First, to lay the framework of the covenant, and its use in expanding the Kingdom of God in the here and now.
In these quotes, the bold is mine, below. Any footnotes are deleted, for ease of reading.
The subtitle of this book is Dominion by Covenant. After we have assessed the covenant, we need to ask, “How does it work?” It is my thesis that covenant is the mechanism for dominion and success. After all, Moses says, “Keep the words of this covenant to do them, that you may prosper in all that you do” (Deut. 29:9). If we really believe the Bible, then covenant is the key to daily living at every level.
In the “dominion section” I begin with a comparison of the cultural mandate (Gen. 1:28-30) and the Great Commission (Matt. 28:16-20). Some Christians do not understand their Commission from the Lord. It is a renewal of the cultural mandate; it has the covenantal structure; it means Christians are to take dominion by means of the covenant.
Having established that dominion is by covenant, we get down to specifics. I concentrate on the three institutions of Biblical society (Family, Church, and State), and I show how they were intended to function according to the covenant. Then I also point out historical examples from our own history. Someone might think that this covenant structure is overly idealistic. It is not; it has been tried before; it has been successful. The covenant is practical.
Finally, I conclude the book with a brief summary on how to apply the covenant to society-at-Iarge. I call it “Little by Little.” I don’t want the reader to think we can impose this covenant concept on our culture by force, so I touch on the role of the witness: both in evangelism and in filing covenant lawsuits. After a short consideration of evangelism, seeing so much has already been written on this subject, I focus on the lawsuit. Very little has been said recently about this idea. I rely on the prophet Hosea as a guide, because his book follows the covenantal structure. But more importantly, the prophet shows us how he used the covenant to bring a covenant lawsuit against the wicked. From this chapter, you will learn how to defeat the wicked when you are under-capitalized, out-classed, and under-manned.
So, That You May Prosper has two parts: covenant and dominion. When you finish, I hope you will see life differently. Perhaps covenant will have real, practical, life-changing meaning in your life! If our society could think and live this way, we could renew our forefathers’ “errand in the wilderness” and change it into a garden. We could then see again the days of the new and final Josiah, a glorious rule by King Jesus!Ray R Sutton, That You May Prosper
Now that we know the lay of the land, we can get to the covenantal lawsuit. But first, a bit on evangelism.
Much has been said and written about evangelism, so I will not spend any more time on this phase of little-by-little covenant expansion. Besides, I have already spent some time developing this point in the fifth point of covenantalism (Chapter Five). The sword cannot hold the inheritance for the future; only education, missions, and evangelism can. Also, I pointed out in the Great Commission mandate that the Gospel was to be spread household by household, a very bottom-up approach to witnessing.
The Marxists and the Muslims don’t believe this. That is why they have failed.
The Secularists used to believe it, and succeeded for a while. But now, too many pointed questions are being made, so the hate speech laws and the Jim Crow laws against Christian belief comes in. They turn to the sword, to oppression, to enforced silence and government-mandated lying… and so, the aging and increasing uncreative Secularist turns to failure.
But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.Isaiah 40:31, King James Version
The future belongs to the Lord, and those who honour His name in word and deed.
God and His people win.
Satan and his people lose.
It is the other bottom-up aspect of being a witness that I need to address, a negative side that is virtually unknown, or neglected. Bringing testimony can also become a covenant lawsuit. Taking dominion in a pagan society is frustrating at times – these days, most of the time! One of the greatest concerns is the “wicked people” – abortionists, pornographers, statist politicians, etc. – who stand in the way of the visible reign of Christ (Heb. 2:8ff.). How should they be dealt with? Because the Biblical covenant commands Christians to be lawful, they are not allowed to use violence, except in the event of self- defense and a legally declared war by proper civil magistrates. Are they, therefore, left only with what some Christian activists call “a smile and a ‘God loves you”’?
No. The Bible specifies a special kind of lawsuit that can be filed with God against the wicked called a covenantal lawsuit. This Biblical concept is consistently used by the prophets, many of their books being structured according to the Deuteronomic covenant. With a covenantal lawsuit, however, the five points of covenantalism are all turned toward accusations against lawless covenant-breakers and enemies of the Church, calling down God’s sanctions on them. Yes, a covenant lawsuit asks God to kill the wicked. God destroys the wicked one of two ways: by conversion or destruction. So, a covenantal lawsuit is not “unloving.” But it is the Biblical method for taking dominion when opposition is met! I began the “Dominion” section with the covenantal mandates. I close with what is perhaps the Christian’s greatest weapon in the face of opposition: not a “carnal” weapon but a “spiritual” one (II Cor. 10:4), the covenant itself turned into a lawsuit before God. I use the Book of Hosea as a model. Before considering it, let us learn something about the prophets and Hosea in general.
I admit, in my private prayers I rarely ask God to kill the wicked. Instead, I ask God to strip them of their wealth and power and social standing, to turn them into impotent objects of ridicule.
The enemies of God are to be ground in the dust, in time and on earth.
And God delights in answering the prayers of His people, to bless His friends… and curse His enemies.
Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you:
For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened.
Or what man is there of you, whom if his son ask bread, will he give him a stone?
Or if he ask a fish, will he give him a serpent?
If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him?Matthew 7:7-11, King James Version
Ask for godly victory in Christ’s Name, and it will be given to you.
Ask for the destruction of the wicked – the wicked man, the evil establishment, the corrupt power-brokers – and God will bring it to pass.
No conspiracy, no system, can stand against God in His wrath.
Before developing the themes of the Book of Hosea, I need to ex- plain the role of the prophet. He did basically two things. First, he was a counselor to God and man. The first time the word prophet is used in the Bible comes in Genesis 20:7. Abraham had gone back down to Egypt. God told Abimelech not to harm Sarah because Abraham was a “Prophet, and he will pray for you, and you will live.” The role of prophet was to intercede for man. He could go into the presence of God’s high council-court and receive special entrance. He would then be sent back to man to offer counsel.
Second, he delivered covenant lawsuit from God against man. He was a special messenger bringing God’s “prophecy.” Prophecy is a covenantal action. It delivers blessings and cursings. A better description is that prophecy is promissory in character, being in part conditional and in part unconditional. The promises are conditional in that they depend on covenant-keeping or covenant-breaking. Sometimes, for this reason, what God says will come to pass does not happen. When God said to Jonah that Nineveh would be destroyed in three days, it did not take place. Why? Nineveh repented during the forty days given them (Jon. 3:10). Did God lie? Did He just not know what was going to happen? No, on both counts. God cannot lie (Nu. 23:19). God knows what will happen ahead of time because He plans everything that does happen (Eph. 1:11). But, God is a covenant-keeping God. His prophecies, given through His messengers, are in terms of the covenant – always. He is hurling a lawsuit in the face of covenant-breakers.
Also, the promissory character of prophecy is unconditional whenever messianic in direction. For example, one of the marks of a prophet is that his word always comes true (Deut. 18:14-22). Whenever the prophet makes a specific prophecy about the coming of the Messiah, or anything to do with Him, it has to come to pass. If not, he is not a true “Messianic” prophet.
Hosea was an instrument in God’s hand; he delivered the lawsuit to Israel. The form of this lawsuit is classic, being in the structure of the covenant. Not all the prophets follow the complete pattern, but they all began with this basic format. For example, they might start with the stipulations or ethical section. Maybe they start with what is called an ordeal of jealousy (Nahum). But the fact that the prophets veered from the structure in such set forms indicates that the covenant formed the background to their lawsuits.
Also, each prophet seems to speak to a particular commandment that is being broken. It is not as though other commandments are not being violated. Rather, all the given sins of the nation are viewed in terms of one key commandment. Hosea is an example of this. The primary commandment being broken is the seventh: “Thou shall not commit adultery.” Through the book we will see that other commandments are being abused, but they are all arranged in terms of the seventh. Even so, however, Hosea follows the covenant to build his case – God’s case – against the spiritual and ethical adultery of Israel.
The covenant lawsuit should be viewed as both a prayer to God and a declaration to the corrupt society. So the outline of Hosea, as a model lawsuit, should be understood as a guide for the Christian who wants to know what needs to be declared publicly.
A good case that the core sin of the West is adultery. A case can be made for murder, as well. Theft? Definitely, there is a solid case to be made here! But, I suggest that the core sin is the absolute refusal of the West to reject idolatry.
The First Commandment reads,
I am the Lord thy God, which have brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage.
Thou shalt have no other gods before me.
But in the West, ALL other gods come before the God of Abraham, Issac, and Jacob.
Especially the God of Power.
Democracy was once held in esteem, because it was felt that the power of the mass-man was the greatest power. Now, it is the corporate-state union, a.k.a soft fascism.
Hard fascism and Communism was not abandoned because they were a pack of lawless, murderous liars: these ideologies were abandoned only because they lost power, in war or in peace.
This is a pragmatic, pointedly secularist, materialist/utilitarian culture that adores power, loves pleasure, has a casual contempt for the innocent, and actively hates the righteous.
It’s time for the back of this evil, openly Satanic culture to be broken.
The first point that needs to be made in a covenant lawsuit is that God’s offenders have failed to acknowledge God as the transcendent Lord of the world.
This society actively denies this. It is loudly declared that meaningless chance created the world, despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary.
The second part of the covenant lawsuit should make clear that God’s hierarchy has been violated. The real issue is a mediated system of judgment. God stands behind His authority; He stands behind it in history. Since hierachy involves history, specific historical events of God’s faithfulness should be cited, as well as a record of disobedience on the part of the individual or group of individuals being filed against.
God has enormously blessed the West. And in return, the West has taken care to spit in God’s face — directly, or in the face of His servants — whenever possible.
God likes to be reminded of His laws, and He desires that these laws be held up in front of the guilty. When John the Baptist, the last Old Covenant prophet, saw Herod in sin, he went before him in public and confronted him (Matt. 14:1ff.). So this part of the lawsuit should include a specific list of the infractions against God’s Law.
Chapter four of Hosea mentions for the first time actual commandments that have been broken.
For the Lord has a case [lawsuit] against the inhabitants of the land, because there is no faithfulness or kindness or knowledge of God in the land. There is swearing, deception, murder, stealing, and adultery (Hos. 4:1-2).
Let it be noted that the Western Christian Church hates God’s Law. With intensity.
A good case can be made, that the Secularists merely imitate what the Christians do, just without any pious mealymouthed simpering.
The fourth part of the lawsuit asks God to pour out His sanctions on the wicked. Deuteronomy tells how God “blesses” and “curses.” Both should be asked for, but in the case of the lawsuit, the specific curses should be requested and mentioned. Also, it should be kept in mind that Revelation speaks of “plagues” that are not referred to in Deuteronomy. These would also be appropriate sanctions to ask for.
The punishment should fit the crime.
A side note: I often say that the public judges and legislators mix up private sins and public crimes. But when it comes to God, all sins ARE crimes. And all sins are subject to punishment.
For example, the State does not have the right to punish a man merely for lusting after a woman, and refusing to repent of it.
But God has EVERY RIGHT to cast a man – even EVERY MAN – to hell and the lake of fire for exactly that sin, should we hold to it without repentance, refusing Jesus’ incredibly generous offer of forgiveness for our offense against the Most High.
Finally, the lawsuit requests of God that He re-establish His covenantal continuity with the proper people and land. Furthermore, in the course of this prayer and announcement, God is asked to disinherit the wicked and drive them away through conversion or destruction.
In the West, this is already baked in the cake, with the slaughter and perversion of the children of the West. It is still right, though, to ask God to cut off the future of this pervasively evil civilization… and to protect, strengthen, and bless the future of those who love Him.
The enemies of God are to be struck with poverty and disease, failure and fear, and every evil thing. In time and on earth, as well as in eternity.
The friends of God are to be blessed with strength, endurance, increased love and obedience to the Father and the Son, and more and more victories in time and on earth, as well as eternity. They should also establish strong families, rooted in God’s laws and commandments, ready to expand the Kingdom of God in this world, regardless of any and all difficulties.
As we have seen in each covenant, however, God makes for a way of escape. He offers a new inheritance. The last chapter of Hosea is one of the most beautiful expressions of God’s promise of new salvation. But, it is conditional (14:1-3). Israel must return to the Lord to have all the blessings.
We, God’s people, must repent of our evil and turn to Christ in obedience and humility.
We must inherit the future.
We should not leave our discussion of Hosea without bringing it into the New Covenant. The question is, “Who files the lawsuit today?” Can any individual curse someone he doesn’t happen to like? Does the State file the lawsuit? Does the Church?
Jesus sheds some helpful light on these questions when He says, “Where two or three have gathered in My name, there I am in their midst” (Matt. 18:20). Two things stand out. First, the reference to “two or three” is a formula used for legal testimony in the Old Testament: “On the evidence of two or three witnesses, he who is to die shall be put to death; he shall not be put to death on the evidence [literally “mouth”] of one witness” (Deut. 17:6). Second, Jesus applies this formula at the end of the section on Church discipline.
This is truth.
The prayers of two or three witnesses are needed to file a lawful covenantal lawsuit. Not just one man.
A worthy and noble reason for more prayer circles, and more house churches!
Thus, we should conclude that a covenant lawsuit can only be brought in the context of a Church court, or worship service (also a Church court before God’s throne), since the imprecatory (judgment) psalms (Ps. 83, 94) were intended to be used in worship. Individuals need witnesses in order to file a valid lawsuit with God, and certainly the State has no function in filing a covenant lawsuit before God. If someone wants to file an imprecatory lawsuit, he should appeal to the officers of the local church. If that church will not listen, one that will should be sought out. The imprecatory psalms are not to be treated lightly, nor autonomously. They have a two-edged nature to them. If they are abused, they could kill the user!
If the Church would use the sword God has given her, no dog would dare lick their tongue against her.
But to use the sword, you must be worthy of it. And you must actually support the authority of the Most High God, to enforce His Law-Word in time and on earth.
And this, the Western Christian Church will not do.
I expect her lampstand to be taken from her, and given to another.
FEAR THE LORD.
Hosea comes to an end on the theme of legitimacy, concluding our study of the covenant as a lawsuit. Each step of the way, I have tried to show the pattern of the covenant. Is it wrong for Christians to use the covenant lawsuit? Are not Christians supposed to “love the sinner and hate the sin?”
No! God hates the sinner as well as his sin (Ps. 11:5). And since the Church is the New Israel, Paul commands it to pray and sing the psalms (Eph. 5:19) – all of them, especially the imprecatory psalms that call down God’s destruction and conversion of the wicked (Ps. 83, 74, etc.).
I have chosen a prophet to confirm that as Israel was built by the covenant, it was torn down on the basis of the covenant. Man gains dominion by covenant, and he loses it by breaking the covenant. Once again, as I have attempted to explain both the covenant and its application for dominion, we are reminded with richer understanding of Moses’ words, “So keep the words of this covenant to do them that you may prosper in all that you do” (Deut. 29:9)! Now we know the words of the covenant are kept and applied in society little by little.