A Kingdom Message to the Body of Christ in America

A Kingdom Message to the Body of Christ in America COVID-19 and Post-Pandemic Era

Apostle Paul Wheelhouse, MSLIS, MSC, MDiv

February 20, 2021

Revised March 31, 2022

 

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

We are Kingdom people, with God as our King, the Sovereign and Creator of the whole universe and Earth, privileged to be made subjects of this most great, universal, and invisible Kingdom by the Word of God, made up of God’s declarative truths in holy Scripture in narrative, Law, Covenants, Prophecy, Gospel, and Exhortations receiving these benefits by the mercy and grace of God in Christ Jesus.

God has made each one of us in particular, uniquely, for none of us are “general,” and this itself is a wonder, a marvel, and mystery to behold, and all life is a miracle, by the power, majesty, love, and intelligence of God, our Creator and King. Now because we were made a particular person in a particular body, this means we were born into a particular place, country, nationality, and culture. For us, this was and is America (writing to an American Christian audience in particular; exceptions are e.g. missionaries whose children were born on foreign soil).

In the world, in which we mean the temporal world of time and geographic space, there are political bodies which has laws that its citizens are to obey. We succinctly refer to these bodies as “the State.” Now from a biblical perspective, it is important to understand that the ‘State’ is not supposed to be in opposition to God but at times and some places dictators, monarchs or even the citizenry arise who set themselves against God. But its not America verses God based on the Apostle Paul’s (N.T.) teaching. In the Apostle Paul of Taursus day, there was the Roman Empire. The Apostle Paul spent much energy and time to witness to Roman rulers and their households. So it was not the state, Rome against God. They co-exist on different realms. God’s realm is so much higher than each and all the temporal kingdoms on this Earth; He is the Sovereign of the whole universe. It is important that we understand that God’s heavenly Kingdom, of which we are eternal members by God’s grace, and the earthly State to which we are citizens, co-exist. The heavenly Kingdom is superior, supernal, and eternal, and the latter is temporal, inferior and not permanent (earthly kingdoms and civilizations come and go).

I earnestly pray that not only do you understand this, but it’s a truth you come to believe to the depth of your being.

If we hold this truth of being both a member of God’s higher Kingdom and being a member of the temporal, even the ideals of the United States of America at the same time, it should affect how we think and respond to national news events from this past year such as the attacking of American symbols and the attacking of churches and Christian symbols. The righteousness of God’s Kingdom within us leads us to strive to be good citizens in the land where we live. We should certainly be concerned about these troubling events. May we also be wise and discern that today’s news media seems to thrive on stirring up unrest. As serious as these new events have been, we should not be over-swayed by them to the point of forgetting the power of the Gospel, the living Lord Jesus in this world though His Church! Let us not forget about God’s power! Is He not the maker of all things? And we pray for boldness to testify to the truth, both of God’s judgment and God’s love, to peoples in this generation.

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, it is so easy for American Christians to fuse these two kingdoms, God’s Kingdom, and the ‘American kingdom,’ into one homogenized kingdom. But we must keep these two kingdom’s distinguished. To be sure, most of the principles and high ideals that the founders used to build the ‘American ideal’ came from God’s Word, the Bible, most notably the principles of justice, freedom, and equality for all. The theme also of America being a Light and a ‘City on a hill’ to inspire other countries around the world to adopt a democratic free society, is taken right from the Bible too.

So what does it mean to be living as Kingdom People in Christ Jesus in this era of great social unrest, attacks on civic, religious, even Christian symbols and this COVID-19 pandemic and post-pandemic? Some Evangelical leaders and Faith movement teachers emphasize that we as believers and possessors of God’s Scriptures are God’s Kingdom representatives on Earth. We have this authority from Christ and we should exercise it. To this, I say, “Amen, amen!” The Apostle Paul wrote, “For I am not ashamed of the Gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God unto salvation” (Rom. 1:16). And Luke diligently wrote of the Apostle Paul’s missionary activities, “…testifying to Jews and also to Greeks, repentance toward God and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ…And indeed, now I know that you all, among whom I have gone preaching the kingdom of God…” (Acts 20:21,25a).

Let us rightly understand this “kingdom of God” as the Apostle Paul preached and taught and the New Testament writers wrote. We do not want to misunderstand, thinking carnally, not spiritually, due to the influence of hedonism in our age. We must think spiritually, and the battle is a spiritual battle. Listen to what the apostle Paul says about the nature of the Kingdom of God: “…for the kingdom of God is not food and drink, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit” (NKJV).  Every Christian reading this to commit this verse to memory in your mind and plant it into your soul and heart. Paul clearly understands that the Kingdom of God is spiritual. Arms, weapons, and fighting does not bring the Kingdom of God. Do not be mislead into believing the Hollywood movie ‘Kingdom of Heaven’ really brought God’s Kingdom. And the Christian Crusades in the Middle Ages sorely failed at bringing God’s Kingdom, but they too for the most part were corrupted by this world and lusted after power, wealth, and land.

Paul begins his definition with “righteousness.” What does he mean? Paul was a Hebrew Bible scholar, that is, a diligent student of God’s Old Testament Scriptures (c.f. Ps. 119). Even as pious Jews in ancient times diligently sought God and His righteousness in prayer, study, and sacrifice, so to you allow God’s word to transform your mind, heart, and soul. Let it affect your temporal decisions to do the right things in your family (e.g. treat them right), in your church community such as offering true worship and not gossiping, in your community-at-large, and in society.

In this era of divisiveness in America which as even divided families, even Christian families that has robbed joy over family gatherings such as Thanksgiving fests, let us be peace-makers and reconcilers. If Jesus exhorted us to love our enemies, should we not the more love our family members and kin folk?

Let us not be carnally swept into arguments with those whom we may disagree, but be inspired by the apostle Paul who was regularly beaten and persecuted by his fellow Jews, to win these people over with the power of peace, the true peace in Christ Jesus. May we pray for peace upon all.

At the same time, because of the spirit of God’s righteousness and civil righteousness, we can also call forth justice including punishments for those who have mobbed, defaced, or even destroyed statues of Christian heritage and American symbols and heritage. But we should earnestly pray that they come to know the Prince of Peace.

The power of the Christian faith which led it to become the largest and most influential religion in this world is not a worldly power; it is spiritual. Unbelievers do know know it and speak of it wrongly, with corrupt minds, interpreting it in worldly ways of earthly power and wealth. The true power of the Christian faith is spiritual, coming from  the Holy Spirit through the Word of God, especially through the Gospel word which changes lives. True believers in Christ have the great conviction that what we have to offer is better than any religion in the world. His true Word and His “peace that passes all understanding” (Phil. 4:7).

We must always be on the guard against arrogance and not be puffed up in our minds as we walk around in society thinking we are superior people. We must balance this out with humility. Humility is also one of the true marks of wise believers.

To be sure, there has been a clashing of ideology going on in America. These clashes may continue and perhaps worsen in time. This is a great challenge for Christians in our day and the days ahead, both leaders and followers. Many American secularists and anti-Christians want to take religion entirely out of the public square where it was once acceptable to engage in the subject of religion. How do we respond civilly, spiritually and powerfully, intelligently, and yet with humility? Pray, and God will give you the words to say in the day.

But do not be discouraged, for God encourages us. Remain in God who is on His Sovereign Throne, and He has given us the victory in Christ Jesus that we live in God’s perfect peace forever, made sure by the sacrificial death of our Lord Jesus on the cross and His glorious rising from the dead the third day, and then ascending to Heaven to take His seat next to God the Father.

It does not seem coincidental that the COVID-19 virus pandemic arose in the same year after major social unrest and destruction of American symbols. Does not “corona,”  mean “crown”? I discern that this name itself is a subtle blasphemy, for no virus, epidemic, nor pandemic should be given such a place as a “crown” which is a symbol of rulership, kingdom.

God allows all the kingdoms of the Earth to exist, and we should respect those in authority. But a virus comes under the biblical category of “diseases.” Ps. 103 blesses the LORD God “who forgives all your iniquities, who heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from destruction” (Ps. 103:3-4 NKJV). I thank God for Christian ministers who in faith have pronounced this “stronghold” of COVID-19 to be bound like Satan is bound and cast into the bottomless pit. There are many cultural Christians in America that are no where near the level of faith of many of these faith leaders. May our weaker brothers and sisters of faith be stirred and moved to take up the spiritual authority God wants them to exercise over their own lives and their families. There is a distinction between true faith and fanaticism. May we all be found with true faith whether the style of ministry we prefer to be loud or boisterous preachers or soft organ playing.

The COVID-19 is not to be placed in any position of authority. It seems like the motivation behind the thinking to label it a “corona” was to increase fear and give power to this beast like in the book of Revelation (Rev. 13:4).

But we Kingdom People, in the blessed eternal hands of a loving and majestic God, are triumphant in faith over fear, and from faith to glory.

May we also let the peaceful spirit of God’s Kingdom that lives in us strengthen us, our fellow family members, fellow believers in the household of faith, and be a true light to those in need of God’s peace. Amen.

All apostolic letters of Paul Wheelhouse are for free distribution to Christians, members of the Body of Christ, here, there, and and everywhere in either print or electronic form. No one is to ask for money or should receive money in exchange for one or more of my letters.

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