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The name Gethsemane in the Aramaic means “Olive Press”. There was one located there. This reminds us what the form for the Lord’s Supper says: “. . . when the weight of our sins and the wrath of God pressed out of Him the bloody sweat in the garden.” After instituting the sacrament of communion and before Judas betrayed the Lord Jesus in the garden, our Savior spent that intervening time in Gethsemane.

Here in deepest agony. in exceeding sorrow, in inexpressible grief, in heart heaviness in contemplation of soon coming events. in painful anguish of being forsaken of God on the cross, in intense mental and soul suffering, he fell upon His face and began to pray to His Father. The expressions He used in His prayers such as Father, Father; and Oh, My Father, indicate His desperate deep need of deliverance from His awful, terrible suffering in being overburdened with such great sorrow and grief which had brought Him to the point of death.

What was the content of His prayer? That if it be the Father’s will that His cup and hour of suffering in Gethsemane might be removed, might be taken from Him, that it might pass from Him. Even so, He prayed not My will but Thine be done.

Some interpreters of this prayer of Jesus explain that He sought the Father for another way than that of the cross to save His people. These also must say then that the Father said No to Jesus. But Jesus already before said: Father, I thank Thee that Thou hast heard Me, I knew that Thou hearest Me always, John 11:41,42, always, so also in Gethsemane.

Did the Father answer the prayer of the Lord Jesus for deliverance in Gethsemane? Yes, He surely did. An angel from heaven from the presence of the Father came to Him and strengthened Him. He was so revived in physical and spiritual strength that He returned to His disciples with renewed courage and said triumphantly, “Rise, Let us Go: behold he is at hand that doth betray Me.”

May the truth-revealing Holy Spirit allow us to see more fully what suffering, horror and fear our precious Lord Jesus did bear for us in Gethsemane and upon the cross where He went to hell – God-forsaken hell – for our sins and to save us to be with Him forever in Glory in the new heaven and new earth where there will be no more sin and where in righteousness we will praise and glorify our great Savior God: Father, Son and Holy Spirit! Thanks be to God for such great salvation!

This is in response to the interesting ar­ticle, “The Christian and Politics,” August- September issue. Statements of special in­terest centered around the duty of the child of God to participate in politics; for Chris­tians to show themselves as the most exemplary and most purposeful citizens be­cause we live the life of Christ on the earth seeking God’s glory.

The writer is correct in insisting that the Christian pilgrim must not join the present two major political parties for such unholy alliance would break down the antithetical wall that separates Christians from the world. A child of God could not maintain the principles of Scripture and stay in either of the major political parties. Does this mean then that Christians have no witness at all in the political sphere? The answer: A Christian must join himself to an organi­zation that will bear the standard of Christ and His Word. However, in the absence of such an association, Christians should act on an individual basis.

Herewith are made a few comments on the possibility and desirability of organizing a Christian political witness organization, it should not be one in the sense of being a political party but as a separate organiza­tion which would promulgate the true Scriptural principles by adopting a set of truths and then witness for these in news­paper stories or in paid editorial insertions preceding election days. Also copies could be mailed to government authorities of cities, states and nation.

Here are a few political truths which should be stated in a proposed list of Chris­tian Political Principles. We surely do not need any more seminars where Christian political thinkers get together, advocating parochial and further extension of social handout programs and before they get thru with their arguments and assertions, they just about agree with everything the two major political parties stand for in their socialistic-totalitarian, sinful misuse of the God-appointed institution of government. Who of these seminar delegates would ever dare to propose that because the American public school system is wholly anti-Scriptural and sinfully totalitarian it should be changed over into parental controlled and administered school systems separated from government dictatorship and tax financing? But in any true Scriptural political witness, this would have to be one of its proposals. Then, too, if we could organize a “Christian Political Witness,” the first and most im­portant to proclaim would be the absolute sovereign Messianic rule of the Lord Jesus, the Son of God, over all rulers, potentates, kings, presidents, governors, legislators and judges and that all these should repent and believe the Gospel of Christ and be in obe­dience to His commandments in the Holy Scriptures. How can any ruler, legislator, or judge perform his duties if he does not know and obey Christ’s commandments, for according to the Word of God — Peter, first letter, chapter 2:14—they are appointed by God for the punishment of evil-doers. How do they know what is right and what is evil if they do not know God’s com­mandments? How can they provide good and right laws if these are not based upon God’s laws? Evil, socialistic laws and measures are about the only ones politicians in these days know, propose and enforce. Those in authority must be wise, honor and serve the Lord Jesus Christ. Who appoints them to their offices, Psalm 2.

With our emphasis on the anti-thesis, it seems some such afore-proposed organiza­tion should come into being.

The book of Proverbs was written by King Solomon to his young adult son. Solomon’s purpose in writing Proverbs was “that the generation to come might know them [God’s wonderful works]…that they might set their hope in God, and not forget the works of God, but keep his commandments” (Ps. 78:6–7). Throughout the book, Solomon […]

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The Christian is placed in many different circumstances while on this earth. Some are characterized by hardships and trials, and others are full of joy and peace. How should the Christian respond? Throughout the Bible there are numerous times where God’s people sang in response to their various circumstances. Singing in response to God’s ordering […]

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The group of churches that John writes to in this trio of epistles had recently experienced a split because of doctrinal controversy. We do not know the exact content of the error that these false teachers were spreading, but it is apparent from John’s writing that their teaching somehow denied the truth of the incarnation—that […]

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Jael: An Example of Christian Warfare

This article was originally presented as a speech at a Protestant Reformed mini convention held at Quaker Haven Camp in August 2021. Jael lived during the era of the judges. Deborah the prophetess was the judge who served Israel at the time of Jael. During this time, the Canaanites under the rule of king Jabin […]

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Indiana Mini Convention Review 2021

One of this year’s “mini conventions” was hosted by Grace and Grandville Protestant Reformed Churches at Quaker Haven Camp. Located just over two hours away in northern Indiana, the camp was a perfect fit for the 120 kids and 15 chaperones who attended. A total of twelve different churches were represented: Byron Center, Faith, First […]

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Editorial, November 2021: Catechism Season

At the point that this edition of Beacon Lights arrives in the homes of our subscribers, most young people in the Protestant Reformed Churches will have been sitting under the catechism instruction of their pastor or elders for more than a month. If our readers are honest, that observation probably comes with a (quiet) sigh […]

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