Call to Victory - RR129S33

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Professor: Rushdoony, Dr. R. J.
Title: Call to Victory
Course: Course - Miscellaneous
Subject: Subject:Religious Studies
Lesson#: 13
Length: 0:46:34
TapeCode: RR129S33
Audio: Chalcedon Archive
Transcript: .docx Format

This transcript is unedited. It was:
Archived by the Mt. Olive Tape Library
Digitized, transcribed, and published by Christ Rules
Posted by with permission

Psalm 149. With this study we conclude our series that began with Daniel and continued with Revelation, on the doctrine of the last things.

“149 Praise ye the Lord. Sing unto the Lord a new song, and his praise in the congregation of saints.

2 Let Israel rejoice in him that made him: let the children of Zion be joyful in their King.

3 Let them praise his name in the dance: let them sing praises unto him with the timbrel and harp.

4 For the Lord taketh pleasure in his people: he will beautify the meek with salvation.

5 Let the saints be joyful in glory: let them sing aloud upon their beds.

6 Let the high praises of God be in their mouth, and a two-edged sword in their hand;

7 To execute vengeance upon the heathen, and punishments upon the people;

8 To bind their kings with chains, and their nobles with fetters of iron;

9 To execute upon them the judgment written: this honour have all his saints. Praise ye the Lord.”

One of the saddest facts about our day and age is that defeatism is written into history and into the life blood of the western world. At every turn we see men surrendering to black mail. We see for example in one city in California, because a hoodlum who was a member of the Black Panthers was shot, his fellow hoodlums have issued an ultimatum to all the down town merchants, that unless they demand and produce an indictment from the district attorney’s office against the police department, they will set fire to the downtown area. The sad fact is that in case after case we are submitting to black mail as though it were some kind of virtue. This defeatism is written deeply into the character of our culture. We are not being defeated, we are committing suicide by surrendering to evil. [00:03:22]

It is no wonder that this defeatism is written so deeply

It is no wonder that this defeatism is written so deeply into our culture when people turn to the Bible and see it as some kind of justification for going down the drain, that somehow supposedly the Bible tells us that things are going to get worse and worse until it all goes down the drain, and then Christ will come again. And he is going to rescue us out of a terrible mess.

Now if you have that kind of defeatism, aren’t you going to surrender the world? And is it any wonder that when a church urns to the scriptures they overlook all the passages, which is a great deal of the Bible, which speak of victory. Now one of the passages which is so overlooked is Psalm 149. It is not surprising that it is overlooked. What it talks about is victory, and it is one of many such passages. This psalm is a part of the great Hallel, the great hallelujah, the great song of praise to God, the required song of praise. This was given as the means whereby the people of God in any and every generation were to praise God. But what happens when you go to the commentators and you study this psalm?

One of the great commentators, a great Lutheran whom I think very highly of apart from such passages, apologizes all over the place for this psalm. The only way he can say it is a good song is by saying: “Well this of course has reference to a specific incident in the history of Israel, where they by the grace of God were delivered from their enemy, and therefore they praised God for it.” Well, first of all it doesn’t talk about deliverance from enemies, it talks about defeating them, doesn’t it? That is a very different thing from deliverance. It talks about defeating them with a two edged sword in their hand, to execute vengeance upon the heathen, and punishment upon the people, to bind their kings with chains and their nobles with fetters of iron, to execute upon them the judgment that was written, this honor have all His saints.

Now you can’t spiritualize that away, that is impossible. And you can’t say that’s just a talk of deliverance, it’s a victory! Well, some will admit that what I have said up to this point is right, but then they say: “This just talks about a particular incident in history of Israel, so you can’t generalize on that.” Now is there anything in this Psalm that refers to a particular incident? There is nothing in here about a particular incident that you have to restrict this passage to, in fact the notes to the psalm or the heading, reads: “The Prophet exhorteth to praise God for His love of the church, and for that power which He hath given to the church.” And that is a good description. It’s a power that He gives to His people. So it isn’t something in the past, it is something for all time. [00:07:28]

Now let us examine this Psalm and what it says for

Now let us examine this Psalm and what it says for all time, meaning for us, to every generation of believers. “Praise ye the Lord.” That is more than a statement, it is a command. It is a command to the people of God to praise the Lord, and then it goes on to tell us how to praise Him. Now the first 4 verses tell us to praise Him with worship, with exuberant joy, with music, with beauty. “Sing unto the Lord a new song, and His praise in the congregation of saints.”

A new song is the term used for thanksgiving. Praise God with thanksgiving, be ever grateful to him, and worship Him with praise; “let Israel rejoice in Him that made him.” they are to rejoice in their Creator, and be joyful in their King. We are members of a monarchy, every Christian is a monarchist, and his monarch is Jesus Christ. And our king is victorious king, we are to rejoice in him and to praise him. This joy is to characterize the whole of our life.

Now Saint Paul speaks of the Christian as a sober man, and as we saw last week, sobriety in the Pauline sense means not excitable, emotional, unstable, and on the other hand not indifferent; it means having a firm, a steady mind. Some say mind is a mind that is also appreciative, joyful. And so the Psalmist says: “Let them praise His name in the dance, let them sing praises to him with a timbrel and harp.” Let their whole life show forth their exuberant joy and thanksgiving of God. And then as this section concludes it makes this magnificent statement: “For the Lord taketh pleasure in His people.” God enjoys us, why should we not enjoy the Lord, and life in Him? “He will beautify the meek with salvation.” The choice of words there is superb. The word meek has a double meaning, it means those who have been harnessed, who have been tamed by God. And it also means bow down as under harness, under the harness of oppression and suffering, and God will beatify the meek with salvation, His salvation will make them beautiful and glorious.

Thus the first section declares that God is to be praised, this is a command, with beauty, with Worship, with exuberant joy, with thanksgiving. [00:11:37]

The second section, verses ...

The second section, verses 5-9, commands the people of God to praise God with power and victory. The fifth verse introduces this section: “Let the saints be joyful in glory, and let them sing aloud upon their bed.” This is a magnificent picture. The people of God, so triumphant, so victorious, that when go to bed at night they cannot sleep, they sing aloud on their bed for joy at the victory that God gives them. They are joyful in glory. How are they to live? With the high praises of God in their mouth and a two edged sword in their hand. They are to live in terms of the fact that this is a world at war with God, and they are to praise God and to fight unto victory, and what is their calling? To execute vengeance upon the heathen and punishment upon the people. Now the promise of both the Old and the New testaments is this: “Blessed are the Meek, the tamed of God, for they shall inherit the Earth.” You cannot inherit the earth without defeating the evil.

So it is our duty to contend earnestly against the powers of darkness, and to do it in the confidence that this is the way we praise God, the required method of praise. And that there is also a certainty of victory, to bind their kings with chains and their nobles with fetters of Iron. You are never going to destroy evil in this world, but you can bind it down so it does not molest you. How long would we have this kind of trouble we do in the streets, if it were met with firmness? On the part of all the people in the law enforcement agency, if those who were guilty of revolutionary acts in the streets were treated as revolutionists and shot down, were ruthlessly suppressed because they deserve no mercy, how long would it last? But no, first it will not be done, and if it were done there would be such a hue and cry among the sentimental soft hearted people that the guilty would be those who would enforce the law. But you can bind down evil with fetters of iron, so while it is there in your midst it is helpless. [00:15:12]

Some of you perhaps recall the incident that I cited

Some of you perhaps recall the incident that I cited in I believe about the 4th news letter, the south pacific was a deadly place for American seamen over a century ago. Until one incident occurred. The men of this one sailing vessel were virtually wiped out by one particular group of islanders, cannibals, but another captain, learning this went back to that island and ruthlessly killed the offenders. Threw the fear of God into them. And never again was there any trouble. Because they knew that these people who flew the stars and stripes put up with no nonsense. The evil was still there, those savage natives became no different as far as their nature was concerned, but they were now afraid to act against any ship that flew that flag. They had been bound down with fetters of iron. And this is what the law should be. And this is what the justice and the righteousness of the Christian should be. And his duty, the required phrase, he is to render God is “To execute upon them the judgement written. This honor have all His saints.” This is an honor.

Those who act as law enforcement officers are acting as officers of God in suppressing evil. Ministers of God, Saint Paul calls them. The Psalmist here speaks of it as an honor. Thus it is not only a required form of praise, it is an honor.

So the Psalm concludes: “Praise ye the Lord.” Now this is not something that is unique to scripture, this psalm, the psalms are full of this, the prophets are full of it, the New Testament speaks of it, Revelation thunders it, Isaiah declares: “Behold it is written before me, I will not keep silence but will recompense, even recompense into their own bosom.” Again Isaiah says: “That nation and kingdom that will not serve Thee shall perish, ye those nations shall be utterly wasted.” [00:18:43]

What is wrong with the church today? You turn to the

What is wrong with the church today? You turn to the commentators, who are supposed to be the men of God, and they apologize for the spirit of this psalm, and they try to make it possible for us to accept it, but only because it happened long ago, and God was a little more primitive then. Isn’t this blasphemy? This was given to the people of God in every generation by the God who changes not. And it declares the responsibility and the destiny of Christian men and nations, to praise the Lord. On the one hand in beauty, in worship, in joy, on the other hand with power and victory.

The church has ceased to become Christian. It is no longer filled with the joy of the Lord and the power of the Lord, it has become a Weeping Willie church. It is guilty of blasphemy. It denies the fact of victory. It surrenders the world to the devil. The judgment of God will be upon such Christians, as well as upon evil doers. But for us, let us praise the Lord according to His word. Let us pray.

Almighty God our Heavenly Father, we give thanks unto Thee for Thy word. We thank Thee that Thou art a God of victory, that Thou art maker of heaven and earth, and king of all things therein, king of the Universe, and that Thy kingdom is an absolute kingdom, Thy justice is an absolute justice, (and Thou hast not made all things, but all things should depart from Thee.?) Make us bold therefore in faith, resolute unto victory, knowing that the kingdoms of this world shall become the kingdoms of our Lord and of His Christ. Our God we praise Thee, in Jesus name, amen. [00:21:32]


[Audience Member] …?...

[Rushdoony] I am not altogether sure at that point, there has been a lot of argument back and forth, technically in the Watts case the insurance companies were not obligated to pay, but apparently there was pressure and some kind of settlement was made. The laws are fuzzy at this point, and what in effect we are doing is to demand that everybody subsidize the loss so that the rioters may be permitted to continue. I believe something like 63 million dollars has been poured into Watts, to reward them, and the rest of us have been punished by heavier taxes to subsidize such things. This is wickedness, and it cannot escape the judgement of God. Yes?

[Audience Member] …?...

[Rushdoony] Right, you’ve expressed it exactly. Moreover, we must remember this, the commandment is: “Go ye therefore and teach all nations.” Yes. We are not only to teach individuals, but all nations.

[Audience Member] …?...

[Rushdoony] Exactly, too often this is the premise, you are going out to poor innocent savages who haven’t known, who have lived according to the truth as they knew it. But the reality is that they know. They hold down the truth in unrighteousness. So, what should be our attitude? We go and declare the gospel to them If they will not hear, fine. Let them take the consequences. Instead of subsidizing them, instead of catering to their wickedness, we should treat them as enemies. [00:24:57]

[Audience Member] ...

[Audience Member] …?...

[Rushdoony] First of all they are not all carrying one message. They are carrying a variety of messages which are humanistic. Second, the whole premise of missionary operation today is substantially wrong, in that our Lord said: “If they will not hear you in one city, shake off the dust of your feet and go to another.” The Bible nowhere asks us to subsidize native believers, in fact it is definitely against that. Some years ago an Englishman, Roland Allen made an excellent study of missionary methods as Christ and the Apostles practiced and taught it, and he concluded: Yes we can subsidize missionaries, that is send them out, but we cannot subsidize local churches. They go out to teach and to win converts, and then let the converts take care of their own churches, their own education, their own outreach. In other words, we are their only to start something, not to pay for it and to subsidize it from beginning to end.

We do a great deal of harm on the mission field today, and have for a long long time, in that we go there, we build churches for the natives, we subsidize them, we provide them with everything imaginable, so that we create, to use the Chinese term, Rice Christians. They are there because they are better off. And then what do we do? We choose out their best young men and send them back to America or to Europe to get and education, and when they go back they can’t live according to the natives standards. They want indoor plumbing, they want a modern home, and so they are not even able to speak to the natives. They are not on the same level. And it is ridiculous when you realize how corrupting it is. For example some years ago I saw a study which was made by somebody who was totally non-Christian of the missionaries from Biola who had gone out, quite a few thousand. Now I don’t agree with everything in Biola’s position, but they have been an excellent missionary school. Their missionaries were going out and living quite humbly, far more so than most missionaries. And yet side by side in some of the communities would be native ministers, Presbyterian, Methodist, Baptist, Episcopal and so on, who had been sent to this country and educated and sent back, and they were living on a higher standard than the Biola missionaries. They couldn’t accept any inconvenience. As a result, what was their work worth when they went back? Nothing. They could not speak to their own people, they felt so far above them.

Now missionary work for the past 2-3 generations has only done harm in too many cases. It is no wonder that a very sizeable number of the prize exhibits of our mission boards are the leaders of revolutions. We send them over here to these schools and send them back, and they have only one gospel: “We’ve got to have more material advance, it is unthinkable for me,” and I am assuming that these are those who came to good schools here, not to the left wing schools, “Unthinkable for me to go back there and to live on a lower level than I lived here in America. So if I don’t have at home what I had here, we’ve got to have revolution to provide it.”

Yes? [00:30:30]

[Audience Member] ...

[Audience Member] …?...

[Rushdoony] Yes, there is reason to believe that apart from the statement of Paul that everybody knows it, Paul also could say: “Everyone has heard it.” We do know that in the Apostolic world that they did go out into all the world. Now we don’t have any evidence that they ever reached the Americas, but we do know that in the last 100 years people have been surprised again and again at the discovery of the evidence of the extent of the preaching of the gospel. Saint Thomas as I’ve mentioned before did get to China twice, and apparently died on a return voyage in India, and his grave is there to this day. So we know they reached the outer most portions of Asia, how much further, and up and down Africa, all of Europe. This we know. Yes?

[Audience Member] …?...

[Rushdoony] We fit in there in that it is to every creature. It is to the people of God, and God having called us by His grace has made us His people, so we are no the true Israel of God. So, when it speaks as it does in the Psalm of Zion, it means us, of Israel, this means us, because we are now the chosen people of god, chosen in Jesus Christ, so that when Saint Paul speaks of the old Israel being cut out and we who are of wild stock grafted in, it means that we now are the true people of God, we are grafted into the root of Abraham. So you are an Israelite. [00:33:32]

[Audience Member] ...

[Audience Member] …?...

[Rushdoony] (Laughter)

[Audience Member] …?...

[Rushdoony] Yes. Yes.

[Audience Member] …?...

[Rushdoony] Yes, there is nothing deader than an exploded idea, or an exploded faith. So that, when an idea, a faith lets people down, people turn on it and rend it to pieces. And we are very close to the point where humanism is going to fold and collapse totally, and people will turn on it savagely. Now, this will be the great opportunity for us, so I expect, in not too many years, maybe a very, very short time, the total collapse of this humanistic world. Then it will crumble completely. It takes a long time to inflate a large balloon, but one pin prick and it goes down like that, and our modern world is an over inflated balloon, it takes a very short time to bring it to collapse. [00:35:30]

Now along these lines I’d like to read you something

Now along these lines I’d like to read you something, especially because somebody asked me to give the reference on this. This has to do with money, I used this some years ago when I was writing for someone here before I ever met most of you, and then I cited it 4 years ago when I was down here speaking, so several of you lately have thought of it and have asked me about it. And it is from Edwin Walter Kemmerer, and title is Kemmerer on Money. He was (Walker/) Professor of international Finance at Princeton, the book was written in 1934, and it speaks about Germany in 1923. “In the latter days of the inflation, when it was feared that there might be a stabilization of the market at a value higher than the prevailing one, creditors were reported to have seen running away, to have been seeing running away from debtors, and debtors pursuing them in triumph, and paying them without mercy.’ In other words, paying them off in worthless paper money, a debt that earlier had been worth, 10-20-50-100 thousand in American dollars was now worth less than a penny in American dollars, and so they were paying off. The entire mortgage indebtedness of the German people, which was estimated to an amount of about 40 Billion Marks or about 10 Billion dollars in 1913, could’ve been paid off in November 1923 with one American cent.”

Now, how often did this happen? Just a few months in 1923. Just a few months. Why? Because the thing snowballed. After a certain point statisticians can explain this better to you; when a thing is going downhill it gains fantastic momentum. Now, this is what is going to happen to our culture, our humanistic culture; after a certain point it will go so rapidly, and everyone who believes in it will be destroyed. Even now the champions of it are fearful, really. Yesterday morning some of you may have heard me, I was on Laurel Martins program on KLAC the call in show, and this one man who had an MA in economics called in, was really funny, he was so wild in his hostility, and this you find increasingly. If you allow them to continue to talk at meetings you find they get almost hysterical. “It can’t happen.” This is their one statement, and he said: “We will not devalue, it is impossible.” Well. You see? This is the kind of thing that is happening, these people are really shaky in their faith and it is going to crumble, suddenly. [00:38:49]

[Audience Member] ...

[Audience Member] …?...

[Rushdoony] (Laughter) Yes.

[Audience Member] …?...

[Rushdoony] Yes, reality can be defined several ways, it can be defined as that which is ultimate, or it can be defined as that which actually exists around us. Now in this sense, what exists around us can be false, and it can be evil, but truth must be defined in terms of that which is the absolute right, in terms of God. So truth and reality can be two different things, if reality is defined in the second sense, but if you define reality in terms of that which is real in terms of Gods ordination, then of course truth and reality are one. So reality has this double meaning, two senses in which it can be understood. Yes?

[Audience Member] …?...

[Rushdoony] Yes, a good question. First of all, as monarchists we believe that our king is in heaven, that He has a fundamental law, and that the nations must apply this law. Now this of course brings up the idea of a constitution, of a fundamental law, and this how constitutionalism developed, out of the idea that there is a fundamental law. Corwin, E.S. Corwin, who was a thorough going humanist, nevertheless in his book: The Higher Law Background of the U.S. Constitution admitted, that the whole premise of the constitution was the absolute law of God, to rule under God, and at that time Christianity was the common law of the land. Now Corwin admits this, but he doesn’t try to develop it. Yes, you had a question?

[Audience Member] …?...

[Rushdoony] Well, not quite. Yes not quite. The term free will as it is used by most people, simply does not fit man. No one has an absolutely free will except God, because you and I do not have the freedom for example to choose when we were born, the color of our hair or our eyes, the kind of abilities we have, we don’t choose the day of our death, we don’t choose the kind of life we are going to have, our freedom is a very limited thing. So we do not have an absolute free will, only God does. We are to a great extent what we are born. Now our freedom is a secondary freedom, the freedom of secondary causes, of creatures. We are free to be what we are created to be, we are responsible creatures unto God. In the primary area, all things were ordained and predestined by God, so that nothing happens except by the ordination of God, who alone has absolute free will. Ours is a secondary freedom, and a secondary determination. Now this is a difficult thing to understand, but we are asked to accept it by faith, Our freedom is a secondary freedom, our causality is a secondary causality.

Now on the one hand those who talk about free will say: “No, I won’t believe in that man can be free unless he has absolute freedom like a God.” On the other hand you have the scientific determinists who make nothing of man. “Man has no free agency, man has,” Some of them say, “No consciousness, Consciousness is an epiphenomena, it isn’t real, it is imaginary, so everything is determined by the material universe.” Now both of these end up in absurdity, but the Biblical position, which we accept by faith, that God ordained all things, and we are completely predestined by Him, yes we have a secondary freedom, and a secondary causality, so that we are responsible alone, satisfies the heart and the understanding, yet it does involve acceptance of a fundamental mystery, because to understand the works of God we would have to have the mind of God. Yes?

[Audience Member] …?...

[Rushdoony] (Laughter) Well, our time is up, and we stand adjourned. [00:46:20]

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