In the last post, “How Long Until We’re Convinced?” we discussed the role of laws. We also discussed the devil’s influence on them and on our world. He, the devil, is a spiritual being, just as other angels are, but he does not have omniscience, or all power. He cannot read your mind, he has limitations. He dodges the power-filled prayers of believers right and left. The more you know about him and his operation from God, the better you are at spotting when he’s messing around in your life.
But what if the Devil decides to set up a law that contradicted God’s Word. Are we as believers supposed to obey it? What if the Father of Lies, lied to 51% of the population and influenced them to vote for something loaded with Biblical contradictions. Where does a believer draw the line?
The Word vs. The World
“For the word of God [is] quick (zao=alive), and powerful (energes=effectual energy), and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and [is] a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.” Hebrews 4:12
Try to imagine a greater weapon than the word of God spoken with the love of God. It’s living and real, full of effectual energy. It sorts out our motives from our opinions, our soul and personality from God’s will or the devil’s agendas. It is a powerful idea dissimulation and priority alignment tool. Guns do not move people, ideas do. The devil knows this. He knows the power of a word fitly spoken. He knows the crushing blow of the rightly divided truth. Do you?
Let’s talk about power. Power is a big deal. There are two spiritual powers in this world, the power of Satan and the power of God. There are several Greek words for power, one of them being exusia, which means exercised power. This word is neither negative or positive, it’s like money, who ever has it determines how it’s used. For instance, when tempting Jesus Christ in the wilderness, the devil flaunted his power, exusia, exercised power in the world, over Jesus. Look what he tells him.
“And the devil, taking him up into an high mountain, shewed unto him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time. And the devil said unto him, All this power (exusia) will I give thee, and the glory of them: for that is delivered unto me; and to whomsoever I will I give it. If thou therefore wilt worship me, all shall be thine.” Luke 4:5-7
How could the devil offer that power to Jesus if he didn’t have power? How was it delivered unto him? We know from previous posts that Adam and Eve delivered it unto him. I don’t want to fixate on this, because there are plenty of past blog posts you can find if you’re interested in deeper study. What I’d like to draw your eyes to here, is; the Devil said he gives that power to whomsoever he wants. Who would he give that to? People who worship him. He invited Jesus to be among those followers. Wow. Hmmm…it begs the question if devil is the god of this world, then he must have people in this world doing his bidding. Look at this situation where Jesus addressed it with some Pharisees.
“Ye are of [your] father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it.” John 8:44
Is this to say all Pharisees are children of the devil? No. This group were his children though. They were high-ranking officials too, doing the will of their father the devil. Wow. What an infiltration!
Who are we subject to?
Now let’s look at Romans. Who is Romans addressed to?
“Among whom are ye also the called of Jesus Christ: To all that be in Rome, beloved of God, called [to be] saints (hagios, those with holy spirit, believers): Grace to you and peace from God our Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ.” Romans 1:6-7
It is addressed to the saints, which is us. It is addressed to the church of God and every gift ministry within the church. Romans is also an epistle that gives the doctrine about right believing. Romans 10:9-10 is in this and that is the verses depicting salvation. Salvation is the right way to believe according to God’s son. In chapter 13 God talks about who govern us as believers.
“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
What higher powers is God addressing here? We have to allow the context of the Word to interpret itself. Who is the book of Romans addressed to again? It’s addressed to the church of God. This “higher power” refers to the leadership of the church of God such as the apostles, prophets, pastors, evangelists, helps and governments. These are the leadership ministries in the church. What does the next 9 verses say?
“Whosoever therefore resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance of God: and they that resist shall receive to themselves damnation (judgement according to the Word). 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: 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. Wherefore [ye] must needs be subject, not only for wrath, but also for conscience sake. For for this cause pay ye tribute also: for they are God’s ministers, attending continually upon this very thing. 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. 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. Love worketh no ill to his neighbour: therefore love [is] the fulfilling of the law.” Romans 13:2-10
This is still referring to the governing bodies within the church of God. God’s ministers, God’s designated rulers. Was Paul this type of ruler? Yes. When a devil spirit influenced someone to get out of line, he confronted it. When there was a tithe, tribute, or honor due he addressed that in the body of believers. I’ve heard it said that this is the government of a country. That is not so. It is our job to walk in love. Is it loving to pay the taxes? Yes. Otherwise the government would make life a living hell for you. Is it loving to obey traffic laws, legislation and judgements passed on for the good of the people? In most cases yes. But what if a government says, you cannot own a Bible, or pray to God? Do we have to agree? Are we bound by God’s laws or are we bound by the governing bodies of the land? Are there times when a body of believers must stand for God in the government of the land? YES!!!
Can there be a proper arrangement?
Some believers think this submission is to the worldly governments. HOW COULD THAT BE LOVING? The devil is the god of this world. Jesus Christ The word “subject” in verse 1 is the Greek word hypotasso which means, loving obedience by proper arrangement and deliberate decision. Is a child of the devil, as a president or dictator of a country a proper arrangement according to God’s Word? No. Things will not be set right in the world again until God has put all of the devil’s kingdom to judgement. Right now, that is not proper arrangement at all. But can there be a proper arrangement in the Church of God? Yes. When a leader is subject to God, that is walking in love at it’s fullest.
This blog is a long one, but this is some advanced material too. God gives each believer the task of rightly dividing the word of truth and walking in love with that truth. If we believe the Word then we walk by it. Walking by the worldly standards is not walking by the Word.
“Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is He that is in you, than he that is in the world.” 1 John 4:4
God bless you today!