Copyright 1994 - 2017 Bill's Bible Basics
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Published On :
May 27, 1998
Last Updated :
July 9, 2012
Civil Disobedience, Don't Resist Powers That Be, God Raises Up Government Leaders, Learn To See God's Hand In Everything, Chastisement Of America, Hypocrisy And False Religiosity, The Sins Of America, Message Of Jeremiah And Israel's Judgment, Jewish False Prophets Of Peace And America's False Prophets, I Will Bring Evil, White Supremacists Militias And Civil War, Too Many Weapons In Hands Of Civilians, Sudden Destruction, Discern The Signs Of The Times, Dark Clouds On The Horizon, Growing Disillusionment With Christianity, Persecution Is An Inevitable Part Of Being A Christian, Enemies Within Our Own Families, Let Your Light Shine, Don't Be Ashamed Of Your Faith
Some time ago, I was involved in a conversation with an American white supremacist in which we discussed the topic of civil disobedience. As I clearly point out in a number of other articles such as "Killing and the Phinehas Priesthood" "Killing, Murder and Military Duty", and "He Who Fights and Runs Away: Choose Your Battles Wisely", based on my personal understanding of the Scriptures, I do not believe for one minute that we Christians are supposed to physically resist -- through the bearing of arms -- the powers that be. As the Apostle Paul writes in the thirteenth chapter of his Epistle to the Romans:
"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: 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."
Romans 13:1-8, KJV
Based in part on the previous verses, it is my opinion that any citizen -- particularly any Christian -- who decides to take up arms against their government, is in essence really fighting against God Himself. Why? Because all things -- and all leaders, whether for good or for evil -- are ordained by God, as we can determine from the following verses:
"Lift not up your horn on high: speak not with a stiff neck. For promotion cometh neither from the east, nor from the west, nor from the south. But God is the judge: he putteth down one, and setteth up another."
Psalms 75:5-7, KJV
"Daniel answered and said, Blessed be the name of God for ever and ever: for wisdom and might are his: And he changeth the times and the seasons: he removeth kings, and setteth up kings: he giveth wisdom unto the wise, and knowledge to them that know understanding:"
Daniel 2:20-21, KJV
"This matter is by the decree of the watchers, and the demand by the word of the holy ones: to the intent that the living may know that the most High ruleth in the kingdom of men, and giveth it to whomsoever he will, and setteth up over it the basest of men."
Daniel 4:17, KJV
"The king's heart is in the hand of the LORD, as the rivers of water: he turneth it whithersoever he will."
Proverbs 21:1, KJV
"For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry. Because thou hast rejected the word of the LORD, he hath also rejected thee from being king. And Saul said unto Samuel, I have sinned: for I have transgressed the commandment of the LORD, and thy words: because I feared the people, and obeyed their voice. Now therefore, I pray thee, pardon my sin, and turn again with me, that I may worship the LORD. And Samuel said unto Saul, I will not return with thee: for thou hast rejected the word of the LORD, and the LORD hath rejected thee from being king over Israel."
1 Samuel 15:23-26, KJV
Furthermore, as Bible-believing Christians, we should all recognize that all things truly do work together for good, precisely as the Apostle Paul states only five chapters earlier when he writes the following:
"And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose."
Romans 8:28, KJV
Concerning the United States, if the Lord wanted to stop the evil corruption which has so deeply infiltrated the American government, then He would most certainly do so. However, I'm not convinced that this is what He intends to do. If the US government does indeed become as cruel and as oppressive as certain conspiracy theorists, radicals and anti-government elements theorize, then in my view, it is because the Lord will have allowed it to happen for a reason. If this were to occur, then based upon examples which we find in God's Word -- please refer to articles such as "Oh Israel, Why Will Ye Die?" and "The Fruits of Disobedience" -- I would conclude that it is because God is using the corrupt government as a Rod of Chastisement, and a Vessel of Wrath, to punish the citizenry.
While some of my non-American readers may not realize it, the truth of the matter is that Christian hypocrisy is rampant in the United States. There are many proud, stubborn, rebellious people in America who hypocritically refer to themselves as Christians, when they are no such thing. While popular slogans claim "One nation under God", and "In God we trust", at the same time, many Americans support, promote and encourage such sinful things as abortion rights, gay and lesbian rights, the banning of school prayer, placing restrictions on witnessing our faith in public places, teaching evolution as an absolute truth, and other nonsense. Add to this sad picture corruption in government and in Big Business, the widespread trafficking of drugs, rampant prostitution, inner city violence, and the out-of-control pharmaceutical industry, and it is plain to see that the country is really a mess.
Then, of course, there is also the American public's foolish support of the US government's foreign wars, which not only rob the lives of many innocent people -- which the military callously writes off as collateral damage -- but which also waste an incredible sum of money which could be better used for more constructive purposes such as helping the needy and the poor. Concerning this particular topic, please consider reading "America: Land of the Free . . . and Hypocrisy!".
This two-sided nature is really nothing new. I am reminded of verses such as the following which expose the hypocrisy of the ancient Jews. They too boasted of their spirituality and their religiosity, but consider what the Lord had to say concerning them:
"Wherefore the Lord said, Forasmuch as this people draw near me with their mouth, and with their lips do honour me, but have removed their heart far from me, and their fear toward me is taught by the precept of men:"
Isaiah 29:13, KJV
"Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity."
Matthew 7:21-23, KJV
"Then spake Jesus to the multitude, and to his disciples, Saying, The scribes and the Pharisees sit in Moses' seat: All therefore whatsoever they bid you observe, that observe and do; but do not ye after their works: for they say, and do not."
Matthew 23:1-3, KJV
"And why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say?"
Luke 6:46, KJV
"Strive to enter in at the strait gate: for many, I say unto you, will seek to enter in, and shall not be able. When once the master of the house is risen up, and hath shut to the door, and ye begin to stand without, and to knock at the door, saying, Lord, Lord, open unto us; and he shall answer and say unto you, I know you not whence ye are: Then shall ye begin to say, We have eaten and drunk in thy presence, and thou hast taught in our streets. But he shall say, I tell you, I know you not whence ye are; depart from me, all ye workers of iniquity. There shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth, when ye shall see Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, and all the prophets, in the kingdom of God, and you yourselves thrust out. And they shall come from the east, and from the west, and from the north, and from the south, and shall sit down in the kingdom of God. And, behold, there are last which shall be first, and there are first which shall be last."
Luke 13:24-30, KJV
"Ye hypocrites, well did Esaias prophesy of you, saying, This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoureth me with their lips; but their heart is far from me. But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men."
Matthew 15:7-9, KJV
"Not with eyeservice, as menpleasers; but as the servants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart; With good will doing service, as to the Lord, and not to men:"
Ephesians 6:6-7, KJV
Clearly then, claiming to be Christian without manifesting the righteous fruits thereof is indeed hypocritical, and it is deceptive as well.
As I point out in "Oh Israel, Why Will Ye Die?", the Prophet Jeremiah was ridiculed, hated and persecuted for preaching a similar message to the political and religious leadership of Israel. He was accused of being a traitor, and of conspiring with the foreign enemy. Exactly what was Jeremiah's "crime"? Quite simply, he spoke God's truth; and he was not afraid to deliver the full counsel of the Lord, despite the fact that it placed him at odds with his own people. Jeremiah's message was not just a warning of judgment and destruction. It was also a promise of protection for those people who instead of resisting the Babylonian invasion, would recognize it as the Lord's loving chastisement. Consider the Prophet's message to Zedekiah -- the last king of Judah during that period -- just prior to the third Babylonian invasion:
"And it shall come to pass, that the nation and kingdom which will not serve the same Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon, and that will not put their neck under the yoke of the king of Babylon, that nation will I punish, saith the LORD, with the sword, and with the famine, and with the pestilence, until I have consumed them by his hand. Therefore hearken not ye to your prophets, nor to your diviners, nor to your dreamers, nor to your enchanters, nor to your sorcerers, which speak unto you, saying, Ye shall not serve the king of Babylon: For they prophesy a lie unto you, to remove you far from your land; and that I should drive you out, and ye should perish. But the nations that bring their neck under the yoke of the king of Babylon, and serve him, those will I let remain still in their own land, saith the LORD; and they shall till it, and dwell therein. I spake also to Zedekiah king of Judah according to all these words, saying, Bring your necks under the yoke of the king of Babylon, and serve him and his people, and live. Why will ye die, thou and thy people, by the sword, by the famine, and by the pestilence, as the LORD hath spoken against the nation that will not serve the king of Babylon?"
Jeremiah 27:8-13, KJV
As can be seen, the Prophet Jeremiah's message was in direct contradiction to the deceptive message that was being spoken by the false prophets who promised well-being for the people of Judah and Jerusalem. The false prophets spoke of peace, while Jeremiah warned of war, enslavement, famine and death, as we see by the following verses:
"For from the least of them even unto the greatest of them every one is given to covetousness; and from the prophet even unto the priest every one dealeth falsely. They have healed also the hurt of the daughter of my people slightly, saying, Peace, peace; when there is no peace. Were they ashamed when they had committed abomination? nay, they were not at all ashamed, neither could they blush: therefore they shall fall among them that fall: at the time that I visit them they shall be cast down, saith the LORD."
Jeremiah 6:13-15, KJV
"Therefore will I give their wives unto others, and their fields to them that shall inherit them: for every one from the least even unto the greatest is given to covetousness, from the prophet even unto the priest every one dealeth falsely. For they have healed the hurt of the daughter of my people slightly, saying, Peace, peace; when there is no peace. Were they ashamed when they had committed abomination? nay, they were not at all ashamed, neither could they blush: therefore shall they fall among them that fall: in the time of their visitation they shall be cast down, saith the LORD."
Jeremiah 8:10-12, KJV
In similar fashion, there are many American Christian false prophets today who patriotically wave their American flags, and who continue to sing "God Bless America", while those of us who have an ear to hear recognize that the Lord's pending judgments loom ever closer. The following warning could have very well been written for the rebellious nation of America, because she too has allowed many strange and false gods to be worshipped within her borders:
"Thus saith the LORD, Behold, I will bring evil upon this place, and upon the inhabitants thereof, even all the words of the book which the king of Judah hath read: Because they have forsaken me, and have burned incense unto other gods, that they might provoke me to anger with all the works of their hands; therefore my wrath shall be kindled against this place, and shall not be quenched."
2 Kings 22:16-17, KJV
So thus spoke the Prophetess Huldah when King Josiah sent Hilkiah the priest, Ahikam, Achbor, Shaphan and Asahiah to hear the Word of the Lord. Because King Josiah had humbled himself before the Lord, God promised him that that He would allow the king to go to his grave in peace without seeing the evil which would befall Judah in the days of his descendants. This evil was hastened by the very fact that the next three kings -- Jehoiakim, Jehoiachin and Zedekiah -- all rebelled against the king of Babylon. Just as the Lord said "I will bring evil" through the Prophetess Huldah, in examining the Book of Jeremiah, we discover that He gave the very same message to Jeremiah as well. Consider the following verses:
"Set up the standard toward Zion: retire, stay not: for I WILL BRING EVIL from the north, and a great destruction."
Jeremiah 4:6, KJV
"Hear, O earth: behold, I WILL BRING EVIL upon this people, even the fruit of their thoughts, because they have not hearkened unto my words, nor to my law, but rejected it."
Jeremiah 6:19, KJV
"Therefore thus saith the LORD, Behold, I WILL BRING EVIL upon them, which they shall not be able to escape; and though they shall cry unto me, I will not hearken unto them."
Jeremiah 11:11, KJV
"And there shall be no remnant of them: for I WILL BRING EVIL upon the men of Anathoth, even the year of their visitation."
Jeremiah 11:23, KJV
"And say, Hear ye the word of the LORD, O kings of Judah, and inhabitants of Jerusalem; Thus saith the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel; Behold, I WILL BRING EVIL upon this place, the which whosoever heareth, his ears shall tingle."
Jeremiah 19:3, KJV
"Wherefore their way shall be unto them as slippery ways in the darkness: they shall be driven on, and fall therein: for I WILL BRING EVIL upon them, even the year of their visitation, saith the LORD."
Jeremiah 23:12, KJV
"And seekest thou great things for thyself? seek them not: for, behold, I WILL BRING EVIL upon all flesh, saith the LORD: but thy life will I give unto thee for a prey in all places whither thou goest."
Jeremiah 45:5, KJV
In like manner, the evil which may soon befall the American people will also be God's bitter pill of chastisement. It is because of the very fact that certain people will refuse to swallow this pill, and won't accept this Divine Chastisement as coming from the Lord -- such as some of the the American white separatist groups and supremacist organizations like the KKK, White Pride, the Phinehas Priesthood, Aryan Nation, and various other militia groups -- that they will foolishly fight against it and will organize themselves in preparation for what they apparently view as a coming prolonged civil war against the government of the United States of America.
Personally, I don't know with absolute certainty that this is going to happen; but if online chatter is any indication, it is possible. There are many conservative people who are not very happy with the current state of affairs in the USA, who are quite convinced that a serious confrontation with Uncle Sam is going to occur at some point. Furthermore, there are now so many handguns, rifles, semi-automatic and automatic assault weapons, grenades, bomb materials and other weapons in the hands of private citizens, that it is truly going to be one bloody mess if and when it does occur. Of course, it is also true that this kind of talk has been occurring on the web between conspiracy theorists for many years now, and it still hasn't happened, so who knows.
Regardless of whether the Lord's chastisement comes upon the American nation by way of widespread civil disobedience and war, or through an invasion by a foreign power or a coalition of powers, it will still most likely come suddenly for those people who have not discerned the signs of the times. Just as Jeremiah prophesied for forty years prior to the destruction of Jerusalem around 587 BC, in similar fashion, about forty years before the city was destroyed a second time in 70 AD, Jesus also prophesied the destruction of Jerusalem by Titus and the legions of Rome. As had occurred with the leaders of Israel in Jeremiah's day, the First Century rulers of Israel were likewise so spiritually blind, that they were unable to discern the signs which were all around them. It is for this reason that Jesus said the following to them:
". . . When it is evening, ye say, It will be fair weather: for the sky is red. And in the morning, It will be foul weather to day: for the sky is red and lowring. O ye hypocrites, ye can discern the face of the sky; but can ye not discern the signs of the times?"
Matthew 16:2b-3, KJV
Is it possible that many Americans are also blind to the fact that an angry God may soon let His hot displeasure be known in a way in which they have never felt before? Time will tell.
While we have been discussing those people who aren't in tune with God's Spirit, obviously, there are also many God-fearing men, women and children who are endeavoring to serve the Lord with an honest, sincere heart. As the world grows colder and darker in a spiritual sense, and as our Christian beliefs are maligned more and more with each passing year, how should we respond to the antichrist forces which may attempt to further restrict our right to practice our faith as we see fit? This day may not be as far off as we think. We can already see the dark clouds on the horizon; both on a national level, as well as on an international level. Due to the liberalism which has crept into so many churches and denominations, not to mention the sex scandals which have rocked certain denominations, and the financial scandals as well, many people are becoming very disillusioned with our faith.
While Christians in most Western nations still enjoy a lot of freedom insofar as practicing their beliefs is concerned, as many of you will no doubt already know, this is not the case in many Muslim countries, in some oriental countries, and in countries where an oppressive government is in control. Many of our brethren in such countries have been experiencing some level of persecution -- including death in extreme cases -- for many years now. If there is one thing that the Scriptures make rather clear, it is that God's true children have always been persecuted; not only by their own people, but by foreign nations as well. Persecution is inevitable; because there will always be someone who does not agree with our faith. Consider the following sample verses:
"I beheld, and the same horn made war with the saints, and prevailed against them . . . And he shall speak great words against the most High, and shall wear out the saints of the most High, and think to change times and laws: and they shall be given into his hand until a time and times and the dividing of time."
Daniel 7:21, 25, KJV
"And in the latter time of their kingdom, when the transgressors are come to the full, a king of fierce countenance, and understanding dark sentences, shall stand up. And his power shall be mighty, but not by his own power: and he shall destroy wonderfully, and shall prosper, and practise, and shall destroy the mighty and the holy people."
Daniel 8:23-24, KJV
"And they that understand among the people shall instruct many: yet they shall fall by the sword, and by flame, by captivity, and by spoil, many days. Now when they shall fall, they shall be holpen with a little help: but many shall cleave to them with flatteries. And some of them of understanding shall fall, to try them, and to purge, and to make them white, even to the time of the end: because it is yet for a time appointed."
Daniel 11:33-35, KJV
"And ye shall be hated of all men for my name's sake: but he that endureth to the end shall be saved."
Matthew 10:22, KJV
"Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you: and ye shall be hated of all nations for my name's sake."
Matthew 24:9, KJV
"But before all these, they shall lay their hands on you, and persecute you, delivering you up to the synagogues, and into prisons, being brought before kings and rulers for my name's sake."
Luke 21:12, KJV
"If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you. If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you. Remember the word that I said unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord. If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you; if they have kept my saying, they will keep yours also. But all these things will they do unto you for my name's sake, because they know not him that sent me."
John 15:18-21, KJV
"They shall put you out of the synagogues: yea, the time cometh, that whosoever killeth you will think that he doeth God service."
John 16:2, KJV
"Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution."
2 Timothy 3:12, KJV
"And when he had opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of them that were slain for the word of God, and for the testimony which they held: And they cried with a loud voice, saying, How long, O Lord, holy and true, dost thou not judge and avenge our blood on them that dwell on the earth? "And white robes were given unto every one of them; and it was said unto them, that they should rest yet for a little season, until their fellowservants also and their brethren, that should be killed as they were, should be fulfilled."
Revelation 6:9-11, KJV
"And one of the elders answered, saying unto me, What are these which are arrayed in white robes? and whence came they? And I said unto him, Sir, thou knowest. And he said to me, These are they which came out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. Therefore are they before the throne of God, and serve him day and night in his temple: and he that sitteth on the throne shall dwell among them."
Revelation 7:13-15, KJV
"And I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of his Christ: for the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accused them before our God day and night. And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death . . . And the dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ."
Revelation 12:10-11, 17, KJV
"And it was given unto him to make war with the saints, and to overcome them: and power was given him over all kindreds, and tongues, and nations . . . And he had power to give life unto the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak, and cause that as many as would not worship the image of the beast should be killed."
Revelation 13:7, 15, KJV
Persecution arrives in many different forms. In the case of the Jews of old, it often originated with a foreign invader. With Jesus and the First Century Disciples, it was their own government, as well as the Jewish religious hierarchy -- the Scribes and the Pharisees -- who were the source of trouble. Of course, in later years, the Roman government also began to attack the young Christian Church. At our present time, antagonistic and oppressive governments, liberal judges and lawyers, scornful coworkers, unbelieving classmates and even even the members of our own families can all be sources of persecution on one level or another.
I can personally testify to the latter, because I have been alienated from my family for more than forty years now. This is due in large part to the fact that they refuse to accept me for who I am. While my beliefs are an integral part of my being, they refuse to let me even mention my faith whenever we communicate, which has not occurred in a number of years now. They claim that I am not normal, because I mention God whenever possible. Isn't that what we Christians are supposed to do? Aren't we supposed to let our lights shine before the world? As the Scriptures inform us, if we are ashamed of Him, then He will be ashamed of us as well at His Coming. Consider the following verses:
"Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid. Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven."
Matthew 5:14-16, KJV
"Whosoever therefore shall be ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation; of him also shall the Son of man be ashamed, when he cometh in the glory of his Father with the holy angels."
Mark 8:38, KJV
"For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek."
Romans 1:16, KJV
"For the which cause I also suffer these things: nevertheless I am not ashamed: for I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day."
2 Timothy 1:12, KJV
"That ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world;"
Philippians 2:15, KJV
For additional information regarding this subject, please consider reading such articles as "The Children of Light: Are You One of Us?" and "Are You a Burning Ember for the Lord?".
Please go to part two for the continuation of this series.
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