Lest we For get February 13, 2001
The Indianapolis Baptist Temple was founded in March of 1950 as an Independent Baptist Church by George Young, who had just graduated from the Bible Baptist Seminary in Ft. Worth, Texas. Dr. J. Frank Norris, knowing that he originally came from Bedford, Indiana suggested that he come to Indianapolis to found an Independent Baptist Church.
To be independent meant not affiliated with the Northern (now American) or Southern Baptist Conventions.
In the fall of the year the church, upon the advice of Dr.
Dallas Billington who was pastor of the Akron Baptist Temple, Akron. Ohio, incorporated, contrary to the scriptures pertaining to the Lordship of Jesus Christ over His divine assembly, and the historic Baptist position, as a non-profit organization under the laws of the State of Indiana.
The congregation also, acting upon erroneous legal advice was not aware that they had removed themselves from the protection of the First Amendmentofthe U.S. Constitution and the religious liberty clauses of the Indiana Constitution.
In essence they had accepted another lord over their church (government), in violation to the First Commandment, “Thou shalt have no other gods before me.” They had entered into contract placing themselves under the non-profit corporate laws of the state of Indiana and the Non-profit Czar of the IRS to officially teach “Federal Public Policy”, rather than “all the counsel of God.”
The church (IBT), according to the commands regarding government, obeyed all state and federal laws concerning non-profit organizations, including the collecting and paying of employee taxes to the State revenue agency and the Internal Revenue Service.
However, in 1982 the church came to the conviction that they had been disobedient to their Lord by taking upon themselves a “legal” status contrary to the scriptures and the First Amendment to the US Constitution and in so doing had sinned against their Lord.
After a six-month study by members of the church, the congregation accepted their conclusions that in fact the church had violated the scriptures, but also had put themselves in serious jeopardy by discarding the protections of the First Amendment and had agreed to limit their preaching and teaching ministry to the authority of the IRS pertaining to 501 (c) (3) organizations and made the church a tax collector and payer to Caesar.
On the basis of this information the church stopped operating as this “legal”, non-profit entity in 1984 including the collecting of payroll and FICA taxes. The church notified all taxing agencies local, state and federal including a letter to Senator Robert Dole, the chairman of the Senate finance committee.
The church operated in peace without any governmental opposition until the IRS put liens on the church property for back payroll taxes in 1987. The US Justice Department filed a complaint against the church in Federal District Court on April 13, 1998.
The District Court ruled in favor of the Justice Department and after being upheld by the Seventh District Court of Appeals, the church appealed to the Supreme Court which refused to hear the case.
After the Federal Marshal did not honor the court order to seize the church property on Nov. 14, 2000 at High Noon, the members of the congregation remained and occupied the property for ninety-three days until the church property was seized by federal marshals on Feb. 13, 2001.
The church property was turned over to a receiver and $6 million worth of property (i.e. an MAI appraisal) including a 2000 seat sanctuary and twenty-two acres of land was turned over to a receiver and sold to the Christel House Foundation for $1.5 million dollars. It also included the church parsonage valued at approximately $175,000 which was to have been given to the pastor and his wife upon his retirement. The main sanctuary was bulldozed to makewayfor the Christlel House Charter School.
After five years of moving from place to place, under the leadership of Pastor Greg A. Dixon, the church continued on, under extreme difficulties, in leased facilities until they moved to their present location at 4002 E. Southport Rd, after renovating it for approximately $1.5 million dollars which the congregation gave including many man hours in its renovation.
The church has remained totally debt free while continuing with their gospel ministry, which includes a world-wide ministry and a church planting ministry locally and around the world.
Pastor Greg A. Dixon resigned to lead the church planting ministry and Matt Roller became pastor effective Jan. 1, 2015.
FederalDistrictCourtforthe SouthernDistrictofIndiana, Indianapolis CAUSE NO. IP 98- 0498-C-B/S JudgeSaraEvans Barker Summary Judgment given to US on June 26, 1999 United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit Chicago, IL, same Cause No. as above. Unanimous decision by Judges Coffey, Evans, and Williams. Williamswrotethe opinion, sustainedJudgeBarkers decision on August 17, 2000 Certiorari Denied in the Supreme Court of the United States February 16, 2001
Church Planting in Liberia
On January 12, Greg A. Dixon will leave from Orlando, Florida for his second Church planting ministry In Liberia. He will be traveling with Dr. Bruce Snavely of Melbourne, Florida who will conduct Bible studies with the native pastors.
They will make Monrovia their base while they spread out across the country to conduct the classes and to challenge present and future church planters. Bro. Snavely has been ministering in Liberia annually for many years.
The picture shows the African Nationals in 2017 that were being taught how to found new churches. 12 new churches were started by June 1st and an additional 24 new churches will hopefully begin through the effort that will be made by the Advance effort in January of 2018.
For only $50 per month for 1 year these families can be supported full time. Each of us must manage our wealth to expand New Testament churches. Will your family adopt a family? This effort will transform your children.
Church Planting by Advance
Advance has planted 27 churches in the last 15 years. Their desire is to form an alliance of Pastors globally, to plant churches. Any pastors interested in helping in this great enterprise or anyone willing to give should go to www.advance2016.org for information.
IRS Church Seizure is a Tragedy for Religious Liberty
By Ron Paul
Reprinted from “Texas Straight Talk,” the weekly column of U.S. Rep. Ron Paul, Monday, February 26, 2001
February 13th  marked a sad day for religious liberty in America, as the federal government took the unprecedented step of seizing a church to satisfy an alleged tax debt. Armed federal marshals forcibly removed parishioners and clergy from the Indianapolis Baptist Temple (IBT), bringing a close to years of legal challenges after the Supreme Court refused to hear an IBT appeal.
Amazingly, the tax dispute arose not over a failure to pay income taxes per se, but rather over the failure of the IBT to follow tax withholding rules. The tax code forces all employers, including churches, to act as collection agents for the IRS by presumptively withholding a portion of every employee’s paycheck for federal taxes.
The IBT steadfastly has refused to withhold taxes from its employees, arguing that religious beliefs prevent it from acting as an agent for a secular government agency.
Two important facts have been largely overlooked in the ensuing controversy. First, the IBT (unlike most churches) also refused tax benefits available to it through registration as a tax exempt religious organization. Second, more than 60 present and former IBT employees successfully passed IRS audits, meaning they paid full taxes the IBT had not withheld.
So the heart of the dispute really was about IBT’s principled refusal to do the government’s bidding. The real motivation behind the IRS seizure was not to satisfy a tax bill, but rather
to act as an example for any other churches that might dare to question their obligation to act as tax collectors. The IBT tragedy is about religious liberty, not taxes. Churches should not be required to pay or withhold taxes any more than they should be given tax dollars from the government. The First Amendment grants churches the absolute right to freely exercise their religious beliefs withoutinterferencefrom government.
When tax laws force churches to act as collection agents for the IRS, this precious right is lost. The income tax represents the ultimate entanglement between churches and the government. When churches file income tax returns, the government becomes intimately familiar with their activities.
Only those faiths deemed valid by IRS bureaucrats are rewarded with partial tax-exempt status.
This entanglement chills true religious expression, because churches may alter their message to quell criticism of government and avoid audits. When the government has the power to tax churches, it ultimately has the power to control them.
The state-loving media scarcely mentioned the IBT story, with brief articles predictably portraying the church as a fringe organization that avoided its taxes.
This follows an established pattern of characterizingreligious conservatives who protest the federal government as dangerous extremists, implicitly associated with militias and racists.
Imagine the national media coverage, and resulting public outrage, if a minority church was seized over a refusal to pay taxes. Protestors supporting left-wing causes like abortion, affirmative action, environmentalism, feminism, AIDS,
and animal rights consistently are shown as courageous martyrs fighting for principle against an unfeeling society and government.
Conservative protestors, however, as shown as sinister bigots who selfishly refuse to follow benign laws and politically correct social needs.
The IBT story has resounded with many Americans, however. A strong undercurrent of dissent has manifested itself below the mainstream media radar on radio talk shows and websites.
My office has received hundreds of angry letters, emails, and phone calls denouncing the government’s actions.
People of all faiths understand that the threat to religious liberty affects all Americans. No society can remain free if it lacks strong institutions to challenge an overreaching government.
Disasters Caused by “SEED-FAITH”
A number of tragic emails are below:
Sometime during 2003 I received an email from a Nigerian Pastor, asking for prayer. He was at a loss as to what to tell his flock who were “exhorted” (that should be extorted) by a travelling American evangelist to give money to God
(to him of course) and that God would return the amount 100 fold. Of course all the flock were in that poor and needy bracket and they gave believing that God would meet their financial needs. Sick!
So the Evangelist departs with all the money and the poor Pastor is left to explain to God’s people why God has not honoured their giving. They gave their food money and rent money believing God would replace it – the result was hungry, homeless people, more misery created by man in God’s name. My onlyadvicewas never never never never allow these guys anywhere near your people and to teach that our giving should not be to create a debt with God.
I have a relative who was in dire financial need to help pay for a utility bill that was going to be shut off. She contacted TBN founders seeking for a small donation to help pay her utility bill, they told her that they do not help in this way. They would pray that she can get the financial help she needs She had sent in hundreds of dollars over the years
to support this TBN Station, but when it was time for her to get help which was less than $100.00 she needed, after this she has not sent anymore money to fund them.
She had sent hundreds of dollars to these preachers on TBN who preach ‘If you send this amount of money to them, depending on the amount of money they sent they would be blessed some 30, 60 or 100 fold. She sent money because she wanted to be blessed with money in return not to submit to the Lord in the spirit of love, and humility. She just wanted to get money back. And this is happening in the lives of so many saints of God.
I want to say in response to this that my husband and I fell for this message…hook, line and sinker. We are now in such a financial mess only God can rescue us! We once gave
$1000.00 for a TV minister’s airplane that we really needed for our own bills. We were told by him how anointed he was and that we were guaranteed the help we need if we help buy his airplane for ministry. Well, needless to say no help came. We have had more financial problems in the past four years because of our blindness… our willingnessto accept this as the truth. God woke us up a year ago after falling on our faces and repenting. We are still in a huge struggle and hope to not go bankrupt. We have credit card debt that is insurmountable.
We are told by these men if it isn’t working we are the ones at fault…we aren’t giving enough…or we have sin in our lives….
“our cloud is not full enough” so we need to give more so that “once it is filled up it will rain”.
The Lord has kept us from drowning and like I said before our only hope is in Him.
God help us and save us from this mess we ourselves have created.
There are a couple more ‘gimmicks’ that TV preachers are using currently to get money out of their audiences.
Usually you will see one start using a technique and then soon
enough many others are getting on the ‘bandwagon’.
When the Christian TV stations have ‘telethons” they will have guest preachers come on to help stir up the people to give. One such man of long Christian standing spoke of how much he had given God the previous year. On TV he went
on to say how he was glad that he gave that much since his wife had gotten cancer that year and they had already ‘sown’ into the Kingdom of God (talking about money).
Evidently God healed his wife ‘becausetheyhad given MONEY’….He was VERY clear what he meant…If you have a physical need such as healing, give money and God will heal you….SICK! Where does Jesus say this? He gave command to the disciples: FREELY YOU HAVE RECEIVED, FREELY GIVE”.
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Publishers Note: In light of these testimonies above it behooves us to read again the words of Moses as he warned Israel of false prophets long ago at: Deu 13:1-18
1 If there arise among you a prophet, or a dreamer of dreams, and giveth thee a sign or a wonder,
2 And the sign or the wonder come to pass, whereof he spake unto thee, saying, Let us go after other gods, which thou hast not known, and let us serve them;
3 Thou shalt not hearken unto the words of that prophet, or that dreamer of dreams: for the LORD your God proveth you, to know whether ye love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul.
4 Ye shall walk after the LORD your God, and fear him, and keep his commandments, and obey his voice, and ye shall serve him, and cleave unto him.)
What Has Christianity Done for Women?
Replica of the Virgin Mary
It is astounding that the whole world is focused on the birth of a peasant born in a stable in Bethlehem 2,000 years ago! Nothing like this has been seen in man’s history. This week I mused about how the world would be different, deficient, and dangerous had He not been born; and precisely how Christianity impacted the status, safety, and security of women and children.
Yale historian Jeroslav Pelikan mused along the same lines when he wrote, “Regardless of what anyone may personally think or believe about him, Jesus of Nazareth has been the dominant figure in the history of Western Culture for almost 20 centuries. If it were possible, with some sort of super magnet, to pull up out of history every scrap of metal bearing at least a trace of his name, how much would be left?”
Down through the ages Christians used the Bible to reform social structures: replacing the detrimental elements with wholesome and productive features. They believed the Bible should be the guiding influence in every area of life–family, education, politics, marriage, and personal devotion. Such belief totally transformed the world.
Historian J. M. Robbers declared in The Triumph of the West, “We could none of us today be what we are if a handful of Jews nearly two thousand years ago had not believed that they had known a great teacher, seen him crucified, dead, and buried, and then rise again.” Well said!
- H. Lecky in his History of European Morals commented on the influence of Christianity declaring, “The greatest religious change in the history of mankind” took place “under the eyes of a brilliant galaxy of philosophers and historians who disregarded as contemptible an Agency [Christianity] which all men must now admit to have been . . . the most powerful moral lever that has ever been applied to the affairs of men.”
Yet, many Americans think of Christmas as relating to toys, trees, and tinsel along with some booze and an office party!
Early Christianity influenced the people of Rome to be kinder and more gracious than their earlier ancestors. In the ancient world, it only made sense to please your friends and punish your enemies.
Conan the Barbarian in his famous answer to the question “what is best in life?” answered, “To crush your enemies, see them driven before you, and hear the lamentations of their women.” He was really paraphrasing Genghis Khan who held the same sentiments. Such was life before Christ. Then entered Christ into our world. Bethlehem. Bethlehem was visited by a couple from Nazareth, the wife large with child. That child changed the whole world. He taught everyone to love their enemies, and do good to those who despitefully used them. Shocking! No one had ever taught such altruistic and exceptional concepts.
Since the Bible taught people to love their neighbor and not murder him, it
drew activists against gladiator fights. No church member could attend the contests in the arena. The gladiator contests came to an end. Slowly, the world was beginning to soften.
Christianity taught people to love and protect women and children, and treat them with care. Down through the ages a parent could do as he desired with a child and the government did not intervene. Women were property to be used and abused. Killing one’s child, especially a female, was applauded in ancient Greece and Rome! Infanticide in Rome was considered a beautiful thing.
Christians rightly called it murder. The churches taught that harming a child was one of the greatest sins that a person could commit. Christ warned those who harm children, “It were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and he cast into the sea, than that he should offend one of these little ones.”
Jesus treated women equal to men which was scandalous behavior at that time. Paul wrote in Galatians 3:8, “There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus.”
Scholar Thomas Cahill, author of The Hinges of History, opined that this was the first statement of equality in human literature! Even the concept of equality was revolutionary! Women were considered property but the Bible taught its readers that women were special creatures to be prized, provided for, and protected by men.
Aristotle said that a woman was somewhere between a free man and a slave and it was common in Greece and Rome for female babies to be exposed to the elements to die. Christians repudiated and rejected that thought and rescued such babies, adopting them as their own.
Greeks and Romans thought unmarried women had no value and it was illegal for a widow to go more than two years without remarrying. However, the churches stopped that practice and financially supported the unmarried if they chose not to marry.
Gibbon reports that the Church in Rome supported fifteen hundred widows, poor, and helpless and the church at Antioch supported three thousand of the same! No other civilization or religion ever did so.
In later centuries, widows in India were voluntarily or involuntarily burned on their husbands’ funeral pyres, known as suttee, but Christian leaders were a major influence in stopping that practice that had been common since the fourth century B.C.
Furthermore, Christians forbade sex outside of marriage thereby providing wives with security, stability, and safety not known in any previous society. Moreover, all sexual perversions– polygamy, polyandry, polyamory, and promiscuity–were forbidden by Christians thereby making a case for married sex that usually produced children in a loving, disciplined, and caring family.
The elimination of human sacrifice, slavery, infanticide, polygamy, infanticide, divorce, incest, abortion, and adultery all accrued to the benefit of women and strong families.
Early Christianity elevated slaves and women to full church membership and eventually both were given the right to contract and to own property. It was shocking to enter a first century church and find women and slaves as equals to wealthy businessmen! Many Christian slaves had their feet washed by men of authority, since according to the Bible, they were brothers and equal in the eyes of God and the church. Society was stunned.
According to historian Glenn Sunshine in his book Why You Think the Way You Do: The Story of Western Worldviews from Rome to Home, “Christians were the first people in history to oppose slavery systematically. Early Christians purchased slaves in the markets simply to set them free.”
Kenneth Latourette declared in his classic seven volumes A History of the Expansion of Christianity, “Such Protestant groups as the Baptists and the Quakers were concerned for the spiritual and social equality of men and women.
Through the Protestant movement marriage and romance were now combined. What had been in the Middle Ages the courtly tradition of unwedded love was united with the Christian standard of monogamy.”
Christianity promoted monogamy and male as well as female sexual purity which elevated women to the pedestal they occupy in our society.
Christ changed the world one life at a time. He still is.
By: Don Boys, December 18, 2017
‘God’s Word Is True’: Geologist Says Unusual Discovery in Antarctica Confirms Biblical Flood Account
A Christian geologist with a leading creation science organization says the recent discovery of fossilized tree stumps in Antarctica confirms the Bible’s account of the Great Flood in Genesis.
Writing on the Institute for Creation Research’s (ICR) website, Dr. Tim Clarey describes the recent discovery of of thewell-preserved stumps. “The trees were found in
Antarctica’sTransantarctic Mountains and include a mix of evergreens, deciduous trees, and gingkoes,” he says. “This discovery should be no surprise to those who take Genesis as literal history.”
University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee geologists Erik Gulbranson and John Isbell found the fossilized trees while conducting research on the
ice-covered continent. In total, they collected fragments from 13
trees. “People have known about the fossils in Antarctica since the 1910- 12 Robert Falcon Scott
expedition,” Gulbranson said.
“However, most of Antarctica is still unexplored. Sometimes, you might be the first person to ever climb a particular
mountain.” Gulbranson and Isbell believe the ancient trees lived 260 million years ago, before a massive extinction event killed them
off. “This forest is a glimpse of life before the extinction, which can help us understand what caused the
event,” Gulbranson said.
“The Permian Period ended 251 million years ago in history’s greatest mass extinction, as the Earth rapidly shifted from icehouse to greenhouse conditions,” explains a University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee report. “More than 90 percent of species on Earth disappeared, including the polar forests.”
Secular scientists are not sure what triggered the extinction event at the end of the Permian Period, but many think a series of catastrophic volcanic eruptions were to blame.
Clarey, however, believes the calamity that killed and buried the trees in Antarctica was the Great Flood described in Genesis.
“The Bible clearly describes a global Flood that affected all land masses— why should Antarctica be an exception?” he writes.
Because trees cannot survive in Antarctica’s bitterly cold climate today, the discovery of the tree fossils indicates that the continent’s weather conditions were significantly warmer and more humid in the past.
This evidence lines up with a popular young-earth creation view that earth’s climate was warmer and milder before the Great Flood. “The greenhouse effect would have meant that the earth was uniformly warm and mild [prior to the Flood],” said Dr. Henry Morris, co-founder of ICR, in a 1968 seminar talk. “The latitudinal differences in temperature would have been minimal.”
The condition of the fossilized trees—exquisitely preserved with traces of proteins and amino acids still intact—also makes sense if the trees were suddenly killed by the Great Flood only a few thousand years ago, says Clarey.
“How could proteins and original amino acids survive for millions of years?” he says. “The secular science community has no viable answers to explain remarkable finds like these.”
Although Gulbranson and Isbell believe the recently-discovered trees are millions of years old, Clarey says the fossils “tell a different and a far more recent story—one that fits the biblical account of a global Flood just thousands of years ago.”
“These trees were buried rapidly during the global Flood described in Genesis,” he argues. “Temperate and tropical plants and animals were caught up and quickly buried in the ash, mud, and sand that engulfed them in this cataclysmic event. These fossils remind us that God’s Word is true.”
Resolution on Behalf of President Donald Trump Unregistered Baptist Fellowship,
Indianapolis Baptist Temple
Oct. 16-18, 2017
Indianapolis, Indiana Preamble
In November of 2016, using the constitutional means available to them, the American people elected Donald Trump to be their president.
He was the first non-politician to be elected president since the 1950’s. His style and agenda have been dramatically different than any president of our lifetime. His administration attracts comment from all circles of American life.
The Unregistered Baptist Fellowship, pastorsevangelistsand
missionaries wish to offerthe following resolution on his presidency: Whereas, President Trump has resisted incredible pressure and criticism from the news media, the opposition party, and even his own party to be politically correct;
Whereas, President Trump has consistently appointed federal judges who are conservative and constitutionalists;
Whereas,PresidentTrumphas consistentlyhonoredourflag, national anthem, and patriotism; Whereas President Trump has taken importantstepsinexpanding religious freedom:
Whereas President Trump has as president has continued his public support for the Second Amendment; Whereas President Trump has ended the use of foreign aid dollars to fund abortions in other countries, Whereas President Trump has led the way in the formation of a coalition to destroy the ISIS Caliphate and done so without occupying a nation or engaging in nation building;
Whereas President Trump has restored our favorable relations with the nation of Israel;
WhereasPresidentTrumphas restored our favorable relations with our historical friend, England; Whereas President Trump has sought diligently to rebuild our border security:
Whereas President Trump has ordered the removal of thousands of unnecessary and burdensome regulations on American business (resulting in spectacular economic growth);
WhereasPresidentTrumphas created a favorable atmosphere for business, resulting in a flood of people returning to the job market; WhereasPresidentTrumphas promoted the most massive tax cuts and economy boosting tax reform in American history:
Whereas President Trump has refused to give in to the politically correct pressure to endorse the myth of global warming;
Whereas President Trump is seeking to replace trade deals that are unfair to the American worker with fair trade deals;
Whereas President Trump has consistently spoken favorably of evangelicals (in contrast to the harsh criticism evangelicals normally receive from politicians); we commend President Trump for these and other positive steps taken for the good of the American people and the progress of our nation.
We commit ourselves to obedience to thecommands
of scripture and will regularly pray for our president. We pledge to support him every time that he takes steps that are positive for the American people and to carefully resistbelievinganyofthe false accusations against him until proven true.
RESOLUTION # 2
Evangelicals have been the most faithful and influential consistency supporting Donald Trump. We are grateful for many things that he has
done. There are other things that we believe would make him an even more successful president and would allow us to support him even more. Whereas, the left wing of American society has attacked the historic, classical and Biblical definition of marriage;
Whereas, the left wing of American society has tried to impose gender confusion on American young people:
Whereas millions of abortions of innocent babies (who are in what should be the shelter of their mother’s wombs) still take place every year; Whereas it is important for national leaders to avoid the bad example of foul language;
We respectfully request the attention of President Trump to these issues.
Progress in these important challenges would truly make America great again. May God grant the President of the United States wisdom, safety, good health and every blessing for his family.
We will continue to obey the scriptures that implore us to pray for those in authority such as I Tim. 2:1- 4 - 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 Savior; 4 Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.
The following are three articles on the doctrine of Civil Government by Jerald Finney, Attorney
Part One– THE ORDINATION AND PURPOSE OF CIVIL GOVERNMENT
In spite of conscience and the restraint of the Holy Spirit, what happened without civil government?
Very soon after the fall, God was grieved and repented that he had made man because the imagination of the thoughts of the heart were “only evil continually.” “All flesh had corrupted his way on the earth.” The earth was filled with violence. Remember that God had told men not to take vengeance; and that, if he did so, He would take vengeance on man sevenfold.
So God told Noah He would destroy them. The total corruption of mankind, except for Noah and his family, had occurred in a relatively short period of time after the fall of man and his expulsion from the Garden of Eden. The only remedy was God’s judgment and the initiation of an additional direct control over men.
Even man’s God-given common sense will tell a man the need for civil government. For example, “Alexander Hamilton asked and answered his own question: “Why has government been instituted at all? Because the passions of men will not conform to the dictates of reason and justice without constraint.”
At that point, for the first time, God made a new covenant with man giving man the responsibility for ruling over man for Him; God ordained human or civil government.
“For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God.” He did so at the flood: He gave man the responsibility of taking the life of one who “sheddeth man’s blood,” “for in the image of God made he man.” God gave man the right to take the life of a man, which in the very nature of the case gave man the authority to govern others.
Unless [civil] government has the right to the highest form of punishment, its basic authority is questionable and insufficient to protect properly those it governs. He ordained civil government for the earthly benefit of man—to control evil.
Civil government was established within the covenant God made with Noah. The elements of that covenant are:
- The relation of man to the earth under the Adamic Covenant is confirmed (Gen. 8.21).
- The order of nature is confirmed (Gen. 8.22).
- Human government is established (Gen. 9.1-6).
- Earth is secured against another universal judgment by water (Gen. 8.21; 9.11).
- A prophetic declaration is made that from Ham will descend an inferior and servile posterity (Gen. 9.24, 25).
- A prophetic declaration is made that Shem will have a peculiar relation to Jehovah (Gen. 9.26, 27). All divine revelation is through Semitic men, and Christ, after the flesh, descends from Shem.
- A prophetic declaration is made that from Japheth will descend the ‘enlarged’ races (Gen. 9.27).
- Government, science, and art, speaking broadly, are and have been Japhetic, so that history is the indisputable record of the exact fulfillment of these declarations.
God then ordered man to multiply and populate the earth: “And God blessed Noah and his sons, and said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth.”
The covenant God made with Noah was to continue: It was to be an “everlastingcovenant” for “perpetual generations.” Thus, the covenant is in effect today.
Part Two – CIVIL GOVERNMENT
FAILURE AND GOD’S JUDGMENT OF NATIONS
Would man obey God on the basis of conscience, the restraint of the Holy Spirit, and human government? Man almost immediately failed to govern under God—Noah became drunk and incapable of ruling. Furthermore, Noah’s descendants rebelled against God’s command to populate the whole earth. The pattern has continued with every nation that has ever or will ever exist until Christ returns.
Shortly after the flood, God divided the world into nations: “By these were the isles of the Gentiles divided in their lands; every one after his tongue, after their families, in their nations.”[i] God probably did this because if all worldly government
were concentrated in one world government, the potential for evil would be unlimited. As attorney John Eidsmoe wrote:
- “Rulers are sinful and given too much authority can become oppressive tyrants. Nations check each other’s power. A one- world government would have no check on its power. No one could check violations on legal limitations and guarantees. World government has the potential for world tyranny.”
“The people, instead of obeying God’s command to scatter and fill the earth, conceived the idea of staying together and building the tower of Babel to achieve their aim. Fellowship with man replaced fellowship with God.” Soon after this division into nations, mankind attempted to build the world’s first “United Nations” building. “And they said, Go to, let us build us a city and a tower, whose top may reach unto heaven; and let us make us a name, lest we be scattered abroad upon the face of the whole earth.”
What was wrong with their attempt? “It was a picture of salvation by works, reaching heaven by one’s own efforts; one of its probable purposes was astrology or Satan worship, as with the ziggurat towers in ancient Babylonia; it was based on pride and self-exaltation. In addition, its purpose was to keep the people together in a one-world government instead of spreading them out into national entities as God had intended.
The Jewish historian Flavius Josephus, writing shortly after the time of Christ, says: ‘Now it was Nimrod who excited them to such an affront and contempt of God…. He also gradually changed the government into tyranny—seeing no other way of turning them from the fear of God, but to bring them into a constant dependence upon his power. He also said … that he would build
the tower too high for the waters to be able to reach and that he would avenge himself on God for destroying their forefathers….’
“As we can read in Genesis 11.5-9, God frustrated the building of the tower by causing the people to speak different languages. God then reaffirmed nationalism: ‘And from thence did the Lord scatter them abroad upon the face of all the earth’ (Genesis 11.9). God further reaffirms nationalism in Deuteronomy 32.9 and Acts 17.26. National entities will continue even during Christ’s millennial rule on earth (Isaiah 2.4; 66.18; Revelation 12.5; 20.3, 8), and perhaps even in heaven (Revelation 21.24, 26).”
Thus, God again judged man for his failure to keep His command to populate the whole earth. God confused their language. Since they could no longer speak the same language, the builders could no longer understand one another. They separated and relocated to different parts of the earth. They began to populate the entire earth.
Thus, God gave man another chance for to govern under God according to His precepts for His purposes. The New Testament teaches that one God-given purpose of Gentile civil government is to control evil.
A second purpose can be inferred from an admonition of Paul to Timothy—to organize society under God that is according to God’s principles.
For example, an application of God’s principles in civil law would be laws regulating hunting. In the Noahic covenant, mankind is told: “Every living thing that liveth shall be food for you.” Thus, God gave man the authority to hunt animals, but not the “right to engage in mass and wanton slaughter of the animal kingdom.” On the other hand, God placed man in the Garden of Eden to “dress it and keep it,” not to destroy it.
“So God requires man to exercise wise stewardship in his use of the animal kingdom and of natural resources in general.”
God wants every Gentile nation to choose to operate under Him—that is, under His principles as given in His Word. If a nation will do that, Christians will live a quite and peaceable life and non-Christians will be free to choose God, no god, or false gods or gods since, as will be seen, separation of church and state is a biblical principle for Gentile nations.
A third, and the most important purpose of civil government is to teach. Just as “[t]he law is a “schoolmaster” to bring us unto Christ,” a nation, by its laws, teaches. The laws of a nation, as do God’s laws, have a didactic effect; that is, they teach. Lawrence McGarvie observed:
- “American law tended to operate as if it had a life of its own, shaping society to conform to legal values by directing the actions of individuals. Recognizing law’s relative autonomy, scholars such as Michael Grossberg, Christopher Tomlins, and Mark Tushnet contend that law acted to infuse the new society—including the judges—with a system of rules and principles derived from liberal ideology. Many authors have noted the incremental pace of legal change. Law’s structural dependence on the Constitution, common-law precedent, and the procedural dictates of pleading recognizable legal arguments mitigated any societal tendencies toward rapid transformation. Instrumentalism, as a theory of understanding law, fails to fully appreciate its institutional inertia, the multiplicity of forces involved in its creation, and its hegemonic
role as a relatively autonomous body of values, beliefs, and doctrine that provides the means of ‘discourse’ in a nation of law.”
A nation under God will base its law upon biblical principles and such a civil government teaches its citizens the biblical principle that they have freedom of conscience, but that individuals should choose to conform their wills to the will of God.
As will be seen in future lessons, everyone in such a nation may choose the one true God, god, gods, or no gods at all. If under God, a nation teaches and points to truth, including the ultimate truth that Jesus stated: “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.”
The covenant God made with Noah was written to Gentile nations. Gentile nations were to always proceed under God’s original plan for civil government. Later, as will be shown, God called out a nation, Israel, for specific purposes applicable only to that one nation.
Israel was to operate as a theocracy directly under God. Israel was to be the center of God’s dealings with nations. God’s treatment of every Gentile nation depended and depends upon that nation’s treatment of Israel.
Thus, the Bible teaches that God can prevent man from setting up civil government, and He can ordain civil government. He is the Highest Power.
At the same time, because God has given man free will, God does not force civil government to operate within the sphere of its God-given authority. All other powers, including all other governments and civil government officials and leaders are under Him, subject to His rules.
In Romans we read, “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.” Every soul includes leaders. Then, God lays out the jurisdiction of civil government consistently with principles for civil government in the Old Testament.
Finally, God makes clear that man’s duties under God to civil government are parallel with the jurisdiction of civil government.
As always, God declares that God’s children are to obey God rather than man when man’s laws contradict God’s laws.
God has judged all nations (civil governments) which have ever existed and will judge all nations whom He has not before judged.
All that God showed man as recorded in the Old Testament failed to convince mankind, excluding a remnant, that God was who He claimed to be, that His rules and principles could not be changed, that judgment falls upon individuals and institutions which do not operate according to His principles.
As Isaac Backus observed: “Yet all this [all that God had done in the Garden of Eden, the flood, the ordaining of civil government] did not remove the dreadful distemper from man’s nature, for the great Ruler of the universe directly after the flood gave this as one reason why he would not bring such another while the earth remains, namely, For the imagination of man’s heart is evil from his youth.
“So that if he was to drown them as often as they deserved it, one deluge must follow another continually.
PART THREE– GOD DESIRES THAT GENTILE NATIONS GLORIFY HIM
God has also given to the Gentile civil governments freedom of choice. Many scriptures illustrate that God wanted Gentile civil governments to recognize Him as who He is: for example, Exodus 7.5, 17; 14.4, 18 (Egypt); Ezekiel 25.11 (Ammonites);
25.14 (Edom); 25.17 (Philistia); 26.6, (Tyre); 28.22, 23, 24 (Zidon); 29.6, 9, 16, 21; 30.8, 19, 25; 32.16 (Egypt);
35.4 (Mt. Seir); 38.23 (the nations); 39.6, 7 (Magog & the heathen).
Solomon, in his blessing after dedicating the temple said, “That all the people of the earth may know that the LORD is God, and that there is none else.”
David, within his last words, said: “He that ruleth over men must be just, ruling in the fear of God. And he shall be as the light of the morning, when the sun riseth, even a morning without clouds; as the tender grass springing out of the earth by clear shining after rain.” [To Nebuchadnezzar it was said] “they shall make thee to eat grass as oxen, and seven times shall pass over thee, until thou know that the most High ruleth in the kingdom of men, and giveth it to whomsoever he will.”
So it happened and so Nebuchadnezzar then, after being restored to his kingship, “[extolled and honoured] the King of heaven, all of whose works are truth, and his ways judgment,” recognizing that “those that walk in pride [God] is able to abase.” So Nebuchadnezzar came to be called the “servant” of Jehovah.
The writing is on the wall for all nations. God judged King Belshazzar,
Nebuchadnezzar’s son, because he did not humble his heart and “lifted up [himself] against the Lord of heaven” and had not glorified God “in whose hand [Belshazzar’s] breath [was] and whose [were] all his ways,” knowing what God had done to his father. Darius, after seeing that God miraculously delivered Daniel when he was thrown into the den of lions, decreed: “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. He delivereth and rescueth, and he worketh signs and wonders in heaven and in earth, who hath delivered Daniel from the power of the lions.” Cyrus chose to serve God: “That saith of Cyrus, He is my shepherd, and shall perform all my pleasure: even saying to Jerusalem, Thou shalt be built; and to the temple, Thy foundation shall be laid. Thus saith the LORD to his anointed, to Cyrus, whose right hand I have holden, to subdue nations before him; and I will loose the loins of kings, to open before him the two leaved gates; and the gates shall not be shut.”
God sent Jonah to “cry against” the Gentile city of Nineveh “for their wickedness [had] come up before [Him]. After Jonah went through the city of Nineveh crying, “Yet forty days, and Nineveh shall be overthrown,”
The people of Nineveh believed God, and proclaimed a fast, and put on sackcloth, from the greatest of them even to the least of them. “And God saw their good works that they turned from their evil way; and God repented of the evil, that he had said that he would do unto them; and he did it not.” Unfortunately, more than a century later Nahum delivered an unrelieved warning of judgment because Nineveh had fallen back into moral awfulness: “[H]e will make an utter end: affliction shall not rise up the second time.” “According to Diodorus Siculus, the city was destroyed nearly a century later, precisely as [predicted by Nahum].”
Thus God wishes each civil government to choose to rule for His glory under His precepts; that is, to establish free will for every individual while ruling under biblical principles, but not to enforce God’s rules concerning man’s relationship with God. Just as Belshazzar was without excuse in that he saw what God had done to his father, likewise rulers and civil governments today are without excuse in that the Word of God is available today for all to read and to know God’s principles and His ways.
For end notes to Brother Finney’s articles, please go to: https://jeraldfinney.wordpress.com
Bible Museum of London Includes Bunyan’s Bible
David Smith, missionary to England is the founder and curator of one of the world’s most unusual museums. It is located in London and is the home to some of the Bible’s that belonged to some of the most well- known preachers of modern history including John Bunyan, Charles Spurgeon, Arthur Pink, J. Frank Norris, G. B. Vick, and Jewell Smith (David’s father). Greg J. Dixon’s Bible which he used in the pulpit of the Indianapolis Baptist Temple for many years has also been entered into the museum.
THE TRUMPET VOL. XX1V Issue 112 JAN-MAR 2018 AD
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