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America in Prophecy by Ashley Cunningham

America in Prophecy by Ashley Cunningham

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Published by: INQUISITION NEWS on Feb 04, 2011
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01/27/2014

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America In Prophecy 
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America In Prophecy 
By Ashley Cunningham
 
 
America In Prophecy 
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―We Have No King But Caesar‖
 
By Ashley Cunningham
“We have no king but Caesar 
,‖ cried the angryJewish leaders in response to Pilate‘s question,
“...shall I crucify your king?”
Yet no amount of reasoning would persuade the religious leaders tospare the Son of God. What led the Jewish leader-ship to so fully reject the Son of God? Whatwould lead them to accept Caesar as their kingwhen they passionately hated the Romans whooccupied Israel.In our study of this second part of our serieswe will take a brief look into the mindset of theJewish leaders and why they rejected Christ andultimately crucified Him. History has a strangeway of repeating itself. Can we learn the impor-tant lessons from the past as we face the future?
The Jewish Religion In 27AD
When Herod first came to power in 37 BC,one of his first acts as king was to separate theoffice of the High Priest from civil government.He did so by appointing a man of his own choos-ing to the office of High Priest. This practice wascontinued, after his death, by the Roman gover-nors. The control of this sacred office by the civilauthorities was a curse to the priesthood, for nowmen vied for the office who had only political andfinancial gain in mind, while ignoring the claimsof God!Herod gained still another foot hold over thespiritual life of the people, when in 19 BC he made plans to rebuild the temple at Jerusalem. The oldtemple was dismantled and the new one was built.It was a massive task involving tens of thousandsof workmen over a 46 year period. When it wasfinished, the temple mount was 1000 cubits long(1500 feet) by 670 cubits wide (1000 feet), thesize of 20 football fields. The ancient historian,Josephus, was so impressed that he wrote, thetemple "...caused an amazement to the spectators, by reason of the grandeur of the whole."
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After the Babylonian captivity, the Jewishleaders thought to safeguard the nation from fal-ling into idol worship and apostasy. They believedthat by enacting religious laws they could protect
the ―Law of God‖ and this in turn would protect
Jewish society and their religion. They also hopedthis would bring them into favor with God andrestore the former glory of Israel.However, this was not the case. Instead of fostering religious devotion and worship to God,it had the opposite effect. The Jewish religion be-came a system of rites and traditions. True pietyand godliness were supplanted with man madelaws, which superceded the Ten Commandments.Love, the key principle of the law was lost sightof, and selfishness, greed, and bigotry controlledthe hard hearted people.The various sacrifices and services that theLord had instituted at Sinai, to point to the Mes-siah, became a corrupt system of salvation byworks. As the Jews lost their spiritual hold onGod, they clung to the ceremonial rites for their 
merit of God‘s favor and blessings. They meas-
ured their holiness by how many religious ritesthey preformed, by following the multitude of rabbicable requirements, and by their own socialstanding in Jewish society. A prime example of this is found in the gospel of Luke, in the parableof the prayer of the Pharisee and the Publican.
The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself,God, I thank thee, that I am not as other men are,extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this publican. I fast twice in the week, I give tithes of 
all that I possess.”
Luke 18:11,12.This is the terrible condition that Christ had todeal with when He began His public ministry inthe fall of 27 AD. Most of the Jewish leaders and people were so devoid of the principles of Godand His spirit, that in many ways they were in aworse condition than the heathen Romans whomthey hated and despised!As a nation they wanted the former glory and power of Israel, without the repentance and obedi-
ence that had brought ancient Israel God‘s bless-
ings. Yet in His great mercy, the Father sentChrist to the Jewish people to reveal, through Hislife and teachings, the truth and love of God. Thiscut against the errors and superstitions of the rab- bis and priests. It was a challenge to their author-ity. They could not allow this young Galilean up-start to come among the people and upset their system of religion. They could not endure the popular support that His teachings and miraculousacts of mercy had with the people. The Jewishleadership came to the conclusion that in order tosave their positions, their religion, and their nation
America in Prophecy 
Part 1
 
America In Prophecy 
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they had to rid themselves of Christ. The one whowas the only reason for their existence!It is very interesting that they turned to thevery authority whom they hated in order toachieve their goals
 — 
the Roman government.They had strayed so far from God that they had become like their enemy, the Romans. On thatfateful day, in the spring of AD 31, when the Jew-ish leadership cried for the blood of Christ, theywere rejecting the Lord of Israel, and in doing sothey sacrificed their own national existence byswearing allegiance to Caesar!
Religion And The Founding Of America
“Be watchful, and strengthen the things which
remain, that are ready to die: for I have not found thy works perfect before God. Remember there- fore how thou hast received and heard, and hold  fast, and repent. If therefore thou shalt not watch, I will come on thee as a thief, and thou shalt not 
know what hour I will come upon thee.”
Revela-tion 3:2,3.
―For my part, I cannot sufficiently bewail the
condition of the reformed churches, who are cometo a period in religion, and will go at present nofarther than the instruments of their reformation.The Lutherans cannot be drawn to go beyondwhat Luther saw; . . . and the Calvinists, you see,stick fast where they were left by that great manof God, who yet saw not all things. This is a mis-ery much to be lamented; for though they were burning and shining lights in their time, yet they penetrated not into the whole counsel of God, butwere they now living, would be as willing to em- brace further light as that which they first re-
ceived.‖
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 The role of religion in the affairs of the Ameri-can government go back to the days of the first pilgrim settlers in New England. After years of religious persecution in England these faithfulsouls took a perilous voyage to the shores of America and established the Massachusetts BayColony. Here they purposed to establish a type of theocracy that was to be controlled by the PuritanChurch. In their pursuit to keep the communitiesfree from sin and the vices of the old world, theyincorporated their religious beliefs into the lawsof their civil government. They had very strictlaws which governed the keeping of Sunday.These laws were rigidly enforced by civil offi-cials. In Massachusetts these laws were called the
―Blue Laws‖ after the color that represented the―Law of God.‖
The Pilgrims did not understand the great prin-ciples of religious liberty as espoused by the Biblethey claimed to follow. They still carried the oldworld doctrine of the divine right of the church tocontrol conscience, and the Puritan church usedcivil magistrates to enforce the punishment of her-esy. For many decades after the founding of the
Bay Colony, it was only ―church members‖ that
had any voice in the affairs of civil government.This position was soon challenged by Roger Williams, who emigrated to the MassachusettsBay Colony in 1631. Soon after landing in Bos-ton, he received a warm welcome by Massachu-setts governor, John Winthrop. In a few years hereceived a position as an assistant pastor in thetown of Salem. However, he held very radical re-ligious beliefs on the separation of church andstate (a radical view for his time). He denied thevalidity of the Massachusetts charter and chal-lenged the Puritans to acknowledge that they hadseparated from the Church of England. He be-lieved that religious freedom should extend to all people regardless of their religious beliefs and practices.He claimed that, "The public or the magistratesmay decide, what is due from man to man; butwhen they attempt to prescribe a man's duties toGod, they are out of place, and there can be nosafety; for it is clear that if the magistrates has the power, he may decree one set of opinions or be-liefs today and another tomorrow; as has beendone in England by different kings and queens,and by different popes and councils in the RomanChurch; so that belief would become a heap of confusion."
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He was banished from the Massachusetts BayColony in the winter of 1635. While he sufferedfrom hunger and cold, God preserved this faithful preacher and he founded the colony of RhodeIsland the following year. In 1664 Williams se-cured a charter for Providence Plantation, which became a haven for peoples of all faiths seekingreligious freedom. His concepts of religious lib-erty bore fruit, for they became the cornerstone of American freedom, found in the
 Declaration of  Independence
and the
U.S. Constitution
.As the decades passed, the American colonies prospered. Tens of thousands came to the Ameri-can shores seeking freedom from despotic kings,the ecclesiastical oppression of the church, or eco-nomic want. It was the land of new beginningsand opportunities. The soil was rich, the virgin

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