Back in the early seventies, I wanted to avoid fighting in Vietnam. I joined the National Guard and was shipped to Fort Ord, California for six months of active duty. Day after day we were taught the fine points of killing. Amid all the shouting, shooting and swearing, the one thing that puzzled me was the Army chaplain. I kept scratching my head. "Why is a chaplain, who is supposed to be a minister of Jesus Christ, sanctioning war? I don't understand. What's his responsibility? Why is he hired by a war machine?"
There is a basic principle of law: What one creates, one controls. If I am doing some evil and I want the people to accept that evil, what is the first thing I am going to do? I am going to hire a "man of the cloth" to preach Jesus. Everybody thinks this man is preaching Jesus, but they forget who put him in office. They forget where he receives his paycheck. They don't see that the real agenda is to make evil look good. They don't realize that he is truly a wolf in sheep's clothing.
I believe that there are almost no citizens of the Kingdom of Heaven. The reason? The world has done a fantastic job of deceiving the people. And the greatest deception is when the State hires someone to preach Jesus Christ.
Emperor Constantine of Rome brilliantly executed this deception. Around 312 A.D. he supposedly saw in the afternoon sky a bright cross with the words, "In this sign conquer." That night Constantine dreamed that Christ bade him take the cross for his standard. From then on, his armies conquered under the symbol of the cross. Previously, Christians refused to fight in the Emperor's wars. But now it appeared that Constantine was fighting Christ's battles and many Christians were duped into joining Constantine's army.
Constantine was a sly politician. Despite some Christian sentiments, he ruled the empire as a despot, surrounding himself with oriental pomp. He put to death his oldest son, Crispus, and his second wife, Fausta. Constantine gained renown by passing the Edict of Milan, which granted all persons the freedom to follow whatever religion they wished. This ended the persecution of Christians and deceived many.
Even today, most people can't see through Constantine. They don't realize how clever he was at winning over his opponents. Prior to the Edict, it was against the law to be a Christian and many Christians were martyred. Constantine, like all shrewd leaders, wanted to appear benevolent. He desired to end the killing of Christians because it made the State look evil. He also wanted the Christians to be under his control.
Constantine realized that if you can't beat them, why not join them? Though he did not convert to Christianity until he was on his deathbed, he showed sympathy toward the Christians. This caught many Christians off guard. They thought Constantine was their champion. When a controversy threatened to split up the Christians, Constantine came to the rescue. He called together a worldwide council of bishops and presided over the meeting. The Council settled the dispute by drawing up the Nicene Creed.
Constantine was amassing great power. He not only ruled in matters of State, but was also leading the Church. Here was a man directing Church affairs, who was not even a professed Christian. A joining of the church with the State began which continues to this very day.
This union of believers with unbelievers creates confusion. Today there are all kinds of people going to "church," and calling themselves "Christians," but they are not. Though they confess Jesus with their tongue, their allegiance is to the world. They are being led by wolves who have put on sheep's clothing and they cannot see through the sheepskin.
It is difficult to sort these leaders out. We cannot perceive that inside are dead-men's bones, not Jesus Christ. We are deceived into believing they are working for the Lord, when in reality they are working for their father the devil.
Why is wickedness so powerful? Because they are the deceivers and anyone who deceives is forced to become very wise. But the children of God, why are we so stupid? Because we have nothing to hide. We are innocent. And our innocence causes us to stumble and fall and be deceived. It is the deceivers who must constantly prop up their lies, lest the spell is broken, and the people learn the truth.
How can the State, which denies Jesus Christ, send a Christian missionary? It seems impossible, yet State-incorporated "churches" send missionaries all the time. But they go out under the covering of passports issued by the United States. These missionaries are not representing the Kingdom of Heaven. They are representing the government of the United States.
"What's wrong with that? Isn't the United States a Christian nation? How about all those Christian people who set up this wonderful free country?"
I'm sorry, but you have been deceived. Their official documents say that the United States is not a Christian nation. The Treaty of Tripoli, signed in 1796, which is included as the Supreme Law of the United States, says, "The government of the United States of America is not in any sense founded on the Christian Religion."
Why do most of the people think this is a Christian nation? Because the State has placed their men as leaders in the churches. They tell them this is a Christian nation and deceive the people.
What are the State-incorporated churches preaching? These "pastors" have State driver licenses and United States Passports. They tell their congregation that Romans 13 means "Obey the law of the land." They are not preaching the Kingdom of Heaven. They are not promoting God's government upon the earth as it is in Heaven. They are preaching Statism. Their loyalty is to the State who created them. They fear that if they are disobedient, the IRS will take away their special 501(c)(3) tax status.
Jesus says, "I am the Vine. You are the branches." That is corporate talk. He is saying we are incorporated in Him. "Eat my flesh, drink my blood." More corporate talk. "You have no life except you get it from me." Where do these 501(c)(3) churches get their life? Not from Jesus, but from the State.
[Issued after the meeting of Constantine and Licinius in Milan, in the month of March, 313 A.D.]
"Wherefore, as I, Constantine Augustus, and I, Licinius Augustus, came under favorable auspices to Milan, and took under consideration all affairs that pertained to the public benefit and welfare, these things among the rest appeared to us to be most advantageous and profitable to all.
"We have resolved among the first things to ordain those matters by which reverence and worship to the Deity might be exhibited. That is, how we may grant likewise to the Christians, and to all, the free choice to follow that mode of worship which they may wish. That whatsoever divinity and celestial power may exist, may be propitious to us and to all that live under our government. Therefore, we have decreed the following ordinances as our will, with a salutary and most correct intention, that no freedom at all shall be refused to Christians, to follow or to keep their observances or worship. But that to each one power be granted to devote his mind to that worship which he may think adapted to himself. That the Deity may in all things exhibit to us his accustomed favor and kindness.
"It was just and consistent that we should write that this was our pleasure. That all exceptions respecting the Christians being completely removed, which were contained in the former epistle that we sent to your fidelity, and whatever measures were wholly sinister and foreign to our mildness, that these should be altogether annulled; and now that each one of the Christians may freely and without molestation pursue and follow that course and worship which he has proposed to himself: which, indeed, we have resolved to communicate most fully to your care and diligence, that you may know we have granted liberty and full freedom to the Christians, to observe their own mode of worship; which as your fidelity understands absolutely granted to them by us, the privilege is also granted to others to pursue that worship and religion they wish. Which it is obvious is consistent with the peace and tranquility of our times; that each may have the privilege to select and to worship whatsoever divinity he pleases. But this has been done by us, that we might not appear in any manner to detract anything from any manner of religion, or any mode of worship."