Hi Bill and Frank,
Thanks for your detailed work on this subject. Here is my response...
Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God.
The above translation of Romans 13:1 is a common one and some actually replace “governing authorities” with “civil authorities”. They are both very bad translations and there is little doubt in my mind that it was done intentionally by the “would be rulers” who wish to maintain power over people. The KJV has it:
AV Ro 13:1 . 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.
1 Pa/sa yuch. evxousi,aij u`perecou,saij u`potasse,sqw ouv ga.r e;stin evxousi,a eiv mh. u`po. qeou/ ai` de. ou=sai u`po. qeou/ tetagme,nai eivsi,n\ (WHO)
Literally: Every soul authorities holding over place yourself under....
That is subject yourself to all authorities plural. This applies to both secular and sacred authorities since it is all of them. We know that Paul advises slaves to obey masters whether they are believing or not. So similarly men are to obey governments whether that are believing or not. Paul makes this more clear in the next 6 verses. Here is the whole passage...
1 Let every soul be in subjection to the superior authorities, for there is no authority except by God; the existing authorities stand placed in their relative positions by God.
2 Therefore he who opposes the authority has taken a stand against the arrangement of God; those who have taken a stand against it will receive judgment to themselves.
3 For those ruling are an object of fear, not to the good deed, but to the bad. Do you, then, want to have no fear of the authority? Keep doing good, and you will have praise from it;
4 for it is God's minister to you for your good. But if you are doing what is bad, be in fear: for it is not without purpose that it bears the sword; for it is God's minister, an avenger to express wrath upon the one practicing what is bad.
5 There is therefore compelling reason for you people to be in subjection, not only on account of that wrath but also on account of [your] conscience.
6 For that is why you are also paying taxes; for they are God's public servants constantly serving this very purpose.
7 Render to all their dues, to him who [calls for] the tax, the tax; to him who [calls for] the tribute, the tribute; to him who [calls for] fear, such fear; to him who [calls for] honor, such honor. (Romans 13 NWT)
1 Let every soul be subject to higher authorities, for there is no authority except from God, but the existing authorities have been ordained by God.
2 So that the [one] resisting authority has opposed the ordinance of God, and the ones opposing will receive judgment to themselves.
3 For the rulers are not a terror to good works, but to the bad. And do you desire not to fear the authority? Do the good, and you will have praise from it;
4 for it is a servant of God to you for the good. But if you practice evil, be afraid; for it does not bear the sword in vain; for it is a servant of God, an avenger for wrath to the [one] practicing bad [things].
5 Because of this, [it is] necessary to be subject, not only on account of wrath, but also on account of conscience.
6 For on this account you also pay taxes, for [they] are ministers of God, always giving attention to this very thing.
7 Then give to all [their] dues: to the [one due] tax, the tax; to the [one due] tribute, the tribute; to the [one due] fear, the fear; to the [one due] honor, the honor. (Romans 13 GLT)
We pay taxes and tributes to secular authorities and some do to sacred ones today. So Paul is referring to both plainly.
Verse 2 says that he who opposes the authority has taken a stand against the arrangement of God. He then goes on to say that those who take such a stand will receive judgment to themselves.
That therefore is the position that you and Frank are both in. We are all covenanted to obey the commandments of God so we cannot obey the secular or indeed sacred authorities when their commands conflict with God's commandments. But we should obey them when they do not - even if they are abusive corrupt, fraudulent etc. There is no problem with going to a human court because Paul appealed to Caesar as instructed by the holy spirit. A court is a superior authority. We should be in subjection to it however unjust its decision unless it s decision fore us to break God's law such as in the case of the future mark of the beast.
Now this is a much better translation but what does it mean by higher powers? Well let’s break it down with scripture so that we can get a better understanding of our Fathers perspective, followed by what the Messiah and His Apostles taught us.
First of all it is important to note that compromising with temporal (worldly) powers can never lead to redemption. Most "Christians" have accepted the unrighteous code of the State, instead of insisting that the State follow the Laws of Yahuwah. The kingdoms of this world who like to play God use force in order to do so, for there is no love in what they do. Whereas the kingdom of Yahuwah uses love, for love is the fulfilling of the law (Romans 13:8). Unfortunately virtually all “Christian” churches today teach their congregations the false presumptions that they are to accept their “states” leaders in this context which is required of them by the “state” whom they truly serve. Don’t be fooled!
19 And all the people began to say to Samuel: Pray in behalf of your servants to Jehovah your God, as we do not want to die; because we have added to all our sins an evil in asking for ourselves a king. (NWT)
19 And all the people said to Samuel, Pray to Jehovah your God for your servants, that we may not die, for we have added this evil to all our sins to ask a king for ourselves. (GLT)
19 and all the people say unto Samuel, 'Pray for thy servants unto Jehovah thy God, and we do not die, for we have added to all our sins evil to ask for us a king.' (YLT)
20 So Samuel said to the people: Do not be afraid. You -- you have done all this evil. Only do not turn aside from following Jehovah, and you must serve Jehovah with all your heart. (1 Samuel 12 NWT)
20 And Samuel said to the people, Do not fear. You have done all this evil, only do not turn aside from following Jehovah, and serve Jehovah with all your heart. (1 Samuel 12 GLT)
20 And Samuel saith unto the people, 'Fear not; ye have done all this evil; only, turn not aside from after Jehovah -- and ye have served Jehovah with all your heart, (1 Samuel 12 YLT)
Throughout the scriptures you will note that governments have always been the leader in bringing people to sin (Daniel 3:4-6, 1 Kings 12:25:33; 14:21-24, 2 Kings 13:2; 17:21; 21:11,16, 2 Chronicles 21:6,11-13, Isaiah 9:16). Yahuwah condemned Israel for wanting to be ruled like other nations, by a human king (1 Samuel 8:4-5, 20). When they chose to be ruled by a human leader, our Father considered that to be a rejection of Himself because He would stop giving them favor and reigning over them (1 Samuel 8:7; 10:19). The people later realized their sin against Yahuwah when they asked to be ruled by a human government (1 Samuel 12:19). Notice their kings never had any power to make new laws; nor did their greatest and wisest of kings make any, as in the cases of David and Solomon (only in captivity under Babylonian rule were they given laws outside of God’s Law). And when they returned to the ways of Yahuwah, as illustrated by Hezekiah and Josiah, it was not by making any new regulations, but by putting the original Law into execution; and by directing and requiring of the judges, and other officers, to act according to that Law.
To serve an earthly king, or his government, is to serve other "gods" (1 Samuel 8:8-9), which is violating the First Commandment (Exodus 20:3).
That statement is in direct contradiction to the words of Paul is Romans 13. In the case of Nero you are correct for he did claim to be divine. But so long as the government makes no such claim you are wrong and speaking against scripture. The queen of the UK for example does not claim to be divine, but claims a divine right to the throne. And actually she has that because Satan has authority to put her there from God. We both understand that Satan's authority has now actually ended. But God himself will crush that authority at his due time. We must continue subject to all authority God permits until that time.
Frank and you have basically left Egyptian slavery under your own power rather than waiting for deliverance from God.
It is wickedness and a sin to ask to be ruled by a human government instead of Yahuwah (1 Samuel 12:17-19).
That is very true. But only applies when God is your secular head. God is not the secular head of this church regrettably. Jesus is the spiritual head of it. If Jesus was the secular head of it we would be a state and not a church.
Our Father condemned Israel for following the statutes of their disobedient government (2 Kings 17:7-8). He rejected those who followed the statutes of governments instead of His Commandments (2 Kings 17:19-20). He specifically said not to follow the ordinances of earthly governments, but to follow his laws, ordinances, and statutes instead (Leviticus 18:1-5). Throughout the history of Israel, the majority of the kings of Israel did evil in the sight of Yahuwah (1 Kings 11:4-9, 2 Kings 8:18), which shows that most rulers and governments are corrupt because of their carnal nature (Romans 8:7). The Judeans eventually chose king Caesar over King Yahshua (John 19:15). Those who do the same are just like them.
The whole duty of man is to live by Yahuwah's commandments (Ecclesiastes 12:13), not man's commandments which turn from the Truth (Mark 7:7, Colossians 2:20-22, Titus 1:14). What duty is there to a servant of our Messiah except to fulfill Yahuwah's Law (Romans 13:8)? When we pray, we pray to do our Father’s Will, not man’s will (Matthew 6:10, Luke 11:2). Yahuwah rewards those who place His Laws above man-made laws (Exodus 1:17,20). We are even instructed to avoid going to courts of law before the unjust and unbelievers (1 Corinthians 6:1-8). How incredible that the just would go before the unjust for justice! Therein no blessings are found:
If two believers have a dispute plainly they should settle it in the church not in the court. This is what 1 Corinthians 6 is saying. But if a dispute is between a believer and a non believer then the church has no jurisdiction over the dispute and what you propose is therefore lawlessness and against the advice of Paul to be in submission to the authorities that exist by arrangement of God. That is however abusive and corrupt and negligent they are. Because as we discussed we learn from the tree of Good and Bad. Both exist for our education. We should obey the decisions of earthly courts so long as they do not instruct us to sin.
Psalms 1:1, "Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the wicked ones."
The kings and rulers of the earth are in opposition to Yahuwah, and against His anointed (Psalm 2:2). Governments frame mischief and sin through their laws:
Psalms 94:20, "Shall the throne of iniquity have fellowship with thee, which frameth mischief by a law?"
Isaiah 10:1-2, "Woe unto them that prescribe grievous laws and take away the right from the poor."
When a government is wicked or sinful in that it usurps Yahuwah's Laws, He punishes the people who put their trust in that government and obey their laws (Jeremiah 15:4; 46:25, 2 Kings 21:11-12, Isaiah 9:16, Ezekiel 11:10-12, Micah 6:13,16). In fact, the people will be cursed for trusting in man (Jeremiah 17:5, Hosea 10:13). It is better to trust in Yahuwah, than to put confidence in man and governments (Psalm 118:8-9). We are told not to put our trust in human governments (Psalm 146:3). We are commanded to "turn away" from those with certain characteristics (2 Timothy 3:2-5), and governing authorities possess most of these said characteristics! Governing authorities are "Having a form of devoutness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away" (2 Timothy 3:5). So we are to turn away from governing authorities with these characteristics. They proclaim their own power (force), which becomes a 'law' unto itself. The law is made for evil-doers, not for the righteous (1 Timothy 1:9-10). Therefore, we are to obey Yahuwah's Law, and whatever laws that man creates are irrelevant to us for they are not necessary except for those who do evil.
9 knowing this, that Law [is] not laid down for a righteous one, but for lawless and undisciplined ones, for ungodly and sinful ones, for unholy and profane ones, for slayers of fathers and slayers of mothers, for murderers,
10 for fornicators, for homosexuals, for slave-traders, for liars, for perjurers, and if any other thing opposes sound doctrine, (1 Timothy 1 GLT)
This refers to church law. It is there to help the unrighteous to know God. It is not there for the sake of the righteous who should obey by nature God's law. You misinterpret this as applying to man's law. Man's law is not sound doctrine. Man's law permits homosexuality and fornication etc.
Esther 3:8, "And Haman (the highest prince in the kingdom of the Medes and the Persians) said unto king Ahasuerus (the king of the Medes and the Persians who reigned from India to Ethiopia), There is a certain people (people who were obedient to Yahuwah's Laws) scattered abroad and dispersed among the people in all the provinces of thy kingdom; and their laws are diverse from all people; neither keep they the king's laws..."
As we can see, Yahuwah's children were following Yahuwah's Law, which were diverse from the government's law, and His children did not keep the government's law! When one reads the book of Esther, one will see how Yahuwah protected His children when they followed His law and disregarded the government's law. One cannot obey both laws, because one cannot serve two masters.
You are right man's law and God's law are different of course. And you cannot obey two masters as far as the two are in opposition. But you can when they are not in conflict. For example we have both Jesus and Jehovah as our God's. Two God's two master no conflict. Likewise you should obey me I am your earthly master. But it is a relative submission to me. If I ask you to do something that is a sin in accordance with your considered understanding. You should not do it. For I am not the supreme authority in your life Jesus and God through scripture are. It is no different with secular authorities other than hopefully there are many less conflicts with my instructions and God's law than there are with the instructions from the secular authorities and his law.
This serving two masters point is well raised and is really important so lets look at it very carefully. Here are the two scriptures which mention it...
24 No one can slave for 2 masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will stick to the one and despise the other. You cannot slave for God and for Riches. (Matthew 6 NWT)
13 No house servant can be a slave to 2 masters; for, either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will stick to the one and despise the other. You cannot be slaves to God and to riches. (Luke 16 NWT)
It is critical to notice than in both statements of this truism the example given is God and riches. It is not God and RITCHIES !!!!!
This is because God and Mammon are ALWAYS in conflict. However if two masters, such as God and Jesus, are not in conflict then there is no difficulty in serving them both. So actually the scripture means one cannot serve two conflicting masters.
One can serve our two masters God and Jesus who are never in conflict
2. One can serve the head of the church and Jesus who hopefully are only rarely in conflict. But when there is a conflict, one chooses God's law over church law.
3. One can serve the head of the state and Jesus who are often in conflict. But where there is a conflict one chooses God's law over man's.
4. One cannot serve God and mammon because the two are always in conflict. But this does not mean we cannot use or possess mammon. For it is the love of money that conflicts with God not the possession of it.
Pay Caesar's things to Caesar but God's things to God is relative submission. The Pharisees were trying to goad Jesus into to taking a position against raying tax to the Romans which would have given them a weapon to use against him with the Romans. That is why I have decided not to support you in you idea of writing to the state governors and saying we are not part of the system. Because in doing that you give the states a weapon to beat this church with. We could be seen as a physically destabilizing influence. We are no such thing. We are not a physical threat to anyone. That is why Paul urges slaves to remain slaves and not seek physical emancipation but rejoice in being a freedman in the Lord. We are not a physical threat. We are an added spiritual security for people.
Now it is not your position to tell me what research I should be doing. It is my position to tell you what research you should be doing because I am your head not the other way around. So I am not going to trawl through the rest of this letter. I have addressed the first 4 points (1 Corinthians 7, Romans 13, 1Timothy1 and 2 masters).
I am very happy that you have raised these issues. They are very important and I do not want to stifle your research. I would like to direct it. But I can only direct not insist. You have clarified my views on this really big issue. That is the joy I have in dealing with people who think for themselves in this church. If you ask me to read huge amounts of your work without commenting much on my work, you are acting as the director of my research which is not what you are. It should be the other way around. So I am now unequivocally directing you to consider the 4 scriptures I have dealt with in this letter and the previous one, and to give me you views please Frank and Bill upon these 4 only. Because as we all know it is only after we have harmonized every scripture relating to a matter that we can be sure we have God's view. So if there are 4 speaking against your position you should not take that position.
It looks to me like you are both under the judgement of Romans 13:2. This is not a trivial matter. I do have to formulate a church position on this individual leaving of Egypt before God delivers the church in its entirety through the greater Moses of Jesus Christ.
Do not get me wrong here brothers. Ian is a pain in the arse. But he has been a useful irritant that has lead to great strides in new understandings. You are not a pain in the arse. You are plainly doing what you believe in. But you have to some extent disregarded my headship and I have to some extent been negligent in this matter. But however we got there we now have to deal with it. This matter will remain with Frank Bill Dave and I at present. We should be able to sort it out between us.
Gordon and Dave
So what did Yahshua teach us about “governing authorities” of the world?
He himself explained:
Matthew 20:25, "...Ye know that the princes of the Gentiles exercise dominion over them, and they that are great exercise authority upon them."
Mark 10:42, "...they which are accounted to rule over the Gentiles exercise lordship over them; and their great ones exercise authority upon them."
Luke 22:25, "...The kings of the Gentiles exercise lordship over them; and they that exercise authority upon them are called benefactors."
By comparing these three parallel verses, Yahshua stated the fact that the governing authorities (princes, rulers, kings) exercise authority over the Gentiles (those who do not believe in Yahuwah). Note that the term "Gentiles" here is used in the context of pre-conversion since Yahshua had not yet died and what is called "Christianity" was not yet in existence. All the apostles were Judeans, and Yahshua commanded them not to preach to the Gentiles (Matthew 10:5-6). The Gentiles were the enemy of our Messiah at that point in time (Matthew 20:19; Mark 10:33, Luke 18:32). The Gospel was not preached to the Gentiles until at the conversion of the Roman centurion Cornelius in 36 CE approximately three and one half years after the resurrection of Yahshua.
Notice what Yahshua says next. Does he say that His people will have other men rule over them? Most definitely not!
Matthew 20:26, "But it shall not be so among you:"
Mark 10:43, "But so shall it not be among you:"
Luke 22:26, "But ye shall not be so:"
Yahshua said we shall not have leaders exercise authority over us like they do over the gentiles. We shall not be subject to governing authorities unless those in "power" are servants of Yahuwah and His people. Read what Yahshua said after he told his disciples that earthly princes, rulers, and kings will not have authority over His chosen:
Matthew 20:26-27, "…but whosoever will be great among you, let him be your minister; And whosoever will be chief among you, let him be your servant:"
Mark 10:43-44, "…but whosoever will be great among you, shall be your minister: And whosoever of you will be the chiefest, shall be servant of all."
Luke 22:26, "...but he that is greatest among you, let him be as the younger; and he that is chief, as he that doth serve."
As we see, Yahshua does not want man to have authority over man! He commanded that whoever is the “chiefest” and “greatest” among men, will be the servant of all. Unlike human governments which make their chief ruler the dictator over all. Man was not created to rule other men, but was given dominion over the creatures of the earth. This is confirmed in the very first chapter of the Bible, when Yahuwah created the earth. When he first created man, He commanded, "...let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth" (Genesis 1:26,28). Only Yahuwah has dominion over man. Man is not subject to any other man. Man is ruled by Law, not by the will of man.
Now, Yahshua was not condemning all authority, as this is clarified by the fact that Yahshua himself exercised authority over his disciples and others (Matthew 11:27; 23:10; 28:18, John 13:13), and expected his disciples to exercise authority as leaders of his ecclesia (Matthew 16:19; 18:17; 24:45-47; 25: 21,23, Luke 19:17,19). What sort of authority then was Yahshua condemning in this passage? What difference was there between the authority of the gentile ruler and that of himself and his apostles? Surely this: that the latter rested on spiritual ascendancy and was exercised only over those who willingly submitted to it. The former rule by the gentiles was exercised over all men indiscriminately, whether they liked it or not by the use of physical force and penalties. There can be no doubt left that it was this fact that caused Yahshua to tell his disciples: "It is not so among you."
When an earthly government believes it is "god walking on the earth," it has no true dominion (authority) but only force, and has fallen from the undeserved kindness of Almighty Yahuwah. Dominion and force are opposed to one another. Force is false power.
Matthew 23:10, "Neither be ye called masters: for one is your Master, even our Messiah."
Remember, the reason Yahshua our Messiah was crucified was because the governing "authorities" (not the “higher power”) at that time were afraid that they were going to lose their "place and nation," their political power and their glory in front of men, if the people believed on Yahshua (John 11:47-48).
So what did the Apostles teach us about this subject?
Acts 5:29, "Then Peter and the other apostles answered and said, We ought to obey Yahuwah rather than men."
The reason the apostles were arrested, beaten and imprisoned was because they "all do contrary to the decrees of Caesar, saying that there is another king, one Yahshua" (Acts 17:7). Our brother Paul said,
1 Corinthians 2:5, "That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of Yahuwah."
The apostles disobeyed their governing authorities because they understood that, "No man can serve two masters" (Matthew 6:24), and that as slaves of Christ we are not to be "the servants of men" (1 Corinthians 7:23). We can only serve one Master, one Messiah, and no other master. As Yahshua asked in Luke 6:46, "And why call ye me, Master, Master, and do not the things which I say?" We are to do the things Yahshua says to do, not the things Caesar says to do.
Do you remember when people used to call their government officials, like the police and city council members, our "public servants"? Why? Because they were supposed to serve the people (Matthew 20:27, Mark 10:42, Luke 22:26). Now, those servants have become the masters, and the people fear them more than they fear Yahuwah (Matthew 10:28, Proverbs 29:25). However, true servants of Yahuwah do not fear the king’s commandments (Hebrews 11:23). It is written that we are not to fear man (Psalm 56:4; 118:6, Isaiah 51:7, Matthew 10:28, Hebrews 13:6).
The earthly government is to sit on our Messiah’s shoulder (Isaiah 9:6), and there is no end to His government (Isaiah 9:7, Psalms 145:13). Those in government are instructed to follow Yahuwah's Law and serve Him (Psalm 2:10-12). And we are to obey the ordinances of man only as long as they do Yahuwah’s Will; by punishing evildoers and praising them that do well (Romans 13:3, 1 Peter 2:13-17).
So let us revisit Romans 13 with more scrutiny now that we have some scriptural basis for it.
Romans 13:1-10 is in reality explaining the government that applies to bondmen (slaves) of our Messiah. Our heavenly Father has ordained rulers, and those rulers have responsibilities before Him. Unfortunately, many interpret this chapter to mean we are to obey all governments, no matter how sinful they are. However, it is painfully obvious from the scriptures cited above that this verse cannot mean we are to roll over and submit to governing authorities, because if that's the case, Yahshua himself violated Romans 13. They crucified him unlawfully, and there's a case where our Messiah did the will of the Father, and that brought him into conflict with the powers of the world system. Just because Yahuwah ordains government for His purposes, it does not mean it is a righteous government. He does use evil to draw people closer to Him but He cannot force others to sin against His own Laws!
Here’s a little food for thought:
Did Yahshua and the apostles obey the "governing authorities" of their day? Obviously not!
If Paul, in Romans 13, was saying to "obey all governments" then Yahshua, the apostles, and all the disciples were hypocrites, because they all lived their life by placing Yahuwah’s Law above man-made laws!
Some people claim that the reason Paul was being repeatedly arrested and imprisoned by the "governing authorities" was because he would not confess that Caesar was his lord. This is not true, because one immediately received the death penalty for not doing so. It seems doubtful that Paul was ever directly asked to do so as it is not supported through scripture or written history of the time.
Some people claim that the reason our brother Paul was being repeatedly arrested and imprisoned by the "governing authorities" was because he was "preaching the gospel of Yahshua our Messiah." This is not true. The Romans worshipped hundreds of different gods in fact they had a different God for every thing and every occasion. One more "god" would not have mattered to them in the slightest as long as they bowed down to Caesar’s authority.
Here is proof that the Romans did not imprison Paul for preaching about Yahshua our Messiah. In Acts 18, the Judeans brought Paul before the tribunal of the Roman Government of Achaia (a Greek province under Roman rule) on the charge of persuading men to worship Yahuwah (verse 13). The Roman court (Gallio) refused to judge religious matters (verse 15), and "drave them from the judgment seat" (verse 16). This scriptural passage is proof that Rome did not judge people for preaching another god. So why was Paul repeatedly imprisoned by the governing authorities? Paul was in prison for not obeying the Roman government's laws (which are in opposition to Yahuwah's Law) because Yahshua commanded his followers to be separate from Caesar (the world).
After all, if Paul was in jail because he was preaching about our Messiah Yahshua, then the governing authorities certainly would not have allowed Paul to write letters (epistles) concerning Yahshua while in prison, and then allow him to take those writings out of prison in order to publish them and spread them throughout the then known world. This, again, evidences that they did not forbid preaching Yahshua, and that Paul was in jail, not for preaching our Messiah's Kingdom, but for disobeying the governing authorities in other matters.
Now, for those who believe that Paul was saying to obey all governments at Romans 13, one must also believe that our brother Paul was a hypocrite, for he constantly disobeyed the governing authorities and was repeatedly arrested and imprisoned for doing so. For those who believe that Paul was not a hypocrite, then we must believe that Paul was saying something quite different at Romans 13. With this in mind, let us take a look at the first six passages of Romans 13.
Does verse 1 say, "let every soul be subject unto all governments"? Or does it say, "let every soul (including governing authorities such as kings, judges, police, etc.) be subject unto the Higher Power"? Who do souls belong to? Yahuwah says:
Ezekiel 18:4, "Behold, all souls are mine."
And the second part of verse 1 tells us Who the “Higher Power” is: "...For there is no power but of Yahuwah."
The souls of the governmental powers also belong to Yahuwah, and they are not the higher powers, the higher powers are held by our Messiah himself (Matthew 28:18). Is it not true that our Messiah is the higher power for if “all power has been committed unto him (John 17:2), then our Messiah truly is the “governor among the nations” (Psalms 22:28). All power over earthly kings has been given unto Him (Romans 14:9). All judgment has been given unto Him (John 5:22,27). Notice the separation of Power in Romans 13:1. All power comes from, and belongs to, Yahuwah (Psalm 62:11) and not the one exercising it. And remember that most men, especially those constituting the "governing authorities," usually deny that power given to Yahshua (2 Timothy 3:5).
Verse 2 says, "Whosoever therefore resisteth (Greek word #498 antitassomai) the power, resisteth (Greek word #436 anthistemi) the ordinance of Yahuwah:" The words "resisteth" in this verse are from two completely different Greek words with two different meanings. Let's look into the first word "resisteth" by going to the original Greek. To "resist" the power of rulers ordained by Yahuwah means the following:
"antitassomai: To range in battle against" (Thayers Greek Lexicon).
"antitassomai: To set an army in array against; to arrange in battle order" (Zodhiates Word Studies).
"antitassomai: Setteth himself in array against; as one draws out a host for battle. Implying an organized or concerted resistance" (Vincents Word Studies).
"antitassomai: To range in battle against" (Strong's Greek Lexicon).
This is in accord with these passages:
2 Corinthians 10:3-4, "For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh: (For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds)."
Ephesians 6:11-12, "Put on the whole armor of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. 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 goes on to list all of our spiritual weapons. Notice, there are no physical weapons listed. The weapons of our warfare are not carnal so when you use carnal weapons against the “higher power” ordained by Yahuwah, then you are resisting the ordinance of Yahuwah.
Ecclesiastes 9:18, "Wisdom is better than weapons of war: and one sinner will destroy much good."
Now the meaning of the second term, "resisteth the ordinance of Yahuwah" simply means "to set one's self against, to withstand, resist, oppose." In other words, the first "resisteth" means to use physical weapons in battle against an ordained power, which would result in the second "resisteth," which means to oppose the will of Yahuwah (with no physical weapons).
Verse 3 says Yahuwah ordained governments, but the only power He gave to "governing authorities" is to “punish evil-doers and reward the doers of good” (John 18:23, Romans 13:3-4, 1 Peter 2:14). The definition of good and evil is defined in the scripture. Yahuwah did not give government the power to interfere with, and interpose itself in the exercising of Yahuwah's Law by His people.
Verse 4 says rulers are to be Ministers of Yahuwah, servants of Yahuwah. If rulers are not the servants of Yahuwah, if they do not follow and obey His Word, no obedience is due to them. And how do we know if they are servants of Yahuwah? By testing them with Yahuwah's word (Isaiah 8:20, Matthew 12:30, Mark 7:7, 1 Thessalonians 5:21, Titus 1:14, 1 John 4:1, 3 John 1:11, Acts 17:11, 2 Timothy 2:15). Yahuwah's purpose for all governments is to be "a minister of Yahuwah to thee for good."
Verse 6 says we are to “pay ye tribute also” to the government for one reason only; because they are “Gods ministers”. If a government uses tax money in a way that is contrary to Yahuwah's Will, then they are no longer ministers of Yahuwah, and thus no taxes are due to them (Ezra 4:12-13).
Their lawful purpose is to punish evil doers as a rod of correction to drive them back to the ways of Yahuwah, and to encourage the righteous and just. They are to be ministers of Yahuwah, meaning they are to carry out the duties that Yahuwah has given them. But when the governing authorities ever fail to do this, or go beyond this, then they themselves are resisting the ordinances of Yahuwah, and are unlawful authorities that must be "resisted" with the Sword of the Word.
It is important to take into consideration that Romans 13 was intended to be prescriptive, not descriptive. In other words, it speaks of what the "rulers" are supposed to be, not what they are intrinsically at all times. As "Yahuwah's ministers," the men who govern (the powers that be) are obligated to obey Yahuwah's Lawand to properly apply it to the nation and people which it governs. Conversely, any time the "governors" become "a terror to good works," and rewards evil rather than punishing it, they have then begun to "bear the sword in vain." To this extent, he is no longer "a minister of Yahuwah to thee for good" and it is our duty to resist his unlawful rule as we would the rule of Satan himself.
To say that Yahuwah may deliver His people over to an oppressive government as chastisement for sin is one thing; to say that we are to deliver ourselves and our consciences to that which is contrary to Yahuwah's Word is quite another. To say that the laws of the temporal government, whether they be "good or evil" (moral), are unequivocally the "ordinances of Yahuwah," is not merely naive, but a blasphemous affront to the holiness of Yahuwah and His Word. The righteous and eternal Judge of the world simply cannot be charged with requiring us to obey contradictory commands.
Yahuwah never commanded people to obey the kings of Israel when those kings turned their backs on Him. Our Father put those people into captivity for their disobedience towards Him! And He does the same today. You reap what you sow and this nation is about to learn that invaluable lesson!
The Nazi's at Nuremberg said, "Well, I was just doing my job. I was obeying the government." It's an error to believe that whatever the State says is okay because your preachers and the rulers say; "because it's ordained of Yahuwah." For those who are true followers of our Messiah Yahshua, the government is on His shoulders (Isaiah 9:6), He is the King of kings, and the government is the Kingdom of Yahuwah. It's a government of peace and the only government that will not end:
Isaiah 9:7, "Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end,"
All man-made governments come to an end, so they are obviously not the "higher power." We have to obey the government that's always been here and always will be here.
In reply to the blind opinion that all kings, princes, and governments are set up and "ordained" by Yahuwah, we will quote the following passage, which is spoken into the ears of Hosea by Yahuwah Almighty Himself:
Hosea 8:4, "They have set up kings, but not by me: they have made princes, and I knew it not."
We pray that those who have eyes to see and ears to hear will no longer engage in such opinions.
One way to test whether or not a man-made law is keeping with Yahuwah's Law or not is to test it with the following. Ask yourself, "Does this law punish evil-doers and praise or reward doers of good?" For example, consider the drivers license law. Does the requirement for a driver’s license punish evil or reward good? No, it does not. The traffic courts might claim to do this, but certainly not the license itself. Therefore, since Yahuwah only gave His "governing authorities" the power to punish evil and reward good, this man-made law is outside of Yahuwah's delegated authority just as “registration” and applying for “privileges” that are not ordained to be given by governments so no obedience is required if you live, move, and walk in accord with the spirit of God.
Another question you can ask is, "Will this Law, being imposed by man, help me walk in Yahuwah's Truth?" If it is a righteous law, it will. But very few man made laws bring anyone to the Truth, nor can they for the very nature of government today is predicated upon a lie, a legal fiction or entity that cannot speak the truth nor hear it! For more on this subject to include “taxes”, ecclesia, liability, etc, please visit this link: