by John and Ruth Greene
For many generations Bible translators have succumbed to the order of worldly authority in some respects. Romans 13 is one of these cases where translators changed the meaning or created ambiguity in a few verses. There could be several intentional reasons for this, but leaders coveting power and authority is a likely reality. An example of this political reality is in this video regarding the King James Version of scripture.
You can prayerfully and carefully review the original text that is available to understand the real meaning as we have done for you here. It is not above you with all the materials available in this ‘information age.’ Please keep in mind that context must never be removed. Please note that chapters in the Bible are a fairly modern provision to assist you with study, to help you find what you need to find. Chapters are not designed to be topical boundaries or separations of Bible text before and after them. We’ve told you so many times about cherry-picking scriptures, using the Bible to make points that scripture doesn’t make by quoting a scripture here and there. This is a common practice of distorting Bible teaching, whether intentional or not. (“Government and the Law of Nations“; “Financial Usury & Bible Truth: Lending, Giving & Borrowing“; “Christianity: A Crisis in Prayer & Spirit“)
Instead, we must be thorough, understanding when the Bible writer has a larger theme of context in place. In this way, we begin to understand truth instead of deceiving ourselves. This passage actually emphasizes the need for disciples to separate themselves from worldly authority, even though this may make them appear dangerous in the eyes of many. As you read the scripture translation below, the importance of what the apostle is saying really comes out. (“The Bible & Higher Authority“; “The Road to Enslavement“; “The Truth of the Apocalypse“)
Romans 12 discusses Christian conduct in living and righteous relationship with YHWH. Romans 13 expands on this thought with references to world answerability. Romans 14 covers how the exercise of Christian faith or trust relates to spiritual brothers and sisters. The overall summary is how disciples must not resist the authority of YHWH and the Messiah. (“The Secret of Dedicated Disciples“; “Breaking Strongholds of False Authority“)
1 All souls are subject (subordinate) 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.
2 Whoever sets himself up in opposition to this authority stands against the arrangement of YHWH. Moreover, the opposer will be held in judgment.
3 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.
4 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.
5 Consequently, use constraint (unnatural restraint) in subjection, not only through wrath, that is even through conscience.
6 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.
7 Give therefore all indebtedness, even tribute to tribute, levy to levy, fear to fear, value to value.
8 Owe nothing to any man except brotherly love for one another. Indeed brotherly love for others completes the Law.
9 For this reason no adultery, no murder, no robbery, no false witness, no coveting; even if any other commandment, sum it up in this doctrine under love your neighbor. Certainly, love completes the Law.
10 Brotherly love works no evil to neighbors. Certainly, brotherly love completes the Law.
11 Even here, understand the occasion, because now is our hour to rise from sleep. Indeed now our salvation is nearer than when we believed.
12 The night is but well along, the day is near. Now cast off the works of darkness, even put on the armor of light.
13 Walk honestly, as in the day of judgment, not reveling and drunkenness, not in sexual abandon and lasciviousness, not in strife and envy.
14 Indeed, put on the Master Yahshua [Jesus] Messiah and don’t abide in provision for the flesh into desire.
In Romans 13:1-2 the higher powers (KJV) mentioned are often misunderstood, in part due to compromised translation, and in part, because of the agenda of church and state over the age. In many translations, this has been corrupted to ‘governing authorities.’ The importance of a church leadership combined with the rule of world leaders has been emphasized over or stressed as a mediator between disciples and Messiah, even above YHWH through the ignorance of men to YHWH’s truth. Disciples of Messiah are to be subordinate (hupotasso) to supreme (huperecho , excellence or better) authority (exousia), which is YHWH, the Elohim of Hosts (Armies), the Elohim of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, the One that Yahshua [Jesus] the Messiah represented in human form. This is important, because many ‘Christ-professed’ religions confuse, or in coming times, will confuse YHWH with other gods, even Satan (a/k/a Lucifer). This aberration of the world will continue and become entrenched, even in multitudes of professed Christians, as this world of man comes to a close. (“The Spiritual Authority of Christian Women“; “The Magi of this Age“; “The Journey of Life through Scripture“; “Living in an Apostate World“)
Romans 13 opens by emphasizing that disciples are subject to the greater authority of YHWH, and to those prophets and apostles that agree with Him, the Word of the Master Yahshua [Jesus], in spirit and truth. Ephesians 3:10 makes a similar point about “huperecho exousia” (supreme or higher authority)
“Because now the principalities and authorities in the heavens must be made known through the gathering [ekklesia, body of Messiah, ‘church’] the many-sided wisdom of Elohim according to the age, a sacrificial offering [as the showbread] which is brought forward in Messiah Yahshua our Master, in Whom we possess boldness and assurance, with reliance through belief in Him.” – Ephesians 3:10-12, direct translation (read surrounding scripture for understanding context)
Sanctified disciples of the Messiah make known the truth of YHWH’s Word, in agreement with YHWH’s Word. In the same sense of huperecho, disciples must hold themselves above the world, literally SET APART to Elohim, refusing to be part of the world through compromise in conduct and the compromise of truth. (Romans 12:1-2)
The 10 commandments and the Law of Messiah (Matthew 22:36-39) are the ultimate standards that no worldly ruler can overcome without severely jeopardizing both life and power. This is because Elohim establishes and looks after His people with zeal. The Master, Yahshua [Jesus], continued the standards that all must live or abide in. These same standards are required for civil authorities to be in agreement with YHWH. It takes courage to admit the truth. Even so, Bible truth must not be compromised. Disciples are accountable to YHWH alone. 90% of professed Christians may initially disagree with this article, but it takes courage to admit error in the teaching of the Bible. Most ‘churches’ of this day are teaching a grave error, not Bible truth. Perhaps these ‘churches’ are not involved with intentional error, but now YOU know the truth. Don’t compromise the Word of YHWH. (“Redeemed Through Obedience & Faith“; “Woes of the Hypocrites“; “The Kingdom of YHWH and the Drive for Self-Importance“; “The Importance of Practical Repentance“)