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The Kingdom of God

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The Kingdom of God

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The Kingdom of God

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Where are you and I focusing our energy today? Are we caught up in Satan's world, focusing our time and energy helping Satan sow chaos and division by getting involved in the worldly issues and affairs? Or are are we focusing our energy on The Kingdom of God and the hope, salvation and unity that it will bring to us and then the rest of mankind when He returns?

Transcript

[Mr. Gary Petty] We are living in a very stressful time. I've noticed over the last six, seven weeks that when this all started—with the lock-in, with COVID-19, and all the issuesㅡthat's when I would call people to see how they were doing. Everybody would say, "Oh, I'm doing okay. And I miss coming to church, but I'm doing okay. You know, I'm working from home or, you know, my workplace has all these strict things that we have to do. But basically, I'm doing okay." But over the last couple months, that has changed. I've noticed a lot of phone calls that I've made, or even people calling me just to, you know, talk that there's a lot more stress for a lot of people in this. Especially the shut-ins, especially people who can't get out much, especially maybe retired people, or people with health issues. And it has become very, very stressful on those people. And children, it's very stressful on children. You know, they weren't able to finish school. Many places, even the parks are closed. They can't even go to a park. And, you know, that's very stressful on children.

My one granddaughter was telling me she was writing a story. She's 8, 9 years old. She was writing a story, and I say, "What's the story about?" Now, when you think about what children are experiencing right now—And they live out in the country. So, she's outside all the time and playing all the time. But she said, "I'm writing a story about how all the children have to stay home because there's a murderer running loose, and they have to try to figure out who the murderer is." Now, you think about that, what child would come up with that? She doesn't usually watch those kind of movies or whatever, it's because of what she's experiencing. And so this is having a profound effect. And the economic consequences of this are global because the whole world has been reacting to this, in somewhat the same way. And the result is it's a global problem. And the global economy, we don't know how it's even going to come back. And, of course, that's causing all kinds of worries and concerns.

And I've had people talk to me about their retirement, their property, their...I mean, just all kinds of issues that everybody's dealing with as we're watching the world go through the most major change, probably, that is experienced on a global scale since World War II. You know, just the things that are happening. Even though there's not a war going on, even though the amount of deaths are minor compared to World War II, it's just this global thing that's happening, and we're watching it. We don't know what it's going to be like socially when it's done, right? I mean, I went into the grocery store last week and I wore a mask because the last time I went, everybody was looking at me, like, you know, I'm a threat. So, I wore my mask so that I wouldn't be a threat to people. You know, it is just socially, everything's changing. And, you know, we're not even supposed to hug each other in public. You know, it's a tough thing everybody's going through, and we're all beginning to show that stress. It's beginning to affect all of us. I want to talk about that some today.

Part of the problem is, is that we get confusing and conflicting information every day, about everything. About COVID-19, about the state of the world, about what's happening in politics, what is happening in everything. It's just this confusing information and contradictory. Some people say one thing, some people say other. And a lot of times, how you view a lot of what's going on depends on where you get your information from. Some people are so concerned, they're becoming angry. And I saw the other day where it was in, I think, Michigan, where it was the State Capitol. And there were all these armed men there, you know, with their guns saying, "You're not going to take our rights away." We have other people that are saying, "You know, if you go outside your home or you have a meeting, you are attacking us." I mean, there was a church burned down in Mississippi because people in town said they shouldn't be meeting, they're going to be spreading this virus. These are things that are, you know, reaching now into points of violence.

We have people who are just sort of partying their way through it. "You know, I just...who cares? Just have a party." Lots of people, most people are just trying to stay at home, trying to do their work the best they can. Although now tens of millions are out of jobs. Some of you are out of jobs. I've talked...you know, some of people in our congregation have lost their jobs, and just trying to get through it the best they can. And then we try to figure out how we relate to each other, how we relate in the church. There are police departments that are swamped, absolutely swamped because all day long, all they get are calls, "I saw my neighbor out jogging and they didn't have a mask on." You know, like I said, other people are like, "No, wearing a mask is a...you know, that's against the constitution. I'm not going to wear it. And you come after me, I'm going to shoot you." They're all over the place. Everybody's all over the place. We have had states that released criminals back out on the street because they might get sick, or some of them were sick. And then we're shocked when some of them went back and started committing crimes again.

So, who are you angry at? There's a lot of anger. There's angst and anger and frustration. Who are you angry at? You know, if I asked you, what's the cause of this? And I asked you, who's really promoting it? Who's keeping this crisis going? Even in the church, we may have a whole different list. And if I asked you to write down your list...in fact, I'll give you some things and you could start choosing. Write down your list of, here's the cause, and here's the people who are keeping it going. Now, I just went and looked at some news sources, watched some video, listened to some things on the radio, and then spent some time going through the internet, looking up basic sources on what's the cause of this, and who's keeping it going? Who do we blame? Who are we angry at?

And here's the partial list I got, Democrats, Republicans, the Chinese, a secret conspiracy of powerful people who are trying to set up a one-world government, internet conspiracy theorists, Bill Gates, millennials, baby boomers, Gen Xers, the deep state, capitalists, socialists, communists, Donald Trump, the medical profession, pharmaceutical companies, insurance companies, people who don't wear masks, people who do wear masks, racists, big business, CNN, Fox News, TalkRadio, Google, Facebook, liberal judges, conservative judges, the CIA. Now, you can just fill in with whoever else you want on there because you can probably pick at least three or four on there that you're going to say, "That's the problem." Right? I'm actually going to come back at this list because I want to sort through it and see who the problem is here. We're going to look at really who the problem is here and go through this, like, listen and take a look at it.

The bottom line is our world is in chaos. Every country is in chaos. It's not only changed the United States, everybody's changed. The relationship between nations have changed. We're entering a new destabilized era of time. Who are you angry at? Where does this leave us? Where does this leave us as Christians? What are we supposed to do? I have a way of looking at life that, whenever I enter a time of chaos, I go back and I find the simple teachings of the Bible to deal with it. And that's all we're going to do today. I'm going to go through an overview because there's a lot of things I'm just going to mention, I'm going to talk about, in order to build the story here. We're going to look through of an overview of how we should be viewing this, how we should be viewing this. As you go through your anger, your angst, your saying, "This person's causing it. This group's causing it. This is what's happening."

And, of course, like I said, we could get 20 people in our congregations, Murphysboro and Nashville together, and probably come up with 4 or 5 different lists of, "Here's really what the problem is." And, of course, the others would look at the others and say, "Wow, what? You're not very spiritual. You don't really get it. What's your problem? You don't love humanity? You don't have faith? Where do we go?" Well, let's go back. Let's go back and start what I want to cover today to build something that we really need to look at. This is foundational. This is foundational to what you are, who you are as a Christian. If I asked you the question, give me a definition of the Kingdom of God.

Now, I've asked that question a lot of times, what is the Kingdom of God? And usually, the answer is the Kingdom of God is established by Jesus Christ when He returns and sets up God's government on the earth. And that's an okay answer. That's actually not the definition. And it's true, but it's not the complete definition. I'm going to give you the complete definition of the Kingdom of God in one sentence. Okay? And we're really just going from scripture to scripture today. We're going to be in a lot of scripture. We're going to look at what the Bible says, what God tells us. Let's go to Psalms 103:19 Psalms 103:19The LORD has prepared his throne in the heavens; and his kingdom rules over all.
American King James Version×
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Psalms 103:19 Psalms 103:19The LORD has prepared his throne in the heavens; and his kingdom rules over all.
American King James Version×
Simple definition of the Kingdom of God. "The Lord has established His throne in heaven and His Kingdom rules over all." His Kingdom rules over all. So, our beginning point here is the definition of the Kingdom of God is everything. Everything. He rules everything. There isn't a star, there isn't a person, there isn't an angel. There isn't anything. There isn't the Earth, everything is subject to the rule of God. So, what is the Kingdom of God? His rulership, His divine rulership over everything. That's Kingdom of God.

And then we say, okay, if that's true, why is there evil in the world? If that's true, why is it that He doesn't seem to be ruling on the earth right now? Why is it that Jesus Christ has to come back and establish God's Kingdom on the earth? Well, we have to go back to Genesis. So, I'm going to rehearse this. We're not going to go back and look to the scriptures, and you know this.

We have Adam and Eve. Adam and Eve were in perfect harmony with their Creator, perfect harmony with their Creator. Excuse me. They disobeyed, and God...Now, they lived under the government of God, they were in the Kingdom of God. God kicked them out of Eden, and now they were on their own. They had to go out, and they had to figure out how to live life on their own. They were not in harmony with God anymore. And as generations went on, the majority of the descendants of Adam and Eve lost contact with God. They didn't even know who the true God is. And that's true today.

Man, that rain stirred up all these pollens. And so excuse me today. And then I went out and pulled up weeds, and I shouldn't have done it. There's another thing that happened. Now, when I say they were kicked out of the garden, I want to say something. That doesn't mean God said, "Oh, well, messed up there. Humanity is no longer under my rule. Yeah, man, I lost control of them. I kicked them out of the garden. Now my Kingdom is only in heaven." No, they still lived in the Kingdom of God, but they didn't live under the rule of the Kingdom of God. And something else happened because remember, Eve was deceived. She followed what Satan taught her, and Adam followed Eve. So, let's go now to 2 Corinthians 4. Remember, we're just going to be going from scripture to scripture to cover the Bible's teaching that we need to center on right now, maybe more than any other time in your life.

2 Corinthians 4:3-4 2 Corinthians 4:3-4 [3] But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost: [4] In whom the god of this world has blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine to them.
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"But even if our gospel" the good news of the coming Kingdom of God, the good news of Jesus Christ is King of Kings. "Even if that message is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing, whose minds, the god of this age has blinded, who do not believe unless the light of the gospel, the glory of Christ, who is that the image of God should shine on them."

When they got kicked out of Eden, God said, "Well, in this part of my Kingdom here, you now have to figure out how to live." He didn't give up rule over the earth. He didn't give up rule over humanity. But He let human beings now determine how they were going to live. But it wasn't just that. First two had chosen Satan. So, Satan gets to be here, and he is the god of this age. He is the god of this age. Most human beings don't realize, and will not even accept that there's an unseen power that influences them. The way Satan has influenced us is that he's influenced our nature, our development as human beings so that we have some elements of his nature in us. And so he is, in reality, the god of this age. And we, every human being, has some of the elements of Satan and his character and his mind in us. It's how we live.

Now, when human beings began to grow in numbers, you know, at first it was a family, that didn't work out very well either. I mean, two brothers killed...one killed another brother. Okay. So, the family system didn't work the way God expected or wanted, and designed the family system to work because human beings didn't know what they were doing. And then the god of this age didn't like the family. So, it didn't work. As time went on and they created societies, they created tribes, they had to create tribal governments. As time went on and they created societies, they had to create all kinds of governments. They had to create laws. When you go as far as you can go in human history, you will find the very first thing that groups of people are trying to do is come together and figure out how do we create laws? And how do we create some kind of authority here so that society isn't an anarchy? Some societies have tried to live in anarchy and they usually become a dictatorship because the most powerful and most cruel person, the violent person takes over. So, eventually, even anarchy becomes some form of government. So, they try to...You even go back before the flood, a few records we had before the flood, there's this tension of how do we create a society? Unfortunately, through much of history, it's whoever's the most violent, whoever's the, whatever, you know, most powerful. They take over, and they become the ruler of the government.

Now, I want you to think about this very deeply. Okay. Just take a deep breath. Everybody's so stressed out, take a deep breath. Every human government, every human government was created by human beings while under the influence of the god of this age, that includes the government of the country you and I live in. I'll talk about that a little later. You know, I personally believe the Constitution of the United States is probably one of the great, well, is may possibly the greatest document produced by human beings, in terms of governance. It's terribly flawed if you ever read it. It is terribly flawed. Eventually, it won't work. The elements in it that give it a lot of power are based on some biblical principles. So, the United States started with some biblical principles. And the United States started with blessings from God so that he could do what He's going to do. But the Constitution of the United States is not the Kingdom of God, it's not.

So, we have to understand this, all human governments, even the ones that sort of work, none of them really work, are developed by human beings under the influence of the god at this age. Now, once again, that doesn't mean that God has said, "Oh, I've lost control of the earth." God has an outcome. He calls it salvation. Okay. Where He restores order to His Kingdom. This part of his Kingdom is all disordered right now. This part is His Kingdom, He's let us, He's allowed us, and He's let Satan have it for a while. Well, not have it, because He still interacts with it. But He's let us mess this up, and He has a plan to bring everything back to where it's supposed to be. He interacts in human history to carry out that plan, including sometimes setting up Kingdoms. One of the most obvious is in Isaiah 45. I mean, we do notice, we go through the history of Judah and the history of Israel. We'll see that God appointed judges, God appointed kings. So, that's obvious where God's actually appointing the person who's going to be the king or the judge. But God also has done that with other world leaders.

Isaiah 45:1-7 Isaiah 45:1-7 [1] Thus said the LORD to his anointed, to Cyrus, whose right hand I have held, to subdue nations before him; and I will loose the loins of kings, to open before him the two leaved gates; and the gates shall not be shut; [2] I will go before you, and make the crooked places straight: I will break in pieces the gates of brass, and cut in sunder the bars of iron: [3] And I will give you the treasures of darkness, and hidden riches of secret places, that you may know that I, the LORD, which call you by your name, am the God of Israel. [4] For Jacob my servant's sake, and Israel my elect, I have even called you by your name: I have surnamed you, though you have not known me. [5] I am the LORD, and there is none else, there is no God beside me: I girded you, though you have not known me: [6] That they may know from the rising of the sun, and from the west, that there is none beside me. I am the LORD, and there is none else. [7] I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the LORD do all these things.
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"Thus says the Lord to His anointed" This is interesting. This is the only place in the Bible where a non-Israelite king is called anointed by God. "Thus says the Lord to His anointed, to Cyrus, whose right hand I have held to subdue nations before Him and loose the armor of kings to open before Him the double doors so that the gates will not be shut." Let's go down to verse 4, "For Jacob, my servant's sake, and Israel, my elect, I have called you by your name." This whole thing is about Cyrus. He says, "I've called you to be the king." Now, Cyrus was the king of the Persian Empire. He did not worship the true God. He was a pagan. And yet, he's appointed by God. "I have named you, though you have not known me." Okay? I named you, though, you have not known me. He didn't know God. He didn't choose God, God chose him. Verse 5, "I am the Lord, and there is no other. There's no God beside me. I will gird you, though, you have not known me." And here's why. "That they may know, from the rising of the sun to its setting, that there is none besides me. I am the Lord, and there is no other. I form the light and create the darkness. I make peace and creek calamity. I, the Lord, do all these things."

Doesn't sound like God has lost control of the earth, has he? Oh, he's allowing certain things. God's still on His throne. The Kingdom of God still exists, and God is watching everything. And here He says, "Cyrus is going to do His will." What's interesting, of course, is that Isaiah prophesied, and this was probably written somewhere between 700 and 861 B.C. It's hard to tell exactly in there when it was, but between 700 and 861 B.C. The thing is, is Cyrus did come along, but he came along over 150 years later, or around 150 years later.

Let's go to 2 Chronicles, long before Cyrus was born. 2 Chronicles 36, God said, "Oh yeah, there's going to be a man named Cyrus. He's going to become the king of Persia." And Jeremiah prophesied that God's going to take them out of captivity. Judah went into captivity at Babylon. Persia conquered Babylon. And Jeremiah keeps saying, "He's going to send us back. He's going to send us back. He's going to send us back." Okay. Daniel lived during that time.

2 Chronicles, 36:22-23 "Now, in the first year of Cyrus, king of Persia, that the word of the Lord, by the mouth of Jeremiah might be fulfilled." Because remember, Jeremiah kept prophesying that they were going to come back. "Might be fulfilled. The Lord, stirred up the spirit of Cyrus, king of Persia, so that he made a proclamation throughout all his kingdom." And also put it in writing saying, "Thus says Cyrus, king of Persia, all the kingdoms of the Earth, the Lord, God of heaven has given me. And He has commanded me to build a house at Jerusalem, which is in Judah, who is among you of always people. May the Lord his God be with him and let him go."

He sent them back. I mean, secular history supports this entirely. He sent them back. But God said he was going to do this a long time. And He even told the man's name and what he would do. What's interesting is Cyrus never became converted. We don't find any place where Cyrus gave up his pagan beliefs. He did believe in this God of Israel though. He believed in Him and he feared Him, and he sent the people back.

Another example is Nebuchadnezzar. Remember Nebuchadnezzar's dream, and there's this statue and these four different elements of the statue. And God reveals the message, what it means to Daniel. So, let's go to Daniel 2. Has God lost control of His Kingdom? No. Is God allowing at this time His Kingdom to be subject to chaos? Yes. Now, God's the not author of chaos. We know Satan is.

Daniel 2:27-28 Daniel 2:27-28 [27] Daniel answered in the presence of the king, and said, The secret which the king has demanded cannot the wise men, the astrologers, the magicians, the soothsayers, show to the king; [28] But there is a God in heaven that reveals secrets, and makes known to the king Nebuchadnezzar what shall be in the latter days. Your dream, and the visions of your head on your bed, are these;
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So, Nebuchadnezzar has this dream. Daniel tells him what the dream is because God inspires him. In verse 27, "Daniel answered to the presence of the king and said, the secret, which the king has demanded, the wise men, the astrologers, the magicians, and the soothsayers cannot declare to the king." All the wise people, all the people who knew what was going on, all the ones who said they had connections, they knew the secret knowledge. They even had divine help. None of them could give the answer. Verse 28, "But there is a God in heaven who reveals secrets. And He has made known to King Nebuchadnezzar what will be in the latter days. And the dream and the visions of your head upon your bed were these." And he goes on and he tells him, "This is the dream you had." Nebuchadnezzar says, "Yes, that's it. Now, tell me what it means."

Daniel 2:36-38 Daniel 2:36-38 [36] This is the dream; and we will tell the interpretation thereof before the king. [37] You, O king, are a king of kings: for the God of heaven has given you a kingdom, power, and strength, and glory. [38] And wherever the children of men dwell, the beasts of the field and the fowls of the heaven has he given into your hand, and has made you ruler over them all. You are this head of gold.
American King James Version×
"And Daniel says, this is the dream. Now, we will tell the interpretation of it before the king. You owe king" remember there was a head of gold. "You owe king or a king of Kings. For the God of heaven has given you a Kingdom, power, strength, and glory, and wherever the children of men dwell or the beast of the field and the birds of the heaven. He has given them into your hand and has made you ruler over them all. You are the head of gold."

God put Nebuchadnezzar in power at that time for His purposes. Now, remember, in this mess, in this chaos, all human history has been chaos. And then one of the reasons why is everybody's working against each other. Everybody's working against each other. Every empire that's happened in history is an attempt to get everybody to work together. Usually, through force. You know, through force, we'll finally get you to work together. You know, give up all your agendas and just take the agenda of Adolf Hitler, and you'll be okay.

There's always these attempts to get people to work together. And usually, by force. And in this point, at this time, God's still...He's carrying on His plan. And God says, "No, I've got to have this guy here now because of what I'm going to accomplish." Now, some have said, "Does that mean that God selects every ruler of every place at every time?" Or, "Does He select those to carry out His plan?" You know, because it's an interesting question. If God says, "Okay, human beings, go out and see what you can do without me because it's going to fail, and see what Satan does." And then He picks every ruler, then human beings don't get to actually try to form their own governments. It is very interesting. There are some times in the Old Testament where you see God didn't select a ruler. During the time of judges, every judge was chosen by God, but one. There was one judge not chosen by God.

Let's go to Judges 9. Abimelek is the son of Gideon. We all know Gideon because he was that great judge that God used to destroy the Midianites with his little army and, you know, a great man of faith. Gideon dies, and he has a lot of sons. Okay. So, the problem is Gideon was offered by the people, they offered to make him king. They offered, the people of Israel said, "We will simply make you king and your sons after you." In other words, we'll create a dynasty here. And he said, "No, that's not how this works. God will choose another judge when… It's His choice when and where and how to do that. So, when I die, there'll be no judge until God chooses one." And so he died, and there is no judge. There's no judge. They had to go back to just living by the laws of God as 12 tribes under this elder system, which was the form of government they had. It was run by elders of the tribes and the priests, but there's no judge. So, what happens here in Chapter 9 is Abimelek, the son of Jerub-Baal, now Jerub-Baal here is just another name for Gideon, you'll see that in the previous chapter.

Judges 9:1-2 Judges 9:1-2 [1] And Abimelech the son of Jerubbaal went to Shechem to his mother's brothers, and communed with them, and with all the family of the house of his mother's father, saying, [2] Speak, I pray you, in the ears of all the men of Shechem, Whether is better for you, either that all the sons of Jerubbaal, which are three score and ten persons, reign over you, or that one reign over you? remember also that I am your bone and your flesh.
American King James Version×
So, Gideon dies, and one of his sons went to Shechem, “to his mother's brothers and spoke with them, and with all the family of the house of his mother's father saying, ‘please speak in the hearing of all the men of Shechem.’" This is a major town, "’Which is better for you, that all 70 of the sons of Jerub-Baal reign over you or that one reign over you. Remember that I am your own flesh and bone.’"

Very interesting. There is no judge. He's thinking, "You know, eventually, all 70 brothers are going to seize power, so I better make my move first."

Judges 9:3 Judges 9:3And his mother's brothers spoke of him in the ears of all the men of Shechem all these words: and their hearts inclined to follow Abimelech; for they said, He is our brother.
American King James Version×
“And his mother's brother spoke these words concerning him in the hearing of all the men of Shechem, and their heart was inclined to follow Abimelek for they said ‘he is our brother.’ So, they gave him 70 shekels of silver from the temple of Baal-Berith." Once again, not from God. They're worshiping Baal here. "With which Abimelek hired worthless and reckless man and they followed him. Then, he went to his father's house at Ophrah and killed his brothers, the 70 sons of Jerub-Baal on one stone. But Jotham, the youngest son of Jerub-Baal was left because he hid himself. And all the men of Shechem gathered together at all at Beth Millo, and they went and made Abimelek king beside this tree, that was a pillar." That was an object of worship. Most people don't realize that during the time of judges, Israel, for a short period of time had a king. Not selected by God. He only chose judges. And, of course, if you read the story of Abimelek, it's a horrible, horrible failure. Of course, he ends up being killed. It won't work. God's not with him. It's an attempt to seize power that he did not have.

Abimelek was a king for a short period, over a little piece of Israel. He never gained much power. He did so against God. God allowed him to do this, but God did not set him up. In Israel's history, God chose the kings, remember, David. You know, Saul even was chosen by God. Even though God said, "You really don't want a king government, but okay. If that's what you want, I'll let you have it. I'll pick the best king for you." Okay. He failed. He picked David. He picked Solomon. But as time went on, Israel, over and over and over again, refused to obey God. And something very interesting happened in their history. Now, remember, why is He choosing these kings? Because Israel and then Judah, as they split into two, Israel and Judah were part of God's plan that culminates in His restoring order to His Kingdom on this earth. Okay. So, yes, Jesus Christ brings the Kingdom. It's not like He had to what, earn His right to be King. And God's always been King. It's always been His earth. And He's always been intervening to make sure His plan is carried out. And Israel and Judah were part of that plan.

Let's go to Hosea 8. Now, what I'm covering here could have been done in three sermons but we get this overview, we begin to see the viewpoint that we need to have at this time. Hosea 8:1 Hosea 8:1Set the trumpet to your mouth. He shall come as an eagle against the house of the LORD, because they have transgressed my covenant, and trespassed against my law.
American King James Version×
, Hosea is...we covered, of course, Hosea in one of the minor prophets but two Bible studies here a couple months ago. And God is telling them, you are moving farther and farther away from me, and their government was in chaos. Remember, there was assassination, after assassination, after assassination. You won't find where God goes around setting up kings by assassinating other kings. You know, you go kill this guy and then you get to be the king.

Hosea 8:1 Hosea 8:1Set the trumpet to your mouth. He shall come as an eagle against the house of the LORD, because they have transgressed my covenant, and trespassed against my law.
American King James Version×
"Set the trumpet to your mouth. He shall come like an eagle against the house of the Lord because they have transgressed my covenant and rebelled against my law. Israel will cry to me, my God, we know you. And Israel has rejected the good, the enemy will pursue him. They set up kings, but not by me. They made princes, but I did not acknowledge them. From their silver and their gold, they made idols for themselves that they may be cut off.”

They reached a point in Israel's history where God wasn't selecting their kings anymore. They were selecting their kings. And that's what's so interesting when you go through this period of time, where king after king after king, even the ones selected by God, you know, one would rebel, the next one would be sort of good, the next one would rebel, the next one...You know, and then reached the point He said, "I haven't picked a king in Israel for a long time. You've been picking your kings, how's that going for you?" He says, "It's not going very good. And I'm not going to protect you. I'm not going to protect you when the time comes because you rejected the kings I put up," that He set up. This is really important to understand that God interacts with human governments when it fits His plan. Otherwise, we are doing this under the god of this...I say humanity, just all of it. Humanity is doing this while under the influence of the god of this age. That's what all human government is. And here, even the kings of Israel were no longer being chosen by God.

Now, when Christ returns, He sets up, reestablished, brings order to the Kingdom again. And you know, the first thing He does after He resurrects the saints and destroys the armies of these rebellious governments that come against Him, He takes Satan and removes him, says, "You've had enough. You get free for a little bit at the end of the 1,000 years, but this is enough." Okay. Now humanity will be able to come to God with Jesus Christ literally ruling over them. And that government won't be like any government we know. It will not be based on the Book of Judges. It's not going to be based on even the kings of Israel. It's not going to be based on the Constitution of the United States. It's not going to be based on any government that has ever existed on the face of the Earth because Jesus Christ will be King of Kings and Lord of Lords reigning from Jerusalem. And everything will be by Him.

One of the things that you and I are going to lose when Jesus Christ comes back is freedom of religion. Sorry, there'll be one religion. Free speech, sorry, you know, you can't get people together and say, "Let's vote out the king." Eh, doesn't work. You know, freedom to bear arms. Remember the freedom to bear arms in the constitution is so that the people have the power to overthrow their government, that's the reason. Besides, any arms we have won't affect Jesus Christ. Oh, we're going to be losing a lot of freedoms when that happens. If we base our Christianity on the Constitution of the United States, we have a problem. Let's look at that problem. Every Christian that's ever lived has been born into a Kingdom, or an empire, or a country, or a republic, or a democracy, or a tribe. I mean, we've all been born into all different kinds of governments. And believe me, the government of the United States today is totally different than the government of the United States 100 years ago. It's just run totally different.

If George Washington suddenly was resurrected today and saw the world of the country he created, I think in one way, he'd be, "Wow, it's so powerful." And another way he'd say, "We failed." If Tom Jefferson was resurrected today, in one way, he'd say, "Wow, look what it became." Another way, he'd say, "But we failed, this isn't what we thought." It has always been morphing and changing. And so I think it'd be interesting if someone, you know, from 100 years ago that was a Christian, came from our background, a Sabbath-keeping Christian who believes what we believe from a 100 years ago was resurrected today, that person would be in shock. "Well, this isn't the government I remember." We're all trapped in our present time, our here and now. And we define everything by our here and now. As we've been looking here, God doesn't define everything by my here and now or your here and now. He defines everything as the sovereign ruler of the universe. That's how He defines things. And so He sees this totally different than us. And you and I have been called to become what? Philippians. Oh, yeah. We're called to be Christians. We're called to be members of the Church of God. And you all would say, "Sure, we know that."

Philippians 3:20 Philippians 3:20For our conversation is in heaven; from where also we look for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ:
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“For our citizenship” is in the State of Tennessee. Well, in a way it is, I mean, we're citizens of this country. I mean, you know, we had a sermonette by a man from Australia, you know, he's got a weird citizenship. Okay. Actually, I've been to Australia. I love the country. Great place. But you know what? Most Americans would go to Australia and say, "Oh, this is too socialist for me." They look at us and think, "Americans have some weird ways of doing things." It's like a person in France told me one time. We were talking about the United States, and we were at the feast, and we were going to their version of SeaWorld. And they said, "We probably don't have anything like SeaWorld in the United States." I said, "Yeah." Well, whatever it was, was it called SeaWorld there. And I said, "Yeah, it's called SeaWorld." "You do?" "Wow. From what we read, all the animal rights restrictions you have, we figured you couldn't even have a SeaWorld." And then another person said, "You know, though, we do have a lot more socialism you do, but it's okay because I know where my taxes go. You all have so many hidden taxes, you have no idea how much you're paying in taxes," which is actually absolutely true. I'm not sure we pay any less in taxes than most socialist countries. Yeah. Okay. Well, they made a point, right? A little different viewpoint.

So, everybody has a citizenship where they are, and where they live. And they're influenced by that. I mean, I'm a citizen of the United States of America. I'm a citizen of Tennessee. And that influences to a certain degree who I am. But let me tell you something. That can't be our primary influence. It can't be.

Philippians 3:20-21 Philippians 3:20-21 [20] For our conversation is in heaven; from where also we look for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ: [21] Who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like to his glorious body, according to the working whereby he is able even to subdue all things to himself.
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"For our citizenship is in heaven from which we also eagerly wait for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ." We eagerly wait for the resurrection. We eagerly wait for the change. We eagerly wait for what? The restoration of God's Kingdom on this mess, on this chaos. That's what we wait for. He says, "Who will transform our lowly body that it may be conformed to His glorious body, according to the working way which He is able even to subdue all things to Himself." He's going to subdue everything. All creation's going to come back to Him. Why do you think in Romans Paul says, "The entire creation is suffering.” waiting for what? The return of Jesus Christ and the revelation of the sons of God. What are the sons of God going to be doing? We're going to be carrying out God's government on this earth, and whatever capacity we're given. That's what we're going to do.

We can't try. We can't go into that thinking that what we're going to do is recreate Australia, the United States of America, Mexico, France, the USSR, because those are all governments created by human beings. Under the influence of the god of this age. Some of them have some elements of the Bible, they tend to be better than others. Okay. And I'm thankful that I happen to be, my here and now is right here in this country. I'm thankful for that. But this is not the Kingdom of God. It is not. Where is our heart? Where is our focus? Where is our minds? Where is our energy? Is your energy absorbed in what? COVID-19? The crisis we're going through? Who's really at fault? How many internet articles you can absorb to find out which conspiracy is the most plausible? Is it centered in, on looking at other Christians and how they're handling this and saying, "Oh, you're not as righteous as I am because you're not handling this the way I am?" Is that where we are?

Hebrews 11. Do we go on Facebook so we can just post about “These people don't love because they're not doing, or they're doing this? No, these people don't have faith because they're doing this.” Is that where we are? I want to talk about that in a minute, because there's a question we have to ask ourselves. There's an honest...there's a really, really, really important, honest introspective view we're all going to have to take. Crises bring out the best in us, and they bring out the worst in us. And it's bringing out the best and the worst in us. Okay. It's just doing that. I'm doing that. We're going to have to go back to here. We're going to have to go back to God as the Sovereign King of the universe. And that's where our citizenship is. So what does that mean? Hebrews 11. I've read this so many times at the Feast of Tabernacles, where this is a little bit more focused for us is at the Feast Tabernacles, right? Because we realize, oh, yeah, Christ is coming back and He's going to establish...Well, I say, He's going to establish God's Kingdom on this earth, He's going to reestablish. He's going to bring order out of the chaos, right? Because this earth still belongs to God. He's just letting us mess it up for a while.

How bad will we mess it up? Under the god of this age, we will bring humanity. Humanity will bring itself to the very, very brink that if Christ doesn't come back, everybody would die. And you can't stop that, and I can't stop that. I don't care who we vote for, if you vote. I don't care what party you could follow. I don't care what constitution you believe in, you and I can't stop that. Why? Because that's where corrupt human nature and Satan will take us. It's going to go there. Fortunately, the King of the Kingdom of God never stopped just, you know, working in the mess. Because if he had, we're doomed, folks. We're doomed. Right now, as our focus on the King of the Kingdom, what is our focus? Here's how...you know, this is the great faith chapter. Here's what the great men and women of the entire Old Testament, that are singled out as great people of faith, that people truly followed God. Here's what it says about them.

Hebrews 11:13 Hebrews 11:13These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of them, and embraced them, and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth.
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"These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them a far off and were assured of them, embraced them and confessed them that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth." It didn't matter what country they were a citizen of. And by the way, they were always good citizens. Always good citizens. We're going to talk about that in a minute. But that wasn't their motivation, their motivation wasn't because “I went status” or “I just love my country so much.” They were good citizens because of another set of standards.

Hebrews 11:14 Hebrews 11:14For they that say such things declare plainly that they seek a country.
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"For those who say such things, declare plainly that they seek a homeland." The United States is no longer my homeland. That doesn't mean I'm going to do anything against the United States. I'm not going to go march on the State Capitol. I'm not going to do that, but it's not my homeland. The older I get, the more I realize that. I love this country, but it's not my homeland. It's a temporary place. That's my here and now. And I'm really glad that this is my here and now. I'm really glad I wasn't born in Kenya. For those people, here and now is a lot harder than mine. And I thank God for grace because I didn't deserve that. They don't...This has nothing to do with deserves, it has to do with where we are in God's plan. And I do believe there are going to be people when Christ comes back that will receive rewards far greater than ours because so much was given to us and we're so small-minded. I do believe that.

Hebrews 11:14-16 Hebrews 11:14-16 [14] For they that say such things declare plainly that they seek a country. [15] And truly, if they had been mindful of that country from where they came out, they might have had opportunity to have returned. [16] But now they desire a better country, that is, an heavenly: why God is not ashamed to be called their God: for he has prepared for them a city.
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"For those who say such things, declare plainly that they seek a homeland. And truly, if they had called to mind that country from which they had come out, they would've had opportunity to return." In other words, there's always a chance to go back. There's always a pull to go back. Where are our energies? Where's your mind? Where is your heart? "But now they desire a better, that is a heavenly country. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God for He has prepared a city for them." God has prepared a place for those who seek another homeland. Those who are strangers on this earth because this isn't our home. But I'm afraid, for many of us, this has become so much our home. We've lost sight of what we've been called to. And our crises come along, and we're all over the place. Why? Why?

Hebrews 12:28 Hebrews 12:28Why we receiving a kingdom which cannot be moved, let us have grace, whereby we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear:
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“Therefore” This is the summation of what Chapter 11 and 12 is about. "Therefore, since we are receiving a Kingdom." You know, think about what we just read. God's not ashamed to say, "I'm his God." Do you think God looks at us and say, "Oh, wow, they are living by the very values, the example of my Kingdom so much." Yeah. Seeing go on Facebook and find...And the churches of God. United Church of God, all the churches of God, Sabbath-keepers all over the place. And you can find some of them saying, "People who wear masks don't have faith. People who don't wear masks, they don't love their neighbor." Why do we go there? I talk about that now. Why do we go there? What's the purpose of going there? He said, "Why are you making such a big thing out of this?" Because this shows we've lost our focus on who we are and who our brothers and sisters are in the church. That's what it shows. And it's a great danger. It's a great danger. I'll explain that in a minute too.

"Therefore, since we are receiving a Kingdom, which cannot be shaken. Let us have grace, by which we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear." We should be learning from this. How to serve God, who is our King, and Jesus Christ, who is our King, who's going to come here to rule and then give the Kingdom to the Father. That's what happens at the end of the great white throne judgment. Christ has been working since He scooped up the mud and made Adam and Eve. He's been working to the point He gives the Kingdom to the Father because it's always been God's Kingdom. And we're just in the anomaly part. We have to be centered on God, not on all the other things that we're getting centered on.

So, what does that mean? Okay. How do we define that in terms of how we interact with the government we're in? Does that mean we can be bad citizens? You know, if the speed limit is 45 and you drive 102 and you get arrested and you get put in jail, you deserve it. I don't care if you are a Christian. Well, God doesn't have any speed limits. God has allowed human beings to set up governments, and we have a responsibility in that.

Let's go to Matthew 22. I find Matthew 22 interesting because sometimes we go through this and we miss the point, okay, we miss the point. We read this as if this is another confrontation between Jesus and the Pharisees and the Sadducees. And it's not.

Matthew 22:15-17 Matthew 22:15-17 [15] Then went the Pharisees, and took counsel how they might entangle him in his talk. [16] And they sent out to him their disciples with the Herodians, saying, Master, we know that you are true, and teach the way of God in truth, neither care you for any man: for you regard not the person of men. [17] Tell us therefore, What think you? Is it lawful to give tribute to Caesar, or not?
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"Then the Pharisees went and plotted how they might entangle Him in His talk,” But they couldn't. Every time they brought up a religious argument, they got slammed. Every time. So, they decided, okay, let's not get Him with a religious argument. Let's get Him with a political argument. "And they sent to Him their disciples with the Herodians saying ‘Teacher, we know that you are true and teach the way of God and truth, nor do you care about anyone for you do not regard the person of men. Tell us, therefore, what do you think? Is it lawful to pay taxes to Caesar or not?’” It's actually a brilliant argument, but it's a political argument.

The Herodians are the supporters of the family of Herod. And it's the family of Herod that has been different parts of the area have different kings in charge that are family members of Herod. They worked for the Romans. So, these are people who work for the Romans, who are Jews who—well, they're actually Edomites, but they're in the Jewish world, in the Jewish community—and here they are ruling, supporting the Roman government. They couldn't get Him on a law of God but, you know, we sure can get him on a political move because here's their argument. "We know that you obey God. We know that no human being is going to affect you and get you to disobey God. So, should you pay taxes?" Because there were a lot of Jews that said you shouldn't pay Roman taxes. Now, you think that the King of the Kingdom, He's going to be the...You know, when He comes back, crowned King of the Earth under His Father. You think, he'd say, "Of course not. You don't pay taxes.” To what? What's their government? Well, it's being ruled over much of this time by Caligula, Nero. They're all insane. Absolutely insane.

I mean, some of what they did made Hitler look sort of, you know, not so bad. These guys were insane. They had the most powerful empire of the world had ever known at that time. And they passed laws that a lot of them were against God. They were pagans. It was a pagan society. Of course, the King of the Kingdom of God would say, "Don’t give those people money." And that’s not what He said.

Matthew 22:18-22 Matthew 22:18-22 [18] But Jesus perceived their wickedness, and said, Why tempt you me, you hypocrites? [19] Show me the tribute money. And they brought to him a penny. [20] And he said to them, Whose is this image and superscription? [21] They say to him, Caesar's. Then said he to them, Render therefore to Caesar the things which are Caesar's; and to God the things that are God's. [22] When they had heard these words, they marveled, and left him, and went their way.
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"But Jesus perceived their wickedness."
He said, "Now you're going to get me with a political question." “And said, ‘Why do you test Me, you hypocrites. Show me the tax money.’ So, they brought Him a denarius, and He said, ‘Whose image and description on this?’ They said, ‘Caesar.’" I mean, Caesar, they always put their face on coins. “And he said to them, ‘Render therefore to Caesar the things that are Caesar's, and to God the things that are God's.’" You give God His honor by obeying Him and issues of the Kingdom of God. If it's simply issues of working with the government that you happen at that time to be under on this earth, as long as it never comes in conflict with God, you do what they say.

Now, Jesus showed that if it comes in conflict with the Kingdom of God, you don't. And they killed Him for it. Okay? So, it's not...Peter, Paul, they died because they said, "Well, we can't, there's a line here. Our citizenship is in heaven. We can't cross that line." But understand what He's telling them. That's why it says, "When they had heard these words, they marveled and left Him and went their way." These politicians, you know, they just didn't go pick a few Herodians out of the...you know, "Hey, you, are you Herodian? Good. You come with me." They picked the biggest politicians they could find, they brought the best political minds and said, "We can trap Him with this." And you think about what a trap this is. If He says, "No, you shouldn't pay taxes," He's going to be arrested the next day by Roman soldiers for treason. If He says, "Yes, you should pay taxes," then, basically, the Jewish population is going to say, "He can't be the Messiah." But nobody could argue with, "What goes to God as the Sovereign King goes to God. Whatever you happen to be living under at the time, as long as it's not against that, you do it."

There's part of me that doesn't like that. I'm just being honest. And you know why? Because there's part of me that says, "No government had the right to tell me what to do." Right? That is a viewpoint of being a citizen of this world. We're looking at what it means to be a citizen of the Kingdom of God. You don't follow the laws because you're a participant. You follow the laws because God says so. "Why would He say so?" Not when, not when they go against Him. But why? 1 Timothy 2. Let's look at what Paul says to Timothy about this very same thing. 1 Timothy 2:1 1 Timothy 2:1I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men;
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. So, you can see we've covered a lot of ground, but I'm coming into a focal point. One, well, I'll get back to that in a minute. Let's go through this because I really want to zero in on this anxiety, this stress, and what I'm seeing it cause, and why it's got to stop.

1 Timothy 2:1-2 1 Timothy 2:1-2 [1] I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men; [2] For kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty.
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"Therefore, I exhort, first of all, that supplication, prayers, and intercessions, and giving of thanks be made for all men." Good. We should pray for each other in the church. We should pray for each other's needs, and sicknesses, and blessings, and help from God, right? But that's not the end of the sentence. "For kings and those who are in authority." "Whoa, whoa, whoa, wait a minute. Wait a minute. I'm to pray for the governor of Tennessee? I'm to pray for President Trump? I'm to the pray for these people?" Yes. You know, before you take your next...before you watch...You know, so much depends on your viewpoint. I mean, I've talked to people who have nothing but cable television, I mean non-cable television. And all they see is ABC, MSNBC, you know, CBS, and they have one viewpoint of the news. And then somebody else, they watch Fox News or something on the internet, and they have another viewpoint and all these viewpoints. Okay? I have never heard anybody say, “Pray for the president.” You know, when was the last time you heard somebody on one side say, "Remember to pray." Did you ever remember anybody say, "Pray for President Obama?" On the other side, do you ever hear anybody say, "Pray for President Trump?" Why are we to pray for them? "That we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and reverence."

We are to pray that God's work in us as His church. God is working today through the church to preach the coming Kingdom of God. And Jesus Christ is the head of that Kingdom. That's our job, and we're to live it. We're to be living those values right now. What are we? Let's see. Are we Republicans, Democrats, independents? No. Our main citizenship is in another Kingdom. Don't ever forget that.

1 Timothy 2:3 1 Timothy 2:3For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior;
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He says, "For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God, our Savior, who desires all men to be saved and come to the knowledge of the truth." He says, "Pray for them too because, you know, someday God is going to call them, and hopefully they'll respond." Do you think of the person who sort of uses spies the most in politics? You say, "Well, I pray to God that you someday call them. When it's their time, you call them." What? No, this, it's all different standards. We have brought a different set of standards in, and we're not living by these standards. I'm not saying we shouldn't stand up against the world when they're wrong. We're supposed to. Any politician who promotes things against God, we should be able to say, "That's against God."

You know, when a politician supports abortion, they're supporting genocide. I can't think of anything worse than murdering helpless babies. And we should say, "That is against God." But, you know, we can't make up things about Him either. We can't just say, "Oh, well..." I remember that discussion came up because I made that argument with Mr. Trump. “Oh, I disagree with him here, here, and here biblically." But I can't make up something about him. I remember that argument about Mr. Obama, you know, that he was setting up concentration camps. I couldn't believe this. The people believed this, and there were a few people in the church that bought into it. Concentration camps to put Christians in. And I said, "Well, I can sit...I have no problem saying, and I'd say, "Mr. Obama," if I had a chance, "your stance on abortion is against God. It's murder." But to say he's setting up concentration camps to put Christians in is not true, which means you're lying. You're the one sinning. This is a different standard. But we forget because we're still attached to the country we're in, and we will be to a certain degree. But how attached are we? How attached are we?

2 Peter 2. The more we become obsessed, we have to know what's going on. And you know what? I have certain political views that I know some of you would've different political views. That doesn't bother me. There's political views. So, we all have slightly different political views on things. Hopefully, we don't have different views on what God says about what's right and wrong. Okay. 1 Peter 2. Here, Peter's talking to the church and talking about the same thing.

1 Peter 2:11-12 1 Peter 2:11-12 [11] Dearly beloved, I beseech you as strangers and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts, which war against the soul; [12] Having your conversation honest among the Gentiles: that, whereas they speak against you as evildoers, they may by your good works, which they shall behold, glorify God in the day of visitation.
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"Beloved, I beg you," he says, "as sojourners and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lust which wore against the soul, having your conduct honorable among the Gentiles, that when they speak against you as evil doers, they may, by your good works, which they observe glorify God in the day of visitation." Now, notice what he says. When the non-Christians attack you, when they slander you, when they put you down, when the government of God has established on this earth, they will remember you. It's not going to happen in this lifetime. They will remember you and say, "You know what? They were decent people. And not only were they right, they were decent people. And they glorified God.” What we want is, well, we want people to see us. No, they glorify God, therefore...Okay. This leads to a conclusion. Therefore, in conclusion, to what he's talking about, since we're sojourners, this isn't really our land, folks. We're citizens here. We have a certain loyalty to it, but it's not our homeland.

We took a covenant oath with God at baptism that we will seek another home with its values, its viewpoints because this one's going to die. This one will not last because none of these things last.

1 Peter 2:13-17 1 Peter 2:13-17 [13] Submit yourselves to every ordinance of man for the Lord's sake: whether it be to the king, as supreme; [14] Or to governors, as to them that are sent by him for the punishment of evildoers, and for the praise of them that do well. [15] For so is the will of God, that with well doing you may put to silence the ignorance of foolish men: [16] As free, and not using your liberty for a cloak of maliciousness, but as the servants of God. [17] Honor all men. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honor the king.
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"Therefore, submit yourselves to every ordinance of man for the Lord's sake, whether it's to the king who is Supreme, or the governors, or as those who are sent by him for the punishment of evildoers, and for the praise of those who do good." He said, "So do your best.” You know, now Peter disobeyed the Roman government at one point, and was killed for it. But it was because they led him or tried to get him to go against his citizenship. And he wasn't going to do that. “For this is the will of God that by doing so.” By doing what? By simply submitting to the government if that's there...even if it's stupid. You know, that's not the issue. "For this is the will of God. But by doing good, you may put to silence the ignorance of foolish men as free." Yeah, you're free. And the governments always take away freedom. They always take away freedoms. "As free, yet not using liberty as a cloak for vice, but as bondservants of God, honor all people, love your brotherhood, fear God, honor the king.” Love your brotherhood.

As I said, I have very strong feelings about the government. I don't say much at the pulpit about it. I have a certain loyalty to the United States. It is not my homeland, not anymore. Hasn't been for a long, long time. I have a different homeland because this is just another attempt by human beings to find some way to govern the mess and bring order out of the chaos under the influence of the god of this age. Fortunately, there was enough biblical influence here and blessings of God. We live under the blessings of God so he could fulfill his work. Someday the blessings of God are going to be removed from this country and it won't do God's work anymore. How do I know that? The Bible says that. This is not God's Kingdom on Earth. It isn't. We have to make the code of citizenship of the Kingdom of God. That's our lives. That's what we live by.

You know, at the beginning of the sermon, I gave you a list that I had compiled from news sources of who was really to blame. So, I want to go through the list again, you know, you can make your list. So, then what we're going to pick out who's really to blame here. On this list, okay, I want to pick specifically from this list. Democrats, Republicans, the Chinese, a secret conspiracy of powerful people who want to establish one world order, internet conspiracy theorist, Bill Gates, millennials, baby boomers, Gen Xers, the deep state, capitalists, socialists, communists, Donald Trump, the medical profession, pharmaceutical companies, insurance companies, people who don't wear masks, people who do wear masks, racists, big business, CNN, Fox News, TalkRadio, Google, Facebook, liberal judges, conservative judges, armed protestors, the CIA. I actually had a much longer list at one time. I had Nancy Pelosi on here. I had all kinds of people on here, you know, and I just shortened it down. Okay?

So, let's look through the list. Who do we say is really to blame for all this? Well, all of them? Oh, some of them more than others, but all of them. These are all human beings under the influence of the god of this age trying to form a government that works. And it won't. I'm amazed it works as good as it does. Everybody. What we want to do is find some point that we can say, "There it is." Of course, there's someone not on this list that never gets put on the list. And that is the god of this age. Satan is manipulating all this. He's always manipulating this. Always. And, you know, these people aren't working together. That's what's amazing. They're all fighting each other. You think, man, Satan would create somehow try to bring everybody together. Well, he will, but it doesn't last. The beast power lasts three-and-a-half years, isn't very long, is it? The best effort he has ever done in history to get humanity to work together lasts a total of three-and-a-half years. That's the best he can do because you know where he does his best work? Well, his worst work, what he considers his best work is in chaos. And it doesn't take much to create chaos among us sheep. You know? We're like 7 billion sheep on the face of the earth. It doesn't take much for us to experience chaos. And when we do, we have panic and anxiety, and we get angry, and we get violent. We go all over the place.

So, keeping humanity divided all the time is good for business, as far as Satan's concerned. It's where he does his work. God does His work by bringing people together and having them work together in love, in unity, by the laws and the principles and the values of His Kingdom. The values of Satan's kingdom always creates chaos. You and I are in that chaos, and it's upset our lives, hasn't it? Where are you focusing your energy? I've had to ask myself this. So, you know, I'm talking to me, just as much as you, where am I putting my focus, my energy, my mind, my heart? Is it in the Kingdom of God? Or is it, "Oh, look, I think it really is Bill Gates. Or, "Oh, look, here are some people in the church who aren't wearing masks. They're evil. Oh, here's some people in the church who are practicing social distancing. They don't have faith." Is that where we are? Because I tell you where if you were there, I tell you what's happened to you. You jump back into the chaos, you simply went back to the old country. This is the country. This is the world. That's what it is. Our focus is on God. Our focus is on Jesus Christ, who's going to return to establish His Kingdom. Our focus is, "Hey, we knew this would never work anyways, but it's been a good ride." And it's not over tomorrow. You know, you and I, we're not going to starve tomorrow, folks, but parts of the world are going to start to starve this summer, things are going to start to happen.

The bottom line is you live in something that can't last. It can't because it wasn't created by God, but God's still in charge. His Kingdom's still here. He's still working out things. So, in the end, He creates His Kingdom and we can be part of that. And that's what you've been called to, not to get on Facebook and beat the tar out of other Christians. That's the chaos, folks. Welcome to Satan's world. Jump back in it. But not here. The church of God is going to have to stand against that. We're going to love our brothers and sisters, even if they have different viewpoints of this because you might be looking at one doctor and getting one idea and another doctor and get another idea. Because the truth is a lot of it, we don't know what the truth is. God knows. And God is our source. God is who we look for. Jesus Christ is the one that we hang on to. Not a party. Not politics. That's not what we hang onto. That's not what we're about. We've left that country, why do you want to go back to it? Why?

Abraham never went back to Chaldee, Ur. Why do we want to go back into it? I'm not saying you're not interested. I'm not saying we know. I'm not saying we're going to have some anxiety from it. I'm not saying we have political ideas. We all do. But that's not our lives. That's not our focus. That's just part of it.

You see, you've been called to come out of the chaos and we've lived such good lives. You know, we've lived such good lives at the church over the last 20 years has been doing what? Well, we didn't beat up on the world enough, so we just beat up upon each other. The church has spent the last 20 years beating up on each other. Why? Because we lost our focus on the Kingdom of God and who we are as the family of God. That's why. All the other things just they're peripheral. That's why. And now the church is having stress because why? Well, we need this candidate in, we need this done, we need this done. Then it's we need them to do this and that and the other. And part of it may be true. I mean, I have my ideas of what the government should do. No one cares in the government. And in the end, it's not that important.

I've lost some constitutional freedoms, and I don't like that. But the constitution isn't the issue. My citizenship in the Kingdom of God, that's the issue. We need to spend some time in prayer, and we need to spend some time in our Bibles, and we need to spend some time fasting. And we need to ask God to refocus us because this, there could be a power in our lives. There could be a power in the church that we probably haven't had for a long time. If we just get refocused, we've lived too good a lives. It's almost like we're living the millennium now, but we're not. This isn't the Kingdom of God. We need to get refocused, refocused so that God’s in our lives. And so that our hearts and our minds are not on the chaos of the world, but our hearts and minds is in our citizenship and the Kingdom of Heaven.

Comments

  • Peggy Pieroway
    Mr Petty, this was wonderful! Thank you. Food for the soul.
  • MS. DARLENE M. ELFERING
    Mr. Petty - are you allergic to those flowers.?
  • Mary Smith
    Thank you for your passion for the Kingdom of God, and for helping us to refocus on what is important!
  • SISTERSWITHLOVE
    Thank you Mr. Petty for being so frank. This is a message we all need to hear, so we all can wake up.
  • beverlybutler
    Thank God for letting me hear what I need to hear at this time! Thank you Mr. Petty for crying aloud and not mincing words to save our feelings or your popularity. I've said this before after hearing a message last year, and I say it again: I feel that certain messages should be mandated for all church membership to hear -- possibly through webcast from headquarters.
  • john.macgruer
    Greetings from Norfolk U.K.
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