I read an astonishing article this morning.
Seventy percent of Russian respondents told the Levada Center in 2019 that Stalin played a positive role for Russia. Stalin’s previous record approval rating stood at 54 percent in 2016.
A record low of 19 percent viewed Stalin’s role negatively, down from 32 percent in 2016.
“Stalin begins to be perceived as a symbol of justice and an alternative to the current government, deemed unfair, cruel and not caring about people,” Academy of Sciences sociologist Leonty Byzov was quoted as saying by the RBC news website.
The blessings of the Holy Spirit to us are called the first fruits, ROM 8:23.
ROM 8:14 For all who are being led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God.
ROM 8:15 For you have not received a spirit of slavery leading to fear again, but you have received a spirit of adoption as sons by which we cry out, "Abba! Father!"
ROM 8:16 The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God,
ROM 8:17 and if children, heirs also, heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him in order that we may also be glorified with Him.
ROM 8:18 For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that is to be revealed to us.
ROM 8:19 For the anxious longing of the creation waits eagerly for the revealing of the sons of God.
ROM 8:20 For the creation was subjected to futility, not of its own will, but because of Him who subjected it, in hope
ROM 8:21 that the creation itself also will be set free from its slavery to corruption into the freedom of the glory of the children of God.
Part of the glory to be revealed to us will be the restored creation, which finds its freedom because its curse is lifted, just as all the sons of God move into heaven with heavenly bodies, having their curse removed because Christ was cursed in their place.
Think of all the glorious things that will be revealed to you: face to face with the resurrected Lord, presented to the Father and His angels, a resurrected body, all the other saints in resurrection bodies, taking in all of heaven, and seeing the creation restored to its purity as God would have it.
ROM 8:22 For we know that the whole creation groans and suffers the pains of childbirth together until now.
The glory of heaven will cause the sons and daughters of God to remember their anguish no more.
“The pains of childbirth” leads us to remember Christ’s use of it. He said to the disciples the night before He died that their sorrow would be turned to joy, and this, like a woman in child birth; when she gives birth, the joy of her child makes her forget her travail.
ROM 8:23 And not only this, but also we ourselves, having the first fruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting eagerly for our adoption as sons, the redemption of our body.
The body of Christ is the first to have the gifts of the indwelling Spirit (baptism, indwelling, sealing, teaching, empowering, gift, filling) and so we are the first fruits of the Spirit.
Our groaning is not one of wretchedness, as in Rom 7, but it is the spiritually victorious who long for the redeemed body or resurrection body.
ROM 8:24 For in hope we have been saved, but hope that is seen is not hope; for why does one also hope for what he sees?
ROM 8:25 But if we hope for what we do not see, with perseverance we wait eagerly for it.
We haven’t seen any of it yet, but as sons of light, we live in its heavenly, glorious reality, and we persevere, waiting eagerly for it.
The sons predetermined before the foundation of the world in love, could never be such if Christ doesn’t suffer and die in time. Therefore, the sons are Christ’s harvest. He is the first fruits of that harvest who presents Himself to God. He is the best of the harvest, and if the best is that good, then what does that say of the quality of the entire harvest?
1CO 15:20 But now Christ has been raised from the dead, the first fruits of those who are asleep.
Christ is the first fruits of resurrection. He is the head of the church. If He resurrects then it is certain that we will as well.
1CO 15:21 For since by a man came death, by a man also came the resurrection of the dead.
1CO 15:22 For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ all shall be made alive.
1CO 15:23 But each in his own order: Christ the first fruits, after that those who are Christ's at His coming,
1CO 15:24 then comes the end, when He delivers up the kingdom to the God and Father, when He has abolished all rule and all authority and power.
The first fruits are a sample of the whole crop. Jesus is the specimen and pledge of the triumph of all believers over sin and death.
When the farmer pulls the first ripe ears of wheat and carries them home, it is not for their own sake he values them, but because they are a specimen and a sample of the whole crop; and when God raised Christ from the dead, the glory of the event consisted in its being a pledge and specimen of the triumph of believers over death.
1TH 4:14 For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who have fallen asleep in Jesus.
The sons of God are resurrected, which guarantee is shown by the first fruits of the Son of God’s resurrection.
He is the first fruits and we’re the whole crop, the wheat.
MAT 13:24 He presented another parable to them, saying, "The kingdom of heaven may be compared to a man who sowed good seed in his field.
MAT 13:25 "But while men were sleeping, his enemy came and sowed tares also among the wheat, and went away.
MAT 13:26 "But when the wheat sprang up and bore grain, then the tares became evident also.
MAT 13:27 "And the slaves of the landowner came and said to him, 'Sir, did you not sow good seed in your field? How then does it have tares?'
MAT 13:28 "And he said to them, 'An enemy has done this!' And the slaves said to him, 'Do you want us, then, to go and gather them up?'
MAT 13:29 "But he said, 'No; lest while you are gathering up the tares, you may root up the wheat with them.
MAT 13:30 'Allow both to grow together until the harvest; and in the time of the harvest I will say to the reapers, "First gather up the tares and bind them in bundles to burn them up; but gather the wheat into my barn."'
In this parable, Christ warns His servants against expecting to see in this world that unmixedly good condition of society which will exist in the world to come. It is also a warning against thinking that final judgment has already past. Men of faith often wonder about the condition of the world, a question they didn’t have when they dwelt only in the influences of the tares. God is accomplishing His purpose and the tares are allowed to grow alongside the wheat.
Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, to those who reside as aliens, scattered throughout
Not only the field of the world, but the garden of Christendom has been sown with tares. Greed, lust, intolerance, insincerity, superstition, pious fraud, the prostitution of the highest interests of men to aims most contemptable and vile, the rotten character of a professed faith - these are the plants that flourish in the garden of God.
We would ask along with the slaves, “Didn’t You sow good seed in Your field?” The answer is not that it is a result of Christianity, but that an enemy had done it. An enemy sowed his neighbor’s field with noxious seed, which was commonly done in some countries for venting spite or exacting vengeance. It is the work of an enemy that wants to ruin the joy and hope of the landowner.
There is something devilish also, in sowing the noxious seed “when men slept.”