Romans 13 – Powers that Be – “Ordained of God”?

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This verse will be misused in a time of crisis.  So this bible study is to help us to understand, to provide an answer to the powers that be, to those ministers who have been trained to teach the people to “obey your government” and misuse these verses out of their context.  Christians are the most law abiding citizens on the planet when it comes to civil government.  However when government steps out of the civil realm and into the moral realm and things pertaining to God.  History has declared that Christians have often stood against those laws made by governments which were “ordained of God”.

Powers that Be Ordained of God

The bible tells us “Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God.” (Romans 13:1).

It also tells us that those “powers that be” have men that “beareth not the sword in vain”.  In most places we understand that this has to do with bearing arms, and that these are “ministers of God” according to the book of Romans.

Romans 13:4 For he is the minister of God to thee for good. But if thou do that which is evil, be afraid; for he beareth not the sword in vain: for he is the minister of God, a revenger to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil.

Some have thought that this was reason to mix church with state, and for the church to use its authority to execute its will on the people.  Throughout the dark ages men were tortured and killed if they would not subscribe to the will of the Popes who had armed forces bearing the sword waiting to execute the will of the church during those times.

Was this what God ordained?  Oh no.  That is not what Romans 13 is teaching.  Quite the opposite as we shall see.   The bible tells us in the book of Jeremiah that when Israel and Judah were captured that they were to be subject to Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon.

Jeremiah 27:8 And it shall come to pass, that the nation and kingdom which will not serve the same Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon, and that will not put their neck under the yoke of the king of Babylon, that nation will I punish, saith the LORD, with the sword, and with the famine, and with the pestilence, until I have consumed them by his hand.

In Romans 13 we read the same principle.

Romans 13:1-2  Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God.  (2)  Whosoever therefore resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance of God: and they that resist shall receive to themselves damnation.

Therefore it is God who has ordained these powers that be.   And he has told us to be subject to the powers that be.  Jesus explained this subjection to us as well.  However he was very clear that in things pertaining to God, the powers that be were to have nothing to do, but only to protect the right to freely do those things pertaining to God.

The term “Caesar” means “civil” and this is where these governments are ordained of God, in civility.  But let us see if God ordained these powers in things concerning God.   Morality belongs to God; civility, to the State. Morality must be rendered to God; civility, to the State “Render therefore unto Cesar the things which are Cesar’s; and unto God the things that are God’s.” (Matt 22:21)

“The State cannot teach morality or religion. It has not the credentials for it. The Spirit of God and the gospel of Christ are both essential to the teaching of morality, and neither of these is committed to the State, but both to the church.

But though this work be committed to the church, even then there is not committed to the church the prerogative either to reward morality or to punish immorality. She beseeches, she entreats, she persuades men to be reconciled to God; she trains them in the principles and the practice of morality. It is hers by moral suasion or spiritual censures to preserve the purity and discipline of her membership. But hers it is not either to reward morality or to punish immorality. This pertains to God alone, because whether it he morality or immorality, it springs from the secret counsels of the heart; and as God alone knows the heart, he alone can measure either the merit or the guilt involved in any question of morals.” {1894 AT Jones Religion and Civil government Page 21}

It was Nebuchadnezzar, King of Babylon, ordained of God, whom the bible told us we were to serve, and whom we were to be subject to, that set up an image in the plain of Dura and said “To you it is commanded, O people, nations, and languages, that at what time ye hear the sound of the cornet, flute, harp, sackbut, psaltery, dulcimer, and all kinds of music, ye fall down and worship the golden image that Nebuchadnezzar the king hath set up; and whoso falleth not down and worshipeth shall the same hour be cast into the midst of a burning fiery furnace.” (Daniel 3:4-6)

Now was this what God ordained?  Not at all.  The civil government is to protect people.  The civil government was given the sword in order to protect your liberty of conscience.   But as with all governments, they have believed that they were ordained not just in things pertaining to Caesar, but also in things pertaining to God.

That is a complete misunderstanding of Romans 13 and the entire bible which teaches the same principle throughout.  In Romans 13 we are told about the duties of government.

Romans 13:7-8  Render therefore to all their dues: tribute to whom tribute is due; custom to whom custom; fear to whom fear; honour to whom honour.   Owe no man any thing, but to love one another: for he that loveth another hath fulfilled the law.

As Jesus said when asked about “tribute”.  “Render therefore unto Cesar the things which are Cesar’s; and unto God the things that are God’s.” (Matt 22:21)

Romans 13 is merely saying render unto men, the things that are men’s, and that would include the second table of commandments which are fulfilled in the following words:

Romans 13:9  For this, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not kill, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness, Thou shalt not covet; and if there be any other commandment, it is briefly comprehended in this saying, namely, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.

As far as the state being ordained of God to enforce the first table of commandments,  Nebuchadnezzar had no right to ask us to bow toOXYGEN Volume 10 an image.  In the first table pertain the things that are to be rendered to God, and of those things, civil government is not ordained of God in. And so Nebuchadnezzar was not, and nor is Obama, or those who will do the biddings of the Pope.

Though the government may think it right to ordain and enforce Sunday keeping by law   The government has no right to ordain the things of God or any of the commandments on the first table of stone.  Equally we should protest against the state making a law that we must keep the Sabbath on Saturday, or Friday, or Monday.  The State is not ordained of God to enforce worship.  This is contrary to Christ’s words.  The word does not say “Render to God the things that are Caesars”, nor did Jesus say “Render to Caesar the things that are God’s”.  It is anti-christian to enforce or think to enforce any of those commandments of worship by law.

The government, which can only be made by the people, and for the people, with the consent of the people cannot rule without people to enforce the law.  This government is not to enforce the moral law or things that pertain to God.  The children of God can only be compelled by love and never by force as has been proven throughout history.

And knowing this history the founders of the United States of America were sure to create a Constitutional Republic with a constitution that protected the rights of the people to worship God as they understood provided that worship did not harm the life, liberty, and property of another.

The verses under consideration in the book of Romans are often misused in times of crisis. Through this bible study, it will help us understand and answer to the powers that be and those ministers who teach the people to “obey your government” that take these verses out of context.

Christians happen to be law-abiding citizens when it comes to civil government. However, when government steps out of the civil realm and into the moral realm, especially in things pertaining to God, and things which are to be given to God, such as worship, history dictates that those who are the children of God have often stood against those laws made by civil governments.

Powers that Be Ordained of God

The bible tells us, “Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God” (Romans 13:1).

It also tells us that those “powers that be” have men that “beareth not the sword in vain.” (Romans 13:4) In most places, we understand that this has to do with bearing arms and that these are “ministers of God” according to the book of Romans.

Romans 13:4 says, “For he is the minister of God to thee for good. But if thou do that which is evil, be afraid; for he beareth not the sword in vain: for he is the minister of God, a revenger to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil.”

Some have thought that the aforementioned verse was the reason for the church and state’s amalgamation and for the latter’s execution of its authority on the people. Throughout the dark ages, men were tortured and killed if they refused to submit to the will of the Popes, who had armed forces, waiting to execute the will of the church.

Was this what God ordained? Romans 13 is teaching quite the opposite, as we shall see.

Serve the King

The bible tells us in the book of Jeremiah that when Israel and Judah were captured, they were to be subjected to the king of Babylon, Nebuchadnezzar’s rule: “And it shall come to pass, that the nation and kingdom which will not serve the same Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon, and that will not put their neck under the yoke of the king of Babylon, that nation will I punish, saith the LORD, with the sword, and with the famine, and with the pestilence, until I have consumed them by his hand” (Jeremiah 27:8).

In Romans 13:1-2 we read the same principle: “Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God. Whosoever therefore resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance of God: and they that resist shall receive to themselves damnation.”

Therefore, it is God who has ordained these “powers that be” and has told us to “subject” ourselves to it. Jesus explained this subjection to us as well and was very clear that in things pertaining to God, the powers that be were to do nothing, but protect the right of doing and giving those things pertaining to God.

The term “Caesar” means “civil,” and in civility is where these governments were ordained by God, but first, let us see if He ordained these powers among things that concern Him. Morality belongs to God, civility, to the State; therefore morality must be rendered to God, while civility to the State.

“Render therefore unto Cesar the things which are Cesar’s; and unto God the things that are God’s” (Matthew 22:21).

Page 21 of the 1894 article by AT Jones called Religion and Civil government trails the stance above:

“The State cannot teach morality or religion. It has not the credentials for it. The Spirit of God and the gospel of Christ are both essential to the teaching of morality, and neither of these is committed to the State, but both to the church.

But though this work be committed to the church, even then there is not committed to the church the prerogative either to reward morality or to punish immorality. She beseeches, she entreats, she persuades men to be reconciled to God; she trains them in the principles and the practice of morality. It is hers by moral suasion or spiritual censures to preserve the purity and discipline of her membership. But hers it is not either to reward morality or to punish immorality. This pertains to God alone, because whether it he morality or immorality, it springs from the secret counsels of the heart; and as God alone knows the heart, he alone can measure either the merit or the guilt involved in any question of morals.”

Nebuchadnezzar, King of Babylon, who was ordained by God, was the one who set up an image in the plain of Dura and said, “To you it is commanded, O people, nations, and languages, that at what time ye hear the sound of the cornet, flute, harp, sackbut, psaltery, dulcimer, and all kinds of music, ye fall down and worship the golden image that Nebuchadnezzar the king hath set up; and whoso falleth not down and worshipeth shall the same hour be cast into the midst of a burning fiery furnace” (Daniel 3:4-6).

Now was this what God ordained? Definitely not. The civil government was meant to protect the people and was given the sword in order to protect our liberty of conscience, but as with many governments, kings and tyrants, most believe they were ordained not just in matters pertaining to Caesar, but also in ones pertaining to God.

That is a complete misunderstanding of Romans 13 and the entire bible, which teaches the same principle all throughout.

In Romans 13, we are told about the duties of government: “Render therefore to all their dues: tribute to whom tribute is due; custom to whom custom; fear to whom fear; honour to whom honour. Owe no man any thing, but to love one another: for he that loveth another hath fulfilled the law” (Romans 13:7-8).

As Jesus says when asked about tribute, “Render therefore unto Cesar the things which are Cesar’s; and unto God the things that are God’s” (Matthew 22:21).

Romans 13 is merely saying render unto men the things that belong to men, that includes the second table of commandments fulfilled in this verse: “For this, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not kill, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness, Thou shalt not covet; and if there be any other commandment, it is briefly comprehended in this saying, namely, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself” (Romans 13:9).

As far as worship, the state, ordained by God, Nebuchadnezzar had no right to ask us to bow to an image. In the first table pertaining to the things that are to be rendered to God, civil government is not ordained. Therefore, Nebuchadnezzar was not, not even Obama, or those who do the Pope’s biddings.

Though the government may think it right to decree Sunday a Sabbath day, it has no right to ordain God’s things or any of the commandments on the first table. Equally, we should protest against the state making a law to enforce Saturday or any other day as the Sabbath.

The State is not ordained by God to enforce worship. The word does not say, “Render to God the things that are Caesars,” or did Jesus say, “Render to Caesar the things that are God’s.” It is against Christian practices to enforce any of those commandments of worship.  It is anti-christian.  It is antichrist.

The government, which can only be made by the people and for the people, with the consent of the people, cannot rule without people to enforce the law. This government is not meant to enforce moral law or things that pertain to God. The children of God can only be compelled by love, never by force as proven throughout history.

Speaking of history, the founders of the United States of America created a Constitutional Republic that protected the rights of the people to worship God as they understood, provided that such did not harm the life, liberty, and property of another.

George Washington’s words echoes this constitution: “Every man who conducts himself as a good citizen, is accountable alone to God for his religious faith, and should be protected in worshiping God according to the dictates of his own conscience.”

If man were to worship idols, they were allowed to do so, provided they weren’t using their children or the life of others as sacrificial offerings, as that would be harming someone else’s life, liberty and property. If man were to worship on Monday, Sunday, Saturday or any given day, the government should protect him.

Vatican Radio of the Vatican states, “The orderly development of ‘a civil, pluralistic society requires’ that the ‘authentic spirit of religion’ not be ‘confined’ to ‘personal conscience but that its significant role in the construction of society is recognized,’ said Pope Francis in his remarks to the Italian president.”

This is completely contrary to the United States constitution, which protects conscience.

Speaking of Pope Francis, he is drafting to release an encyclical concerning climate change. In a recent paper from the Pontifical Academy of Sciences we read that “The Catholic Church, working with the leadership of other religions, can now take a decisive role by mobilizing public opinion and public funds to meet the energy needs of the poorest 3 billion people. Thus, allowing them to prepare for the challenges of unavoidable climate and eco-system changes. Such a bold and humanitarian action by the world’s religions acting in unison is certain to catalyze a public debate over how we can integrate societal choices, as prioritized under UN’s sustainable development goals, into sustainable economic development pathways for the 21st century, with projected population of 10 billion or more.

The agenda includes population control. And there are some there are some who believe that some of the population need to be eliminated. For instance Bill Gates:

In fact, in April 2015, we were told by the Vatican through the Pontifical Academy of Sciences in an article entitled, “Climate Change and the Common Good” that the Church can lead the way in the upcoming carbon fight in which the United Nations has a plan entitled, “Agenda 21.”

Furthermore, an article written in 2009 by Satis Kumar of The Guardian revealed that the solution to global warming is Sunday rest: “At a stroke, we can reduce 10% of our carbon emissions into the atmosphere by making Sunday a low-carbon day and at the same time make ourselves healthier and happier. So, let us make Sunday a day of rest and renewal rather than a day of travel and toil.”

In numerous articles across the Internet, we often read news such as “Pope takes moral stance on climate change.” True enough; such a stance will now materialize come the 23rd of September in Wahington, as he makes a historical speech to the congress of the United States. The very congress elected by the people and for the people; elected to uphold the constitution of the United States and it’s amendments, as well as to protect our liberty of conscience and right to worship. He is also set to speak to the United Nations on September 25 in New York City where it is expected that they will sign this post 2015 development agenda.

Laws have already been set in place. The National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) has laws that tell us they can indefinitely detain anyone they consider to be a terrorist even without a fair trial. An enforcement of keeping Sunday as a day of rest would be a walk in the park in comparison to this.  The definition of “terrorist” has gone as far as those believing in end time prophecies.

The government cannot govern your thoughts. It cannot make you a moral person. It cannot stop you from lust, hate, or desire. Imagine enforcing God’s law by civil power. The person who coveted could be put to death, yet that is only a thought. The crime if eventually committed would be theft. The civil government cannot enforce the law of coveting because it does not know the thoughts and intents of the heart.

Taking this a step further, the bible tells us to forgive our brother every time he repents. So, if this person repented on his way to court, he would then be freed if the law of God were upheld by the state. The entire system would collapse in a day.

There is only one being who can enforce the moral law, and that is God. The state can never enforce moral law. Therefore, it cannot tell me who to worship, what to worship, or when to worship. If it does, it is stepping outside the boundaries which was ordained by God.

Coveting cannot be enforced. But, theft is the taking of another’s property; therefore, the government is ordained to protect your life, liberty and property. For the people, by the people.  …and if people would only study history, this principle would be clearly seen.

We truly worship God everyday already, and we would be happy to worship God on Sunday, although it may affect our labor. As Christians, we believe that any law where the State attempts to enter into the realm of God and ordain things pertaining to Him is anti-Christian.

The NDAA, if used, could be utilized against anyone who refuses to abide by Sunday, or any other law not adhered to. Those who do so will be forced to obey the powers that be, in things pertaining to God, contrary to the principle Jesus expounded, that we were only to give unto God the things that pertain to God, and to render to Caesar the things that pertain unto Caesar.

The Inquisition is the inevitable logic of any claim of any assembly to punish immorality. Because, to punish immorality, it is necessary in some way to get into the thoughts and intents of the heart. That is what the NDAA leaves open.

I will leave a video link here from Fox News for you to see the evil of this bill yourselves:

The papacy, asserting men to be moral and punishing them for immorality, had the cruelty to carry out the evil principle to its logical consequence during the dark ages. In carrying out the said principle, it was essential to unravel the secrets of men’s hearts, and in such, it was found that the diligent application of torture could never have wrung men, in most cases, into a full confession of the most secret counsel of their hearts, and never could it lead to loving God, but only seeing God as a villain as He was portrayed to be by these evil men.

Are you suspected of having discord with the state? No lawyer, no trial for you. With all of these potential disasters coming to pass, the cry of the people will be for God to step in, in the act of the Papacy in congress this September – America will be begging for the government to step in. The inevitable results will be for the people to turn to their government to fix everything, and jail for those who refuse to comply with the dictates of the state.

The cry will be for the “powers that be,” to enforce the things that “pertain to God” rather than just the things that “pertain to Caesar”. It will come in more definite forms than a mere Sunday law. When these occur, will you stand against or will you bow to the image of the beast?

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