Can we Keep It?

Unknown woman to Benjamin Franklin (A.D. 1706–90), at the close of the Constitutional Convention of 1787: “Well, Doctor, what have we got—a Republic or a Monarchy?”

Franklin: “A Republic, if you can keep it.”

(Attribution, the notes of Dr. James McHenry, one of Maryland’s delegates to the Convention.)

No nation or nation state in history has enjoyed a more enduring document for the authority of its government than America. We’ve kept that republic for about 240 years. But frankly, apart from a mighty, reviving work of the Spirit of God in this nation we will likely fail to keep it.

Do I rightly surmise that some theophobic bigots started trembling with an indignation resembling religious zeal, upon reading that last statement appealing to Heaven and the One Who reigns there?

Fear not, you foolish ones who deliberately reject humanity’s only Hope. Christians are not into any sort of forced conversion agenda. We only urge you peacefully according to the Gospel of grace and peace to repent and believe on Jesus the Savior, King of kings and Lord of lords. As the non-establishment clause of its First Amendment makes clear, the Constitution did not establish a theocracy.

Yet as the non-hindrance clause of that same First Amendment makes clear, our noble Constitution was created for a God honoring people. The Constitution was begotten in a society which adhered (imperfectly, according to the corruption that permeates this fallen world) to the ethics of the Bible. Even if it is only a formality now, government officers’ right hands still are placed on that Bible when they swear to uphold the Constitution.

So even if the republic which Dr. Franklin and his colleagues gave us does fail, the pervasive and universal sovereignty of that same King of kings and Lord of lords generates unfailing hope in those who love and trust Him. Of the increase of His government and of peace there will be no end! His servants will continue to come under the sword, but they will engage their enemies only with the sword of the Spirit, the word of God preached and taught.

And it might well be that as the peaceful kingdom of the risen and reigning Son of God advances inexorably toward His decreed consummation, a “resurrection flavored” future might obtain for the constitutional civil governments of future generations. Just like Magna Carta of A.D. 1215 wielded great influence for centuries, the U.S. Constitution will do so – perhaps for more centuries.

Perhaps like the fabled phoenix, a new America will rise from the ashes of the old. Better yet, perhaps many nations, as they are discipled according Christ’s great commission, will adopt the precepts of old America’s constitution and even improve it.

As King Nebuchadnezzar of ancient Babylon said, “How great are His signs, and how mighty His wonders! His kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and His dominion is from generation to generation.” (Daniel 4:3).

Bottom line, you can’t beat the Galilean! Can’t touch this!

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4 Comments

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4 responses to “Can we Keep It?

  1. Rhett Jackson

    Nebuchadnezzar was the head of gold and One can’t help wonder, if at best our republic, with its embassies/garrisons in 134 countries, is the feet of iron and clay. Isn’t the millennial “peaceful kingdom” ruled with a “ rod of iron?”

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    • kg2

      On what basis do some put the divine interpretation of N’s dream so far into the future, i.e. our time or beyond? During the time of the kingdom with feet of iron and clay, the God of heaven was to “…set up a kingdom which shall never be destroyed” per Daniel 2:44.

      The stone cut out without hands is Jesus – the chief cornerstone, the spiritual Rock which followed Israel in the wilderness (1 Cor. 10:4), the Man Who is a hiding place like the shadow of a mighty rock (Isaiah 32:2), the One celebrated in Moses’ song –

      “How could one chase a thousand, and two put ten thousand to flight, unless their rock had sold them, and the LORD had surrendered them? For their rock is not like our Rock, even our enemies themselves being judges.” (Deuteronomy 32:30,31)

      When Christ proclaimed “…the time IS FULFILLED, and the kingdom of God is at hand. Repent, and believe in the gospel” (Mark 1:15), it was during the time of the Roman ceasars, the rulers of the iron/clay footed kingdom which was also an empire of far flung hegemony. N’s golden Babylon was followed by silvery Medo-Persia which was in turn displaced by the Greek (Macedonian, think Alexander the great) bronze empire which in turn was displaced by iron/clay Rome.

      Isaiah prophesied in the same vein as Daniel’s interpretation of the dream, although when December rolls around you would think that Isaiah only uttered the first line of this beloved passage:

      “For unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given; and the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the increase of His government and peace there will be no end, upon the throne of David and over His kingdom, to order it and establish it with judgment and justice from that time forward, even forever. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will perform this.” (Isaiah 9:6,7)

      In the days of the caesars (“those kings” in Daniel’s interpretation of N’s dream), the Rock struck and destroyed and became a mountain filling the whole earth. The peaceful kingdom of Jesus the all-other-kingdoms smashing Rock, Who as He ascended to His Father’s right hand said that all power in heaven and earth HAS BEEN GIVEN (not will be given) to Me per Matthew 28:18, has been filling the whole earth, inexorably advancing for the last 2,000 or so years. It will continue to do that until…

      “…He has put all enemies under His feet. The last enemy that will be destroyed is death.” (1 Corinthians 15:25,26). Every foe inferior to death will be destroyed first. Then the biggie, the grim reaper himself, goes down for all eternity. Can you hear the eschatological taunt of the redeemed…O death, where is your sting?

      Btw, some will seize upon what the very next verse teaches (1 Cor. 15:27) in a vain attempt to cut the Rock down to created only size. Their bogus rock is the rock of Arius (of Council of Nicea fame, born A.D. 256). That blasphemous, heretical little pebble is not the Rock of ages who is fully human AND fully divine.

      Their twisting of that verse is a great example of why Scripture must be interpret by and with Scripture…why it is necessary to take the whole counsel of God, and not seize on isolated passages to do theology aright.

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      • Rhett Jackson

        I asked: “Is the millennial peaceful kingdom ruled with a red of iron?”

        Your Postmillenial?? reply is yes???

        Here’s a premillennial??? rant for you but first an answer to your question.

        You asked: “On what grounds do we place Nebuchadnezzar image in the present day?”

        My answer is: “By the grounds that nothing else fits the puzzle so far.”

        Keith, as for theology, I’m unschooled and my usage may be skewed but my underlying questions or messages aren’t unclear; that was my disclaimer if you gotta just strain some gnat, go ahead. When I put question marks beside pre and post millennial above it’s because I’m unsure if the usage is correct for this discussion it I think it is.

        We pray “thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.” Now if the kingdom is here perhaps this pre-post thing is some misunderstanding about how long the “will be done” part is taking.

        Being ignorant of Revelation is one thing but should it be ignored too? What is meant by souls underneath the altar saying “how much longer Lord how much longer”, and being told: “until the last martyr is slain?” People are still martyred for the witness of Jesus are they not? So That time frame extends to our time today and it seems so does the tribulation of revelation? You mention the beast of Daniel but what are your thoughts on the beast of revelation? Furthermore I believe the legs of iron were Roman (the empire split in 395 AD into east and west hence the legs) the feet are something else, and seem to correspond to Johns beast.

        Before Abraham was I Am which was before Nebuchadnezzar too, so moot point there. You suggest some prophetic clock starts ticking when Jesus is resurrected and that the time frame of the millennial kingdom isn’t debatable, but it is. I know we see through a glass, darkly but I don’t think this means that we should not look at all.

        I’m not sure why you’re still on the Jehovah’s Witness/i.e. Arias rant. Ronnie Reagan would say:”There your go again.”

        Humans have a triune existence as does the God who shaped us in his image. Beyond this simplicity is a place some dare to tread to further explain this mysterious relationship and then hang others salvation on it.

        Through faith I believe Jesus, the second Adam, died and took away the sin of the world. Do you mean to say “and whosoever believes in him” means more? A man can’t even explain where his own mind resides but he dares to diagram God’s… How this matter, “settled at Nicea,” ever became a subject more than banter for the parlor is beyond me. Maybe After Constantine, martyrdom started slowing dow so with nothing else to do Christians found motes in each other’s eyes and endless ecumenical councils and church schisms ensued.

        Don’t recall anyone asking St. Steven if Jesus was God the father too, why be so technical and confusing, hope he was straightened out about it though. . . No offense but Like Job I’ll wait for God’s correction in this matter and I have faith that his judgement is perfect.

        Heretic is just another word for fool and folks should be mindful of that because integrity gets you to the kingdom not knowledge, witness the other two thieves beside the Lord. I don’t recall Jesus asking either of them if they believed he was God, or guess which hand I’ve got the key to heaven is in, and there was no bible to consult then either; the decisive matter was one of integrity.

        Hopefully My exposure to JW long ago and subsequent going to a Kingdom Hall maybe 40 times hasn’t warped me or rendered me unfit for salvation and the same for my Godmother taking me to Catholic Church many Sunday’s before that. Any honest questions I have that endure are because of scripture like the one you quoted in Corinthians and I’ll wait for God to explain them and in the mean time I’ll be wondering about the hypocrisy of those who fail to exhort Judaism and Islam with the zeal and charisma they save for Arias.

        Where Jesus uses Occam’s razor is way above everyone’s pay grade anyway(the measure you mete). The saying: “there but for the grace of God go I” comes to mind. It’s disturbing to see good folks locked in the quagmire of the JW cult and this is more disturbing to me than my mothers flirtation with it. My problem with it has less to do with Arias and more to do with their works doctrine, and their continued false prophesy; starting, in my remembrance 44 years ago with 1975 which came and went.

        My mom was catholic and her own brief study with JWs ended when she refused to renounce the Trinity instilled in her from being raised in a Catholic orphanage. You know she had a little sister Joan that starved to death in the Catholic orphanage after being there three years, from age 2 till dying there at age 5. My mom took a lot of beatings for Joan for climbing into bed with her to comfort her and not wanting her to get the beating from the nuns for being in Moms bed. Then my 7 year old mom and her sister Dorothy had to suffer at the hands of their Mom for “not letting her know the child was starving.” Mom said, “we all were “rail thin” and starving at the time.” Her mom was off gallivanting like the Mayzie bird of Seussian fame to America and beyond.

        Here we are 2000 years after Jesus. As Jesus walked 2000 years after Moses, and scribes and Pharisees are among us yet again representing diverse sects, factions, and divisions. They want to “win” some debate not advance understanding.

        And, on a side note, I can’t help but wonder, after reading much of the Koran, if Mohammad was a disaffected Arian.
        If he was, then the blame for his spawned horror from the bottomless pit lies where?

        There is no salvation by—theocratic or secular—legislation, education, or medication.

        Peace and the love of God be with you
        Jesus is Lord

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      • Rhett Jackson

        (Word “exhort” is wrong should be “sanction, penalize” not “exhort” in the sentence with exhort Judaism) don’t know why it’s so hard to edit before you press the send button… I can’t even think of the word I want there but i think it starts with the prefix “ex”

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