Conclusion to “The Biblical Doctrine of Separation of Church and State”


Jerald Finney
Copyright © December 19, 2012


Click here to go to “Self-exam Questions: Conclusion to the Biblical Doctrine of Separation of Church and State” [To be added as time permits.]


Note. This is a modified version of Section III, Chapter 8 of God Betrayed: Separation of Church and State/The Biblical Principles and the American Application. The Biblical Doctrine of Separation of Church and State has links to the audio teaching of Jerald Finney on this and other subjects related to the doctrine of separation of church and state.


Conclusion to “The Biblical Doctrine of Separation of Church and State”

God’s principles separate church and state. The God-ordained purpose of both is to glorify God, but neither will do this if operated outside the jurisdictional boundaries set by God. The two are so distinct that the possibility of the two operating together, or the possibility of one assuming leadership over the other without the very nature of the church being distorted and corrupted is a nullity. The church is a heavenly institution to be operated by men who are walking in the Spirit. The state is an earthly institution usually run by fleshly men whose purpose and goals are earthly. Even should born-again believers be the rulers of civil government (a temporary possibility at best), a state-church or church-state society is doomed to failure because God does not desire such a union and has made the two so different that it is impossible for the church to continue to be pure while the two operate together.

Men, walking in the flesh and not in the Spirit, have gone to great lengths to distort Scripture to justify an unholy alliance of church and state. And it is only a church, not the state, that is responsible for an alliance between church and state. Christ instructed Christians:

  • “Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be salted? it is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men.  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” (Mt. 5.13-16; see also, Lu. 11.33 and Mk. 4.20-21).  “The seven candlesticks which thou sawest are the seven churches” (Re. 1.20).
  • Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also. The light of the body is the eye: if therefore thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light. But if thine eye be evil, thy whole body shall be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in thee be darkness, how great is that darkness. No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon” (Mt. 6.19-24; see also Lu. 11.34-36).
  • “For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved. But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God” (Jn. 3.17-21).
    “For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ” (2 Co. 4.6).
  • “Be not unequally yoked with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness: and what communion hath light with darkness? And what concord hath Christ with Belial: or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel? And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, and will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty” (2 Co. 6.14-18).
  • “…God is light, and in him is no darkness at all. If we say we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth: But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin” (1 Jn. 1.5-7).

The Lord, who loved His wife and gave Himself for her, desires to be her only Head, her only Mate. But He has given the wife a choice. She can be a light to the world showing forth the purity of the heavenly marriage, or she can spend part of her time with another partner or lover, taking instructions, advice, and material help from him. She can put her light wholly or partially under a bushel where it is subdued. The result will be a partially or wholly worldly “church.” Fewer people will be drawn to the light, since the light is dimmed or completely hidden. The question is. “How much does a church love her Husband and her fellow man?” As Roger Williams said,

“A chaste wife will not only abhor to be restrained from her husband’s bed as adulterous and polluted, but also abhor (if not much more) to be constrained to the bed of a stranger. And what is abominable in corporal, is much more loathsome in spiritual whoredom and defilement” (Roger Williams and Edward Bean Underhill, The Bloudy Tenent of Persecution for Cause of Conscience Discussed and Mr. Cotton’s Letter Examined and Answered (London: Printed for the Society, by J. Haddon, Castle Street, Finsbury, 1848), p. 38).

Christ-Church, Husband-Wife, Bridegroom-Bride


Jerald Finney
Copyright © December 19, 2012


Click here to go to “Self-exam Questions: Christ-Church, Husband-Wife, Bridegroom-Bride” [To be added as time permits]


Note. This is a modified version of Section III, Chapter 7 of God Betrayed: Separation of Church and State/The Biblical Principles and the American Application. The Biblical Doctrine of Separation of Church and State has links to the audio teaching of Jerald Finney on this and other subjects related to the doctrine of separation of church and state.


Christ-Church, Husband-Wife, Bridegroom-Bride

“Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it” (Ep. 5.25).

The Word of God reveals the mind of God. The Bible tells the believer how God feels concerning certain actions of His children. The Husband-wife and Bridegroom-bride analogies depicting Christ and His church (discussed in Section II, Chapter 3 of God Betrayed) have important implications. From the Husband-wife analogy, we know that Christ, likened to a husband, wants to be over His wife, the church, in all things and is jealous when His wife, even if remaining for some purposes under Christ, also puts herself under another head. Why else would God have given this analogy? He wants us to know how important this relationship is.

What godly husband would not be jealous if his wife came to him, arms around another man, and said,

“You know that I love you very much. I appreciate your love for me and all you do for me. I have entered into an agreement with Joe. I want you to know that I have decided that I am going to meet with Joe a couple of times a week for breakfast, or lunch, or dinner; and maybe occasionally meet with him just to talk. He cares for me, and he can give me additional advice and information which will be very helpful to me and which you are not able to give, although the advice you do give is most appreciated and helpful as far as it goes and as far as it is correct. He will also help me financially, since you cannot give me all that I need and want. I will still love and honor you. I know that my relationship with Joe will be alright with you.”

How would a husband feel about such an arrangement? Would it affect the marriage in any way? Would not it affect the way the husband and wife treat and respond to one another? Would the husband be jealous? Is not Christ jealous of His church? Is not the Lord grieved when His wife, the church, puts herself under the state through incorporation and tax exempt status (see Section VI of God Betrayed) or in any other manner?

We see pictures of the Husband-wife relationship in the Old Testament, between Jehovah God the Father and the nation Israel:

Isaiah 54 deals with Israel the restored wife of Jehovah & security and blessing of restored Israel. God the Father was the husband of Israel.  “For thy maker is thine husband; the LORD of hosts is his name; and thy Redeemer the Holy one of Israel; The God of the whole earth shall he be called” (Is. 54.5).

Jeremiah 2-6 discusses the harlotry of Israel toward her husband, Jehovah and His warnings and promises to her depending upon whether she repents. “Turn, O backsliding children saith the LORD; for I am married unto you….   Surely as a wife treacherously departeth from her husband, so have ye dealt treacherously with me, O house of Israel, saith the LORD” (Je. 3.14, 20).

Hosea depicts the dishonored wife (Israel), and the sinful people. “… Plead with your mother, plead: for she is not my wife, neither  am I her husband. Let her  therefore put away her  whoredoms out of her  sight, and her adulteries from between her breasts; Lest I  strip her naked, and set her  as in the day that she was born, and make her as a wilderness, and set her like a dry land, and slay her with thirst. And  I will not have mercy on her children; for they be the children  of whoredoms. For their mother hath played the harlot: she that conceived them hath  done shamefully: for she said, I will go after other lovers, that  give me  my bread and  my water, my wool and my flax, mine oil and my drink…” (Ho. 2.2-5).

Hosea 4.6-11 speaks of the willful ignorance of Israel: “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge: because thou hast rejected knowledge, I will also reject thee, that thou shalt be no priest to me: seeing thou has forgotten the law of thy God, I will also forget my children…” (Ho. 4).

Sadly, many of our leading Christians and pastors today, like the Israelites spoken of by the prophets, are either willfully ignorant or allow their reasoning to blind their eyes as to the importance of this issue to God.

What happens when a wife starts to have an affair, even a non-sexual affair? She may be able to hide her earthly affair from her husband, but she cannot hide the effects of the affair. (Of course, a church cannot hide her affair from the Lord.) The attitude, speech, and actions of the wife change. Does not her relationship with her husband change? Her husband now has to share his time with another who is partially over his wife. Does not the joy leave the marriage? Many times, if she does not repent, is not the marriage destroyed? Even if she repents, she and her husband will never forget. Hopefully, he will forgive.

In many ways it is the same with the local assembly that enters into an unholy union with the civil government. Perhaps the church who does this tries to cover up the fact that the church has dishonored and grieved her Husband, the Lord Jesus Christ—those who even think about what is going on say, “Well, if my new partner ever tells me that I cannot preach salvation, he will have gone too far.” The pastor says, “The Lord and his ways are not sufficient. The civil government takes better care of me than does the Lord. The civil government protects the church, allows the church to enter into contracts, gives the church limited liability, gives the church tax exemption (not realizing that God makes the church non-taxable which is not good enough), allows my people to deduct their contributions, etc.” This pastor either does not understand or ignores the Word of God in these matters. He does not understand that God instructs him that the Lord is to be over His church, that he is at the very least combining the holy with the unholy, or at worst committing spiritual adultery, and that disastrous consequences are ahead. Unlike an earthly husband, God can and will forgive and forget if a church repents and turns back to the Lord.

“Wherefore, my brethren, ye also are become dead to the law by the body of Christ; that ye should be married to another, even to him who is raised from the dead, that we should bring forth fruit unto God” (Ro. 7.4).

Note. This subject is dealt with in much more detail in The Most Important Thing: Loving God and/or Winning Souls.

The Coming Universal Church Will Reign with the Lord


Jerald Finney
Copyright © December 19, 2012


Click here to go to “Self-exam Questions: The Coming Universal Church Will Reign with the Lord

Click here to listen to and/or download Jerald Finney’s audio teaching on “The church will reign with the Lord. Note that this audio teaching was significantly revised by this revised article on January 29,2013.


The Biblical Doctrine of the Church has links to the audio teaching of Jerald Finney on this and other subjects related to the doctrine of the church.


Note. This is a significantly revised version of Section II, Chapter 7 of God Betrayed: Separation of Church and State/The Biblical Principles and the American Application. 


The Coming Universal Church Will Reign with the Lord

6Several so-called universal “churches” were instituted and built by those who did not honor the word of God. Those “churches” killed untold millions of what they deem to be heretics (many of whom were born-again believers who refused to bow down to the false religion-state) while leading multitudes to hell since the initiation of the first such “church” in the early fourth century. Nonetheless, true believers in Christ, even in martyrdom, have always rejoiced in exceeding gladness. They will become members of the universal visible church which will be established at the marriage supper of the Lamb.

1As explained in the last article, no universal church exists on earth. Rather, unbiblical “ universal” religious organizations were organized by the god of this world: first the Catholic “church,” then the Protestant “churches,” and many religious offshoots from biblical heresies and apostasies. Due to a lack of knowledge, wisdom, and understanding, some believers join or continue alongside the lost members of those organizations. Those believers are out of order. God’s desire is for them to seek out a local, autonomous, New Testament Church—i.e., a church which orders herself according to the principles of the New Testament. Only in such churches is the service of God in biblical order; and properly ordered New Testament churches have continuously existed since Jesus Christ ordained the institution of the church. Jesus said to Peter, “And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it” (Mt. 16:18).

In spite of the steady movement toward the foretold end time political and religious Babylon, true Christians have the ultimate hope: they will reign with the Lord. This should be a cause for great rejoicing as well as incentive to be responsible members of the body of Christ, to make sure that every effort is made to glorify God, and  to assure that the individual, his family and the church he is a member of remains totally under Christ in every way.

The Holy Spirit is now calling out, not the subjects, but the co-heirs and co-rulers of the kingdom:

  • Mt5.10-122 Ti. 2.11-12: “It is a faithful saying: For if we be dead with him, we shall also live with him: If we suffer, we shall also reign with him: if we deny him, he also will deny us;”
  • Re. 1.6: “And hath made us kings and priests unto God and his Father; to him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen;”
  • Re. 3.21: “To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne;”
  • Re. 5.10: “And hast made us unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth;”
  • Ro. 8.15-18: “For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father.’ The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God: And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together. For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us;”
  • 1 Co. 6.2-3: “Do ye not know that the saints shall judge the world? and if the world shall be judged by you, are ye unworthy to judge the smallest matters? Know ye not that we shall judge angels? how much more things that pertain to this life?”

3“Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness’ sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake.  Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you” (Mt. 5.10-12).

“But ye are come unto mount Sion, and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to an innumerable company of angels, To the general assembly and church of the firstborn, which are written in heaven, and to God the Judge of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect,  And to Jesus the mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling, that speaketh better things than that of Abel” (He. 12:22-24).

Apostasy at the End of the Church Age

Jerald Finney
Copyright © December 19, 2012

Click here to go to “Self-exam Questions: Apostasy at the End of the Church Age”

Click here to download and listen to Jerald Finney’s audio teaching on the “Apostasy at the end of the church age.”

The Biblical Doctrine of the Church has links to the audio teaching of Jerald Finney on this and other subjects related to the doctrine of the church.

Note. This is a modified version of Section II, Chapter 6 of God Betrayed: Separation of Church and State/The Biblical Principles and the American Application. 

Re.3.16

The Lord says to the church of the Laodiceans, at the end of the church age and at the final stage of the apostasy:

“I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot. So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth. Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked: I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see. As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent” (Re. 3.15-19).

Many pastors believe that the saved will go to heaven but be without rewards should they not follow after Christ after salvation. Pastor Joey Faust states the following concerning the church at Laodicea:

“To fall from, one has to be in something first. I believe Laodicea is a church made up of TRUE (thus real) Christians, who nevertheless have fallen away from truth and fellowship with Jesus in their materialism, pride, etc. This church and its pastor (and all true churches in the last days who are Laodicean) will lose the right to reign and fellowship with Jesus when He appears—thus the Lord’s command to be zealous and repent” (See J.D. Faust, The Rod: Will God Spare It? (Hanesville, N.C.: Schoettle Publishing Co., Inc. 2002))!

Whether one agrees with Pastor Faust or not concerning this issue, the Bible shows that at the end of the church age, the Lord will be outside the Laodicean church (Re. 3.20). Nonetheless, He will still be there for the individual, just as He, while on earth as the second Adam, still appealed to the individual after the nation Israel rejected His rule over the nation: “If any man will hear my voice, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me” (Ibid.).

UnionOfChurchAndStateThe final result of the apostasy will be the great ecclesiastical harlot spoken of in Revelation 17 and 18. In Revelation 17 is mystery Babylon, the apostate church (J. Vernon McGee, Revelation, Volume 1, p. 89). Dr. McGee states:

“… The church of Thyatira, described in Revelation 2.18-29, which permitted Jezebel to teach, will become the apostate church of the great tribulation. It will attain the goal of the present-day apostates of all the great systems of the world: Romanism, Protestantism, pagan religions, cults and isms. Even in our so-called independent Bible churches there will be those who are not believers, and during the tribulation they will join this great organization that may call itself a church but is not. The Bible calls it a harlot….  This is ecumenical ecclesiasticism of the one-world church….”

True believers will not go through the God’s wrath; they will be raptured out before the wrath of God begins. Keep in mind that tribulation is not the wrath of God. Professing believers who are not saved will be left here on this earth when authentic Christians are raptured. As Dr. George Gill used to say, some churches will meet the Sunday after the rapture and will not miss a member…. They are churches in earthly name only.  They are harlots. The last so-called church is a pseudo-religious system, which is hated by the political beast. The Beast will destroy the harlot in order to set up his own religion.”

1

True believers will be glorified (Mt. 13.36-43; Ro. 8.18-23). The Lord will rapture the dead in Christ: “For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord” (1 Th. 4.16-17).

Universal Church Heresy
Universal Church Heresy

I believe Dr. McGee, C.I. Scofield, and many others—including many fundamental “Baptists” who should know better and would know better if they studied the Bible and their history on the issue–are wrong in their understanding of a “true or universal church.” See “C.I. Scofield’s ‘True Church’ Doctrine”. True believers, according to many Bible students and scholars, will not go through the great tribulation, but will not experience the wrath of God which follows. Some believers make a good argument for a mid-tribulation rapture and many for a post-tribulation rapture. Regardless, the Bible never mentions a “true church” or a “universal church.” “A church” or “the church” is mentioned. However, to go from there to a “true church” or a “universal church” prior to the marriage supper of the Lamb is a leap unsupported by Scripture. Only in the heavenly Jerusalem will a general assembly (what could be called a universal church) come into existence. The “true church” or “universal church” doctrine is responsible for totally disordered churches (which includes most fundamental and fundamental Baptist churches), many of whose doctrines are totally off-base according to biblical church doctrine.

rapturesThe author challenges anyone to take the Bible and prove him wrong; he believes that it cannot be done; but if he can be shown that Bible truth proves him wrong, he will repent publically and adjust his teachings accordingly. The author has been proven to be open minded. He has come to his conclusions based upon many years of study of the Bible, the only source which can give the correct answer. He had to abandon much of what he had been taught over twenty-five years of faithful church membership and attendance. Of course, over that period he had not been taught much, because most pastors do not get into the deeper things of God (such as the doctrine of the church, the doctrine of government, the doctrine of separation of church and state, etc.) with the church bodies they are entrusted with. As one pastor who will go unnamed said,” I don’t do that because many of the members of ____ Church would not bear it.” Most pastors learn their doctrine of the church from Bible College of from other Fundamentalists who have bought the traditional anti-scriptural teachings on this matter.

This alleged “true church” doctrine was used to justify the Protestant and Catholic doctrines of universal visible and universal invisible church. This in turn was a basis for the doctrine of union of church and state, the doctrine of sacraments, and will be used by the great spiritual harlot to establish spiritual Babylon in the end times. Of course, this was never an historical Baptist doctrine because it is contrary to the teaching of the Bible. Many or most so-called Baptists in America today have betrayed their roots and many biblical doctrines to one degree or another. Most are nothing more than Protestants and many fall so far that they are nothing more than “wolves in sheep’s clothing.”

Ecclesiastical Babylon (apostate Christendom, the harlot whom many biblical scholars logically conclude will be headed up under the Papacy and which will at that time condone every iniquity of the rich and will be corrupted to the core by commercialism, wealth, and luxury; the “universal church on earth”) will be destroyed by political Babylon, that is by the nations; and political Babylon, the nations, will be crushed by Christ when they come against Israel at the end of the tribulation (See Re. 17.15-18). All this will happen because men choose to succumb to Satan’s principles in order to satisfy their lusts.

13

Jesus proclaimed, “And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.” He was speaking of the institution of the church which was to be made up of local, autonomous, spiritual bodies. Paul, in his epistles laid out the doctrine of the church. The only “churches” one sees in the Bible on earth until the marriage supper of the lamb, are local, autonomous spiritual bodies. One can refer to the other chapters in this section on the biblical doctrine of the church for much more information on this matter.

There will one day be a “universal church.” “But ye are come unto mount Sion, and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to an innumerable company of angels, To the general assembly and church of the firstborn, which are written in heaven, and to God the Judge of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect” (He. 12:22-23). That church will come into existence at the marriage of the Lamb: “Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honour to him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife hath made herself ready. And to her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white: for the fine linen is the righteousness of saints” (Re. 19:7-8). “And there came unto me one of the seven angels which had the seven vials full of the seven last plagues, and talked with me, saying, Come hither, I will shew thee the bride, the Lamb’s wife. And he carried me away in the spirit to a great and high mountain, and shewed me that great city, the holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God” (Re. 21:9-10).

bridewaitingUntil the universal church is established by Jesus Christ, we should listen to Jesus and Paul on this matter. Jesus said, “Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish…. For we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones.” (Ep. 5:25-27, 30). Paul wrote, “For I am jealous over you with godly jealousy: for I have espoused you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ” (2 Co. 11:2).

 

Heresy and Apostasy


Jerald Finney
Copyright © December 19, 2012


Click here to go to “Self-Exam Questions: Heresy and Apostasy”


 Note. This is a modified version of Section II, Chapter 4 of God Betrayed: Separation of Church and State/The Biblical Principles and the American Application.


Heresy and Apostasy

2Th2.3Prior to the return of the Lord, the visible churches, except for a remnant, will go into apostasy. “Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition: who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God” (2 Th. 2.3-4).

1“Apostasy, ‘falling away,’ is the act of professed Christians who deliberately reject revealed truth (1) as to the deity of Jesus Christ, and (2) redemption through His atoning and redeeming sacrifice (1 John 4.1-3 [‘Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world. Hereby know ye the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God: And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world.’]; Phil. 3.18 [‘For many walk, of whom I have told you often, and now tell you even weeping, that they are the enemies of the cross of Christ:”]; 2 Pet. 2.1 [“But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction.’]). Apostasy truthdiffers therefore from error concerning truth, which may be the result of ignorance (Acts 19.1-6 [‘And it came to pass, that, while Apollos was at Corinth, Paul having passed through the upper coasts came to Ephesus: and finding certain disciples, He said unto them, Have ye received the Holy Ghost since ye believed? And they said unto him, We have not so much as heard whether there be any Holy Ghost. And he said unto them, Unto what then were ye baptized? And they said, Unto John’s baptism. Then said Paul, John verily baptized with the baptism of repentance, saying unto the people, that they should believe on him which should come after him, that is, on Christ Jesus. When they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. And when Paul had laid his hands upon them, the Holy Ghost came on them; and they spake 7with tongues, and prophesied.’]), or heresy, which may be due to the snare of Satan (2 Tim. 2.25, 26 [‘In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth; And that they may recover themselves out of the snare of the devil, who are taken captive by him at his will.’]), both of which may consist with true faith. The apostate is perfectly described in 2 Tim. 4.3, 4 [‘For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away theirears from the truth, and shall be turned into fables.’]. Apostates depart from the faith, but not from the outward profession of Christianity (2 Tim. 3.5 [‘Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof, from such turn away.’]). Apostate teachers are described in 2 Tim. 4.3 [“For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears.]; 2 Pet. 2.1-19 [quoted here in part: ‘But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction. And many shall follow their pernicious ways; by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of.  And through covetousness shall they with feigned words make merchandise of you: … But these, as natural brute beasts, made to be taken and destroyed, speak evil of the things that they understand not; and shall utterly perish in their own corruption; …  Which have forsaken the right way, and are gone astray, following the way of Balaam the son of Bosor, who loved the wages of unrighteousness; ….These are wells without water, clouds that are carried with a tempest; to whom the mist of darkness is reserved for ever. For when they speak great swelling words of vanity, they allure through the lusts of the flesh, through much wantonness, those that were clean escaped from them who live Balaamin error.  While they promise them liberty, they themselves are the servants of corruption: for of whom a man is overcome, of the same is he brought in bondage.’]; Jude 4, 8, 11-13, 16 [‘For there are certain men crept in unawares, who were before of old ordained to this condemnation, ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness, and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ…. Likewise also thesefilthy dreamers defile the flesh, despise dominion, and speak evil of dignities…. Woe unto them! for they have gone in the way of Cain, and ran greedily after the Judgment3error of Balaam for reward, and perished in the gainsaying of Core. These are spots in your feasts of charity, when they feast with you, feeding themselves without fear: clouds they are without water, carried about of winds; trees whose fruit withereth, without fruit, twice dead, plucked up by the roots; Raging waves of the sea, foaming out their own shame; wandering stars, to whom is reserved the blackness of darkness for ever. These are murmurers, complainers, walking after their own lusts; and their mouth speaketh great swelling words, having men’s persons in admiration because of advantage.’].  Apostasy in the church, as in Israel (Isa. 1.5, 6; 5.5-7), is irremediable, and awaits judgment (2 Thes. 2.10-12 [‘And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness’]; 2 Pet. 2.17, 21 [‘These are wells without water, clouds that are carried with a tempest; to whom the mist of darkness is reserved for ever…. For it had been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than, after they have known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered unto them.’]; Jude 11-15; Rev. 3.14-16)” (1917 Scofield Reference Edition, n. 1 to 2 Ti. 3.1, p. 1280). [Bold emphasis mine].

Inevitably, there is no remedy for apostasy but judgment. (Is. 1.2-7, 24, 25; He. 6.4-8; 10.26-31. For example, Noah preached for 120 years, won no converts, and the judgment predicted by his great-grandfather fell (Jude 14, 15; Ge. 7.11)).

Lk.18.8b“Nevertheless, when the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth” (Lu. 18.8b)?  The reference is not to personal faith, but to belief in the whole body of revealed truth (1917 Scofield Reference Edition, n. 1 to Lu. 18.8, p. 1101; see, e.g., Ro. 1.5; 1 Co. 16.13; 2 Co. 13.5; Col. 1.23, 2.7; Tit. 1.13; Jude 3). “Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils” (1 Ti. 4.1).

Ga.1.8-9In the New Testament, the apostasy was treated as having already set in. In fact, the Asian churches had not disbanded, nor ceased to call themselves Christian; but they had turned away from the doctrines of grace distinctively revealed through the Apostle Paul. Thus, even in the beginning of the church, the apostle Paul and Jude were concerned with the tendency to depart from the faith due to the influence of false teachers:

  • “I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel:  Which is not another; but there be some that trouble you; and would pervert the gospel of Christ. But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed” (Ga. 1.6-8).
  • “For there are certain men crept in unawares, who were before of old ordained to this condemnation, ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness, and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ” (Jude 4).

Many of our churches today, even many of our independent Bible believing churches, have perverted the gospel of Christ and turned the grace of our God into lasciviousness (“Looseness; irregular indulgence of animal desires; wantonness; lustfulness; Tendency to excite lust, and promote irregular indulgences” (AMERICAN DICTIONARY OF THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE, NOAH WEBSTER (1828) definition of “LASCIVIOUSNESS.”). even though perhaps they have not verbally denied our Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ.

19Gentile world apostasy comes in seven stages:

“Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools. And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things” (Ro. 1.21-23).

As a result of this worldwide Gentile apostasy, mankind sinks to the depths of depravity:

“Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves: Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen. For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature: And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet. And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient; Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers, Backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents. Without understanding, covenantbreakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful: Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them”  (Ro. 1.24-32).

Pope20The apostasy is usually introduced by ungodly men who will “wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived” (2 Ti. 3.13).  Our Lord warned against false teachers:

  • “Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves” (Mt. 7.15).
  • “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” (Mt. 7.21-23).
  • “And Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you. For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many” (Mt. 24.4-5).
  • “And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many” (Mt. 24.11).
  • “For false Christs and false prophets shall rise, and shall shew signs and wonders, to seduce, if it were possible, even the elect” (Mk. 13.22).
  • “Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven” (Mt. 5.19).
  • “But in vain do they worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men” (Mt. 15.9).

The Lord is obviously warning that many of His children will be deceived by the many false prophets which shall arise. With heresy and apostasy, the God-given doctrines and goal for churches and for Christians are left in the dust. The goal or purpose of most churches and “Christians” is the happiness of man and not the glory of God. They ask “What can God do for me,” not “What can I do for God?” Their purpose for giving, for doing, and for going to church is to get something back from God. Many believers today, many in allegedly independent Bible believing churches, are being deceived about many biblical doctrines, including the doctrines of church, state, and separation of church and state. As a result, they are, among other things, incorporating, operating as unincorporated associations, and becoming 501(c)(3) tax exempt organizations. Section VI of God Betrayed (PDFonline version) and Separation of Church and State: God’s Churches—Spiritual or Legal Entities (PDFonline version) discuss incorporation and tax exempt status of churches in some detail, and will explain ways that a church can hold property and also please God.

As a result, God is not glorified at all. Everything in the ultimate modern American church is for self—the headship, the “Bibles,” the doctrines taught, the preaching, the music, the dress, the goal, everything.

5Peter, Paul, and Jude traced the origin of apostasy to false teachers, explained their methods of operation, and warned the churches to beware of the apostasy:

  • “Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood. For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing he flock: Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them. Therefore watch, and remember, that by the space of three years I ceased not to warn every one night and day with tears” (Ac. 20.28-31).
  • “But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed. As we said before, so say I now again, If any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed” (Ga. 1.8-9).
  • “O foolish Galatians, who hath bewitched you, that ye should not obey the truth, before whose eyes Jesus Christ hath been evidently set forth, crucified among you” (Ga. 3.1)?
  • “For there must be also heresies among you, that they which are approved may be made manifest among you” (1 Co. 11.19).
  • “For if he that cometh preacheth another Jesus, whom we have not preached, or if ye receive another spirit, which ye have not received, or another gospel, which ye have not accepted, ye might well bear with him” (2 Co. 11.4).
  • “For there are many unruly and vain talkers and deceivers, specially they of the circumcision; Whose mouths must be stopped, who subvert whole houses, teaching things which they ought not, for filthy lucre’s sake” (Tit. 1.10-11).
  • “Now the spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils; Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron” (1 Ti. 4.1-2).
  • “For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned to fables. Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away” (2 Ti. 4.3-5).
  • “But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them and bring upon themselves swift destruction. And many shall follow their pernicious ways; by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of. And through covetousness shall they with feigned words make merchandise of you: whose judgment now of a long time lingereth not, and their damnation slumbereth not….  Which have forsaken the right way, and are gone astray, following the way of Balaam the son of Bosor, who loved wages of unrighteousness; But was rebuked for his iniquity: the dumb ass speaking with man’s voice forbad the madness of the prophet. These are wells without water, clouds that are carried with a tempest; to whom the mist of darkness is reserved for ever. For when they speak great swelling words of vanity, they allure through the lusts of the flesh, through much wantonness, those that were clean escaped from them who live in error. While they promise them liberty, they themselves are the servants of corruption: for of whom a man is overcome, of the same is he brought into bondage” (2 Pe. 2.1-3, 15-19. All of 2 Pe. 2 deals with false teachers.).
  • “Whosoever transgresseth, and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not God. He that abideth in the doctrine of Christ, he hath both the Father and the Son. If there come any unto you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into your house, neither bid him God speed: For he that biddeth him God speed is partaker of his evil deeds” (2 John 9-11).
  • “Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts, And saying, Where is the promise of his coming? for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation” (2 Pe. 3.3-4).
  • “For there are certain men crept in unawares, who were before of old ordained to this condemnation, ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness, and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ” (Jude 4. Jude predicts the apostasy of the professing churches and describes the cause and course of the apostasy. As in II Timothy and II Peter, the apostasy is treated as having already set in.).

LeavenOnly a little leaven can completely change and pervert the truth of the Gospel: “Ye did run well; who did hinder you that ye should not obey the truth?  This persuasion cometh not of him that calleth you. A little leaven leaveneth the whole lump” (Ga. 5.7-9).

False teachers deny redemption truth: “[False teachers] shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them and bring upon themselves swift destruction” (2 Pe. 2.1).  Others deny the truth concerning Christ’s person as Son of God, God himself.

“BELOVED, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world. Hereby know ye the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world. Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world. They are of the world: therefore speak they of the world, and the world heareth them” (1 Jn. 4.1-5; See also, 1 Jn. 2.18-28).

In Jude all phases of apostasy are seen. Jude mentions those who “ran after the error of Balaam for reward.” Many pastors and other Christians today, like Balaam, revert to human reasoning and, among other unbiblical practices, put God’s church under the state for reward—that is, for money, for popularity, or power. They may not have gone completely into apostasy, but heresy is the first step toward apostasy.

The tone of the New Testament writers when dealing with heresy and apostasy is never one of dejection or pessimism. God & His promises are still the resource of the believer. Although Paul as recorded in II Timothy and Peter as recorded in II Peter are aware that martyrdom is near (See 2 Ti. 4.6-8, 2 Pe. 1.14, and Jn. 21.18-19), both are apparently sustained and joyful: “For I am now ready to be offered, and the time of my departure is at hand. I have fought a good fight, I have finishedmy course, I have kept the faith: Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing” (2 Ti. 4.7-8). The whole book of II Timothy reflects Paul’s joyful attitude as II Peter shows Peter to be likewise joyful and sustained.

1II Timothy, II Peter, Jude, and II & III John deal the personal walk and testimony of a true servant of Christ in a day of apostasy and declension. For example, Paul instructs the “good soldier” in the face of apostasy:

“[B]e strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus. And the things that thou has heard of me among many witnesses, the same commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also. Thou therefore endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ. No man that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of this life: that he may please him who hath chosen him to be a soldier….  Remember that Jesus Christ of the seed of David was raised from the dead according to my gospel: …  It is a faithful saying: For if we be dead with him, we shall also live with him: If we suffer, we shall also reign with him: If we deny him, he also will deny us: If we believe not, yet he abideth faithful: he cannot deny himself….  Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. But shun profane and vain babblings: for they will increase unto more ungodliness. And 2Ti.4.1-2their word will eat as doth a canker: …  Flee also youthful lusts: but follow righteousness, faith, charity, peace, with them that call on the Lord out of a pure heart. But foolish and unlearned questions avoid, knowing that they do gender strifes. And the servant of the Lord must not strive; but be gentle unto all men, apt to teach, patient, In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth; And that they may recover themselves out of the snare of the devil, who are taken captive by him at his will” (2 Ti. 2.1-4, 8, 11-13, 15-17a, 22-25).

Paul instructed Timothy, a preacher whom Paul called his “dearly beloved son (2 Ti. 1.2)” and his “own son in the faith” (1 Ti. 1.2).

“Preach the word: be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned into fables. But watch thou in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of the evangelist, make full proof of thy ministry” (2 Ti. 4.2-5).

“The believer’s resources in a day of general declension and apostasy  are faith (2 Ti. 1.5), the spirit (2 Ti. 1.6-7), the Word of God (2 Ti. 1.13; 3.1-17; 4.3-4), the grace of Christ (2 Ti. 2.1), separation from vessels unto dishonor (2 Ti. 2.4, 20-21), the Lord’s sure reward (2 Ti. 4.7-8), and the Lord’s faithfulness and power (2 Ti. 2.13, 19)” (1917 Scofield Reference Edition, n. 1 to 2 Ti. 1.12, p. 1279).

 

Preface to God Betrayed: Union of Church and State

Jerald Finney
Copyright © December 10, 2012

Just as Christ “loved the church, and gave himself for it” (Ep. 5.25), a Christian should give priority to his relationship with Christ since God says that this relationship—not salvation of souls, good works, missions, or anything one does for his fellow man—is His top priority (See Jerald Finney, The Most Important Thing: Loving God and/or Winning Souls? (Austin, TX: Kerygma Publishing Co., 2008 (Click the link to go to the booklet reproduction on this website or go to Books page of Church and State Law Website for ordering information. It is available on Kindle)). Jesus said, “If ye love me, keep my commandments” (Jn. 14.15). The greatest commandment is to love the Lord with all one’s heart, soul, mind, and strength (Mt. 22.37; Mk. 12.30; Lu. 10.27). If believers and churches do not love Christ with all their heart, soul, mind and strength, God contemns all else that they do (Song of Solomon 8.7; I Co. 13).  Christ tells churches who have lost their first love, in spite of many good works, to “repent and do the first works; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will remove thy candlestick, except thou repent” (Re. 2.2-5).

In order to apply biblical standards regarding the relationships between Christ and His children and churches, between Christ and civil governments, and between a church and the state, one must first study the Bible and then facts concerning civil law. A systematic study of God’s Word and reality reveals that many churches have a relationship not only with our Lord, but also with the state. This grieves our Lord.

This book contains many facts from civil law as well as many statements and principles from the Word of God. The author cites all his sources so that the saved person who reads this book can check out the law, the facts, and the principles and make a decision as to how God feels about His churches incorporating, obtaining 26 United States Code (Internal Revenue Code) § 501(c)(3) status, or becoming a legal entity in any other way.

Studying this book will help Christians and churches in America understand how to apply the principles concerning the love between Christ and His churches to reality. Go to churchandstatelaw.com for more information of Jerald Finney and other books and resources.

Note. See Jerald Finney, God Betrayed, Separation of Church and State: The Biblical Principles and the American Application (Xulon Press, 2008 (www.xulonpress.com) or Austin, TX: Kerygma Publishing Co., 2008 (Books page of Church and State Law website)) for a thorough study God’s Word, history, and law concerning the issue of separation of church and state. Readers unfamiliar with the concepts in God Betrayed, including the biblical doctrines, will find the book to be very challenging. It is not written for the casual reader, but studying the book is worth the effort. Most of God Betrayed is now reproduced on this website in written form, and Jerald Finney’s audio teachings on God Betrayed are on this website as well as on the Radio broadcast page of the Church and State Law website. A quicker study is available in Separation of Church and State: God’s Churches: Spiritual or Legal Entities which is now reproduced on this website in its entirety in this section (To order, go to Books page of Church and State Law website).

Introduction to Separation of Church and State: God’s Churches: Spiritual or Legal Entities?

Jerald Finney
Copyright © December 10, 2012


Note. This is a modified version of Chapter 1 of Separation of Church and State: God’s Churches: Spiritual or Legal Entities.


To understand the truth about “separation of church and state” one must first be saved; then, he must study and meditate upon the biblical doctrines of government, church, and separation of church and state. After mastering the biblical principles, the American believer is prepared to examine their applications in the United States. The author attempted to cover the entirety of the issues in a prior work (See Jerald Finney, God Betrayed, Separation of Church and State: The Biblical Principles and the American Application (Xulon Press, 2008 (www.xulonpress.com) or Austin, TX: Kerygma Publishing Co., 2008 (churchandstatelaw.com). Most of God Betrayed is now, and will be, reproduced on this website in written form. The complete audio teachings are now on this website and also on the Church and State Law website.) God Betrayed is a thorough study God’s Word, history, and law concerning the issue of separation of church and state.). A review of those principles will be presented in this introduction following a brief history of the issue of separation of church and state.

Two opposing doctrines regarding union of church and state operate within the “Christian” world. One teaches separation of church and state, and the other union of church and state. The false doctrine that combination of church and state will bring peace and unity on earth was advanced by the Catholic church in the fourth century, and was the basis for the horrible persecutions of tens of millions labeled as heretics for resisting the teachings of the church-state union. Protestant churches continued this doctrine and persecutions. Puritans, Anglicans, and other Protestant denominations brought the doctrine to America where they continued to persecute dissenters, but a great theological warfare and debate within the colonies resulted in separation of church and state (not separation of God and state) as guaranteed by the First Amendment to the United States Constitution. America became the second civil government in history, after the colony of Rhode Island, to implement the true biblical doctrine of separation of church and state, thereby guaranteeing religious liberty. Nonetheless, the warfare continues, those who believe church and state working together will bring peace and unity are gaining momentum, and the end time harlot spoken of in the Word of God is within sight.

The false doctrine concerning union of church and state incorrectly spiritualizes the Old Testament. That view takes the position that selected Old Testament principles for the Jewish religion and the nation Israel, the only theocracy ordained by God, are to be applied to the church and the Gentile civil government within which that church operates (See God Betrayed and Leonard Verduin, The Anatomy of a Hybrid (Grand Rapids, Michigan: William B. Derdmans Publishing Co., 1976) for a thorough study.). The Old Testament principle of union of religion and state which applied to the Jewish religion and Israel (not to Gentile nations) are applied to the church and the state.

True division of the “Word of Truth” teaches that God ordained both Gentile nations and the theocratic nation of Israel. The original plan for Gentile civil government was initiated by God at the time of the flood (Ge. 9.1-6). What God ordained at that time was not called civil government, but that is what it was. It was the first time God gave man authority over man.  See definition of “government” in MERRIAM WEBSTER’S COLLEGIATE DICTIONARY 504 (10th ed. 1995), and AMERICAN DICTIONARY OF THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE, NOAH WEBSTER (1828). The older definition of government recognized the biblical teaching that God did not intend civil government to be an all-seeing, all-defining, all-controlling, all-directing eye; and that God Himself, as the Supreme Authority, has given churches, individuals, parents, and authorities, in addition to civil government, rules and boundaries by which to govern themselves and others without the control of the civil government, except for violations of certain moral laws. See God Betrayed, Section I, Chapter 1, especially pp. 6-7 which is reproduced on this website at Introduction to the biblical teaching on government and, in audio form at The biblical principles of government. Man became responsible to govern the world for God. A civil government, as defined by God, is made up of men under God ruling over man in earthly matters. The primary God-ordained purpose of Gentile civil government is to control evil men, thereby maintaining some degree of peace in this present world. Gentile civil government has authority to punish those who commit certain crimes against their fellow man and to reward those who do good (See, e.g., Ro. 13.3-4; I Pe. 2.14; I Ti. 1.9-11).

God later called out a nation unto Himself—Israel, the only theocracy He ever ordained. Advocates of church-state union incorrectly apply Old Testament the principles regarding the Jewish theocracy to the church-state or state-church in Gentile nations. They also apply some of the principles laid out for the Jewish religion in Israel to the New Testament church. Israel was indeed a true “ecclesia” or “church,” but not in any sense the New Testament church—the only point of similarity being that both were “called out” by the same God. All else is contrast. When Jesus said to Peter, as recorded in Matthew 16.18, “That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church,” He was speaking of something that had never before existed. The organization, doctrines, and purposes of this new and distinct type of “ecclesia” were all laid out by Paul in his epistles. “This is he, that was in the church in the wilderness with the angel which spake to him in the mount Sinai, and with our fathers: who received the lively oracles to give unto us: (Acts 7.38).” “Israel in the land is never called a church. In the wilderness Israel was a true church (Gr. ecclesia = called-out assembly), but in striking contrast with the N.T. ecclesia.” (Holy Bible, 1917 Scofield Reference Edition, n. 2 to Ac. 7.38, p. 1249). A full refutation of the theology which advocates combination of church and state (Covenant Theology) is beyond the scope of this book. Covenant Theology spiritualizes or allegorizes Scripture. Thus, the Covenant Theologian incorrectly believes that The Jewish religion and the church are the same. God Betrayed addresses this in some depth..

The ultimate God-given purpose of both the New Testament church, and state or civil government is to glorify God, each acting under God and His principles, but neither acting with or under the other (See God Betrayed, Part I, Section III, Chapter 4 for a discussion of some of the distinctions between church and state. That chapter is reproduced on this website at “Distinct differences between church and state render them mutually exclusive” (written form) and Separation of church and state (audio teaching. Scroll down to find this particular teaching). However, the underlying purposes and jurisdictions of church and state are significantly different. The underlying purpose of the state is fleshly or earthly; and the underlying purpose of the church is heavenly or spiritual. God ordained churches to provide spiritual or eternal good. God gave nations earthly power to secure temporal benefits for mankind. The jurisdiction of a nation is earthly and that a church is spiritual (See God Betrayed, Part One which is reproduced on this website at “Section I: Government” (written) and audio teaching on the Biblical Principles Concerning Government. Scroll down to find the writings or audio teaching.)

God gave neither the church nor the state authority to rule over or with the other. Christians are told to obey civil government as regards certain earthly matters, but Christians and churches are not to be under the civil government with regard to spiritual matters, which include many activities and actions as shown in the Bible (See Jerald Finney, Render unto God the Things that Are His: A Systematic Study of Romans 13 and Related Verses (Austin, TX: Kerygma Publishing Co., 2009)(go to churchandstatelaw.com for more information including ordering information. Render unto God is reproduced in its entirety on this website for those who do not wish to buy the book. Go to the Contents page and scroll down to find the book.)). God gave churches free will, and churches can choose, against His will, to disobey God and voluntarily work with, under, or over civil government when such an option is available.

Christ ordained the institution of the church: “And I [Jesus] say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it” (Mt. 16.15). God ordained a church under God, not a business under civil government or an entity that is to work with, over, or under the state. A church is a local autonomous body of believers—the body of Christ of which He is the Head (Ep. 1.22, 23; Col. 1.18, 24)—and, as such, it is a holy temple for the habitation of God through the Spirit (Ep. 2.21, 22); is “one flesh” with Christ (Ep. 5.30, 31); and espoused to Him as a chaste virgin to one Husband (2 Co. 11.2-4). A church, under God, owes no allegiance to any tribunal in the universe, except to that of the Lord Jesus Christ unless she willingly and wrongly combines with civil government.

Civil government does not meet the qualifications needed to rule over the church and those matters assigned the church by God. Civil government, as already mentioned, does not have the authority given it from God to oversee or rule the church. Since civil government is usually led by the unregenerate, it does not have the nature or wisdom to handle spiritual matters.

Christians do have such nature and wisdom, as proclaimed by Paul: “Having made known unto us the mystery of his will, according to his will, according to his good pleasure which he hath proposed in himself” (Ep. 1.9) He made clear that only the born-again believer, led by the Spirit, was qualified to handle spiritual matters. Paul also asserted that rulers, “the princes of this world,” do not possess spiritual wisdom, indicating that most leaders are not Christians (undoubtedly, almost all leaders, and almost all leaders of civil government when he wrote the above words, are not and were not Christians) and are blind to spiritual matters (1 Co. 2.1-16).

Persecuted Christians down through the last two thousand years have understood this and therefore have refused, even under penalty of torture, imprisonment, and/or death to submit the church and spiritual matters to the ungodly—the state-church combination or the civil government.

The Holy Spirit did not come into every believer in the Old Testament as He does every born again person in a church:

“Summary of the O.T. doctrine of the Holy Spirit: … (4) In the O.T. the Spirit acts in free sovereignty, coming upon men and even upon a dumb beast as He will, nor are the conditions set forth (as in the N.T.) by complying with which any one may receive the Spirit. The indwelling of every believer by the abiding Spirit is a N.T. blessing consequent upon the death and resurrection of Christ (John 7.39; 16.7; Acts 2.33; Gal. 3.1-6). (5) The O.T. contains prediction of a future pouring out of the Spirit upon Israel (Ezk. 37.14; 39.29) and upon ‘all flesh’ (Joel 2.28-29). The expectation of Israel, therefore, was twofold—of the coming of Messiah-Immanuel, and of such an effusion of the Spirit as the prophets described. See Mt. 1.18, refs.” (1917 Scofield Reference Edition, n. 1 to Mal. 2.15, p. 981).

A Christian can be godly, while a non-Christian can only have some degree of virtue. Once a person is born again, he becomes a new creature, a spiritual being who is instructed by God to walk in the Spirit. “Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God” (Jn. 3.3). “Except a man be born of water (See Endnote), and of the Spirit (John the Baptist said, “I indeed baptize you with water, but he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost.” (Mk. 1.8.  See also, Mt. 3.11 and Lu. 3.16), he cannot enter the kingdom of God” (Jn. 3.5). “That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit” (Jn. 3.6). “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new” (1 Co. 5.17). After the Holy Spirit was first bestowed upon Gentiles in as recorded in Acts 10.44, “the normal order for this age was reached: [from that point] the Holy Spirit is given without delay, mediation, or other condition other than simple faith in Jesus Christ” (1917 Scofield Reference Edition, n. 1 to Ac. 10.44, p. 1164). Prior to that, “the Gospels had been offered to Jews only, and the Holy Spirit bestowed upon believing Jews through apostolic mediation” (Ibid). “While Peter yet spake these words, the Holy Ghost fell on all them which heard the word” (Ac. 10.44).

The man who has not been born again is a fleshly man, who walks in the flesh “according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, that spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience” (Ep. 2.2). He is subject only to the law.

On the other hand one who is born again, a member of a church, a part of the body, is a heavenly man, and a stranger and pilgrim on the earth who is told to be led of the Spirit. The Word of God instructs the believer as to his walk. A Christian is told to walk in the spirit, not in the flesh (Ga. 5.16-25; see also, Ep. 5.1-17, Jn. 6.63, Ro. 8.1-13). He is told that if he is led of the Spirit, he is not subject to the law. This does not mean that he is not subject to the state in those areas where God has given the state jurisdiction. If he harms or kills another, for example, God gives the state jurisdiction to punish him (See, e.g. Ro. 13 and 1 Pe. 2. 13-14; 1 Ti. 2.8-11). God quickens those whom He saves in Christ, loves them, raises them up to sit in “heavenly places in Christ Jesus” (Ep. 2.1-10), and blesses them “with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places” (Ep. 1.3).

The word “heavenly” signifies that which is heavenly in contradistinction to that which is “earthly.”

“‘The heavenlies’ [or ‘heavenly places’] may be defined as the sphere of the believer’s spiritual experience as identified with Christ in nature (2 Pet. 1.4); life (Col. 3.4; 1 John 5.12); relationships (John 20.17; Heb. 2.11); service (John 17.18; Mt. 28.20); suffering (Phil. 1.29; 3.10; Col. 1.24); inheritance (Rom. 8.16, 17); and future glory in the kingdom (Rom. 8.18-21; 1 Pet. 2.9; Rev. 1.6; 5.10). The believer is a heavenly man, and a stranger and pilgrim on the earth (Heb. 3.1; 1 Pet. 2.11)”  (1917 Scofield Reference Edition, n. 2 to Ep. 1.3, p. 1249).

The church is made up of believers. “And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved” (Ac. 2.47).  The church, made up of spiritual beings, is a spiritual or heavenly body whose ultimate purpose is to glorify God. A church, as the spiritual household of God, “is built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone” (Ep. 2.20; see also, 1 Co. 6.15-20, 1 Pe. 2.4-9, Ac. 4.11, He. 9.11, I Co. 3.9-17), “The word ‘spiritual,’ found 23 times in the Bible, always means heavenly minded, godly, holy, never self-centered” (Questions and Answers, The Berean Call, January 2007, Volume XXII, No. 1, p. 5, available at www.thebereancall.org).  “Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God” (1 Co. 10.31). A church, as the spiritual body of Christ, is to be subject to Christ, the Head of the body, in all things (Ep. 5.23-24, 30).

Spiritual matters include all things involving a church, such as sending missionaries, preaching the Gospel, loving and helping others, and the use of property for the assembly of the saints. These matters are all related to the primary purpose of loving and glorifying God and the Lord Jesus Christ—the Head, the Husband, and the Bridegroom of the church—and loving our neighbor as well (See Jerald Finney, The Most Important Thing: Loving God and/or Winning Souls? (Austin, TX: Kerygma Publishing Co., 2009) which is reproduced in its entirety on this website. Just click the above title to go directly to the website reproduction.)(go to Church and State Law Website for more information including ordering information should you desire to purchase the booklet.)).

A church is to sit together in heavenly places. God wants His churches to be run according to His spiritual principles. Sadly, as will be shown by facts in the following chapters, most churches are not run according to God’s principles. A “church” run as a corporation, unincorporated association, corporate sole, or charitable trust with an Internal Revenue Code (“IRC”) 501(c)(3) (“501(c)(3)) tax exemption is, to a greater or lesser degree, earthly. It is designed and operated, at the very least partially, under the earthly rules of man which are contrary to the spiritual rules of God.

Combining the church with the state violates the biblical principle of separation that runs throughout the Bible.

“Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness?   Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty” (2 Co. 6.14, 17-18; see also, e.g., Ro. 6.16-22, 12.1-2; 1 Co. 6.9-20, 11.2-3; Ga. 1.4; Ep. 5.1-20; Co. 2.6-8, 3.1-25; Ph. 2.12-16; 1 Ti. 1.7-11; 1 Pe. 1.13-16, 2.11-12; 1 Jn. 2.15-17).

The following chapters give the reader many legal facts concerning incorporation and 501(c)(3) tax exemption. The author believes that the discerning believer will easily see—when he studies those facts and compares them to the biblical principles concerning church, state, and separation of church and state—that a church which incorporates, and secures 501(c)(3) status or becomes a legal entity in any other way, takes herself from God’s perfect will, causes our Lord much grief, and contributes to the decline of true biblical Christianity. Ultimately, fewer and fewer souls are saved because of this compromise, because such churches lose the power of God. They have “a form of godliness but deny the power thereof” (2 Ti. 3.5).

Endnote

The water which is spoken of here is the Word of God.  This is consistent with all of Scripture, and is specifically stated in the Bible. “Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the Word of God which liveth and abideth for ever.” 1 Pe. 1.23. Jesus, in talking to the Samaritan woman said, “If thou knowest the gift of God, and who it is that saith to thee, give me to drink; thou wouldest have asked of him and he would have given thee living water….  Whosoever drinketh of this water shall thirst again. But whosover drinketh of the water that I give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life.” Jn. 4.10, 13-14. “Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word.” Ep. 5.26.