Retreat!
June 24, 2019
Toby Grater

So I’m checking out local Christian radio while I’m out running errands today, and manage to tune into some program telling us once again that the end is near, “right around the corner” apparently.

So I think to myself, “Since I began to hear that the end is “right around the corner” there have been an awful lot of “corners”. Examples abound: Edgar Whisenant’s 88 Reasons Why The Rapture Will Be In 1988; Harold Campings’s more carefully titled  1994?, not to mention any number of speculative Bible prophecy charts, be they current, forgotten, or revised.

Anyway, I’m listening to this broadcast, and I hear what for me is a new one: Somebody, somewhere, is figuring out—or perhaps has already figured out—how to bring back the existence of a red heifer. The belief here is that access to a red heifer (Numbers 19:2) is necessarily a part of future animal sacrifices in a future rebuilt temple.

But that is not all in the DRG (Department of Revitalized Genetics). We went on to learn that a database has apparently been established to determine who are the real priests, or perhaps Real Priests (physical descendants of Aaron) via genetic testing. Looks to me like the next round of exciting Bible prophecy psychobabble is about to be released at hyper-speed: A Real Red Heifer can now be sacrificed by a Real Priest.

So, the radio program ends with the normal “ready-set-go-rapture-is-almost-here-and-the-Anti-Christ-is-about-to-swing-into-action” warning that I’m sure I’ve heard, I don’t know, maybe 371 times already.

Of course, that’s obviously no big deal.

Here’s what did surprise me: Right after the broadcast ending, can you guess what came up on the playlist? I couldn’t have, but whadda-you-know, the familiar sounds of the old hymn, “Lead on O King Eternal” burst through my radio speaker like the balm in Gilead itself.

Now, if you are looking for a statement of the conquest of the reign of Christ having begun at the cross, and not some future chaotic cosmological conflagration, look no further than “Lead on O King Eternal”. From the second verse:

Lead on, O King eternal,
Till sin's fierce war shall cease,
And holiness shall whisper
The sweet amen of peace.
For not with swords loud clashing,
Nor roll of stirring drums;
With deeds of love and mercy

The heavenly kingdom comes.

A more fitting post-millennial statement can hardly be made in poetry or prose. In fact, this sounds much like Matthew’s citation (12: 17-21) of Isaiah: 

That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Esaias the prophet, saying,

Behold my servant, whom I have chosen; my beloved, in whom my soul is well pleased: I will put my spirit upon him, and he shall shew judgment to the Gentiles.

He shall not strive, nor cry; neither shall any man hear his voice in the streets.

A bruised reed shall he not break, and smoking flax shall he not quench, till he send forth judgment unto victory.

And in his name shall the Gentiles trust.

So, thanks for coming along with me in one of those little events that you can’t make up: In about 15 minutes of radio programming we went from total defeat to total—and I do mean total—victory.

Just like that.

Oh, and one more thing: If anyone out there would like to re-write the words to “Lead on O King Eternal” the way we really believe it in contemporary Christianity, I’m open to submissions. I’ll start it out for you:

Retreat O Church most liberal

We cannot trust our King

For He is not victorious

He can’t conquer a thing.

 

We only preach salvation

That’s all you need to know

We’ve given up on conquest

Sir Scofield told us so.

~ Joel Saint

Article originally appeared on Mid-Atlantic Reformation Society (http://www.thinkandreform.org/).
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