Posts Tagged ‘Government’

“Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God. Consequently, whoever rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgment on themselves. For rulers hold no terror for those who do right, but for those who do wrong. Do you want to be free from fear of the one in authority? Then do what is right and you will be commended.” (Romans 13:1-3 NIV)

Many in the Church have interpreted these verses to mean that all believers should obey the government because its authority has been ordained of God for our good. This particular view is a gross distortion of the truth. And the most dangerous lie is the one that is the closest to the truth, but is not.

We should learn what Romans 13 really means. I’ve found that when a certain text that doesn’t seem logical, it’s useful to look at the actions of the writer and the context in which it is written to see if it is consistent with your interpretation of his teaching.

Paul writes that “whoever rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgment on themselves.” But the book of Acts shows Paul repeatedly doing just that! So there must be something wrong with our understanding of the text.

Some modern translations make Bible verses more clear than the King James Version, while others misinterpret the true meaning. The Greek word used in Romans 13:1 for ‘governing authorities’ is ἐξουσία (exousia) and refers to the authority instituted by God, or what the King James Version refers to as ‘higher powers’. So the obvious question is just who or what are the higher powers?

Obviously, in the spiritual realm, there are good and bad powers. On one side we have the Lord and his great angelic host. In the other group, we find Lucifer and the fallen angels, who most certainly qualify as a ‘higher power’ for Satan is referred to as the “prince of the power of the air.” (Ephesians 2:2) Later in that same book, Paul tells us, “We wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.” (Ephesians 6:12)

Common sense should tell us that Paul is not telling us to be subject to the satanic higher powers in the spiritual realm, so why do we assume he is telling us to be subject to evil earthly powers? How could it be scriptural for us to cooperate with the earthly agents of spiritual wickedness?

The next verse says “Whoever rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgment on themselves.” If we resist the evil in the spiritual realm, it’s clear that we won’t bring judgment on ourselves as a result. How then, could this verse mean that if we resist evil in the earthly realm we receive judgment from God? In other words, in cases where the evil is vested in government, the idea that we are to no longer resist this evil is ludicrous!

When Paul had been beaten illegally by evil men within the Roman government, he refused their command to come out of the jail and defiantly says, “They beat us publicly without a trial, even though we are Roman citizens, and threw us into prison. And now do they want to get rid of us quietly? No! Let them come themselves and escort us out.” (Acts 16:37) Isn’t that resisting the earthly governing authorities?

And after Peter and the apostles were released from jail they were brought before the Sanhedrin and were given strict orders not to teach in Jesus’ name. (Act 5:12-29) Peter told them, “We ought to obey God rather than men. “ The NLT is translated as, “We must obey God rather than any human authority.”

The second time that Peter is assisted in a jail-break by an angel, (Acts 12:7) did he bring judgment on himself because he left his jail cell without permission? How is breaking out of jail obeying the government?

Paul is telling us we must not resist the righteous power of God when it is manifested in the various earthly sectors of government. But as far as I can see, God’s righteous power is rarely manifested in government. While corruption can exist in any human organization, it seems that corruption in government is the worst. The 2013 Global Corruption Barometer, published by Transparency International, reported that people worldwide have the perception that the five most corrupt institutions are: political parties, the police, public officials, the legislature, and the judiciary.

King David gives us definitive instructions when he tells us to “Defend the poor and fatherless.” (Psalms 82:3) Wouldn’t that include a baby that is murdered as he is trying to be born? Under the current law, a doctor can legally murder a baby while still in its mother’s womb. Yet it’s against the government’s law to even protest this hideous crime within so many yards of the murderer’s so called, medical facility! Where do we draw the line?

We are expected to obey God rather than the government – regardless of what the government tells us is legal or illegal.

For example, a 90 year old Florida man, Arnold Abbott, was arrested for feeding homeless people. Abbott and two pastors in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, were charged for feeding the homeless in public, a new ordinance banning public food sharing. Now they face possible jail time and a $500 fine! But they chose to “obey God rather than men.” Abbott said the threat of charges won’t stop him from doing it again. “I’m not afraid of jail. I’m not looking to go, but if I have to, I will,” he said. On Dec. 2 a judge ordered the city to temporarily stop enforcing the law. Judge Thomas Lynch told all sides to enter into mediation during a 30-day period. That mediation has not yet begun.

We must always remember that God’s Kingdom is not of this world. (John 18:36) And if we become conformed to the ways of this world, how can we then be “counted worthy of the kingdom of God” for which so many are suffering? (2 Thessalonians 1:5)

“Can a corrupt throne be allied with you—a throne that brings on misery by its decrees? The wicked band together against the righteous and condemn the innocent to death. But the LORD has become my fortress, and my God the rock in whom I take refuge. He will repay them for their sins and destroy them for their wickedness; the LORD our God will destroy them.” (Psalm 20-23)

The question you need to ask yourself is, are you committed to obeying God rather than man, or are you committing spiritual fornication by obeying the corrupt government of man rather than God?

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Last year I posted an article on revival. (https://word-from-the-street.com/2013/04/29/an-open-appeal-for-revival-part-i-of-iii/ ) Sadly, things have become progressively worse since then. Anyone who reads a local newspaper or watches the evening news will have to admit to the fact that America is in deep trouble.

America used to be the greatest nation in the world. That is no longer true. Washington has become so corrupt and dysfunctional that we are no longer, “the land of the free and home of the brave”, but we have become instead, the land of deceit and home of depraved.

The republicans blame the democrats and the democrats blame the republicans for the ills of our country, and each side believes that they have the solution to get our country back on track. But the truth is that, Government is not a solution to our problem―government IS the problem. This sediment was spoken by Ronald Reagan during his inaugural speech January 20, 1981.

But our leaders are only a mirror of the people they lead. The real reason that America has lost its influence on the world is because we have forgotten God. Just as Israel of old, we too, have forgotten God and replaced Him with our own golden calf. We have bowed down to the idols of humanism, secularism, and government control, and we have reaped the rewards of our actions.

We’ve replaced the Bible and prayer in our public schools with metal detectors and police security. We’ve given up the security of family values and replaced them with immoral ideas and attitudes. We’ve traded the value of honest work for enslavery to a bureaucratic government system of relief. Sanctity of life is no longer fought for, and more often is legislated against. Our children have become uncontrollable beasts who murder without conscience. Pornography has been piped into our homes for us and our children to view at the push of a button on the remote control. Those who were designed and appointed to help us and be examples for us; from the local minister on up to the President, have fallen and have led us to the brink of destruction.

In his book, “Why Revival Tarries” Leonard Ravenhill writes: “The only reason we don’t have revival is because we are willing to live without it! That is our problem. We have become too comfortable, too lazy, too apathetic and too indifferent. In other words, we are neither hot nor cold, but, like the Laodicean church, are simply lukewarm, and we deserve to be spewed out of the Lord’s mouth.”

America was once a great nation because it was founded on absolute principles based on God’s Word, the Bible. We, a nation that is sick, near to death, is in need of intensive spiritual attention that will only come by returning to God, our Creator. We need a true revival that only comes from a true repentance of the Church.
Repentance means more than just being sorry. Someone once said that the road to destruction will be paved with the souls of the sorrowful. I’m sure that all of the fallen angels are sorry now that they followed Satan in his failed revolt against God.

There are two types of sorrow. There is worldly sorrow; like when someone is sorry they got caught, but not for their actions. This person tends to complain about the consequences of their sin but never takes responsibility for the act itself. And there is godly sorrow―when someone is truly sorry for their actions and the nature of the act itself and also takes responsibility for the consequences of their sin. “Godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation not to be repented of but the sorrow of the world worketh death.” (II Cor. 7:10)

King David shows us through the Psalms how godly sorrow works repentance to salvation. Whenever he was reminded of his sin he realized that his actions separated himself from his God whom he loved very much, which led him to a true repentance of his actions. He knew that what he was doing had hurt God and he turned away from his sin and turned back to God for forgiveness. (See Ps. 32 & 51)

Repentance, like everything else involving revival, is only brought about by the Spirit of God. It is God’s Spirit that convicts us of our sin. It is God’s Spirit that breaks our heart over our sins. And it is by God’s Spirit that we are brought into God’s presence through repentance and experience His mercy and forgiveness.

Results of true repentance will be a new life washed clean by the Spirit of God. The person repentant of sin will no longer be pleasing only themselves, but will strive to please God and others. Those things that were once important to the flesh will no longer matter as much. Those who truly repent will work at making a better home, a better workplace, a better community, and a better world.

All of the excuses and all of the reasons why the Church today is not experiencing power and revival within and without can be combated by one word. REPENT!

We must come to God now and acknowledge our sin to him. We are in critical condition and are in need of reviving by the Spirit of God through his son Jesus, the Messiah. Call on the name of Jesus now! Surrender yourself to him and receive his forgiveness and mercy.

Until the Church repents of her sins and turn from her wickedness, we will never witness the healing of our land:

“Ah sinful nation, a people laden with iniquity, a seed of evildoers, children that are corrupters, they have forsaken the Lord, they have provoked the Holy One of Israel unto anger, they are gone away backward…Come now, let us reason together saith the Lord. Though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool. If ye be willing and obedient, ye shall eat the good of the land, but if ye refuse and rebel, ye shall be devoured with the sword. For the mouth of the Lord hath spoken it.” (Isaiah 1:4, 18-20)