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Introduction to the Bible Doctrine of Government

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Family Government and Conscience

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Jerald Finney
Copyright © December 26, 2017

Self-government or individual government was the first government ordained by God and is simply control or direction over oneself.

On the sixth day, God created man in His own image, “male and female created he them.”[1]  After creating the man, God created woman out of one of Adam’s ribs to be an “help meet” for him.[2]  God brought the woman to Adam and marriage was instituted: “Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.”[3]

After creating them, God blessed them and told them to “be fruitful and multiply, and replenish” and subdue the earth. He gave them dominion over all living things. He put them in the garden of Eden to “dress it and keep it.” And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat: But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.”[4]

Thus, God, , made a covenant with man and woman, the first of eight great covenants of Scripture which condition life and salvation, and about which all scripture crystallizes.[5] The covenant God made with them has seven elements. The man and woman in Eden were responsible:

  1. To replenish the earth with a new order—man;
  2. to subdue the earth to human uses;
  3. to have dominion over the animal creation;
  4. to eat herbs and fruits;
  5. to till and keep the garden;
  6. to abstain from eating of the tree of knowledge of good and evil;
  7. the penalty—death.”

God, in the Garden of Eden, gave man an opportunity to operate under self-government, under the constraint of only one simple rule. Man failed. Man was tempted by Satan to disobey the one small rule God had laid down, and mankind failed.[6]  Satan came to woman and misquoted the Word of God: “Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden?”[7]  Eve quoted the Word of God back to Satan, but added to it: “We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden: But of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not  eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die.”[8] Satan then directly challenged the Word of God: “Ye shall not surely die: 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.”[9]

“And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat. And the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together, and made themselves aprons.”[10]

At that point, God judged the serpent (the devil), the woman, and the man. [11]

God gave another covenant, a covenant conditions the life of fallen man—conditions which must remain till … “the creation also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the sons of God” (Ro. 8.21). The elements of that covenant are:

  1. The serpent, Satan’s tool, is cursed (v.14), and becomes God’s illustration in nature of the effects of sin—from the most beautiful and subtle of creatures to a loathsome reptile.
  2. The first promise of a Redeemer (v.15). Here begins the “highway” that leads to Christ.
  3. The changed state of the woman (v16). In three particulars: (a) Multiplied conception; (b) motherhood linked with sorrow; (c) the headship of the man[12] (cf. Gen. 1.26, 27). The entrance of sin, which is disorder, makes necessary a headship, and it is vested in man (1 Tim. 2.11-14; Eph. 5.22-25; 1 Cor. 11.7-9).
  4. The earth cursed (v17) for man’s sake. It is better for fallen man to battle with a reluctant earth than to live without toil.
  5. The inevitable sorrow of life (v17).
  6. The light occupation of Eden (Gen. 2.15) changed to burdensome labor (vs. 18, 19).
  7. Physical death (v19; Rom. 5.12-21). See ‘Death (spiritual)’ (Gen. 2.17; Eph. 2.5, note).”

God continued to hold man individually responsible for his spiritual decisions. We see this first in the story of Cain and Abel in Genesis 4.

Satan is still successfully deceiving man as to God’s authority and God’s government by manifold attacks on the inerrancy of the Word of God, by the same “Yea, hath God said” strategy he used in the Garden of Eden. This course will show how he has deceived untold millions of Christians with regard to the issue of separation of church and state by misquoting and misinterpreting the Bible.

Thus man makes a choice of his own free will as to how he will respond to God. The principle of freedom of conscience or free will is found throughout the Bible.[13]

Love requires a choice. Without free will, man has no choice and God would be, by force, taking some people to heaven and some to the lake of fire at His discretion. Admittedly, one can do no work to earn his way to heaven, but faith is not a work. “But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness.”[14]

All other governments, except God’s supreme government, are made up of individuals. God desires the individual(s) who lead(s) a church government, a family government, or a civil government to confine that government to the principles laid down by God for the administration of itself. If a civil government will point individuals, families, businesses, and other institutions to God’s principles without infringing the God-ordained limitations to its authority and the freedom of conscience of individuals to choose God, god, gods, or no god at all, that civil government will guarantee liberty and will be operating in God’s will, as will be shown.

Go to a more in-depth version of “Self-Government” by clicking here.



[1] Ge. 1.27.

[2] Ge. 2.18, 21-22.

[3] Ge. 2.23.

[4] Ge. 1.28-29; 2.15-17.

[5] Id.

[6] Ge. 3.1-13.

[7] Ge. 3.1.

[8] Ge. 3.2-3.

[9] Ge. 3.4-5.

[10] Ge. 3.6-7.

[11] Ge. 3.14-19.

[12] Ge. 1.26, 27.

[13] See, e.g., Jn. 3.16, 18 (“For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life…. 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.); Re. 22.17 (“And the spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely.”).

[14] Romans 4.5.

Introduction to the Biblical Doctrine of Government


A Publication of Churches Under Christ Ministry

Next Lesson:

Click here to go to links to all written lessons.

Click here to go to all lessons on the Bible Doctrine of Government.

Click here to go to the 5 to 8 minute video lectures.

If you miss one part of the puzzle that is being put together in these studies, you will never see and understand the whole picture.

Jerald Finney
Copyright © December 26, 2017

12A basic definition of government is “direction, control.” God is the highest Ruler. His government is above all other governments; all other governments derive their authority from God. He, as the Sovereign of the universe ordained and rules over all other governments. “Ordain” means “to establish or order by appointment, decree, or law” (WEBSTER’S COLLEGIATE DICTIONARY 818 (10th ed. 1995)). Men know that God is in control because God put a God-consciousness in every person (See Ro. 1.18-32).

God teaches in many ways, throughout the Bible, that He is the Supreme Ruler and His is the Higher and Highest Power. As possessor of heaven and earth, God has and exercises supreme authority in both the heavenly and earthly sphere.

That God is supreme, the Highest Power, is revealed in the Old Testament through, among other things, His names. The Old Testament reveals the existence of a Supreme Being, the Creator of the universe and of man, the Source of all life and intelligence who is to be worshipped and served by men and angels.

As the Supreme Ruler, He has decreed that men may choose to be guided by His principles or not. However, choices are met by either blessings or judgment. In the final analysis He will either reward or judge all governments according to the degree they abide by His will.

The first government established by God was self-government. Every person exercises self-government, and decides whether he or she will receive the only true and eternal hope which is provided by God, that is the Lord Jesus Christ, as Savior. “And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day” (Jn. 6.40).

After the fall of man in the Garden of Eden, and man knew “good and evil,” God established family government. Every person within a family – father, mother, and children – in exercising self-government, chooses whether to submit to God’s guidelines concerning family government.

The next type of government ordained by God was human government or civil government. God ordained civil government at the time of the great flood.  For the first time, He gave man the responsibility of ruling the world for God. Relatively quickly after Cain killed Abel, all mankind except Noah and his family, guided only by conscience (knowledge of good and evil or an awareness of right and wrong) had become totally corrupted. Civil government provided further and direct control over the evil nature of man.

Some time after ordaining civil government, God called out Abraham to be the father of Israel. Israel was established as a theocracy. All other nations were non-theocratic and were and are called “Gentile.” God established Israel to be directly under Him for specific purposes. Israel was to be the only theocracy that God has ever ordained. The Gentile nations can only look to Israel to see that God is who He claims to be, but God still desires every nation to choose to honor Him and His principles.

The Word of God teaches us that no civil government, Jew or Gentile, since it is made up of sinful men, will, before the return of Christ, ever follow the principles of God for any significant period of time. That both Israel and the Gentiles have governed for self, not God, is sadly apparent. Therefore, every civil government that has ever existed or which will ever come about prior to the return of the Lord will be judged by God.

God used a Gentile nation to take Israel into captivity, and He has already judged and is judging many Gentile nations. The Lord will return and crush the Gentile world-powers existing at the time of His return which, led by the beast and false prophet, will come and besiege Israel (Re. 19.19). The nation Israel will then be restored to the land which God gave them according to his covenant with them (Many verses in the Bible verify this. God will do this for His “holy name’s sake, which [Israel had] profaned among the heathen….”  Then Satan will be cast “into the bottomless pit, that he might deceive the nations no more, till the thousand years should be fulfilled,” the nations shall be judged, and God’s kingdom will be set up.

Throughout these studies, the student should keep in mind all governments: first, God’s Supreme Government, then the other governments which God has ordained—self-government, family government, civil government, and church government. Biblical principles of governments other than church government are dealt with in this section, Section 1 with an emphasis on civil government; and biblical principles of church government are dealt with in Section 2. God laid down the boundaries of the authority of each type of government and the principles by which every government should conduct its affairs. He will hold every government responsible for the choices it makes. The reader should also keep in mind that the God-given goal for all governments is the glory of God, not the happiness of man. Joy is a side effect of “loving the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.”

Many Bible verses back up the conclusions stated in this brief lesson. Only a few are given here. The student can go to Introduction to the Bible Doctrine of Government online or to Online PDF of God Betrayed pages 3-9 to find those verses.


Overview of Basic Course

A course of instruction offered by Churches Under Christ Ministry.

If you miss one part of the puzzle that is being put together in these studies, you will never see and understand the whole picture.

Click here to go to the written lessons.
Click here to go to the 5 minute video lectures.

Pr.23.12This study is designed for the born again believer who wishes to learn what the Bible teaches about government, church, separation of church and state, and how those principles have been and are applied in America. The topics covered are extremely important to our Lord Jesus Christ, to individuals, to families, to churches, and to the nation. The guiding light is the Bible.

Let me emphasize that a lost person cannot understand the subject matter since it requires spiritual discernment. To learn how to be saved, go to God’s Plan of Salvation Page on this website. Salvation through faith in Jesus Christ is preeminent. It is a choice every person should make, but God leaves the choice up to the individual.

1Co.2.14-16This course is presented at the spiritual grade school level. Each lesson  will be only about five to eight minutes in length. The course presents basic knowledge. At first, only an elementary analysis and understanding is taught and required by the student. For those who are already more advanced, they can listen to the study and go to the resources cited in the accompanying written (and probably more thorough, but still grade school level) study for more in depth and detailed studies which will connect to further studies. One can progress as far as he wants, even to the graduate level, if he continues to follow the links to the top studies such as God Betrayed. At that level, meditation, analysis, and study become very important.

In grade school, one accepts what he is told. He begins to think on a basic level, of course, but his instructors can either guide him to truth, to lies, or to a way of thinking that says there is no truth. The underlying basis of this course is truth based on Bible principle, Bible fact, historical fact, and man’s law as tested against the higher law, God’s law. The Bible emphasizes the importance of truth, so truth is the goal of this course.

The only way to arrive at truth in the Bible is to believe what it says. Those religions who have improperly spiritualized and allegorized portions of the Bible have brought havoc to the world, as will be seen in these studies.

Pr.2.6A child of God should never just accept what he is told. He should make sure what he is told is in line with the Word of God. Even on the grade school level, some verses will be cited as the basis for a teaching. The more mature student will want to make sure those verses are not taken out of their immediate context and the overall context of Scripture.

As to facts outside the Bible, a mature believer will want to make sure those facts are reliable. At the highest level of these studies, which one can check out by going up the chain of links provided with the teachings, the student will find complete citations and analysis.

Once one has a working knowledge of these studies all the way to the top, he will have achieved the equivalent of four years of college studies, to put it in secular terms. Then, he will be prepared to do his own studies, analysis, etc. at the Masters and Doctoral level. You see, one will understand as he arrives at the graduate level that  many of the matters studied in this course have room for further important development.

This initial study is for the believer who has not studied these matters at least to any extent, or who has depended upon

  1. as to spiritual matters: pastors or teachers who never delve into the deeper things of God
  2. as to factual matters, revisionists such as David Barton or Roger Federer, et al.

Again, this study is for born again believers who want to honestly seek truth. God highly esteems truth, along with knowledge, understanding, and wisdom.

The following is an outline of things to come:

  1. First, Foundational Bible Principles. The Bible Doctrines of Church, State, and Separation of Church and State.
  2. Second, the American Application of Those Principles. (1) The History of the First Amendment. (2) Then, a study of Union of Church and State in America.
  3. Finally, how a church can organize according to the principles of organization in the New Testament.

Pr.4.7One should not attempt to start with the final phase of the course without understanding the foundational principles and the application of those principles.

For a more thorough outline, go to the Written Lessons Page.

The material that you will study in this course fits together like a puzzle. The completed puzzle will present a picture that everyone, and especially the children of God in America should have hidden in their hearts.

God bless you as we grow together in the knowledge, understanding, and wisdom concerning the institution God loved and gave Himself for, the church.

Who Is Jerald Finney? Introduction To Bible Trust Ministries

*A course of instruction offered by Old Paths Baptist Church Separation of Church and State Law Ministry

Click here to go to this material on video

Hello. My name is Jerald Finney. I am first and foremost a humble servant of the Lord Jesus Christ. I was saved and became a member of a Bible believing church in 1982. The Lord saved me from my sin—I did nothing to earn that salvation. He did it all. He paid the price which I cannot pay.

Since then, 35 years ago, the Holy Spirit has directed me, instructed me through Bible study and life, and taken me step by step along the path God had for me. God called me to go to Law School after I had been saved 7 years. In 1990, I entered the University of Texas Law School. I started practicing law in January 1994, following the  Lord step by step. In 2005, He called me into the arena of church state relationship. My passion since then has been to help churches do things God’s way, the Bible way.

I have been a member of 3 different churches. I am now a member of Old Paths Baptist Church of Northfield MN. I live in Faribault MN, 13 miles from Northfield. I am licensed to practice law in Minnesota and Texas (inactive).

You can go to the link below this video for much more information about me. However, it is not about me. It is about the Glory of God. The standard for all things, temporal and eternal, earthly and heavenly, legal and spiritual is the Word of God, the Bible. Check out what you are told. If you are lost, check out God’s plan of salvation. The greatest thing anyone can do for himself and others is to be born again into the family of God. If you are saved, study the Word of God, become a member of a local autonomous Bible believing church, be sensitive to the leading of the Holy Spirit, and apply God’s principles and New Testament Commandments in all matters.

The purpose of Bible Trust Ministries is to inform believers and churches on the issues regarding church state relationship. More specifically, the purpose is to show churches how they can organize in America according to the principles in the New Testament. This is a very important matter, according to the Word of God. “Christ loved the church and gave Himself for it” (Ep. 5.25) Ephesians 5:26-27: “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” (Ep. 5.27-27).

Likewise we should have that same love for the churches we are members of. The Apostle Paul, writing as inspired by the Holy Spirit wrote to the church at Corinth: 2 Corinthians 11:1-5 “Would to God ye could bear with me a little in my folly: and indeed bear with me.  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. But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ. 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.  For I suppose I was not a whit behind the very chiefest apostles.”

The purpose of Bible Trust Ministries is to help churches present themselves as chaste virgins to Christ.

It is my desire that these broadcasts glorify God, not me. Feel free to call me at any time at the phone number on the “Contact” page of the website linked to below this broadcast.