QUARTERLY JOURNAL
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The Rod of Discipline

If there is one scripture in the Holy Bible that I know my parents adhered to, it was definitely; “Whoever refuses to spank his son hates him, but whoever loves his son disciplines him from early on” (Proverbs 13:24 NOG). If there is one philosophy that I know my parents believed in it was ‘if you don’t correct your children, you don’t love them and if you love them, you will be quick to discipline them’. People who have not experienced the correction of the Father are not His children; “If God doesn’t discipline you as He does all of His children, it means that you are illegitimate and are not really His children at all” (Hebrews 12:8 NLT). My father did not actually use a rod, but he did use that black belt that had no belt buckle in my mother’s linen closet. I am almost 50 years removed from that black belt that had no belt buckle and I can still see it in my mind’s eye sitting on the shelf in the hallway closet of my parents’ home. I’m not sure if my parents were using child psychology on us but I do know that every time I had to get a washcloth or towel out of that hallway closet, I had to look at that black belt sitting on the shelf at eye level so I couldn’t miss it. As a matter of fact, I know there must have been times where I never took my eyes off that black belt as I reached for a towel in the hallway linen closet. Every time I saw it, I was reminded of the last time my father had to use it. The fact that it was the only belt in the house without a belt buckle gave it its signature purpose for discipline. If you ever thought that once you get out your parents’ home, you are free from that black belt in your mother’s linen closet or free from whatever your parents used to correct and discipline the children in the house then think again. When the Lord defined the Biblical principles for children, He made sure we knew that there are methods used for children and other methods used for adults, but the basic Biblical doctrine is still the same; “If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not? But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards, and not sons” (Hebrews 12:7-8 KJV).

When God’s people move from childhood to adulthood, they get a new ‘Disciplinarian’. God told King David that He was going to be his son, Solomon’s Father and He would discipline him with ‘the rod of men’. If your parents rod did not straighten you out, you had better believe that God’s rod will definitely get you straight one way or the other. If I had a choice between my earthly father’s belt and my Heavenly Father’s rod, I think I would choose my earthly father’s belt every time. God’s rod may not be that black belt in mom’s linen closet, but His rod of discipline is still very effective; “I will be his father, and he shall be my son. If he commit iniquity, I will chasten him with the rod of men, and with the stripes of the children of men” (2 Samuel 7:14 KJV). What is the rod of men? Ask Manasseh because he can tell you what it is (2 Kings 21). His mother was Hephzibah, and she must not had a black belt without the belt buckle in her linen closet because the Holy Bible says that Manasseh did what the LORD said was wrong. Manasseh did the terrible things that the nations the LORD forced out of Israel’s country did. For some reason, some of us never get the message even when we see the consequences disobedience in the lives of other people. The Holy Bible is true – “men love darkness rather than light” (John 3:19 KJV). The Prophet Daniel told King Belshazzar that even though he knew about the consequences that his grandfather King Nebuchadnezzar suffered for pride and stubbornness, King Belshazzar still refused to make himself humble before God (Daniel 5:18-24). We see the consequences that our family, friends, and community suffer from because of drugs, alcohol, adultery, violence, crime and illegality and it still does not deter us from doing the same things. Our disobedience is proof that the Apostle Paul was right when he said, “I don’t do the good I want to do, and I do the evil I hate” (Romans 7:15 ERV). We lie when we know we should not. We gossip when we know that gossip hurts others. We steal when all we have to do is ask. We do all the things that God hates (Proverbs 6:16-19) when we know we should be doing the things that God says would allow Him to bless us. We say we want the blessing but it seems like we want the rod more; “Because Manasseh king of Judah hath done these abominations, and hath done wickedly above all that the Amorites did, which were before him, and hath made Judah also to sin with his idols: Therefore thus saith the LORD God of Israel, Behold, I am bringing such evil upon Jerusalem and Judah…Because they have done that which was evil in my sight, and have provoked me to anger” (2 Kings 21:11-12, 15 KJV). The LORD spoke to Manasseh and to his people, but they refused to listen. So, the LORD brought commanders from the king of Assyria’s army to attack Judah. These commanders captured Manasseh and made him their prisoner. They put hooks in him and brass chains on his hands and took him to the country of Babylon. When these troubles came to Manasseh, he begged for help from the LORD his God. People always beg for help when the Lord finally lays down the rod in their lives. It’s not the black belt that my father got out of my mother’s linen closet, but God’s ‘rod of men’ seems to always get people’s attention. Manasseh humbled himself before the God of his ancestors; “And when he was in affliction, he besought the LORD his God, and humbled himself greatly before the God of his fathers” (2 Chronicles 33:12 KJV). We need to keep in mind that there is no glory in being punished for wrongdoing. We should not praise folks for suffering from consequences (1 Peter 2:19-20). God gets glory when we suffer for doing the right things (Acts 5:41). The ‘rod of men’ is not necessarily a physical rod. It could be the jailhouse that men build for disobedient criminals. The ‘rod of men’ could be the hefty fines we get for disobeying the speed limits on the road. The ‘rod of men’ could be getting fired from our jobs when we continue to show up to work late. The ‘rod of men’ is what God uses to correct those that belong to him. For King Solomon, the ‘rod of men’ turned out to be men like Hadad the Edomite (1 Kings 11:14) and Rezon (1 Kings 11:23) and Jeroboam (1 Kings 11:23). King Solomon suffered from the ‘rod of men’ until he finally died. If we obey God and suffer then God gets glory, and we grow spiritually. When we disobey God, we only get shame and God will use the ‘rod of men’ to make us suffer punishments and consequences for our disobedience. In light of that, we should thank God that He is a merciful Father, and we don’t always suffer the punishment and consequences that we should; “We sinned against him, but he didn’t give us the punishment we deserved” (Psalm 103:10 ERV).

Submitted by Trustee Stan Ridley



The Family

 So, what does the Bible say about family? The concept of family was introduced in the very beginning, as we see in Genesis 1:28 KJV, “God blessed them and said to them, ‘Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air and over every living creature that moves on the ground.'”

God’s plan for creation was for men and women to marry and have children. Which created the first family. The physical family is the most important building block in human society, and it is something that we must nurture and protect. One of Satan’s primary jobs is to destroy the family. Why, may you ask? If he can tear down the family structure causing its members to be separated and isolated, then his job of destruction will be easier. God has created family so that there is a support system. A covering of one another. Within the family structure you can feel the love of God. God has also given each member of the family gifts and talents to help build up His family and His church. That is also why the church family is so important.

As people who believe in Christ, we are and have become a spiritual family. This is a family made up of many nations and it speaks many languages (Revelation 7:9). The defining characteristic of this spiritual family is love for one another – “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another” (John 13:34-35 KJV).

Those of us who are members of Shiloh and a part of its covenant community are truly blessed. Because this church is a family, built on GOD’S LOVE and LOVE FOR ONE ANOTHER.

Submitted By Deacon & Deaconess Jose & Cassandra Rosa



Refreshing

When I think of the meaning of ‘Refreshing’, I think of a new beginning; to give new strength or energy; to revive, restore, exhilarate, and an awakening.

In Romans 12:1, there is an appeal to ‘present’ our bodies to be Holy and Acceptable unto God, to be transformed by the Renewal of our Mind, not to be conformed to this World, so that by being tested we can discern what is the Will of God.

I believe that God wants our minds to be refreshed. He wants us to be awakened, energized, and ready to be used for His Purpose. God has no use for a weak-minded, broken down and worn-out Spirit, Mind or Soul for His will.

August is my birthday month, and I like to go on vacations away from home, just to rest my body and mind and to be refreshed. When God bless me to turn a new age, I say to myself, “God has given me a new year and opportunity to represent Him.” I ask myself, “How do I go about doing this?” Well, I must flush out all the negative thoughts, the despairs and the disbeliefs that so easily has a stronghold of my mind and ask God to put in me a new and refreshing mindset.

 I believe that God has a need and a purpose for each of our lives. God wants to show us what it is that He has for us, but we have to submit to God and ask Him to give us a new and refreshing mindset that He may get all from us for His purpose and will.

Submitted by Sis. Selinda Jones