The Kingdom of Heaven - Made in America?
We have just had an intense season of politicking. The U.S. election for President was contentious, not only in the U.S., but in the rest of the world too. Many of you who have been on the list for a while know that we urged our readers to vote not for a man, but for the Lord Jesus Christ. We were not speaking metaphorically, but of a committed mind and heart that puts its trust in God, rather than men. When all people put their trust in God, seeking and doing what is right in His sight, there will be no fighting in wars or elections. That is the Kingdom of God on earth.
We cannot do this by our strength or wisdom. Indeed, we are deemed foolish by many to preach such a message. However, we cannot do anything except speak the truth we are given. God has ordained this time for these things to be.
In this election many preached voting as a Christian duty, and in particular,
voting for Bush as a professing evangelical Christian who would supposedly
represent Christ's interests. Victor wrote a letter responding to an
article in an online magazine that promoted voting in this manner.
Everything serves the purposes of God in its time and place. We are thankful for all that He has done, and is doing in this great day.
The letter from Victor:
Greetings in the Lord Jesus Christ,
Rick, my desire is not to "rain on your parade" but to preach the truth. In preaching the truth, however, I think it is a downpour for you and your works. You would necessarily have to reconsider and repent of your present thinking and resultant activities.
Please read Daniel, chapter two, in which the Lord gives Daniel the revelation of the coming kingdoms. Having read, I ask you:
Is it the duty of a Christian, in America or anywhere else, to re-arrange, or improve upon, or to transform the feet and toes of iron and clay into the Kingdom of Heaven?
Surely, you are proposing that believers in Christ exert their influence and "better judgment" to change America, and by extension, I would think, the whole world, into the Kingdom of Heaven on earth. That is, of course, unless you mean something quite different by "the City of God." You write (and pray):
"By Your Holy Spirit we dedicate ourselves to purify this nation, redeem this culture, and encourage the saints to build the City of God in this place."
It is clearly declared by Daniel that the Kingdom of God would be a separate entity altogether from the other kingdoms. What are you doing then, in trying to change an existent kingdom (America or any other)? It also declares that the Kingdom of Heaven would not be by any works that people do, in that it says:
"You watched until a stone was cut out without hands, which struck the image
upon its feet which were of iron and clay, and broke them to pieces" (Daniel 2:34 MKJV).
You are proposing hands, and moreover, hands that remake the image destined for destruction, are you not? That is what the Psalmist spoke of when he said:
"Concerning the works of men, by the Words of Your lips, I am kept from the paths
of the destroyer" (Psalms 17:4 MKJV).
You, in effect, are proposing man's righteousness, man's works, as religious and as well-meaning as they appear to be. However, they are not well-meaning at all. How can they be? Wherein does the Lord get the glory when men trust in their own hands to have formed the work?
Am I saying that we, as believers, are to do nothing? Not at all! I am saying that our work, as Jesus said, is "to believe on Him Whom He has sent," and to bear witness unto Him, to preach the truth. "Occupying until He comes" does not speak of voting for men who are not voting for God (no, neither of them vote for Him or they would not be thinking, saying, doing and trusting all those things they do). We are to urge people to repent of their self-righteousnesses and to turn to God with their hearts. We are not called upon, as true believers, to be imposing our laws and morals upon the world's unbelieving inhabitants. That is what war and despotism are all about. Let me ask you this:
Where in Scripture (Old or New Testament) do you see any evidence of believers taking it upon themselves to change this world's governments or empires? Noah did not do it; our father Abraham did not do it; Jacob did not do it (not even in Egypt), Joseph did not do it; Moses did not do it, nor did any other. Jesus Himself said, "My Kingdom is not of this world. If it were of this world, then would My servants fight." They gave their lives to preach the Good News, to represent the Lord as He gave them to do so, and not to oppose Caesar, Pilate, Herod or any other man or institution. They were and today are sent to preach Christ, not to better political and heathen arrangements.
Babylon was the first and greatest empire. Daniel prophesies so. It was represented by gold. We are now down to democracy, composed of iron and DIRT, the ruling and the ruled trying to make it happen, the sheep appointing and telling the "shepherd" what to do. Democracy is the dregs of the historical process to which God has subjected us, yet you are glorifying and trying to uphold democracy with its inherent features such as voting as though it was the best ever, or at least worthy of preservation. If gold, and silver, and bronze are to be removed, how much more this latter kingdom of men? Indeed, are you not in error, and encouraging others in it?
The law must be applied to the heart, and not to the body as you propose, to be effectual in society. Only God can give new hearts, and that does not come by our voting for men who on the one hand, propose to save the unborn, but on the other hand, support the Cheney's who slaughter both foreign nations and their own countrymen for financial gain. Even if Cheney and Bush are innocent, our answer does not lie with Bush or any other man, people. Our only hope is Jesus Christ. You are not saying that. I repeat: You are not saying that. Therefore, you are found to be false witnesses, in that you claim faith in Christ while you do what you do, misleading people.
You are using your profession of faith in Christ to further your trust in men. You are preaching a christ in the flesh, and not the Crucified Christ. That adds sin to sin, and you will find all your works burned up as wood, hay and stubble, I assure you.
Whether one fights by ballot or bullet, it is all the same to the Lord. He seeks those who worship Him in Spirit and in truth, and not by a righteousness that is not founded in Him. You use Proverbs 20:15 as your Scripture to underline your works, but if what I say to you is true (and it is), then you can hardly be righteously claiming to be speaking knowledge. It is the knowledge of men that you go by and propose, but not the knowledge of God. The knowledge of God delivers from destruction, but the knowledge of men leads astray.