Conclusion to the Bible Doctrine of Separation of Church and State

A Publication of Separation of 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 3 1/2 to 6 minute video lectures.

Click here to go to all lessons on the Bible Doctrine Concerning the Relationship of Church and State.

For accompanying study from God Betrayed click here.

Jerald Finney
Copyright © February 22, 2018

God’s principles separate church and state. The God-ordained purpose of both is to glorify God, but neither will do so 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.”[1]  “The seven candlesticks which thou sawest are the seven churches.”[2]
  • 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.”[3]
  • “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.”[4]
  • “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.”[5]
  • “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.”[6]
  • “…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.”[7]
  • No servant 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.[8]

The Lord, who loved His future wife and gave Himself for her, desires to be her only Head, her only Mate. But He has given the espoused 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 espoused 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.”[9]


[1] Mt. 5.13-16; see also, Lu. 11.33 and Mk. 4.20-21.

[2] Re. 1.20.

[3] Mt. 6.19-24; see also Lu. 11.34-36.

[4] Jn. 3.17-21.

[5] 2 Co. 4.6.

[6] 2 Co. 6.14-18.

[7] 1 Jn. 1.5-7.

[8] Lu. 16.13.

[9] 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


A Publication of 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 3 1/2 to 6 minute video lectures.

Click here to go to all lessons on the Bible Doctrine Concerning the Relationship of Church and State.

For accompanying study from God Betrayed click here.

Jerald Finney
Copyright © February 22, 2018

Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it.”[1]

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) 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 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.”[2]
  • 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.”[3]
  • 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….”[4]
  • 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….”[5]

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.”[6]


[1] Ep. 5.25.

[2] Is. 54.5.

[3] Je. 3.14, 20.

[4] Ho. 2.2-5.

[5] Ho. 4.

[6] Ro. 7.4.

Conclusion: Render Unto God the Things that Are His

A Publication of 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 3 1/2 to 6 minute video lectures.

Click here to go to Links to all lessons on Render Unto God the Things That Are His: A Study of Romans 13 and Other Verses Taken Out of Context to Support Union of Church and State.

For accompanying study from Render Unto God the Things that Are His click here.

Jerald Finney
Copyright © February 21, 2018

Click the above to go to the article, “Is Separation of Church and State Found in the Constitution?

God ordained civil government as an earthly institution and limited its jurisdiction to certain earthly matters.[1] God ordained His churches to be spiritual institutions and limited their jurisdiction to spiritual matters.

He desires every state to remain both under Him and within her God-given jurisdiction, but every nation that has ever existed has failed to honor God sooner or later. America herself, which was to a large degree a nation under God for much of her history, has now rejected God and His principles.

Many Christians in America have been persuaded by false interpretations of Scripture that civil government is the highest power. Many believe that civil government is led by God to do all that they do, no matter how evil. In fact, civil governments, like all other governments, insofar as they choose to operate outside the principles of God, are under the god of this world.

The unity of world power prophesied in the Bible appears to be in the making. The world is being prepared to accept the last days. At the same time that America has almost totally removed God from all civil government affairs, many Christians, largely because of a false interpretation of the Word of God, almost deify America. One would fare better in many fundamental Bible believing churches should he lash out at Jesus Christ rather than speaking ill of America. Many believers, due to an erroneous interpretation of Scripture, think that God Himself bows down to civil government.

In America, Christian misunderstanding of biblical principles concerning separation of church and state has resulted in most Bible believing churches uniting with the state by becoming 501(c)(3) tax exempt legal entities such as corporations, charitable trusts, corporation soles, or unincorporated associations. Churches have willingly placed themselves, to a great extent, under the authority, rules, procedures, and principles of civil government. As a result, most churches are to some degree earthly, not spiritual.

Many misled believers hold huge rallies, preach in their churches, and work in other ways to try to have an influence in bringing America back under God. Most of those believers are in churches which have dishonored their love relationship with their Husband, the Lord Jesus Christ, by uniting with the state through the methods mentioned many times in these studies. They incorrectly apply to America, a Gentile nation, God’s admonition to the people of the nation Israel in 2 Chronicles 7.14: “If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.” God’s people today are saved individuals who are members of local churches. The correct application of 2 Chronicles 7.14 today is that if Christians and churches “shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek [God’s] face, and turn from their wicked ways; then [He] will hear from heaven, … will forgive their sin, and will heal” believers, their families, and churches.” How can God’s people hope to have any affect on their nation if they overlook the wickedness of their churches?

Click above image to to to “Is Separation of Church and State Found in the Constitution?

More appropriate for churches would be:

  • “Be ye not unequally yoked together 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]

Other appropriate verses include, e.g., John 15.19; Romans 6.16-23, 12.1-2; 1 Corinthians 6.15-17, 19-20; Galatians 1.4; Ephesians 5.14-17; Philippians 2.12-16; Colossians 2.6-8, 3.1-4, 15-17, 23-25; James 4.4-8; 1 Peter 1.13-16; 2 Peter 1.4-10; and 1 John 2.15-17.

Banished by the Puritans from Mass. colony in the 1630s. Started R.I. colony, a government with religious freedom.

Persecuted Christians have refused, even under penalty of torture, imprisonment, and/or death to submit churches and spiritual matters to the ungodly, usually the civil government, and/or the state-church. Christians were labeled as heretics and persecuted after some churches united with Rome under Constantine. Roger Williams, the man who established Rhode Island, the first civil government in history to honor the biblical principle of separation of church and state, wrote:

  • “Scripture and all history tell us, that those Caesars were … arrogant, without God, without Christ, &c.; … [and] worshippers, or maintainers, of the Roman gods or devils; … notorious for all sorts of wickedness; … cruel and bloody lions and tigers toward the Christians for many hundred years.
  • “Hence … it was impossible that he should appoint such ignorant, … idolatrous, … wicked, and … cruel persons to be his chief officers and deputy lieutenants under himself to keep the worship of God, to guard his church, his wife. No wise and loving father was ever known to put his child, no not his beasts, dogs, or swine, but unto fitting keepers.
  • “Men judge it matter of high complaint, that the records of parliament, the king’s children, the Tower of London, the great seal, should be committed to unworthy keepers! And can it be, without high blasphemy, conceived that the Lord Jesus should commit his sheep, his children, yea, his spouse, his thousand shields and bucklers in the tower of his church, and lastly, his great and glorious broad seals of baptism and his supper, to be preserved pure in their administrations—I say, that the Lord Jesus, who is wisdom and faithfulness itself, should deliver these to such keepers? …
  • “[W]hen the Lord appointed the government of Israel after the rejection of Saul, to establish a covenant of succession in the type unto Christ, let it be minded what pattern and precedent it pleased the Lord to set for the after kings of Israel and Judah, in David, the man after his own heart.
  • “But now the Lord Jesus being come himself, and having fulfilled the former types, and dissolved the national state of the church, and established a more spiritual way of worship all the world over, and appointed a spiritual government and governors, it is well known what the Roman Caesars were, under whom both Christ Jesus himself, and his servants after him, lived and suffered; so that if the Lord Jesus had appointed any such deputies—as we find not a title to that purpose, nor have a shadow of true reason so to think—he must, I say, in the very first institution, have pitched upon such persons for these custodies utriusque tabulae, keepers of both tables, as no man wise, or faithful or loving, would have chosen in any of the former instances, or cases of a more inferior nature….” [3]
  • “Christ never delivered His sheep or children to these wolves, his wife and spouse to such adulterers, his precious jewels to such great thieves and robbers of the world, as the Roman emperors were. Paul never appealed to Caesar as judge appointed by Christ Jesus to give definitive sentence in any spiritual or church controversy; but against the civil violence and murder which the Jews intended against him, Paul justly appealed. For otherwise, if in a spiritual cause he should have appealed, he should have overthrown his own apostleship and power given him by Christ Jesus in spiritual things, above the highest kings or emperors of the world beside….”[4]
  • “A civil magistrate may be a good subject, a good magistrate, in respect of civil or moral goodness, which thousands want; and where it is, it is commendable and beautiful, though godliness, which is infinitely more beautiful, be wanting, and which is only proper to the Christian state, the commonweal of Israel, the true church the holy nation, Ephes. ii.; 1 Pet. ii.”[5]

Roger Williams correctly maintained that the civil power has five proper political means to attain its end:

  • “First, the erecting and establishing what form of civil government may seem in wisdom most meet, according the general rules of the word, and state of the people…. The magistrate has power to publish and apply such civil laws in a state, as either are expressed in the word of God in Moses’s judicials—to wit, so far as they are of general and moral equity, and so binding all nations in all ages—to be deducted by way of general consequence and proportion from the word of God.
  • “For in a free state no magistrate hath power over the bodies, goods, lands, liberties of a free people, but by their free consents. And because free men are not free lords of their own estates, but are only stewards unto God, therefore they may not give their free consents to any magistrate to dispose of their bodies, goods, lands, liberties, at large as themselves please, but as God, the sovereign Lord of all, alone. And because the word is a perfect rule, as well of righteousness as of holiness, it will be therefore necessary that neither the people give consent, nor that the magistrate take power to dispose of the bodies, goods, lands, liberties of the people, but according to the laws and rules of the word of God….
  • “Secondly, the making, publishing, and establishing of wholesome civil laws, not only such as concern civil justice, but also the free passage of true religion: for outward civil peace ariseth and is maintained from them both, from the latter as well as from the former.
  • “Civil peace cannot stand entire where religion is corrupted, 2 Chron. xv. 3, 5, 6; Judges viii. And yet such laws, though conversant about religion may still be counted civil laws; as on the contrary, an oath doth still remain religious, though conversant about civil matters.
  • “Thirdly, election and appointment of civil officers to see execution of those laws.
  • “Fourthly, civil punishments and rewards of transgressors and observers of these laws.
  • “Fifthly, taking up arms against the enemies of civil peace.”[6]

On the other hand, Mr. Williams wisely observed that:

  • “the means whereby a church may and should attain her ends, are only ecclesiastical, which are chiefly five. “First, setting up that form of church government only of which Christ hath given them a pattern in his word.
  • “Secondly, acknowledging and admitting of no lawgiver in the church but Christ, and the publishing of his laws.
  • “Thirdly, electing and ordaining of such officers only as Christ hath appointed in his word.
  • “Fourthly, to receive into their fellowship them that are approved, and inflicting spiritual censures against them that offend.
  • “Fifthly, prayer and patience in suffering any evil from them that be without, who disturb their peace.
  • “So that magistrates … have no power of setting up the form of church government, electing church officers, punish-ing with church censures…. And on the other side … churches, have no power, though as members of the common-weal they may have power, of erecting or altering forms of civil government, electing of civil officers, inflicting civil punishments—no, not on persons excommunicated—as by deposing magistrates from their civil authority, or withdrawing the hearts of the people against them, to their laws, no more than to discharge wives, or children, or servants, from due obedience to their husbands, parents, or masters: or by taking up arms against their magistrates, though they persecute them for conscience; for though members of churches, who are public officers, also of the civil state, may suppress by force the violence of usurpers, as Jehoiada did Athaliah, yet this they do not as members of the church, but as officers of the civil state.”[7]

The failure of churches to honor God is far worse than the failure of civil government to honor God. One expects civil government, made up mostly of unregenerate people who cannot understand or honor God’s Word, to dishonor God; but it is vexing to see God’s people follow the principles of the god of this world. How our Savior must be grieved to see His Holy Word being perverted to condone union of His bride and wife with civil government.


[1] See God Betrayed for an explanation of biblical principles concerning government, church, separation of church and state as well as the American application of those principles. See, especially, Section II, Chapters 2 and 3 and Section III, Chapter 3 for insights into the differences between church and state, the spiritual nature of churches and the earthly nature of nations.

[2] 2 Co. 6.14-18.

[3] Roger Williams and Edward Bean Underhill, The Bloody 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), pp. 204-205.

[4] Ibid., p. 209.

[5] Ibid., p. 212.

[6] Ibid., pp. 212-213. See pp. 219-223 concerning the power of the magistrate in making laws.

[7] Ibid., pp. 213-214.

Pray for all rulers? 1 Timothy 2.1-6

A Publication of 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 3 1/2 to 6 minute video lectures.

Click here to go to Links to all lessons on Render Unto God the Things That Are His: A Study of Romans 13 and Other Verses Taken Out of Context to Support Union of Church and State.

Jerald Finney
Copyright © February 21, 2018

Three God-given purposes of Gentile civil government are stated or can be inferred from Scripture. Perhaps the most important purpose of civil government is to teach. Just as “[t]he law is a “schoolmaster” to bring us unto Christ,”[1] a nation, by its laws, teaches. The laws of a nation have a didactic effect—they teach. Lawrence McGarvie observed:

“American law tended to operate as if it had a life of its own, shaping society to conform to legal values by directing the actions of individuals. Recognizing law’s relative autonomy, [some] scholars … contend that law acted to infuse the new society—including the judges—with a system of rules and principles derived from liberal ideology. Many authors have noted the incremental pace of legal change. Law’s structural dependence on the Constitution, common-law precedent, and the procedural dictates of pleading recognizable legal arguments mitigated any societal tendencies toward rapid transformation. Instrumentalism, as a theory of understanding law, fails to fully appreciate its institutional inertia, the multiplicity of forces involved in its creation, and its hegemonic role as a relatively autonomous body of values, beliefs, and doctrine that provides the means of ‘discourse’ in a nation of law.”[2]

God also ordained civil government to control evil.[3]

The third God-ordained purpose of Gentile civil government is to operate under Him; and He gives each nation a choice of whether or not that nation will do so.

The Bible instructs Christians to pray for their leaders, but within the framework laid out within His Word:

  • “1 I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men; 2 For kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty. 3 For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour; 4 Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth. 5 For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus; 6 Who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time.”[4]

The above admonition of Paul to Timothy, which tells Christians to pray for all men including their leaders, also instructs Christians that such prayers should be that leaders be saved and come to a knowledge of the truth so that they will organize society under God—that is, according to God’s principles so that Christians can “lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty.”

An application of God’s principles in civil law would be laws regulating hunting. God told mankind in the Noahic covenant: “Every living thing that liveth shall be food for you.”[5] Thus, God gave man the authority to hunt animals, but not the “right to engage in mass and wanton slaughter of the animal kingdom.” Likewise, God placed man in the Garden of Eden to “dress it and keep it,”[6] not to destroy it. “So God requires man to exercise wise stewardship in his use of the animal kingdom and of natural resources in general.”[7]

God wants every Gentile nation to choose to operate under Him—that is, under His principles as given in His Word. If a nation will do that, Christians and non-Christians will live a quiet and peaceable life; and everyone will be free to choose God, no god, or false gods or gods since, as is shown in God Betrayed, separation of church and state is a biblical principle for Gentile nations.


[1] Ga. 3.24.

[2] Mark Douglas McGarvie, One Nation Under Law: America’s Early National Struggles to Separate Church and State (DeKalb, Illinois: Northern Illinois University Press, 2005), p. 12.

[3] Ro. 13.3-4; see also, 1 Pe. 2.13-14, 1 Ti. 1.9-11, Short Written Lessons I.A., and God Betrayed, Section I for a thorough discussion of civil government and its God-given purposes.

[4] 1 Ti. 2.1-6.

[5] Ge. 9.3a.

[6] Ge. 2.15.

[7] John Eidsmoe, God and Caesar: Biblical Faith and Political Action (Eugene, Oregon: Wipf and Stack Publishers, 1997), p. 8.

Submit to every ordinance of man? 1 Peter 2.13

A Publication of 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 3 1/2 to 6 minute video lectures.

Click here to go to Links to all lessons on Render Unto God the Things That Are His: A Study of Romans 13 and Other Verses Taken Out of Context to Support Union of Church and State.

Jerald Finney
Copyright © February 21, 2018

For accompanying study from Render Unto God the Things that Are His click here.

Crucifixion of Peter

“The forming of the constitution and appointment of the particular orders and offices of civil government is left to human discretion, and our submission thereto is required under the name of their being the ordinances of men for the Lord’s sake, 1 Pet. ii, 13, 14. Whereas in ecclesiastical affairs we are most solemnly warned not to be subject to ordinances after the doctrines and commandments of men, Col. ii, 20, 22.”[1]

1 Peter 2.13, quoted below along with 1 Peter 2.9-12 and 14-20 to put the verse into it’s immediate context, is often cited, again alone and out of context, to support almost total submission to civil government.

  • “9 But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light: 10 Which in time past were not a people, but are now the people of God: which had not obtained mercy, but now have obtained mercy. 11 Dearly beloved, I beseech you as strangers and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts, which war against the soul; 12 Having your conversation honest among the Gentiles: that, whereas they speak against you as evildoers, they may by your good works, which they shall behold, glorify God in the day of visitation. 13 Submit yourselves to every ordinance of man for the Lord’s sake: whether it be to the king, as supreme; 14 Or unto governors, as unto them that are sent by him for the punishment of evildoers, and for the praise of them that do well. 15 For so is the will of God, that with well doing ye may put to silence the ignorance of foolish men: 16 As free, and not using your liberty for a cloke of maliciousness, but as the servants of God. 17 Honour all men. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honour the king. 18 Servants, be subject to your masters with all fear; not only to the good and gentle, but also to the froward. 19 For this is thankworthy, if a man for conscience toward God endure grief, suffering wrongfully. 20 For what glory is it, if, when ye be buffeted for your faults, ye shall take it patiently? but if, when ye do well, and suffer for it, ye take it patiently, this is acceptable with God..”[2]

If the above verses had only stated, “Submit yourselves to every ordinance of man” and nothing more, the statement would have contradicted the entirety of Scripture. However, the verse in its immediate context can only be analyzed as was Romans 13, and such an analysis renders the verse consistent with the rest of God’s Word. Much of the analysis of Romans 13 in Chapter 4, supra, included an analysis of 1 Peter 2.13 and will not be repeated.

The Americanized interpretation of 1 Peter 2.13a, “Submit yourselves to every ordinance of man for the Lord’s sake,” leaves out or misinterprets, “for the Lord’s sake.” 1 Peter 2.13a, even when considered alone and out of context, does not say what the Americanized version asserts that it says. Usually, an uninformed Christian or a lost person, in asserting that one is to obey all civil government laws, will merely state, “Obey every ordinance of man” without even knowing where the verse can be found in Scripture. In the context of Scripture, that phrase indicates that Christians are to submit to every ordinance of man which man made “for the Lord’s sake”—that is, which God granted civil government jurisdiction to make. In other words, believers are not to obey any ordinance of man which is outside civil government’s God-given jurisdiction and which restricts Christians in the exercise of their spiritual responsibilities. As with Romans 13, the immediate context of 1 Peter 2.13 as well as the context within Scripture as a whole make clear that God grants civil government jurisdiction over only certain matters regarding man’s relationship to man, and not over any matters regarding man’s relationship to God. As has been stated, this does not mean that God does not desire civil governments to operate under Him—He gives civil governments (and all other governments) the free will as to whether or not they will operate under Him.

Bible scholars have commented on 1 Peter 2.13:

  • “Every ordinance of man; all human laws which are not in opposition to the law of God. For the Lord’s sake; for the purpose of honoring him.”[3]
  • “Verse 13. Submit yourselves to every ordinance of man. Gr., ‘to every creation of man,’ (anqrwpinh ktisei.) The meaning is, to every institution or appointment of man; to wit, of those who are in authority, or who are appointed to administer government. The laws, institutes, and appointments of such a government may be spoken of as the creation of man; that is, as what man makes. Of course, what is here said must be understood with the limitation everywhere implied, that what is ordained by those in authority is not contrary to the law of God. Cmt. on Ac. 4:19. On the general duty here enjoined of subjection to civil authority, Cmt. on Ro. 13:1. For the Lord’s sake. Because he has required it, and has intrusted this power to civil rulers. Cmt. on Ro 13:6. Comp. Cmt. on Eph 6:7. Whether it be to the king. It has been commonly supposed that there is reference here to the Roman emperor, who might be called king, because in him the supreme power resided. The common title of the Roman sovereign was, as used by the Greek writers, autokratwr, and among the Romans themselves, imperator, (emperor;) but the title king was also given to the sovereign. John 19:15, ‘We have no king but’ Ac. 17:7, ‘And these all do contrary to the decrees of Cesar, saying that there is another king, one Jesus.’ Peter undoubtedly had particular reference to the Roman emperors, but he uses a general term, which would be applicable to all in whom the supreme power resided, and the injunction here would require submission to such authority, by whatever name it might be called. The meaning is, that we are to be subject to that authority whether exercised by the sovereign in person, or by those who are appointed by him.
  • As supreme. Not supreme in the sense of being superior to God, or not being subject to him, but in the sense of being over all subordinate officers.”[4]
  • “Our apostle having exhorted them in general to take care that their conversation be honest among the Gentiles, he now decends to particular duties, which he advises them to be very exemplary in the performance of.
  • “And the first is, in their subjection to governors and government; submit yourselves, says he, to every civil ruler, both supreme and subordinate.
  • “Where observe, 1. How the apostle calls magistracy and civil government, though originally of divine institution, an ordinance of man. First, As to the end of it, it being appointed and ordained for the good and benefit of man. “Secondly, In reference to the kind of it, every nation having a liberty to choose what kind and form of government human prudence shall direct them to, as most agreeable to, and commodious for, the people.
  • “Observe, 2. The quality of that obedience and subjection which is to be given unto magistrates, it must be for the Lord’s sake, that is, in obedience to the command of God, and with an eye at the honour and glory of God. Christianity is no enemy to the civil right of princes, it requires subjection for conscience, 8:15.
  • “By me, says God, kings reign; some read it, for me kings reign; both are true: princes then hold not their crowns either from the pope or from the people, to be kicked off by the one, or to be plucked off by the other, at their pleasure: Submit yourselves, says our apostle, to every ordinance of man for the Lord’s sake.
  • “Observe, 3. The reasons assigned why magistrates should be thus subjected and submitted to; namely,

“1. Because they are sent by God for the punishment of evil-doers, and the praise of them that do well; the magistrate’s office is to punish evil-doers; the fear of the magistrate’s sword awes many men more than the fear of God’s hand. If some men were not gods among men, many men would be devils among men; there would be no living among those who fear not the invisible God in heaven, if there were not some visible gods on earth to fear.

“2. Because God will, by this their subjection given to magistrates and governors, silence, or, as the word signifies, put a muzzle upon the mouth of, foolish and unreasonable men, who rage against his people, as if they were enemies to order and government: by this kind of well-doing in particular, namely, by subjection and obedience to rulers in the Lord, and for the Lord’s sake, we put to silence the foolishness of wicked men.”[5]

  • “Submit yourselves to every ordinance of man – In every settled state, and under every form of political government, where the laws are not in opposition to the laws of God, it may be very soundly and rationally said: ‘Genuine Christians have nothing to do with the laws but to obey them.’ Society and civil security are in a most dangerous state when the people take it into their heads that they have a right to remodel and change the laws. See the whole of this subject fully handled in the notes on 13:1, etc., to which I beg every reader, who may wish to know the political sentiments of this work, to have recourse….”[6]

1 Peter 2.13 is therefore consistent with all of Scripture and consistent within itself. Men are to obey all laws of man which are within the God-given jurisdiction of civil government. God gave man responsibility to rule over man only with regard to certain matters involving man’s relationship with his fellow man. On the other hand, God gave civil government no jurisdiction over matters involving man’s relationship with God. As to spiritual matters, God wants man to have free will as long as their free will does not violate criminal laws which are within the God-given jurisdiction of civil government. Christians in America are protected in the exercise of their free will by the First Amendment to the United States Constitution.


[1] Isaac Backus, “An Appeal to the Public for Religious Liberty,” Boston 1773, an essay found in Isaac Backus on Church, State, and Calvinism, Pamphlets, 1754-1789, Edited by William G. McLoughlin (Cambridge, Massachusetts, 1968), p. 313.

[2] 1 Pe. 2.9-20.

[3] SWORDSEARCHER software, Family Bible Notes.

[4] SWORDSEARCHER software, Albert Barnes’….

[5] SWORDSEARCHER software, William Burkitt’s Expository Notes.

[6] SWORDSEARCHER software, Adam Clarke’s Commentary on the Bible.

Doth not your master pay tribute? Matthew 17.24-27

A Publication of 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 3 1/2 to 6 minute video lectures.

Click here to go to Links to all lessons on Render Unto God the Things That Are His: A Study of Romans 13 and Other Verses Taken Out of Context to Support Union of Church and State.

Jerald Finney
Copyright © February 21, 2018

For accompanying study from Render Unto God the Things that Are His click here.

Christians who advocate unlimited obedience to the civil government sometimes refer to the miracle of the tribute money in Matthew 17.24-27, but that incident does not support their belief. Rather, that incident is consistent with all Scripture. Jesus, who is God the Son, is the Highest Power or Government and cannot and will not be required to pay any type tribute to any other power. God has given no lower power the jurisdiction to tax the Supreme Ruler.

Some authorities define the tax spoken of in Matthew 17.24-27 as the voluntary atonement money of half a shekel given as an offering to God that was used for maintenance of the Jerusalem temple.[1] However, others disagree as to whether the tribute spoken of was voluntary. One source defines the tribute spoken of in these verses as:

  • “a tax imposed by a king on his subjects (2 S. 20:24; 1 K. 4:6; 13:6). In Mt. 17:24-27 the word denotes the temple rate (the ‘didrachma,’ the ‘half-shekel,’ as rendered by the R.V.) which was required to be paid for the support of the temple by every Jew above twenty years of age (Ex. 30:12; 2 K. 12:4; 2 Chr. 24:6,9). It was not a civil but a religious tax.”[2]

Those who received the tribute money asked Peter, not Jesus, if Jesus paid the tribute. “And when they were come to Capernaum, they that received tribute money came to Peter, and said, Doth not your master pay tribute?” “He saith, Yes.”[3] Certainly Peter answered the question of those who received the tribute money before he reflected. Jesus anticipated and addressed Peter’s question before he asked Him. Our Lord began by asking Peter a question. “And when he was come into the house, Jesus prevented[4] him, saying, What thinkest thou, Simon? of whom do the kings of the earth take custom or tribute? of their own children, or of strangers?”[5] “Peter saith unto him, Of strangers. Jesus saith unto him, Then are the children free.”[6] “That is, Jesus, as the Son of God, might justly have claimed exemption from taxes assessed for the service of his Father.”[7] Here are some expert analyses concerning this statement of Jesus in Matthew 17.26:

  • “Then are the children free – As this money is levied for the support of that temple of which I am the Lord, then I am not obliged to pay the tax; and my disciples, like the priests that minister, should be exempted from the necessity of paying.”[8]
  • “Free; not expected to pay tribute. According to that rule, Christ, the Son of God, for the support of whose worship the money was paid would be free.”[9]
  • “Peter saith unto him, Of strangers—‘of those not their children.’ Jesus saith unto him, Then are the children free–By ‘the children’ our Lord cannot here mean Himself and the Twelve together, in some loose sense of their near relationship to God as their common Father. For besides that our Lord never once mixes Himself up with His disciples in speaking of their relation to God, but ever studiously keeps His relation and theirs apart (see, for example, on the last words of this chapter)–this would be to teach the right of believers to exemption from the dues required for sacred services, in the teeth of all that Paul teaches and that He Himself indicates throughout. He can refer here, then, only to Himself; using the word ‘children’ evidently in order to express the general principle observed by sovereigns, who do not draw taxes from their own children, and thus convey the truth respecting His own exemption the more strikingly:–namely, ‘If the sovereign’s own family be exempt, you know the inference in My case’; or to express it more nakedly than Jesus thought needful and fitting: ‘This is a tax for upholding My Father’s House. As His Son, then, that tax is not due by Me–I AM FREE.’”[10]
  • “Therefore the sons are free. The argument is this: If the sons of kings are free from the payment of tribute, I, the Son of God, am free from God’s tribute. The half-shekel was regarded as given to God (Josephus, The Antiquities of the Jews,9.1).”[11]
  • “Then are the sons free – The sense is, This is paid for the use of the house of God. But I am the Son of God. Therefore I am free from any obligation of paying this to my own Father.”[12]
  • “Every Jew throughout the world was required to pay an annual tribute or capitation-tax of half a shekel, about twenty-five cents, in acknowledgment of God’s sovereignty and for the maintenance of the temple service, 30:12-15. It was with reference to this that Christ says, in effect, Mt. 17:25-26, ‘If this tribute be levied in the name of The Father, then I, The Son, am free.’ In other New Testament passages, tribute means the tax levied by the Romans. On the question of paying tribute to foreigners and idolaters, Mt. 22:16-22, Christ gave a reply which neither party could stigmatize as rebellious, or as unpatriotic and irreligious. By themselves using Caesar’s currency, both parties acknowledged the fact of his supremacy. Christ warns them to render to all men their dues; and above all to regard the claims of him whose superscription is on every thing, 1 Co. 10:31; 1 Pe. 2:9, 13.”[13]

Jesus then states: “Notwithstanding, lest we should offend them, go thou to the sea, and cast an hook, and take up the fish that first cometh up; and when thou hast opened his mouth, thou shalt find a piece of money: that take, and give unto them for me and thee.”[14]

  • Notwithstanding, lest we should offend them. That is, lest they should think that we despise the temple and its service, and thus provoke needless opposition, though we are not under obligation to pay it, yet it is best to pay it to them.
  • Go thou to the sea. This was at Capernaum, on the shore of the sea of Tiberias.
  • Thou shalt find a piece of money. In the original, thou shalt find a stater, a Roman silver coin of the value of four drachms, or one shekel, and of course sufficient to pay the tribute for two, himself and Peter. In whatever way this is regarded, it is proof that Jesus was possessed of Divine attributes. If he knew that the first fish that came up would have such a coin in his mouth, it was proof of omniscience. If he created the coin for the occasion, and placed it there, then it was proof of Divine power. The former is the most probable supposition. It is by no means absurd that a fish should have swallowed a silver coin. Many of them bite eagerly at anything bright, and would not hesitate, therefore, at swallowing a piece of money. {t} ‘offend’ 14:21; 15:1-3; 2 Co. 6:3; {2} ‘stater’, ‘which was half an ounce of silver.”[15]
  • “Lest we – offend them – Be a stumbling-block to the priests, or rulers of the Jews, I will pay the tribute – go thou to the sea – cast a hook, and take the first fish – thou shalt find a piece of money, στατηρα , a stater. This piece of money was equal in value to four drachms, or two shekels, (five shillings of our money), and consequently was sufficient to pay the tribute for our Lord and Peter, which amounted to about half-a-crown each. If the stater was in the mouth or belly of the fish before, who can help admiring the wisdom of Christ, that discovered it there? If it was not before in the mouth of the fish, who can help admiring the power of Christ, that impelled the fish to go where the stater had been lost in the bottom of the sea, take it up, come towards the shore where Peter was fishing, and, with the stater in its mouth or stomach, catch hold of the hook that was to draw it out of the water? But suppose there was no stater there, which is as likely as otherwise, then Jesus created it for the purpose, and here his omnipotence was shown; for to make a thing exist that did not exist before is an act of unlimited power, however small the thing itself may be….”[16]

Fausset’s Bible Dictionary discusses Matthew 17.24-27:

  • “In 17:24-27, ‘the didrachma receivers said to Peter, Doth not your Master pay the didrachma? He saith, Yes?’ Their question implies it was the religious impost; no civil tax would have been asked in such a tone, as if its payment dare be questioned. The half-shekel or half-stater or didrachma (fifteen pence) was the universally recognized due required from every Israelite grown male in support of the sanctuary services, in the benefits of which he had a share: according to Ex. 30:11-15. (See MONEY; JESUS CHRIST; PETER.)
  • “Collected both before and after the Babylonian captivity (2 K. 12:4; 2 Chr. 24:9) from all Jews wherever sojourning (Josephus 18:9, section 1; Philo Monarch. 2:2, section 224). Hence Peter at once recognized the obligation. But Christ, while to avoid offense (wherein Paul imitated his Master in a different case, 1 Co. 9:4-19) He miraculously supplied the stater in the fish, for Himself and Peter, yet claimed freedom from the payment to the temple, seeing He was its Lord for whose service the tribute was collected. As Son of the heavenly King He was free from the legal exactions which bound all others, since the law finds its antitypical realization in Him the Son of God and ‘the end of the law’ ( 10:4).
  • “The temple offerings, for which the half shekels were collected, through Him become needless to His people also; hence they, by virtue of union with Him in justification and sanctification, are secondarily included in His pregnant saying, ‘then are the children (not merely the SON) free’ (John 8:35-36; 4:3-7; 5:1). As children with Him, they are sons of the King and share the kingdom (Ro. 8:15-17). The legal term ‘the didrachma’ Matthew uses as one so familiar to his readers as to need no explanation; he must therefore have written about the time, alleged, namely, some time before the destruction of Jerusalem and the temple, after which an explanatory comment would have been needed such as Josephus gives (Ant. 18:10, section 1). The undesigned omission in Matthew confirms the genuineness and truth of his Gospel.”[17]

Thus, Jesus indicated first that He could not be required to pay the tribute and then used the occasion to show that He was God. He could have paid the tribute by taking money from the money bag carried by Judas; but instead He demonstrated His deity by performing a supernatural miracle and giving the money to them in order not to offend them. Only God could have arranged such a miracle.


[1] See Abbott New Testament Commentary, Albert Barnes’ Notes on the Bible, and Jamieson-Fausett-Brown Commentary available on SWORDSEARCHER software. Go to for information on SWORDSEARCHER software.

[2] See Easton’s Bible Dictionary, definition of “Tribute,” on SWORDSEARCHER software.

[3] Mt. 17.24-25.

[4] “Prevented” in the above verses means that Jesus anticipated Peter’s question and answered it without Peter asking. See, e.g., SWORDSEARCHER software, Abbott… and Albert Barnes’….

[5] Ibid.

[6] Mt. 17.26.

[7] SWORDSEARCHER software, Abbott….

[8] SWORDSEARCHER software, Adam Clarke’s Commentary on the Bible.

[9] SWORDSEARCHER software, Family Bible Notes.

[10] SWORDSEARCHER software, Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Commentary.

[11] SWORDSEARCHER software, The Fourfold Gospel and Commentary on Acts.

[12] SWORDSEARCHER software, John Wesley’s Notes on the Bible.

[13] SWORDSEARCHER software, American Tract Society Dictionary, definition of “Tribute.”

[14] Mt. 17.27.

[15] SWORDSEARCHER software, Albert Barnes’….

[16] SWORDSEARCHER software, Adam Clarke’s Commentary….

[17] SWORDSEARCHER software, Fausset’s Bible Dictionary, definition of “Tribute.”

Render unto Caesar…? Luke 20.25, Matthew 22.21, and Mark 12.17

A Publication of 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 3 1/2 to 6 minute video lectures.

Click here to go to Links to all lessons on Render Unto God the Things That Are His: A Study of Romans 13 and Other Verses Taken Out of Context to Support Union of Church and State.

Jerald Finney
Copyright © February 21, 2018

For a more thorough study on this, click here.

Another scripture relied upon to support the false teaching of unlimited submission to the civil government is Luke 20.25 (also recorded in Matthew 22.21; and Mark 12.17). The Bible teaches that God is over is over all governments including civil government.[1] Nonetheless, many Americans, in spite of the teaching of the Bible, grab the following words of Jesus and apply the incorrect Americanized interpretation: “Render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar’s; and unto God the things that are God’s.”[2]

Obviously, Jesus is saying that both Caesar and God have jurisdictions. What are those jurisdictions? Are America and many pastors correct in teaching church members that they cannot depend totally upon God to supply their needs, that they need and can better serve the Lord with civil government contrived protection through incorporation and tax-exemption, and/or that America, not God, is to be their omniscient, omnipotent benefactor?[3]

To understand what Jesus was saying, one must understand both the immediate and the overall context of Scripture. Did Jesus say something contrary to scriptural teaching as a whole when He said these words? No, Jesus said those words with a perfect knowledge of Scripture, and in the context of Scripture. He said those words to practicing religious Jews who were well versed in Scripture and most likely understood the contextual meaning of what He said.

In the immediate context, the Pharisees were instigating an attack upon the Lord Jesus. “Then went the Pharisees, and took counsel how they might entangle him in his talk.”[4] The chief priests and the scribes “sought to lay hands on [Jesus]; and they feared the people.”[5]

  • “And they watched him, and sent forth spies, which should feign themselves just men, that they might take hold of his words, that so they might deliver him unto the power and authority of the governor. And they asked him, saying, Master, we know that thou sayest and teachest rightly, neither acceptest thou the person of any, but teachest the way of God truly: Is it lawful for us to give tribute unto Caesar, or no?”[6]

They wanted the civil government to do the dirty work which they would not do themselves because they feared the people.

  • “If Jesus said, ‘No, you are not to pay tribute to Caesar,’ He could be accused of being a traitor to Rome which ruled over Israel at that time. If He had said, ‘Yes, you are to pay tribute to Caesar,’ He could not be the true Messiah. They thought they had our Lord on the horns of a dilemma.”[7]

The Lord, being God, knew their plan: “But Jesus perceived their wickedness, and said, Why tempt ye me, ye hypocrites?”[8] Jesus said, “Shew me a penny. Whose image and superscription hath it?”[9]  When “[t]hey answered and said, Caesar’s,”[10] He gave His famous reply which left them amazed and unable to fulfill their plan.

In the overall context of Scripture, what was the Lord saying? The Pharisees knew the Old Testament. When Jesus asked whose image and superscription were on the coin, they most likely knew that He was saying that mankind, which included Caesar, was created by God in the image of God, and that Caesar as a ruler was given his authority with limitations by God. They knew the Scripture that said, “So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.”[11] They knew the Scriptures that taught that God was the Supreme Ruler, that His was the Supreme Government as well as those Scriptures that taught that God ordained civil government and all other governments. They also knew that Jesus claimed to be God. For example, when Jesus asked the Jews for which of His good works they took up stones to stone Him, “The Jews answered him, saying, For a good work we stone thee not; but for blasphemy; and because that thou, being a man, makest thyself God.”[12]  In one short statement, the Lord, as only He could, summarized, in the context of Scripture, God’s jurisdiction (rulership over all men and governments including civil governments) and civil government’s God-given jurisdiction (as laid out in the Bible and discussed in Section I of God Betrayed).

The result of this interchange was the opposite of what the Pharisees had hoped for. Since it was not yet His time to be crucified, God defeated their purpose by the power of His Word. “And they could not take hold of his words before the people: and they marveled at his answer, and held their peace[,]”[13] “and left him, and went their way.”[14]

Men today, as did these Pharisees, prefer to trust in their own doings instead of the perfect righteousness of Christ. Isaac Backus, the great eighteenth century Baptist leader, pointed out the darling of such men:


[1] See Section I.A. The Bible Doctrine of Government of these studies; for a more in-depth study, see God Betrayed, especially the first Section on the Bible doctrine of Government.

[2] Lu. 20.25; see also Mt. 22.21; and Mk. 12.17.

[3] Section VI of God Betrayed and Separation of Church and State deal with the incorporation and tax exemption issues.

[4] Mt. 22.15; see also, Mk. 12.13; Lu. 20.19.

[5] Lu. 20.19.

[6] Lu. 20.20-22.

[7] J. Vernon McGee, Matthew, Volume II (Pasadena, California: Thru the Bible Books, revised printing, 1980), p. 101.

[8] Mt. 22.18; see also, Mk. 12.15; Lu. 20.23.

[9] Lu. 20.24; see also, Mt. 21.19-20; Mk. 12.15-16.

[10] Lu. 20.24; see also, Mt. 22.21; Mk. 12.16.

[11] Ge. 1.27.

[12] Jn. 10.32-33.

[13] Lu. 20.26; see also, Mk. 12.17.

[14] Mt. 22.22.

[15] Isaac Backus, A History of New England With Particular Reference to the Denomination of Christians called Baptists, Volume 2 (Eugene, Oregon: Wipf & Stock Publishers, Previously published by Backus Historical Society, 1871), p. 563.