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The Gospel of the Kingdom: THE KINGDOM OF GOD COMING WITH POWER

Below are more segments from Philip Mauro’s (1927 edition) book, The Gospel of the Kingdom. These segments are taken from chapter (12), titled;

THE KINGDOM OF GOD COMING WITH POWER. 

THREE of the Gospels record a prophecy of Christ concerning His Kingdom, which, by His express word, was to be fulfilled in the lifetime of some who heard it. This is Mark’s record of it:

“Verily I say unto you, that there be some of them that stand here which shall not taste of death, till they have seen the kingdom of God come with power” (Mark 9:1).

Matthew records the same prediction, but with a slight variation of language, the time of the predicted event being stated thus: “Till they see the Son of Man coming in His Kingdom” (Mat. 16:28). In Luke it reads: “Till they see the kingdom of God” (Luke 9:27).

Have we then the authentic record of any event happening within that generation that answers to this prediction? There were two happenings that claim attention as we seek an answer to this question. Both those happenings were of great importance in the accomplishment of God’s revealed purposes concerning His Kingdom, and both occurred within the time so emphatically limited by our Lord’s words.

Those two events were, first the coming of the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost; and second, the destruction of Jerusalem and of the Jewish nation by the Romans in A.D. 70. Each of these events may be regarded, and without straining at all the meaning of the words, as a coming of the Kingdom of God. And each, moreover, may be regarded, in the light of Scripture, as a coining of that Kingdom with attendant circumstances that answer to the phrase “with power”; circumstances such as were absent during Christ’s earthly ministry.

For the outpouring of the Holy Spirit was unquestionably a coming of that Kingdom which the apostle Paul afterwards defined as “Righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost” (Rom. 14:17). We recall, moreover, in regard to the phrase “With power,” that our Lord, in speaking to His disciples concerning the then approaching advent of the Holy Ghost, had said, “Ye shall receive power”(Acts 1:8). Power was needed and was promised for the effective preaching of that gospel whereby those who believe it are translated into the Kingdom of God’s dear Son” (Col. 1:12, 13); that gospel which is “the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth” (Rom. 1:16).

The appalling destruction of the Jewish nation, their beautiful city and their magnificent temple–which unprecedented catastrophe was described anticipatively by Christ Himself (Mat. XXIV, Mark XIII, Luke XXI)–was likewise a most evident and impressive coming of the Son of man “in power.” It was a coming in final judgment upon that nation; and its awful details prefigure the final judgment of the world.

Unhappily the significance of that world-shaking event is greatly minimized in the teaching of our day. And my conviction is that, unless one sees the destruction of Jerusalem by the Romans and the events attending and consequent upon it in their true relation to the whole scheme of God’s dealings with the human race in its two divisions of Jews and Gentiles, he will not be able to understand the general purport of Bible prophecy.

Of the two events referred to above as possible fulfilments of our Lord’s prophecy, one occurred within a year of the time the prophecy was uttered, whereas the other lay much farther in the future–about forty years. Nevertheless, some who were standing there, notably the apostle John, lived to “see” that great work of divine “power” and judgment, which Moses had foretold (Deut. 28:49-64), and the like of which had not been “since the beginning of the world” (Mat. 24:21).

After much deliberation upon the matter, my conclusion is that, if choice must be made between those two events, it is the one later in date–that is, the annihilation of the Jewish nation, that being the manifest taking away from them of the Kingdom of God (according to the word of Christ recorded in Matthew 21:43)–that our Lord had in view when He uttered the prophecy we are considering. I will indicate, in what follows, my main reasons for so thinking.

1. The words, “There be some standing here that shall not taste of death” indicate that He had in contemplation an event that lay at a considerable distance in the future relatively to the ordinary duration of human life. His reference to the death of some then standing by would hardly be appropriate with respect to an event that was to happen within the space of a year.

2. But a stronger reason is found in our Lord’s Olivet prophecy, which is recorded by each of the three Gospel-writers who record the prophecy spoken at Caesarea Philippi. For in Christ’s Olivet prophecy, the desolation of Judea, the siege of Jerusalem, the demolition of the Temple, and the world-wide dispersion of the Jewish people, were foretold in detail. Specially is it to be observed that our Lord made use in that prophecy of expressions that are strikingly similar to those used in the earlier prophecy. Thus, referring in the Olivet prophecy to the approaching desolation of Judea and Jerusalem, He said, “Verily I say unto you, this generation shall not pass until all these things be fulfilled” (Mat. 24:34). Manifestly the words I have italicised are the exact equivalent of “There be some standing here which shall not taste of death till –” Moreover, in each case we have the emphatic introductory clause, “Verily I say unto you.” Furthermore, the preceding chapter records the judgment pronounced upon the leaders of the nation, whereof the closing words are, “Verily I say unto you, “All these things shall come upon this generation” (Mat. 23:36). And then follows His sore lament for Jerusalem, in which occur the words, “Behold, your house is left unto you desolate.” These correspondences afford good reason for the belief that our Lord’s prophecies at Jerusalem were amplifications of the brief prediction spoken at Caesarea Philippi.

3. But there is yet another reason in support of the view stated above; and this reason I regard as conclusive. In foretelling those coming “days of vengeance,” in which “all things that were written” were to “be fulfilled” (Luke 21:22), Christ gave His disciples a sign whereby they should know that the predicted days of vengeance were come, so that they might save themselves by flight; the sign being the encircling of Jerusalem with armies (v. 20). And then, in order to impress the lesson upon their minds, He spake a parable concerning the fig tree and all the trees, and said: “So likewise ye, when ye see these things come to pass, know ye that the Kingdom of God is nigh at hand. Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass till all be fulfilled” (vv. 31, 32). Thus we have Christ’s own statement to the effect that the destruction of Jerusalem and the scattering of the nation was a coming of the Kingdom of God. And this He again coupled with the affirmation that his prediction would be fulfilled before the passing of that generation.

In studying the three accounts of our Lord’s Olivet prophecy, the student should observe that the period designated in Luke’s account “the days of vengeance,” wherein there should be “great distress in the land, and wrath upon this people,” is the same period that Mark designates “the days of affliction, such as was not from the beginning of the creation . . . unto this time” (Mark 13:19) and that is designated by Matthew the “great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time” (Mat. 24:21). The context of the several passages make it certain that one and the same period of unprecedented calamity is referred to in the three passages.

Comparison should be made also with Daniel’s prophecy. “And there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation: and at that time thy people shall be delivered, every one that shall be found written in the book” (Dan. 12:1). The close similarity between the language of this prophecy and that of our Lord’s Olivet prophecy gives assurance that both refer to the same event. The words of the angel to Daniel refer expressly to the Jewish nation (“the children of thy people”). Those who were to be delivered in that time of unparalleled distress–those “found written in the book”–were, of course, the disciples of Christ, who took warning by their Lord’s utterance, and fled for their lives when they saw His predicted sign. Happy for them they did not have some of our modern expounders of prophecy to instruct them as to the meaning of this prediction.

And particularly it should be observed, as fully confirming what is said above touching both the place, and also the time of that season of distress and tribulation, wherein all the prophecies of “wrath upon this people” were to be fulfilled, that the locality is expressly limited to JUDEA (Mat. 24:16), and that the time is expressly limited to THE GENERATION THEN LIVING (id. 34).

THE IMMENSE SIGNIFICANCE OF THE DESTRUCTION OF JERUSALEM

By pondering the Scriptures cited above the reader will be enabled to perceive the truly immense significance of the execution of God’s long deferred, though oft threatened judgments and the pouring out of His wrath upon that nation which He had chosen for Himself, and with which He had dealt for a millennium and a half as He had never dealt with any other. For this was the nation He had so marvellously delivered out of Egypt; the nation to which He had given His holy law amidst the terrors of Sinai; the nation He had brought into the land of promise, driving out before them nations greater and mightier than they; to which He had sent His prophets with warning and with promises; and to which, last of all, He sent His only Son. And if one but calls to mind the many prophecies, beginning with Deuteronomy 28:49-68, that pointed to and were fulfilled in that stupendous event, (the destruction of Jerusalem) he will surely realize something of its unique place and importance in the scheme of God’s dealings with mankind.

Finally, we have our Lord’s own word for it that those were to be the days of vengeance wherein all things that were written should be fulfilled (Luke 21:22); and He was then speaking of a period that was to come within that generation; a period of great distress in the land (of Judea) and of great wrath upon that people. Hence the words “All things that are written” can mean nothing less than the many predictions of the prophets of Israel concerning the judgments that would be executed upon them if they persisted in their disobedience and apostasy.

To this also the Apostle Paul manifestly had reference when, writing to the Thessalonians, twenty-five to thirty years later, he said of the Jews that they “both killed the Lord Jesus, and their own prophets, and have persecuted us; and they please not God, and are contrary to all men”, because of all which, “the wrath is come upon them to the uttermost” (1 Thess. 2:16).

THE DISCIPLES’ TWO QUESTIONS

In view of all the foregoing, it seems clear that the first question asked by the disciples of their Master (“When shall these things be?”) (Mat. 24:3) had reference to the demolition of the temple, whereof He had just spoken (v. 2); and that the other question (“And what the sign of Thy coming and of the end of the age?”) had reference (a) to His “coming” for the destruction of the temple, and (b) to “the end of” the then elapsing Jewish age. For that coming judgment would be “the day of the Lord” for that people. It was an event such as the prophets of Israel might well have described in the very strongest terms, and portrayed by means of the most impressive prophetic symbology.

THE TIMES OF THE GENTILES AND THEIR FULNESS

The destruction of Jerusalem marks not only the ending of the Jewish nation but also the beginning of “the times of the Gentiles.” It is appropriate therefore to refer at this point to two expressions that are familiar to all students of prophecy: “The times of the Gentiles,” and “The fulness of the Gentiles.” The first occurs in a prophecy of Christ concerning the city of Jerusalem. The second is found in a prophecy of Paul concerning the Jewish people.

Our Lord, after having foretold the world-wide dispersion of the Jews, said:

“And Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the Gentiles until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled” (Luke 21:24).

And Paul, after having set forth under the figure of an olive three the method of God’s salvation for both Jews and Gentiles, said:

“I would not, brethren, that ye be ignorant of this mystery, let ye be wise in your own conceits, that blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in” (Rom. 11:25).

The outstanding feature of each of these prophecies is that it describes a condition that was to last, in the plain sight of all mankind, throughout the entire era of the gospel. The first puts a conspicuous and age-long mark upon the city of Jerusalem. The other puts an equally conspicuous and permanent mark upon the scattered Jewish people.

My purpose is, in what follows, to show how, in the interest of dispensationalism, the significance of these exceedingly important Scriptures has been changed and the object for which they were given has been in a large measure frustrated. For these are prophecies of what was to be during this present age, and they are strictly limited thereto; whereas they are commonly treated as prophecies of what is to take place after this present age shall have come to an end. For our Lord’s word concerning Jerusalem is generally interpreted as a prediction that, when the times of the Gentiles are ended, then Jerusalem will be repossessed by the Jews and will become the capital city of a revived Jewish nation. But in fact (and it ought not be necessary to point this out) the passage says not a word and gives not so much as a hint concerning what will happen to Jerusalem after the times of the Gentiles shall have come to an end.

Similarly the passage in Romans XI is often presented–not as a prophecy that was to be fulfilled throughout this gospel-dispensation, but–as a prediction that, after the work of the gospel shall have been completed, then the Jewish people are to be saved nationally and by a special salvation of earthly character, different from gospel-salvation. The passage, however, not only says not a word concerning a post-gospel salvation for the Jewish nation, but on the contrary teaches plainly that there is but one “common salvation” (Jude 3) for all men, viz, that figured by the olive tree of this passage.

A TWOFOLD WITNESS TO THE AUTHENTICITY OF BIBLE PROPHECY

Let it be noted that the fulfilment of these prophecies demanded the continued existence of both the city and the people, though sundered the one from the other, to the very end of the gospel era; and it demanded also that the city should be in the hands of strangers, and the people should be in the lands of strangers, during all that great stretch of time. Here then is a two-fold and a conclusive test of the Divine authorship of the prophetic Scriptures. For if, in the course of these “times of the Gentiles,” either the city or the people had passed out of existence, or if the city had come into Jewish hands again or the Jewish people as a whole had changed their characteristic attitude towards Christ and His gospel, the prophecies would have been falsified and the entire New Testament discredited. On the other hand, seeing that none but God could have declared how it would fare with the city and people throughout this long age, these prophecies, by their fulfilment, furnish an unimpeachable witness to their Divine authorship, and hence to the Divine origin of the Book whereof they are an integral part.

A CONTINUING FULFILMENT

What gives these prophecies their surpassing value as witnesses to the Divine authorship of the Bible is the fact that they have the extraordinary character of demanding a continuing fulfilment. Prophecies which foretell the happening of a specific event–as the destruction of Jerusalem–are of no value at all as evidence until the predicted event occurs. And then the full effect is felt only by the generation living at the time. But these prophecies are of such a nature as to bear witness to every successive generation; and not only so, but are such that their testimony becomes more and more impressive as the centuries roll on.

Moreover, the fulfilment stands prominently before the eyes of the whole world. For Jerusalem is a conspicuous city; and so likewise as to the Jewish race, they are everywhere; and wherever they are, they are Jews, and known as such.

Therefore, God has made it possible by means of these two prophecies alone, even if there were no other proofs available, for all honest inquirers at all times throughout this gospel dispensation, to have convincing proof of the Divine inspiration of the Holy Scriptures; and particularly of the certainty of the predictive element therein.

“THIS IS JERUSALEM”

Special heed should be given to the fact that these prophecies relate wholly and exclusively to this present age. Our Lord, in the Olivet prophecy which we are considering as recorded in Luke’s Gospel, foretold that there should be “wrath upon this people,” that they should “fall by the edge of the sword,” and “be led away captive into all nations”; and finally that Jerusalem should “be trodden down of the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled.” And there His prediction ends. But in all the modern expositions I ever heard or read, the actual prediction of our Lord is virtually ignored, and He is made to say that when the times of the Gentiles are ended, then the Jews will be reconstituted as a nation, and will repossess their ancient homeland, with Jerusalem as their capital city. Thus a prophecy that is limited to a state of things which was to prevail during this present age, is converted into a prediction of a supposed state of things after the age shall have ended.

What our Lord took upon Himself to foretell in this prophecy is that the storm of judgment soon to break upon Jerusalem would not blot it out of existence, as Sodom and Gomorrah were obliterated, notwithstanding that her sin was likened to that of the cities of the plain (Isa. 1:10, and see Luke 10:12). Nor was it to be entirely abandoned and fall into ruins like Babylon and Tyre. Prophecy had previously declared concerning those famous cities (whose greatness and prosperity seemed to guarantee their permanence) that the former should become “heaps of rubbish,” “a dwelling place for dragons,” and be “no more inhabited forever” (Jer. 50:39; 51:37); and that the latter should be scraped bare and become like the top of a rock, and a place for the spreading of nets (Ezek. 26:4, 5, 21;27:36; 28:19). And even so it was (and is) with those once mighty and flourishing cities. Jerusalem, on the contrary, though for its crimes it merited a severer punishment, was decreed to remain intact, but with a mark of Divine retribution abiding upon it (for it was to be perpetually in the hands of aliens), and thus was to serve as a conspicuous monument to the truth of God’s word. Had the prophecies concerning the above named cities respectively been the products of mere human foresight, based upon the probabilities of the several cases, their terms would have been reversed, and the longer existence predicted of the Gentile cities.

As to what will befall Jerusalem after the times of the Gentiles are ended, I observe: (1) The Lord did not see fit to speak of that in this prophecy. This is a noteworthy fact; for had He meant to make known that the Jews were to regain possession of their ancient city, He would not have left the passage as it stands in the Bible. (2) Other Scriptures, moreover, reveal clearly that when the work of the gospel among the nations of the world is ended, the Lord will come again; that He will then remove His own redeemed people from this doomed earth, and will pour out the vials of exterminating wrath upon the rest. He Himself has pointed to the destruction of the earth in the days of Noah, and to that of Sodom in the days of Lot, as the typical foreshadowings of the universal judgment to come; and in so doing He laid emphasis upon the fact that the very day that Noah entered the ark “the flood came and destroyed them all,” and “the same day that Lot went out of Sodom, it rained fire and brimstone from heaven and destroyed them all” (Luke 17:27, 29). It is certain therefore that when “the times of the Gentiles” are ended, there will be no Jewish people left on earth.

THE VAIL ON THEIR HEARTS

It was the Lord’s decree from of old (Isa. 6:9-12; Mat. 13:14) that the people of Israel, because of their gross and long continued wickedness and rebellion, should be blinded and hardened to the Word of the Lord, The apostle Paul refers to their spiritually blinded state in figurative terms, saying that the veil which Moses put over his face now lies upon their hearts (2 Cor. 3:14, 15). And here (Rom. XI) he adds nothing to this but the fact that the predicted state of “blindness in part” was to continue “until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in” (v. 25). And there he leaves the subject. Again, however, as in the case already noted, modern expositors interpret the Scripture in such manner as to change its meaning in a material respect. For my experience has been that, when this passage is cited, it is not for the purpose of showing that the divinely imposed blindness of the natural Israel was to continue until the work of the gospel among the Gentiles should be completed; but for the purpose of lending support to the doctrine that there is to be a special salvation for the Jewish people (a salvation earthly in kind) after the day of gospel salvation is ended. But the apostle’s next words (Rom. 11:26) are–not “and then all Israel shall be saved” (as it should read if this new teaching were true) but– “And so all Israel shall be saved.” To this deeply interesting passage we will return in a subsequent chapter.

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Comments….

I want to apologize to those who have had comments waiting to be posted. I was hospitalized for awhile, but am home now (yahoo!). Though still weak I hope to get back to blogging soon.

God bless you all!

Jaunita (PJ)

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Road to White House goes through Jerusalem

Always interesting to see how our government works. Most already know this but it’s handy to have it spelled out in black and white.

Article originally posted at the Jerusalem Post, by Douglas Bloomfield. (Secondary source)

Question: why would a well known pro-Israel/Christian Zionist website post this? 

Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker just returned from one of the rites of passage for presidential hopefuls: a pilgrimage to Israel. He followed a well-worn path that will be trod several times by his rivals who believe the road to the White House goes through Jerusalem.

Ostensibly Walker, a Republican, and the others are honing their foreign policy credentials, and several will make other stops abroad, but that’s not the real reason.

They will boast of meeting foreign leaders and engaging in (superficial) conversations they will later claim gave them great insight into world affairs.

But the real goal is to win the pro-Israel primary by impressing deep-pocketed Jewish donors like casino mogul Sheldon Adelson.

That’s why Walker quickly tweeted his picture shaking hands with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and another taken at the Western Wall. The unstated inscription on the pictures was, “Dear Sheldon, Hey, look at me here with your boy Bibi.”

Walker echoed Netanyahu’s views about Palestinian statehood – maybe some day but not the foreseeable future – and how radical Islamist terror is the greatest threat facing the nation.

Walker’s trip was paid for by his own PAC and by the Adelson-funded Republican Jewish Coalition (RJC), which has been running such trips for years. The group took Texas Governor George W. Bush in 1998, when he got a helicopter tour from Ariel Sharon; Walker also got a chopper tour, with a nephew of Moshe Dayan. Sen. Barack Obama went in 2008 after securing his party’s nomination.

The presidential contender pilgrimages have been going on for months and will continue into next year. Sen.

Marco Rubio (R-Florida) is expected in Israel this summer.

No candidate in either party has been to Israel as often as Mike Huckabee. Other recent visitors include Senators Rand Paul, Ted Cruz and Lindsey Graham as well as Ben Carson, Bobby Jindal, Rick Perry, Chris Christie and Rick Santorum.

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The Gospel of the Kingdom: FORETOLD BY THE PROPHETS

This has turned out to be a very interesting little book. What has grabbed my interest, besides the obvious fact of it being about the Kingdom of God, is Mauro’s early grasp of how dangerous dispensationalism was, even at the early date in which this was written. He foresaw how, if not stopped, it would end up “Judaizing” the Gospel. He was correct; this is what we have today in the West.

I realize these are just sections of the booklet, portions which have caught my attention. But I hope something within a segment may interest you enough to follow the link and continue reading the entire booklet. Below are a few segments from chapter VIII.

CHAPTER EIGHT

THE KINGDOM FORETOLD BY THE PROPHETS

THE teaching of dispensationalism concerning the Kingdom is apparently founded upon two mistaken ideas; first, that the Kingdom foretold by the prophets of old–especially when the prophecy related to David or his house–was the earthly kingdom of Israel; second, that “the next thing in order” on the Divine program was the national restoration and earthly supremacy for the Jews. These two suppositions being taken for granted, it is easy to assume further that the Kingdom which the Lord said was at hand was the earthly kingdom.

     But in fact both the ideas set forth above are erroneous; for the Scriptures clearly prove that the Kingdom foretold by the prophets was the very same Kingdom of God based upon the death and resurrection of the Son of David, which was brought into the world by the coming of the Holy Spirit, and which has been extended throughout all the nations of earth, and through all the centuries of this era of grace “by those who have preached the gospel with the Holy Ghost sent down from heaven.”

And in particular we are able to show that the prophecies which refer to David and his Seed have their fulfilment during this present age. The main facts concerning the Davidic prophecies are:

1. The work which, according to those prophecies, the promised Son of David was to accomplish was the two-fold work of saving sinners from among all nations and building the House of God (the church). Both parts of this two-fold work are presented in the Gospel of Matthew.

2. The “throne” covenanted to David’s Son was the throne of the universe, not the throne of the earthly Israel.

3. The prophecies require for their fulfilment that the promised Son of David should first suffer and die before He could reign, whether in heaven or on earth.

This third point is of special value for our present purposes, in that it makes it quite impossible that the earthly kingdom, even if such a thing were foretold at all, could have been proclaimed, or even contemplated, in the days of the Lord’s earthly ministry. It makes certain that the only kingdom which was, or could have been in view, was the spiritual Kingdom of God which was to be founded upon the death and resurrection of the “Son,” the “Christ” of God, Who also was God’s “King,” spoken of by David in the Second Psalm.

The fact that the expected Son of David must needs have suffered and risen again ere He could reign (whether in heaven or on earth), is clearly set forth by the apostle Peter in Acts 2:25-31; where he quotes Psalm 16 and explains that David was not speaking of himself when he said “Thou wilt not leave my soul in hell, neither wilt Thou suffer Thine Holy One to see corruption,” but was speaking of Christ. And then he further explains that David “being a prophet, and knowing that God had sworn with an oath to him, that of the fruit of his loins, according to the flesh, He would raise up Christ to sit on his throne; he seeing this before, spake of the resurrection of Christ.”

This gives us plainly the true meaning of God’s word and His oath to David in regard to the Throne, showing that the promise was to be fulfilled in resurrection.

Clearly then the Davidic promise would lead us to expect, not an earthly kingdom at Christ’s coming, but just what happened, namely His death, resurrection and ascension and His enthronement in heaven at God’s right hand, as foretold in Psalm 110, which Peter proceeds immediately to quote and apply (v. 33).

It is appropriate at this point to remind the reader that the Kingdom of Israel is not the Kingdom of God and was never called by that name. Therefore the very terms of the announcement made by Christ and His forerunner (John the Baptist) are proof to all who know the Scriptures that, whatever it was that God was then about to do, it was not the restoration of the earthly glories of Israel’s vanished sovereignty.

And specially is it to be remembered that the true Israel was never at anytime, in the purpose of God, an earthly nation or Kingdom. This being recognized, it will be clearly perceived without any further help from the Scriptures, that the whole rabbinical doctrine of an earthly Kingdom over which the Messiah, the son of David was to reign and to which all the nations of the world were to be tributory, was from top to bottom a work of their carnal imagination.

Turning back to Numbers 23:9 we read the word which Jehovah put in Balaam’s mouth, that ” the people (of Israel) shall dwell alone, and shall not be reckoned among the nations.” And Moses, speaking to God, had said: “So shall we be separated, I and Thy people, from all the people that are upon the face of the earth” (Ex. 33:16). For God’s purpose was that Israel should “dwell in safetyalone” (Deut. 33:28). And that is still His will for those who are in His Kingdom today (2 Cor. 6:17; Phil. 3:20).

Therefore, pursuant to this purpose, the Lord Himself became their King, and reigned over them, until, as a punishment for their rebellion against Him, He gave them their own desire and made them into an earthly kingdom, with a human king, “like all the nations.” The record of this transcendently important event is in I Samuel, Chapter 8. There we read (v. 4) that:

“All the elders of Israel gathered themselves together and came to Samuel unto Ramah, and said unto him, Behold, thou art old, and thy sons walk not in thy ways; now make us a king to judge us like all the nations.”

This action of the nation by its elders displeased Samuel; but the Lord instructed him to hearken to the voice of the people, and to grant them their petition, in all they had asked; because,–and let the reason be noted and weighed–

“They have not rejected thee, but they have rejected Me, THAT I SHOULD NOT REIGN OVER THEM” (v. 7).

Thus Israel formally rejected the Lord as their King; and this, as He proceeds in the succeeding verses to declare, was the culmination of all their unfaithfulness and apostasy from the day He had brought them up out of Egypt even unto that day.

The earthly Kingdom of Israel, therefore, was the expression of God’s high displeasure with that people. As He said to them long afterward, “1 gave thee a king in Mine anger” (Hos. 13:11). And yet this is the Kingdom for whose restoration the rabbis of old were fatuously looking; and which they were so confidently expecting that they made it the foundation of their whole system of doctrine. Is there then anything stranger among the religious vagaries of our times than that the very same fatuous notion should have become the foundation of a strictly novel system of Christian doctrine? And does it not heighten the wonder that the leading teachers of that new system, with its foundation of sand, should be prominent amongst those who have elected to call themselves, Fundamentalists?

It was, of course, to be expected that the Jews of Christ’s day should have seen in the prophecies only what they wished to see–that is to say, the era of Israel’s earthly greatness. It is quite natural that they should have construed the prophecies in accordance with their own carnal desires and thoughts. And we have it on the highest authority that it was because they knew not their expected Messiah, when He came to them, “nor yet the voices of the prophets which are read every Sabbath day, that they have fulfilled them in condemning Him” (Acts 13:27). Therefore it is not surprising that the coming of Christ should have meant for them nothing more or other than political deliverance from their Roman oppressors. But it is a cause for surprise, and for deep sorrow as well, that learned commentators in our day, men whose views are widely accepted as authoritative, should make the same fatal mistake. And the marvel of it is the greater because the New Testament Scriptures have made it plain to all Christians that the Kingdom foretold by the prophets of Israel and announced by Christ and His servants, is of a spiritual character–“not eating and drinking,” as the earthly minded Jews supposed (and still do), “but righteousness, and peace and joy, in the Holy Ghost” (Rom. 14:17).

The two disciples with whom the Lord walked on the way to Emmaus (Luke 24:13-27), and who were disappointed and grieved because they had hoped that it had been He who should have redeemed Israel, were rebuked by Him as “Fools (or senseless ones) and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken.” And thereupon, “beginning at Moses and all the PROPHETS” He proceeded to show them that the entire prophetic word made it necessary that He Who was “the Christ” should suffer those very things and enter into His glory.

Very likely we have felt pity for those foolish disciples, who ignorantly cherished an idea so contrary to the purposes of God as revealed by all His holy prophets since the world began. Yet surely much allowance is to be made for them, seeing that they were Israelites in the flesh, that they were actually under the heel of a despotic heathen power; and especially, seeing that their accredited teachers unanimously construed the prophecies in that sense. But how can we account for the fact that, in spite of the expositions of prophecy by the Lord Himself and by His inspired apostles which dispel completely the thought that the Lord’s first coming had anything whatever to do with the national independence of Israel, learned men of our day have revived that exceedingly “Jewish” idea, and have made it the corner stone of their system of teaching? A discerning servant of Christ has lately said that we have here the most extraordinary phenomenon to be found within the pale of orthodox christianity.

In the present chapter I propose to examine some of the prophecies which refer specifically to David, the object being to ascertain just what was promised in that connection. It is often taken for granted nowadays that, where David’s name is mentioned in a prophecy, the subject thereof is the earthly greatness of the nation Israel. In fact that idea has so completely taken possession of the minds of certain teachers that the very mention of David’s name in a passage of Scripture (as Matthew 1:1) is regarded as sufficient warrant for calling it “Jewish.” But the truth of the matter is that the prophecies linked with the name and history of David have to do specially with the gospel, and with the House of God, that is to say the Church.

What those prophecies really called for was the coming, through David’s line, of One Who should be the Saviour of the world. The gospel of God concerning His Son “which He had promised afore by His prophets” was connected with David as much as, and as closely as, with Abraham. Paul makes this very clear in the beginning of his inspired explanation of the gospel given in his Epistle to the Romans, where he says that “the gospel of God” was “concerning His Son” who was “of the seed of David according to the flesh” (Rom. 1:1-3). And the same apostle recalls this fundamental point of gospel-truth very emphatically in his last message in which he says: “Remember Jesus Christ of the seed of David raised from the dead according to my gospel” (2 Tim. 2:8, R.V.).

It is greatly to be regretted that David’s connection with the gospel has been almost wholly lost sight of in our day; for the facts in that regard are necessary to an understanding of the breadth and fulness of the gospel-message. However, it is not a difficult matter for any who are interested to possess themselves of those facts. We have endeavored to set them forth in some detail in a work entitled “Bringing Back the King,” in the section entitled “The Sure Mercies of David.” Hence we will confine ourselves at present to the consideration of only a few prominent points.

The main fact to be grasped is that the special promises of God which He is fulfilling in our day of grace and salvation, were given and covenanted to the two men, Abraham and David. Thus the gospel rests upon these two pedestals; and the promises to David (or concerning David’s Seed) were just as much for all mankind as were the promises to Abraham and his “SEED.” God made His “everlasting covenant” with Abraham (Gen. 17-7), and also with David (2 Sam. 23:5). It was the same covenant; and it was to be established by the death and resurrection of the promised “Seed”; for we read in Hebrews 13:20 of “the blood of the everlasting covenant,” which was shed by Jesus Christ. Moreover, our Lord Himself, in instituting His memorial Supper, said of the cup, “This cup is the new covenant in My blood which is shed for you” (Lu. 22:20).

We might concisely summarize the Gospel of God’s grace as that Divine message which brings to sinners of all nations “The blessing of Abraham” and “The sure mercies of David”; and since the “blessing” and the “mercies” are all secured through Jesus Christ, it is evident that Matthew 1:1 is the opening of this era of grace.

The “everlasting covenant” which God made with those two men was an unconditional covenant, that is to say a covenant of grace. Since God alone was bound by it, there could be no failure in it. That covenant had to do with matters which are infinitely great and of everlasting duration, namely, the Family, the Inheritance, the Blessing, (i.e. the Holy Spirit, Gal. 3:14), the Throne, and the House.Of these five infinitely great things the first three were embraced in God’s promises to Abraham, and the last two in His promises to David.1 With these simple facts in mind we will be able to arrive at a clear understanding of the main features of the Davidic prophecies.

All the five great things mentioned above are embraced in the “Salvation of God,” which is now proclaimed by the Gospel to sinners of all nations, in the Name of “Jesus Christ of the Seed of Davidraised from the dead.” All of them depend absolutely upon the blood of Jesus Christ the Lamb of God, apart from which there could have been no blessing of any sort whether for Jew or Gentile. Apart from the blood of atonement there was nothing for mankind but condemnation; for at the time of Christ’s first coming “all the world” had become “guilty before God.” It is simply an impossibility that an earthly kingdom could have been announced by God’s servants at that time, if ever.

God’s gospel is, as we have seen, that “which He had promised afore by His PROPHETS”; and therefore we must turn back to the prophets to find out just what the gospel-promises were and are. It is a greatly impoverished gospel when the promises concerning David’s Seed are taken from it, are characterized as “Jewish,” and are “postponed” to another age than this, and to another people than the redeemed of this age. And that is exactly what is being done under our very eyes. Let us therefore awake out of sleep, and realize what is going on.

Paul puts the matter very clearly also in his words recorded in Acts 13:22, 23, where, speaking in a Jewish synagogue concerning the people of Israel, he recalled that God, after removing Saul from the throne, had “raised up unto them David to be their king”; and he said: “Of this man’s seed hath God, according to His promise, raised unto Israel a Saviour, Jesus.” It was therefore, a Saviour that God had promised to Israel through David’s line; for it was a Saviour that Israel needed as much as other peoples of the world. The restoration of the earthly kingdom would not have met their need; much less would it have met the need of the world. That, however, was not in view at all. For “when the fulness of the time was come” and “God sent forth His Son” it was “to redeem them that were under the law” (Gal. 4:4, 5), not to restore their earthly greatness. And likewise, when Christ Jesus proclaimed with His own lips, “The time is fulfilled, Repent ye and believe the gospel” (Mk. 1:15), it was of “the Kingdom of God” He was speaking, and not of the earthly kingdom and He called it “the gospel.”

The apostle Paul in the discourse from which we have just quoted showed that the “Saviour” Whom God had raised up to Israel from the Seed of David was not for Israel only, but for “all who believe in Him”; and this is in exact agreement with the proclamation made by the angel of the Lord to the shepherds who were watching their flocks by night at the time of the Lord’s birth. The angel’s words were “Fear not: for behold I bring you good tidings of great joy which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.”

It is strange that this proclamation from heaven, which gives the Lord’s full designation “Christ the Lord,” and His birth “in the city of David,” and the purpose of His coming, as “Saviour” for “all people,” has been so completely ignored in the discussion of the matter in hand; for its decisive bearing thereon is evident. Much is made of the fact that the heathen Magi, who saw the star in the East, came with the query: “Where is he that is born King of the Jews?” (Mat. 2:2). That question of the Magi is often referred to as if it proved that Christ had come in connection with the earthly kingdom. It ought not to be necessary to say that the question asked by those Magi proves nothing of the sort. Coming from the East where the memory of Daniel’s and Ezekiel’s prophecies was doubtless preserved, and possibly Balaam’s also (Num. 24:17), they probably had received light in regard thereto. Moreover, the Lord was and is “the King of the Jews”; so that the question of the Magi was an intelligent one. It does not indicate at all that they were expecting the national emancipation of the Jews; for that would have had no special interest for them. The more reasonable explanation of their interest in the birth of Christ, and of the trouble they took to pay homage and “offer gifts” to Him (Psa. 72:10), was that it had been in some way revealed to them that the One who was born “King of the Jews” was to bring blessing also to the Gentiles. Therefore the coming of the Magi “to worship” Christ indicates an event of far greater importance than the birth of an heir to the throne of David. It is recorded that the Magi were “warned of God in a dream that they should not return to Herod,” from which it appears that they were being divinely guided in their mission.

It is clear, therefore, that the bearing of this incident is not at all what the advocates of the postponement theory make of it.

But the message of the angel to the shepherds at Bethlehem was an authoritative announcement direct from heaven; and it was given in plain words that leave nothing to conjecture. It tells the precise purpose for which Christ had been born; and its terms shut out all possibility that an earthly kingdom was in view. Indeed the purpose for which God sent forth His Son has been repeatedly declared in messages straight from heaven, through angels and men, as Zacharias and Simeon, and later by the inspired apostles, as well as by the Lord Himself. In not one of these declarations concerning the object of His coming is there the slightest hint of an earthly kingdom; but on the contrary they one and all reveal purposes utterly inconsistent with it. Nevertheless, in the interest of dispensationalism all these clear declarations are swept aside, while other passages of Scripture are forced and wrested in order to make them yield to it a semblance of support.

It is a significant fact that while the message brought by the angel Gabriel to Zacharias, who was to be the father of the Lord’s forerunner, was the first communication from heaven to earth after the stream of Old Testament prophecy had ended in Malachi, the first human lips that were opened to prophesy the beginning of the new and long awaited era of blessing were those of the women Elizabeth and Mary (Luke 1:41-55). The words uttered by the latter tell clearly that the new era then about to begin was to be–not that of any earthly kingdom whatever, but–that of “the mercy” promised to the fathers, “to Abraham and his seed forever.” And it was subsequently revealed through Paul that the “seed of Abraham” who were to inherit the promises are those who believe the gospel. For we read: “Know ye, therefore, that they which are of faith, the same are the children of Abraham” (Gal. 3:7). And again: “For ye are all the children of God by faith in Jesus Christ. . . . And if ye be Christ’s, then are ye Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise” (Id. 3:26, 29).

In view, therefore of what has been said above I may briefly summarize the various predictions concerning the Seed of David by saying that what God promised to give through David’s line was not an earthly King for the Jews, but a Saviour for all the world.

Matthew records in his first chapter that He Who was born of the virgin of David’s line was a Saviour, and was named “Jehovah-Saviour” before His birth (Matt. 1:21). Zacharias, the father of John the Baptist, prophesied of the Coming One as being a Saviour, saying that God had raised up an horn of Salvation in the house of His servant David; and further said that this raising up a Saviour in the house of David was in fulfilment of what God had spoken “by the mouth of His holy prophets . . . since the world began” (Lu. 1:68-70). Thus we learn (and many other Scriptures declare the same fact) that what was required for the fulfilment of that which all the prophets foretold was the coming in the house of David–not of an earthly king, but of–a Saviour.

Zacharias further prophesied concerning the ministry of John the Baptist that he was to go before the face of the Lord to prepare His ways–not to give notice of an earthly kingdom but–“to give knowledge of salvation unto His people by the remission of their sins” (Lu. 1:77).

The angel of the Lord, in announcing the birth of Jesus to the shepherds on Bethlehem’s plain, spake not a word of His having come to reign over Israel, but proclaimed good tidings of great joy for all people; saying: “For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour which is Christ, the Lord” (Lu. 2:10, 11). Here again, in a message brought straight from heaven, the promised One of David’s line is announced as a Saviour for all men! Not an earthly King for the Jews.

Simeon also, being filled with the Holy Ghost, and led by the Holy Ghost to the temple, took the infant Son of David from His virgin mother’s arms and spake of Him as God’s “Salvation” which He had “prepared before the face of all people”; and as “a Light to lighten the Gentiles” (Lu. 2:30-32). Thus the inspired messages through men and angels all testify clearly that the One Who had come of David’s line was the Saviour and Light of the world.

In due time “the word of God came to John the son of Zacharias in the wilderness,” and he preached to all the people of Israel. His message was in perfect accord with the word of all the PROPHETS; for he announced the coming of a Saviour Who should give His life for all men–“the Lamb of God which taketh away the sin of the world”–and declared that “all flesh” (Jew and Gentile) should “see the Salvation of God” (John 1:29; Lu. 3:6).

We have also the testimony of the Lord Himself, the true and faithful Witness, declaring that He came not to be ministered unto” (that is to be served as kings are served) “but to minister, and to give His life a ransom for many” (Matt. 20:28). We have this same testimony from His own lips in many other passages (as Luke 4:18-21). And we have also the “good confession” which He witnessed before Pontius Pilate when falsely accused before him of attempting to set up an earthly throne, saying: “My Kingdom is not of this world” (John 18:36; cf. Luke 4:5).

The apostles likewise, after the death and resurrection of Christ and their baptism with the Holy Ghost as promised by John the Baptist, proclaimed the same tidings of a Saviour for all men, Who had been raised up in the house of David. Thus Peter preached concerning David that he “being a prophet, and knowing that God had sworn with an oath to him that of the fruit of his loins, according to the flesh, He would raise up Christ to sit on His throne; he (David) seeing this before spake of the resurrection of Christ”; and Peter continues the explanation of the prophecies concerning Christ, making it clear that the throne which He was to occupy in resurrection, according to God’s oath to David, was the throne of God in heaven (Acts 2:29-36).

And again Peter preached concerning Christ, saying: “Him hath God exalted with His right hand to be a Prince and a Saviour, for to give repentance to Israel, and forgiveness of sins” (Acts 5:31).

Paul also connects God’s salvation for all men with David, saying, “Of this man’s seed hath God, according to His promise, raised unto Israel a Saviour” (Acts 13:22, 23). And in his epistle to the Romans, the same apostle unfolds “the gospel of God; which He had promised afore by His prophets in the Holy Scriptures,” telling us that the promised gospel of God was “concerning His Son, which was made of the seed of David, according to the flesh” (Rom. 1:1-3). And the last words of this great preacher and apostle of the Gentiles in regard to the gospel proclaimed by himself, is a stirring exhortation to “Remember Jesus Christ of the seed of David, raised from the dead according to my gospel” (2 Tim. 2:8, R.V.).

Thus we have the concurrent testimony of PROPHETS, angels, Spirit-filled men (Zacharias and Simeon), the Lord’s forerunner who also was filled with the Holy Ghost from his mother’s womb (Lu. 1:15), of the Lord Jesus Himself, and of the inspired apostles,–all declaring with one voice that God’s promise and purpose from of old, was to raise up of the seed of David One Who should save His people by the sacrifice of Himself, and should be straightway exalted to the heavenly throne of a heavenly kingdom. The whole voice of Scripture,–both in the Law, the PROPHETS, the Psalms, the Gospels, the preaching of the apostles in the book of Acts, and their teaching in the Epistles,–tells the same clear story of the steadfast purpose of God. In the light of these Scriptures, and of many others of like nature, it is as clear as that divine light can make it, that the Kingdom, promised afore by the prophets to the Son of David, was and is that spiritual and heavenly Kingdom which that (the) promised Son of David first announced, and then introduced by His death and resurrection, by sending down the Holy Ghost after He had been exalted to the throne of the Majesty in the heavens, and by sending forth the gospel into all the world.

NOTES

1. See “Our Liberty in Christ: A Study in Galatians” by P. Mauro, chapter on ‘The Everlasting Covenant.”

VIII – THE KINGDOM FORETOLD BY THE PROPHETS

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Bill Johnson and Prophetic “Vibrating Tuning Forks”

Its astounding just how bizarre these teachers are becoming. While I don’t believe any of this will surprise those who have been following the career of Bill Johnson and his ministry, it is interesting to see just how far their new age antics are being carried.

This was emailed out by Andrew Strom today.

SECOND WARNING – BILL JOHNSON and BETHEL CHURCH

A couple of years ago we sent out a Warning itemizing a number of facts about Bill Johnson’s ministry and Bethel church in Redding. Numerous witnesses and videos from Bethel show that this church is spreading an “anointing” very similar to Todd Bentley – ie. spiritual ‘drunkenness’, jerking, hysterical laughter, “angel orbs”, ‘fire tunnels’, spirit travel, mystical “portals”, etc. Plus constant talk in their ministry school of bizarre angel encounters and trips to the ‘third heaven.’ All of it has an extremely ‘New Age’ feel. And it is still going on today. (But even worse – as we shall see).

Bill Johnson strongly defended Todd Bentley – even after his divorce and remarriage. No wonder, for the ‘anointing’ that both men carry seems almost identical (though their “style” is very different). These facts are beyond dispute and have been confirmed by many witnesses.

But whenever I say such things about Bill Johnson, people rush to defend him, saying what a ‘great guy’ he is, and what a great ministry he has. And yes – he is a very charming man who does say good things. If he didn’t, he wouldn’t be so dangerous. Deception always wraps itself in the best “sheep’s wool” it can find. Otherwise it would have no chance of deceiving the sheep! Why do you think the Bible warns of “SEDUCING” spirits in the Last Days – and ‘LYING’ signs and wonders? If the deception was not so ‘seductive’ then nobody would fall for it. And this stuff is very seductive indeed.

THINGS Get WORSE

Several years ago the Bethel crowd put out a book which we only found out about recently. It was co-authored by Bill Johnson’s administrative assistant Judy Franklin with a foreword by Bethel pastor Kris Vallotton. Bill Johnson wrote two of the chapters and his wife Beni wrote another. In other words, it has Bethel’s stamp all over it. (It is still sold on the Bethel website).

So what is this book about? Here is what the blurb says-

“Exploring the mysteries of God in sound, light, vibrations, frequencies, energy, and quantum physics.”

Does that sound ‘New Age’ to you? Yes – and it gets even worse. Please remember that this book has Bill Johnson’s name on it – and Bethel’s strong endorsement and participation.

When you open the book you find chapter headings like this-

“Vibrating in Harmony with God”, ‘Good Vibrations’, ‘Quantum Mysticism’ and “The God Vibration”.

And some of the sub-headings are even more astounding:

“Dolphins and Healing Energy,” ‘The Power of Color’, “Human Body Frequencies,” etc.

You might ask, What kind of ‘Christian’ book is this? And the answer is that it is Bethel and Bill Johnson’s kind of Christian
book. It literally has Bill’s name on it. This is a peek into the real Bethel behind the scenes. When you look at this publication,
suddenly you understand why we see all these weird videos and testimonies from Bethel of strange ‘New Age’ terminology and bizarre spiritual practices. Now we know why. We have the evidence in black and white.

We have shown the contents of this book to leaders and people that have been fans and supporters of Bill Johnson. They have verified the source of it. And just reading this content has turned most of them from being a supporter of Bethel into an opponent in a matter of a few hours. It really is that bad. So openly ‘New Age’ you could hardly believe it.

With all this talk of “vibrations” in the book, perhaps we can now better understand why Bill Johnson’s wife Beni wrote in her blog:

“I was talking with Ray Hughes the other day and was telling him about using a 528 HZ tuning fork as a prophetic act. Someone told me that this tuning fork is called the tuning fork of LOVE… the sound of this fork brings healing.” (*Please note that crystals and tuning forks are used in NEW AGE therapy – not Christianity.

And by the way, Beni Johnson for years has been CO-PASTOR of Bethel alongside her husband Bill).

This might also help explain why Beni Johnson recently released a photo of herself “soaking” (lying down) on the grave of a dead Christian leader – and why Bethel students also put out photos of themselves “grave sucking” (as it is called) – trying to “soak up” the anointing from the graves of dead preachers. I am not exaggerating. They actually do this. I hope you can see how dangerous and unbiblical it all is. Somebody needs to confront Bill Johnson about it. That is why I am including a whole new section of these disturbing facts in the 2015 edition of my book ‘Kundalini Warning.’ And it is also why I am writing this article.

When Nadab and Abihu offered “strange fire” before the Lord in the Old Testament, they were consumed by God and died. (Lev 10:1-2). ‘Strange fire’ is still deadly today. The body of Christ needs to be warned.

As one of the graduates of the Bethel ministry school (BSSM) wrote to me:

“There would be all kinds of distracting behavior (random shouting, laughing, etc.) during school sessions and church services. When any guest speaker came to school, students would flock to the front to get as close to the speaker as possible. We were taught that any anointing we wanted could be received by simply “claiming it” for ourselves… The drunken behavior and questionable teachings from some, if not all, of these speakers was shocking at times… I would always hear people talking about their encounters with angels and how they visited heaven. One young woman I knew said she could see angels everywhere, she talked to them all the time, and she would help her friends to do the same.”

In summary, this is a very dangerous movement and the warning needs to be sounded as far and wide as possible.

PLEASE FORWARD this email to your friends. Feedback should be sent to – prophetic@revivalschool.com OR post a comment on our website – http://www.revivalschool.com

God bless you all,

Andrew Strom.

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Academics call on State Dept to revise its definition of anti-Semitism, respect criticism of Israel as protected speech

Its about time. This has gotten so out of hand it has become ridiculous. The term itself, anti-semitism, has lost all meaning. If someone questioned you as to the meaning of the term, what would be your answer?

From Mondoweiss

May 18, 2015–An open letter signed by over 250 members of the Jewish Voice for Peace Academic Advisory Council asks the U.S. State Department to revise its definition of anti-Semitism in order to prevent the charge of anti-Semitism from being misused to silence critics of Israel.

In light of recent high-profile stories that have conflated the debates over Israel politics on campus with reports of rising anti-Semitism, the letter asserts the crucial need to distinguish criticism of the state of Israel from real anti-Semitism.

Read the letter which was sent here

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Church-Goers Losing Interest in Partisan Religion

Excellent message by Buff Scott Jr. at Apostasy Watch.

If you’re a News addict, as I am, you have heard the report that a large number of church-goers and religious zealots have “given up the ship” and are no longer supporting and promoting partisan religion. Catholicism is losing more ground than her counterpart, Protestantism, as per the report.
The report indicates that many past believers no longer show interest in Christianity, and that churches across the country are feeling the pinch monetarily and in attendance.
Well, I’ve got news for those News reporters and Networks. In general, believers are not surrendering their allegiance to the God of creation or to the Son of God. Nor are they losing their faith. They have begun to think independently and are surrendering their allegiance to the Religious Establishment or Organized Church.
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Down in the human heart, crush'd by the tempter, Feelings lie buried that grace can restore; Touched by a loving heart, wakened by kindness Chords that were broken will vibrate once more. From the Hymn "Rescue the Perishing" by Fanny J. Crosby

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