A History Rhyme About The Second Coming. . .
Vol: 20 Issue: 23 Wednesday, March 23, 2016
Why all the attention on politics at a website devoted to the discussion of Bible prophecy? It’s a fair question. The basic political difference between a Democrat and a Republican is rooted in where each side believes their source of the authority to govern originates.
Democrats believe in majority rule, whereas Republicans believe the will of the people is limited by ‘natural’ or ‘Divine’ law.
Sir William Blackstone was an 18th century British jurist whose commentaries set forth two main categories of common law; the law of nature and the law of revelation.
James Wilson, one of the signers of the Constitution and one of the first five Supreme Court justices, looked to Blackstone’s ‘Commentaries’ to form his decisions both in Congress and on the bench. Blackstone’s “Commentaries on the Laws of England” has served as a kind of Common Law ‘Bible’ for the United States since the times of the Founding Fathers.
Sir William argued that the law of nature establishes a rule of moral conduct based on God’s law, which recognizes man as created in the image of God. This rule of moral conduct imposes a rule of action upon man that includes duties to God, self, and neighbor.
“And it is that rule of action, which is prescribed by some superior, and which the inferior is bound to obey.”
According to Blackstone, the authority of a Republican government is limited to passing laws setting forth rules of civil conduct only with such laws conforming to the “law of nature.” Under this principle, certain conduct would always be “malum in se” meaning, “bad in and of itself.”
Blackstone argues that the role of government is not to enumerate rights, but to protect those rights already imparted to every individual by God.
His common law model establishes that the duty of government is to commend what is right and prohibit what is wrong.
Blackstone states, “The principal aim of society is to protect individuals in the enjoyment of those absolute rights which were vested in them by the immutable laws of nature.”
Blackstone defined the word ‘law’ as it applies to government in his Commentaries, calling it, “A rule of civil conduct prescribed by the Supreme power in a state, commanding what is right, and prohibiting what is wrong.”
Are you with me so far? Blackstone’s Commentaries outlined the duties and responsibilities of government in a Constitutional Republic.
The difference, Blackstone explains, is that the US Constitution creates the powers that exist according to Divine Revelation, whereas in other countries, the existing powers determine the nature of the constitution.
In the American republic, then, there were “principles which did not change” and which were “certain and universal in their operation upon all the members of the community”, which were the principles of Biblical natural law.
For example, Blackstone’s Commentaries explained:
“To instance in the case of murder: this is expressly forbidden by the Divine. . . . If any human law should allow or enjoin us to commit it we are bound to transgress that human law. . . . But, with regard to matters that are . . . not commanded or forbidden by those superior laws such, for instance, as exporting of wool into foreign countries; here the . . . legislature has scope and opportunity to interpose.”
In other words, the laws of nature (or Divine Law) are beyond the power of the majority to overturn.
The Democrats prefer a ‘pure’ American democracy, similar to that of France, where secular humanism is the state religion and a simple majority makes the laws without Divine oversight. Rights are extended or withdrawn by the majority.
That is why, in the pure democracy of the Democratic Party, abortion is about a ‘woman’s right to choose’ and homosexual marriage is a human rights issue. But in that worldview, religious‘rights’ exist only to the extent that they are shared by the majority government.
Of pure democracy, President James Madison observed;
“Democracies have ever been spectacles of turbulence and contention; have ever been found incompatible with personal security, or the rights of property; and have, in general, been as short in their lives as they have been violent in their deaths.”
John Adams warned the Founders,
“Remember, democracy never lasts long. It soon wastes, exhausts, and murders itself. There never was a democracy yet that did not commit suicide.”
Noah Webster uttered this unintended prophecy regarding pure democracy;
“Therefore a pure democracy is generally a very bad government. It is often the most tyrannical government on earth.”
If ever America had an historical equal, it would had to have been when the Roman Empire wasat its peak which history says occurred at just about the same place in history as did the birth of Christianity.
“The exact transition of when the Roman Republic became the Roman Empire is a subject of disagreement among historians and others. Some believe the change took place in 44 B.C. when Julius Caesar was made perpetual dictator. Other views are that Rome went from Republic to Empire when Mark Antony was defeated at the Battle of Actium in 31 B.C. or when in 27 B.C. the Roman Senate granted extraordinary powers to Octavian (Augustus).”
“The first true Roman Emperor is believed to have been Augustus Caesar, who ruled the empire from 27 B.C. to 14 A.D. His rule was followed by that of Emperor Tiberius (14 to 37 A.D.), Caligula (37 to 41 A.D.), Claudius (41 A.D. to 54 A.D.) and Nero (54 to 68 A.D.).”
“After Nero’s death began a short period known as the ‘Year of 4 Emperors’ when Galba, then Otho, then Vitellius, reigned. Galba and Vitellius were murdered while in office while Otho committed suicide after losing a battle. Vespasian, the fourth of the four emperors, began his rule in the middle of 69 A.D. After Vespasian died of natural causes in 79 A.D. he was followed by Titus, who ruled the fast growing empire until 81 A.D. Domitian, the son of Vespasian and the person known for exiling the apostle John to the island of Patmos in 95 A.D., is dictator of Rome’s world empire until 96 A.D. This brings us to the period when Rome was at its peak of power and wealth.”
In the first three chapters of the Book of the Revelation, Jesus outlines a letter to each of the seven churches then existing in Asia Minor.
Looking back over time, it is apparent that each of the Churches correspond to ‘epochs’ in the life of the Church over the past two thousand years. These seven periods of time traversed in chronological order, beginning with Ephesus and ending, in our times, with Laodicea.
The Church Epoch that preceded Laodicea was the Church of Philadelphia, or Church of Brotherly Love. It shared a distinction with the Church of Smyrna, in that it received no words of condemnation from the Lord.
The Church of Sardis corresponded with the Reformation Period from 1500-1750, during which time, the Word of God was redistributed to the common man, ending the Roman Church’s monopoly on the Bible.
“Thou hast a few names even in Sardis which have not defiled their garments; and they shall walk with Me in white: for they are worthy.” (Revelation 3:4)
The Church of Philadelphia was the ‘missionary church’ (1750-1900) during which time, the Word of God was carried by missionaries into the far corners of the world.
“Because thou hast kept the Word of My patience, I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth.” (Revelation 3:10)
Then we come to the final Epoch of the Church Age before the Return of Christ. What does the world look like from that perspective? Recall that when the Lord was speaking to John, Domitian is on the throne and Rome is at the peak of its power.
“And unto the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write; These things saith the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God; I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot. So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of My Mouth. Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked:” (Revelation 3:14-18)
The word ‘Laodicea’ is a compound Greek word meaning, ‘justice of the people’ or, literally, the ‘Church of the People’s Rights’ — a letter-perfect historical rhyme for the modern Church.
And so we find yet another set of history “rhymes”. Modern America “rhymes” with Imperial Rome. It remains at the zenith of its power, although it appears poised to slide either into dictatorship or economic and political irrelevance.
The modern Church “rhymes” with ancient Laodicea. Christians that view the Bible as the unchangeable Word of God which opposes such liberal causes as abortion, same sex marriage, euthanasia, etc. and believe that Bible prophecy is coming to pass in this generation are viewed by mainstream Christianity as “extremists” — and maybe even a little bit dangerous.
“And while they looked stedfastly toward heaven as He went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel; Which also said, Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? this same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen Him go into heaven.” (Acts 1:10-11)
Christianity opens on Rome and closes on America. And the Second Advent “rhymes” with the First.