Friday Evening Service

Shawn Boonstra joins us and preaches his first sermon at camp meeting titled "Hope for Today I".

 Don passed away three weeks ago and his funeral is this week. He called me when he knew he was dying and asked me to do the funeral. And so when he died, I called back and they said you've got camp meeting. I said I'll cancel a camp meeting. Don, he said, would come up from the grave and kill you if you canceled a camp meeting.

So you go preach. And and so I recorded the funeral sermon. It felt weird, but I sent it off and I promised him, he said, Shawn, I want it to be short and about Jesus. I got one of those right? It's not as short as they would hope. We're gonna the, we're gonna look at tonight, if you wanna mark your Bible, I dumped the slides because you should know how to find your way around a Bible.

Anyhow, we're gonna look at Second Thessalonians chapter two. If you wanna bookmark that, we're gonna look at it very quickly. And then we're gonna look at chiefly first Samuel, chapters eight and nine. If you wanna put a bookmark anywhere, you wanna put a bookmark in First Samuel eight and nine. And if we have time, we may go to Deuteronomy 17.

And I suspect as we look at the material tonight, you're gonna see some things you've seen before. We're gonna touch briefly touch. In a survey method, some things you've seen, some familiar landmarks from the pages of prophecy, but, and if they don't seem familiar to them, to you I would suggest it might be time to open your Bible and have another look.

And because I think that we're coming up on a time when you wish you would have looked, and my prayer is when we're done, that you'll be taken aback by the love of God and the way that he moves in this world. Yes, let's pray. Father in heaven as we turn to the pages of this book, I don't have what it takes to stand in front of your people.

I know who I am. I know where I've been. Lord, I ask that you'd forgive my sin and take a coal from heaven's altar this evening and bless me, this won't work. Otherwise, let the only voice we hear tonight be the voice of Jesus Christ, our loving savior. And when he speaks to our hearts tonight with covenant with you, that we will follow the lamb wherever he goes.

For we prayed in Jesus' name, amen. Amen. Second Thessalonians two, a well-known passage. We're gonna touch on it briefly. Second Thessalonians two and verse one. Paul writes this. This is of course his second letter to the Church of Thessalonica. Now, brethren, concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, in our gathering together to him, Jesus, coming for the church, we ask you not to be soon shaken in mind or.

Troubled either by spirit or by word or by letter as if, from us as though the day of Christ had come. I want you to notice as we're looking at this, the attitude that Paul has when he talks about last day events, it's the same attitude that Jesus has. You'll notice when Jesus was. Preaching. He often said, let not your heart be troubled.

Do not be afraid. Fear not. He always spoke with an attitude of reassurance, which is what Paul does here. Don't be troubled. And that attitude tells me that if preachers are using last day events to scare the stuffing out of the congregation, to make them spitless and scared, it might not be a biblical approach.

Now, it's true that once in a while, a well placed sermon can be very effective. Every parent understands that once in a while you have to say, look, if you do this, the consequence is going to be that every so often a preacher must do that. But if somebody is always. Always trying to sell the gospel by scaring the congregation.

If it's always about the beast, it's always about the time of trouble. It's always about persecution. Then I would suggest to you tonight, based on my reading, that is not a biblical approach. It's not biblical. I do not want you to be troubled. Paul says, I don't want you to be troubled by anything I wrote to you in a letter.

Why does he say that? That's because this is his second letter, and in the first letter he gave such a profound de. Description of the second coming of Christ. It took the congregation's breath away. Don't forget, they didn't have Facebook reels and they didn't have YouTube and they didn't have special effects.

All they had was the written word, and in First Thessalonians in chapter four, you know it well. He describes a second come of Christ. It is beautiful. Jesus descends from heaven with a shout with the voice of the archangel. The graves are open, the dead, come back to life. We're caught up into the air to meet Jesus in the air and we'll be with him thereafter.

Now, back in the first century, that was such a powerful description that the congregation panicked. They freaked out. Did you hear that letter that Paul wrote? They read it in church on Sabbath morning. And Jesus is gonna come at any minute. There's not even any point putting in a crop this year.

We won't have time to harvest it, and I'm not even gonna pay my bills this month because, the end of the month's not even gonna come by the sound of it. Jesus will be here any minute. They got the wrong idea. So Paul sits down and he writes them another letter. He says, not. So fast. There's a few things that have to happen before Jesus comes, and here we get to our key text for today, and I'm gonna surprise you with it.

We're gonna look at it in a way you may not have looked at it before. Verse three. Let no one deceive you by any means. That's why you need to be in the word of God. Deception is a key theme in Bible prophecy. Let no one deceive you by any means for that day. The coming of Christ for the church will not come unless the falling away comes first.

He predicts that there would be apostasy inside Christianity, and the man of sin is revealed. The son of perdition who opposes and exalts himself above all that is called God or that his worship so that he sits as God in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God. Now I'm convinced that verse, that passage describes the greatest struggle, the greatest challenge that you're gonna face between this moment right now in this auditorium and the moment that Jesus lights up the eastern sky, but maybe not the way that you think.

Let me take you back in history to the pages of the Old Testament. You wanna look at First Samuel chapter nine, and I wanna look at the story of Saul, the son of Ki. He's an ordinary, average, everyday farm kid, and when you first meet him in the pages of the Bible, he's out looking for his dad's missing donkeys.

It's a pretty ordinary story. Lots of young men have had to go looking for the missing livestock. It's not unusual, but as you start to read the story carefully, you discover that Saul, the son of Kish, is not like every other boy. In fact, in some regards, I. He resembles Lucifer just a little bit before Lucifer fell from heaven because the Bible says Saul was unusually gifted and it says that he was incredibly attractive, very easy on the eyes.

The kind of guy who turns the head of every young girl that he meets. The kind of guy I hated when I was out shopping for a wife, because you cannot compete with Saul, the son of Kish. Here's what it says in one Samuel nine verse two, and he, that's Kish. Had a choice in handsome son whose name was Saul.

How handsome was he? The Bible says there was not a more handsome person than he among the children. He's the most handsome boy in the entire country. The best looking guy. He's the Pierce Brosnan of his generation. He's the Brad Pitt, the Kerry Grant, the Sean. But no, I'm kidding about that one. He's he's the best looking guy in the history of Israel.

He's really, and in addition to that, the Bible says from his shoulders up upward, he was taller than all the other people, that he's got the whole package. I bet Saul, the son of Kish, doesn't have ear hair growing out of his ear lobes or hair growing down his back. Not that I'm bitter about how middle age is turning out but he, he's the whole package.

He's the whole pa. He's the guy that all the high school girls looked at. He's the lifeguard at the pool. I can't compete with the lifeguard at the pool. And one day the Bible says The best looking man in the country goes out to look for missing donkeys. But what stud Muff and Saul doesn't realize at the beginning of the story is that those donkeys aren't missing by accident.

In fact, it's entirely possible that an angel has led those donkeys off into the wilderness because God needs Saul to show up somewhere at a certain time, where in a little town called Rama, Because the elders of Israel have just called a meeting with Samuel, the aging prophet of God. This happens really late in Samuel's career.

This is years after he hears the voice of God calling him as a little boy in the dark. Samuel. And I know the Bible doesn't say which member of the Godhead is calling, but it seems to me that the Son of God has a personality trait. You ever noticed how he uses people's names twice? Saul. Saul, why do you persecute me?

Mary. Mary? It is me. Say he. Samuel. Samuel. I think it's Jesus. And in response to the call of Christ, Samuel has spent his entire life. Time helping the children of Israel understand what it means to live as a covenant people in the land of promise. But now in chapter eight, he's getting old First Samuel, chapter eight.

The children of Israel are starting to wonder what's gonna happen when Samuel dies? What are we gonna do for leadership? So they called an emergency meeting at the same time the donkeys go missing. It's not an accident. He shuffles into the meeting saying, J Gentlemen, what in the world is going on?

Why would you call a meeting at two o'clock in the afternoon on a Wednesday? I know that you think I just teach the Pastor Sabbath school class, and I preach a sermon once a week, but I'm really busy all week long. I've got things to do, Bible studies to give evangelistic meetings to plan. I'm really busy, so I'm hoping this is important.

And the room falls quiet. Everybody looks at their feet, so you know it's not good. They're all feeling really awkward. And finally, somebody at the front of the crowd elbows the guy next to him. Who's the designated spokesman and he speaks up. He said Samuel, listen, we just wanted to meet with you because well, we really appreciate everything that you've ever done for us.

And in our minds. There's never been a leader quite like you and all the hist. We think you might even be the best prophets since Moses. And because we are so convinced about it, we pooled our money. We went down to the trophy hut, that little place right next to the post office here in Rama, and we made you a plaque and it says for 50 years of faithful service.

And we thought you could hang that in your office and every time when you look up at it, you will know how deeply we appreciate you really, guys Trophy. A plaque in the middle of the week that couldn't wait till potluck at church. You couldn't do that during the service. Why would you, could you see anybody with a lifetime of experience knows that the minute they all start to butter you up, the shoe's about to drop a plaque?

No, Samuel, there is more. What is it? Yes. This is hard to say, but we noticed you're not what you used to be. You're getting a little bit tired, Samuel. And the other day after church board, you went all over the place looking for your keys for your OX card. It took you half an hour to find them.

They were in your hand the entire time and maybe you couldn't see them cuz you couldn't find your glasses either. They were on top of your head, Samuel, and you slept through half of that church board meeting. And when you were awake, you couldn't hear what anybody was saying. And we love you, but. You're getting old.

We think it's time for a succession. Oh, a succession plan. If that's what you're worried about, I got you covered. I've been training my boys. They are ready to take my place. They are ready to go. I've already appointed them. Relax. More awkward silence. That's the point. We don't like ab, Baja and Joel.

What do you mean you don't like Ab, Baja and Joel? They had a point. The Bible says you wouldn't want to by John Joel either. It says in First Samuel eight verse three, they did not walk in the ways of their father th they were into dishonest gain and bribes and perverted justice. Now, that might be fine if you're running for public office in the year 2023, but it wasn't fine in Israel.

Amen. That wasn't fine at all in the camp of Israel. That was unacceptable because the only role for leadership in the original camp of Israel was to point people back to the only true king. If you look at it carefully, in the earliest days of Israel leadership didn't legislate, they didn't raise funds, they didn't line their pockets with the proceeds of public office.

They didn't really make any decisions. They were coaches who pointed people to Christ. That's all they did. They led people to God and if Samuel's boys were morally compromised in any way, there's no way they could have their father's job. So the prophet has to think for a minute the same way you would have to think for a minute if you just found out that you are old.

I may be speaking from experience. They don't want your kids. What are you boys suggesting? Here's what we're thinking. We've been in Canaan now for quite a while and we've grown up as a nation and we've been looking at the other countries and we've noticed that well, they have it different and we've grown up into this respectable people.

We now have culture and industry and there's a new college in Jerusalem. We're even going to get a McDonald's in Jerusalem and this country is growing and we are prospering and we think we need to become a real country. What? What do you mean a real country gentlemen? What do you mean a real country?

This is supposed to be different. This is better than those other nations. This was raised up by God himself. No, Samuel. Listen, this is not a real country. If you were to take a look around, you would see that every other country without exception, has a king every other respect. Respectable religion, every other church as a highly responsible human being, a highly trained professional, sitting at the very top of the organization, organization.

And we're getting a little bit embarrassed because we're still behaving like peasants, like we want a king. That's a horrible idea, gentlemen. God doesn't want you to have a king. Now, look Samuel, I know you don't get it. You come from another generation, but maybe it's time to get an Instagram account so that you can keep up with the times and see what everybody out there is doing.

Everybody knows that in the 12th century bc I understand they didn't know it was the 12th century bc, but work with me just a little bit. The 12th century bc, everybody has a king. That's what a country require, and they were right. That's absolutely how everybody else was doing it. Everybody else, but everybody else was not the chosen people of God.

Everybody else was not the establishment of God's kingdom on earth. And God's people have never been like everybody else. They're supposed to stand in direct opposition to the culture of the world, Samuel. We want to be like everybody else. We want a king for Samuel eight verse six. But the thing displeased Samuel, so he prayed to the Lord.

And the Bible says he gets a very unusual answer in verse seven, the Lord said to Samuel, heed the voice of the people in all that they say to you. They've not rejected you. They've rejected me, that I should not reign over them. He says, Samuel, go ahead. Give them what they want. Give them what they want.

They've rejected me. Now here we have the same thought we found in our leading text. This is not the man of sin, but it's the same problem. It's the human problem. It's all about who sits on the throne of God and who runs the show in your life. Lord, how could you tell me to give them what they want? This is so wrong.

I don't like it. I know you don't like it, Samuel. I don't like it either, but believe me, I'm not gonna force my people. Into following me. That's not who I am. I'm not gonna make a slave out of my people. If they want slavery, they're gonna have to go somewhere else. That's exactly what they were doing.

They were asking for another round of slavery. That's what they were asking for. It's amazing what people are willing to do, what they're willing to lose, because we cannot bring ourselves to believe that God really could make our lives better, that he really could take the reigns of our lives, that he knows what he's doing and he might be all the leadership we need in our personal lives.

Might be it. These people in this story, they have a direct connection with the God who made the heavens and the earth. They have the spirit of prophecy right in their midst, a message from heaven itself, and they're asking for more slavery under a new Pharaoh. And I know we like to look back in history and say, what a bunch of dummies, peace.

Except we do the same thing all the time. We do it all the time. We did it the day Moses went up on the mountain to get a hard copy of the 10 Commandments. Think about that story. Aaron we're getting a little bit worried. He's been up there for a really long time and we don't know if he's ever gonna come back.

He just disappeared into the cloud. You guys, you can relax. You know that cloud is actually the presence of God, don't you? Yeah. We know that's the presence of God, but that's the point. We can't relate to that. We're stuck down here. He's way up there and we're thinking we would like some kind of a tangible simple.

What are you thinking about? We think we want one of those golden calves that we used to see way back in Egypt. Do we understand? It's not really God, that's not really what it is we can relate to that. We grew up in Egypt and maybe if we had one of those, we'd feel better.

It's pretty, God actually points back to that incident. In this story. God says in first Samuel eight, verse eight, that the request for a king is according to all the works which they have done since the day I brought them up out of Egypt. Amen. My people have done it again and again and again.

It's the biggest problem we face. It happens when we stop believing. When you and I behave exactly like the man of sin does, we try to climb up on the throne of God. Oh, we won't stay there. We'll just get up on the throne and make a few decisions about our lives and then get back down and let God be the king again.

After we just handle a few little things. It happens over. It's the story of the Bible. It happens again. Abraham. Abraham, what is it, Sarah? Listen, Abraham, I've been doing some thinking and. And God says, you're gonna be the father of this massive nation. Yeah. Massive nation. That's right. And Messiah's gonna come from you Abraham?

Yeah, that's exactly what it is. Abraham, I've been thinking about this because I'm not sure how this is gonna work. You're so old. You're as good as dead. And I got that. That's right. Outta Hebrews 11. It says, Abraham was so old, he was as good as dead. You got one foot in the grave, Abraham. And I'm old too, and we still don't have a son.

So I've been thinking about this. Doesn't God help those who help themselves? That's Ben Franklin. That's not Bible. It's not Bible. Here's what I think you should do, Abraham. I think you should sleep with Hagar. In what universe? Is that a good decision? In what universe is that? That's a good idea.

Abraham says, I'll just get up on the throne. I'll make a couple of little decisions to help God out, and then I'll get back down off the throne. We are still paying for that one. We're still paying for it. The descendants of Ishmael and the descendants of Isaac hate each other. It's still playing out today.

It never works. When you try to run the show in your life, it doesn't work when you try to sit on the throne. I'm telling you tonight, the man of sins not the only one who does it. I know that Paul pinpoints him, but we are all guilty of it. All of us. The biggest problem you face between now and the second coming of Christ.

It's not the little horn power of Daniel seven, even though that's a real problem, you should probably be watching. Your biggest problem isn't the decline of Western civilization, although that should probably concern you some if you're trying to raise Godly kids. In this day and age, your biggest problem in this world is not a decision outta the Supreme Court.

It's not a decision from the Oval Office and Executive Order. Your biggest. Problem is not a decision that comes outta Congress. Your biggest problem is not the people who sit beside you. In church, your biggest problem is not your husband. Your biggest problem is not your wife. Your biggest problem is not your kids or your boss or your parole officer.

Your biggest problem isn't even your mother-in-law. The biggest problem you face right now is sitting in the seat that you currently occupy your biggest problem. Is you. It's this tendency we have to try and take control of everything. Behave exactly like the man of sin. Climb up on the throne of God, pretend we're in charge of something, including our salvation.

We want to take over that one too. And if you can't get that under control and let God be the king you're headed for a world of hurt. What do you think's gonna happen? The world's coming unhinged right now. Absolutely unhinged, and I'm convinced it's just the warmup run. It's not gonna get better from here on out.

And when the world is panicking, what are you gonna do? Because if you haven't given up your claim to running the show, if you haven't given up your claim to God's throne, you're gonna panic. You're gonna do the wrong thing, you will. They're gonna find it very hard to resist the first person who comes and offers a bit of peace and security, cuz he's gonna be very convincing, bringing fire down from heaven.

The Bible says, if you're still trying to run the show, trying to earn your salvation, trying to run everything, take control, you're gonna stumble now. Follow carefully in this story. The next few verses have shaped world history since the moment this happened. It absolutely changed. Everything. And before we keep reading, maybe I should just do a little review of 12th grade history class.

Maybe you remember the stuff you learned back in the early 15 hundreds. Martin Luther nails the 95 feces to the church door in Wittenberg, and the reformers begin to think about everything that happened since that awful moment back in the fourth century when we began to compromise and we actually asked the emperor to move into the church and help us run it.

That was an exact parallel for what Israel did with Samuel and Saul. It's an exact parallel. Right after Constantine marches into the city of Rome, he ends persecution against the Christian Church and suddenly the Christians think, what's a good idea? You know what's a really good idea? We've got all these controversies that we can't solve.

The donatism controversy. What was that one that happened in North Africa during the persecutions, a bunch of clergy ran away, we're scared, and when the persecution was over, they wanted their jobs back. And the church said, no way. And it became a big argument. So what did they do? They said, the emperor's kind of friendly to the church.

Now let's let him decide. And so we appealed to the emperor. We have another controversy. There's a renegade priest in North Africa with an unbiblical view on the nature of Christ. And again, when we couldn't solve it, we said, you know what? Let's just ask. The emperor. It's like we have a big debate on the floor of the general conference session and we can't agree on something.

And I know that's hard to imagine. It would never happen. But let's say we can't agree on something, so we put in a call to the Oval Office, maybe the president could solve this. It's always a mistake. Amen. Because once the government sets foot in the church, you don't get rid of it. That new model's not what Jesus wanted.

It's not what Jesus wanted. The church was supposed to be directly accountable to God. That's the way it was supposed to be. In the camp of Israel. Every individual directly accountable to God, there wasn't supposed to be a king. Jesus actually said, so in Luke chapter 22, the Kings of the Gentiles exercised lordship over them, but not so among you.

There wasn't supposed to be a king, but that's exactly what we did. We started putting kings in place. And that marriage of church and state led to a thousand years of darkness, and we behaved miserably. We even burned people at the stake. That's what we did. Then you come to the 13 hundreds, 15 hundreds, about a thousand years later, and God starts to wake us up, starts to wake up the reformers, and they start to return to the word of God, and they discovered all sorts of important things.

You are only saved by grace through faith. The word of God is the bottom line for the Christian, the only rule of faith. They discovered all kinds of things, at the very heart of what happened in the 15 and 16 hundreds, you know what they were doing. They were trying to undo the biggest mistake we ever made by putting a king in the church.

That's exactly what we were doing. If you go back and read what they wrote, that's exactly what they were doing and that's what started to happen in Germany. You know what we can be independent. Over in England. At that point, Henry VII gets excited because he's having a little bit of trouble. He would like a new wife, but he can't get rid of the old one without permission from the church.

And he thinks, you know what we can do? We can just break away. And he starts a new church. And at that moment in England, as he starts a new church Bible believing Christians get their hopes up, maybe we're gonna have a little bit of freedom here and we can live directly beneath God according to the dic.

Tates of our conscience. But historically speaking in the 16 hundreds, that's not what we offered people. We made it worse In the 16 hundreds, we started to tell people, look in your head, you can believe whatever you want from the Bible, but when it comes time to worship, you will follow the rules and do everybody else, you will follow the book of Common Prayer.

And in those days, there were people who wanted to keep the Sabbath. They saw it in the Bible and they were told, you can think that if you want, but you may not do it. There were people who wanted to be baptized by immersion in the 16 hundreds, and they weren't allowed to do it. There was no freedom, and so some people to avoid going to jail, packed their bags and left.

Where did they go? I'm proud to tell you as a Dutch boy that a lot of them went to the Dutch Republic just over the water, which was the freest country on earth in the 16 hundreds. I'm proud to say it. Who were they? People like the Early Baptist and people like the Barrows who said the church should be following the scriptures.

And the fifth Monarchist who read the book of Daniel and said, Babylon, Persia, Greece. Rome. Then Jesus comes the fifth monarchist. Jesus and the Puritans and the Quakers and the Sabbath keepers, and all these people who eventually passed down these Bible beliefs to us. Where did they go To the Netherlands.

And when they got there, they ran into another group that was hiding from persecution. Who were they? The Jews, they were fleeing Spain to get away from the Inquisition. And so you get these English dissenters and the Jews meeting up in the Netherlands and they begin to study together. And Christians, for the first time in hundreds of years, learned to read Hebrew and they had access to very old Hebrew commentaries.

And as they are studying together in the Netherlands in the 16 hundreds, they stumbled on this story that we're reading right now. For Samuel eight, verse 11, God says You can let them have a king, but here's what's going to happen if you do that. Verse 11. This will be the behavior of the king who will reign over you.

He will take your sons and appoint them for his own chariots. King's gonna make you work for him. Verse 12, he will appoint captains over his thousands and over his fifties. There's gonna be military conscription if you do this. Verse 14, he'll take the best of your fields, your vineyards, or olive groves, give them to his servants.

There's gonna be confiscation, eminent domain, and taxes to pay, and you will be his servants and these dissenters suddenly think you wonder, do you think this is why we have so much trouble with kings today? Based on this passage, they began to dream of a world that didn't have a king. A place where you could live directly beneath God.

An answer to your conscience the way ancient Israel was supposed to. You know that was the hottest topic of debate in the 17th and 18th centuries. It was the number one debate topic. Go back and read William Blake, the poet, read Thomas Hobbs. We all had to read Leviathan In college, they only make you read two books.

There are four books to Leviathan. Two of them are about Bible prophecy and the desire to not live under a king. John Milton said, you know what? They're passing a law now that if you wanna print a book, parliament has to approve of it. We can't do that. John Locke, who wrote the Second Treatise of Government, that was the foundation, or one of the foundations of this country, John Bunion, who wrote Pilgrim's Progress in Jail, they all said, what if we didn't have to have a king?

And that's when they found Deuteronomy 17, and they realized, and this is the language they used in the 17 and 18 hundreds. Israel was a republic originally. Why? It had no king. It had a supreme written law. The first five books of the Bible, the Torah. And God knew that his people one day would ask for a king.

So he set up some guardrails in the event that happened, and they're found in Deuteronomy 17, verse 15, he said, you shall surely set a king over you whom the Lord your God chooses one from Among your brethren, king's gotta be a commoner. You may not set a foreigner over you. Who is not your brother?

The CEO of that nation had to be born in that country. Neither shall he multiply wives for himself, lest his heart turn away, nor shall he greatly multiply silver and gold for himself. There were deliberate checks and balances trying to keep the human lust for power in check. Also, it shall be when he sits on the throne of his kingdom that he shall write for himself a copy of this law in a book, and he shall read it all the days of his life that he may learn to fear the Lord his God, and be careful to observe all the words of this law.

The king had to make a copy of the law and live under it. Let me ask you a question. You ever heard of a republic where the chief executive has to be a commoner and is not allowed to be a foreigner? You ever heard of a republic where there are deliberate checks and balances? In an attempt to prevent corruption, the ruler must be subject to the supreme written law.

Is there anything on the planet that looks like that? Follow me carefully. It is not a coincidence that the American Constitution describes a republic without a king. It's not an accident. It's not a coincidence that it guarantees religious liberty under a supreme written law. Where in the world did the founding fathers get those ideas?

They weren't all Christians. Some of them were Deists and some of them were atheists. But the founding fathers of this republic, all of them without an exception, had been reading the works of these English dissenters every last one of them. They weren't all Christians, but they got the building blocks for this country from them.

They got it from Deuteronomy 17 in one Samuel chapter eight. There's an unbroken chain of thought leading directly from the reformation to the birth of the American Republic Unbroken. It's the reason the Book of Revelation describes the Birth of America the way it does. It says the Earth would open up to give persecuted people a place to go.

Revelation 1216, it says, this brand new nation would be Christ-like Lamb like Revelation 13. You'll notice that second beast doesn't even have crowns on its horns. Why? Because there's no king. It's a republic. The founders of this nation knew exactly what they were building, and I can prove it. Back in 1787 at the Constitutional Convention, the delegates started to argue about state representation, and we got this close to America, never happening this close.

And then suddenly Ben Franklin, who's a deist, he's not even really a Bible believing Christian. He stands up in that convention and off the top of his head quotes that one dozen Bible verses by memory. He had the entire Bible memorized, even though he wasn't really a Bible believing Christian. And after he quoted the Bible about a dozen times, he made a speech.

He said, before I sit down. I will suggest Mr. President, not the president of the United States, but the president of the convention. I will suggest Mr. President, that propriety of nominating and appointing before we separate a chaplain to this convention whose duty it shall be uniformly to introduce the business of each day by an address to the creator of the universe and the governor of all nations.

Why do we still open sessions with prayer right there? Yes. Who did these people believe was the real king of all nations? The governor of all nations. The God of the Bible. And they believed that every individual should be able to answer to God for themselves. If America wasn't gonna have a king, it's because the founders knew that everybody already has one.

Amen. That's what they knew. Up in Newport, Rhode Island, there was a synagogue and they panicked. They just formed a Christian nation and they did form a Christian nation, not the way that we'd like to talk about it today, because today people seem to think we want another theocracy where the church runs everybody's lives.

That is not what they intended. But the Jews, they panicked a little bit because they had fled the old world. Are they gonna persecute us now that they've done this? And George Washington heard they were panicking, so he wrote them a letter in 1790 and he said, everyone shall sit in safety under his own vine and fig tree, and there should be none to make him afraid.

What's that? That's Micah chapter four, where God says that in my eternal kingdom, everybody's gonna be free and safe. The only king is Jesus, and there will be no domination of other people. The founders knew they were building a Christian nation. They were trying to deliberately reset the clock to one day before Saul became the king.

That's actually what they were doing. If you read their notes, it's what they were doing, trying to rewind the clock. What's really interesting about it is the way that Saul, the son of Kish, seems to parallel the fate of this nation. He's almost a shadow of the heavenly king in the beginning, the Bible says Samuel anoints Saul, but he doesn't get the crown until he proves himself on the battlefield.

Just like when Jesus returns to heaven. Acts chapter 2 33. He's anointed by the Holy Spirit that day, but he doesn't receive the kingdom till the judgment is over in Daniel chapter seven. Saul is filled with the Holy Spirit. He gets the gift of prophecy. Jesus has the spirit descend on him. There's a lot of parallels, but then suddenly it stops because as the story continues, Saul doesn't look like Jesus anymore.

He looks like us. He looks like us. Two years in into his reign. Saul's getting ready to fight the Philistines. He wants to have a sacrifice, but Samuel's late, seven days late, a perfect number. It's an illusion to the second coming of Christ. So what does he do? I'll bring fire down on the altar myself.

Revelation 13, what happens? We bring fire down on the altar ourselves. This nation was born like a lamb like nation, exactly on time for the appearance of God's final message. But then over the course of the 20th century, we began to change, and you've seen it. Government listens to your phone calls. I know they do, because I used to say stuff on the phone line trying to get them to click the phone and start listening to what I was saying,

forcing things now silencing people, and it's just the big warmup. Am I worried about it now? Because let the nation's rage, Jesus gonna come. Amen. At the end of his life, Saul has to throw himself on a sword because if you want to take over the reigns of your own life, you have to solve your own problems.

The Philistines find his body in the rubble and they cut his head off, no longer head and shoulders above all the rest. So now he's the same size as everybody cuz he's not your king. But you go forward 1200 years. And you see a man in a garden blood dripping off his forehead, please if it be possible that this cup pass from me, but there's no escaping the fate if you're to be saved.

So he lets us take him and we humiliate him and we torture him. We spit in his face, we mock his dignity. And with his dying breath, he still prays for you. Forgive them. They don't know what they're doing. That's your king. Amen. That's your king. When I was a young guy a few weeks ago,

I used to hang out at the Parliament buildings in Victoria, British Columbia. The British parliamentary system. So at two o'clock in the afternoon, they had question period. I love question period. Canadians pretend to be polite. They're not.

They would question each other and you weren't allowed to insult anybody. So they would do it through the Speaker of the house. They would get up. Mr. Speaker, is it permissible for me today to call the honorable member from such and such a writing a complete moron? All that would not be permitted. It's still written in the record for everybody to read for all time.

I used to go and love that. I used to cut class and go down there and listen to that, and one day I'm coming down out of the gallery and I'm walking through the rotunda of the building and there's the premier of the province. It's a little bit like the governor, and I'm shellshocked. Wow. He's in a scrum of reporters and the reporters hate him.

And they're giving him a bad time. And he looks up and he sees me, and he doesn't know me from Adam, but he goes, it is so nice to see you again, young man. And he breaks away. He says, I gotta talk to this guy. Puts his arm around me. I have a tattered AC D C T-shirt on, and I have holes in my jeans. And he's pretending that he knows me and he takes me down the hall.

We go out the door through the breezeway, across the aisle into his executive. Of office. And when we get into the lobby, there's the three most important people I'd ever seen in my life waiting there. I'd only ever seen them on tv. They all stood up. Mr. Premier, it is so nice to see you. And they're in their suits.

And he said, gentlemen, please be seated. I'll be right with you. I've got something really important to do. And he takes me and walks me into his office, have a seat, closes the door. He says, I don't wanna talk to those guys anyway.

And he says to me, so what do you do? I go to college, although I cut college a lot to come down here and listen to you guys argue. He says, oh, what's your major? He said, political science. He said, that's an excellent major. Only a politician thinks that's an excellent major. It's it's oh, really?

He says, yeah, we talk for a little, just 10 minutes. He says, all right, you better get on with the day. And he lets me go, gives me a campaign button or something, and he lets me go. And I worked for that guy for free to the day he left office. Why? Because in the Kingdom of God, tax collectors and prostitutes go in first.

That's how it works. The people who don't have anything to offer God know they don't have anything to offer God, and then they figure out that he loves them anyway. You ever noticed? It says in the book of Revelation in chapter three, we try and seize the throne our whole lives and we don't want to just trust Jesus that can take us the way we are and make something great out of us for the kingdom of God.

We don't wanna believe it. And so we tried to seize the throne and all the while Jesus says to him, who overcomes I will let him sit on the throne with me. He planned to share the throne with you. The whole time anyway. The whole time anyway.