Purified Identity, Perfected Salvation
& the Coming Fall of the U.S.
March 7, 1988
Dear Friends and Relatives in Jesus,
Greetings! And welcome to another time of fellowship around the Word of the Lord. It is my hope that you found our first article on "Spiritual Pharisaism" to be of help and benefit to your faith.
By now, most of you have received a copy of my foundational manuscript entitled: Flight from Babylon: The Coming Salvation from the Works of Collective Society. If you have read it, you know what I have to say about our relationship as Christians to world governments, especially the United States,
Today's article is going to build on some of the understandings laid in that writing. In the process, we're going to learn more about what our true relationship to the United States is and ought to be as the "called-out" People of God. We're going to see what God's true purpose was in allowing the formation of this nation, who is truly responsible for its blessings, and who is responsible for its soon demise.
(If you have not read your copy of Flight from Babylon, I encourage you to do so. It will help your understanding of this article immensely. If you have not received a manuscript but would like one, please write and ask for one. However, because there are so few left, I ask that you not request one unless you will commit to read it and then pass it on to others interested.)
As is common with me, many of my articles arise out of my personal encounters and discussions with others, often by letter. Today's article is no exception. This winter, it has been my privilege to sojourn in the southeastern United States and to observe with keen interest the political primary process toward the next election. The keen interest for us all is the candidacy of Pat Robertson.
In the South, many charismatic churches have become virtual political machines overnight, and their services turned into political rallies. (I personally heard Robertson at one of South Carolina's largest charismatic assemblies three weeks ago. The following week, the gift of prophecy was being used to "prophesy" him into office.)
Not only so, but "politics makes strange bedfellows" --- even among Christians -- as Robertson (a charismatic) was given place to speak at the nation's largest militant fundamentalist, "anti-charismatic" institution, Bob Jones University. (Anyone acquainted with Bob Jones University knows that charismatic involvement is a matter for extreme "separation," which makes Robertson's permission to speak there an event of historic proportions.)
Robertson's political support is not overwhelming even in the South (as is being demonstrated this week in the southern primaries). But among charismatics, his support is fanatical, and gives cause for alarm. (Such mindless political support and also the strange union of denominational foes as preparatory for the Church's role in hailing the coming false messiah have already been foretold you in Flight from Babylon.)
The first part of today's article comes to you from a letter of mine to a charismatic friend in Georgia who is on the front lines of both God's move to restore prophecy to the Church, and also of Pat Robertson's campaign for president. That letter will be quoted nearly in entirety with slight alterations for clarity and to protect identities, The second part of the article will address some pertinent questions about Christian influence in national life.
May the Lord edify you through a prepared heart as you receive His Word for you within this article.
Purified Identity, Perfected Salvation and
the Coming Fall of the U.S.
Lately, I've been interested in our discussions concerning Pat Robertson. Since this subject is so much at the forefront of many things, and since the perspective I have on it is so different from most of my friends here, I feel like taking the time to write you a letter and spell out the entire perspective I have on it. Let me tell you up front that the perspective I have on it is not popular. Nevertheless, it is the basis of the message the Lord has given me for our times, and I am not ashamed of it. So let me share it with you.
As the Holy Spirit is pouring Himself out on us more and more, there is a certain excitement in the air. And as we see the changes He is making in us, we want to show the earth what God can do. We're excited in God, and we want the world to have this excitement too. We want to see the world changed for good.
Since we are especially seeing how powerful the Spirit is today, we've developed a new boldness and confidence we never had before - a boldness to take the Spirit's power and thrust where no man dared to thrust it before - namely, right out there in the political arena. Having tasted of God's power as never before, the Church feels that now we finally have the weapon to step in there, take over the political world, and make the whole thing Christian.
Yes. That all seems very good on the surface of it. But there's just one thing wrong. You see, amidst all this excitement, there is another equal reality that the Church is forgetting about. And while there is excitement now, in the long run, the Church is going to meet with a disaster of absolutely monumental proportions unless She picks up on this blind side. This other reality has to do with IDENTITY. Follow along as I explain this.
Progressive Re-alignment of Life According to New Identity
When we step back and look over the whole plan of salvation, we find one issue that salvation touches more deeply than anything. This is the issue of who we are in Christ (or - our "identity").
What is salvation? Salvation is basically a change in identity. In other words, when we are converted, we become someone we never were before (- a "new creation"). We have a brand new identity. Our old identity was in man (ie, the "world") under the control (kingdom) of darkness. But our new identity is in Christ. We are now born and exist of the very nature of God by Jesus Christ.
But that's not all. Our salvation is not just a first intrinsic change in our identity. Our salvation also has a progressive side. It is the ongoing change-over of everything we still are in this life (ie, in the "flesh") to come in line and conform to our new inward identity.
This means, once we are converted, we go on to bring every other "left-over" sense of identity we still have in natural life over to our awareness of who we are in Christ. We keep losing and yielding up our sense of identities relative to this life, displacing them with our awareness of identity in Christ alone. Do you follow me?
Jesus had a word for this. He called it "losing your life for my sake." By "life," He meant our sense of identity -- that by which we identify ourselves in the world, that in terms of which we measure our self-esteem and evaluate our self-worth.
Jesus was saying that true Christianity is a matter of our losing these awarenesses into our ever-expanding awareness of identity and worth in Him alone. Someday, when we attain perfection, that is the only sense of identity we will have - identity in Christ. (Do you see now how "identity" is the bottom-line issue in our salvation?)
OK. Let's elaborate a little further on this. The apostle Paul gave some examples of what it means when our identity in Christ takes over our identities in the world. Listen to this:
There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus... There is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcision nor uncircumcision. Barbarian, Scythian, bond nor free; but Christ is all, and in all. (Gal 5:28; Col 5:11)
These are just some of the identities we have inherited from the world that our salvation displaces. In the world - if you think about it - we carry many different identities. Consider all the organizations and clubs to which we belong. In every one of these we carry some kind of identification.
In employment, we are identified by our job description (you, for example, are a "realtor"). In clubs and civic groups, we may be identified by an office (like "treasurer") or by a rank (like "eagle scout"). This doesn't include all the natural identities we assume through natural relationship (husband, father, uncle, etc.) Really, the kinds of identities we carry in this world are too numerous to list. All of us carry a multiple set of identities from this world throughout life.
But here is the point: As we grow in our salvation (our awareness of who we are in Christ) we go on to lose our sense of identities inherited and acquired in this world. All of these become displaced by our sense of identity in Christ. We think of ourselves less and less in terms of who we are or what function we fill in this life, and more and more as simply "lovers of Jesus Christ."
- Defining True Holiness
Now that I have defined-salvation at its root as a matter of intrinsic and progressive "identity change," the true meaning of "holiness" becomes apparent.
”Holiness" means "separation." But in context of what we have described, this separation refers to our becoming estranged in our hearts from who we are in this world. It is a separation from our old awareness of identities in this world so we can become more fully possessed by our awareness of who we are in Christ.
This is true holiness. (Unfortunately, for most people "holiness" means to find one's identity in terms of some idea of what holiness means, not in simple single-hearted awareness of Jesus!)
- The Church's Salvation: Corporate Realignment of Identity
Are you with me so far? I hope so... To this point we have just been describing personal salvation. But what is true in personal salvation is also true concerning the perfecting of the complete Body of Christ. For in the process of saving us as individuals, God is saving to Himself a corporate body of People.
As individual salvation is a matter of changing identity, so is the corporate perfection of the Church a matter of the change of identity of an entire People from out of the corporate identities in the world. God is saving to Himself a People whose intrinsic identity is centred in Christ, and who are also progressing to become more and more openly recognized solely for belonging to Christ.
OK. Let's elaborate and apply this just as we did for individual salvation. This time I will quote from John's Revelation the words of the 24 elders around God's throne. Listen to this:
For thou hast redeemed us... out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation; And hast made us unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth."(Rev 5:9-10 see also 7:9)
Did you catch the "identity switch?" The elders were saying that at one time they were identified according to the natural people groups of the world, but now they have a unique corporate identity before God, and that this is what their redemption is all about.
(Also note, and don't miss this: their rulership on the earth is the result of the completion of their identity change (not before) and that their title as "kings" is with respect to (their upward gaze toward) God, not with respect to (their downward gaze over) the peoples of the world. This point is vital to our discussion later).
Peter elaborates on this unique corporate identity:
But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people... the people of God. (I Pt 2:9-10)
Did you catch the word "holy" again? What does it mean? It means that the Church is separate in identity from all natural people groups. As with individual world identities, so there are numerous corporate world identities. The elders named some of them, such as "kindreds" (ie, races), "tongues" (language groups), and - get this - "nations."
But then there are also lesser corporate world identities through political parties, business corporations, labour unions, clans and families, cultural and humanitarian organizations, private clubs, secret societies, universities and fraternities -- and the list goes on.
(Incidentally, it's quite appropriate here to mention that the very word "Church" in Greek means "called-out ones". This all speaks to our separate, distinct identity as the People of God from all other corporate groupings of people in the world.)
But what is the point? The point is that as in individual salvation, the Church's corporate salvation must carry on through a practical re-alignment of Her identity. God's People do not only have an intrinsically new separate identity, but they must go on to actually lose their sense of world identities and come into their own awareness of their exclusive identity in terms of Jesus Christ.
For the Church, progressive salvation means thinking of ourselves less and less in terms of what human nation we live in, or to what political party we are aligned, and rather more and more as just "the People of God." We must leave behind our sense of identity as members of this race, or that family, or this country, or that business corporation, or this college, or that civic club, etc.
The Meaning of Unholiness and a Look at Church History
Now I have laid the foundation for my case. In order to lead up to the punch line, I need to discuss the meaning of "unholiness" and also take a brief glance at Church history.
Earlier we said that holiness is the measure to which we lose our sense of identities relative to the world, displacing them with fuller awareness of our union with Christ.
Then what is unholiness?
Jesus used metaphors to describe unholiness. He spoke of casting pearls before swine and bread before dogs. For us in plain language, unholiness refers to taking our spiritual energy and the things God gives us for purifying our identity and redirecting them to reinforce our remaining identities in the world.
Unholiness is when we take the Bible, and our ministry, and our spiritual gifts, and we divert them to strengthen and justify our remaining affiliations with world-based identities. On the individual level, we do this when we use spiritual arguments to justify our personal commitments to the world.
Corporately, the Church does this when she twists Her ministries to make alliances and strengthen old identities in terms of the peoples and organizations of the world. (Our discussion is particularly interested in alliances between God's People and political parties).
All of this is unholiness. It comes down to us through Scripture as called "spiritual adultery." And in God's sight, it is an abomination.
Now let's sum up Church history. If there is one consistent hallmark of Church history (pertaining to the visible Church), it is that the Church has been repeatedly, successfully seduced by the world in every generation to use Her ministries to re-align and reinforce Her identity in terms of the nations out of which She has been called.
The first great occurrence of this was when the Church succumbed to becoming identified in terms of the Roman Empire. This produced what is still today called the Roman Catholic Church. After the Reformation, the same thing happened with the Protestant Churches. They became re-identified in terms of the cities and nations of northern Europe. Again, it happened at the founding of Massachusetts and then of the entire United States. The Church succumbed to re-identifying Herself in terms of the American people. This has been passed down through the persistent lie that the United States is a "Christian nation".
(According to Peter, there is only one Christian nation: the Church worldwide.) Based on this lie, the Church believes it is Her duty to keep trying to build up, preserve, and improve American society by committing Herself to further identification with all America's institutions -- most of all, Her Republican Party.
Coming Back to the Church's Blind Side
At the beginning of this letter I mentioned a "blind side" of the Church. Well - now I have named it for you. We, the Church in America, have been deceived into strengthening our worldly identities by God's Word instead of coming out of those identities and building our own exclusive identity in Christ,
And now that the Holy Spirit is being poured out on us, we are using the Spirit's gifts to do this all the more. We are trying to "prophesy" the United States back into something it never was when we should be prophesying our way out of it and into our completed union with Jesus Christ.
You see, it is only as the Church comes out of Her sense of identity with the world that She has a testimony to the world--something different that the world can see about Her. But as long as the Church is using the name of Jesus Christ to reinforce Her identity with nations like the United States, the nations cannot see Jesus in Her eyes -- only a reflection of themselves.
The key to conversion, whether of our personal friends, or of nations like the United States, is for us to lose our sense of identity with our friends and with the United States--not reinforce it. If we want to see them saved, our eyes must be heavenward on Jesus, not earthward on those we want to see saved. Their salvation can only come when they leave themselves to join us, not when we leave who we are to join them. There is no in-between on this.
Lately, there has been much talk of the Church "taking over the world." Well- for this to happen, it must be from the inside out. It is only as and after that we, God's People, become separated out from our sense of identity with the nations through steadfast gaze unto God that we will take over the world (See Rev 5:9-10 again, That's what the elders said.)
But if we think we can take the world over by committing our spiritual energies to reinforcing our identification with the nations, their political systems and institutions, we are in for a terrible surprise. It is We who will be taken over.
The Inevitable Culmination of Church-Age Unholiness
This leads me to comment on what is next for the Church and the end of this age. We read in Daniel and Revelation of a final world system that comes to power with the help of the Church. In turn, the Church is burned by that system (called "the Beast"). The truth simply is, and the story of Church history has simply been, that Satan has been using a deceived and ignorant Church to gradually build a total world empire, after which his intention is to destroy the Church.
The machinery for that final system is completely in place now. It just remains for the Church to become sufficiently bogged-down in the works of the world where that system can be unveiled without Her noticing it--in fact, where She will be happy to unveil it Herself, thinking She is at last "bringing in the Kingdom of God." (Jesus said this very last day would be so extremely deceptive. Now you see why.)
This is not to say that all the Church will be deceived. But it is to say that for many it will be too late before they realize they have been tricked. Once the system turns on us, it will be too late to take the measures we could have taken to find protection before everything collapsed. For this purpose, God has raised up advance watchmen to warn the Church for the sake of those who will listen (This is the message I have from the Lord).
You see, not everyone who is deceived is willfully deceived. Many are just ignorantly deceived, With purest intentions they are seeking to rebuild something God has already decreed to destroy. He wants them to turn from their misguided involvement to begin finding their identity in Him alone -- not in being Americans, or Republicans, or government office holders.
This is the only way America can truly be saved. When America finally sees a people in Her midst who are no longer American - who are neither Republican nor Democrat; neither Baptist nor Charismatic; neither pro-Swaggart, nor pro-Robertson, nor pro-anybody -- then America will be saved.
The Fall of the United States
Will America be saved? Will revival come? Are the prophecies true? Yes- they are true. Revival will come. America will be saved. But not until she is first destroyed. Why? Well-- it's the same with nations as with individuals. No one is saved whose former identity is not first destroyed. And no nation is saved until its identity is first destroyed and absorbed into the one true Nation, the Church. For in the kingdom of God, there are no Americans or Russians, even as there are no Jones or Smiths.
So what will happen? Well, since neither America nor any other nation has willingly yielded up its identity to become part of the People of God, God will just wait til the nations all yield up their identities to the coming world system. Then He will just destroy that system and glean to Himself out of what once were the individual nations. Then the Lord will be able to set up His kingdom with a people marked by nothing but His Name.
How God has longed over the centuries to bring to Himself a People who are completely saved, whose identity is totally separated apart from the world unto Him. But He never has been able to get that through willing co-operation from the Church. (And how much less then from the world?)
Still the nations affirm their nationality--and still the Church Herself affirms Her identity in terms of the nations (In America, it's virtually impossible to separate the thought of being Christian from being American).
Therefore, God must wait until the nations stumble into the destruction of their own choosing before He can save them. And He must wait til the Church stumbles into Her own destruction through Her following of the nations before He can perfect Her as well as bring them into her number. (Now you see why the tribulation is to be such a terrible time.)
But that destruction does not have to come inevitably to any of us who are now willing to heed the gentle warning of God, become set free from our deception, and turn again to pressing into our complete identity as children of the Most High. How about it, then? Are we willing to give up our identity as Americans, as Republicans, as labourers for the American economy - and refill it with our identity in Christ? This is the message I have from the Lord.
Commentary on the Events at Hand
In the beginning I commented on the excitement in the air over the political activity going on. Pat Robertson is running for president. To the natural understanding, this is the way to affect things for the better. But in light of what I have said, you can see why I cannot support Pat Robertson for president. I do not believe Pat Robertson should be president or even run for president. I do not believe it is good either for him, or the Church, or the nation. His candidacy only preserves the error under which the Church has laboured since the United States was founded. It just draws the Church's attention all the more away from pressing into Her true identity - separate from the nation of America.
Personally, I believe Pat Robertson is operating in deception (The more I hear him speak and make adjustments in his speech to accommodate different peoples, the more I am convinced of this). How much of his deception is willing and how much is ignorant I cannot say. But it is deception nonetheless. Pat claims to have heard from God that he is supposed to run. Perhaps he did. But I also know God is not above telling people what they want to hear if that's what they want to hear badly enough.
As for the remainder of the campaign, here is my prognosis, I do not believe Pat will be nominated, or that he could win if he were nominated, I believe he will probably play the part of a power broker, possibly securing to himself the pledge of an influential position in the White House or Cabinet in return for his support of the nominee.
Actually, I do not at this point think the Republicans will win in November - only because 1988 has hardly begun. I feel that there will be some type of major economic turmoil by late summer, early fall - enough to blame the Republicans and change administrations. I also feel that Mario Cuomo will be the draft choice at the Democratic convention and will consequently win the election. In fact, I believe that alternative would be far preferable to a Robertson White House. For the possible scenario I see for a Robertson White House is This:
Whoever is next president will probably have to deal with some major economic catastrophes. The U.S. economy exists on a paper soap-bubble, One pin in the right place at the right time - and it will all be over. The machinery for world government will intervene and take over. (A possible nuclear conflict in the Mid-east involving Israel is also foreseeable during the next administration). If Robertson is president if-and-when these things occur, you can count on a real backlash against the Church. The Church could well bear the brunt of blame by the world for these catastrophes--triggering a major worldwide persecution (perhaps dovetailing with the onset of the Great Tribulation).
One thing is certain - there is no way Robertson could secure a national revival to avert these things. This is simply because revival is not something that can happen from the top down. And in any case, even if Pat could effect some kind of "revival," it would only be a revival of Americanism - not genuine Christian revival.
Whether we like it or not, we must accept the fact that America is NOT a Christian nation. Indeed, outside the Church, there is no such thing. If there is to be revival, it will only come when the People of God become established in their identity as citizens of heaven - apart from any sense of being American. And I can tell you that that awareness will not come to the Church in America until the Church has been badly burned by the American society She has vainly tried to reinforce for 350 years.
Now you have both my basic message from the Lord as well as my further commentary on immediate events. I hope I haven't startled you by what I've said. Yet I know God is raising me up to teach these things. I am not ashamed of them though they are unpopular. Since our awareness of Pat Robertson has been at the forefront of our recent conversations, I feel it is good and appropriate that I share this word with you. Now that you know my thinking, we can take it from there."
-(end of letter)-
Then What About "Our Nation's" Blessings?
Usually after the kind of teaching I have just given above, I am met with a barrage of questions about what our rightful place of involvement with national life should be. The second part of this article is going to address some of these questions. (At the end of this article is an appendix answering questions pertaining to scriptures people most often cite to justify the Church's attempts to hold American society together.)
The great confusion over our involvement as Christians in American society is due to a root misconception concerning why America has been so evidently blessed over three and a half centuries.
Let's face it. America has been a blessed place in comparison to the rest of the world. There's not a nation past or present that can come close to it. And of course, everybody wants to keep a good thing going! That's only natural. The problem is that this matter of blessings has blinded us to the plain fact of Christianity that says we are to become separate in identity from human society.
If it weren't for the blessings, nobody would question what I have taught in this article so far. If America was a place like Russia or Uganda, nobody would question that our role is to be on the up-and-out of human society.(People are trying to get out of those places anyway!)
But it's this thing about blessings that changes our Christian mind from what Jesus plainly called us to in 30 A.D. (Let's face it, folks. There's not a drop of resemblance between the relationship to society Jesus preached to his disciples and what patriotic American Christianity teaches today.)
Why? It's because we have these national blessings that the world of Jesus' time didn't have, and we have a warped conception of how these blessings came to be and what keeps them. If we can dispel this misconception about the blessings, we'll be able to show that what we have taught about losing our identity is right.
In the second part of this article therefore we will do two things: First we will get to the truth about what is and what is not responsible for America's national blessings. Second, we are going to take a new look at America's purpose in the plan of God based on that truth. I think we'll see some things about America we never saw before. OK. Let's get on with it.
Misconception Regarding National Blessings
The misconception about national blessings is as follows: Godly people (ie, Christians) can set their hand to build a nation like any other nation is built. But because Godly people build it using what they consider to be Godly laws and principles, God will bless that nation. And as long as the humans of that nation keep those principles, that nation will continue to be blessed.
Applied to the United States, it is asserted that Godly people (ie, Pilgrims, Puritans, and other such "more-or-less" Godly people) built the United States on Godly laws, and that therefore the U.S. is blessed. And as long as American people (Godly or otherwise) keep those laws through committed devotion, the blessings will continue.
Now right away, anyone who has a handle on the fact that we live in the "age of grace" and knows what that means can see right through the fault line in the above assertion. The entire idea that any kind of righteousness and blessing can be had by keeping any kind of law through human works is absolutely laughable.
And if this is true concerning entering into and perfecting of salvation for those who have it, how much more true must it be concerning temporal national blessings with respect to a mixture of people, the vast majority of whom don't even know God! Can the blessings of righteousness which come only by grace through faith be ascribed to the credit of any who labours to find them according to some law of God or nature? Hardly so.
"Well," you say, "If the national blessings we have today are not a result of the good works of our forefathers according to Godly laws, and if you say they are not now being preserved by the good works we contribute according to such laws, then where do you say blessings came from and how are they preserved?"
The Reverse Polarity of Blessing Preservation
This is a fair question. To answer it in a way that is consistent with the premise that we live in the age of grace, I appeal to a maxim of Jesus which describes one of those paradoxical mysteries of God's kingdom. Here is what He said:
Whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it. (Mt 16:25)
In this maxim, "life" refers to the soul and to everything that the soul can enjoy. And that's what natural blessings are. According to Jesus, blessings come not to those who seek them to establish them or preserve them, but to those, who deny them to themselves in order to pursue the heart of God. By contrast, those who seek to establish and preserve temporal blessing are those who lose them and on whose account they are lost to others.
Natural blessings emanate from the quest to know Jesus Christ, something which calls for single-minded attention to spiritual reality at the expense of attention to acquiring blessings. We can’t give attention to seeking spiritual reality and to seeking blessings at the same time. And since the blessings only come as a result of our pursuing spiritual things, therefore, to seek to acquire and preserve blessings in this life is to lose them! This is because to seek them, we must turn our attention away from the spiritual reality by which they are produced.
- The Truth in Ancient Fables
This is like the proverb about killing the goose that lays the golden egg. If you kill the goose to get the eggs, you lose both. If you want the eggs, you have to give your attention to preserving the goose, not to getting the eggs. This pictures the relationship between the seeking of spiritual things and the obtaining of natural blessings.
There is another fable about a dog with a bone who saw his reflection in a pool beneath a bridge from which he was looking down. He couldn’t see the real bone in his mouth, but he could see its reflection in the pool below. When he saw the reflection, he lusted after the bone he could see below and barked for it. But the moment he did, the bone he really had fell from his mouth into the pool. Consequently, he lost both his real bone and the reflection!
This too illustrates the truth behind our relationship to earthly blessings and spiritual reality. Our blessings mirror the invisible reality we have in Jesus Christ “in our mouths.” To preserve their reflection, we must keep our direct focus of desire in life on the Unseen One living within us. Therefore we must be content to have only an indirect relationship with our blessings.
But the moment we try to establish direct relationship with our blessings, we sacrifice the invisible Reality by which they come and --like the dog who dropped the bone--we lose both our God and our blessings. (Actually, this is the definition of “idolatry.”)
Those Who Seek Not the Blessings of Nation-Building Will Find Them…..
If these things are true, then the answers to our questions about national blessings become apparent. The blessings we have in America today are not the result of the direct works of the forefathers, nor are they being preserved by those who are spending their direct energies trying to restore them.
Anyone, for example, who has read the accounts of how the U.S. Constitution came into being in 1787 can’t help but realize that the emerging document had to have come quite in spite of the efforts of the delegates who composed it. No. It is not because of the men who put the nation together that its blessings were enshrined in its foundation.
If not, then who takes the credit? The credit goes to the silent spiritual influence of those who simply loved the Lord and were not swayed to seek blessings for themselves by trying to start a new nation!
The same is true today concerning what blessings remain to us in America. They are not being preserved by those whose energies are focused on "saving America." They are being preserved by those who have no ambition but to love and obey the Lord, who have no time to get entangled in the fleshly affairs of trying to preserve national blessings.
It is as godly people dwell in a land and pass through it that God transforms it from tears to a place of life (See Ps 84:6). It is God's free-flowing presence through those with hearts of devotion to Him, not by their "works," that national blessings are gained and kept.
And Those Who Seek the Blessings of Nation-Building Will Lose Them
By contrast, we see who is responsible for the curses that are upon national life today. It is those who have turned their attention from the Lord to creating and preserving for themselves national blessings. The seeds for today's curses were planted by those whose direct attention was given to founding a new nation -- beginning with the Puritans.
And that is why, as a result of direct Christian efforts to prop up the American moral climate, moral decline accelerates. Again, when we turn our attention to preserving our life, we lose it. That is what idolatry is all about and that is what is happening today in the American Christian Conservative movement.
In the final picture, we see that the credit for what good is left in America is due to the hidden faithful whose only ambition is to love God, who give no thought to preserving America. Meanwhile, the blame for the accelerating evils in America belongs to those who have abandoned simple love for God in order to preserve America's life. These are responsible for America's loss. This all runs contrary to human perception, but that's the way it is with the Kingdom of God.
When God finally judges the wickedness of American society, He will actually be executing His sentence against the idolatrous unbelief of the "activist" Church on whose account that wickedness abounds. Yet when He does, be sure that it will not touch those who have remained silently steadfast in their love for God, to whom America's preservation or loss ultimately means nothing.
And while they will be sorry in one way to see such a once-magnificent nation destroyed, the silently steadfast will realize that God's Presence in them will simply pass through the next valley of tears and make of it one more well of life--even as they have done in all other centuries. As their quiet presence allowed for the creation of America in spite of America's founders, so will their presence allow for the establishing of the next Kingdom. Only this time, whereas America was for practice, this next Kingdom shall be forever!
Understanding God's True Purpose for the United States in the Church Age
In the age to come, the millennial saints will study the United States of America. They will see in it a marvelous microcosm of how Church Age saints negotiated and failed to negotiate their spiritual development over the "reverse polarities" of spiritual reality during their sojourn amidst the nations. But you and I don't have to wait for the Millennium to study this. We can get a head start on learning from the "American Experiment" even before that experiment has finished.
Let's learn right now together what God's true purpose was for America in the overall context of Church history. Let's learn why it was inevitable that such a nation would come into being during the Church Age, and equally inevitable that such a nation would destroy itself.
In the manuscript Flight from Babylon, we established that, in light of God's true purpose for His People from the beginning, the United States should never have been founded. Had they remained true to their original call, God’s People would have instead been going out in mobility to carry the Gospel to all the earth. They wouldn't have stooped to engage in "nation building."
This is so. But while it is so, it is only idealistically so. It is so in the same way that there should never have been a Roman Catholic Church, or that the Jews should not have killed Jesus, or that Israel should not have stumbled over the Law, or that Adam should not have sinned. All these things are so also! Yet we know they happened. And they can't be changed.
But if we are astute, we can realize that, without justifying any of these things, God used these things in spite of themselves to His advantage to accomplish His own special plan in every case. Really now. Isn't this the truth about all of world history?
From one viewpoint, all world history is a mistake that should never have happened (And one day, when the new heavens and earth are established, it never will happen again!) But at the same time, we realize God had an underlying plan to accomplish through His Son.
Countervailing Currents and Strategies
Yes-- all world history is like a great river. The river has a visible surface current full of debris that should not be nor ever have been. But below the surface current is a deep hidden undercurrent of God's living and unthwartable purposes. Though part of the same river, it moves in a different direction, achieves different ends, and eventually wins out.
If we can accept this about world history, we can also accept it about the United States. The United States is a nation which should never have been. Yet under its faulty basis for existence, it has fulfilled a hidden purpose according to God's undercurrent.
In Flight from Babylon, we destroyed the myths concerning America's founding based on the fantastic interpretation of the surface current of her history - -the ideas that America was "God's New Israel," His "Chosen People," and even that America is a "Christian nation."
But in this article, the way is open to take a more positive view of God's ulterior purpose for America based on His undercurrent strategy. I think we can safely risk this genuine appreciation without rekindling any sense of false patriotism. So let's find out what that ulterior purpose for America was all about.
When trying to determine God's purpose behind the founding and existence of the United States, the usual question people ask is:
"Why was America founded?"
But this is the wrong question to ask. The reason it is the wrong question is because it looks to the visible, surface current of America's history to find the answer to God's purpose. But you can't find God's purpose for anything in history by looking to the surface current of what happened. You have to look to the undercurrent.
If you look to the surface current of events like the Pilgrim's landing and the Revolutionary War to find out God's purpose for America, all you will find is what men say God's purpose was, based on their interpretation of the events. And when you do that, you always end up giving credit to God for things that should never have happened, and credit to men for good things they can't take credit for.
Yet that's just what men do now, and that's how they justify their involvement in trying to "save America." (Imagine!- giving God credit for the bloody Revolutionary War over taxes; and giving the deist founders credit for their marvelous "spiritual insight and wisdom" in establishing "freedom of religion"!)
No, friends. To find God's true purpose for America, we have to look to the undercurrent of history. And to look to the undercurrent, we must ask the question this way:
"Why was America able to be founded?"
"Why was America allowed to be founded?"
Do you see what happens when we ask the question these ways? When we ask
why America was able to be founded, we are recognizing that there are spiritual influences responsible for some things that happened, good things for which no man can take credit.
And when we ask why America was allowed to be founded, we are recognizing that as a pure work of the flesh in the surface current of history, America's founding was nothing that God could be proud of or that He would put His name to.
After we have put the answers to these two questions together, we will know what God's purpose was for America.
Why Was America Able to Be Founded?
What we are really asking here is, How did the spiritual climate come about that could allow for the creation of such a nation as America? For surely, apart from proper spiritual climate that would influence the founders to see and understand such concepts as "separation of church and state," no such nation could be formed.
What was it that created the spiritual sunny skies that enabled the fleshly minds of those who penned the Constitution to be able to comprehend the unique concepts of government embodied in it? (Certainly today no similar climate exists where such a nation could again be created!)
If you remember back to how we said national blessings are won and lost, then you can come up with the answer. When we recall that blessings are not obtained by those who seek for them but by those who seek God alone, we learn that the men who met in Philadelphia had nothing to do with the spiritual climate under which they sought to bless themselves with a new nation and were able to form it.
No. The spiritual climate was due to the silent cumulative influence of all those in and out of America to that time who had persistently been seeking the Lord and nothing more for themselves in this life. It was the presence of these people in the earth on whose account such a spiritual climate prevailed.
Church Restoration since the Reformation had proceeded far enough that those who had benefited from everything restored that far and who were seeking the Lord were able to bring a spiritually mature, ripe enough atmosphere to the earth through their presence by which such a nation could be conceivably founded were some fleshly-minded people so minded to try it!
Does this mean the U.S. should have been founded? Did the fact that a favourable spiritual climate prevailed justify the acts of men to establish to themselves a nation of blessing?
The answer is "No". But people being what they are, and setting their eyes on earthly things, would naturally take advantage of a spiritually ripe enough climate to bless themselves with a new nation.
Therefore, when you put these two factors together: (1) the inevitability that Church Restoration would reach a place in history where those fully benefitting from it and keeping close to God would emanate a spiritual climate conducive to the successful founding of a nation like the U.S., and (2) the inevitability that people would seize upon such a climate to build themselves such a nation of blessing, we see why it was inevitable that such a nation such as the United States would be founded at sometime during the church age.
Now we clearly see the two currents in the development of the United States. We see the hidden current of those who sought God and never batted an eye at the nation's founding, but on whose account the climate prevailed for one to be founded. But we also see the surface current of those who eyed and seized the blessings to build to themselves a nation to preserve their own life in this world--blessings resultant from a spiritual climate for which they were not responsible.
The actual founding of the U.S. was by unregenerate idolaters. Although it is these men (most of them "deists" and/or freemasons) who today are given credit for giving America to the world, we must see that America was not able to be founded because of them, but was allowed to be founded by (what for many of them was) their rebellious hand.
No. Those who sowed to themselves the violent founding of the United States are those who actually planted the seeds for America's inevitable demise. For those who seek their lives always lose them--and their blessings.
According to the maxim of Jesus, those who set their hand of flesh, (whether Christians or non-Christians) to establish the United States certified its eventual destruction. This answers the question of why the demise of America was as inevitable as its founding.
Why Was America Allowed to Be Founded?
But why then? Why would God allow men to build to themselves such a nation based on a spiritual atmosphere not of their making--a nation begun in rebellion and because it was flesh must ultimately return to the ground from whence it came? Why? To answer this, let’s trace the effects of the two currents through U.S. history. Then we'll have the answer.
First, you have those Christians in the surface current of American society who have perpetually sought to preserve the blessings of that society to themselves and "for their children." By seeking to preserve it, they have been and are now responsible for sowing and watering the seeds of moral corruption and societal decay that have blossomed these last decades: black riots, drug abuse, abortion, free sex and homosexuality, family decay, etc.
In the name of their forefathers, the spiritual descendants of America's planters are fighting the weeds their fathers planted by pouring on them more fleshly fertilizer (political activism, rallies, marches, etc!) Before their chickens came home to roost, these Christians were enjoying their selfish "good-life" to the full.
But after their materialistic seeds started sprouting, then they cried "We need revival." They are concerned for revival only once their good-life is threatened. But once they get temporary superficial help from a president or supreme court justice of their choosing, then they relax and go back to their good-life. They are never stirred to a vision of eternity. They never seriously consider going to personally fulfill the Great Commission in some other part of the earth. This has been and is the course of the surface current of American Christian history.
But then you have had the undercurrent of God's faithful People, These are the spiritual descendants of those on whose account the spiritual atmosphere was possible to found America. These descendants have continued to hold what remains of that atmosphere together by their faithful pursuit of Jesus. Though they have found themselves amidst America's blessings, they have not been moved by them.
These have discovered the true present value of eternal life. Based on the atmosphere provided by their forefathers, they have taken advantage of America's blessings to build on their faith, pressing into their God in silence. They have come yet more deeply into Him over the continuing moves of Church Restoration brought forth in America since their forefathers, moves which have been possible because of their faithful presence.
Despite the abundance of blessings surrounding them, these have not succumbed to seek them except that they might reinvest them in their further pursuit of God Himself. And though what remains of the Godly atmosphere preserved by their presence is ever-diminishing, their emanation of God's glory is now preparing the setting for the arrival of the Lord's soon-coming permanent kingdom.
Once America falls under the weight of the sin of her "blessing-preservers," these who used America’s context to prepare themselves through purified identity and perfected salvation shall greet the Lord in glory at His coming. They shall be raised up to visibly rule with Him.
The Answer to God’s Purpose behind the Founding of America
Now then! When you look at these currents side by side, you have the answer to “What was God’s purpose in allowing the founding of the United States?” Here is the two-fold answer:
1. With respect to the surface current of idolaters, blessing-seekers, and “life-preservers,” it was to prove to all history and to the ages to come that “flesh and blood cannot inherit the Kingdom of God!” Even if you give the church in the flesh its own nation from scratch with all the possible blessings of natural resources, “good” human government, and technological achievements, it still would not accomplish its true commission, would still fail her calling to reach the world, and would still fail to “bring in the kingdom.”
In short, God would prove by the Church in America that the Church Age, being a mixture of flesh and spirit, would be another age short of Reality. Together with Old Testament Israel, the visible New Testament Church--culminating with the Church in America--will be an object lesson to the spiritual students of the next age of what not to do.
2. But with respect to the undercurrent of faithful ones who would deny America’s blessings to seek His face, God took advantage of the works of selfish men to provide through America a safe haven in the world where they could proceed unmolested for three and a half centuries in the school of discipleship, pressing on into heights of holiness and spiritual awareness unknown before.
Relatively free from the ravages of war and civil turmoil, these faithful would be afforded access to ministry of such proliferation that their progress in faith could be accelerated and their complete redemption hastened. God designed America to be a spiritual greenhouse for a body of People who could press into Him in ways that they would not have been able to elsewhere.
It is not that the land of America was more righteous than any other land. It is simply that this “land across the seas” was the site of His sovereign choice, reserved until the end of the Church Age for the final “touches” to the Restoration of His hidden faithful in preparation for His permanent Kingdom. (Once the maturing plants are ready, the greenhouse of America shall be dissolved, and the True Garden shall appear.)
The blessings of America, though “hi-jacked” by flesh and blood to their own ends, will be studied by millennial students as an example of the potential for total earth restoration available to those who turn their backs on earth to press into God there.
As one famous American commentator has said, “And now you know the rest of the story!” Now we understand God’s true purpose for America, and who gets credit for America’s rise and fall. America’s direct founders and present preservers are Her losers. But those who have lost her for His sake have not only found Him, but Her blessings aright as well.
Preparing for the Dissolution of the United States of America
America’s end as a Church-Age “Experiment” is nigh at hand. As a greenhouse for sheltering His People’s restoration til their perfection, she is about to be removed. As an example to those who have worshipped her, she is about to be destroyed. The purpose for her existence has been virtually completed.
With an eye to this, God’s gracious warnings are appearing for those who will still heed them. The last call for purified identity and perfected salvation is now being issued.
To illustrate, I draw from the testimony of a friend who is a manager in a large local market. She commented on an incident that erupted in her store last week resulting in violence in which she was caught in the middle. On later reflection, she realized how she has lately noticed an increase in the number of shoppers carrying guns in their handbags and how many potential incidents there could be that have not happened. This caused her to thank God for her protection all along, and to marvel at why there have not been more violent incidents.
What my friend received from the Lord was an instantaneous revelational warning that there is a brimming potential for violence today of which she was never aware before. She responded rightly to this warning by realizing that her safety has not rested in the apparent superficial calm in society right now, but only in the Lord.
Why is this story important? It is important because it tells in miniature the truth about all North American society at this very moment. The truth is that there is a deep, building, pent-up violence in the hearts of most North Americans waiting to be triggered into continent-wide civil turmoil.
This growing inward lawlessness in the hearts of people is the reaping of the self-seeking visible American Church. The reason that violence has not yet erupted nationwide is only because the angels of God are holding back the hands of men-- and that is only on account of the influence of a relatively small number of people whose presence in the land is being honoured by the Lord.
The present apparent peace is not because-- as America's would-be preservers claim --Americans are basically "good, Christian people," or because America has "good" law enforcement and just needs more Christian people to get in there and hold it together.
Rather, thanks to fleshly Christian involvement, the latent sin in the sinful body of American society is being exacerbated to an explosion point. It is only the angels of God intervening every moment between men and their acts that holds the violence back--if only to give men one more chance to repent.
But men are not repenting, nor is the Church. Therefore, as gracious warnings, God is loosing the hands of His angels more and more, withdrawing their intervention to allow certain violent acts to surface. This is so God's People may see their only identity and trust is in God, not America. It is so they may start preparing to enter into His protection now before His hand is completely withdrawn from the society and "all hell breaks loose."
Make no mistake. That time is swift approaching. Every time you hear of a shopping mall massacre or a highway sniping, it is your warning to start taking your eyes off America, start finding your identity and protection in Him, and start seeking Him so that His Presence can flow through you as a mitigating factor in the coming judgment.
Don't say, "It can't happen here." It is about to happen everywhere. The only reason it happens in certain places now is not because those places are more wicked, but because those are the only places angels have withdrawn their hand of intervention. Any city or town could be next --and it could be yours.
To all my readers I therefore say, heed God's warnings. He wants to protect you and flow through you as He did through Jesus when He walked untouched through angry mobs. But He can't live like that through you if your eyes are on America. And when America turns to harm you, He will be unable to protect you.
Get your identity purified and your salvation perfected now, so when the violence planted by America’s founders and watered by our brethren explodes, you may walk safely and untouched outside her bounds. Mark well: God is gathering to Himself a People known by no other Name than His. And the umbilical cord to America is about to be cut for us all.
When it is, will you be ready? Will you have developed the unflinching trust in the Lord it will require to be spared? For there will be no other salvation in any other name - least of all America's. This is the message I have from the Lord.
It has been a privilege to write all of you again. If you have any sincere question about these things, I am here to help strengthen you in the purifying of your identity in Christ. Please write! I am glad to share your concerns and provide my support in any way I can.
The God of peace be with you all! (Read Psalm 91)
Questions from Scripture Concerning
Christian Action to Preserve Human Society
1. Question: "In Genesis 1:26,28, God told Adam to take dominion over the earth. Isn't this our mandate as Christians to take over all the institutions of the world and Christianize them (including government)?"
Answer: Adam was indeed told to subdue the earth. In turn, however, Adam sinned and thereby forfeited his deed to earth over to Satan. In turn again, that title deed was won back from the devil by Jesus Christ, the "second Adam." When we become Christians, we lose our identity relative to the first Adam and receive a new identity in the "second Adam," Jesus Christ. With that identity, we also become shareholders in that title deed retrieved by Jesus Christ. But what that means is that we must take over the earth according to the terms and example of Jesus Christ, not the first Adam.
What did Jesus therefore say concerning His Kingdom? What is His method for enforcing His deed to earth's control? And what example did He leave us?
The answers are clear. Jesus said that the root essence of the power behind His kingdom was spiritual and invisible. He went on to say that, because the root essence of His Power functions oppositely than the power by which Satan rules the world, His methods for conquest are therefore opposite to those exercised by Satan through fallen man.
Consider these contrasting examples. Fallen man (under Satan) executes dominion from the outside-in according to what he can visibly see and therefore grasp by external force. But Jesus executes dominion from the inside-out of man.
This means Jesus starts with conquering men's hearts, and works His way outward through their souls and bodies. He conquers their residual alien forces of body (sin) left over from their first identity in old Adam. Then, finally, the earth itself falls under the dominion of the People who have successfully seen their insides taken over first by Jesus through the Spirit.
For the power of Jesus to take over the external world, it must first displace the remaining alien power of their internal world. Based on this reality, Jesus called His disciples to a different kind of action. He called them to conquer their own lives from within, losing the power of their natural life to obtain the advancing forceful power of His Spirit-Life.
Accordingly, He told them to lose all their natural ideas for taking over the world, replacing them with opposites from the Spirit. Instead of seeking for position, they should lose reputation. Instead of trying to overpower by natural ingenuity, they should become as "fools." Instead of making war, they should strive to become gentle. "The meek," said He, "shall inherit the earth."
By abandoning all original natural ways and means for taking over the world according to the way fallen man presently seeks to control earth, and by instead concentrating on the hearts of men and gaining the mastery of their own internal lives by the Spirit, Jesus assured His followers that they would indeed take dominion over the earth.
When we look at the life of Jesus and the first apostles, we see them enforcing their title deed to power according to the foregoing realities. They did not try to take over social and political institutions of their day through direct outward involvement. They in no wise committed themselves to any such kind of involvement, but rather withdrew such involvement so that they could get to the hearts of men and deal with their own hearts.
This was the way to true power in their estimation. What involvement they did retain was purely tactical to the furthering of their internal objectives. Their remaining involvement with world institutions was always with an eye to getting out of it, not to changing that institution for the naturally better.
Conclusion: if we are to use Gen 1:26,28 as our mandate for conquering earth, we must do so according to the ways and means of the "second Adam", not the first one. This means abandoning ties to world institution to concentrate on internal conquest, not strengthening ties.
The problem with most people who use this verse to justify direct Christian social and political action is that they know precious little about conquering their internal world first. Their outward involvement based on Gen 1:26, 28 is little more than a cover for their failure to internally conquer themselves and an excuse for preserving their life in this world according to the first Adam.
Again I say, where could this doctrine gain ground except in a land where natural life seems worth preserving - like America? It doesn't play too well among Soviet Christians. And mark well, if a teaching isn't applicable to all Christians everywhere at every time, then it is a false teaching, because it has been reshaped to fit and accommodate the world with respect to certain conditions, locality, and time.
2. Question: "Jesus said, 'You are the salt of the earth.' Salt is a preservative. Doesn't this mean we should try to preserve the institutions of society?"
Answer: If the nature of salt were to preserve something by what it tries to do, then you would be correct. However salt preserves because of what it is, not what it tries to do. Likewise, what preserving influence we have in society as Christians is because of who we are in Christ, not what we try to do in His Name.
As we have already shown in this article, what remains that is wholesome in society is due to the influence of spirit of those who merely pass through the land and stay close to God. This is the true fulfillment of "being salt." But when we abandon the simplicity of being in Christ to try to preserve society through activism, we lose our savor. We lose what it is that makes us salty. We cut-off and short-circuit the influence of God's Presence through us. Consequently, we become fit only for the “dung heap,” as Jesus said. And society itself loses that which preserves it and so accelerates its decline.
Today's rapid decline of morality in America is directly due to the large-scale abandonment of American Christianity from being salt to trying to preserve society themselves by the same energy of which natural society is already composed. American Christianity is now largely on the dung heap.
3. Question: "Paul said that he made himself all things to all men if by any means he might save some. How can we become all things to all men without committing ourselves to involvement with them where they are?"
Answer: Paul was speaking of committing himself to people for who they were (as Jews, Gentiles, etc.), not for what they were doing. Jesus was the same way. He became all things to all men in the sense that He identified Himself with them wherever they were. But not with what they were doing. He identified with prostitutes. But He didn't commit to advancing their prostitution.
So it is on the broad scope for us all with respect to the world systems. To make ourselves all things to all men is to commit ourselves to identifying with them in their need wherever they are. But not to preserving their institutions built on their fleshly deeds.
Second, you can't make yourself like all men until you have first become unlike them. If a man would save a drowning swimmer, he must first become unlike him, either by learning how to swim, or else by standing on land and throwing him a rope. But if he tries to identify with him before he becomes unlike him in either of these ways, he will drown too.
In the same way, we can't talk about becoming like all men with an eye for saving them until we have first become separate from them and gotten a foothold on our own identity in Christ through that separation. If we do this, we only reinforce our remaining ties to our old identity, we end up joining the sinner in his sin, and we both go down together.
Unfortunately, many people use Paul's words just this way -- to justify associating with men in their sin because they themselves are unwilling to pay the price of inward separation from mankind that comes with becoming a Christian.
4, Question:"Paul tells us to pray for our national leaders. Doesn't this mean we are to become involved with them over the direction of their governmental decisions? And if so, what's the difference between that and getting actively involved with the issues over which those decisions are being made?"
Answer: Part of the problem here is concerning the objective of our praying for leaders based on Paul's context. In instructing us to pray for leaders (I Tim 2:2-4), Paul stated two objectives of such praying: (1) "that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty", and (2) "Who will have all men to be saved".
What do we see? The objective of prayer for leaders is first of all to obtain for ourselves a peaceable life by which we may conduct the affairs of the Gospel. There is no hint of using prayer here as a force just short of political involvement itself to try to get the world system itself to become Christian. This is not "activist prayer."
Second, the objective of prayer for leaders is their own salvation. Salvation from what now? Salvation from the very systems of government they administer and to which they are in bondage! These are the works of the world and they are part of the whole deal out of which Christ has paid to save us. How marvelous to see the conversion to Christ of a national leader who then follows the call to true discipleship by stepping down from his prestigious position to learn true greatness. That is salvation.
We see by all this that Paul's words have nothing to do with forcing God's hand to push through a pet political agenda through national leaders. The other part of our problem is our faulty concept of prayer. True prayer is to open our heart to God so He can breathe His will through us. But we see prayer as an extension of our natural energy by which we can use access to the spiritual realm to make things happen according to our "God-sponsored" liking.
So since it is to our selfish liking to preserve society's blessings for ourselves, we "pray for our leaders," using prayer as a spiritual political weapon. Moreover, because this kind of praying is of the same energy as fleshly activity, it inevitably breeds Christian political activism. Christians are no longer content to merely "pray" for their leaders, but feel they have to get in there themselves to fulfill the answers to their prayers. (The maxim "Pray and Work" is based on this faulty concept of prayer as our work,)
True prayer doesn't make things happen. It allows God to work according to what He has revealed to us His will to be. This kind of prayer for leaders will not bring us to the kind of question we are now answering,
5. Question: “Do not the examples of Daniel and Joseph from the Old Testament show us that God wants us to seek political offices so we can use our access to God to change the course of the nation?”
Answer: It is absolutely true that God will have some of His People in political offices from time to time to accomplish certain purposes for Him in the life of a nation. But what is at issue is how they get there, what they are to accomplish there, and what they realize about their identity in relationship to their being there.
If we look at both Joseph and Daniel, we find that they were raised to political power resulting from situations of slavery into which they had been forced. Neither of these men was raised to power as a result of ambition on their part to rise to power.
Second, neither man had as his ambition to try to use his position in office to “convert” that system into something Godly. They realized God had put them in these places, but not to “take them over” for the Lord as a sort of “fifth column” spiritual influence. They merely fulfilled their duties within that system as any other common labourer until the time of their release from it.
Third, neither man ever fundamentally identified himself in terms of the nation or government within which he found himself. Each saw himself primarily in terms of the People of God to which he belonged. Accordingly each looked forward to a time when his people would have a government unto themselves and that the government under which they served would come to its own inevitable demise.
Joseph saw to his people leaving Egypt and ordered his bones to go with them. Daniel saw the destruction of Babylon and the independent victory of his people at the end of time, separated from any Babylonian-styled empire. Neither man lost his sense of identification with his people according to these anticipated realities.
So what do we learn from all this? We see that, yes, there is indeed sometimes a place for Christians to function in earthly government even as they function right now in other institutions of society. But if we are going to acknowledge that as possible, we must do so in full spiritual context as described above. If anything, we must see that it is the exception to which God ordains a few, not the rule to which He has ordained many to aspire.
Here then are the conditions we may use to judge whether it is spiritually safe and right for us as Christians to be found in political office:
(1) We must find ourselves “drafted” into it, either by the strong convicting hand of the Lord or else by situations completely beyond our control. But not by ambition, whether natural or based on some theology.
(2) We must not have the imagined purpose of “Christianizing” the government by our Presence there. Our presence should rather give testimony against the system for what it is—an antichristian force.
(3) We must see our fundamental identity as apart from the nation we govern, not as part of it. We should ever have a view to the ultimate demise of the government in which we are serving, the ultimate coming kingdom of Jesus Christ consisting only of the saints, and our own soon departure from government service. It should be our ambition to leave it from the time we get there that we might give ourselves to the true kingdom and minister the Gospel.
Unless we find these three conditions to be factors governing our entrance into civil service at any level, it is spiritually dangerous for us to be there.
6. Question: "Romans tells us that the government authorities are ordained of God. Doesn't this mean that God fundamentally approves of the world's systems of government and that therefore, since they are His creation, we ought to try to purify them?"
Answer: That God ordains something in the universe does not mean He intends us to fashion our lives in terms of it or that He fundamentally approves of the thing that He has ordained.
For instance, God ordained that Satan should function as a tempter in the universe for the testing of His People. That doesn't mean He approves of temptation or sin resulting from it. Yet in ordaining it to be so, He requires us to willingly accept that these are the conditions until perfection comes and not therefore hope to buck the possibility that we will be tested again.
The same is true pertaining to world systems of government. God has ordained such government as a check against absolute anarchy. And we are to accept this and cooperate with this reality until perfection comes. We are not to buck its existence through direct confrontation. But that doesn't mean that God fundamentally approves of world-based government which is anti-christian, nor therefore that we should try to "purify" it.
If you accept that the flesh exists but you don't try to purify it, and if you accept that Satan exists to test you but you don't try to reform him (!), then it is plain that you do not try to purify human-system government, though you accept it to be ordained of God.
written from Greenville, South Carolina
First Love Ministry
- a ministry of Anglemar Fellowship
BACK TO TOP
Page created June 12, 2015