Copyright 1994 - 2018 Bill's Bible Basics
Authored By :
Published On :
August 11, 1997
Last Updated :
August 13, 2012
An overview of the ancient Israelites and early Judaism, and an exposé on corrupt worldly governments and politics, and our place in them as servants of Jesus Christ
Sadly, this mentality continues today in the land of the Savior's birth. Strife, war and earthly politics continues to dominate the scene. Until they accept the Prince of Peace, they shall have no peace. Until they stop depending upon their military, economical and political arm of the flesh; until they stop depending upon the government of the United States of America, God will not let them have the peace they desire. The Lord is simply waiting for them to acknowledge Him as their only horn of salvation:
"The LORD is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer; my God, my strength, in whom I will trust; my buckler, and the horn of my salvation, and my high tower."
Psalms 18:2, KJV
"Some trust in chariots, and some in horses: but we will remember the name of the LORD our God."
Psalms 20:7, KJV
"For I will not trust in my bow, neither shall my sword save me"
Psalms 44:6, KJV
"O my God, I trust in thee: let me not be ashamed, let not mine enemies triumph over me."
Psalms 25:2, KJV
The only way the Jews will ever safely dwell in the land of Israel is when they accept the Lord Jesus and trust in Him for their protection:
"Trust in the LORD, and do good; so shalt thou dwell in the land, and verily thou shalt be fed."
Psalms 37:3, KJV
The angel of the LORD encampeth round about them that fear him, and delivereth them."
Psalms 34:7, KJV
"And the LORD shall help them, and deliver them: he shall deliver them from the wicked, and save them, because they trust in him."
Psalms 37:40, KJV
"I will say of the LORD, He is my refuge and my fortress: my God; in him will I trust."
Psalms 91:2, KJV
"O Israel, trust thou in the LORD: he is their help and their shield."
Psalms 115:9, KJV
"It is better to trust in the LORD than to put confidence in man. It is better to trust in the LORD than to put confidence in princes."
Psalms 118:8-9, KJV
It might even surprise you to know that Israel's trust in her peace accord with Egypt is a farce; and someday soon the Lord is going to blow on it. Jesus prophesied this very thing when He said:
"Behold, your house is left unto you desolate: and verily I say unto you, Ye shall not see me, until the time come when ye shall say, Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord."
Luke 13:35, KJV
In the Old Testament there are many deep prophecies pertaining to the past, but also to the future. Some of these have had partial fulfillments. Their final fulfillment is yet to come. Consider some of these:
"Woe to them that go down to Egypt for help; and stay on horses, and trust in chariots, because they are many; and in horsemen, because they are very strong; but they look not unto the Holy One of Israel, neither seek the LORD!"
Isaiah 31:1, KJV
"Lo, thou trustest in the staff of this broken reed, on Egypt; whereon if a man lean, it will go into his hand, and pierce it: so is Pharaoh king of Egypt to all that trust in him."
Isaiah 36:6, KJV
All of the above verses pertain not only to Israel; they apply to ALL peoples and nations who claim to believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, especially the United States Of America. If we are truly obeying the Lord with all of our hearts, then we have absolutely nothing to fear. If we are obeying God and within His Will, whether as individuals, as a community, or as a nation, then the Lord will give us His Divine Protection without the need for military forces, just as He did in the days of ancient Israel before they went astray by choosing an earthly king to rule over them.
As I said previously, Israel of old learned quick that if they stepped out of line, God would punish them by allowing their enemies to invade and persecute them and destroy them. As long as they pleased the Lord, He gave them peace with their enemies round about. This is Biblical fact:
"Behold, a son shall be born to thee, who shall be a man of rest; and I will give him rest from all his enemies round about: for his name shall be Solomon, and I will give peace and quietness unto Israel in his days."
1 Chronicles 22:9, KJV
"When a man's ways please the LORD, he maketh even his enemies to be at peace with him."
Proverbs 16:7, KJV
If Israel's ways were pleasing to the Lord, they would not now be surrounded by their Arab enemies who, according to prophecy, will someday invade Israel and take over at least the eastern half of Jerusalem. As I explain in such articles as "Oh Israel, Why Will Ye Die?", do not doubt that war is coming to Israel; and it will occur by the very hand of God who will allow it. This will be a direct judgment of the Lord for Israel's rejection of her true Messiah and Savior. God is going to punish his wicked adulterous wife who has had two millennia to repent of her spiritual whoredoms. Please consider reading "Once Upon A Time: A True Story".
Folks can disagree with my view as much as they want, but they cannot deny what the Lord's Word says, and that is what I quote left and right. His Word is very clear on this issue of politics and military forces. The reason that countries the world over have armies today is because they do not have faith in the One True God or in His Son Jesus Christ. Neither do they have His unselfish Love burning in their hearts. They cannot trust in God for His protection because they know that they are not pleasing or obeying Him in the least. Many of them don't even believe in Him! They follow after false gods and false religions! This applies to rich selfish America and the Westernized world as well. There are those who believe that America today is the spiritual Israel, the wilderness of the Endtime. If this is so, then God is very displeased with America, because according to the Prophet Jeremiah who prophesied the destruction of Jerusalem, we are told:
"And I brought you into a plentiful country, to eat the fruit thereof and the goodness thereof; but when ye entered, ye defiled my land, and made mine heritage an abomination. The priests said not, Where is the LORD? and they that handle the law knew me not: the pastors also transgressed against me, and the prophets prophesied by Baal, and walked after things that do not profit. Wherefore I will yet plead with you, saith the LORD, and with your children's children will I plead. For pass over the isles of Chittim, and see; and send unto Kedar, and consider diligently, and see if there be such a thing. Hath a nation changed their gods, which are yet no gods? but my people have changed their glory for that which doth not profit."
Jeremiah 2:7-11, KJV
America today is just as defiled as Israel of old! Does the same fate await her despite her vast political power and long-stretching military might? Again, all of man's reasons and excuses for having his armies and his military machines and his political machines will not stand up to the scrutiny of God's Word. God wants to be the Ruler of His people. He doesn't want us to have earthly governments and rulers. That is why when Jesus returns, He will wipe them all out and set up His Own Government as is perfectly depicted in the second chapter of the Book of Daniel:
"And in the days of these kings shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed: and the kingdom shall not be left to other people, but it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand for ever."
Daniel 2:44, KJV
This is not what the human rulers of this world who serve the god of this world, want. They will not willingly give up their seats of authority. They want to continue to bow down to the prince of the power of the air! If you don't know who that is, please considering reading my article entitled "Satan: King of Tyrus, King of Empires".
Returning to our central theme regarding Jesus' so-called "political" involvement, Jesus did confront the Scribes and Pharisees on occasion, but it was usually when they attacked Him first by purposely tried to trap Him in His words. For the most part, His early activities in the Gospels centered around preaching salvation, healing the people and teaching other spiritual lessons, as well as preparing His closest Disciples for their future ministries. It wasn't until His last week of earthly life that Jesus became indignant with the money changers at the Temple in Jerusalem. It was also during that last week that He blasted the Scribes and the Pharisees for their hypocrisy in Matthew chapter twenty-three. In like manner, nowhere do we find Jesus or His Disciples directly and purposely confronting the Romans who were the true pagan military and political power of the day other than on that one occasion in the Garden.
Driven by his own understanding, Peter made the mistake of chopping off the ear of the servant of the high priest. And what did Jesus do and say regarding this incident? First He healed the ear of the servant of the high priest, and then He told Peter the following:
"Then said Jesus unto him, Put up again thy sword into his place: for all they that take the sword shall perish with the sword."
Matthew 26:52, KJV
That was one of His final messages to Peter, ordained to be the leader of the Early Church. The Lord wanted to make sure that Peter understood that ours is a spiritual warfare, and not a physical one as the Apostle Paul so elegantly showed us in Ephesians chapter six. He wanted to make sure that Peter passed on the right message to those who would follow in his footsteps. For a fuller explanation regarding this incident in the Garden of Gethsemane, please refer to the articles "Killing and the Phinehas Priesthood" as well as "Killing, Murder and Military Duty".
Other than this one recorded incident, the only times where we see Jesus or His Disciples having direct dialog with the Romans is when they are either healing them, or else giving them the message of Salvation. In most cases, this was after they had been arrested on false charges and incarcerated. Consider the many afflictions and persecutions of the early Disciples in the Book of Acts. Paul being taken to Rome and eventually being beheaded by orders of Emperor Nero was a primary example of this. But before this happened, Paul had a great opportunity to preach to the household of Caesar, so they were without excuse. The Lord gave them the chance to believe.
Besides Judas Iscariot who committed suicide following his betrayal of the Lord, the other Apostles likewise suffered at the hands of their Jewish and Roman persecutors. In Acts chapter seven we witness the martyrdom of Stephen who was stoned to death by a mob of demon-possessed Jews;
"Then they cried out with a loud voice, and stopped their ears, and ran upon him with one accord, And cast him out of the city, and stoned him: and the witnesses laid down their clothes at a young man's feet, whose name was Saul. And they stoned Stephen, calling upon God, and saying, Lord Jesus, receive my spirit. And he kneeled down, and cried with a loud voice, Lord, lay not this sin to their charge. And when he had said this, he fell asleep."
Acts 7:57-60, KJV
In Acts chapter twelve, James the brother of John is killed with a sword by King Herod, the Idumean -- or Edomite -- puppet of Roman, as we see by these verses:
"Now about that time Herod the king stretched forth his hands to vex certain of the church. And he killed James the brother of John with the sword."
Acts 12:1-2, KJV
In the case of Peter, he suffered persecution and imprisonment a number of times. Jesus Himself prophesied what manner of death he would die in the Gospel of John. According to what I have read, Peter was crucified upside-down because he felt unworthy to die in the same manner as our Saviour:
"Verily, verily, I say unto thee, When thou wast young, thou girdedst thyself, and walkedst whither thou wouldest: but when thou shalt be old, thou shalt stretch forth thy hands, and another shall gird thee, and carry thee whither thou wouldest not. This spake he, signifying by what death he should glorify God. And when he had spoken this, he saith unto him, Follow me."
John 21:18-19, KJV
In the case of the Apostle John, he lived to a ripe old age at which time he wrote the Book of Revelation while exiled on the island of Patmos in the Aegean Sea. From what I have read, they tried to boil him in a pot of hot oil, but the Lord wasn't quite through with him yet. In fact, if we take the Scriptures for exactly what they say, there is a mystery surround the end of John's life:
"Then Peter, turning about, seeth the disciple whom Jesus loved following; which also leaned on his breast at supper, and said, Lord, which is he that betrayeth thee? Peter seeing him saith to Jesus, Lord, and what shall this man do? Jesus saith unto him, If I will that he tarry till I come, what is that to thee? follow thou me. Then went this saying abroad among the brethren, that that disciple should not die: yet Jesus said not unto him, He shall not die; but, If I will that he tarry till I come, what is that to thee?"
John 21:20-23, KJV
But returning to the Crucifixion of our Lord, in the end, the Jewish religious leaders made a bigger mistake than they had made centuries before when they demanded of Samuel the Prophet that he give them a king -- that is, Saul -- to rule over them. This time they rejected their true King and Saviour. In their own sinful pride, they sold out the Prince of Peace to the Roman politicians, first when they traded Him for a thief and a murderer -- Barabbas -- and second when they pledged their allegiance to an earthly king -- Caesar -- whom they utterly despised. At Jesus's trial and execution, they are recorded as having said:
". . . His blood be on us, and on our children . . ."
Matthew 27:25, KJV
". . . If thou let this man go, thou art not Caesar's friend: whosoever maketh himself a king speaketh against Caesar . . ."
John 19:12, KJV
". . . Away with him, away with him, crucify him . . . We have no king but Caesar . . ."
John 19:15, KJV
Ironically, only forty years later, Titus -- who was the son of Emperor Vespasian, and who would become the next Caesar of Rome -- would utterly destroy Jerusalem, casting down their sacred Temple stone by stone, just as Jesus had prophesied in His Olivet Discourse that is found in the Gospel of Matthew. Consider the following verses:
"And Jesus went out, and departed from the temple: and his disciples came to him for to shew him the buildings of the temple. And Jesus said unto them, See ye not all these things? verily I say unto you, There shall not be left here one stone upon another, that shall not be thrown down."
Matthew 24:1-2, KJV
God's only true Temple is the temple of our hearts. His only true Kingdom is a spiritual one of which He is sovereign Lord and King. While the peoples of the Earth have for the most part chosen to reject Him, someday they will all know that He is truly the Lord of Lords, and King of Kings. As is clearly outlined in the Book of Daniel and the Book of Revelation, someday, hopefully soon, Jesus will return to reclaim what is rightfully His. When He does, He will destroy all of man's earthly governments and armies which are filled with corruption and deceit, and He will set up His own Government policed by His own angelic agents, we the Saints of the Most High, just as it was prophesied in Isaiah so long ago.
Based on all of these atrocities committed by the Roman political and military machine, how is it that some in the armed services today can claim that being in the military is a part of God's Will for one dedicated to preaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ? How can they possibly point to the Roman soldiers to justify their own position within the military? These Roman military men were the very ones who arrested and killed Jesus at the instigation of the Jewish Elders! They mocked Him, they scourged Him, they stuck a crown of sharp thorns into His flesh, they drove nails into His hands and feet, they pierced His side with a lance. They are the very same ones who slew Christians by the thousands in their sports coliseums! They are the murderers who crucified thousands of Christians on crosses along the Apian Way outside of Rome! Yet, as unbelievable as it may seem, we have Christians in the military today who justify what they do by pointing to these bloody Romans! Actually, they point to the life of one Roman in particular, a Roman centurion by the name of Cornelius. His story can be found in Acts chapter ten. If you would like my personal opinion on the events which transpired in Cornelius' life, please read my companion article, "The Mystery of Cornelius the Centurion".
From the scriptures and stories I have shared thus far, it should now be understood quite clearly that under normal conditions, we are not to partake of the things of this world nor become involved in their corrupt political or military systems. Only in rare instances has God purposely put some of His children in positions of authority within the governments of their day for the sake of His people, but these instances were the exceptions to the rule and not the norm. We have already discussed the story of Moses who by a decision made by his mother to save his life, ended up growing up in the courts of Pharaoh. But when the time was right, God had him flee for his life so that he could be broken and re-molded into a humble yielded Shepherd who would return to Egypt, not in his own might, but in the Power and Spirit of the Lord. And then there is the dreamer Joseph who was sold into Egyptian slavery where he likewise learned his lessons in humility, so that God could later mightily use him to save his family, and thus cause the seed of Israel to multiply. We can also add the story of Esther, who married the heathen king Ahasuerus of Persia and ended up saving her people from the murderous hand of evil Haman and his cohorts. And finally, there is Daniel, who acted as a counselor and interpreter of dreams for the heathen kings Nebuchadnezzar, Cyrus and Darius which eventually resulted in their people converting to faith in the One True God.
Yes, God has had His man or woman for the hour, but for the most part, we are to remain outside of man's political and military systems. In fact, we are at war against them. Ephesians chapter six makes it clear that we are fighting a spiritual warfare with spiritual weapons against spiritual beings which control physical men and empires. I suggest you read the whole chapter.
Consider also what the Apostle James tells us in his epistle:
"Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? Whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God."
James 4:4, KJV
Regarding being yoked with the unbelieving world, the Apostle Paul also informs us:
"Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you."
2 Corinthians 6:17, KJV
As Christians, we are in the world, but we are not part of it as previous verses have shown. How can we say we have come out of the world when we are still embroiled in their political and military affairs? How can we say we have come out of the world when we are trying to make Satan's system better by voting or by running for political office? When you become so deeply embroiled in politics to the point that you are seeking political office, I think it consumes all of your time, time which could be better spent preaching the Gospel. Yes, if you are an honest politician, you may be helping people in a physical sense by passing good laws which will help them in some way, but God is more concerned about our spiritual state. After all, some day we will leave this old model -- our body of flesh -- behind, and acquire a brand new one. As Christians, we should be more concerned about the things of the Spirit, and not our physical temporal existence here. We are meant to be ambassadors of His government, not of the worldly governments of man:
"Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ's stead, be ye reconciled to God."
2 Corinthians 5:20, KJV
How can we say we have come out of the world when we join the military forces and fight in foreign lands? When you go to another land to fight, you are not doing it for the Kingdom and Glory of God. You are doing it to spread the military, political, and economical power of your mother country. When you go killing people blowing them up, or zapping them with a laser, or poisoning them with biological weapons, it has absolutely nothing to do with winning them to the Kingdom of God. You are only one more puppet in the hands of Satan, the King of Empires who is the author of confusion, chaos, and destruction. In fact, the Book of Revelation refers to him as the Destroyer; that is, Abaddon and Apollyon in the respective Hebrew and Greek languages, as we see by this verse:
"And they had a king over them, which is the angel of the bottomless pit, whose name in the Hebrew tongue is Abaddon, but in the Greek tongue hath his name Apollyon."
Revelation 9:11, KJV
We are strangers and pilgrims on this Earth. We are just passing through on our way to a much better Country, a Nation of God's people as is made so clear in Hebrew chapter eleven. We are to work for that Country and that Government, not those of this world. We are to work for King Jesus only, as we see by the following verses:
"These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of them, and embraced them, and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth. For they that say such things declare plainly that they seek a country. And truly, if they had been mindful of that country from whence they came out, they might have had opportunity to have returned. But now they desire a better country, that is, an heavenly: wherefore God is not ashamed to be called their God: for he hath prepared for them a city."
Hebrews 11:13-16, KJV
In the thirteenth chapter of Romans, while Paul tells us that the powers that be are of God, and that we should submit to them. Nowhere does he say that we are to actually JOIN them. After all, that would contradict what he said above regarding coming out from among them:
"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. 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:"
Romans 13:1-3, KJV
Joining the military service or political party of some country would also contradict what Jesus said in John chapter fifteen about not being a part of the world. It is those who have rejected God's direct rule over their lives and who do not know how to follow His simple rules of love, who need a worldly government over them to keep them under control. But those of us who know the Lord, realize that we have a Higher Authority to answer to; and so we do our best to please Him, regardless of what man's laws might say or not say.
According to many prophecies in the Bible, in spite of what we do, the governments of man will continue to get worse until the reign of the Beast of the Book of Revelation and his False Prophet. God's Word must be fulfilled. It is not our responsibility or duty to try to prevent it. We can't anyway. Things must get worse before they can get better. Man must be allowed to fill his cup of iniquity. That is the only way he will ever learn the lesson that God has been trying to teach him for the past six thousand some years. Until man has just about destroyed the Earth and its environment, and its inhabitants through his own selfish poor decisions, he will never get the point. In short, government by man is just bad news and has been a dismal failure for six millennia now!
Self-government was just not a part of the original plan. In fact, in Genesis and in other parts of the Old Testament, there are quite a few indications that the Lord's presence and intervention in human affairs was much more direct in times past. He wasn't just governing from the heavenly realm; He was here on Earth in one form or another. Imagine Earth's history as being a full-length feature film in which some famous star makes cameo appearances throughout the movie. That is basically what the Lord did in the Old Testament. It has only been in the past few thousand years as man has drawn further and further away from the Lord, that the miraculous events have ceased to occur. God isn't the one Who has moved; we are. We have blocked Him out. By our lack of faith and our stubborn willful ways, we have put up a wall which separates us from the wonderful and the miraculous. At the same time, we are creating a dreadful vacuum of darkness which which will soon be filled by the most dreadful Beast the world will ever know. Possibly within a very few short years, the epitome of evil will be manifested in the form of a ruthless world leader, a king of a fierce countenance as described in the Book of Daniel, a man understanding dark sentences, a man who will sit in the temple of God claiming, and in fact proving, that he is "God":
"Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition; Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God. Remember ye not, that, when I was yet with you, I told you these things? And now ye know what withholdeth that he might be revealed in his time. For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now letteth will let, until he be taken out of the way. And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming: Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders, And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie:"
2 Thessalonians 2:3-11, KJV
The peoples of the Earth will have their final king, who with the aid of ten other earthly kings, will dominate the world, destroying any nation that resists his tyrannical rule. He will be the King of Tyrus, the King of Empires, in the flesh! Satan himself!
Please go to part four for the conclusion of this series.
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