Saturday, May 30, 2020

What I Wanted from Missionaries That I Expect and Want for Me as a Missionary

The two words for missionary are "evangelist" and "missionary."  Evangelist has in that word, preach the gospel.  Missionary has in that word, mission.  I'm not trying to insult your intelligence.  Indulge this post.  Read on.

For preach the gospel, an evangelist should preach the gospel.  To do that, he must preach the actual gospel, not get professions of faith.  He should be squared away on the gospel.  It should be a true one.  I'm not going to explain that in this post, but that is very important to me.  As a pastor, I would want that as of vital importance.  The evangelist should know the gospel.

As an aside, consider with me the doctrine of "spiritual warfare."  This comes from 2 Corinthians 10:3-5.  I would want a missionary to do spiritual warfare, that is, pull down the strongholds in people's minds, the ones keeping them from salvation, using the spiritual weapon, scripture.  Knowing scripture better helps with spiritual warfare.  I call this the skillful use of the sword after Ephesians 6:17.  "Word" there is the Greek word, rhema, not logos, so it is the use of the particular passage necessary to win the spiritual battle.  But I digress.

The evangelist knows the gospel and then he preaches it to everyone.  I think of Matthew 13.  The seed should be sown on every type of soil:  hard, rocky, thorny, and good -- in other words, everyone.  In 1 Corinthians 3, Paul wrote that some sow and some water.  Sowing is the job of the evangelist.  Jesus commands in Mark 16:15, preach the gospel to every creature.  Maybe I'm wrong, but I don't think most evangelists take this part seriously.

Asking an evangelist if he will preach the gospel to every creature, I've found, is offensive, when asked.  I stopped asking it of evangelists (missionaries), but it is still what I wanted.  It is what I expect of me as a missionary.

It's possible at this juncture, you think that one person can't do that.  I understand that thought.  I know it isn't a one man job.  It should be the goal either for the one evangelist or others working with the one evangelist or trained by him.  His narrative should include the gospel is being preached systematically to everyone.  He's trying to do that.  I also understand the concept of the "free offer of the gospel."  Not everyone will want to hear it.  It isn't preaching it to everyone, but trying to preach it to everyone.

The second part of what I want from a missionary relates to the word "mission."  "Mission" comes from the Great Commission.  What is the Great Commission?  I don't mean to sound demeaning, but most missionaries wouldn't be able to answer that question, according to what scripture says.  If I said, you don't know what the Great Commission is, most missionaries would be offended.  I don't say that, but bear with me again here.

Matthew 28:19-20 has one verb.  What is it?  Could most missionaries answer that question? There is one verb and three participles.  What is the verb and what are the participles?  How do the participles function with relations to the verb?  The verb is the Great Commission.  It is an imperative.  There is one command in those two verses.  What is it?

It is the verb translated, "teach," the Greek word, matheteuo, or "make disciples."  The Lord Jesus Christ with all authority both in heaven and in earth commands the church to make disciples.  I say, the church, because "you" is plural.  He is speaking to everyone there in that first church.  Are people in churches making disciples?  Do missionaries expect themselves to make disciples?  How?  I think many don't have a clue.  I don't mean that in a condescending or demeaning way.  If you are a missionary and you do havc a clue, then you know I don't mean you.

I want a missionary to obey the mission.  Is he a missionary if he isn't?  The imperative, "make disciples," depends on the three participles:  go, baptize, and teach.  Those participles modify "make disciples."  One cannot make disciples, obey the mission, without go, baptize, and teach.  "Teach" is a different Greek word than the other word "teach," and it is the more common word.  However, I often say someone hasn't taught anything unless someone learns it.  It's not a lecture if it is teaching.  Much more can be said on that.  How does someone ensure someone is learning?  And, therefore, someone is teaching?

These are the most basic things I wanted from missionaries.  They are controversial and offensive usually.  They are what I expect and want for me as a missionary.  If that brings more confidence to you about what I will do, then perhaps you would support us in doing it as we start in Oregon and then later go to England, as I wrote in my last post.  Someone already called.  Maybe you would too.

As a pastor for thirty-three years, I wanted to reproduce what we did through a missionary (evangelist).  That could be done if someone preached the gospel and fulfilled the mission.  I'm going to do that, Lord-willing, if the Lord tarries and I live.

Friday, May 29, 2020

Newly formatted Gospel tracts

I wanted to let What is Truth? readers know about the newly formatted gospel tracts below.  The content is very similar to the presentation on the Internet here.  I would commend them to you for use in your church.

The first one below, formatted courtesy of Headwaters Baptist Church, looks like this (side #1):

and can be downloaded and personalized for your church with the other tracts at the All Content page on my website here or separately by clicking here.

Headwaters Baptist Church get the tract printed through the Bethel Baptist Print Ministry. a printing service run by an independent Baptist church.

A version of this tract in Tagalog and English (the Tagalog portion is more brief than the English, but still relatively extensive) that looks like the following (side #1):

May the Lord use these tracts for the glorification of His magnificent grace in saving lost sinners.


Monday, May 25, 2020

I Am a Missionary

The New Testament teaches three offices:  pastor (pastor-teacher, bishop [overseer], elder, preacher), deacon, and evangelist.  From my purview, most people are messed up on the third.  The evangelist has turned into what best might be called an itinerant revivalist.  The evangelist is much closer if not identical to what people call a missionary today.  An evangelist in the Bible really is a missionary.  When Paul and Barnabas were sent out in Acts 13, they were evangelists or missionaries.

1 Timothy 3 says pastors do the work of the evangelist.  It's a requirement.  Pastors are not evangelists, but they do evangelist work.  What is that?  It is preaching the gospel to the lost.  That is in the word 'evangelist."  "Eu" means "good" and "angel" means "message."  The two together are "good news," which is "gospel."  The evangelist takes the front end of a church starting.

The pastor does the work of the evangelist, and the missionary, the evangelist, does pastoring. Paul and Barnabas, neither were pastors, but they both did pastoring.  Scripture lists official qualifications for the office of the pastor and the office of the deacon.  They are slightly different, because they are different offices.  The evangelist should have qualities characteristic of someone who would do that job.  Barnabas was a missionary.  The basis for his being in that position was the following traits (Acts 11:24):
For he was a good man, and full of the Holy Ghost and of faith.
That list is similar to what we read of Philip, who was an evangelist, and Stephen, who probably was too in Acts 6:5:
And the saying pleased the whole multitude: and they chose Stephen, a man full of faith and of the Holy Ghost, and Philip.
Philip, who we know was an evangelist (Acts 21:8), was full of faith and the Holy Ghost,  Then Barnabas was a good man, full of the Holy Ghost, and of faith.  The unofficial qualifications for a missionary are a good man, full of the Holy Ghost, and of faith.  It's obvious he also should be doing the work of the evangelist.  This is a man who should be especially gifted as an evangelist.  There is no spiritual gift of evangelism, but when I say someone is gifted, I mean something like Acts 14:1:
And it came to pass in Iconium, that they went both together into the synagogue of the Jews, and so spake, that a great multitude both of the Jews and also of the Greeks believed.
I'm pointing to two words there:  "so spake."  Someone can "so speak" that more believe.  What is that?  There are qualities that would result in biblical evangelism.  I see two characteristics of successful New Testament evangelism.

First, since New Testament evangelism is an oral work, those who speak, Peter says (1 Peter 4:11), should "speak as the oracles of God," which means evangelism needs to be scripture.  Faith comes by hearing the Word of God (Romans 10:17).  This is the spiritual weapon to pull down strongholds in people's minds (2 Corinthians 10:3-5).  1 Peter 4:11 says that "the oracles of God" are what glorify God in spiritually gifted speech.  Paul said this was the basis of evangelism in 1 Corinthians 1-3.

When Paul wrote to Timothy about perfecting saints for the work of ministry (Ephesians 4:11), a major part of which is evangelism, it would have been the knowing scripture to the extent someone could use all of it.  A good example of this are all the evangelistic sermons from Jesus and the Apostles in the New Testament.  Emulate those.  They are filled with scriptural quotes and allusions.

Second, evangelism that will succeed must be bold.  When the Holy Spirit fills someone, he speaks the Word of God with boldness (Acts 4:31).  This was what Paul asked the Ephesians and Colossian saints to pray for him (Ephesians 6:20, Colossians 4:4),  If Paul needed that, every believer needs that.  This is a prayer I pray every time I evangelize.

When my wife and I came to California in 1987, I started as an evangelist and became a pastor.  I'm becoming an evangelist again in 2020.  I am a missionary again.  The church I started in 1987 in the San Francisco Bay Area is sending my wife and I to Jackson County, Oregon to evangelize.  We want to reproduce our church.  I'm leaving someone I trained to pastor.  He has helped me train other men since then.

Upon a church starting, a man trained and ordained as a pastor by our church will pastor that church.  Our church has two pastors.  Hopefully by November our church will have two more pastors.  My wife and I (and also my dad and mom, who live with us) are moving to Oregon, Lord-willing, at the end of June, next month.  Pastor David Sutton will pastor our church.

Our church, Bethel Baptist Church, will support us financially, but we are looking for other support.  I've started a church and trained several pastors.  If you are a pastor or really anyone from another church, will your church support our evangelism of Jackson County, Oregon with the true gospel?  Let me know if you are interested in being a part of this work.

I can guarantee you this.  I will work hard at evangelizing this whole area.  I will work at preaching the gospel to every creature.  That's why we are going.  We want to reproduce our church and we hope you could be a part of it.  We will be true missionaries.   We want to do this and we're excited about it.

What if a church is started?  If people are saved and a church forms, then we will move somewhere else to start a church.  Right now, when we're done here, we want to go to England to start another church.  This might sound like an odd combination.  My wife and I took a trip to England two years ago and we are concerned for England in a unique way.  England is hemorrhaging churches.  We want to go there and do something about it.  We want to go there with the rest of our life and preach the gospel, train someone else, and start a church there -- but first, Jackson County, Oregon, where 220,000 people live in Southern Oregon on Highway Five just outside of California.

I would be glad for you to call us, encourage us, pray for us, and support us.  Our midweek service is on Thursday night. This first year, I am open either in a virtual way or traveling to your church to present this work.  This will be worth the money your church can give to missions.  You can trust what we will do.  We will do what I've described in this post.  Maybe you would just take us on, sight unseen, and some day we can meet in person, so we can get started right away.  If I heard what I was saying, and I was assured it would occur, I would want to support it.

I am a missionary.

Saturday, May 23, 2020

The Widespread Lie Among Church Leaders That Lordship Is Separate from the Gospel, Even A Falsehood

A newsletter came to our church mailbox, The Northwest Baptist (January-March, 2020), led by a front page by Bob Straughan with the title, "Hyper-repentance vs. Easy Prayerism Contrasted," and its first lines:
I have written quite a lot over the years cheap shallow evangelism aka "easy prayerism."  But I have said less about hyper-repentance aka "Lordship salvation." . . . .  [I]t is fair to say that at least for some Independent Baptists, their way of making sure they are not practicing Hyles' type shallow evangelism, (sic) is to overreact and embrace at least to some extent hyper-repentance.
Straughan describes this "hyper-repentance," a term I've never heard, to be "Lordship salvation."  I don't comprehend the opposition to the inclusion of Lordship on the front end with the gospel.  Jesus is the Christ.  Someone must believe Jesus is the Christ to have eternal life.  Lordship is definitional to "the Christ."  He is the Messiah, the King, the Lord.  People have to relinquish to that in order to be saved.  Not doing so is rebellion against Jesus Christ.  That isn't salvation.  Straughan and all those like him do great damage and undermine the gospel with such writing.  Then Mike Haxton, who publishes the paper, uses it for such eternally harmful means.  It is conspiracy of the worst possible kind.  It distorts the gospel.

Straughan also says:
With the Hyper-repentance (sic) people there is this, "quest", (sic) for true salvation.  Which is why you see so many people repeatedly going forward for salvation. (sic)
Is "quest" a technical term used by apparent "Hyper-repentance people"?  Remember, these are people who say belief in Lordship of Christ is part of believing in Christ.  I had not heard of these people or their favor for the word "quest." Pack your bags, we're going on a quest for true salvation, folks.  It's as if men who support Jesus' Lordship are inventing something.

What about "going forward" that Straughan mentions?   In his assessment, "going forward" is worth associating with true salvation, but Lordship is supposed to be excluded.  Someone doesn't need to believe Jesus is his Lord, but he does "go forward."  In the article, most times Straughan describes people being saved, he says they "go forward."  Scripture says nothing about "going forward" as a part of biblical salvation.

I don't know anyone I would call a "hyper-repentance" person.   I have not seen hyper-repentance.  It's a term, maybe invented by Straughan as a pejorative.  It's not helpful.  Who is hyper-repentance?He says pro-Lordship are hyper repentance.  There are many no repentance or false repentance people.  I estimate that might represent 90% of professing Baptists today.

There is only Lordship salvation.  No Lordship, no salvation.  That isn't hyper anything.  That is salvation.  To call "Lordship" hyper is evil.  Lordship salvation is
  • not hyper repentance.
  • not a pendulum swing.
  • biblical salvation.
  • not a quest.
  • not accomplished by going forward.
  • not a way of making sure not to practice Hyles type shallow evangelism.
  • actual repentance.
  • not based on a concern to see more decisions made by people going forward.
  • not related to being a Calvinist.
Then Straughan uses a straw man to misrepresent Lordship salvation.  The straw man is that the salvation of someone could or should be questioned because he isn't spiritual enough or at a high enough level of spirituality.

No one that believes in Lordship salvation, which is actually just salvation, believes Lordship means levels of spirituality.  He doesn't even believe there are varied levels of spirituality.   He instead believes every person who receives Jesus Christ is a "partaker of the divine nature" (2 Peter 1:4) and possesses "all spiritual blessings" (Ephesians 1:3).   Everyone is equally spiritual.  Also in 2 Peter 1 (v. 1), every believer has what Peter calls "like precious faith."  I've never heard or read one "Lordship salvation" person say that someone isn't saved because he isn't spiritual enough.

Disobedience doesn't come from decreased spirituality.  Every believer possesses the Person of the Holy Spirit, not part of Him.  He can only have all of Him or none of Him.  Someone without the Holy Spirit isn't spiritual at all.  The moments he does not obey the Holy Spirit, he could be said not to be spiritual.  A work of the flesh is not spiritual.  It is all or nothing with the Holy Spirit, which is also why "fruit" of the Spirit is singular in Galatians 5:22, because all of it is there or none of it is there.

James 1 says that someone sins, not because he is unspiritual, but because he is drawn away of his own lust and is enticed.   This relates to his intellect and his will.  In accordance with Romans 6, he serves unrighteousness rather than righteousness.  Enticement must be met by the knowledge of scripture.  He cleanses his way by taking heed to the Word of God.  The Apostle John says that someone born of God practices righteousness as a lifestyle.  If he knows God, as a habit he does what God wants him to do.  A believer in Lordship won't say, you didn't do that because you weren't spiritual enough.  At some point, as a professing believer keeps sinning as a lifestyle, he should examine himself whether he be in the faith (2 Corinthians 13:5).

The way someone knows he is saved is by his changed life, not by whether he goes forward at the end of an evangelistic sermon.  The implication of Straughan is that church leaders who believe in Lordship salvation preach that final salvation comes to those who submit without fail to the Lordship of Christ, turning belief in Lordship to salvation by works.  This is not true.  Lordship is a matter of the will, in addition to the intellect and emotions.  Jesus is Lord.  Someone must acquiesce to Jesus' Lordship to receive eternal life.  He will still sin.  He will struggle with sin.  The Apostle Paul describes that struggle in Romans 7.  He struggles because Jesus is Lord.  He doesn't want to sin.  This is why the believer prays about not entering temptation and being delivered from evil.  It is a struggle.

The rejection of Lordship salvation is a separating issue for me and our church.  It is a widespread lie among church leaders.  Writing against it like Straughan and publishing it by Haxton is a grave error.  I'm happy they don't believe in easy-prayerism, but that's not enough.

Acts 14 and Repentance as a Necessary Part of a Biblical Gospel

Jesus preached repentance.  John the Baptist preached it.  Jesus instructed repentance as the gospel of the Great Commission (Luke 24:47).  I want to look at Paul's preaching in Lystra.  Three well-known converts from that town are Eunice, Lois, and Timothy.   Here's what Paul preached there (Acts 14:15-17):
15 Sirs, why do ye these things? We also are men of like passions with you, and preach unto you that ye should turn from these vanities unto the living God, which made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and all things that are therein: 16 Who in times past suffered all nations to walk in their own ways. 17 Nevertheless he left not himself without witness, in that he did good, and gave us rain from heaven, and fruitful seasons, filling our hearts with food and gladness. 
I provided the whole text, but I want to focus on the second half of verse 15:
[We] preach unto you that ye should turn from these vanities unto the living God.
The word "preach" is the Greek word euanggelizo, which means, "to preach the good news" or "to preach the gospel."  A literal understanding is "We preached the gospel unto you that."  That what?  What is the gospel that Paul preached?  "That ye should turn from these vanities unto the living God."  Paul says the gospel is turning from vanities to the living God.  The word "turn" is epistrepho, and to turn is obviously repentance.  "Vanities" (mataios) is what is "worthless or useless."  Paul says the gospel is turning not just from sin, but what is useless or worthless to the living God.

Vanities are dead things, and God is living.  They are treating God as if he is worthless and useless and their things as living.  This is worshiping and serving the creature rather than the Creator.  It's easy to see that a lot of people who call themselves Christians are actually serving things.  They prioritize things above all else.  Those in Lystra put their things ahead of the living God.  The gospel Paul preached to them was to turn from that to God.  This is repentance and Lordship.

What is turning to the living God?  He describes that in the following verses.  They were walking in their own ways, and they needed to turn from walking in their own ways to walking in God's ways.  That is turning from sin to God, but it is related directly to Lordship.  Walking in their own ways is keeping self as Lord.  Walking in God's ways is relinquishing to Him as Lord.  Furthermore, this is "preaching the gospel."  "Preaching the gospel" includes repentance and Lordship.

Friday, May 22, 2020

Douglas Jacoby / Thomas Ross Debate part 1, "We are Born Again Before Baptism," is now live!

As readers of this blog may know, I had the privilege of debating Dr. Douglas Jacoby on the topics:

"We are born again before baptism" (Ross affirmative, Jacoby negative)


"We are born again in baptism" (Jacoby affirmative, Ross negative)

a number of days ago.  The edited video is now live on the KJB1611 YouTube Channel.  You can view the debate "We are born again before baptism" on YouTube by clicking here, or you can watch it below:

I would encourage you to "like" and comment on the video on YouTube here if you believe the content is of value.  If you prayed for me and for God's kingdom to be furthered through the debate, thank you very much!  I believe our discussion went very well and that, through God's grace, it was clear what the true gospel was.


Monday, May 18, 2020

There's Woke and There's "Woke": The Pharisee "Woke" Evangelicals

When I talk to other people here in the San Francisco Bay Area, I sometimes ask if they will explain what they believe.  For instance, if Buddhism is true and helpful, perhaps a Buddhist could explain it for my benefit.  I'd like to know why I should become one.  Along the same line, if being woke is the best thinking and behavior, could the woke people help me understand in order to become woke?

The awakening of wokeness relates to social consciousness.  Before you weren't, but now you're conscious of white privilege, racial inequality, and economic injustice.  Now you're apparently no longer asleep to those.  Consciousness doesn't need to offer any real solutions, just display consciousness of their existence.  Don't deny it.  Admit it.  Does that help?  It doesn't help anyone, but it appears to care.

The Pharisees became masters of what today would be a photo opportunity, to be seen of men.  Jesus described it in Matthew 6:5:
And when thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites are: for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward.
Being "woke" means touting your own consciousness.  You are conscious.  You've sniffed of the progressive smelling salts.  You've taken the whole jar of blue pills.  You aren't actually helping anyone.  You do not good for racial inequality and you do almost nothing for people that need food.

"Woke" gets credit for being with the cause by wearing your oversized flat billed baseball cap.  Nothing says consciousness like using urban dialect or having the secret handshake.  The Pharisees not only wore fringes on their garments, as directed in the Law, but also lengthened the fringes so that they were more conspicuous.

An ancient baraita, a tradition in the Jewish oral law not incorporated in the Mishnah, the regular Jewish oral tradition, enumerates "seven classes of Pharisees, of which five consist of either eccentric fools or hypocrites, the third being 'the bruised Pharisee,' who in order to avoid looking at a woman runs against the wall so as to bruise himself and bleed."  The goal here was to leave an impression that promotes your self.  Being "woke" means being a part of an exclusive coalition of proud hypocrites more interested in the guise of selflessness.

Woke, differing than "woke," does what is best for other people, actually loves them.  1 Corinthians 13, one of the love chapters of the Bible presents fifteen actions of love.  They are all verbs.  Love does this and does this and does this and this and this. That's what love looks like when it occurs.  "Woke" isn't action.  Instead it is "activism," which ironically isn't action and, therefore, isn't love.

The Lord Jesus Christ didn't come to "raise visibility" in order to bring "social change."  His life wasn't a show.  It changed people in the most profound way possible, getting them ready for all eternity.  Activism doesn't change anyone.  It might succeed at shaking someone down, but it doesn't succeed at real reconciliation between people or help the poor. Christianity changes lives, transforming people, using the gospel.  It answers the only need that men have or will every have.  Jesus would often say, "See thou tell no man" (Matt 8:4).  That was Jesus.  Activism wants everyone to know -- "look at me out on the street with my poster," "watch me dump a bucket of cold water over my head," or "hashtag whatever."

The Pharisees woke up to the impossibility of living the actual life of God, the acquiescence of those submissive to the Messiah.  When Christ came, they wouldn't give in or give up.  They preferred the ease of the symbolic, the right length of fringes on the garment and dropping their loud offerings into a metal container to be noticed of others.  They reduced actual care to symbolic care, which required the equivalent of yelling over a speaker phone and chanting.  Today the activism is easier than ever over social media, sending out a selfie taken on a mobile device, portraying the care for all to see.  It portrays a caring life that is only "woke."  These are repulsed by actual wokeness, taking the yoke of Jesus upon them.  It's not about a future kingdom under Jesus, but a present one under self.

I'm quite sure that woke arose from a perversion of an actual Christian truth of awaking out of sleep.  Paul wrote in Romans 13:11, "now is the high time to awake out of sleep:  for now is our salvation nearer than when we believed."  Then in 1 Corinthians 15:34 he wrote:  "Awake to righteousness, and sin not."  This is being really woke, rather than "woke."  "Woke" is a cheap imitation, that is today very popular with the world.   The world hates being woke, but it loves being "woke."  No one really wakes up with "woke."

"Woke" is against what Jesus taught, labors for meat that perishes.  The world is interested in the temporal bread, the actual temporal bread of feeding people and the figurative bread of race.  Jesus told the rich young ruler to sell all he had to give it to the poor.  That is the commitment that Jesus desires.  It's not a commitment that on the one hand purchases an eight hundred thousand house and on the other promotes giving to a homeless shelter.  Why haven't the homeless moved into the spare bedrooms?  The dedication is more about appearance, like the bruised Pharisee -- that's what being "woke" is all about.  Man doesn't live by bread alone, but woke activism is bread alone.  It is meat that perisheth.

Galatians 6:10 says that if we have the opportunity that we should do good to all men, especially those of the household of faith.  That would include seeking justice in a society through the scriptural means, seek right and honest things, and speaking the truth of God against an unjust, unrighteous society like John the Baptist did with Herod.  None of that will continue without the transforming change in men's souls through Jesus Christ.  That is woke, not "woke."

Friday, May 15, 2020

The OT books in Hebrew, Greek, Latin, and English

In conjunction with my Greek class, I put together the list below. May it be a convenient place to get this information.

The Books of the Old and New Testament in Hebrew, Greek, and Latin, in the Hebrew Bible’s book order[1]


וְאֵלֶּה שְׁמוֹת



אֵלֶּה הַדְּבָרִים

Βασιλειῶν αʹ, βʹ
Regum 1, 2
1, 2 Samuel
Βασιλειῶν γʹ, δʹ
Regum 3, 4
1, 2 Kings















שִׁיר הַשִּׁירִים
ᾈσμα ᾀσμάτων
Canticum canticorum
Song of Solomon

Ἔσδρας αʹ
Esdras 1
Ἔσδρας βʹ
Esdras 2
Παραλειπομένων αʹ, βʹ
Paralipomenon 1, 2
1 / 2 Chronicles


[1]           The Apocryphal books are excluded from the list below.
[2]           Nehemiah is considered to be one book with Ezra in the Hebrew order.

Monday, May 11, 2020

Value Expressed By Means of Trade: Explored through a Paradigm of Adult Children and Their Parents

Lady Justice stands blindfolded with scales in her outstretched right hand and a sword in her left.  She was introduced by the Roman emperor Augustus, but the concepts communicated in allegory through her imagery reflect teachings of scripture.  The blindfold portrays impartiality (Leviticus 19:15), the sword the judgment of evil doing (Romans 13:4), and the scales represent justice itself (Proverbs 11:1).

Scales are for weighing and Lady Justice holds an old style balance scale.  It's a beam with a fulcrum in the center and identical pans on each end to hold the weight.  Justice meant the punishment fit the crime, the Latin lex talionis, equal retribution, which in the Old Testament was an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth (Exodus 21:24).  Justice is represented by equal weights on each side of the fulcrum, what Solomon called a "just weight and balance" (Proverbs 16:11).  A common way to rip someone off was to tip the scale on one side, what became known as "putting your thumb on the scale."  God asks His people (Micah 6:11):  "Shall I count them pure with the wicked balances, and with the bag of deceitful weights?"

Weight still represents value.  Packaging and labeling includes weight.  The more pounds and ounces, the greater the value.  The Latin word, gravitas, means, "weight or heavy."  The English "gravity" comes from it.  The Romans used the word to connote value and seriousness.  We still say we "weigh" the sides of an important decision.  Commodities still trade by weight:  corn, beans, oats, wheat, cotton, sugar, copper, lead, gold, silver, and platinum.

The two sides on the scale constitute a trade.  You give me this and I give you that.  Apples to apples.  Oranges to oranges.  All this thinking we got from God.  It comes from Him and it is in scripture.  It is foundational to everything right from the start.  Eat the tree, one side.  Death, the other side.  Before eating the tree, think about the punishment of death.  It is a trade.

Right now we have the coronavirus.  Quarantine to stop the disease is on one side and the destruction of the economy is on the other.  It is a trade.  It isn't as important as this one spoken by Jesus in Mark 8:36, "For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?"

In making that trade, Jesus brings other consistent language, such as 'counting the cost' (Luke 14:28).  When Jesus explains the gospel in His sermon in Matthew 5, He says, you are poor, but you inherit the earth.  You mourn, but you are comforted.  You hunger and thirst, but you are filled.  You are persecuted, reviled, and have all manner of evil said against you falsely, but yours is the kingdom of heaven.  In other teaching in Matthew 13, Jesus says, you give up everything to buy a field, because you know there is a treasure buried in it.  And you sell everything you have to buy one pearl.  The treasure and the pearl are salvation.

In many various ways, Jesus preached to trade this life for an eternal one.  If you hang on to this life, he said you will lose everything in the end.  It would be better to give up your sight in one eye than to end up with both eyes but in eternal hell fire, Jesus says someplace else.  Rather than offend one of these little ones, which is to cause one of them to never be eternally saved, it would be better to tie a giant millstone around your neck and throw yourself into deep water.

In describing the trade, the Apostle Paul said that he had to count as dung the best of everything he did, that he might win Christ (Philippians 3:8).  He had been putting his thumb on the scale of this life and giving himself a deceitful weight.  This trade was real.  It wasn't Paul fooling himself into thinking his life before was dung.  It was right to count it as dung, especially for what he calls "the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus" (Philippians 3:14).

The Apostle Paul writes one of the greatest expressions of trade for all time and eternity in 2 Corinthians 5:21:
For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.
We know sin and Jesus knows no sin.  The Lord Jesus is made sin so that we might be made righteousness.  We trade sin for righteousness by faith.  Without Jesus' righteousness, we trade sin for death now and hell in the end.

All the Christian life is a trade.  Paul writes in 1 Corinthians 15:58 that your labor is not in vain in Christ.  Why?  "Vain" is empty.  Labor in Christ on the other hand is not vain.

Paul commanded the church at Ephesus, "Walk circumspectly. . . redeeming the time" (Ephesians 5:15-16).  Redeeming means making a better trade.  Stop trading something valuable for something worthless.  Every aspect of life is trading and the following will explore adult children and their parents as a paradigm.

My parents live with me.  I am an adult child.  How much value do my parents bring to me?  In my father's present state, I would estimate that he asks at least twenty times a day where my mom is.  That's just one very small example.  There are many more of those, but when he does ask, every time I tell him one of the only two places she could be, her room or the bathroom.  It's not his fault.  It's a disease.  What's the trade here?  What do I get?  I value my parents.  God values my honoring my parents.

God commands, obey and honor your parents.  If I love God, I keep His commandments.  That is some of that labor that is not in vain in Him.  That is redeeming the time.  My parents themselves are more valuable to me than the alternative.

Maybe for some of you reading here, or you know someone who might read this, you would give up your parents for your rock/pop music.  You can't give up the latter.  You can't.  You won't.  That's how little you value them, care about or for them.  They want you to stop certain behavior, but you would rather keep those activities, none of which are needed to please God, rather than keep your parents.  You can't give them up, but you are very willing to toss your parents.

Anything that you value more than God is an idol.  You can't have the world and the Lord Jesus Christ.  That's a trade.  Those are mutually exclusive.  But what about some temporal thing that you value more than your parents?   Paul said that he had to count his former life as dung.  He couldn't keep both lives.  One of them he had to give up.  What you value is expressed by means of a trade.  What you keep or get in that trade is what you really value.