Tag Archives: Gentile 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


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.


[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.

Introduction to the Biblical Doctrine of Government


A Publication of Churches Under Christ Ministry

Next Lesson:

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

Jerald Finney
Copyright © December 26, 2017

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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