A Modern Woman's Perspective On The Kingdom of God on Earth

Showing posts with label God's Plan for the Nations. Show all posts
Showing posts with label God's Plan for the Nations. Show all posts

March 17, 2024

God Is Not Through With Israel! Warning To Those Who Interfere With His Plan

One of the most defining experiences of my faith was when I discovered Romans, Chapter 11. It began 16 years ago, and has proven to be a thoroughly captivating effort to know my God at a deeper level -- both from an intellectual standpoint, but more importantly, at a heart level. Sadly, this journey did not come about because my church pointed me to it; nor any church I have attended since. This was a singular exploration ignited by a Christian friend who suggested that I might want to read this chapter if I was seeking to know more about God. 

And as we grow ever closer to cataclysmic events in the world that threaten to destroy the nations, Romans 11 is so crucial to understanding God's heart for His people, and how He will respond to us, depending on if we can see and understand the significance of this revealing chapter in these days and the days to come. Therefore it frustrates me immensely to realize that the majority of the Body of Christ do not perceive its relevance. Furthermore, it saddens me to witness the failure of institutionalized Religion to teach the faithful the truth of this foundational directive. It will have consequences for all mankind!

As we watch the delicate balance of the world's governments lean towards war and destruction, and as we particularly observe the increasing tension between our country and Israel, I want to share what Romans 11 cautions us about God's plan for Israel, and how it affects us; primarily as Christians, and secondly, as a nation. So, let's dive in!

The Western Church has done a good job of relating how God has blinded the Jews for rejecting Jesus as the Messiah. But there's a whole history that precedes that event, and one that has continued after the Lord's crucifixion for daring to claim that He was the Son of God, who could forgive mankind's sins and rebellion. The Church has been so hyper-focused on the state of the Jew's unbelief that it has even created its own religious theory called Replacement Theology, which claims that "The Church" has replaced Israel as God's chosen people! That is a heretical charge that will only lead to dire repercussions for those who act on it. And it's one more reason why it's important for you to read and understand Romans 11, which completely debunks this theory.

From the first verse in the chapter, the Apostle Paul confronts the very question of Israel's standing with God. I love the Amplified version: "I say then, has God rejected and disowned His people"? Paul's answer: CERTAINLY NOT! And he speaks as an Israelite, a descendant of Abraham, of the tribe of Benjamin; as one who originally agreed with rejecting Jesus. He was known as a persecutor of the people of "The Way" [who were followers of Jesus who believed in His divinity]. He makes it very clear that God has known and specifically chosen Israel for His purpose. And then Paul relates the story of the prophet Elijah [whom God called to minister to Israel] and who pleads with God against Israel for their disobedience -- for tearing down God's altars and killing all the prophets, until only Elijah is left. 

Paul then asks the question of the reader, "But what is God's response to him [Elijah]"?  The answer? Among the disobedient, unfaithful, and rebellious Israelites, God has kept for Himself a remnant; a small believing minority according to His choice. Paul points out that Israel failed to obtain God's favor by obeying the Law, instead of His favor through belief in Jesus as the Messiah. But we see God's plan in the fact that there were a chosen few who did receive His favor. The rest became hardened and callously indifferent. Sadly, it continues until today. But lest you believe that this blindness is the ultimate fate of Israel forever, Paul continues his reasoning... has Israel stumbled [in order] to experience eternal spiritual ruin? Again, Paul answers his own question: CERTAINLY NOT! 

And here is where Paul reveals God's Divine Plan for mankind .... Because of Israel's rejection of Jesus as the Messiah and Son of God, Christ's sacrifice has brought the opportunity to receive the gift of Salvation to the Gentiles [who were the unbelieving pagan peoples] in order to make His chosen people, Israel, realize what they forfeited, and hopefully jealous enough to seek Salvation for themselves. Then Paul puts forth a proposition for us all to consider: If Israel's rebellion and rejection of Jesus has brought us the richness of Salvation and a relationship with God ... how much more will we receive when their fulfillment and reinstatement takes place!! 

Paul, in a masterful stroke of debate, then addresses the Gentiles [us]. He confirms the thought that since He perceives God's plan for the ultimate fulfillment of Israel, and is bringing the Good News of Salvation to the Gentiles, he is actually increasing his ministry to his fellow Jews. He can speak to them as a Jew, revealing God's reasons for their hardening and hopefully, stirring them up so they will seek God's truth, and thereby see some of them [a remnant] saved. And he points out that "If the first portion of dough [offered as the first fruits of the harvest of souls] is declared holy, so is the whole batch. And if the root (Abraham and the patriarchs) are declared holy, so are the branches (the Israelites). We must remember that the first Believers in the Body of Christ [Christians, if you will] were Jewish -- that includes all the disciples and most of the authors of the Bible. So, if the conversion of these Jews [the first portion of the dough] was holy and good, then the whole batch will also be holy and good, when the complete harvest is brought in. And it is the complete harvest at the end of the age that we are awaiting!

Romans 11 then addresses the familiar passage about broken off branches and wild olive shoots, and the merging of the two through grafting. I have heard so many different explanations for what this passage means, but at its heart, it's really very simple. It reveals the entire olive tree as a picture of the people of God. The "Branches" are the Jews; the "wild olive shoot" represents the Christian Gentiles; the "nourishing root" is made up of the Patriarchs (Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob), who were the ancestors of the Israelites, called by God. We need to understand that our grafting in was by the sovereign will of God; it was not a natural occurrence to graft in a wild shoot to a natural branch. That would only result in an unfruitful harvest. But this grafting was by Divine Providence; not by anything we did to deserve it. In fact, Paul cautions the Gentile Believers, "Do not boast over the [broken] branches and exalt yourself at their expense... remember that it is not you who supports the root, but the root that supports you".

This is where the modern-day Church has often missed the boat. The Christians who believe in Replacement Theology feel that Christianity and Christians are superior to Israel in God's eyes. Not true! We must understand that they were temporarily broken off because of their unbelief, and we were grafted in because of our faith. It is only by God's grace and kindness that we now enjoy His favor because we have believed in the truth of Christ's deity and sacrifice. We must see and understand that God did not spare the natural branches, not only because they continued trying to secure God's favor through their works of the Law, but also because of their rebellion in rejecting Jesus's deity.

BUT, I want to take a moment to take a look at a principle that must be discussed at this juncture in the post ... Here's an addendum to the understanding of the olive tree narrative. We will only remain grafted in [and seen as God's people] if we continue in our faith and obedience to Him. Paul says, "otherwise you, too, will be cut off ". If we, as a person, or a nation, think we are secure in God's kindness and grace because we call ourselves a "Believer", or "a Christian nation", and yet we do not respect the understanding that a future remnant of Israel will once again resume their place of honor in God's plan to save the whole world, then just being Saved will not deliver us from God's judgment. It is worth repeating Paul's words again: "Appreciate the gracious kindness and the severity of God ... continue in His kindness [through faith and obedience], or otherwise you, too, will be cut off". I am not saying we lose our Salvation. But I am saying we are jeopardizing His protection and His deliverance from judgment. Think very seriously about that! 

So, how do you think we, as a nation, will fare with God when you consider how we are treating Israel in the present circumstances in our world? It doesn't matter whether Israel and its leaders are acting righteously -- or not; if they currently see Jesus as their Messiah yet -- or not; if they resemble the righteous remnant that God says He will always have in Israel -- or not. It matters that there IS a remnant that will step into their position when God wills it! We must continue to exhibit our faith and obedience, strengthening that remnant for their position in world history! That is our purpose in God's plan!      

Now, I want to return to Paul's conversation, and one that I don't believe many Christians have been taught or discern ... Paul says if the unbelieving Jews do not continue in their unbelief, they will be grafted in, for God has the power to graft them in again As Paul so eloquently articulates, "For if you [Gentile Christians] were cut off from what is by nature a wild olive tree, and against nature, were grafted into a cultivated olive tree, how much easier will it be to graft these who are the natural branches back into [the original parent stock of] their own olive tree"? Paul then lays out the foundation of his argument. We must not think ourselves wise enough to see the whole picture, but recognize that God [through Paul] was revealing what had before that moment in time, been hidden ... a partial hardening/blinding has [temporarily] happened to Israel [to last] until the full number of Gentiles have received Salvation. And only God knows what that number is, which is why we must continue to witness of the saving grace of Christ -- because it is all for the sake of Israel!!

You read that correctly! It will be because of us and our spreading of the Gospel that all Jews who have a personal faith in Jesus as their Messiah will call on the Name of the Lord and be Saved! Hallelujah! As hard as it may be for you to see God's plan, it is brilliant and full of mercy and love for all people! Yes, Israel and the Jews are [at the present time] enemies of God for our sake -- so that more may receive Salvation! But from God's standpoint they are still His chosen people and greatly loved by Him for the sake of the Fathers of our faith (Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob). And here is the verse that you need to grasp with all your heart and mind ... "For the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable. [That means irreversible; binding; everlasting]. He does not withdraw what He has given, nor does He change His mind about those to whom He gives His grace or to whom He sends His call". 

Know this! All of Israel who believes in Jesus as the Messiah and Son of God will be Saved! It has always been God's plan that we understand this mystery. It has always been His plan to save the whole world through the fullness of Israel as His chosen people to carry out His plan. That fullness involves: 1) the full number who will be saved by calling on the Name of the Lord; 2) they will operate in full power from God; 3) they will operate in the full character of God; 4) they will enter into their full purpose as the world leadership who will shepherd nations to faith in Christ. 

So, can you understand that even though it may not look like it at the moment, God is working His plan! Israel's future is connected to His plan for the Body of Christ. And woe to those people and nations who interfere with that plan or work, hoping to destroy Israel. I am personally aware of the small remnant of Israelites and Jews who are stepping into their Divine role. I see God at work and trust that He will bring His kindness to those who support this holy remnant, and His severity to those who come against His chosen remnant. Pray that we as people and a nation make the right choices. Now is not the time to be disobedient and ignore God's warnings. For from Him and through Him all things live and exist; and to Him all things are directed. To Him be glory and honor forever! Amen.

Jeremiah 30:24.     The fierce [righteous] anger of the Lord will not turn back until He has fulfilled and until He has accomplished the intent of His heart [mind]; In the latter days you will understand this.    


August 20, 2023

Part 3: What Did Paul Mean By The Mysteries of God?

In the last post I wrote about what Jesus meant in Matthew 13 when He said, "To you it has been granted to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it has not been granted". Jesus spoke to His small group of faithful disciples who had heard and received His teaching on God's plan to redeem Israel so they [Israel] might reveal Him to the world. These plans were "mysteries" to the crowds who showed up to hear Jesus teach, largely because they had forgotten -- or no longer paid attention to -- the prophecies [of the Messiah] that God had sent through His prophets of old. 

That's why He often cautioned witnesses of His power [and miracles] to not tell others about what He had done. Satan must not get a glimpse of God's redemptive work [through Israel] before Calvary could happen. The Enemy must not figure out that God planned for Israel to become a kingdom of priests that would influence and lead the Gentiles to a saving knowledge of Jesus as King of God's earthly kingdom. While this initial plan did not play out, we will see that it ultimately does come to fruition at Christ's return.

That understanding leads me to the next step in our study of what the Bible tells us about God's "mysteries". So, let's now consider Paul's statement to the Jews of Israel in Romans 11:25,  I do not want you, believers, to be unaware of this mystery [God’s previously hidden plan]—so that you will not be wise in your own opinion—that a partial hardening has [temporarily] happened to Israel [to last] until the full number of the Gentiles has come in; and so [at that time] all Israel [that is, all Jews who have a personal faith in Jesus as Messiah] will be saved; just as it is written [in Scripture].  So while Jesus's mission was to point the unbelieving Jews  back to the prophecies of the Messiah, so that they might recognize Him and step into Israel's earthly kingdom role, Paul speaks to mysterious things Jesus never mentions. In fact, what Paul reveals are Godly mysteries that were intentionally hidden until it was time for the Holy Spirit to reveal them to Paul. 

Consider the teachings of Paul ... Throughout Romans, 1 Corinthians, Ephesians, Colossians, Titus, and 1 Timothy, we find Paul teaching about the events/God's plans that establish His heavenly kingdom on earth: the temporary hardening [and fall] of Israel; salvation by faith without the necessity of the Mosaic Law; the formation of the Gentile Church and the Body of Christ; salvation being made available to all Jews and Gentiles without preference or distinction; the Rapture and Christ's return for His Bride; and the ultimate wrath of God against all who reject the Kingship of Jesus. 

Remember, when Jesus spoke to His disciples about God's program for Israel, it was understood that the original plans were for Israel alone. Jesus did not offer it to the Gentiles. At that time, there was a separation between Jew and Gentile. But after the Jews rejected Jesus, and there was no redeemed Israel, then the plan pivoted to salvation through the Gentiles, with the message taken to them by Paul. But Paul makes it clear that God has not cast away Israel! It will eventually be a restored Israel that will reach whatever unbelieving Gentiles remain on the earth and invite them into King Jesus's earthly kingdom. 

I think it is important that we realize that Jesus's mysteries, and Paul's mysteries, are revealed for two separate reasons; those reasons are not the same. Jesus's ministry was primarily to the Jews, and it was mysterious to the citizens of Israel because so many no longer believed that the prophecies of old would materialize in their lifetime. They had been subjected to so much bondage from other "kingdoms" -- [Egypt, Babylon, Persia, Greece, and Rome] -- that they were naturally skeptical that the prophecies of the Messiah would ever come true. So, Jesus revealed God's mysterious plan for Israel to a few trusted followers and believers. 

But the mysteries that Paul preached were the mysterious plans of God that had been kept "hidden" until after His original plan did not transpire [because of Israel's unbelief], and they could be revealed to Paul by the Holy Spirit. These mysteries would become the fulfillment of Daniel's prophecy that said, "In the days of those [final ten] kings the God of heaven will set up a kingdom that will never be destroyed, nor will its sovereignty be left for another people; but it will crush and put an end to all these kingdoms, and it will stand forever". They are the mysteries that would ultimately lead to God's heavenly kingdom on earth, which is why He had to keep them hidden until Christ went to the Cross at Calvary!

You see, Satan thought he had defeated God at Calvary. The prophesied Messiah was judged and crucified by the very people God had commissioned to lead the world to the knowledge of the Most High God, Jehovah Adonai! Instead, Jesus defeated Satan's most devastating strategy [Death] by dying, Himself, for all of us and offering a way to be free from Satan's bondage. You see, God's plan was bigger than the devil knew! YHWH would now work His plan through a different spokesman and a different group of humans, but the end result would be the same. The Gentiles would spread the Gospels of Salvation and Kingdom to the ends of the earth, bringing Israel back into the fold. And once the Christian ekklesia is taken up to Heaven in what we know as "the Rapture", God will restore Israel to their original role of teaching the world of the sovereignty and glory of YHWH and Yeshua's righteous rule. 

As you can see, the "mysteries" that are revealed by Jesus and Paul are quite different, but they both point to the Sovereignty and Supremacy of our God. In the next post, I will discuss exactly what mysteries were revealed by Paul; those secrets that were hidden in the past, but revealed after Christ's resurrection -- many of which are still playing out today. Join me as we discover the glory and wisdom of God as He establishes His heavenly kingdom on earth.

Romans 11:33     Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and decisions and how unfathomable and untraceable are His ways! 


November 15, 2022

Thoughts On The State Of Our Country and The World

I have been waiting for the dust to settle after the recent election before making any kind of comment -- although it looks as if the final outcome is still days away. And don't worry ... this is anything but a political post. In fact, what I have to say is this: I think it's about time for Christians to face the fact that the solution(s) to what ails our country doesn't lie in politics. Our troubles are spiritual, not temporal, and until this nation repents for its unrighteousness in all spheres of influence, and changes its soul and spirit, we are only going to continue to degrade the quality of our lives and the heart of this country.

We Christians need to come to terms with the Biblical truth that we cannot serve two masters. We cannot effectively serve both political ideologies and God. We cannot serve earthly goods, property, and riches and still adequately serve God. We cannot promote social causes with the same passion that we advocate for the Kingdom of God -- one or the other is going to suffer. Please understand that I know the motivations and intentions of Christians in these areas is only for the good of us all. But we need to begin thinking about this from God's perspective. That is what true repentance looks like. 

Just as Jesus explained to the Pharisees in Mark 12, it's okay to give to Caesar (or any other authority) what is due them, just be as diligent to give God His due. And if we find ourselves out of balance in making choices as to which will receive our heart, then our culture, our nation, and the world will suffer the consequences. You see, the condition of the human heart is at the center of the state in which we find ourselves. God looks down upon us and sees all the ways that our fleshly hearts have reduced His presence in our daily lives, and sees how that has affected our human condition. And He has seen it happen over and over since the Garden of Eden. How mankind's repetitive history must cause Him pain!

And it is such a recurring and predictable theme. I am reminded of a quote from Marine Combat Veteran and Author, G. Michael Hopf ... "Hard times create strong men. Strong men create good times. Good times create weak men. And weak men create hard times". That is a cycle that has repeated itself throughout history. It is because at each turn of the cycle, men's hearts either embrace or reject God. 

We see it throughout the Bible in the history of the Israelites and the Jewish people ... The entrance into the Promised Land was fraught with danger and afflictions, yet Joshua rose up as a strong warrior that followed God's leading and the Israelites gained ground in the land God promised them, and they prospered. But weak men ruled after Joshua's death, and there was no one to point Israel to YHWH, and the Enemy was able to divide and conquer the people. Sound familiar? We also see this play out in the kings of Judah, where the good times were a result of kings who chose to be strong in their faith and repudiate the pagan gods that the people had turned to. But it wasn't long before those good times led the people to become lax in following God's statutes and they returned to their wicked ways. And these weak men led to God's judgment and hard times for the Jews until a new king rose up and again battled to tear down the altars and the high places, resulting in God's favor and the good times and prosperity returned. And so the cycle continued.

We need to take a serious step back and ask ourselves if this country is not repeating those times of prosperity followed by days of destructive courses of action. As long as God is removed as the governing spirit of this nation, what can we expect? He is either the central purpose of our efforts and His ways are what we seek first, or we take our eyes off Him because we think we've found a different direction that will make the world a better place. But that keeps us tied to the world and its systems!

As for me, I am truly at the stage in my life when I understand at the deepest levels of my flesh, soul, and spirit that I do not want to live in the systems of this world. I want to live in God's Kingdom systems. I don't want to be affected by the cycles of men who go from strong to weak, depending on their faith and reliance on God. I also totally understand that because we live in a sinful world, and as long as I am in this temporal body, I am going to be at the mercy of mankind's cycles. But I am no longer going to rely on those cycles to define the condition of my life. 

Whatever befalls our nation or the world, I will seek God's wisdom, not men's; God's will, not men's. And if men will align themselves with what God reveals to me, then I can support them as they become the Joshua's and the King Josiah's  and the Disciples of Jesus that we so desperately need today. I will only be too happy to praise them as we come together and see righteousness return to this nation. Until then, I can only pray that God hears the fervent prayers of His remnant and heals our land. 

#stateofthenation #politicsisnottheanswer #returntorighteousness #hardtimes

Romans 12:2     And do not be conformed to this world [any longer with its superficial values and customs], but be transformed and progressively changed [as you mature spiritually] by the renewing of your mind [focusing on godly values and ethical attitudes], so that you may prove [for yourselves] what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect [in His plan and purpose for you].


October 9, 2022

The Writing On The Wall


I have no doubt that this blog will not be found favorable among many of my fellow Christians who follow the prophets of hope and divine deliverance from the world's current deterioration. I want to point out that we really do have a lot in common -- our belief in the eternal promises of the One True God; our desire to seek a righteous life before the Lord and to serve His Kingdom; and our hatred of the evil that has infiltrated our culture. But as soon as I speak about what I discern will be judgment against the nations [and cite why we deserve it], then I sense a difference in the understanding of what our future might hold.

It is clear to me that the rise and fall of nations throughout history all have the hand of God upon them. No empire has lasted forever, and certainly not from their own power. And as Christians, we have ample examples in the Bible. In the Old Testament, both Israel and Judah were judged for their apostasy; arrogance; sexual perversion; hypocritical and corrupt priests and prophets; and the dishonest and immoral conduct of the rich and powerful. Injustice ruled the day. But many Christians will say, that was the Old Testament. They will proclaim that God set up a new covenant through His Son, Jesus Christ, and we are His heirs of a new Kingdom on earth. The will further attest that God desires to give us His Grace, Mercy, and Favor to defeat evil and help establish a new Heaven on Earth, with Jesus establishing His throne in our midst. God's anger and wrath is held for those who reject His offer of salvation.

But God's judgment against unrighteous nations continued in the New Testament. Bibleask.org gives a succinct and valid example in the case of Israel, God's favored nation. After the inhabitants of Judah were taken into captivity in Babylon in 586 B.C., the Lord brought the Jews back to their homeland and rebuilt Jerusalem to bring about His plans for saving the world through the Messiah. But after the Jews crucified the Messiah, God finally destroyed the nation of Israel by way of the Romans in 70 A.D.  The people were taken captive and the city razed to the ground. For thousands of years, God had been patient, waiting for His chosen people to fulfill their God-appointed assignment of taking the knowledge of Him to the world. As sad as it is, the truth is that Israel's rejection of God, resulted in His rejection of them until one day in the future when they will recognize Him as the Messiah that God had promised them, and He will restore them to their position as His world leaders.

Soooo, for those Christians who think that we will remain exempt from God's anger and that we will not stand in judgment for our own "apostasy; arrogance; sexual perversion; hypocritical and corrupt priests and prophets; and the dishonest and immoral conduct of our rich and powerful"  -- just as ancient Judah and Israel were -- doesn't know or understand the fullness of the character and attributes of God. Yes, He is "longsuffering", which means patient, forgiving, charitable, tolerant, and understanding. But He is also Holy and righteous. There comes a time when He says, "Enough is enough and I will tolerate no more". We have done everything that the rebellious nations in the Bible have done [and I'm not too sure it isn't more]. There will be a day of accountability. And I believe that prophets who deny that are mistaken. Perhaps they believe that there will be seasons of relenting, and periods of renewal. Or maybe they are describing what it looks like after the return of Jesus when there will be revival and restoration of God's Truth and Sovereignty. But if there is denial of judgment, then I believe they are not rightly representing what Scripture tells us.

I have always found such amazing insight in the Book of Daniel. As I mentioned earlier [and in a blog from April, 2021: The rise and decline of nations throughout history all have the hand of God upon them. Daniel, that great prophet of the Bible, who had favor and compassion from God, proclaimed that "It is He who changes the times and the seasons; He removes kings and establishes kings" (Daniel 2:21). It is evident that God determines the ways in which a nation progresses and develops. If a nation and its leaders stray from the precepts of God's counsel, then history will see them exit the stage according to His will.

The Bible gives us an example of this when Daniel interprets the handwriting on the wall at King Belshazzar's feast: God has numbered the days of your kingdom and put an end to it; —you have been weighed on the scales [of righteousness] and found wanting [deficient]. That very night, Belshazzar's kingdom fell to the Medes and Persians. It happened suddenly -- like "a thief in the night". Do you think the nations are found "wanting" today? What about the nations in Venezuela, Brazil and Central America whose governments have created such a surge of poor and desperate people to our borders? What about the nation of Mexico who has surrendered to violent organizations who extort its own people to benefit their trafficking and drug trade? What about our own beloved nation? What does God think of us as the Number One destination of trafficked and enslaved people? Aren't we due His wrath and judgment for failure to acknowledge Him as we continue to idolize wealth, power, sexual perversion and abortion, which is done in the same spirit as ancient child sacrifice? 

Take a look at Daniel 5 and read the story of King Belshazzar of Babylon. As he and his thousands of nobles feasted among Judah's stolen riches, they "praised the gods of gold and silver, of bronze, iron, wood and stone". Suddenly a human hand appeared and wrote Mene, Mene, Tekel, Parsin on the wall. It frightened Belshazzar so much he went weak in the knees. When Daniel prophesied the end of his kingdom (see above paragraph), he not only lost his power, but his life that night. Read that again ... his kingdom was destroyed that very night; taken from him like a "thief in the night". We desperately need to understand that when God says it, it will surely come to pass. 

Believe me, I do not like writing blogs like this. But if we cannot see the handwriting on the wall regarding our current situation, then we have fallen for a powerful delusion to lull us into compliance with the Enemy's plans to dominate the world. We must be bold and declare the Truth, just as Daniel did, even when doing so threatened his life. Silence has been contagious in the American Church. But Courage is the hallmark of a true Disciple of Christ, and it is contagious, too. That theory did not originate with me, but it has been true since the beginning of time, and especially true for those who profess genuine faith in Christ. 

My friends, it is time to recognize the handwriting on the wall, and decide that you will not hide in fear and silence. We were not born for this time to worry about ourselves and what we see happening in the world. It is only important to understand from the level that we can educate others to the hour of our destiny. And the good news is that I know there are pockets of righteous followers of Christ who are in alignment with the Word and walking in Spirit and Truth. They represent the Remnant that God will use to make His final moves on the cosmic chessboard. But the ultimate question we all need to be asking ourselves is this .... when the Judgment is final, and the Lord resides on the earth, "Will He know me"? 

#writingonthewall #Godsjudgment #Godsanger #Godjudgesthenations #thiefinthenight 

Psalm 110:5-7  The Lord is at your right hand; He will shatter kings on the day of His wrath.  He will execute judgment among the nations, filling them with corpses; He will shatter chiefs over the wide earth. He will drink from the brook by the way; therefore He will lift up His head.

August 16, 2022

"Christian Nationalism": What Does God Say?

The night before He was crucified, Jesus prayed for His followers. In His conversation with the Father, He lamented that the world hated them because they were not of the world anymore than He was. He asked that we be protected from the Evil one, set apart by His Truth. And so, we Christians who seek both His Spirit and Truth, have found that our position in the world is not easily or readily accepted, or understood. The world tries to classify us or categorize us by any number of different and rigid standards; pigeonhole us if you will -- and usually in opposition to whatever the current cultural ideology that is prevalent. And before you know it, the world has determined they know what our beliefs are and proclaims that there is a new Christian "movement".

I feel compelled to comment on the latest extremist label we've all been assigned to, which is "Christian Nationalism". What exactly is that? If you ask 10 different opinion-makers, you will get 10 different answers ... everything from Christianity.com who defines it as "fully devoted followers of Jesus Christ", to the Encyclopedia Britannica's definition of "the Christian whose devotion and loyalty to the nation-state surpasses other individual or group interests", to The Atlantic opinion editor who labeled Christian Nationalists as "religious radicals". In other words, if we are a Christian, love this country, and believe we are better when we follow God's principles, we stand in danger of being labeled extremist. So, not knowing any Believer who identified as a Nationalist, I was curious to see if there was actually an organization for proclaimed Christian Nationalists. Sure enough, there was!

ChristianNationalism.com is the official media outlet of the Christian National Alliance and gives their mission statement as follows: "We believe in the principle of America First and advocate the Three C’s: Christianity, Culture and Capitalism." The ten tenets of their Alliance are founded on various social, political, religious, and cultural beliefs. In fact, the Alliance openly states that a Christian Nationalist "adheres to a political platform that advocates for Christian principles in government and law." This of course naturally leads to the argument of "Separation of Church and State". It also leads to the consistently controversial Romans 13:1-2 minefield ... Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God. Consequently, whoever rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgment on themselves. Naturally, there's a lot of room for disparity and misunderstanding in what exactly a Christian Nationalist is.

I find that whenever there is a new adjective or descriptive phrase that the culture bandies about, there's lots of room for distortion and confusion. I mean, there will be factions within the so-called "movement" that don't even agree on what they stand for, let alone those on the outside that want to throw shade to discredit the movement with their sneering expressions of contempt or disgust. And what do you get? Division, discord, lies, and alienation ... just what Satan delights in!

So how should we Christians approach this ideology? Is it Biblical? Would Jesus approve or support Christian Nationalism? I will be honest and tell you that considering the state of our nation today, I was concerned that the passion with which I've seen Christians pursuing political answers to our national problems would outweigh what I clearly see as spiritual issues. I really had to step back and see what God had to say about nations in His Word. Was nation-building part of His plan? I found a fascinating article on tomorrowsworld.org that made me pause and seriously deliberate these questions in light of our own situation. Let me share what I discovered for your own contemplation ...

First of all, I knew that the Gospel of the Kingdom of God that Jesus brought with Him was all about what a moral and righteous government looked like. I knew He was bringing a new system of lawfulness and fraternity to a world deeply in need of a new way to govern itself. And I fully understood that God knew what He was doing when He chose Abraham to be a part of His world governing plan: I’ll make you a great nation and bless you ... All the families of the Earth will be blessed through you. So, it looks like God is in favor of nations, per se. 

Then God got down to business with building the nation of Israel when He ordained Moses to bring them out of slavery in Egypt. He fully intended them to be the role model for other nations to follow. And this is what He instructed Moses to tell them: I’m teaching you the rules and regulations that God commanded me, so that you may live by them in the land you are entering to take up ownership. Keep them. Practice them. You’ll become wise and understanding. When people hear and see what’s going on, they’ll say, “What a great nation! So wise, so understanding! We’ve never seen anything like it” (Deuteronomy 4:5-6).

After establishing a model of government, what was God's next step in building the nation of Israel? He put them on a solid religious footing with correct religious beliefs [taking them out of the idol worship of their 400 years in Egypt] and establishing foundational values for the new nation. These laws would make them stand out from the other nations of the world, and the laws were free to be used by any other developing nation. God next trained and instructed good Godly leaders for the nation of Israel. As the article points out, "God told Moses to staff his government with "able men, such as [those who] fear God; men of truth, hating covetousness" (Exodus 18:21). God indicated that He would choose the king, that foreigners were not to lead the nation of Israel and that a leader should not use his office to enrich himself (Deuteronomy 17:14–20)." How far have we strayed from that principle?

This advice would lead to God's standards and keys to good government; not today's criteria by which we choose our political leaders: popularity, voter appeal, good television presence, excellence in repartee and skill at fundraising. So we must ask this question: How far have we strayed from God's principles, and where does Christian Nationalism stand on this issue? Are Nationalists concerned with how candidates for national office fare according to God's standards, or the current criteria for office-holders?

The next step in God's process of Nation building was to establish a model for education. God's instructions always emphasized the parents' role in teaching children the fundamental truths and values of God... to grow in wisdom, to gain knowledge of how to serve others, and to develop the mind and character of God. Unless Christian Nationalism endorses a change from the current education system that gives more power to educational leaders than to parents, and unless they propose a return to a Biblical foundation of learning versus modern political philosophies and systems of government, then "America First" will never re-establish our greatness or prosperity. 

So, now we come down to the crux of our dilemma regarding "Christian Nationalism". It clearly means different things to different people. To the writer of The Atlantic op-ed, even Catholic rosary beads have become a symbol of radical Christian Nationalism. He writes, "Just as the AR-15 rifle has become a sacred object for Christian nationalists in general, the rosary has acquired a militaristic meaning for radical-traditional (or ‘rad trad’) Catholics ...
On this extremist fringe, rosary beads have been woven into a conspiratorial politics and absolutist gun culture. These armed radical traditionalists have taken up a spiritual notion that the rosary can be a weapon in the fight against evil and turned it into something dangerously literal." Really?!?! Spiritual warfare through prayer is a spiritual weapon that God authorizes to defeat Satan and his demons. It is hardly comparable to a weapon of metal made by man.

On the other end of the spectrum, to the Christian National Alliance, political power is at the center of their "God and Country" philosophy. They seem to believe that the solutions to our national problems lie in rebuilding our national structure according to strict and rigid religious and government philosophies. But, I always have to ask myself if this is what Jesus preached. Taken too far, we can easily see the Pharisees and how they used religion and political power to limit the freedom of people to see God. I agree that this nation has deteriorated into a dysfunctional system of crime, violence, greed, sexual perversion, lawlessness, and selfish ambition. And yes, we need to return to Biblical principles, but Jesus never taught us that we could build Godly nations through our human efforts. We would always need to be willing to hear from Him, the Father, and Holy Spirit, and act on their instruction.

In fact, He tells us that conditions in the world will grow worse and "nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom", until Jesus, Himself, will have to intervene to prevent us from destroying each other and ourselves. Jesus will restore this earth to the dominion of God and establish God's Kingdom on earth, "as it is in Heaven'. It is Jesus who will take over the government of the earth and appoint qualified saints to positions of authority and leadership in civil and religious roles. It is Jesus and His saints that will institute true nation building and only then will the nations of the world come into alignment with His righteous religion, righteous government, and righteous education.

I don't like attaching labels or movements to Christians. Through right relationship with Him, and acting in our callings and appointments, we should be able to walk in unity to see His holy and righteous government instituted. I honor and revere the Christians in our national history who stood for their beliefs and hopes that this nation would adhere to God's Biblical tenets of nation building. And I would like nothing more than to see Godly men rise to the challenge of making this country fit the role model God outlined for us in the Bible. To be honest, I'm not sure we can achieve it at the rate we're going. Remember, it was God who built the nation of Israel, and they were only as successful as the men who walked in obedience to His plan. BUT THIS I KNOW! There is a day soon to come, when the government of this world will rest on the shoulders of our Lord, and all nations will walk in peace, comfort, and joy. Nations and families will be rebuilt; wars will be no more; and the environment will be restored. The Prince of Peace will reign and the glory and the honor of the Lord will be on full display! That's the future I believe in! 

#ChristianNationalism #BiblicalTruth #GodsPlansForTheNations #ChristianMovements

Isaiah 14:26-27   This is the plan determined for the whole world; this is the hand stretched out over all nations. For the Lord Almighty has purposed, and who can thwart him? His hand is stretched out, and who can turn it back?