Copyright © December 2, 2011
This article is a continuation of Jerald Finney’s systematic development of the doctrines, application, history, and legalities of “separation of church and state.” See En1 for more on this matter. This article is an edited version of Section I, Chapter 11 of the book God Betrayed/Separation of Church and State: The Biblical Principles and the American Application (Link to preview of God Betrayed). (Link to Contents of “Separation of Church and State Law” Blog which has links so that the new follower can start his study at the beginning. “Line upon line, precept upon precept.”). See En2 for information on books by Jerald Finney which thoroughly examine “separation of church and state law.”
Satan orchestrates the world-system
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Sometime long ago, Satan rebelled against God, thereby introducing sin to the universe. “How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations! For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north: I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High. Yet thou shalt be brought down to hell, to the sides of the pit. They that see thee shall narrowly look upon thee, and consider thee, saying, Is this the man that made the earth to tremble, that did shake kingdoms; That made the world as a wilderness, and destroyed the cities thereof; that opened not the house of his prisoners” (Is. 14.12-17)?
Notice Satan’s five “I wills” in the verses quoted above. His “I will” (Isa. 14:13) marks the introduction of sin into the universe. Cast out of heaven (Lk. 10:18) he makes earth and air the scene of his tireless activity (Eph. 2:2; 1 Pet. 5:8). After the creation of man he entered into the serpent. (Gen. 3:1,note) and, beguiling Eve by his subtlety, secured the downfall of Adam and through him of the race, and the entrance of sin into the world of men (Rom. 5:12-14).
Satan seduced Eve with the same temptation whereby he was tempted: “I will be like the most High.” He said to Eve:” “For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil” (Ge. 3.5). Since that day, Satan has been the god of this world. After the fall, God said to Satan, “And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel” (Genesis 3:15)(By “her seed” and “his heel” God was referring to the Lord Jesus Christ).
“The Adamic Covenant (Gen 3:14, note) promised the ultimate destruction of Satan through the ‘Seed of the woman.’ Then began his long warfare against the work of God in behalf of humanity, which still continues. The present world-system (Rev. 13:8) organized upon the principles of force, greed, selfishness, ambition, and sinful pleasure, is his work and was the bribe which he offered to Christ (Mt. 4:8-9). Of that world-system he is prince (John 14:30; 16:11) and god (2 Cor. 4:4). As ‘prince of the power of the air’ (Eph. 2:2) he is at the head of vast host of demons. (Mt. 7:22, note). To him, under God, was committed upon earth the power of death (Heb. 2:14). Cast out of heaven as his proper sphere and ‘first estate,’ he still has access to God as the ‘accuser of the brethren’ (Rev. 12:10) and is permitted a certain power of sifting or testing the self-confident and carnal among believers (Job 1:6-11; Lk. 22:31-32; 1 Cor. 5:5; 1 Tim. 1:20) but this is strictly permissive and limited power, and believers so sifted are kept in faith through the advocacy of Christ (Lk. 22:31-32; 1 John 2:1, note). At the beginning of the great tribulation Satan’s privilege of access to God as accuser will be withdrawn (Rev. 12:7-12). At the return of Christ in glory Satan will be bound for one thousand years (Rev. 20:2) after which he will be ‘loosed for a little season’ (Rev. 20:3, 7-8) and will become the head of final effort to overthrow the kingdom. Defeated in this, he will be finally cast into the lake of fire, his final doom. The notion that he reigns in hell is Miltonic, not biblical. He is prince of this present world-system, but will be tormented in the lake of fire” (1917 Scofield Reference Edition, n. 2 to Re. 20.10, p. 1350).
Men, families, churches (except for a remnant), and nations always choose the principles of Satan over the principles of God and will always suffer the consequences. “Kosmos [translated ‘world’ in Revelation 13.8] in the sense of the present world-system, the ethically bad sense of the word, refers to the ‘order,’ ‘arrangement,’ under which Satan has organized the world of unbelieving mankind upon his cosmic principles of force, greed, selfishness, ambition, and pleasure:
- “Mt. 4.8, 9 [‘Again, the devil taketh him up into an exceeding high mountain, and sheweth him all the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them; And saith unto him, All these things will I give thee, if thou wilt fall down and worship me. Then saith Jesus unto him, Get thee hence, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve.’];
- “John 12.31 [[Jesus said] ‘Now is the judgment of this world: now shall the prince of this world be cast out.’]; 14.30 [[Jesus said] ‘Hereafter I will not talk much with you: for the prince of this world cometh, and hath nothing in me.’];
- “John 14.30 [‘Hereafter I will not talk much with you: for the prince of this world cometh, and hath nothing in me.’]
- “John 18.36 [‘Jesus answered, My kingdom is not of this world: if my kingdom were of this world, then would my servants fight, that I should not be delivered to the Jews: but now is my kingdom not from hence.’]
- “Eph. 2.2 [‘Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience.’ Ephesians 4.3 goes on to say, ‘Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others.’];
- “Eph. 6.12 [‘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.’];
- “I John 2.15-17 [‘Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that isin the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever.’]
- “This world-system is imposing and powerful with armies and fleets; is often outwardly religious, scientific, cultured, and elegant; but, seething with national and commercial rivalries and ambitions, is upheld in any real crisis only by armed force, and is dominated by satanic principles” (1917 Scofield Reference Edition, n. 2 to Re. 13.8, p 1342).
The god of this world blinds people to the truth. “But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost: In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them” (2 Co. 4.3-4). At the same time Satan is blinding people to truth, he indoctrinates people into his world principles.
A specific instance of God directly addressing Satan is recounted in Ezekiel 28. Although speaking to the king of Tyre, “as in Isaiah 14.12, the language goes beyond the King of Tyre to Satan, inspirer and unseen ruler of such pomp and pride as that of Tyre…. The unfallen state of Satan is here described; his fall in Isa. 14.12-14 [supra]. (See Rev. 20.10, note). But there is more. The vision is not of Satan in his own person, but of Satan fulfilling himself in and through an earthly king who arrogates to himself divine honours, so that the prince of Tyrus foreshadows the beast (Dan. 7.8; Rev. 19.20)” (1917 Scofield Reference Edition, n. 1 to Ez. 28.12, p. 871).
Does God desire that a government be under Satan? No! Pursuant to the Word of God, God desires every government—self-government, family government, civil government, and church government—to be under Him. But He gives every government a choice. To verify this, look at the verses cited above and then read through the Bible looking at how God deals with governments. Even a nation (civil government) can repent and turn to God at any time. God through Jeremiah said:
“At what instant I shall speak concerning a nation, and concerning a kingdom, to pluck up, and to pull down, and to destroy it; If that nation, against whom I have pronounced, turn from their evil, I will repent of the evil that I thought to do unto them. And at what instant I shall speak concerning a nation, and concerning a kingdom, to build and to plant it; If it do evil in my sight, that it obey not my voice, then I will repent of the good, wherewith I said I would benefit them” (Je. 18.7-10).
Just as the doom of self, family, and churches (except for a remnant) is directed by Satan, so will the downfall of all nations be orchestrated by Satan. It is important to remember, however, that God gives every individual, every family, every church, and every nation a choice between going by His or Satan’s principles. All individuals and institutions are doomed if they let Satan’s principles of force, greed, selfishness, ambition, and/or pleasure influence them to give in to their lusts and follow Satan. Ultimately, as the Bible reveals, one’s only hope is to come to God with a humble and contrite spirit, repent of sins, and trust the Lord Jesus Christ as his/her personal savior. This will be the beginning of a new life in which one who continues in His Word will become His disciple and will know the truth which will set him free (See Jn. 8.31-32).
En1 Why should believers, and especially pastors, be concerned about the area of church and state law? Because only through knowledge can they avoid dishonoring the Husband/Bridegroom/Head of their local church body and thereby failing to achieve their God-given goal—glorifying God and pleasing Him.
These articles systematically examine the biblical doctrines of church, state, separation of church and state and the application of those doctrines in America. For believers and churches, the information presented is—according to God’s Word—of great importance to our Lord. By reading and studying each article using the Bible as the standard, a believer will discover that the biblical principles are correct as presented. By studying the historical and legal facts presented—without bias, prejudice, illicit motive, or an overriding opposing agenda which has a vested interest in maintaining a status quo due to loss of finances, support or something else—and examining those facts in light of biblical principle, a qualified believer (a believer who has the necessary biblical, historical, and legal qualifications and education) can understand that the conclusions are correct.
That said, understanding the biblical principles, relevant history, and legal principles and facts is, first, impossible for one who is not a born again believer who is walking in the Spirit, and, second, daunting for even the spirit filled follower of Christ. Years of honest, open minded study is required to achieve the correct knowledge and understanding of all facets of church and state law. First, one must interpret Scripture correctly (See 2 Ti. 2:15) as to the relevant topics. After mastering the biblical principles, one must then labor through the annals of history, and the intricacies of law. In order to be qualified to comment upon the law, one must have an extensive legal education. He must understand how to do legal research and how to reach correct legal conclusions. Legal commentary by a pseudo lawyer can sound good to the untrained, while he may be correctly understood as frivolous and unlearned and probably heretical by the educated believer.
This is not to say that a non-lawyer cannot understand the legal and historical aspects of spiritual matters. In fact, the author knows some pastors and other believers who, having already correctly divided the Word of Truth and determined to seek to please God in all matters, have open minds and who have eagerly sought truth in the historical and legal church and state law arena. He is working with such a young pastor at this very moment. He is a brilliant young man who had mastered the Scriptures and Baptist history before the author met him. He excels the author in those matters, as do some other pastors and believers known by the author. Unlike most pastors, he does not have the disadvantages of having gone to either a secular or ecclesiastical (Baptist or otherwise) institution of higher learning. Secular colleges and universities usually corrupt even the most devout child of God; and religious colleges, institutions, and seminaries generally (with few exceptions, one of which the author has personal knowledge of)—by either mixing an ample dose of humanism with whatever biblically correct teaching they dose out; or by having totally having abandoned truth—likewise usually corrupt their students to one degree or another.
On the other hand, I am vexed by what I read in some books and websites concerning church and state law; particularly by some vicious, unfounded attacks upon the Biblical Law Center Declaration of Trust by unqualified, biased assailants who are attempting to mislead believers and churches through incorrect biblical and legal analyses and personal attacks upon and outright lies about those with whom they disagree in such matters.
Being a believer alone, even a pastor, does not by itself qualify one to teach on church and state law. The author has been a believer and faithful member of independent Baptist churches since his salvation. He was called by God to go to law school for His glory and to please Him. As a result of that calling, he obtained a Doctor of Jurisprudence degree from one of the best law schools in the country and has practiced law for seventeen years. He has no motive for dishonesty. By design, he has never made a dime above expenses in his work in the church and state law arena. In fact, he has spent tens of thousands of dollars with total income of at most three to four thousand dollars in all the years he has worked in this area of law. Because of this he is beholden to no one and nothing but the truth and his Lord and Savior. Since becoming a lawyer, he has devoted untold thousands of hours in biblical, historical, and legal study and analysis of church and state law.
As always, he declares that if anyone can show him where he is in error, he will recant. Honest, loving believers have taught him much and caused him to modify some of his positions. He has also, in his continued studies, modified some of his conclusions and positions. However, he maintains his primary positions because neither he, through his continued studies, or others have shown him to be wrong about his basic church and state law principles and conclusions.
En2 God Betrayed/Separation of Church and State: The Biblical Principles and the American Application (Link to preview of God Betrayed): may be ordered from Amazon by clicking the following link: God Betrayed on Amazon.com or from Barnes and Nobel by clicking the following link: God Betrayed on Barnes and Noble. All books by Jerald Finney as well as many of the books he has referenced and read may also be ordered by left clicking “Books” (on the “Church and State Law” website) or directly from Amazon by going to the following links: (1) Render Unto God the Things that Are His: A Systematic Study of Romans 13 and Related Verses (Kindle only); (2) The Most Important Thing: Loving God and/or Winning Souls (Kindle only); (3) Separation of Church and State/God’s Churches: Spiritual or Legal Entities? (Link to preview of Separation of Church and State/God’s Churches: Spiritual or Legal Entities?) which can also be ordered by clicking the following Barnes and Noble link: Separation of Church and State on Barnes and Noble.