Article 59

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What we Believe






" They Cry for Justice"

"And when he had opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of them that were slain for the word of God, and for the testimony which they held: And they cried with a loud voice, saying, How long, O Lord, holy and true, doest thou not judge and avenge our blood on them that dwell on the earth? And white robes were given unto every one of them; and it was said unto them, that they should rest yet for a little season, until their fellowservants also and their brethren, that should be killed as they were, should be fulfilled" (Rev. 6:9-11).

Let us first take note of a few things for which these martyred believers did not cry out.

They did not cry out against the will of the almighty God, which had determined that they suffer as they had.

They did not cry out against that same sovereign will which had determined that their fellow believers, yet on the earth, must endure the same lot.

They did not cry out for the mercy of God toward their murderers, who yet dwelt on the earth. They actually cried out for the opposite!

This is a passage of scripture rarely mentioned, from a book of scripture largely used and sadly, largely abused. This book of the "Revelation of Jesus Christ" is used more for speculative fortune telling than for it’s declaration of the works of God in mercy toward His own and severe justice toward the infidels. Yet these words are of profound importance for the proper perspective of any believer when it comes to suffering. All of mankind knows suffering, and they all suffer under the same sovereign will, but they suffer from two different perspectives. Some will suffer at the hands of infidels because of their union to the truth of God and the hatred of the infidels therewith. This is God’s will! Others will suffer for their ill treatment of believers, and even glorified believers "cry out with a loud voice" for it to happen. The response of the holy and true God to their cry was not one of rebuke but reward, for they were given, every one of them, whites robs immediately thereafter, and were told to rest! Since their cry was to the HOLY God then justice was clearly warranted in light of the crime of the infidels. And since they also cried unto the God of TRUTH then we reckon that they were in fact leaning upon the promise of God to do such as this. Is there such a promise? Yes indeed. We are commanded: "Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine: I will repay, saith the Lord" (Rom. 12:19). While we are told to show compassion now and provide good even in the face of evil, yet the Lord will one day REPAY IN VENGEANCE. This He has promised to do. This is why our compassion is not even to be expected as spiritually beneficial to the enemy but rather it will "heap coals of fire upon his head" (Rom. 12:20). This is a quote from Proverbs 25:21-22 and take note of the Hebrew usage of "coals of fire" as part of God’s divine punishment against David’s enemies, especially Saul (Ps. 18:13). David’s several kindnesses toward Saul, even when Saul was seeking his life, it did prick Saul’s conscience into remorse (I Sam. 26:21-25), but David knew it never actually brought Saul around to God’s way (I Sam. 27:1). While it did prick his conscience it only added to Saul’s judgement, for he was forsaken of God, sought after the divination of a witch, and unsuccessfully tried to kill himself in a losing battle against the Philistines, succeeding only after being slain by the hand of an Amalekite. While Saul’s evil was overcome by David’s good, Saul was certainly not deeply moved to do the good.

The very truth that God has both willed the ill treatment of His own, for it must be "fulfilled," and He has promised to deal justly with that ill treatment is solid grounds for every believer today who suffers ill treatment to take a step back if we feel the hand of retribution beginning to raise within us. In our present faulty and sinful condition by nature, we must be ever ready to concede that we do deserve ill treatment at times, and we certainly do not deserve the mercy and free grace God has given us in Christ. Any ill treatment shown us which is truly because of our union and stand for the truth of Christ is God’s business, both in its purpose and punishment due the enemy. Since we are still faulty and sinful we must beware lest we demand vengeance from God for something we wrongly perceived as just done by us. A right action motivated by wrong intentions is no just grounds to stand on while calling for vengeance. Also, good intentions marred by bad actions are likewise slippery ground for a call for vengeance. To suffer for our faults is no glory, it is only when we actually do well that this is so (I Pet. 2:20). Our perception of doing well may, at times, be clouded by the blinding effects of ego, anger, self pity and so on. This is why we are to take our hands off and lean upon God for all that we have and expect, especially vengeance toward the infidels.

Professed Christianity is shot full of "LUV" promoters who cling to a God dishonoring universalism where the enemy is just another misinformed soul who needs their soul won. Believers are chided and even condemned by such false teachers for having feelings desiring vengeance against those who seriously harm God’s people. If glorified saints are of such feelings then we should have no discomfort at such feelings, only let us take great caution not to act personally in vengeance. This we trust God to fulfill in His own good time! He will avenge the blood of His servants at the hand of the enemy (Rev. 18:20; 19:1-2).

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