|No King But Jesus|
The crisis of the ages demands that we renew the historic battle-cry of our Christian Forefathers: "We Have No King But King Jesus!"
"Remove not the ancient landmarks which thy fathers have set."
-- Proverbs 22:28
The Historic Battle-Cry of
the Christian Church is:
"AND HE HATH ON HIS VESTURE AND ON HIS THIGH, A NAME WRITTEN, KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS."
-- Revelation 19:16
by Charles A. Jennings
The glorious annals of sacred history of the Christian Church record the heroic deeds of many of our forefathers in their struggle against the ungodly dictates of religious and political tyrants. Their unrelenting devotion and allegiance to Jesus Christ as not only prophet and priest, but as the only rightful king resulted in their confrontation with the ungodly political, social and religious authorities. There are numerous historical accounts which offer irrefutable proof that human governments have demanded the total allegiance of their 'subjects,' at the expense of individual God-given rights of personal liberties, political philosophy and religious beliefs.
Early in the life of the first century Church, both the Jewish religious and Roman political authorities attempted to stop the Apostles in their proclamation that Jesus Christ and He alone was and is the only Lord and Savior (Acts 2:36). The Apostle Peter declared; "neither is there salvation in any other: For there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved" (Acts 4:12). One of the official accusations brought by the Roman government against many members of the Apostolic Church was the charge of Ďatheism,í because they refused to recognize and worship Caesar as God.
THE APOSTOLIC DECLARATION
"We ought to obey God rather than men"
Peter and the other Apostles
-- Acts 5:29
In the 17th century there was another clear example of staunch Christian believers defending the "Crown Rights" of Jesus Christ. They willingly resolved to give total allegiance to their Savior in spite of the disfavor of the English Crown which resulted in the bloody martyrdom of thousands of Scottish saints. In 1560 the Reform Faith was established as the national religion of Scotland. Forty-three years later in 1603 James VI of Scotland became James I of England. In 1618 the king tried to conform the worship of the Scottish churches to the pattern of the Anglican Church, which policy was pursued by his son Charles I in 1625. The Scottish Presbyterians rejected this royal usurpation by signing the National Covenant in 1638 which declared religious independence from the state church. Again they signed the Solemn League and Covenant in 1643 which pledged themselves in their worship and allegiance only to the Crown Rights of Jesus Christ. Thus they became known as the Scottish Covenanters. They opposed the theory of the Divine Right of Kings and taught that limitless sovereignty pertains to God alone.
In Paul Revere's midnight ride to Lexington to announce the coming of British Regulars, he warned two patriot leaders, the gray-haired Sam Adams and John Hancock who were staying at the home of Parson Jonas Clarke.
Such dissenting views brought strong opposition from King Charles II in 1662 and Presbyterianism was outlawed and the Covenants were denounced as illegal. Following the Biblical admonition of obedience to the Sovereign God instead of an earthly king made the Covenanters Ďrebelsí to the state. Many Scottish preachers, driven from their pulpits, resorted to field preaching. Thousands of Covenanters were hunted down, jailed (sometimes without trial), brutally tortured and killed. In spite of severe persecution and deprivations, many of these despised religious Ďrebelsí met their vicious attackers proudly waving their banners which read:
ĎFOR THE WORD OF GOD AND THE TESTIMONY OF JESUSí and "FOR CHRISTíS CROWN AND COVENANT."
In spite of certain death, a bleeding remnant of 200 Scottish Covenanters at Blackgannoch Moss in May 1685, loudly proclaimed their fervent declaration of faith:
"LET KING JESUS REIGN, AND ALL HIS ENEMIES BE SCATTERED!"
Another historical example of the Churchís declaration of the Crown Rights of Jesus Christ is clearly seen in the theology of the Puritan Fathers as follows. "Basic in Puritan political thought is the doctrine of divine sovereignty. It was the sovereign God who created the state and gave to it its powers and functions. The earthly magistrate held his position and exercised his power by a divine decree. He was a minister of God under common grace for the execution of the laws of God among the people at large, for the main tenancy of law and order, and for so ruling the state that it would provide an atmosphere favorable for the preaching of the Gospel. He was to so rule that the people of God, the elect, could live individually and collectively a life that was truly Christian."
(From: A Theological Interpretation of American History" by C. Gregg Singer)
The Christian doctrine of the sovereignty of God and the Crown Rights of Jesus Christ was prevalent in the minds of many patriots preceding and during the American Revolution in their struggle against King George III.
The men of Marlborough, MA unanimously proclaimed in January 1773 that "Death is more eligible than slavery. A free-born people are not required by the religion of Jesus Christ to submit to tyranny...(we) implore the Ruler above the skies, that He would make bare His arm in defense of His Church and people, and let Israel go."
(From: "The Light and the Glory" by Peter Marshall and David Manuel)
Not only from pulpit and town hall came the cries for liberty, but now the average colonist blended his voice in support of total independence from King George. Most Crown-appointed governors remained loyal to their king. One wrote to the Board of Trade in England saying: "If you ask an American, who is his master? He will tell you he has none, nor any governor but Jesus Christ." ("The Myth of Separation" by David Barton)† This may have been the incident which gave rise to the cry which was carried by the messengers of the newly formed Committee for Intercolonial Correspondence:
"NO KING BUT KING JESUS"
Either your God will be your King or your king will be your god.
On April 18, 1775 John Adams and John Hancock were at the home of Rev. Jonas Clarke, a Lexington pastor and militia leader. That same night Paul Revere arrived to warn them of the approaching Redcoats. The next morning British Major Pitcairn shouted to an assembled regiment of Minutemen; "Disperse, ye villains, lay down your arms in the name of George the Sovereign King of England." The immediate response of Rev. Jonas Clarke or one of his company was:
"We recognize no Sovereign but God and no King but Jesus."
In this crucial hour of our nationís history it is past time that the true saints of God give total allegiance to the Kingship of our Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ. The crisis of the ages demands that we renew the historic battle-cry of our Christian Forefathers Ė
"WE HAVE NO KING BUT KING JESUS!"
"It cannot be emphasized too strongly or too often that this great nation was founded, not by religionists, but by Christians; not on religions, but on the gospel of Jesus Christ!"††† Patrick Henry
"Providence has given to our people the choice of their rulers, and it is the duty...of our Christian nation to select and prefer Christians for their rulers."† John Jay, First Chief Justice of the United States Supreme Court
"And the seventh angel sounded; and there were great voices in heaven, saying, The kingdoms f this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord and of his Christ, and he shall reign for ever and ever."
-- Revelation 11:15
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"TO SERVE THE PRESENT AGE,
MY CALLING TO FULFIL,
O MAY IT ALL MY POWERS ENGAGE,
TO DO MY MASTER'S WILL!"
MAYNARD G. JAMES