|Volume 19 Number 2 February 2017||
Did God Choose Donald
Trump to Be President?
Louis Rushmore, Editor
Recently, the preacher was talking about God in control and that government is under God’s control. He stated that Donald Trump was God’s choice to win; so because God is in control, Donald Trump won. I understand God rules, and that in times past He has selected certain individuals to serve His purpose, but how can we make a statement that God chose Donald Trump over Hillary Clinton?
If God chose Donald Trump to be president over Hillary Clinton, it is certain that God would have His way. We know from explicit biblical teaching that in the past God has chosen specific persons or nations through His providence to rise to prominence. “By me kings reign, And rulers decree justice. By me princes rule, and nobles, All the judges of the earth” (Proverbs 8:15-16 NKJV). “…He removes kings and raises up kings…” (Daniel 2:21). “…the Most High rules in the kingdom of men, Gives it to whomever He will…” (Daniel 4:17). “…the Most High rules in the kingdom of men, and gives it to whomever He chooses” (Daniel 4:32). The replacement of King Saul with King David is one example of Divine intervention in the human governance of mankind (Acts 13:21-22; Hosea 13:11).
Romans 13:1-7 confirms that God still authorizes the existence of governments, though He sanctions no particular form of human government over another. For instance, the type of government ruling the Mediterranean world in the first century when the Roman epistle was penned was not a democracy. Still, Christians were instructed to obey government in the first century (1 Peter 2:17), except when government required of Christians what was not permitted by God (Acts 5:29).
Therefore, there is no reason to dismiss the possibility that God still operates in the affairs of men providentially, by which rulers and nations rise or falter. We have no biblical information that informs us that God no longer operates providentially regarding rulers and nations. Yet, neither do we have biblical information validating Divine providence today in the selection of particular rulers or nations. He may and likely still does operate behind the scenes regarding human governments and their leaders—where He chooses to do so. It is just that since no more Divine revelation is forthcoming (Jude 3; Galatians 1:6-9), no one can accurately and correctly specify in which instances, with which nations and with which rulers Almighty God is exercising His providence presently.
Louis Rushmore, Editor
Someone inquires, “To what does ‘the new Jerusalem’ in Revelation 3:12 refer?” The phrase “new Jerusalem coming down from God out of heaven” also appears in Revelation 21:2.
To correctly answer the question introduced above, one must first recognize that the Book of Revelation is mostly comprised of figurative language rather than literal language. A common mistake made by religionists is not “handling aright the word of truth” (2 Timothy 2:15), which includes distinguishing between figurative and literal language.
Secondly, noting the context in which a verse of Scripture appears is essential to the proper understanding of the Word of God. For instance, Revelation 3:12 appears in our Lord’s address to the seven churches of Asia and particularly in the segment thereof dedicated to “the church in Philadelphia” in Asia Minor (contemporary Turkey). “New Jerusalem” there refers to the eternal reward of victorious saints who “persevere” (Revelation 3:10).
Thirdly, “new Jerusalem” is comparable to “Jerusalem which is above” (Galatians 4:26), “the heavenly Jerusalem” (Hebrews 12:22) and “the holy Jerusalem” (Revelation 21:10). Otherwise, “the new Jerusalem” is “the city which has foundations, whose builder and maker is God” (Hebrews 11:10). As such, “the new Jerusalem” stands in contrast to the earthly Jerusalem in old Israel. The former city, which housed Solomon’s Temple, is contrasted with its replacement—new Jerusalem, a city whose builder and maker is God, rather than constructed by the hands of mere mortals. The latter is spiritual and pertains to one’s eternal heavenly habitation. The new Jerusalem is the replacement for earthly Jerusalem. The former was home to the fleshly bodies, whereas the latter will be the home of souls.
In summary, “new Jerusalem” in Revelation 3:12 refers to the eternal reward of victorious saints who “persevere” (Revelation 3:10). Similar references in the Book of Revelation and in other inspired writings also hold out the hope for righteous souls of residing with Almighty God eternally.