Archive for January 2014

You Must Eat My Flesh and Drink My Blood   Leave a comment

You Must Eat My Flesh and Drink My Blood

The Last Supper

Scribes and Prophets   11 comments

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“Hearts that are ‘fit to break’ with love for the Godhead are those who have been in the Presence and have looked with opened eye upon the majesty of Deity. Men of the breaking hearts had a quality about them not known to or understood by common men. They habitually spoke with spiritual authority. They had been in the Presence of God and they reported what they saw there. They were prophets, not scribes, for the scribe tells us what he has read, and the prophet tells what he has seen.

“The distinction is not an imaginary one. Between the scribe who has read and the prophet who has seen there is a difference as wide as the sea. We are today overrun with orthodox scribes, but the prophets, where are they? The hard voice of the scribe sounds over evangelicalism, but the Church waits for the tender voice of the saint who has penetrated the veil and has gazed with inward eye upon the Wonder that is God.” (The Pursuit of God)

–A.W. Tozer

“Not all praying men are prophets, but all prophets are praying men.”

–Leonard Ravenhill

A Prophet’s Eyes

I Will Seek God   1 comment

I Will Seek God

“Head knowledge does not bother the devil; it is spiritual knowledge that irks him. That is why he expends a lot of effort to blind the eyes of people so that the light of the gospel will not shine in them, to give them the true knowledge of salvation in Jesus Christ, of the deliverance and life that is in him. The devil knows that spiritual knowledge makes you liberated within (John 8:32). So he’ll rather have you chase shadows even as a Christian than embrace real spiritual truth, which you get from seeking God with all your heart. Therefore the devil wants to keep you from seeking God.”

—Kayode Crown

Why My Wife’s Job is Harder than Mine   1 comment

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This is from the blog Bowling with Ed:

I work at a large, top-200 law firm in one of the ten most populous cities in the country. The hours can be grueling, there are constant deadlines, and the work is mentally demanding.  Any partner in my particular practice area can assign me work, which means I have more than 30 potential bosses.  At any given time, I am working on projects for three to five partners, all of whom believe that their assignment should take priority over any other work.  As a result, there have been many long days (and long nights).

Moreover, being a lawyer at a large firm is a high-stress endeavor.  Even small mistakes can have significant implications and, as a result, tensions can run high.  And of course, because excellence is expected, partners are unlikely to give much positive feedback for a job well done; instead, the reward for good work is more work.

It doesn’t get much better when I venture outside my office.  Lawyers are often the butt of jokes, and society, in general, has little regard for my profession.   In fact, 34% of Americans say that “lawyers contribute little to nothing to society“?

I do not share this to complain or to engender any sympathy. I’m well compensated for my work and am grateful for the opportunity to work at my firm.  My point is simply that the position of “associate” at a major law firm is generally regarded as a very difficult job. With that said, I make the following observation with great confidence: my wife’s job is harder.

My wife is self-employed.  She has only two clients to respond to, sets her own hours, has no dress code to follow, and primarily works from home.  Stated differently, she has two demanding, needy, and childish clients, is on call 24-7, is so busy she doesn’t even have time to shower some days, and is essentially a prisoner in her own home.

The astute reader has deduced her occupation: My wife is a stay-at-home mother (“SAHM”).

In our society, it seems that being a SAHM is frequently misunderstood.  SAHMs are often asked if they “just” stay home with their kids and, if so, how do they fill their days? They are asked if they look forward to “going back to work,” or if they miss having a job. Others (often singles or married women who don’t have children) express their longing for the day when they can stay home with their kids, rhapsodizing about the glory of motherhood and peppering SAHMs with questions about the glorious existence that must be the life of a SAHM.  In other words, our society seems to have concluded that SAHMs are either

  1. On a sabbatical of sorts from the real world, treading water in some sort of slow-moving existence featuring too much free time and not enough significance; or
  2. Living an idyllic life, consisting of snuggling and playing with soft cuddly babies, participating in fun-filled play dates with other moms and babies, and having plenty of time to engage in fulfilling hobbies and friendships.

With these two polar opposite characterizations of SAHMs, I imagine most young mothers feel either an overwhelming sense of insignificance, because the first assumption paints them as unmotivated or unqualified members of society, or a deep sense of personal failure, if their experience as a mother fails to resemble the blissful scenario described by the second assumption.  It’s a bit surprising these views don’t drive young mothers to an institution!  And that is just the external pressure and misunderstanding a SAHM may face from family, friends, (obnoxious) strangers, and the media.  There is still the actual work of motherhood to contend with.

Make no mistake, my wife has made it abundantly clear that she feels extremely blessed to be a SAHM and would not choose to do anything else.  But, that does not change the simple, incontrovertible fact that it is hard work.  Here are just a few of the hats worn by a SAHM (along with the approximate annual salary):
  • Activity Coordinator / Planner – This encompasses not just trips to the zoo, play dates, and parent-tot “craft projects,” but also all the daily activities that keep a child engaged for twelve hours a day.  (Salary: $41,000)
  • Educator and Facilitator of Cognitive Development – SAHMs are working with impressionable and fertile minds. A Harvard study states what “[w]e have long known that interactions with parents, caregivers, and other adults are important in a child’s life, but new evidence shows that these relationships actually shape brain circuits and lay the foundation for later developmental outcomes, from academic performance to mental health and interpersonal skills.” No pressure, right?  Sure, it might be easier to duct-tape their diaper to the floor in front of the TV watching Barney for the greater part of the day, but a good SAHM (like my wife) looks for, and creates, opportunities to stimulate her child’s brain development. (Salary: $28,000)
  • Chef/Hostess/Waitress/Busboy (girl)/Dishwasher – A SAHM’s kitchen duties go well beyond food preparation.  Having observed this process in our home, it goes something like this: (1) prepare the food; (2) convince the child(ren) it really is time to eat, which may or may not involve physically “escorting” the child(ren) to the table; (3) serve the food to the child(ren); (4) field complaints regarding the type of food prepared, its texture, its temperature, its color, its shape, or its taste; (5) confer with the “chef” as to whether an alternate entree is available; (6) return to the table to advise the child(ren) that the kitchen is closed, and risk enduring verbal harassment; (7) pick up food that has been dropped (or thrown) to the floor; (8) after the meal, wipe down (or hose off) the child(ren), the table, and the floor; (9) collect the dishes, rinse them, and load the dishwasher.  In fact, one of the only things separating this experience from an actual restaurant is payment of any kind (and after-dinner mints)! (Salary: $85,000; $23,000; $26,000; $18,000; $22,000)
  • Mediator – For SAHMs with more than one child, conflict resolution is a regular necessity.  Whether they are toddlers, young children, middle schoolers, or high schoolers, allegations of “that’s mine,” “he hit me,” “I was watching that,” “she ruined my jeans,” “he ate the last piece,” and similar claims are sure to resonate within the halls of your home. (Salary: $60,000)
  • Interior Decorator / Organizer – When you walk into a home and it feels warm and inviting, there is a high probability that you are benefiting from what is commonly referred to as “a woman’s touch.”  If, in contrast, the home looks like this:
    empty house

     

    …you are likely experiencing “a man’s touch.” This ability and effort naturally carries over into the children’s rooms and affects not just the aesthetics of those rooms, but also the organization.  You may not have realized, but children are messy.  So any day that you come home and do not trip over or step on multiple toys in the hallway, your room, or on any other available floor space, your wife had something to do with that. (Salary: $51,000)

  • Hazardous Waste Technician: Diapers. Spit-ups. Projectile Vomiting. Potty Training. Need I say more? (Salary: $43,000)
  • Nurse: While some injuries (or perceived injuries) may only require a kiss from mommy to jumpstart the healing process, other slips, tumbles, collisions, and flying objects cause more significant damage.  A SAHM must do triage and carry out the appropriate level of treatment, all while comforting her child in his or her fragile emotional state. (Salary: $65,000)
  • Taxi Service: When my wife was growing up, it was not uncommon for my mother-in-law to drive in excess of 20,000 miles on an annual basis.  Much like at mealtime, the process involved in going anywhere is extensive.  A SAHM must round up the children, load them (and an extensive amount of supplies) into the vehicle, drive to the destination while enjoying the musical stylings of “musicians” like the Wiggles, unload the children and supplies, engage in whatever activity is on the agenda, and then repeat the process to return home.  Moreover, this scenario fails to take into account the various “wrinkles” that may complicate the journey: for example, (1) a child decides that what was inside his tummy after lunch belongs outside his tummy and all over the interior of the car, or; (2) the travelers arrive at the destination only to discover that the activity was cancelled and they didn’t get the message because mommy’s phone is still drying out from having been thrown in the toilet the night before. (Salary: $25,000)
  • Supply Chain Manager – Lest we forget, all the roles filled by a SAHM also require extensive supplies.  Diapers, clothes, laundry detergent, food, books, toys, and copious amounts of carpet cleaner are just the beginning.  Managing inventory, purchasing and restocking essential items is a never-ending process. (Salary: $90,000)

There was an article in Forbes in 2011 suggesting that SAHMs should charge $115,000 for their services.  The total annual approximate salary for the positions I listed above is $577,000.  Granted, a SAHM is not dedicating 40 hours per week to each of these roles, but if someone suggests that it is possible–without paying a substantial salary–to locate an individual that was not only sufficiently skilled to assume all of these roles, but also willing to take on a job with this many responsibilities . . . then I would like to introduce that individual to a little thing I like to call “reality.”

Finally, and lest we forget, merging all these professionals into one SAHM only covers the actual physical labor.  It doesn’t even begin to address the immense feelings of responsibility, and the hopes and dreams for the futures of their precious children.  Nor does it account for the fact that most SAHMs accomplish all of this in a continuous state of sleep deprivation.

If you are wondering what to do with this information, here are two suggestions:

  1. If your wife is a stay-at-home mother, recognize her contributions to your family, thank her (often) for the very important work she does, and try to make sure that you aren’t the only one that gets to take advantage of vacation days.
  2. If you know stay-at-home mothers, stop asking them if it is nice to not have a job, and bless them with the opportunity to have an adult conversation once in a while by taking them out to lunch or dinner.  (And if she leans over to cut your food for you, just let it go!)

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Update: 1/24/2014

 

This post has gotten a tremendous response–one I could not have imagined (300,000 views and counting).  Thank you for reading and sharing it!

I wanted to address something that has come up in some of the comments.  I wrote this post as a tribute to all the work that my wife–a SAHM–does on a daily basis.  Because it was written from my personal perspective and is about my wife, it does not address stay-at-home fathers, or mothers who work outside the home.  Certainly no family has the exact same circumstances as any other and I am confident we all know moms and dads in a variety of situations who are amazing parents and very dedicated to their children.

My hope is that this post encourages all of us-–no matter our particular situation-–to seek to understand and appreciate the contributions of our spouse.  With this in mind, perhaps the best thing we can do is to use this article–and any comments–to support and recognize the contributions of our spouse, no matter the situation.  Thanks again for reading!

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Posted January 25, 2014 by Tim Shey in Uncategorized

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Provision and Protection   Leave a comment

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This is from the blog Daily Meditation:

Nehemiah 9:21: Forty years you sustained them in the wilderness, and they lacked nothing. Their clothes did not wear out and their feet did not swell.

God is the source of our provision and preservation. Provision generally is about what happened to us in the positive, while preservation is about what is not allowed to happen to us in the negative.

In the Garden of Eden Adam and Eve had provision and preservation; God said that of the fruits of the trees in the garden they may freely eat (Genesis 2:15-17). That means they were meant to be vegetarians, and till the time of Noah humanity were vegetarians. But after the flood, God added animal courses for man’s food. God told Noah that they can kill and eat animals (Genesis 9:1-3). It is thereby wrong to add any spiritual meaning to refusing to eat meat. Paul warned against such people in the last days who will be saying people should not eat certain foods, but we should receive every creature (animal and plant) with thanksgiving as given by God.

God made man secure. Security comes from having adequate provision and protection. But when man chose the path of disobedience in the Garden of Eden, he lost out of the provision and preservation of God. His body was meant to be preserved in eternal life (but he was judged with death), while he enjoyed the ambience of the Garden, fitted to meet all his needs and desires (but in judgement sin, Man was chased from the garden to fend for himself [Genesis 3]).

While on earth Jesus enjoyed the provision and protection of God in a deeper way than ever known to man. He said: my meat is to do the will of my father in heaven and to fulfil his work (John 4:34). When he was younger he said: he must go about his father’s business (Luke 2:49). That is the change that we have need: to live our lives realising that we meet our own needs when we meet God’s needs.

Jesus said that we should seek first to please God and walk in his ways, doing his will, performing his assignment and all our needs would be met (Matthew 6:33). We should bother about his kingdom; he would bother about our upkeep. It will cause us to experience righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit in our lives, filling us with divine satisfaction (Romans 14:17). If we would provide for God’s needs, God will provide for us and the bible says that God seeks worshippers who will worship him in spirit and in truth (John 4:23-24); God seeks those who seek to be close to him. He has soft spots for them. He has a special affinity to them.

In the book of psalms we read that God looks down from the earth to see the one who seeks him, who meets his needs, in doing work on the earth (Psalm 14:2). When you are busy doing God’s work God will be busy doing your work; that is the way it is, that is the path to abundant life. Life is for everyone who comes to God abundant life is for those through whom God comes to others.

With God the children of Israel in the wilderness had the assurance of provision and protection. There is a guaranteed that living in the very presence of God brings. The bible says that it is the one who dwells in the secret place of the most high that will abide under the shadow of the almighty (Psalm 91), where there is guarantee of protection. Living in the presence of God for the children of Israel in the wilderness is the guarantee of provision. With trust in their heart they come out daily to pick up the manna that God sends from heaven.

But Jesus reminded us that man shall not live by bread alone but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God (Matthew 4:1-4), which reflects the fact that man exists in three forms and the spirit, soul and body dimensions of men have different needs for provision and protection (1Thessalonians 5:23).

When Jesus was on earth, being the son of God, he had the protection and provision of God and he taught the people that they should expect their father in heaven to give them protection and provision (Matthew 6:6-13, 25-34). In the lines of prayer he taught, he said that we should pray to God: give us this day our daily bread and deliver us from evil, with the certainty that the power of our heavenly father will deliver provision and protection to us.

Provision

The body needs food. But meeting the needs of the body should not be our sole drive. Paul puts it this way: food for the belly and the belly for food, and both will be destroyed (1Corinthians 6:13). The food we give to our body has no eternal consequences. The bible says that the ones who eat, eats to the Lord while the person who declines food does so to the Lord (Romans 14:6-8), because whether we live or die we are the Lord’s.

But there is the food of the soul. That is the word of God (1Peter 2:2), while the food of the spirit is doing the will of God. Paul said that he serves God with his spirit in the gospel of his son Jesus (). And Jesus said that his food is to do the will of his father (Romans 1:9). The food of the spirit is action in the direction of the will of God. That means the more we do the will of God that expresses of the divine codes that God has put in our spirit, that means we release the divine life of God on the earth, bringing divine influence on the earth.

So the opportunity to express your spiritual gift is the opportunity to feed your spirit. It seems contradictory but the truth is that the more the spirit gives the more it “has” to give. Jesus said it this way: the one who have the more will be given to him (Matthew 13:1-13, 25:14-29); he that is faithful in the small things will be faithful in the big things (Luke 16:10); and he that does not have, the little that he has will be taken from him (and that discussion was about service).

Protection

The body needs to be protected. Paul said having food and raiment, we should then be content. Raiment serves as the protection of the body from the element (1Timothy 6:8).

The soul/heart needs protection.  The bible says we should guard our heart with all diligence (Proverbs 4:23). That means we should be careful the kind of influence we subject it to, watch our information gathering system: eyes (e.g. pornography), ears (e.g. mis-information), touch (e.g. sexual touches from wrong people), and mouth (e.g. illicit drugs).

The spirit is also protected when we don’t partake in demonic worship and things that has to do with fellowship with evil spirit (2Corinthians 6:13-18, 1Corinthians 10:19-22), or else we open ourselves to wrongs sprit to usurp the place of our new spirit from God in influences us.

We also protect our sprit when we operate by love. If we operate in bitterness and un-forgiveness, we sell ourselves to tormenting spirit (Matthew 18:21-35); and bitterness, according to the book of Hebrews, has a defiling influence (Hebrews 12:14-15).

Cauldron of Cackling Crooks and Criminals   Leave a comment

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Painting of devoted Mother, immortalized forever

Cauldron of Cackling Crooks and Criminals

The Missing Cross   Leave a comment

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The Missing Cross

Posted January 14, 2014 by Tim Shey in Uncategorized

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Addiction   Leave a comment

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This is from the blog Daily Meditation:

2Chronicles 30:8: Do not now be stiff-necked as your fathers were, but yield yourselves to the LORD and come to his sanctuary, which he has consecrated forever, and serve the LORD your God, that his fierce anger may turn away from you.

Fellowship is a means of yielding to God, breaking from our normal pursuits to pursue God as he should be pursued.

God looks to and fro on the earth to see the one who seeks for him, and he responds to them with his grace (2Chronicles 6:19). The call in the focus verse is to break away from the wrong role models, those who don’t see the point in you being addicted to God. They’ll want you to be addicted to your job, to academics, to the pursuit of fame or money, but you should be unapologetically addicted to God.

They don’t see the point to taking God as extremely important. The man in psalm 11 complained about some people who wondered why he should put his trust in God, telling him: flee like a bird to your mountain (be panicky), but he was adamant in trusting in the Lord. People want to direct his eyes to the dangers (both imagined and real) around but he was adamant to focus on the Lord.

People have addiction to drugs because God actually made us with the ability to have addictions. But before the fall the only addiction that was possible for man was addiction to God. Paul said we should not form an addiction to alcohol or other natural products, but we should form an addiction to the Holy Spirit (spiritual wine), to the presence of God (Ephesians 5:17-18), we should not be chained to natural things (elements) but to the glory of God, addicted to it, develop a strong sense of neediness for it.

Moses had addiction to the glory of God. Moses ask above all else for God to show him his glory (Exodus 33:18). He wanted more of God, he could not have enough. Elisha had an addiction to the anointing, he realised that there was nothing that satisfies like that. He asked for the double portion of the spirit (anointing) of Elijah (2Kings 2:1-15).

The bible says we should be addicted to the righteousness, Paul said we should not be slaves to sin but slaves to righteousness (Romans 6:13). (Note that you are a slave to what you are addicted to.)

That is the mark of the new creatures in Christ Jesus, who are given the restored capability to be addicted to God, to walk by the Spirit (Galatians 5:16) and not by sight (2Corinthians 5:7), not following after inordinate lusts, but following after God.

Timothy was warned that to not follow youthful lust (the excesses of the young, still trying to find his identity), but to be as addicted to righteousness, faith and peace (2Timothy 2:22), be addicted to God as a matter of choice, because in a way, we choose our addictions, then our addictions choose us.

Paul was addicted to the service of God (1Corinthians 9:16). He said he can’t imagine not being in God’s service. He said: woe is me if I preach not the gospel.

You are addicted to what you can’t do without. So the Lord is your recommended addiction, you need to hooked on him. You need the Lord like you need the blood flowing in your vein, like the heart beating in your chest, like the air that you breathe, like the light to help you see your way. He completes you (Colossians 2:10).

There is no other way to relate to God except to recognise that he is both Father and Lord, and as Lord he demands submission. That is why when you come to Jesus, we are required to not only believe in your heart the work of he has done for you on cross in his sacrifice, but to also confess him as Lord, in a commitment to obeying him, yielding to him (Romans 10:9-10).

There is nothing that you should not yield to God.  You should yield your life, your wife, your work, your health, your finances, your children, your time to God etc. He is Lord of all, but he wants to work in your life in cooperation with you when you allow him to be Lord.

Amos asked: can two walk together except they be agreed? You must allow God to be who can be in your life; agree with him on all points as your Lord (Amos 3:3).

When you think everything is getting out of control, and you don’t know what to do, you don’t know what to say when you are questioned (Matthew 10:17-20), and you are ready to give up on yourself, that is good enough but you should complete the equation be giving that situation to God, tying it to him.

When worry seems to choke you up do what Peter said, cast your cares upon him for he cares for you (1Peter 5:7). Whatever is your cause for concern, they are non-issues when you put them in the hands of God; they are cheap for him to deal with. David said that God is the one he will trust because he would deliver him from his enemies.

What about yielding your fears to God; just like with worry, the devil will like nothing more than to choke you with fear, paralysing your initiative, causing you to see the negatives and not the positives in different situations (filled with negative expectations), painting himself in your mind’s eyes as larger-than-he-truly-is, but he is merely a defeated foe. And we are more than conquerors (Romans 8:37).

We should yield ourselves for God to use, for Him to shape the way he wants, to make use of us the way he wants. When God called Jeremiah, he complained that he was a youth, but God told him all he needed was to yield and he will use him for amazing things (Jeremiah 1:1-9).

We should be like clay in the hand of God, see him as potter (Jeremiah 18:1-6). We should be that yielded to him, trusting in his judgement about the direction of our lives, about who we should marry, about what our lives’ pursuit should be.

When we are yielded to God we become a tool in his hands, we become a channel through which he reaches out to others, through which he manifests himself on the earth, shifting the spiritual atmospheres to cause his kingdom to come where we are.

We should yield our words to him. The psalmist prayed: let the word of my mouth and the meditation of my heart is acceptable to you oh God (Psalm 19:14). Paul said that our words should be seasoned with salt so as to minister grace to the hearers (Ephesians 4:29). Yielding our lives to God can start at any age, and there is no limit in the length of time and the season of our lives.

Sarah Palin   7 comments

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This is a comment that I posted on the blog It’s the Women, Not the Men!:

“Speaking of famous women, I am not impressed with Sarah Palin. I know that many conservatives like her a lot, but she really needs to quit promoting herself and go back home and take care of her family/children.

“Her oldest daughter had a child out of wedlock and her oldest son was married and soon divorced. If the mother is out promoting her career, the kids are left raising themselves. If Sarah Palin wants to run for public office, then don’t have children.

“Sarah Palin is a great speaker and is absolutely, drop-dead gorgeous, but she comes across as being selfish. Back in 2008, I was planning on voting for McCain/Palin, but the Lord told me not to vote for anybody.

“Motherhood is beautiful and it is very sacrificial. But too many women sacrifice their children’s formative years so that they can chase their own careers and become media darlings for the madding crowd.”

The Miracle of Motherhood–Sophia Loren
Why My Wife’s Job is Harder than Mine

A Brief Recognition of New England’s Errand into the Wilderness   Leave a comment

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A Brief Recognition of New England’s Errand into the Wilderness

Boston, 1670

By Samuel Danforth

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Excerpts from Danforth’s sermon:

Matth. 11. 7, 8, 9.
—What went ye out into the wilderness to see ? A reed shaken with
the wind?

But what went ye out for to see ? A man clothed in soft raiment? behold, they that wear soft clothing, are in Kings houses.

But what went ye out for to see ? A Prophet ? yea, I say unto you, and more then a Prophet.

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“These words are our Saviour’s Proem to his illustrious En comium of John the Baptist. John began his Ministry, not in Jerusalem, nor in any famous City of Judea, but in the Wilderness, i.e. in a woody, retired and solitary place, thereby withdrawing himself from the envy and preposterous zeal of such as were addicted to their old Traditions, and also taking the people aside from the noise and tumult of their secular occasions and businesses, which might have obstructed their ready and cheerful attendance unto his Doctrine.”

“The general Question is, What went ye out into the Wilderness to see? He saith not, Whom went ye out to hear, but what went ye out to see? Θεάσασθω. The phrase agrees to Shows and Stageplayes; plainly arguing that many of those, who seemed well-affected to John, and flock’d after him, were Theatrical Hearers, Spectators rather than Auditors; they went not to hear, but to see; they went to gaze upon a new and strange Spectacle.”

“Then the general Question is repeated, But what went ye out for to see? and a second particular Enquiry made, Was it to see a man clothed in soft raiment? This Interrogation hath also the force of a negation, q.d. Surely ye went not into the Wilderness to see a man clothed in silken and costly Apparel. The reason of this is added, Behold., they that wear soft clothing, are in Kings houses. Delicate and costly Apparel is to be expected in Princes Courts, and not in wilde Woods and Forrests. Under the negation of John’s affectation of Courtly delicacy, our Saviour sets forth another of John’s excellencies, viz. his singular gravity and sobriety, who wore rough garments, and lived on course and mean fare, Mat. 3. 4. which austere kinde of life was accommodated to the place and work of his Ministry. John Preached in the Wilderness, which was no fit place for silken and soft raiment. His work was to prepare a people for the Lord, by calling them off from worldly pomp and vanities, unto repentance and mourning for sin. His peculiar habit and diet was such as became a penitentiary Preacher.”

“Thirdly, the generall Question is reiterated, But what went ye out for to see? and a third particular Enquiry made, Was it to see a Prophet? This Interrogation is to be understood affirmatively, q.d. no doubt but it was to see a Prophet. Had not John been a rare and excellent Minister of God, you would never have gone out of your Cities into the desert to have seen him. Thus our Saviour sets forth another of John’s admirable excellencies, viz. his Prophetical Office and Function. John was not an ordinary Interpreter of the Law, much less a Teacher of Jewish Traditions, but a Prophet, one who by the extraordinary Inspiration of the holy Ghost, made known the Mysteries of Salvation, Luke 1. 76, 77.”

“All the Prophets foretold Christ’s Coming, his Sufferings and Glory, but the Baptist was his Harbinger and Forerunner, that bare the Sword before him, Proclaimed his Presence, and made room for him in the hearts of the people. All the Prophets saw Christ afar off, but the Baptist saw him present, baptized him, and applied the Types to him personally. Behold the Lamb of God. He saw and bare record that this is the Son of God, Joh. 1. 29, 34. But he that is least in the Kingdome of Heaven, is greater then John. The least Prophet in the Kingdome of Heaven, i.e. the least Minister of the Gospel since Christ’s Ascension, is greater then John; not in respect of the measure of his personal gifts, nor in respect of the manner of his Calling, but in respect of the Object of his Ministry, Christ on the Throne, having finished the work of our Redemption, and in respect of the degree of the revelation of Christ, which is far more clear and full. John shewed Christ in the flesh, and pointed to him with his finger, but the Ministers of the Gospel declare that he hath done and suffered all things necessary to our Salvation, and is risen again and set down at the right hand of God.”

Wearing a Rough Garment
Locusts and Wild Honey
A Prophet’s Eyes
New England’s Avalanche of Apostasy

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