The False Doctrine Exposed, The Biblical Truth Realized.
Many of us are familiar with the words that Paul wrote to the Romans in Chapter 13 concerning governing authorities. We are continually reminded that we are “subject unto the higher powers” by Churches these days is seems. The end of verse two strikes fear into our hearts.. “and they that resist shall receive to themselves damnation”. “WOW”, we think.. “I definitely don’t want damnation! Thats bad!”. So we fall in line, and do as we are told. But wait.. is the WHOLE message being explained?
My goal in this post is to show to you that this is a classic misinterpretation of an entire chapter, and thus becomes 2 verses that are used to teach a false doctrine in an attempt to pacify the people. We must remember when dealing with Scripture it’s imperative to take a look at It in context of the rest of the passage.
What most don’t realize is that in this same chapter that Paul seemingly limits civil authority, he also provides attributes as to what constitutes a Biblical “higher power”. In other words: This Chapter should not only serve as guidance for the people being governed, but for the governing body as well. If we don’t hold our governing authority accountable to the Word then we suffer the consequences. It would end up looking a lot like the Babylonian exile in the Old Testament, or like the Holocaust in the 1940s. As we all know: history has a tendency to repeat itself. Let me begin with the first few verses so that we can break down this paradigm that I believe has kept us believers silent for so many years. Lets take a look..
Romans 13:1-2 (KJV)
“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.”
Let me spend a little bit of time on these first two verses because they seem to be what’s been twisted and, again, taken out of context of the entire chapter. Paul is describing a Biblical chain of command and what it would look like. The highest governing authority would be God, and then, a government that adheres to His commands, then lastly, a people who would adhere to the governing authority that would, as cannot be forgotten, be enacting Biblical laws and following Biblical principles. Paul is basically saying that this is the type of society that will bring about love, peace and prosperity until the Second coming. He is saying later on in verse 10, “therefore love is the fulfilling of the law”. Love is the product of us learning to live like Christ. We must keep in mind the chain of command. If that chain is broken, then wouldn’t it need to be fixed? Do we obey an authority that isn’t obeying God? Ok let’s continue..
Romans 13:3-5 (KJV)
“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.”
Paul is explaining to us here what a Biblical Government system looks like. Human government has been put into place, according to verses 3 and 4, for our protection. “Rulers are not a terror to good works, but to the evil.” is a very important statement. This is describing a government that is doing what it is Biblically commanded to be doing. A governing system that has laws that are just, and are for punishment of those that do evil.
If we take a look at history we would be reminded of Hitler and Stalin and all the other corrupt governments that were evil. It’s all throughout our Bible and it’s all throughout history. People today seem to think it is inconceivable that our governing authorities would be doing evil. But where there is man there a sin nature. Where this is a sin nature there usually ends up being a door open to evil. We are reminded time and time again just as we’ll see later on in verse 11 “Awake out of sleep”. If we remain vigilant, uphold Biblical principals and keep those around us accountable for doing so, then we have nothing to worry about.
Now when this governing body steps out of line in regard to the beginning of verse 3, what would the best thing for us to do? I believe the best thing would be for the people to use the Biblical principles God gave us and remind the governing authority that its duties are the same so as to reinstate a true Romans 13 “God ordained” government. All of us, the people, and the governing authorities are all still accountable to the same biblical principals.
Romans 13:6-7 (KJV)
“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.”
Once those first 5 verses are in context the rest of the chapter makes complete sense. Verses 6-7 are describing a system in which the stipulations are met by saying “for this cause”. What cause? The one Paul was referring to in verses 3-5. Being “not a terror to good works, but to the evil”, and in verse six, “for they are God’s ministers, attending continually upon this very thing”. Back up in verse three it asks, “Wilt thou then not be afraid of the power?”, referring to type of Biblical governing body thats being described. Of course we wouldn’t! If the government body is continually upholding God’s word then we have nothing to be afraid of.
Romans 13:8-10 (KJV)
“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.”
Verses 8-10 are a reminder of the commandments of God that we and our governing body are to uphold. When we uphold these commandments we are living in accordance with God’s word and it creates a Biblical relationship through the chain of command that will be unbreakable. In verses 9-10 he says, “Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.. therefore love is the fulfilling of the law”. Biblical love, and Biblical principle is what this symbiotic relationship must have for us to live peacefully, according to Paul, but don’t forget that our governing authority should be striving to be the epitome of what he is describing in verses 3-4.. ”For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to the evil”.
This is a very important concept to understand because we are warned throughout the Bible of what most refer to as a “one world government”. A Topic that I am going to tackle for you soon. Continuing in Romans..
Romans 13:11-14 (KJV)
“And that, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep: for now is our salvation nearer than when we believed. The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armour of light. Let us walk honestly, as in the day; not in rioting and drunkenness, not in chambering and wantonness, not in strife and envying. But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof.”
The end of the chapter is the point that Paul is trying to get to. He is trying to tell us to remain vigilant. “Awake out of sleep” he urges us! Paul reminds us again, “The night is far spent, the day is at hand”! He reminds us to “make not provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof.” These things are not of God, and only serve to distract us of how to live in peace and love with those around us. Biblical foundation is required for love, peace and prosperity because as verse ten stated, “Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. Love worketh no ill to his neighbour: therefore love is the fulfilling of the law.”
We are vital in the process of keeping the chain of command from falling apart. This is God’s checks and balances system in effect. Paul is coming full circle to tell us that those who don’t adhere to the commandments of God could allow the Biblical chain of command to break.
Ask yourself this.. Has our chain of command been broken? If so we must remember that the devil wants to take all of us down with him, and its more important than ever to remain vigilant. Never forget that one day there will be a one world government John warns us of in the book of Revelation and in will not be of God.
Now we have a Biblically sound understanding of what governing authorities look like. We must be vigilant and truthful and understand that political dissent is not always the product of a sinful people, as our main stream media and governing body are trying to make it look. There is such a time when political dissent is considered necessary. Did Paul violate God’s principle of submission to authority when he refused to obey those who demanded that he abandon his missionary work? In-fact, Paul spent almost as much time in jail as he did out of jail. What about Jesus when he went into the temple and kicked out the money changers? Was He obeying the authorities in that matter? In Matthew 21:12 Jesus’ exact words were, “My house shall be called the house of prayer; but ye have made it a den of thieves”. We have a moral obligation to keep those in authority in check, whether they are in government or in Church.
1 Peter 5:8 (KJV)
“Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:”
Matthew 24:24 (KJV)
“For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect.”
Remember, again, verse 3 in this chapter stated: “For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to the evil.” Can we say that about our governing body? If not.. What’s next? Either the worlds greatest Protestant Reformation style awakening by believers, demanding Biblical truth, honesty and integrity, or we run the risk of allowing a worldly, satanic governmental body to take the reins. This applies to any nation that has it’s own governing body, not those of us in America. We must always remember the Bible’s warnings of a global government, and later on we’ll see why. Christ warned us of things to come, as well as did his disciples, and for that matter let us not forget the prophecies of the Old Testament. A government that is in-fact a “terror to good works” and not to the evil is in the pipeline. It has been since the days of creation and will take it’s final form when the events of Revelation begin to take shape. Remind your pastors of this truth. Warn your loved ones so that they don’t fall victim to the false interpretation of this chapter. I will be starting a series in the near future on the book of Revelation so that we can see why Paul gave the people AND the governing authorities this message in Romans 13.
Please leave your thoughts and or comments below!
-In Christ Jesus, Kyle Schumacher