by John and Ruth Greene
For centuries, Christians have been cowed by the ‘authority’ of nations as the nations fight against the will of YHWH. (2 Corinthians 4:4) For professing Christians, this has been done mostly by misapplying the counsel of the Apostle Paul and a few other Bible verses. (“A Survival Kit for Disciples of Messiah“) When the United States was founded, it gave off the appearance of a lamb with soft, gentle and appealing calls to freedom. With that freedom is the ‘right’ to do right or wrong. Today, the standard of right and wrong is entirely in question. In the 1930s, the U.S. began to operate on the basis of legal precedence, which essentially threw the Constitution and the origins of the nation off the cliff. The nation seeks to look like a lamb, but speaks with the voice of a dragon (Revelation 12:9, 13:1-17) as freedoms and basic human rights have been carefully pulled away from the populace, while declaring peace and security, and claiming to delight in the very object that is being taken away. These sworn freedoms have been removed one step at a time with hypocrisy and double-speak. If too many freedoms were taken away at once, the people would be sure to rebel just as they did in the Revolutionary War. (“Millenniums of Human Exploitation“; “Video: Corruption of Christianity in the Third Century“)
This is hardly a secret. The politicians and power elite increasingly in control know that to take your rights away, they must do so carefully, as they outlaw those freedoms through a system of legal jurisprudence that depends on what sounds good to a single judge, a step at a time. The system has picked away at privacy and all manner of declared freedoms in the hope that you may not be aware of it, or at least, won’t be enraged by it. Like a lobster in a pot, you can slowly bring up the temperature until the steaming captive simply falls asleep.
Not only is most of the nation asleep in the physical world, they are asleep in the spiritual world. The only problem is that continuing to sleep spiritually while claiming a false Christianity is a deception on a grand scale. Professed Christians across the world are on the road to total enslavement to the world system and laws that commonly violate or simply ignore the principles of scripture. Institutional Christianity has simply winked at this world dilemma as the world systems in place often look at removing your ability to survive and prosper in YHWH’s will. They seek to reign over YHWH’s authority. But is this really anything new? History bears this scenario out again and again. (Romans 12:1-3)
In many cases, governments have so much control because Christians fail to uphold YHWH’s Word on His terms, a siren-song of seduction.
“First of all then, I exhort that petitions, prayers, supplications, and thanksgivings be made on behalf of all men, for kings and all the ones being in high position, that we may lead a tranquil and quiet existence in all purity and holiness. For this is good and acceptable before Elohim our Savior, who desires all men to be saved and to come to a full knowledge of truth.” – 1 Timothy 2:1-4 (1 Timothy 2:5-15)
The apostle Paul noted that disciples should pray and give appropriate thanks for leaders, but this doesn’t include falsehood and placation, or condoning wrongdoing. It means giving leaders respect on a limited basis. (James 5:16; Colossians 1:10; Ephesians 5:11; “Breaking Strongholds of False Authority“; “Authority: The Real Meaning of Romans 13“)
“All souls are subject to Supreme Authority. Indeed there is no authority except that of YHWH. Moreover the authority that comes to agree (with YHWH) are appointed under YHWH.” – Romans 13:1, direct translation
What does this mean? Clearly, we cannot look to men for righteousness. There is no authority except from YHWH. It has been said that the role of human government is to punish, protect and to promote. (Acts 21:27-37) But what do governments often promote except for what is bad and dangerous, often in underhanded ways? The same can be said for most worldly institutions that seek only their own power and influence. Bible history does not show or prove that man made government is in any way superior in authority, nor was man made rule YHWH’s will. Even in the case of the early nation of Israel, Elohim [‘God’, YHWH] acquiesced to the demands of the people and those He favored. He gave them a kingship just as the rest of the world had. History shows how well that worked! (“Delusion & the Tightening Noose of the Beast System“; “Victory Over Wickedness“)
In context follows the next verse: “Whoever sets himself up in opposition to this authority stands against the arrangement of YHWH. Moreover, the opposer will be held in judgment.” (Romans 13:2) Those that resist (exousia) the Power of Elohim resist (diatage) the arrangement of YHWH Almighty will reap (krima) the Judgment of Elohim. (“The Bible & Higher Authority“; “The Role of Authority in Your Life“; “Spiritual Authority & Satan’s Wheels of Destruction“; “Disciple: The Pattern of Your Life“)
“Indeed rulers (of the world) agree to hold no terror to beneficial deeds, but to wicked. Determine moreover not to be afraid of their authority. Do what is beneficial, even have (bring) praise to yourself.” (Romans 13:3) Rulers are not ‘phobos,’ afraid of good works. He recommends that you do good and will have praise from them, or at least supposes that you won’t be bothered when rulers operate in a degree of YHWH’s righteousness. “Indeed they are the attendants of YHWH to you for your benefit. Moreover, when you abide evil, be afraid. Moreover, don’t bear judicial punishment without reason. For they are the attendants of YHWH, to carry out justice to wrath for habitual evil.” (Romans 13:4) By design, the ruler is to be a ‘diakonos’ or servant for good. YHWH is fully able to use the ruler as a servant for justice. In comparing earthly rulers and YHWH, the writer of Romans makes the next observation: “Consequently, use constraint (unnatural restraint) in subjection, not only through wrath, that is even through conscience.” (Romans 13:5)
“Indeed through this (in this way) complete your tribute, even because they agree (with YHWH) as a public servant of YHWH, diligent in purpose, the same as you. Give therefore all indebtedness, even tribute to tribute, levy to levy, fear to fear, value to value.” – Romans 13:6-7 (Mark 12:13-17) During times of peace, rulers are attendants of YHWH’s intended good to you. Paul reasons that taxes and respect are for the same purpose. When rulers do rule, they operate as answerable to YHWH, just as you are. Still, the opening observations of Romans 13:1-2 apply. Every person is subject the YHWH’s authority without exception. This does not make Christians slaves to the rule of man or the world, but subject to YHWH, Elohim of Hosts. Obedience to YHWH is a matter of protection and ‘suneidesis,’ an act of ‘conscience.’ Instead, disciples are commanded to owe no man anything except for love, and obedience to the laws of YHWH. Love fulfills the law of YHWH. All are liable to it. (Romans 13:8-10; “Messiah Teaches about Fruit in the Lives of People“)
Knowing the time or season (kairos) that Christians live in, now is the ‘hora,’ the hour to awaken from spiritual sleep because salvation (soteria) is nearer than you trust. Disciples of the Messiah are to operate in love and obedience to the laws of YHWH. Your eternal life depends on it. Your life on earth could depend on it as well when rulers operate properly under YHWH’s law. (Acts 27:34; Luke 1:71) YHWH seeks the protection of His people and desires no barrier to their favor. (Matthew 24:1-9; Mark 13:5-23; Luke 21:5-24)
“By belief, Noah, having been warned of what was yet unseen, having feared, prepared an ark to save his house, through which he condemned the world and became heir of the righteousness which is according to belief.” – Hebrews 11:7, ISR98
He wants disciples to act and speak in line with trust in YHWH all the time! (Romans 4:17; Hosea 4:6)
“For the promise was not through Law to Abraham, or to his seed, for him to be the heir of the world, but through a righteousness of faith. For if they who are of the law were heirs, faith would be made void, and the promise of no effect. For the Law works out wrath; for where there is no instruction in the Torah against an action, then there is no transgression. On account of this, it is of faith, that it be according to grace, for the promise to be certain to all the seed, not to that of the Law only, but also to that of the faith of Abraham, who is father of us all, according as it has been written, ‘I have appointed you a father of many nations;’ before YAHWEH, whom He believed, the One making the dead live, and calling the things that are not as if they were.
He against hope believed in hope, for him to become a father of many nations, according to what has been said, ‘So shall your seed be.’ And being about a hundred years old, he never weakened in faith, even when he examined his old body, nor the deadness of Sarah’s womb, and he did not hesitate at the promise of YAHWEH, as one lacking faith; but he was strong in faith, and gave glory to Elohim; and felt assured, that what YAHWEH had promised to him, he was able to fulfill. Because of this, ‘it was also counted to him for righteousness.'”- Romans 4:13-22, HRB
YHWH desires that His remnant on earth call things that are ‘as though they were,’ in full trust and expectation of His promises. YHWH, Elohim of Hosts is an eternal optimist, and why not, for He is in control. He calls those things that He promises as though they already exist. He expects for disciples of the Messiah to do the same! For an explanation of trust in YHWH, continue reading Hebrews 13:8-40. This explains the trust of the patriarchs that disciples must have!
“For truly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be removed and be thrown into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that what he says, shall be done, he shall have whatever he says. Because of this I say to you, whatever you ask when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you shall have them.”
This promise comes with a condition.
“And whenever you stand praying, if you hold whatever against anyone, forgive, so that your Father in the heavens shall also forgive you your trespasses. But if you do not forgive, neither shall your Father in the heavens forgive your trespasses.” – Mark 11:23-24, 25-26, ISR98
This is part of the righteousness of the Messiah, along with renewing our hearts and minds as a new man! In response to their trust in YHWH, families are to stay together, husband and wife clinging together in righteousness. This is the purpose of YHWH. (Colossians 3:1, 10; Ephesians 4:24; 2 Corinthians :17; Genesis 2:24-25; “YHWH’s Track of Righteousness“)
“Therefore, having girded up the loins of your mind, being sober, set your expectation perfectly upon the favor that is to be brought to you at the revelation of Yahshua Messiah, as obedient children, not conforming yourselves to the former lusts in your ignorance, instead, as the One who called you is set-apart, so you also should become set-apart in all behavior, because it has been written, ‘Be set-apart, for I am set-apart’” – 1 Peter 1:13-16, ISR98
“Be subject to every institution of man because of the Master, whether to the sovereign as supreme, or to governors, as to those who are sent by him for the punishment of doers of evil, and a praise for those who do good. Because such is the desire of Elohim, that by doing good you should put to silence the ignorance of foolish men, as free, yet not using your freedom as a cloak for evil, but as servants of Elohim.
Respect all, love the brotherhood, fear Elohim, respect the sovereign. Servants, be subject to your masters with all fear, not only to the good and gentle, but also to the crooked ones.
For this is favor, if because of conscience toward Elohim anyone bears up under grief, suffering unrighteously. For what credit is there in enduring a beating when you sin? But if you suffer for doing good and you endure, this finds favor with Elohim. For to this you were called, because Messiah also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that you should follow His steps, ‘who committed no sin, nor was deceit found in His mouth’” – 1 Peter 2:13-22, ISR98
YHWH wants disciples of the Messiah to operate as free men, but not to use the liberty in Messiah as for the world, but as servants of His. We are to obey Him as ruler rather than men. (Acts 5:29) Men have stepped up as authorities over the Most High. We are to cooperate with world rulers only as far as a sanctified, set-apart conscience dictates. In the same light, rulers are to be servants of YHWH, submissive to Him as you are to Him. Regardless of world conditions, He would rather disciples do good and suffer than to find sin and deceit in them. That is the importance of a good witness and humility to the Will of YHWH, in a world full of sin, iniquity and strife. Yet, more and more, the world looks the other way as it takes advantage of you and others for personal benefit and usurious purposes. (John 1:1-5, 9-13)
Are there times when disciples should disobey rulers and government? Yahshua [Jesus] and His disciples did not disobey for personal reasons. They did so to follow their higher loyalty to YHWH. Disobedience was not cheap. They often paid dearly to follow the Higher Authority of YHWH. Obedience to earthly authority does not include slavish devotion or unquestioned power, especially in the life of a disciple. Your Biblical convictions are important!
Disciples are to continue in the covenant of YHWH’s promise. (John 15:16, 17:9; Luke 4:18; Ephesians 2:2-4, 6:18-20; Galatians 6:10; Jeremiah 17:7-8, 29:7; Isaiah 49:23)
“When they went from one nation to another, From one kingdom to another people, He permitted no one to do them wrong; Yes, He rebuked kings for their sakes, saying, ‘Do not touch My anointed ones, And do My prophets no harm.’” – Psalm 105:13-15, NKJV
Authority is always a double-edged sword, (Hebrews 4:12) especially when man chooses to exercise it. This is because that authority brings judgment. The Most High does not support bad government any more than He supports the wicked, their institutions or their acts. (Luke 6:29-39; Revelation 19:15) Christians are to stay away from supporting anyone or anything that is in opposition to the purposes of YHWH, the Messiah and the Holy [Sanctified, Set Apart] Spirit. (John 1:12-18, 3:16)