Tag Archives: civil government

d. Civil government

Click the following links to go to the subdivisions on lessons on Civil Government:

(1) The Ordination and Purpose of Civil government 
(2) The Purpose of Gentile Civil Government
(3) Civil Government Failure and God’s Judgment of Nations
(4) God Desires that Gentile Nations Glorify Him

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

(1) The Ordination and Purpose of Civil Government


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.


A publication of Churches Under Christ Ministry


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Family Government and Conscience

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(2) The Purpose of Gentile Civil Government

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Jerald Finney
Copyright © December 27, 2017


5

In spite of conscience and the restraint of the Holy Spirit, what happened without civil government? Very soon after the fall, God was grieved and repented that he had made man because the imagination of the thoughts of the heart were “only evil continually.” “All flesh had corrupted his way on the earth.” The earth was filled with violence. Remember that God had told men not to take vengeance; and that, if he did so, He would take vengeance on man sevenfold. So God told Noah He would destroy them.[1] The total corruption of mankind, except for Noah and his family, had occurred in a relatively short period of time after the fall of man and his expulsion from the Garden of Eden. The only remedy was God’s judgment and the initiation of an additional direct control over men.

Even man’s God-given common sense will tell a man the need for civil government. For example, “Alexander Hamilton asked and answered his own question: ‘Why has government been instituted at all? Because the passions of men will not conform to the dictates of reason and justice without constraint.'”[2]

At the flood, for the first time, God made a new covenant with man giving man the responsibility for ruling over man for Him; God ordained human or civil government. “For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God.” [3] God gave man the responsibility of taking the life of one who “sheddeth man’s blood,” “for in the image of God made he man.” [4] God gave man the right to take the life of a man, which in the very nature of the case gave man the authority to govern others. Unless [civil] government has the right to the highest form of punishment, its basic authority is questionable and insufficient to protect properly those it governs. He ordained civil government for the earthly benefit of man—to control evil.

NoahFoundGraceCivil government was established within the covenant God made with Noah. The elements of that covenant are:

  1. The relation of man to the earth under the Adamic Covenant is confirmed (Gen. 8.21).
  2. The order of nature is confirmed (Gen. 8.22).
  3. Human government is established (Gen. 9.1-6).
  4. Earth is secured against another universal judgment by water (Gen. 8.21; 9.11).
  5. A prophetic declaration is made that from Ham will descend an inferior and servile posterity (Gen. 9.24, 25).
  6. A prophetic declaration is made that Shem will have a peculiar relation to Jehovah (Gen. 9.26, 27). All divine revelation is through Semitic men, and Christ, after the flesh, descends from Shem.
  7. A prophetic declaration is made that from Japheth will descend the ‘enlarged’ races (Gen. 9.27). Government, science, and art, speaking broadly, are and have been Japhetic, so that history is the indisputable record of the exact fulfillment of these declarations.

God then ordered man to multiply and populate the earth: “And God blessed Noah and his sons, and said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth.”[5]

The covenant God made with Noah was to continue: It was to be an “everlasting covenant” [6] for “perpetual generations.”[7] Thus, the covenant is in effect today.

Would man obey God on the basis of conscience, the restraint of the Holy Spirit, and human government? I will answer that question in the next study.


Endnotes

[1] Ge. 6.5-7, 12-13; 8.21.

[2] M. Stanton Evans, The Theme Is Freedom (Washington, D.C.: Regency Publishing, 1994), p. 193 cited in William P. Grady, What Hath God Wrought? (Knoxville, TN: Grady Publications, Inc. 1999), p. 72.

[3] Ro. 13.1b,c.

[4] Ge. 9.5-6.

[5] Ge. 9.1.

[6] Ge. 9.12.

[7] Ge. 9.16.

More on Romans 13.1-2: The Powers/Governments That God Has Ordained

Shortly after this picture was taken, the soldier put a bullet through the head of this teenage girl. Her crime? Telling others about Jesus in public during the Bejing Olympics.
Shortly after this picture was taken, the soldier put a bullet through the head of this teenage girl. Her crime? Telling others about Jesus in public during the Bejing Olympics.

Jerald Finney
Copyright © September 16, 2014

Romans 13:1-2:  “Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God.  Whosoever therefore resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance of God: and they that resist shall receive to themselves damnation.”

Romans 13.1-2 speaks of the powers which are ordained by God. Romans 13.1 says that God ordained powers; all lower powers are ordained of God, and there is no power but of God. Only a higher power can ordain a lower power. To repeat, God as the Highest Power established (ordained) lower powers. He obviously is the Highest power because only a higher power can ordain lower powers. Every soul (every individual) is to obey the higher powers – the powers that are above him; and all lower powers are below God who is the highest power. Only the highest power, God, has no higher power to which He is subject.

What are the powers which are ordained by God? They are individual, family, civil, and church governments. Each lower power is subject to higher powers. Power means the possession or control or command over oneself, another or others. “Powers” as spoken of in Romans 13.1-2 means “governments” since government means direction, control or rule. This is obvious from the immediate and overall context of Scripture. Each power or government has a God-given goal (the glory of God) and jurisdiction. Civil government and God have jurisdictions (Matthew 22.21, Mark 12.17, Luke 20.25).  God gave each of the lower powers free will or choice of whether to honor the higher powers.

Every soul is told to be subject to the higher powers. According to the Bible (1) individuals, who can legitimately direct and control only themselves, are to be subject to God first and civil government second; (2) within the family government wives are to be subject to God first and their husband second, children to their parents; (3) civil governments are to operate under God in line with the biblical doctrine of government (this does not mean union of church and state: see the article “Is Separation of Church and State Found in the Constitution?”); and (4) churches are to direct and control their organization, goals, and affairs according to the biblical doctrine of the church. All lower powers are to be guided by the word of God. When church government, civil government, or family government has rules which contradict the laws of God, the individual is to “obey God rather than men” (Ibid., Acts 5.29); he is to be subject to God, the highest power first. God desires each government to operate under Him with His word as its guide. For example, God is the power higher than civil government; therefore, God desires that civil government choose to operate  under Him. (See, e.g., Hierarchy of Law and Laws Protecting New Testament Churches in the United States: Read Them for Yourself. 

God explains when and why He ordained each power (government) and set out the jurisdiction and guidelines for each in the Bible. The Bible teaches that the lowest power is the individual to whom God gives free will and the responsibility of self-direction and control (self-government). God ordained self-government in the Garden of Eden. Man in the Garden was innocent. God gave one simple rule for the individual in the Garden of Eden. God did this because God wanted man’s love and love requires a choice; without a choice, no man can love. The man who must be forced to marry a woman does not love that woman; a man shows love by making the choice to love. Love is action (See 1 Corinthians 13). Man disobeyed God’s rule and fell; God judged man for his decision to disobey the Highest Power.

The next power ordained by God was family government which was established at the fall. He did this to establish an order to a fallen race. Man was no longer innocent and therefore he was given the knowledge of good and evil (conscience). God forbade man to judge man; in other words there was to be no government (direction and control) over man by man (See Genesis 4.8-15). After the fall mankind was only to be guided by conscience, and he quickly forgot about God, the Highest Power. All mankind except for Noah and his family quickly became totally corrupted and every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was evil continually. As a result, God was grieved and had no choice but to judge mankind by destroying the earth and all mankind except for Noah and his family. Something more was needed to control man and his evil imagination.

At the flood, God gave man the responsibility to rule over man for God thereby establishing civil government (direction and control of man by man under God, the highest government). God ordained civil government because, as demonstrated between the fall and the flood, the knowledge of good and evil (conscience) was insufficient to control evil. Certain evils were from that time forward to be judged by man through direct punishment by man (civil direction and control) here on earth. God then divided Gentile nations in the earth as explained in Genesis 10. Again, mankind soon rebelled against God and, led by Nimrod, built the Tower of Babel in an attempt to start a one-world government. As a result, God confounded their language and scattered them abroad over the face of all the earth. He knew that as one people with one language nothing would be restrained from them, which they had imagined to do (See Genesis 11.1-9). Man has proceeded with individual government, family government (according to man’s choice), conscience, and civil government since that time.

The Old Testament after Genesis 11 deals extensively with, among other things, nations or civil governments. God called out Abraham as the father of both an earthly people (the nation Israel) and a spiritual people (those who are saved by grace through faith). When Israel was called out, the Gentile nations proceeded according to God’s original plan to be guided by conscience (see, e.g., Romans 2.14-15), but Israel was established as a theocracy in which the religion and state were to walk hand in hand directly under God. The goals of both the religion and the state were to be the same with the two working together in furthering those goals. Israel was the only theocracy ever ordained by God. A believer who studies God’s teaching and prophecies concerning Israel and the relationship between Israel and the Gentile nations will see God’s ultimate history and philosophy of history unfolding before his eyes. Old Testament history and prophecy as well as secular history prove that civil government operating alongside individual government, family government, and conscience was insufficient to control man’s evil imagination.

The last government God ordained was church government as recorded in the New Testament. Individual, family, and civil government had proven insufficient to control evil, so God established his churches which were to be made up of born-again believers. Believers in the churches were to seek to walk in the spirit, and organize and operate the churches according to God’s directives. Because man’s evil imagination, the church, civil government, individual government, family government, and conscience have proven insufficient to control man’s evil imagination. Most churches are heretical at best. A great proportion are apostate.

Nonetheless, there is ultimate hope even though mankind, because of a sin nature, fails all God’s tests and makes inevitable the judgment of God. To this point in time, the basis of all earthly governments is the individual, whom God desires to be led according to His rules. The individual hope is salvation through repentance toward God and faith in the Lord Jesus Christ (Acts 20.21; see also Jerald Finney’s Bible Study notes on Repentance, the new creature, the new life, and changed behavior and God’s Plan Of Salvation). The Holy Spirit leads a believer (a saved person) who studies God’s word into the truth which will make him free (John 8.31-32). An individual who is saved and who walks in the spirit will positively affect the family, the nation, and the church he belongs to. Sadly, no civil government on earth now honors the highest power; believers walking in the spirit are few and far between; God-honoring churches are rare and make up a small remnant. Just as the Old Testament chronicles the apostasy of Israel, the New Testament explains the apostasy of the churches. Only when the Highest Power Himself, the Lord Jesus Christ, returns and crushes the Gentile nations at Armageddon will a government over all mankind be established on earth under the leadership of the Highest Power. Man will fail all tests God has given Him since the creation and only God will have the power to bring order out of the chaos which man has created.

Other resources which cover the Romans 13 issue include:

For more on the various governments ordained by God, go to

The Biblical Doctrine of Government

For more on church government, go to

The Biblical Doctrine of the Church

 

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

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Conclusion to “The Biblical Doctrine of Government”


Jerald Finney
Copyright © December 10, 2011


Click here to go to “Self-exam Questions: Conclusion to the Biblical Doctrine of Government”

Click here to go to Jerald Finney’s audio teaching on “Conclusion to ‘The Biblical Doctrine of Government'”


Preface

This article is a continuation of Jerald Finney’s systematic development of the doctrines, application, history, and legalities of “separation of church and state.” See En1 for more on this matter. This article is an edited version of Section I, Chapter 12 of the book God Betrayed/Separation of Church and State: The Biblical Principles and the American Application (Link to preview of God Betrayed). (Link to Contents of “Separation of Church and State Law” Blog which has links so that the new follower can start his study at the beginning. “Line upon line, precept upon precept.”). See En2 for information on books by Jerald Finney which thoroughly examine “separation of church and state law.”


Conclusion to “The biblical doctrine of government”

2Co.5.17

Salvation is the beginning of a new life. After salvation, one’s purpose is to glorify God.  Jesus said to Peter who rebuked Him for speaking of His coming sufferings and death at the hands of the elders and chief priests and scribes:

5“Get thee behind me Satan: thou art an offence unto me: for thou savourest not the things that be of God, but those that be of men. If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it. For what is a man profited if he shall gain the whole world and lose his own soul? For the Son of man shall come in the glory of the Father with his angels; and then he shall reward every man according to his works” (Mt. 16.23-27).

2Hope begins with the individual, with self-government. A saved individual has hope. He has rejected sin and Satan and his rule and turned to Christ and His principles.

One who is saved continues in God’s Word and seeks to live according to biblical principles has the promise of persecution while on this earth: “Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution” (2 Ti. 3.12). Some Christians forget that although every saved person will go to heaven, there they will still be rewarded according to their works:

4“For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ. Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay stubble; Every man’s work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man’s work of what sort it is. If any man’s work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward. If any man’s work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved: yet so as by fire” (Mt. 3.11-15).

A individual, a family, a church, or a nation made up of Christians (those who are saved and follow the principles of God) has hope. (For more on this, see Study on 1 Thessalonians and Study on 2 Thessalonians.) Peter makes clear he will keep his brethren in remembrance that a believer needs certain things to prevent himself from being barren and unfruitful and to keep himself from 4falling—faith, virtue, knowledge, temperance, patience, godliness, brotherly kindness, and charity (2 Pe. 1.3-13). God would have us exercise these qualities in all things. “According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue: Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust” (2 Pe. 1.3-4). [Bold emphasis mine.]

All things would include all principles of the Word of God: the doctrines of church, state, and separation of church and state are therefore to be studied diligently and applied by the Christian. Unfortunately, most Christians are deficient, especially in knowledge. The principle of Hosea 4.6-Ho.4.6_219 concerning rejection of knowledge and the inevitable consequences thereof, although directed immediately to the children of Israel, is also a general principle which applies to believers today. Sadly, in any nation, the lost and the saved who are not seeking to follow after God’s principles always outnumber Christians, at least in the long run. As a result, no civil government has ever been under God for any length of time, and every civil government has been or will be judged by God before He sets up His kingdom.

Did God give us all the principles people need for success as individuals, as families, as churches, and as nations knowing that we would always ultimately fail? Yes. He knew it from the beginning. He knew we would totally destroy ourselves even with all His wisdom at our disposal. He knew that we would ultimately totally reject all His wisdom, statutes, and commandments. And along the way, He knew that no one, at any time, would ever fully comprehend God and God’s ways. He knew man would blow it. Yet, because of His love, He sent His own Son to pay the price for our monstrous sins. He gave each and every person a way out. That way was not oneself, one’s conscience, one’s family, one’s virtue, one’s good deeds, one’s church membership, one’s baptism, or one’s civil government. That way was His Son. Period.

Endnotes

En1 Why should believers, and especially pastors, be concerned about the area of church and state law? Because only through knowledge can they avoid dishonoring the Husband/Bridegroom/Head of their local church body and thereby failing to achieve their God-given goal—glorifying God and pleasing Him.

These articles systematically examine the biblical doctrines of church, state, separation of church and state and the application of those doctrines in America. For believers and churches, the information presented is—according to God’s Word—of great importance to our Lord. By reading and studying each article using the Bible as the standard, a believer will discover that the biblical principles are correct as presented. By studying the historical and legal facts presented—without bias, prejudice, illicit motive, or an overriding opposing agenda which has a vested interest in maintaining a status quo due to loss of finances, support or something else—and examining those facts in light of biblical principle, a qualified believer (a believer who has the necessary biblical, historical, and legal qualifications and education) can understand that the conclusions are correct.

That said, understanding the biblical principles, relevant history, and legal principles and facts is, first, impossible for one who is not a born again believer who is walking in the Spirit, and, second, daunting for even the spirit filled follower of Christ. Years of honest, open minded study is required to achieve the correct knowledge and understanding of all facets of church and state law. First, one must interpret Scripture correctly (See 2 Ti. 2:15) as to the relevant topics. After mastering the biblical principles, one must then labor through the annals of history, and the intricacies of law. In order to be qualified to comment upon the law, one must have an extensive legal education. He must understand how to do legal research and how to reach correct legal conclusions. Legal commentary by a pseudo lawyer can sound good to the untrained, while he may be correctly understood as frivolous and unlearned and probably heretical by the educated believer.

This is not to say that a non-lawyer cannot understand the legal and historical aspects of spiritual matters. In fact, the author knows some pastors and other believers who, having already correctly divided the Word of Truth and determined to seek to please God in all matters, have open minds and who have eagerly sought truth in the historical and legal church and state law arena. He is working with such a young pastor at this very moment. He is a brilliant young man who had mastered the Scriptures and Baptist history before the author met him. He excels the author in those matters, as do some other pastors and believers known by the author. Unlike most pastors, he does not have the disadvantages of having gone to either a secular or ecclesiastical (Baptist or otherwise) institution of higher learning. Secular colleges and universities usually corrupt even the most devout child of God; and religious colleges, institutions, and seminaries generally (with few exceptions, one of which the author has personal knowledge of)—by either mixing an ample dose of humanism with whatever biblically correct teaching they dose out; or by having totally having abandoned truth—likewise usually corrupt their students to one degree or another.

On the other hand, I am vexed by what I read in some books and websites concerning church and state law; particularly by some vicious, unfounded attacks upon the Biblical Law Center Declaration of Trust by unqualified, biased assailants who are attempting to mislead believers and churches through incorrect biblical and legal analyses and personal attacks upon and outright lies about those with whom they disagree in such matters.

Being a believer alone, even a pastor, does not by itself qualify one to teach on church and state law. The author has been a believer and faithful member of independent Baptist churches since his salvation. He was called by God to go to law school for His glory and to please Him. As a result of that calling, he obtained a Doctor of Jurisprudence degree from one of the best law schools in the country and has practiced law for seventeen years. He has no motive for dishonesty. By design, he has never made a dime above expenses in his work in the church and state law arena. In fact, he has spent tens of thousands of dollars with total income of at most three to four thousand dollars in all the years he has worked in this area of law. Because of this he is beholden to no one and nothing but the truth and his Lord and Savior. Since becoming a lawyer, he has devoted untold thousands of hours in biblical, historical, and legal study and analysis of church and state law.

As always, he declares that if anyone can show him where he is in error, he will recant. Honest, loving believers have taught him much and caused him to modify some of his positions. He has also, in his continued studies, modified some of his conclusions and positions. However, he maintains his primary positions because neither he, through his continued studies, or others have shown him to be wrong about his basic church and state law principles and conclusions.

En2 God Betrayed/Separation of Church and State: The Biblical Principles and the American Application (Link to preview of God Betrayed): may be ordered from Amazon by clicking the following link: God Betrayed on Amazon.com or from Barnes and Nobel by clicking the following link: God Betrayed on Barnes and Noble. All books by Jerald Finney as well as many of the books he has referenced and read may also be ordered by left clicking “Books” (on the “Church and State Law” website) or directly from Amazon by going to the following links: (1) Render Unto God the Things that Are His: A Systematic Study of Romans 13 and Related Verses (Kindle only); (2) The Most Important Thing: Loving God and/or Winning Souls (Kindle only); (3) Separation of Church and State/God’s Churches: Spiritual or Legal Entities? (Link to preview of Separation of Church and State/God’s Churches: Spiritual or Legal Entities?) which can also be ordered by clicking the following Barnes and Noble link: Separation of Church and State on Barnes and Noble.

God Desires that Nations to Choose to Glorify Him


Jerald Finney
Copyright © July 23, 2011


Click here to go to “Self-exam Questions: God Desires that Nations Choose to Glorify Him”


Preface

This article is a continuation of Jerald Finney’s systematic development of the doctrines, application, history, and legalities of “separation of church and state.” See En1 for more on this matter; See En2 for information on books by Jerald Finney which thoroughly examine “separation of church and state law.” This article is an edited version of Section I, Chapter 6 of the book God Betrayed/Separation of Church and State: The Biblical Principles and the American Application (Link to preview of God Betrayed). (Link to Contents of “Separation of Church and State Law” Blog which has links so that the new follower can start his study at the beginning. “Line upon line, precept upon precept.”).


God desires nations to choose to glorify Him

20

The Bible, especially in the Old Testament, deals extensively with nations and shows that God ordained nations, that He is over every nation, but that He gives every nation a temporary choice of whether to submit itself to the sovereign God. The following verses, among many others, prove that God is over all nations and wishes each nation to choose to glorify Him:

“When the Most High divided to the nations their inheritance, when he separated the sons of Adam, he set the bounds ofOld Testament Nations the people according to the number of the children of Israel” (De. 32.8).

“Be wise now therefore, O ye kings: be instructed, ye judges of the earth. Serve the LORD with fear, and rejoice with trembling. Kiss the Son, lest he be angry, and ye perish from the way, when his wrath is kindled but a little. Blessed are they which put their trust in him” (Ps. 2.10-12. See Ps. 2 in its entirety).

“The wicked shall be turned into hell and all nations that forget God” (Ps. 9.17).

“If the foundations be destroyed, what can the righteous do” (Ps. 11.3)?

“Make a joyful noise unto the LORD, all ye lands. Serve the LORD with gladness: come before his presence with singing. Know ye that the LORD he is God: it is he that hath made us, and not we ourselves; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture” (Ps. 100.1-3).

17“The LORD is high above all nations, and his glory above the heavens” (Ps. 113.4).

“Righteousness exalteth a nation, but sin is a reproach to any people” (Pr. 14.34).

“A wise king scattereth the wicked, and bringeth the wheel over them” (Pr. 20.26).

“Mercy and truth preserve the king: and his throne is upholden by mercy” (Pr. 20.28).

“Take away the wicked from before the king, and his throne shall be established in righteousness” (Pr. 25.5).

“When the righteous are in authority, the people rejoice: but when the wicked beareth rule, the people mourn” (Pr. 29.2).

“Behold, the nations are as a drop of a bucket, and art counted as the small dust of the balance: behold, he taketh up the6 isles as a very little thing…. All nations before him are as nothing; and they are counted to him less than nothing, and vanity…. It is he that sitteth upon the circle of the earth, and the inhabitants thereof are as grasshoppers; that stretcheth out the heavens as a curtain, and spreadeth them out as a tent to dwell in: That bringeth the princes to nothing; he maketh the judges of the earth as vanity. Yea, they shall not be planted; yea, they shall not be sown: yea, their stock shall not take root in the earth: and he shall also blow upon them, and they shall wither, and the whirlwind shall take them away as stubble. Lift up your eyes on high, and behold who hath created these things, that bringeth out their host by number: he calleth them all by names by the greatness of his might, for that he is strong in power; not one faileth” (Is. 40.15, 17, 22-24, 26).

“But thou [Jeremiah] shalt say unto them, This is a nation that obeyeth not the voice of the LORD their God, nor receiveth correction: truth is perished, and is cut off from their mouth” (Je. 7.28. See the entirety of Je. 7).

10At what instant I shall speak concerning a nation, and concerning a kingdom, to pluck up, and to pull down, and to destroy it; If that nation, against whom I have pronounced, turn from their evil, I will repent of the evil that I thought to do unto them. And at what instant I shall speak concerning a nation, and concerning a kingdom, to build and to plant it; If it do evil in my sight, that it obey not my voice, then I will repent of the good, wherewith I said I would benefit them” (Je. 18.7-10).

Paul speaking to those at Lystra who would have worshiped Paul and Barnabas because Paul healed the impotent man on his 1st missionary journey said: “And saying, Sirs, why do ye these things? We also are men of like passions with you, and preach unto you that ye should turn from these vanities unto the living God, which made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and all things that are therein: Who in times past suffered all nations to walk in their own ways. Nevertheless he left not himself without witness, in that he did good, and gave us rain from heaven, and fruitful seasons, filling our hearts with food and gladness” (Ac. 14.15-17).

Paul said in his sermon on Mars’ hill: “God that made the world and all things therein, seeing that he is Lord of heaven and earth, dwelleth not in temples made with hands; … And hath made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on the face of the earth, and hath determined the times before appointed, and the bounds of their habitation; That they should seek the Lord, if haply they might feel after him, and find him, though he be not far from every one of us: For in him we live, and move, and have our being; as certain also of your own poets have said, For we are also his offspring” (Ac. 17.24, 26-31).

“Which in his times he shall shew, who is the blessed and only Potentate, the King of kings, and Lord of lords” (1 Ti. 6.15).

21When one studies the relevant principles of God and history recorded throughout the entire Old Testament, he discovers that God ordained the nations and civil government, laid out the jurisdiction of civil government, holds every nation to account in accordance with the nation’s recognition of Him as the one and only God (as opposed to the one and only god, Satan) and according to the nations application of His principles, and makes plain the consequences of obedience and the consequences of disobedience by a nation. He tells the story of the nations from the beginning until the end. One can look at Israel to see where humanity is on God’s time line as revealed in the Word of God.

13Obviously, civil governments still exist and still have responsibility under God to rule for Him, but He still gives every civil government a choice of whether to go by His or Satan’s principles. “[The civil magistrate] ought to cherish, as a foster-father, the Lord Jesus, in his truth, in his saints, to cleave unto them himself, and to countenance them even to the death, yea, also, to break the teeth of the lions, who offer civil violence and injury unto them” (Roger Williams and 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 (Reprint), p. 100).

Sadly, civil governments do not choose, at least for any significant period of time, to be “under God,” to guide their actions by His principles. Patrick Henry [who led the fight in Virginia against ratifying the Constitution, and was a great defender of the Baptists who were persecuted in Virginia even though he was in favor of a state-church] understood this:

“Where are your checks in this government. Your strongholds will be in the hands of your enemies.  It is on the supposition23 that your American governors shall be honest, that all the good qualities of this government are founded; but its defective and imperfect construction puts it in their power to perpetrate the worst of mischiefs, should they be bad men. And sir, would not all the world, from the eastern to the western hemispheres, blame our distracted folly in resting our rights upon the contingency of our rulers being good or bad? Show me that age and country where the rights and liberties of the people were placed on the sole chance of their rulers being good men, without a consequent loss of liberty.” (John Eidsmoe, Christianity and the Constitution: The Faith of Our Founding Fathers (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Baker Book House, 1987), p. 309, quoting Patrick Henry, Virginia Ratifying Debates; quoted by Tyler, Patrick Henry, p. 328.).

Endnotes

En1 Why should believers, and especially pastors, be concerned about the area of church and state law? Because only through knowledge can they avoid dishonoring the Husband/Bridegroom/Head of their local church body and thereby failing to achieve their God-given goal—glorifying God and pleasing Him.

These articles systematically examine the biblical doctrines of church, state, separation of church and state and the application of those doctrines in America. For believers and churches, the information presented is—according to God’s Word—of great importance to our Lord. By reading and studying each article using the Bible as the standard, a believer will discover that the biblical principles are correct as presented. By studying the historical and legal facts presented—without bias, prejudice, illicit motive, or an overriding opposing agenda which has a vested interest in maintaining a status quo due to loss of finances, support or something else—and examining those facts in light of biblical principle, a qualified believer (a believer who has the necessary biblical, historical, and legal qualifications and education) can understand that the conclusions are correct.

That said, understanding the biblical principles, relevant history, and legal principles and facts is, first, impossible for one who is not a born again believer who is walking in the Spirit, and, second, daunting for even the spirit filled follower of Christ. Years of honest, open minded study is required to achieve the correct knowledge and understanding of all facets of church and state law. First, one must interpret Scripture correctly (See 2 Ti. 2:15) as to the relevant topics. After mastering the biblical principles, one must then labor through the annals of history, and the intricacies of law. In order to be qualified to comment upon the law, one must have an extensive legal education. He must understand how to do legal research and how to reach correct legal conclusions. Legal commentary by a pseudo lawyer can sound good to the untrained, while he may be correctly understood as frivolous and unlearned and probably heretical by the educated believer.

This is not to say that a non-lawyer cannot understand the legal and historical aspects of spiritual matters. In fact, the author knows some pastors and other believers who, having already correctly divided the Word of Truth and determined to seek to please God in all matters, have open minds and who have eagerly sought truth in the historical and legal church and state law arena. He is working with such a young pastor at this very moment. He is a brilliant young man who had mastered the Scriptures and Baptist history before the author met him. He excels the author in those matters, as do some other pastors and believers known by the author. Unlike most pastors, he does not have the disadvantages of having gone to either a secular or ecclesiastical (Baptist or otherwise) institution of higher learning. Secular colleges and universities usually corrupt even the most devout child of God; and religious colleges, institutions, and seminaries generally (with few exceptions, one of which the author has personal knowledge of)—by either mixing an ample dose of humanism with whatever biblically correct teaching they dose out; or by having totally having abandoned truth—likewise usually corrupt their students to one degree or another.

On the other hand, the author is vexed by what he reads in some books and websites concerning church and state law; particularly by some vicious, unfounded attacks upon the Biblical Law Center Declaration of Trust by unqualified, biased assailants who are attempting to mislead believers and churches through incorrect biblical and legal analyses and personal attacks upon and outright lies about those with whom they disagree in such matters.

Being a believer alone, even a pastor, does not by itself qualify one to teach on church and state law. The author has been a believer and faithful member of independent Baptist churches since his salvation. He was called by God to go to law school for His glory and to please Him. As a result of that calling, he obtained a Doctor of Jurisprudence degree from one of the best law schools in the country and has practiced law for seventeen years. He has no motive for dishonesty. By design, he has never made a dime above expenses in his work in the church and state law arena. In fact, he has spent tens of thousands of dollars with total income of at most three to four thousand dollars in all the years he has worked in this area of law. Because of this he is beholden to no one and nothing but the truth and his Lord and Savior. Since becoming a lawyer, he has devoted untold thousands of hours in biblical, historical, and legal study and analysis of church and state law.

As always, he declares that if anyone can show him where he is in error, he will recant. Honest, loving believers have taught him much and caused him to modify some of his positions. He has also, in his continued studies, modified some of his conclusions and positions. However, he maintains his primary positions because neither he, through his continued studies, or others have shown him to be wrong about his basic church and state law principles and conclusions.

En2 God Betrayed/Separation of Church and State: The Biblical Principles and the American Application (Link to preview of God Betrayed): may be ordered from Amazon by clicking the following link: God Betrayed on Amazon.com or from Barnes and Nobel by clicking the following link: God Betrayed on Barnes and Noble. All books by Jerald Finney as well as many of the books he has referenced and read may also be ordered by left clicking “Books” (on the “Church and State Law” website) or directly from Amazon by going to the following links: (1) Render Unto God the Things that Are His: A Systematic Study of Romans 13 and Related Verses (Kindle only); (2) The Most Important Thing: Loving God and/or Winning Souls (Kindle only); (3) Separation of Church and State/God’s Churches: Spiritual or Legal Entities? (Link to preview of Separation of Church and State/God’s Churches: Spiritual or Legal Entities?) which can also be ordered by clicking the following Barnes and Noble link: Separation of Church and State on Barnes and Noble.

Biblical Teaching on Civil Government


Jerald Finney
Copyright © May 14, 2011


Click here to go to “Self-exam Questions: Biblical Teaching on Civil Government”


Preface

The material for this article is from Section I, Chapter 5 of God Betrayed/Separation of Church and State: The Biblical Principles and the American Application. The Endnote has more information on this and other books by Jerald Finney. The complete book will be reproduced in these articles, and the audio teachings on this blog also cover the book in abbreviated form.


Biblical Teaching on Civil government

dispensation_3a

In spite of conscience and the restraint of the Holy Spirit, what happened without civil government? Very soon after the fall,

5“GOD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. And it repented the LORD that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him at his heart…. And God looked upon the earth, and behold, it was corrupt; for all flesh had corrupted his way upon the earth. And God said unto Noah, the end of all flesh is come before me; for the earth is filled with violence through them; and, behold, I will destroy them with the earth.” After the flood, “[T]he LORD said in his heart, I will not again curse the ground any more for man’s sake; for the imagination of man’s heart is evil from his youth; neither will I again smite any more every thing living, as I have done” (Ge. 6.5-7, 12-13; 8.21).

When man, operating in an economy of God, has totally failed in his responsibilities under God, the only remedy is God’s judgment. Therefore, at that point God exercised His only option, judged man, and for the first time, in the Noahic Covenant, gave man the responsibility for ruling over man for Him and under Him—God ordained human or civil government. God initiated the Dispensation of Human Government. “For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God” (Ro. 13.1b,c). He did so at the flood: He declared:

“And surely your blood of your lives will I require; at the hand of every beast will I require it, and at the hand of man; at the hand of every man’s brother will I require the life of man. Whoso sheddeth man’s blood, by man shall his blood be shed: for in the image of God made he man” (Ge. 9.5-6).

“God gave man the right to take the life of a man, which in the very nature of the case gave man the authority to govern others. Unless [civil] government has the right to the highest form of punishment, its basic authority is questionable and insufficient to protect properly those it governs” (Charles C. Ryrie, Dispensationalism (Chicago: Moody Press, 1995), p. 53).

Although the Bible did not, in those verses in which God first established civil government, call the institution which He ordained at that point civil government, that is what it was. It was the first time God ordained that man was to exercise authority, direction, or control over man. In addition to conscience and the restraint of the Holy Spirit, God instituted civil government. He ordained civil government to secure for man a temporal good—the protection of mankind from violence while on the earth. Only God had the power to prevent civil government, and only God had the power to institute civil government. It was apparent, in context, that He desired man to operate civil government under Him, according to His rules.

He ordained civil government for the earthly benefit of man—to control evil—as is contextually apparent: Before the flood:

kjv_genesis_6-5“… God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination2 of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually…. And God looked upon the earth, and behold, it was corrupt: for all flesh corrupted his way upon the earth. And God said unto Noah, The end of all flesh is come before me; for the earth is filled with violence through them: and behold, I will destroy them with the earth” (Ge. 6.5, 12-13).

“[A]nd the Lord said in his heart, I will not again curse the ground any more for man’s sake; for the imagination of man’s heart is evil from his youth; neither will I again smite any more every thing living, as I have done” (Ge. 8.21).

Mankind was so utterly corrupt that the only solution was for God to destroy every man, woman, and child, except the one righteous family. This total corruption of mankind, except for Noah and1 his family, had occurred in a relatively short period of time after Adam and Eve had been expelled from the Garden of Eden. At the same time that God judged man by the flood, He ordained civil government, in order to control the violence that resulted from the wickedness of man, to secure for mankind as a whole a temporal good. Some leaders have realized this. Alexander Hamilton asked and answered his own question:

“Why has government been instituted at all? Because the passions of men will not conform to the dictates of reason and justice without constraint” (M. Stanton Evans, The Theme Is Freedom (Washington, D.C.: Regency Publishing, 1994), p. 193 cited in William P. Grady, What Hath God Wrought? (Knoxville, TN: Grady Publications, Inc. 1999), p. 72).

Civil government was established within the covenant God made with Noah. “The elements of the Noahic Covenant are:

“(1) The relation of man to the earth under the Adamic Covenant is confirmed (Gen. 8.21).
“(2) The order of nature is confirmed (Gen. 8.22).
“(3) Human government is established (Gen. 9.1-6).
“(4) Earth is secured against another universal judgment by water (Gen. 8.21; 9.11).Gen 9-13
“(5) A prophetic declaration is made that from Ham will descend an inferior and servile posterity (Gen. 9.24, 25). (Pastor Joey Faust says of this portion of Scofield’s note: “Scofield’s old note missed the fact that the curse of being servile was on Canaan (only one branch of Ham’s seed). This is why Canaan was dominated by Israel. But the first kingdoms of the world were all Hamite (Nimrod, Egypt, etc.), until Nebuchadnezzar (Semite) began to rule the world. All subsequent powers were Japhethetic.
“I do not think it would serve any purpose to try to make the curse of servitude to be on all of Ham’s seed. This was the error of some postmil preachers in the Southern states. I have two lengthy articles on the southern states, and how they saw the South as the New Canaan, and the actual Kingdom of God. These quotes are online at http://www.kingdombaptist.org under Baptist history, etc.”).
“(6) A prophetic declaration is made that Shem will have a peculiar relation to Jehovah (Gen. 9.26, 27). All divine revelation is through Semitic men, and Christ, after the flesh, descends from Shem.
“(7) A prophetic declaration is made that from Japheth will descend the ‘enlarged’ races (Gen. 9.27). Government, science, and art, speaking broadly, are and have been Japhetic, so that history is the indisputable record of the exact fulfillment of these declarations” (1917 Scofield Reference Edition, n. 2 to Genesis 9.1, p. 16).

God ordered man to multiply and populate the earth: “And God blessed Noah and his sons, and said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth” (Ge. 9.1).

Noah ShamedWould man obey God on the basis of conscience, the restraint of the Holy Spirit, and human government? Man almost immediately failed to govern under God—Noah became drunk and incapable of ruling. Furthermore, Noah’s descendants rebelled against God’s command to populate the whole earth. The pattern has continued with every nation that has ever or will ever exist until Christ returns. The covenant God made with Noah was to continue: It was to be an “everlasting covenant”  (Ge. 9.12) for “perpetual generations” (Ge. 9.16). Thus, the covenant is in effect today.

Shortly after the flood, God divided the world into nations: “By these were the isles of the Gentiles divided in their lands; every one after his tongue, after their families, in their nations” (Ge. 10.5). God probably did this because if all worldly government were concentrated in one world government, the potential for evil would be unlimited:

“Rulers are sinful and given too much authority can become oppressive tyrants. Nations check each other’s power. A one-world government would have no check on its power. No one could check violations on legal limitations and guarantees. World government has the potential for world tyranny” (John Eidsmoe, God and Caesar: Biblical Faith and Political Action. (Eugene, Oregon: Wipf and Stack Publishers, 1997), p. 210).

“The people, instead of obeying God’s command to scatter and fill the earth, conceived the idea of1staying together and building the tower of Babel to achieve their aim. Fellowship with man replaced fellowship with God” (Ryrie, p. 53). Soon after this division into nations, mankind attempted to build the world’s first “United Nations” building. “And they said, Go to, let us build us a city and a tower, whose top may reach unto heaven; and let us make us a name, lest we be scattered abroad upon the face of the whole earth” (Ge. 11.4). This is what was wrong with their attempt:

“It was a picture of salvation by works, Tower_of_Babel 3reaching heaven by one’s own efforts; one of its probable purposes was astrology or Satan worship, as with the ziggurat towers in ancient Babylonia; it was based on pride and self-exaltation. In addition, its purpose was to keep the people together in a one-world government instead of spreading them out into national entities as God had intended. The Jewish historian Flavius Josephus, writing shortly after the time of Christ, says:
‘Now it was Nimrod who excited them to such an affront and contempt of God…. He also gradually changed the government into tyranny—seeing no other way of turning them from the fear of God, but to bring them into a constant dependence upon his power. He also said … that he would build the tower too high for the waters to be able to reach and that he would avenge himself on God for destroying their forefathers….’

“As we can read in Genesis 11.5-9, God frustrated the building of the tower by causing the people to speak different languages. God then reaffirmed nationalism: ‘And from thence did the Lord scatter them abroad upon the face of all the earth’ (Genesis 11.9). God further reaffirms nationalism in Deuteronomy 32.9 and Acts 17.26. National entities will continue even during Christ’s millennial rule on earth (Isaiah 2.4; 66.18; Revelation 12.5; 20.3, 8), and perhaps even in heaven (Revelation 21.24, 26)” (Eidsmoe, God and Caesar, pp. 210-212, citing The Complete Works of Flavius Josephus (Grand Rapids: Kregel, 1974), p. 30).

Thus, God again judged man for his failure to keep His command to populate the whole earth. God confused their language. Since they could no longer speak the same language, the builders could no longer understand one another. They separated and relocated to different parts of the earth. They began to populate the entire earth.

The New Testament teaches that one God-given purpose of Gentile civil government is to control evil:

“For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to the evil. Wilt thou then not be afraid of the power? do that which is good, and thou shalt have praise of the same: For he is a minister of God to thee for good. But if thou do that which is evil, be afraid; for he beareth not the sword in vain: for he is a minister of God, a revenger to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil” (Ro. 13.3-4; see also, 1 Pe. 2.13-14).

“Knowing this, that the law is not made for a righteous man, but for the lawless and disobedient, for the ungodly and sinners, for unholy and profane, for murderers or fathers and murderers of mothers, for manslayers, For whoremongers, for them that defile themselves with mankind, for menstealers, for liars, for perjured persons, and if there be any other thing that is contrary to sound doctrine; According to the glorious gospel of the blessed God, which was committed to my trust” (1 Ti. 1.9-11).

A second purpose can be inferred from an admonition of Paul to Timothy—to organize society under God, that is according to God’s principles:

“I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men; For kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty. For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour; Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth. For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus; Who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time” (1 Ti. 2.1-6).

For example, an application of God’s principles in civil law would be laws regulating hunting. In the Noahic covenant, mankind is told: “Every living thing that liveth shall be food for you” (Ge. 9.3a). Thus, God gave man the authority to hunt animals, but not the “right to engage in mass and wanton slaughter of the animal kingdom.” On the other hand, God placed man in the Garden of Eden to “dress it and keep it” (Ge. 2.15), 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” (Eidsmoe, God and Caesar, p. 8). 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 will live a quiet and peaceable life and non-Christians will be free to choose God, no god, or false gods or gods since, as will be seen in later articles (See also, Section III of God Betrayed/Separation of Church and State: The Biblical Principles and the American Application), separation of church and state is a biblical principle for Gentile nations.

A third, and the most important purpose of civil government is to teach. Just as “[t]he law is a “schoolmaster” to bring us unto Christ” (Ga. 3.24) a nation, by its laws, teaches. The laws of a nation, as do God’s laws, have a didactic effect; that is, 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, scholars such as Michael Grossberg, Christopher Tomlins, and Mark Tushnet 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” (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).

aA nation under God will base its law upon biblical principles and such a civil government teaches its citizens the biblical principle that they have freedom of conscience (See Section III of God Betrayed/Separation of Church and State: The Biblical Principles and the American Application), but that individuals should choose to conform their wills to the will of God. Everyone in such a nation may choose the one true God, god, gods, or no gods at all. If under God, a nation teaches and points to truth, including the ultimate truth that Jesus stated: “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me” (Jn. 14.6). This is why it is important, for example, that government leaders, officials, and others pray in no other name than the name of Jesus. On the other hand, a nation which is not under God teaches the principles of Satan, the god of this world. A civil government not under God will allow or require official government prayers in the name of any god, no god at all, and perhaps also in the name of Jesus.

The Noahic Covenant was written to Gentile nations. Gentile nations were to always proceed15 under God’s original plan for civil government. Later, as will be shown, God called out a nation, Israel, for specific purposes applicable only to that one nation. Israel was to operate as a theocracy directly under God. Israel was to be the center of God’s dealings with nations. God’s treatment of every Gentile nation depended and depends upon that nation’s treatment of Israel.

Thus, the Bible teaches that God can prevent man from setting up civil government, and He can ordain civil government.  He is the Highest Power. At the same time, because God has given man free will, God does not force civil government to operate under Him and within the sphere of its God-given authority. Regardless, all other powers, including all other governments and civil government officials and leaders are under the Supreme Government and subject to His rules. “Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God” (Ro. 12.1).

All that God showed man as recorded in the Old Testament failed to convince mankind, excluding a remnant, that God was who He claimed to be, that His rules and principles could not be changed, that judgment falls upon individuals and institutions which do not operate according to His principles. As Isaac Backus observed: “Yet all this [all that God had done in the Garden of Eden, the flood, the ordaining of civil government] did not remove the dreadful distemper from man’s nature, for the great Ruler of the universe directly after the flood gave this as one reason why he would not bring such another while the earth remains, namely, For the imagination of man’s heart is evil from his youth” (Backus, Isaac. “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. 310, citing Ge. 4.19; 6.13, 15; 8.21).  “So that if he was to drown them as often as they deserved it, one deluge must follow another continually” (Ibid., pp. 310-311).

Having ordained civil government, God desires nations to know Him, to operate under Him according to His principles, and to glorify Him. This is clearly taught in the Word of God. That will be the subject of the next article.

Endnote

God Betrayed/Separation of Church and State: The Biblical Principles and the American Application (Link to preview of God Betrayed): may be ordered from Amazon by clicking the following link: God Betrayed on Amazon.com or from Barnes and Nobel by clicking the following link: God Betrayed on Barnes and Noble. All books by Jerald Finney as well as many of the books he has referenced and read may also be ordered by left clicking “Books” (on the “Church and State Law” website) or directly from Amazon by going to the following links: (1) Render Unto God the Things that Are His: A Systematic Study of Romans 13 and Related Verses (Kindle only); (2) The Most Important Thing: Loving God and/or Winning Souls (Kindle only); (3) Separation of Church and State/God’s Churches: Spiritual or Legal Entities? (Link to preview of Separation of Church and State/God’s Churches: Spiritual or Legal Entities?) which can also be ordered by clicking the following Barnes and Noble link: Separation of Church and State on Barnes and Noble.

Radio Broadcasts of Jerald Finney’s teaching on “The History of the Religious Freedom in America”

One can find links to all articles on this blog by going to the following link: “Separation of Church and State Law Blog: Links to all articles” (This link is to the “Blog” page of churchandstatelaw.com.).

As this study progresses, the Christian who has listened closely to the previous broadcasts will begin to understand the importance of all the prior broadcasts to the issue of separation of church and state and the history of the First Amendment. The historical facts presented in this section should be taught in every American History class. Only when one knows history (plus biblical theology and law) can he understand where he came from, where he is, and where he is going. Only when one knows the facts presented in these studies and included in books by Jerald Finney in more detail, can he understand how we got our First Amendment to the United States Constitution.

This begins the study of the American application of the biblical principle of separation of church and state. Since the beginning of the church, Christians believed and practiced separation of church and state. They paid dearly for this practice. In the fourth century certain religious leaders were seduced by Constantine to join hands with the state. Over a thousand years of the worst persecutions imaginable followed as religion worked hand in hand with the state to enforce all ten of the commandments. Anyone who did not bow down to the theology of the state church was imprisoned, horriby tortured, burned alive, drowned, buried alive, beheaded, etc. as the state religion tried to stamp out all forms of what they called “heresy.” The Protestant churches followed the theology of their mother in this matter and continued the persecution. However, forces and circumstances were such in the American colonies that the final result was the first nation, the second civil government behind the colony of Rhode Island, to have religious liberty.

Jerald Finney’s broadcasts on Liberty Works Radio Network are aired and streamed over the internet on Sunday mornings at 8:00 a.m. Central Time (7:00 a.m. ET, 9:00 a.m. MT, 10 a.m. PT). Click the following link and scroll to the bottom to go to LWRN radio: LWRN (this link is also on the “Radio Broadcast” page of churchandstatelaw.com).

God Betrayed/Separation of Church and State: The Biblical Principles and the American Application (Link to Preview of God Betrayed) is a comprehensive study of the issue of separation of church and state and may be ordered from Amazon by clicking the following link: God Betrayed on Amazon.com or from Barnes and Nobel by clicking the following link: God Betrayed on Barnes and Noble. All books by Jerald Finney as well as many of the books he has referenced and read may also be ordered by left clicking “Books” (on the “Church and State Law” website) or directly from Amazon by going to the following links: (1) Render Unto God the Things that Are His: A Systematic Study of Romans 13 and Related Verses (Kindle only); (2) The Most Important Thing: Loving God and/or Winning Souls (Kindle only); (3) Separation of Church and State/God’s Churches: Spiritual or Legal Entities? Separation of Church and State/God’s Churches: Spiritual or Legal Entities? can also be ordered by clicking the following Barnes and Noble link: Separation of Church and State on Barnes and Noble.

Introduction to the History of the First Amendment (August 23, 2009 and July 25, 2010, 3rd 15 min. segment):

Introduction to the History of the First Amendment and The Light Begins to Shine (August 30, 2009 and August 1, 2010, 1st 15 min. segment):

The light begins to shine (August 30, 1009 and August 1, 2010, 2nd 15 min. segment):

The Pilgrims and Puritans in Massachusetts (1) (August 30, 2009 and August 1, 2010, 3rd 15 min. segment):

The Pilgrims and Puritans in Massachusetts (2) (September 6, 2009 and August 8, 2010, 1st 15 min. segment):

The Pilgrims and Puritans in Massachusetts (3) (September 6, 2009 and August 8, 2010, 2nd 15 min. segment):

The Pilgrims and Puritans in Massachusetts (4) (September 6, 2009 and August 8, 2010, 3rd 15 min. segment):

The Pilgrims and Puritans in Massachusetts (5) (September 13, 2009 and August 15, 2010, 1st 15 min. segment):

The Baptists in Rhode Island (1) (September 13, 2009 and August 15, 2010, 2nd 15 min. segment):

The Baptists in Rhode Island (2) (September 13, 2009 and August 15, 2010, 3rd 15 min. segment):

The Baptists in Rhode Island (3) (September 20, 2009, August 22, 2010, 1st 15 min. segment):

The Baptists in Rhode Island (4) (September 20, 2009, August 22, 2010, 2nd 15 min. segment):

The Baptists in Rhode Island (5) , the Separates and Baptists in New England (1) (September 20, 2009, August 22, 2010, 3rd 15 min. segment):

The Separates and Baptists in New England (2) (September 27, 2009, August 29, 2010, 1st 15 min. segment):

The Separates and Baptists in New England (3) (September 27, 2009, August 29, 2010, 2nd 15 min. segment):

The Separates and Baptists in New England (3) (September 27, 2009, August 29, 2010, 3rd 15 min. segment):

From New England to the South (October  4, 2009, September 5, 2010, 1st 15 min. segment):

To Virginia (1) (October 4, 2009, September 5, 2010, 2nd 15 min. segment):

To Virginia (2) (October 4, 2009, September 5, 2010, 3rd 15 min. segment):

To Virginia (3) (October 11, 2009, September 12, 2010, 1st 15 min. segment):

To Virginia (4) (October 11, 2009, September 12, 2010, 2nd 15 min. segment):

To Virginia (5) (October 11, 2009, September 12, 2010, 3rd 15 min. segment):

To the new nation and conclusion (October 18, 2009, September 19, 2010, 1st 15 min. Segment):

END

Radio Broadcasts of Jerald Finney’s teaching on “The Biblical Principles of Separation of Church and State”

This purpose of this page is to record the radio broadcasts of Jerald Finney’s teachings on the biblical principle of separation of church and state. One can find links to all articles on this blog by going to the following link: “Separation of Church and State Law Blog: Links to all articles” (This link is to the “Blog” page of churchandstatelaw.com.).

Jerald Finney’s broadcasts on Liberty Works Radio Network are aired and streamed over the internet on Sunday mornings at 8:00 a.m. Central Time (7:00 a.m. ET, 9:00 a.m. MT, 10 a.m. PT). Click the following link and scroll to the bottom to go to LWRN radio: LWRN (this link is also on the “Radio Broadcast” page of churchandstatelaw.com).

God Betrayed/Separation of Church and State: The Biblical Principles and the American Application (Link to Preview of God Betrayed) is a comprehensive study of the issue of separation of church and state and may be ordered from Amazon by clicking the following link: God Betrayed on Amazon.com or from Barnes and Nobel by clicking the following link: God Betrayed on Barnes and Noble. All books by Jerald Finney as well as many of the books he has referenced and read may also be ordered by left clicking “Books” (on the “Church and State Law” website) or directly from Amazon by going to the following links: (1) Render Unto God the Things that Are His: A Systematic Study of Romans 13 and Related Verses (Kindle only); (2) The Most Important Thing: Loving God and/or Winning Souls (Kindle only); (3) Separation of Church and State/God’s Churches: Spiritual or Legal Entities? Separation of Church and State/God’s Churches: Spiritual or Legal Entities? can also be ordered by clicking the following Barnes and Noble link: Separation of Church and State on Barnes and Noble.

Introduction to the biblical principle of separation of church and state (June 27, 2010, 40th Broadcast, 2nd 15 min. segment):

Introduction to the biblical principle of separation of church and state (June 27, 2010, 40th Broadcast, 3rd 15 min. segment):

Defintions and dispensational versus covenant theology (1) (July 4, 2010, 41st Broadcast, 1st 15 min. segment):

Dispensational versus covenant theology (2) (July 4, 2010, 41st Broadcast, 2nd 15 min. segment):

Dispensational versus covenant theology (3) (July 4, 2010, 41st Broadcast, 3rd 15 min. segment):

Dispensational versus covenant theology (4) (July 11, 2010, 42nd Broadcast, 1st 15 min. segment):

Distinct differences between church and state (1) (July 11, 2010, 42nd Broadcast, 2nd 15 min. segment):

Distinct differences between church and state (2) (July 11, 2010, 42nd Broadcast, 3rd 15 min. segment):

Distinct differences between church and state (3) (August 16, 2009 & July 18, 2010, 15th & 43rd Broadcast, 1st 15 min. segment):

Render unto God the things that are His (1) (August 16, 2009 & July 18, 2010, 15th & 43rd Broadcast, 2nd 15 min. segment):

Render unto God the things that are His (2) (August 16, 2009 & July 18, 2010, 15th & 43rd Broadcast, 3rd 15 min. segment):

Render unto God the things that are His (3) (August 23, 2009 and July 25, 2010, 1st 15 min. segment):

Render unto God the things that are His (4) (August 23, 2009 and July 25, 2010, 2nd 15 min. segment):

END

More Letters from Pastors in Response to this “Separation of Church and State Law” Blog and My Replies: April, 2010 posting


 Jerald Finney
Copyright © April, 2010
All articles on this blog may be accessed from the following link:


 Contents

I. Introduction
II. Letter No. 1
III. My Reply to Letter No. 1
IV. Letter No. 2
V. My Reply to Letter No. 2
VI. Pastor’s Response to My Reply (Letter No. 2)
VII. Letter No. 3
VIII. My Reply to Letter No. 3
IX. Letter No. 4
X. My Reply to Letter No. 4
XI. Letter No. 5
XII. My Reply to Letter No. 5
XIII. Conclusion
XIV. Links to IRS Laws
XV. Note


I. Introduction

This article quotes without editing more e-mails from pastors with their comments and questions concerning articles on this blog, and my replies to those e-mails. This is the third article on this blog with letters from pastors. The first article was What Pastors Are Saying in Response to this “Separation of Church and State Law” Blog (Click link to go to article; all colored titles, etc. are links which can be directly accessed by a click of your mouse.). The second article was Letters from Pastors in Response to this Separation of Church and State Blog and My Replies.

I will do future articles on other e-mails from pastors because these e-mails not only raise important questions which need to be addressed, but also give insights into the thoughts of pastors on issues such as church incorporation and 501(c)(3).

II. Letter No. 1 (Received April 13, 2010 in response to “How church
corporate/501c3 status dishonors the Christ-church love relationship
”):

I am not sure who you are or how you found me but I am so thankful for your e-mails.  You have kept our new little church from incorporating.  I don’t know why I was sooo blind.  Thank you for the eye opener.

III. My Reply to Letter No. 1:

Dear Mrs. ______________,

What an encouragement to hear from another of God’s “remnant” who still loves Him! May the Lord richly bless you with all spiritual blessings.

For His Glory,
Brother Jerald Finney

IV. Letter No. 2 (Received January 16, 2010 in response to the article
An Abridged History of the First Amendment”):

Dear Mr Finney,

            Some months ago I began to receive your emails.
I was wondering…how did you get our email address?? I am not at all opposed to the info simply wondering.

Pastor _______________

V. My Reply to Letter No. 2:

Dear Pastor __________________,

Your e-mail address is on a list of fundamental Baptist churches which I obtained by doing  a Google search.

Jerald

VI. Pastor’s Response to My Reply

Thanks for the reply. Do keep us on your email list. Have a great LORD’s Day tomorrow.

VII. Letter No. 3 (Received January 21, 2010):

Bro. Finney:  I have recently gotten a couple of emails from you dealing with the legal affairs of the N.T. church.  I wonder if I could bother you and ask a question:  If a church is NOT a 501 (c)(3) organization, and is just simply a church, can the members use their contributions to the church as deductions when they file income taxes?  I read some of your material, and couldn’t find anything specific about this.  Thank you for your time and help.

Sincerely in Christ,
Pastor __________, ______________ Church, __________, Michigan

VIII. My Reply to Letter No. 3:

Dear Pastor _______________,

Thanks for contacting me about your concern, which is a common concern of many churches, pastors, and Christians. Maybe you can give me a call. Since the answer is not to short, it would be easier to talk about this. I have written on this in Section VI of God Betrayed and also in Separation of Church  and State: God’s Churches: Spiritual or Legal Entities.

Please feel free to call me at your convenience. My office no. is 512-385-0761 and my cell number is 512-785-8445. I would be glad to discuss this with you. I will return your call if you get a voice mail and  leave a phone no. where you can be reached. Of course, there is no charge.

For His Glory,
Jerald Finney

IX. Letter No. 4 (Received March 9, 2010 in response to article
Does God and/or Civil Government Require Churches To Get 501(c)(3)?”)

Thanks for the information! I am involved in missions now after over 50 years in church related ministry. We just spent a few years in a missions church in the ‘bush’ of Alaska. Also involved with starting churches in the Dominican Republic. The second one will have its first service the last Sunday of this month. The first started one year ago this month has seen about 300 saved and the church family attendance is over 250 a month in all services and ministries. The missionaries we work with are Independent Fundamental from Costa Rica – doing a great ministry in these last days.

Again, thank you!
Pastor ______________
Dr. _____________, Pastor

X. My Reply to Letter No. 4:

Dear Dr. ______________,

Thanks for the e-mail! It was a great blessing to me. Missionaries are my heroes. Let me know if I can ever be of help in any way.

For His Glory,
Bro. Jerald Finney

XI. Letter No. 5 (Received April 12, 2010 in response to “Church law articles and resources from a believing lawyer who also loves the Lord”):

Thank you for the e-mail. How did you get my e-mail address? Also, I know a pastor who has been both incorporated and unincorporated. He says he can find no benefit to either one. My question to you is, where in the Bible is this issue made into such a big deal? Is it a fundamental of the faith? It seems that those who believe the way that you do about it can only talk about one thing as if that is all the Bible had to say about the matter. Perhaps I am just ignorant about the passages that deal with this, but I am not aware of any. Maybe you could show me. Anyway, let me know.

Thanks,
Pastor ______________
Jude 3

XII. My Reply to Letter No. 5:

Dear Pastor ________________,

Thank you for your kind e-mail. I humbly offer my response, in love for God and for you and all Christians and churches.

Your e-mail strikes at the heart of the issue, at the heart of our Lord. To completely answer your question would require that I write a book. I have already done this – in fact, I have written four books which address your concerns from a biblically based perspective – in  other  words, from the mind and heart of God as revealed  in His Word.

I consider myself very fortunate to have had pastors who have taught me many great biblical principles, one of which was that the Lord has feelings and that He wants the love of His children. I have learned from teaching, from preaching, and from Holy Spirit led study of the Word of God that I can cause my Savior much grief by disobeying Him, that God’s Word reveals the mind and heart for God, and what actions on my part and the part of my church dishonor our Lord. God desires His children and His churches to walk in the Spirit, not in the flesh, according to knowledge, understanding, and wisdom.

All my pastors have, to the best of their understanding, honored the love relationship between Christ and His churches. Due to their direct confrontation with the issues, they came to understand the underlying principles. They understood that (1) Christ is married to His churches (Ro. 7.4; Ep. 5.22-33, etc.); and (2) that God takes this spiritual relationship with His churches very seriously: “Christ 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). I explain this in depth in the article “The Most Important Thing: Loving God and/or Winning Souls?

The Word of God makes clear that God desires that His churches choose to honor their Husband, their Head, their Bridegroom. He gives them a choice because love requires choice. He wants their love. He wants His churches to choose to submit to His Headship in all matters. His churches are subject to Him, but He gives them free will so that they have the choice of either honoring or dishonoring Him; to love Him is to honor Him and love requires choices as to action. In other words, love is an act of the will. I Corinthians 13 explains this completely.

Once one understands the biblical principles concerning church, government, and separation of church and state, one can compare facts about incorporation to the biblical principles to determine whether incorporation of churches violates biblical principles, whether God  is grieved should a church incorporate. I have done that in my books, blog articles, and audio teachings (all of which are accessible on the “Books,” “Radio Broadcast,” and “Blog” pages of churchandstatelaw.com).

I believe that the issue is fundamental for many reasons which I get into in my resources. If one does not understand the biblical doctrine of the church, government, and separation of church and state, he is not proceeding in the Spirit according to knowledge, wisdom, and understanding as to those matters. He is not equipped to fight the spiritual warfare against powers and principalities, etc., that God enlisted us in (see, e.g., 2 Ti, 2.3-4; Ep. 6.10-18, etc.).

There is a great spiritual benefit to obeying God in the organization and operation of a church. Of  course, incorporation and 501c3 is only one biblical matter for a church to consider as she seeks to please our Lord. Churches and Christians are to strive to be subject to our Lord in every thing. I believe many churches have a form of godliness, but deny the power of God. I believe that this state of affairs has come about because of heresy and apostasy within our churches. Uniting church and state through incorporation, 501c3, or any other means is the result of a lack of knowledge is some cases. In others, such union is the product of heresy and/or apostasy.

One can see the consequences by comparing the operation and organization of a New Testament church as compared to that of a state incorporated 501c3 church. Again, I have done this in many of my books, articles, and audio teachings.

I hope this begins to answer your questions. By the way, I got your e-mail address from a list of Baptist churches.

For His Glory,
Brother Jerald Finney

XIII. Conclusion

My conclusions from reading and responding to these and other e-mails which have been quoted along with my replies in other articles and that will be in future articles, as I believe you will agree, is that:

“the understanding of the biblical principles, history, law, and facts among pastors varies widely. Some pastors are like secularists in that they have no spiritual knowledge, wisdom, and understanding and refuse to  (and maybe cannot) look at the issues with an open mind. Some rely on their opinions as opposed to the Word of God as the basis for what they believe. Many take Scriptural verses completely out of context to support their erroneous views. Others are eager to please the Lord, and seek to increase their knowledge about these preeminent matters. Some already have some degree of understanding, greater or lesser, about these issues. Some are already practicing biblical principles in the area of church and state.”

XIV. Links to Internal Revenue Code Laws

You can read portions of the following Internal Revenue Code laws which pertain to churches and pastors by going to the following site: “Laws Protecting New Testament Churches in the United States: Read Them for Yourself”; or you may read an entire law online by clicking the following links:

1. § 501(c)(3). Exemption from tax on corporations, certain trusts, etc.
2. § 508. Special rules with respect to section 501(c)(3) organizations
3. § 7611. Restrictions on church tax inquiries and examinations
4. § 1402. [Dealing with taxes on income of pastors]
5. § 107. Rental value of parsonages
6. § 102. Gifts and inheritances (Tithes and offerings are gifts and, therefore, according to the Internal Revenue Code § 102, not income)
7.
§ 2503. Taxable gifts
8. § 170. Charitable, etc., contributions and gifts

XV. Note

The Biblical Law Center helps churches to organize as New Testament churches completely out from under civil government and under God only. See churchandstatelaw.com for contact information for Jerald Finney, counsel for the Biblical Law Center. This is a ministry, not a business enterprise. Jerald Finney has made no profit at all in this endeavor of Christian love, but rather has expended much of his own money for God’s glory, in attempting to provide information and service for God’s churches.

All conclusions in this article are opinions of the author. Please do not attempt to act in the legal system if you are not a lawyer, even if you are a born-again Christian. Many questions and finer points of the law and the interpretation of the law cannot be properly understood by a simple facial reading of a civil law. For a born-again Christian to understand American law, litigation, and the legal system as well as spiritual matters within the legal system requires years of study and practice of law as well as years of study of Biblical principles, including study of the Biblical doctrines of government, church, and separation of church and state. You can always find a lawyer or Christian who will agree with the position that an American church should become incorporated and get 501(c)(3) status. Jerald Finney will discuss the matter, as time avails, with any such person, with confidence that his position is supported by God’s Word, history, and law. He is always willing, free of charge and with love, to support his belief that for a church to submit herself to civil government in any manner grieves our Lord and ultimately results in undesirable consequences. He does not have unlimited time to talk to individuals. However, he will teach or debate groups, and will point individuals to resources which fully explain his positions.

About Jerald Finney: The author is a Christian first and a lawyer second. He has no motive to mislead you. In fact, his motivation is to tell you the truth about this matter, and he guards himself against temptation on this and other issues by doing all he does at no charge. He does not seek riches. His motivation is his love for God first and for others second. His goal is the Glory of God. Jerald Finney has been saved since 1982. God called him to go to law school for His Glory. In obedience, Finney entered the University of Texas School of Law in 1990, was licensed and began to practice law, for the Glory of God, in November of 1993.  To learn more about the author click the following link: About Jerald Finney.

END

For His Glory
Jerald Finney, BBA, JD
churchandstatelaw.com
opbcbibletrust.wordpress.com

Radio Broadcasts of Jerald Finney’s teaching on “The Biblical Principles Concerning Government”

This purpose of this page is to record the radio broadcasts of Jerald Finney’s teachings on the biblical principles of government (see players below). One can find links to all articles on this blog by going to the following link: “Separation of Church and State Law Blog: Links to all articles” (This link is to the “Blog” page of churchandstatelaw.com.).

Jerald Finney’s broadcasts on Liberty Works Radio Network are aired and streamed over the internet on Sunday mornings at 8:00 a.m. Central Time (7:00 a.m. ET, 9:00 a.m. MT, 10 a.m. PT). Click the following link and scroll to the bottom to go to LWRN radio: LWRN (this link is also on the “Radio Broadcast” page of churchandstatelaw.com).

God Betrayed/Separation of Church and State: The Biblical Principles and the American Application (Link to Preview of God Betrayed) is a comprehensive study of the issue of separation of church and state and may be ordered from Amazon by clicking the following link: God Betrayed on Amazon.com or from Barnes and Nobel by clicking the following link: God Betrayed on Barnes and Noble. All books by Jerald Finney as well as many of the books he has referenced and read may also be ordered by left clicking “Books” (on the “Church and State Law” website) or directly from Amazon by going to the following links: (1) Render Unto God the Things that Are His: A Systematic Study of Romans 13 and Related Verses (Kindle only); (2) The Most Important Thing: Loving God and/or Winning Souls (Kindle only); (3) Separation of Church and State/God’s Churches: Spiritual or Legal Entities? Separation of Church and State/God’s Churches: Spiritual or Legal Entities? can also be ordered by clicking the following Barnes and Noble link: Separation of Church and State on Barnes and Noble.

Foundational: Introduction and Salvation (April 4, 2010, 29th Broadcast, 1st 15 minute segment):

Foundational: After Salvation (April 4, 2010, 29th Broadcast, 2nd 15 minute segment):

Foundational: After Salvation (April 4, 2010, 29th Broadcast, 3rd 15 minute segment):

Foundational:  After Salvation (April 18, 2010, 30th Broadcast, 1st 15 minute segment):

Foundational:  After Salvation + Pastors comments and my replies (April 18, 2010, 30th Broadcast, 2nd 15 minute segment):

Foundational: Pastors comments and my replies (April 18, 2010, 30th Broadcast, 3rd 15 minute segment):

Foundational: The Most Important Thing: Loving God and/or Winning Souls? (April 25, 2010, 31st Broadcast, 1st 15 minute segment):

Foundational: The Most Important Thing: Loving God and/or Winning Souls? (April 25, 2010, 31st Broadcast, 2nd 15 minute segment): 

Foundational: The Most Important Thing: Loving God and/or Winning Souls? (April 25, 2010, 31st Broadcast, 3rd 15 minute segment): 

Foundational: The Most Important Thing: Loving God and/or Winning Souls? (May 2, 2010, 32nd Broadcast, 1st 15 minute segment): 

Foundational: The Most Important Thing: Loving God and/or Winning Souls? (May 2, 2010, 32nd Broadcast, 2nd 15 minute segment):  

The Biblical Principles of Government

Introduction to the biblical principles of government (May 2, 2010, 32nd Broadcast, 3d 15 minute segment): 

The Motivation and the Goal (May 9, 2010, 33nd Broadcast, 1st 15 minute segment): 

Self government (May 9, 2010, 33nd Broadcast, 2nd 15 minute segment): 

Self government (May 9, 2010, 33nd Broadcast, 3rd 15 minute segment): 

Family government and conscience (May 16,
2010, 34rd Broadcast, 1st 15 min. segment): 

Civil government (May 16, 2010, 34rd Broadcast, 2nd 15 min. segment): 

Civil government (May 16, 2010, 34rd Broadcast, 3rd 15 min. segment): 

God desires nations to choose to glorify Him (May 23, 2010, 35th Broadcast, 1st 15 min. segment): 

Israel, the only theocracy ordained by God (May 23, 2010, 35th Broadcast, 2nd 15 min. segment): 

Israel, the only theocracy ordained by God (May 23, 2010, 35th Broadcast, 3rd 15 min. segment): 

God is the God of Israel (May 30, 2010, 36th Broadcast, 1st 15 min. segment): 

God is the God of Israel (May 30, 2010, 36th Broadcast, 2nd 15 min. segment): 

God is the God of Israel (May 30, 2010, 36th Broadcast, 3rd 15 min. segment): 

God desires Gentile nations to glorify Him and God Judges Nations (June 6, 2010, 37th Broadcast, 1st 15 min. segment): 

God Judges Nations (June 6, 2010, 37th Broadcast, 2nd 15 min. segment): 

Satan orchestrates the world system and Conclusion (June 6, 2010, 37th Broadcast, 3rd 15 min. segment): 

End