There are many prophetic names and designations for Jesus Christ throughout the Scriptures. Shiloh is one of them, and it means He whose right it is. When the Bible talks about Shiloh, it talks about an overturning (see Ezek. 21:27). It has the connotation of subverting, ruining, or destroying. Additionally, Psalm 2 makes it quite clear that when the kings of the earth rage against the Lord, there really isn’t a contest nor any doubt as to who will prevail.
Citing Jacob’s prophetic words before he died (Gen. 49:10), R.J. Rushdoony comments,
Here we have in brief and capsule form a great declaration of Christ’s office. He is the world ruler and lawgiver to whom by right all things, all power and authority, belong, so that no area of life is outside His government nor free to make its own laws. This means that church, state, school, the family, all people, and every area of life must be governed by Christ and His law as their rightful Lord.
Our Lord declared Himself to be Shiloh by virtue of His Resurrection when He said, before His ascension, “All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you” (Matt. 28:18–20). Here He spoke as Shiloh, ordering the gathering of all nations to Himself as their Lord and lawgiver. He is the only true redeemer and Lord, their Shiloh.1
It is not surprising that those openly at war with Christ disregard His title and office. However, it is alarming that so many professing believers live their lives denying the crown rights of Jesus Christ. How can I make such a sweeping statement?
Think of all the areas of life that most church people today relegate to another authority than God the Son. Many claim to believe the Bible from cover to cover without looking at the clear commandments therein and the logical consequences of disobedience. They would rather live in the dream world of God the friendly grandfather, the non-confrontational, romantic Jesus, and the Holy Spirit who manifests Himself in repetitive worship songs and feel-good fellowship. This view of the Trinity is a very far cry from the God of the Bible who proclaims the crown rights of Shiloh, He whose right it is. Inevitably, those who worship the false god of their imagination cede to the tyrannical state and their bureaucratic agencies their children, their finances, and their future.
How do we combat this pathetic imitation of godly living and Kingdom service among those who profess faith in Jesus Christ but in practice ignore the teaching of His Word and its implications? The first ground we must take in the pursuit of the Kingdom of God is the ground between our ears. Too many people attempt to evangelize others before they are standing firmly on the Rock of their salvation. When 1 Corinthians 13 describes faith, hope, and love as our three main pursuits, it is not referencing a sentimental emotionalism or mere affirmation. St. Paul is describing what loving God with our whole heart, mind, soul, and strength is all about, and then demonstrating that love to those we encounter. Love separated from the law-word of God is not mountain moving. We can only access the power from Jesus Christ when we are convinced that He did not merely speak truth, but that He is Truth. We must establish our thinking in such a way that we grant no “toleration” (yes, I used that word intentionally) to anything that contradicts the reality that Shiloh commands the thoughts, words, and deeds of His people. Nothing less makes us ready to do battle with the enemies of God. We must teach our children that there is “nothing to debate” when it comes to ideas and behaviors the Bible clearly defines as abominations. We must require that they examine the lies and myths of our day (think “news” and “science”), and can give a Biblical defense as to why truth is not found there, but only in Jesus Christ.
As we teach our children, we must not trivialize the commandments of God and the history of the covenant God made with His people by the use of silly stories, vegetable people, or any other means whereby we circumvent the true meaning of God’s Word. How much time is wasted simplifying the message of redemption, because we are embarrassed about how God has dealt with His enemies?
Too many mothers and fathers have become partners with the sons of disobedience by telling their children Bible stories rewritten to accommodate a buttercup-God. So, the story of Noah’s ark morphs into a story about an old man and his happy wife and friendly animals hanging out of a merrily bobbling-along houseboat. You would never guess it was originally the historical account of a worldwide, catastrophic flood brought upon all creation because of man’s unrepented sin resulting in death for all mankind, except the eight souls in the ark. The problem with presenting the Biblical accounts with watered-down versions like this is that we end up believing these fantasies ourselves.2
It is high time we stopped offering explanations in embarrassment for the triune God in an attempt to make His righteous wrath appear to be a thing of the past.
Second Timothy 2:15 states, “Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” Rushdoony, commenting on this passage, explains:
The Greek word translated as “rightly dividing” is, literally, “cutting straight.” Paul says that God’s Word must be very plainly presented: it must be used to cut straight with the word of truth to the heart of man’s problems. …
What is meant by cutting straight the word of truth is that we do not bend the truth, or indulge in all kinds of roundabout ways to disguise its bluntness. Too often, we trust more in our tact and diplomacy than in God’s Holy Spirit. We assume that we can do better with our cautious tactics than by the Word of God. In so doing, we are saying that our caution is wiser than God’s truth. Such an approach makes us impotent. To be God’s workman, an approved one who has no reason to be ashamed, we must cut straight the truth. This is God’s requirement, and it means trusting God rather than ourselves.
Of course, this “cutting straight” will sometimes create very real problems for us. On the other hand, it will also bring about God’s results.3
Packaging the Message
Many of the women who participate in my Biblical Law study groups4 ask how the message of God’s law-word as a faith for all of life can be packaged so that people will want to hear it. The answer is that we cannot do better than the Holy Spirit has already done in packaging the life-giving power of the Word of God. Rather than try to improve on it, our best act of obedience is to make sure they hear it. After all, we know that Jesus said that God draws people to Himself, not the other way around.
Thus, the fact that God over and over again judges the world is itself an act of grace and mercy on God’s part. Just as a child needs to be spanked at times to be recalled to the right way, and just as true parental discipline is an act of love, so too God’s judgments are linked to His grace and His saving mercy.5
We who believe and act in the power of God are chosen by God to overturn and confound these elitist and ungodly leaders. We are ordained by God “to bring to nought” the powers that be (1 Cor. 1:28). We are destined to be overcomers and overturners.
We have thus a remarkable future in Christ, and we must prepare for it. God’s plan is to use us to break the hold of the ungodly on history and to convert all things to Christ. To found something is to establish it; to confound something is to disestablish and destroy it … Because Jesus Christ is our foundation, we are empowered to confound and disestablish all false faiths. We build on Christ; repentance, faith, and good works are the blocks wherewith we build (Heb. 6:1; 1 Tim. 6:19). As we build, we confound or break down the powers of evil.6
The time has come to stop compromising with the world and its many counterfeit religions, humanism being the best representation. We must not be governed by groupthink or the peer pressure that identifies meekness with weakness. We must comprehend what it means to be the blessed meek. Rushdoony has pointed out,
The word meek is the opposite of unbridled anger and passion; it refers to the bridled man.
It is the purpose of the law-word of God, and of the Holy Spirit, to bridle a man. The untamed and evil nature of unregenerate man leads to “the works of the flesh,” i.e., of fallen human nature (Gal. 5:19–21). The fruit of the Spirit includes, among other things, meekness (praotes), the humbling and taming work of the Spirit (Gal. 5:22–23).
It is the tamed of God who shall inherit the earth. They have both faith and stability … Only those who are harnessed by God’s Spirit to His law-word have the stable, disciplined, and Spirit-governed capacity to rule the earth. The calling of Christ’s saints is to judge or govern the earth...
We are made meek by the Spirit, and broken to harness, in order to be usable by Him, and to rule in Him.7
Some may argue that this is not the way to win converts. My grandmother used to say, “You know, you can catch more flies with honey than you can with vinegar.” Yet, we were catching flies to kill them! Is not this a picture of the modern seeker-sensitive appeal? Those who are lured by a “feel good” message rather than the full counsel of God end up much more like those flies baited with honey.
Which Shiloh Do You Serve?
Every challenge to the crown rights of Jesus Christ will be the propagation of false shilohs. We must challenge every counterfeit and imposter as we act upon our Great Commission.
Rushdoony emphatically states,
So too the modern state declares itself to be Shiloh, he whose right it is. The modern state acknowledges no law beyond itself, no law-giver save itself, no savior beyond man, and no binding power beyond time and history. It sometimes disguises its hatred by a show of tolerance for Christianity, but that toleration is itself a form of declaring that Biblical faith is irrelevant. If the claims of Scripture and the God of Scripture are true, then there is no way in which men and institutions can sidestep the absolute requirement of total submission to Jesus Christ as Lord. Their option is only Christ for judgment: there is no life apart from Him, not any order possible in contempt of Him.
For the state to attempt, as twentieth century states do, to establish an order apart from Christ is to say that God is not the Lord, and that the universe is open to other claims of deity and sovereignty.
To the question, Who is Shiloh?, the twentieth century rarely answers, Jesus Christ. Even among those who profess to call Him Savior, too few will also acknowledge Him to be the Lord. But, if He is not our Lord, He is not our Savior. Jesus Christ is not an insurance agent, writing out an insurance policy on us, and then making no further claim on us, as long as our policy is paid up with modest sums from time to time. He is Shiloh, He whose right it is, and He will not surrender His sovereignty unto any other.8
We must be certain in our own thinking that we have not ceded that which belongs to Jesus Christ to the culture, regardless of how outnumbered or out-powered we appear to be.
Because Jesus Christ is Shiloh, our world is under judgment for refusing to acknowledge Him Lord and Savior. These troubled times should not distress or trouble us: they are evidences that Shiloh is at work, shaking the things which can be shaken, so that the unshakeable may alone remain. He will overturn our humanistic world, shatter its pride, autonomy, and complacency, and He shall reign in both judgment and in peace. It is He and not the world who is our peace. In the troubled world of His birth, the glorious song of the heavenly host was “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men” (Lk. 2:14). The meaning of this peace, our Savior-King declares, is Himself. “For he is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition” between God and man (Eph. 2:14). By means of His grace and law-word, all things are to be brought into and under His peace. His strong and calming word to us is this: “Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid” (Jn. 14:27).9
When we stand firmly on the Rock of our Salvation, we not only will be able to withstand the slings and arrows of a culture at war with God, but we will prevail because that is the promise of the true Shiloh: He Whose Right It Is!
1. R. J. Rushdoony, A Word in Season, vol. 1 (Vallecito, CA: Ross House Books, 2010), pp. 125–126.
2. Andrea Schwartz, Woman of the House (Vallecito, CA: Chalcedon/Ross House Books, 2012), p. 4.
3. R. J. Rushdoony, A Word in Season, vol. 7 (Vallecito, CA: Ross House Books, 2016), pp. 42–43.
5. R. J. Rushdoony, A Word in Season, vol. 3 (Vallecito, CA: Ross House Books, 2011), p. 14.
6. R. J. Rushdoony, A Word in Season, vol. 3 (Vallecito, CA: Ross House Books, 2011), pp. 17 –18.
7. R. J. Rushdoony, Sermon on the Mount (Vallecito, CA: Ross House Books, 2009), pp. 21–22.
8. R. J. Rushdoony, Faith for All of Life, Dec. 2002, “Incarnation and History: ‘He Whose Right It Is’”
- Andrea G. Schwartz
Andrea Schwartz is Chalcedon’s family and Christian education advocate, and the author of eight books including: A House for God: Building a Kingdom-Driven Family, The Biblical Trustee Family: Understanding God’s Purpose for Your Household, Empowered: Developing Strong Women for Kingdom Service, Woman of the House: A Mother’s Role in Building a Christian Culture, and The Homeschool Life: Discovering God’s Way to Family-Based Education. She’s also the co-host of the Out of the Question podcast, and Homeschooling Helps (weekly live Facebook event). She can be reached at [email protected].