Author: Wiiliam Andrew Dillard
Several decades ago I was sitting in my doctor’s waiting room when a mother with two small boys came in. All attention was riveted on one boy who had a fishing lure with grab hook in it in his mouth with two of the hoods penetrating his lip and jaw. Later I learned that his story was this: “My brother and I were playing fishing and it was my turn to be the fish!” Painful? Oh yes! A little humorous? Indeed! Needless to say hooks in his jaw rendered him totally ready for medical help.
Perhaps the illustration is a little crude, but in Ezekiel 38:4, God says of Gog, the chief prince of Mesheck and Tubal that He would put hooks into his jaws to bring him forth, an exceeding great army. Moreover, in verse 16 God says that it is He Who brings Gog down against His people in the end time of the age, so that God may be sanctified by the nations; that they might know Him.
This is so reminiscent of what God did in Egypt in the days of the Hebrew Exodus. It was God Who hardened the heart of Pharaoh that the plagues might continue upon the Egyptians, and that He might be acknowledged by them that He is GOD! The world may choose to ignore God, but He will be sanctified in them. He is the Creator whether the world wants to acknowledge that or not. The day comes when they will do so to the man.
It is interesting to note that some of the greatest military and political minds that are given to strategy now acknowledge Putin as the meanest, most resolved, headstrong, and powerful leaders in the world, stopping at nothing to get what he wants. In recent days, the world has stood by while his forces simply marched in and claimed Crimea of the Ukraine. The prediction now is that he will not stop there since there is no resolve among the nations to seriously challenge him. They see him taking all of Ukraine eventually, and then for some reason that is not presently clear, most likely political, he will make his move on Israel. The sea merchants and young lions (western nations) will say, “Are you come down to take a spoil….. verse 13. Perhaps, they will once again threaten to close his western bank accounts! But is this to be lamented? Let Christians be biblically literate and wise. God Himself is doing this. He is putting hooks in the jaws of Gog. He will be sanctified of the heathen. Some bible scholars see this as a pre-Armageddon battle. Others think it is Armageddon. It is difficult to see this as clearly as one would like, but the greater picture shines through powerfully. Nations have forgotten and ignored the very idea of the Creator God. In time, He will put hooks in the jaws of Gog, and He will be sanctified of the heathen. The wise realize they do not know all things, and they are very slow to make definitive predictions or judgments. Rather they keep these things in their heart and ponder them as they coalesce the wonders of the Holy Word.
The First Baptist Chaplain
1820 – FIRST BAPTIST CHAPLAIN TO THE AMERICAN MILITARY AND FIRST BAPTIST MISSIONARY TO THE INDIANS – David Jones died at age 84 on February 5, 1820. He had been an author, pastor, missionary, medical doctor, and the first Baptist pastor ever to become a chaplain in the American Military who in 1776 was appointed to serve Col. St. Clair’s regiment. He also served under General Horatio Gates and General Anthony Wayne. He was highly trusted by Gen. Geo. Washington and preached to the troops at Valley Forge. He was raised in a hearty Welsh Baptist family, saved at an early age and trained at Hopewell Academy (America’s First Baptist academic facility) in N.J. He studied medicine but apparently was influenced by the life of David Brainerd among the Indians because while pastoring the Freehold Baptist Church in Monmouth County, N.J. he became the first Baptist missionary to the Indians in Ohio on two extended tours that consumed over a year. He became unpopular as he supported the cause of American freedom. In April 1775 he became pastor of the Great Valley Baptist Church in Chester County, PA. On July 20, 1775, after a day of fasting and prayer he preached to the Continental Army on the subject, “Defensive War in a Just Cause Sinless.” In 1776 he left his flock to serve the first of three tours with the American forces. He was at Ticonderoga, Morristown, and Brandywine. He barely missed being killed at the Paoli Massacre, and he spent the winter at Valley Forge. Gen. Howe offered a reward for his capture. He was at Yorktown at the surrender of Cornwallis. He used his medical skills as well as his weapons. After the war he went with Gen. Wayne as Chaplain to the Indian War from 1794-96 and was there at the Treaty of Greenville. It was said of him, “In danger – he knew no fear, in fervent patriotism he had no superiors and few equals, in the Revolutionary struggle, a tower of strength…as a Christian, above reproach.”
Dr. Greg J. Dixon, from: This Day in Baptist History Vol. I: Cummins Thompson /, pp. 49.
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Second-Generation Preacher Makes Good
Horatio Gates Jones
We have already considered the Reverend David Jones, America’s first Baptist chaplain to the military. Jones had served under General Horatio Gates in 1776 and apparently was so impressed with the General that he named his youngest son “Horatio Gates Jones” at the baby’s birth on February 11, 1777, in Chester County, Pennsylvania. The young Horatio Jones grew to maturity in Chester and Bucks Counties and availed himself of the education that the local school provided. At age nineteen, he was sent to an academy at Bordentown, New Jersey, and studied there under the celebrated Dr. William Staughton. On June 24, 1798, the young man professed his faith in Jesus Christ and was baptized and welcomed into the membership of the Valley Church. Horatio returned to farming, but being a gifted speaker, he soon acquired a prominent position politically. Conviction that he had been called to preach, however, overcame all political aspirations. The Valley Church recognized his divine call and licensed him to preach in September of 1801. He ministered throughout the region until he was asked to accept the pastorate in Salem, New Jersey. He was ordained there on February 13, 1802. On that occasion, his aging father gave him the charge, saying “My son, in your preaching, don’t put the rack too high. Some ministers put the rack so high that the little lambs can’t get a bite. Put the rack low, and then the old sheep can get the fodder, and the lambs too.” In 1812 Brown University conferred on him the degree of Master of Arts, and in 1852 the University of Lewisburg made him their first chancellor and bestowed on him their first Doctor of Divinity degree. The Reverend Horatio Jones passed into the presence of the Lord on December 12, 1853.
Dr. Dale R. Hart: Adapted from: This Day in Baptist History Vol. I. (Thompson/Cummins) pp. 258 – 259.
“You are who you are when you are totally alone.”
Dr. E. Robert Jordan was saved on Jan. 1948. Because of the length of this story it will be concluded later. Jan. 22, 1949, marks the date of his wedding to Mrs. Jordan, and his exciting story will be concluded on that date. When he was two years old his mother had an adulterous affair, ending an abusive marriage. His father remarried, but the step-mother was cruel. When only three, he and his five year old sister ran away, taking turns carrying their one year old sister all the way across Dayton, OH to their grandparent’s home. Eventually, a court sent them to an orphanage. In the orphanage, E. Robert learned the “pecking order.” He was beaten by the bigger boys until he was able to fend for himself. He hated school and was a constant irritant to his teachers. At fifteen he was in the sixth grade. When Pearl Harbor and Dec. 7 happened, his “cottage father” signed for him, and in 1942 the boy found himself headed for the Great Lakes Naval Station. He now learned of the “pecking order” in the military. Early he decided to climb the ranks, but drinking became a way of life for him. After getting into a fight, he was ordered to represent the Navy against the Marines in boxing competition. He became the middleweight boxing champion of the Navy. Jordan was assigned to the Pacific Theater and saw first – hand Japanese suicide attacks, one destroying his gun turret, killing all of his men. His drinking worsened, the only one he hated more than the Japs was his step-mother who he decided to kill when on furlough, but his plans were thwarted time and again. Jordan re-enlisted and was assigned to a cruiser and the training of 72 new recruits. While docked in Bermuda, a hippie told him, “You are who you are when you are totally alone.” (to be continued).
Dr. Greg J. Dixon from: This Day in Baptist History Vol. IIII: Cummins, pp. 39-40.
On Jan. 16, 1802, Stephen Nixon became pastor of the Congaree Baptist Church in Richland County, S.C. Congaree church was quite famous in that it had been established by Daniel Marshall and Philip Mulkey, the great Separate Baptist preachers in 1765. He served the church well until his death on Feb. 4, 1816 at age 62. Stephen was born in Dec. of 1754, in Sumter District, S.C. Stephen was saved sometime after 1774 through the ministry of the renowned Richard Furman, pastor of High Hills of Santee Baptist Church. In quick order he was baptized, licensed, and ordained by the High Hills church. At the outbreak of the Revolutionary War he felt compelled to serve the newly formed nation, and he enlisted in the military. He served under Gen. Thomas Sumter, and Gen. Nathanael Greene. He was appointed Sargent and fought in the Battle of Eutaw Springs. At 25 he married Martha A. Nettles. Their home was graced with ten children. Stephen was greatly used of the Lord in his 37 years of ministry. He was a messenger seven times to the Charleston Baptist Association when he was pastor of the High Hills church. He was a great church planter in planting many churches, including the First Baptist Church of Columbia, S.C. in 1809. The only physical violence that Baptists experienced in S.C. was at Cheraw Hill. Stephen must have looked forward to the Annual Association meeting that was to take place at the Cheraw Hill Baptist Church, but it wasn’t to be, because the Lord had another meeting planned for him, a meeting in glory. Following is from page 2, Sec. 18 from the minutes of the Association – 1816: “The humility and piety of Rev. Stephen Nixon, were of an extraordinary character.”
Dr. Greg J. Dixon from: This Day in Baptist History Vol. IIII: Cummins, pp. 33-34.