1246. A Special Coronavirus Message

Insight from a scriptural heavyweight regarding God’s involvement in the Coronavirus pandemic

IT’S WORTH CONSIDERING

God Creates Evil

 
William Newell
Brief Bio

In an effort to understand the deeper reasons for our current worldwide situation, today I’d like to pass along some spiritual insights from William Newell (1868-1956), a theologian, biblical scholar and pastor whose commentaries on the books of Romans and Revelation place him is a class to which few attain. He has made so much so clear to me that I value and trust his insights when he presents something that is contrary to what I have been taught (or have chosen to believe).

I have been studying his Revelation commentary, and have come to Chapter 16. The bowl judgments are about to be poured out. Here is verse 2: “And the first went, and poured out his bowl into the earth; and it became a noisome and grievous sore upon the men that had the mark of the beast, and that worshipped his image.” Here are his comments on this verse. (Keep in mind that he likely wrote this in the 1930s.)

Compare Exodus 9:9, where Moses and Aaron sprinkled ashes of the furnace upward in the sight of Pharaoh, “and it became small dust over all the land of Egypt, and became a boil breaking forth with Mains (or blisters) upon man and upon beast.” Since we believe Exodus, we believe Revelation. God creates evil as well as good, as He says:

“I make peace, and create evil;
I am Jehovah that doeth all these things”
(Isaiah 45:7 – KJV).

We will do well to arm ourselves with this thought. God is constantly creating judgments, as well as saving the lost right in this world, new diseases which baffle boasted science spring forth, and men take no thought of God in the matter! The judgment of the influenza killed more people than the great war. But even in Christian circles, where is there a solemn asking of God as to the cause of either the war or of the influenza? Just as truly as the Egyptians in Pharaoh’s day turned to their magicians, so does Christendom turn to “science” to solve all its troubles. We thank God for every alleviation of misery that it pleases Him to grant. But we must not forget that He has declared in countless places in His Word that His government involves the infliction of calamity upon persistent evil doing.

SETTING OUR MINDS ON THINGS ABOVE

The Church as seen in Revelation
Sardis – Dead Protestantism
(based on Wm Newell’s commentary)

Sardis ruins

With the seven spirits there is an utter searching as described in Zech. 4:6-10. What is seen is a church representing a new beginning, but its state is as bad as what was left behind-the Jezebel corruption and the papal hierarchy. We have moved to the state of “Christianity” since the Reformation, and what our Lord sees is dead Protestantism. Where Rome had its darkness and ignorance, the protestant version of the faith has its imagined enlightenment and outward religious activity, its creeds, state churches, denominations, boards and seminaries. Despite its claim of life, it is dead. The simplicity of the model given at Pentecost and evidenced in Paul’s day has been remade according to human thinking to the degree that the Church has been organized to death, following its self-imposed rules, largely ignorant of the Word of God, and self-deluded into a mindset of righteousness through dead works.

Neither doctrine nor their walk had been completed (perfected) in this church (and those it represents). In doctrine, thanks largely to Martin Luther, they did teach justification by faith and not works, yet the Reformers had not grasped Paul’s doctrine of identification, that the believer’s history in Adam ended at the cross: that he died to sin with Christ and died to the principal of law (legalism) which gave sin its power. All the Reformation creeds kept the believer under the law as a rule of life. Since the law made nothing perfect (Heb. 7:19), Christ calls them this church out for not having reached completion (perfection) in their faith. Even though the flesh could never be perfected, they continued their fleshly efforts, never learning to walk in the Spirit.

The inclusion of¬†sacraments¬†(a Babylonian term that is foreign to the New Testament) by the Reformers showed that they had not completely broken free from Rome.¬†Sacramentum¬†was the Latin word for a¬†mystery¬†of the pagan religion. The Babylonian system was unique in the world because of its Chaldean mysteries. After Constantine had welcomed all pagans into the fold, the term¬†sacrament¬†was introduced because those immersed in Babylonian paganism saw the “Last Supper” observance as the one thing in the “official religion of Christianity” they could make into a¬†Mystery, or¬†Sacrament.¬†Later, these pagans saw Christian baptism as being similar to their¬†bath¬†that preceded initiation into their religion. It too, became a Mystery (Sacrament).

First, their doctrine fell short, and now, their walk. Not understanding their identification with Christ’s death and resurrection, they never even came close to sharing Christ’s resurrection life. Their Christian walk was worldly and spiritually shallow. As with sacraments, they brought in a host of pagan celebrations, repeated heartless memorized prayers, and knew nothing of an intimate relationship with their Lord.

Christ then exhorts the faithful and undefiled remnant to be watchful and go back to the basics to avoid being defiled. At the beginning of the Reformation, Europe had been shaken by the truth. Many repented, even after hearing only a partial gospel. The unfaithful were given a chance to repent, or their Lord would come as a thief in the night, taking everything of value to them. They refused, and Christ came. Those comprising the faithful and undefiled remnant were called “worthy” and would surely walk in white with their Lord in victorious righteousness. Their Lord would confess them before the Father and the angels in heaven. Because of their faithfulness in the midst of worldliness, He would deliver them from every evil work, saving them all the way to the heavenly kingdom (2 Tim. 4:18).

The faithful few were saved,
but their church was destroyed in judgment.
This is the fate of dead Protestantism.

Let him who has an ear, hear what the Spirit is saying to the churches today.

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