Earl & Diane Rodd
October 27, 1987 93 Great Ryrie St.
Heathmont, Victoria 3135
Phone (03) 879-4082
The next FHC meeting will be the second Sunday of November, that is November 8 , 1987. The meeting will begin at 1 pm at: YWAM 1 Kent Road Surrey Hills, Vic
After 2 months of holidays, we are trying to get back into things like the FHC newsletter. We had been puzzled about neither of us having anything to put in the November newsletter. Then a letter arrived from one of you with some excellent comments on the last newsletter "Training Kings - Part I". When we got out a copy of the last newsletter, we discovered that it was only part I of "Training Kings" and so we already had a November topic ready!
Before getting into "Training Kings - Part II", we would like to take an aside to share some important thoughts on this matter. First of all, a friend of ours read what we have written and shared this insight. "There is one place where the Word of God is written by hand. The persecuted Christians who are under anti-Christian governments." Could it be that the process of copying the Bible by hand helps one learn what is necessary to endure and thus to reign with Christ, even amidst extreme physical and emotional suffering in order to follow Christ day by day.
The second thought is to consider what we mean by kings and leaders. Credit for this important topic goes to the above mentioned letter writer. In our modern world with its own definitions of "success" which often are quite different from God's, we must be ever cautious that we do not ourselves fall into the trap of making the world's definitions of success the guide for training our children. In light of that we would offer the following statements:
In the life of Paul we have an example of a man who understood that God's kings did not look at all like the kings of the world. In I Corinthians 4 :8-16 he says,
You are already filled, you have already become rich, you have become kings without us; and I would indeed that you had become kings so that we also might reign with you. For, I think, God has exhibited us apostles last of all, as men condemned to death; because we have become a spectacle to the world, both to angels and to men. We are fools for Christ's sake, but you are prudent in Christ; we are weak, but you are strong; you are distinguished, but we are without honor. To this present hour we are both hungry and thirsty, and are poorly clothed, and are roughly treated, and are homeless; and we toil, working with our own hands; when we are reviled, we bless; when we are persecuted, we endure; when we are slandered, we try to conciliate; we have become as the scum of the world, the dregs of all things, even until now. I do not write these things to shame you, but to admonish you as my beloved children. For if you were to have countless tutors in Christ, yet you would not have many fathers; for in Christ Jesus I became your father through the gospel. I exhort you therefore, be imitators of me.
This passage could also describe the earthly life of Jesus. Thus we can see that God's pattern of lifestyle for His kings is totally opposite of what we see in the world and in much of the church today. If we hometraining parents wish to be God's true kings and to train our children to be true kings of God, we all must follow wholly in the footsteps of Jesus and Paul. It is correct for God's kings to be trained by His methods and not by the methods of man. God's true kings are those who know how to rule and reign over their own self-wills and obey the will of God totally.
In the life of Peter we get a glimpse of another man who knew how to rule as a true king. Acts 3 :6 says,
I do not possess In the name of Jesus Christ the Nazarene - walk!
The Greek word translated possess comes from the root word archo (757) (0) which means "to rule" or "to begin". In this situation Peter begins his journey as a true king under the KING OF KINGS. It is obvious Peter had the power and the authority to see the name of Jesus Christ rule over the man's useless legs. One command from Peter and a man who had never walked in his life was leaping, walking and praising God.
Many in the Body of Christ would like to possess the same ability to demonstrate the love and power of our God to our fellow human beings. However, are we willing to obey the words of our Lord as Peter did so that we may be entrusted with similar demonstrations of God's glory? Peter's words about himself indicate He must have been set free from the love of money and possessions. They no longer ruled him. He ruled them. He understood and obeyed the Lord's words given to the rich young ruler. Jesus says,
If you wish to be complete, go and sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you shall have treasure in heaven; and come follow Me. Matthew 19 :21
In the life of the early church we also see rulership over possessions, over daily activity and over fear which clearly demonstrates obedience to God's commands concerning His kings as set down by Moses in Deuteronomy 17 :14-20. Acts 2 :42-45 says,
And they were continually devoting themselves to the apostles' teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. And everyone kept feeling a sense of awe; and many wonders and signs were taking place through the apostles. And all those who believed were together, and had all things in common; and they began selling their property and possessions, and were sharing them with all, as anyone might have need.
This ability to devote themselves to the word of God and to forsake ownership of property and possessions clearly shows that those early converts to Christianity represented God's true kingdom to their generation. They were true kings functioning correctly under the KING OF KINGS.
The early church understood that to be true kings they had to forsake their selfish ownership of time and possessions which caused them to be ruled by the spirit of the world rather than by the spirit of Christ. By devoting time and energy to the word of God and obedience to that word their lifestyle demonstrated to those around them that they were God's kings clearly representing His kingdom under the Lordship of Jesus Christ, the KING OF KINGS.
In Acts 4 :29-31 we read,
And now, Lord, take note of their threats, and grant that Thy bond-servants may speak Thy word with all confidence, while Thou dost extend Thy hand to heal, and signs and wonders take place through the name of Thy holy servant Jesus. And when they had prayed, the place where they had gathered together was shaken, and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit, and began to speak the word of God with boldness.
In this situation we see the early church reigning as true kings. The visible demonstration of their lifestyle had challenged those within their own religious system. Their obedience to the risen Lord had exposed the inconsistent lifestyle of those who hadn't heard and obeyed. They are not intimidated by the threats of persecution and harassment; nor are they tempted to defend themselves with the weapons of Egypt - swords, horses, chariots, etc. The early church understood that God's kings wage war in a totally different manner than that which the world employs. Desperate prayer and belief in the name of Jesus were their only defense against the temptation to obey the threats of men and disobey the words of their KING. Their fear of man and their fear of ridicule or bodily harm was countered only by their trust in God to help them remain obedient to His commands.
Jesus and his early followers have clearly set the example for all to follow. Will hometraining parents be willing to do all that the word of God commands to help our families faithfully reign as God's true kings in our generation? Will our lifestyles bring conviction upon those who watch us? Will we respond to temptations to disobey the word of God with desperate prayer and trust in our God to keep us obedient and faithful to our calling as true kings?
Joshua is the only Old Testament example who obeyed what God set down through Moses concerning kings. Joshua 8 :30-35 says,
Then Joshua built an altar to the Lord, the God of Israel, in Mount Ebal, just as Moses the servant of the Lord had commanded the sons of Israel, as it is written in the book of the Law of Moses, an altar of uncut stones, on which no man had wielded an iron tool; and they offered burnt offerings on it to the Lord, and sacrificed peace offerings. And he wrote there on the stones a copy of the Law of Moses , which he had written, in the presence of the sons of Israel. And all Israel with their elders and officers and their judges were standing on both sides of the ark before the Levitical priests who carried the ark of the covenant of the Lord, the stranger as well as the native. Half of them stood in front of Mount Gerizim and half of them in front of mount Ebal, just as Moses the servant of the Lord had given command at first to bless the people of Israel. Then afterward he read all the words of the law, the blessing and the curse, according to all that is written in the book of the law. There was not a word of all that Moses had commanded which Joshua did not read before all the assembly of Israel with the women and the little ones and the strangers who were living among them.
In this passage we see the exact fulfillment of God's requirements for kings being obeyed. Joshua actually wrote all the Law of Moses onto stones. How can we today balk at writing out the first five books of the Bible on paper with pen in hand? Our obedience is much easier today than that of Joshua. He then took the time that was necessary to read the whole Law of Moses to all the sons of Israel. Notice the women and the little children were present for this meeting! How can we balk at the idea of reading it to ourselves and to our children in the comfort and warmth of our own home? It takes about eleven hours to read through the first five books of the Bible. We don't know of anyone today who has written the first five books, so an estimated guess of the number of days this occasion would have taken is not appropriate. However, the value of such an obedient step is set forth in Joshua 24 :31 which says,
And Israel served the Lord all the days of Joshua and all the days of the elders who survived Joshua, and had known all the deeds of the Lord which He had done for Israel.
God knows the capacity for waywardness that lies within the human heart. Thus He set down strict requirements for His kings to observe when the events of Egypt and the conquest of Canaan were no longer able to be shared by eyewitnesses to those events. He knew He could entrust the Holy Spirit to breathe life into those accounts, if He could find someone who was willing to sit down and do what He commanded. Jesus, whose Hebrew name is Joshua, was that person, and once the way had been clearly established by Jesus' obedience on the cross and in the power of the resurrection, others were able to follow. Will we be willing to repent and change our ways and methods of learning to follow in the footsteps of Joshua, Jesus, Peter, Paul and the early church? Are we willing to take the time, the effort, and the diligence to obey what the scriptures have revealed? Will we be able to persevere and endure the pressure, the ridicule or censure that others may inflict because we have chosen such an ancient curriculum for our families to copy, read and obey? Will we give the Holy Spirit the opportunity to fulfill His role in our lives as Teacher? (I John 2 :27). Will our own lifestyle demonstrate to the world that we obey the rules of the KINGDOM of heaven?
Listen to the warning of Hosea which reveals God's view of our disobedience. Hosea 8 :11-14 says,
Since Ephraim has multiplied altars for sin, they have become altars of sinning for him. Though I wrote for him ten thousand precepts of My law, they are regarded as a strange thing. As for My sacrificial gifts, they sacrifice the flesh and eat it, but the Lord has taken no delight in them. Now He will remember their iniquity, and punish them for their sins; they will return to Eygpt. For Israel has forgotten His Maker and built palaces; and Judah has multiplied fortified cities, But I will send a fire on its cities that it may consume its palatial dwellings.
This passage makes it so obvious that all of man's efforts that have been achieved in violation of God's commands concerning kings will be destroyed by His fire. May hometraining parents be willing to forsake the better to find the best. Will we seek God's wisdom and revelation concerning the methods and subject matter which has been reviewed in this newsletter? Jesus is waiting for the restoration of all things. Acts 3 :19-26 says,
Repent therefore and return, that your sins may be wiped away, in order that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord; and that He may send Jesus, the Christ appointed for you, whom heaven must receive until the period of restoration of all things about which God spoke by the mouth of His holy prophets from ancient time. Moses said, "The Lord God shall raise up for you a prophet like me from your brethren; to Him you shall give heed in everything He says to you. And it shall be that every soul that does not heed that prophet shall be utterly destroyed from among the people." And likewise, all the prophets who have spoken, from Samuel and his successors onward, also announced these days. It is you who are the sons of the prophets, and of the covenant which God made with your fathers, saying to Abraham, "And in your seed all the families of the earth shall be blessed." For you first, God raised up His Servant, and sent Him to bless you by turning every one of you from your wicked ways.
Paul wrote, "and we are ready to punish all disobedience, whenever your obedience is complete." (I Corinthians 10 :6)
May we truly be part of this restoration process and heed the words and lifestyle of Jesus, our perfect example of priest, prophet and king and be families of blessing to others. The Lord spoke these words through Jeremiah,
Thus says the Lord, "Stand by the ways and see and ask for the ancient paths, where the good way is, and walk in it; and you shall find rest for your souls. But they said, `We will not walk in it.' And I set watchmen over you, saying, `Listen to the sound of the trumpet!' But they said, `We will not listen.' "Therefore hear, O nations, and know, O congregation, what is among them. Hear, O earth; behold I, am bringing disaster on this people, the fruit of their plans, because they have not listened to My words, and as for My law, they have rejected it also. For what purpose does frankincense come to Me from Sheba, and the sweet cane from a distant land? Your burnt offerings are not acceptable, and your sacrifices are not pleasing to Me." Therefore, thus says, the Lord, "Behold, I am laying stumbling blocks before this people. And they will stumble against them, fathers and sons together; neighbor and friend will perish." Jeremiah 6 :16-21
This passage promises rest if we seek, ask and walk in the ancient paths that God has made for us, but it also shows that death will come to those who refuse to walk God's ways or refuse to listen to the watchmen who sound the trumpet. God's mercy is always extended when He raises up a prophet; rest always occurs when that prophet is obeyed.
May families who have made the ancient choice to train their children at home continue to walk on the ancient paths which are revealed in the written word of God.
May the following choice of Joshua also be said of us,
Now, therefore, fear the Lord and serve Him in sincerity and truth; and put away the gods which your fathers served beyond the River and in Egypt, and serve the Lord. And if it is disagreeable in your sight to serve the Lord, choose for yourselves today whom you will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served which were beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you are living; but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord. Joshua 24 :14-16
May the peace of Christ be with your spirit,
Earl & Diane Rodd