OUR FOREFATHERS’ COVENANTS, Part 2
December 20, 2019
Once again, Good Morning!
Let’s pick up today where we left off last week. Some folks have wondered why, when I deal almost exclusively with spiritual issues and what Holy Spirit is saying to His people today, that I would seem to deviate from that to talk about the foundations of our government. Unfortunately, our society today has attempted to separate matters of government from spiritual issues, and especially Christianity.
We left off last week talking about Jesus’ command to Occupy. THAT means we MUST be involved in the affairs of government. When I ran for Congress in 2004, people asked me why I would want to associate myself with such a corrupt institution. My answer then, was the same as it would be today.
If more and more believers in Jesus Christ – committed Christians, if you will – would get involved in our political institutions, we could revolutionize the Congress and the government overall of the United States. Maybe it won’t happen overnight, but we can make radical change in the direction.
Think about the change that has already come when God appointed Donald Trump to clean up the swamp in DC. He isn’t personally popular because of his actions, but he never planned on running a popularity contest. When one brings radical change to government, it follows logically that people who’ve been entrenched in the system will fight with every ounce of their existence in order to keep the status quo. God’s people absolutely CANNOT put up with the status quo. If we are to follow Jesus’ command, we must be involved, and we must bring righteous change!
Taken to their logical extension, it is impossible to separate matters of government from what Jesus commanded. Jesus wasn't simply instructing His followers to engage in trade with one another, He was instructing them to literally become the governing force in society, to be the bankers, the businessmen (and women), those who established the rules of society, those who established the rules by which society could function and engage in commerce.
Jesus' instruction to "Render therefore unto Caesar the things that are Caesar's" was a clear command to observe the rules of the government in power, and His subsequent statement, "and to God the things that are God's," spelled out the necessity of exercising the will of God in the affairs of men. (see Matthew 22:21)
One thing that comes through very clearly throughout the Word is the fact that God works through men and women. He doesn't employ His will in the affairs of men in a vacuum. He utilizes those who are sensitive to His will, His voice, and His desires, establishing His purposes in the affairs of men.
The apostle Paul put it like this, "I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men; For kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty. For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour; Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth." (II Timothy 2:1-4)
Paul made it abundantly clear, therefore, that the principal purpose of the Lord is His desire to "have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth." Paul writes that our first responsibility is to offer prayer and intercession for all men, and specifically he notes, "for kings, and for all that are in authority."
Why? It follows that if you have the responsibility to pray for kings, and all that are in authority, you have the responsibility to fulfill "thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven." That responsibility gets fulfilled first of all in the realm of prayer and exercising Kingdom dominion over "all that are in authority"; and subsequently, "occupying," doing business in the natural realm, employing Kingdom economics and government in the affairs of men.
People who cowardly sit back and think it is somehow "spiritual" to be removed from the political affairs of men buy Satan's lie. Do you honestly think Satan wants us involved in politics? Not on your life! And it is the lie of the Enemy which has created the "dirty politics" we see in the world today. It is specifically BECAUSE Christians have stayed so uninvolved that we have courts in our land inventing law out of whole cloth in order to block the Ten Commandments in public places, blocking the administrators of schools and educational systems from using the name of Jesus Christ or praying to the Lord God in schools or in public places.
If the FDR Supreme Court had actually paid attention to the context of Thomas Jefferson's statement to the Danbury Baptist Association, and just how Jefferson actually applied what he said when he served this nation in his various legislative functions and as President of the United States, they'd have NEVER ruled that the "establishment clause" in the First Amendment to the Constitution meant that folks in government couldn't exercise their freedom of worship. That ruling absolutely violated everything this nation was founded upon.
(We’ll discuss Thomas Jefferson more in the weeks to come and talk about his conclusions of who Jesus Christ was and is. We’ll talk about the so-called “Jefferson Bible” and its significance as our nation developed.)
It was in 1629 that Massachusetts Bay Company (in London) chose John Winthrop as the first governor of Massachusetts Bay Colony. In 1630, Winthrop arrived from England with 700 Puritan settlers and colonists and a purpose to establish a governing body that set Jesus Christ as first and foremost authority in the land. John Winthrop's convictions made him unique as a leader.
He believed -- as did most Puritans -- that God's covenant promises in the Old Testament did not just apply to ancient Israel, but to every society and every generation. These promises are well summarized in Exodus 19:5-6: "Now if you obey me fully and keep my covenant, then out of all nations you will be my treasured possession. Although the whole earth is mine, you will be for me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation."
They believed that if any nation observed God's laws and commands, God would give protection, prosperity, and the spiritual blessings of knowing him and living as his people. On the other hand, if a people rejected God's decrees and turned to idolatry and sin, God would eventually reject them. The Puritans of seventeenth-century England were greatly concerned about the future of their nation; they saw the corruption of government and church officials, growing immorality, materialism, and lack of concern for the poor as signs that their nation would either have to repent or experience the cleansing fire of God's wrath.
A piece in Encarta states, "the Puritans' ideas about the relationship between church and state are fundamentally different from that of modern-day Americans. In America, the government cannot pass laws to encourage people to worship God or practice the tenets of Christianity because our society contains a large number of non-Christians. But the situation of the Puritans was quite different.
They had the unique opportunity to charter a new society. They came together as people of like mind and faith to create a new nation to honor God and to pass their Christian values to their children. They believed that church and government should work together to promote holiness and help people to succeed both materially and spiritually. Later generations of Puritans carried the name, but not the fiery faith and devotion, of their ancestors."
The article in Encarta, of course, is in error when it states that in America, the government cannot pass laws to encourage people to worship God or practice the tenets of Christianity. That statement is based on the misapplication of Thomas Jefferson’s “separation of church and state.” Jefferson did not intend to separate Christianity from America; rather his intention was to keep the government from supporting a certain sect or denomination and mandating that the nation follow that denomination.
Dr. Joseph Schafer at Penn State University writes, "In seventeenth-century England there was no such thing as freedom of religion. There was only the Church of England. Sincere Christians had only two choices: either work to reform the Church from within or break off from the Church and repudiate its authority.
Those who wanted to break from the Church were called Separatists. The Puritans were not Separatists. They believed that breaking off was a very serious matter and should only be considered as a last resort. They did not want to be disloyal to the Crown or show disrespect for the authorities that God had allowed to come to power
"But as the Church grew more politicized and hostile to Puritan ideas, it became clear to John that there was little or nothing he could do to reform the Church from within. He did not want to start a war that he could never win. Also, his son Henry became somewhat rebellious, and John began to worry that he might lose his children to the godless popular culture.
At the age of forty-two, after a painful struggle, John decided that the only real choice was for him to take his family and move away from England. Rather than fighting political battles with the authorities, he would quietly move away to a new land where he could worship God freely and raise his children in an environment of faith."
"As Winthrop prepared to move his family to this new "environment of faith," he wrote an essay that laid out the main reasons why sincere Christians should consider moving to the New World.
The first four reasons were:
1. To carry the gospel to the New World, to bring the fullness of the Gentiles into the kingdom of God.
2. To escape God's judgment that was coming upon the corrupt churches of Europe.
3. To help solve the problems of overpopulation and poverty in England, where human life was being devalued and people were regarded as less valuable than horses and sheep.
4. To obey the Great Commission and Genesis 1:28, which says, "Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it."
Aboard the ship that carried them to America, he wrote in part, "The eyes of all people are upon us, so that if we shall deal falsely with our God in this work we have undertaken, and so cause him to withdraw his present help from us, we shall be made a story and byword throughout the world; we shall open the mouths of enemies to speak evil of the ways of God and all believers for God's sake; we shall shame the faces of many of God's worthy servants, and cause their prayers to be turned into curses upon us, until we are consumed out of the good land to which we are going...
Think John Winthrop understood covenant? Do you think he gave his entire heart, soul and body to this purpose? Better believe it!
On September 17th of this year, we celebrated Constitution Day. What makes this day significant, you ask? This was the day in 1787 when our founding fathers met together to establish the Constitution of the United States of America. It is of great significance that many of the signatories directly responsible for the crafting of that document gave credit to the Lord for its final form.
It was Alexander Hamilton who wrote the following: For my own part, I sincerely esteem it a system which without the finger of God could never have been suggested and agreed upon by such a diversity of interests.
It is of no small consequence, therefore, that America is and has been the longest lasting Constitutional Republic in the history of mankind.
I’ve kept today’s Coffee Break a little shorter because of the documents I need to quote. A couple of those documents are pretty long, and it would make today’s Coffee Break into an epistle.
Two weeks from now, we'll look at the charter John Winthrop wrote for the Massachusetts Bay Colony, as well as the charter his son wrote for the new Connecticut colony.
Faith puts us on an
operational basis with God, and gives us the ability to function in concert
In case you are missing out on real fellowship in an environment of Ekklesia, our Sunday worship gatherings are available by conference call – usually at about 10:30AM Pacific. That conference number is (712) 770-4160, and the access code is 308640#. We are now making these gatherings available on video using ZOOM. If you wish to participate by video on ZOOM, our login ID is 835-926-513. If you miss the live voice-only call, you can dial (712) 770-4169, enter the same access code and listen in later. The video call, of course, is not recorded – not yet, anyway.
Blessings on you!
Regner A. Capener
RIVER WORSHIP CENTER
Temple, Texas 76504
Email Contact: CapenerMinistries@protonmail.com
All Coffee Break articles are
copyright by Regner A. Capener, but authorization for reprinting, reposting,
copying or re-use, in whole or in part, is granted –provided proper attribution
and this notice are included intact. Older Coffee Break archives are available . Coffee Break articles are normally published
If you would like to have these articles arrive each morning in your email, please send a blank email to: AnotherCoffeeBreak@protonmail.com with the word, “Subscribe” in the subject line. To remove yourself from the mailing list, please send a blank email to AnotherCoffeeBreak@protonmail.com with the word “Unsubscribe” in the subject line.
CAPENER MINISTRIES is a tax-exempt church ministry. Should you desire to participate and covenant with us as partners in this ministry, please contact us at either of the above email or physical addresses, or visit: http://www.RiverWorshipCenter.org.