It is commonly said the righteous will live by faith. Abraham was credited with righteousness not because he was a perfect man but because he believed what God had spoken (Genesis 15:6; Romans 4:3; Galatians 3:6; James 2:23). With only a promise from God, Abraham was told to leave everything he knew; his country, his kindred, and his father’s household (Genesis 12:1-2). This is what makes a man righteous. Faith – the absence of doubt. Forsaking what you know and trusting in God. A righteous man has faith that God will deliver on his promises even when the promise appears to be impossible. For Abraham, it was the promise that his descendants would be as numerous as the stars (Genesis 15:5), even when he as an old man was told to sacrifice his son – the only heir to God’s fulfilled promise.
If we think of this in the broadest of terms, we can know that as individuals we are ultimately promised one of two futures. The first is a promise where those who have faith in Christ will be resurrected into eternal life (Revelation 2:7). The second is a promise where those who doubt and oppose Christ’s authority as King will be resurrected into death and forever separated from God (Matthew 25:30-46). One of these two futures will be granted to each and every one of us as a result of our obedience or disobedience to the Fathers perfect law of love (Matthew 25:45).
Christ’s promise states that evil will be removed from creation – forever. Our sins will be cast away as far as the east is from the west (Psalm 103:12), and the names of those who found pleasure in tyranny, subjugation, and the torture of God’s servants will not be found written in the book of life (Revelation 20:14-15). No amount of evil will enter the new heavens and new earth (Isaiah 65:17-25; 2 Peter 3:13; Revelation 21:1). We will be free to experience joy far beyond anything we are currently capable of understanding. Believe in God’s promise. That is faith. Faith that God will deliver us from this fallen world and usher us into paradise. It is so beautifully simple; all we really need to do is love God, love one another, and have faith in his resurrection power – along with everything true love and faith requires of us.
But how can we know the truth of our faith in a world where a multitude of religious organizations are all espousing salvation in Christ through different means and different works? Is Christ divided?
We are faced with mass deception in this world. It comes to us by way of our social institutions, by our religious ideologies, and by our governments. What many in the church fail to acknowledge is that our faith does not reside in these things. Especially not our corrupt and degenerate world leaders. We must understand, Christ never once instructed us to take up arms against tyranny or fight and protest in opposition to the governments of this fallen world, even if they are tyrannical. In fact, it is quite the opposite. We are instructed to love our enemies (Luke 6:35).
If we search the entire New Testament, we will find the only thing Christ, his apostles, and the many disciples were ever truly protesting was a false religion in the name of God – not a broken constitution in the name of earthly government. Christ was not preaching against Rome or Caesar. He was preaching against the false religious teachers in Israel. Think about it…
The religious leaders tried to trap Jesus with his own words. They hoped in vain that if they could somehow persuade Jesus to publicly denounce Caesar, Jesus would be in big trouble with the authorities. He would be sent to prison or killed and therefore would no longer be a threat to the Pharisees rule over the religious establishment (Mark 12:12-17; Luke 20:19-26). They questioned Jesus about paying tribute to Caesar (the government). Christ’s response was to tell the religious teachers to give to Caesar what belongs to Caesar. Jesus was not concerned at all about what Caesar was doing. Our precious Lord Jesus was only ever concerned about the trickeries of the false religious teachers. He then told the chief priests to give to God what belongs to God. Never once did Christ command his apostles to preach against the tyranny of Rome.
Then later, when our Lord was on trial for the sin of blasphemy, he was led before Pilate to be judged. We read that Pilate was afraid Jesus might in fact be who he claimed to be – the son of God (John 19:8). Pilate then asked Jesus where he came from (John 19:9). Jesus did not answer. Pilate then reminded Jesus “knowest thou not that I have power to crucify thee, and have power to release thee?” (John 19:10). Jesus then declared that Pilate’s “power” came from God… what Christ said next is exactly what we should find so striking.
“Jesus answered, Thou couldest have no power at all against me, except it were given thee from above: therefore he that delivered me unto thee hath the greater sin.” (John 19:11; emphasis in bold mine throughout this chapter)
Christ clearly stated that the false religious teachers have a greater sin than the ultimate tyranny of the Roman Empire. Why? Perhaps because the Romans were preaching false works in the name of false gods, while the religious teachers in Israel were performing false works in the name of the One True God. Which do you believe is a greater sin?
Protesting an earthly government to the point where the government is overthrown, will only lead to another earthly government. Taking pride in our earthly leaders and trying to change our corrupt governments is futile and irrelevant. Our King Yhowshua has established an eternal government ruled by God Almighty. It is His government and His laws that we should seek to know and continue to practice!
The tyranny in the western world and across the globe is only going to increase. The prophesies explain how these events must come to pass before a lasting peace is finally established. Dearly beloved of God, we have nothing to fear. Whether we meet our end at the hands of government tyranny, deadly religious extremists, or our bodies expire from old age, accident, or some mysterious virus, we should always remember this wonderful truth. Christ is concerned with our eternal souls, not our earthly passions, possessions, or transitory powers of government. For this purpose, we must deny this fallen world and adhere only to what our Lord and King has taught us to observe.
“He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches” (Revelation 3:22).
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