The Measure of a Man

True Manliness empowers men to be Statesmen in the highest court in eternity. Anything less than that is a compromise or abandonment of manhood.

The Bible gives us a comparison between the Divine Statesman, known also as the Great Men, and those who have abandoned their destiny. Let me show you what the Bible says.

Jeremiah’s Insight

The prophet Jeremiah lived in Israel just before Babylon took the nation into captivity. 600 years before Christ, Jeremiah was sent by God to warn the wayward Israelites that they must repent or be removed from the land. The people did not repent and so Jeremiah got to see his warnings come to pass on the nation.

Among the many powerful insights revealed to Jeremiah by the prophetic anointing that was on him, is an insight into the state of manliness. Early in the record of his ministry (the book of Jeremiah) he exposes the spiritual state of the men of the land. In doing so he shows why the land was going to be judged.

Jeremiah 5:1-5

“Run to and fro through the streets of Jerusalem, and see now, and know, and seek in the broad places thereof, if you can find a man, if there be any that executes judgment, that seeks the truth; and I will pardon it.

And though they say, The LORD lives; surely they swear falsely.

O LORD, are not your eyes on the truth? You have stricken them, but they have not grieved; you have consumed them, but they have refused to receive correction: they have made their faces harder than a rock; they have refused to return.

Therefore I said, Surely these are poor; they are foolish: for they know not the way of the LORD, nor the judgment of their God.

I will get me unto the great men, and will speak unto them; for they have known the way of the LORD, and the judgment of their God: but these have altogether broken the yoke, and burst the bonds.”

Two Kinds of Men

These few verses in Jeremiah 5 describe two kinds of men. One type of man is referred to as “man” and “great men“. The other type of man is described as “poor” and “foolish“.

The first type of man is a Statesman before God. I say that because God was willing to pardon a wicked city if He could just find one such man. True men are able to do business with God about the destiny of whole cities, just as Abraham negotiated with God about the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah.

The other men are ignorant and ineffective. Rather than being able to save a city they are the very reason that judgement is coming on the city.

The Measure of a Failed Man

Reviewing Jeremiah’s description in Jeremiah 5:1-5 note several qualities about these failed men.

Firstly, they live in Deception. They declare right sounding words with their lips, saying “The Lord lives!” But they don’t believe it. They don’t live in the fear of God. So they are making a false statement.

That means they are guilty of Deception (lying to God and others), Self-deception, Hypocrisy, and False Religious Devotion. Failed men can be members of churches and have a high-sounding religious tone. Religion is not the determinant of true manhood, but the “truth” by which the man lives is.

Failed men are also Insensitive to Rebuke. When God corrects them they are Unrepentant, Stubborn and engaged in Wilful rebellion. These men stick with their chosen course of action, even in the face of God’s judgement upon them.

Because they have abandoned truth and rejected correction they are Impoverished, Foolish, Ignorant of God’s Ways and Ignorant of God’s Judgements. They have lost value as people. They have no wisdom to bring to others, and no understanding of what is going on and what to do about it.

What is more, because they have Refused to submit to God, going into rebellion, independence and self-will, they suffer a total loss of authority. They cannot save their city, because they don’t even understand what is really happening to their city, because they are deluded about who and what they are.

Does that sound like many people in western nations today?

Qualities to Reject in Men

While many men are concerned about developing a “six pack” and putting out the right image to those around them, they are distracted from the real qualities that need attention.

The Opposite of true manhood is not weakness, but moral compromise, spiritual blindness, stubbornness and deception. Men can be strong in will and physical power, and use that strength to resist God’s prophets. Because resisting God is moral compromise and the abandonment of their true destiny, their strength of will and body does not make them a man.

Jeremiah says of the foolish and reject men that they have “broken the yoke and burst the bonds” (Jer 5:5). That means they have rebelled against God’s constraints on their life. They reject God’s will for them and they reject God’s moral standards. They are rebels.

Great Men

An Essential quality of true manhood is submission to God. Every other evidence of physical strength, determination of will, etc, is useless, if not godly.

So let’s look at the definition of the great men described by Jeremiah.

“Run to and fro through the streets of Jerusalem, and see now, and know, and seek in the broad places thereof, if you can find a man, if there be any that executes judgment, that seeks the truth; and I will pardon it.” Jeremiah 5:1

“I will get me to the great men, and will speak to them; for they have known the way of the LORD, and the judgment of their God: but these have altogether broken the yoke, and burst the bonds.” Jeremiah 5:5

Great men execute judgement, seek the truth, know God’s ways and know God’s judgements.

Great men are attune to God. Their greatness doesn’t come from popular public acclaim. They don’t need an image consultant or a personal trainer. They don’t need their photo touched up or their PR blurb enhanced by professionals. Their greatness is not conferred upon them by crowds or earthly crowns. Their greatness comes from the Greatest of them all.

Knowing God

Great men Know God. They have the kind of relationship with God that enables them to know what others do not know. How do I know that? Well look at verse 5, “they have known the way of the Lord”. Now look at Romans 11:33.

“O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! how unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past finding out!” Romans 11:33

You can’t find out God’s ways! So how in the world did these men “know” God’s ways? It could only have come to them by revelation from God. You see, they had that kind of relationship with God. They were attune to God, not their TV set or the popular media. Their truth did not come from the gurus and columnists, or the investigative journalists. Their truth came from God and they humbled themselves enough to admit that they need God’s revelation, not man’s prognostication.

These men also know God’s Judgements, so they live in the “fear of God”. And it is the fear of God that is the beginning of wisdom.

“The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom: a good understanding have all they that do his commandments: his praise endures for ever.” Psalm 111:10

While the evil, broken men did what they wanted and had only folly and deception, these great men lived in the fear of the Lord and were attentive to His judgements.

Doing the Stuff

And what’s more, the great men did something about what they knew from God. They executed judgement themselves and they sought truth. They did not accept the deception of the failed men who dominated their society. They dug out the truth and made correct assessment of each situation. They were not dependent on their culture, but prepared to live apart from everything the deceived people believed in.

The deceived men were killed or taken captive. The great men, like Jeremiah himself, were set free by those who enslaved others.

Your Mission, Should you Choose to Accept it…

Which category of man do you fit into? Are you a great man? Or are you a fool, living in self-delusion and flowing along with your culture?

Your mission, whether you like it or not, is to fulfil your divine destiny. And that destiny is not to make yourself happy, rich, comfortable, photogenic or independent. That destiny puts you under God’s authority, to fulfil His plans for you and His kingdom.

The payout is that you get to be truly free and you get to stand in God’s throne-room doing business over whole nations. So, it’s worth the effort to become a real man.

Politics and Religion are Intrinsically Linked

The separation of Church and State is a much-misunderstood concept. It is also a concept that is exploited to insist on removal of religious sentiment from the political arena.

The motivation for such ambition is clear. Political leaders down through history have wanted to displace God and act as the ultimate law, rather than as subjects of a Holy God to whom they must give account. The Pharaohs and Caesars are among the better known of the many human leaders who asserted their divinity.

Three thousand years ago the Psalmist taunted those political leaders who tied to conceive of a world where they were not accountable to God.

“Why do the heathen rage, and the people imagine a vain thing? The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the LORD, and against his anointed, saying, Let us break their bands asunder, and cast away their cords from us. He that sits in the heavens shall laugh: the LORD will have them in derision.” Psalm 2:1-4

“Be wise now therefore, O you kings: be instructed, you judges of the earth. Serve the LORD with fear, and rejoice with trembling. Kiss the Son, lest he be angry, and you perish from the way, when his wrath is kindled but a little. Blessed are all they that put their trust in him.” Psalm 2:10-12

Church & State Are Bound Together

Despite all the rhetoric and emotion that may be expressed against religious reality in state affairs it has always been understood that God is supreme over political process. “By me Kings reign” is the claim made by wisdom, which is God’s handmaiden.

By me kings reign, and princes decree justice. By me princes rule, and nobles, even all the judges of the earth.” Proverbs 8:15,16

God is the Supreme King and Deity

A clear testimony to the intimate connection between Church and State, or Politics and Religion, is the example of God, Himself.

God is the Supreme King, sitting on a heavenly throne over all the Kingdoms of the world. Jesus Christ is the King of Kings and Lord of Lords.

But God is also the God above all Gods. He is the ultimate deity. No idol, deity, spirit, icon, or religion can challenge His supremacy.

Church and State, Religion and Politics are intrinsically combined in one person. So how in the world can it be conceived that the two are not completely and intimately related to each other?

The Spiritual Reality Rules Politics

For all the protestations that human government must be free of religious connection the whole argument is based on nonsense. The world and everything in it is first and foremost a spiritual reality. A moral God created us all and is and will judge us all based on how we submit ourselves to Him. So the idea that human government is somehow independent of divine realities is simple self-delusion.

The Bible gives us several glimpses into the heavenly realm and there we see that a rebellious subordinate is seeking to displace and contend with God. That created angelic being which chose to betray God is no match for God’s ultimate and supreme authority as the creator of all, but he goes about as if he has authority and power, seducing people to join him in rebellion against God.

So human politics and society are constantly under the influence of these two spiritual entities. When people submit to God they enjoy God’s blessing. When they submit to the rebel spirit they come under God’s judgement and various slaveries and degradations.

The State Desperately Needs the Church

Any true statesman knows that his authority and effectiveness is totally dependent on God. He will recognise his desperate need for spiritual support and divine authority. True statesmen, then, will recognise that the state desperately needs the church.

God is currently calling a new generation of true statesmen to arise. They are from many nations and divergent backgrounds. They have distinctive callings on their life and they will each have different levels of influence and impact. But they are the new generation of servant of the Lord. God is calling forth men of character and divine authority who will redeem nations and rescue politics, science, religion and culture from the seductions and disembowelment which we have come to think of as normal.

I call you to be part of that new generation of heavenly statesman on the earth.

Niclaus Ludwig von Zinzendorf – Christian Revolutionary

This is the day that … Niklaus Ludwig von Zinzendorf was born, in 1700.

Born to an aristocratic German family Count Zinzendorf is described as the Rich Young Ruler who said ‘Yes’. At age 6 he impressed people with his prayers. At age 20 he felt the call do whatever Christ asked, no matter the cost. At age 22, as heir to one of Europe’s leading royal families, he opened his property to refugees.

Starting with a group of ten that arrived in December, 1722, Zinzendorf was hosting ninety by May of 1725, and over 300 by late 1726. The community was given the name “Herrnhut”, meaning “The Lord’s Watch.” In little time it grew into a small city of Christian citizenry. From here a number of missionaries went forth to evangelise.  This was the beginning of the Moravian movement, which would later play a part in the conversion of John Wesley.

Zinzendorf renounced his life as a nobleman and is rightly regarded as “one of the greatest missionary statesmen of all times”.

Yet, one author speaks of his “arrogance and conceit” and the gruesome obsession” with our Lord’s physical sufferings which temporarily nearly wrecked this missionary movement (From Jerusalem to Irian Jaya, by Ruth Tucker).

From his pen came 2000 hymns, many of which still appear in church hymnals, including:
          Jesus, Thy blood and righteousness,
          my beauty are, my glorious dress.
          ’midst flaming worlds in these arrayed,
          with joy shall I lift up my head!

The Moravian community was well organised but soon fell into jealousy, division and discord. Zinzendorf sought to address this and in August 1727 the community was moved to repentance and experienced a powerful outpouring of the Holy Spirit.

Zinzendorf died in Herrnhut on 9 May, 1760.