The natural man places a great deal of emphasis on the supposed importance of remembering momentous events and the people who participated in them; as we have seen illustrated over the past few days. We have those who are intent on destroying various memorials and those who are just as intent on preserving them. The unfortunate truth is that each side is so intent on demonstrating their own desire that they are actually willing to shed each others blood over the matter. Even some who profess to be the followers of CHRIST get caught up on one side or the other of this issue and imitate the world rather than CHRIST. It is impossible to imagine the LORD JESUS CHRIST destroying any such monuments of men or erecting them either.
While some forms of “patriotism” are in themselves innocuous, great error is set forth when men begin to equate “patriotism” and “Godliness”, or consider that the Kingdom of GOD is at all concerned with such affairs. Many wars and conflicts have been waged for political ends, in the name of GOD. The amazing thing is that both sides often claim the same purpose and backing.
The LORD said that there would be wars and rumors of wars until the time of the end, but nowhere in all of the scriptures has HE instructed the sons of GOD to concern themselves with these matters or to involve themselves in them. In some ways this is a very complex issue and we do not assume to solve these conundrums nor answer all questions which may be raised.
We are however convinced that we are instructed by our LORD (both by word and example) to “be as wise as serpents and as harmless as doves”. The potsherds of the earth may strive with one another but the sons of GOD are only called to “strive” to enter in at the straight gate and to earnestly “contend” for the faith which was once delivered to the saints.
While we would never instruct men that they should not “defend” themselves against evildoers and those intent upon their, or their loved ones, lasting harm, we would rather spend our efforts and time telling them that “He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth: he is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he openeth not his mouth.” (Isa 53:7) Paul reminded the children of GOD that we are not to trust in the arm of the flesh; “For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh: (For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;) 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.” (2Cor 10:3-5)
To what end then would we spend any effort to defend or destroy these memorials of the flesh which shall pass away in a moment and be remembered no more forever. Render to Caesar those things that are Caesar’s, but let none of the sons of GOD give him his heart. We have a memorial which does not fade or tarnish with the passing of time for it is eternal in the heavens. Its foundations cannot be destroyed nor can any angry mob or earthly magistrate in any wise diminish or change it.
The LORD has revealed to HIS children HIS NAME which, as HE told Moses, is an everlasting memorial unto all generations. Not everyone is given the privilege of knowing who HE is, but those to whom HE would demonstrate HIS love and grace, HE would make HIMSELF known unto them as Paul said, “God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.”(2Cor 4:6)
HE revealed HIMSELF to Moses as “I AM THAT I AM” who trembled before HIM. HE said the same thing to the Pharisees, when they questioned HIM. “Then said the Jews unto him, Thou art not yet fifty years old, and hast thou seen Abraham? Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I am.” (John 8:57-58) Yet rather than worship HIM, they took up stones to destroy HIM but HE passed through their midst, for they were not given eyes to see HIS “MEMORIAL”.
How great a contrast is this with the woman at the well in Samaria as HE said unto her “I that speak unto thee am he.” (John 4:26) She was given eyes to behold HIS MEMORIAL and she “left her waterpot, and went her way into the city, and saith to the men, Come, see a man, which told me all things that ever I did: is not this the Christ? “ (John 4:28-29) Or compare it to the Ethiopian eunuch who after Philip “preached unto him Jesus” (Act 8:35) made this confession, “I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.” (Acts 8:37)
Peter declared, “there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.” (Acts 4:12) This is an everlasting MEMORIAL to all who are given eyes to behold it. We rejoice in knowing HIM whose NAME is above every NAME and we desire to remember none but HIM. May our own name and all of the sons of men be forgotten, buried in the dust bin of history, but may HIS glorious NAME be remembered for ETERNITY, for HE alone is worthy to be praised. Quite often earthly men desire to leave a “legacy”, but CHRIST is the LEGACY of the Sons of GOD, for them (whom HE loved from before the foundation of the world,) HE bled and died to obtain their redemption and does ever live to make intercession for them.
Thomas Kelly declared this truth and MEMORIAL in this hymn from Gadsby’s Hymns, #982
1 “It is finished!” Sinners, hear it; ’Tis the dying Victor’s cry;
“It is finished!” Angels bear it, Bear the joyful truth on high :
“It is finished!” Tell it through the earth and sky!
2 Justice, from her awful station, Bars the sinner’s peace no more;
Justice views with approbation What the Saviour did and bore;
Grace and mercy Now display their boundless store.
3 Hear the Lord himself declaring All performed he came to do;
Sinners, in yourselves despairing, This is joyful news to you.
Jesus speaks it, His are faithful words and true.
4 “It is finished!” all is over; Yes, the cup of wrath is drained;
Such the truth these words discover; Thus the victory was obtained;
’Tis a victory None but Jesus could have gained.
5 Crown the mighty Conqueror, crown him, Who his people’s foes o’ercame!
In the highest heaven enthrone him! Men and angels, sound his fame!
Great his glory! Jesus bears a matchless name.
It is impossible to separate HIS NAME from HIS glorious purpose and thus HE has left one temporary memorial for the saints in the present time, (until HE comes), that we might be reminded of what HE has done and thus be reminded of HIM. It is not a crucifix, statue, relic, or ritual, long cherished by religious zealots, but rather it is a simple feast of bread and wine. Common everyday items which the sons of GOD are to partake of in remembrance of HIM. “For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do shew (i.e.; memorialize, remember, and manifest) the Lord's death till he come.” (1Cor 11:26) Any use of this table for any other purpose than that is to misuse it and corrupt the glory thereof. May HE alone be remembered.mam