God Is Still On The Throne Pt 2 Resisting God

God Is Still On The Throne Pt 2 Resisting God

God is Still on the Throne Pt 2
Resisting God
Pr Edi Giudetti



We don’t often think that we are Resisting God when resisting the authority of Government, but in the first few verses of the passage read this morning that seems to be exactly what we are doing.

Its natural for people to resist government because its natural for man to resist all forms of authority, look at the world around you today and its not difficult to see it.

From the beginning we see the rejection of God and his Commandment, God had only one “thou shalt not” but even that was too hard for man. Man does not like authority, everything from Government down to the Bible itself is either denied or resisted, but in doing so we Resist God who put these in authority because for life to be blessed selfish lawless tendencies of man must be curtailed.

Even in the Christian.

The last days sees Christians Not enduring sound doctrine because of the authority spoken of within those doctrines, “but after their own hearts lusts shall heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; and they shall turn away their ears from the truth” (2 Tim 4:3-4), in this they are willfully resisting God.

God is the God of truth, and just like God truth will persist even if we choose to believe lies.

Government is given us by God, the text tells us “ordained by God” and so when we resist Government we resist the ordinance of God!

The problem however seems to arise in us like it does in all children, that we only like government when it gives us chocolates and ice-cream, not broccoli and sprouts. That’s the challenge that has today given us the governments we have.

Governments that only come to power when they give, give, give, not realizing that in order to give, give, give they must take, take, take and so a great exchange is made. We take from those who have to give to those who have not earned. We take from our children and grandchildren their future so we can live like kings in the present.

The governments we get, become the governments we have asked for.

In Paul’s day the emperors of Rome were to be worshipped as Gods. These men who attained the throne of the empire glorified themselves and were themselves much greater tyrants than those we are charged to be subjected to today.

The people wanted bread and circuses and they got it, but it came with a caveat.

We know that many of the Jews at Rome didn’t like that, many would not put themselves in subjection to the Roman rulers feigning to obey God alone, so much so that we see in Acts 18:2, Emperor “Claudius had commanded all Jews to depart from Rome”. Because some of the Jews Resisted Government the Government banished them all.

Christians themselves were seen as a Jewish sect, so they were naturally suspected also of being revolutionaries. As early as Acts 17:6 they are referred to by the Thessalonians as having “turned the world upside down”.

Not long after, none other than emperor Nero set his sights against them as his scapegoats for the burning of Rome.

In not bowing the knee of worship to the emperor as did all the heathen about them, Christians were seen to be rebellious. They were right not to worship the Emperor, but this had the effect of drawing attention, and Paul’s desire was that in all other elements of government lay, Christians would be seen as model citizens

1 Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are dordained 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:

  1. Resisting God When Resisting Government

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:

The concept of resistance here is simply one of rebellion, one of deliberate and purposeful effort to undermine the government. To have it removed from power and replaced with one that pleases you.

Revolts and rebellions have gone on for thousands of years and the people of Italy and the Roman empire is anything but a stranger to them.

Paul made a simple charge to the people of Rome that they are to be subject unto the higher powers;

(Side note: These “Higher Powers” are not related to angels [princes and principalities)

The Phrase we always use still to this day, “The powers that be”, comes directly out of this passage the powers that be are ordained of God.

Beloved if the powers that be are ordained of God, then resisting those powers naturally sees us Resisting God.


Prime Example of Resistance in the Bible:

Some of the most famous responses to God’s choice of government comes directly out of the Old Testament.

Turn to;

Jer 38:17-18

From the beginning God had warned Israel that if they would not obey the Lord, he would take them away from the land he promised them for a time. When this happened however, the people resisted.

This passage shows the options given to the King by Jeremiah the prophet;

17 Then said Jeremiah unto Zedekiah, Thus saith the LORD, the God of hosts, the God of Israel; If thou wilt assuredly go forth unto the king of Babylon’s princes, then thy soul shall live, and this city shall not be burned with fire; and thou shalt live, and thine house: 18 But if thou wilt not go forth to the king of Babylon’s princes, then shall this city be given into the hand of the Chaldeans, and they shall burn it with fire, and thou shalt not escape out of their hand.

Jeremiah gives the Options, the choice is the Kings, the consequences however are not for him to choose.

Sadly, he chose poorly.

Turn to:

Jer 42:10-16

The people are now taken but a remnant remains.

The people made a request of Jeremiah to seek after God for them, but the remnant do not know what to do, so they turn to Jeremiah in the hope he will tell them what they want to hear.

What we have here is an Old Testament example of ears desiring to be scratched,

Again, Jeremiah gives to the people the choices they are free to make, and like the king before them, they are told the consequences ahead of time.

10 If ye will still abide in this land, then will I build you, and not pull you down, and I will plant you, and not pluck you up: for I repent me of the evil that I have done unto you. 11 Be not afraid of the king of Babylon, of whom ye are afraid; be not afraid of him, saith the LORD: for I am with you to save you, and to deliver you from his hand. 12 And I will shew mercies unto you, that he may have mercy upon you, and cause you to return to your own land.

13 But if ye say, We will not dwell in this land, neither obey the voice of the LORD your God, 14 Saying, No; but we will go into the land of Egypt, where we shall see no war, nor hear the sound of the trumpet, nor have hunger of bread; and there will we dwell: 15 And now therefore hear the word of the LORD, ye remnant of Judah; Thus saith the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel; If ye wholly set your faces to enter into Egypt, and go to sojourn there; 16 Then it shall come to pass, that the sword, which ye feared, shall overtake you there in the land of Egypt, and the famine, whereof ye were afraid, shall follow close after you there in Egypt; and there ye shall die.

I will let you guess which option the people chose.

God had determined an evil dictator to be their ruler because of their sin, YET he promised them blessing UNDER that authority. Some how, God through this event, God would chastise those he desired to judge, yet bless those who did not transgress against him.

What we often fail to see is that the Lord can use our circumstances to deal with sinners, but bless the righteous, even if it means displacing our current comforts.

  1. Resisting God Receiving Judgement

1 Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are dordained of God. 2 Whosoever therefore resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance of God: and they that resist shall receive to themselves damnation

This is a very serious passage. It speaks of the consequences to those who are seen to resist government and therein resist the ordinance of God, as receiving judgment, even damnation.

There are those that would cause us to resist government, to work to forcibly remove them, to dishonor governing authorities, but this is a grave error, the consequences to which are potentially eternal.

Clearly those who are born again cannot be damned in the eternal sense of the word, but that fact that some form of Judgment is seen in the passage as serious as that which may damn the lost, is not something to take lightly.

Do not be led astray by the many pastors and teachers today that would cause you to stumble here. God has a purpose for these governments and it is even for your good and blessing, but there are far too many, even conservative Pastors that are leading people astray in this area and the risk, according to this passage, is not slight.

There is a way in which we are to deal with Government, even with dictators and we are shown this in the Scriptures.

Turn to Acts 22:22 as we see Paul appealing to his rights

The context of the passage sees Paul explain to the Jews the circumstances that surrounded his preaching of Christ, and he explained it all to them in the Hebrew language, but they responded in verse 22;

22 And they gave him audience unto this word, and then lifted up their voices, and said, Away with such a fellow from the earth: for it is not fit that he should live. 23 And as they cried out, and cast off their clothes, and threw dust into the air, 24 The chief captain commanded him to be brought into the castle, and bade that he should be examined by scourging; that he might know wherefore they cried so against him. 25 And as they bound him with thongs, Paul said unto the centurion that stood by, Is it lawful for you to scourge a man that is a Roman, and uncondemned? 26 When the centurion heard that, he went and told the chief captain, saying, Take heed what thou doest: for this man is a Roman. 27 Then the chief captain came, and said unto him, Tell me, art thou a Roman? He said, Yea. 28 And the chief captain answered, With a great sum obtained I this freedom. And Paul said, But I was free born.

So there Paul appeals to his rights as a Roman citizen.

You and I have the freedom to do likewise without rebelling against our Government. We can appeal respecting out rights just as Paul did. We can appeal to government for a Redress of Grievances, but also accept the reality that sometimes those rights are not going to be retained.

In such cases we can also appeal to a higher authority, again just as Paul did.

• Paul appealing to a higher court (Acts 25:11)

Paul’s situation had continued from chapter 22, after he was taken to Felix the Govenor, his life was in danger and so was taken to Caesarea where Porcius Festus, a governor replacing Felix, would here his testimony.

This is how that testimony ended, beginning in verse 9;

9 But Festus, willing to do the Jews a pleasure, answered Paul, and said, Wilt thou go up to Jerusalem, and there be judged of these things before me? 10 Then said Paul, I stand at Caesar’s judgment seat, where I ought to be judged: to the Jews have I done no wrong, as thou very well knowest. 11 For if I be an offender, or have committed any thing worthy of death, I refuse not to die: but if there be none of these things whereof these accuse me, no man may deliver me unto them. I appeal unto Caesar.

What we see is two efforts Paul makes, one was his lawful appeal to his rights as a citizen, the other an appeal to a higher court, that of Caesar himself, also his right as a citizen.

Does this guarantee a fair trial?

• Jesus kangaroo court;
o The historical Mishnah, Rabinic laws discovered as early as the 3rd Century, shows:
 Capital Trials are to be Public
 Capital Trials are to be held during daylight hrs
 Never to be held on the eve of a feast day
 To be held in specified Court Rooms and never at the home of High Priest
 Right to a defense.
 Begins by hearing the case of the defense
 Conviction never to be reached on 1st day of the trial
 2 – 3 witnesses.

The injustice in the case of Christ was the greatest of all injustices.

But God allowed it to bring about the greatest of all redemptions. Jesus is our example of suffering unjustly, he should also be our example of submission to the “powers that be”.

Samuel Lamb began a small house church in China in the 1950’s.

As Chinas Communist efforts grew and the underground church was drawn into a false sense of security, Samuel Lamb was taken into prison for the second time for a period of twenty years.

His imprisonment lasted throughout Mao Zedong’s so called “Cultural Revolution”.
His biographical work written by Ken Anderson titled ‘Bold As A Lamb’, Anderson writes;

“SAMUEL LAMB BECAME PAINFULLY AWARE that imprisonment for known guilt would be more acceptable than facing two decades of incarceration with neither judge’s nor jury’s conviction of any crime. He did not have democracy’s option of appeal, no attorney to advocate for him, no redress. In his humanness, he might have complained. But he didn’t. Samuel Lamb was totally helpless, which drove him to complete dependence on the Lord. He could do nothing for his family but entrust them wholly to the Father’s care. He had no way to earn any money. His very breath was a pawn in the hands of others. And yet he was at peace.”

After his release, the church he began in the 1950’s in his own home would house people literally wall to wall over two levels.

Pr Lamb became one of the great leaders of the underground Church movement in China, and died 89 years of age in 2013.

We are not always privy to the reasonings of God when things don’t go the way we might desire they would. But we are always the subject of his peace and joy when we are trusting him through the journey, that he would bring about a good end.

There are lawful means of addressing grievances: appeal to rights and even a higher court. But do not expect always to obtain a fair hearing.

You alone can determine how far to take it through those legal means, but you are NEVER to demean the office of a Christian by anarchy or rebellion.

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:

We Resist God when Resisting government, because god desires to bring about HIS work.

But there are those who would lead you astray and bring out calls to resist government, just as they did in ancient days

Turn to

Jer 29:8-11

See here both the danger of being led astray together with the intention of the Lord for his people.

8 For thus saith the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel; Let not your prophets and your diviners, that be in the midst of you, deceive you, neither hearken to your dreams which ye cause to be dreamed. 9 For they prophesy falsely unto you in my name: I have not sent them, saith the LORD. 10 For thus saith the LORD, That after seventy years be accomplished at Babylon I will visit you, and perform my good word toward you, in causing you to return to this place. 11 For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.

We have no idea of the SPECIFIC purpose of God in bringing us through trying times with trying governments, but WE DO KNOW, that his thoughts toward his people are thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end

Do not resist against the Lord in things not understood, rest in him, lest you are seen to stand against him and that judgement quickly follows.

  1. Resisting God Resisting Good

1 Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are dordained 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?

If it is true that the rulers God has ordained are not a terror to good works but to the evil, then it is also true that Resisting God is Resisting Good.

Turn to 1 Peter 2:13-14

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.

This is the purpose of the governments that God ordains. Somehow, no matter who they be, they exist for the punishment of evildoers and for the praise of them that do well.

That is the purpose and it has been that way from the beginning of time.

Heathen rulers are those who have governed most of the regions of the world for most of the history of the world and yet the purpose of them is the same around the world.

In the second century a Roman lawyer named Ulpian wrote;

‘It is the duty of a good and vigilant president to see to it that his province be peaceable and quiet. And that he ought to make diligent search after sacrilegious persons, robbers, man-stealers, and thieves, and to punish every one according to their guilt.’

This is the purpose God has for governments.

This was written of by both Paul and Peter with no exception nor excuse nor caveat such as, “Well only if they are good governors”, or
“Ill obey them as long as they do that which I agree with”, or
“Ill respect them if they respect me” etc.

You can look for as long as you feel like it in these passages but you will find no exemption. On the contrary, both Paul and Peter wrote what they wrote and died at the hands of their rulers… yet these words stand.

Within the Bible we have multiple accounts of prosperity among people who have been dealt a great blow respecting their rulers.

Esther was a Jew who became a Queen to a Persian King. (Persia is the ancient name for the nation of Iran).

Israel were taken captive and served seventy years in captivity and even in their release by Cyrus they remained subject to a tyrannical autocratic world ruler, yet they had peace all the while the wicked nations around her were destroyed.

Turn in your Bibles to Jeremiah 29:7

4 Thus saith the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel, unto all that are carried away captives, whom I have caused to be carried away from Jerusalem unto Babylon; 5 Build ye houses, and dwell in them; and plant gardens, and eat the fruit of them; 6 Take ye wives, and beget sons and daughters; and take wives for your sons, and give your daughters to husbands, that they may bear sons and daughters; that ye may be increased there, and not diminished. 7 And seek the peace of the city whither I have caused you to be carried away captives, and pray unto the LORD for it: for in the peace thereof shall ye have peace.

No matter the world we live in we continue to live life to the glory of God. We have the Lord on side, we rejoice in the joy and the hope he continues to bless us with. We glorify his name even in the sight of difficulty and evil days.

More than half of the Old Testament is written in the context of this terrible event that occurred to the Jews. The captivity of the Southern kingdom was not only prophesied as far back as Moses in Deuteronomy, but continued to be dealt with all the way to Malachi, the last book in the Old Testament.

Yet, in those seventy years came a greater impact of God upon the heathen world that had ever occurred through the witness of Israel voluntarily.
I shared with you in the last sermon how the five written ethical religious systems of the world came into existence within less than a century of this event.

  1. Zoroastrianism
  2. Hinduism
  3. Confucianism
  4. Buddhism
  5. Philosophy

Their written existence came into being between the 6th and 5th centuries BC, and all of them where under the government of the Babylonian and Medo-Persian empires at that time.

Example 1. Nebuchadnezzar. Babylon.

“I make a decree, That every people, nation, and language, which speak any thing amiss against the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, shall be cut in pieces, and their houses shall be made a dunghill: because there is no other God that can deliver after this sort. 30 Then the king promoted Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, in the province of Babylon.” (Dan 3:29-30)

Example 2. Darius The Mede

“Then king Darius wrote unto all people, nations, and languages, that dwell in all the earth; Peace be multiplied unto you. 26 I make a decree, That in every dominion of my kingdom men tremble and fear before the God of Daniel: for he is the living God, and stedfast for ever, and his kingdom that which shall not be destroyed, and his dominion shall be even unto the end” (Dan 6:25-26)

Example 3. Cyrus the Persian

1 Now in the first year of Cyrus king of Persia, that the word of the LORD by the mouth of Jeremiah might be fulfilled, the LORD stirred up the spirit of Cyrus king of Persia, that he made a proclamation throughout all his kingdom, and put it also in writing, saying, 2 Thus saith Cyrus king of Persia, The LORD God of heaven hath given me all the kingdoms of the earth; and he hath charged me to build him an house at Jerusalem, which is in Judah. 3 Who is there among you of all his people? his God be with him, and let him go up to Jerusalem, which is in Judah, and build the house of the LORD God of Israel, (he is the God,) which is in Jerusalem. (Ezra 1:1-3)

Example 4. Ahasuerus Persian, who’s queen was Esther and Prime minister her Cousin Mordechai.

Who’s decree was so severe against the surrounding nations that if any stood as enemies of the Jews they were killed by the jews in the days of Purim, a festival still held today.

What am I trying to say?

In the midst of the darkest days of Israel’s history, the God of Israel was glorified to the known world and his people were blessed.

Jesus said that God “maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust” (Matt 5:45).

For those who love the Lord, when the sun shines hot, we make hay; When the rain descends, we grow food and harvest the water.

In Resisting God, We Resist Good.

  1. Free To Do Good

1 Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are dordained 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:

We have seen that we are free To Live Our Lives to the fullest even in the midst of trouble surrounding us. And we are to live it in the present always.

They say the past is a memory, the future a mystery.

Jesus said “Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.” (Matt 6:34)

Beloved no matter the days in which we live, or the Government to which we are subject, we are free to do good.

We are free to be blessed and to bless
We are free to prosper and give to those who have not
We are free to glorify God and to share the hope in Christ that we have
We are free to be at peace with the world, though the world strive against God and us.

We are Free to Be A Witness To World, just as .
o As Joseph was to Pharoah
o As Moses was to Egypt
o As David was to Saul
o As Daniel was to Nebuchadnezzar
o As Shadrak / Meshak and Abednego were to the Babylonian presidents
o As Daniel was to Darius
o As Mordechai was to Ahasuerus
o And as Esther was to Haman

1 Fret not thyself because of evildoers, neither be thou envious against the workers of iniquity. 2 For they shall soon be cut down like the grass, and wither as the green herb. 3 Trust in the LORD, and do good; so shalt thou dwell in the land, and verily thou shalt be fed. 4 Delight thyself also in the LORD; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart. 5 Commit thy way unto the LORD; trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass. 6 And he shall bring forth thy righteousness as the light, and thy judgment as the noonday.
7 Rest in the LORD, and wait patiently for him: fret not thyself because of him who prospereth in his way, because of the man who bringeth wicked devices to pass. 8 Cease from anger, and forsake wrath: fret not thyself in any wise to do evil. 9 For evildoers shall be cut off: but those that wait upon the LORD, they shall inherit the earth. (Ps 37:1-9)

The comfort promised here is claimed by those who know God and are known by him. Those who have there names written in the book of Life and who’s sins have been forgiven.
Those that have made peace with God are the ones to whom such peace is promised, but there will be no peace to those who’s sin against God is to be visited against them in the day of their death.

To those of you not yet saved by the Son of God, your only hope seems to be this life. Your only trust is found in the temporal decrees of Government and not the permanent promises of God.

Your hope is hear not heaven.

You set yourself to be disappointed.

The Bible says the wages of sin is death, and you will one day receive payment in full for what you have earned. You stand this day as part of the world and an enemy of God.

Hebrews 9:27 says 27 And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment:

Verse 27 is your dilemma. You have an appointment you will not miss, “as it is appointed unto men once to die”, you have an appointment in which you will not be late, “but after this the judgement”

As great as a dilemma as verse 27 is, God provided the solution in verse 28;
Reading again from verse 27 for context;

27 And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment:
28 So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation.

A hint in the last portion of that verse to that which is yet future for those who know him. But for those who are yet to know him, you can this day believe that Jesus was offered for your sins, for your salvation. Will you believe it?





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