Tag Archives: family government

Family government and conscience

 


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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Click here to go to all lessons on the Bible Doctrine of Government.
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Jerald Finney
Copyright © December 27, 2017


submission-umbrellasAfter the fall, God established family government. He said to the woman: “I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception; in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children; and thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee.”[1] The Bible teaches that the husband is to be the head of the wife,[2] and children are to be instructed and led by the parents.[3] Parents, not the state, are to care for their children: “But if any provide not for his own, and specially for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel.”[4] Even an infidel has a love for his children placed there by God.[5] God desires that man satisfy his sexual desire only in marriage. “Thou shalt not commit adultery.”[6] “Nevertheless, to avoid fornication, let every man have his own wife, and let every woman have her own husband.”[7]

God desires parents, not civil government, to provide a God-centered education for their children:

  • “Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God is one LORD: And thou shalt love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might. And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart: And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up.”[8]

ConscienceAfter the fall, God gave mankind a chance to be directed by his conscience (an awareness of doing wrong), still to be individually controlled only by self-government. God had told man, prior to the fall, “For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof [of the forbidden fruit], then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.”[9]  After man ate the forbidden fruit, God told them, “And the LORD God said, Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil.”[10]  Some[11] refer to this economy, this method God uses to deal with individuals, as Conscience, the title being taken from these verses: “For when the Gentiles, which have not the law, do by nature the things contained in the law, these, having not the law, are a law unto themselves: Which shew the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and their thoughts the mean while accusing or else excusing one another[.]”[12] The Holy Spirit also strove with man during the days before the upcoming flood: “And the LORD said, My spirit shall not always strive with man, for that he also is flesh: yet his days shall be an hundred and twenty years.”[13]

Even though God later ordained civil government and church government, every person since the fall is born with a God-given self-conscience (knowledge of who he is) as well as with a God-consciousness[14], a knowledge of who God is.

God gave mankind certain responsibilities:

  • “During this stewardship man was responsible to respond to God through the promptings of his conscience, and part of a proper response was to bring an acceptable blood sacrifice as God had taught him to do (Gen. 3.21; 4.4). We have a record of only a few responding, and Abel, Enoch, and Noah are especially cited as heroes of faith. We also have the record of those who did not respond and who by their evil deeds brought judgment on the world. Cain refused to acknowledge himself a sinner even when God continued to admonish him (Gen. 4.3, 7). So murder came on the scene of human history.”[15]

In the story of Cain and Abel, we see that God still did not allow civil government. After Cain killed Abel, the Lord told Cain, “And now art thou cursed from the earth, which hath opened her mouth to receive thy brother’s blood from thy hand; When thou tillest the ground, it shall not henceforth yield unto thee her strength; a fugitive and a vagabond shalt thou be in the earth.”[16] Since Cain feared that “every one that findeth me shall slay me,”[17] God said, “… Therefore whosoever slayeth Cain, vengeance shall be taken on him sevenfold. And the Lord set a mark upon Cain, lest any finding him should kill him.”[18]  The Supreme Ruler of the universe was telling man that he had no authority to rule over man and that God would take vengeance on him sevenfold if he did.


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Endnotes

[1] Ge. 4.16.

[2] 1 Co. 11.3; Ep. 5.22-26; 1 Pe. 3.1, 5-7; 1 Ti. 2.11-15.

[3] Ex. 20.12; De. 6.6-7; 11.18-21; Pr. 4.1, 2, 10, 11; Ep. 6.1, 4; Col. 3.20.

[4] 1 Ti. 5.8.

[5] Mt. 7.9-11.

[6] Ex. 20.14.

[7] 1 Co. 7.2.

[8] De. 6.4-7; see also, Pr. 4.1, 2, 10, 11; 5.1, 2; 22.6; Ep. 6.4.

[9] Ge. 3.5.

[10] Ge. 3.22a.

[11] 3c will deal specifically with the two main methods of Bible understanding, belief versus allegory. “Allegory” means “interpreting the Bible in such a way as to reveal a hidden meaning, a meaning which cannot be seen by believing what the Bible says.” Classic Catholic and covenant theology allegorize or spiritualize much of the Bible. The warfare between those who believe the Bible and those who allegorize it had already started when the New Testament was written (See, e.g., Colossians). As a result, as will be seen by the student who follows these studies, Augustine and his progency (Luther, Calvin, Zwingli, Knox et al) used this method to develop the theology which combined church and state and resulted in the persecution (imprisonment, torture, hanging, burning at the stake, drowning, confiscation of property, and the destruction or confiscation of the writings of the martyrs) of fifty million plus “heretics.” That theology still operates in America even though the proponents do not, at this time, have the power to persecute.

[12] Ro. 2.14-15.

[13] Ge. 6.3.

[14] See Ro. 1.18-32.

[15] Charles C. Ryrie, Dispensationalism (Chicago: Moody Press, 1995), pp. 52-53.

[16] Ge. 4.11-12.

[17] Ge. 4.14.

[18] Ge. 4.15.

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.

One can go to the following links for much more on Romans 13 and related verses:

Romans 13 and related verses
Render unto God the Things that Are His: A Systematic Study of Romans 13 and Related Verses

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

 

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

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Family Government and Conscience


Jerald Finney
Copyright © April 19, 2011


Click here to go to “Self-exam Questions: Family Government and Conscience”

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Biblical Teaching on Family Government and Conscience

Prior to the fall of man in the Garden of Eden, man and woman were co-regents. Neither ruled over the other. After the fall, God established family government. He said to thesubmission-umbrellas Scripturewoman: “I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception; in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children; and thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee (Ge. 4.16). The Bible teaches that the husband is to be the head of the wife (1 Co. 11.3; Ep. 5.22-26; 1 Pe. 3.1, 5-7; 1 Ti. 2.11-15), and children are to be instructed and led by the parents (Ex. 20.12; De. 6.6-7; 11.18-21; Pr. 4.1, 2, 10, 11; Ep. 6.1, 4; Col. 3.20). Parents, not the state, are to care for their children: “But if any provide not for his own, and specially for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel” (1 Ti. 5.8). Even an infidel has a love for his children placed there by God (Mt. 7.9-11). God desires that man satisfy his sexual desire only in marriage. “Thou shalt not commit adultery” (Ex. 20.14). “Nevertheless, to avoid fornication, let every man have his own wife, and let every woman have her own husband” (1 Co. 7.2).

ParentsTeachingChildrenGod desires parents, not civil government, to provide a God-centered education for their children:

“Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God is one LORD: And thou shalt love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might. And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart: And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up” (De. 6.4-7; see also, Pr. 4.1, 2, 10, 11; 5.1, 2; 22.6; Ep.6.4).

After the fall, God gave mankind a chance to be directed by his conscience (an awareness of doing wrong), still to be individually controlled only by self-government (no civil government). God had told man, prior to the fall, “For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof [of the forbidden fruit], then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil” (Ge. 3.5). After man ate the forbidden fruit, God told them, “And the LORD God said, Behold, the man is become as oneConscience of us, to know good and evil” (Ge. 3.22a).  Dispensationalists  usually refer to this economy as Conscience, the title being taken from these verses:

 “For when the Gentiles, which have not the law, do by nature the things contained in the law, these, having not the law, are a law unto themselves: Which shew the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and their thoughts the mean while accusing or else excusing one another” (Ro. 2.14-15).

Section III, Chapter 3 of God Betrayed defines and analyzes Dispensational versus Covenant Theology and future articles on this blog will examine these theologies as well– See Endnote below for more information on God Betrayed and other books.

HSThe Holy Spirit also strove with man during the days before the upcoming flood: “And the LORD said, My spirit shall not always strive with man, for that he also is flesh: yet his days shall be an hundred and twenty years” (Ge. 6.3).

God gave mankind certain responsibilities:

“During this stewardship man was responsible to respond to God through the promptings of his conscience, and part of a proper response was to bring an acceptable blood sacrifice as God had taught him to do (Gen. 3.21; 4.4). We have a record of only a few responding, and Abel, Enoch, and Noah arecain&AbelSacrifices especially cited as heroes of faith. We also have the record of those who did not respond and who by their evil deeds brought judgment on the world. Cain refused to acknowledge himself a sinner even when God continued to admonish him (Gen. 4.3, 7). So murder came on the scene of human history” (Charles C. Ryrie, Dispensationalism (Chicago: Moody Press, 1995), pp. 52-53).

cain&Abel2In the story of Cain and Abel, we see that God still did not allow civil government (direction and control over man by man). After Cain killed Abel, the Lord told Cain, “And now art thou cursed from the earth, which hath opened her mouth to receive thy brother’s blood from thy hand; When thou tillest the ground, it shall not henceforth yield unto thee her strength; a fugitive and a vagabond shalt thou be in the earth” (Ge. 4.11-12). Since Cain feared that “every one that findeth me shall slay me” (Ge. 4.14), God said, “… Therefore whosoever slayeth Cain, vengeance shall be taken on him sevenfold. And the Lord set a mark upon Cain, lest any finding him should kill him” (Ge. 4.15). The Supreme Ruler of the universe was telling man that he had no authority to rule over man.

At the flood, God delegated to man the authority to rule over man under God because man had demonstrated that since “every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually” (Ge. 6.5), “all flesh … corrupted his way upon the earth” and the earth with man guided only by his conscience became “filled with violence” (Ge. 6.12-13). Sadly no nation has ever ruled under God for any extended length of time. The next article will begin the biblical based study of civil government.

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.

The Biblical Principles Concerning Government


Jerald Finney
Copyright © October, 2009


One cannot understand the biblical principle of separation of church and state without first understanding the biblical principles of government and the biblical doctrine of the church. Below are links to Jerald Finney’s teachings on the biblical principles of government using the information in Section I of the book God Betrayed/Separation of Church and State: The Biblical Principles and the American Application. All of Jerald Finney’s writings are now on this website. These broadcasts were prepared for radio broadcasts 6 or 8 years ago. The website, churchandstatelaw.com mentioned in the broadcasts is no longer available.

To play, just click the link. To download, right click link and then left click “Save link as.”

1. Introduction to the biblical principles of government (Section I, Chapter 1 of God Betrayed) (21 min. 32 sec. The first 4 min. 23 sec. are a song, prayer, and opening comments).

2. The motivation and the goal (Section I, Chapter 2 of God Betrayed) (14 min. 17 sec.) Government – individual, family, church, or civil – will stay on track only should it have the proper motivation and set the proper God-given goal.

3. Self-government (Section 1, Chapter 3 of God Betrayed) (23 min. 30 sec.).

4.  Family government and conscience (Section 1, Chapter 4 of God Betrayed) (15 min. 49 sec.; opening song is 2 min. 37 sec. long).

5. Civil government (Section 1, Chapter 5 of God Betrayed) (23 min. 56 sec.).

6. God desires nations to choose to glorify Him (Section 1, Chapter 6 of God Betrayed) (Section 1, Chapter 6 of God Betrayed) (11 min. 51 sec.).

7. Israel – the only theocracy ordained by God (Section 1, Chapter 7 of God Betrayed) (25 min. 59 sec.).

8. God is the God of Israel (Section 1, Chapter 8 of God Betrayed) (41 min. 37 sec. Teaching is 36 min. 26 sec. followed by 5 min. 1 sec. with 2 songs and comments.).

9. God desires Gentile nations to glorify Him (Section 1, Chapter 9 of God Betrayed) (Section 1, Chapter 9 of God Betrayed)(7 min.).

10. God judges nations (Section 1, Chapter 10 of God Betrayed) (15 min. 57 sec.).

11. Satan orchestrates the world system (Section 1, Chapter 11 of God Betrayed) (7 min. 29 sec.).

12. Conclusion (Section 1, Chapter 12 of God Betrayed) (At end is prayer and brief outline of these studies. 7 min. 6 sec.).

End

For His Glory,
Jerald Finney
Christian and practicing attorney