About Jesus Steve Sweetman
Politics Of God And The Bible
This book is being edited and improved. That being said, the views expressed will not change.
I was raised in a
Christian Evangelical church setting which emphasized that God interacts
with humanity on an individual level.
The cross of Christ has provided personal salvation for anyone
who would trust his life with Jesus.
John 3:16, one of the first verses I had memorized made that
clear. I don't recall
hearing much about God interacting with humanity on a national or
governmental level. Maybe I
just missed that. One thing
is sure; God does involve Himself with the affairs of men and their
nations. He causes nations
and their leaders to both rise and fall because He is the Sovereign Lord
(Daniel 2:21, 4:25). Beyond
that, sometimes God forces His will on nations (Ezekiel 38:1 - 6, 39:1 -
6) as He will do when He drags Magog with hooks into a Middle Eastern
war. God is more involved in
the affairs of nations than we think.
In the following pages you will get a glimpse into what I
understand to be the "Politics of God and the Bible."
I was raised in a Christian Evangelical church setting which emphasized that God interacts with humanity on an individual level. The cross of Christ has provided personal salvation for anyone who would trust his life with Jesus. John 3:16, one of the first verses I had memorized made that clear. I don't recall hearing much about God interacting with humanity on a national or governmental level. Maybe I just missed that. One thing is sure; God does involve Himself with the affairs of men and their nations. He causes nations and their leaders to both rise and fall because He is the Sovereign Lord (Daniel 2:21, 4:25). Beyond that, sometimes God forces His will on nations (Ezekiel 38:1 - 6, 39:1 - 6) as He will do when He drags Magog with hooks into a Middle Eastern war. God is more involved in the affairs of nations than we think. In the following pages you will get a glimpse into what I understand to be the "Politics of God and the Bible."
September 11, 2001, the
In 2002 President George W. Bush, or, Bush
43 as he was sometimes called,
linked 911 to Iraqi weapons of mass destruction (WMD).
Then Secretary of State Colin Powell addressed the United Nations
about the Iraqi WMD threat, something I hear he later regretted.
How and where the Bush administration got its information on
Iraqi WMD created a debate that exploded far beyond the Washington
political left and the political right argued over Bush's reason for war
on a daily bases. Did Iraq
really have WMD? Did it
receive secret shipments of sensitive material from Africa
to implement its WMD program? Was
their sufficient reason to go to war with Iraq, or did that really matter? While
the media and the politicians debated these questions the CIA supposedly
discredited the administration's assertion that Iraq
had WMD. Joseph Wilson,
Novak, a left-winged CNN commentator and columnist, took offense to an
op-ed article written by
battle between the left and right raged in the
the best intensions of many, the hallways and offices of the kingdoms of
men are filled with lies, deceit, dirty tricks, and men like
"Tricky Dick." As
Pat Robertson said after bowing out of the 1988 Presidential race,
"Politics is a game of hardball.
It's not a friendly Sunday school picnic softball game."
That's just the way life is in the kingdoms of men.
I try to keep informed about the political affaires
because they can be
important in light of Biblical prophecy.
In the early 1980's I lived in
I'm about to say in the following pages is not the final word on this
I never claim to have the final word on any issue.
What the Apostle Paul told Timothy, I tell you. "Consider
what I say and the Lord give you the understanding in all things"
(2 Timothy 2:7).
Webster's online dictionary defines "politics" as "The
art or science of government
concerned with guiding or influencing
winning or holding control over government
Western style politics has certainly become a science, but I
wouldn't call it a work of art.
You may or may not be politically inclined, and you certainly
don't see the word "politics" in the Bible, but the Bible does
address this issue when it speaks of nations, governments, kings, and
kingdoms, and especially as it speaks of the Kingdom
Bible states that God created man (Adam) from the dust of the earth and
woman (Eve) from the side of man. From
the intimate union between Adam and Eve family was born.
Family, consisting of one male husband, one female wife, and
children, forms the foundation to all human communities.
As families grew into extended families they eventually expanded
into tribes, tribes into nations, and nations into empires.
Families, therefore, are the foundation of any nation.
a Biblical perspective, if families fall apart, as they are presently
doing at a sad and rapid pace, nations fall apart.
It's simple common sense that broken families have created much
of the violence, crime, and immorality that penetrates our nations.
Our present western world's redefining of family and marriage to
include all sorts of unbiblical alternative styles of families is not
only destroying the traditional Biblical family, it's destroying our
Hebrew word "gowy" is translated into English in the Old
Testament as "nation."
This Hebrew word seems to be derived from a root word meaning
"a body or a corpse," and when thought of in terms of people,
means, "the body politic of a people."
Hebrew word "mamlakah" is translated into our English Old
Testament as "kingdom."
This word means "the domain of a king." This
sets the scene for one major theme of the Bible, that being, God has a
kingdom; man has his kingdoms, and they are in continual conflict.
both the NIV and the KJV Bible the word "kingdom" first
appears in Genesis 10:10.
Nimrod was a grandson of Noah.
He was the first man in Biblical history to be a king.
His kingdom was called
second mention of the word "kingdom" in both the NIV and the
KJV is found in Genesis 20:9 where Abraham met Abimelech, king of Gerar.
By this time in history man had established small tribal kingdoms
with some kind of political systems.
first mention of the word "nation" in both the NIV and the KJV
is found in Genesis 12:2.
It's in reference to Abraham becoming a great nation which we
second mention of the word "nation
right in the first book of the Bible we see the beginning of nations and
God's involvement in them, which includes the special nation of
Genesis 10 we read about Nimrod.
He was both a politician and a military leader.
In Genesis 11 we see people relocating across the
decided to build a city with a tower.
The buildings in the city were not made of stone which God
created but of bricks that man created.
This is significant in itself because it speaks of a humanistic
attempt at nation building.
man built this city is stated in Genesis 11:4.
"Let us build ourselves a city with a tower that reaches to
the heavens so we may make a name for ourselves."
was not happy with man's building project, and it wasn't because He
feared him climbing a tower and jumping into heaven. As
a matter of fact, this tower was probably a place of pagan worship.
God was upset with man's attempt at nation building because He
didn't like man's aspirations to make a name for himself in His world.
Genesis 11:5 God said, "If as one people speaking one language they
have begun to do this, then nothing they plan to do will be impossible
Note that even God admitted that pretty much anything is possible
We certainly see proof of that today.
In order to slow down the process of man making a name for
himself God disrupted his communication by creating many languages.
This separated humanity into distinct cultures that slowed down
man's prideful nation building.
To further complicate things, Genesis 11:9 states that God
scattered man over the face of the earth.
How He did this, we don't know.
He just did it.
I believe that these new languages and the dispersion of man across the planet created distinct cultural identities that led to civilizations and nations. We, thus, have the beginning of national and cultural identities which would require political systems. We also see God's unfavorable response to our nation building, which forms part of His political views.
One thing we should learn from Genesis 11 is that our cultural distinctions came about as a result of humanistic pride. If man had not been so arrogant, God would not have confused his language and separated him into distinct cultures. As I see it, the building of nations in Biblical terms is based on prideful sin. From this point on, the nations of the world are portrayed in the Bible to be in direct opposition to God. This is fundamental in understanding the politics of God and the Bible. How you understand this will determine how you live in your nation as a Christian.
no fluke that what we read in Genesis 12 comes right after Genesis 11.
As I've said earlier, in Genesis 11 God confused man's language
that in turn led to nation building.
In Genesis 12 God told Abraham that his family would become a
great nation. The words
"great nation" imply that Abraham's family, which would become
Israel, would be important among the nations of the world.
Israel's greatness is fundamental to the politics of God and the Bible.
Ignoring this fact will lead to much Biblical misunderstanding.
It's the determining factor to how you view Biblical prophecy.
agreed with Himself to make Abraham into a great and special nation.
In Genesis 12:2 and 3 He said, "I will make you into a great
nation and bless you; I will make your name great, and you will be a
blessing. I will bless those
who bless you, and whoever curses you, I will curse; and all people on
earth will be blessed through you."
Notice the words "I will."
God, not Abraham, not Israel, and not the church, will make
promise of national greatness, along with other promises, is called the
"Abrahamic Covenant." It
should be noted that this covenant was not made between God and Abraham.
God made the covenant with Himself.
It was directed to Abraham, his descendents
God's plans for Israel
was to make it a priestly kingdom that would represent Him to the
nations of the world (Exodus 19:6, Isaiah 49:6).
has long since forgotten its God given responsibility to be His
representative to the nations, but God hasn't forgotten His call on Israel. He will remember what He
promised Abraham. "I
will make you a great nation."
first five books of the Bible tell the story of how Abraham became a
family, a tribe, and eventually a nation.
Along with this transformation came a political system
established by God, which included what has been called the Law of
Moses. These laws consisted
of moral, religious, and civil regulations that show us more of God's
political strategy for Israel.
Law of Moses was a covenant, and is sometimes called the "Mosaic
Covenant." The Mosaic
Covenant is not an extension of the Abrahamic Covenant.
It's a separate covenant made between God and
Abrahamic Covenant is still in affect.
As far as the history of salvation is concerned, the Mosaic
Covenant was cancelled and nailed to the cross with Jesus (Colossians
2:14). The parts of the Law
of Moses that predict future events concerning
The establishment of the nation of Israel took place right after God dispersed man throughout the world that eventually created nations. Once God paved the way for nation building, He provided these nations with an example of what a godly nation should look like. Therefore, as seen in the Abrahamic Covenant, one way in which God relates to nations is determined by how nations relate to Israel. This is central to the politics of God and the Bible.
continuing our tour through the Old Testament I want to comment on
Romans 11:29 since I just mentioned it in the last section.
quick reading of the Old Testament will show that
the Apostle Paul believe in Replacement Theology?
I don't think so. In
Romans 11:28 and 29 He says, "As far as the gospel is concerned,
they (Jews) are enemies on your account, but as far as election is
concerned, they are loved on the account of the patriarchs, for God's
gifts and His call are irrevocable."
Simply put, Israel
became an enemy of the gospel because of its rejection of Jesus.
Therefore, God opened the door of salvation to the Gentiles.
That being said, God could not break the promises He made to
Himself that were directed to the patriarchs in the Abrahamic Covenant.
Among other things, He called the patriarchs, Abraham, Isaac, and
Jacob, to be a great nation, and that call is irrevocable according to
still has prophetic and historic significance.
This significance has nothing to do with
36:22 to 32 confirms this by saying, "It is not for your sake, O
God will bring the Jews back to their homeland, not because they deserve it, for they don't. God will do this for His own name sake, meaning, He can not break a promise that would destroy His credibility. What He promised Abraham will come about. This is the politics of God and the Bible.
In closing this section, note the word "election" in Romans 11:28. It's translated from the Greek word "ekloge." It's not a political word. "Ekloge" means "a choice." Paul uses the word "election" in reference to the Jews in this passage, not the Gentiles. They were elected, or chosen, by God's sovereign will to be a special nation. Paul says that God will not revoke His choice in this matter. Israel was not set aside by God as Replacement Theology states.
40 years of wandering in the desert because of
refused to curse Israel. He
spoke five prophetic messages for Balak.
Here's one message. "I
see a people (Israel) who live apart and who do not consider themselves as one of the
nations" (Numbers 23:9).
stood on a hill looking down over
was God's will to have a special nation.
As you read the Old Testament you might wonder why a loving and holy God involves Himself in war. The answer is simple. In Genesis 11 God dispersed man throughout the world. This one act of God began the process of nation building by fallen and rebellious man. In Genesis 12 God began the process of building a nation, that being Israel, who was to represent Him to the new found fallen nations. By virtue of this fact God put Himself in the midst of the conflict between the nations. He would defend Israel, as He promised Abraham, which meant being involved in war. I will speak more about war later. I only mention it now because we see God involved in war early on in the Biblical account, and that bothers many Christians and non-Christians alike.
It has been said that war is an instrument of peace. It's sad to say, but there is truth in this statement. This is quite evident if you study the book of Revelation. As a matter of fact, if you read Revelation 1:12 to 18 you will see Jesus portrayed as a mighty military general who by the end of Revelation conquers the nations of this world and secures them for Himself. It's just the politics of God and the Bible. With that in mind, we must understand that conquering the nations is Jesus' job, not ours. Christians are not military extremists who become suicide bombers or terrorists. Our duty as Christians is to peacefully proclaim the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ to the fallen nations.
10 - Jacob Becomes
time Abraham's family became a tribe which transitioned into a nation.
One important event in the process of Israel
becoming a nation took place in Genesis 32:28 and 35:10.
In both passages God told Abraham's grandson Jacob that his name
would become "
people today, whether Israeli or Christian, should see themselves as
defenders of God's rule of truth. I
will comment on how we defend God later.
It's the defense of God's truth that brings about the conflict
35:11 is prophetic. God
reconfirmed to Jacob that his family would become a great nation.
God also told Jacob that from Israel
a community of nations would emerge.
It's my thinking that the community of nations spoken of here is
in part prophetic of Gentiles entering the Kingdom
of God. The
giving of the Holy Spirit to the Gentiles in Acts 10 began this process,
but it didn't end it.
book of Revelation makes it clear that at some future date the nations
of this world will become the nations of God (Revelation 11:15).
These nations will bring their splendor into the New Jerusalem
(Revelation 21:22 and following) that is on the new earth.
After the present heavens and earth flee from the presence of God
(Revelation 21:1) and is replaced by new heavens and a new earth, and,
once God judges unrepentant sinners at the White Throne Judgment
(Revelation 20:11), Gentile nations will become part of the community of
Israel as stated in Genesis 35:11.
12 - God Watches Over
Deuteronomy 2:7 states that God watched
thing we need to learn from this passage is
31:36 and 37 confirms this.
"Only if these decrees vanish from my sight, declares the
Lord, will the descendents of Israel
ever cease to be a nation before me.
Only if the heavens can be measured and the foundations of the
earth below be searched out will I reject all the descendents of Israel
because of all they have done."
Clearly, God will never reject Israel, despite all its rebellion and disobedience.
The promises God made to Abraham and were reconfirmed to Isaac,
Jacob, David, and throughout the prophetic writings of the Old Testament,
are fundamental to the politics of God and the Bible.
Bible scholars reject the idea that the land God promised to Abraham,
Isaac, Jacob, Moses, and others, still applies to Israel
today. They say all the
promises found in the Abrahamic Covenant have been spiritualized and
redirected to the church, and that includes the promise concerning Israel
being a nation with a specific portion of land.
is a problem with this thinking. The
Abrahamic Covenant is an eternal covenant, having no end.
God told Abraham in Genesis 17:8 that "The whole
poor Biblical interpretation to go back to these promises and make them
mean something different than what the recipients of the promises
understood them to mean. If we
spiritualize these promises and give them to the church, we do just that.
God meant for Abraham to understand land to be land.
That was Abraham's understanding, and it should be ours.
simple fact is that if Abraham thought land was literal land and God
thought land was spiritual land, then God misled Abraham by not correcting
his wrong thinking. If God
wanted Abraham to understand the land was spiritual and He did not clarify
that, then God was deceptive. We
know that God cannot be deceptive. The
land is literal land.
promise of land to Israel
has divided both church and political leaders right to this day. The heart
of the present day Israeli Palestinian problem stems from the promise of
land to Israel
in the Abrahamic Covenant. Most
world leaders fail to grasp this, and will be judged by God for their
3:2 says, "I will gather all nations and bring them down to the Valley
dividing of Israel
is one of the key events that will bring this age to a close.
As I write, the primary solution to the Israeli Palestinian problem
is to divide the little bit of land that Israel
has. By the way, the land that
Abrahamic Covenant states that those who curse
haven't always believed what I'm saying concerning the prophetic and
historic significance of
many respects, the way in which God deals with the nations of the world is
in direct relation to how the nations deal with Israel. That's based on the
Abrahamic Covenant as seen in Genesis 12:1 to 3.
is one prime example of this.
often than not, as seen in Old Testament times,
ironic that God used
all of Israel's rebellion God did not forget His promise to Abraham. He
would indeed curse any nation who cursed Israel, even if God used that nation to do His will in judging
Israel. It sounds strange, but
that's the politics of God and the Bible.
keep an eye on how your nation treats Israel. I'd also keep an eye on
God's response to your nation. He
may be more involved in your nation than what you think.
was the king of Egypt. He enslaved Jews for more
than four hundred years. The
Exodus account states that God hardened Pharaoh's heart.
He did this by creating all sorts of calamities in
I learn from this is that God will involve Himself in the political life
of men and nations to accomplish His own purpose.
He created circumstances in Egypt
to make Pharaoh angry with His people which eventually led to their
freedom. The secular man can't
see the Lord working behind the scene in national affairs, but those with
Biblical understanding do see.
aren't Deists. A Deist is one
who believes that God created all things and then stepped back and let all
things evolve. Christians
believe that God involves Himself in the affairs of humanity.
Scripture doesn't teach Deism.
Right now, even though you can't visibly see it, God is actively
involved behind the scenes in the affairs of your nation in order to
accomplish His purposes in the world.
This is the reason for the rise and fall of Babylon,
may not have voted for the leader of your nation.
You might even despise him or her, and maybe for good reasons, but
God has put him or her in authority to fulfill His will, which just might
be to test and purify you and your brothers and sisters in the Lord.
His reason might also be to bring your nation down in defeat.
It is important to know that God will use anyone to accomplish His will and that includes the devil himself. Satan might have thought that he finally got Jesus when he entered the heart of Judas. Maybe he and his demonic buddies had a wild party the night Judas kissed Jesus. Can you see satan jumping with ecstatic joy? Jesus being handed over by Judas and then to the Jews and finally to the Roman soldiers was God's will. I personally doubt that satan realized he was being used as a tool to do God's will. While satan was "laughing with delight," as Don McLean sang in the early 1970's, the angels of God might well have been laughing at his ignorant conceit. I dare say that the leaders who now are making life hard for Christians are in the same boat of ignorance as satan. They are being used by the God they despise to accomplish His purpose.
Does God use ungodly and evil men to accomplish His purpose? He certainly does. This is the politics of God and the Bible.
Deuteronomy 8:10 to 20 Moses reminded Israel
to always obey the Lord, especially when it would become wealthy.
The reason for this is simple.
forgets God, they would claim their wealth was a product of "their
own strength" (Deuteronomy 8:17).
response to such thinking was clear.
In verse 18 He said, "Remember the Lord your God, for it is He
who gives you the ability to produce wealth." Israel's wealth didn't come from its own ability, but from God's ability.
This is extremely relevant in our once influenced by Christian
thought western nations.
Reformation of the 16th century was lacking in many respects, but there
was one important issue that came out of the movement.
Faith, or trust in Jesus alone for salvation, is a fundamental
truth that cannot be compromised.
Western nations in the past have been influence by Christian
thought because of the Reformation.
Unlike those nations who did not embrace the Reformation, the west
has become wealthy.
Deuteronomy 8:19 and 20 answers this question. God would destroy Israel, as He destroyed other nations for thinking their wealth was a product of their own ability. This clearly shows me that God can give nations the ability to create wealth. If those nations fail to attribute their wealth to the Lord, He can easily take it away. I suggest that if your nation no longer attributes its wealth to the Lord, you're in for a collapse. This is the politics of God and the Bible.
9:6 and 7 is often read at Christmas. If
you relegate this passage to a simple Christmas reading you've missed the
point of the passage.
"For unto us a child is born, to us a Son is given, and the
government shall be upon His shoulders.
And He will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting
Father, Prince of Peace.
Of the increase of His government and peace there will be no end.
He will reign on David's throne and over His kingdom, establishing
it and upholding it with justice and righteousness from that time on and
The zeal of the Lord Almighty will accomplish this."
Clearly, there is more to this passage than what you read on a
the word "government" in the passage.
It's translated from the Hebrew word "misrah," meaning,
"rule, or to have dominion over."
Note also the words "forever" and "David's
The ruler spoken of in this passage will rule in
conservative Bible teachers agree this ruler is the Lord Jesus Christ.
However, the agreements in there.
I believe that this ruler, Jesus, will return to earth and set up
His government from what was once David's throne in Jerusalem. From
there He will rule
now turn to the politics of Jesus and the New Testament.
- Jesus Comes To Israel
9:6 says, "For unto us a child is born, to us a son is given
I think the majority of Christians believe the word "us"
in this verse refers to them, but that's not the case.
To whom did Isaiah speak these words?
He spoke them to Israel. Therefore,
the word "us" refers to
so you won't think I've fallen off a theological cliff, I realize that
Jesus' earthly mission was primarily to the Jews but His death was for all
This is important to know because the rejection of Jesus by the
Jews opened the door of salvation to the Gentiles as Paul stated in Romans
was right when He called Jesus the King of the Jews (John 19:19).
In the best sense of the word, Jesus was born to be the ultimate
political ruler, but He certainly didn't play the part in His human
ministry, and there's a specific reason for that.
That being said, He was still
Hebrews 1:3 tells us that Jesus is the exact representation of God. That's because He was God in human flesh. God, and therefore Jesus, has two principle character traits that are relevant to our discussion. Both God and Jesus are loving and just. Before God demonstrates His justice in judgment, He always provides a way to escape His judgment because He is loving. That's the specific reason why King Jesus first came to earth as a humble servant. In the eyes of the world Jesus was killed as a criminal. In the eyes of God He was killed as a sacrifice to forgive our sins so we could be reconciled to Him and reside in His Kingdom.
live in an age which has been called "the age of grace."
God's grace is being extended to all peoples.
It's an invitation to citizenship in the Kingdom
day an ordinary girl in an unsavory town named
told Mary that her son would be called "the Son of the Most
High" because that was the easiest way to tell Mary that her son
would be God in human flesh.
Mary would not have understood the doctrine we call the Deity of
also said that Jesus would inherit the throne of David and He would rule
over the house of Jacob (
have already noted that the throne of David was once situated in
the Baptist preached and baptized along the banks of the
next day John's cousin Jesus stood among those seeking to be baptized.
As the revelation came to him he announced, "The Lamb of God
who takes away the sin of the world" (John 1:29). Note
that the Lamb of God would not only take away
after Jesus' baptism He went into the desert to prepare Himself by praying
and fasting for the tough days ahead of Him.
Unlike most up and coming leaders He didn't head off to
tempted Jesus to come over to his side. Each satanic temptation was
accompanied by a supporting Scripture.
Jesus refuted each temptation with another Scripture.
This was no friendly theological debate.
It was a battle over the proper understanding of God's Word and how
it would be worked out in human history.
nations have some kind of constitution that sets forth how that nation
For example, the American Constitution is the foundation of
Like the battle between Jesus and satan over the original intent of
the Old Testament, the battle rages on in the courts, the halls of
congress, and the media, over the original intent of the American
It's an ever-present tendency to redefine the original intension of
any document and make it mean something different than what it was
originally intended to mean. In part, this is what was taking place
between Jesus and satan.
these attempts to redefine, update, and make the Bible mean something it
was never meant to mean, the Bible stands as the constitutional authority
the temptation satan showed Jesus all the kingdoms of the world and their
splendor, as seen in Matthew 4.
He offered Jesus these kingdoms as if they belonged to him and in
one sense of the word they did belong to satan.
Jesus would later call satan the prince of this world (John 12:31,
14:30, 16:11). Jesus
refused the offer.
All these kingdoms would eventually be His anyway (Revelation
Bible sets forth God's political agenda for both the kingdoms of men and
23 - The
you study the New Testament you will notice that there are two aspects to
on earth, Jesus demonstrated the reality of the invisible Kingdom
after Jesus was tested by satan in the desert He returned to Nazareth
where He gave His inaugural speech as the king of this invisible kingdom.
His words are one of my favorite Bible passages.
He entered the synagogue and stood up with a scroll in hand.
He boldly, calmly, yet emphatically proclaimed Himself to be the
king of the Jews by reading Isaiah 61:1 and 2. It
states, "The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because He has anointed
me to preach the good news to the poor.
He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and the
recovery of sight to the blind, to release the oppressed, to proclaim the
year of the Lord's favor."
Jesus then set the scroll down and said, "Today this Scripture
is fulfilled in your hearing."
An uneasy calm must have filled the room.
Everyone would have been speechless.
Some were silenced by awe, others by rage.
Jesus had just announced that He was the fulfillment of prophecy.
In fact He was proclaiming that He was the Messiah of Israel that
had been predicted for centuries.
lived in a suburb of
is interesting to note that when Jesus read from Isaiah 61 He stopped
reading right in the middle of a sentence.
The last words Jesus read were, "to proclaim the year of the
The rest of the sentence that Jesus did not read says, "and
the day of vengeance of our God."
Why didn't Jesus read the whole sentence?
Why didn't He read about God's vengeance?
The answer to this question tells us the nature of Jesus' first
His time on earth was a demonstration of God's love, grace, and
presently live in the days of the Lord's favour, or as the text states,
"the year of the Lord's favour."
We better take advantage of this before this day ends.
many times have we prayed what we've called "the Lord's prayer?"
De we understand what we pray?
Many don't understand.
The disciples were told to pray, "your kingdom come, your will
be done on earth as it is in heaven (Matthew 6:10).
What does this request mean?
are two aspects to the Kingdom
of God. There
is the invisible kingdom that exists right now in the heavenly realm, and
there is the visible kingdom that will exist on earth at the end of this
asked the disciples to pray that God's kingdom would come. Has
God's kingdom fully come to earth?
The next phrase helps answer this question. "Your will be done
on earth as it is in heaven."
God's will is being done right now in heaven, but it isn't being
done on earth.
That's why we are to make this request to God.
So, when we pray that God's kingdom would come, we are asking God
to end this present age and have Jesus set up the visible Kingdom
many times have we prayed what we've called "the Lord's
prayer"? De we
understand what we pray? Many
don't. The disciples were
told to pray, "your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it
is in heaven". (Matthew 6:10) What
does this request mean?
are two aspects to the
prayed, "Your kingdom come". Has God's kingdom fully come to
earth? The next phrase helps
answer this question. "Your will be done on earth as it is in
heaven". God's will is
being done right now in heaven, but it isn't being done on earth.
That's why we are to make this request to God.
So, when we pray "thy kingdom come", we're asking God
to end this present age and have Jesus set up the visible
Matthew 16:18 Jesus told Peter and others "that He would build His
church and the gates of Hades would not overcome it."
This is one very misunderstood passage.
This misunderstanding has unfortunately shaped much of our thinking
concerning church throughout the centuries.
reason for the misunderstanding is due to the word "church" that
appears in our English translations.
The word "church" is translated from the Greek word
Ecclesia simply means "a group of people who have been set
apart for a specific purpose."
It's not complicated.
Ecclesia was not a religious word as our English word
"church" is. It
was an everyday word, with everyday usage.
An ecclesia could have been a town council, a fishing guild, a
ladies sewing group, or any group of people set apart for a specific
problem arises when we define church, and in turn ecclesia, in this
passage with our modern understanding of church.
The New Testament was written almost two thousand years ago in a
language few of us know or understand.
Christians continue to impose 21st century definitions
into a 1st century Greek New Testament.
That's bad hermeneutics.
It does great harm to the text and even more harm to the way we
unfortunate misunderstanding of church has been passed down to us through
various Christian movements for centuries.
Few have bothered to challenge the status quo on this issue.
Jesus told Peter, and those standing by, He was going to build His
ecclesia, He was not thinking of anything that closely resembles what
church looks like in the western world today.
As a matter of fact, Jesus was not speaking Greek when He spoke
He was most likely speaking Aramaic or Hebrew.
The corresponding word He would have spoken in either of these
languages speaks to a functioning and supporting community of people, not
to an organizational structure.
Jesus' intention was to take people out of the world and set them
apart to be a community of people who would do His will in representing
went on to say that He would give the disciples the "keys to the
They would become the doorkeepers to the Kingdom
of God. They
would be responsible to demonstrate and represent the
should, therefore, not view church as countless organizations, each having
distinct doctrinal differences, real-estate, and ecclesiastical
is simply those people who belong to Jesus and in turn belong to each
other in order to do Jesus' will.
is only one church, one group of people who belong to Jesus.
I suggest that you can substitute the word "church" with
the words "those who belong to Jesus" when you read the New
Take Revelation 3:1 as an example.
The NIV states, "to the angel of the church at Sardis." You
can easily say, "to the angel of those who belong to Jesus at Sardis."
In Revelation 2 and 3 Jesus addresses seven churches, or so our
English versions state.
I don't see Jesus addressing seven churches as we understand church
see Him addressing people who belong to Him who reside in seven different
is only one group of people who belong to Jesus, no matter where we live
or how we organize ourselves.
If you can grasp what I just said, and many won't, it will turn
your world of church upside down. You'll never be satisfied with the
status quo again.
We are people who Jesus has personally taken from the world.
We now belong to Him and to each other.
Each one of us who belong to Jesus is joined to a few others to
carry out His plans on earth.
As one bone is joined to another in a body, so each disciple is
joined to another as a bone in the Body of Christ, or, the invisible
the Father was known to Israel
came along in Matthew 16:18 and
bottom line to this is that Jesus was now making a major change in the
earthly expression of the invisible
was very upset with the Jewish leaders, as Yahweh often was in the Old
Testament. What Jesus said in
Matthew 21:43 is key to this discussion.
Since most, but not all, Israelis rejected Jesus, He told them that
Theologians have termed the era in which we presently live as "the age of grace." We now live in an age where Jesus' ecclesia, the church, both teach and live a life that demonstrates God's grace. Jesus said, "As my Father has sent me, so I send you" (John 20:21). As Israel was created to represent Yahweh to the nations, so the New Testament church was created to represent Jesus to the nations of the world.
now turn our attention to the politics of Jesus and His chosen people, the
church, with the understanding that Yahweh has not set aside Israel
forever. He will be faithful
to Abraham and keep His promises to him.
just made a distinction between Yahweh's ecclesia and Jesus' ecclesia.
Jesus' ecclesia differs from Yahweh's ecclesia on many fronts.
For example, the Law of Moses was given to
Law of Moses commanded Israelis not to kill.
Jesus commanded Christians not to get angry without just cause.
The Law of Moses told Israelis not to commit adultery.
Jesus told Christians not to lust.
Whereas the Law of Moses spoke more or less to outward issues,
Jesus spoke to the inward.
Deuteronomy 13 God told
are to live as Jesus lived while He was on earth.
We don't kill the false prophet or those who worship other gods.
We proclaim God's grace as seen in the forgiveness of sins once the
sinner repents and hands His life over to Jesus.
As Jesus said in His inaugural address, we proclaim "the day
of God's favour."
We live in the era of grace.
know how Jesus felt about Roman officials. In
Matthew 20:25 and 26 He said that Gentile rulers lord it over their
subject, but that was not to be the case in the
Jesus stood before Pilate He rebuked Pilate for thinking he had authority
In John 19:11 Jesus told Pilate that he had no authority other than
what His Father authorized.
Was Jesus thinking specifically of Pilate when He said this, or was
He thinking of political leaders in general?
Jesus was talking specifically to Pilate, so good hermeneutics
tells us that Jesus had Pilate in mind when He spoke these words.
That being said, I believe there's sufficient Biblical evidence to
say that what Jesus told Pilate also applies to other political leaders,
including the one you voted for.
Daniel 2:21 and 4:24 make that clear.
also told Pilate that His kingdom was not of this world. If it were, His
servants would fight to prevent His arrest (John 18:36). Christians
don't belong to the nations in which they live.
They're citizens of the heavenly kingdom. For
this reason we are passivists when it comes to advancing the Kingdom
11:12 in the KJV reads as follows.
"From the days of John the Baptist until now, the kingdom of
heaven suffers violence, and the violent take it by force."
The NIV reads, "from the days of John the Baptist to now, the
kingdom of heaven has been forcefully advancing, and forceful men lay hold
These 2 versions seem to differ from each other.
KJV suggests that violent men use force against
NIV suggests the opposite when it says "the
heard this passage misused countless times over the years.
People see the words "violence" and "forceful"
and believe the gospel of Jesus must advance with military like force and
people have been physically violent while others have been violent in
This should never be the case.
In Matthew 11:12 Jesus was saying that
a Biblical standpoint it's clear to me that Christians should not use
violence to advance or defend the
example of this is when Jesus told people to give to Caesar what belongs
to Caesar (Luke 20:25).
The context of Jesus' words concerned paying taxes to Caesar.
Paying taxes is the primary statement of fact here.
Some suggest a secondary meaning to Jesus' words is possible.
They say that if Caesar calls you to serve in the military, you
serve because serving in the military is something that belongs to Caesar.
That may well be true but the problem with this is that Jesus
didn't specifically say that in this passage.
That's only what some think He might have said if asked.
One basic hermeneutical principle states that you cannot argue a
point from silence, and this argument is based on silence.
had conversations with Roman soldiers on many occasions but never told
them to leave the army.
Some suggest that's proof Jesus allows military involvement by His
That's speculation too.
The soldiers Jesus encountered weren't necessarily His followers,
and they weren't Jews.
They were Romans.
Jesus' ministry was specific to the Jews, not to Gentiles.
He would have had no reason to tell a Roman soldier to leave his
example of a passage used to support Christian involvement in the military
is found in 1 Corinthians 7:20.
Paul tells his readers to stay in whatever situation they were in
when God called them.
The context of Paul's words concerns marriage.
If you were married when you became a Christian, stay married.
If you were single, stay single.
If you struggle with the sexual pressure of singleness, then get
That's not a sin.
did give two other examples of situations to remain in once becoming a
If you were a slave when you met Christ, don't demand your freedom.
you are offered your freedom, take it.
If you were uncircumcised, don't get circumcised.
If you were circumcised, stay circumcised.
Beyond these three situations, Paul gave no other examples of
situations to stay in once becoming a Christian.
Any situation we might add to Paul's list is speculative on our
Paul have added military involvement to this list?
I can't say for sure because he never said so.
I know from other passages that there are some occupations that he
wouldn't add to his list.
Prostitution is one obvious example.
Apostle Paul lived much of his post-conversion life surrounded by Roman
He preached the gospel to them while in prison or in chains.
We have no record of Paul telling any of these soldiers to leave
their post once they began to follow Jesus.
Any reason we might give for this omission is speculative.
John 18:36 Jesus told Pilate that if His kingdom was of this world, His
disciples would fight to prevent His arrest.
Does this imply Jesus is in favor of military involvement by His
He specifically said His disciples would not fight because the
kingdom they would be fighting for isn't of this world.
Some suggest that this opens the door for military involvement by
Christians because their nation is of this world.
They might have a point.
On the other hand, what Jesus did not say is speculative.
sorry to end this section with uncertainty, and with no strong conviction.
I lean towards Christian involvement in the military as being
Biblically permissible, but it is a leaning based on no clearly stated
I wish there was a clear cut statement of fact one way or the
heard the arguments on both sides of the issue.
Both sides have compelling arguments, but still, I'm not fully
convinced of either.
my thinking that as Moses was to Israelis in Old Testament times so Paul
is to Christians in New Testament times.
Both men were well educated in all aspects of culture, law,
religion, and especially the culture of God.
Both men set forth God's will for His people in the era in which
When it comes to Paul, I've always said, "If Paul was wrong
in what he taught, then we as Christians have a major problem on our
Paul, more than any other New Testament personality, including
Jesus, systematically set forth the doctrines of Christ.
Paul's letter to the Romans makes that clear.
Therefore, when it comes to the politics of God and the Bible,
one must take Paul's writings into account.
- Paul And
Apostle Paul was well educated in Jewish social and religious tradition.
You could not have asked for a more dedicated man to the Jewish
3 shows that to be true. Paul
paid a high price to follow Jesus.
Although he forsook Jewish tradition, he did not forsake Yahweh and
the truths of the Old Testament as they were meant to be understood.
In light of Paul's association with Jesus, we need to know what he
believed concerning the future of Israel.
the risk of raising more questions, I'll try to make this simple.
For a detailed explanation of
you read every passage in Genesis concerning the promises God spoke to
Abraham, which we call the Abrahamic Covenant, you will notice that there
are three recipients of these promises as seen in the NIV Bible.
They are, Abraham, his descendents, and Abraham's offspring or
crucial fact is missed by many people, resulting in a misunderstanding of
this in mind we turn to Galatians 3:15 to 18, the most debated passage
on Paul's assertion that Jesus is the "seed" of Abraham, a
theology called "Replacement Theology" emerged in the church
Those holding to this view say the promises spoken to Abraham have
been completely fulfilled in the one seed, or, the one descendent, Jesus.
Because of this they conclude that all the promises spoken to
Abraham, including promises of land and Israeli nationhood, are now
spiritualized and given to the church through Jesus.
They also insist that all the prophetic passages that speak to
3 states there are two recipients of the Abrahamic Covenant, Abraham and
The Genesis account states there are three recipients, Abraham, his
descendents, and his seed, or offspring.
This appears to be a discrepancy, but it's not.
Replacement Theology builds its case on the two recipient scenario
seen here in Galatians 3.
It ignores the three recipient scenario, or doesn't realize it
of this error,
important thing to note is that the word "seed" is singular,
while the word "descendents" is plural.
This is another overlooked point.
Because "seed" is singular and "descendents" is
plural, these two recipients can't be synonymous as Replacement Theology
The seed is Jesus.
The descendents are Israelis, and according to the Abrahamic
addresses just one issue in Galatians 3.
He says salvation comes through trusting Jesus, not through the Law
That's his main point in this chapter.
He never intended to address the prophetic and historic
significance of Israel
in this passage.
The reason why he wrote this letter in the first place was because
the Galatians were beginning to replace faith in Jesus with obedience to
the Law of Moses.
For this reason, Paul would have had no reason to address the
holding to Replacement Theolog
had a deep concern for
points out in Romans 9, as he did in Galatians 3, that it had always been
God's will to provide salvation to both Israelis and Gentiles through
faith in Jesus. In
Romans 10:4 he goes as far to say that "Christ is the end of the
Jesus has replaced the Law of Moses for the purpose of salvation
In Romans 11:1 Paul asked the crucial question. "Did God reject His people (Israel)?" His answer was emphatic. He said, "By no means." In verse 7
through 10 he quotes Old Testament passages to show God
actually blinded the eyes and understanding of
are three recipients of the Abrahamic Covenant.
They are Abraham, his offspring (seed) Jesus, and his descendents Israel. Each
of these three recipients has a part to play in the fulfillment of the
What Paul taught in Galatians 3 does not nullify the Genesis
account or what he taught in Romans 9 through 11.
Paul wrote in Romans 13:1 to 7 has been taken seriously by those Christians
who have lived under, or, who presently live under, a dictatorial regime.
For those of us in the western world, Paul's remarks haven't been
taken so seriously, at least not as yet.
That will soon change as our western world governments become more
anti-Christ in nature.
Romans 13:1 Paul told his readers "to submit to the governing
authorities," which refers to civil leaders.
In Paul's day these authorities were part of a harsh dictatorial
regime. Paul's instruction to
submit would have been hard for his readers to understand.
The authorities to whom Paul's readers were to submit might turn
around, slice their heads off, parade their skulls around the city square,
and feed their bodies to wild dogs roaming the streets.
Submission to ungodly authority must be included in any discussion
concerning the politics of God and the Bible.
based his reason to submit to civil authorities on the fact that
"there is no authority except that which God has established."
I know the debate over the word "established."
Did God simply establish the idea of government, or, are all civil
authorities placed in power by His sovereign choice?
Because Paul was speaking in the present tense to specific people
living in Rome, I believe he
understood the authorities in his day were put there by God.
That being said, Paul knew certain Old Testament passages like
Deuteronomy 32:8, Genesis 10, Daniel 2:21 and 4:24 that helped
form his thinking on this issue. Deuteronomy
32:8 tells us that God gave the nations their inheritance and set their
boundaries. Daniel 2:21 and
4:24 clearly state that it is God who causes men and nations to both rise
and fall. It is God who
installs and dethrones civil authorities.
I believe Paul would tell you and I that the leaders of our
nations, for one reason or another, have been set in place by God.
By no means does this suggest these leaders are godly people.
God has established civil authorities, in verse 2 Paul says that if you
rebel against these authorities, you rebel against that which God has
Such rebellion will bring judgment on you by these governing
In verse 3 he says that "the rulers hold no terror for those
who do right, but for those who do wrong."
Simply put, if you do good, you won't have to fear punishment by
If you do wrong, you will fear being punished.
says that if you want to be free from fearing the authorities, obey them.
That makes sense, but if you were a first century Christian, you
might think twice about this and respond by saying, "Okay Paul,
Ill obey Caesar, but I'm still afraid of the guy."
context of Paul's words concerning fearing authorities is based on the
premise that God put those authorities in place to punish those who do
That's my paraphrase of verse 4.
For this reason, if you obey the authorities, you won't have to
fear being punished for unruly behaviour.
It's important to note that the fear Paul speaks of here is in
relation to being afraid of being punished for doing wrong.
This fear isn't in reference to being afraid of Caesar slicing your
head off for being a Christian. That's another issue. Caesar might still
ax your head off, even if you do obey him.
Besides, Jesus told us not to fear men like Caesar.
Such men can only kill you and burn your naked body in the city
can't kill your soul.
So in the long run we must fear God who can burn both soul and body
in hell's fire (Matthew 10:28).
verse 4 Paul tells us that the governing rulers are "God's
servants" to do you good, but if you do wrong, be afraid.
Believe it or not, Caesar was God's man to administer justice on
A study of the Old Testament shows that God caused
ultimately defines what is right and what is wrong?
It's not Caesar.
It's God. How
do we then submit to authorities who refuse to submit to God's authority is
the issue at hand?
5 gives us two reasons why we are to submit to civil authorities, as bad
as they might be.
The first reason is so we won't be punished for doing wrong.
The second reason is probably more important.
We submit for the sake of our conscience.
Having a clean and undisturbed conscience is vital in our
relationship to the state, as it is in all we do.
Concerning our conscience, it must be reformatted by God's Word
because the human conscience is sinful and can't always be trusted.
A Biblical based conscience is fundamental to how and when we
submit to the state.
sum up, Paul told us that civil authorities have been established by God
to represent Him by enforcing matters of civil justice as defined by Him.
We, therefore, submit to the authorities, even if they are ungodly,
in matters pertaining to justice as defined by God.
civil authorities have been established by God, they are subject to Him.
If the authorities require us to submit in matters that clearly
oppose God, the one they represent and to whom they must submit, we have
no choice but to not submit.
Our consciences must be clean and undisturbed in this matter, as
Paul's conscience was in Acts 24:17.
knew the authorities of this world were heavily influenced by demons.
He said so in Ephesians 6:10 and following.
Paul himself didn't submit to civil authority in every situation,
and he certainly wasn't afraid to stand up to rulers when an injustice was
Acts 16:35 to 37 he withstood unjust authorities.
He and Silas were illegally beaten and imprisoned without a trial.
The authorities wanted to sweep this injustice under the carpet.
They commanded Paul and Silas to secretly leave town so no one
would know of the injustice.
In a bold act of defiance, Paul refused to obey.
He didn't immediately leave town as ordered.
He and Silas visited the saints at
spent a large portion of his ministry standing up to unjust authorities,
and along the way he preached the gospel to them.
Jewish authorities had falsely accused Paul, landing him into a
He was offered freedom by the Roman authorities if he would drop
the matter and not pursue justice.
You can call Paul stubborn, or you can call him a man of justice.
Whatever the case, he refused to drop the matter without a legal
He appealed to Caesar to defend himself and fight this injustice
Paul was respectful to governing authorities, and he did his best
to submit, but when it came to matters of injustice as defined by God, he
stood firm before the civil authorities.
In fact Paul became God's spokesman to these authorities in these
In other words, the authorities should have listened to Paul and
submit to ungodly authorities, but when they demand submission in matters
that clearly depart from Biblical truth, we peacefully and respectfully
decline to submit.
We accept the consequences, no matter how severe they may be.
Like the Apostle Peter, we obey God rather than man (Acts 4:19 - 20). This
issue is fast becoming an issue that Christians will have to address in
our anti-Christ western world culture.
More and more our civil authorities want us to join them in their
We just can't do that.
can't read Romans 13:1 to 7 and formulate our thinking on that passage
must understand this passage in the context of Paul's life, his ministry,
and the rest of his teaching.
We'll do that next.
John 14:27 Jesus said, "Peace I leave with you, my peace I give you.
I do not give to you as the world gives."
The difference between Jesus and national governments in respect to
peace is that Jesus gives peace while governments negotiate peace.
Whether it's two warring spouses or two warring nations, the best
humanity can do is to negotiate some kind of peace that may or may not
produce lasting peace, and, with any negotiations, there is compromise.
Jesus offers us uncompromised peace.
first century Christians had little or no peace in respect to the kingdoms
of men. For example, the
Apostle Paul was in a constant struggle with the Jewish establishment,
which led to his struggle with the Roman authorities.
It's sad to say, Paul even struggled with false teachers in the
church. Obviously, the peace
Jesus was talking about was inner peace with God, not outer peace with the
kingdoms of men. In John 16:33
Jesus specifically told His followers that they would have trouble in this
world. The idea of coming to
Jesus and living happily ever after in this life is simply not Biblical.
told us in Romans 14:17 why Jesus offered inner peace and not outer peace
with the kingdoms of men. He
said that "the Kingdom
struggled with all sorts of people in all sorts of places yet he
understood his ultimate struggle to be with demonic forces in the
spiritual world where the
Ephesians 6:17 and 18 Paul states our preferred weapons of warfare against
these demonic forces. They
aren't guns, missals, or high tech gadgets that the CIA would employ in
covert missions. As weird as
it may sound to the CIA and Pentagon, our weapons are praying in the
Spirit and properly using God's Word.
Christians certainly do live in another world. This
is why the so-called Christian crusades into the Islamic Middle East in
years past weren't Christian. Muslims
still remind us about that to this day.
These wars began as a defensive matter because of Islam's forceful
intrusion into the West.
Ephesians 6:14 and 15 Paul lists our defenses against this satanic world.
In my words they are, upholding God's truth and His standard of
righteousness, having real faith, and knowing our salvation is secure.
I suggest that in many parts of Christendom today, including
Evangelicalism, we've become slack and have let down our defenses.
For this reason much of Christendom is unable to stand against
satanic activity as Paul says we should in Ephesians 6:13.
We are more influenced by the satanic world than we realize.
Many church groups have been deceived by allowing the enemy into
their camp, thinking he is their friend.
Biblical truth doesn't matter to the church as it once did.
Upholding Biblical standards of righteousness isn't so important
either. What constitutes faith and salvation is now being redefined by
many Evangelicals. In some
respects parts of western world Christendom are so far removed from
knowing God's will that it actually thinks it is doing His will, when in
fact it isn't.
the word "stand" in Ephesians 6:13.
Paul says that when the evil day of attack comes, we need our
defenses in place just to be able to stand against the satanic attack. Paul
isn't suggesting we'll defeat satan and his agents.
He just expects us to stand firm without surrendering.
Only Jesus will defeat satan at the end of this age.
also the words "when the day of evil comes" in verse 13.
What day was Paul talking about?
Well, each generation has its own day of evil, yet for those who
live at the end of this age, there is a specific day of evil.
That day begins when Jesus opens the seven seals found in
Revelation 6. This unleashes a
day of evil we've never seen before. Demonic
forces will infiltrate all aspects of humanity, causing great distress
among the kingdoms of men. That
day of evil might well be on our doorstep.
This day of evil is often called the Tribulation or the Great
ends this passage in verse 19 by saying, "pray for me, that whenever
I open my mouth, words may be given me so that I will fearlessly make
known the mysteries of the gospel for which I am an ambassador in chains.
Pray that I may declare it fearlessly, as I should."
Paul was in the midst of the evil day in his life and times.
He represented the
throughout the world today are entering into an evil day.
Like Paul, we need to fearlessly proclaim the gospel of the soon
Deuteronomy 4 we see that Israel
was about to enter the Promised Land.
In verses 25 and following God told them that "after
have lived in the land a long time and if you become corrupt
call heaven and earth as witnesses against you
you will quickly perish
from the land you are crossing the Jordan to possess
the Lord will
scatter you among the peoples. When
you are in distress
in the later days you will return to the Lord your
He will not forget the covenant He made with your
29:64 and following says that "the Lord will scatter you among all
nations, from one end of the earth to the other.
There among the nations you will find no repose, no resting
did become corrupt and throughout its history Israelis have been scattered
throughout the world, the last two of which took place in 70 AD and 135
was never meant to live apart from
66:8 asks this question. "Can a country be born in a day or a nation
be brought forth in a moment?" The
answer is an emphatic "yes."
On May 14, 1948, the nation of
the Jews back to their homeland is only the beginning of God's plan.
His ultimate goal is to bring
Jews return to their land, Amos 9:15 becomes important.
"I will plant Israel
in their own land, never again to be uprooted from the land I have given
them." God has already
planted Jews back in their land. They
will never be kicked out again. The
only thing left is the final great war, Israel's salvation, and the end of this age.
spoke to the attacking nations and the last battle.
Zechariah 14:13 states that once the battle is over, those who
actually survive the attack will fall under the authority and rule of the
Lord Jesus Christ. This tells
us that there will be people from this age living in the thousand year
rule of Christ on earth.
believe we're near the end. I
picture Jesus as having just risen from His throne. He
is standing with hands stretched out, ready to receive the all important
scroll of Revelation 6. Once
the scroll is in His hands, He will open its seals.
When that happens, watch out. When
CNN announces "breaking news" that will be the biggest
understatement in human history.
Christians have a poor mental image of Jesus.
They tend to picture Him as a quiet peaceful man walking the dusty
something few of us like, but war is a fact of life when it comes to the
fallen human condition. This
passage in Revelation doesn't portray the mild mannered Jesus who kicked
the stones under his feet as He walked the shores of the
2 is important when it comes to the politics of God and the Bible.
Verses 1 and 2 portray the thinking processes of our national
leaders as we approach the end of this age.
They will be in a "rage" as they "plot" their
strategies of war. Even
though our leaders "plot in vain," as verse 1 states, they
still "take their stand and gather together against the Lord and
against His anointed one," as verse 2 states.
Revelation 17:14 confirms this when it says that the nations will
fight the Lamb but will lose the fight because the Lamb is the Lord of
lords. This arrogance shows
the degree of depravity to which humanity sinks.
3 shows the insane state of our nations at the end of this age.
"Let us break their (Father, Son, and Spirit) chains and throw
off their fetters." National
leaders will attempt once and for all to free the world of any hint of a
God and submission to Him. This
insanity will end in destruction and bloodshed.
Revelation 14:20 says that "the blood will flow to the horses
our national leaders gather to plot their attack, according to verse 4,
God sits in the heavens and laughs at them.
Picture this. Our
leaders gather in some exclusive mountain top retreat in the French Alps. After
a long day of strategizing, they spend a relaxing evening cracking
off-colored jokes around soothing hot-tubs.
While sipping expensive wine and gulping down cocktails, they
fixate their eyes upon voluptuous short skirted waitresses walking back to
the bar for their refills. Little
do they realize that while they are laughing with delight, there's a God
in heaven laughing at them. If
there was ever a time when God would fall to the floor in hysteric
laughter, this would be that time.
know it's not politically, socially, or even religiously correct these
days, but God does get angry, as seen in verse 5.
He will "rebuke the nations in His anger and terrify them in
His wrath when He installs His King on
7 says that Jesus will make His laws known to the world once He is
installed as king. After the
nations crumble like pathetic wimps, a new world-wide constitution will be
implemented. No longer will
nations have "founding fathers."
They'll simply have a "Founding Father."
Apostle Paul prophesied in Philippians 2:10 about this day.
He said that "every knee will bow and every tongue confess
that Jesus Christ is Lord." Picture
CNN's breaking news flashing across your flat screen TV. The
stock market report is abruptly interrupted.
In real time, and in high definition, the world is in shock as it
sees the president of the United States
falling to his knees. In a
moment of embarrassing weakness he admits he was wrong.
Jesus Christ, not he, is the ultimate in greatness.
Before he can rise to his feet, CNN broadcasts breaking news from Russia. The president of
is slammed face first to the floor. In
a foggy daze his mental capacities fail him.
Terror, frustration, and anger, accompanies his admission that
Jesus Christ is Lord after-all. After
Iranian supreme leader utters unrepeatable obscenities as his limo crashes
into a telephone pole, he too makes his confession.
North Korean's dictator reaches for his cell phone.
He's bent on placing the call to finally strike.
His phone is dead. His
nuclear missiles remain motionless. He
points his pistol to his head, makes his confession, then drops to the
breaking news all over the planet. Leaders
of all stripes, colors, nationalities, and religious affiliation, fall to
their knees in confused astonishment.
News networks around the world can't keep up with what's happening.
Television screens go wacky. Reporters
and camera men fall to their knees. Microphones
and video cameras fly in all direction.
Earthquakes and tsunamis kill millions.
Heart-wrenching screams are heard in every corner of the earth.
All of creation is immobilized as King Jesus lights up the sky with
brilliant flashes of electromagnetic energy that plunders the world into a
history as we know it comes to an end.
God will give His Son the nations of the world as an inheritance,
and the ends of the earth for His possession, as stated in Psalm
will "dash the nations to pieces like pottery" as verse 9 says.
Muslim nations who eagerly waited the Twelfth Imam to rise to power
to let you know, during the thousand year rule of Christ that follows,
nations will still have a measure of free will as seen in Zechariah 14:17.
If a nation chooses not to
worship Jesus, there will be consequences.
Jesus will stop rain from falling on that nation.
It's quick, easy, and effective.
word of the Lord to our nations today is found in verses 10 and 11.
"Be wise, be warned, and serve the Lord with fear and
trembling." We must take
this warning seriously. It's
part of the gospel message we should be preaching.
12 says; "kiss the Son, lest He be angry and you be destroyed in your
way, for His wrath can flare up in a moment."
No nation or individual is exempt from this admonition.
We embrace Jesus or face the consequences.
This isn't a cool portrayal of God in the eyes of the world these
days, and that includes the Evangelical Christian world, but it's the
2 ends with "blessed are those who take refuge in Him."
This is the future. Our
only hope of survival, our only refuge, is in the Lord Jesus Christ.
This is an understatement, but those of us who have this hope are
blessed beyond measure.
there you have it. This
written account has been a small glimpse into the "Politics of God
and the Bible." More could be said.
It's one topic that threads its way through the Bible.
a spirit of prophecy rise up among the Lord's people so we can fearlessly
and accurately proclaim the whole counsel of God.
Until the invisible
Jesus prepares to open the scrolls of Revelation 6, His Father is sitting
back laughing. The Day of the
Lord is at hand. The angels of
God have risen to their feet. With
necks stretched forward, they are intent on watching the drama unfold.
The four living creatures of Revelation are waiting word to pull
back the curtains of time. All
creation is eagerly waiting the restoration of all things.
May the Lord's people have the same expectation.
Our redemption is near. "Come soon Lord Jesus"
(Revelation 22:21). What the
Bible teaches concerning the politics of God certainly concludes in the
victory of the