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God Judges Nations

 


A Publication of Churches Under Christ Ministry


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


Click here to go to all lessons on the Bible Doctrine of Government.
Click here to go to the written lessons.
Click here to go to the 5 to 8 minute video lectures.


Jerald Finney
Copyright © December 28, 2017


Note. Footnotes quote numerous supporting verses.



God judges nations. He judged Israel by sending Israel and Judah into captivity because of their repeated failure, despite many warnings from God, to keep His commandments and His statutes. He warned them in advance of what he was going to do.[1] His prophets repeatedly warned the Jews, not only of the consequences of their sins, but also pointed out their specific sins. God’s Old Testament prophets warned Israel over and over of coming judgments.[2]

God also judges Gentile nations. He has given them their authority,[3] and will hold them to account.[4] God, through his prophets, told of the coming judgments on all nations, and the reasons for those judgments: destruction of Moab;[5] destruction of Damascus;[6] burden of Egypt;[7] prophecy that Assyria will waste Egypt and Ethiopia;[8] burden of Tyre;[9] woe of Ephriam;[10] Armageddon: “the indignation of the LORD is upon all nations, and his fury upon all their armies: he hath utterly destroyed them….;”[11] judgment of Babylon;[12] judgment on Israel’s oppressors;[13] all nations to be judged—many nations listed to be judged;[14] destruction of Egypt, Philistia, Tyre, Moab, Ammonites, Edom, Damascus, Elam, Babylon, Chaldea, etc.—read through Jeremiah 46-51 and notice the reasons given for destroying these nations; Babylon destroyed because Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon, scattered Israel;[15] because they [strove] against the LORD;[16] the judgment against Babylon and all the inhabitants of Chaldea because of the violence and evil done to Israel;[17] judgments against various nations in Ezekiel 25-32—the reason for each judgment given and the judgment; judgment of the Gentile nations in Joel 3.2-8 after Armageddon; judgments on people surrounding Israel prophesied in Amos 1.1-2.3; judgments on certain nations prophesied in Zephaniah 2.4-15; Zechariah, more than Haggai or Malachi, gives God’s thoughts about the treatment of Israel by nations surrounding Israel—He has given them their authority and will hold them to account, the test being their treatment of Israel. “For thus saith the LORD of hosts; After the glory hath he sent me unto the nations which spoiled you: for he that toucheth you toucheth the apple of his eye.”[18]

The test for a Gentile nation, as always, is the way a nation treats Israel. “And I will make of thee [Israel] a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing; And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed.”[19] “Let people serve thee, and nations bow down to thee: cursed be every one that curseth thee, and blessed be he that blesseth thee.”[20]  “He couched, he lay down as a lion, and as a great lion: who shall stir him up? Blessed is he that blesseth thee, and cursed is he that curseth thee.”[21]  Nations that blessed Israel have invariably been blessed, those that have persecuted Israel have suffered ill.[22] A careful study of ancient history and of current events reveals that disaster follows when a nation “curses” the nation Israel.[23]

The “times of the Gentiles,” a period during which Jerusalem is under Gentile rule, began when Nebuchadnezzar carried Zedekiah into Babylon,[24] since which time Jerusalem has been under Gentile rule. Only a remnant returned to Israel after seventy years in captivity. That remnant remained until Jerusalem was destroyed and the Jews were dispersed throughout all nations.  Christ foretold: “And they shall fall by the edge of the sword, and shall be led away captive into all nations: and Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled.” [25]

The whole world system, made up of the Gentile nations after the dispersion of the Jews, fell into and will remain in confusion until the Lord returns,[26] conquers the nations with a crushing blow,[27] and sets up His kingdom.[28] Ultimately, Christ will return and gather the nation Israel, the “the apple of the eye of the Lord of hosts,”[29] from all nations where He has scattered them, and bring them into the land He has given them: “Thus saith the LORD of hosts: Behold, I will save my people from the east country, and from the west country; And I will bring them, and they shall dwell in the midst of Jerusalem: and they shall be my people, and I will be their God, in truth and in righteousness.”[30] He will establish His kingdom by power, not persuasion. This will be after the divine judgment upon the Gentile world powers.[31]

In addition to His treatment of Israel at His return, Christ will destroy the present political world-system[32] and judge the nations.[33] Then there will follow world-wide Gentile conversion and participation in the blessings of the kingdom.[34]

God will use Israel to “break in pieces the nations.”[35] The order of events [of the last days] is:

(1) We are now at the end of the times of the Gentiles. The end began in 1948 when Israel became a nation. A nation was born in one day. The return was a miraculous event fulfilling the scripture that a nation would be ‘Born in a day:’ ‘Who hath heard such a thing? who hath seen such things? Shall the earth be made to bring forth in one day? or shall a nation be born at once? for as soon as Zion travailed, she brought forth her children.’[36] They returned in unbelief; the Prophet Ezekiel foretold this return of the Jews without God, trusting in their own strength. Without the Holy Spirit the Jews are nothing but ‘dry bones.’[37] The yearning in the heart of the Jews for their land—‘Next Year in Jerusalem’—has been the watch cry of Jews for 2000 years. They started going back at the beginning of the 13th Century because of persecution. A trickle in the beginning has reached around 5 million today. Israel is returning to the land in unbelief. ‘Now learn a parable of the fig tree; When his branch is yet tender, and putteth forth leaves, ye know that summer is nigh: So likewise ye, when ye shall see all these things, know that it is near, even at the doors. Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled. Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away.’[38] The fig tree is Israel.[39]” (2) Invasion of Israel by Russia and Moslem allies –– Magog (Rosh), Meshech (Moscow-Eastern Capitol), Tubal –(Western Capitol), Persia – (Iran), Ethiopia, Libya, Gomer-(Southern Russia), Togarmah.[40] This alliance includes Russia, Iran (Persia) and their Moslem allies.  These nations will be miraculously defeated by Israel.[41]  “(3) The invasion of Palestine by Gentile world powers headed up under the Beast and false prophet.[42]  (4) The destruction of the invaders by the Lord’s army,[43] and the repentance of Judah in the land.[44]  (5) The answer of Jehovah.[45]  (6) The pouring out of the Spirit.[46] (7) The return of the Lord in glory and the setting up of the kingdom[47] by the regathering of the nation and the judgment of the nations.[48] (8) Full and permanent kingdom blessing.[49]


Endnotes

[1] See, e.g., Je. 25.11.

[2] Here are a few of those prophecies:

  • “… [F]or the LORD hath a controversy with the inhabitants of the land, because there is no truth, nor mercy, nor knowledge of God in the land. By swearing, and lying, and killing, and stealing, and committing adultery, they break out, and blood toucheth blood. Therefore shall the land mourn, and every one that dwelleth therein shall languish, with the beasts of the field, and with the fowls of heaven; the fishes of the sea also shall be taken away…. (Ho. 4.1-3).” Israel was willfully ignorant: “… because thou hast rejected knowledge, I will also reject thee, that thou shalt be no more priest to me: seeing thou hast forgotten the law of thy God, I will also forget thy children…” (Ho. 4.6-11).
  • God reminds Israel through his prophet Amos of all His judgments against Israel and in spite of those judgments, “yet have ye not returned unto me, saith the LORD.” God says, “Prepare to meet thy God, O Israel” (Amos 4.6-13 (part of verses 10 and 12 quoted)).
  • God wanted Amos to preach 3 things to Israel: (1) the people did not respect the preaching of the word of God[2]; (2) Israel did not honor the Sabbath (Amos 8.5); (3) they did not detest sin any more (Amos 8.14). God also wanted Amos to tell Israel exactly what he was about to do. They rejected his message. In fact, they didn’t even want to hear him preach. They rebelled at the message and the messenger.

[3] Da. 2.37-40.

[4] “The wicked shall be turned into hell, and all the nations that forget God. Put them in fear, O LORD: that the nations may know themselves to be but men. Selah” (Ps. 9.17, 20). “For the LORD most high is terrible; he is a great King over all the earth. He shall subdue the people under us, and the nations under our feet” (Ps. 47.2-3). Psalm 135.6-12. “Whatsoever the LORD pleased, that did he in heaven, and in earth, in the seas, and all deep places…. Who smote great nations, and slew mighty kings; Sihon king of the Amorites, and Og king of Bashan, and all the kingdoms of Canaan…” (Ps. 135.6, 10-11). “To him which smote great kings: for his mercy endureth forever; And slew famous kings, for his mercy endureth forever; [kings named]” (Ps. 136.17-21).  God used Assyria to judge Israel and then judged Assyria for its pride in boasting that Assyria did this (Is. 10.5-19).

[5] Is. 15-16.

[6] Is. 17.

[7] Is. 19.

[8] Is. 20.

[9] Is. 23.

[10] Is. 28.

[11] Is. 34.

[12] Is. 47.

[13] Is. 49.22-26; 51.

[14] Je. 25.11-14, 15-38; 26.18-38.

[15] Je. 50.17-18.

[16] Je. 50.24.

[17] Je. 51.24, 35-36.

[18] Zec. 2.8.

[19] Ge. 12.2-3.

[20] Ge. 27.29.

[21] Nu. 24.9.

[22] See Ge. 15.13, 14; De. 30.5-7; Is. 14.1, 2; Joel 3.1-8; Mic. 5.7-9; Mt. 25.31-40.

[23] See John McTeman and Bill Koenig, Israel: The Blessing or the Curse (Oklahoma City, Oklahoma: Heathstone Publishing, 2002), cited in William P. Grady, How Satan Turned America Against God (Knoxville, Tennessee: Grady Publications 2005), pp. 1-13.

[24] 2 Chr. 36.1-21; Je. 38.7; Mt. 21.24 (speaking of the time after the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 A.D.).

[25] Lk. 21.24.

[26] 1917 Scofield Reference Edition, n. 2 to Is. 13.1, p. 724: In the prophets “Babylon,” when not referring to the city [as in Isaiah 13], is used symbolically to denote the confusion “into which the whole social order or the world has fallen under Gentile world domination.”

[27] Da. 2.45, Da. 7.9-11; Re. 19.11-21.

[28] Da. 2.44.

[29] Zec. 2.8: “For thus saith the LORD of hosts; After the glory hath he sent me unto the nations which spoiled you: for he that toucheth you toucheth the apple of his eye.” In two other verses, God calls Israel the “apple of His eye:” De. 32.10; La. 2.18

[30] Zec. 8.7-8. See also, Zec. 8.1-8, De. 30.1-9 (God declared the Palestinian Covenant), P. 110, Ro. 11.25-27.

[31] “And in the days of these kings shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed: and the kingdom shall not be left to other people, but it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand forever.” “And the kingdom and dominion, and the greatness of the kingdom under the whole heaven, shall be given to the people of the saints of the most High, whose kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and all dominions shall serve and obey him.” (Da. 2.44 and 7.27; see also, Da. 2.34, 35, 45; Ps. 2.4-9; Is. 9.7; Zec. 14.1-9.)

[32] Da. 2.34, 35; Re. 19.11-21.

[33] Joel 3.1-8; Matthew 25.31-46.

[34] “Then shall he speak unto them in his wrath, and vex them in his sore displeasure. Yet have I set my king upon my holy hill of Zion. I will declare the decree: the LORD hath said unto me, Thou art my son; this day have I begotten thee. Ask of me, and I shall give thee the heathen for thine inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth for thy possession” (Ps. 2.5-8). “And it shall come to pass in the last days, that the mountain of the LORD’S house shall be established in the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; and all nations shall flow into it. And many people shall go and say, Come ye, and let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths: for out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem. And he shall judge among the nations, and shall rebuke many people: and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruninghooks: nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more” (Is. 2.2-4). “And in that day there shall be a root of Jesse, which shall stand for an ensign of the people; to it shall the Gentiles seek: and his rest shall be glorious” (Is. 11.10). “And the Gentiles shall come to thy light, and kings to the brightness of thy rising” (Is. 60.3). “Thus saith the LORD; I am returned unto Zion, and will dwell in the midst of Jerusalem: and Jerusalem shall be called a city of truth; and the mountain of the LORD of hosts the holy mountain…. Thus saith the LORD of hosts; It shall come to pass, that there shall come people, and the inhabitants of many cities: … Thus saith the LORD of hosts; In those days it shall come to pass that ten men shall take hold out of all languages of the nations, even shall take hold of the skirt of him that is a Jew, saying, We will go with you: for  we have heard that God is with you” (Zec. 8.3, 20, 23). “And it shall come to pass, that every one that is left of all the nations which came against Jerusalem shall even go up from year to year to worship the King, the LORD of hosts, and to keep the feast of tabernacles. And it shall be, that whoso will not come up of all the families of the earth unto Jerusalem to worship the king, the LORD of hosts, even upon them shall be no rain. And if the family of Egypt go not up, and come not, that have no rain; there shall be the plague, wherewith the LORD will smite the heathen that come not up to keep the feast of tabernacles. This shall be the punishment of all nations that come not up to keep the feast of the tabernacles. In that day shall there be upon the bells of the horses, HOLINESS UNTO THE LORD; and the posts in the LORD’S house shall be like the bowls before the altar. Yea, every pot in Jerusalem and in Judah shall be holiness unto the LORD of hosts: and all they that sacrifice shall come and take of them, and seethe therein: and in that day there shall be no more the Canaanite in the house of the LORD of hosts” (Zec. 4.16-21). “For then [in context, after the Lord crushes the nations] will I turn to the people a pure language, that they may all call upon the name of the LORD, to serve him with one consent” (Zep. 3.9). “And to this agree the words of the prophets: as it is written, After this I will return, and will build again the tabernacle of David, which is fallen down; and I will build again the ruins thereof, and I will set it up: That the residue of men might seek after the Lord, and all the Gentiles, upon whom my name is called, saith the Lord, who doeth all these things” (Ac. 15.15-17). “And I saw the beast, and the kings of the earth, and their armies, gathered together to make war against him that sat on the horse, and against his army. And the beast was taken, and with him the false prophet that wrought miracles before him, with which he deceived them that had received the mark of the beast, and them that worshipped his image. These both were cast alive into a lake of fire burning with brimstone. And the remnant were slain with the sword of him that sat upon the horse, which sword proceeded out of his mouth: and all the fowls were filled with their flesh. And I saw an angel come down from heaven, having the key of the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand. And he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is the Devil, and Satan, and bound him a thousand years, And cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal upon him, that he should deceive the nations no more, till the thousand years should be fulfilled: and after that he must be loosed a little season. And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had perceived his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived  and reigned with Christ a thousand years. But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection. Blessed and holy is he that that part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years” (Re. 19.19-20.6).

[35] See Je. 51.19-23.

[36] Is. 66.8.

[37] Ez.. 37.1-14.

[38] Mt. 24.32-35.

[39] Jud. 9.11; Joel 1.7; Mt. 21.18-19

[40] Ez. 38-39.

[41] Ez.

[42] Joel 2.1-10, 18-20; “Armageddon:” Re. 16.13-16; Zec. 12.1-9.

[43] Joel 2.11; Re. 19.11-21.

[44] Joel 2.12-17.

[45] Joel 2.18-27.

[46] Joel 2.28, 29.

[47] Joel 2.30-32; Ac. 15.15-17.

[48] Joel 3.1-16.

[49] Joel 3.17-21; Zec. 14.1-21.

Civil Government Failure and God’s Judgment of Nations


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


Click here to go to the written lessons.
Click here to go to all lessons on Civil Government.
Click here to go to the 5 to 8 minute video lectures.


Jerald Finney
Copyright © December 28, 2017


Would 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.

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.”[i] God probably did this because if all worldly government were concentrated in one world government, the potential for evil would be unlimited. As attorney John Eidsmoe wrote:

  • “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.”[ii]

TowerOfBabel“The people, instead of obeying God’s command to scatter and fill the earth, conceived the idea of staying together and building the tower of Babel to achieve their aim. Fellowship with man replaced fellowship with God.”[iii] 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.”[iv]

What was wrong with their attempt? “It was a picture of salvation by works, reaching 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).”[v]

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. God was giving man another chance for to govern under God according to His precepts for His purposes.

As we have seen, 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 within the sphere of its God-given authority. All other powers, including all other governments and civil government officials and leaders are under Him, subject to His rules. In Romans we read, “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.”[vi] Every soul includes leaders. Then in Romans 13.3-4, God lays out the jurisdiction of civil government consistently with principles for civil government in the Old Testament.  Finally, God makes clear that man’s duties under God to civil government are parallel with the jurisdiction of civil government. As always, God declares that God’s children are to obey God rather than man when man’s laws contradict God’s laws.[vii]

God has judged all nations (civil governments) which have ever existed and will judge all nations whom He has not before judged.[viii]

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.[ix]  “So that if he was to drown them as often as they deserved it, one deluge must follow another continually.”[x]


Endnotes

[i] Ge. 10.5.

[ii] John Eidsmoe, God and Caesar: Biblical Faith and Political Action (Eugene, Oregon: Wipf and Stack Publishers, 1997) p. 210.

[iii] Charles C. Ryrie, Dispensationalism (Chicago: Moody Press, 1995), p. 53

[iv] Genesis 11.4.

[v] Eidsmoe, God and Caesar, pp. 210-212, citing The Complete Works of Flavius Josephus (Grand Rapids: Kregel, 1974), p. 30.

[vi] Ro. 13.1.

[vii] Ro. 13.5-14 and Ro. 12 and many other Scriptures in both the Old and New Testaments teach that civil government is to deal only with man’s relationship to man, not man’s relationship to God and that man is to obey God rather than men. For a thorough analysis, see Render Unto God the Things that Are His.

[viii] See, e.g., Jer. 25; 30.11; 36.2; Je 46:27-28 look forward to the judgment of the nations.; Da. 5.19; Ps. 72.11; 82.8; Zeph. 1.7 (As in the other Prophets, the approaching invasion of Nebuchadnezzar is treated as an adumbration of the true day of the Lord in which all earth-judgments will culminate, to be followed by the restoration and blessing of Israel and the nations in the kingdom.); Zeph. 3.8-13; Zec. 12.9.

[ix] “An Appeal to the Public for Religious Liberty,” Boston, 1773, an essay of Isaac Backus found in Isaac Backus, Pamphlets on Church, State, and Calvinism: Pamphlets, 1754-1789, Edited by William G. McLoughlin (Cambridge, Mass.: The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 1969), p. 310, citing Genesis 4.19; 6.13, 15; 8.21.

[x] Ibid., pp. 310-311.


 

God Judges Nations


1Jerald Finney
Copyright © November 5, 2011

Click here to go to “Self-exam Questions: God Judges Nations?


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 10 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 judges nations

G1od judges nations. He judged Israel by sending Israel and Judah into captivity because of their repeated failure, despite many warnings from God, to keep His commandments and His statutes. He warned them in advance of what he was going to do (See, e.g., Je. 25.11).  His prophets repeatedly warned the Jews, not only of the consequences of their sins, but also pointed out their specific sins. Here are a few of the many relevant prophecies of warning to Israel:

  1. 1“… [F]or the LORD hath a controversy with the inhabitants of the land, because there is no truth, nor mercy, nor knowledge of God in the land. By swearing, and lying, and killing, and stealing, and committing adultery, they break out, and blood toucheth blood. Therefore shall the land mourn, and every one that dwelleth therein shall languish, with the beasts of the field, and with the fowls of heaven; the fishes of the sea also shall be taken away…. ”  (Ho. 4.1-3).  Israel was willfully ignorant: “… because thou hast rejected knowledge, I will also reject thee, that thou shalt be no more priest to me: seeing thou hast forgotten the  law of thy God, I will also forget thy children…. (See Ho. 4.6-11).”
  2. God reminds Israel through his prophet Amos of all His judgments against Israel and in spite of those judgments, “yet have ye not returned unto me, saith the LORD.”  God says, “Prepare to meet thy God, O Israel” (Am. 4.6-13 (part of verses 10 and 12 quoted)).
  3. God wanted Amos to preach 3 things to Israel: (1) the people did not respect the preaching of the word of God (Am. 7.10-13, 16); (2) Israel did not honor the Sabbath (Am. 8.5); (3) they did not detest sin any more (Am. 8.14).  God also wanted Amos to tell Israel exactly what he was about to do. They rejected his message. In fact, they didn’t even want to hear him preach. They rebelled at the message and the messenger.

13God also judges Gentile nations. He has given them their authority (Da. 2.37-40), and will hold them to account:

  1. “The wicked shall be turned into hell, and all the nations that forget God. Put them in fear, O LORD: that the nations may know themselves to be but men. Selah” (Ps. 9.17, 20).
  2. “For the LORD most high is terrible; he is a great King over all the earth. He shall subdue the people under us, and the nations under our feet” (Ps. 47.2-3).
  3. Psalm 135.6-12. “Whatsoever the LORD pleased, that did he in heaven, and in earth, in the seas, and all deep places…. Who smote great nations, and slew mighty kings; Sihon king of the Amorites, and Og king of Bashan, and all the kingdoms of Canaan….” (Ps. 135.6, 10-11).
  4. “To him which smote great kings: for his mercy endureth forever; And slew famous kings, for his mercy endureth forever; [kings named]” (Ps. 136.17-21).

3God used Assyria to judge Israel and then judged Assyria for its pride in boasting that Assyria did this (Is. 10.5-19).

God, through his prophets, told of the coming judgments on all nations, and the reasons for those judgments:

  1. destruction of Moab (Is. 10.5-19);
  2. destruction of Damascus (Is. 17);
  3. burden of Egypt (Is. 19);
  4. prophecy that Assyria will waste Egypt and Ethiopia (Is. 20);
  5. 9burden of Tyre (Is. 23);
  6. woe of Ephriam (Is. 28);
  7. Armageddon: “the indignation of the LORD is upon all nations, and his fury upon all their armies: he hath utterly destroyed them…. (Is. 34);”
  8. judgment of Babylon (Is.. 47);
  9. judgment on Israel’s oppressors (Is. 49.22-26; 51);
  10. all nations to be judged—many nations listed to be judged (Je. 25.11-14, 15-38; 26.18-38);
  11. destruction of Egypt, Philistia, Tyre, Moab, Ammonites, Edom, Damascus, Elam, Babylon, Chaldea, etc.—read through Jeremiah 46-51 and notice the reasons given for destroying these nations;
  12. Babylon destroyed because Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon, scattered Israel (Je. 50.17-18); because they [strove] against the LORD (Je. 50.24);
  13. the judgment against Babylon and all the inhabitants of Chaldea because of the violence and evil done to Israel (Je. 51.24, 35-36);
  14. judgments against various nations in Ezekiel 25-32—the reason for each judgment given and the judgment;
  15. judgment of the Gentile nations in Joel 3.2-8 after Armageddon;
  16. judgments on people surrounding Israel prophesied in Amos 1.1-2.3;
  17. judgments on certain nations prophesied in Zephaniah 2.4-15;
  18. Zechariah, more than Haggai or Malachi, gives God’s thoughts about the treatment of Israel by nations surrounding Israel—He has given them their authority and will hold them to account, the test being their treatment of Israel. “For thus saith the LORD of hosts; After the glory hath he sent me unto the nations which spoiled you: for he that toucheth you toucheth the apple of his eye” (Zec. 2.8).

TreatmentOfIsraelThe test for a Gentile nation, as always, is the way a nation treats Israel. “And I will make of thee [Israel] a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing; And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed (Ge. 12.2-3).” “Let people serve thee, and nations bow down to thee: cursed be every one that curseth thee, and blessed be he that blesseth thee” (Ge. 27.29).  “He couched, he lay down as a lion, and as a great lion: who shall stir him up? Blessed is he that blesseth thee, and cursed is he that curseth thee (Nu. 24.9).”

Thus, nations that blessed Israel have invariably been blessed, those that have persecuted Israel have suffered ill (See Ge. 15.13, 14; De. 30.5-7; Is. 14.1, 2; Jl. 3.1-8; Mi. 5.7-9; Mt. 25.31-40). A careful study of ancient history and of current events reveals that disaster follows when a nation “curses” the nation Israel (See John McTeman and Bill Koenig, Israel: The Blessing or the Curse (Oklahoma City, Oklahoma: Heathstone Publishing, 2002), cited in William P. Grady, How Satan Turned America Against God (Knoxville, Tennessee: Grady Publications 2005), pp. 1-13.).

The “times of the Gentiles,” a period during which Jerusalem is under Gentile rule, began when Nebuchadnezzar carried Zedekiah into Babylon (2 Chr. 36.1-21; Je. 38.7; Mt. 21.24 (speaking of the time after the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 A.D.)), since which time Jerusalem has been under Gentile rule. Only a remnant returned to Israel after seventy years in captivity. That remnant remained until Jerusalem was destroyed and the Jews were dispersed throughout all nations.  Christ foretold: “And they shall fall by the edge of the sword, and shall be led away captive into all nations: and Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled” (Lu. 21.24).

BabylonConfusion3The whole world system, made up of the Gentile nations after the dispersion of the Jews, fell into and will remain in confusion until the Lord returns (See 1917 Scofield Reference Edition, n. 2 to Is. 13.1, p. 724; Scofield is right about this):

In the prophets “Babylon,” when not referring to the city [as in Is. 13], is used symbolically to denote the confusion “into which the whole social order or the world has fallen under Gentile world domination.”), conquers the nations with a crushing blow (Da. 2.45, Da. 7.9-11; Re. 19.11-21), and sets up His kingdom (Da. 2.44). Ultimately, Christ will return and gather the nation Israel, the “the apple of the eye of the Lord of hosts” (Zec. 2.8: “For thus saith the LORD of hosts; After the glory hath he sent me unto the nations which spoiled you: for he that toucheth you toucheth the apple of his eye.” In two other verses, God calls Israel the “apple of His eye:” De. 32.10; Lam. 2.18), from all nations where He has scattered them, and bring them into the land He has given them: “Thus saith the LORD of hosts: Behold, I will save my people from the east country, and from the west country; And I will bring them, and they shall dwell in the midst of Jerusalem: and they shall be my people, and I will be their God, in truth and in righteousness” (Zec. 8.7-8. See also, Zec. 8.1-8, De. 30.1-9 (God declared the Palestinian Covenant), Ps. 110, Ro. 11.25-27). He will establish His kingdom by power, not persuasion. This will be after the divine judgment upon the Gentile world powers:

  1. “And in the days of these kings shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed: and the kingdom shall not be left to other people, but it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand forever.” “And the kingdom and dominion, and the greatness of the kingdom under the whole heaven, shall be given to the people of the saints of the most High, whose kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and all dominions shall serve and obey him” (Da. 2.44 and 7.27; see also, Da. 2.34, 35, 45; Ps. 2.4-9; Is. 9.7; Zec. 14.1-9).
  2. In addition to His treatment of Israel at His return, Christ will destroy the present political world-system (Da. 2.34, 35; Re. 19.11-21) and judge the nations (Jl. 3.1-8; Mt. 25.31-46). Then there will follow world-wide Gentile conversion and participation in the blessings of the kingdom:
  3. “Then shall he speak unto them in his wrath, and vex them in his sore displeasure. Yet have I set my king upon my holy hill of Zion. I will declare the decree: the LORD hath said unto me, Thou art my son; this day have I begotten thee. Ask of me, and I shall give thee the heathen for thine inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth for thy possession” (Ps. 2.5-8).
  4. 1“And it shall come to pass in the last days, that the mountain of the LORD’S house shall be established in the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; and all nations shall flow into it. And many people shall go and say, Come ye, and let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths: for out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem. And he shall judge among the nations, and shall rebuke many people: and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruninghooks: nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more” (Is. 2.2-4).
  5. “And in that day there shall be a root of Jesse, which shall stand for an ensign of the people; to it shall the Gentiles seek: and his rest shall be glorious” (Is. 11.10).
  6. “And the Gentiles shall come to thy light, and kings to the brightness of thy rising” (Is. 60.3).
  7. “Thus saith the LORD; I am returned unto Zion, and will dwell in the midst of Jerusalem: and Jerusalem shall be called a city of truth; and the mountain of the LORD of hosts the holy mountain…. Thus saith the LORD of hosts; It shall come to pass, that there shall come people, and the inhabitants of many cities: … Thus saith the LORD of hosts; In those days it shall come to pass that ten men shall take hold out of all languages of the nations, even shall take hold of the skirt of him that is a Jew, saying, We will go with you: for  we have heard that God is with you” (Zec. 8.3, 20, 23).
  8. LionLamb“And it shall come to pass, that every one that is left of all the nations which came against Jerusalem shall even go up from year to year to worship the King, the LORD of hosts, and to keep the feast of tabernacles. And it shall be, that whoso will not come up of all the families of the earth unto Jerusalem to worship the king, the LORD of hosts, even upon them shall be no rain. And if the family of Egypt go not up, and come not, that have no rain; there shall be the plague, wherewith the LORD will smite the heathen that come not up to keep the feast of tabernacles. This shall be the punishment of all nations that come not up to keep the feast of the tabernacles. In that day shall there be upon the bells of the horses, HOLINESS UNTO THE LORD; and the posts in the LORD’S house shall be like the bowls before the altar. Yea, every pot in Jerusalem and in Judah shall be holiness unto the LORD of hosts: and all they that sacrifice shall come and take of them, and seethe therein: and in that day there shall be no more the Canaanite in the house of the LORD of hosts” (Zec. 4.16-21).
  9. “For then [in context, after the Lord crushes the nations] will I turn to the people a pure language, that they may all call upon the name of the LORD, to serve him with one consent” (Zep. 3.9).
  10. “And to this agree the words of the prophets: as it is written, After this I will return, and will build again the tabernacle of David, which is fallen down; and I will build again the ruins thereof, and I will set it up: That the residue of men might seek after the Lord, and all the Gentiles, upon whom my name is called, saith the Lord, who doeth all these things” (Ac. 15.15-17).
  11. “And I saw the beast, and the kings of the earth, and their armies, gathered together to make war against him that sat on the horse, and against his army. And the beast was taken, and with him the false prophet that wrought miracles before him, with which he deceived them that had received the mark of the beast, and them that worshipped his image. These both were cast alive into a lake of fire burning with brimstone. And the remnant were slain with the sword of him that sat upon the horse, which sword proceeded out of his mouth: and all the fowls were filled with their flesh. And I saw an angel come down from heaven, having the key of the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand. And he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is the Devil, and Satan, and bound him a thousand years, And cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal upon him, that he should deceive the nations no more, till the thousand years should be fulfilled: and after that he must be loosed a little season. And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had perceived his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived  and reigned with Christ a thousand years. But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection. Blessed and holy is he that that part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years” (Re. 19.19-20.6).

God will use Israel to “break in pieces the nations” (See Je. 51.19-23). The order of events [of the last days] is:

(1)    We are now at the end of the times of the Gentiles. The end began in 1948 when Israel became a nation. A nation was born in one day. The return was a miraculous event fulfilling the scripture that a nation would be ‘Born in a day:’ ‘Who hath heard such a thing? who hath seen such things? Shall the earth be made to bring forth in one day? or shall a nation be born at once? for as soon as Zion travailed, she brought forth her children’ (Is. 66.8). They returned in unbelief; the Prophet Ezekiel foretold this return of the Jews without God, trusting in their own strength. Without the Holy Spirit the Jews are nothing but ‘dry bones’ (Eze. 37.1-14). The yearning in Re.21.1-2the heart of the Jews for their land—‘Next Year in Jerusalem’—has been the watch cry of Jews for 2000 years. They started going back at the beginning of the 13th Century because of persecution. A trickle in the beginning has reached around 5 million today. Israel is returning to the land in unbelief. ‘Now learn a parable of the fig tree; When his branch is yet tender, and putteth forth leaves, ye know that summer is nigh: So likewise ye, when ye shall see all these things, know that it is near, even at the doors. Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled. Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away’ (Mt. 24.32-35). The fig tree is Israel (Jud. 9.11; Jl. 1.7; Mt. 21.18-19).” (Dr. Greg Dixon pointed out these insights to the author.).

(2)   Invasion of Israel by Russia and Moslem allies –– Magog (Rosh), Meshech (Moscow-Eastern Capitol), Tubal –(Western Capitol), Persia – (Iran), Ethiopia, Libya, Gomer-(Southern Russia), Togarmah (Eze. 38-39). This alliance includes Russia, Iran (Persia) and their Moslem allies.  These nations will be miraculously defeated by Israel (Eze.).

(3)   The invasion of Palestine by Gentile world powers headed up under the Beast and false prophet (Jl. 2.1-10, 18-20; “Armageddon:” Re. 16.13-16; Zec. 12.1-9).

(4)   The destruction of the invaders by the Lord’s army (Jl. 2.11; Re. 19.11-21), and the repentance of Judah in the land (Jl. 2.12-17).

(5)    The answer of Jehovah (Jl. 2.18-27).

(6)   The pouring out of the Spirit (Jl. 2.28, 29)

(7)    The return of the Lord in glory and the setting up of the kingdom (Jl. 2.30-32; Ac. 15.15-17) by the regathering of the nation and the judgment of the nations (Jl. 3.1-16)

(8)   Full and permanent kingdom blessing (Jl. 3.17-21; Zec. 14.1-21).

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.

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