[Note: I preface this post by saying that I am not endorsing or promoting George Swinnock as a true Christian when I quote from him. But I think he writes SOME things that true Christians could benefit from.]
“I wish, that since I am a steward of the mysteries of Christ, and that it is required of a steward that he be found faithful, that I may upon no pretence be false to the souls of my people; that I may not daub with untempered mortar, or sow pillows under men’s elbows for any gain or advantage, but may be a Barnabas, a son of consolation to the penitent; a Boanerges, a son of thunder to the presumptuous, that, knowing the terror of the Lord, I may persuade men, and give to every one their particular and proper portion in due season” (George Swinnock, Works).
A relevant passage from Ezekiel appears to reflect more of the son of thunder than the son of consolation — although the thunder is meant to point these high-handed and presumptuous sinners to the SOLE GROUND OF PEACE, the atoning blood and imputed righteousness of Jesus Christ (cf. Galatians 6:14-16).
“And mine hand shall be upon the prophets that see vanity, and that divine lies: they shall not be in the assembly of my people, neither shall they be written in the writing of the house of Israel, neither shall they enter into the land of Israel; and ye shall know that I [am] the Lord GOD. Because, even because they have seduced my people, saying, Peace; and [there was] no peace; and one built up a wall, and, lo, others daubed it with untempered [morter]: Say unto them which daub [it] with untempered [morter], that it shall fall: there shall be an overflowing shower; and ye, O great hailstones, shall fall; and a stormy wind shall rend [it]. Lo, when the wall is fallen, shall it not be said unto you, Where is the daubing wherewith ye have daubed [it?] Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD; I will even rend [it] with a stormy wind in my fury; and there shall be an overflowing shower in mine anger, and great hailstones in [my] fury to consume [it]. So will I break down the wall that ye have daubed with untempered [morter], and bring it down to the ground, so that the foundation thereof shall be discovered, and it shall fall, and ye shall be consumed in the midst thereof: and ye shall know that I [am] the LORD. Thus will I accomplish my wrath upon the wall, and upon them that have daubed it with untempered [morter], and will say unto you, The wall [is] no [more], neither they that daubed it; [To wit], the prophets of Israel which prophesy concerning Jerusalem, and which see visions of peace for her, and [there is] no peace, saith the Lord GOD” (Ezekiel 13:9-16).
The warnings in the Old Testament against committing spiritual fornication are pervasive. In Ezekiel 13:9-16 God not only destroyed the wall, He also destroyed those who plastered the wall. In Jeremiah 14:11-16 the false prophets and those to whom they spoke peace were consumed in judgment. This inextricable link that is established in the Old Testament is reaffirmed in the New Testament: If you share in her sins, you WILL receive of her plagues (Revelation 18:4; cf. 2 John 9-11). The immediate & inevitable result of God’s regenerating His people is NOT to dally with, but to come out of the Great Harlot. And since they come out of her by true faith & repentance (http://www.outsidethecamp.org/gosprep.htm) they do NOT speak false visions of peace to themselves back upon their former times of ignorance (cf. Romans 10:2-3; Philippians 3:8).
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