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Government: A Rejection of God.
What is government?
Is government a building, a symbol or an idea?
Government is none of these things. People must build the buildings for government, come up with designs for a flag or crest that represents its government, and must first have imagined government to do those things in the first place.
Quite simply, government is the vain imaginations of humankind, in an attempt to force the hand of fate. In our vanity, we have imagined that government is a living thing, but for all intents and purposes it is a non-thing. It exists only in our imaginations as to its purpose or existence. It is nothing more than a method of control for the few, over the many.
Much like guns not being able to kill anyone of their own volition, pencils misspelling words, or spoons making people overweight... Government can do absolutely nothing without the consent of the people, in whose minds the government lives in.
Therefore, the people who represent government, is in fact the embodiment of said government. The people are the government, whether they are the monarch, president, tax collector, soldier, sailor, lowly peasant or citizen voter. The participants are the government.
Part 1 - A short bible study.
While it is not necessary to find the origins of government in history itself, it is necessary to see what God has to say about government, if we are going to talk about this from a biblical perspective. Starting in 1st Samuel, chapter 8 --
1 And it came to pass, when Samuel was old, that he made his sons judges over Israel.
2 Now the name of his firstborn was Joel; and the name of his second, Abiah: they were judges in Beersheba.
3 And his sons walked not in his ways, but turned aside after lucre, and took bribes, and perverted judgment.
While Samuel (a prophet of God) was righteous, his sons were not. Fairly straight-forward. But the people cried out for a king to deliver them, instead of asking God for help:
4 Then all the elders of Israel gathered themselves together, and came to Samuel unto Ramah,
5 And said unto him, Behold, thou art old, and thy sons walk not in thy ways: now make us a king to judge us like all the nations.
6 But the thing displeased Samuel, when they said, Give us a king to judge us. And Samuel prayed unto the Lord.
Samuel knew where this would lead. Even though his sons were being evil, what would happen next would echo throughout history, but God allowed it to fulfill His purpose. The organizations of government would be used in prophecy, such as in Nebuchadnezzar's dream.
7 And the Lord said unto Samuel, Hearken unto the voice of the people in all that they say unto thee: for they have not rejected thee, but they have rejected me, that I should not reign over them.
8 According to all the works which they have done since the day that I brought them up out of Egypt even unto this day, wherewith they have forsaken me, and served other gods, so do they also unto thee.
9 Now therefore hearken unto their voice: howbeit yet protest solemnly unto them, and shew them the manner of the king that shall reign over them.
God sends a clear message to His people through Samuel: You are rejecting God when you choose earthly government over God's divine rule. In the years leading up to this point, God raised up the judges to free Israel of persecution from enemies within or otherwise. What need did they have of an earthly king, other than for the mere appearance of just having a king? They wanted to be like the surrounding nations, forgetting that God could solve their problems if they just did things His way. That is why God told Samuel to "protest solemnly" to the people.
10 And Samuel told all the words of the Lord unto the people that asked of him a king.
... (Lists various duties and such from verses 11 to 16).
17 He will take the tenth of your sheep: and ye shall be his servants.
A tenth, just like the priesthood.
18 And ye shall cry out in that day because of your king which ye shall have chosen you; and the Lord will not hear you in that day.
Because they wanted a king to rule over them, God proclaimed right here what would happen in the future should they choose to go through with this. In rejecting God, the "health" of Israel would almost entirely be linked to the spiritual health of its kings. God is essentially saying in verse 18, "Let your king save you!"
The rest of Samuel 8 is just a rehash of all this, to show how hard of hearing the people were. They didn't listen to God, and suffered the consequences.
Captivity of Israel into Babylon
Part 2 - Defying government?
Of course, as the kings of Israel fell for sin after sin, the state of Israel also worsened. But as long as the individuals amongst the many were faithful to God, He would save them. We serve a mighty and powerful God, able to deliver us from anything as long as we do things His way. God may appoint the powers that be over us, but that doesn't mean the powers appointed over us are always going to be serving the God who appointed them. Defying these powers can only be done God's way, or else we suffer a horrible fate.
In the book of Daniel chapter 3, we see that if we disobey government while obeying God, we will be saved. The Babylonian king, Nebuchadnezzar, made a proclamation that whenever the music of the court was played, people would have to bow down and worship the golden image of the king. If anyone refused, they were to be killed. Three men refused to bow to the decree of the king, because they knew what the first of the Ten Commandments meant. It's the first commandment, for a reason!
These three men, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, explained to the king that they could not bow down to the image of the king because of their faith and trust in God. They told Nebuchadnezzar that they would not worship his idols, even if it meant death, but trusted that God would deliver them from death. Nebuchadnezzar sentenced these men to die by fire in a furnace, and after having them bound hand and foot had them tossed in. Consequently, the fire of the furnace was so hot, that it killed the people who threw the three into the furnace.
Lo and behold, God did save them and it had a profound effect upon Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon. Three men went into the furnace, and four were seen in it! But unless our faith and righteousness exceeds that of those three souls, I doubt any of us would survive even something like that.
The first "god incarnate" of pagan Rome: Julius Caesar
Part 3 - What did Jesus have to say about government?
While teaching in the synagogue one day, some very crafty people tried to catch Jesus in His own words. They tried to tempt Jesus to say something that God would never say, seeing as how every time Jesus was teaching something, He was demonstrating to the people that He was (in fact) God in the flesh. This is the reason the Sanhedrin court eventually tried Him on charges of blasphemy. They could find no fault with Him, other than He was going around telling people that He was God.
So they asked Jesus if it was lawful to give tribute to Caesar. Jesus asked them to show Him a coin, and asked them who's image was on the coin.
"Caesar's" was the reply.
Jesus then said, "Render therefore unto Caesar the things which be Caesar's, and unto God the things which be God's."
You can find this story in Luke, chapter 20.
In subsequent books in the bible, we see the apostles submitting themselves to the powers that be, just as Jesus did. The apostles were jailed, beaten, and even killed for their testimony of Jesus. Never did they once fight back against the powers appointed over them, but submitted to even death of the flesh in service to God. Truly, they followed the example of Jesus Christ. But why?
"For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places." - Ephesians chapter 6, verse 12.
No human is our enemy, and if we trust God, His works will be made manifest through us, and His words will pour out of our mouths. It may mean a physical death, but...
Government in today's world.
Though times have changed, people have not. We still do all things contrary to what God commands us, and voting is no different. Never once did Jesus advocate any worldly government. Not in the history of the entire world, has any earthly government saved a single soul. No law that has been handed down by man, has stopped a single criminal from doing evil things. This is still the same planet, and we're still the same sinful humans of ancient times.
If we can't even obey God's laws, what makes us think anyone is going to obey laws that mere humans write?
All 613 laws of the Mosaic Law did nothing but place a burden upon us, and we now have laws for everything. There is absolutely no point in having all these laws, if all we do is make criminals of ourselves in doing so. What the Pharisees did with religious law, we now do with secular law. Nothing has changed!
Why do we get so riled up over something as silly as politics, to the point of violence?
It doesn't matter what political party you adhere to, they're all just trying to get your vote. Candidates tell you what you want to hear, in order to divide you up and conquer your minds. They make these divisions in order to radicalize us to the point of violence. Never in the history of the United States have people been so polarized, since the American Civil War...
How is voting for the lesser of two evils, going to save us from our situation?
The way I see it, voting for the "lesser of two evils"... Is still voting for evil. Voting is not a required function, and so I do not vote. 1st Samuel chapter 8, verse 18 rings true in my ears. I will not cry out to God for deliverance of the "king" I have (or haven't) chosen. I merely submit to the powers appointed over me, pray to God that He is with me, and that I say and do things according to His will.
Why are we so willing to spend so much time, effort and money on campaigning for this person or that person, when we could be doing the things that Jesus commanded us to do?
A whole industry is dedicated to politics. People make a lot of money just commenting on it. If we spent half as much time and money on politics, as we did on caring for the needy and spreading the gospel, actually doing what Jesus told us to do... We wouldn't need to place our hope in a single person with a vote, to change the world.
Is voting merely just a false sense of accomplishment?
The pride that patriotism affords us, is quickly shattered the moment things do not go according to plan. We strive in error against God by trying to do things our way, instead of doing things the way God told us to. Empires rise and fall, and no government of this world will EVER save us from God's righteous judgment. The end-times prophecy in the book of Revelation does not paint a pretty picture, and it isn't over yet. Sin and death still reigns supreme in the world of flesh and blood.
Don't fall for the illusion of this madness we call politics. It is a farce, a charade, a devious plot to control your mind. God is no respecter of persons with regards to any label we put upon ourselves, lest of all what political party we belong to. God punished Israel in the past for their sins, and what makes any country of today any different? God will get His way, no matter who you vote for. Don't think for a moment that because you vote for the person who speaks of God in their campaign, that you'll actually get what was promised...
"Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:" - 1st Peter chapter 5, verse 8.
"And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works." - 2nd Corinthians chapter 11, verses 14 and 15.