ROMANS 12 & 13
We Must Know the Difference Between the Power of God and the powers of darkness
Dear Friends -
The other night I was on The Information Corner, a broadcast interview with Sam & Trish Britton (www.theinformationcorner.com). The discussion was Romans 13 - but the broader discussion was concerning the followers' of Christ understanding of God's Government vs. man's "government." I began the discussion with an explanation that Romans 13 is an extension of Romans 12. It is essential to understanding Romans 13, that one must understand Romans 12 - first.
In Romans 12, the very first verse is a command - a law, if you will for the people of God - or an eternal principle that applies from generation to generation - for God's people to not be conformed to this world - but to be transformed by the renewing of their minds so that they can prove what is the good, acceptable and perfect will of God.
What is the good, acceptable and perfect will of God? In order to understand the will of God, we must look at the Scriptures as a whole and not merely piece by piece as is so often done.
Looking at the Scriptures as a whole, it is easy to see that God has a people. His desire for those people is that their hearts, minds, souls, treasures, lives, etc., be turned only toward Him.
His desire has ALWAYS been a people for Himself who love Him and follow His ways. The perfect will of God is for people who call themselves God's people to forsake ALL and follow Him, His laws, His ways, His eternal principles.
That was His desire in the "Old" Covenant, and that is STILL His desire in the "New" Covenant.
Identifying who those “people” are is done by finding the faith of Abraham. The faith of Abraham is identified in the New Testament as those who are in Christ - Galatians 3:29 - “and if ye be Christ's, then are ye Abraham's seed and heirs according to the promise.”
There are people in this world today who are still living in an Old Covenant Age of confusion, namely that Abraham's promise was to a race, rather than to a people of faith. Jesus cleared this confusion up when He told the Pharisees that even though they were of Abraham's seed (according to the flesh) they were truly of their father the devil, because they did not accept Him (Jesus) John 8. The true nation of God today is found in people who have the faith of Abraham - not the race of Abraham. I Peter 2.
The God of Heaven is still looking for people who are not ashamed to call Him God (ruler and King). He is looking for a people who have no other "gods" (rulers, magistrates, judges) before Him. He is looking for a people to inhabit His city - the New Jerusalem. The habitation of that city occurs when God's people live according to God's ways, God's laws, God's principles, and the eternal principles for living that Jesus clarified. This is a city not made with hands.
The Bible - God's Word is the instruction manual to God's people telling them how to Govern themselves in their Communities - ecclesias. So many people have become so confused. God's Word IS NOT a book telling God's people how to conform to man's ways and man's "governments." It is His words telling His people how to live according to His ways.
Back to Romans 12. “Be not conformed to this world...”
The word "world" as it appears in Romans 12 is a mind-blower. If you have read our study of the word "world" as it appears in Matthew 24 (found in The Religion of the New World Order), you know that there are several different Greek words with several different definitions pertaining to the word "world." You would think upon first glance that the word "world" here would have been cosmos, which means "orderly arrangement." But it doesn't. It is from 165 in the Strong's which is age, specifically the Jewish or Messianic age.
Why did Paul tell these believers not to conform to the Jewish or Messianic age? It's because that "age" was coming to an end. The “Old Covenant Age” was closing - and the “New Covenant Kingdom Age” was approaching.
Those followers of Christ were living in a transition generation that was witnessing the official end of the Old Covenant age and the official establishment of the New Covenant / Kingdom age.
Paul was desiring for the people reading His letter - to begin living in the New Covenant Kingdom age - even though the official beginning of that age would not occur until A.D.70 when the Old Covenant physical temple in Jerusalem would be destroyed. Most "preachers" teach that the "Old" covenant ended at the cross. But this simply is not Biblically sound teaching. The "Old" covenant did not come to an "official end" until the temple in Jerusalem was destroyed at A.D.70. This event was called by Jesus, in Matthew 24 - THE END OF THE WORLD.
Many years ago, I often wondered why the Apostle Paul went in to the temple and made a sacrifice (Acts 21). The answer is simple: The "Old" covenant was not completely done away with. It is quite possible that in Paul's "all things to all men" philosophy, this is why he did what he did. Personally, I feel as if he should have remained true to his "nonconforming" theology of Romans 12, but it's not my reasoning that matters. (There are several things that Paul did that are headscratchers, and that's a totally separate commentary too long to add here.) Paul said in Hebrews 8:13, the "old" covenant decayed and waxed old - AND WAS READY TO VANISH AWAY. It was not an instantaneous event. This is another reason why the first century - the century that brought the Messiah face to face with people - was so significant. John the Baptist began the transition period. Jesus and His disciples continued it. His death, burial and resurrection occurred during it, and the destruction of the temple in A.D.70 concluded it.
Paul continues in Romans 12 telling these followers of Christ how to conduct themselves in the Kingdom of Christ. The body of Christ - the ecclesia - the plan of God from the foundation of the world - is the "called out Christian community of believers."
Again - "called out from what?" Here, we see that they were called out from the Old Covenant age. Other passages of Scripture show us that God's people are called out of the "systems" of men. Jesus came to make His people FREE - called out from slavery. This freedom is complete. God's people are called out from the Old Covenant, we are called out from men's "governments," we are called out - so that we can be called INTO the Kingdom / Government of Christ - where men and women, boys and girls, live according to the laws, ways, and eternal principles found in the Scripture for daily living.
One of the most important understandings about being “called out” from the “Old Covenant” relates directly to how followers of Christ are to relate to the rest of the “world” regarding “government.”
In the Old Covenant, though it was NEVER God’s perfect plan or Will, the people of Israel - God’s people - chose to adopt a system of “government” - according to I Samuel 8 - that was “like the kings of the earth.”
Up until this time, Israel’s King was Yahweh God. Israel was “ruled” by a system of judges that made judgements based on the Laws of God as provided to Moses and the priesthood. There was no “President.” There was no Senate. There were judges and there was the Law. God was King and His Law was the only Law.
Yet, the people rebelled against this system and demanded a “king like all the other nations.”
When Samuel made his plea to God regarding what should be done, God allowed the people’s demands - and a “king” was named.
Please read I Samuel 8 to see what the warnings were to God’s people if they went into such a “system.” “Taxes, wars and oppression” would be the result.
This is why God allowed this to happen in the Old Covenant. It was done to set an example for all who followed that when God’s Government is traded for man’s “government” - freedom is changed to slavery.
The genealogy of Christ is of utmost importance and most people understand that Christ was “heir” to the throne of David. Most people are in agreement that “Jesus was born to be King.”
But it goes much deeper than this. The implications and understanding of the genealogy requires a complete change of belief - which then produces a change of lifestyle.
Jesus knew this. The disciples were learning it. And the Apostles and first century saints FULLY understood it.
Not only IS Jesus Christ King of kings and Lord of lords - BUT HE IS THE LAST of the Kings that God allows for His people.
The days of God raising up “kings” among men ARE OVER. He has made his LAST appointment. The days where God “allowed the nations to walk in their own ways” ARE OVER. (Acts 14:16).
The days where God allowed the people of the earth - not just Israel - BUT ALL PEOPLE - to have their own “kings” ARE OVER. Those days were allowed in the Old Covenant World. But NOT IN THE NEW COVENANT. This is one of the reasons why Paul was telling those early Christians to NOT CONFORM to the Old Covenant.
In the New Covenant Kingdom Age - He has taken it ALL BACK to Himself and He has crowned His Son as the ONLY LEGITIMATE RULER IN THE WORLD. “The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ; and he shall reign for ever and ever.”
So what does this mean for the “kingdoms of this world?” If they have not renounced their positions, then THEY ARE THE POWERS OF DARKNESS. They are the rulers of the darkness of this world. They are NOT ORDAINED OF GOD - they are usurpers and imposters.
They are in place ONLY because they have the most “buying power” or the biggest guns - or both.
The apostles finally understood. They understood what was meant by the “gospel of the Kingdom.” They understood that Jesus was not only King of kings and Lord of lords - but He was the LAST of the Kings that God allows for His people.
This is why it was said in Acts 17.....”these that have turned the world upside down, have come hither also......and these all do contrary to the decrees of Caesar, saying THERE IS ANOTHER KING, ONE JESUS.”
This, to the Apostles, was not a matter of choosing which earthly “government” was doing a few things right. Or which earthly “government” threw in a few “laws” that sounded like they were based on God’s Laws. Or which of men’s “laws” they could obey and which they couldn’t.
This was people who understood that the WHOLE SYSTEM OF MAN’S GOVERNMENT was instituted ONLY FOR THE OLD COVENANT and it was cast off with the crowning of Jesus Christ as King of kings and Lord of lords.
Be not conformed to the OLD COVENANT - contains this understanding. God does NOT ALLOW man to “set up governments” in the New Covenant that do not have Jesus as their King.
It is amazing to see man’s “government” continually pass “laws after laws” that are in such clear defiance of the principles of God - yet people STILL defend them as “the powers that be” and demand obedience to them. They pass evil “laws” BECAUSE THEY ARE THE POWERS OF DARKNESS.
People that believe and teach this are STILL living in the Old Covenant and have never come out of the Old into the New.
Back to Romans 12 to try to further support these claims through Scripture. Read the entire chapter 12 for yourself and determine whether or not Paul is speaking to the "Government" of the body of Christ. I submit that Romans 12 is written to believers, instructing believers how to "Govern" themselves in their communities.
Paul describes "offices" that make up some of the "members" of the body of Christ, beginning in verse 4 of Romans 12. Notice very distinctly in verse 8 that one of those "offices" is "he that ruleth....." I am not placing emphasis on this office, I am only showing that it is one of the "offices" described as being part of the body of Christ.
As we continue into Romans 13, it is imperative that we not do as others do and jerk a few verses out of the Bible and lay them on the table and make a "religion" out of them.
Romans Chapter 13 is a continuation of Romans Chapter 12.
Romans Chapter 13, verse 1 says: "Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God.”
This is not difficult. These instructions are to the body of Christ IN CONTINUATION OF ROMANS 12. This passage of Scripture is telling God's people how they are to be Governed in their called out Christian communities of believers.
They are to submit to the "power" - the Laws, the teachings, and the eternal principles of God as they are found in the Scriptures from cover to cover. It is that "perfect and acceptable will of God."
There is no power - but God's power. The ONLY authorized "power" is "power" that is based on the eternal principles of the Word of God. Any other "power" IS NOT OF GOD but rather are the powers of darkness, the rulers of the darkness of this world.
This passage of Scripture is NOT saying that anyone who has "power" (or force) is of God. That is craziness. That is insanity. Does the mafia have "power?" Did Satan have "power?" Of course he did.
Satan's "power" (the prince of the "power" of the air) is the exact same Greek word used in Romans 13. So are we to believe that Christians are to submit to Satanic "power?" Most believers would immediately answer "no." But I'm here to tell you that I have heard many "preachers" answer "yes" to that same question.
How ridiculous - though, ultimately, that is what some "churches" teach and practice. Many wrongly assume that anyone who has "might" has "power." But that is NOT what the Scripture is saying for God's people. "Might" is not "power." Whoever has the biggest guns and the most buying power IS NOT ordained by God to "rule." This is a lie that has come down from the 501(c)(3) "government church" and it is NOT the truth for God's people. This "teaching" is what is ruining society and causing great havoc on the entire world.
They teach obedience to ungodly “rulers” because the Old Covenant allowed it - to a certain extent. Yes, God raised up ungodly rulers - IN THE OLD COVENANT. God placed the “kings” in the Old Covenant system and they did evil things. He put them there many times to punish the people of Israel. There is no question that in the Old Covenant, God raised up good kings and evil kings and put them in their place for specific purposes.
He put them there many times and made the people of Israel slaves to them.
Ultimately, that was all done for the purpose of bringing in a Savior, a PERFECT KING - with a perfect Government - so that He could Free His people and rule and reign over all those people who allow His reign in their lives.
With the coronation of King Jesus, God’s people once again had the opportunity to have a system of Government that worked, was perfect, and provided freedom and prosperity to all who would receive it.
There is criteria to be met for the understanding of "power." The correct understanding for "power" in Romans 13 is authority - God's authority - which is found ONLY in the name of Jesus.
Anyone who comes outside of the name - the authority - the power - of Jesus - IS NOT OF GOD. They are not operating under the power of God. There is NO POWER but of God.
It makes me cringe to hear people refer to men's "governments" as "the powers that be."
Again, whoever has the biggest guns, the most buying (better stated would be - "spending") power, the most people swearing allegiance to it, DOES NOT MEAN THEY ARE ORDAINED OF GOD.
Romans 13 is not ordaining "power" as in whoever has the people's allegiance - whether voluntarily or by force.
Romans 13 IS an extension of Romans 12 and it is teaching the body of Christ how to Govern themselves in their “called out Christian communities.” It is not telling followers of Christ to obey men’s “governments.” That’s not the context of the passage - or the spirit or intent of the passage.
Please notice Romans 13 verse 3. The word "rulers" again appears here. It is the same word used to describe "rulers" in men's "Old Covenant governments" and it is the same word used in Romans 12:8 when discussing the office of "ruler" in the body of Christ.
This reinforces the understanding that the called out Christian community - IS GOD'S GOVERNMENT. It is the Kingdom of Christ. It is for the people of God who desire His rule in their lives.
This is the Government where those who do good are praised for good works and those who do evil are put out of the community.
This is the Government where those who live according to the Spirit HAVE NOTHING TO FEAR FROM THEIR GOVERNMENT. This is the Government where Freedom reigns because where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.
Notice Romans 13 verse 4. “For he is the minister of God to thee for good.”
Take your Strong's Concordance and look up the word "minister" as it is found in verse 4. The Greek word is diakonos, which means Christian teacher or pastor. Is this not further evidence that this passage of Scripture is a continuation of Chapter 12 which is concerning the body of Christ - the called out Christian community of believers?
If this is what the word "minister" means in Romans 13:4, then I challenge anyone, anywhere to show me where the "leaders" of the U.S. or the "states" fits this criteria.
The fact is: THE U.S. CONstitution STATES EMPHATICALLY - NO RELIGIOUS TEST SHALL BE REQUIRED OF ANYONE DESIRING TO HOLD PUBLIC OFFICE IN THE U.S.
This statement ALONE - disqualifies the "government" of the U.S. from coming in the "power" of God clearly described in Romans 13. If the U.S. CONstitution stated, “anyone who desires public office must profess that Jesus Christ is King of kings and Lord of lords - now” then there might be a discussion. But it isn’t now or ever was a thought or intent for that to be a decisive factor in the “offices” of the U.S. “government” created by the CON.
It must be noted that this single "clause" is only 1 out of many other "clauses" that demonstrates that the U.S. "government" does not receive its authority from God.
The opening paragraph of the U.S. CONstitution states that it derives its authority to exist FROM THE PEOPLE. There is not one single word in the CONstitution that mentions God, Jesus, the Kingdom of Christ, and there is not one mention of the Word of God in the document.
Please do not try and tell me that a follower of Jesus Christ can embark on something so vital as establishing civil order - AND NOT INCLUDE JESUS IN IT!
“For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, (unless it is laid) on Jesus Christ.”
A true follower of Jesus Christ cannot go one day in his life without talking about Jesus.
Let's take a side step for a minute and ask some questions about the words "ruler" / "office."
1) If we can agree on the fact that the word "ruler" as found in Romans 13 is simply a continuation from Romans 12, then we can have a discussion that will end in some sort of unity / resolve - something that God absolutely wants for His people - UNITY. So my question about this is, where did God's people decide that it was God's will for "rulers" to make laws?
"Ruling" and making laws are not the same. Just because someone has the office of "ruler" does not mean they have the ordination from God to make laws. This is something that is most contradictory to the Word and nature of God. Doesn't the Scripture tell us there is "only one lawgiver?" (James 4:12)
"Ruling" for the child of God in the community of God - the ecclesia - is making "judgements" on situations that arise in the community - and making those "judgements" based on the Laws, teachings, and eternal principles that God has given to His people for thousands of years.
The "Laws" are already in place. The teachings have already been given. The commands of Jesus have already been taught. There is nothing else that we can add. Now it is our job / responsibility to conform our lives to those "Laws, teachings and eternal principles" and help others in our called our Christian communities to do the same.
How is that man's "governments" can have "law" books that reach to the sky and and back - volumes and volumes - millions of pages - millions of statutes - so many that no one can possibly know them all, let alone keep them? Yet most people prefer that type of system / "government" rather than the simplicity that is found in the Kingdom of Christ.
The Kingdom of Christ is a Government with One King. One Law Book. One "system" for maintaining order in the ecclesia....
All the people of God need to do is understand the Will of God for His people and walk in that way. "No man that warreth entangleth himself with the affiars of this life."
The Bible is a book written by God's people, for God's people and about God's people. The people of God were never intended to be anything but God's people.
The Bible is not a book telling God's people how to be happy "citizens" of whatever man's system they may find themselves enslaved to from time to time.
We need to understand that God wants His people to be citizens of His Government. In the Kingdom of Christ, dual citizenship is not an option.
We need to understand that Romans 13 was written to the generation of people that witnessed the life, death and resurrection of the Son of God and for the first time in many hundreds of years GOD HAD THE FULL ATTENTION OF HIS PEOPLE. These people were serious about the work they were called to do.
The Scripture tells us that they TURNED THE WORLD UPSIDE DOWN because they believed in another King, one Jesus (Acts 17).
These were the people who heard the "preachers" say, "Crucify Him, crucify Him....and....we have no king but Caesar."
These were the people who at the day of Pentecost realized that they had killed the Son of God and had repented.
What did repentance mean to them? It meant that just a short time prior to the day of Pentecost these people heard the teachings of Jesus, saw His many miracles, had it preached to them that He was the King of Israel, yet when faced with the understanding that if they continued calling Jesus their King - the Romans would perceive this as a declaration of war - and the Romans would come and suppress the “revolt” (take away both their place and nation). John 11:47-48.
So repentance for these people was:
1) We did not believe that Jesus was Who the prophets said He was;
2) We did not believe that Jesus was Who He said He was;
3) We did not believe that Jesus was the King of Israel;
4) We did not believe that Jesus was the Son of God;
5) We did not believe that we were supposed to obey the teachings of Jesus;
6) We did not believe that Jesus came to set us free;
BUT NOW WE DO and we will attempt to live accordingly! That is what repentance is.
Repentance is believing that God has made Jesus both Saviour AND Lord - meaning One who is Supreme in authority. The definition of "Lord" is One who is Supreme in authority.
Timothy described Jesus as
“...Who is the blessed and ONLY Potentate, the King of kings, and Lord of lords;” I Timothy 6:15.
How many "Potentates"?
Timothy believed there was only One - and He was Jesus.
Jesus is the ONLY Potentate for God's people.
Have you ever read the OATH OF CITIZENSHIP for the U.S.? Here it is:
The Oath of (U.S.) Citizenship
I hereby declare, on oath, that I absolutely and entirely renounce and abjure all allegiance and fidelity to any foreign prince, potentate, state, or sovereignty of whom or which I have heretofore been a subject or citizen; that I will support and defend the Constitution and laws of the United States of America against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I will bear arms on behalf of the United States when required by law; that I will perform noncombatant service in the Armed Forces of the United States when required by the law; that I will perform work of national importance under civilian direction when required by the law; and that I take this obligation freely without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; so help me God. In acknowledgement whereof I have hereunto affixed my signature.
Hmmm. Does this leave any room for Jesus? Would the Apostle Paul have taken this oath? Would Timothy - who said that Jesus WAS THE ONLY POTENTATE - would he have taken this oath? Would James - who restated the command of Jesus (Matthew 5) - Swear not at all (James 5) - have taken this oath? Would Jesus take this oath?
These people understood what it meant to ACCEPT JESUS. He was embraced as Savior, Lord AND King. When they entered into His Kingdom - it was a change of governments.
They left the systems of men, which involved sets of laws that were contrary to the teachings of the Word of God. They left traditions of men which made God's Word of no effect in their lives (for instance, ”Social security,” Mark 7, among many other such like things). Yes, "Social Security" and other systems like that, make God's Word of no effect - if we believe what Jesus said about them. Is it any wonder we are in the shape we are in today? How can we do anything without the power of God's Word in our lives?
They embraced the teachings of Jesus and the eternal principles of God's Word and they began to live those principles - NO MATTER WHAT ANYONE ELSE SAID OR DID TO THEM. Was it easy? I doubt it. They endured many sufferings and persecutions. Why? Because they met in weekend social organizations singing Kum Ba Yah? Not hardly. Because they preached that there is another King, One Jesus. But most importantly, they lived it in their called out Christian communities.
Jesus and His apostles were not going about the countryside organizing weekend social organizations for people to come together to sing a few songs, preach a few sermons, and collect some money.
They were building ecclesias: Called out Christian communities of believers who were functioning as a body fitly joined together to meet EVERY NEED of life. Some were carpenters. Some were farmers. Their gifts were diverse and they covered every aspect of life - PHYSICAL and spiritual.
Because the early Christians would not participate in the Roman economy (which is why Caesar hated them so) - it was absolute necessity that the early believers join themselves with other believers. They traded with each other. They provided for each other in times of need. They truly "beared each others burdens." This had to be done - if for nothing less than survival.
Some people that I share these things with call this fairy-tale or Utopia, or pie-in-the-sky. I reject all of that. The early believers of the first century were the model. They were the trailblazers. They truly turned the world upside down - something that is desperately needed today. Why would we question that model?
America - NOT the United States - founded on God and the Bible
There were communities of people who lived just like I described on this continent in the early 1600s.
There were communities of people who lived on this continent who had the Bible as their rule book and they claimed authority to exist from Jesus Christ. They appealed to NO earthly "kings" or "governments of men."
It is these communities that once made America great. One such community was the New Haven Colony of 1639. I challenge each and every one of you to read their Covenant. Here is the link:
Here you will find some interesting things.
First, you will see they came together to establish civil order for their community. THEY CALLED THIS CIVIL ORDER - their "church."
As you read the document, you will see that it was their desire to have everything in their community Governed by the Word of God. They even quote Scripture laying out the qualifications for leadership in their community.
Their votes were done in the open - there was no secret ballot (the secret ballot is a tool of the enemies of Christ and demonstrates open rebellion to the teachings of Jesus).
This document is truly an awesome Covenant. This, I believe, was the one of the last known true ecclesias on this continent.
[There are a couple of inconsistencies in the document. If you find them and want to discuss them, contact me and I'll give you my ideas concerning them. In a nutshell, I believe they came about because the translator did not understand ecclesia being equal with community. I would really like to see the original document myself. I have my doubts as to whether the original writings used the word "church." Tyndale’s English Bible did not use the word “church.” But nonetheless, what these people aspired to do is absolutely awesome.]
What I am trying to get at with this commentary is that there is man's version of "government" and there is God's version of Government.
God's Government is for His people. It is not for the world. Jesus said, "Let the dead bury the dead." He is not foremost concerned with unregenerated people conforming to His ways and Laws. It is impossible for the unregenerated person to conform to the image of Christ. Jesus NEVER said, "Do what I say, or I will kill you." Jesus said, "Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest." I am not saying that God does not want everyone to come to Him. I am saying that it is not His nature to force men into coming to Him.
Romans 12 & 13 are about God's Government among His called out community. It is God's Government for those who believe in Jesus and believe in the faith of Abraham.
Romans 13 does not establish "civil government" run by those that are not followers of Jesus Christ. The United States, Russian, Canadian, English or whatever "government" you want to insert - does not in any way, shape or form, fit the criteria established in Romans 13.
Patrick Henry's Vehement Warnings Against the U.S. CONstitution
It is deeply troubling to hear people that seem to be so zealous toward the Word and following Christ who are promoting this deception that the U.S. CONstitution is inspired by God or based on the Bible. Have you ever heard of Patrick Henry? Remember the words, "Give me liberty or give me death?" Of course you have. But did you know that Patrick Henry was VEHEMENTLY AGAINST the U.S. CONstitution.
I would strongly recommend to everyone who thinks the CON is based on the Bible and/or God ordained - to please read the speech given by Patrick Henry to his fellow Virginians on June 5, 1788. I offer this not as Biblical reasons to see error in the CON, but as practical reasons from a recognized "statesmen" of his day to the present.
You can find the link here:
For this writing, I will highlight a few things for you from his speech. His comments are in red - my emphasis in bold. In his opening statement he says the following:
“The question turns, sir, on that poor little thing—the expression, We, the people, instead of the states, of America. I need not take much pains to show that the principles of this system are extremely pernicious, impolitic, and dangerous. Is this a monarchy, like England—a compact between prince and people, with checks on the former to secure the liberty of the latter? Is this a confederacy, like Holland—an association of a number of independent states, each of which retains its individual sovereignty? It is not a democracy, wherein the people retain all their rights securely.
Had these principles been adhered to, we should not have been brought to this alarming transition, from a confederacy to a consolidated government. We have no detail of these great considerations, which, in my opinion, ought to have abounded before we should recur to a government of this kind. Here is a resolution as radical as that which separated us from Great Britain. It is radical in this transition; our rights and privileges are endangered, and the sovereignty of the states will be relinquished: and cannot we plainly see that this is actually the case?"
It is necessary to understand that the people who were promoting this "new government" were preying on the people's fear. They said, "You need this new set of "laws" to protect you! You must protect your children. And this new "government will do it."
Does this sound familiar? They were instilling fear in the people about the constant threat from the Indians, phantoms, and other "bug-bears" that were going to snatch away their children in the middle of the night. Henry wrote further about this:
"Is it necessary for your liberty that you should abandon those great rights by the adoption of this system? Is the relinquishment of the trial by jury and the liberty of the press necessary for your liberty? Will the abandonment of your most sacred rights tend to the security of your liberty? Liberty, the greatest of all earthly blessings—give us that precious jewel, and you may take every thing else!"
He is saying that adopting the CONstitution means abandoning your liberty! He is asking them if trading their liberty for SECURITY is worth it. He goes on:
"I may be thought suspicious when I say our privileges and rights are in danger. But, sir, a number of the people of this country are weak enough to think these things are too true. I am happy to find that the gentleman on the other side declares they are groundless. But, sir, suspicion is a virtue as long as its object is the preservation of the public good, and as long as it stays within proper bounds: should it fall on me, I am contented: conscious rectitude is a powerful consolation. I trust there are many who think my professions for the public good to be real. Let your suspicion look to both sides. There are many on the other side, who possibly may have been persuaded to the necessity of these measures, which I conceive to be dangerous to your liberty."
I am answered by gentlemen, that, though I might speak of terrors, yet the fact was, that we were surrounded by none of the dangers I apprehended. I conceive this new government to be one of those dangers: it has produced those horrors which distress many of our best citizens. We are come hither to preserve the poor commonwealth of Virginia, if it can be possibly done: something must be done to preserve your liberty and mine."
Hmmm. The proponents of the "new government" PRODUCED THE HORRORS WHICH DISTRESSED MANY OF VIRGINIA'S BEST CITIZENS?????
Patrick Henry was arguing that the CONstitution would destroy state's rights and that ultimately Virginia would be no more. He felt like the Confederation of states as it was, was much better than a consolidation of the states, which was being proposed. He goes on:
"The Confederation, this same despised government, merits, in my opinion, the highest encomium: it carried us through a long and dangerous war; it rendered us victorious in that bloody conflict with a powerful nation; it has secured us a territory greater than any European monarch possesses: and shall a government which has been thus strong and vigorous, be accused of imbecility, and abandoned for want of energy? Consider what you are about to do before you part with the government.
Take longer time in reckoning things; revolutions like this have happened in almost every country in Europe; similar examples are to be found in ancient Greece and ancient Rome—instances of the people losing their liberty by their carelessness and the ambition of a few.
We are cautioned by the honorable gentleman, who presides, against faction and turbulence. I acknowledge that licentiousness is dangerous, and that it ought to be provided against; I acknowledge, also, the new form of government may effectually prevent it: yet there is another thing it will as effectually do-it will oppress and ruin the people.
The new form of government will oppress and ruin the people. Wow. Was he a good guesser? Or did he know something about what he was talking about? You be the judge. As he proceeds into his argument, it becomes one of practicality. He reasons that limiting the number of representatives to - what could have amounted to only one per state - would lead to unbridled corruption. His argument was that one representative could easily be bribed and that it was ridiculous to think that one individual could represent an entire state. [Henry's arguments were accepted in this regard - the CON allowed for 2 representatives. Whoop-dee-do.] He goes on:
Perhaps the same horrors may hang over my mind again. I shall be told I am continually afraid: but, sir, I have strong cause of apprehension. In some parts of the plan before you, the great rights of freemen are endangered; in other parts, absolutely taken away.
How does your trial by jury stand? In civil cases gone—not sufficiently secured in criminal—this best privilege is gone. But we are told that we need not fear; because those in power, being our representatives, will not abuse the power we put in their hands.
I am not well versed in history, but I will submit to your recollection, whether liberty has been destroyed most often by the licentiousness of the people, or by the tyranny of rulers. I imagine, sir, you will find the balance on the side of tyranny. Happy will you be if you miss the fate of those nations, who, omitting to resist their oppressors, or negligently suffering their liberty to be wrested from them, have groaned under intolerable despotism! Most of the human race are now in this deplorable condition; and those nations who have gone in search of grandeur, power, and splendor, have also fallen a sacrifice, and been the victims of their own folly. While they acquired those visionary blessings, they lost their freedom.
My great objection to this government is, that it does not leave us the means of defending our rights, or of waging war against tyrants. It is urged by some gentlemen, that this new plan will bring us an acquisition of strength—an army, and the militia of the states.
This is an idea extremely ridiculous: gentlemen cannot be earnest. This acquisition will trample on our fallen liberty. Let my beloved Americans guard against that fatal lethargy that has pervaded the universe. Have we the means of resisting disciplined armies, when our only defence, the militia, is put into the hands of Congress?"
There is so much incredible wisdom in this document, I challenge each and every one of you to read the entire document. He shows the madness of how the system is set up and how the foundation of the "new government" is the basis for tyranny. That document that so many have called "inspired" is the engine of despotism. He goes through nearly every single clause of the document and shows how it will be used for tyranny - AND HE WAS 100%, totally correct. The document is 19 pages long, and though I would like to discuss all of his points, I will not in this commentary - trusting that you will read it for yourself. I will, however, make a few more points.
He warns that the future of the despotic "government" created will end up in the hands of an immoral "minority." Was he right? He says:
"This, sir, is the language of democracy—that a majority of the community have a right to alter government when found to be oppressive. But how different is the genius of your new Constitution from this! How different from the sentiments of freemen, that a contemptible minority can prevent the good of the majority!
If, then, gentlemen, standing on this ground, are come to that point, that they are willing to bind themselves and their posterity to be oppressed, I am amazed and inexpressibly astonished. If this be the opinion of the majority, I must submit; but to me, sir, it appears perilous and destructive. I cannot help thinking so."
Henry was totally convinced that once adopted, the "new government" would soon grow into tyranny and the people would be left with nothing to do about it. He states:
"The honorable gentleman who presides told us that, to prevent abuses in our government, we will assemble in Convention, recall our delegated powers, and punish our servants for abusing the trust reposed in them. O sir, we should have fine times, indeed, if, to punish tyrants, it were only sufficient to assemble the people!
Your arms, wherewith you could defend yourselves are gone; and you have no longer an aristocratical, no longer a democratical spirit. Did you ever read of any revolution in a nation, brought about by the punishment of those in power, inflicted by those who had no power at all? You read of a riot act in a country which is called one of the freest in the world, where a few neighbors cannot assemble without the risk of being shot by a hired soldiery, the engines of despotism. We may see such an act in America.
A standing army we shall have, also, to execute the execrable commands of tyranny; and how are you to punish them? Will you order them to be punished? Who shall obey these orders? Will your mace-bearer be a match for a disciplined regiment? In what situation are we to be? The clause before you gives a power of direct taxation, unbounded and unlimited, exclusive power of legislation, in all cases whatsoever, for ten miles square, and over all places purchased for the erection of forts, magazines, arsenals, dockyards, &c. What resistance could be made? The attempt would be madness.
You will find all the strength of this country in the hands of your enemies; their garrisons will naturally be the strongest places in the country. Your militia is given up to Congress, also, in another part of this plan: they will therefore act as they think proper: all power will be in their own possession. You cannot force them to receive their punishment: of what service would militia be to you, when, most probably, you will not have a single musket in the state? for, as arms are to be provided by Congress, they may or may not furnish them."
Once the engine of despotism was created, Henry warned that nothing could stop it. He says:
"Will the oppressor let go the oppressed? Was there even an instance? Can the annals of mankind exhibit one single example where rulers overcharged with power willingly let go the oppressed, though solicited and requested most earnestly? The application for amendments will therefore be fruitless. Sometimes, the oppressed have got loose by one of those bloody struggles that desolate a country; but a willing relinquishment of power is one of those things which human nature never was, nor ever will be, capable of."
Henry begged the people of Virginia to not do like the rest of the world had done. It almost reminds me of I Samuel 8 when Samuel begged the people not to desire "kings like all the other nations." He says:
"Shall we imitate the example of those nations who have gone from a simple to a splendid government? Are those nations more worthy of our imitation? What can make an adequate satisfaction to them for the loss they have suffered in attaining such a government—for the loss of their liberty?
If we admit this consolidated government, it will be because we like a great, splendid one. Some way or other we must be a great and mighty empire; we must have an army, and a navy, and a number of things.
When the American spirit was in its youth, the language of America was different: liberty, sir, was then the primary object. We are descended from a people whose government was founded on liberty: our glorious forefathers of Great Britain made liberty the foundation of every thing. That country is become a great, mighty, and splendid nation; not because their government is strong and energetic, but, sir, because liberty is its direct end and foundation. We drew the spirit of liberty from our British ancestors: by that spirit we have triumphed over every difficulty.
But now, sir, the American spirit, assisted by the ropes and chains of consolidation, is about to convert this country into a powerful and mighty empire. If you make the citizens of this country agree to become the subjects of one great consolidated empire of America, your government will not have sufficient energy to keep them together. Such a government is incompatible with the genius of republicanism. There will be no checks, no real balances, in this government. What can avail your specious, imaginary balance, your rope-dancing, chain-rattling, ridiculous ideal checks and contrivances?
But, sir, we are not feared by foreigners; we do not make nations tremble. Would this constitute happiness, or secure liberty? I trust, sir, our political hemisphere will ever direct their operations to the security of those objects.
Consider our situation, sir: go to the poor man, and ask him what he does. He will inform you that he enjoys the fruits of his labor, under his own fig-tree, with his wife and children around him, in peace and security. Go to every other member of society,—you will find the same tranquil ease and content; you will find no alarms or disturbances. Why, then, tell us of danger, to terrify us into an adoption of this new form of government?
And yet who knows the dangers that this new system may produce? They are out of the sight of the common people: they cannot foresee latent consequences. I dread the operation of it on the middling and lower classes of people: it is for them I fear the adoption of this system."
This speech absolutely astounds me. It shakes me to my core every time I read it. Everything he said would happen if the CON would be adopted - HAS HAPPENED. He goes on:
"I see great jeopardy in this new government. I see none from our present one. I hope some gentleman or other will bring forth, in full array, those dangers, if there be any, that we may see and touch them.
I have said that I thought this is a consolidated government: I will now prove it. Will the great rights of the people be secured by this government? Suppose it should prove oppressive, can it be altered?"
The honorable gentleman has told us that these powers, given to Congress, are accompanied by a judiciary which will correct all. On examination, you will find this very judiciary oppressively constructed; your jury trial destroyed, and the judges dependent on Congress.
In this scheme of energetic government, the people will find two sets of tax-gatherers—the state and the federal sheriffs. This, it seems to me, will produce such dreadful oppression as the people cannot possibly bear. The federal sheriff may commit what oppression, make what distresses, he pleases, and ruin you with impunity; for how are you to tie his hands? Have you any sufficiently decided means of preventing him from sucking your blood by speculations, commissions, and fees?
Was he right?
Thus thousands of your people will be most shamefully robbed: our state sheriffs, those unfeeling blood-suckers, have, under the watchful eye of our legislature, committed the most horrid and barbarous ravages on our people. It has required the most constant vigilance of the legislature to keep them from totally ruining the people; a repeated succession of laws has been made to suppress their iniquitous speculations and cruel extortions; and as often has their nefarious ingenuity devised methods of evading the force of those laws: in the struggle they have generally triumphed over the legislature. It is a fact that lands have been sold for five shillings, which were worth one hundred pounds: if sheriffs, thus immediately under the eye of our state legislature and judiciary, have dared to commit these outrages, what would they not have done if their masters had been at Philadelphia or New York?
If they perpetrate the most unwarrantable outrage on your person or property, you cannot get redress on this side of Philadelphia or New York; and how can you get it there? If your domestic avocations could permit you to go thither, there you must appeal to judges sworn to support this Constitution, in opposition to that of any state, and who may also be inclined to favor their own officers. When these harpies are aided by excisemen, who may search, at any time, your houses, and most secret recesses, will the people bear it? If you think so, you differ from me.
Where I thought there was a possibility of such mischiefs, I would grant power with a niggardly hand; and here there is a strong probability that these oppressions shall actually happen. I may be told that it is safe to err on that side, because such regulations may be made by Congress as shall restrain these officers, and because laws are made by our representatives, and judged by righteous judges: but sir, as these regulations may be made, so they may not; and many reasons there are to induce a belief that they will not. I shall therefore be an infidel on that point till the day of my death.
This Constitution is said to have beautiful features; but when I come to examine these features, sir, they appear to me horribly frightful. Among other deformities, it has an awful squinting; it squints toward monarchy; and does not this raise indignation in the breast of every true American?
Your President may easily become king. Your Senate is so imperfectly constructed that your dearest rights may be sacrificed by what may be a small minority; and a very small minority may continue forever unchangeably this government, although horridly defective. Where are your checks in this government? Your strongholds will be in the hands of your enemies. It is on a supposition that your American governors shall be honest, that all the good qualities of this government are founded; but its defective and imperfect construction puts it in their power to perpetrate the worst of mischiefs, should they be bad men; and, sir, would not all the World, from the eastern to the western hemisphere, blame our distracted folly in resting our rights upon the contingency of our rulers being good or bad?
Show me that age and country where the rights and liberties of the people were placed on the sole chance of their rulers being good men, without a consequent loss of liberty! I say that the loss of that dearest privilege has ever followed, with absolute certainty, every such mad attempt.
If your American chief be a man of ambition and abilities, how easy is it for him to render himself absolute! The army is in his hands, and if he be a man of address, it will be attached to him, and it will be the subject of long mediation with him to seize the first auspicious moment to accomplish his design; and, sir, will the American spirit solely relieve you when this happens?
I would rather infinitely—and I am sure most of this Convention are of the same opinion—have a king, lords, and commons, than a government so replete with such insupportable evils. If we make a king, we may prescribe the rules by which he shall rule his people, and interpose such checks as shall prevent him from infringing them; but the President, in the field, at the head of his army, can prescribe the terms on which he shall reign master, so far that it will puzzle any American ever to get his neck from under the galling yoke. I cannot with patience think of this idea.
If ever he violates the laws, one of two things will happen: he will come at the head of his army, to carry every thing before him; or he will give bail, or do what Mr. Chief Justice will order him. If he be guilty, will not the recollection of his crimes teach him to make one bold push for the American throne? Will not the immense difference between being master of every thing, and being ignominiously tried and punished, powerfully excite him to make this bold push? But, sir, where is the existing force to punish him? Can he not, at the head of his army, beat down every opposition?
Away with your President! we shall have a king: the army will salute him monarch: your militia will leave you, and assist in making him king, and fight against you: and what have you to oppose this force? What will then become of you and your rights? Will not absolute despotism ensue?"
Let's look what he says about the financial responsibility clause and the "treaties clause."
“Another beautiful feature of this Constitution is, the publication from time to time of the receipts and expenditures of the public money. This expression, from time to time, is very indefinite and indeterminate: it may extend to a century. Grant that any of them are wicked; they may squander the public money so as to ruin you, and yet this expression will give you no redress.
I say they may ruin you; for where, sir, is the responsibility? The yeas and nays will show you nothing, unless they be fools as well as knaves; for, after having wickedly trampled on the rights of the people, they would act like fools indeed, were they to publish and divulge their iniquity, when they have it equally in their power to suppress and conceal it.
Where is the responsibility—that leading principle in the British government? In that government, a punishment certain and inevitable is provided; but in this, there is no real, actual punishment for the grossest mal-administration. They may go without punishment, though they commit the most outrageous violation on our immunities. That paper may tell me they will be punished. I ask, By what law? They must make the law, for there is no existing law to do it. What! will they make a law to punish themselves?
This, sir, is my great objection to the Constitution, that there is no true responsibility—and that the preservation of our liberty depends on the single chance of men being virtuous enough to make laws to punish themselves. In the country from which we are descended, they have real and not imaginary responsibility; for the mal-administration has cost their heads to some of the most saucy geniuses that ever were.
The Senate, by making treaties, may destroy your liberty and laws for want of responsibility. Two thirds of those that shall happen to be present, can, with the President, make treaties that shall be the supreme law of the land; they may make the most ruinous treaties; and yet there is no punishment for them. Whoever shows me a punishment provided for them will oblige me."
Why have I included so much of this speech from Patrick Henry? It is because as I have stated many times before, "As the people of God, not only are we not doing right, we don't even know what right is."
Many people who call themselves Christians - followers of Jesus - tout the answer for God's people as getting back to the CONstitution. They don't even know what they are saying. Further, not only do these people not study their Bibles - but I dare say they don't know what their CONstitution says or means, either. They have heard someone, somewhere say something that tickled their ears, and they have embraced it as truth without any firm study.
I included much more of Henry's speech hoping that it will shock some people into further study. As for myself, I realized that the CONstitution was not for the follower of Christ about 25 years ago.
The day I read the clause...
"This Constitution, and the Laws of the United States which shall be made in Pursuance thereof; and all Treaties made, or which shall be made, under the Authority of the United States, shall be the supreme Law of the Land; and the Judges in every State shall be bound thereby, any Thing in the Constitution or Laws of any State to the Contrary notwithstanding....."
... was a huge awakening for me. I realized at that time this statement was by a people in the same spirit as those who rejected Christ when they proclaimed - WE WILL NOT HAVE THIS MAN TO REIGN OVER US. They placed their CONstitution, and their "laws and treaties" ABOVE THE LORD JESUS CHRIST and proclaimed that THEIR CONSTITUTION, AND THEIR LAWS AND TREATIES - were the SUPREME LAW OF THE LAND.
This should be totally unacceptable for the true follower of Jesus Christ. There is only ONE Lawgiver. The Word of God is FOREVER the SUPREME LAW OF THE LAND for the true follower of Jesus and ANYONE who adds to the Word of God receives to themselves damnation. (Revelation 22; Deuteronomy 12)
I have shown you above how in the Government of Christ, those "officers" who hold "ruling" positions in the Body of Christ - the ecclesia - are referred to as "ministers" in Romans 13.
I showed you that the definition of the word "minister" in Romans 13 is a Christian teacher or pastor. This is unarguable. That is the definition of the word.
If the individual holding an "office" is not a Christian teacher or pastor - then that eliminates them from the "power of God" and places them in the "power of darkness." There is the Power of God. There are the powers of darkness. One comes in the name of Jesus, the other does not. Pretty simple.
Immediately after the "clause" referenced in the paragraph above - the following statement is in the CONstitution:
"The Senators and Representatives before mentioned, and the Members of the several State Legislatures, and all executive and judicial Officers, both of the United States and of the several States, shall be bound by Oath or Affirmation, to support this Constitution; but no religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust under the United States."
Do you see the issue here? Look at how directly in conflict this is with the words of Jesus and the writings of the Apostles.
Jesus told His disciples in Matthew 5 - they were NOT to swear oaths.
We have discussed this before. James, who walked with Jesus, talked with Jesus, witnessed His death, burial and resurrection, stated in James 5 that ABOVE ALL the things he learned from Jesus - the most important thing of all - was NOT TO SWEAR OATHS. So of all the things that James saw and heard while living with Jesus - he said the MOST IMPORTANT thing was NOT TO SWEAR OATHS?
Secondly, no religious Test SHALL EVER be required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust under the United States.
The definition of the "minister of God to thee for good" - IS A CHRISTIAN TEACHER OR PASTOR. The qualifications for "office" holding in the Government of Christ for His people is clearly identified.
I present to you that "office" holding under the U.S. "government" strips this requirement away for good reason - THE "OFFICE" HOLDERS COULD NOT PASS A RELIGIOUS TEST!!!!!!!
Treaty of Tripoli states clearly, the U.S. is NOT a Christian Nation (See article 11)
The founders of the U.S. unanimously approved the Treaty of Tripoli - which states - “the U.S. government is not in ANY SENSE founded on the Christian religion.”
So is the Treaty of Tripoli of 1797 really a surprise?
No friend, we absolutely do not need a return to the CONstitution. We need to realize that it is a huge part of the problem. And as bright as Patrick Henry was - we do not need a return to the foundations of England - WE NEED A RETURN TO THE WORD OF GOD and to the POWER OF THE ALL-CONQUERING, REIGNING KING JESUS. That is the only thing that will save us.
We are at absolutely WAY BEYOND the point of no redress that Henry warned about.
Even if there were a "musket" in every household - that still wouldn't be enough to turn back this tyranny. The only thing that can save us is the power of the gospel of the Kingdom of Jesus Christ.
That gospel has weapons that are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strongholds; Casting down imaginations and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ. Do you believe that is true?
After all the praise that I heaped on Henry's understanding of the catastrophic failures that would be brought on by the CONstitution, I want you to realize that ultimately, he didn't go back far enough either. He was begging for the preservation of the "state of Virginia."
The confederated "states" of America were certainly better than the CONsolidated States of America, but it was still nothing compared to the communities, such as the New Haven Colony, who were functioning solely under the authority of King Jesus and the Word of God.
It is of most importance that we understand the perfect will of God. God has a people. God wants those people for Himself. He wants His people to be His nation. He calls His people out of the "nations" of the world. He calls them out of the "power of Satan" and into the Kingdom of Christ.
Please see Colossians 1:
9: For this cause we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to desire that ye might be filled with the knowledge of his will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding; That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God; Strengthened with all might, according to his glorious power, unto all patience and longsuffering with joyfulness; Giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light: Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son: In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins:
A further explanation of this is found in another passage of Scripture that is completely butchered by the "churches."
It is found in I Peter 2. For the most part, the only thing that most "churches" think is in I Peter 2, is verses 13 through 17.
And they are as follows:
13: Submit yourselves to every ordinance of man for the Lord's sake: whether it be to the king, as supreme; Or unto governors, as unto them that are sent by him for the punishment of evildoers, and for the praise of them that do well........
then, 17: Honour all men. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honour the king.
Now if we took those verses out of the Bible and laid them on the table, we could make a strong case that we are to obey MAN'S "government." Not only that, but we are to do it for the Lord's sake. Jesus wants us to obey MAN'S "government." And if that isn't enough, we are to obey MAN'S EVIL "government" as well, and that is what
I FLATLY REJECT THIS. First, it offers no consistency whatsoever with the general theme of the rest of the Scriptures. It causes all sorts of problems with other examples in the Scriptures where God's men DID NOT submit to earthly "governments."
In fact, the most simple amount of study in the Scriptures reveals that God's men on many occasions, did not obey the wicked edicts of men's "governments" even in the Old Covenant where men’s “governments” were allowed AND ordained of God.
But what if I could show you that arguing on that basis is insufficient to begin with? What if it could be shown the I Peter 2 passage is totally consistent with the rest of Scriptures and the perfect will of God? What if I Peter 2 is New Covenant theology?
We must go back to the beginning of the chapter. As we begin reading, it is again obvious that the book is written to the people of God. And, it confirms in verse 7 that it is written to the people who have embraced Jesus - unto you therefore which believe he is precious....Jesus is the Head, and those followers of Jesus were made a CORNERSTONE.
"A Cornerstone to what?"
Verse 9 tells us that they were a Chosen generation, a royal priesthood, A HOLY NATION, a peculiar people;
Now watch this - their purpose was to show forth the praises of Him who hath CALLED YOU OUT OF DARKNESS into His marvellous light: Which in time past were not a people, but ARE NOW THE PEOPLE OF GOD: which had not obtained mercy, but now have obtained mercy.
Verse 11: Dearly beloved, I beseech you as strangers and pilgrims.......
Why are God's people peculiar? Why are they strangers and pilgrims? Go all the way back to I Samuel 8. There the people of God were desiring a "king like all the other nations." At that time, they did NOT have a “government” like everyone else. They were odd. They were peculiar.
The people of God have ALWAYS BEEN DIFFERENT. In the perfect will of God, God is the Lawmaker. God's ways are above man's ways. Jesus is King. To the world - this is weird. This is peculiar. All the "nations" of the world have their own "governments" with their own "laws" and traditions. But God wants to rule over His own people.
When men allow the rule of God in their lives - they become outcasts in society. They don't fit. They become strangers and pilgrims and they are considered peculiar - at the very least.
But these followers of Christ found in I Peter 2 had become true followers of Jesus. Many of them no doubt had seen Jesus first hand. Many of them had seen His miracles. Many of them witnessed His death, burial AND HIS RESURRECTION. These were people who were so on fire for Jesus, they turned the world upside down. These people were the Cornerstone of the NATION of PEOPLE that God had so craved for hundreds of years.
God finally - once again - had a people who wanted no rule but His.
Just like Romans 12 & 13, I Peter 2 is telling God's people how to live in GOD'S NATION - in God's ecclesia - in God's called out Christian community of believers.
Submit yourselves to every ordinance of man - FOR THE LORD'S SAKE.
What is an ordinance? Is an ordinance anything that someone who claims "power" says is an ordinance? I have told my children since the day they asked, that these four legged creatures walking around in our fields, eating grass, chewing cud, laying down, having calves --- are cows. They aren't horses. They aren't pigs. They aren't chickens. They are cows. They are cows because they meet certain criteria. It's so easy to tell a cow from a horse, it's a thoughtless procedure. It's because we've been taught something all of our lives, and we believed it. The understanding has passed on from generation to generation. So we know a cow is a cow and we accept it and go on. But what is an ordinance? It has criteria that has to be met in order to be called an ordinance.
In Strong's Concordance, if we look the word up, it doesn't really give us a definition, so much as it gives a description.
It says that an ordinance is original foundation - building, creation, creature, ordinance. Then, it tells us that its root word is through the idea of the proprietorship of the
manufacturer; to fabricate., i.e., to found (form originally) create, Creator, make.
Looking at this, it becomes clear that an ordinance is something that is based on the original Creation or foundation. This tells me that an ordinance is something that has the Creator's best interest at heart. An ordinance is a Law of God or an eternal principle clarified by Jesus and practiced by believers.
You can call it an ordinance all you want to, but if it is not based on the original foundation - which for the believer - is Jesus - then it is NOT AN ORDINANCE.
In the U.S., they now have "ordinances" that recognize sodomite marriages. Is that an ordinance for the people of God - or is it an obvious sign of the "powers of darkness?"
Well, doesn't the Bible tell us to Submit to EVERY ORDINANCE of MAN - AND - do it for the Lord's sake?
This passage of Scripture mirrors Romans 13 so beautifully it is breathtaking. Romans 13 and I Peter 2 are telling God's people how they are to Govern themselves in their called out Christian communities of believers.
I LOVE ORDINANCES. Ordinances are based on the Word and on the teachings of Jesus. They bring life and peace. They are infallible - PERFECT.
Something else should be noted about this word "ordinance" as it is found in I Peter 2. It is the only time the Greek word is used when translated as ordinance. There are other usages of the word ordinance in the New Testament. There are ordinances that were used in the Old Covenant. There were ordinances that were blotted out by the cross (Colossians 2:14). But in this passage, this is the only instance of this Greek word used in translating the word ordinance. And, it fits. Because this definition of ordinance can only be found among the people of God.
Only followers of Jesus are capable of or have the authority to make an ordinance. When the "governments" of men make "laws" that are contrary to the Word of God - and then call them "ordinances" - they help us identify who they are. Jesus said, "By their fruit, ye shall know them."
So when "they" make "ordinances" that are not based on the Creator's original foundation - they become a dead give away. They are not of God. They are not to be a part of the community of Christ.
If the Christian community of believers decide among themselves how this or that should be ordered - and that decision is based on the Word of God - then that meets the criteria of "ordinance" and it should be obeyed.
But when something comes along and it happens to be called an "ordinance" and isn't based on the Word of God - then it is crystal clear - it is coming to us from the "powers of darkness" - it is NOT - the "power of God" - AND IT SHOULD BE DISCARDED.
Obedience to the "powers of darkness" is rebellion to the King of kings - the ONLY Potentate - the Lord Jesus Christ.
The definition of the word ordinance is indeed interesting. But it is not the most compelling thing in this passage that tells us that the passage is telling God's people how they are to Govern themselves in their called out communities.
In fact, some could continue to argue that this passage is still providing authority for man's "governments" and they would end up with saying, "Well, that's just your interpretation." Ok. I'll give that. BUT. AND THIS IS THE HUGEST OF OBJECTIONS. The argument is not over.
...Who changed the truth of God into a lie...
In Romans 1, the Apostle Paul warned about those who would "change the truth of God into a lie." I believe this has been done and it has gone unnoticed.
In the 1599 Geneva Bible, if you look at this passage of Scripture (I Peter 2), when it gets to verse 13, whether it BE TO THE KING...., there is something astounding that needs to be noted.
THE FIRST LETTER OF THE WORD KING IS CAPITALIZED.
Yes. In the 1599 Geneva Bible, it says whether it be to the King, as superior....
1599 Geneva Bible Text of I Peter 2:13-17
Well, I went back and looked at other times the word king was used in the Geneva Bible, and what do you think I found?
Here is a classic example. I have scanned Geneva texts. You see the King capitalized in I Peter 2. Then, look at Matthew 2. You see Jesus clearly identified as King Jesus.
1599 Geneva Bible Text of Matthew 2:1-3
AND, you see the earthly king - Herod - identified as king Herod - SMALL k. Is this coincidence? Or did those people, who were 400 years closer to the life of Jesus and His apostles, know something that we don't?
So what, you say? Who cares about the Geneva Bible anyway? Well, I also have a first edition KJV. I looked at I Peter 2 in it as well, and guess what's there? YES. The word King IS CAPITALIZED. Below is a scan of I Peter 2 and Matthew 2.
1611 King James Bible Text of I Peter 2:13-17
1611 King James Bible Text of Matthew 2:1-3
What this tells me is that in the late 1500s, the people that were handling the Word of God believed that the King referred to in I Peter 2:13 and 17 WAS JESUS. This is defenseless. This makes it totally clear that God has a people for Himself and the King of those people is KING JESUS and JESUS ALONE. For God's people - there is NO ROOM for man's "government." The Bible does not teach God's people how to submit themselves to the godless "governments" of men. The Bible tells us that God has a people - a nation - and they are to Govern themselves according to the Laws, the teachings of Jesus, and the eternal principles contained in the Word of God which tell us how to live. Come out from among them and be ye separate means - to come out of the domain of darkness - the "governments of men" and live in the Kingdom / Government of God.
Why is it that in 1599 and 1611 the letter K was capitalized in I Peter 2, but in 2012, the English Bibles do not capitalize the K? Isn't it obvious? What is the agenda of the people who handle the Word today? What has been the agenda since 1787? Do you not find it the least bit interesting that in the 1639 New Haven Colony - those people derived their authority from God and from the Bible and THEIR BIBLE HAD THE CAPITAL K in I Peter 2? When establishing their civil order, the Scriptures were the sole source of their authority. But in every English Bible that I am aware of after 1787 - the letter K in I Peter 2 IS NOT CAPITALIZED. Is this just a coincidence?
The truth of the gospel of the Kingdom of Christ HAS BEEN CHANGED. Just like the Apostle's warned. And, instead of diligently seeking for the truth, we've been continuously promoting the lie that man has the authority to set up "government" that is not founded on Jesus. Shame on us. Some claim that the CONstitution is the answer - yet they don't even know what the document says. My goodness, the founders of the CONstitution stated themselves 200 YEARS AGO that the U.S. government IS NOT IN ANY SENSE FOUNDED ON THE CHRISTIAN RELIGION. (Again, see Treaty of Tripoli, June 7, 1797, clause 11.)
It's time to stand up and put on the armor of God. Put on the truth of the gospel of the Kingdom of Christ. JESUS IS KING - RIGHT NOW. HE is NOT A COMING KING. He is NOT coming back to this earth to set up a one-world "government."
Finally, am I advocating revolution? Am I teaching a violent overthrow of men's "governments?" ABSOLUTELY NOT.
Coming out means coming in.
Jesus said, "Come unto me all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest." The Kingdom of Christ is peace and life. His ways are not grievous, his yoke is easy and his burden is light. Believe Jesus. Believe the Word. God will fight whatever battle may come. This is His fight. We are His people. We serve the same God who parted the Red Sea. We serve the same God who delivered Daniel from the lion's den. We serve the same God that delivered the Hebrew children from the burning furnace. We serve the same God who sent His Son and made us joint-heirs with the King. Do we believe this?
Sincerely Because Jesus Christ is King now...