Church and State


John 18 [36] Jesus answered, My kingdom is not of this world: if My kingdom were of this world, then would My servants fight, that I should not be delivered to the Jews: but now is My kingdom not from hence.


            After His resurrection and right before Jesus ascended into heaven, His disciples asked Him if He was going to restore the Kingdom of Israel at that time.  In other words, the disciples were asking Jesus if He was going to take the Kingdom from the Roman government, who was then ruling over Israel, and give it back to the Jewish nation. (Acts 1:6)  Jesus responded by explaining that it was not for them to know when the Kingdom would be restored back to Israel because only God the Father knows the time and season of this (Acts 1:7).  After addressing the earthly aspect of His Kingdom, Jesus then turned their attention to the spiritual dimension of His Kingdom – the Church.  “But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you” (Acts 1:8). 


Acts 1 [6] When they therefore were come together, they asked of him, saying, Lord, wilt thou at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel? [7] And he said unto them, It is not for you to know the times or the seasons, which the Father hath put in his own power. [8] But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth. (emphasis added)



Christ’s Kingdom


            There is both a secular and a spiritual nature to the Kingdom that Jesus came to establish.  Acts 1:6 above refers to the secular Kingdom of Christ, a Kingdom to be established on the earth.  In Acts 1:8, Jesus is referring to the spiritual nature of His Kingdom, which was to manifest through the Church and was realized on the Day of Pentecost when the disciples were filled with and empowered by the Holy Spirit (Acts 2:1-4).     


Acts 3 [6] Then Peter said, Silver and gold have I none; but such as I have give I thee: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth rise up and walk.


 Not by the power of the disciples, but by the power that Jesus Christ spoke of in Acts 1:8 and in His name people were beginning to be healed.  The power of the Holy Spirit that was now manifesting through the Church began to get the attention of the men of Israel.  This power opened the door for the disciples to give the Gospel of Jesus Christ not only to unbelievers, but to the very men of Israel who were influenced by the religious leaders to turn Jesus over to Pilate (Acts 2:22-23; Acts 3:11-16) , yet who now were astonished at the miracles they were currently witnessing.  Many of these men who heard the message of the Gospel believed.  (Acts 2:37; Acts 4:4) 


It was after they were filled with the Holy Spirit that Peter was able to explain to the men of Israel that the earthly Kingdom to be established by their Messiah, as promised in the Old Testament, was yet to be established.  The delay came because the Nation of Israel had not only rejected the Messiah, but had turned Him over to be crucified by the very civil government from which they wanted to be delivered.  Further, the Messiah’s earthly Kingdom would not be established until the Nation of Israel turned back to the LORD and repented.  Then and only then would God the Father send Jesus Christ back to them.  (Acts 3:12-26)[1] 


Matt 23 [37] 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! [38] Behold, your house is left unto you desolate. [39] 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.


Therefore, when the Nation of Israel repents and turns back to the LORD, Jesus Christ will return and establish His Kingdom, which will be the millennial reign of Christ.  Until then, all nations throughout the Church Age will be under the authority of a civil government.  It is to this authority, wherever we are living, which we are told to submit (Romans 13).



The Civil Government


Can anything good come from the civil government?  The answer is yes, as we will see below.  However, why would the LORD command us to submit to a Civil Government made up principally of unbelievers?  The reason lies with the heart.


According to Romans 2:14-15, all men, whether they are believers or unbelievers, have the requirements of the Law written upon their hearts and their conscience bears witness to that Law.   Therefore, even those unbelievers who make America’s laws know right from wrong just as the Christian does.  The unbeliever is equally equipped to make just laws accordingly. 


While a Christian has a spiritual understanding of the Law, the unbeliever has only a secular understanding.  However, even though the unbeliever doesn’t know who God is or His divine nature, he still knows right from wrong.  This secular understanding of the Law instills within the unbeliever a desire to live in a society governed by laws that produce an environment that is neither chaotic nor overrun by those who have a law unto their own. 


Because God wrote the Law on his heart, the unbelieving law maker can apply this when making laws that protect our society.  Whether the understanding of the Law on someone’s heart is from his knowledge of Scripture or simply from his sense of right and wrong (i.e., his conscience), the important thing is that in either situation, the understanding is from the LORD and for His purposes.


Since the Christian has a spiritual understanding of the Law, those Christians who become lawmakers within the civil government need to understand their accountability.  First of all, he needs to make sure that there is a Scriptural basis for becoming a lawmaker and second, if he chooses to become a lawmaker, he has the responsibility to make laws that please the LORD and not his constituents. 



The Christian and Civil Government 


What is the relationship of the Christian with the civil government according to the Bible?  In Scripture, there are four specific responsibilities of each and every Christian with regard to civil government:  to pray for our leaders, submit and honor our leaders, distinguish between secular and spiritual matters giving each its due and not sue our fellow Christians in civil court.


1.  Pray for our civil leaders: 

1Timothy 2 [1] I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men; [2] For kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty. [3] For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour;


2.  Submit and show honor to the secular leaders: 

Romans 13 [1] 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. [2] Whosoever therefore resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance of God: and they that resist shall receive to themselves damnation. [3] For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to the evil. Wilt thou then not be afraid of the power? do that which is good, and thou shalt have praise of the same: [4] For he is the minister of God to thee for good. But if thou do that which is evil, be afraid; for he beareth not the sword in vain: for he is the minister of God, a revenger to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil. [5] Wherefore ye must needs be subject, not only for wrath, but also for conscience sake. [6] For for this cause pay ye tribute also: for they are God's ministers, attending continually upon this very thing. [7] Render therefore to all their dues: tribute to whom tribute is due; custom to whom custom; fear to whom fear; honour to whom honour. [8] Owe no man any thing, but to love one another: for he that loveth another hath fulfilled the law.


1 Peter 2[13] Submit yourselves to every ordinance of man for the Lord's sake: whether it be to the king, as supreme; [14] Or unto governors, as unto them that are sent by him for the punishment of evildoers, and for the praise of them that do well. [15] For so is the will of God, that with well doing ye may put to silence the ignorance of foolish men: [16] As free, and not using your liberty for a cloak of maliciousness, but as the servants of God. [17] Honour all men. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honour the king. [18] Servants, be subject to your masters with all fear; not only to the good and gentle, but also to the froward.


Titus 3 [1] Put them in mind to be subject to principalities and powers, to obey magistrates, to be ready to every good work,  


3.  Distinguish between spiritual and secular matters and give each its due: 

Matthew 22 [17] Tell us therefore, What thinkest thou? Is it lawful to give tribute unto Caesar, or not? [18] But Jesus perceived their wickedness, and said, Why tempt ye me, ye hypocrites? [19] Shew me the tribute money. And they brought unto him a penny. [20] And he saith unto them, Whose is this image and superscription? [21] They say unto him, Caesar's. Then saith he unto them, Render therefore unto Caesar the things which are Caesar's; and unto God the things that are God's. (emphasis added)


4.  Refrain from taking fellow Christians to civil court with issues that can be resolved within the church congregation: 

1 Corinthians 6 [1] Does any of you dare, when he has a matter of complaint against another [brother], to go to law before unrighteous men [men neither upright nor right with God, laying it before them] instead of before the saints (the people of God)?  [4] If then you do have such cases of everyday life to decide, why to you appoint [as judges to lay them before] those who [from the standpoint] of the church count for least and are without standing?  [5] I say this to move you to shame.  Can it be that there really is not one man among you who [in action is governed by piety and integrity and] is wise and competent enough to decide [the private grievances, disputes, and quarrels] between members of the brotherhood.  [6] But brother goes to law against brother, and that before [Gentile judges who are] unbelievers [without faith or trust in the Gospel of Christ]?  [7] Why, the very fact of your having lawsuits with one another at all is a defeat (a defeat, an evidence of positive moral loss for you).  Why not rather let yourselves suffer wrong and be deprived of what is your due?  Why not rather be cheated (defrauded and robbed)?  [8] But [instead it is you] yourselves who wrong and defraud, and that even your own brethren [by so treating them]!   (Amplified Bible)


In this last point, Paul is not speaking about criminal, but civil law.  In criminal cases, the Christian places himself under the civil government by breaking the law of the land.  (Romans 13)


Christian Lawmakers and Judges


            None of the above four responsibilities of Christians towards civil government involve the Christian serving as a lawmaker or judge.  The question then becomes, is it permissible or advisable for a Christian to hold these offices?  What does Scripture say about this matter?  What are the advantages and disadvantages of holding these offices? 


All things are permissible – but not all things are profitable:


1 Corinthians 10 [23] All things are lawful for me, but all things are not expedient: all things are lawful for me, but all things edify not.


We know from Scripture that we are to submit to the civil government without rendering to the civil government those things that belong to God.  Scripture does not specifically forbid us from voting or holding public office; however, I believe that even though all things are permissible, that to do either is not necessarily profitable.  While some Christians say that Scripture remains silent on these issues, actually it does not.  We are to use Scripture to discern those things in the natural realm, not the other way around.  In other words, we are to use Scripture to understand the Christian’s responsibility and his relationship with the civil government.


What Scripture reveals concerning the civil government in the New Testament can be applied throughout the Church age regardless how the civil government operates.  For example, while America’s government leaders are elected, the civil government leaders during Paul’s time were appointed.  Irrespective of the type of government operation, there are four Scriptural principles that can be applied to Christians and the civil government: 1) the civil government is comprised primarily of unbelievers, 2) we are to be ambassadors for Christ at all times, 3) political correctness leads to compromise, and 4) Christian accountability.   


1. Government of Unbelievers.  First, notice in 1Cor 6:1-8 above concerning believers taking fellow believers to civil court that Paul made no reference to Christian magistrates or Christian men being part of the civil government - his only reference was to unrighteous men when he spoke about the civil court system.  In other words, the courts were made up entirely of unbelievers.  Furthermore, Paul never encouraged nor made it church doctrine for Christians to serve as lawmakers because he understood that the civil government was just that – a government made up of unbelievers.   Paul would rather us to suffer harm than for Christians to take other Christians to the civil courts to settle matters before the heathen.  


 If the legal system is made up of unbelieving men, then why do Christians justify serving as lawmakers, judges or jurors when there is no law that demands that we do this?   Even though Romans 2 reveals that pagans know right from wrong for the same reason that Christians do (because the LORD has written it on all our hearts), keep in mind the unbeliever only understands what God has written on his heart from a secular standpoint and not from the spiritual perspective of a Christian.  Therefore, how can the unbeliever make Godly decisions concerning non-criminal issues that involve Christians?  


1 Corinthians 2 [14] But the natural, non-spiritual man does not accept or welcome or admit into his heart the gifts and teachings and relations of the Spirit of God, for they are folly (meaningless nonsense) to him; and he is incapable of knowing them (of progressively recognizing, understanding, and becoming better acquainted with them) because they are spiritually discerned and estimated and appreciated.  [15] But the spiritual man tries all things [he examines, investigates, inquires into, questions, and discerns all things], yet is himself to be put on trial and judged by no one [he can read the meaning of everything, but no one can properly discern or appraise or get an insight into him].  [16] For who has known or understood the mind (the counsels and purposes) of the Lord so as to guide and instruct Him and give Him knowledge?  But we have the mind of Christ (the Messiah) and do hold the thoughts (feelings and purposes) of His heart.  (Amplified Bible)


According to secular law, as a juror I would be allowed to pray only as long as my prayer did not affect my decision whether a person was guilty or not guilty.  Therefore, if I am called to serve on jury duty, I have the right to tell a court that I believe to do so would be against my beliefs because, as a Christian, I would automatically seek the LORD for revelation surrounding any court case.  Too many innocent people are in prison because of eye witness testimonies that have been false – had the LORD being sought, the innocent would have not been found guilty. 


            2. Ambassadors of Christ.  What about the Christians who currently hold public office here in America?  Paul was an Ambassador for Christ in every situation regardless of the circumstances.  Are these people Ambassadors for Christ as was Paul[2] or do they bring shame to the Gospel?


2 Peter 2 [2] And many will follow their immoral ways and lascivious doings; because of them the true Way will be maligned and defamed.  (Amplified Bible) or


2 Peter 2 [2] Many will follow their shameful ways and will bring the way of truth into disrepute.  (NIV)


From the President’s office on down, the public is aware of Christians who commit adultery, cheat, steal, betray, lie and so on.  We are to be a witness unto Jesus Christ - we are to be His ambassadors and are not to bring shame to His name.  Christian politicians should not be going to the High Places of foreign nations or entering the temples of their pagan gods.  This type of behavior would be understandable for a politician who is of the world, but unacceptable for a Christian.  Paul and Jesus Christ never conducted themselves in this manner when dealing with the civil government, let alone in their own personal lives.


3. Political Correctness and Compromise.  The concept of politically correctness (i.e., doing and saying what is politically popular or expedient) is a secular characteristic and one that I would expect from civil government.  But, it is not to be the mind set of a Christian.  To be politically correct, more often than not, requires people to compromise their beliefs in order not to offend some in their constituency.  How many Christians who hold public office can identify with being politically correct?  


It’s obvious that Christian lawmakers work closely with non-believers when drafting or voting on laws.  However, who is influencing whom?  Unfortunately, I believe the Christian is more influenced by the non-believer than vice versa.  According to Scripture, the “good character” of the Christian who knows correct doctrine can be corrupted by the “bad company” of those who do not hold onto correct doctrine.  In other words, the bad company can have a negative effect on the character and morals of the believer.


1 Corinthians 15 [33] Do not be so deceived and misled!  Evil companionships (communion, associations) corrupt and deprave good manners and morals and character.  [34] Awake [from your drunken stupor and return] to sober sense and your right minds, and sin no more.  For some of you have not the knowledge of God [you are utterly and willfully and disgracefully ignorant, and continue to be so, lacking the sense of God’s presence and all true knowledge of Him].  I say this to your shame.  (Amplified Bible)


Christians who serve as politicians are of at least two different natures.  One is of a carnal or worldly nature.  The other is of those who are not necessarily carnal or worldly, but, I believe, are misguided.  The carnal Christian like the unbeliever will not be able to discern the difference between the spiritual and the natural.


1 Corinthians 3 [1] And I, brethren, could not speak unto you as unto spiritual, but as unto carnal, even as unto babes in Christ.   [3] For ye are yet carnal: for whereas there is among you envying, and strife, and divisions, are ye not carnal, and walk as men?


Unfortunately, there is envy, strife and divisions among both types.  Their actions reveal that they are living more of a natural life than walking according to the spirit.  The carnal Christian, even though he has his salvation, will continue to keep one foot in the world, which makes it hard to walk according to the spirit.  Regardless of what Scripture reveals about the civil government, he will discern those Scriptures according to his own way of thinking, which is carnal. 


1 Corinthians 3 [18] Let no man deceive himself. If any man among you seemeth to be wise in this world, let him become a fool, that he may be wise. 


4. Christian accountability.  With spiritual understanding comes spiritual accountability.  (Luke 12:47-48)  A Christian, yes, even a Christian politician is required to “Do what the Word says and not just merely listen to the Word”: 


James 1 [22] But be doers of the Word [obey the message], and not merely listeners to it, betraying yourselves [into deception by reasoning contrary to the Truth].  (Amplified Bible)


            Romans 2 reveals that pagans know right from wrong for the same reason that Christians do:  the LORD has written it on all our hearts and has equipped each of us with a conscience to carry out that law.  Romans 2 also reveals that each of us have the choice as to how we will respond to what is written on our hearts, which explains why some unbelievers keep the law, why some believers don’t keep the law, and why some Christian lawmakers make laws contrary to what please the LORD.


            For example, 1 Corinthians 5:1 reveals that some Christians commit sins that even unbelievers condemn.  Sadly, verse 2 reveals that they are even “proud” of their sexual immorality:


1 Corinthians 5 [1] It is actually reported that there is sexual immorality among you, impurity of a sort that is condemned and does not occur even among the heathen; for a man has [his own] father’s wife.  [2] And you are proud and arrogant!  And you ought rather to morun (bow in sorrow and in shame) until the person who has done this [shameful] thing is removed from your fellowship and your midst! (Amplified Bible)


Making a Difference


The only distinction between the civil government today and that during Paul’s time is that many of today’s Christians believe that they can make a difference if they serve as lawmakers.  However, this is not a Biblical principal.  


I want to point out that while some Christians believe that Christians should be elected to the Senate and Congress, personally I cannot find a Scriptural reference.  What I have observed is that those who profess to be Christian lawmakers are really no different than those who are not Christians.  The Christian lawmaker, like all lawmakers, will vote according to what his constituents want. 


Sadly, according to the 2008 news articles, many of the presidential candidates for the upcoming election year have hired people to advise them as to the best approach to winning the Christian’s vote.  They are devising secular strategies to develop a Christian identity when they should be consulting the LORD and Scripture. 


These Christian lawmakers do not have the spiritual understanding that they are not rendering to God those things that are God’s nor are they rendering to Caesar those things that belong to Caesar.   Instead they are stumbling blocks to other Christians and are misrepresenting God.


Our ways and our thoughts are not the ways and thoughts of the LORD.  What about those Christians who believe that the LORD has opened the door for them to be a Christian politician?  The answer is simple, the LORD would never lead us in a way contrary to Scripture.    Scripture is the light unto our path.  Just as Scripture is clear that the courts are made up of heathens and that the government is civil, then we would have a clear Scriptural basis for Christians to enter politics if that was the will of God.


            However, 1 Corinthians 7:17-24 reveals that we are to continue in the situation we are in when God calls us into the Kingdom.  In other words, if an unbeliever is a politician at the time he or she accepts Jesus as their Savior, then they are allowed to remain in that position as a politician.  However, when they are in a position to be freed (e.g., their term expires), they should avail themselves of the opportunity to free themselves from their political role.


1 Corinthians 7 [17] But as God hath distributed to every man, as the Lord hath called every one, so let him walk.  And so ordain I in all churches. [18]  Is any man called being circumcised? Let him not become uncircumcised.  Is any called in uncircumcision? Let him not be circumcised.  [19] Circumcision is nothing, and uncircumcision is nothing, but the keeping of the commandments of God.  [20] Let every man abide in the same calling wherein he was called.  [21] Art thou called being a servant? Care not for it: but if thou mayest be made free, use it rather.  [22] For he that is called in the Lord, being a servant, is the Lord’s freeman: likewise also he that is called, being free, is Christ’s servant.  [23] Ye are bought with a price; be not ye the servants of men.  [24] Brethren, let every man, wherein he is called, therein abide with God.


I believe that there are many Christian lawmakers who really believe that they can make a difference and it is good that they have that in their heart; as the LORD told David, he did well to have it in his heart to build a temple for the LORD, nonetheless he would not be the one to do so (1 Kings 8:17-19).


Proverbs 22 [24]  Do not make friends with a hot-tempered man, Do not associate with one easily angered, [25] or you may learn his ways And get yourself ensnared.


Do not be misled:  bad company corrupts good character.  Many lawmakers, including carnal Christians, are unethical, worldly and politically correct and it is with those lawmakers that other Christian politicians become ensnared.  Given that the civil government during Jesus and Paul’s ministry was made up of unbelievers and pagans, I am not surprised to find commonalities between their government and that of America’s civil government.  What does surprise me is the involvement of Christians who are behaving no differently than the unbeliever. 


The point I want to make is that a Christian politician does not make any more of a difference in a civil government than that of an unbeliever.  Not until Jesus Christ returns will a righteous government be established.  In fact, it was Chief Justice Roger B. Taney, a Catholic believer, with his written opinion in the Dred Scott case who added the fuel to the fire that ensured a Civil War in America.  [see section:  Church and State:  Supreme Court and Chief Justice Taney]


The common myth is that participating in government is our patriotic duty.  While that may be the world’s way of thinking, it clearly was not the mindset of Paul.  According to Scripture, we are to follow the example of Paul as he follows the example of Jesus Christ.


1 Corinthians 11 [1] Pattern yourselves after me [follow my example], as I imitate and follow Christ (the Messiah).  (Amplified Bible)


Philippians 3 [17] Brethren, together follow my example and observe those who live after the pattern we have set for you.  (Amplified Bible)


Given that we can follow the example of Paul who follows the example of Jesus Christ, then the way that they both conducted themselves in their relationship with the civil government, whether being falsely accused or submitting on a daily basis to the civil laws that were designed for their protection as well as for the unbeliever, is the manner in which we are to behave.  I would suggest that all Christians study the Scriptures and see for themselves how Paul and Jesus Christ conducted themselves when faced with the civil government so that they could follow their example not only in regards to the civil government but in all things.



Manipulation of the Civil Government by the Religious Community


The Jewish nation had long awaited prophecy to be fulfilled concerning the coming of their Messiah.  For when He came He would establish His earthly kingdom – a righteous kingdom that would replace the oppressive Roman government that they were under.  However, the religious leaders rejected Jesus Christ and instead had Him crucified by the very civil government that they wanted to be delivered from.  Why?  Simply put, the religious leaders were envious of Jesus and placed their interests above the Lord establishing his Kingdom.  Therefore, until Christ returns at His second coming and establishes His Kingdom we will all be required to submit to the civil government in our respective countries.   However, this has not stopped the religious community from trying to manipulate the civil government.


We know that there is nothing new under the sun – what has been will be again.  Some religious leaders of today[3] manipulate the civil government just as the Sanhedrin manipulated the Roman government to sentence Jesus to death by crucifixion.  Interestingly, the civil government of Rome did not want to become involved in Jewish religious matters and gave the Jewish leaders the authority to deal with such issues.  Similarly, there have been times when our own government has not wanted to make rulings concerning matters of faith, but have found themselves in a position whereby they were forced to take some type of action. 


John 18 [31] Then said Pilate unto them, Take ye him, and judge him according to your law. The Jews therefore said unto him, It is not lawful for us to put any man to death: (emphasis added)


We know that the Jewish leaders lied when they said they did not have laws whereby they put people to death.  For example, they stoned Stephen (Acts 7), not to mention that they wanted to stone the adulterous woman and would have had Jesus not come to her rescue (Act 8).  Furthermore, they had attempted on several occasions to stone Jesus as well and would have, had He not escaped for His hour was not yet come. (John 8:59; John 10:31, 33, 39; John 7:30)


There are several Scriptures, however, that reveal that because they were afraid of the people who followed Jesus, their strategy was to take the focus off their religious leaders and place the focus on the Roman government whom the people of Israel all hated anyway.  The religious leaders were able to manipulate and intimidate Pilate by threatening him with high treason himself if he did not sentence Jesus to be crucified. 


John 19 [12] And from thenceforth Pilate sought to release him: but the Jews cried out, saying, If thou let this man go, thou art not Caesar's friend: whosoever maketh himself a king speaketh against Caesar. [16] Then delivered he him therefore unto them to be crucified. And they took Jesus, and led him away.


Likewise, the Roman government did not want to be bothered with the affairs of the Jewish religious leaders when they wanted to rid themselves of the apostle Paul. 


Acts 18 [12] And when Gallio was the deputy of Achaia, the Jews made insurrection with one accord against Paul, and brought him to the judgment seat, [13] Saying, This fellow persuadeth men to worship God contrary to the law. [14] And when Paul was now about to open his mouth, Gallio said unto the Jews, If it were a matter of wrong or wicked lewdness, O ye Jews, reason would that I should bear with you: [15] But if it be a question of words and names, and of your law, look ye to it; for I will be no judge of such matters. [16] And he drave them from the judgment seat. (emphasis added)


It’s clear from verse 15 that the Roman government did not want to become involved with religious matters that did not involve them.  However, just because one Roman government official refused to hear the Jews case against Paul doesn’t mean that they were going to give up that easily.  Paul was relentlessly harassed by the Jewish religious leaders who were constantly accusing him before the Roman government.  At one point the Roman government had even placed Paul under house arrest for two years basically because they didn’t know what to do with him. Why did Paul take his case to Caesar? 


Acts 28 [16] And when we came to Rome, the centurion delivered the prisoners to the captain of the guard: but Paul was suffered to dwell by himself with a soldier that kept him. [17] And it came to pass, that after three days Paul called the chief of the Jews together: and when they were come together, he said unto them, Men and brethren, though I have committed nothing against the people, or customs of our fathers, yet was I delivered prisoner from Jerusalem into the hands of the Romans. [18] Who, when they had examined me, would have let me go, because there was no cause of death in me. [19] But when the Jews spake against it, I was constrained to appeal unto Caesar; not that I had ought to accuse my nation of. [20] For this cause therefore have I called for you, to see you, and to speak with you: because that for the hope of Israel I am bound with this chain. (emphasis added)


In verses 19-20 Paul wanted to make it clear to those Jews living in Rome that he had nothing against the Jewish Nation.  He explained to them that the Jews who lived in Jerusalem objected when the Roman government found nothing that would support their false accusations against him.  Therefore, he felt he had no other choice except to appeal to Caesar.


There are numerous situations here in America when some Christians have blamed the government for their role in some religious matter when in fact the focus should be placed on the religious community.  We need to understand that some in the religious establishment will hide behind the government when they can, to further their own agendas.


Just as the religious leaders in Biblical days manipulated the civil government to promote their own personal agendas, interests and beliefs, some of the religious leaders in today’s societies will do likewise.  Beware, some religious leaders will also manipulate the civil government to persecute the true Christian who is committed to the LORD in such a way that we as Christians will only see the government’s role. 


Keep in mind that Satan will use the same strategy over and over again.  Part of the Sanhedrin’s strategy when they delivered Jesus Christ to Pilate was that they didn’t want a riot on their own hands.  If there was a riot, they wanted the Roman government to be the focus of that riot. 


The Sanhedrin and the Roman Government:


The Plot:  Put the focus on the civil government and not themselves.  The Jewish religious leaders knew that many people believed in Jesus; therefore, their plot was to find some way to entrap Jesus whereby they could deliver him up to the civil government and have the Roman government crucify Him.[4]   


The Civil Government:  Matthew 27:18 reveals that Pilate knew that the Jewish religious leaders delivered Jesus Christ to him because of envy.  Verse 20 reveals that it was the same religious leaders that influenced the Jewish people to demand Pilate to crucify Jesus.[5]


Some, not all, religious leaders will continue to manipulate the civil government to protect their own personal agendas, interests and beliefs and persecute those Christians who are committed to the LORD.  At the same time, Satan will use the religious lawmakers as tools to bring about his own agenda, just as he used the Sanhedrin when they took their false accusations about Jesus to the civil government.    Not only do they use their religion to further their own political agenda, they are adept at manipulating the civil government to protect and promote their own religious beliefs and agendas while making it appear beneficial for all. 


Satan’s Strategy and the Civil Government:  What has been, will be again, there is nothing new under the sun.  This is not a new concept - it is a strategy that the enemy has worked through since Biblical times.  The enemy is not threatened by “Secular Religion” because those in secular religion will protect their own interests – they are not “Ambassadors for Christ”.  Again, Satan will use secular religious leaders who are lawmakers or everyday people who want to take their agenda to the courts as his tools to further his own agenda as well.


To protect their own religious interests and agenda, the Jewish religious leaders manipulated the civil government to order the crucifixion of Jesus Christ.  They also manipulated the same civil government to imprison Paul.  What I find interesting is that in both situations the civil government really did not want to be involved with either situation because they felt their religious matters should be settled among themselves. From what I have seen, Christians are still taking church matters to the government to settle when Scripture tells us to settle our matters within the Church.  In other words, we as Christians have no right to complain about the government’s involvement in religious matters when we feel our rights have been violated.  In fact, Scripture tells us to pray for them.  If we as Christians prayed for our civil leaders and let the LORD fight our battles instead, I don’t believe that we would have the legal problems that we do within the Body of Christ. 


The Religious Establishment worked through the Civil Government to persecute Jesus Christ: 


1.  Their Religious Beliefs were threatened by the Gospel of Jesus Christ:

      [So it is today, many religious groups are threatened by the Gospel of Jesus Christ and are demanding equality for religious freedom at the Government level]


Luke 23 [3] And Pilate asked him, saying, Art thou the King of the Jews? And he answered him and said, Thou sayest it. [4] Then said Pilate to the chief priests and to the people, I find no fault in this man. [5] And they were the more fierce, saying, He stirreth up the people, teaching throughout all Jewry, beginning from Galilee to this place. (emphasis added)


2.  The Jewish Religious Leaders were Envious of Jesus and those who Followed Him:

      [Even among the various Christian denominations we find one group envious of the other]


Mark 15 [9] But Pilate answered them, saying, Will ye that I release unto you the King of the Jews? [10] For he knew that the chief priests had delivered him for envy.  (emphasis added)


3.   Pilate, Delivered Jesus up to death after being Manipulated and Threatened by  the Jewish Religious Leaders


 Mark 15 [14] Then Pilate said unto them, Why, what evil hath he done? And they cried out the more exceedingly, Crucify him.  [15] And so Pilate, willing to content the people, released Barabbas unto them, and delivered Jesus, when he had scourged him, to be crucified. (emphasis added)


4.  Then there were those who were afraid of confessing their faith in Jesus for fear of loosing their praise from men.

      [Even so today, many Christians, once they step outside the Church doors, are reluctant to be a witness unto Jesus Christ.]


John 12 [42] Nevertheless among the chief rulers also many believed on him; but because of the Pharisees they did not confess him, lest they should be put out of the synagogue: [43] For they loved the praise of men more than the praise of God.


The Religious Establishment worked through the Civil Government to persecute Paul:


1.  Their Religious Beliefs were threatened by the Gospel of Jesus Christ:

      [So it is today, many religious groups are threatened by the Gospel of Jesus Christ 

      and are demanding equality for religious freedom at the Government level]


     Acts 18 [12] And when Gallio was the deputy of Achaia, the Jews made insurrection with one accord against Paul, and brought him to the judgment seat, [13] Saying, This fellow persuadeth men to worship God contrary to the law. (emphasis added)


Acts 24 [15] And after five days Ananias the high priest descended with the elders, and with a certain orator named Tertullus, who informed the governor against Paul. [2] And when he was called forth, Tertullus began to accuse him, saying, Seeing that by thee we enjoy great quietness, and that very worthy deeds are done unto this nation by thy providence, [3] We accept it always, and in all places, most noble Felix, with all thankfulness. [4] Notwithstanding, that I be not further tedious unto thee, I pray thee that thou wouldest hear us of thy clemency a few words. [5] For we have found this man a pestilent fellow, and a mover of sedition among all the Jews throughout the world, and a ringleader of the sect of the Nazarenes: [10] Then Paul, after that the governor had beckoned unto him to speak, answered, Forasmuch as I know that thou hast been of many years a judge unto this nation, I do the more cheerfully answer for myself: [11] Because that thou mayest understand, that there are yet but twelve days since I went up to Jerusalem for to worship. [12] And they neither found me in the temple disputing with any man, neither raising up the people, neither in the synagogues, nor in the city: [13] Neither can they prove the things whereof they now accuse me. [14] But this I confess unto thee, that after the way which they call heresy, so worship I the God of my fathers, believing all things which are written in the law and in the prophets: [15] And have hope toward God, which they themselves also allow, that there shall be a resurrection of the dead, both of the just and unjust. (emphasis added)


2.  Jewish Religious Leaders, Envious of Paul, consistent with their strategy, caused an uproar but made it appear that Paul was responsible for the uproar:


Acts 17 [2] And Paul, as his manner was, went in unto them, and three sabbath days reasoned with them out of the scriptures, [3] Opening and alleging, that Christ must needs have suffered, and risen again from the dead; and that this Jesus, whom I preach unto you, is Christ. [4] And some of them believed, and consorted with Paul and Silas; and of the devout Greeks a great multitude, and of the chief women not a few.  [5] But the Jews which believed not, moved with envy, took unto them certain lewd fellows of the baser sort, and gathered a company, and set all the city on an uproar, and assaulted the house of Jason, and sought to bring them out to the people. [6] And when they found them not, they drew Jason and certain brethren unto the rulers of the city, crying, These that have turned the world upside down are come hither also; [7] Whom Jason hath received: and these all do contrary to the decrees of Caesar, saying that there is another king, one Jesus. [8] And they troubled the people and the rulers of the city, when they heard these things. [9] And when they had taken security of Jason, and of the other, they let them go. (emphasis added)


3.  Felix left Paul in Prison to show Favor to the Jewish Religious Leaders

     [Even Political Leaders today show one another favor, even when they know that what they are doing is wrong]


 Acts 24 [27] But after two years Porcius Festus came into Felix' room: and Felix, willing to shew the Jews a pleasure, left Paul bound.



Proper Church and State Relationships


Scripture tells us to render unto Caesar the things which are Caesar’s and what’s more, render unto God the things that are God’s.  However, we are not to render unto Caesar those things that belong to God.


Matthew 22 [17] Tell us therefore, What thinkest thou? Is it lawful to give tribute unto Caesar, or not? [18] But Jesus perceived their wickedness, and said, Why tempt ye me, ye hypocrites? [19] Shew me the tribute money. And they brought unto him a penny. [20] And he saith unto them, Whose is this image and superscription? [21] They say unto him, Caesar's. Then saith he unto them, Render therefore unto Caesar the things which are Caesar's; and unto God the things that are God's.



The Church:               The LORD is Head of the Church


The Church is for the believer and guidelines, keeping in line with God’s laws, were set down by the Apostle Paul as to how the Church is to govern and conduct themselves.


The Church is to judge Church matters.   However, according to Scripture, Christians are not to judge the unbeliever.  1 Corinthians 5:12-13 reveals that the Church is to exercise “spiritual discipline” when relevant over those believers in their specific congregations; however, the Church is not to judge unbelievers.


1 Corinthians 5 [12] What business is it of mine to judge those outside the church?  Are you not to judge those inside?  [13] God will judge those outside. “ Expel the wicked man from among you.” (NIV)


In other words, not only is the civil government not called to be the spiritual leaders of the Church – the Church is not called to be the spiritual leaders of the civil government!  However, the Church will judge unbelievers when Christ returns!


1 Corinthians 6 [1] If any of you has a dispute with another, dare he take it before the ungodly for judgment instead of before the saints?  [2] Do you not know that the saints will judge the world?  And if you are to judge the world, are you not competent to judge trivial cases? (NIV)


Matthew 19 [28] And Jesus said unto them, Verily I say unto you, That ye which have followed me, in the regeneration when the Son of man shall sit in the throne of his glory, ye also shall sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.


                                    Spiritual Leaders:       All leaders must be Christians


The Government:       Like the Church, the LORD is head of the Government


As long as evil exists there will be a need for secular authority.


The Government was established for both the believer and the unbeliever so that we can live together in a society that is not chaotic with a law unto its own.  While secular laws are not to replace God’s laws, they are for the protection and benefit of both the believer and the unbeliever.


To submit to the civil government and to honor the King (Romans 13, 1 Peter 2:13-17, Titus 3:1, Matthew 22:17-21) means to be a law abiding citizen


Civil Leaders:             Caesar was an unbeliever.  Though the King or civil leaders may not be believers – nonetheless. the civil government is of the LORD.


                                    Spiritual Leaders:       Where is the Scriptural Basis?



Separation of Church and State


·         One should not rule over the other. 

·         We are to have a proper relationship with the state whereby we submit to their “civil authority” yet not compromise our beliefs with laws they have passed that are contrary to God’s commands.

·         We are to render unto the State the things that are the State’s

·         We are to render unto God those things that are God’s

o   However, we are not to render unto the State those things that belong to God

o   My loyalty and obedience to the LORD’s commands is first and foremost

·         Neither the Church nor the State should come under the authority of the other as far as being the “Head”

o   The State should not make laws governing Church doctrine or make laws that lead the Church and Christian into sin.  Those kings and emperors who instituted doctrine, traditions, etc. as part of church worship that did not line up with Scripture – overstepped their boundaries.  We are to worship the Lord according to Scripture – not man.

o   Neither should the Church make laws that govern the sinner as has been attempted.  The Church is to judge themselves – not the outside.  Those Christians who have persecuted non-Christians because they did not keep the Commandments of God over stepped their boundaries. 

·         Even though one should not be the head over the other, both are accountable to the LORD.

·         As Christians, we are to obey all civil laws that do not require us to sin against God.

·         To honor the King and submit to the civil authority (Romans 13 & 1 Peter 2:13-17) means to be a law-abiding citizen



No separation of Church and State


·         The LORD established both and He is the Head of both

o   He is the Head of the Church

o   And the Government rests on His shoulder’s (Isaiah 9)

·         Because of sin in the world, the LORD established the government to ensure law and order in society.  Keeping in mind that many Christians, like the unbeliever, continue in sin and constantly break the law, we too, like the unbeliever are to obey the government for that reason.

·         The unbeliever needs protection as well as the believer.

·         As Christians, we are to obey all civil laws that do not require us to sin against God. 


Isaiah 9 reveals to us that “the Government rests on the Shoulders of Jesus Christ” [6]


Furthermore, according to Romans 13:1-7, human government was ordained and established by the LORD to enforce law and order according to the Biblical principles that are in agreement with His Word – the Scriptures.  According to 1 Peter 2:13-17 we are to honor the King.


However, boundaries for the State have been established by the Lord.  In other words, the government or state is not to interfere with the doctrine of the Church.  The state does not have the right to become the head of the Church and replace Church doctrine with the state’s doctrine.  Those things that we render unto God belong to God and God alone.  Likewise, those things that we are to render unto Caesar, as a Church we should not interfere with.


“Moral laws” or “civil laws” doesn’t mean that they are “righteous laws.  They are simply laws that provide guidelines to ensure the peace and welfare of law abiding citizens.  Even though they aren’t righteous laws - they are laws that don’t cause us to sin.  However, we are not to be influenced by the laws made by man when they are apart from God, calling good evil and evil good; rather we are to be obedient to God’s commandments. 


Acts 5 [29] Then Peter and the other apostles answered and said, We ought to obey God rather than men.  Acts 4 [19] But Peter and John answered and said unto them, Whether it be right in the sight of God to hearken unto you more than unto God, judge ye.


For example, abortion is one such law that has been passed calling good what the LORD calls evil.   Abortion in the eyes of the LORD is murder; however, in the eyes of man it is considered “A Choice”.  The LORD will not override our own free will; however, He will often reveal to us that we need to redirect our footsteps.  Still yet, it is man’s decision whether he chooses to change direction or not. 


While it is true that “abortion is a choice”, it is also a Biblical truth that there is a consequence because of that choice.  Man’s laws will never replace Biblical principles.  One such Biblical principle is that God will not be mocked and that we reap from what we sow. 


Galatians 6 [7] Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.


God will not be mocked - there are consequences.  Even though there are no after effects according to man’s legal system, there are consequences nonetheless, which can manifest in any number of ways.  Unfortunately, the result is usually reasoned out and attributed to something other than reaping from what was sown.  


When Satan convinced Eve that she had a choice whether or not to eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, he failed to tell her that there would be a consequence based on her choice.  If she and Adam had chosen not to eat the forbidden fruit, they would have been allowed to continue living in the Garden of Eden.  However, because they chose to eat the forbidden fruit, they were both banned from the Garden of Eden.  The consequences, however, did not end with their eviction from Eden.  Because of their choice and their disobedience to the LORD, sin entered the world and the consequences were profound:  mankind would now have to toil the ground, women would experience pain in labor, and now all mankind would experience death.


The same holds true today.  Man is still under the same deception regarding any consequences to the choices that he makes.  Satan wants the focus to be placed on “Man’s Choice”, whether it’s abortion or something else.  He wants the focus to be on the action – not the consequences of that action. 


Even though all the unbelievers who help make America’s laws are not Satanists, Satan, has placed his people within the government which have perverted the LORD’s original intent for the Government.  Not only are many laws unclear, vague, and open to interpretation causing confusion, but laws have been passed that call evil good and good evil.  As a result, Christians need to train themselves to distinguish between those man made laws that are good and acceptable to the LORD and those that are evil and will cause us to sin.


One of the signs of mature Christians are those Christians who have trained themselves to discern good from evil.


Hebrews 5 [12] In fact, though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you the elementary truths of God’s word all over again.  You need milk, not solid food!  [13] Anyone who lives on milk, being still an infant, is not acquainted with the teaching about righteousness.  [14] But solid food is for the mature, who by constant use have trained themselves to distinguish good from evil.  (NIV, emphasis added)


Separation of Church and State as defined by both the Church and the State is an erroneous belief and has resulted in a “Distorted Unity” of Church and State which Satan works through.  It’s through the Government that Satan has laws passed to hem the Christian in.  For example, the Supreme Court was instrumental in taking prayer out of the public schools.  Interestingly enough, many Christians who believe that there should be a separation of Church and State, will pray for God’s favor when they find themselves involved in legal matters. 


No matter how hard people try, because the Government rests on the Shoulders of Jesus Christ, there will never be a separation of Church and State according to a secular definition! 


Isaiah 9 [6] For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. [7] Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this. (emphasis added)


Some Christians believe that there should be a separation of Church and State because they realize that the State is affecting their beliefs in a negative way.  However, 

“Separation” is not the real issue.  The real issue is that the Government should not make and pass any laws that are contrary to Biblical principles.  We should not support a separation of Church and State; however, our prayers should be for laws that do not come against the LORD and His principles.  Christians need to pray for laws that are not stumbling blocks for God’s people. 



How Satan Works through the Church and State


Below are three examples of how Satan works through both the church and state to accomplish his goals: the crucifixion of Jesus in the New Testament, the plot against Naboth in the Old Testament, and the plot against the Protestant French Huguenots by the Roman Catholic Spanish.


The Crucifixion of Jesus Christ


 It’s important to understand that Satan had no choice other than to work through  the Government authorities as well as the religious authorities in order to have Jesus crucified.  I don’t mean to imply that Satan was willingly cooperating with the LORD in order for prophecy to be fulfilled; however, Satan is bound by Biblical principles and Satan has no choice but to stay within those principles. 


There are at least two Scriptural principles, actually prophecies, that determined why Satan had to work through the Government.  First, according to Scripture for prophecy to be fulfilled – Jesus was to be executed by crucifixion and not a bone of Jesus could be broken.[7]  Jewish execution was by stoning people to death and needless to say, stoning someone would break bones.  On the other hand, execution by crucifixion was the custom of the Romans.  Therefore, in order for prophecy to be fulfilled, only the Roman Government could execute Jesus.  Secondly, Jesus prophesied that even though it was the Jewish Religious leaders that would condemned Him, it was the Gentiles that were to crucify Him.[8]


Even though the Jewish leaders wanted Jesus crucified, they wanted no part of actually carrying out the sentence.  When Pilate suggested that they themselves judge Jesus according to Jewish law, they replied that it was unlawful for them to put any man to death. 


John 18 [30] They answered and said unto him, If he were not a malefactor, we would not have delivered him up unto thee. [31] Then said Pilate unto them, Take ye him, and judge him according to your law. The Jews therefore said unto him, It is not lawful for us to put any man to death: [32] That the saying of Jesus might be fulfilled, which he spake, signifying what death he should die. (emphasis added)


Saying that it was unlawful for them to put any man to death is interesting given that at one time they attempted to stone Jesus for the very same thing that they now stood and accused Him of in front of Pilate. 


John 8 [57] Then said the Jews unto him, Thou art not yet fifty years old, and hast thou seen Abraham? [58 [59] Then took they up stones to cast at h] Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I am. im: but Jesus hid himself, and went out of the temple, going through the midst of them, and so passed by. (emphasis added)


They were also on the verge of stoning the adulterous woman until Jesus came to her rescue, not to mention that they stoned Stephen shortly after the crucifixion of Jesus.  In fact, Stephen was falsely accused, seized and was brought before the Sanhedrin and it was the Sanhedrin who stoned him.[9]


Actually, the chief priests and the scribes were afraid to kill Jesus because the people believed that Jesus was a prophet. 


Matthew 21 [45] And when the chief priests and Pharisees had heard His parables, they perceived that he spake of them. [46] But when they sought to lay hands on him, they feared the multitude, because they took him for a prophet. (emphasis added)


Because they feared the people, the Sanhedrin devised a plan that would take the focus off of them and place the responsibility on the Roman Government for the actual execution of Jesus.  The Sanhedrin are the ones who actually condemned Jesus to die - all they wanted from the Roman Government was for them to be responsible for carrying out the execution.


Luke 20 [19] And the chief priests and the scribes the same hour sought to lay hands on him; and they feared the people: for they perceived that he had spoken this parable against them. [20] And they watched him, and sent forth spies, which should feign themselves just men, that they might take hold of his words, that so they might deliver him unto the power and authority of the governor. (emphasis added)


Matthew 27 [1] When the morning was come, all the chief priests and elders of the people took counsel against Jesus to put him to death: [2] And when they had bound him, they led him away, and delivered him to Pontius Pilate the governor. (emphasis added)


Notice how the Sanhedrin turned the spiritual battle into a political battle.  Even today, there are those who are Christians as well as those who profess to be Christians but are not, who turn spiritual battles into political battles and vice versa, turn political battles into spiritual battles.


Again, the government rests on the shoulders of Jesus Christ.  Therefore, the issue of the Church and the State taking counsel together (due to circumstances) was not the problem.  The problem was that the Church and State took counsel against Jesus.


Acts 4 [26] The kings of the earth took their stand in array [for attack] and the rulers were assembled and combined together against the LORD and against His Anointed (Christ, the Messiah).  [27] For in this city there actually met and plotted together against Your holy Child and Servant Jesus, Whom You consecrated by anointing, both Herod and Pontius Pilate with the Gentiles and peoples of Israel. (Amplified Bible, emphasis added)


The Sanhedrin felt threatened because the people were leaving them to follow Jesus.  They then perverted God’s ordained purpose of the Government and willingly misled and intimidated Government authorities to execute an innocent man for the sole purpose of protecting their own prominence among the people.  Beware of Christians who misuse the government to further their own agendas. 


John 12 [19] So the Pharisees said to one another, See, this is getting us nowhere.  Look how the whole world has gone after Him! (NIV)


The Sanhedrin had the power to stone anyone who broke the “Jewish Law”, which implies those laws of a religious nature.  Now what is interesting is that the Sanhedrin had to make Jesus’ crime appear to be against the state, otherwise the Roman Government would not have executed him.  The Sanhedrin’s charge was that Jesus’ claim to be King of the Jews was coming against Caesar.  Now the charge was one of a political nature.  Even though Pilate knew that Jesus is innocent of all their charges, he felt forced to take action to protect his own interests and against the wrath of Caesar. 


John 19 [12] And from thenceforth Pilate sought to release him: but the Jews cried out, saying, If thou let this man go, thou art not Caesar's friend: whosoever maketh himself a king speaketh against Caesar.


Interestingly, both the Religious leaders and Pilate knew that Jesus was innocent; however, they were still willingly to put him to death to protect their own interests.  Even though they hated each other, they came together forming a conspiracy to plot against Jesus to protect their own interests.    


Acts 4 [26] The kings of the earth took their stand in array [for attack] and the rulers were assembled and combined together against the LORD and against His Anointed (Christ, the Messiah).  [27] For in this city there actually met and plotted together against Your holy Child and Servant Jesus, Whom You consecrated by anointing, both Herod and Pontius Pilate with the Gentiles and peoples of Israel. (Amplified Bible, emphasis added)


The Book of Ecclesiastics tells us that there is nothing new under the sun and that what has been – will be again.  In the case of the Religious and Government establishments, that means that Satan will use the same tactics today to pervert the relationship between the Church and State that he did in Biblical times. 


Ecclesiastes 1

[4] Generations come and generations go,

            But the earth remains forever.


[9] What has been will be again,

            What has been done will be done again;

      There is nothing new under the sun.


[10] Is there anything of which one can say,

            “Look!  This is something new”?

        It was here already, long ago;

            It was here before our time. (NIV)


Satan’s strategy is the same - it’s just that what has been reemerges camouflaged as the generations come and go.  Below are two additional examples of how Satan worked through the government and religious authorities (or the guise of religion).  In both instances, the government and religious authorities plotted together against innocent people in order to protect their own interests - both before and after the time Jesus walked the earth.


The Plot Against Naboth (874-853 B.C.)


In 1 Kings 21, we find that Jezebel, wife of King Ahab, plotted against Naboth in order for King Ahab to take possession of Naboth’s vineyard.  According to Jezebel’s instructions, Naboth was to be falsely accused at a fast proclaimed by the elders and nobles of the city in which Naboth lived.   Naboth was falsely accused of cursing both God and the King and according to their law, anyone found guilty of such crime was to be stoned.  And, that’s exactly what happened to Naboth.[10]   


Obviously, Jezebel being Queen and Ahab being King represent the government.  Even though the elders and nobles represented the state as well, the fast they proclaimed brought in the spiritual aspect.  The fast implied that the people of the city needed to humble themselves before the LORD, for what reason Scripture doesn’t say.  The fast would give an appearance that what they were doing was a “righteous” act.  In fact, Jezebel herself included the spiritual aspect to her plot when she instructed the elders and nobles to accuse Naboth of cursing both God and the King. 


The Plot Against the French Huguenots in America (1565)


Likewise, Satan persecuted the Huguenots here in what is now known as America.  This was done through the alliance between the religious authorities of the Roman Catholic Church and King Philip of Spain who was representative of the Spanish Government.  (See article on Spiritual Seeds of America) 


Notice the similarities between the persecution of Jesus and the persecution of the Huguenots.  In both situations Satan worked through the teamwork of both the religious establishment and the political establishment.  Jesus was falsely accused by the Sanhedrin, the religious authorities; however, the actual execution was carried out by the Romans, which represented the government.  In like manner, the Huguenots were falsely accused by the Roman Catholic Church; however, the actual executions were carried out by the government representatives of King Philip of Spain, the Conquistadors.


The Traditions of Man 


Unfortunately, there are those in the government as well as religious leaders that support laws that are based on human regulations.  Like the Sanhedrin, there are many religious leaders today who are nothing other than “Secular Religious Leaders”.  They are worldly and materialistic and they are not Ambassadors for Christ.  They do not protect the interest of the LORD.  Mark 7:9 and 7:13 reveal that they nullify the commandments of God with their own traditions which are nothing other than human regulations to secure secular objectives.  


Mark 7 [9] And He said to them, You have a fine way of rejecting [thus thwarting and nullifying and doing away with] the commandment of God in order to keep your tradition (your own human regulations)!...  [13] Thus you are nullifying and making void and of no effect [the authority of] the Word of God through your tradition, which you [in turn] hand on.  And many things of this kind you are doing. (Amplified Bible, emphasis added)





In conclusion, Jesus, when asked about His kingdom, said,


John 18 [36] Jesus answered, My kingdom is not of this world: if My kingdom were of this world, then would My servants fight, that I should not be delivered to the Jews: but now is My kingdom not from hence.


In other words, not only is the civil government not called to be the spiritual leaders of the Church – the Church is not called to be the spiritual leaders of the civil government! 



© Gwen Thomas, August, 2007





Scripture quotations taken from The AMPLIFIED BIBLE, Copyright © 1954, 1958, 1962, 1964, 1965, 1987 by The Lockman Foundation.  All rights reserved. Used by permission. (


Scripture taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®. Copyright 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society.  Used by permission of Zondervan Publishing House. All rights reserved. 


The “NIV” and “New International Version” trademarks are registered in the United States Patent and Trademark Office by International Bible Society.  Use of either trademark requires the permission of International Bible Society.




[1] Acts 3 [12] And when Peter saw it, he answered unto the people, Ye men of Israel, why marvel ye at this? or why look ye so earnestly on us, as though by our own power or holiness we had made this man to walk? [13] The God of Abraham, and of Isaac, and of Jacob, the God of our fathers, hath glorified his Son Jesus; whom ye delivered up, and denied him in the presence of Pilate, when he was determined to let him go. [14] But ye denied the Holy One and the Just, and desired a murderer to be granted unto you; [15] And killed the Prince of life, whom God hath raised from the dead; whereof we are witnesses. [16] And his name through faith in his name hath made this man strong, whom ye see and know: yea, the faith which is by him hath given him this perfect soundness in the presence of you all. [17] And now, brethren, I wot that through ignorance ye did it, as did also your rulers. [18] But those things, which God before had shewed by the mouth of all his prophets, that Christ should suffer, he hath so fulfilled.  [19] Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord; [20] And he shall send Jesus Christ, which before was preached unto you: [21] Whom the heaven must receive until the times of restitution of all things, which God hath spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets since the world began. [22] For Moses truly said unto the fathers, A prophet shall the Lord your God raise up unto you of your brethren, like unto me; him shall ye hear in all things whatsoever he shall say unto you. [23] And it shall come to pass, that every soul, which will not hear that prophet, shall be destroyed from among the people. [24] Yea, and all the prophets from Samuel and those that follow after, as many as have spoken, have likewise foretold of these days. [25] Ye are the children of the prophets, and of the covenant which God made with our fathers, saying unto Abraham, And in thy seed shall all the kindreds of the earth be blessed. [26] Unto you first God, having raised up his Son Jesus, sent him to bless you, in turning away every one of you from his iniquities. (emphasis added)


[2] 2 Corinthians 5 [20] Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ's stead, be ye reconciled to God.


Ephesians 6 [20] For which I am an ambassador in bonds: that therein I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak.


[3] When I say religious leaders I am not referring to the Christian leader who is committed to the LORD and His purposes.  In the context that I am using the term religious leaders I am referring to those compromising Christians who do use their faith to further their own political agenda as well as those of others faiths, whatever that faith might be.  And, I certainly don’t mean to imply that every politician who is a Christian or practices another religion is only in politics to protect his own interests. 


[4] Luke 20 [20] And they watched him, and sent forth spies, which should feign themselves just men, that they might take hold of his words, that so they might deliver him unto the power and authority of the governor. (emphasis added)


 Mark 11 [18] And the scribes and chief priests heard it, and sought how they might destroy him: for they feared him, because all the people was astonished at his doctrine.  (emphasis added)


Matthew 26 [3] Then assembled together the chief priests, and the scribes, and the elders of the people, unto the palace of the high priest, who was called Caiaphas, [4] And consulted that they might take Jesus by subtilty, and kill him. [5] But they said, Not on the feast day, lest there be an uproar among the people.


Mark 12 [12] And they sought to lay hold on him, but feared the people: for they knew that he had spoken the parable against them: and they left him, and went their way. (emphasis added)


[5] Matthew 27[17] Therefore when they were gathered together, Pilate said unto them, Whom will ye that I release unto you? Barabbas, or Jesus which is called Christ? [18] For he knew that for envy they had delivered him. [19] When he was set down on the judgment seat, his wife sent unto him, saying, Have thou nothing to do with that just man: for I have suffered many things this day in a dream because of him. [20] But the chief priests and elders persuaded the multitude that they should ask Barabbas, and destroy Jesus. [21] The governor answered and said unto them, Whether of the twain will ye that I release unto you? They said, Barabbas. [22] Pilate saith unto them, What shall I do then with Jesus which is called Christ? They all say unto him, Let him be crucified. [23] And the governor said, Why, what evil hath he done? But they cried out the more, saying, Let him be crucified. [24] When Pilate saw that he could prevail nothing, but that rather a tumult was made, he took water, and washed his hands before the multitude, saying, I am innocent of the blood of this just person: see ye to it. [25] Then answered all the people, and said, His blood be on us, and on our children.  [26] Then released he Barabbas unto them: and when he had scourged Jesus, he delivered him to be crucified. (emphasis added)


[6] Isaiah 9 [6] For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. [7] Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this.


[7] John 19 [31] The Jews therefore, because it was the preparation, that the bodies should not remain upon the cross on the sabbath day, (for that sabbath day was an high day,) besought Pilate that their legs might be broken, and that they might be taken away. [32] Then came the soldiers, and brake the legs of the first, and of the other which was crucified with him. [33] But when they came to Jesus, and saw that he was dead already, they brake not his legs:  For these things were done, that the scripture should be fulfilled, A bone of him shall not be broken.  [36] For these things were done, that the scripture should be fulfilled, A bone of him shall not be broken. (emphasis added)


Matthew 20 [17] And Jesus going up to Jerusalem took the twelve disciples apart in the way, and said unto them, [18] Behold, we go up to Jerusalem; and the Son of man shall be betrayed unto the chief priests and unto the scribes, and they shall condemn him to death, [19] And shall deliver him to the Gentiles to mock, and to scourge, and to crucify him: and the third day he shall rise again. (emphasis added)


[8] Matthew 20 [17] And Jesus going up to Jerusalem took the twelve disciples apart in the way, and said unto them, [18] Behold, we go up to Jerusalem; and the Son of man shall be betrayed unto the chief priests and unto the scribes, and they shall condemn him to death, [19] And shall deliver him to the Gentiles to mock, and to scourge, and to crucify him: and the third day he shall rise again.


[9] Acts 6 [8] And Stephen, full of faith and power, did great wonders and miracles among the people.  [9] Then there arose certain of the synagogue, which is called the synagogue of the Libertines, and Cyrenians, and Alexandrians, and of them of Cilicia and of Asia, disputing with Stephen. [10] And they were not able to resist the wisdom and the spirit by which he spake. [11] Then they suborned men, which said, We have heard him speak blasphemous words against Moses, and against God. [12] And they stirred up the people, and the elders, and the scribes, and came upon him, and caught him, and brought him to the council, [13] And set up false witnesses, which said, This man ceaseth not to speak blasphemous words against this holy place, and the law: [14] For we have heard him say, that this Jesus of Nazareth shall destroy this place, and shall change the customs which Moses delivered us. [15] And all that sat in the council, looking stedfastly on him, saw his face as it had been the face of an angel…. [59] And they stoned Stephen, calling upon God, and saying, Lord Jesus, receive my spirit. [60] And he kneeled down, and cried with a loud voice, Lord, lay not this sin to their charge. And when he had said this, he fell asleep.


[10] 1 Kings 21 [5] But Jezebel his wife came to him, and said unto him, Why is thy spirit so sad, that thou eatest no bread? [6] And he said unto her, Because I spake unto Naboth the Jezreelite, and said unto him, Give me thy vineyard for money; or else, if it please thee, I will give thee another vineyard for it: and he answered, I will not give thee my vineyard. [7] And Jezebel his wife said unto him, Dost thou now govern the kingdom of Israel? arise, and eat bread, and let thine heart be merry: I will give thee the vineyard of Naboth the Jezreelite. [8] So she wrote letters in Ahab's name, and sealed them with his seal, and sent the letters unto the elders and to the nobles that were in his city, dwelling with Naboth. [9] And she wrote in the letters, saying, Proclaim a fast, and set Naboth on high among the people: [10] And set two men, sons of Belial, before him, to bear witness against him, saying, Thou didst blaspheme God and the king. And then carry him out, and stone him, that he may die. [11] And the men of his city, even the elders and the nobles who were the inhabitants in his city, did as Jezebel had sent unto them, and as it was written in the letters which she had sent unto them. [12] They proclaimed a fast, and set Naboth on high among the people. [13] And there came in two men, children of Belial, and sat before him: and the men of Belial witnessed against him, even against Naboth, in the presence of the people, saying, Naboth did blaspheme God and the king. Then they carried him forth out of the city, and stoned him with stones, that he died. [14] Then they sent to Jezebel, saying, Naboth is stoned, and is dead. (emphasis added)