He hath remembered his covenant forever, the word which he commanded to a thousand generations. Which covenant he made with Abraham, and his oath unto Isaac; And confirmed the same unto Jacob for a law, and to Israel for an everlasting covenant. (Psalm 105:8-10)
The sovereign Lord and Creator of all things visible and invisible advances his rule throughout time and history by means of the covenant, denoting that the God who created the universe reveals himself in history by laying down immutable ethical requirements, or law. In relationship to the law, God effects visible, concrete sanctions, which include blessings for obedience and curses for disobedience. Hence over time God's covenant-keeping seed is blessed and exerts dominion over the tribes and kindreds of the earth, even while the covenant breakers are accursed, diminished and eventually disinherited. Thus, the covenant is the great pivot around which history revolves.
In Genesis 12:1-3, 13:16, 17:1-13 and 22:17-18, the Abrahamic covenant is depicted. Promised to Abraham is greatness, honor, material wealth, increase, and a godly offspring, in order to bless and govern the nations according to the rule of God. It is instructive to note that God does not make covenant with Abraham alone, but also with his children. Turning to the New Testament and Galatians 3:14-29, we find that through the finished work of Jesus Christ, all that are elect in God are now counted as Abraham's seed and are heirs according to the same covenant promises and world-changing mission. Hence, a sacred trust has been passed to the generations of the saints.
According to our theme verses in Psalm 105, the Abrahamic covenant will be enforced for at least a thousand generations. Practically speaking, Christians must plan for the perpetuation of the Faith for many generations to come. The sacred trust of the covenant must not be passed only to the next generation, but that generation must be given the advantage of standing on our shoulders and advancing the Faith even further than we.
The Abrahamic covenant must be fulfilled comprehensively in time and history. Even the language of the Great Commission is draped over the structure of the Abrahamic covenant and renders the nations of the earth subdued to Christ's imperial throne. The task for the Christian parent is to transmit the covenant to his children and thus further the great engine of divine conquest.
There are myriad strongholds of indolence, ignorance and iniquity to be mastered as Christian Reconstruction progresses in time and history. Chiefly, the lack of confessional orthodoxy and the penchant for heresy in evangelical circles, the deleterious effects of dualistic and escapist thinking, and the rampant moral cowardice and compromise exhibited by American Christianity are all hellish fortifications that must be vanquished.
Nonetheless, while these issues are critical, I am far more concerned with the major impediments to godly patriarchal families transmitting the covenant to their offspring. Notice the covenant is made with Abraham and his seed or children. Abraham is the federal head of his family and consequently patriarchal authority is established for the objective of covenantal succession. Covenantalism practically applied places on godly fathers the great weight, authority and responsibility for the covenant and its application.
Therefore, the great threat in our time to the perpetuation of the covenant is an anti-Biblical matriarchal perversion of Christianity and its resultant feminized culture. The prophet Isaiah warns of horrific results when women are ruling and ordering a nation (Is. 3:12). Traditionally, these verses have been interpreted in terms of women governing in civil polity. This was the dominant theme and backbone of Knox's arguments against Mary Queen of Scots. But the scope of Isaiah's warnings take in more than civil polity. In a larger sense, they address culture or a nation's state of being. A feminized, matriarchal culture strikes at the very core of covenantal succession for it decapitates patriarchal authority.
Prior to the rampant Romanticism of the nineteenth century, Christian ministers were valued and esteemed for doctrinal precision and explicit dogmatics. The man of God was noted for his theological prowess, depth of education and skills in declaring and applying the truth of God's inscripturated will. In the twentieth century, his role has been feminized. Now, theology, doctrinal integrity, knowledge, and expository preaching are regarded as obsolescent. In other words, rigid beliefs are not conducive to warm spirituality. Instead, the modern cleric is esteemed for "motherly-nurturing skills." His religion is sentimentalized and ethics have become whimsical and based on "feeling God."
Matriarchal pulpits breed men who, rather than acting as the federal head of the family, take on womanly traits and call this "holiness." Notions of having a sweet and tender demeanor, domestication, sensitivity, and pietistic selfish introspection are highly regarded over leadership, courage, strength and law based ethics. Hence, families lack patriarchal leadership. Morality at best is subjective and what morals there may be are cultivated for the appearance of civility and not for honoring God. Accordingly, the immutable tenets of covenantal thought are circumvented in favor of an evolving ethic of feeling and emotionalism.
Ultimately the matriarchal-feminized religious paradigm attempts to change the nature of God from an august, all-powerful, transcendent being, to a sentimental, "seeker-sensitive" deity, who pines away for man "because he [God] is lonely." Hence, this feminized aberration of truth is actually a rival of orthodox Christianity and is an overt devilish attempt to abort covenantal succession through the destruction of fatherhood.
The Fifth Commandment requires the honoring of father and mother. Connected with the command is the promise of long days and inheritance. This command is much more than good manners and gentility shown to one's elders.
Rendering honor to father and mother means proper care, respect and diligence concerning the sacred trust of the covenant. Jacob was loved by God and thus esteemed the covenant, whereas Esau was hated by God, and consequently, sold out the covenant for a mess of pottage.
Fathers, we are compelled to throw off all extra-Biblical feminized ideas of "holiness" and are required to take the spiritual helm of the family. Fathers must catechize their children in the most holy Faith! Rise to the calling of you patriarchal covenantal responsibilities! Teach your children to rally to the covenant! Impart the indomitable spirit of the reformation to steel their minds! Raise their eyes to glimpse the radiant glory of the covenant and let the vision of Christ returning to a world made righteous salve their souls. Teach them to honor their fathers and mothers, not only in a direct familial sense, but also in an historical sense: their fathers in the Faith. Introduce them to Luther, Calvin, Beza, Knox, Owen, Cromwell, Charnock, Edwards, Whitefield, Hodge, Warfield and more. Let the fires of heritage forge their vision of destiny and kingdom conquest!
This covenant will be "commanded for a thousand generations."
- Jeffrey A. Ziegler
Rev. Jeffrey A. Ziegler is founder and president of Christian Endeavors and Reformation Bible Institute. Christian Endeavors was founded in 1983 as a Christian educational organization providing theological lectures and materials to help churches across the denominational spectrum develop a comprehensive Biblical world-life-view and to reconstruct an explicitly Christian civilization. Rev. Jeff Ziegler has lectured in over 600 churches and pastors' conferences comprising 18 denominations and spanning the North American continent, Great Britain and Germany.
Reformation Bible Institute was founded in 1985 as a means to train pastors and laymen in the theological pinions of the historic Reformed Faith and Christian Reconstruction. Specifically RBI focuses on Calvinism, Theonomic Ethics (Biblical Law), Presuppositional Apologetics, Knoxian Activism, Christian History and the disciplines of Protestant political-economic social theory. Since 1985 over 500 students have passed through the halls of RBI in northeast Ohio and many others have taken courses through correspondence.
Rev. Ziegler is also co-founder and moderator of the Association of Free Reformed Churches and the Ohio Reconstruction Society. He is an author with articles appearing on a regular basis in Christian periodicals such as The Christian Statesman, The Forerunner and The Chalcedon Report. He is the editor of both the "Revival Flame" newsletter and "The Puritan Storm " homepage and is a board member of the 135-year-old National Reform Association.
In addition to ministry duties, Jeff Ziegler is president of The Continental Group, a think tank for political activism and the culmination of over twenty years of political involvement. In this capacity Ziegler has been a campaign advisor and strategist, press secretary, campaign manager and has authored numerous position papers and legislation at the local and state level. He can be contacted at 216-289-2553 or [email protected].