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TESTIMONY AGAINST JOHN VAN LEYIDEN.
Grace, peace, and mercy, from God the Father, through Jesus Christ, be with all true brethren and fellows scattered hither and thither.
THE eternal, merciful God, who has called us from darkness into his marvelous light, nay, who has led us into the kingdom of his beloved Son, Jesus Christ, must keep us upon the right way, that Satan by his wiles does not deceive us, and that no root of bitterness spring up among us to make confusion, and many be thereby made unclean, as is, alas, now the case to, some extent. And thus it must be that sects will arise amongst us that the tried may be made manifest, 1 Pet. 2:9; Col. 1:13; Heb.11:16; Deut. 29:18; 1 Cor. 1:18.
Let none be offended thereat. But let all give heed to the word of God, and abide by it, that they may be delivered from the strange woman, as Solomon says (by which woman we should understand all the false teachers), "Even from the stranger which flattereth with her‑ words; which forsaketh the guide of her youth, and forgetteth the covenant of her God," Prov. 2:16; 4:6, 7. This is the true nature of all false teachers.
First, they forget the pure doctrine of Christ, and choose a strange doctrine. They enchant others so that they can not believe the truth, and use smooth talk, as Paul says, "By good words and fair speeches they deceive the hearts of the simple," Rom.16:18.
Secondly, they leave their Master, Christ, whom alone, they should hear, as the Father testifies of him, saying, " This is my beloved Son in whom I am well pleased. Hear ye him," Matt. 17: C; Mark 9:7; Luke 9:36. But this voice from the Father, all false teachers forget, and they leave their only Master, Christ Jesus; for as they are not of his sheep they hear not his voice, Matt. 23:9; Jn. 10:26.
Thirdly, the false teachers forget the covenant of God; and that to which we should give most heed, they pay no attention, as Christ reprovingly said unto the Pharisees, "Ye pay tithe of mint, and anise, and cummin, and have omitted the weightier matters of the law, judgment, mercy, and faith: these ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone. Ye blind guides ! which strain at a gnat and swallow a camel," Matt. 23:23, 34; and as Paul said, "The end of the commandment is charity, out of a pure heart, and of a good conscience, and of faith unfeigned; from which some having swerved, have turned aside unto vain jangling; desiring to be teachers of the law; understanding neither what they say nor whereof they affirm," 1 Tim. 1:6‑.7. Thus all false teachers forget the covenant of God whereby they are bound to him, as is, alas, the case with many at present, who have forgotten all upon which they were baptized, namely, the cross, and would recommend and make use of the sword. May the Almighty God save all true christians from this, and may he give them wisdom and intelligence to keep the covenant of God, and to be always mindful of what kind of a spirit Christ wants his disciples to be, Luke 9:66.
Grant that they may be aware of this strange woman; for her house is inclined to death, and her ways to corruption. All. those who enter in unto her, will not come out again, nor do they get on the way of life. And this strange woman now reigns extensively, and as she deceives many, as did and yet does the prophetess Jezebel, and as the serpent deceived Eve; therefore we will, by the grace of God, discover some things, that those who are yet blind may become seeing, and that when they acknowledge anti‑Christ to be an abomination standing in the holy place, they may see all deceit, Rev. 2:20; (den. 3:13; Matt. 24:16; 427Mark 13:14; Luke 21:7; Dan. 9:17; Rev. 17:18. And that, as they will not drink of the cup of the Babylonian whore, they may beware of the venom of the serpent, and that if they be bitten by the serpent, they may become aware of it and get rid of the venom ‑by looking on the true serpent, and be thus cured. All of which God must give us, Num. 21:6; Jn. 3:14.
We should not have written, but it becomes necessary; partly because we can not tolerate the shameful deceit and blasphemy against God, that a man be placed in Christ's stead; partly, because we are not allowed a verbal, scriptural defense against such deceit and abominable heresy concerning the promised David, and other articles. But it is the nature of all impostors and erring spirits to flee from the word of God, as Christ says, "For everyone that doeth evil, hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved. But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest that they are wrought in God," Jn. 3:20, 21. Therefore, he that flees from the light, that is, from the word of God, manifests that his deeds are not wrought in God.
But if there are some who can not yet see this they need the eyesalve which is spoken of in the revelation of John, Rev. 3:18. O, God, what perilous times these are I How the prophet Baal conspires with the Moabite king, against the Israel of God! Num. 24; 25.
The Egyptian sorcerers, how they stand against the true Moses I Ex. 6.
How the false Hananiah deceives the pious children of Israel, and makes them trust in falsehood ! Jer. 28.
The Almighty God shall raise a Jeremiah to reprove the deceiver of the people, who shall speak nothing but that which God commands him to speak, and the Lord will place his word in the mouth of this Jeremiah, as a fire, and all false teachers as stubble, that truth may prevail, Jer. 1:17.
And if ever so many prophets of Baal be raised, yet the Lord will leave behind a Micron who shall promulgate the true word of the Lord. But sufficient of this. We shall commence the matter to the honor of God, and to the edification of the church.
In the first place. It is incontrovertible that Almighty God has made his Son, Christ Jesus our Lord, King of all the earth and of his faithful church. That Christ is the King of all the earth is abundantly testified to by the .Scriptures; particularly the prophet David, who says, " The Lord most high is terrible; He is a great king over all the earth," Ps. 47:2; and, "God is gone up with a shout, the Lord with the sound of a trumpet. Sing praises to God, sing praises, sing praises unto our King, sing praises. For God is the King of all the earth: sing ye praises with understanding. God reigneth over the heathen; God sitteth upon the throne of his holiness," Ps. 47:2, 6‑‑8.
Therefore, as true as Christ is God, so true he is King of all the earth.
Paul testifies this to the Ephesians, saying, that God, the Father, " raised him from the dead, and set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places, far above all principality, and power, and might and dominion, and ever‑ name that is named, rot only in this world, but also in that which is to come. And he hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be head over all things to the church," Eph. 1:20‑22.
Christ testifies of himself that he is a mighty King, saying, "All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth," Matt. 28:18. Paul says that Christ is the express image of God, upholding all things by the word of his power, Heb. 1:3.
Thus Christ is the king of all the earth notwithstanding the wicked may deny it. Therefore the prophet says, "The Lord reigneth; let the people tremble; he sitteth between the cherubim; let the earth be moved," Ps. 99:1. Still they can do nothing more than the Lord allows them to do, Jn. 19:11; and none can withstand him. The mountains melt as wax before the Lord, the ruler of all the earth, Pa. 97: G.
Further, that Christ is king of his believing church is clearly testified to by the Scriptures. Thus speaks Isaiah, "Unto us a child is born, unto us a Son is given, and 428
the government shall be upon his shoulder and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, The Mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of peace. Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end," Isa. 9:6.
The house of Jacob is the believing church as is generally understood. Of this, Christ is king, as the angel clearly testified; and as Jeremiah says concerning Christ, that he would be a king who should reign and prosper, Jer. 23: S. Also Isaiah says, "Behold, a king shall reign in righteousness, and princes shall rule in judgment," Is&. 32:1.
As Christ is king, both of all the earth and of his believing church, as we have shown by the plain Scriptures, according to the grace received of God, how can John Van Leyden, now, call himself a joyous king of all, who is become the joy of the miserable i
If he would be our king, our Lord, then Paul and Isaiah must stand back. Paul says, "For though there be that are called gods, whether in heaven or in earth (as there be gods many, and lords many), but to us there is but one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we in him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we by him," 1 Cor. 8: S. Isaiah says, " The Lord is our judge, the Lord is our law‑giver, the. Lord is our king," Isa. 33:22.
Behold, as true as Christ is our judge, and as sure as he is our law‑giver, so sure is he our king. Where, now, is John Van Leyden! O, abominable blasphemy against God, that a man should call himself the joyous king of all! while it is written, O Lord, Lord God, Creator of all things, who art fearful, and strong, and righteous, and merciful, and the only and gracious King," 2 Mac. 1:24; who alone art good, who alone art a mighty king, who alone art righteous, omnipotent, and eternal, who deliverest Israel of all evil. Paul says, "I give thee charge in the sight of God, who quickeneth all things, and before Christ Jesus, who before Pontius Pilate witnessed a good confession: that thou keep this commandment without spot, unrebukable, until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ; which in his time he shall show, who is the blessed and only Potentate, the King of kings, And Lord of lords," 1 Tim. 6:13‑15. Again, it is the greatest blasphemy a man can speak, that John Van Leyden asserts that he is become the joy of the miserable.
Christ became our joy at his birth, according to the testimony of the angel to the shepherds, saying, "Behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day, in the city of David, a Savior, which is Christ the Lord," Luke 2:10, 11; with this the words of David accord, "Light is sown for the righteous, and gladness for the upright in heart. Rejoice in the Lord, ye righteous; and give thanks at the remembrance of his holiness," Ps. 97:11, 12. " Make a joyful noise unto the Lord, all ye lands. Serve the Lord with gladness; come before his presence with singing, know ye that the Lord he is God: it is he that hath made us, and not we ourselves: we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture," Ps. 100:1‑3. " Rejoice in the Lord alway: and again I say, rejoice," Phil. 4:4. Thus all the Scriptures admonish us that we shall rejoice in Christ, our Lord; for it is he of whom the patriarch Jacob prophesied that he would be the expected one of the people, that is, the one for whom the people of God should look with great desire, as Christ also testifies, "Your father Abraham rejoiced to see my day; and he saw it, and was glad," Jn. 8:66.
Christ is the true Melchisedec, king of Salem, that is, the king of peace; who has made peace between God, the Father and the human race, Heb. 7:1. He is the pious Isaac who by his sacrifice has reconciled us with his heavenly Father; and his sacrifice remains worthy forever, Heb. 10:10; 9:12. He is the true David, who has slain the great Goliath, and has taken away the blasphemer of Israel, 1 Sam. 17:49; Eccl. 47:4. Yea he has caused great rejoicing, as it is written, " The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me (says Christ), because the Lord hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the broken hearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of 429the prison to them that are bound; to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all that mourn; to appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the Spirit of heaviness," Isa. 61:1‑3; Luke 4:18,19. Behold, how clearly it is shown here that Christ is become the joy of the miserable, in whom all pious christians rejoice, saying, Rejoicing we will rejoice in the Lord; our souls shall be rejoiced in the Lord; for he has clothed us in raiments of righteousness, and surrounded us with the mantle of righteousness, as a bride ornamented with bracelets. To this the prophet Zechariah admonishes us, saying, "Rejoice greatly O daughter of Zion; shout, O daughter of Jerusalem; behold, thy King cometh unto thee; he is just, and having salvation; lowly, and riding upon an ass, and upon a colt, the foal of an ass," Zech. 9:9; Matt. 21:2. And the king's prophet David, says, 11 Sing unto the Lord a new song, and his praise in the congregation of saints. Let Israel rejoice in him that made him: let the children of Zion be joyful in their king. Let them praise his name in the dance; let them sing praises unto him with the timbrel. and harp," Ps. 149:1‑3.
Thus did all the saints of God, as did David, who says, " Our soul waiteth for the Lord; he is our help and our shield. For our heart shall rejoice in him; because we have trusted in his holy name," Ps. 33:20, 21. And, "Lo, this is our God; we have waited for him; and he will save us; this is the Lord; we have waited for him, we will be glad and rejoice in his salvation," Isa. 25:9. By this we may see how all the saints have rejoiced in God. And how can we rejoice in man, as it is written, " Put not your trust in princes, nor in the son of man, in whom there is no help. His breath goeth forth, he returneth to his earth; in that very day his thoughts perish. Happy is he that hath the God of Jacob for his help, whose hope is in the Lord his God," Ps. 146:3‑5; who helps the miserable, and raises up the crushed. " He is their mighty protection and strong stay, a defense from heat, and a cover from the sun at noon, a preservation from stumbling and an help from falling. He raiseth up the soul, and lighteneth the eyes, he giveth health, life, and blessing," Eccl. 34:16, 17. As Christ is become our joy, so every one may judge for himself what an abomination it is in the sight of God, that a man would be that which our Savior, Christ is. Is it not an abominination standing in the holy place? And what is worse yet, this John Van Leyden is not satisfied with passing himself for the joyous king of all, who is become the joy of the miserable; but he also claims to be the promised David of whom all the prophets testify; and does not admit that Christ is he who was promised.
Of such a mind are ‑all false prophets and anti‑christs. That they have on their heads names of blasphemy, and crowns like unto gold, by which is meant pride, as may be seen by the Babylonian whore who was arrayed in scarlet color, having a golden cup in her hand, full of abominations and filthiness of her fornication; for she saith in her heart, I sit a queen, and shall see no sorrow, Rev. 17:4; 18:7. But the Lord can not tolerate it, and says, "Babylon, the glory of kingdoms, the beauty of the chaldees' excellency, shall be as when God overthrew Sodom ‑and Gomorrah," Isa. 13:19. Therefore, shall her plagues come in one day, Rev. 18:7. And not Babylon alone, but also all anti‑christs, together with their deceit and false writings, shall be destroyed, as Christ says, "Every plant which my heavenly Father hath not planted, shall be rooted up," Matt. 15:13.
And greater anti‑christ than he is who passes himself for the promised David, can not make his appearance, which promised David is‑.Christ, as the Scriptures abundantly testify. He that hath ears to hear let him hear.
First, the prophet Hosea says, "For the children of Israel shall abide many days without a king, and without a prince, and without a sacrifice, and without an image, and without and ephod, and without a teraphim; afterward shall the children of Israel return and seek the Lord their God, and David their king, and shall fear the 430Lord, and his goodness in the latter days," Hosea 3:4, 5.
It is incontrovertible that this king David can be none other than Christ Jesus, whom all must seek who want to be saved, as it is written, Seek the Lord and ye shall live, Amos 5:4. Isaiah says, "Seek ye the Lord while he may be found, call ye upon him while he is near," Isa. 55:6. For this reason David says, "I sought the Lord and he heard me, and delivered me from all my fears," Ps. 34:5. And Christ, the wisdom .of God says, He that findeth me findeth the life, and shall have the pleasure of the Lord. And what other king should the children of Israel have than Christ Jesus, the true Melchisedec, king of Salem, which is, King of peace? Heb. 7:1; of whom the whole number of disciples have testified thus: "Blessed be the King that cometh in the name of the Lord; peace in heaven, and glory in the highest," Luke 19:28; 2:14.
The Jews despised this King, Christ, and therefore they were blinded, yet they shall return and come to Christ, their King David, as Paul testifies, saying, "That blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fullness of the gentiles be come in. And so all Israel shall be saved: as it is written, There shall come out of Zion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob. For this is my covenant unto them, when I shall take away their sins," Rom. 11:26; Isa. 59:20. As Israel is yet to be converted unto Christ, it follows incontrovertibly that the King David, whom Israel shall seek; can be no other than Christ.
Therefore every righteous person will understand in what terrible error those are who do not believe that by David, we should understand Christ, but another man. And of such, Christ says, "I am come in my Father's name, and ye receive me not; if another shall come in his own name, him ye will receive," Jn. 5:43. But those who with Jerusalem, will not receive Christ, will also be destroyed with it; and those who, with the Pharisees, oppose Christ, and yet think that they are enlightened, should also be blinded with the Pharisees. Let all pray to God for wisdom, and they shall understand that Christ is the true David, Luke 18:7: Isa. 6:10; Jn. 9:12.
Again, Jeremiah says, "It shall come to pass in that day, saith the Lord of hosts, that I will break his yoke from off thy neck, and will burst thy bonds, and strangers shall no more serve themselves of him: But they shall serve the Lord their God, and David their king, whom I will raise up unto them," Jer. 30:8, 9.
Now the commandment of the Lord is, "Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve," Matt. 4:10. Therefore this king David is none but Christ, which the Father has raised unto us, saying, Yet have I set my king upon my holy hill of Zion. And the christian church acknowledges no other king, no other Lord but Christ. Therefore all the saints say, "The Lord is our defense; and the Holy One of Israel is our King," Ps. 89:18. Now who is the Holy One but he of whom Isaiah testifies, saying, " For thus saith the high and lofty One that inhabiteth eternity, whose name Js Holy," Isa. 57:16. And "These things saith he that is holy, . . . . ha that hath the key of David," Rev. 3:7. Thus speaks Jeremiah concerning Babylon, "Recompense her according to her work; according to all that she hath done, do unto her; for she hath been proud against the Lord, against the Holy One of Israel.," Jer. 50:29.
Thus the Holy One of Israel is none but the true Gbd and Lord, Christ Jesus; therefore none can be the King of his believing church, but Christ, as the Spirit of God testifies through the prophet Micah, saying, "The Lord shall reign over them in mount Zion, from henceforth, even forever," Micah 4:7; who else is this Shepherd but Christ, of whom was prophesied, "Behold, the Lord God will come with strong hand, and his arm shall rule for him; behold, his reward is with him, and his work before him. He shall feed his flock like a shepherd; he shall gather the lambs with his arm, and carry them in his bosom, and shall gently lead those that are with young," Isa. 40:10, 11.
Christ testifies of himself that he is this shepherd, for he says, " I am the good shepherd; the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep," Jn. 10:11. Christ truly pastures his sheep; he is the door to the 431sheep‑fold; all who enter into the fold through him, shall be saved; he shall go in and out, and find good pasture. Therefore David says, " The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: He leadeth me beside the still waters," Ps. 23:1, 2; and the apostle Peter says, " For ye were as sheep going astray, but are now returned unto the Shepherd and Bishop of your souls," 1 Pet. 2:25. Further, the Lord God says, My servant David shall be a Prince among them. Let none be offended at God the Father, calling his Son Christ, servant, saying, "Behold my servant, whom I uphold, mine elect, in whom my soul delighteth," Isa. 42:1; and at another place: "Behold my servant, whom I have chosen; my beloved, in whom my soul is well pleased," Matt. 12:18; at still another place, the Father speaks concerning Christ, "By his knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many," Isa. 53:11.
Therefore this servant David is Christ; and he is the Prince of the christians. And who else should be a prince of the church of Christ, but Christ, as Paul testifies that he alone is the Prince; and as the prophet says, " Thou Bethlehem Ephratah, though thou be not the least among the thousands of Judah, yet out of thee shall he come forth unto me that is to be ruler in Israel; whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting," Micah S:2.
The Lord farther speaks through the same prophet, "So shall they be my people and I will be their God, and David my servant shall be King over them; and they all shall have one Shepherd," Ezek. 37:24. We have heretofore clearly proven by the Scriptures that God the Father has placed no other king over Zion, than his Son Jesus Christ, and that he gave him an eternal kingdom, therefore it is needless to go over this again; and that Clod the Lord says, "David my servant shall be King over them, and they all shall have one shepherd," is also understood to be said in regard to Christ; for no man can be our only shepherd; and although Clod gives " some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers," Eph. 4:11; yet the only Shepherd is Christ, and nobody else, as may be plainly understood from the words of Christ, " Other sheep I have, which are not of this fold; them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold and one shepherd," Jn. 10:16.
All the believing are the sheep of Christ and there is but one fold, of which Christ is the Shepherd. From this it must follow that Christ is the only Shepherd, and that no one else can be the only Shepherd. For this reason Peter calls Christ, the chief Shepherd; and Paul says, "Now the Clod of peace, that brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great Shepherd of the sheep through the blood of the everlasting covenant, make you perfect in every good work to do his will," Heb. 13:20; 1 Pet. 5:4.
Thus Christ is the only Shepherd; for all the believing must hear his voice and the voice of no other. From this it follows incontrovertibly, that he is also the promised David, according to the words of the Lord, "David my servant shall be King over them; and they all shall have one Shepherd." Besides this Clod says, "My servant David shall be their Prince forever." I trust that none are so ignorant (unless he be mad, and accursed), as to understand these words as having reference to some man, that a man shall be our eternal Prince. For it is written that Clod alone is eternal, and alone immortal, and that he dwells in a light to which none can come. No man can be our eternal Prince; but Christ is our eternal Prince, and his kingdom is an eternal kingdom, as it is written, " Thy throne, O Clod, is forever," Ps. 45:6; Heb. 1:8. Paul and Peter say that Christ's kingdom is eternal; and the angel said to Mary, "The Lord Clod shall give him the throne of his father David, and he shall reign over the house of Jacob, forever,. and of his kingdom there shall be no end," Luke 1:33. Again the prophet says, "His seed shall endure forever, and his throne as the sun before me. It shall be established forever as the moon, and as a faithful witness in heaven," Ps. 89:36, 37. From this all must be convinced that our eternal Prince is none but Christ, therefore our promised David is none but Christ.
432Fourthly, it reads thus in one of the Psalms, "Then thou spakest in vision to thy Holy One, and saidst, I have laid help upon one that is, mighty; I have exalted one chosen out of the people. I have found David my servant; with my holy oil have I anointed him," Ps. 89:19,, 20. Who is this mighty one on whom God laid help, but Christ Jesus who has all power in heaven and on earth, to whom God has submitted all things and to whom are committed all things pertaining to the church? Matt. 28:18; Heb. 2:8; Eph. 1:22.
On this Christ, the Almighty God has laid help; for we are helped and saved by him as Christ says, "If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed," Jn. 8:36; and Paul says, "For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh," Rom. 8:3.
Christ is the strong Samson who broke the jaw bones of the lion; he is the pious David who slew the great Philistine with whom none of the Israelites dared fight; he is the chosen one, whom the Father has chosen as his own Son, saying, " Behold, my servant whom I have chosen," Matt. 12:18. This chosen one‑the Father has exalted from out the people, inasmuch as he has placed him as King of his holy mount Zion, as the Prince who shall rule his people; for this reason the church acknowledges him to be their head, and to be the most exalted of men on earth, saying, "As the apple tree among the trees of the wood, so is my beloved among the sons. I sat down under his shadow with great delight, and his fruit was sweet to my taste," Cant. 2:3. Further the Lord says," I have found my servant David; with my holy oil have I anointed him," Ps. 89:20.
This anointed David is Christ; for he is the truly anointed of the Lord to whom God the Father speaks, " Thy throne, O God, is forever; a sceptre of righteousness is the sceptre of thy kingdom; thou hast loved righteousness, and hated iniquity; therefore God, even thy God, hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy fellows;" Christ says, " The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me." Peter also says, "God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy (host and with power," Heb. 1:8, 9; Ps. 45:6, 7; Luke 4:18; Acts 10:38.
If any one should yet be in doubts (something which is impossible, in view of such plain Scripture), then let him consider the following words, "He shall cry unto me, Thou art my Father, my God, and the Rock of my salvation. Also I will make him my first‑born, higher than the kings of the earth," Ps. 89:26, 27. Christ is the firstbegotten Son of God, as Paul says, God the Father has predestinated us to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the first‑born among many brethren. And to the Hebrews, " When he bringeth in the first‑begotten into the world, he saith, And let all the angels of God worship him," Heb. 1:6; Rom. 8:29.
Therefore, as true as Christ is the firstbegotten Son of God, so true he is the servant David whom the Father anointed with the holy oil, that is, with his Holy Ghost.
Again, the Lord says concerning his servant David, "My mercy will I keep for him forevermore, and my covenant shall stand fast with him. His seed also will I make to endure forever, and his throne as the days of heaven," Ps. 89:28, 29. This seed is the children; for it further reads: If his children forsake my law. Now it is manifest that this should not be understood as having reference to the carnal children of the figurative David; for they committed themselves to idolatry, and quite forsook the law of God. For this they were often punished, and, at last, cut from the olive tree as unfruitful branches, Rom. 11:21.
Nor did the worldly kingdom of David remain unbroken; but it was destroyed; as the holy patriarch Jacob, and other prophets prophesied. And to understand it as having reference to the carnal children of David, is contrary to the epistle of Paul to the Romans, as he there says, " For they are not all Israel, which are of Israel. Neither, because they are the seed of Abraham, are they all children: but, in Isaac shall thy seed be called. That is, they which are the children of the flesh, these are not the children of God; but the children of the promise are counted for the seed," Rom. 9:6‑‑5; 433therefore we should not understand this seed as having reference to the carnal children, but to the spiritual seed, of which it is written: When my servant shall have given his life as a sacrifice then he shall have seed and live long. This seed are all the true children of God, which are born again, "not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God," 1 Pet. 1:23.
Christ says, "Behold I and the children which God hath given me," Heb. 2:13; and these children of God abide in eternity, eternal joy and peace shall be upon them: they shall always reign with Christ, and Christ their King has an eternal kingdom, and his throne shall be as the days of heaven. This psalm quite agrees with the words of the prophet Nathan, which he spoke unto David promising him Solomon. As we must not understand the words of the prophet Nathan as referring to Solomon alone, but rather as referring to Christ (although the words in a literal sense are spoken in reference to Solomon), thus we should not understand the words of the psalm as referring to carnal David alone, but rather to the true David, Christ Jesus. And this the following text strongly implies, which speaks of the peace of Christ. This is our confession of the promised David.
We might, by the grace of God, write a great deal more to show that Christ is our promised David; but we presume that sufficient has been written for the intelligent. We do not serca the contentious. Let them cry. Let them/make unto themselves a different king, yet Christ will remain the eternal King reigning in his believing church. He is the Lord. He will not give his glory td another. He will have incense which shall be sanctified unto him. And whosoever shall make such incense unto himself, his soul shall be rooted out from Israel, Ex. 5.
None shall succeed in exalting himself to Christ and opposing truth. They may make a disturbance, but Moses and Aaron will gain the victory. Jannes and Jambres must give way and be shamed, 2 Tim. 3:8. Korah, Dathan and Abiram may rise against Moses, but they shall perish with their confederates, Num. 16:32.
A proud Uzziah may rise and appropriate the glory which is not due him, but he will be smitten of God, 2 Chron. 26:16.
Hophni and Phinehas may for a time make the people transgress, and turn them from the true religion, but they shall obtain their reward, 1 Sam.‑ 2:12; 4:11. Let every one take heed and remain in Christ. Sufficient of this.
By the grace of God we will also write a little about warfare, that christians are not allowed to fight with the sword, that we may unanimously leave the armor of David. to the carnal Israelites; and the sword of Zerubbahel to those who build the temple of Zerubbabel in Jerusalem, which was a figure of them and a shadow of things coming. For the body itself is in Christ as. Paul says, Col. 2:9.
Now we should not understand that the figure of the Old Testament is so applied to the truth of the New Testament, that flesh is understood as referring to flesh; but the figure must answer the truth; the image, the being, and the letter, the Spirit.
If we take this view of it we shall easily understand with what kind of. arms christians should fight, namely, with the word of God, which is a two edged sword, of which we will, by the assistance of God, say a few words, Heb. 4:12; Eph. 6:17.
Whereas the eternal God has raised his Son Christ, a Prophet unto us whom we shall hear; and whereas Christ testifies of himself that he is our only Master,, therefore it is incontrovertible that we dare not accept any other doctrine but the doctrine of Christ. No strange doctrine, which is contrary to the doctrine of Christ and that which the apostles by the Holy Ghost have written and taught unto us, I say, we dare accept, Deut. 18:16; Acts 3:22; 7:37; Matt. 23:9. For there may be no strange fire offered unto God. Christ will not tolerate the leaven of the Pharisees, Lev. 10:1; Matt. 16:8.
The Lord does not suffer his doctrine to be adulterated; he punishes all false doctrine, as he spoke about Jerusalem, "Thy 434silver is become dross, thy wine mixed with water," "and I will turn my hand upon thee‑and purely purge away thy dross," Isa. 1:22, 25; thus God hates all false doctrine; and therefore the apostles admonish us that we shall abide in God's word alone, as John Bays, "Let that therefore abide in you which ye have heard from the beginning. If that which ye have heard from the beginning shall remain in you, ye also shall continue in the Son, and in the Father," 1. Jn. 2:24. Paul says that we should beware of those who raise contentions and are offended at the doctrine which he preached, that they should be separated. Yea, so strongly does Paul urge his doctine that he says, "If any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed," Gal. 1:8. Thus Paul teaches in all his epistles to beware of a strange gospel, and to abide in the doctrine which is not his, but of the Holy Ghost, according to the words of Christ, "For it is not ye that speak, but the Spirit of your Father which speaketh in you." Now the Spirit of God speaks thus through Paul, "My brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. Put on the whole armor of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. Wherefore take unto you the whole armor of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and, having done all, to stand. Stand, therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; and your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace. Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked; and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God," Eph. 10:10‑17; 1.Thess. 5:8. At another place: "For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strongholds; casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and ‑bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ. And having in a readiness to revenge all disobedience, when your obedience is fulfilled," 2 Cor. 10:4‑6. He that is not blind will understand with what weapons the christian is to fight, namely, with the word of God; with this they should be well armored. For thus speaks the holy church: "Behold, his bed. which is Solomon's; threescore valiant men are about it, of the valiant of Israel; they all hold swords, being expert in war; every man hath his sword upon his thigh because of fear in the night," Cant. 3:7, 8; that is, each one is armed with the sword of the Spirit against all the wiles of the devil, against all false doctrine. Concerning Christ it is written, " Gird thy sword upon thy thigh, O most Mighty, with thy glory and thy majesty. And in thy majesty ride prosperQusly, because of truth and meekness, and righteousness; and thy right hand shall teach thee terrible things. Thine arrows are sharp in the heart of the king's enemies; whereby the people fall under thee," Ps. 45:3‑5.
Here the Scriptures say that Christ shall have a sword. What sword now shall Christ have? This he himself tells in' the " Revelation," in these words," Repent; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will fight against them with the sword of my mouth;" Rev. 2:16.
If Christ fights his enemies with the sword of his mouth, if he smites the earth with the rod of his mouth, and slay the wicked with the breath of his lips; and if we are to be conformed unto his image, how can we, then, fight our enemies with any other sword? Does not the apostle Peter say, " For even hereunto were ye called, because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps: who did not sin, neither was guile found in his mouth: who, when he was reviled, reviled not again; when he suffered he threatened not; but committed himself to him that judgeth righteously?" 1 Pet. 2:21‑23; Matt. 16:24. This accords with the words of John who says, That he that abides in Christ, walks as Christ walked. Christ himself says, "Whosoever will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his 435cross, and follow me," Mark 8:34; Luke 9:23. Again, ~'My sheep hear my voice . . . . and they fellow me," Jn. 10 27. And this is the voice: of Christ, " Ye have heard that it hath been said, "An eye for an eye; and a tooth for a tooth: But I say unto you, that ye resist not evil: but whosoever shall smite them on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also."
Again, " Ye have heard that it was said, Thou shah love thy neighbor, and hate thine enemy: But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven, for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust. For if ye love them which love you what reward have ye? Do not even the publicans the same I And if ye salute your brethren only, what do you more than others? Do not even the publicans so? Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect," Matt. 5:39, 43‑47; Rom. 12:20; 1 Pet. 3:9; Luke 6:34; 1 Pet. 1:15. Behold this is the voice of Christ. All those now who are his sheep will hear his voice. But those who are not his sheep will not hear his voice, as Christ said unto the Pharisees, "Ye believe not because ye. are not of my sheep." The Pharisees thought they had Moses and the prophets, they also had a semblance of holiness; but they did not hear the voice of Christ, therefore it was all in vain. Thus it is with all those who do not submit themselves to the commandments of Christ.
It is not in the leaves of the tree, but in the fruit. And which is the right kind of fruit, Paul clearly, testifies, saying,." The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance," (Gal. 5:22, 23. Here we are not taught to take up the carnal sword, or to repay evil with evil. But rather _as Paul says at another place, " Recompense to no man evil for evil. Provide things honest in the sight of all men. If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with ‑all men. Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves; but rather give place unto wrath: For it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord. Therefore if thine enemy hunger, feed. him; if he thirst, give him drink; for in so doing thou shalt heap coals of fire on his head. Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good," Rom. 12:17‑21. And how can christians fight with the implements of war? Paul plainly says, "Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus," Phil. 2:5. Now, Christ Jesus was minded to suffer; thus, all christians must be so minded.
Christ did not suffer Peter to defend him with the sword; how can a christian, then, defend himself with the sword? Christ would drink the cup which the Father had given him; how then, can a christian refuse to drink its Matt. 26:51; Luke .22:50; Mark 14:47; Jn. 18:11.
Or does any person expect to be saved by other means than those which Christ has taught us? Is not Christ the way, the truth, and the life? Is he not the door to the fold, so that none can enter into the fold but by him 8 Jn. 10:9; 14:6.
Is he not the Shepherd of his sheep, whom the sheep should follow? Is not he our Lord and Prince? And who is it that would be above his Master but he that would not suffer, as he has suffered. Who is it that would be above his master but he that is not satisfied with his Master's doctrine? Let every one take heed. It is forbidden us to take up arms, Matt. 10:24; Jn. 13:16; 15:20.
Paul says, " Put them in mind to be subject to principalities and powers, to obey magistrates; to be ready to every. good work, to speak. evil of no man, to be no brawlers, but gentle, shewing all meekness unto all men," Titus 3:1, 2. And the holy apostle James says, "Be patient, therefore brethren unto the coming of the Lord. Behold the husbandman waiteth for the precious fruit of the earth, and hath long patience for it, until he receive the early and latter rain. Be ye also patient: stablish your heart; for the coming of the Lord draweth nigh.
Take, my brethren, the prophets, who have spoken in the‑name of the Lord, for‑ an example of suffering, affliction, and of patience. Behold, we count them happy 436which endure. Ye have heard of the patience of Job, and have seen the end of the Lord; that the Lord is very pitiful, and of tender mercy," Jas. G:7‑11. If we are to be longsuffering until the coming of the Lord, then it is, surely, forbidden to fight inasmuch as the Lord is not yet come.
And if we are to take the prophets as an example to bear with persecution, then we must put on the apostolic armor, and the armor of David must be left behind. How would it comport with the word of God, that one who boasts of being a christian, should lay aside the spiritual weapons and take up the carnal ones, for Paul says, " The servant of the Lord must not strive; but be gentle unto all men, apt to teach, patient; in meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth. And that they may recover themselves out of the snake of the devil, who are taken captive by him at his will," 2 Tim. 2:24‑26.
All of you who would fight with the sword of David, and be the servants of the Lord, consider these words, which show how a servant should be minded. If he is not to strive, how can he war! If he is to be gentle to all men, how can he then hate them and do evil unto them? If he is to be apt to teach, how can he lay aside the apostolic weapons 8 If he is to teach he will need them. If he is to instruct in meekness those that oppose, how can he destroy them?
If he is to instruct in meekness those that oppose truth, how can he angrily punish those that do not yet acknowledge the truth? Paul says, if God peradventure will give them repentance. But some will not wait for that, and if they even do it with good intention, still they with Uzzah lay their hands on the ark of God. Therefore I fear that it will not be left unpunished. And if they with Saul, even saved the best beasts of the Amalekites, for sacrifices unto God, yet it will not please the Lord; for. it is contrary to his word. He has pleasure in obedience and not in sacrifices.
But now some say, the Lord wants to punish Babylon, and that by his christians; they must be his instruments. O, God! It would be well if we would leave the Lord to do his works, and remember the words of Ecclesiasticus: "Seek not out the things that are too hard for thee, neither search the things that are above thy strength. But what is commanded thee, think thereupon with reverence; for it is not needful for thee to see with thine eyes the things that are in secret. Be not curious in unnecessary matters," Eccl. 3:21‑23.
For many things are shown men above their understanding, and presumption has caused many to fall, and held their understanding in vanity. It would also be well for those who ask, with the disciples of the Lord, when the kingdom of Israel is to be restored, to observe the answer of the Lord: "It is not for you to know the times or the seasons, which the Father hath put in his own power," Acts 1:6. But this they forget, and cry: God will shortly punish and destroy Babylon. To do this the christians must be his instruments; and this they make the simple believe; for which reason we will adduce some Scriptures. It is true that God will punish Babylon, but not by his christians; for thus speaks Jeremiah: "The Lord hath raised up the spirits of the kings of the Medea; for his device is against Babylon to destroy it; because it is the vengeance of the Lord, the vengeance of his temple." Again: "Prepare against her the nations, with the kings of the Medea, the captains thereof, and all the rulers thereof, and all the land of his dominion. And the land shall tremble and sorrow: for every purpose of the Lord shall be performed against Babylon, to make the land of Babylon a desolation without an inhabitant," Jer. 51:11, 28, 29.
I am aware that this was fulfilled against Babylon, in the Chaldee country, though the Roman Babylon shall not escape the same plague; but I have adduced this for the service of the advocates of the sword who want to prove by this Scripture of Jeremiah, that the christians shall punish Babylon, while the prophet clearly testifies that God has done this by heathen hands, and that it is his will that it shall be done by such, as is shown by Rev. 17:16: " The ten horns which thou sawest upon the beast, these shall hate the whore, and shall make her desolate and naked, and shall eat her flesh, and 437burn her with fire. For God hath put in their hearts to fulfill his will, and to agree and give their kingdom unto the beast, until the words of God shall be fulfilled."
Thus it may be plainly understood from these words that the Babylonian whore shall be destroyed, not by christians; as also, that christians should not destroy. A Theudas may rise up and cause a disturbance, but he shall not succeed, Acts 5:36. There may rise up a Judas Galilee and cause a riot, but he shall perish, and all his followers shall perish and be scattered. Let every person beware and diligently observe the Scriptures, and he shall see that the Lord himself will destroy, at his coming again, and punish all his enemies who will not submit to him. For Luke says, "It came to pass, that when he was returned, having received the kingdom, then he commanded these servants to be called unto him, to whom he had given the money, that he might know how much every man had gained by trading;" and when his servants had given an account, he said, "But those mine enemies which would not that I should reign over them, bring hither, and slay them before me," Luke 19:15, '~)7.
This Scripture clearly testifies that the Lord Christ, must first come again, before all his enemies are punished. And how Christ will come ‑again he himself testifies, saying, "For the son of man shall come in the glory of his Father, with his angels; and then he shall reward every man according to his works," Matt. 16:27. Again, " For as the lightening cometh out of the east, and shineth even unto the west; ‑so shall also the coming of the son of man be." "And then shall appear the sign of the son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the son of man coming in the clouds of heaven, with power and great glory," Matt. 24:27, 30; Mark 13:26; Luke 17:24. The two angels also testified how Christ would come again, saying, " Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven E This same . Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven," Acts 1:11. From this it is plain to everybody how Christ shall come; therefore, when ye shall see Christ come in this manner then you may rest assured that all the enemies‑of God will be punished; and do not suppose that it shall be so before his coming again, for you will find yourselves mistaken; or else God's word must be false, which is impossible. Luke also says, that the Lord had received the kingdom.
Of this Daniel says, "I saw in the night visions, and behold, one like the son of man came with the clouds of heaven, and came to the Ancient of days, and they brought him near before him. And there was given him dominion, and glory, and a kingdom, that all people, nations, and languages, should serve him: his dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom, that which shall not be destroyed," Dan. 7:13, 14. Here observe of whom Christ receives this kingdom, that you may see what abominable deceit it is that some say that John Van Leyden would take the kingdom, and that he who has taken it will give it unto Christ, as David gave the kingdom unto Solomon.
Further, the evangelist says, That Christ will take account with his servants, which will not be until the day of judgment; Paul says, "We must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad," 2 Cor. G:10. Jesus says, " That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment," Matt. 12:36. Then the faithful servants shall enter into the kingdom of their Lord; then shall the wicked be punished, and all whose names are not found written in the book of life will be cast into the lake of fire; for they would not confess Christ to be their king, but worshipped the beast and his image, Rev. 20:15; 13:8.
This parable some adulterate, and say, "The enemies of God must be destroyed before the coming of Christ, and therefore we will be the instruments to do so."‑ But they must come to shame; " For thus saith the Lord God, the Holy One of Israel; In returning and rest shall ye be saved; in quietness and in confidence shall be your strength: and ye would not. But ye said, 438No; for we will flee upon horses; therefore shall ye flee; and we will ride upon the swift; therefore shall they that pursue you be swift," Isa. 30:15. O, that the advocates of the sword would observe these words I Yea, those who would be angels to root up the tares ! while Christ told the parable with a different understanding, saying, " The good seed are the children of the kingdom; but the tares are the children of the wicked one; the enemy that sowed them is the devil, the harvest is the end of the world; and the reapers are the angels," Matt. 13:38, 39. Inasmuch as the christians are the good seed, how then can they be the angels or reapers; or if they be the reapers, how can they be the seed? These two are quite different things, the seed and the reapers; its plainness is incontrovertible.
It is true that the christians are sometimes called angels. But we cannot always understand it, when reading of angels, as meaning the believing. There are also other angels of which it is written: "Who maketh his angels spirits; his ministers a flaming fire," Ps. 104:4; 103:20; Heb. 1:7. With these angels Christ will come, as Paul says, " The Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels, in flaming fire, taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ," 2 Thess. 1:7, 8. These angels will be the reapers who, ‑at the end of the world, that is, in the day of judgment, will root up all tares and cast them into the lake of fire. Until that time the tares will be left among the good seed; let none think that we should root up the tares now, or that we should now separate the goats from the sheep. " When the son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory: And before him shall be gathered all nations; and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats: and he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left," Matt. 25 r31‑33.
These words are as clear as the sun, yet some do not understand them, so that we may well say unto them, " foolish Galations, who hath bewitched you, that ye should not obey the truth, before whose eyes Jesus Christ hath been evidently set forth, crucified among you $ This only would I learn of you." Whether you are baptized on the sword or on the cross? "Are ye so foolish? having begun in the Spirit, are ye now made perfect by the flesh? Have ye suffered so many things in vain? if it be yet in vain," Gal. 3:1‑4.
What avails it that you have left Egypt if you again look back to Egypt, that is, to darkness, and leave the true light, yea, are desirous after the flesh of Egypt, that is, human doctrine, and are not satisfied with the bread from heaven? Ex. 14:11; Num. 14:2.
What does it avail that you are gone away from Pharaoh, if you are slain by Amalek on account of your disobedience; that is, because you fight against the will of the Lord? What does it profit that you have gone through the Red Sea with the children of Israel, if you do not enter with Joshua and Caleb, into the promised land, by firm faith in God's word? And how we are to enter into the promised land, in the eternal kingdom of God, is. testified to by Paul and Barnabas, who taught the churches that they had to enter into the kingdom through many tribulations.
Christ has not taken his kingdom with the sword, but he entered it through much suffering. Yet they mean to take it by the sword 1 O, blindness of man I But thus it must be, that those who will not confess Christ to be their only Shepherd, that they may be pastured by him, will have to eat of the pastures which are trampled upon; and that those who will not draw the clear, crystal water from the fount of the Savior, will have to drink the impure water which the false shepherds have made impure with their feet. And that for the reason, because they have done double evil to the children of Israel. ‑ They have forsaken the Lord, the living fountain, and have made fountains of their own which appear beautiful, but they afford no water. Therefore I admonish all beloved brethren, yea, I pray you by the mercy of God our Lord Jesus Christ, to‑ give heed to the word of God, and do not forsake it; for you have seen your Master Christ, with the eye of faith, 439and you have heard his voice, saying, This is the true way, walk upon it, go neither to the right hand nor to the left.
Let every one of you guard against all strange doctrine, of the sword, of opposition and of other like things, which is nothing short of a fine cover, under which lies hidden an evil serpent which has blown its venom into many. Let every one beware of it I
Let every one behave himself in accordance with the example of the divine word, which he has received from the apostles, by faith and love. Let every one remember that Christ was taught to him in no other way but through tribulation. Abide in it.For in Christ is an upright being; he. is the light of the world; he who follows him shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life, Ps. 6'7:1. God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, be gracious unto us, and enlighten us that we on earth may acknowledge his way, and his salvation among the Gentiles.
All you who have tasted the kindness of the Lord, love him. The Lord upholds the upright. Be of good cheer, and doubt not; for the Lord will strengthen your souls, who patiently wait for his coming. "The Lord reigneth; let the people tremble; he sitteth between the cherubim; let the earth be moved," Ps. 99:1. This King the Jews scorned, and they became blind.
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