Wednesday, January 27, 2021

“GO, STAND and SPEAK”

Part 2 of “For we cannot but SPEAK”
 
Read Part 1: SPEAK NOW 
 
“…lift up thy VOICE with strength;
lift it up,
be not afraid…”

(Isaiah 40:9b) 
 
Exhibit 1


The GOSPEL Cannot Be Muffled, Masked or Muzzled
Before proceeding in this article series it is first important to establish a key Scriptural stance. The source of TRUTH is God’s WORD, the BIBLE, and the GOSPEL of Jesus Christ. The Bible posits “the WORD of the TRUTH of the GOSPEL” of Jesus Christ. (Gal. 2:5,14; Eph. 1:13; Col. 1:5). Believers are exhorted repeatedly in Scripture to SPEAK, PREACH and TEACH the WORD: “Let the WORD of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; TEACHING and admonishing one another…” (Col. 3:16). Here is God’s will: 
 
Who will have all men to be saved,
and to come unto the knowledge
of the TRUTH.”

(1 Tim. 2:4) 
 
The Old Testament prophets PREACHED the TRUTH in the face of the LIES of idolatry that people were hearing. The prophets posited God’s WORD to stand against the FALSE and idolatrous mythical NARRATIVES that so captivated ancient Israel. Those prophets who were obedient to God in SPEAKING TRUTH endured much pushback, opposition and persecution. Their TRUTH was deemed religiously and politically incorrect against the established norms. Over and over again God instructed Jeremiah to “go and speak.” King Jehudi was so “triggered” by Jeremiah’s TRUTH that he burned rolls of God’s WORD in his hearth fire. This destructive act backfired. Jeremiah 36 records that God prevailed upon Jeremiah to write God’s WORDS again, and He added even more WORDS.
 
In the New Testament the Religious Establishment, with cooperation with the Roman empire, was determined to suppress the TRUTH of Jesus Christ’s birth, life, death, and especially His resurrection. But these officials ran into difficulties from the very beginning. The TRUTH could not be contained. It leaked out everwhere no matter how fiercely the authorities clamped down on it. At times the TRUTH poured out like a flood. Peter courageously PREACHED the FACTS of the GOSPEL TRUTH regarding the WORD that God had sent “unto the children of Israel, PREACHING peace by Jesus Christ”
“How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power: Who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with Him. And we are witnesses of all things which He did both in the land of the Jews, and in Jerusalem; Whom they slew and hanged on a tree: Him God raised up the third day, and shewed Him openly; Not to all the people, but unto witnesses chosen before of God, even to us, who did eat and drink with Him after He rose from the dead. And He commanded us to PREACH unto the people, and to TESTIFY that it is He which was ordained of God to be the Judge of quick and dead. To Him give all the prophets witness, that through His Name whosoever believeth in Him shall receive remission of sins.
(Acts 10:36, 38-43) 
 
THE CENSURESHIP CRACKDOWN 
Recently BigMedia, joined up with BigTech and SocialMedia, has been engaging in LIES and PROPAGANDA, skewed to its particular worldview. Ignoring and suppressing inconvenient FACTS, while promoting FALSE NARRATIVES, is their new modus operandi. The intent is that their LIES become the “truth” and the TRUTH appears to be a lie. FACTUAL TRUTH is being aggressively suppressed, censored, shut down, blocked and obliterated. Those who believe LIES to be “truth” are aggressively finding ways to silence those who TEACH TRUTH. 
 
Make no mistake about it – the new “truth” that these Technocrat Elites are imposing is a FAKE RELIGION, a FALSE religious, political and philosophical worldview for the reigning global Church-State-Corporate system. This is a sign of the times. 
 
It is quickly becoming evident that the suppression of FACTUAL TRUTH is now expanding to censor BIBLICAL TRUTH. These unprecedented days require discernment, knowledge and courage. We will be documenting this encroachment of FREE SPEECH in future articles. Here is where we stand right now. We know the TRUTH of Jesus Christ and His GOSPEL. And we know that His resurrection is FACT. 
 
“But grow in grace,
and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.
To Him be glory both now and for ever. Amen.”

(2 Peter 3:18) 
 
FREEDOM OF SPEECH 
It is understandable why Christian Americans resort to the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution in times like these. Those of us who have actually been taught history or studied the Bill of Rights in the U.S. Constitution recognize the significance of the freedoms granted by this remarkable Amendment. The First Amendment provides freedom of religion, speech, press and assembly. It establishes freedom from religious coercion or totalitarian repression. It reads: 
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances. 
One church historian has made the case that here in America it was the freedom of speech in the Bill of Rights that was set up to be a bulwark against a totalitarian rise of a State Church, which is an institutionalized and mandated sacralism: 
The First Amendment of the [U.S.] Federal Constitution, which provided that “Congress shall make no law establishing religion nor prohibit the free exercise thereof” was the death sentence of “Christian sacralism.” This Amendment is a Monroe Doctrine in which the soil of the New World is closed to sacralist plantings from the Old World.[2]
There is indeed a rising new State Church, but it is global in its scope. BigMedia, BigTech and BigAcademia have joined together to indoctrinate the public with their new worldview which is antithetical to Christianity. And this worldly consolidation of power now openly seeks to impose its BELIEFS on the public. Thus any dissenting VOICES, such as those of born again Christians, must ultimately be SILENCED. 
 
There are serious signs of trouble for those who would pin their hopes on resolving First Amendment issues here in the United States court system. First, in the past several months we have witnessed an unprecedented level of corruption in the courts at all levels. Second, when one takes a freedom case to the court, if it rules against you, it sets a precedent that erodes freedom for the next case to come along. Third, we have been told that there will be a “packing” of the U.S. Supreme Court with new justices. This highest court up to now has been the place of last resort for those hoping to retain their freedoms. This does not mean that one cannot try, or that you should not try. We have biblical precedence in Paul’s appeal to Caesar, who testified as to his ultimate purpose in that process: “the things which happened unto me have fallen out rather unto the furtherance of the GOSPEL” (Phil. 1:12). At the time Paul wrote this he was in bonds, imprisoned, yet his hope wasn’t in earthly redemption but heavenly. 
 
For several decades many enjoyed freedom of speech in the milieu of SocialMedia and the Internet. However, BigTech along with BigCorporate has exhibited tyrannical behavior over the past several months, ramping it up in the past two weeks in coordinated moves to shut down people, platforms, and technology. Shockingly, there are no rights of recourse when one is censored by BigTech. Whereas one might utilize the judicial system to attempt to regain free speech in society, this is not possible with BigTech Giants who are protected by Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act of 1996 which give them immunity.[3]  Thus there is no right of appeal. BigTech Oligarchs are accuser, jury, prosecutor and judge. 
 
Recognizing the signs of the times, we are cognizant of the fact that we cannot trust in chariots and horses (Ps. 20:7), “for the battle is not yours, but God’s” (2 Chron. 20:15). Therefore, “Be of good courage, and He shall strengthen your heart, all ye that hope in the LORD.” (Psalm 31:24). We proclaim that we “stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free” (Gal. 5:1), fully dependent upon the mercy of the Lord for courage and strength (Joshua 1:6,9). We assuredly know that we possess a higher freedom than can be found in State documents or man-made rights. Our freedom to speak and assemble is found only within the GOSPEL of Jesus Christ. And by His Holy Spirit the GOSPEL TRUTH cannot be contained. 
 
Being born again, not of corruptible seed,
but of incorruptible,
by the WORD of God,
which liveth and abideth for ever….
But the WORD of the Lord endureth for ever.
And this is the WORD
which by the GOSPEL is PREACHED unto you.”

(1 Peter 1:23.25) 

What follows is a study of a pivotal moment in the early church that reveals the source of our FREEDOM OF SPEECH. This passage gives us strength, hope, courage, and joy for the days to come. We have taken the liberty of using current vernacular to illuminate this passage’s relevance to us today. The intent is to illustrate how a small remnant group of believers SPOKE the TRUTH boldly in the face of the Church-State Establishment attempts to SUPPRESS it. 
 
 
 
 
THE DAY THE TRUTH POURED OUT
After Jesus’ resurrection, His tiny core group of eleven followers expanded with family, friends and devotees to number 120 by Pentecost. Whereupon the wind of the HOLY SPIRIT turned a remnant of faint-hearted men into emboldened advocates for  TRUTH. An amazingly transformed Peter then stood up and confessed a risen SAVIOR, the TRUTH, to a diverse crowd from many nations, proclaiming: “This Jesus hath God raised up, whereof we are all witnesses (Acts 2:32). He urged them to “Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost” (Acts 2:38). So powerful was Peter’s WORD of TRUTH ringing out that 3000 souls were converted that very day. 
 
Oops. This wasn’t supposed to happen. The Religious Establishment thought they had put a lid on the Jesus Christ TRUE STORY. They thought they had planted their heavily financed FAKE NARRATIVE firmly in people’s minds by bribing the guards who had been at the tomb to tell LIES. But what happened next was even more out of their control. In Acts 3 Luke tells us that Peter and John took what seemed to be a routine visit to the temple when an inexplicable healing miracle occurred – “a certain man lame from his mother’s womb,” a man quite familiar to the temple-goers, aged “forty years old” (Acts 4:22), was healed! Not by Jesus – He was by now sitting on the right hand of the Father – but by lowly Peter, the rough fisherman! 
 
Excitedly this healed man went “walking, and leaping, and praising God” into the temple, “and all the people saw him walking and praising God” (Acts. 3:8). Plenty of eyewitnesses! This was just the sort of worst-case scenario that the Religious Establishment didn’t want to see happen. Not only had Jesus 
died, but there were multiple reports He had come back to life, and now His disciples were filled with power for doing His same sort of miracles. The Religious Establishment feared it was losing control. All of this happening was outside of their purview. This temple healing incident posed a direct challenge to their religious authority and political power. They rose in opposition to SUPPRESS the TRUTH TAUGHT by Peter and John: 
 
“…as they SPAKE unto the people,
the priests, and the captain of the temple,
and the Sadducees,
came upon them,
Being grieved that they TAUGHT the people,
and PREACHED through Jesus
the resurrection from the dead.”

(Acts 4:1,2)
 
It was the Sadducees who came out first. They had to SQUASH the FACT that there had been yet another inexplicable resurrection, a FACT that their doctrine denied. Recall that the chief priests had previously “consulted that they might put Lazarus to death – the man who had already died once whom Jesus raised” (John 11, 12:10). This was the Religious Establishment’s Cancel Culture running amok, which culminated in the killing of Lazarus’s healer, Jesus of Nazareth. So this was not going to be a friendly encounter. It was an aggressive move to reestablish their supremacy and control over a potential insurgency. 
 
These religious officials were not rejoicing in this man’s miraculous healing. No. Rather, they were upset about the TRUE STORY getting out – the Gospel TRUTH that Peter was TEACHING. So what did they do? The next predictable act that always accompanies a failure to suppress the TRUTH. Powerful Elites will always resort to more stringent punitive measures: “And they laid hands on them, and put them in hold unto the next day: for it was now eventide” (Acts 4:3).
 
Did this unlawful arrest suppress the TRUTH? No. While Peter and John spent the night in jail, meanwhile “Howbeit many of them which HEARD the WORD believed; and the number of the men was about five thousand” (Acts 4:4). It backfired! To the 3000 were added 5000! One high profile miracle, and the accompanying testimony about Jesus Christ, along with the move of the Holy Spirit in men’s hearts, had launched a spiritual revival – despite this brazen crackdown on FREE SPEECH! 
 
There was a hearing the next day, although a legitimate charge is never cited. The question the leaders asked Peter and John revealed their spiritual blindness: “By what power, or by what name, have ye done this?” They must have been shocked by what transpired next. The new man, “Peter, filled with the Holy Ghost,” answered them boldly (Acts 4:7-8). The transformation of this weak-kneed fisherman into a courageous leader was yet another miracle in their midst. And PREACH he did, giving all glory to Jesus Christ of Nazareth, Who, Peter reminded them, they had crucified, and Who rose from the dead, and furthermore, “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). Ironically, in their effort to suppress TRUTH they had to listen to Peter stand before them and state the GOSPEL TRUTH!
 
The BigLeaders were rendered speechless! For a brief moment their false NARRATIVE totally crumbled. “They could say nothing against” either Peter and John’s remarkable transformation, nor the lame man’s incredible healing. It was time for a Re-Set. Things were getting out of control. The TRUTH was leaking out uncontrollably all over Jerusalem and they were seemingly powerless to stop it. Luke records that “But when they had commanded them to go aside out of the council, they conferred among themselves, Saying, What shall we do to these men? for that indeed a notable miracle hath been done by them is manifest to all them that dwell in Jerusalem; and we cannot deny it.” (Acts 4:15-16) 
 
This statement represents their total failure at that moment to control the NARRATIVE. There was no point enlisting fact-checkers. This on-its-face TRUE STORY was “manifest to all.” Every place this healed man joyfully leaped testified to the TRUTH. Jerusalem citizens could visibly see the evidence of this great miracle. Worse, there was still present in Jerusalem that day many of those eyewitnesses to Pentecost from all across the Mediterranean world. How far across the known world would this TRUTH leak? It was time to plug the leaks and jumpstart punitive measures. 
 
THE CENSORSHIP EDICT 
A CENSORSHIP crackdown ensued. The Religious Establishment exerted its bullying authority. In order to suppress THE TRUTH they issued the following edict: “But that it [the GOSPEL TRUTH] spread no further among the people, let us straitly threaten them, that they SPEAK henceforth to no man in this NAME. And they called them, and commanded them not to SPEAK at all nor TEACH in the NAME OF JESUS.” (Acts 4:17-18) 
 
This new mandate presented a pivotal crisis at the very beginning of the Church era on earth. Would Peter and John obey? Or would they cower in fear? Falter with doubt? Did they back down and say, “Oh, sorry, sirs, we’ll shut up now”? Did they vacillate and start making plans to return to fishing in Galilee? Did they hang around hoping that they’d get a big cash bribe like the guards at the tomb? Did they rush out of the meeting to explain to the crowd that they had just cut a deal with the Religious Establishment and as long as everyone behaved and was QUIET there would be no trouble? No. These men were not political activists, they were spiritual PREACHERS. SPEAKING Gospel TRUTH was non-negotiable. Peter and John didn’t fail their Lord Jesus Christ. They responded to the authorities with a plain statement of TRUTH that has trumpeted resolute strength to the BODY of CHRIST through the centuries and across continents: 
 
“But Peter and John answered and said unto them,
Whether it be right in the sight of God
to hearken unto you more than unto God,
judge ye.
For we cannot but SPEAK
the things which we have seen and heard.”

(Acts 4:19-20) 
 
RUNNING TOWARDS DANGER 
Predictably the Religious Establishment responded negatively: “So when they had further threatened them, they let them go, finding nothing how they might punish them, because of the people: for all men glorified God for that which was done” (Acts 4:21). At this point God’s Holy Spirit was moving upon the hearts of men. So much so that the Leaders were stymied. Did they fear the power of the crowds – the very mechanism they had previously used to agitate and manipulate Pilate to crucify Christ? These same crowds had previously proved to be very fickle. How many of the multitudes were now believing that Jesus was resurrected – a FACTUAL TRUTH? 
 
Acts 4 records that Peter and John recognized the signs of their times. It dawned on them that they were witnessing a literal fulfillment of Psalm 2, that they were living in the prophesied time when the kings of the earth and the rulers “were gathered together against the Lord, and against His Christ” (Ps. 2: 26). The very political Religious Establishment in Jerusalem was aligned in opposition to Gospel TRUTH. Recognizing this, Peter PREACHED openly to the crowds: “For of a TRUTH against thy holy child Jesus, whom thou hast anointed, both Herod, and Pontius Pilate, with the Gentiles, and the people of Israel, were gathered together” (vs. 27). This politically powerless band of disciples recognized that the Church-State on Earth had all been arrayed against Christ, and now against them, in a frightful display of power. 
 
Did these men react in fear to these aggressive threats by praying that God would help them run away? Did they ask for an easier load? Did they request to be safe and sheltered from harm? No. Empowered and emboldened by the Holy Spirit, these men were no longer feeble wimps. Instead they prayed a most radical prayer to the Lord: “grant unto thy servants, that with all BOLDNESS [we] may SPEAK Thy WORD” (vs. 29). Like David, who “ran toward the army to meet the Philistine” Goliath (1 Sam. 17:48), these men ran towards danger. They prayed out loud together asking God to grant them courage to go forth, to SPEAK the TRUTH – in direct disobedience to the admonition they had just received to shut up and be silent. They even asked God for accompanying “signs and wonders may be done by the Name of Thy holy child Jesus” (vs. 30). 
 
They desired that God would display His power. They weren’t going to flee from their calling. There would be no hiding under a bushel (Matt. 5:15). The light of the Gospel TRUTH they were proclaiming would fulfill what Jesus once told them to do: “so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven” (Matt. 5:16). They were essentially praying the WORDS in Ephesians 3:20, asking that God would “do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us.” And God answered thunderously: 
 
“And when they had prayed,
the place was shaken where they were assembled together;
and they were all filled with the Holy Ghost,
and they SPAKE the WORD of God with boldness.”

(Acts 4:31) 
 
“GO, STAND and SPEAK” 
The real battle was about to begin. Acts 5:10-16 speaks of multitudes and more multitudes coming to salvation in Jesus, to the point that sick people were actually laid on the streets “that at the least the shadow of Peter passing by might overshadow some of them” (v. 15). And “they were healed every one” (vs. 16). 
 
We do not read of the Religious Establishment joyfully celebrating such open miracles and widespread healings. They were not thrilled that there is a great repentance going on in their nation. Instead we read that they “were filled with indignation” (vs. 17, Gk. zelos, which is also translated envy). They were angry that they had lost control of the situation. In desperation they grasped what power they still retained and “laid their hands on the apostles, and put them in the common prison” (vs. 18). They resorted to brute physical force and incarceration. And there is no citation for whatever crime was supposedly being committed. The disciples had been SPEAKING and, by God’s grace, healing. Was it against the law to SPEAK? To HEAL sick people? The irrational Religious Establishment was apparently willing to see people suffer with sickness and sins in order to achieve their power objectives. 
 
But the TRUTH could not be contained. God must have had fun doing this next miracle. This time He sent His angel to open the prison doors. The angel charged the released apostles with a wonderful mandate: GO, STAND and SPEAK in the temple to the people all the WORDS of this LIFE” (vs. 20). And the men OBEYED! They continued to SPEAK – in the temple openly! 
 
The next series of events described in Acts 5 sounds like the Keystone Cops – panicked authorities running around hurriedly trying to figure out what had happened when they discovered the men had escaped from jail. Luke informs us that once again the apostles were apprehended, but this time, thankfully, they were brought “without violence: for they feared the people lest they should have been stoned” (vs. 26). Here again can be seen the restraining effect of the growing multitudes upon the Religious Establishment – these BigLeaders feared man (Prov. 29:25). Upon this latest harassment arrest, once again Peter and the apostles were put to the test:
 
“And when they had brought them,
they set them before the council:
and the high priest asked them,
Saying, ‘Did not we straitly command you
that ye should not TEACH in this name?
and, behold, ye have filled Jerusalem with your DOCTRINE,
and intend to bring this man's blood upon us.’
Then Peter and the other apostles answered and said,
‘We ought to obey God rather than men.’

(Acts 5:27-29) 
 
“WE OUGHT TO OBEY GOD RATHER THAN MEN” 
These faith-filled WORDS have reverberated across the centuries and around the world. Such boldness comes only through the Holy Spirit. The God of Daniel who CLOSED the lion’s mouths can OPEN the mouths of believers. Such boldness cannot be repressed. Such TRUTH cannot be suppressed. 
 
The Religious Establishment could not endure such a brazen threat to their authority, particularly by men who openly preached their complicity and moral guilt in Christ’s crucifixion. Peter and John were physically “beaten” and “commanded that they should not SPEAK in the NAME of Jesus.” Did Peter and John react by fleeing the scene? Do we see them running scared out of Jerusalem? Did they hunker down and hide? Did their advisors tell them to keep a low profile and stay quiet to let the storm blow over? After all, this time they had just been painfully beaten, covered in bloody welts and bruises. What more reason did they need to give up and abandon their calling? Did they SHUT UP? No. Instead, we read the most astonishing FACT:
 
“And they departed from the presence of the council,
rejoicing that they were counted worthy
to suffer shame for His NAME.
And daily in the temple, and in every house,
they ceased not to TEACH and PREACH Jesus Christ.

(Acts 5:41-42) 
 
We know the rest of the story. The Religious Establishment soon embarked upon a massive campaign of brutal suppression of SCRIPTURAL TRUTH, eventually enlisting the fanatic Saul of Tarsus who was present at the fatal stoning of Stephen. Saul was a partisan activist, wielding the full power of the Religious Establishment to wreak his violent havoc. But how many persecuted saints prayed in faith for his conversion? Paul, who Jesus directly called to be an Apostle, would later write of these persecutions in 2 Corinthians 6:9, testifying of boldness in proclaiming the TRUTH: “For I DELIVERED unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the SCRIPTURES” (1 Cor. 15:3) 

 
“But the WORD of God
is not bound”

(2 Timothy 2:9) 
 

 
 
“THE WORD OF GOD IS NOT BOUND” 
And here is the sum of the matter. The FACT of Jesus’s Resurrection is TRUE. This Gospel TRUTH cannot be restrained. It cannot be suppressed. It cannot be censored, cancelled or blotted out. Men may fail “…but the WORD of God is not bound.” (2 Timothy 2:9). The Devil has a million ways to squelch the TRUTH, including sanctions and penalties, threats and imprisonment, cancellations and expulsions, banning and shunning, tortures, death and destruction. But God reigns! The living miracle, a converted Paul, would write to the Thessalonians, to “Pray… that the WORD of the Lord may have FREE COURSE, and be glorified…” (2 Thess. 3:1). 
 
The next twenty centuries of church history, bear record of men and women who suffered torture, ruin, imprisonments, deprivations and death for the cause of the TRUTH of the GOSPEL of SALVATION found in the HOLY BIBLE, the SCRIPTURES, the WORD OF GOD. 
 
FREEDOM of SPEECH is grounded in God’s WORD. Human documents may fall, and human justice may fail, but God’s WORD is “For ever… Thy WORD is settled in heaven” (Psalm 119:89). The TRUE STORY is found in God’s WORD. The GOSPEL is FACT, not myth. 
 
“AS DYING, AND, BEHOLD, WE LIVE; 
As chastened, and not killed” (2 Cor. 6:9)
As the dust of the traumatic year 2020 settles, and 2021 worsens, we can now see clearly that we live in a time prophesied by Daniel when there is a massive, concerted effort by Powerful Elites to “cast down the TRUTH to the ground” (Daniel 8:12). Yet Daniel was also told that “they that be wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament; and they that turn many to righteousness as the stars for ever and ever” (Dan. 12:3). May we shine GOSPEL TRUTH into the darkness. Where we are cancelled or shut down on one platform, may God grant us other avenues. 
 
The TRUTH is this: we are charged to “stand” and “withstand” because “we wrestle not again flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places” (Eph. 6:12-16). We must not neglect to “take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the WORD of God” (vs. 17). We must obey Jesus’s final WORDS charging us to SPEAK and TEACH the GOSPEL of His Salvation: 
 
“And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying,
ALL POWER is given unto Me in heaven and in earth.
GO ye therefore, and TEACH all nations,
baptizing them in the name of the Father,
and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:
TEACHING them to observe all things
whatsoever I have commanded you:
and, lo, I am with you alway,
even unto the end of the world. Amen.”

(Matthew 28:18-20) 
 
“I know thy works: behold,
I have set before thee an OPEN DOOR,
and no man can shut it
:
for thou hast a little strength,
and hast kept my WORD,
and hast not denied My NAME.”

(Revelation 3:8) 
 
“And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb,
and by the WORD of their TESTIMONY;
and they loved not their lives unto the death.”

(Revelation 12:11) 
 

Endnotes:
2. Leonard Verduin, The Reformers and Their Stepchildren (Eerdmans, 1964), p. 61. Verduin authored an entire book on this topic late in his life: That First Amendment and the Remnant (Christian Hymnary, 1998). He also authored The Anatomy of A Hybrid: A Study in Church-State Relationships (Eerdmans, 1976). These books represent an alternative historical perspective concerning church and state, including early U.S. history, which sheds considerable light on the concept of separation of church and state, as well as the religious freedom issues that gave rise to the First Amendment.  
3. See a good explanation in this article by Michelle Edwards, "Silencing Parler: The Power of Twi++er and 'Person X'," UncoverDC, January 20, 2021, https://uncoverdc.com/2020/09/23/doj-announces-proposed-legislation-for-section-230/ .
 
NOTE: Spelling, word and phrase anomalies in this post are intentional.