Following the Leader

Now when they drew near to Jerusalem and came to Bethphage, to the Mount of Olives, then Jesus sent two disciples, saying to them, “Go into the village in front of you, and immediately you will find a donkey tied, and a colt with her. Untie them and bring them to me. If anyone says anything to you, you shall say, ‘The Lord needs them,’ and he will send them at once.” This took place to fulfill what was spoken by the prophet, saying, “Say to the daughter of Zion, ‘Behold, your king is coming to you, humble, and mounted on a donkey, and on a colt, the foal of a beast of burden.'” The disciples went and did as Jesus had directed them. They brought the donkey and the colt and put on them their cloaks, and he sat on them. Most of the crowd spread their cloaks on the road, and others cut branches from the trees and spread them on the road. And the crowds that went before him and that followed him were shouting, “Hosanna to the Son of David! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord! Hosanna in the highest!” And when he entered Jerusalem, the whole city was stirred up, saying, “Who is this?” And the crowds said, “This is the prophet Jesus, from Nazareth of Galilee.”
(Matthew 21:1-11 ESV)

Many Christians celebrate this day as Palm Sunday, although there is overwhelming evidence that this event did not occur on a Sunday.

Before Jesus’ arrest (via betrayal by Judas Iscariot) trial and subsequent crucifixion He said, “”O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the city that kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to it! How often would I have gathered your children together as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, and you would not! See, your house is left to you desolate. For I tell you, you will not see me again, until you say, ‘Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord'” (Matthew 23:37-39 ESV).

Blessed is he who comes in the name of the LORD! We bless you from the house of the LORD.
(Psalm 118:26 ESV)

This is a very important study, considering we are only days away from the United States Presidential Election (2012).

Many of the The Jewish people welcomed Jesus Christ into Jerusalem as their promised Messiah,

The Scribes, Pharisees (except Nicodemous), Sadducees and Sanhedrin would have nothing to do with what they considered heretical and blasphemous.The Pharisees and Sanhedrin were also involved in legal matters before the court, including recommendations to Herod the Great and Pontius Pilate regarding capital punishment.

The lesson of this story is that one should not follow the crowd. The vast Jewish people had accepted Him as the Messiah. Yet political pressure ad the leadership of the church found him guilty of heresy and blasphemy and He was put to death. The same principals rule our world today. Politicians, elected officials, appointed officials and police officers routinely abuse their position of trust to enforce the law as see they fit. So much for the rule of law.

Blessed is he who comes in the name of the LORD! We bless you from the house of the LORD.
(Psalm 118:26 ESV)

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Politics According to the Bible

George Washington, the first President of the United States of America said, “It is impossible to govern the world without God and the Bible.” Truer words have never been spoken.

The truth is that religion and politics, as well as religion and government, cannot be separated. Look at the verse that makes up the foundation of Biblical principles of government. Isaiah the Prophet said, “For the LORD is our judge, the LORD is our lawgiver, the LORD is our king; he will save us.”
(Isaiah 33:22 KJV)

A judge represents the Judicial Branch of our government, a lawgiver represents the Legislative Branch of our government and a president (king) represents the Executive Branch of out government. Not only are these three branches part of the federal government, but state governments and municipalities follow the same established pattern and form of government.

The separation of powers of government, more commonly known as the three branches of government (legislative, executive, and judicial) we take very much for granted, but where did the principles of the separation of powers originate?  They originated in the Holy Bible.

The United States does not have a Democracy as a type of government. Since it’s birth in 1776, our nation has held a Constitutional Republic as a form of government, adopted in 1788 by our Founding Fathers with the signing of the proposed Constitution.  The Constitution was ratified with the last state (Rhode Island) signing in May 29, 1790.  While our government has a democratic style (citizens of voting age can choose their leaders except those appointed by elected officials, and occasionally vote on issues), it is important to recognize that the law of our land is a written agreement, administered by elected officials.  The rules of conduct outlined in the constitution cannot be ignored, even if the majority of the citizens feel otherwise.  It is also important to understand that our Founding Fathers developed a written form of civil government because of the example another form of written government, the Holy Bible.

Jedidiah Morse once said, “Whenever the pillars of Christianity shall be overthrown, our present form of government, and all blessings that flow from them, must fall with them.”

John Eidsmoe, the author of Christianity and the Constitution. said “The source most often cited by the Founding Fathers was the Bible, which accounted for 34% of all citations…” (The next 65% were cited from men, writings that cited the Bible).

“The Constitution of the United States,” declared the skeptical historian H.G.Wells, “…is indubitably Christian. Because the overwhelming majority of the creators of the Constitution were practicing Christians who derived their political philosophy from the Bible and other Christian sources, it should come as no surprise that they enshrined numerous Biblical principals in the Constitution.”

Because of their acknowledgment of the eternal God of the Bible, the source of all authority and to whom all people owe allegiance, in all places at all times, and because of an understanding of the nature of fallen man, the Fathers our nation recognized the importance of having a written ‘covenant’ that would bind both the citizens and those whom would be chosen to lead the citizens, to conduct their lives in agreement with the covenant of God.

Self Government

A.W. Tozer said, “Most Christians would be better pleased if the Lord did not inquire into their personal affairs too closely. They want Him to save them, keep them happy, and take them to Heaven at last, but not to be too inquisitive about their conduct and service.

Gary DeMar said, “The first principle of any government system is self government.  The individual must always be aware that God stands above him or her in authority, power, and holiness; therefore, when others do not stand over the individual to view their actions, he or she is always aware that God does. The first principle of any government system is self government.  The individual must always be aware that God stands above him or her in authority, power, and holiness; therefore, when others do not stand over the individual to view their actions, he or she is always aware that God does.The motivation of self government, the desire to do right in the sight of God without fear of external punishment, must begin in the heart.  A self governed individual is one who has been born again, where the heart of stone has been replaced with a heart of flesh.No nation can hope to survive without self governed men and women who seek to follow the laws of their Lord.  A nation without self governed individuals will seek to establish a regressive civil government in order to keep undisciplined people in check.”

Family Government

The family is the first governing institution and stands at the beginning of creation as the foundational institution for the ordering (governing) of society.  Self government is developed within the family.

The results of poor family government affects the entire society.  The children, becoming corrupt members of society, will incur the wrath of God for their civil deeds, and the nation as a whole will suffer.

Now Eli was very old, and heard all that his sons did unto all Israel; and how they lay with the women that assembled at the door of the tabernacle of the congregation. And he said unto them, Why do ye such things? for I hear of your evil dealings by all this people.
(1 Samuel 2:22-23 KJV)

Family government is the training ground for leaders. It is the place where a person gets experience on a small but ever increasing scale by applying Biblical principles to life’s situations.

His lord said unto him, Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord.
(Matthew 25:21 KJV)

Church Government

The churches of our Lord Jesus Christ have governing authority because the institution of the church was instituted by Him. Jesus states that the institution is His.

And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.
(Matthew 16:18-19 KJV)

The extent of the churches authority is no greater than what the Bible states.  One duty of churches is to keep themselves pure of sinful behavior and doctrinal error; and to make offenders realize their need of repentance.  Churches have the authority to discipline unrepentant members.

Moreover if thy brother shall trespass against thee, go and tell him his fault between thee and him alone: if he shall hear thee, thou hast gained thy brother. But if he will not hear thee, then take with thee one or two more, that in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established. And if he shall neglect to hear them, tell it unto the church: but if he neglect to hear the church, let him be unto thee as an heathen man and a publican. Verily I say unto you, Whatsoever ye shall bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever ye shall loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven. Again I say unto you, That if two of you shall agree on earth as touching any thing that they shall ask, it shall be done for them of my Father which is in heaven. For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.
(Matthew 18:15-20 KJV)

It is reported commonly that there is fornication among you, and such fornication as is not so much as named among the Gentiles, that one should have his father’s wife. And ye are puffed up, and have not rather mourned, that he that hath done this deed might be taken away from among you. For I verily, as absent in body, but present in spirit, have judged already, as though I were present, concerning him that hath so done this deed, In the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, when ye are gathered together, and my spirit, with the power of our Lord Jesus Christ, To deliver such an one unto Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that the spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus.
(1 Corinthians 5:1-5 KJV)

Civil Government

All rulers and citizens must be aware that the establishment of authority and power among rulers and nations is the result of God’s sovereign decree, according to His pleasure. God has established civil government to be an avenger who brings God’s wrath upon those who practice evil.

Paul the Apostle said, “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. Whosoever therefore resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance of God: and they that resist shall receive to themselves damnation. (Romans 13:1-2 KJV)

“The Constitution of the United States says nothing about separation of church and state.  That phrase does appear in the Soviet and French Constitutions. Nothing in our history indicates that the government should be independent of moral value or that religious people shouldn’t take an active role in our government. The first official act of the U.S. Congress was to select a chaplain. The second act was to authorize the purchase of 20,000 Bibles to give to the Indians.”
(USA Today: 2-16-1988)

Additional duties of civil government are the well ordering of society and the maintaining of peace so that Christians are free to worship God, unhindered by force hostile to the gospel of Jesus Christ.

Primary Purpose of Civil Government

Whoso sheddeth man’s blood, by man shall his blood be shed: for in the image of God made he man.
(Genesis 9:6 KJV)

This is the Biblical basis of capital punishment. God requires that man, through civil government, take the life of any who commit capital crimes, biblically defined.  This action is not the right of the individual, only the government when something is taken that can not be given back.

Just balances, just weights, a just ephah, and a just hin, shall ye have: I am the LORD your God, which brought you out of the land of Egypt.
(Leviticus 19:36 KJV)

This is the Biblical bases for civil government having responsibility for oversight of coinage of money and protecting the integrity of the financial system.  Keeping businesses and ndividuals accountable.

Then went the captain with the officers, and brought them without violence: for they feared the people, lest they should have been stoned. And when they had brought them, they set them before the council: and the high priest asked them, Saying, Did not we straitly command you that ye should not teach in this name? and, behold, ye have filled Jerusalem with your doctrine, and intend to bring this man’s blood upon us. Then Peter and the other apostles answered and said, We ought to obey God rather than men.
(Acts 5:26-29 KJV)

This verse speaks of the requirement of citizens to submit to civil authorities, but not unconditionally. Christians should always obey what God says to do, and then if need be pay the price of following the Lord.  When civil authorities over-step their proper sphere of responsibility, their commands must be ignored.

Care of the Poor

But if any widow have children or nephews, let them learn first to shew piety at home, and to requite their parents: for that is good and acceptable before God. Now she that is a widow indeed, and desolate, trusteth in God, and continueth in supplications and prayers night and day. But she that liveth in pleasure is dead while she liveth. And these things give in charge, that they may be blameless. But if any provide not for his own, and specially for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel.
(1 Timothy 5:4-8 KJV)

And when ye reap the harvest of your land, thou shalt not wholly reap the corners of thy field, neither shalt thou gather the gleanings of thy harvest. And thou shalt not glean thy vineyard, neither shalt thou gather every grape of thy vineyard; thou shalt leave them for the poor and stranger: I am the LORD your God.
(Leviticus 19:9-10 KJV)

Care of the poor and handicapped is a personal, family, and church responsibility. There is no Biblical basis for transferring this responsibility to civil authorities.

William Booth walked among walked among the poor, hungry, sick, and lonely people of London, England.  The people were crammed into crumbling buildings that were full of rats. They had no jobs.  There was no one to help them. Worst of all, there was no one to tell them that Jesus cared.  They did not know Jesus died to be their Savior and lives again to be their Lord. William Booth told his wife, ‘I have given myself to work for God among those sick souls.’  The work that began at that time is today known as The Salvation Army.”

Education

And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart: And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up.
(Deuteronomy 6:6-7 KJV)

Parents have the ultimate authority over children and this includes the realm of education; therefore, neither does government have the power to provide education nor do individuals have the right to education.  Government does not have a Biblical authority to provide education, according to the Scriptures, and individuals do not have an enforceable entitlement of education.

A Biblical worldview will recognize the limitations of government as well as of civil rights and will look first to the institution of the family and the church as the foundations for education, or secondarily to schools formed voluntarily by parents to better utilize the gifts of particular individuals. Only the family and/or the church are capable of providing the God-Centered education required by Scripture. Scripture speaks in terms of obligations and not in terms of  rights, particularly not a to government provided and government funded education.

2012 Presidential Election

Jesus Christ said, “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. Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire. Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.
(Matthew 7:15-20 KJV)

What are the fruits of the Democratic Party? Can a Christian actually vote for a candidate who is a Democrat? Anyone who votes for a Democrat knowing what issues they support have some serious soul searching to undertake. It may just be that their faith is also invalid.