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Rainbow Divider

Chapter 10

God’s Kingdom in This World

Pentecost was the beginning of an amazing period of power, growth, and perfect unity that is unique in history. So pure was the church during this period that the first hint of sin — the hypocrisy of Ananias and Sapphira in Acts 5 — resulted in God striking them dead.

Yet within the pages of the New Testament we find the church in decline, coping with serious problems of every kind. “The New Testament Church” is, in many minds today, a great ideal to be lifted up and sought after. “If we could just be like the New Testament Church,” they say. Some even use the phrase of themselves as if to say, “We’re not like the other churches: we’re a ‘New Testament’ church!”

The question is: which New Testament Church do you desire to be like? Corinth? While it is true that they came behind in no gift (I Cor. 1:7), it is also true that they were very carnal with envying and strife and divisions. They were guilty of tolerating a very grievous case of fornication that was common knowledge. Some of them took their disputes against brethren before civil authorities. They struggled with questions about sex and marriage. They exercised their liberty with no concern for weaker brethren. Some had turned the Lord’s Supper into a self-centered drunken picnic. There was a good deal of ignorance and confusion in their use of spiritual gifts. Some of them were teaching that there was no resurrection!

This was a “New Testament Church”! Is this what you desire? Read the Word! You will find a long list of problems the apostles had to cope with. Converted Jews had a hard time leaving their traditions behind. Converted Gentiles were fresh out of heathen darkness and certainly didn’t become instant “spiritual giants.”

We do indeed need to recover the understanding of truth the apostles had, leaping over all the centuries of tradition and error. However, “New Testament churches” were far from ideal. In fact John the apostle wrote of one church whose leader, Diotrephes, wouldn’t even receive him! III John 9. Can you imagine being part of a church whose preacher wouldn’t let one of the original apostles through the door!

The Real Question

The truth is that the people in New Testament churches were just people — like us — with plenty of needs. The real question to ask is this: how is it that the church immediately following Pentecost was so pure, filled as it was with new converts? Had you ever thought about it before from that standpoint?

I believe that the answer lies in the prophecy of 70 weeks in Daniel 9:24-27. This prophecy occurred during the 70 year Babylonian captivity of the Jews and contains the words of Gabriel, an angel sent to give Daniel “skill and understanding” (verse 22). I am including a discussion of this in part because of a widespread and very odd interpretation of this passage. Many readers will be familiar with this teaching and will, I hope, profit from this discussion. If this doesn’t include you, don’t get too bogged down with it!

The prophecy concerned a period of “70 weeks” that were “determined” upon Daniel’s people and upon “thy holy city, to finish the transgression, and to make an end of sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteousness, and to seal up the vision and prophecy, and to anoint the most Holy” (verse 24).

There is general agreement that these were not weeks of days but rather weeks of years. This period was to begin with “the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem.” The time frame from that commandment to “the Messiah the Prince” was to be a total of 69 weeks (7 weeks and 62 weeks) or 483 years.

A little over 100 years ago a very novel interpretation of this passage arose regarding the remaining week of Gabriel’s prophecy — the 70th. According to this interpretation there was to be a gap — almost 2000 years so far! — between the 69th and 70th weeks. In other words God started a “prophetic clock” when the rebuilding of Jerusalem was commanded, stopped it after 483 years, and the clock still hasn’t restarted! Yet the period of time measured by this clock is supposed to be 490 years. So far over 2400 years have elapsed!

In the United States many households have a common measuring device called a yardstick. A yard is slightly less than a meter and is divided into 36 inches. Years ago I read a wonderful illustration of this novel understanding of Daniel’s 70th week that involved a yardstick.

Suppose that we were to saw the yardstick into two pieces at the 35th inch, then connect the two pieces with a very flexible elastic band. We could then go around measuring things with our special “yardstick.” We could place one end of it at the beginning of whatever we were measuring and stretch it out to the other end. Thus everything we “measured” would be one yard! We would all be 36 inches tall! There would also be 36 inches in a mile! Do you see the problem?

A yard is a fixed measure of 36 inches from beginning to end. By placing a highly stretchable gap in it we have totally destroyed the meaning of the measurement, one yard or 36 inches. God declared a period of 490 years. I believe He meant 490 years, not 2400 plus and still counting!

This strange teaching concerning the 70th week is so widespread in our day that great numbers of professing Christians have come to believe it without question. The 70th week is supposed to be a seven year period known as the tribulation in which a world ruler, the Antichrist is to make a treaty with Israel and then break it after 3 1/2 years. Are you aware that this highly questionable interpretation of Daniel 9:27 is the sole basis for the belief in a 7 year tribulation? Yet “everyone knows” that the Bible teaches a 7 year tribulation! Why? They’ve heard it so often that it must be true!

We have already quoted above from Daniel 9:24 which states what God had declared He would accomplish in the 70 weeks. His purpose had to do with dealing decisively with sin, establishing everlasting righteousness, sealing up or “fulfilling” the vision of the prophets, and anointing the most Holy — at least one translation says “the holy of holies.”

This is a perfect description of what Christ accomplished through His death on the cross and His ascension to the right hand of the Father. Hebrews 8:1-10:22 goes into this in great detail. Christ established a new covenant that did what no Old Testament sacrifice could ever do. In a single act He offered “one sacrifice for sins forever.” Heb. 10:12.

His blood was not carried into an earthly tabernacle but into heaven itself where it forever stands between us and the wrath of God. Heb. 9:24 says, “For Christ is not entered into the holy places made with hands, which are the figures of the true; but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us.” See also Heb. 9:12.

The first 69 weeks brings us “unto the Messiah the Prince” — that is, to the beginning of Christ’s ministry. At this point verse 24 had not been fulfilled. That would come in the 70th week.

Daniel 9:26 states several things that happen “after” the 62 weeks (which follows the 7 weeks for a total of 69). The verse does not say how long after, just “after.” The first thing is that Messiah was to be “cut off, but not for himself.” This is a clear reference to the death of Christ and the fact that He died for us and not for Himself.

Then the verse speaks of “the people of the prince” that would destroy the city and sanctuary and the fact that “desolations” were “determined.” We have already discussed God’s judgment of Jerusalem carried out by a Roman army under Titus culminating in the total destruction of Jerusalem — including the temple — in 70 A.D. Jesus Himself had graphically warned that the time would come when an army would encircle Jerusalem and lay it even with the ground (Luke 21:20-24). He even referred to this as Jerusalem’s “desolation.”

Daniel 9:27 is a key: “And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week: and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate.”

Now we return specifically to the last of the 70 weeks. The “he” referred to is Messiah. The first thing he was to do was to “confirm the covenant.”

Notice that Gabriel said “the” covenant, not “a” covenant. What is the significance of this? According to popular teaching this covenant is to be a treaty between Antichrist and Israel. Nothing had been said about any such treaty up to this point. If popular teaching were true he would have said something like “and he will make ‘a’ covenant ....”

By calling it “the” covenant Gabriel was letting us know that he was referring back to something he had already said — verse 24! Verse 24 describes perfectly the new covenant promised by the prophets and revealed everywhere in the pages of the New Testament.

This covenant is the foundation of the Kingdom of God. It forms the only basis upon which sinners could be set free from sin, and enter into righteousness and life — forever! The blood of bulls and goats could never do that. That is why Daniel 9:27 also says, “... he shall cause the sacrifice and oblation to cease.” There was no further need for the types and shadows of old testament sacrifices once Christ had offered the sacrifice that was “once for all.”

Are you aware that according to popular teaching Jews will once again offer animal sacrifices in a rebuilt temple?! This will supposedly occur not only during a tribulation period but also in a yet-to-come kingdom age with Jesus ruling from the same temple! Can you imagine Jesus, in the light of the Book of Hebrews, presiding over a system of animal sacrifices in a future kingdom age? Yet this bizarre concept cannot be divorced from the idea of a Jewish future so widely taught! Think about it! Picture a lion lying down with a lamb and someone coming to lead the lamb away to sacrifice! If you happened to be a lamb, such a millennium would be more like the great tribulation!

Verses 26 and 27 of Daniel 9 cover the same period of time. Verse 26 gives a general overview of this period whereas verse 27 focuses first upon the 70th week.

The Covenant Confirmed

During the 70th week all of the purposes declared in Daniel 9:24 were fulfilled. This seven year period began with the baptism of Jesus and John’s declaration: “Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world” (John 1:29). It continued through the three and a half years of Christ’s ministry to the cross (the “midst of the week”). Then it continued for the first three and a half years of the early church.

During this unique seven year period the new covenant was confirmed with great signs and wonders as God mightily overshadowed first His Son and then the church. So great was God’s presence in the young church that no taint of sin was allowed to corrupt it. Acts 4:33 says, “And with great power gave the apostles witness of the resurrection of the Lord Jesus: and great grace was upon them all.”

It was that “great grace” that enabled them to give such a powerful witness and to be so perfectly one. Satan would love to have gotten in. He tried by influencing Ananias and Sapphira to “lie to the Holy Ghost” (Acts 5:3) but his attempt was unsuccessful as God struck them dead.

Following this judgment and the widespread fear of God that resulted, God magnified the apostles before the people and multitudes more believed. People brought those who were sick into the streets hoping Peter’s shadow would pass over them. Others brought sick and demon-possessed people from other cities and they were healed every one.

When the Sadducees were upset by all of this and put the apostles in prison an angel came, let them out, and sent them back to the temple and said, “Go, stand and speak in the temple to the people all the words of this life” (Acts 5:20).

Nothing Satan did could either stop or corrupt what was happening. For seven special years, beginning with Christ, God bore a mighty witness to Israel. The remnant was called out and brought to faith. However, in spite of this witness and in fulfillment of Gabriel’s words, we see the spiritual condition of the nation as a whole characterized by “the overspreading of abominations.” They were unaware that they were heading straight for a desolation that God had “determined.” Our world today is on the same road and the end is near at hand.

The Kingdom in This World

And so we see that the kingdom of God came with power as Jesus had promised (Mark 9:1). What was to be the future course of the kingdom in this world? What was its relationship with this world to be? What lies in the future for the kingdom? for the world?

When Jesus went about preaching the gospel — the good news of the kingdom — he generally employed parables. As someone has said, a parable is an earthly story with a heavenly meaning. When the disciples asked Jesus why he spoke to the people in parables, he said, “Because it is given unto you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it is not given” (Matt. 13:11). In this we see the Sovereignty of God, revealing His mysteries according to His own will, His own timetable. Truly we are dependent upon Him!

A number of these parables are contained in Matt. 13. They portray many truths concerning the kingdom that was shortly to come. No doubt later on, as the apostles faced the challenges of a young growing church, they said, “Well, Jesus said it would be like this.”

For example, from the parable of the sower, they knew that the “word of the kingdom” was like a seed that fell on different kinds of ground. Of the four types of people spoken of by Jesus, only one was “good ground.” The other three types represented people who heard, but never truly entered the kingdom.

Two of these types, however, seemingly responded and became believers. In both types their basic unbelief of heart later became apparent, the one through lack of endurance and the other through love of earthly things.

The disciples had certainly had opportunity to witness this principle in action during the ministry of Jesus. At certain times there were crowds who followed him but in John 6 we find many being offended at his teaching. John 6:66 says, “From that time many of his disciples went back, and walked no more with him.”

We also see Judas, one of the twelve, who aroused no suspicion in his fellow disciples as they followed Jesus and even went out preaching and healing the sick. Yet, at heart, Judas was an unbeliever who loved money.

Jesus was never fooled by the unbelief around him. He knew that people were drawn to him for many reasons other than God-given faith. John 6:64 records the last comment Jesus made to those who went back and an observation by John: “But there are some of you that believe not. For Jesus knew from the beginning who they were that believed not, and who should betray him.”

Yet Jesus didn’t hastily act to rid himself of unbelievers. There were periods of time in which many of those around him were unbelievers and he knew it. In process of time and by various means the unbelief became evident, yet it was obviously within the will and purpose of God at times to have a “mixed multitude” following Jesus. The disciples themselves were “mixed” right up until the last supper when Judas went out to betray Jesus.

Every Kind

This mixture foreshadowed what was to happen in the church later on. One parable that illustrates this is in Matt. 13:47-48: “Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto a net, that was cast into the sea, and gathered of every kind: Which, when it was full, they drew to shore, and sat down, and gathered the good into vessels, but cast the bad away.”

Note that this parable describes the kingdom during the course of this present world. The net cast into the sea describes the preaching of the gospel throughout the world. At best it gathers of “every kind.” When the gathering was done there was to be a separation, the good gathered “into vessels” and the bad discarded.

The explanation by Jesus is in verses 49-50: “So shall it be at the end of the world: the angels shall come forth, and sever the wicked from among the just, and shall cast them into the furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth.”

We see here the kingdom encompassing a mixture in this present world. The separation takes place “at the end of the world.” Angels do the separating. The wicked who are removed are cast into a furnace of fire. The “wailing and gnashing of teeth” certainly conveys to us the sense of anguish and regret among the lost but also reveals their deception. Only when it is too late do they realize the truth.

The popular concept of a future “Kingdom Age” on this earth does not fit in with what Jesus said at all. This, along with other parables, portrays a very different picture.

Scofield was aware of these difficulties and his answer was to attempt to draw a distinction between the “kingdom of heaven” and the “kingdom of God.” This allowed him to acknowledge the church as the “kingdom of God” — supposedly a mystery unknown to the prophets — and yet maintains his belief in a future Jewish kingdom. I only mention this because some readers may have been exposed to this teaching.

It does not take very much for the honest reader of the Word to see that this is a false distinction. There is but one kingdom composed of believing Jews and Gentiles. Never will the “middle wall of partition” be re-established. Eph. 2:14-15.

For those who may wish to look further into this, compare the following scriptures. Matt. 4:17 and Mark 1:14-15; Matt. 5:3 and Luke 6:20; Matt. 8:11 and Luke 13:29; Matt. 10:7 and Luke 9:2; Matt. 11:12 and Luke 16:16; Matt. 13:11, Mark 4:11, and Luke 8:10; Matt. 13:24 and Mark 4:26; Matt. 13:31 and Mark 4:30; Matt. 13:33 and Luke 13:20. Matt. 19:23-24 uses the two expressions interchangeably within the scope of two verses! See also Mark 10:23-25 and Luke 18:24-25. Obviously the “kingdom of heaven” and the “kingdom of God” are interchangeable expressions for the one kingdom.

The parable that most clearly portrays the mixture of believers and unbelievers is the parable of the wheat and the tares. This parable contains a wealth of truth and paints a wonderful overall picture of the age in which we live. We shall try, as the Lord enables, to bring into focus some of the truths which bear on our present discussion. The parable itself is contained in Matt. 13:24-30 and is well worth reproducing here:

“Another parable put he forth unto them saying, The kingdom of heaven is likened unto a man which sowed good seed in his field: but while men slept, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat, and went his way. But when the blade was sprung up, and brought forth fruit, then appeared the tares also. So the servants of the householder came and said unto him, Sir, didst not thou sow good seed in thy field? from whence then hath it tares? He said unto them, An enemy hath done this. The servants said unto him, Wilt thou then that we go and gather them up? But he said, Nay: lest while ye gather up the tares, ye root up also the wheat with them. Let both grow together until the harvest: and in the time of harvest I will say to the reapers. Gather ye together first the tares, and bind them in bundles to burn them: but gather the wheat into my barn.”

One of the best things about this particular parable is that we have the explanation of it given to us by Jesus himself. This is recorded for us in Matt. 13:37-43:

“He answered and said unto them, He that soweth the good seed is the Son of man; the field is the world; the good seed are the children of the kingdom; but the tares are the children of the wicked one; the enemy that sowed them is the devil; the harvest is the end of the world; and the reapers are the angels. As therefore the tares are gathered and burned in the fire; so shall it be in the end of this world. The Son of man shall send forth his angels, and they shall gather out of his kingdom all things that offend, and them which do iniquity; and shall cast them into a furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth. Then shall the righteous shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father. Who hath ears to hear, let him hear.”

There is so much in this parable that it is difficult to know where to begin. Perhaps a good place to begin is to note once again that this is a parable of the kingdom — that is, it is meant to teach us about God’s kingdom in this world.

The kingdom is portrayed as the planting and harvesting of a crop. The crop is planted in this present world and grows up amidst the wicked. At the end of the world a separation takes place and each kind is harvested, the wicked for the fire and the righteous for glory.

We see then a kingdom beginning here somewhat insignificant and indistinct, growing, then bursting forth into full glory following the end of the world. From that point on we know from the scriptures that it will continue forever, nevermore to be corrupted or hindered by this present darkness.

The Reign of Christ

A kingdom is ruled by a king. The king is clearly “the Son of Man,” an expression Jesus repeatedly used of himself. This world is described as “his field,” that is, He is the legal owner. Remember, Christ has been given all authority “in heaven and in earth.” Matt. 28:18. Note that His authority includes earth.

The devil may be the “god of this world” (II Cor. 4:4), that is, over this present evil world order, but Christ is far above him. Remember that God “... set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places, far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come: and hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church, which is his body, the fulness of him that filleth all in all.” Eph. 1:20-23.

Christ’s authority over all things is “to the church,” that is, God’s people and their welfare are the focus of His rule. That is the same focus in the parable: He is raising a crop of wheat. He even refrains from prematurely separating the wheat from the tares lest the wheat be uprooted.

When a farmer buys land for farming he is not interested merely in owning pretty fields. His interest is in the crops he will be able to raise in those fields. Christ has no interest in this present world, especially in the condition it is in, other than to fulfill the sovereign commission of His Father: there is a crop to plant and raise.

This parable encompasses a time frame from the beginning of the preaching of the gospel all the way to the beginning of eternity to come. It describes in simple terms the nature, purpose, and result of the reign of Christ with respect to this earth. When the parable ends, the wicked are gone and only a glorious kingdom remains.

Multitudes today have been taught a concept of a future Messianic age — a concept borrowed from apostate Judaism — in which Christ will reign bodily from Jerusalem over the nations of this world. Wicked men will be forced by various means to live in peace and righteousness. A world that has refused the gospel will supposedly then be given the opportunity to “believe” in a Christ they can see and touch who reigns in manifest glory. Don’t believe it!

The only opportunity men will ever have is to repent and believe the gospel during this present age. Men must bow the knee to Christ here and now if they are to have any hope of the world to come. And what a hope it is: “heirs of God and joint-heirs with Jesus Christ”! Rom. 8:17.

It is difficult for one who has much exposure to the Messianic Age doctrine to conceive of the reign of Christ in any terms other than a visible and bodily reign. Consider the devil: the Bible calls him the god of this world. As such he reigns over the kingdom of darkness, yet he lives in no earthly palace and can neither be seen nor touched. He indeed rules, yet he rules from the unseen realm. His kingdom consists of the demonic host — evil angels who fell from heaven with him — and the world of lost mankind who blindly cooperate with and submit to his rule.

Christ’s rule is just as real. He has at his disposal “an innumerable company of angels,” “the spirits of just men made perfect,” as well as “the church which is his body.” Heb. 12:22-23, Eph. 1:22-23. The kingdom Christ is building is not for the purpose of reigning politically over the nations of this world but of gathering God’s elect out of this world and preparing them for eternity. Part of the process is, at the appointed time, the defeat and utter destruction of the kingdom of darkness but the focus of his reign is on the elect.

The Climax of Christ’s Reign

I Cor. 15:24-26, which immediately follows a passage referring to the resurrection and Christ’s coming, says, “Then cometh the end, when he shall have delivered up the kingdom to God, even the Father; when he shall have put down all rule and all authority and power. For he must reign, till he hath put all enemies under his feet. The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death.” See the end of I Cor. 15 for the wonderful passage on the resurrection, the change, the entering into full immortality of God’s people and the triumph over death! It all fits beautifully! Both the “kingdom” and the “reign” precede the victorious climax that takes place when Christ returns.

The reign spoken of in verse 25 is taking place right now although sin-blinded man is unaware of it. When the purpose of His reign with respect to the elect is fulfilled, this world will end. Its destruction will be sudden, without warning. I Thess. 5:1-3. The devil knows his time is short: that is why things are accelerating as they are. The world is being lulled into a deep spiritual sleep. Believers need to be awake as never before.

What is the Crop?

We have mentioned the fact that the parable above focuses upon a crop that is planted in and harvested from this world. Let’s examine that crop more closely. Matt. 13:38 tells us that “... the good seed are the children of the kingdom ....” Contrast this with the earlier parable in which Jesus used seeds as a type of the word of God sown in human hearts. This parable is different. Here the seed is people. In fact there are two distinct kinds of people described, “children of the kingdom” and “children of the wicked one.”

Our perspective on God’s kingdom is very limited. Many things are unclear, indistinct. Often we are in doubt as to who is really a part of the kingdom and who is not. “We walk by faith and not by sight.” II Cor. 5:7. As Paul said, “For now we see through a glass darkly; but then face to face ....” I Cor. 13:12.

The parable of the wheat and the tares gives us just a little glimpse of the kingdom from God’s perspective. We see the process from beginning to end set forth in simple terms. I believe that God means for His children to have some understanding in these things to better help us cope with our lives in this world.

The Sovereignty of God

One thing that stands out in this picture is how sovereign, how heaven-directed it is. Although the focus may be on the crop of wheat, that crop is the object rather than the subject of the parable. That is, it is not the will of the wheat we see at work: it is the will of the farmer.

The wheat does not choose to be wheat: it is what it is. Nor does the wheat plant itself: that is the farmer’s job. In this picture the wheat is acted upon by the farmer and simply does what is in its nature to do: it grows.

This parable also confirms what we said earlier about sheep and goats. We see again two distinct kinds: wheat and tares. Both kinds are what they are. Wheat does not become tares nor do tares become wheat. The tares are only left alone for the sake of the wheat till it is time for the harvest.

Man, by nature, hates the truth of God’s sovereignty. He wants to be the subject, not the object. He wants to direct his own destiny — and take full credit for it. The idea that he is helpless before the mercy of God, that he is dead in trespasses and sins, is utterly abhorrent to his proud rebellious nature. There is only one problem: it is the truth.

Read Eph. 2:1-10. If that is not a picture of the sovereign grace of God what is it? Every expression describes God graciously intervening in the lives of helpless sinners to bring them all the way from spiritual death to everlasting blessedness. Nowhere is there even a hint of human merit of any kind playing a part. It is by grace and grace alone that we are saved. Good works are the result of God’s grace, not the cause of it.

II Thess. 2:13-14 says, “But we are bound to give thanks alway to God for you, brethren beloved of the Lord, because God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth: whereunto he called you by our gospel, to the obtaining of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ.”

In II Tim. 1:9-10 Paul wrote of God, “Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began, but is now made manifest by the appearing of our Saviour Jesus Christ, who hath abolished death, and hath brought life and immortality to light through the gospel.”

The scriptures are full of this. Acts 13 records the ministry of Paul and Barnabas in Antioch. After first bearing witness to the local Jews they began to reach out to the Gentiles. The results were described in this manner in verse 48: “... as many as were ordained to eternal life believed.” Did Luke make a mistake in his record? Why did he choose those words? I believe God inspired him to write as he did to give us a glimpse of how things really happen.

It is true that they believed, yet behind their belief we see the sovereign hand of God. No man would ever believe if God did not first work with his heart. It is the grace of God that calls forth sinners from the dead and gives them eternal life. We can take no credit for that. We can, however, bow before Him in thankfulness and praise and endeavor by His Spirit to walk worthy of such a calling! Eph. 4:1.

We see the sovereignty of God at work in the ministry of angels. Hebrews 1:14 tells us that they are “... ministering spirits sent forth to minister for them who shall be heirs of salvation.”

Notice the timing. It doesn’t say that God waits till sinners are saved and then assigns angels to watch over them. Angels are sent forth to watch over them who SHALL BE heirs of salvation! That is long before they actually hear the gospel and come to faith!

I believe God’s elect are watched over from birth. I believe they are watched over from their conception. If God would pull back the veil I believe we could see His faithful hand at work in every circumstance necessary, extending back before the foundation of the world, to bring His elect into, and safely through, this present world. We serve a great God!

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