The Christian’s Commandment to Earthly Government
I was personally in each ditch of this issue in times past. I thank God for brethren that are not sin appeasers and who reprove when needed. I also thank God for his wisdom and longsuffering. I pray those who need to hear this message will listen all the way through and repent as necessary.
The Bible speaks very clearly about the relationship between the believer and the government. We are to obey governmental authorities, and the government is to treat us justly and fairly. Even when the government does not live up to its role, we are still to live up to ours. Finally, when the government asks us to do something that is in direct disobedience to God’s Word, we are to disobey the government in faithful confidence of the Lord’s power to protect us.
Whether the Bible uses the terms “master,” “ruler,” “government,” or any other name for an established authority, the instruction is always the same – obey. We must remember that God created the authorities ruling over us just as He created us. As Paul wrote to the Romans:
(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. ”
(1 Peter 2:13-14). “Submit yourselves to every ordinance of man for the Lord’s sake: whether it be to the king, as supreme; 14 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. ”
Both Peter and Paul also remind slaves repeatedly to be obedient to their masters for the same reasons (Ephesians 6:5-8; Colossians 3:22-25; 1 Timothy 6:1-2; 1 Peter 2:18-20; Titus 2:9-11).
The instructions to government “masters” are just as clear and just as numerous. Jesus modeled the behavior and attitude every leader or authority should take. (Matthew 20:25-28) “But Jesus called them unto him, and said, Ye know that the princes of the Gentiles exercise dominion over them, and they that are great exercise authority upon them. 26 But it shall not be so among you: but whosoever will be great among you, let him be your minister; 27 And whosoever will be chief among you, let him be your servant: 28 Even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many. ” A government or authority exists to serve those governed.
Many times, however, a government will stray from its purpose and become oppressive. When that happens, we are still to live in obedience. (1 Peter 2:18-19) “Slaves, submit yourselves to your masters with all respect, not only to those who are good and considerate, but also to those who are harsh. For it is commendable if a man bears up under the pain of unjust suffering because he is conscious of God”. Both Jesus and Paul used taxes as a way to illustrate this. The Roman government taxed the Jews unjustly and many of the tax collectors were thieves. When asked about this dilemma, Jesus took a coin and said in (Matthew 22:20-21) “‘And he saith unto them, Whose is this image and superscription? They say unto him, Caesar’s. Then saith he unto them, Render therefore unto Caesar the things which are Caesar’s; and unto God the things that are God’s.” Evidently, the believers in Rome were still asking the same question because Paul instructed them on the matter in (Romans 13:6) “For for this cause pay ye tribute (TAXES) also: for they are God’s ministers, attending continually upon this very thing.“
In the Old Testament, Daniel is a model we should use when it comes to our relationship with government. The Babylonians were given authority over the Jews because of the Jews’ disobedience. Daniel worked himself into the highest levels of this pagan and unbelieving government. Although the rulers respected Daniel’s God, their lives and actions show they did not believe. Daniel served the king as a true servant when he requested the wise men not be executed for failing to interpret the king’s dream. Instead, he asked for the key to interpret the dream from God and saved those, including himself, who would have been executed. While Daniel was in the royal court, his three friends refused to bow to the idol erected by King Nebuchadnezzar and were sentenced to death in the furnace (Daniel 3:12-15). Their response was confident faith. They did not defend themselves, but instead told the king their God would save them, adding that even if He didn’t, they still would not worship or serve Nebuchadnezzar’s gods (Daniel 3:16-18).
After the Medes conquered Babylon, Daniel continued to serve faithfully and to rise in power within the government. Here, Daniel faced the same dilemma when the governors and satraps tricked the king into signing a decree (Daniel 6:7) “…that whoever petitions any god or man for thirty days, except you, O king, shall be cast into the den of lions”. Daniel responded by directly, and in full view of everyone, disobeying the order. (Daniel 6:10) “Now when Daniel knew that the writing was signed, he went into his house; and his windows being open in his chamber toward Jerusalem, he kneeled upon his knees three times a day, and prayed, and gave thanks before his God, as he did aforetime.” Daniel was completely loyal to any ruler placed over him until that ruler ordered him to disobey God. At that moment, when a choice had to be made between the world and God, Daniel chose God. As should we all. (Ref: GotQuestions)*
A reproval from a dear brother (after I posted online that “President Trump was the devil”, etc back in 2017). The post was causing much strife, etc unnecessarily. I repented and removed the post after reading the reproval.
“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.3 For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to the evil. Wilt thou then not be afraid of the power? do that which is good, and thou shalt have praise of the same: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.5 Wherefore ye must needs be subject, not only for wrath, but also for conscience sake.6 For for this cause pay ye tribute also: for they are God’s ministers, attending continually upon this very thing.7 Render therefore to all their dues: tribute to whom tribute is due; custom to whom custom; fear to whom fear; honour to whom honour.” -Romans 13:1-7
Paul knew the Roman’s government leaders weren’t Christians and he still wrote this. In the sense above he is a minister of God now, and unless he blatantly perverts justice somehow as President he is acting as a minister of God now in his actions as the President. It’s still true that he’s not a Christian, he’s only a man, he’s not our salvation, etc, etc and that his service to God now is indirect and temporal only instead of worship in spirit and truth that has inherent eternal value to it… but God yet used such language in His Word and we want to be careful not to oppose what God saw it fit to say.
Christians need to have a realistic picture of Trump and not get carried away with him. I need to consider and study this more too, but if you just brought up the facts when it was appropriate and necessary and said little more than that his life doesn’t match that of a biblical Christian (if such was even in question to the person you’re talking to) then you probably wouldn’t go wrong. If he does things that are beneficial to America and right in and of themselves, then give him credit where credit is due. He is better than Obama and Hilary, yet that fact is causing some to overreact apparently. That is not unlike in 2 Kings-
Jehu was better as King than Ahab’s house- yet still not righteous before God. God regarded Jehu as wicked, yet commended him for the right things he did as king. But God never commended nor approved of the ways in which Jehu didn’t walk in truth nor lift up Jehu as a godly example whom others ought to follow. He was a special man with a special purpose that he fulfilled; but he had an obligation beyond that to God that he failed in. We should want Trump to do well and blessed in leading America- and pray for his salvation knowing that he has sin he has not forsaken and ungodly views that need to be corrected. It really is more about our attitude towards him as a leader God has placed over us and respecting his office- very much along the lines of how a Christian person ought to reverent attitude towards their lost parents- while still acknowledging reality about their condition before God in light of the fruit that biblical standards require to be brought forth in a true Christian who can rightfully hope to be an heir of salvation.
Who was King Jehu?
Before his reign as king, Jehu functioned as a commander in the army of Ahab (2 Kings 9:5, 25) in the northern kingdom of Israel. Jehu was the son of Jehoshaphat, although he is more commonly mentioned as son of Nimshi, his grandfather, perhaps because Nimshi was more well-known. Jehu’s name, meaning “Yahweh is he,” portrays well his future, God-given task: to obliterate the house of Ahab along with the worship of Baal that pervaded Israel at the time.
Jehu was a reformer of sorts who was used by God to clean up the mess that Ahab had made. Of King Ahab it is recorded that he “did more evil in the eyes of the Lord than any of those before him” (1 Kings 16:30). Marrying Jezebel, daughter of the king of the Sidonians, Ahab was seduced into her idolatrous worship of Baal and Ashtoreth. Although God was patient for a time with Ahab, his many sins eventually brought God’s judgment upon his family line (1 Kings 21:20–22). This judgment first lands upon Ahab’s own head, as he is shot and killed in a battle against the Arameans (1 Kings 22:34–38).
God chose Jehu as one of three men who would enact His judgment upon Ahab’s family. God told the prophet Elijah, “Anoint Hazael king over Aram. Also, anoint Jehu son of Nimshi king over Israel, and anoint Elisha son of Shaphat from Abel Meholah to succeed you as prophet. Jehu will put to death any who escape the sword of Hazael, and Elisha will put to death any who escape the sword of Jehu” (1 Kings 19:15–17). One way or another, Ahab’s dynasty would be destroyed.
God also chose Jehu to be the king of Israel. After he was anointed king, Jehu immediately took steps to secure the throne. Knowing that Joram, son of Ahab, had recently gone to Jezreel to recover from wounds in a battle against the Arameans, Jehu ordered his men to seal the city so that no one could alert Joram of Jehu’s anointing (2 Kings 9:1–16). Jehu made haste to Jezreel and killed two of Ahab’s progeny—Joram, king of northern Israel; and Ahaziah, king of Judah (2 Kings 9:14–29). Jehu then proceeded to Jezebel’s palace in Jezreel, where the queen stood watching for him at her window. At Jehu’s command, eunuchs surrounding Jezebel threw her down from the window. Jezebel’s blood splattered over the pavement, and her body was eaten by dogs (2 Kings 9:30–37).
Jehu left no man standing who was in alliance with King Ahab, as God had commanded long before through Elijah. Entering the temple of Baal, Jehu slaughtered all the priests of Baal and destroyed the temple and its sacred stone, thus eradicating Baal worship in Israel (2 Kings 10:23–28).
The Lord blessed Jehu for his obedience, granting him a dynasty that would last to the fourth generation (2 Kings 10:30). However, because Jehu continued to hold on to the idolatrous worship of King Jeroboam (2 Kings 10:29, 31; 12:26–30), God began to reduce the size of Israel, gradually giving them over to the power of even Hazael of Syria (2 Kings 10:32–33). Jehu reigned over Israel a total of twenty-eight years and was succeeded by his son Jehoahaz (2 Kings 10:35–36).
Through Jehu we can learn that, although it is true that God blesses and grants success to those who seek to obey Him, God also can and will pull away His blessing from one who willfully chooses to live in sin. As Jesus says in Matthew 6:24, “No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other.” We cannot serve God while continuing to hold on to false gods. As Joshua said, we must “choose for [ourselves] this day whom [we] will serve” (Joshua 24:15). Where does your allegiance lie? (Ref: GotQuestions)*
The Scriptural record gives no information about Jehu’s ancestry or the place of his origin. It only mentions that he was the son of Jehoshaphat. Jehu is commonly known as son of Nimshi and his name, means “Yahweh is he.” Jehu served as a commander in the army of Ahab (2 Kings 9:5, 25) in the northern kingdom of Israel.
God appointed Jehu to be king of Israel
During the apostasy of Israel, Elijah thought that he was the only faithful prophet remaining but the Lord informed him to anoint Hazael king of Aram, Jehu king of Israel, and Elisha to succeed him as prophet. And the Lord affirmed that, “Jehu will put to death any who escape the sword of Hazael, and Elisha will put to death any who escape the sword of Jehu” (1 Kings 19:17).
God chose Jehu as one of three men who would carry out His judgment on the house of Ahab. For Ahab “did more evil in the eyes of the Lord than any of those before him” (1 Kings 16:30). The worship of Baal was a curse to the land of Israel, and Ahab and his wife Jezebel, the daughter of the king of Sidonians, had been guilty of promoting it. Therefore, God punished Ahab (1 Kings 21:20–22) and he was killed in a war with the Arameans (1 Kings 22:34–38).
Jehu destroyed Baal worship
Then, the Lord appointed Jehu to be the king of Israel for his godliness and driving energy. And he immediately fought God’s enemies by besieging Jezreel. In that city Joram, son of Ahab, went to heal from his injury that he got in a war with the Arameans (2 Kings 9:1–16). And Jehu killed the two sons of Ahab—Joram, king of northern Israel, and Ahaziah, king of Judah (2 Kings 9:14–29). After that Jehu went to Jezebel’s palace in Jezreel and commanded the eunuchs to threw her down from the window. So, the queen died and her blood smeared the pavement and the dogs licked it and ate her body (2 Kings 9:30–37; 1 Kings 21:20–26; 22:37–38).
After that Jehu entered the temple of Baal and killed all the priests of Baal and destroyed their temple, thus exterminating Baal worship in Israel (2 Kings 10:23–28). While Jehu may have destroyed the appearances of Baal worship from the nation of Israel, he certainly did not destroy the spirit of apostasy. For the Israelites were as wicked, corrupt, and immoral as before.
God rewarded Jehu
And the Lord promised Jehu a blessing for his obedience in fighting evil saying, “Because you have done well in doing what is right in My sight, and have done to the house of Ahab all that was in My heart, your sons shall sit on the throne of Israel to the fourth generation” (2 Kings 10:30).
The work of Jehu was a mixture of good and evil. There were serious evils in his approaches which did not have the consent of Heaven. He failed to teach the people the ways of the Lord. If Baal worship was not to be replaced by the worship of God, then there is no benefit for the people. And Jehu himself did not leave the sins of Jeroboam that had brought wickedness upon Israel (2 Kings 10:29, 31; 12:26–30). For this reason, the Lord gave them up to the hand of king Hazael of Syria (2 Kings 10:32–33).
Jehu reigned over Israel twenty-eight years (2 Kings 10:35–36). His children who ruled upon the throne of Israel were Jehoahaz, Jehoash, Jeroboam II, and Zachariah. Shallum brought an end to Jehu’s family by slaying Zachariah (2 Kings 15:10, 12). So, the house of Jehu ruled Israel for about a century—longer than any other dynasty. And the house of Jeroboam ruled 22 years and that of Omri 44. (Ref: Bible Ask Team)*
I ASKED FOR A MORE COMPLETE BIBLICAL EXPLANATION FROM BROTHER AARON (HIS RESPONSE BELOW)
Obviously God has not literally, directly set-up any government leader besides in ancient Israel. The NT still says “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.” (Romans 13:1-2)
Nero and the Roman hierarchy had certainly come to power by less noble means even than an unfair election– but the Christians in the Roman Empire were still told this. “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.”- so if God has permitted someone to be in power, we are to be subject to them. Now the WHY of their being permitted by God to be in power is a big question.
“I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men; 2 For kings, and FOR ALL THAT ARE IN AUTHORITY; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty. 3 For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour” (1 Timothy 2:1-3)
The ruler could be could be an answer to the Christian’s prayers- but maybe in a strange way that doesn’t make sense to even the Christians themselves. The ruler could be a judgment on the people, could be there because the Christians were or weren’t the influence of salt and light they were called to be, the ruler could simply be a reflection of the nation. They could be there for some reason that truly only God could possibly know. How often can we know for sure? You believe or at least lean towards Trump being the Globalist/CFR choice; I believe or lean towards Trump having upset Hilary who was the actual CFR/Globalist choice. If the two of us, who are so close together in our thinking, especially in comparison to two random people or two random church members; if the two of us aren’t agreed on the likely reason and means by which Trump is in the White House- imagine the chaos that would be the result if God left it to each Christian to decide whether the present government leadership were legitimate or not!
If it’s not the office itself and the fact that so and so is in that office, then everyone and anyone could find an”out” regarding honoring and submitting to the higher powers. If the government is corrupt, then we shouldn’t obey it only in the matters in which God and the government are in conflict. If the government promotes sin like Trump promoting homosexuality, then I believe we should respectfully rebuke that. There is a higher power the kings of the world have to answer to; and to reprove and warn them with respect yet for their office would be right.
-“10 Be wise now therefore, O ye kings: be instructed, ye judges of the earth.11 Serve the Lord with fear, and rejoice with trembling.12 Kiss the Son, lest he be angry, and ye perish from the way, when his wrath is kindled but a little. Blessed are all they that put their trust in him.” (Psalm 2:10-12)
“24 And as he thus spake for himself, Festus said with a loud voice, Paul, thou art beside thyself; much learning doth make thee mad.25 But he said, I am not mad, most noble Festus; but speak forth the words of truth and soberness.26 For the king knoweth of these things, before whom also I speak freely: for I am persuaded that none of these things are hidden from him; for this thing was not done in a corner. 27 King Agrippa, believest thou the prophets? I know that thou believest.” (Acts 26:24-27)
“18 And they called them, and commanded them not to speak at all nor teach in the name of Jesus.19 But Peter and John answered and said unto them, Whether it be right in the sight of God to hearken unto you more than unto God, judge ye. 20 For we cannot but speak the things which we have seen and heard.” (Acts 4:18-20)
“13 Submit yourselves to every ordinance of man for the Lord’s sake: whether it be to the king, as supreme;14 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.15 For so is the will of God, that with well doing ye may put to silence the ignorance of foolish men:16 As free, and not using your liberty for a cloke of maliciousness, but as the servants of God.17 Honour all men. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honour the king.” (1 Peter 2:13-17)
(The part I put in blue italics above highlight the nobility of the office and the respect that those in it are due for the sake of that fact) – Bro Aaron Carey
Additional study from M.B.’s “Resist Not Evil” pages 102 to 104 (blue colored letters emphasis mine):
“Balthasar Hubmaier, an Anabaptist minister and martyr for the faith, writes concerning Romans 13:1-7: “…everyone should be subject to the government. Believing or unbelieving, we should be obedient and subject to it. He points out the reason. For there is no government which does not come from God. Therefore obedience consists in all that which is not against God, for God has not ordered the government against himself. Now if the government wants to punish the evil ones-as it should for the sake of their soul’s salvation-and is yet not strong enough to deal with the evil ones, then it is now to command its subjects through bells and various alarm signals, letters, or through other summons. Subjects are obligated for the sake of the salvation of their souls to sustain and help their superiors so that the evil ones are annihilated and rooted out according to the will of God. Nevertheless, subjects should first test well the spirit of their governments, as to whether they are not moved and compelled more out of arrogance, rather than out of love of the common good and territorial peace. For that would not be to use the sword according to the order of God. However, if you recognize that the government punishes the evil only so that the righteous remain at rest and unharmed, then help, counsel, and sustain it, as often and as much as you are commanded. Thereby, you fulfill the order of God and do his work and not a human work.
However, if a government is childish or foolish, yea, perchance it is not competent at all to reign, then you may escape from it legitimately and accept another, if it is good. For on account of an evil government God has often punished an entire land. If the seeking of another cannot be done lawfully and peacefully, and not also without great damage and rebellion, then one must endure it, as the one which God has given us in his wrath, and as if he desires to chastise us on account of our sins, as those who deserve no better.
Whoever now does not want to help the government save widows, orphans, and other oppressed ones, as well as to punish vandals and tyrants, resists the order of God and will receive a judgment from him, for he acts against the mandate and order of God, who wants the righteous to be protected and the evil punished. However, if you are obedient you should truly know that you are obedient not to the government or to people but to God himself, and you have become a special servant of God just as the government itself also is nothing other than a servant of God. However, Paul testifies openly that the government has the power and authority to kill the evil when he says: “The authority does not bear the sword in vain.” If now the government did not have the authority to kill, why should the sword then hang at its side? It would then bear it in vain, which Paul cannot bear. He also explicitly adds that the authority is the servant of God. Where are now those who say a Christian cannot use the sword? For if a Christian could not be a servant of God, could not fulfill the mandate of God without sinning, then God would not be good. He would have made an order which a Christian could not fulfill without sin. That is blasphemy.”
*Any references to other websites are solely used for the specific subject at hand. We do not condone any other teachings, per se, of any referenced site including other teachings on the subject at hand.
A brief note on whom a Christian should vote for.
Since God appointed the likes of Jehu to carry out righteous orders, even though he knew Jehu continued to hold on to the idolatrous worship of King Jeroboam (2 Kings 10:29, 31; 12:26–30, should a Christian not consider voting for someone like President Trump in spite of his personal sins and unrighteous ways based on his righteous actions? Of course! Here is a list, mostly of righteous acts/laws, that President Trump and his administration have already accomplished. Not ONE of them would have been enacted by Hillary Clinton or Joe Biden. Choose wisely.
I don’t condone the Family Research Counsel, I am simply using their compiled list to make a point and may not even agree with each an every point 100% that is on the list. For example, Justice Neil Gorsuch voted a couple times I know of unrighteousely, but OVERALL, he is much better than a leftist that would vote 100% of the time in a godless manner. Again, remember God’s appointed “JEHU”, for example.
If you are disobeying Jesus, you will burn in the Lake of Fire for eternity. Please repent and get to the real Cross of Christ.