Thursday, November 8, 2012

Romans 13...Inquiring Minds Want to Know

Romans 13.  It's the "submission to government" chapter, quite famous as well as quite misconstrued and taken out of context.

I think a lot of people have been wondering about this topic lately.  A family friend of ours said to me a couple months ago that he saw something on television where a man quoted a verse from Romans 13 to give Christians the notion that they should always submit to the current occupying governing authority in their land.  My friend wanted to know whether the bible really taught that, because he questions a lot of what the government does and says we should do.

Then a dear sister in Christ asked me yesterday about Romans 13, because a friend of hers was struggling with confusion over the matter.  Must we submit to the governing authority no matter what?

Rather than isolate a verse or two from one chapter in the bible, let's do three different things:

1. Examine scripture's teaching as a whole.

2. Look at real examples in the scriptures of Godly people's dealings with the governing authorities.

3. Pray and meditate on this subject to make sure that we're both using good logic and being led by the Spirit of God.

The physical nation of Israel was to be an example nation to the rest of the world.  They were ONE NATION UNDER GOD.  They were FREE.  They were given a written law made up of commandments, statutes, ordinances, and judgments.  They had a priesthood, and there was supposed to be elders as judges. But the nation wanted a man king like the other nations had.  The Eternal viewed this as evil, because in asking for a man king to reign over them, they rejected His reign.  You can turn in your bible to I Samuel 12:17-24 and read that it was evil that they did that, but they should still "Only fear the Eternal and serve him in truth with all your heart..." (vs. 24a).  To get the background of Israel wanting a man king, you can turn back to chapter 8 and read.

All throughout the scriptures you will find that man should obey God.  If man's government conflicts with God's, then man should disobey man.  Let's look at some biblical examples real quickly.  On your own you can study it more in depth by reading the references I give.  These examples are not all inclusive, but this is a good list I have compiled for you:

*The Hebrew midwives disobeying the Egyptian pharaoh and deceiving him to protect the lives of the male infants.  Make note that the sixth commandment ranks above the ninth (Ex. 1:17-19).

*Rahab the harlot hiding the Israelite spies and lying to her government officials, because she believed God (Joshua ch. 2).

*Elijah fleeing from Jezebel (certainly not submitting or handing himself over to the authorities) after killing the prophets of Baal (I Kings 19:1-4).

*David avoiding death by Saul (I Sam. chs. 19-24).

*Esther entering the king's court without being called, which was illegal and could end up reaping the death penalty, to risk her life to save her people (Esther 4:10-11).

*Shadrach and friends disobeying Babylon's law to bow to the image (Dan. 3:8-18).

*Daniel praying to the Eternal God, despite the new Persian law demanding that all prayers go only to King Darius (Dan. 6:11-13).

*Our Lord Salvation calling Herod a fox when told Herod wanted to kill him (Luke 13:31-32) and many recorded instances of disobeying Pharasaic man-made laws, sprinkled throughout the gospel narratives.

*After his arrest, the Lord answered the high priest's question sarcastically and received a slap for it (John 18:19-23).

*The apostles disobeyed the mandate given to them to not spread the Good News, saying we should OBEY GOD RATHER THAN MAN (Acts 5:27-29).

*After his arrest Paul spoke before the high priest and was slapped, and afterward he cursed him and then spoke sarcastically to those who objected (Acts 23:1-5; see also Acts 21:27-28 to see what got him in trouble). 

The previous examples I laid out in order as the books go in a KJV bible, so it should be easy to look up the references, read the context, and be able to pray and meditate on them.  Now let's look at Romans 13 itself:

The first verse is "Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers [governing authorities].  For there is no power [authority] but of God:  the powers that be are ordained [appointed by] God."

At this point, you can go and review Daniel 2:44.

Continuing on to verse 2, it says that whoever resists the authority resists God and therefore shall receive damnation.  So if one stops at these two verses and do not look at the rest of the bible, like the scriptures saying that we should obey God rather than man, that we should only fear the Eternal and obey Him, and all the examples of Godly people resisting the governing authorities, we could falsely teach that we should not resist ANY government's authority for ANY reason.  But let's continue on.

Verse 3:  "For rulers are NOT A TERROR TO GOOD WORKS, BUT TO THE EVIL..." and " that which is good, and you shall receive praise [from the governing authority]."

Verse 4 says that the governing authority is the minister of God to thee for good.

STOP!  Let's meditate on what we've read so far.  Was the Egyptian pharaoh ministering to the Israelites for their good?  Was the Babylonian king who wanted to throw Shadrach and friends into the fire for not bowing down to the image (which breaks the second commandment of Eternal) ministering on behalf of God for their good?  Were the Jewish leaders ministering on God's behalf for the good of Salvation (Jesus/Yeshua) and of Paul?  Was Hitler a minister of God for the good of the people?  Is the United States government serving the people on God's behalf by starting wars, allowing abortion, allowing multiple divorces for any reason, allowing homosexual marriage and homosexual adoption, pushing harmful synthetic drugs and requiring toxic vaccinations while outlawing good God-made drugs, approving GM foods and unhealthful meats like pork and lobster and shrimp, attacking organic foods, etc.?

Is the U.S. or any other government on this earth God's servant for our good?  WELL, to a point, yes.  When someone is murdering people or robbing others or raping women or doing some other evil, and the government punishes that person, then YES, THAT GOVERNMENT IS SERVING GOD'S PURPOSE FOR A GOVERNING AUTHORITY.

Skip down to verse 10:  Love works no ill to his neighbor, therefore love is the fulfilling of the law.

This is worth repeating:  LOVE is the fulfilling of the law.  LOVE.  LOVE.  LOVE.  Is something loving?  Do not resist it.  It's for our good.  It serves God's purpose, and we should feel no fear unless we're doing something wrong (verse 3).  If it's not loving and contradicts God's law, THEN IT'S NOT FOR OUR GOOD, AND IT'S TO BE RESISTED.

This is important to thoroughly understand, because a TIME OF GREAT DECEPTION IS COMING.  It will be the time when the last resurrection of the "Holy Roman Empire" reigns over the western world.  Most people think of Antichrist to be secular in nature, but that is what's most deceptive.  It will be a FALSE CHRISTIAN system.  Those who obey in thought and deed (symbolized in bible by forehead and hand) the false system will be resisting God.  Those who obey in thought and deed God's Ten Commandments will be resisting the false system.  For the latter group there will be two options:  FLEE to the wild or be a martyr.

There's the true Church pictured in Revelation 12 and the false church pictured in Rev. 17 and 18.  You NEED to know the difference.  You NEED to know what's coming.  You NEED to be STUDYING (not just reading) the bible.  You NEED to be paying attention to world events.  I have an article on the "mark of the beast" on my website.  It can be found here:

I also recommend my book (you don't have to buy it but can find it in ebook format free of charge on my website) God's Law of Love, the Perfect Law of Liberty: Jehovah's Ten Commandments Still Apply Today and also Keith Hunt's book The Biblical Prophets for Today.  You can find his book in website article form on his website under the prophets section.  Both books are available in hard copy on

For what is coming, the true Christian MUST NOT submit to the governing authority, because to do so will be to resist the Governing Authority.  It will be a choice as to WHICH governing authority to which you wish to submit:  God's or man's.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Choosing an Evil

Tomorrow many of my fellow United States citizens will go to the polls to cast their votes in the quadrennial presidential election.  I will not be among them.  I voted in one presidential election, back in the year 2000, which was prior to my true conversion.  Toward the end of a time I had been drifting and getting caught up in a lot of the wrong ideas (due to lack of reading the Word and praying as I should) I voted in a primary election, February of 2008, for Congressman Ron Paul.  He's certainly vastly different than the rest of them, but he's still not representing God's government.  Besides that time I have not voted for anyone, for anything, during my time being a citizen of God's spiritual nation, nor do I plan to ever do so again.

So why not, you may ask.  Do I not think it's important to try to vote in the "lesser evil?"  No, I don't. I don't think it's important to vote for any evil.  Admitting both sides are evil should be enough.  End of discussion.  If you admit that both sides are evil, how do you then determine which is less evil, and how do you even know that?  I think a lot of the time those who think they're voting for the lesser evil are voting for the more evil.  Only God knows, really.

Concerning the two main presidential candidates (since most of my fellow U.S. citizens continue to be so foolish as to ignore anyone but the two main guys), both support different evils.  Some of the evils they both support.  And besides what they openly say they support or oppose, how do you know they're not just lying?

Obama supports human fetus murder.  Romney says he's against that, but he's a big hypocrite when he says he's pro-life (as opposed to anti-abortion), because he's the bigger supporter of war between the two.  More innocent people are murdered and otherwise harmed in war than any evil people they claim they're after.  And all the so-called Christian right-wing extremists who tune into the Catholic-owned Fox News base their vote on two main issues--abortion and homosexuality.  Whichever candidate is against those two things (especially the former) is their pick.  Ironically, the right-wingers are the pro-war side.  I guess it's fine for countless Arab in-utero babies to prematurely abort or be born terribly deformed due to all the chemical warfare to which they and their mothers are exposed.  I guess it's okay to them that some pregnant mothers and children of all ages are killed by U.S. forces.  Or maybe they're just too brainwashed and sadly ignorant to even consider that these things happen, because the news they watch doesn't bother telling them this happens, and they live in la-la land.

These same people don't bother to get on the Internet and look into these things.  They don't bother to sit and simply meditate on what must happen over there in the Middle East.  They also apparently don't bother to read what the real Christ taught about war.  True Christians do not engage in war, they do not support war, and they do not vote in the elections in the governments of men.

This is what God's servant Samuel said to the people of Israel when they desired a man to rule over them (taken from KJV):

12And when ye saw that Nahash the king of the children of Ammon came against you, ye said unto me, Nay; but a king shall reign over us: when the LORD your God was your king. 13Now therefore behold the king whom ye have chosen, and whom ye have desired! and, behold, the LORD hath set a king over you. 14If ye will fear the LORD, and serve him, and obey his voice, and not rebel against the commandment of the LORD, then shall both ye and also the king that reigneth over you continue following the LORD your God:15But if ye will not obey the voice of the LORD, but rebel against the commandment of the LORD, then shall the hand of the LORD be against you, as it was against your fathers.16Now therefore stand and see this great thing, which the LORD will do before your eyes.17Is it not wheat harvest to day? I will call unto the LORD, and he shall send thunder and rain; that ye may perceive and see that your wickedness is great, which ye have done in the sight of the LORD, in asking you a king18So Samuel called unto the LORD; and the LORD sent thunder and rain that day: and all the people greatly feared the LORD and Samuel (I Sam. 12:12-18, bold emphasis mine).
Now the scriptures spell out the reasons why the Eternal says it's evil to ask for a king (or president or any other name for a leader).  You can read it all for yourself, all the details about being taxed heavily and having your children go to war, etc.  Sound familiar?
19And all the people said unto Samuel, Pray for thy servants unto the LORD thy God, that we die not: for we have added unto all our sins this evil, to ask us a king.

Now pay attention carefully to what Samuel said to the people after this:

20And Samuel said unto the people, Fear not: ye have done all this wickedness: yet turn not aside from following the LORD, but serve the LORD with all your heart; 21And turn ye not aside: forthen should ye go after vain things, which cannot profit nor deliver; for they are vain. 22For the LORD will not forsake his people for his great name's sake: because it hath pleased the LORD to make you his people. 23Moreover as for me, God forbid that I should sin against the LORD in ceasing to pray for you: but I will teach you the good and the right way: 24Only fear the LORD, and serve him in truth with all your heart: for consider how great things he hath done for you. 25But if ye shall still do wickedly, ye shall be consumed, both ye and your king.

Only reverently obey the Eternal.  He's our Father, and we are to obey him as did Father's Glory Firstborn, our Lord Salvation, did so.  Did Salvation (Jesus/Yeshua) get into Roman politics or even Jewish politics when he tabernacled among us in the flesh?  He clearly did not.  The Jews of his day (and still to this day) thought he was coming to establish God's Kingdom on the earth (and he will, but that is not what he came to accomplish during his first coming).  The religious and political leaders of his day thought he and his supporters were going to rebel against the Roman government.  The Lord made clear, though, that his kingdom was not of this world (John 18:36), and if it was then his servants would fight (which definitely puts an end to any notion that Christians should engage in warfare).

The Church, made up of a spiritual priesthood, the begotten children of God--destined to be born as spirit-bodied Sons of God at the beginning of the next age, upon Christ's return--is a spiritual nation that has no physical national boundaries on this earth.  We are a people scattered all over the earth, and we live as secondary citizens in various man-ruled governments.  To participate in these unGodly governments (there is no government on this planet that truly teaches a nation under God to abide only by the Ten Commandments with Christ as the Judge) is treason against the Government of God, because you are working against the principles of that spiritual nation.  If you CHOOSE (vote) anyone to rule over you but Christ, you are rejecting his rule and rather choosing the other.  We ARE God's government.  We are to represent it.  We are not representing the coming Government of God if we are choosing the flaw-filled men and U.S. government principles to have rule over us.  We are an EXAMPLE nation, a holy nation.

We are to pray God's Kingdom come and for Father's will to be done.  We can't in good conscience do that while we are seeking for the world to become Godly by the hands of man.  It's NOT going to happen.  Why should we who are spiritual be choosing the unspiritual to rule over us?  How insane is  that?  Stop a few minutes and seriously meditate on this.

There is much scripture on this subject, and if you do not yet understand the truth about God's government and how his elect are going to become Sons of God  and reign over mankind to show them the way of Peace, then you should open your bible and get to work studying it now.  May the Spirit of Truth guide you and open your eyes to His awesome way.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Answers to Jessica's ("Raggthyme") Questions

Jessica aka Raggthyme posed some questions in the comments section of my post entitled New Covenant Does Not Abolish Law But Does Abolish Old Covenant.  I could not post my answers in the comment section, unless I were to make comment after comment after comment.  I posted a reply to get an email address, but I have not heard anything in these last months, so I have decided to share the answers here in a blog post.  Perhaps it will also be of help to others.  I will quote Jessica's questions here, and then I will post my answers after each.

Thank you Tara. I read your article on the Paul rejectors, it was full of info and very interesting. These folks I've come across who reject Paul do so (it seems) because they believe Jesus, being the word of God made flesh, was actually the Torah in flesh. I will write out some of the things I've read and then post what I am struggling with and what I disagree with.
But not as the carnal “old” covenant based on letter.

1.They say that He commanded we follow Him, that He did not come to abolish the law but to live it perfectly. And by giving us His Spirit, we are able to walk as He did. And when we sin, He is the propitiation for our sins, being that he died and rose again.
True, except he did it truthfully, from the heart, not limited to some letter [of the law] to simply avoid penalty.

2.They mention John in his first epistle a lot, who says that if we say we abide in Him we ought to walk just as He walked. This, in their estimation, means that we obey all the commandments of God the way Jesus did.
True again.  All ten commandments and all that they encompass.

3.That Jesus was angry with the leaders because they didn't keep the Torah as God intended, but they added all the commandments of men to weigh people down and keep them from entering the kingdom, not having a heart for God but for themselves. Jesus came to draw men to Himself, the Torah (teaching, instruction) in flesh to fulfill it from the heart.
True.  Men did add and add (just as our own leaders in the U.S. do), taking away liberty.  At the same time, they were corrupt at heart and didn’t keep commands where they count, themselves (again, just as our own leaders).

4.They say in Rev. 2:2 Jesus is referring to a trial of Paul at Ephesus, where they tested him and found him (and others) to be false apostles. They say there are only 12 Apostles which Jesus Himself commissioned to go into all the world, to all nations (Jew and Gentile), and Peter says that by His mouth the Gentiles should hear...
 This is false assumption regarding Rev. 2:2, and they are foolish to think apostles would stop with the first twelve.  They died just like all other men.  They are not here today to do the work of an apostle.

5.They also say that Jesus, condemning the eating of meat offered to idols in Rev. was referencing Paul, a type of Balaam, since Paul said an idol is nothing, suggesting that the conscience of a man supersedes the Law of Moses, causing the children of God to sin.
Jesus said himself that some things were allowed under Moses because of carnality.  Furthermore, a lot of physical/carnal ordinances applied (penile circumcision, tassels, etc.)  Idols truly are nothing, and how are we to know whether someone sacrificed meat to idols and why bother asking whether someone did, because we know they are indeed nothing and are not going to truly defile the  meat, as long as the meat was good to begin with--not an animal not intended for food (like pig or dog) and free from disease and/or loads of hormones and antibiotics.

6.They bring up the fact that Jesus only wrote to the 7 churches in Asia because they were the only churches He established and rebuked in love. 
Those were true physical church groups, but there is a bigger message there, likely representing ages of the Church and the dominating characteristics, all of which serve as a warning to each of us as individuals, too.

7.They say Paul admits all in Asia had forsaken him and that means they didn't receive his doctrines. Jesus commends the church in Ephesus for standing firm in the faith, testing those who say they are apostles and are not.
Paul’s doctrines were the same as the others and the same as Christ’s, so what was said to Ephesus has nothing to do with Paul.  Those in Asia simply rejected truth.  People rejected the truth when received by other apostles as well.

8.They say James was written for a trial of Paul, specifically correcting the doctrine of justification by faith alone, saying Abraham was not justified by faith alone, but by doing what God commanded, thus his faith was made perfect.
There is no contradiction between what Paul and James wrote, and those that teach such obviously ignore all of Paul’s words.  He taught very clearly that one must keep the law as defined by the ten commandments (in their spiritual intent, of course, just as Jesus magnified examples for us, recorded in Matt. 5).  We are saved by grace through faith, not by works, but if we are not abiding by the commands and we have no works, then we don’t have true faith.  If we believe something, truly have faith in something, then we do that thing.  If my son has faith in me, then when I tell him not to walk into the road by himself, then he will work obedience.  Those who do not have works to back their faith do not have true faith and do not have grace, either.

9. They say Jesus told His 12 Apostles "freely you have received, freely give" whereas Paul taught that the Scripture about not muzzling an ox was written for men and that he should be allowed to reap their material benefits.
Paul freely gave and worked his own trade, but he was correct that some of our tithe money can go to those who are devoting most of their time evangelizing.  Think of how difficult it must have been for Paul with all his travels, need of food, etc., and all the time he put into teaching, leaving little time to do his regular work to support him.  We--the member of the spiritual Church Body--make up the new covenant priesthood.

10. They say that Jesus warned that if any man says He returned, believe him not. And Paul was given a whole lot of instruction from this Jesus he met on the road to Damascus that added to what Christ taught His Apostles.
He never did return bodily to the earth.  John also was revealed things and heard Christ speak (the Revelation).  Wonder how they neglect to remember this.  In neither case did Jesus return bodily or ever contradict any previous teachings.

11.They say all the factions of Christianity come from Paul and his letters, not from the teaching of Jesus Himself. That there is one flock and one Shepherd, there are not supposed to be shepherds/pastors or teachers in the congregations of the Lord's people. This has led to much error. 
Paul taught the very same thing in his first letter to Corinth.  Peter also warned about people twisting Paul.  Paul is not liable for people twisting him and making a religion(s) based on their misinterpretations of his teachings any more than Mary is liable for people worshiping her as the “Mother of God” and “Queen of Heaven.”

I would say first, I myself question Paul because of some of the things listed above. I am asking God for wisdom, which I believe He gives liberally to those who seek to know the truth and not follow the ways of any man. I'm asking that He root out all error from my heart and show me what is true.

So if you don't mind, I will start with my struggle with #11. I have always questioned the countless number of denominations that all name the name of Christ, but hold to so many different doctrines. Jesus said that a kingdom divided against itself cannot stand. All these teachers teach something different because they all interpret the Bible differently, especially Paul's writings. This divides. If we would have followed Jesus teaching, no one would be called "teacher" or "leader" save Jesus alone and all brethren would heed His words spoken in the gospels. He has the words of eternal life. These are recorded in the 4 gospels and I believe the words that came out of His mouth are our Father's words and are fully sufficient for knowing Him in truth. John even says that the Son has come and has given us an understanding, that we may know Him who is true. The word was made flesh and dwelt among them. This is that Prophet to whom Moses testifies, saying that God would command Him what to say and all should heed His words. My sheep hear MY voice... amen?

Now Paul comes along, with this vision of Jesus, never having met Jesus in the flesh. He just sees this bright light who proceeds to give him much doctrine in revelations etc. I am not at all saying this isn't from God, but I want to test ALL things. Shouldn't we test every vision and revelation? Even Paul says, let God be true and every man a liar. So my question is this.. John says that Jesus Christ (Eternal Life, the Word of the Father) has come IN THE FLESH, and by this we can know the spirit of truth and the spirit of error. I believe this means that every word which proceeded from Jesus own mouth came of the Father, that we may live thereby. This is the Spirit of truth. Jude says they were to contend for the faith which was ONCE FOR ALL delivered to the saints. Was there really a need for a second appearing of Christ (not in flesh) to teach much doctrine and mysteries never taught to the disciples? Maybe so, but I still want to make sure I'm hearing His voice alone. Jesus tells His own that the Holy Spirit would lead them into all truth and would bring to their remembrance all that He taught them. If Paul met Christ on that road and repented and believed, wouldn't you think he would have gone to the twelve to receive Jesus doctrine? He even prayed "I pray not for these alone (his disciples), but for all who would believe in me through THEIR words."

I have to say it is interesting that Paul refers to these revelations he had, and that John also had a Revelation and wrote it down for the 7 churches. The difference though is that John said that it was a revelation of Jesus Christ, which "God gave him to show his servants" and he sent and signified it by his angel to John. So that by the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established. Whereas Paul, all alone, heard this voice and received instruction privately, then taught this to the churches. I don't understand why the Lord wouldn't have revealed Himself like He did with John, since He Himself said that He comes in His Father's name, by His authority. Not speaking on His own authority or by His own name. Some say the Jesus who was revealed to Paul spoke by his own authority, not in His Father's name. I won't go so far as to call this one an "angel of light" as they do, but I still question and want to test this against Jesus own words. He says He goes away and sends the Spirit to lead them into all truth. 
Concerning visions, you’re forgetting that the Lord told Ananias in a vision that Saul (who became Paul) would come and that he should baptize him.  Peter also had a vision of animals, and the Lord spoke to him in that, revealing that he should not consider gentiles as unclean.

While Paul gives a TON of instruction to his churches, teaching so much doctrine on practical living and mysteries and such, John writes in his first epistle to the church with such simplicity, that they needed NO MAN to teach them because the anointing they have from God teaches them, His word abiding in them. Jesus said the words He spoke to them while He walked on the earth were "spirit" and "life." John says that the Word is that Eternal Life which was with the Father and was made manifest to those who saw and touched and walked with Him. That they were actually the Father's words, commanded (as Moses said in Deut) by God to be spoken to the people so they would heed them, (every word) and live by them.

I myself do not believe the these folks who say Jesus commanded us to follow the Torah. I believe He commanded us to follow Him. That He alone is the Good Shepherd and the Way to life. I believe that He fulfilled the Law and the Prophets when He spoke God's words to us and finished the works of His Father. I believe that Christ Himself is our Law. If we abide in His teaching, found in the gospel accounts, believing and obeying all that He taught, we will ourselves fulfill the requirements of the Law. And when we fail, He is the propitiation for our sins. The Spirit is given to us to do all of this, not by our own strength, or by the flesh, but by the Spirit of God we walk in obedience to Him and know Him. And this is eternal life.

At least that's my understanding of things so far. I am always open for God to help me see where I am in error. I don't know what to believe about Paul, but I don't think one needs to read his writings to understand that Jesus brought about a New Covenant. He said that the Law and the Prophets were until John. He is the New Covenant. So I figure if I just spend my time reading the gospels for awhile, and letting that soak in really deep, I think all the other things will fall into their rightful place. Thanks for letting me share with you, Tara. I hope to hear what you feel about these things I've mentioned.
Well, Jesus himself said before he left to “teach” all nations, baptizing them... Some have the gift of teaching, while others have different gifts.  Many teachers even can learn one from another.  BUT, everyone with God’s Spirit conception has the ability to search the scriptures to make sure the teachings are correct and can also be led in right or wrong by the Spirit.  So there is no contradiction.  We can be led by the Spirit, but not all have a teaching gift, which is a very useful tool to help other members in the body grow.