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“What we are about to do and hope to do from here on is not for our glory or honour, nor for our justification or vindication, but for the vindication and justification of all men who refused to raise their hands and voice to defend themselves when violence and injustice were perpetrated upon their persons and families, but looked up in silence to God who truly sees…”

But above all else, it is for the justice and vindication of God whose Son looked down upon mankind as He hung on that Roman cross and said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.”  And who bridged the gap between suffering humanity and God Almighty when He cried out, “My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?”  Jesus Christ, fully God and fully Man, bridged that gap between God who knows all things better and men who know nothing better than to trust in God.  From the first man to be killed because of his faith in God, Abel, to the last two who will be killed because of their power from God… Jesus filled the chasm between Righteous God and men who trusted in the God they did not see but believed to deliver them and to avenge them of all the injustice that men like Cain would inflict. 

Jesus said, “Woe to you, because you build tombs for the prophets, and it was your forefathers who killed them.  So you testify that you approve of what your forefathers did; they killed the prophets, and you build their tombs.  Because of this, God in His wisdom said, ‘I will send them prophets and apostles, some of whom they will kill and others they will persecute.’  Therefore this generation will be held responsible for the blood of all the prophets that has been shed since the beginning of the world, from the blood of Abel to the blood of Zechariah, who was killed between the altar and the sanctuary.  Yes, I tell you, this generation will be held responsible for it all.”

Anyone who builds tombs to honour righteous men who have been killed has not put his trust in God to honour them, for God is God who gives life.  We are not speaking about men who took up armour to defend themselves and their lives.  No, those who take up armour to defend themselves trust in the strength of their armour and the power of their weapons even as they pray to ask God to give them victory over their fellow men.  We are speaking of men who did not raise their armour to defend themselves, but trusted in God to defend them… such men are the custodians of absolute trust in God, for they held nothing in their hands except for the faith in their hearts even as death engulfed them.  And who do they have to avenge them?  That is why Jesus said, “Woe to you, because you build tombs for the prophets…”  For to build a tomb or a memorial is to leave that person dead, and even though we may have no power to raise them to life… a tomb is to wish that person to be dead.  What then can be done to honour those who have died a righteous death rather than a tomb?  It is to make mention of their deeds whenever God is brought to mind… for it is God alone who can give them life and vindication.  However, how can anyone who is godless make mention of the righteous in a worthy manner, and how can those who kill the prophets of God make mention of them except to build tombs in their honour and so admit their guilt that they agree with those who killed them?

No, it is those who absolutely refuse to build tombs for those who died righteous, who truly share their trust in God.  For those who died trusting in God and looked to God to keep them alive… indeed they are alive, for God is the God of the living.  The righteous who died in this manner showed their absolute trust in God and fulfilled all that God gave Jesus to teach His disciples in their practice to acquire absolute trust.  So the only way one can even begin to approach the level of absolute trust is to honour those who did trust absolutely, not by building them tombs to keep them dead, but to speak of them as ones who are alive and are returning to live amongst us again.  The manifestation of this honour is not in mere words or premature boasts, but a quiet dedication to keeping oneself alive until they arrive.  And failing that, to die in the same manner as they did, killed for their faith in God and His testimony without raising their voice or hands to defend themselves.  Imitating even the greatest of all the righteous, the Righteous One Himself who only raised His voice in a triumphant shout to say, “It is finished.    Father, into Your hands I commit My spirit.”

Jesus, when He began teaching His disciples, gave us words to practise.  Words – commands and instructions – which when followed to the letter would bring forth a spirit of repentance, belief, faith and trust.  A repentance that involved you and I to turn from our old ways… as He said, “You have heard that it was said, ‘Eye for eye, and tooth for tooth.’  But I tell you, Do not resist an evil person.”  That would test your belief of Him, for what followed those words were words that many find hard to practise.  Easy to say, hard to keep.  “If someone strikes you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also.”  Words that do not just test your belief or faith… but your courage and bring out of you your fear, your anger, your self indignation and your self defence.  Words that defy logic and place you in a place where you must trust God, and not only trust Him… but where that trust is tested.  For what if God does not wither the hand of your assailant as He did to Jeroboam’s arm that was raised against the man of God from Judah, or did not blind the Aramean army for Elisha?  What if God permitted the arm to strike, first on one cheek and then on the other… where then is your faith and trust?  You see, it does not matter for now where your faith and where your trust is… for you and I cannot say where it is until the test comes and the test has been passed. 

For when Jesus told the eleven plainly, “This very night you will all fall away on account of Me, for it is written:  ‘I will strike the Shepherd, and the sheep of the flock will be scattered.’  But after I have risen, I will go ahead of you into Galilee.”  Peter replied, “Even if all fall away on account of You, I never will.”  Peter undoubtedly meant what he said, but we also know when the time came… it was Jesus whose words were fulfilled, not Peter’s.  For Jesus replied him, saying, “I tell you the truth, this very night, before the rooster crows, you will disown Me three times.”  We may mean well… but when the testing comes, who remembers to stand and not run?  You see… to practise for trust, you must first practise faith, and before faith… belief, and before that, repentance.  You have to practise above all else… holding onto that repentance, belief and faith… that which you have begun.  After all, Peter and the others had taken the way of repentance by the washing of water… the way of the Gentiles, away from the Judaizers  with their Pharisees and Sadducees and Sanhedrin.  Since you have chosen what offends the Pharisees… why try to appease them? 

When Jesus described the Pharisees as those who fulfilled Isaiah’s words… ” ‘These people honor Me with their lips, but their hearts are far from Me.  They worship Me in vain; their teachings are but rules taught by men.’   Then the disciples came to Him and asked, “Do you know that the Pharisees were offended when they heard this?”  And when asked by the collectors of the two drachma tax, “Doesn’t your Teacher pay the temple tax?”  Peter replied, “Yes, He does.”  Peter said it so as not to offend the tax collectors, for Jesus said to Peter, “But so that we may not offend them, go to the lake and throw out your line.”  Peter and the others had certainly not practised withstanding the need to avoid offending others… and without practice, it is hard to deliver on the performance needed when the occasion arises.  They had not practised listening to Jesus either so that by the feeding of the 5000, even though they had experienced the words of Jesus sustaining them and enabling them to do what they were told to do when they were sent out by Jesus, they were still not listening.  When you do not practise, you cannot expect to produce the result when the time comes.  So on resurrection morning, did they listen and go to Galilee?  No.  When Peter was tested to see if he would really lay down his life when all the others had run away?  No.

Thus, the proper way to have absolute trust is never to say you have it, for you will be proved a liar as surely as Peter was.  Rather, the secret to absolute trust is to honour those who have proven themselves to have absolute trust in upholding them at what they trusted God for.  From Abel to Zechariah to all those who have lost their lives holding onto their testimony and the word of God, they all believed with all their faith and trust that God would protect and deliver them to keep them alive to the point that they did not take up arms to defend themselves… but were killed or beheaded as they preached and testified.  Then the way to honour them is to honour them at their point of trust.  That is… do not build tombs for them, for by doing that you have declared them dead and that those who killed them had succeeded.  But rather, to prepare… yes, prepare for their return from God… to live your life knowing that they have succeeded in their trust, faith and belief of God.  To have your life knowing they are not dead but are alive, and since they are alive then you will meet with them again.  And not only meet with them… but meet with them back here on Earth… alive as the proof of their trust, faith and belief in God, not yours.  For they are the ones who lived absolute trust, not you.  Their martyrdom is their witness of that absolute trust… and not one of us can speak of having that trust until we have faced our day of martyrdom and live unto God alone.

Thus, those who build tombs for prophets show by their actions that they do not approve of the faith and trust of the prophets, but rather, approve their murderers.  Those who refuse to build tombs for the righteous who died, but choose to live in preparation of their return because they are alive, have approved the trust and faith of them.  And as surely as those who approve of the murderers of the prophets will fill themselves up with the measure of those murderers’ sins… so those who approve of the life and trust of the prophets will fill themselves up with the measure of the righteousness of those saints.

And when this is taken in holy application to Jesus, the Righteous One, who died with absolute trust in God His Father… then those who live to see Him return alive from the right hand of the Father will share in the rewards that Jesus has received for His faith and trust in God.  It is no wonder then that those who live and believe in Him will never die because they have believed what He has said when He promised to return from the dead as if He had never died, for He said, “In a little while you will see Me no more, and then after a little while you will see Me.    I tell you the truth, you will weep and mourn while the world rejoices.  You will grieve, but your grief will turn to joy.    So with you:  Now is your time of grief, but I will see you again and you will rejoice, and no one will take away your joy.”  And having seen Him return alive and taken up to Heaven after 40 days… had you believed you would also know that He is coming back again just as He promised when He answered your questions about the signs for the end of the age.  In the meantime, where is He?  If you had believed Him, you would know… He is right now alive at the right hand of the Father, waiting for the day known only to His Father to return… as He said.  Knowing that, as ones who say they have believed His words, they believe Him and even have faith in Him, and some even saying, “I trust Him,” then what should be the proof of that belief, faith and trust?  A life lived with words and actions that speaks of your constant preparation and expectation to die to go to Heaven to be rewarded by Him greeting you as you say, “Lord, Lord…”?

Rather, is it not a life lived in constant preparation of yourself and the world for His arrival on the day known only to the Father so that when He arrives you will say, ” ‘We are unworthy servants; we have only done our duty’ “?  For you know, if you truly believe Him and His words, that He is late because of your delay.  And knowing that, you would have to trust Him whose eyes are like blazing coals, whose feet are like burnished bronze, out of whose mouth comes a double edged sword… that He will have mercy on you, an unworthy servant.

Absolute trust then is not what you say you have or that you do trust… no, absolute trust is lived out honouring those who had absolute trust in God.  Lived out in agreement with that which they trusted God for to keep them alive.  Only a life, which is lived in constant preparation for the return of all who showed absolute trust in God by their death, is worthy to have a share of the honour of those who have proved their absolute trust in God.  Thus, to share in the honour of the saints who will return with Jesus, then you must be their servant who is preparing this world for their return, knowing that they are alive for God who has upheld and honoured their belief, faith and trust.  For God’s way of honouring those who honour Him is to give them life and life abundantly, not a beautifully decorated tomb or a commemoration day of their death.  No, their reward from God is the day when they will arrive in the company of the Son in all the glory of God and His angels to reign a 1000 years on this Earth… doing good to the children of those who murdered them even though they know that at the end of the millennium, those ingratiates will rise up in rebellion to kill them, just like their forefathers did.  But none of them were able to stay alive to fulfill what their Master commanded.  No, by the will of God they were taken away, put to sleep to await for a time when God will show all and sundry that He is the One who saves the best for last.

So, if you are alive today to hear and to read this on Earth and not from the balconies of Heaven, then you live in a most opportune time, to not only honour those who died with absolute trust in God, but to honour the One who is the Absolute Trust of God.  The One whom God trusts completely, that this is how God commended Him, saying, “This is My beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased.  Listen to Him!”  And to prove the point, He is the same One whom the Spirit of Holiness raised from the dead declaring Him with power to be the Son of God, and then permitted Himself to be poured upon all flesh on this Earth that He might continue to testify and witness that Jesus Christ is the Son of God with His power.  To say the Holy Spirit left with the death of John the Baptist is to show your ignorance of God’s absolute trust in Jesus who is the Absolute Trust of God.  To say that the Holy Spirit no longer testifies for Jesus with His power is to show your ignorance of the Spirit’s zeal for Jesus.  And to be concerned about counterfeits to the Spirit’s power is to show your lack of confidence in whom the Spirit really is – the Lord God Almighty.

But to live each day and night in joyful expectation that today is the day you will be caught up from the field, tonight is the night you will be caught up out of your bed to join with Him, where vultures gather… all the while rejoicing as you work to finish the preparations because you know He is alive at the right hand of the Father, and resting as night comes so that you are refreshed for the next day should you awake and find He has not yet arrived, so that you can work earnestly yet another day until He does arrive, is to honour the absolute trust of those who died looking forward to this time and are now alive in God waiting patiently for the work to be finished.

To live and labour unceasingly, not begrudgingly, but with joyful anticipation, all the while rejoicing, is the life of one who shares in the absolute trust of those who have absolute trust.  Because of them, because of their sacrifice, belief, unyielding faith and trust, we who live to remain alive until they arrive with Jesus have the honour of saying, ” ‘We are unworthy servants; we have only done our duty.’ “

And so as you share in their absolute trust, you have their absolute trust, and not only the absolute trust of those who are truly saints, but the absolute trust of the One whom God trusts absolutely.  If you then have His absolute trust, then why should it surprise you that He would say, “I tell you the truth, anyone who has faith in Me will do what I have been doing.  He will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father,” and “If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, ask whatever you wish (whatever you will), and it will be done for you.”  In fact, it is logical and inevitable that you will do the things He has been doing, even greater things, and whatsoever you wish and will will be done for you.  For after all, is not He who labours to this day to prepare for Jesus’ arrival living in you?  And if you are living in Him who labours to bring Jesus back and you are labouring with Him to complete the set tasks… why would He not show you absolute trust, oh ye of little faith… Selah.  

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