He ruleth by his power for ever; his eyes behold the nations: let not the rebellious exalt themselves. Psa 66:7
Ultimate Authority Made Known to Man
Regardless of which nation you live in, there is some man at the top who believes he runs the show and there may be a penalty for citizens saying otherwise; but the ultimate authority in the earth and the world is and has always been Creator God. It does not matter that some people deny this fact because ultimate authority rules without asking permission of subordinates. Man’s failure to respect God as Sovereign has caused the chaos we now experience in our world. Creator God in the beginning introduced Himself and met regularly with the first man and woman in the Garden of Eden to give them guidance for a wholesome life. They eventually broke the rules and nothing has been the same since (Gen 3:16-18). They had to pay the penalty for breaking the rules and we all as descendants came under their penalty.
Obedience to Law
Abraham was a man who developed a covenant with God based on respect and honor that bought tremendous blessings upon his life with a promise to eventually bless all nations through him (Gen 18:18). Descendants of Abraham were given the Law of Moses with its list of blessings and the curses to consider and guide them to obedience in God (Deu. 28). We read in the Old Testament Chronicles the experience of leaders and the people of various nations who failed to obey God and the consequences they suffered. Is there anything worse than being submitted to wicked leadership in authority where your own conscience and better judgment is supplanted by the demands of the wicked leader. We are seeing in America today the type of government that mirrors that of evil kings of ancient Israel in the Old Testament where things got worst and worst due to lawless leaders who would not submit to the righteous laws of man or God. God often moved through consequences and people to remove these leaders and restore justice. I think citizens today have become so accustomed to civil authority until they have forgotten the God of history who has wielded swift and devastating justice. David experienced this when he committed adultery with another man’s wife, had him killed and tried to hide the murder and pregnancy because he had the highest office in the land. God sent the prophet (2Sa 12) to tell David that his crime was seen by God and his punishment was coming. David agonized over his punishment in losing the baby he conceived in adultery. He suffered great humiliation and public shame in his house and family. His sin caused continuous war at his door throughout his life (2Sa 12:10) and he was denied the joy of his desire to build God’s temple.
Warfare Between Good and Evil
The anarchy of Satan in heaven with wicked angels against the throne of God is still being fought through the inhabitants in the earth. Our system of laws was intended to rein in disobedient men who feared breaking God laws because of consequences. Where good men were willing to stand up in God’s stead and protect and honor God’s authority, peace prevails as wickedness is put aside. During times of great lawlessness, God would raised up judges to rule the people by His spirit. In such a time, one man named Samson was raised from birth to be God’s judge over the people (Jdg 13:24). We see in scripture how Samson was born and reared to use brute strength to conquer wicked men for God. The worst of men feared him because God had put ability on him to destroy multitudes of men by hand. As the earth and men grew in age and power, the contest between good and evil grew as well. The devil empowered his warriors and God empowered His. This is an age-old contest that started in heaven and will not end until Judgment Day when Satan is imprisoned in hell with his followers (Rev 20:2).
In the worst of scenarios where men seemed to overwhelm the good, we have seen God in His sovereignty overturn evil, cities and the world. We know the popular stories of Moses’ day when Korah was swallowed up by hell (Num 16:32), how Lot barely escaped Sodom and Gomorrah burning to a cinder and how Noah’s Ark alone survived the flood. Man cannot escape God when wrath is sentenced against him. His only hope is God’s mercy if man repents. As the lineage of King David went from good to evil rulers, only God’s promise that David would not fail to have an heir on the throne and the coming of the Messiah, Jesus Christ, spared our world from wrath through mercy.
The Authority of Christ in the Earth
God is still sovereign and the wages of sin is still death; but Jesus Christ suffered the death penalty for man’s deliverance from the wrath of God. Satan’s authority has been usurped in the earth through the power of Jesus Christ given to the believer. The true church and spiritual believers now possess the authority of Christ to reign over evil and bind Satan’s work in the earth. Lack of teaching may prevent the church or believer from exercising their power but it is theirs to wield against the enemy. Ultimately the Lord has given the church authority in the earth to pull down strongholds and establish the kingdom of God to rule in the earth. The lawlessness we see in the land today is the same kind of wickedness Jesus met in His entrance to Jerusalem. When we do not learn from the past, we are bound to repeat it. Wickedness in leadership was dealt with by Jesus in Jerusalem and the church must deal with it now by His holy power. Evil’s uprising was prophesied and the church was given power to withstand it in righteousness. Now God has given to the individual believer and all Christians the power to stand against wicked laws and leaders and to bring down strongholds over the body of Christ in the earth. If righteous people do not exercise their authority, evil will rule until God moves against it.
We note that the bible lists the alignment of God’s authority as the righteous authority of the Christian church (which are the believers), civil government, communities, and the head of household. In the Old Testament alignment of authority after sin, males were given as head of the home, government and church. Females did not carry any authoritative power and had to come under the authority of the male figure of their home or near relative. It was a shame for a man to not take care of his home or poor relatives. Public opinion or reputation was everything to a man and his word was his bond. These were the days when men made contracts by verbal agreements and went to war over broken contracts, but that was yesterday. Men have not always proven themselves faithful in the home and God made adjustments from time to time in the Old Testament, i.e. Eli and his sons, Samuel and his sons, Deborah as judge and leader in war and the daughters of Zelophehad.
Since Jesus came everything has changed because Jesus’ mission was to set the captives free. Mankind had been captive in bondage to other men because of race, debt, prison or enslavement. God also saw the bondage of women under the authority of ungodly laws, abusive husbands, and other unjust males. Jesus came to give everyone an opportunity to be free from bondage through salvation. Christ did indeed bring deliverance from bondage but the devil still seeks to bring deception and bondage where he can; and individuals, churches, and government must insist on righteous rule.
The church was that instrument used by God to help deliver men from bondage; but when penetrated by evil, it can cause bondage like that caused by the Pharisees and Sadducees in Jerusalem. The Catholic Church grew large and claimed authority based on the ministry of Peter but suffered protest by Martin Luther over corruption. Luther’s protest brought deliverance from burdens upon the people with the church’s unjust demands. Through the protest of Luther many branches of Christian churches were formed allowing much more freedom to worship Christ and to live a life of spiritual freedom. Freedom came through the Protestant movement but it also brought the unfortunate medieval burning of women as witches in Europe and Salem, Virginia because of foolish religion. Belief in Christ has allowed churches to be established by men who were not always being led by God. People submitted to these ungodly men were often subjected to rules and behavior that were also ungodly, requiring deliverance from a cruel church or leader. Christ never promised our life would be easy or that one battle would bring pure liberty. Our life is a struggle against evil in many forms and at various times. Our struggle is ongoing and we must always be diligent in our watchfulness against evil attempts as forewarned in scripture:
But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived. (2Ti 3:13)
And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works. 2Co 11:14-15
We are living in a time today where church has gotten too big and too encroaching on the lives of believers. This was never Christ’s intention and He gave instructions for liberty rather than bondage. People are accustomed to having leaders instruct them in various areas of their lives. From the time of Moses, leaders were supposed to help people in making right choices and religious leaders were expected to provide righteous leadership for church, society, business and the home. We are in a time when righteousness does not always come from the pulpit and wickedness is being organized in religion and throughout our society. It is not unexpected because Jesus and His disciples warned us of it and the saints need to stand boldly. We are in need of another divine intervention in our churches and society. God requires all men to submit to the authority of the law and ultimately to God. Those that will not obey expose themselves as the rebellious.
In America, we have seen men leading the home but oftentimes women suffered abuse of various types because she had no rights. Women’s suffrages in America brought some liberty for women who were subjected to abuse from male authority in society. While church authority has helped in some homes, in others the church has failed to give proper guidance for the liberty of women in the church and misogyny has prevailed in society. Men support male positions and often do not want to see the female gain her liberty in Christ even though Gal. 3:28 makes it clear there is no physical identification of race or gender in Christ. A lot of progress has been made in America for the home, business and church but much more is needed. We have seen regression in America’s home and church settings because of ungodly men, greed, lust and power. (See my earlier writing: “The Unrestrained Nature of Man.”) When men are given opportunity, they will revert back to their basic instincts of getting what they want, when they want, and from whom they want to get it. There is a level of lawlessness in America today that mirrors the Wild, Wild West before civil society. Men prefer to be like John Wayne but Jesus Christ modeled the perfect male image for all men to follow. Jesus Christ was a manly man, strong when needed and gentle when appropriate.
A Check on Authority
Authority rarely checks itself. We see in the Godhead the agreement of God, the Father; God, the Son; and God, the Holy Ghost. They are all holy and agree as one but man has difficulty bringing holiness to his three-part being. The pleasure of man often overrules his deepest desire for order and righteousness. Just as Adam fell into sin along with his wife, men tend to fall into sin over pleasure with females and other lustful drives, i.e. money, fame, power. God gave woman in Adam’s life as a helpmeet and women can also help men to remember his goals when he is tempted to go astray; but the ego of men often overrules his wife and he continues on the fulfill his base instincts. Man was given the law and its consequences of “an eye for an eye” to persuade him against evil but then God in His mercy gave us grace instead. Man that does not obey grace proves the purpose of the law. When men unite in rebellion to do evil in the home, society, government and church; it is oftentimes God who has to overthrow man’s will as we have seen Him do throughout history, i.e. Tower of Babel, Greek Empire, Roman Empire, German Holocaust, Britain Tyrants and now American lawlessness. He who was first rebellious against God wants to lead all men to join him in the punishment of hell. The first man was told of ultimate authority and he must be reminded continuously because his nature is to rule by his instincts even when he has not trained or restrained his base desires. Where wives, other men, society or laws cannot restrain man; God ultimately will restrain him.
My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous… 1Jn 2:1