Matthew 4:1-11 records the temptation experience of Jesus Christ. In verses 8-10 is the Devil’s attempt to bring Christ under his power. “Again, the devil taketh Him up into an exceeding high mountain, and sheweth Him all the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them; And saith unto Him, All these things will I give Thee, if Thou wilt fall down and worship me. Then saith Jesus unto him, Get thee hence, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord (YAHWAH) thy God, and Him only shalt thou serve.”
Luke 4:5-8 records this same event in a little more detail. “And the devil, taking Him up into an high mountain, shewed unto Him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time. And the devil said unto Him, All this power will I give Thee, and the glory of them: for that is delivered unto me; and to whomsoever I will I give it. If Thou therefore wilt worship me, all shall be thine. And Jesus answered and said unto him, Get thee behind Me, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord (YAHWAH) thy God, and Him only shalt thou serve.”
Notice that Jesus did not rebuke the devil, Satan, for the statement that the power and glory of the Kingdoms of the world were under his control. But Jesus did rebuke him for demanding that Christ must bow down and worship him. The devil’s dominion over the world and its kingdoms, governments, was gained when Adam abdicated his rightful dominion in Genesis to the old Serpent called the devil and Satan (Revelation 12:9 and 20:2).
Genesis 1:26-28 recounts God (ELOHEEM) making adamites in their image, and giving this creature dominion over all the earth. But through the subtility of the serpent, the Adam (of Genesis 2:7) soon lost it all as recorded in Genesis the 3rd chapter. The serpent through lying deception usurped the adamic dominion, and this devil reign over the earth will continue until the last great battle between the armies of the kings of the earth, and the army of God as recorded in Revelation 19. It is only at the end of this age, as the seventh and last angel sounded the trumpet that “The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of His Christ; and He shall reign for ever and ever.” (Revelation 11:15).
Three times in the gospel of John, the devil is called “the prince of this world” by Jesus Christ (John 12:31; 14:30 and 16:11). Even Paul in 2 Corinthians 4:4 speaks of Satan as “the god of this world”. Satan’s dominion over the earth, and his complete control of the governments of the world, is never disputed or argued by Jesus Christ or any of the apostles. As pointed out in Revelation 13, it is the satanic devil beast with 7 heads and ten horns which has been the political system controlling all governments for over 7,000 years.
Even though the devil does have complete dominion over the Kingdoms of the world, Jesus would never subject himself to this power. Christ realized that there is ultimately only one TRUE power - YAHWAH God His father, and that the work of bringing the kingdom of God to earth could not begin by submitting to the powers of the world order, that is Satan’s governments. Only by remaining ever true to the laws of God, would final victory be obtained. Every Christian should realize the principle that God’s work is never advanced or accomplished by any COMPROMISE with evil. And it is just as evident that Satan’s governments of this world are nothing but evil. Their whole purpose and intent is to oppose, make war upon, and destroy the people of God, thereby halting the coming of the Kingdom of God.
Paul warns that there can NEVER be any compromise or peaceful coexistence with the satanic powers of the world and the people of God. “Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness? And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel? And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people. Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord (YAHWAH), and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you. And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be My sons and daughters, saith the Lord (YAHWAH) Almighty.” (2 Corinthians 6:14-18)
This instruction of SEPARATION from the satanic power of the kingdoms of the earth is again referred to in Revelation 18:4. “Come out of her, My people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues.” According to the scriptures, one cannot give allegiance to the satanic world governments, and escape the wrath of God which will be poured out upon them. There is either obedience to the satanic governments of the world and their laws, or to (YAHWAH) God and His laws. There is no middle ground. Jesus points this out not only in the temptation experience which He had in Matthew 4:1-11, but also in His clear instructions of Matthew 6:24. “No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.”
There can only be one master, for no one can obey two different masters - God or Satan - operating under two different laws. In James 4:4 it is plainly stated that anyone who would be a “friend of the world is the enemy of God.” Again there is no middle of the road either obey God and resist the devil governments of the world (James 4:7), or obey the laws of the devil governments of the world, and resist God. It is impossible to obey God without violating the devil decrees of the governments of this world.
Those supposed Christian ministers who misuse Romans 13 as a proof text to lead the blind sheep into obeying every evil edict of the satanic political beast which controls every government of the world, are nothing more than traitors in the ranks (wolves in sheep’s clothing). Could anything be more treasonous than for Aaron to counsel Moses to obey every law of Pharaoh, or for the prophets Jeremiah and Isaiah counseling the people to follow the ungodly laws of the wicked king like Jehoiakim or Ahab? Imagine if the mother of Moses had listened to these perverted ministers’ counsel, then she would have obeyed the law of the land, and killed the baby Moses. If Mary and Joseph had of obeyed the law of King Herod, then they would have killed the baby Jesus.
How faithful would Daniel have been to God if he had obeyed the law of King Darius (Daniel 6:4-28)? Daniel would have certainly escaped the lion’s den by obeying the government’s law, but in his compromise, he would have lost the God given victory over the lion’s den as well as all his enemies. When Nebuchadnezzar set up a golden image for all to worship, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego remained faithful to God, disobeyed the “law of the land”, and were cast into a fiery furnace. If these men had the same “Christian Ministers” which fill our land today, then they would have been told to obey the law of the land as their Christian duty. They, too, would have escaped the punishment for violating the law, but they would not have gained the victory over the fiery furnace by obeying God.
Every hero of the Bible is such because he or she rose up in rebellion against the current law of the land, and fought for the establishment of the righteous law of God. The Bible is filled with the blood of righteous men and women who refused to obey the laws of men, and were martyred for their loyalty to the law of God (Hebrews 11).
Even Jesus Christ went to the death of the cross because he refused to compromise with the laws of man. Had He bowed to them, he could have escaped that death, but He would have also never gained the victory over death. Only by faithfully standing up for the laws of God, against the laws of the satanic governments of the world, will we ever win that same VICTORY.
Christians ask, “Well, then what did Paul mean in Romans 13, and what about Jesus saying render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar’s in Matthew 22:21?” Paul begins Romans 13 by saying “Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers.” He did not say let every soul be subject unto the laws of the government of this world. Neither did he say to obey the laws of the STATE! Who then are the higher powers? Notice what Paul says about them in this 13th chapter. (1) The higher powers are “rulers” that are “not a terror to good works, but to evil.” (verse 3) (2) They are “the minister of God to thee for good. …a revenger to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil.” (verse 4) (3) As God’s ministers they are busy bringing forth good and punishing evil, for they are “attending continually upon this very thing.” (verse 6)
Just in these 3 things, it is apparent that “the higher powers” are NOT the satanic governments of this world order. Satan cannot bring forth “good” and his governments cannot bring forth “good” either. In Matthew 7:15-18 Jesus Christ clearly states the matter. “Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit. A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit.” No, these “higher powers” which Paul speaks of in Romans 13 are not the enforcers of the laws of the governments of this world, but they are the “ministers” which God established over the Churches (ekklesia).
During Paul’s day there was also turmoil in these Churches, and every letter that he wrote addresses various problems. An example of this is in 1 Corinthians 11:17-19. “Now in this that I declare unto you I praise you not, that ye come together not for better, but for worse. For first of all, when ye come together in the church, I hear that there be divisions among you; and I partly believe it. For there must be also heresies among you, that ye which are approved may be manifest among you.” Paul was always trying to put down the unrest, and at the same time was always telling the people to follow those ministers which had been approved. Again in 2 Corinthians 11 Paul’s ministry is challenged and he states in verses 4-6 “For if he that cometh preacheth another Jesus, whom we have not preached, or if ye receive another spirit, which ye have not received, or another gospel, which ye have not accepted, ye might well bear with him. For I suppose I was not a whit behind the very chiefest apostles. But though I be rude in speech, yet not in knowledge; but we have been throughly made manifest among you in all things.” In verses 13-15 he goes on to state that those who have tried to divide the churches (ekklesia) “are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ. 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.”
It is significant that from these verses it is learned that Satan has ministers who pretend to be the ministers of God. The Christian clergy preach that the ministers of God, which Paul says you are to be subject to in Romans 13, are the politicians of the STATE, henchmen of the government and its ungodly laws, and are the ministers of Satan. As seen from the scriptures, the kingdoms, governments of the world are Satan’s, and Christian ministers are his, and NOT the ministers of God. Never does Paul or any man of God instruct anyone to submit to the governments of this world. Never in the entire scriptures are the people of God told to obey the laws of the world order, and violate the perfect law of God. Anyone who would counsel others to obey the laws of the land, which are contrary to the laws of God, is a false apostle which preaches another Jesus, has another spirit, and brings another gospel is clearly shown in 2 Corinthians 11.
In Matthew 22:15-22 the Pharisees in an attempt to trap Jesus in His teachings asked Him if it was “lawful to give tribute unto Caesar, or not? But Jesus perceived their wickedness, and said, Why tempt ye Me, ye hypocrites? Shew Me the tribute money. And they brought unto Him a penny. And He saith unto them, Whose is this image and superscription? 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.” (verses 17-21) Jesus did not say “render everything unto Caesar” and stop. He said to give what belongs to Caesar to Caesar, and give what belongs to God to God. His wisdom and intent not only went over the heads of the Pharisees, but also goes beyond the understanding of the people today. It is Godly to give people what rightfully belongs to them, but since when does anything that one rightfully owns belong to Caesar?
Furthermore to whom do we owe the greatest debt, to the STATE, GOVERNMENT, or to GOD? Does not total allegiance first belong to God? Should not we give the things that belong unto God to God irregardless of the demands of the STATE, and is this not the teachings of the Bible? To put it in more everyday language, give the government what belongs to the government, that which has its name on it, that which it has created, and give to God that which belongs to Him, that which has His name on it, and that which He has created.
The Israelites of old were faced with the same question that confronts each person today. Joshua told them “if it seem evil unto you to serve YAHWAH, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve YAHWAH.” (Joshua 24:15) This same spirit is carried into the New Testament, for after the apostles, Peter and John, had been beaten and threatened by the rulers, they responded “Whether it be right in the sight of God to hearken unto you more than unto God, judge ye. For we cannot but speak the things which we have seen and heard.” (Acts 4:19-20) The faithful warriors throughout every age have served, obeyed, and submitted only to YAHWAH God and His law. It is only through this absolute allegiance that the battle for righteousness can be successfully waged and won.
The kingdoms of this world will only become the kingdoms of our Lord Jesus Christ when all men refuse to bow down and obey the edicts of the god of this world governments. Only when white men and women refuse to compromise, and shout out “Get thee behind me, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship YAHWAH thy God, and Him only shalt thou serve,” will the new order of the ages, the kingdom of God, come forth. This will be a rough road to travel, a road of continual sacrifice and uncompromising conviction, and only the dedicated, faithful, and true will dare to walk it. But this is the only road that leads to VICTORY!