Originally, all civil governments were under the same guidelines. Although Gentile nations proceeded under the original plan as ordained by God in the covenant He made with Noah, God called out Israel, a nation for Himself. First, Abraham was called out and obtained a promise of God. Since man had failed to obey God on the basis of human conscience, the restraint by the Holy Spirit, and human government, God instituted a new economy, a new way of dealing with man. He made promises to Abraham and his seed, Jesus Christ, which were four hundred years before the law. The inheritance was not of the law which was added because of transgressions, “until the seed should come” who was Jesus Christ. God “sware” this promise “by himself.
God promised Abraham that He would bless him, make his name great, give him many physical descendants, make him the father of many nations, give him the land of Canaan for an everlasting possession, and bless those who blessed him and curse those who cursed him.
God promised Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and their seed everlasting possession of a physical land on the earth with prescribed boundaries. Israel’s government, working in conjunction with the Jewish religious leaders, was given the responsibility to enforce all ten of the Ten Commandments, as well as all of God’s moral law. The Gentile nations proceeded under the original plan laid down by God and their highest function was the judicial taking of life, from which all other governmental powers may be implied.
Israel was called by God for specific purposes: “Israel was called to be a witness to the unity of God in the midst of universal idolatry; to illustrate the blessedness of serving the true God;) to receive and preserve the divine revelations; and to produce the Messiah.
The Jewish patriarchs (heads of families) failed in the responsibilities God gave them, and judgment followed. Their responsibility was only to believe and serve God who provided all material and spiritual resources requisite to inspire them to do this. God gave them the Promised Land, and blessings were guaranteed while they remained in the land. In spite of this, their future was predominated by failure. Jacob eventually led his children to Egypt where they were enslaved. God delivered them and crushed their taskmasters.
After God delivered Israel from their Egyptian oppressors, He gave them the Mosaic Law. This was, of course, before they entered the Promised Land. He dealt with them now on the basis of that law in addition to conscience, the restraint of the Holy Spirit, civil government, and promise. God’s new economy for Israel was based on law. Promise and law are sharply distinguished in Galatians 3 even though the law did not annul the promise.
The law was written in stone and “was a totally external way of God’s administering His rule over Israel.” It was an external moral restrainer, a “schoolmaster to bring us to Christ.”
When God delivered Israel out of Egyptian bondage, their faith failed and God caused them to wander in the wilderness for forty years. Before God allowed Israel to enter the Promised Land, she operated under a covenant directed solely to the nation Israel. All other nations, the Gentile nations, continued under the covenant God made with Noah. Israel was given covenant declared in Deuteronomy 30.1-10 which gives God’s conditions under which Israel entered the land. Israel has never as yet taken the land under the unconditional Abrahamic Covenant, nor has it ever possessed the whole land. The seven parts to the covenant given in Deuteronomy 30 are:
Dispersion for disobedience, v. 1 (De. 28.63-68. See Ge. 15.18, note).
The future repentance of Israel while in the dispersion, v.2.
The return of the Lord, v.3 (Amos 9.9-14; Ac. 15.14-17).
Restoration to the land, v. 5 (Is. 11.11, 12; Je. 23.3-8; Ez. 37.21-25).
National conversion, v.6 (Ro. 11.26, 27; Hos. 2.14-16).
The judgment of Israel’s oppressors, v. 7 (Is. 14.1,2; Joel 3.1-8; Mt. 25.31-46).
National prosperity, v. 9 (Amos 9.11-14).
Israel in the land was originally a theocracy directly under God. God spoke directly to Moses and Joshua, and then chosen judges in Israel. God does not and never has spoken directly to Gentile nations as He did with Israel.
Israel was a theocracy. The word “theocracy” comes from two Greek words, theos meaning God and kratos meaning ruler. “Theocracy” means “Government of a state by the immediate direction of God; or the state thus governed. Of this species the Israelites furnish an illustrious example. The theocracy lasted till the time of Saul.”
The church, which God instructed to be directly under God and His principles only, is not a state, and therefore not a theocracy. Nor can a church take the place of God over a state; such an arrangement is not a theocracy.
Next, we will take a look at how Israel performed in the theocracy in the land, God’s judgments of Israel, and God’s grace.
Originally, all civil governments were under the same guidelines. Although Gentile nations proceeded under the original plan as ordained by God in the Noahic Covenant, God called out Israel, a nation for Himself. First, Abraham was called out and obtained a promise of God. “And so, after he [Abraham] had patiently endured, he obtained the promise” (He. 6.15). “By faith he sojourned in the land of promise, as in a strange country, dwelling in tabernacles with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs with him of the same promise” (He. 11.9).
“Since man had failed to obey God on the basis of human conscience, the restraint by the Holy Spirit, and human government, God instituted what is called by some the Dispensation of Promise” (Renald E. Showers, There Really Is a Difference: A Comparison of Covenant and Dispensational Theology (Bellmawr, New Jersey: The Friends of Israel Gospel Ministry, 1990), p. 40):
“Brethren, I speak after the manner of men; Though it be but a man’s covenant, yet if it be confirmed, no man disannulleth, or addeth thereto. Now to Abraham and his seed were the promises made. He saith not, And to seeds, as of many; but as of one, And to thy seed, which is Christ. And this I say, that the covenant, that was confirmed before of God in Christ, the law, which was four hundred and thirty years after, cannot disannul, that it should make the promise of none effect. For if the inheritance be of the law, it is no more of promise: but God gave it to Abraham by promise. Wherefore then serveth the law? It was added because of transgressions, till the seed should come to whom the promise was made; and it was ordained by angels in the hand of a mediator. Now a mediator is not a mediator of one, but God is one. Is the law then against the promises of God? God forbid: for if there had been a law given which could have given life, verily righteousness should have been by the law. But the scripture hath concluded all under sin, that the promise by faith of Jesus Christ might be given to them that believe” (Ga. 3.15-22).
“For when God made promise to Abraham, because he could swear by no greater, he sware by himself, Saying, Surely blessing I will bless thee, and multiplying I will multiply thee. And so, after he had patiently endured, he obtained the promise” (He. 6.13-15).
God promised Abraham that He would bless him, make his name great, give him many physical descendants, make him the father of many nations, give him the land of Canaan for an everlasting possession, and bless those who blessed him and curse those who cursed him:
“And I will make of thee 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).
“And the LORD said unto Abram, after that Lot was separated from him, Lift up now thine eyes, and look from the place where thou art northward, and southward, and eastward, and westward: For all the land which thou seest, to thee will I give it, and to thy seed for ever. And I will make thy seed as the dust of the earth: so that if a man can number the dust of the earth, then shall thy seed also be numbered. Arise, walk through the land in the length of it and in the breadth of it; for I will give it unto thee” (Ge. 13.14-17).
“And said, By myself have I sworn, saith the LORD, for because thou hast done this thing, and hast not withheld thy son, thine only son: That in blessing I will bless thee, and in multiplying I will multiply thy seed as the stars of the heaven, and as the sand which is upon the sea shore; and thy seed shall possess the gate of his enemies; And in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed; because thou hast obeyed my voice” (Ge. 22.16-18. See also, Ge. 15 and 17.1-22).
The Jewish patriarchs failed in the responsibilities God gave them, and judgment followed. Their responsibility was only to believe and serve God who provided all material and spiritual resources requisite to inspire them to do this. God gave them the Promised Land, and blessings were guaranteed while they remained in the land. In spite of this, their future was predominated by failure. Jacob eventually led his children to Egypt where they were enslaved. God delivered them and crushed their taskmasters.
After God delivered Israel from their Egyptian oppressors, He gave them the Mosaic law. This was, of course, before they entered the Promised Land. He dealt with them now on the basis of that law in addition to conscience, the restraint of the Holy Spirit, civil government, and promise. This new way of dealing with man is called by some the Dispensation of Law. Promise and law are sharply distinguished in Galatians 3 even though the law did not annul the promise (See Charles C. Ryrie, Dispensationalism (Chicago: Moody Press, 1995), pp. 54-55):
“For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse: for it is written, Cursed is every one that continueth not in all things which are written in the book of the law to do them. But that no man is justified by the law in the sight of God, it is evident: for, The just shall live by faith. And the law is not of faith: but, The man that doeth them shall live in them. Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree: That the blessing of Abraham might come on the Gentiles through Jesus Christ; that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith. Brethren, I speak after the manner of men; Though it be but a man’s covenant, yet if it be confirmed, no man disannulleth, or addeth thereto. Now to Abraham and his seed were the promises made. He saith not, And to seeds, as of many; but as of one, And to thy seed, which is Christ. And this I say, that the covenant, that was confirmed before of God in Christ, the law, which was four hundred and thirty years after, cannot disannul, that it should make the promise of none effect. For if the inheritance be of the law, it is no more of promise: but God gave it to Abraham by promise” (Ga. 3.10-18).
The Mosaic Law covered the period from Moses until the death and resurrection of Christ, or from Exodus 19.1 to Acts 1.26. Under the Mosaic Covenant, the Jews were to be responsible for keeping the whole law. “For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all” (Ja. 2.10). They did not succeed in their responsibility. “Brethren, my heart’s desire and prayer to God for Israel is, that they might be saved. For I bear them record that they have a zeal of God, but not according to knowledge. For they being ignorant of God’s righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God” (Ro. 10.1-3). The result was the captivity of Judah by Babylon and the captivity of Israel by Assyria. After the Jews later rejected the Lord, they were scattered over the entire world. Jesus lamented, “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not! Behold, your house is left unto you desolate. For I say unto you, Ye shall not see me henceforth, till ye shall say, Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord” (Mt. 23.37-39).
“All during their many periods of declension and backsliding, God dealt with them graciously from the very first apostasy with the golden calf, when the law was being delivered to Moses, to the gracious promises of final regathering and restoration in the millennial age to come. These promises of a glorious future are guaranteed secure by the Abrahamic promises, which the law in no way abrogated (Gal. 3.3-25). We are also told clearly in the New Testament (Rom. 3.20 [“Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin.”]) that the law was not a means of justification but of condemnation” (Ryrie, p. 55).
The law was written in stone and “was a totally external way of God’s administering His rule over Israel” (Showers, p. 42). It was an external moral restrainer. “But before faith came, we were kept under the law, shut up unto the faith which should afterwards be revealed. Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith. But after that faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster” (Ga. 3.23-25).
When Israel went into the Promised Land, she operated under a covenant directed solely to the nation Israel. All other nations, the Gentile nations, continued under the Noahic Covenant. Israel entered the land given it by God under the Palestinian Covenant which was declared in Deuteronomy 30.1-10:
“The Palestinian Covenant gives the conditions under which Israel entered the land of promise. It is important to see that the nation has never as yet taken the land under the unconditional Abrahamic Covenant, nor has it ever possessed the whole land (cf. Ge. 15.18, with Nu. 34.1-12). Deuteronomy 30 gives seven parts to the Palestinian Covenant:
“(1) Dispersion for disobedience, v. 1 (De. 28.63-68. See Ge. 15.18, note).
“(2) The future repentance of Israel while in the dispersion, v.2.
“(3) The return of the Lord, v.3 (Am. 9.9-14; Ac. 15.14-17).
“(4) Restoration to the land, v. 5 (Isa. 11.11, 12; Jer. 23.3-8; Eze. 37.21-25).
“(5) National conversion, v.6 (Ro. 11.26, 27; Ho. 2.14-16).
“(6) The judgment of Israel’s oppressors, v. 7 (Is. 14.1,2; Jl. 3.1-8; Mt. 25.31-46).
“(7) National prosperity, v. 9 (Am. 9.11-14)” (1917 Scofield Reference Edition, n. 1 to De. 30.3, p. 250).
Israel was set up originally as a theocracy directly under God for God’s purposes. God spoke directly to Moses, Joshua, and then chosen judges in Israel. Israel is the only theocracy that has ever existed. Gentile nations make a choice of whether to operate under God’s principles as laid down in the Bible, but God does not speak directly to them. He speaks to them only through the conscience of the rulers and people and through His Word. The church, which God instructed to be directly under God and His principles only (See Sections II, III, and VI of God Betrayed/Separation of Church and State: The Biblical Principles and the American Application See En2), is not a state, and therefore not a theocracy. The word “theocracy” comes from two Greek words, theos meaning God and kratos meaning ruler. “Theocracy” means:
“Government of a state by the immediate direction of God; or the state thus governed. Of this species the Israelites furnish an illustrious example. The theocracy lasted till the time of Saul” (AMERICAN DICTIONARY OF THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE, NOAH WEBSTER (1828), definition of “THEOCRACY.”).
God promised Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and their seed everlasting possession of a physical land on the earth with prescribed boundaries. The Gentile nations could only look to Israel as God’s chosen nation. Although Gentile nations were not directly under the leadership of God, they still had a responsibility to glorify God and rule under God or suffer the consequences. Israel’s government, working in conjunction with the Jewish religious leaders, was given the responsibility to enforce all ten of the Ten Commandments, as well as all of God’s moral law. The Gentile nations proceeded under the original plan laid down by God and their highest function was the judicial taking of life, from which all other governmental powers may be implied (1917 Scofield Reference Edition, n. 1 to Ge. 8.21, p. 16).
Israel was called by God for specific purposes:
“Israel was called to be a witness to the unity of God in the midst of universal idolatry (Deut. 6.4; Isa. 43.10-12); to illustrate the blessedness of serving the true God (Deut. 33.26-29); to receive and preserve the divine revelations (Rom. 3.1,2; Deut. 4.5-8); and to produce the Messiah (Gen. 3.15; 21.3; 28.10, 14; 49.10; 2 Sam. 7.16, 17; Isa. 4.3, 4; Mt. 1.1.
“The reader of scripture should hold firmly in mind: (1) that from Gen. 12. to Mt. 12.45 the Scriptures have primarily in view Israel, the little rill, not the great Gentile river, though again and again the universality of the ultimate divine intent breaks into view (e.g. Gen. 12.3; Isa. 2.2, 4; 5.26, 9.1, 2; 11.10-12; 42.1-6; 49.6, 12; 52.15; 54.3; 55.5; 60.3, 5, 11-16; 61.6, 9; 62.2; 66.12, 18, 19; Jer. 16.19; Joel 3.9, 10; Mal. 1.11; Rom. 9., 10., 11.; Gal. 3.8-14); (2) that the human race, henceforth called Gentile in distinction from Israel, goes on under the Adamic and Noahic covenants; and that for the race (outside Israel) the dispensations of Conscience and Human Government continue. The moral history of the great Gentile world is told in Rom. 1.21-32, and its moral accountability in Rom. 2.1-16. Conscience never acquits: it either ‘accuses’ or ‘excuses.’ Where the law is known to the Gentiles it is to them, as to Israel, ‘a ministration of death,’ a ‘curse’ (Rom. 3.19, 20; 7.9, 10; 2 Cor. 3.7; Gal. 3.10). A wholly new responsibility arises when either Jew or Gentile knows the Gospel (John 3.18, 19, 36; 15.22-24; 16.9; 1 John 5.9-12) ” (Ibid., n. 1 to Ge. 11.10, p. 19; see also, n. 1, p. 1206).
God declared that Israel would lend to other nations, but would not borrow, that Israel would reign over many nations, but that no nation would reign over Israel (De. 15.6). Israel was called the wife of Jehovah (Is. 54.5; Je. 3.14, 20; Eze. 16.26-59; 24.15-27. In Ho., we see the picture given that illustrates to the Jews how God feels when His wife, Israel, commits adultery.).
Israel is the “rod for his inheritance,” and God will use Israel to “break into pieces the nations ” (See Je. 51.19-23).
Thus, Israel is the key to everything regarding the nations of this world.
Israel was ordained to be a theocracy under the direct rule of God, through His judges. God was directly over the state. This type civil government was unique to Israel. We see how this type of civil government was applied by Israel in the book of Judges. Over and over again, especially in Deuteronomy, the Jews were told to follow God’s law, to keep his commandments and statutes. “These are the statutes and judgments, which ye shall observe to do in the land, which the LORD God of thy fathers giveth thee to possess it, all the days that ye live upon the earth” (De. 12.1)…. God’s laws covered everything, including idolatry. As mentioned above, the Ten Commandments exemplified the law, and the whole of the Ten Commandments, including the first four, were to be enforced in the nation Israel.
God gave Israel free will. Ultimately Israel rejected God’s plan under which God himself ruled over the nation of Israel and demanded a king like the Gentile nations: “Now make us a king to judge us like all nations” (1 S. 8.5). God told Samuel to hearken unto their demand: “And the LORD said unto Samuel, Hearken unto the voice of the people in all that they say unto thee: for they have not rejected thee, but they have rejected me, that I should not reign over them” (1 S. 8.9).
God also told Samuel to tell the people the ill consequences of being ruled by a king:
“And he said, This will be the manner of the king that shall reign over you: He will take your sons, and appoint them for himself, for his chariots, and to be his horsemen; and some shall run before his chariots. And he will appoint him captains over thousands, and captains over fifties; and will set them to harvest, and to make his instruments of war, and instruments of his chariots. And he will take your daughters to be confectionaries, and to be cooks, and to be bakers. And he will take your fields, and your vineyards, and your oliveyards, even the best of them, and give them to his servants. And he will take the tenth of your seed, and of your vineyards, and give to his officers, and to his servants. And he will take your menservants, and your maidservants and your goodliest young men, and your asses, and put them to his work. He will take the tenth of your sheep: and ye shall be his servants. And ye shall cry out in that day because of your king which ye shall have chosen you; and the LORD will not hear you in that day” (1 S. 8.11-18).
But they still demanded a king (1 S. 19). They were looking at man, not God, when they made this demand: “And they said unto Samuel, Behold, thou art old, and thy sons walk not in thy ways” (1 S. 8.5). They still did not realize that God fulfills His purposes. Had Israel walked in faith and kept His statutes and commandments, God had promised to bless them.
Before the Israelites rejected God, God’s law as transmitted through Moses, then through his successors, was the whole of civil and religious government. God’s chosen people, even in the theocracy, rebelled against God and His ways time and again, were judged by God for so doing, and returned to God.
When kings started to rule, kings dominated prophet and priest. Saul, the first king, disobeyed the command of God through Samuel (See 1 S. 15) and even sought to slay Samuel, the prophet of God (1 S. 16.2). David followed Saul as king of Israel. After the death of Solomon, David’s son who became king after the death of King David, the nation of Israel split in two. The northern Kingdom was called Israel, and the southern Judah. Before those two nations were eventually taken into captivity for their failure to proceed under God, all nineteen kings of Israel were evil and only eight of twenty kings of Judah were good (did that which was right in the eyes of the Lord).
During that time, God sent prophets to warn the kings of both Israel and Judah to cast down their idols and return to the ways of the Lord and to proclaim the consequences that would surely come if they did not do so. Rarely did the kings heed the warnings of those prophets. The Jews broke the Mosaic Law repeatedly:
“Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt; which my covenant they brake, although I was an husband unto them, saith the LORD” (Je. 31.32).
“Yea, they made their hearts as an adamant stone, lest they should hear the law, and the words which the LORD of hosts hath sent in his spirit by the former prophets: therefore came a great wrath from the LORD of hosts” (Zec. 7.12).
The nation was judged many times during this dispensation. Israel and Judah were both ultimately conquered and the people taken into captivity because of their rebellion against God. Worldwide dispersion resulted from their rejection of Christ.
Israel miserably failed to obey God on the basis of conscience, the restraint of the Holy Spirit, human government, promise, and law. As a result, God instituted what some call the Dispensation of Grace which will be discussed elsewhere in these teachings. Under this dispensation, conscience, the restraint of the Holy Spirit, human government, promise, and grace are being used by God to govern people. The law is not a ruling factor for the believer during the dispensation of grace:
“Wherefore then serveth the law? It was added because of transgressions, till the seed should come to whom the promise was made; and it was ordained by angels in the hand of a mediator…. But before faith came, we were kept under the law, shut up unto the faith which should afterwards be revealed. Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith. But after that faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster” (Ga. 3.19, 23-25).
“For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace” (Ro. 6.14).
“And unto the Jews I became as a Jew, that I might gain the Jews; to them that are under the law, as under the law, that I might gain them that are under the law” (1 Co. 9.20).
Grace as a ruling factor for the believer consists of two things (See Showers, p. 45). First, a confirmed favorable disposition toward God, the law of God in the heart:
“For I delight in the law of God after the inward man” (Ro. 7.22).
“Forasmuch as ye are manifestly declared to be the epistle of Christ ministered by us, written not with ink, but with the Spirit of the living God; not in tables of stone, but in fleshy tables of the heart. And such trust have we through Christ to God-ward: Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think any thing as of ourselves; but our sufficiency is of God; Who also hath made us able ministers of the new testament; not of the letter, but of the spirit: for the letter killeth, but the spirit giveth life. But if the ministration of death, written and engraven in stones, was glorious, so that the children of Israel could not stedfastly behold the face of Moses for the glory of his countenance; which glory was to be done away: How shall not the ministration of the spirit be rather glorious? For if the ministration of condemnation be glory, much more doth the ministration of righteousness exceed in glory. For even that which was made glorious had no glory in this respect, by reason of the glory that excelleth. For if that which is done away was glorious, much more that which remaineth is glorious” (2 Co. 3.3-11).
“For finding fault with them, he saith, Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah: Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day when I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt; because they continued not in my covenant, and I regarded them not, saith the Lord. For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, saith the Lord; I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts: and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people: And they shall not teach every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the Lord: for all shall know me, from the least to the greatest. For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more” (He. 8.8-12).
The second thing is the indwelling Holy Spirit. “What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s” (1 Co. 6.19-20).
Sadly, the majority of Jews and Gentiles do not accept the gift of righteousness offered by God in the Dispensation of Grace. Organized Christendom does not fulfill its mission given it by God in the New Testament—it does not “fulfill the Great Commission, maintain a pure membership, discipline unruly members, prevent false teaching from existing within it, and contend earnestly for the true faith” (Showers, p. 46). As foretold in God’s Word, man again will fail, and judgment will follow.
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.
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.
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For His Glory,
Christian and practicing attorney
"Churches under Christ" is a ministry of Charity Baptist Tabernacle of Amarillo, Texas, Benjamin Hickam Pastor. Jerald Finney, a Christian Lawyer and member of Charity Baptist Tabernacle explains how a church in America can remain under the Lord Jesus Christ and Him only. "And hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church" (Ephesians 1.22).