February 12, 2021
God, the Sovereign of the Universe, ordained the nations and civil government (Romans 13:1). He ordained civil government for the earthly benefit of man: to control evil doers (Romans 13:3-4). He, in the Old Testament, states the fate of all nations, that of Israel and of the Gentile nations. God ordained human government after the flood. See 8:21-9:6. He ordained government of man by man, civil government, as a direct control over evil men who commit certain crimes, mainly the crime of premeditated murder. Under the dispensation of conscience which extended from the fall to the flood, man utterly failed, and the judgment of the flood marks the end of the second dispensation, conscience, and the start of the third, human government. God’s only remedy, after man showed that the constraint of conscience was not sufficient to control his evil imagination, was judgment, the judgment of the flood.
After the flood, God divided the “isles of the Gentiles into their lands; every one after his tongue, after their families, in their nations” (Genesis 10:5; 11; Deuteronomy 32:8). God did this because, if all worldly government were consecrated in one world government, the potential for evil would be unlimited. “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.” Soon after this division into nations, mankind attempted to build the world’s first “United Nations” building (Genesis 11:4). “And the LORD said, Behold, the people is one, and they have all one language; and this they begin to do: and now nothing will be restrained from them, which they have imagined to do” (Genesis 11:6). God’s only remedy was judgment the judgment of the confusion of languages and the reaffirmation of nationalism (Genesis 11:9; see also, Deuteronomy 32:9 and Acts 17:26).
Besides controlling evil, a second purpose of civil government can be inferred from an admonition of Paul to Timothy (1 Timothy 2:1-6). Civil government, to honor God, should allow all men the freedom to choose God, no god, a god or gods according to their own free will.
A third purpose of civil government, as seen in God’s dealing with Gentile nations in the Old Testament, and in the New Testament, is to teach. A nation under God will base its law upon biblical principles. It will remain within its God-given earthly jurisdiction, but will also point to God as the Sovereign who ordained the nations; this in its organic documents. It will point to truth, including the ultimate truth that Jesus stated: “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father but by me.” This is why it is important that government leaders and officials pray in other name than the name of Jesus. On the other hand, a nation which dishonors God teaches the principles of Satan, the god of this world. A nation under God will enforce the second table of the law, not the first table. See, God Betrayed, especially Sections III and IV of God Betrayed.
Before God called out a nation unto Himself, the nation Israel, “history was that of the whole Adamic race. There was neither Jew nor Gentile; all were one in ‘the first man Adam.” Sometime after ordaining civil government, God called out Abram to be the father of Israel. Israel was to be a the only theocratic nation he ever ordained. After that, humanity must be thought of as a vast stream from which God, in the call of Abram and the creation of the nation Israel, has but drawn off a slender rill, through which He may at last purify the great river itself.
“The human race, 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 of Human government continue. The moral history of the great Gentile world is told in Ro. 1:21-32 and its moral accountability in Romans 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’ (Romans 3:19; 7:9-10; 2 Corinthians 3:7; Galatians 3:10). A wholly new responsibility arises when either Jew or Gentile knows the Gospel (John 3:18-19; 15:22-24; 16:9; 1 John 5:9-12).”
God called Israel for specific purposes: to be a witness to the unity of God in the midst of universal idolatry (Deuteronomy 6:4; Is. 43:10-12); to illustrate the blessedness of serving the true God (De. 33:26-29); to receive and preserve the divine revelations (Ro. 3:1-2; De. 4:5-8); and to produce the messiah (Genesis 3:15; 21:12; 28:10; 49:10; 2 Samuel 7:16-17; Is. 4:3-4; Matthew 1:1). God promised Abraham, among other things, that He would bless those nations who blessed Israel and curse those nations that cursed Israel (Genesis 12:3, 15:18; the Abrahamic Covenant). God’s histories and prophecies concerning Gentile nations, as related to Israel, and as to their religious and moral state, are the key to understanding their position and fate.
“From Genesis 12. to Matthew 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., Genesis 12:3; Is. 2:2; 5:26; 9:1; 11:10-12; 42:1-6; 49:6,12; 52:15; 54:3; 55:5; 60:3,5,11-16; 61:6; 62:2; 66:12,18-19; Jeremiah 16:19; Joel 3:9-10; Matthew 1:11 Romans 9. 10. 11. Galatians 3:8-14.
God desires Gentile nations choose to glorify Him. However, the Word of God says that no civil government, Jew or Gentile, since all are made up of sinful men, will, before the return of Christ, follow the principles of God for any significant 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. The Lord will return and crush the Gentile world-powers existing at the time of His return which, led by the beast and the 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. Here are a few: Isaiah 11.11-16; 14.1-8; 27.12-13; 43; 45.17; 48; 49.8-21; 51; 52; 54; 61.3-62; 65.17-66.24; Jeremiah 16.14-16; 23.3-8; 24.6; 30.8-11, 16-24; 31; 32.37-44; 46.27; 50.19-20; Ezekiel 11.17-21; 16.60-63; 28.25-26; 34.11-31; 36; 37.21-25; 37; 39.25- 29; Hosea 2.14-23; Joel 3; Amos 9.13-15; Micah 4.6-8; Zephaniah 3.4-20; Zechariah 10; Acts 1.6-7; Romans 11.25-27). God will do this for His “holy name’s sake, which [Israel had] profaned among the heathen.” Ezekiel 36: 22-23, 32. Then, Satan will be cast “into the bottomless pit, that he might deceive that nations no more, til the thousand years be fulfilled,” (Revelation 20:1-3) the nations shall be judged, (Matthew 25:32-46), and the Lord Jesus Christ will set up His thousand year reign on earth. (Daniel 2:34-36, 44).
God judges nations. He has given them their authority (Daniel 2:37-40), and will hold them to account (Psalms 2; 9:17-20; 47:2-3; 135:6, 10-11; 136:17-21). God used Assyria to judge Israel, then judged Assyria for its pride in boasting that she had done this ((Isaiah 10:5-190).
God, through his prophets, told of the coming judgments on all nations, and the reasons for those judgments. Here is just a sampling from the Old Testament: destruction of Moab (Isaiah 15-16); destruction of Damascus (Isaiah 17); burden of Egypt (Isaiah 19:17); prophecy that Assyria will waste Egypt and Ethiopia (Isaiah 20:18); burden of Tyre (Isaiah 23); woe of Ephriam (Isaiah 28); Armageddon: “the indignation of the LORD is upon all nations, and his fury upon all their armies: he hath utterly destroyed them…. (Isaiah 34));”judgment of Babylon (Isaiah 47:22); judgment on Israel’s oppressors (Isaiah 49.22-26; 51); all nations to be judged—many nations listed to be judged (Jeremiah 25.11-14, 15-38; 26.18-38); 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 (Jeremiah 50.17-18); because they [strove] against the LORD (Jeremiah 50.24); the judgment against Babylon and all the inhabitants of Chaldea because of the violence and evil done to Israel (Jeremiah 51.24, 35-36. 27); 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” (Zechariah 2.8).
One Old Testament Scripture which is on point as to the judgments of the nations is Jeremiah 25:15-38, King James Bible. All nations will be judged. All nations reach the point where the only remedy is judgment. All nations includes America. The three stages in the downfall of a nation are religious apostasy, moral awfulness, and political anarchy. See, e.g. Dr. J. Vernon McGee, Judges, a great Bible teaching on this matter. The book of Isaiah opens with God giving this philosophy of history, by outlining these three steps which cause the downfall of nations. Likewise, Romans 1:18-32 lays out these steps, at least the first two, in the downfall of nations.
America is a Gentile nation. America is well into the third stage toward her downfall. There is a small remnant of true believers in America, but”
- Religious apostasy, even among so-called Christians and Christianity, pervades the land.
- Moral awfulness prevails.
- Political tyranny, nationally, and for many states, prevails.
God’s judgment of America has begun. When America curses Israel, God’s final judgment will fall.