, or notable song.” Dr.
Hawker, who is always alive to passages full of savour, devoutly cries, “Some
have rendered it
precious, others golden, and others, precious
jewel; and as the Holy Ghost, by the apostles Peter and Paul, hath shown us
that it is all about the Lord Jesus Christ, what is here said of him is
precious, is golden, is a jewel indeed!” We have not met with the term

Michtam before, but if spared to write upon Psalms 56, 57, 58, 59, and 60, we
shall see it again, and shall observe that like the present these psalms,
although they begin with prayer, and imply trouble, abound in holy confidence
and close with songs of assurance as to ultimate safety and joy. Dr. Alexander,
whose notes are peculiarly valuable, thinks that the word is most probably a
simple derivative of a word signifying to
hide, and signifies a secret or
mystery, and indicates the depth of doctrinal and spiritual import in these
sacred compositions. If this be the true interpretation it well accords with the
other, and when the two are put together, they make up a name which every reader
will remember, and which will bring the precious subject at once to mind.


SUBJECT. We are not left to human interpreters for the key to this golden
mystery, for, speaking by the Holy Ghost, Peter tells us, “David speaketh
HIM.” (Acts 2:25.) Further on in his memorable sermon he said,
“Men and brethren, let me freely speak unto you of the patriarch David, that he
is both dead and buried, and his sepulchre is with us unto this day. Therefore
being a prophet, and knowing that God had sworn with an oath to him, that of the
fruit of his loins, according to the flesh, he would raise up Christ to sit on
his throne; he seeing this before
spake of the resurrection of Christ,
that his soul was not left in hell, neither his flesh did see corruption.”
(Acts 2:29-31.) Nor is this our only guide, for the apostle Paul, led by the
same infallible inspiration, quotes from this psalm, and testifies that David
wrote of the man through whom is preached unto us the forgiveness of sins. (Acts
13:35-38.) It has been the usual plan of commentators to apply the psalm both to
David, to the saints, and to the Lord Jesus, but we will venture to believe that
in it
“Christ is all;” since in the ninth and tenth verses, like the
apostles on the mount, we can see “no man but Jesus only.”

DIVISION. The whole is so compact that it is difficult to draw sharp lines
of division. It may suffice to note our Lord’s prayer of faith, verse 1, avowal
of faith in Jehovah alone, 2, 3, 4, 5, the contentment of his faith in the
present, 6, 7, and the joyous confidence of his faith for the future (8,


EXPOSITIONVerse 1. “Preserve me,” keep, or
save me,
or as Horsley thinks, “guard me,” even as bodyguards
surround their monarch, or as shepherds protect their flocks. Tempted in all
points like as we are, the manhood of Jesus needed to be preserved from the
power of evil; and though in itself pure, the Lord Jesus did not confide in that
purity of nature, but as an example to his followers, looked to the Lord, his
God, for preservation. One of the great names of God is “the Preserver of men,”
(Job 7:20,) and this gracious office the Father exercised towards our Mediator
and Representative. It had been promised to the Lord Jesus in express words,
that he should be preserved, Isaiah 49:7, 8. “Thus saith the Lord, the Redeemer
of Israel and his Holy One, to him whom man despiseth, to him whom the nation
abhorreth, I will preserve thee, and give thee for a covenant of the people.”
This promise was to the letter fulfilled, both by providential deliverance and
sustaining power, in the case of our Lord. Being preserved himself, he is able
to restore the preserved of Israel, for we are “preserved in Christ Jesus and
called.” As one with him, the elect were preserved in his preservation, and we
may view this mediatorial supplication as the petition of the Great High Priest
for all those who are in him. The intercession recorded in John 17 is but an
amplification of this cry, “Holy Father, keep through thine own name those whom
thou hast given me, that they may be one, as we are.” When he says,
“preserve me,” he means his members, his mystical body, himself, and all in him.
But while we rejoice in the fact that the Lord Jesus used this prayer for his
members, we must not forget that he employed it most surely for himself; he had
so emptied himself, and so truly taken upon him the form of a servant, that as
man he needed divine keeping even as we do, and often cried unto the strong for
strength. Frequently on the mountain-top he breathed forth this desire, and on
one occasion in almost the same words, he publicly prayed, “Father, save me from
this hour.” (John 12:27.) If Jesus looked out of himself for protection, how
much more must we, his erring followers, do so!
    “O God.” The word for God here used is EL (Heb.),
by which name the Lord Jesus, when under a sense of great weakness, as for
instance when upon the cross, was wont to address the Mighty God, the Omnipotent
Helper of his people. We, too, may turn to El, the Omnipotent One, in all
hours of peril, with the confidence that he who heard the strong crying and
tears of our faithful High Priest, is both able and willing to bless us in him.
It is well to study the name and character of God, so that in our straits we may
know how and by what title to address our Father who is in heaven.
    “For in thee do I put my trust,” or,
I have taken shelter in thee. As chickens run beneath the hen, so do I
betake myself to thee. Thou art my great overshadowing Protector, and I have
taken refuge beneath thy strength. This is a potent argument in pleading, and
our Lord knew not only how to use it with God, but how to yield to its
power when wielded by others upon himself. “According to thy faith be it done
unto thee,” is a great rule of heaven in dispensing favour, and when we can
sincerely declare that we exercise faith in the Mighty God with regard to the
mercy which we seek, we may rest assured that our plea will prevail. Faith, like
the sword of Saul, never returns empty; it overcomes heaven when held in the
hand of prayer. As the Saviour prayed, so let us pray, and as he became more
than a conqueror, so shall we also through him; let us when buffeted by storms
right bravely cry to the Lord as he did, “in thee do I put my trust.”

Verse 2. “O my soul, thou hast said unto the Lord, Thou art my Lord.”
In his inmost heart the Lord Jesus bowed himself to do service to his Heavenly
Father, and before the throne of Jehovah his soul vowed allegiance to the Lord
for our sakes. We are like him when our soul, truly and constantly in the
presence of the heart-searching God, declares her full consent to the rule and
government of the Infinite Jehovah, saying, “Thou art my Lord.” To avow this
with the lip is little, but for the soul to say it, especially in times
of trial, is a gracious evidence of spiritual health; to profess it before men
is a small matter, but to declare it before Jehovah himself is of far more
consequence. This sentence may also be viewed as the utterance of appropriating
faith, laying hold upon the Lord by personal covenant and enjoyment; in this
sense may it be our daily song in the house of our pilgrimage.
    “My goodness extendeth not to thee.”
The work of our Lord Jesus was not needful on account of any necessity in the
Divine Being. Jehovah would have been inconceivably glorious had the human race
perished, and had no atonement been offered. Although the life-work and
death-agony of the Son did reflect unparalleled lustre upon every attribute of
God, yet the Most Blessed and Infinitely Happy God stood in no need of the
obedience and death of his Son; it was for our sakes that the work of redemption
was undertaken, and not because of any lack or want on the part of the Most
High. How modestly does the Saviour here estimate his own goodness! What
overwhelming reasons have we for imitating his humility! “If thou be righteous,
what givest thou him? or what receiveth he of thine hand?” (Job 35:7.)

Verse 3. “But to the saints that are in the earth.” These sanctified
ones, although still upon the earth, partake of the results of Jesus’
mediatorial work, and by his goodness are made what they are. The peculiar
people, zealous for good works, and hallowed to sacred service, are arrayed in
the Saviour’s righteousness and washed in his blood, and so receive of the
goodness treasured up in him; these are the persons who are profited by the work
of the man Christ Jesus; but that work added nothing to the nature, virtue, or
happiness of God, who is blessed for evermore. How much more forcibly is this
true of us, poor unworthy servants not fit to be mentioned in comparison with
the faithful Son of God! Our hope must ever be that haply some poor child of God
may be served by us, for the Great Father can never need our aid. Well may we
sing the verses of Dr. Watts:

“Oft have my heart and tongue confess’d
How empty and how poor I
My praise can never make thee blest,
Nor add new glories to thy
Yet, Lord, thy saints on earth may reap
Some profit by the good we
These are the company I keep,
These are the choicest friends I
know.”    Poor believers are God’s receivers,
and have a warrant from the Crown to receive the revenue of our offerings in the
King’s name. Saints departed we cannot bless; even prayer for them is of no
service; but while they are here we should practically prove our love to them,
even as our Master did, for they are the excellent of the earth. Despite
their infirmities, their Lord thinks highly of them, and reckons them to be as
nobles among men. The title of “His Excellency” more properly belongs to the
meanest saint than to the greatest governor. The true aristocracy are believers
in Jesus. They are the only Right Honourables. Stars and garters are poor
distinctions compared with the graces of the Spirit. He who knows them best says
of them, “in whom is all my delight.” They are his Hephzibah and his land
Beulah, and before all worlds his delights were with these chosen sons of men.
Their own opinion of themselves is far other than their Beloved’s opinion of
them; they count themselves to be less than nothing, yet he makes much of them,
and sets his heart towards them. What wonders the eyes of Divine Love can see
where the Hands of Infinite Power have been graciously at work. It was this
quicksighted affection which led Jesus to see in us a recompense for all his
agony, and sustained him under all his sufferings by the joy of redeeming us
from going down into the pit.

Verse 4. The same loving heart which opens towards the chosen people is fast
closed against those who continue in their rebellion against God. Jesus hates
all wickedness, and especially the high crime of idolatry. The text while it
shows our Lord’s abhorrence of sin, shows also the sinner’s greediness after it.
Professed believers are often slow towards the true Lord, but sinners “hasten
after another god.”
They run like madmen where we creep like snails. Let
their zeal rebuke our tardiness. Yet theirs is a case in which the more they
haste the worse they speed, for their sorrows are multiplied by their
diligence in multiplying their sins. Matthew Henry pithily says, “They that
multiply gods multiply griefs to themselves; for whosoever thinks one god too
little, will find two too many, and yet hundreds not enough.” The cruelties and
hardships which men endure for their false gods is wonderful to contemplate; our
missionary reports are a noteworthy comment on this passage; but perhaps our own
experience is an equally vivid exposition; for when we have given our heart to
idols, sooner or later we have had to smart for it. Near the roots of our
self-love all our sorrows lie, and when that idol is overthrown, the sting is
gone from grief. Moses broke the golden calf and ground it to powder, and cast
it into the water of which he made Israel to drink, and so shall our cherished
idols become bitter portions for us, unless we at once forsake them. Our Lord
had no selfishness; he served but one Lord, and served him only. As for those
who turn aside from Jehovah, he was separate from them, bearing their reproach
without the camp. Sin and the Saviour had no communion. He came to destroy, not
to patronize or be allied with the works of the devil. Hence he refused the
testimony of unclean spirits as to his divinity, for in nothing would he have
fellowship with darkness. We should be careful above measure not to connect
ourselves in the remotest degree with falsehood in religion; even the most
solemn of Popish rites we must abhor. “Their drink offerings of blood will I
not offer.”
The old proverb says, “It is not safe to eat at the devil’s
mess, though the spoon be never so long.” The mere mentioning of ill names it
were well to avoid,—“nor take up their names into my lips.” If we allow
poison upon the lip, it may ere long penetrate to the inwards, and it is well to
keep out of the mouth that which we would shut out from the heart. If the church
would enjoy union with Christ, she must break all the bonds of impiety, and keep
herself pure from all the pollutions of carnal will-worship, which now pollute
the service of God. Some professors are guilty of great sin in remaining in the
communion of Popish churches, where God is as much dishonoured as in Rome
herself, only in a more crafty manner.

Verse 5. “The Lord is the portion of mine inheritance and of my cup.”
With what confidence and bounding joy does Jesus turn to Jehovah, whom his soul
possessed and delighted in! Content beyond measure with his portion in the Lord
his God, he had not a single desire with which to hunt after other gods; his cup
was full, and his heart was full too; even in his sorest sorrows he still laid
hold with both his hands upon his Father, crying, “My God, my God;” he had not
so much as a thought of falling down to worship the prince of this world,
although tempted with an “all these will I give thee.” We, too, can make our
boast in the Lord; he is the meat and the drink of our souls. He is our portion,
supplying all our necessities, and our cup yielding royal luxuries; our cup in
this life, and our inheritance in the life to come. As children of the Father
who is in heaven, we inherit, by virtue of our joint heirship with Jesus, all
the riches of the covenant of grace; and the portion which falls to us sets upon
our table the bread of heaven and the new wine of the kingdom. Who would not be
satisfied with such dainty diet? Our shallow cup of sorrow we may well drain
with resignation, since the deep cup of love stands side by side with it, and
will never be empty. “Thou maintainest my lot.” Some tenants have a
covenant in their leases that they themselves shall maintain and uphold, but in
our case Jehovah himself maintains our lot. Our Lord Jesus delighted in this
truth, that the Father was on his side, and would maintain his right against all
the wrongs of men. He knew that his elect would be reserved for him, and that
almighty power would preserve them as his lot and reward for ever. Let us also
be glad, because the Judge of all the earth will vindicate our righteous cause.

Verse 6. Jesus found the way of obedience to lead into “pleasant
Notwithstanding all the sorrows which marred his countenance, he
exclaimed, “Lo, I come; in the volume of the book it is written of me, I delight
to do thy will, O my God: yea, thy law is within my heart.” It may seem strange,
but while no other man was ever so thoroughly acquainted with grief, it is our
belief that no other man ever experienced so much joy and delight in service,
for no other served so faithfully and with such great results in view as his
recompense of reward. The joy which was set before him must have sent some of
its beams of splendour a-down the rugged places where he endured the cross,
despising the shame, and must have made them in some respects pleasant places to
the generous heart of the Redeemer. At any rate, we know that Jesus was well
content with the blood-bought portion which the lines of electing love marked
off as his spoil with the strong and his portion with the great. Therein he
solaced himself on earth, and delights himself in heaven; and he asks no more
“GOODLY HERITAGE” than that his own beloved may be with him where he is and
behold his glory. All the saints can use the language of this verse, and the
more thoroughly they can enter into its contented, grateful, joyful spirit the
better for themselves, and the more glorious to their God. Our Lord was poorer
than we are, for he had not where to lay his head, and yet when he mentioned his
poverty he never used a word of murmuring; discontented spirits are as unlike
Jesus as the croaking raven is unlike the cooing dove. Martyrs have been happy
in dungeons. “From the delectable orchard of the Leonine prison the Italian
martyr dated his letter, and the presence of God made the gridiron of Laurence
pleasant to him.” Mr. Greenham was bold enough to say, “They never felt God’s
love, or tasted forgiveness of sin, who are discontented.” Some divines think
that discontent was the first sin, the rock which wrecked our race in paradise;
certainly there can be no paradise where this evil spirit has power, its slime
will poison all the flowers of the garden.

Verse 7. “I will bless the Lord, who hath given me counsel.” Praise as
well as prayer was presented to the Father by our Lord Jesus, and we are not
truly his followers unless our resolve be, “I will bless the Lord.” Jesus is
called Wonderful, Counsellor, but as man he spake not of himself, but as his
Father had taught him. Read in confirmation of this, John 7:16; 8:28; and 12:49,
50; and the prophecy concerning him in Isaiah 11:2, 3. It was our Redeemer’s
wont to repair to his Father for direction, and having received it, he blessed
him for giving him counsel. It would be well for us if we would follow his
example of lowliness, cease from trusting in our own understanding, and seek to
be guided by the Spirit of God. “My reins also instruct me in the night
By the reins understand the inner man, the affections and
feelings. The communion of the soul with God brings to it an inner spiritual
wisdom which in still seasons is revealed to itself. Our Redeemer spent many
nights alone upon the mountain, and we may readily conceive that together with
his fellowship with heaven, he carried on a profitable commerce with himself;
reviewing his experience, forecasting his work, and considering his position.
Great generals fight their battles in their own mind long before the trumpet
sounds, and so did our Lord win our battle on his knees before he gained it on
the cross. It is a gracious habit after taking counsel from above to take
counsel within. Wise men see more with their eyes shut by night than fools can
see by day with their eyes open. He who learns from God and so gets the seed,
will soon find wisdom within himself growing in the garden of his soul; “Thine
ears shall hear a voice behind thee, saying, This is the way, walk ye in it,
when ye turn to the right hand and when ye turn to the left.” The night season
which the sinner chooses for his sins is the hallowed hour of quiet when
believers hear the soft still voices of heaven, and of the heavenly life within

Verse 8. The fear of death at one time cast its dark shadow over the soul of
the Redeemer, and we read that, “he was heard in that he feared.” There appeared
unto him an angel, strengthening him; perhaps the heavenly messenger reassured
him of his glorious resurrection as his people’s surety, and of the eternal joy
into which he should admit the flock redeemed by blood. Then hope shone full
upon our Lord’s soul, and, as recorded in these verses, he surveyed the future
with holy confidence because he had a continued eye to Jehovah, and enjoyed his
perpetual presence. He felt that, thus sustained, he could never be driven from
his life’s grand design; nor was he, for he stayed not his hand till he could
say, “It is finished.” What an infinite mercy was this for us! In this
immovableness, caused by simple faith in the divine help, Jesus is to be viewed
as our exemplar; to recognize the presence of the Lord is the duty of every
believer; “I have set the Lord always before me;” and to trust the
Lord as our champion and guard is the privilege of every saint; “because he
is at my right hand, I shall not be moved.”
The apostle translates this
passage, “I foresaw the Lord always before my face;” Acts 2:25; the eye of
Jesus’ faith could discern beforehand the continuance of divine support to his
suffering Son, in such a degree that he should never be moved from the
accomplishment of his purpose of redeeming his people. By the power of God at
his right hand he foresaw that he should smite through all who rose up against
him, and on that power he placed the firmest reliance.

Verse 9. He clearly foresaw that he must die, for he speaks of his flesh
resting, and of his soul in the abode of separate spirits; death was full before
his face, or he would not have mentioned corruption; but such was his devout
reliance upon his God, that he sang over the tomb, and rejoiced in vision of the
sepulchre. He knew that the visit of his soul to Sheol, or the invisible world
of disembodied spirits, would be a very short one, and that his body in a very
brief space would leave the grave, uninjured by its sojourn there; all this made
him say, “my heart is glad,” and moved his tongue, the glory of
his frame, to rejoice in God, the strength of his salvation. Oh, for such
holy faith in the prospect of trial and of death! It is the work of faith, not
merely to create a peace which passeth all understanding, but to fill the heart
full of gladness until the tongue, which, as the organ of an intelligent
creature, is our glory, bursts forth in notes of harmonious praise. Faith gives
us living joy, and bestows dying rest. “My flesh also shall rest in

Verse 10. Our Lord Jesus was not disappointed in his hope. He declared his
Father’s faithfulness in the words, “thou wilt not leave my soul in
and that faithfulness was proven on the resurrection morning. Among
the departed and disembodied Jesus was not left; he had believed in the
resurrection, and he received it on the third day, when his body rose in
glorious life, according as he had said in joyous confidence, “neither wilt
thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption.”
Into the outer prison of the
grave his body might go, but into the inner prison of corruption he could not
enter. He who in soul and body was pre-eminently God’s “Holy One,” was loosed
from the pains of death, because it was not possible that he should be holden of
it. This is noble encouragement to all the saints; die they must, but rise they
shall, and though in their case they shall see corruption, yet they shall rise
to everlasting life. Christ’s resurrection is the cause, the earnest, the
guarantee, and the emblem of the rising of all his people. Let them, therefore,
go to their graves as to their beds, resting their flesh among the clods as they
now do upon their couches.

“Since Jesus is mine, I’ll not fear undressing,
But gladly put off
these garments of clay;
To die in the Lord is a covenant blessing,
Jesus to glory through death led the way.”    Wretched will that man be who, when
the Philistines of death invade his soul, shall find that, like Saul, he is
forsaken of God; but blessed is he who has the Lord at his right hand, for he
shall fear no ill, but shall look forward to an eternity of bliss.

Verse 11. “Thou wilt shew me the path of life.” To Jesus first this
way was shown, for he is the first begotten from the dead, the first-born of
every creature. He himself opened up the way through his own flesh, and then
trod it as the forerunner of his own redeemed. The thought of being made the
path of life to his people, gladdened the soul of Jesus. “In thy presence is
fulness of joy.”
Christ being raised from the dead ascended into glory, to
dwell in constant nearness to God, where joy is at its full for ever: the
foresight of this urged him onward in his glorious but grievous toil. To bring
his chosen to eternal happiness was the high ambition which inspired him, and
made him wade through a sea of blood. O God, when a worldling’s mirth has all
expired, for ever with Jesus may we dwell “at thy right hand,” where
“there are pleasures for evermore;” and meanwhile, may we have an earnest
by tasting thy love below. Trapp’s note on the heavenly verse which closes the
Psalm is a sweet morsel, which may serve for a contemplation, and yield a
foretaste of our inheritance. He writes, “Here is as much said as can be, but
words are too weak to utter it. For quality there is in heaven joy and
pleasures; for quantity, a fulness, a torrent whereat they drink without
let or loathing; for constancy, it is at God’s right hand, who is
stronger than all, neither can any take us out of his hand; it is a constant
happiness without intermission: and for perpetuity it is for evermore.
Heaven’s joys are without measure, mixture, or end.”

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